Faction Overview: Warjacks of the Protectorate, Pt. 2

It's time for the rest of the Protectorate warjacks! If you haven't seen part 1, it can be found 

here.

Let's not beat around the bush, it's time to start with our next Warjack.

Purifier - C

So as of writing this, this guy is pretty new. The thing about Purifiers is... I honestly think they're pretty damn good. The problem is we also have Dervishes. The only reason the grade is as low as it is is the existence of the Dervish, who is in most cases better for less points. The two specific instances where a Purifier will win out vs. a Dervish is when you're fighting shields or shield wall, and when Flame Trail can be used in an interesting way.

Amon is the clear winner in my eyes for where to put these guys, but... Dervishes are just so amazing with him it's kind of a hard sell. If you're doing like a 5 Dervish type Amon build (or more, I guess), I could see taking a pair of Purifiers in the place of a couple of them, it gives you the Mobility + Parry + Flame Trail synergy option to just quickly burn a ton of light infantry down... they're not really *worse* than Dervishes aside from being too expensive, it's a side grade in many ways if anything... aside, again, from being a point more expensive, so in the interest of diversity and adding options to a list, I don't think it's bad. With Battle and Ignite/Synergy/Whatever they get to really good damage output like a Dervish does, and will perform even better against shielded targets. At the top end of a Synergy chain one of these is as good as PS 20 against a Centurion, and that's a bit silly.

Reckoner - A-

Alright... the Reckoner isn't flashy. He's not the wild Assault monster that he used to be, we no longer have Ancillary Attack, etc etc. But at the end of the day the Reckoner gets a high grade because you're going to use them just all the time and they're going to be solid almost every single time you use them. In many ways the Reckoner is the defining Warjack of the Protectorate, with Immunity to Fire, a good range, good damage single target gun, a solid weapon with a damage value that does keep Hymn of Battle in mind a little, Ashen Veil which is a common, almost signature ability in the Protectorate, and Flare on its gun which is phenomenal.

He's our gun, this is *the* Protectorate gun jack. Many lists will feature one just to have a good single target, high damage boostable shot on the table as well as a SPD 5 2" melee beat stick for the late game. Many lists will feature two, because that's the point where you're really taking large chunks out of enemy hard targets on a turn by turn basis. Some lists will take three, because sometimes you just have to pound things to oblivion at range.

Between the gun, a melee weapon that's as good as you find really on our non-character 'jacks, Ashen Veil, and Flare you have a piece with a lot of options, lots of tools to fit into situations you need him to, and a dual-role that lets him remain effective in both the early and late game. The only weaknesses, really, of a Reckoner are a low volume of initial melee attacks (one) and a middling MAT score of 6. He's not great into a cluster of targets, typically he wants to be focusing on killing or damaging one thing each turn, but he'll do it pretty effectively. Throw Defenders Ward on him and he's DEF 14 against living models, which is nothing to sneeze at given that he's also ARM 21 at that point. Reckoners take almost any buff we have pretty well and are just going to be a perfectly viable choice with absolutely any warcaster you decide to take them with. No, this isn't the best 'jack in the game. It's not even the best 'jack in the Protectorate. But it's versatile, strong, and you'll use it all the time.

Redeemer - B-

Just keep shooting, you'll hit something eventually. 

Redeemers are a bit of mixed bag of effectiveness. From caster to caster and from matchup to matchup how good they are swings wildly all over a spectrum. Into no infantry and a ton of DEF 12 'jacks, they're pretty bad. Unless you took Kreoss, then they're just about the best gun piece we have into that sort of matchup. Their main target, really, is infantry, and they're quite capable of killing them from safety and at extreme ranges but... Redeemers are also very expensive.

You're relying a lot on AOEs which can make it somewhat inconsistent, but into any kind of real infantry spam, Redeemers are straight up wonderful. It's not uncommon to throw one or two onto Tristan1 so he can fully fuel them, and if you're able to KD a target or otherwise get it into the Redeemer's range of being possible to hit, they will do an absurd amount of damage into a single target. Knock down an ARM 19 heavy and have two fully fueled Redeemers put shots into it under Battle, you're looking at over thirty damage into the target, and that's without further buffs like Severius1.

Being effectively RAT 1, they're hard to get the most out of, but the blast damage is quite high and will kill most infantry you want it to, and with the right set up you can seriously put the hurt on something. I've had plenty of DEF 10 heavies go down to a Reckoner shot (flare and damage!) and a Redeemer or two just obliterating it at range. To be really absurd they take some setup, but into infantry they're reasonably consistent. Plus it's still, like many of our lights, a PS 13 melee weapon that can be buffed to pretty good values.

Repenter - C

Nobody takes these anymore! I swear!

I actually play Repenters pretty often. That said, I'm not blind to their weaknesses. 12/17 and their number of boxes dies relatively easily, they're MAT 6 RAT 5 so need a bit of love to hit their target sometimes. Repenters definitely do die pretty quickly. That said, they have an alright threat on a very good spray, and with some casters I've put some time into seriously making them shine. Malekus is an easy one, since Open Fire gets the most use out of sprays, it's fire typed and can cause fire to multiple enemies at once, and with Ignite he can actually turn these into pretty decent late game beaters when you've still got some floating around. Kreoss1 is a decent choice, although it's running him a bit more as a close range list style than is necessarily typical. I love them with Amon, as Parry and Mobility means you can get sprays pretty much wherever you want, whenever you want, often in back arcs where the RAT 5 is less of an issue.

For 8 points, Repenters are great. They just are a bit of a focus and support investment for their power level (as opposed to a Dervish which can be basically run autonomously if you wish) but they represent a lot of options with their good spray and decent chain weapon.

Revelator - B+

Carry us to salvation, you glorious beast of a machine.

The Judicator's younger, more handsome, smarter brother. The Judicator was the cool guy back in high school but as he got older he realized how much more the Revelator was getting done with his life.

The Revelator is, in a lot of ways, what makes the Judicator looks as bad as it does. This colossal is what a Protectorate colossal should look like, and it's beautiful.

Now let's be fair, no, this isn't the best colossal in the world. However, it's a pretty good one and much more important than it's straight up power level is that it greatly opens up a lot of list design within the faction. Protectorate faction design really likes a Colossal, we love being able to throw a lot of buffs on one thing to make it insane and the Judicator just can't do that and still make its points up. The Revelator, however, can.

Revvy has two long range (14) single target fire guns which have Fire Beacon, which means they strip stealth when they hit. Alongside the Feretory, which allows the Revelator to ignore concealment and stealth (as well as gives it magical weapons), the Revelator can light up stealth targets for the rest of our army to attack, something you typically would have needed a Reckoner + Rhoven n Co to accomplish. This alone is a huge part of why the Revelator is so important to us.

Its other guns represent one of the few true "control" elements available to the faction. Two RNG 10, AOE 4 (!) fire guns with a great POW and critical fire. The AOEs, on a direct hit against an enemy, stay in play and do POW 12 fire damage rolls to non-flying models that try to move through or end their activation in them. This is part of where the nail really goes into the Judicator's coffin; between the two, the Judicator would appear to be the "anti infantry" colossal, but the Revelator's guns at AOE 4 and with an anti-infantry board denial fills that role perfectly fine. It's less range, but is a lot more consistent.

This guy opens up gunline builds in a way that haven't really been available for some time. Severius1 love the consistent colossal and bumps it to ridiculous output values, Reznik1 benefits enormously from a single piece with four powerful guns on it and lets it put nearly 30 damage into a single ARM 19 target with Brand at range, High Reclaimer loses a little of his infantry but doesn't hate having a single, powerful gunboat to fuel and Hand of Fate is nuts on it, Amon can use the AOE board control elements against weapon masters, Malekus *adores* this thing as it has four giant fire guns and can strip stealth for the rest of his army, Reznik2's feat works wonders with its good volume of ranged attacks... tons of casters can use a Revelator, and use it well. Only places I can think a Judicator may still hold up are with guys like Kreoss1, who can knock down everything and use the Judicator's better RNG values to his advantage, but even there it's debatable. The Revelator knocks the Judicator out of the running entirely... when we finally see it come out, anyway.

Revenger - C

It's hard to talk too much about the Revenger... it's our cheapest arc node. It has decent enough melee potential, the shield and Repel makes it actually pretty tanky, and Powerful Charge makes it reasonably accurate. I went with this grade because it does a job, it does it just fine, but it's not exactly flashy nor is it going to make lists "regularly" exactly unless you play one of the casters known for taking it. The Rezniks, some Harbinger builds, Malekus (usually pre-Eye of Truth, but I've still seen it used), and Durant don't hate having one, but is easily replaced by a Guardian as well in most cases. Do you need an arc node? Take a Revenger. If you need just a solid 'jack with a shield and good survivability, probably just go for a Devout.

Sanctifier - C+

Sanctifier has been seeing a bit of love after Exemplar Interdiction dropped, which made it easier to take an Exemplar Bastion Seneschal. Otherwise, the Sanctifier has been sort of... liked, but not really taken super often. He's a bit pillowfisted, and only functions properly in a list if you also bring decent infantry along to use with him, so he's only going to slot into certain types of builds. What he brings you is a decent warjack that has 2" melee and can fuel itself through the use of souls, which has a ton of power to it and really is why he's as pillowfisted as he is (which, I should note, is only 1 pow lower than most of our 'jacks.)

This is, I think, one of the best 'jacks you can 'jack marshal in the game. Completely unhelped (well, your troops do have to be dying), the Sanctifier can run on a full stack of focus. Being able to just camp on focus is amazing for it as well, since it doesn't matter when the troops die, you can swap the souls out for focus on any activation you wish. The 'jack marshal benefits, which in most cases just don't hold up to running the 'jack on a junior or just your caster him/herself, are of huge help to the Sanctifier. Crush! gives him a huge number of attacks and fixes his pillowfisted problem, Hurry! giving him his free charge and making him more accurate, Strike True! can help its MAT 6 over a whole activation and Take Aim! does... well, nothing, silly. Stack on other buffs like Ignite, Silence of Death, Hand of Fate, and of course Hymn of Battle and the Sanctifier is swinging with the best of them, and doing it with no strain whatsoever on your warcaster. Just gotta keep that 'jack marshal alive, which is why the Seneschal is usually used in this capacity for his reasonable survivability.

The Sanctifier also has some random tech going on with Exorcist, stripping Incorporeal from enemy models within ten inches. Rather funny to watch a Wraith Engine suddenly find itself unable to move through its own troops, which can cause some order of activations awkwardness if the other player isn't prepared for it. We have a pretty good number of magic weapons in general, but it will certainly mess with any kind of large number of Incorporeal models.

Scourge of Heresy - B+

Well, he seems... annoyed...

Some people will probably want this one to be an A, but... he's got his downsides. They're just... few.

Scourge of Heresy is... well, a scourge. At 16 points, he's insanely effective, with two 2" melee weapons at a high PS on the primary one and chain weapon on the other (which against shield 'jacks ends up being the same, but ah well.) He has spell denial in Arcane Vortex, Thresher on his chain weapon if he needs it, and Purgation on his main weapon, which means he will just tear apart enemies with upkeep spells or animi on them. Further, he is bonded with Reznik, and whenever Reznik kills an enemy model in melee Scourge will make a full advance... once per turn, anyway. This is a huge threat extension, and with a 'caster that has further threat extenders and is pretty good at killing things in melee.

Scourge has seen a bit of a downturn as theme forces have become more prevalent, but in non theme lists he has slotted in with any number of casters. The Rezniks make him nearly auto include, as both can send him for miles if they want to and he will just randomly assassinate casters. They have further synergy with him in that Reznik1 can push his damage output against a purgation-active enemy to absolutely ridiculous levels, and Reznik2 can let him ignore the enemy upkeep while he gets the extra dice. Arcane Shield on something is essentially just a free extra die on everything when you also ignore it.

Typically he is run with casters that can push his speed up a little, which is probably his biggest weakness (aside from not having a gun, I suppose.) Speed 4 needs a bit of love, but we've got plenty of places to fix that up a bit. He's got shortcomings, but if you can shore those up he's seriously a monster. Basically just a decent gun away from an A but that might wander into the realm of way undercosted.

Templar - C+

Man I just love shield guards and I love shield 'jacks. Pretty slow, but this is essentially our basic 'jack with a shield, featuring shield guard, beat back, and a perfectly ok weapon. I actually have Chain Weapon come up a lot these days, it's a pretty sweet rule that is often forgotten but I see plenty of shield 'jacks or shield walled infantry running around and it can help quite a bit. The Templar is a solid pick with any caster that needs "extra" shield guards, and can fix its speed, MAT, or both. Harbinger runs them for the protection and additional speed, Durst can run them because shield 'jacks get to stupid armor values for him, gives it additional movement with boundless charge, plus the additional shield guards in the list make it even more resilient to shooting. He's not a 'jack that you're going to throw into every list, but for his cost you get a decent, tough beater of a jack that can help protect your other pieces. Can't really go too wrong with a Templar most of the time.

Vanquisher - D+

The Vanquisher is an interesting one, in that he's pretty decent but... a little harsh on cost. An AOE 4 gun with continuous fire is pretty damn good, frankly, but losing a point of damage, in melee a point of speed, two range, and ashen veil in favor of just AOE 4 and Thresher while being a point more expensive than a Reckoner just makes him kind of a hard pill to swallow. We have Sunburst Crews if you really want an AOE 4 gun like this and you can get two of them for a bit over half the cost of a Vanquisher, throwing the extra 7 points into a Dervish or something that doesn't have much less melee damage output. Further, we've got the Revelator someday, who has two guns that are just better (although, obviously, he's much more expensive.)

Vanquishers aren't *bad* until you hit their point cost. The gun is pretty good, thresher is decent if you can get him a MAT buff. You can slot him into lists and he'll work, and may even be the right choice in a number of them. I've thought about them with Malekus, actually even Durst to help with his low volume of attacks... at the end of the day though, this 'jack is nearly the same cost as Hand of Judgement but has ridiculously less potential. Drop the Vanquisher down into our competitive but easy to work with 16 point slot and he *may* be a contender vs. other options but even then it's a little rough. SPD 4 and PS 16 is just really low. Maybe bump the gun to RNG 12? I'm not sure exactly what he needs, but he doesn't have it.

Vigilant - C+

Don't be fooled, Sentinels will in fact kill a Vigilant. Invictors, however, will not.

Vigilants are pretty unique little 'jacks. He's walking cover and immunity to blast for your caster. He's also grossly tough for a light, sitting at ARM 21 with both his shields up. Cover for your caster, though, is the real winner here. Many casters can sit way further upfield than is typical when they have +4 DEF against ranged threats. Even better if you're larger than the Vigilant so you can't get randomly knocked down if it gets slammed, such as with our cavalry casters.

Vigilants can fill a dual role as a zone holder and of course caster protection. My only issue with them, and part of why I don't use them often, is we have a lot of great support options that can also come in to smash stuff in the late game (like a Devout), but the Vigilant sits at 2 less damage on its weapons than any other Protectorate light warjack, making him extremely pillowfisted. Now, that's probably warranted given his heavy-level survivability but it does mean I personally find him somewhat harder to slot into builds over just a Devout, a couple other shield guards, and good positioning.

Some casters, though, just need to play too far forward. Harbinger loves these guys, Reznik1 actually quite likes them and, with a fairly extreme output of resources, can make it hit reasonably hard as well. Feora3 feels like she nearly demands one, since even a few shield guards often won't be enough and if you run her in Guardians of the Temple, access to those shield guards is more limited. High Reclaimer actually doesn't hate one, since it will often let him sit just a bit further forward to lay down his cloud walls safely. Amon ad Raza can get it to decent output levels and, of course, can't be knocked down so he's going to be painfully hard to handle at those kinds of defensive values. Really any of our casters love sitting behind moving cover, but at 9 points and with very little output, you have to really decide if that's what you want.

Conclusion

The second most controversial topic until we hit casters!

I got into Protectorate for the Warjacks. I still play a lot of infantry, since I just love lots of troops on a table, but Protectorate's Warjacks are a big part of what got me into the faction and are a big part of why I stay. Our support for them is top notch, and we're able to deliver them into threats most wouldn't with all of our denial effects. We have the option of some seriously cheap beatsticks like the Crusader, up to some elite, hyper expensive models like Eye of Truth. Our 'jacks have an extremely varied toolset and you can build a battlegroup loadout to handle most threats in the game, although I'll admit I think we get a bit of a weakness to infantry heavy stuff when you compare our "anti-infantry" 'jacks to models like a Firefly. Shore that up with the right infantry and/or casters, though, and we keep up pretty well.

Our 'jacks can't be run simply, most of the time. Our faction, by design, relies on denial effects and having an outstanding knowledge of what your opponent is capable of so you know what you should deny. Our casters act as great enables, often delivering with great defensive tools but often being quite surprising with their offensive options. Between Vassals, Mechaniks, and the incredible Choir, we can make our 'jacks do some pretty wild stuff, and with Hymn of Battle even our more pillowfisted heavies are hitting at the same values as many other factions' high damage beaters. Utilize the tools available to us, play well, and our 'jacks will sing.