Adepta Sororitas Tactica: Sacred Rites

Just like their powered armored brethren Adepta Sororitas (Sisters) also gain bonus for being pure. Their rule for being pure is called “Sacred Rites”.

Are sacred rights good enough to warrant playing pure? Are their buffs and bonus worth giving up Smash Captains, Artillery, or Cheap (I suppose really it’s cheaper) command points (cp)? Do you gain enough from the sacred rights for what you give up?

Sacred Rites Overview

If every unit in your army has the ADEPTA SORORITAS and/or ADEPTUS MINISTORUM Faction keywords, this unit gains an ability depending on which Sacred Rite is active for your army. Determine which Sacred Rite is active for all units from your army with this ability at the start of the battle. To do so, after deployment, but before the first battle round begins, select one Sacred Rite from the following table to be active. Alternatively, you can roll two D6 to randomly generate two Sacred Rites to be active (a duplicate result has no additional effect, but is considered to be active for the purposes of the Battle Rites Stratagem). In either case, Sacred Rites are active until the end of the battle.

1Hand of the Emperor: The Sororitas are imbued with a boundless font of vigour.
When a unit with this Sacred Rite Advances, add 1 to the Advance roll. When you make a charge roll for a unit with this Sacred Rite, add 1 to the result. 
2Spirit of the Martyr: Even with their dying act the Sororitas mete out the Emperor’s judgement.
When a model with this Sacred Rite is destroyed, roll one D6 before removing the model from play. On a 5+ that model can either shoot with one of its ranged weapons as if it were your Shooting phase, or make one attack with one of its melee weapons as if it were the Fight phase (if the model has a damage table, use the bottom row of that table when shooting with that ranged weapon or resolving that attack with a melee weapon). 
3Aegis of the Emperor: The Sororitas do not suffer the vile trickery of witches.
When a Deny the Witch test is taken for a unit with this Sacred Rite, add 3 to the total. 
4Divine Guidance: Seeing the weak points in their enemies’ armour, the Sisters of Battle strike out to shatter it with contemptuous ease.
When resolving an attack made with a ranged weapon by a model with this Sacred Rite, on an unmodified wound roll of 6 the Armour Penetration characteristic of that weapon is improved by 1 for that attack (e.g. AP 0 becomes AP -1). 
5The Passion: The Sororitas are filled with a burning passion to inflict suffering upon the faithless.
When resolving an attack made with a melee weapon by a model with this Sacred Rite, an unmodified hit roll of 6 scores 1 additional hit. 
6Light of the Emperor: The Emperor’s radiance shines upon his warriors, emboldening them amidst the thick of battle.
When a Morale test is taken for a unit with this Sacred Rite, you can re-roll the dice. 

AKA Go pure or go home

My pure, old metal, Adepta Sorortias army.

Pick or Roll?

When I first read the rule I was a bit perplexed, why not let me chose two or roll one and chose one? Why does it have to be pick one or roll two? On their own none of them truly stand out as a must take (other than “Aegis of the Emperor” vs psychic heavy armies).

After playing it a bit I came to the conclusion that in almost every single scenario it’s better to just roll two. Even if you don’t get any of the two you really want, two buffs are better than one. In the event of the 1/36 chance you roll doubles there is a 1cp stratagem, “Battle Rites”, that will let you reroll one of them. Even a worst case scenario of rolling two threes when your are not facing a psychic army you will only be spending two cp to change it.

The only time I would ever pick just one is when I’m playing a psychic heavy army, then I would pick number 3, “Aegis of the Emperor”.

Thoughts on each Sacred Right

1: Hand of Emperor – Hand on the Emperor is very good. 40k is often won with movement. Gaining an additional 1 inch on your advance rolls or charge rolls is very strong. It can make a 9 inch charge from deep strike a lot easier or give you a bit of extra oomph out of your advances. I never reroll this one if I get it. If I was playing Argent Shroud (A Sister’s Order which will be talked about in a future article) I would almost consider just picking this one over having two.

2: Spirit of the Martyr – Can be amazing or can be awful depending on how many 5+s you roll. Getting an extra round of shooting out an dead exorcist on your opponent’s turn can be amazing but it’s only going to happen 1/3 of the time.

3: Aegis of the Emperor – Very situational. Amazing vs psychic heavy armies but useless every other time. If I’m playing a psychic heavy army I’m just going to be pick this every time, if not I’m always rerolling it.

4: Divine Guidance – It is a good all rounder and an additional ap can come in handy. You’ll never be happy or sad you rolled this.

5: The Passion – Very very strong. Sisters have some of the finest Melee options in the game. Getting extra hits is great.

6: Light of the Emperor – Not bad for fishing for 1’s for extra miracle dice (link to AOF piece here) or possibly keeping a squad alive. I generally reroll this when I get it but theres value in keeping it, especially early game when you need to farm miracle dice for mid/late game plays.

Official Games Workshop sacred rite data cards.

Ranking them

1: Hand of the Emperor. Extra movement, enough said.

2: The Passion. Extra hits? Yes, please, and thank you!

3: Spirit of the Martyr. Can be great.

4: Divine Guidance. By far the safest of the bunch. You’ll never be happy or sad you rolled it.

5: Light of the Emperor. Eh. Good for farming miracle dice.

6: Aegis of the Emperor. It’s not actually fair to put this as 6 because when you need it its a gift from the emperor and instantly shoots to number one. In fact it’s the only sacred right I would ever pick over rolling two. It’s main problem is that it’s useless in a lot of situations so it’s unfortunately ranked as the weakest, which it is in most situations.

Useful Stratagems

There really is only one useful stratagem here and it’s mentioned at the top of this piece – “Battle Rites”. For 1 cp, if your warlord is alive, you may reroll a currently active sacred rite, rerolling if you get a double or the one you picked to reroll. Be careful though because if you use “Battle Rite”s and a CP, resulting in a double or the sacred rite you rolled away from, you’re stuck.

Overall Thoughts.

While I would I would really like to see a mechanic where you get two sacred rights while being able to pick one, even if it costs CP I do feel it’s worth going pure for them. It’s a tough call but sisters are a very powerful, albeit, tricky to play. Getting two additional buffs for “free” adds a lot to their arsenal.

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