The Proteus Conundrum Part 1
I was one of the many spectators huddled around the Domination book at WMW 2011. I remember feeling like a gitty girl as we neared the Legion section of the book. At this point I was impressed by Ghetorix, Tiberion and so so about Rok with Primal. Then it happened, the page turned to Proteus and I quickly glanced over his rules and stats and stood there dumb founded and lost. “Am I missing something” I thought to myself. Maybe there is something I just don’t see yet, perhaps a synergy that was hidden in his rules text that would push him up to the next level.
First we look at Proteus’s abilities and stats.
PT Cost 11
Proteus packs three initial melee attacks one that is a chain weapon with reach and Pull at P&S 14 and two non-reach attacks at P&S 16. He has 1 ranged 6 attack with drag at P&S 14 with the chain weapon ability. His other abilities are
Herding – Allows you to be able to force, leech, reave, heal and transfer damage to friendly faction warbeasts in Proteus CMD range.
Animus is Heighted Metabolism which costs 2 fury and grants snacking to a friendly warbeast.
Looking through Proteus’s abilities and stats you will realize that instead of being focusing on melee or range that he does nothing particularly well. Drag is an awesome ability but with range 6 you will most likely put Proteus in threat range of the opposing army to attempt to drag a target into threat range of other models. His low P&S on his weapons is what really turns me off to him. 11 pts for a P&S 14 and two P&S 16’s doesn’t seem like a bargain when you can get a Scythean and a shredder for the same cost. I can go to Bed Bath and Beyond and get a better bargain on 2 Pillows than Proteus. Who knows, they might even have Higher P&S too! To add insult to injury, his chain weapon is a P&S 14 weapon. Normally, models that have shields get +2 armor and his stronger weapons are P&S 16. This means when fighting models with shields or bucklers that the damage output of both his weapons are a wash against shields and the claws win out against bucklers. his only saving grace is he has 5 fury which is a first for Legion.
Comparing Proteus to the Scythean
The comparison here will be Proteus’s damage output compared to a Scythean. The Scythean is one of legion’s staple beasts that packs two P&S 17’s reach weapons and chain attack Blood Bath which is similar to a thresher attack. We will compare them both against an armor 18 model assuming all attacks hit. The Scythean at P&S 17 will be dice – 1 on all attacks and will get 7 total attacks due to triggering Blood Bath. Through the course of all attacks the Scythean will deal an average of 42 damage to an armor 18 model. Proteus’s gets 3 initial attacks and can buy up to 5 additional attacks. At dice -4 and dice -2 Proteus’s average damage output is 38 damage. So for 2 less points the Scythean is dealing more damage than a Proteus.
Proteus’s has reach on one weapon which is the low P&S weapon which has the Pull ability. Proteus takes a risk anytime he charges a model at the max threat distance of 11”. If he ends up missing his charge attack with his tentacle lash, he loses out on two initial attacks and goes right into buying more P&S 14 tentacle lash’s to pull the enemy model into b2b in order to attack with his P&S 16 claws. Against an armor 18 model this means you will immediately lose an average of 16 damage for missing your first attack. Then in order to hit the enemy model with your stronger claws you will have to force for a weaker P&S 14 attack before being able to get those attacks in range. Having so much on the line for 1 attack forces you to boost your charge attack roll to ensure you gain your two remaining initial attacks. The Scythean has permanent reach on both his attacks and if he misses any of his first two attacks will lose out on 1 free Blood Bath attack. Unless you are seriously going for Blood Bath the Scythean isn’t as compelled to boost a 6 or 7 unless it really needs to hit. The Scythean will lose 15 damage if he misses his charge attack or 12 damage if he misses his non-charge attack.
Doom and Gloom?
Instead of being all doom and gloom I decided to put Proteus in to the grinder and play 5 games with each legion warlock to assess his potential before writing him off completely. Stay tuned for the warlock write ups in Part 2.