Sunday, 17 March 2013

Dark Angels Analysis - Ezekiel

Curses upon ye GW! Today I am upset, I wake up to find Tau pictures all over the internet, meaning that Tau are imminent. The reason for which I am upset is not because I don't want to see new Tau, but because I still haven't finished my analysis of the Dark Angels Codex, and haven't even started upon Chaos Daemons. So buckle up, as in my rage fuelled state I churn out a crap load of posts, starting with the Librarian character for Dark Angels here, Ezekiel.

Librarians, unlike Chaplains, are fantastic in the Dark Angels Codex. True, again they do not have much to stack on, but the fact that you have access to so much for so few points makes them extremely efficient, especially when combining them with Battle Brothers such as Imperial Guard or using them on Whirlwinds so that it doesn't matter that they can't see their target they're still hitting it.

Ezekiel himself is 80pts more expensive than the standard Librarian, so you could get 2 of them and have some points over for one of him. However, he is quite the improvement on the old version, unlike Asmodai and the Chaplains.

Statline wise he has an additional Ballistic Skill, Wound and Attack. In terms of wargear, his Power Armour is upgraded to Artificer Armour, and his Bolt Pistol becomes Master Crafted (whoo). He loses his Force Weapon, however, he does gain a pair of Chapter Relics. The first is Traitor's Bane, which essentially acts as his Force Weapon, it's Master Crafted but it is two-handed, so no additional attack for dual close combat weapons. Additionally, he comes with the Book of Salvation, which is quite nice, as all friendly Dark Angels units nearby get +1 WS.

He also has the Warlord Trait, 'The Hunt'. It is unlikely that Ezekiel himself will kill anything, after all he is a Librarian, this is more useful for the squad that he is with. Over the last week or so I have developed a keen fondness for Guard blobs, and that's where my trail of thought is going here. I'm still not a fan of this Warlord trait however, as often it forces you to push your Warlord forwards in order to take advantage of it, leaving them a little more exposed. In this case however I think that shoving him in a Guard blob would do just fine, as he is unlikely to be picked out of it. For more on Guard blobs, check out my Azrael post later. To learn what, 'The Hunt does take a look at Asmodai's or Belial's posts.

What you are really paying for with Ezekiel though is his Mastery Level 3. He can take psychic powers from all of the trees with the exception of Biomancy, but nobody cares about that because you have the holy grail of Divination at your fingertips.

However, he can only take 2 powers from Divination, as he automatically keeps Mind Worm, his special psychic power. This is just another reason not to take Pyromancy, as you can only make a single psychic shooting attack per turn and Mind Worm fills that slot. Also, 2 Divination powers is generally enough to get you something that you will find useful, especially considering that the primaris power is, 're-roll to hit'.

Mind Worm however, as a unique power, warrants a little more discussion. It is a focussed witchfire, meaning that you can pick on specific enemy models, very nice. It is only 12” range, so again it requires Ezekiel to get in close, however, it is assault D3, S4 AP2 on a BS5 model. So you're likely to hit twice, and cause a wound, so you can pick out that Plasma Gun or Heavy Flamer. However, it is also absolutely fantastic against enemy characters. For each unsaved wound they take, their Weapon Skill, Ballistic Skill, Initiative and Leadership are severely reduced for the rest of the game, essentially neutering their character. Ouch.

So the big question is, do I take Ezekiel? Well, for his points he is certainly a good buy, but then so is a Librarian. The question is whether he is more useful to you for his points than a Librarian. Well, all that Ezekiel really has over a Level 2 Librarian is that he has some additional abilities, but all of them require him to push forward, and what is he going to be pushing forward with? Allied Guard blob is the thing that springs to mind, as Divination powers work fantastically well with it. Additionally, his 2+ save base helps to keep him alive a little better. So, if you want something to sit back, take a standard Librarian and upgrade them how you please, as they do the same job as Ezekiel only cheaper.

If you are going forward, is it worth taking Ezekiel? This is all about points efficiency, for a start you are going to want to be casting 2 powers on that blob, and rolling twice on the chart, as it is fantastically useful to have 2. I didn't think so at the start but just start building a blob Guard list and you'll see why. In short, you are paying 45pts on Ezekiel for Mind Worm, Master-Crafted weapons and a 2+ armour save. I'm not sure it's worth it. Yes Ezekiel is a good character, the problem is that a Librarian is just so much more efficient.

No comments:

Post a Comment