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Warhammer 40K: Five Reasons Dark Angels Are Broken

6 Minute Read
Feb 02

Let’s talk about just what is so broken with the new Codex: Dark Angels.

The Dark Angels have a new Codex and with it a massive upgrade in power. This book is strong, likely too strong. It puts the rest of the Marine books, both Chaos and Loyalist to shame. Indeed for no particular reason, it’s often just better than the other Marine books. This isn’t something that’s totally news. Back in August (insert joke about the time between now and August seeming longer than it really was due to world events here) I thought they looked broken in just the first previews of the Marine book. Now with their own supplement, I’ve been proven right.  Let’s take a look at five reasons that prove these guys are broken.

5. They Have Better Apothecaries

Dark Angels get access to two unique versions of the Apothecary, the Deathwing, and Ravenwing versions. Now, these are both amazing units, one allows your Apothecary to deeps trike, the other is a bike, already making them faster and able to get their aura’s where they want. That’s not what I’m here to talk about though. I’m here to talk about the Narthecium. As we can see above it’s an aura with a 6″ range. Now let’s look at the normal one from Codex: Space Marine.

That’s the Narthecium on the Primaris Apothecary. Notice that they have only a 3″ range on their Narthecium. The other Marine versions, as well as the Blood Angel Sanguinary Priest, all have a 3″ range. Now maybe this is a typo and will get FAQ’d, but for now, the Dark Angels just have netter Narthecium’s for…. no reason.

4. They Have Better Stratagems

Dark Angels have some just really amazing stratagems, these often stand out above those of other Marines but none is as bad as Wrath of the Lion. Wrath of the Lion is a version of a type of stratagem you can find in pretty much every supplement. Above we can see the Ultramarine version, Tactical Expertise. By and large these all cost 2 CP to use. They are used in a turn when the Doctrine that Chapters “super doctrine” works in. For that turn attacks that are made with weapons that are affected by that Doctrine, get an extra point of AP if they roll an unmodified 6 to wound. By and large these stratagems can only be used once a game.

Now here we have Wrath of the Lion, the Dark Angel’s version of this rule. It does the same thing as the other versions, and costs as much but…. it can just be used in any phase. With the Dark Angels, you aren’t locked into being good when only one doctrine is active, you are just always good. This stratagem is just, for no reason, better than the one other Marines get.


3. They Have Free Rules and Better Units

One of the most absolutely overpowered parts of the book is the Ravenwing and Deathwing rules. This gives extra rules to any units that has one of those keywords. In the core Marine book this is pretty much any model on a bike, a speeder, or in Terminator armor, and also includes Bladeguard. Both of these rules are amazing. Jink gives your models a provisional invulnerable save, while Inner Circle has the primary effect of making unmodified wound rolls of 1-3 fail to wound. In addition having these keywords makes it easier for you to unlock Obsec on units that would not normally get it.

These are, and I cannot stress this enough, just free rules. Free amazing rules these units get for no point cost. One might assume that for the Dark Angels special units the cost of these awesome abilities was calculated in their points cost, but the same isn’t true of units from Codex Space Marines that just get… better. For nothing. It’s not even as if Dark Angels have some hidden cost for these extra rules. They still get rules for everything else, with amazing Chapter Tactics, and Super Doctrines. Those are still there, and they just get to have better units. At its core, a Dark Angels Speeder or Bike or Terminator is just better than that of any other Marine Chapter.

2. They Are Good At Everything

The other Marine armies focus on an area to be good in. Some are extra good at shooting. Some are extra good at assault. A few are extra good at movement. All of them have strengths, and if not weaknesses, these are Marines, then areas where they are simply competent. Blood Angels for instance get some insane buffs in close combat, but not much for shooting. Iron Hands on the other hand get to shoot well, and be tough, but don’t really get much for combat.

Dark Angels on the other hand just get to be good at everything. Their Chapter Tactic, unlike pretty much any other, is amazing in both combat and shooting. Their super doctrine, likewise is good all the time. They have access to amazing special shooting units, but also super awesome close combat units. No army that has a power letting a full unit re-roll hits and wounds in combat can say they don’t’ have some rad melee buffs. On top of that Dark Angels have some of the toughest units in the game, being more durable than Iron Hands even, while also having some of the fastest units in the game with Ravengaurd that get extra movement and have the option for pre-game moves or to move twice. If all of that wasn’t enough, you’ve got one of, if not the best set of psychic powers. There is literally no aspects that Dark Angels aren’t just better at.

1. Rules For Every Phase

Lastly, let us talk Super Doctrines. Every supplement has a super doctrine. In every other book (with the exception of Deathwatch, who kind of don’t get one) they have worked the same way. While a specific doctrine is active your units will get some bonus. These abilities are often very good, but many might require you to build your army in a certain way to take advantage of them. The main key is that they will only be active for a part of the game.


Dark Angels of course get to just be better. Their Super Doctrine, is actually 3 different rules, meaning you’ll get to use extra rules every turn of the game. As I said before, while all other arms get to be good in one doctrine, Dark Angels just, for no reason, get to be good in all doctrines. Now sure, their doctrines are maybe a bit more restrictive, and maybe not as good as some other super doctrines, but they are really good, and used at the right time can be game-changers. They are also widely applicable. Some Chapters such as Imperial Fists, Salamanders, or Iron Hands if built incorrectly, might never trigger their super doctrine. Other armies might only do so on a few occasions. The Dark Angel super doctrine is so wide that pretty much any build is going to take advantage of some part of it multiple times a game. It’s another sign of how they are just better than everyone else. Indeed looking at it all together we can see that Dark Angels are just completely bonkers, the kind of broken you only get as a result of making pacts with dark gods.

Let us know if you think Dark Angels are broken, down in the comments!

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