-By: Andres S.

malekus03Well, hello there! After some articles featuring some other factions it’s time for the faithful to shine and march to extend the word of the One True God! The Protectorate of Menoth is a very diverse faction, with a very wide range of light and heavy warjacks, many supporting options (some of them nearly to the point of auto-including in most lists) and a flexibility that makes our list-building revolve around the different casters in the faction. And today, as a starter, I present to you Malekus, the Burning Truth; he is our new and shiny MK3 Battlebox caster, fresh and ready to burn some heretics!

Fluff-wise, he is a part of the Flameguard, one of the two main branches of the Protectorate army, serving under Feora (one of our other badass casters), commanding the Flameguard Cleansers, a branch of guys with flamethrowers, seeing as he (as you will soon see) has a HUGE preference for fire. He also teams up with Tristan Durant (soon in another article) in the recently-released novel Godless.

Now to the gaming part!

First of all, Malekus is a medium-based model. This means light infantry won’t block ranged attacks against him, and he will be a little bit more difficult to protect. He stands at Speed 5, which is quite average (and the standard Protectorate armies’ speed). He’s got Melee Attack  7 (average for a warcaster; hopefully you won’t need it) and Ranged Attack 6 (less-than-average for a warcaster, but still can do some decent damage with his flamethrower). His defensive stats are not that good on first sight: Defense 14 (average-low, but let’s get to the abilities part: it’ll get better), Armor 16 (average as well) and 18 boxes of health (top of the league for casters).

He’s got Focus 7, which is quite good and sits on the medium-top league of the Protectorate casters. This will get useful later on for his feat, as his Control Range reaches out to 14’’. Also useful are his 30 Warjack Points, definitely on the top tier (and you’re gonna want every single point he gives you).

300px-malekus1As for his abilities, he has two: Ashen Veil, granting him concealment (against ranged attacks) and giving all enemy living models without Immunity to Fire near him (2’’) a malus (the opposite of bonus, a really nice-sounding word, also known as a debuff) to attack rolls (-2). This means he has (against most targets) an improved DEF stat of 16, which makes him suddenly quite harder to hit. And not only him! This feature, shared by some of the warjacks in the Protectorate’s army (Castigator, Reckoner, Eye of Truth) means that enemy units near Malekus hitting other friendly units will also receive that malus. And, of course, he has Immunity: Fire, seeing as he is bathed in a sea of flames in every single picture of him: some Troll and Legion units with Fire damage attacks won’t even scratch him.

His spell list is as follows:

 

  • Banishing Ward: a relatively low-cost upkeep spell that can target friendly units near him to remove all upkeep spells/animi (Hordes’ warbeasts’ so-to-say-spells) and make them immune to enemy spells. Useful but really situational, when your enemy has a crippling effect that can target your key unit to victory; you won’t see it that often as we tend to rely on other denial options (Choir of Menoth’s Shielding ability, for example).
  • Immolation: a cheap spell that hits a single enemy model in a short range and deals a low-powered blow (POW 12) with a possibility of putting it on fire (if critical). Really, really situational, as most of the time you can use the 2 points of focus it costs to either buff your jacks or cast Open Fire again.

 

 

  • Ignite: a cheap upkeep spell that gives +2 to melee damage rolls to a friendly model/unit (and giving them the possibility to set them on, guess, fire). You could cast it on the first turn on your soon-to-be-melee unit and wait for it paying only the upkeep cost each turn, or just wait until the clash starts around the 2nd-3rd turn.
  • Open Fire: Malekus’ signature spell. Here’s where the new guy shines a lot, as he can make (once per turn per warjack) that a friendly warjack in his control range (remember, 14’’, not bad at all) to shoot again or hit again. This is definitely important for ranged attacks, as most of our gun platforms (and all of the heavy warjacks carrying one) can only shoot once per turn. Now you can do it twice. With up to three jacks if you have the focus. That may be A LOT of damage, especially in the Feat turn, as all fire damage will be even more dangerous. Definitely this is the main reason Malekus works as a gunline platform.
  • Scourge: Malekus can also try and go for an assassination build with this spell. It’s fairly expensive (focus 4) and you really want it to land, but it puts an round area of 3’’ in which all models even partially hit are knocked-down. This can set up easy kills if executed properly; but it’s definitely a risk as you will consume around half of Malekus’ focus reserves with this one.

 

 

As a wrap-up, you will mostly be using Open Fire once or twice every turn, with an option of seeing every single one of the other spells. Keep in mind that both offensive spells (Immolation and Scourge) have a relatively low range (6’’ and 8’’ respectively), as do both of the other defensive spells (both 6’’), so you will probably want an arc-node in your list. More on that later.

2730b712063f43929661d3618739a3c7Now for the best part: the feat! Raging Inferno will see all fire damage rolls suffered by your enemies in Malekus’ control range (14’’) rolling an additional die both in your turn and the next one of your opponent. This means all your fire-type ranged guns will deal an extra die of damage (even Malekus’ flamethrower). Good news is, the feat doesn’t boost the damage (it only “adds an additional die”), so you can still boost it for a theoretical 4d6 + POW of damage (hint: a lot). Continuous Fire effects on your enemies won’t expire as well, leaving every single unit suffering it taking a 3d6 POW 12 damage that will kill practically any infantry unit and may be able to seriously hurt even heavy Khadoran warjacks. There are two main drawbacks here: first of all, it’s not the source of the damage but the receiving end that has to be within 14’’ of Malekus, meaning he may get a little too exposed (make sure to protect him!). Second, only ranged guns may gain Fire-type damage. This means the feat will mostly be used around the 2nd-3rd turn, before the melee clash begins.

What does he want to build his list around? He loves Fire, and he loves ranged units that have Fire-damage type. You will want some utility, as usual, as well as some protection for him, but he is a warjack-type caster.

  • Warjacks: Vanquisher (puts a nice Continuous Fire AOE), Reckoner (Fire + Flare for making other jacks hit easier), Hand of Judgement (not only has a big flamethrower, but also gives bonus for units suffering fire damage beside it), Revelator (when it’s released, if anytime…)… He can also benefit from Eye of Truth, his character jack, that also works as an arc-node for him, but his utility is situational (as he is mostly melee-focused, but can also give an aura of Blessed around him). A Revenger may also be useful (see arc-noding before).
  • Units: Choir (as every other Protectorate caster), Flameguard Cleansers (can do a lot of damage in feat turn, but be sure to include the Officer within), Deliverer Sunburst Crew (guess what: fire)… Rhoven & Honor Guard are also very useful, as both Shield Guards means some extra protection for Malekus, and Rhoven may give some utility when needed.
  • Solos: a Vassal of Menoth can help give some utility and extra focus to the warjacks, and the Covenant of Menoth may give a unit (apart from Cleansers) Continuous Fire effects (this may be useful if you’re playing, say, Idrian Skirmishers)…

 

An example of list around Malekus would be the one I brought to the Hispania Masters (Malaga, Spain) two months ago. It has a lot of ranged fire damage inside it, and has a nice assassination potential as well.

  • Malekus, the Burning Truth (+30)
    • Hierophant (3)
    • Hand of Judgement (18)
    • Reckoner (16)
    • Reckoner (16)
    • Revenger (10)
  • Rhupert Carvolo, Piper of Ord (4)
  • Wrack (1)
  • Visgoth Juviah Rhoven and Honor Guard (9)
  • Flameguard Cleansers max. (15) + Officer (4)
  • Deliverer Sunburst Crew (4)
  • Choir of Menoth min. (4)

He can also work well in theme. Right now I would go for Creator’s Might, as Defenders of the Temple limits some of the useful units he may take (save for Cleansers). Soon-to-be Templar Interdiction theme isn’t also good news for him, unless you really (really) want Blessed on your jacks. Here is a sample list with theme:

  • Malekus, the Burning Truth (+30)
    • Hierophant (free)
    • Eye of Truth (20)
    • Vanquisher (17)
    • Vanquisher (17)
    • Reckoner (16)
    • Reckoner (16)
  • The Covenant of Menoth (free)
  • Vassal of Menoth (free)
  • Vassal of Menoth (3)
  • Vassal Mechanik (1)
  • Choir of Menoth max. (6)
  • Visgoth Juviah Rhoven and Honor Guard (9)

To sum up, Malekus is a great caster if you want to get into the Protectorate army. He is not as straight-forward as Kreoss1 or as versatile as Severius1 (the other recommended starting casters for our army) and needs a bit of positioning to earn the most of his feat and spells, but he can deliver a ton of damage and leave your opponent crippled or dead brought by the BURNING TRUTH!

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