Orsus Zoktavir, the Butcher of Khardov

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Khador Logo.jpg Orsus Zoktavir, the Butcher of Khardov

Khador Warcaster

Mark IV Status: Limbo - This model has not (yet) been updated with Mk IV rules, as of 2022.12. Privateer Press have promised it will get updated ... eventually.
You can view the Mk3 models that have been updated on this page.

Note that the rest of this page is about the model's Mark III rules.

The Butcher is a potent symbol of the consequence of treachery against Empress Ayn Vanar. In the protective casing of his modified suit of steam-powered armor shaped from the hull of a warjack, he is a force of destruction, a one-man wrecking crew. Soldiers across western Immoren cannot purge the vision of the axe-wielding giant from their nightmares: a man become a living personification of warfare and bloodshed.

Basic Info

Missing Info
COST {{{cacost}}}
UNIT SIZE {{{casize}}}
FA {{{cafa}}}
Warcaster 0
BASE Medium
M.A. N/A
DEF 14
ARM 18
ESSENCE {{{essence}}}
HP 20
F. Field N/A
WJP +28
WBP {{{wbp}}}
IHP {{{ihp}}}
Warcaster 1
the Statblock

Warcaster - All warcasters come with a stack of standard special rules - most notably being awesome. Click here for a newbie-friendly recap, or click here for the full rules.

Feat: Blood Frenzy

While in the Butcher's control range, friendly Faction models gain an additional die on attack damage rolls this turn.



Gun icon.jpg  RNG   ROF   AOE   POW 
8 1 - 12
Sword icon.jpg  RNG   POW   P+S 
2 8 16


Full Throttle

3 SELF Control - Turn No
Warjacks in the spellcaster's battlegroup beginning their activations in its control range can run, charge, or make slam or trample power attacks without spending focus that activation. While in the spellcaster's control range, models in its battlegroup gain boosted melee attack rolls. Full Throttle lasts one turn.

2 6 - - Upkeep No
Target friendly Faction model/unit gains +3 to melee damage rolls but suffers -1 DEF.
Iron Flesh

2 6 - - Upkeep No
Target friendly Faction warrior model/unit gains +2 ARM and Blast Resistance. Models are not affected while out of formation.
Blast Resistance - A model with Blast Resistance gains +4 ARM against blast damage.

4 10 5 15 - Yes
This spell has zero special effects.

2 6 - - Upkeep No
Target friendly Faction model gains Retaliatory Strike.
Retaliatory Strike - If a model with Retaliatory Strike is hit by a melee attack made by an enemy model during your opponent's turn, after that attack is resolved the model with Retaliatory Strike can immediately make one basic melee attack against that model. The model with Retaliatory Strike can make only one Retaliatory Strike per turn.

Theme Forces

Thoughts on Butcher1

Classic Sculpt

Butcher1 in a Nutshell

One of Khador's most iconic casters, and a true melee powerhouse, Butcher 1 is a support caster at heart despite his ability to tear into foes himself. Fury & Iron Flesh are his bread and butter so spread it around to the units/jacks that need it most. He's an easy caster to learn and fun to play.

Butcher1 is definitely one of the better starter warcasters. He is straightforward to use, works well with everything, and can hold his own in a fight. Always a good caster to use when trying out new things and finding out what you like playing with and what you don't.

Feat Thoughts

Feats don't get any simpler than Butcher's: All damage rolls from attacks gain an additional die. This includes ranged attack rolls. A Butcher gunline list is a fun option for that feat turn.

It does say attack damage rolls, so things like collateral damage won't get the bonus.

Lastly, it's gain a die, not boost, so stuff which "cannot be boosted" will benefit anyway. Like Impact attacks. Additionally, you can boost on top of the additional damage die so anything boostable can be + 4D6. And yes, charging weapon masters roll 5D6 for damage. Yikes!

Spell thoughts

  • Fury - Not much to talk about; +3 on the damage roll almost statistically equals a boost. There will rarely be games where you won't cast it on turn 1.
  • Iron Flesh - Staple Khador infantry buff; beside the ARM increase the best part is about the blast immunity. Use it in conjunction with your inaccurate AoEs to carpet bomb your own lines without fear, especially ones with the Winter Guard Artillery Kapitan's Close Fire action.
  • Full Throttle
    • Full Throttle allows your jacks to soak an opponent's attack and come back swinging. A Juggernaut with disabled arms will still reliably hit DEF 13 targets under Full Throttle. This spell encourages you to take multiple cheap warjacks. Pop the feat to really make your opponent hurt.
    • The focus burden is heavy, but it saves at least 2 focus per jack due to the free charges and boosted attack rolls, so if you get all your charges of and have jacks with lots of initials, you'll come out on top.
    • Also excellent if your jacks were disrupted, as they can still charge in for free and with boosted attack rolls.
    • Same goes for getting stationary / Knockdown off your jacks - use the Power Up focus to shake the effect during your Maintenance Phase, and then cast this so they can still go to town.
  • Obliteration - For all its destructive power, this one is probably the least used spell on your list due to its prohibitive cost.
  • Vengeful - You'll hardly have resource for that one, but if you want to send in a melee brawler, this back-up protection comes handy. The abysmal DEF of the Khador jacks will enable it to reliably trigger. Prime targets will be the Juggernaut with its Critical Freeze, or the Destroyer with the Critical Amputation on its axe.

Drawbacks & Downsides

  • Lots of upkeep spells make him and his army vulnerable to upkeep-hates, such as Purgation, Lamentation or Purification, Eiryss2, or Eilish.
  • Low SPD reduces his personal threat to 10" bubble, and makes him susceptible for SPD de-buffs.
  • Despite being one of the toughest casters, he needs screening, which is somewhat difficult with a medium base.
  • No speed buff for his army, which is pretty relevant in a game where long threat ranges decide the game.
  • No hit buff, which is relevant because most of the factions shooting is tied to very low RAT values.

Tricks & Tips

  • Butcher's feat gives an extra die - you can still boost if you want.
  • The bonus from Fury is not a STR buff so, for example, it won't affect the distance you can throw a model.

List Building Advice


Orsus has several victory conditions. The key to success is to know when to switch between the 3 modes.

  • He can win via attrition, by keeping his troops alive via Iron Flesh, and increasing their hitting power through Fury and his feat.
  • Thanks to his peerless combat capabilities he is a strong board controlling in himself, which can be used extensively in scenarios. It's a commonly held belief that anything that ends its activation within 10" of the Butcher is going to die. Enemies will rarely risk coming closer when he's in position to retaliate. You still must be wary of assassinations, though.
  • His feat makes everything stronger - and seemingly harmless attacks now can have unexpected assassination potential too.

Theme Thoughts

Ruin is Butcher's pet warjack, that he can take in any theme.

    Jaws of the Wolf    

Full Throttle might want to steer you toward a larger battlegroup, and Jaws is your go-to choice for a warjack-heavy list. However, with Butcher wanting to spend his focus on support duties, you better look for self-sufficient, simple jacks.

  • Mad Dog - with Full Throttle it can reliably hit DEF 19 models with trample.
  • Marauder - a nice combo strike, which gets all the more accurate with Full Throttle.
  • Devastator and Demolisher - both can trample around, or slam, keeping their ARM at max level.
  • Juggernaut and Berserker - plain and simple; give it Fury and send it to whatever you want wrecked.
  • Ruin is Butcher's pet warjack that he can take in any theme. The bond gives Ruin free Boundless Charge.
  • Manhunters and Yuri - It is simply amazing that the put down on the table under his feat with 5 dice to damage on the charge.
  • Rager - Butcher is pretty sensitive to ranged damage - use the Rager to screen him, and to Shield Guard shots, like Eyriss' bolts.
  • Behemoth - Fully boosted blasts already with Powerful Attack - now why not push it further with the feat?
Tip lightbulb.png

Tip !
Most of the advice about warjacks is also applicable to the other themes, too.

    Winter Guard Command    

A forgiving theme for beginners; Orsus protects them via Iron Flesh, and boosts hitting power via Fury, while they protect him from ranged assassinations. More importantly they fix one of the weaknesses he has: not bringing any accuracy buffs to his army. Amongst Veteran Leader, Artillerist, For the Motherland, and knock down shots, WGK has no trouble connecting their shots however, perfect for his feat!

  • Normally blast damage would be shrugged off by enemies with ARM above a certain level, but not on Butcher's feat turn. And this theme is full of blast templates, from the Winter Guard Mortar Crew, through the Winterguard Gun Carriage, to the Rocketeers of the Rifle Corps/Infantry.
    AOEs from the Destroyer, Conquest and Victor can also become deadly.
  • Don't forget that the feat bonus also applies to ranged attacks, amping up the damage of Riflemen CRAs.
  • Assault Kommandos - They are absolutely the best unit in the theme, and excellent Sac Pawn targets if Butcher is staring down something with elemental guns like an Archangel. Thanks to Assault they have two attacks to benefit from the feat.
  • Sorscha0 - People who know the backstory of poor Sorscha's father will probably roll their eyes for this combo, but a Boundless Charge on Orsus is a Boundless Charge. Let's pretend that she's plotting her revenge by sending him into the thick of the fight...
  • Beast 09 - Threshers under full throttle are insanely accurate and under the feat they are devastating as well. With 2" its also a great Vengeful target.

    Legion of Steel    

Iron Fangs are grateful for all the support spells from your arsenal. Under your feat you can conduct quite mighty charge attacks with your Iron Fang Uhlans, just remember to stay in CTRL range while attacking.

  • Iron Fang Pikemen - Iron Flesh makes these guys hard to take down especially in Shield Wall; you can also give them Fury to make them crush jacks/beasts
  • Black Dragons - With Iron Flesh and Iron Zeal you can form a quite durable defensive line into the middle of the board.

    Wolves of Winter    

Butcher's feat is a simple damage fix for the normally-unbuffable Doom Reaver Swordsmen and Fenris, and also creates deadly bursts out of the Outriders' sprays. Also, he cannot boost accuracy of his army, so the Greylord's Ice Cages always come in handy.

    Armored Korps    

Though the Man-o-War Drakhun is nothing short of hilarious under your feat, Butcher offers them no movement buff, something they desperately need, so this theme is probably best avoided by Butcher1.


  • Sylys - despite his melee prowess Butcher 1 tends to end up in melee less often than his second and third incarnations, so the free upkeep from Sylys can be prefferable to the melee protection the War Dog provides.
  • Saxon Orrik - The lack of Pathfinder is a glaring weakness on Butcher1 and 2. Orrik goes a long way of helping him.
  • Orin - Stop spells which might mess with the Butcher's SPD.
  • Aiyana & Holt - Orsus has only a very expensive spell to deal magical damage at range; Aiyana can help him and his army out


See the advice written under the Jaws theme, above.



Butcher Klaus (Mini Crate)
  • This model has a limited edition sculpt, released in 2018.12.
  • Released way back in Warmachine: Prime (2003)
  • Butcher has a very special place in PP's heart, as he is the first model they produced for Warmachine.

Other Khador models

Khador Logo.jpg       Khador Index       (Edit)
Battlegroup & Similar

Butcher1 - Butcher2 - Butcher3 - Harkevich - Irusk1 - Irusk2 - Karchev1 - Karchev2 - Kozlov - Malakov2 - Old Witch1 - Old Witch2 - Sorscha1 - Sorscha2 - Sorscha3 - Strakhov1 - Strakhov2 - Vlad1 - Vlad2 - Vlad3 - Zerkova1 - Zerkova2

Warcaster attachments

Khador: War Dog - Greylord Adjunct
Mercenary: Madelyn Corbeau - Reinholdt - Wyshnalyrr

Other Warjack Controllers

"Junior" Warcasters: Malakov1 - Sorscha0
'Jack Marshals: Man-o-War Kovnik - Greylord Forge Seer

Heavy Warjacks

Beast-09 - Behemoth - Berserker - Black Ivan - Decimator - Demolisher - Destroyer - Devastator - Drago - Grolar - Juggernaut - Kodiak - Mad Dog - Marauder - Rager - Ruin - Spriggan - Torch

Colossal Conquest - Victor
Units, Solos, & Battle Engines

Assault Kommandos - Battle Mechaniks - Black Dragons - Doom Reaver Swordsmen - Great Bears of the Gallowswood - Greylord Outriders - Greylord Ternion - Iron Fang Pikemen - Iron Fang Uhlans - Kayazy Assassins - Kayazy Eliminators - Kossite Woodsmen - MOW Atanas & Standard - MOW Bombardiers - MOW Demolition Corps - MOW Shocktroopers - Widowmaker Scouts - WG Field Gun - WG Infantry - WG Mortar Crew - WG Rifle Corps
Ranking Officer CA : Koldun Kapitan Valachev


Bulkhead - Fenris - Greylord Adjunct - Greylord Forge Seer - Iron Fang Kovnik - Jozef - Koldun Lord - Malakov1 - Manhunter - MOW Drakhun - MOW Kovnik - MOW Strike Tanker - MOW Suppresion Tanker - Markov - Sofya - Sorscha0 - Ol' Grim - Underboss Vizkoya - War Dog - Widowmaker Marksman - WG Artillery Kapitan - Yuri1 - Yuri2

Battle Engines Gun Carriage - Man-o-War Siege Chariot - Man-o-War Assault Chariot
Theme Forces
Armored Korps - Flame in the Darkness - Jaws of the Wolf - Legions of Steel - Warriors of the Old Faith - Winter Guard Kommand - Wolves of Winter
Refer to Who Works for Whom and/or Category: Khador Mercenary
This index was last updated: 2021.11

Video Battle Reports

Rules Clarifications

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Rules Clarification:  : Magical Damage      (Edit)
(Click Expand to read)

* The "Damage Type: Magical" is not inherited by "secondary" damage from a weapon. That is, stuff like arcs (Electro Leap) or hazards (Scather). (Infernal Ruling)
  • All spells have "Damage Type: Magical" (refer errata).
    • This is inherited by "immediate" secondary damage (such as Eruption of Spines). (Infernal Ruling)
    • and might be inherited by "lingering" secondary damage (see below).
  • If a spell leaves a template in play that does damage to models that walk around in it, then:
    • if it is not described as a hazard it will do magical damage to models that walk around in it. (Example: Razor Wall)
    • if it is a hazard then it will not do magical damage to models that walk around in it. Instead, it does whatever damage type is specified by the spell description. (Example: Breath of Corruption).
    • (Infernal Ruling)
  • If a weapon/spell includes Magic Damage and another kind of elemental damage it will still damage Incorporeal models. Incorporeal models are not affected by the rule "if an attack does multiple types of damage and a model is immune to at least one it is immune to the entire attack."
    The phrase "immune to non-magical damage" should be interpreted as "immune to damage that doesn't include Damage Type: Magical" (not interpreted as "has immunity to Corrosion and Electricity and Cold and etc.")

Rules Clarification : Weapon Master - None yet. (Edit)

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Rules Clarification:  : Warcaster      (Edit)
(Click Expand to read)

  • General
    • Damage from a feat is neither an attack nor Damage Type: Magical (unless the feat says it is).
    • FOCUS (uppercase) is the stat printed on the warcaster's card. Focus (lowercase) refers to focus points a model currently has.
    • Your CTRL area is double your FOCUS stat, not double your focus points. (Infernal Ruling)
    • Casting spells or using feats is an anytime ability with the added restriction that you can't use them on the same turn you run even before you run.
      • See also the clarifications on Any Time abilities (below).
    • Some warcasters are also Battle Engines and thus follow all the Battle Engine special rules.
      • There is no particular interaction between the Battle Engine rules and the Warcaster rules.
    • Work out all damage modifiers (such as Decapitation doubling the damage that exceeds ARM) before reducing it with the Power Field. (Infernal Ruling)

  • Restrictions on "Any Time" abilities     (Edit)         [Show/Hide]
    • "Any Time" abilities can be used at any time during a model/unit's activation, except:
    1. Before any compulsory forfeiture of movement/action. See step 2 of the activation sequence, appendix A.
    2. After the model with the "Any Time" ability has had their activation end "prematurely". By this I mean you resolved something which includes the phrase "its activation ends". Examples include:
      • Running, failing a charge, or failing a slam.
      • Abilities that include "then its activation ends" (such as Reposition and Teleport).
    3. In between declaring your charge target and making your charge movement. (Infernal Ruling)
    4. In between completing your charge movement and determining whether it was a successful charge. (Infernal Ruling)
    5. When you're in the middle of moving. (Note: Impact Attacks count as being in the middle of movement).
    6. When you're in the middle of an attack. Which also includes effects that occur "after the attack is resolved".
      (Although the attack is "resolved" at Step 11, in terms of using an "Any Time" ability the attack is not "finished" until after Step 14. Refer to the first paragraph of Apdx A.)
    7. Your opponent interrupted your activation to trigger one of their own abilities (such as Countercharge).
    8. Warcasters/warlocks/etc can normally cast a spell or use their feat "At any time". However, there is a core rule saying they cannot do so on the same activation that they run. So, they are subject to all the same restrictions listed above, plus they can't cast/feat before running.
    9. Units: See below.

    • In general you can use "Any Time" abilities while you're knocked down or stationary (except Spells and Feats which specify you can't).
    • If you have a gun with a random ROF, you can use an "Any Time" ability inbetween rolling the number of shots and actually making the first attack. (Infernal Ruling)

    Units with "Any Time" abilities
    • You cannot use an "Any Time" ability before issuing/receiving orders. See step 1 and 2 of the activation sequence, appendix A.
    • A model in a unit can't use an "Any Time" ability after they run (Infernal Ruling) or fail a charge. Because that makes that specific model's activation to end even though the unit's activation is still ongoing, and you can't use abilities on models that are not active.
      • You can use an "Any Time" ability before running, however.
    • A model in a unit can't use an "Any Time" ability after anyone in the unit has begun a Reposition move. (Infernal Ruling)
  • Warcaster/Warlock Cavalry ( Edit )
    • Warcasters/Warlocks can't cast spells or use their feat while resolving Impact Attacks. Because Impact Attacks occur during movement - you can use spells or feat before moving, or after moving, but not during movement.
      • Exception: If your Impact target(s) include your charge target, then your movement has ended (refer rulebook, last paragraph of 'Impact Attacks') and thus you're fine to use "any time" abilities before starting the Impact attacks.

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Rules Clarification:  : Warcaster Unit or Warlock Unit     (Edit)
(Click Expand to read)

This summary is specific to Warcaster/Warlock units. You may also want to check the Warcaster and Warlock pages respectively, for the "regular" rules clarifications.
  • All models in the unit count as part of the battlegroup. So, for instance, Butcher3's argus can be moved via his Energizer spell.
  • Warcaster units can have attachments. They can even attach units (such as the WSC). (Infernal Ruling)
  • The non-caster models are trooper models but are not normally Grunt models. Therefore they're not normally eligible for stuff like Revive.
  • If any member of the unit start to do their reposition movement, the warcaster or warlock in the unit would no longer be able to feat.(Infernal Ruling)
  • Press Forward Order vs Spells cast at Any Time (Edit)
    • You must issue orders before anything else. If you issue a Press Forward order, you must run or charge.
    • If you cast spells before moving, you can't run so you must charge.
    • If you cast spells before moving, then start the spellcaster's Normal Movement but have no valid charge targets, you are in a situation where you must charge but cannot charge.
      In this situation the spellcaster must either:
      • forfeit their Combat Action, use their Normal Movement to make a full advance, then their activation ends. (Note that you cannot cast more spells after the full advance).
      • forfeit their Normal Movement, then their activation ends.
      • (Infernal Ruling)
  • Steamroller 2018
    • The non-caster models can contest scenario zones & flags.
    • The caster model cannot contest.
    • The caster model can control zones and flags by itself, but:
      • to control a zone, the entire unit remaining in play needs to be in formation.
      • to control a flag, the entire unit remaining in play must be within 4" of the flag.
  • Units Buying Attacks (Edit)
    • If you make attacks with model [A], then start making attacks with model [B], you cannot 'go back' and buy more attacks with [A]. Because:
    • A model can only buy additional attacks during its Combat Action.
    • A model in a unit must complete its Combat Action before the next model starts theirs (with some exceptions, like CMA).
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Rules Clarification : Unit of Warcasters or Warlocks     (Edit)

  • Even though they're warcasters, if they're out of formation they suffer the normal penalties (can't make attacks, actions, spells, etc).
  • They can't upkeep each other's spells.
  • They can only dominate one SteamRoller scenario element at a time.
  • Each warlock/warcaster can have different upkeeps on them if those upkeeps are "target SELF" or "target model". If you cast an upkeep that is "target model/unit", that is the only upkeep any of them can have.
  • Units Buying Attacks (Edit)
    • If you make attacks with model [A], then start making attacks with model [B], you cannot 'go back' and buy more attacks with [A]. Because:
    • A model can only buy additional attacks during its Combat Action.
    • A model in a unit must complete its Combat Action before the next model starts theirs (with some exceptions, like CMA).
  • The Legion Twins
    • Rhyas cannot dominate a zone while out of formation.
    • Rhyas can use the feat while out of formation.
  • Haley3
    • Only Haley Prime is an 'actual' warcaster model, and as such she is the only one that can dominate a scenario element.
    • The echoes can Control/Contest scenarios like a normal unit.
    • Haley Prime can dominate an element even if the echoes are out of formation.

Rules Clarification : Tough - None yet. (Edit)

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Rules Clarification : Full Throttle      (Edit)

  • The "can charge etc for free" is optional. You can still spend the focus if you want (which may be relevant for Vectors or Unstable warjacks). (Locked Thread)
  • If you're planning on casting this a lot, you should probably review the Trample and Slam rules and their Rule Clarifications.
  • Battlegroup members (Edit)
    • Spells that target/affect "models in the battlegroup" can also target/will also affect the caster, the caster's unit (if they have one), and the caster's Companion (if they have one).
    • It won't target/affect models which are Attached, though.

Rules Clarification : Fury - None yet. (Edit)

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Rules Clarification : Iron Flesh      (Edit)
Rules Clarification : Blast Resistance - None yet. (Edit)

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Rules Clarification : Obliteration      (Edit)

  • The text description has no in-game effect. It's just for flavour.
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Rules Clarification : Vengeful      (Edit)

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Rules Clarification : Retaliatory Strike      (Edit)

  • "Basic melee attack" also includes Mount Attacks. Refer to the definition of 'Basic Attack' in the rulebook.
  • You can't make Retaliatory Strikes vs free strikes, because the free striker is defined to be in your back arc (regardless of the actual model's facings) and thus you don't have LOS to it. (Infernal Ruling)