Author: Karl Jones

Hello komrade! Karl again, back to talk about the changes to the Big Red Machine in Mk III.

Mk II Khador was a faction with an identity crisis. They were billed as a slow moving but implacable force that could take the first hit and shrug it off. Their heavies were all spd 4, def 10 and arm 20ish, with the highest number of boxes in the game at 34. Their attack stats were pretty bad at mat 6 and rat 4 and only two had access to Reach. Ruin came late in Mk II to give the faction access to a third reach heavy. Now their casters had some outstanding buffs for their warjacks, but even spells like Superiority or Unearthly Rage couldn’t overcome the jack’s terrible statline. The faction also contains no light warjacks. Instead, the Khador’s signature heavy infantry, the Man O’ Wars, were supposed to fill that role. And they might have been the biggest noob trap in the entire game. They were awful on the table. Too slow, too expensive, too easy to kill or ignore, and did not have enough offensive output. So instead or a slow, rolling tide of armor, Khador became defined by gimmicks. The first: high def, single wound infantry. These dominated the meta in the first half of Mk II, and if you didn’t have an answer to Butcher 1’s Kayazy Assassins and Winter Guard Infantry, you were going to have a bad time. And then, colossals happened. Colossals gave most factions wide access to great answer for single wound infantry, and Khador’s high def infantry in particular. There were other gimmicks that were tried, like Mad Dogs of War spamming Doom Reavers, but the faction never really recovered its place in the competitive scene and was one of the weakest factions at the end of Mk II.

And all that has now changed.

The new Khador looks to be one of the top factions in the game, if not the absolute best. At 12 points and mat 7, the Juggernaut is now the bar by which all warjacks are measured for simple brutal efficiency. Khador is full of cheap, efficient heavies, and now can take enough of them without being penalized that they actually feel tough to kill. Many of Khador’s infantry options also got better, especially their shooting options. Stand out are the new improved Man O’ Wars, which finally are in the right price point and can be taken seriously when looking at list composition.

Now I’ve always thought that Khador had the best casters in the game, hands down.  Well, in Mk III, they almost all got better. In my Legion of Everblight article, I talk about the casters I thought will be the power casters in Legion. That is going to be hard for me to do for Khador, because I think they might all be power casters that could shape the meta, with maybe one or two exceptions. So in the interest of brevity, I’ve limited myself to talking about who I consider the top 5 casters.

Zerkova 1

  • Zerkova 1
    • Sylys
    • Kodiak
    • Juggernaut
    • Destroyer
  • Koldun Lord
  • Ragman
  • Man O' War Kovnik x2
  • Greylord Ternion
  • Man O' War Demo Corps x2
  • Battle Mechaniks (Min)

Oh Lady Z, how far you have come. Long maligned as the worst caster in the game in Mk II, she inspired a thread on the Khador forums of people who simply won a game with her. It was a badge of honor. Well, that will no longer be the case. She has come into her own in Mk III as the premier spell slinging and control caster in Khador. She kept her artifacts in her Mk III incarnation, and they got even better. And she traded in her Orgoth Seal rule for simple Sacred Ward. Her spell list got a massive upgrade. The only spell that stayed on her card was Watcher, which was previously her best. The rest of her spell list is now Freezing Mist (a cold version of High Reclaimer’s Burning Ash), Frost Hammer, Ghost Walk, and Hex Blast. Now that is a true spell slinger’s list. But what brings it all together is the Rod of Whispers. Thats right, it’s finally happened. Zerkova has a way to arc spells. Her range 10 pow 13 gun picked up Grave Door. This allows her to turn a model she boxes with her gun into an arc node, as well as changing its facing. And this is on top of being able to put down a wall of Freezing Mist clouds to deliver her army. Her feat also saw improvements. You now can no longer buy back your ranged attacks while in her control, you simply cannot make them. So what does a list look like?

Between Desperate Pace from the Kovnik and the Freezing Mist clouds from Zerkova, the Demo Corps seem pretty easy to deliver. A Juggernaut for Watcher to fish for crits to ruin someone’s day with Stationary is a no-brainer, and the rest of the battle group is there for utility. Mechanics keep the whole thing running, especially with the new repairable Man O’ Wars.


Butcher 1

  • Butcher 1
    • Ruin
    • Kodiak
  • Koldun Lord
  • Kovnik Jozef Grigorovich
  • Black Dragons + UA
  • Winter Guard Rifle Corps (Min) + Rocketeer WA x3
  • Winter Guard Rifle Corps (Min) + Rocketeer WA x3
  • Winter Guard Field Gun Crew
  • Aiyana & Holt with Valachev

Butcher 1 has long stood the test of time. One of the original casters, he is still the standard for aggressive and survivable casters. On top of his own personal brutality, he is one of the best supporting casters in the faction. He underwent very minor changes, all in his spell list. Iron Flesh got updated to grant an arm buff instead of def, which makes more sense given the name of the spell, and he picked up a spell called Vengeful which grants a model Retaliatory Strike. So go ahead. Hit that Fury’d Juggernaut. It'd be a shame if he took out a spirit. Amazingly, Full Throttle did not change and seems like an incredibly efficient spell with the changes to war jacks.

Mostly a gun line to force you to come into him, and he can use his feat and Aiyana to shoot down jacks on the approach. Very similar to his Mk II lists, but everything else got better around him while he stayed just as good as he was. Pay attention, you might start noticing a theme. Also, double weapon master rocketeer guns is damn sexy.

Sorscha 2

  • Sorscha 2
    • Conquest
  • Winter Guard Artillery Kapitan
  • Kovnok Jozef Grigorovich
  • Kovnik Malakov
    • Behemoth
  • Aiyana & Holt with Valachev
  • Winter Guard Rifle Corps (Min) + Rocketeer WA x3
  • Winter Guard Field Gun Crew

Sorscha 2 saw a fair number of nerfs in the jump to Mk III. Her Quad Iron is only RoF d3+1 now, she lost Freezing Grip, and her feat is now an aura instead of a pulse. However, that feat is what is keeping her in the top. Especially with more warjacks soon to be seeing the table. Its an amazing feat for cracking armor, and that will definitely be relevant in the early Mk III meta.

She has always loved Conquest, and with it receiving a large number of buffs, she loves it even more. A lot of the colossals seem like bad buys compared to the new, super efficient heavies. But Sorcha 2 with Conquest just feels right.

Sorscha 1

  • Sorscha 1
    • Sylys
    • Rager
    • Torch
  • Widowmaker Marksman
  • Kovnik Malakov
    • Behemoth
  • Alten Ashley
  • Eiryss 1
  • Kell Bailoch
  • Widowmaker Scouts
  • Tactical Arcanist Corps with Valachev
  • Sea Dog Deck Gun

As one of the top casters in the game in Mk II, Sorscha 1 amazingly received several buffs. She is now a weapon master against stationary models, and Freezing Grip got its cost reduced to 3 Focus. She is now, even more thea before, one of the best assassins in the game. On top of that, being able to throw out 2 Freezing Grips every turn makes infantry irrelevant. But warjacks and warbeasts can shake, right? So she will just be meta’d out? Not when those beasts and jacks don’t have spirits or cortex’s anymore. Khador can now throw 5 Deadly Shots out every turn, and can also take Alten Ashley and Widowmakers for more cortex sniping goodness. She is going to be a true force to be reckoned with in Mk III, and will be in the conversation for best caster in the game from the start.

Irusk 2

  • Irusk 2
    • Destroyer
    • Rager
  • Great Bears
  • Doom Reavers x5

Irusk 2 looks to be the premier infantry caster in Khador. And Khador might be the faction that can make old school infantry machine still work. He’s got a great control feat that also supports his infantry and picked up Solid Ground to go with his Tough bubble. One thing to note, most things in the game that ignored forests for LOS no longer do, something that Circle is going to take advantage of. His feat still ignores it, so I think his lists should probably be built with Circle in mind.

This list, however, does not have circle in mind. But with Doom Reavers being FA:U, Reaver spam lists are going to be out there and Irusk 2 runs a damn good one. I don’t think this is the best list out there for him, but it’s going to exist until the meta proves it can handle it, so I thought I should include it here.

Mk III Khador looks to be one of the top factions in the game, a huge step up for them from Mk II. They seem to have finally come into the design space they were intended to fill and still have some of the most meta bending casters out there. There are a ton more casters I wish I could talk about, but maybe next time. Thanks for reading, and if you have any thoughts or comments, leave them here or tweet them to me at