Solo Overview: The Reclaimer Gatekeeper

The Reclaimer Gatekeeper (most often known by his Mk. 2 name, the Reclaimer) is an interesting little solo. He's a cheap little support piece with some interesting options, although he finds himself quite difficult to fit into lists. Here we're going to touch a bit on exactly what his place is... or if he really has one.

Nobody expects...

Reclaimers are three points, which is a pretty easy sell but puts them in the same point category of Vassals and Allegiants of the Order of the Fist, which is fairly competitive in the Protectorate. For those three points you get the Jack Marshal rule, which makes him a ridiculously cheap option if you'd like to marshal a warjack. He's SPD 5 with a very basic 13/13 defensive statline, and has a RNG 1 PS 10 melee weapon that causes continuous fire. Reclaimers sport five wounds, and you can take two of them if you wish.

The back of a Reclaimer's card is a mess of abilities, and it's this series of support abilities, in addition to being a very cheap Jack Marshal, that are why you may wish to take him. Firstly, they have Ashen Veil, a common ability across the Protectorate which gives him constant concealment and gives living enemy models within 2" of him -2 to attack rolls. Pretty good rule, stacks up defense a little higher against some targets than is often expected, remember it for when it does come up.

The next important rule on his card is Soul Taker: Soul Keeper. When a living friendly faction model in his CMD of 8 is destroyed, this model gains its soul, to a cap of three. This combines with the final rule on his card, Soul Mastery. Soul Mastery gives him three options he can spend souls to use, and he can spend them at any time during his activation. If you give a Reclaimer three souls, he can use the same ability three times, each ability once, or any combination... or just not use all his souls and bank them for later.

Ashen Veil one of my favorite abilities in the game to visualize.

The first ability of Soul Mastery is Ashes of Urcaen. You target a friendly faction model within 3" of the Reclaimer, and it gains Ashen Veil for a round. This lets you stack up defense to kind of crazy values on some pieces, and makes some casters extremely difficult to handle. Thyra, for example, when combined with a no knockdown ability of some kind becomes ridiculously hard to hit from living targets. Some casters are designed with a lower DEF value in mind, like Reznik2, whose huge base means he can't benefit from concealment, but Ashen Veil is spread over a huge area and gives him really great defensive stats into living melee models. Ashen Veil stacks with Awe on Harbinger, making her DEF 18 in melee against a warbeast or most units. Really any caster doesn't hate having this unless they have Ashen Veil built in (see Malekus), and can really take some to ridiculous values if you wish.

The second ability is Glimpse of Fate. This is a really strong one, also targets a friendly faction model within 3, and it grants Future Sight for a turn. Giving a warjack or warcaster Future Sight helps make them considerably more focus efficient; as accurate as they are, casters like Severius (both versions) love this to help push their consistency and efficiency up more. Some casters like to be able to cast an offensive spell on their limited stack without having to commit more focus unecessarily if they roll a little high, like Reznik1 or Thyra. This is really just a focus efficiency tool for the most part, or to help make sure something dies as efficiently as possible.

The third ability is Obscuring Haze. This spends a soul to drop a 3" AOE centered on the Reclaimer. If the Reclaimer moves or is killed, the cloud moves with him or is removed. Ability is ok, but he's already got Ashen Veil and can't use it to catch other models inside of it, but you could use a pair to stand in front of your caster and block line of sight, I suppose. The problem is when they die it's removed so... it's not very reliable as a piece defense, frankly.

So where to Reclaimers sit in the whole scheme of things? Well, honestly, even at three points they're a bit of a difficult sell. The reason for this isn't exactly that they aren't worth the points, it's just that Protectorate can easily fall into a trap of support bloat and, when support starts getting cut, the Reclaimer will be among the first pieces to go. Unless you're bringing it for a very specific purpose, such as getting Ashen Veil onto your caster or using Future Sight for a bit of real spell slinging help, they just don't sit in a spot where they're going to have a strong enough effect nor are they focused enough to really get considered.

Jack Marshal is a hard ability to use well; we have some great jack marshal targets (the Sanctifier is likely among the best uses for it on a melee 'jack in the game), but the Reclaimer only sits terribly well with a couple possibilities. The most obvious is the Redeemer, who gains a lot from the marshal benefits and is technically more focus efficient that way than on a warcaster giving it focus. The other reason this is an obvious fit is Redeemer's can sit very far back, never forcing the Reclaimer to move up into harms way.

Another marshal possibility is the Repenter, just because of the sprays benefitting quite a bit from the marshal benefits but... overall, our efficient marshal choices really are the Sanctifier and the Redeemer, and a Sanctifier is better suited attached to a Bastion Seneschal, if you really want to marshal one.

Because sometimes 'close enough' is good enough.

Another little problem with the Reclaimer is the need for souls. Often you can get enough to fuel him incidentally but... you have to be wary of his position on the field, and he may have trouble getting many souls in a warjack-focused build. Really they only need a couple throughout most games but... it's nice to really get your worth out of him.

All in all, Reclaimers are solid pieces for their points that are just very difficult to fit into lists. If you have the support you want and find yourself with a few extra points, some souls in your list, and some pieces that can benefit from what he brings, go nuts! I've worked him into a few lists specifically to try and get some mileage out of him (try marshalling a Redeemer with Sevvy1 and a couple Vassals to give it focus... Reckoner shot and three Redeemer shots will put some serious pain into a hard target), and he's always performed just fine for his point value. Who knows, perhaps with the right new warjacks releasing, he may even find a regular spot!