Malekus, The Burning Truth
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| Malekus, The Burning Truth |
Determined to bring Menoth’s glory to the world, Malekus, the Burning Truth carries with him the righteous fire of the Creator. Malekus’ youth as an orphan was harsh, giving him insight into the perfidy of the world, and this inspired his conversion to the Sul-Menite faith. Malekus is ever willing to intercede on behalf of those willing to return to Menoth’s embrace, but he offers only scouring flames for those who persist in blind heresy.
- Warcaster - All warcasters come with a stack of standard special rules - most notably being awesome. Click here for a newbie-friendly recap, or click here for the full rules.
Feat - Raging Inferno
- When an enemy model suffers a fire damage roll while in Malekus' control range, add an additional die to that roll.
- Additionally, Fire continuous effects that affect enemy models in Malekus' control range cannot expire.
- Raging Inferno lasts one round.
- Immunity: Fire
- Ashen Veil - This model has concealment. Living enemy models without Immunity: Fire suffer -2 to attack rolls while within 2" of this model.
- Divine Passages - Once per turn at the start of this model’s activation, it can use one of the following effects:
- Fable of Ash - While within this model’s control range, friendly Faction warrior models gain Ashen Veil. Fable of Ash lasts for one round.
- Hymn of Might - This model can cast one spell this turn without spending focus.
- Verse of Cinders - Friendly Faction warjacks activating in this model’s control range gain Blazing Wrath. Verse of Cinders lasts for one turn. (Blazing Wrath - A model with Blazing Wrath can charge enemy models suffering the Fire continuous effect without spending focus.)
- Burning Blades - 1" reach, P+S 12 melee weapon.
| Banishing Ward
|Enemy upkeep spells and animi on target friendly model/unit immediately expire. Affected models cannot be targeted by enemy spells or animi.|
| Brand of Fire
|Brand of Fire deals fire damage. On a hit, the target model and the d3 nearest enemy models within 5" of it suffer the Fire continuous effect.|
|Target friendly Faction model/unit gains +2 to melee attack damage rolls. Affected models gain Critical Continuous Fire on their melee attacks.|
| Open Fire
|Target warjack in this model's battlegroup that is in its control range can immediately make one basic melee or ranged attack. A model can be targeted by Open Fire only once per turn.|
|Models hit by this attack become knocked down.|
- Exemplar Interdiction
- Guardians of the Temple
- The Creator's Might. He can start the game with upkeeps in play, and upkeep them for free in turn 1, in this theme.
- The Faithful Masses
Warriors of the Old Faith
- gained Divine Passages
- swapped Immolation for Brand of Fire
Thoughts on Malekus
Malekus in a Nutshell
Malekus is the Mk3 "battlebox caster" for the Protectorate. As such he is designed to be relatively simple to learn and straightforward to use. If you're learning the game, it is best to use him vs one of the other battlebox casters because they're all designed to have roughly the same power level. None of them are top tier casters, as they lack the flexibility or strength to be top contenders.
Malekus likes fire. Currently the best way to get fire damage in Protectorate is with shooty 'jacks. Unfortunately Malekus isn't particularly good at running large groups of 'jacks, which can make list-building for him beyond the battlebox a bit difficult.
The first thing to note is that melee weapons only do continuous fire or critical cont fire, but not fire damage itself; thus melee attacks don't get an extra damage die. Although applying cont fire is nice because in the enemy's next Maintenenace Phase you'll get a 100% guaranteed POW 12 +3d6 damage roll, wouldn't you much rather have something with higher POW and which you can boost to 4d6?
So to really capitalise on his feat you'll probably want lots of ranged attacks (and a few offensive fire-based spells). Subsquently this means you need a fair portion of your army to be unengaged on your feat turn so they can shoot, which means you're likely to use his feat early, before battlelines fully engage.
Alternatively, you could build a melee list centered around a colossal(s) which can shoot even while in melee.
It's also worth noting that his feat has no "friendly Faction" clause so it interacts just fine with your Mercenaries.
- Banishing Ward - Only useful if the enemy tries to debuff your army, but fantastic then.
- Brand of Fire - It's a simple nuke spell. It stacks with his feat, and Verse of Cinders which is nice.
- Ignite - Malekus gets less use out of this spell than the other Protectorate casters who have it (Reznik1 and Feora1).
- Malekus doesn't want to cast it on himself, because he doesn't want to get in melee.
- He probably doesn't want to cast this on a 'jack (at least not until the late game) because he mostly has ranged 'jacks.
- It can be useful in the early game on a screening unit that wants to hit hard, as opposed to just running to jam.
- Alternatively, take a pair of Castigators and hot-swap Ignite on them. Coupled with the Choir this makes for multiple P+S 20 flaming fists!
- Open Fire - Malekus' most useful spell.
- It is unlikely to be used for an extra melee attack, because you'd be better off to allocate 1 focus and buy an attack than spend 2 focus to cast this spell. However, running a 'jack up to an enemy and using this spell to make one attack can be situationally useful.
- Ranged 'jacks become potent, as it is effectively +1 ROF. Two Vanquisher AOEs a turn, yes please. Double Reckoner shots? Not to be sniffed at.
As with a melee 'jack, you have the option to run the 'jack into position before casting, which can be situationally useful.
- This spell of course gets its maximum effect on his feat turn against enemy 'jacks/beasts who have already been set on fire.
- Scourge - Expensive, but when you need it, invaluable.
- It doesn't need to directly hit to cause knockdown, so it has many uses:
- Knock down an enemy caster prior to assassinating them.
- "Clear" a charge lane by knocking down models that are threatening free strikes on that lane.
- Neutralising a high DEF target you need to kill (for example a Circle Warpwolf).
- A point to remember is that you can run up a disposable low-DEF model of your own until it is close to the real target you want knocked down - shoot your model in the back and voila.
- It doesn't need to directly hit to cause knockdown, so it has many uses:
In a battlebox fight, two players who bought nothing but their Faction's starter set use everything in that box to play a game.
Malekus usually wins by assassination, trying to manuvere until he gets a clear shot at the enemy caster then feating, knocking them down with Scourge, and going to town with Immolation + his warjacks attacks.
Fable of Ash becomes redundant in a battlebox fight and blazing wrath will only effect 3 models max, so often you will be using the free spell cast each turn to bully your opponent 9 times out of 10.
Drawbacks & Downsides
- Malekus' has a good CTRL, but he generally prefers popping his feat earlier in the game and therefore would want to be closer to the front line to catch more of the enemy in it, so his ranged warjacks can let rip. This can leave him exposed or nearer the front than one might like.
- Fire Immune Models don’t really care what he does.
- He has quite a bit of overlap in his spell list with Kreoss3
Tricks & Tips
- If you want to get an enemy model with Scourge but don't want to boost to hit or it can't be targeted by spells, run a model with a low weapon reach up to it and cast your spell on it. Although losing a model can be harsh, a knocked down warcaster/warlock is often a dead one when faced with Malekus' fire guns and feat.
- Verse of Ash is almost never worth using. It frees up one focus for the jack(s) changing the target, but if you use Hymn of Might to cast a free Scourge you just saved Malekus four focus AND your jacks no longer need to boost to hit the target, so it comes out about even on them as well.
List Building Advice
- Attrition victory (Normal win strategy)
Once he moves beyond the battlebox fights discussed above, Malekus does best aiming for attrition, playing for a slightly more ranged game, and picking off key enemy pieces and using Open Fire to keep up the volume of attacks from distance. Closing when necessary and using liberal spray attacks to clear out pesky enemy infantry. While watching for a possible opening for a kill.
- Assassination victory
Malekus does have assassination options. It shouldn't be relied on, but never forget the chance, to pop feat, cast Scourge if needed to knock down the enemy caster or clear LOS to them, and then under feat ravage them with a couple of Immolations and then more from other ranged fire attacks as needed. With some extra ranged attacks that would do for most casters.
Malekus will want some units to help protect his ranged warjacks. Most of the Protectorate infantry would fit in this role.
- Malekus likes his warjack and/or arcane support: Choir, Vassal of Menoth, Vassal Mechanik, Wracks,Hand of Silence, Hierophant. (Some of that support is more useful/popular than others, you're unlikely to need all of it in every game.)
- The Covenant of Menoth brings excellent utility, especially with Flames of Wrath, allowing one of your units to set the enemy on fire with their attacks.
As Protectorate's warjack-centric theme, this is where Malekus will spend most of his time. The downside is that there is effectively zero units available to screen your 'jacks with.
- The Covenant of Menoth - Can give a unit's ranged attack continuous fire, which benefits from his feat, albeit slightly more indirectly as the damage will be during the following maintenance phase from the boosted Continuous Fire that won't go out (if in his CTRL).
- A couple of Exemplar Warders will provide resilient solos to hold flags, or contest zones.
- Durant1 might be useful in a Malekus army. Any 'jack in Durant's control won't benefit from Open Fire, but Durant himself has the same fire-based nuke spell that Malekus has (Immolation).
- Severius0 is generally all-round good, especially if you take him as a free choice.
- Malekus runs battlegroup-heavy, but doesn't have the focus reserves to let them boost willy-nilly. The extra +1/+1 buff from Sev0 helps alleviate that. Also, Sev0 can get rid of enemy upkeeps on his battlegroup, and has the same fire-based nuke spell that Malekus and Durant1 have (Immolation). He also brings threat extension with Road to War.
- If you're taking Sev0, you might want Sev's character 'jack Blessing of Vengeance. BoV's bond will give +2/+2 to Sev's spells, so on feat turn you're looking at an effective FOC 8, POW 15 +3d6 nuke which you can cast twice, and boost damage once.
- Stack that damage buff with Aiyana and Holt plus your feat and you can get, for example, a Vanquisher shooting a 4" AOE with POW 17 +3d6 (direct hit) and POW 10 +3d6 (blast damage) that you can push up to 4d6 by boosting.
This list is a natural fit for Malekus, as it offers a lot of sprays from the Flameguard cleansers (see below). The theme benefits of course offer perks to Daughters of the Flame and Temple Flameguard, but neither of these units offer much to Malekus' big feat turn. A suggestion would be to take a unit of the Daughters for the ambush threat, but just forsake the Temple Flameguard for Cleansers.
- Flameguard Cleansers - Good to jam and clear out enemy infantry, and to light up potential feat targets with Continuous Fire. It is important to make space for the Flameguard Cleanser Officer too, as when an Assault charge is called, they make contact with the enemy and under the Officer's mini feat get to spray a long way behind the enemy front line. Good positioning can really burn down a lot. At the very least the enemy will have to account for this, playing more cautiously, giving you an edge, or aggressively and so exposing himself by trying to deal with those Cleansers with his faster options. With a potential 18" threat (5" move + 3" charge + 10" spray from the mini-feat), even enemy heavies are wary of entering the potential burning ground between the armies, with the threat of Malekus' feat.
- Hand of Silence provides another flamethrower, provides anti-soul tools with Direct Spirits, and can spend souls to fuel warjacks.
- Hand of Judgment Feora's character jack. But Malekus arguably loves Hand more than his own character jack. The reason to take Hand of Judgment? A nice 10" fire spray, and of course Fuel for the Flames which ramps up all that lovely fire damage.
- Menite Archon Taken as the mercenary solo choice, the Menite Archon adds a second source for Fuel for the Flames. He also is generally an obnoxious piece to remove. So flap him up into the enemy iun the first wave and get that extra damage from sprays. As he is immune to fire, he makes a great target to spray and catch enemies you cannot directly target for some reason.
Malekus will probably never use this theme, because other than Severius0 and Hand of Silence there's nothing in this theme that he wants.
There's a few more fire-based units available here, if GotT doesn't appeal to you. Additionally, Hand of Vengeance is a nice benefit for your heavy warjacks.
- The Covenant of Menoth, Durant1, and/or Hand of Silence, mentioned above, can also be taken in this theme.
- Deliverer Sunburst Crew - A cheap, high-power fire-damage ranged attack which causes continuous fire, so it benefits from his feat.
- Holy Zealots - A cheap source of (short) ranged fire attacks, on feat turn in particular these will be burning down a lot. Cheap enough that just keeping them around to maximise the feat turn is worth considering. With a soul collector such as the Reclaimer Gatekeeper and their CA - the Monolith Bearer to bring dead Zealots back - you have lots of souls available to grant Future Sight to the 'jacks, further improving their usefulness.
- Menite Archon - Again, with Fuel for the Flames making fire rolls more potent he has great utility alongside Malekus, as well as being powerful, durable independent solos that take Ignite well.
- Thorn Gun Mages provide fire damage attacks with their pistols, and they've got pretty decent RAT.
- Aiyana and Holt plus a Ranking Officer (Attendant Priest) can you get you access to a +2 damage buff.
- Eye of Truth - EoT is a character warjack bonded to Malekus, so he can take him in every theme. EoT is a very powerful piece, so much so that getting access to him is the reason some players use Malekus (not the other way around). However, he shouldn't be your first purchase after the battlebox, there is plenty of other stuff in the Faction that works with both Malekus and other casters that you should explore first.
- Reckoner - A solid choice and has a potential place in any Malekus build, the gun does Fire Damage and hits hard.
- Vanquisher - Provides a 4" AOE fire attack that'll mulch infantry, and direct hits can hurt heavies too. It's a great target for Open Fire.
- Judicator - The Judicator is normally considered the better colossal, but with Malekus the fewer fire attacks tips the balance towards the Revelator. But still, the Judicator does do work into Malekus' overall battle plan. The Reliquary makes its fists and Flamethrowers more accurate and work for attacks it makes out of activation, which helps if you want to use Open Fire on it. Additionally, sprays ignore cover and concealment; combined with the Blessed bubble Eye of Truth hands out, you'll ignore even more defensive measures.
- Revelator - A staple of Malekus' lists as it synergises much better with him. All its ranged attacks are fire based, it isn't inaccurate (unlike the Judicator's rockets), and it provide large AOEs that put rough terrain into play. Again Open Fire is amazing on the Revelator - you can end up with three 4" AOE burning hazards that remain in play for a round. That is a lot of potential board control.
- He's the mk3 battlebox caster
- Released 2016.06
- The sculpt shows a fellow who loves his food, so in the Protectorate he seems to be the answer to the perennial question "Who ate all the pies?", earning him the sometime epithet of: "The Piemaster".
Video Battle Reports
- 2019.06 Encounter Wargaming, vs Helynna1
- See also Category: Video Battle Reports for more casters with videos.
Other Protectorate models
|* The "Damage Type: Magical" is not inherited by "secondary" damage from a weapon. That is, stuff like arcs (Electro Leap) or hazards (Scather). (Infernal Ruling)