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13/12/2012

Sanguinary Priest - worth it?


Back in 5th ed the Sanguinary Priest was worth the weight in gold and any Blood Angel player with his salt would take one. In 6th things have changed quite a lot for the Priest and now Blood Angel players are questioning whether it is worth taking a Sanguinary Priest or not.

The Sanguinary Priest costs 50 points and has the same profile as a normal Space Marine, except the priest is WS5. Wargear is just normal stuff, though the blood chalice is the item of wargear which gives the Priest two very special rules; furious charge and feel no pain.

In 5th Blood Angels were probably king of Razorspam; their vehicles were fast and could move 12" and still fire a weapon, this would bring fire power against the enemy extremely quickly. The Angels would then disembark next turn and unleash a salvo of small arms fire followed by a charge, thanks to furious charge they would be S5 and I5.

Unfortunately the above is no longer the case. No unit may charge from a vehicle unless it is an assault vehicle, so Blood Angels have the option to use a Land Raider or either a Stormraven. That's one nail in the coffin for Razorspam. In addition, if the vehicle is destroyed you still cannot charge, you know because that ramp is really going to help you climb out the vehicle wreck or crater ;). So an assault force like Blood Angels will stand around with measly bolt pistols in their hands for offensive fire power and then have to bend over and take returning punishment from enemy fire.

Then you've got the furious charge nerf; no +1 initiative when charging. This is a crucial ability for Blood Angels and is allowed them to hit before majority or other units or at the same time as pesky armies like Eldar or Dark Eldar.

So far the Priest isn't selling it and another nail in the Blood Angels coffin.

The next ability is feel no pain. This rule has changed and is balanced out, in 5th ed feel no pain was 4+ and couldn't be taken against anything which ignores armour saves, AP1, AP2 or double toughness. In 6th feel no pain is 5+ and cannot be taken against anything which is double toughness. I believe this works out to be a 4+ invulnerable save if you're able to get the 3+ armour save as well.

As plasma is making a come back, feel no pain is useful, however it is a worse roll. It really is a catch 22 situation.

Now we know the full gory details of the Sanguinary Priest the question remains, is the Priest worth it?

I would say it is situational on the build you are using. The Priest offers two benefits and if you are using a mech list then you will rarely benefit from furious charge. The feel no pain is nice, but again it is something you may not be using all the time. If you're using a foot list then a Priest would be a nice benefit to your army, you will be using that furious charge more when bounding up on jump packs and feel no pain will see more use as your infantry will be taking fire a lot more often compared to a mech list.

Do you use a Sanguinary Priest(s) in your Blood Angel army? Do you think they are still worth it or don't you bother with them any more?