2Q22 Faction Focus: Matt Robertson Talks Adepta Sororitas

Games Workshop dropped its Q2 Balance Dataslate for 40k in mid-April, dramatically changing a number of key factions. Astra Militarum, Marines and Sisters were buffed, Harlequins, T’au, and Custodes were nerfed, and some key game rules were changed. Now with Tyranids looming on the horizon, we’re looking at several key factions and examining their place in this new emerging meta.

In today’s article we’re joined by Matt Robertson from The Art of War, who will be providing his thoughts on Adepta Sororitas.

Faction Overview

Sisters took a huge leap (of faith) forward as a result of the dataslate. Around the mid-to-end of last year I felt like sisters were definitely near the top of the pile, able to hang around with Admech and Drukhari on reasonable terrain and give them a challenge. That all changed in early 2022 with the swift re-introduction of Tau and Custodes. These books were a real problem due to the sheer amount of indirect fire coming in from Tau and the oppressive resilience mechanics from Custodes. Now that both of those have been substantially lessened, Sisters got a nice boost before factoring in any of their own changes.

The lack of indirect fire in the meta now means sisters are able to move up the board making use of terrain in a much more efficient manner while dominating board space with their overload of combat potential. Opposing armies will have to respect multiple layers of repentia, zephyrim and friends being able to strike out from a newfound relative safety. In addition they will benefit from the additional resilience they gained from the new Armour of Contempt rule, which makes small arms fire less likely to pick up sisters units. Though note that they do remain T3 so weight of fire will still chip them down as always. On top of all this, the additional miracle dice sisters players now have will enable them to control the tempo of the game more and maximise the army’s special strengths.

On the nerf side, the hit to the Bodyguard special rules will affect sisters too, as an important part of their strategy was using Celestine and Vahl to control objectives from safety as the book doesn’t have many solid units who can sit and tank a lot of firepower. So sisters players will have to find ways to counter this and keep up their primary scores when trying to hold open objectives.

The Matchups

So what do the matchups look like for the Adepta Sororitas in this new meta?

Tyranids and Aeldari are now both sitting top of the pile currently. Nids with their mass of psychic powers and mortals can be a challenge for sisters, however you have plenty of tools to help in this aspect with Aegis of the Emperor and Purity of Faith giving you plenty of deny options, as well as the hymn Chorus of spiritual fortitude giving some immunity to powers allowing for some screens. The loss of -1 damage on every big bug (which Crusher Stampede bestowed) also means that repentia can pose a real threat and have to be respected.

Aeldari can be a bit more of a struggle as they have an abundance of speed and S6 shooting which will still take its toll with weight of fire even with the added help from Armour of Contempt. The abundance of small, cheap units with high damage output make it challenging to get truly stuck in and play the trading game that sisters do best. However this is a lot easier with the lack of weapons platforms, meaning if you can make a solid base and keep the pointy ears honest in board positioning, then opportunities will definitely open up. 

The matchup that has changed the most among current factions is T’au, going from a crippling mass of indirect fire to a more LOS-driven brute force approach. Sisters need to be careful not to get caught out as these guns will punch right through them. However, the sheer weight of attacks several sisters units can dish out will force crisis units to show some respect. You will need to ensure that you have ways to avoid the Overwatch when charging in, either through los blocking terrain or sacrificial units.

Credit: Robert “TheChirurgeon” Jones

Building for the new Meta

Sisters are sitting in a good place right now, with plenty of tools and options into whatever the opponent. My preference is the Bloody Rose subfaction – the extra attacks and AP give you enough to counter any power-armoured foes even with the AP reduction from Armour of Contempt. The amount of combat threats and units you can put out will be too much for opponents as you continuously push them off their objectives and keep them on the back foot. Add to this the ranged punch and threats that Blood Rose sisters can dish out and you’re onto a winner. 

+++ Bloody Rose Battalion Detachment (1,999 Points) +++

Order: Bloody Rose

HQ: Morvenn Vahl (280), Warlord
HQ: Cannoness (100) – Blessed Blade, Word of the Emperor

Troops: 5x Battle Sisters (55)
Troops: 5x Battle Sisters (55)
Troops: 10x Novitiates (75)
Troops: 10x Novitiates (75)

EL: Dogmata (65) – Beacon of Faith, Sigil Ecclesiasticus (Chorus of Spiritual Fortitude, Verse of Holy Piety)
EL: 5x Repentia (70)
EL: 8x Repentia (112)
EL: 8x Repentia (112)
EL: Repentia Superior (40)
EL: 3x Paragon Warsuits (240) – Multi-meltas

FA: 8x Zephyrim (136)
FA: 6x Zephyrim (102)
FA: 6x Zephyrim (102)

HS: 5x Retributors (150) – 4x Multi-melta, 1 Cherub
HS: 5x Retributors (150) – 4x Multi-melta, 1 Cherub

DT: Rhino (80)

+++ 1,999 points +++

This list is looking to use its overload of combat threats with novitiates, zephyrim, and repentia to control the board space. Backed up by some potent shooting in the retributors, vahl, and the toolbox paragons, this should keep your opponent on the back foot, not wanting to enter your kill zone. The paragons are really interesting here as they’ll look to outflank/start in Strategic Reserves in a lot of match ups to get around their movement issues as vehicles. This also allows them to bring their shooting threat onto the table at scary angles, then follow up with a charge to be a threat in all three phases.

Wrapping Things Up

I think sisters right now are in a great spot. Looking at events there aren’t a lot of players picking up Sisters currently but I expect players to start getting those top 3 spots in the near future once they really get the games in with the book. Its’ not the easiest army to pick up and do well with but has a really high ceiling cap and so it has lots of potential. Even going into some of the newer books like Tyranids, Sisters can trade up really well and have some psychic defence options too.

That wraps up our look at Adepta Sororitas but we’ll be back with more Faction Focus articles looking at how things have changed. 

You can get more great analysis and insight from the Art of War by heading over to our site. Become a part of our awesome community and enjoy your hobby even more!

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