"Vindication! Blessed truth! The feeling of bliss, when all you have worked for comes to pass. It is like nothing else. Hundreds of years have led to this singular moment. Look upon the heavens, doubters! Drink in the spectacle of the vaulted sky, filled with strange angels! Who can now deny the coming of the Star Children? Who dares now call our community deluded and insane, when the truth of the galaxy is writ large for all to see?"

—Anathrasia Gullick, Primus of the Star Saviours

A Primus leads his Genestealer Cult to war.

A Primus, also called a Genestealer Primus, is a Genestealer hybrid of the third or fourth generation who serves as the primary war leader and tactician of a Genestealer Cult or one of its gene-sects.

A Primus only emerges from hiding when the cult is ready to openly act. He is a battlefield commander whose natural ferocity is paired with the best stolen weapons and wargear the cult has to offer.


Commanding the broodkin in stentorian tones, Primuses stalk through the fires of war with the surety of an alpha predator. Each is an ambush leader and front-line general, sowing destruction through the most prized targets of the enemy force. It is the duty of a Primus to show the supremacy of their kind's beliefs, rewriting the history of worlds in the blood of those who oppose them.

Primuses are bombastic commanders in times of war, but whilst the cult still remains in hiding, it is their duty to spread the Genestealer Curse to other planets. Their innate gift for leadership and coordination sees them militarise the cult in short order, masterminding the takeover of vehicle columns and even fleets of spacecraft.

A strong champion and lauded hero amongst the broodkin, a Primus emerges only when the cult reaches a position of strength. The foremost xenos savants of the Deathwatch theorise there is a hidden genetic imperative in Genestealer DNA that results in the manifestation of a Primus. This is either triggered when the cult reaches critical mass -- their numbers and influence sufficient to take over a prey world – or when a hive fleet looms on the edge of that planet's system.

The particular quirk of the Genestealer life cycle that results in the birth of a Primus occurs independently, enhancing the development of an especially robust hostform to produce a largely humanoid warrior of prodigious strength and tactical acumen. Standing proud and straight, where their kin are hunched and gangling, a Primus cuts a dynamic figure.

Where a Magus boasts a pin-sharp mental acuity and telepathic powers the equal of any Space Marine Librarian, the Primus has a superhuman dexterity and surety of focus that can see them bring down adversaries twice their size.

The wargear of a Primus complements their approaches of stealth and guile, allowing them to lay low those in their path without raising any unwanted attention. Each Primus girds themself with the finest equipment the cult can provide, distilling toxins from their own virulent bloodstream and delivering them via silent-firing Needle Pistols and paralytic toxin claws.


A Genestealer Primus in command of his forces on the battlefield.

Some wield strange, sentient swords thought to be grown from the bony secretions of the Genestealer Patriarch's bio-throne -- these blades are not only symbols of the cult-father's trust, but deadly weapons in their own right, capable of stealing the life energy from those they strike to leave only withered husks behind.

As an infestation's ascent reaches its peak, its Patriarch's behaviour changes, its instincts shifting from survival and reproduction to the more aggressive tendencies of a Tyranid warrior bioform. These changes are reflected in its Primus offspring.

When they deem the time right to lead their broodkin to war, they put into place complex military logistics that even a Magus would struggle to master. As their plans unfold, a bow wave of terror, fire and anarchy spreads across the prey world. Should the cult survive the ensuing battles in strength, it will be its Primuses who lead it to fresh prey, where the Purestrain Genestealers will begin the cycle of infection and insurrection anew.

It is the duty of a Primus to be at the forefront, uniting their gene-kindred when the overriding impulses of the Patriarch and Magus are elsewhere. It takes great confidence and talent to be able to lead so disparate a force as that of the cult, uniting Neophyte Hybrid work groups alongside broods of ravening Purestrain Genestealers and hulking Aberrants.

Primuses ensure they fight as one in an overlapping network of opportunistic assaults and long-planned ambushes. When the business of war is at hand, a Magus will usually cede authority to their gene-sect's Primus, knowing that their peer is literally born for war. Should that war be triggered before the cult's void-borne masters descend from space, the Primus might lead their fellows from victory to victory, becoming the focus of their gene-sect's adoration whilst the Magus works in the shadows.

Their preferred method of attack is to burst from an underground lair with scores of hand-picked warrior organisms at their side. The most physically powerful of the gene-sect's hybrids, they move into a preordained position before bursting onto the battlefield to deliver a critical blow to a valuable target -- a command node, psychic choir, or well-defended artillery battery perhaps.

From the darkness the killers erupt, boiling out from sewer grates and hidden crypts with claws clacking and weapon-limbs thrashing. The enemy, previously oblivious, scrambles to react to the sudden ferocity of the Primus' secret strike. So swift and certain is the Primus' assault, however, that few adversaries can land a telling blow before they are cut to pieces.

Notable Primuses

  • Adamant - Adamant was a Primus of the Cult of the Star Saviours on the world of Evergrind. After his Patriarch and Magus were lost, Primus Adamant led his cult in an all-out war on the planet's Imperial rulers. The world was reduced to ruin, and Adamant himself was slain by an Astra Militarum Heavy Weapons Squad.
  • Dethru Noan - Dethru Noan is a Genestealer Primus of the Cult of the Pauper Princes's gene-sects located on the Sentinel World of Vigilus. A shrewd rationalist unlike so many of his kin who are merely vicious killers, Noan is the most skilled Primus among the Pauper Princes gene-sects who fought the War of Beasts on Vigilus.


  • Needle Pistol
  • Bonesword - Grown from the Genestealer Patriarch's osseous throne, these Boneswords are sentient weapons that thirst for the psychic energies of the cults' adversaries.
  • Toxin Injector - The tubes of a Toxin Injector coat a Primus' claws in deadly poisons -- a mere scratch from such a talon can quickly prove fatal.
  • Blasting Charge


  • Codex: Genestealer Cults (8th Edition), pp. 36, 44, 81
  • Codex: Genestealer Cults (7th Edition), pg. 27, 100
  • Imperium Nihilus: Vigilus Deifant (8th Edition), pg. 40
Genestealer Cults Forces
Command Genestealer PatriarchMagusPrimus
Specialists ClamavusNexosBiophagusSanctus
Elites AbominantJackal AlphusKelermorphLocus
Troops Acolyte HybridNeophyte HybridHybrid MetamorphBrood BrothersPurestrain GenestealerAberrantGenestealer FamiliarMindwyrm FamiliarAtalan Jackals
Vehicles DirtcycleWolfquadGoliath TruckGoliath RockgrinderAchilles RidgerunnerChimeraSentinelLeman Russ Tank (Leman Russ EradicatorLeman Russ ExterminatorLeman Russ Vanquisher)
Other Tectonic Fragdrill
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