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Thursday, April 11, 2013

Breaking Down Dark Angels and their Power in Review:

Hey all, Kevin here from the show. It's nice to get back into blogging since, if you even ever read my blog, its kind of a ghost town as of recent. I will do something about it sometime....maybe...eventually....

Anyway I thought I would come over here to my 2nd blog guest spot, free bag of potato chips to whomever can guess my first one, to talk a little bit on the power level of the, relatively new, Dark Angels Codex by breaking it down by it's units. So lets start at the top.

Note I may skip a few of the mediocre units imho....


So there are only three real HQ choices in this book, barring the add on free slots which I will get to later, and those are Azreal, Ezekiel, and a normal Librarian.

Yes, I said Ezekiel, and no I am not on crack. Ezekiel has always been one of my favorite HQ characters and is my personal favorite Special character in the game. I even used him back before this codex dropped when I used Dark Angel allies. He use to be and still kind of is a combat beast (against MEQ's and weaker units only of course). He has a decent amount of attacks and WS5, which outside of Mephiston is good for a librarian equivalent. He also has 3 wounds and a 2+ save which is high for a librarian even a special character. He also has a 6" WS bubble, better than his old fearless bubble. He is a relatively cheap Mastery level 3 psycher at only 145 points (25 less than last edition fyi). Even though one of this is a sort of personal spell it doesn't suck and has some termie killing power. He also has divination access. Not a bad choice overall yet my problem with him is he lacks a useful list in any list I right for anything competitive. He tends not to be used when I do play hims o for right now I have him sitting in foam.

Next of course is Azreal, one of the most useful HQ choices I have seen in awhile. Also not a bad combat character with a S6 power sword with a 2+ save and 6+ FNP. Yet its his abilities that make him useful. Azreal allows every Dark Angel unit in your army to use his leadership for whatever you need. He also makes all deathwing and ravenwing in your army troops choices. Now he is disjointed in a pure list for either wing since he cannot deathwing assault nor is he fast enough to hang around in a biker army. This ability is more a bonus for a more balanced build approach. Making the odd supporting wing unit scoring is just a good perk. Yet the ability he is known for is his ability to confer a 4++ save to any unit he joins. This makes cover pointless and really helps a lot of units, such as guard blobs now with a better save, as well as shooty terminator units as they now would have a better invulnerable save, their largest downfall. He is a great choice overall even with his price tag equivalent of a terminator squad.

Lastly we have the noble and cheap librarian. An excellent cheap choice just to fill need as well as a divination caddy. He also has access to unlock other units which is nice but its his ability to attach a power field generator for a cheap price is why I get him. He basically rides shotgun in my Magic Flag Land Raider lists to give the raiders  a 4++.

Now of course we cannot skip the odd add on unit Techmarines. They also ca take a PFG which is very useful. Also for some reason Dark angel Techmarines can bolster any piece of terrain, go ahead read the book it is there, which is pretty neat.

Also we have the obligatory command squad with their set of magic flags. The banner selection is what makes these guys worth grabbing again. Most popular is the Magic Flag itself, The Devastation banner, and it's salvo aura. This, in synergy with a PFG caddy and/or even a deathwing vehicle upgrade, makes Land Raider Crusaders just plain filthy and are the cornerstone of my lists. Now I would want to try and make the FNP banner work but it really jut isnt worth it outside of a all deathwing fun army....

Now I will say Sammael and Ravenwing CS's are very popular and quite cool, they just aren't that good with Helljerks flying around right now ruining everyone in power armor's day.


Now troops are quite simple. Tactical squads got cheaper, much cheaper, which would make them more useful you think? Well yes and no, Helldrake still don't care. The presence of helldrakes in the meta makes power armor, even in rhino's, not worth it unless very well hidden. I want to run power armor based rhino lists but I cannot in fear of Puff the Magic Helljerk.

Notably through FOC swaps deathwing and ravenwing can become troops. Honestly they both can be fairly useful and durable. I tend to run a straight mix since Azreal is common in my lists and utility is key in balanced list building.

Fast Attack

Now whomever wrote the rules for the two flyers I would really like to slap in the back of the head. I really, really, really wanted these things to work since they look a ton cooler than storm talons. Yet the suck so don't expect to see them anytime soon.

Ravenwing still will be a popular FA choice with bike squads being very useful. These guys combined with darkshrouds can be fairly cool and quite common around my FLGS's. Ravenwing support squads are another neat little option as well as land speeders can be useful. Combining Ravenwing and the Magic flag is also gold.


Same with the Fast Attack wing deathwing are the only winners here and even then they aren't as useful as they use to be. A slightly more expensive terminator yet they come with split fire which is awesome. They also can alpha strike in  a deep strike nicely as well with DWA rules as well as twin linked weapons upon deep striking. Yet with torrent of fire being 6th Edition thing to do I cant bring out my deathwing like I wanted to as much other than support.

Heavy Support

Now there are two big winners in this department, the first one is devastators. Not only do they have flak missile access they can tote a very cheap squad of 4 multi-meltas in a rhino. A nice filler unit I would always recommend to the balanced list builder.

Now the one big and cheesy winner of the codex is the Land Raider Crusader. With synergistic combinations of the magic flag and a PFG caddy inside this thing becomes pure win. Heck even through the DW vehicle upgrade and this is a 4++ save venerable Land Raider with 24 twin linked boltgun shots always not counting the twin linked assault cannon and obligatory multi-melta. Against MEQ's between all the vehicles weapons you tend to get around 15 wounds caused from it including a armor ignoring shot or two. It is a staple to every Dark Angel list I run and I tend to run multiple of these since the investment spreads out the more LRC's I take.

In General... 

The book does tend to seem kind of bland. Basically deathwing and Ravenwing are the only falvor and I still only want to run green angels. The one  power build this codex seems to have is the Magic Flag Super Crusader list although Ravenwing is getting more popular. Yet unless Heldrakes get banned everywhere I go I don't think I will see many Ravenwing Player's winning. It is a shame but hey, Heldrake don't care.

All in all I still like the book. you can run some interesting lists coming from a few different angles in this book. IT is a fun army book to run and you can compete with it, although only with a fairly extreme Land Raider based list. I hope to see this book used a lot in tournaments and use it myself as well......more on this later....

Now I wouldn't call my word canon but what do you think of the Dark Angels book being the first Loyalist Marine book released in 6th edition? I know I am not a Ravenwing player so there is a lot to be discussed about that build's excellent potential.


  1. Sounds like a solid run down. I don't think much of anything will be competing with Termies for the Elites slot. I look forward to hearing more from you and the blog in general.

    Also, should Ezekial be hit by his own aura since he is within 6" of himself and not barred from benefiting?

  2. I seem tot think that's iffy Heretic.RAW yes he should benefit but most of the time wargear is already considered in a Characters profile yet it is not mentioned. I play it that he doesn't until an faq comes out about it but it is something I would ask a TO prior to playing in a tournament.


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