Dark Angels Review: HQ: Librarian


Hello fellow servants of the Imperium.  Chandler here with a review on the Dark Angels Librarian.  For more reviews and analysis check out the Tactics Corner.

Dark Angels Librarians are protectors and guardians of the chapter’s most hidden secrets.  They are powerful in their ability to access the warp and they are completely and totally devoted to the chapter’s goals.  In battle, they use their abilities to change the shape of the battle itself, using their energies to weaken the enemy.  How does that play out in the game itself? Let’s take a look at their rules and break it down.


Overview: Dark Angels Librarians are unlike any of their space marine brethren. They undergo a rigorous training process designed to weed out those whose mental armor is not strong or stable enough to resist the corruption of the Warp.  As such, the Dark Angels Librarians are brought into the fold of the Inner Circle, where they learn the Chapter’s most protected secrets. They are often charged with interrogating suspected members of the Fallen, and as such, have developed their own unique psychic discipline; Interromancy. On the battle field they are deadly warriors capable of twisting and manipulating the enemy to weaken them through their psychic manifestations. They have the same statline as their Space Marine counterparts on the table, but what really sets them apart are their Special Rules and the Interromancy Psychic Power tree.

Wargear: Dark Angels Librarians come stock with power armor, a Bolt Pistol, Force Weapon, Frag and Krak grenades, and a Psychic Hood.  In addition they can take items from the Ranged Weapons list, Special Issue Wargear, or Relics of Caliban.  What’s particularly interesting here is that unlike many librarians in other chapters, the Dark Angels Librarian can gain access to the Conversion Field, which offers a 4++ Invulnerable Save, which, each time the save is passed all units within d6″ of the bearer must take a Blind test, of which friendly units may re-roll.

Additionally, you have the option to take a Space Marine bike, granting the Librarians the ability to be taken as HQs in the Ravenwing Strike Force Detachment. They can also be upgraded with Terminator armor as well making them solid additions to a Deathwing Strike Force.

The Shroud of Heroes relic can be an interesting option as it grants Feel No Pain which can be a life saver when taking wounds from Perils of the Warp.


Special Rules: Unlike their Space Marine counterparts, Dark Angels Librarians come with the Deathwing special rule, making them Fearless and giving them Hatred (Chaos Space Marines).  They also come with the Grim Resolve rule which gives them Stubborn and improves their Ballistic Skill to 2 when firing Overwatch.  They can be upgraded to Mastery Level 2 for only 25 points and they have access to the Daemonology, Divination, Interromancy, Pyromancy, Telekinesis and Telepathy disciplines.

Interromancy is a unique psychic discipline available to Librarians in the Dark Angels Faction.  The psychic powers are as follows:

  • Primarus – Mind Worm: Warp Charge 1, Focused Witchfire with a Range of 12″ Strength 6, AP 2, Assault 1, Ignores Cover, Sap Will.  Sap will: If a model suffers and unsaved wound from this power its Weapon Skill, Ballistic Skill, Initiative, and Leadership are reduced by 3 for the rest of the battle.
  1. Seed of Fear: Warp Charge 1, Malediction targets all enemy units within 9″.  While in effect all target units must take Morale, Pinning, and Fear tests on 3d6
  2. Righteous Repugnance: Warp Charge 1, Blessing that targets a single friendly unit within 24″.  While in effect the unit has Rage.
  3. Aversion: Warp Charge 1, Malediction targets single enemy unit within 24″.  While in effect the target unit may only fire Snap Shots.
  4. Maelstrom of Misery: Warp Charge 2, Witchfire with a Range of 24″, Strength 1, AP 2, Assault 1, Blast, Neural Shock: Hits caused by this psychic power always wound on a 4+. No effect on vehicles or buildings.
  5. Trephination: Warp Charge 2, Focused Witchfire with a Range of 18″.  Affected model must roll 2d6+2 and subtract their Leadership.  The model suffers a number of Wounds equal to the result. Armor and cover saves cannot be taken against these wounds.
  6. Mind Wipe: Warp Charge 3, Malediction that targets a single enemy unit within 24″.  All models in the target unit have their Weapon Skill and Ballistic Skill reduced to 1 until the end of their next turn, at which point the unit must take a Leadership test.  If the test is failed, the effects last for the rest of the game.

Interromancy is all about debuffing the enemy.  The Primarus offers a solid witchfire profile which can have a strong impact on the game as it could potentially drop an enemy character’s statline to practically useless.  Aversion is one of the strongest powers in this list especially due to the fact that it is only Warp Charge 1, has a pretty good threat bubble for casting, and forces the opponent to fire Snap Shots.  Useful against those pesky units like scatbikes and Tau Riptides. Seed of Fear is another good power that combos well with the Terrify power, which forces a -1 to Leadership and a test at the end of the phase.  Making a strong unit break and run off the table from a forced 3d6 Morale test is pretty strong. Terrify also combos quite well with the Mind Wipe power but requires quite a bit of devotion to casting to pull off as Mind Wipe is warp charge 3. Overall, the Interromancy powers are very solid and compliment other powers available to the army.


Tactics:  Dark Angels Librarians offer a variety of unique special rules which, combined with the Interromancy discipline, make them a formidable addition to any Dark Angels force.  Most commonly, you might see them mounted on a bike and taken as part of a Ravenwing Strike Force detachment as an HQ choice.  Although they don’t gain the Ravenwing rule when taken in this way (allowing them to re-roll jinks), they can still be surrounded by ablative wounds from bikes which will give them much more survivability on the table.

Typically a Ravenwing Strike Force build will include a Ravenwing Dark Shroud and loads of Ravenwing Black Knights for the 2+ re-roll Jink saves and some pretty heavy shooting with twin-linked plasma talons hitting at AP 2.  The Ravenwing Strike Force allows you to bring up to 3 HQ choices and it might not be uncommon to see a couple of Dark Angels Librarians with bikes attached to a Ravenwing Command Squad along with Sammael.  His Rapid Manoeuvre warlord trait gives the unit extra movement when making Charge moves allowing the unit to get into contact with the enemy sooner, and the entire squad having Hit and Run means they will rarely be pinned against unfavorable opponents or tarpits.

The Librarians here throw around their powers to the enemy to effect Leadership, Weapon Skill and Ballistic Skill of the enemy.  Righteous Repugnance is another great power to use in this build as it gives the Command Squad Rage which can be very useful with the Rending Corvus Hammers they wield. Of course, Divination is always a good table to draw from as well. Giving that Command Squad Perfect Timing makes their Plasma Talons even more deadly and Prescience is always a solid choice for any unit. Telepathy is overall the most solid psychic discipline in the game arguably and having access to Invisibility gives that Command Squad even more durability.


Like their Space Marine brothers, Dark Angels have a Librarius Conclave of their own.  Although it is not included in the Codex, and cannot be taken as an option in a Lion’s Blade Strike Force, the Formation is still legal to use in a Dark Angels army.  It requires Ezekiel, a solid choice in his own right, and 2-4 other Librarians.  Like their marine counterparts, they can increase their ability to manifest warp charge, although it can’t go beyond a 3+, and more importantly, it allows you to double the range of the Mind Worm psychic power making it a Range 24″ power, which is huge.  It also makes it much easier for them to cast powers like Mind Wipe on the enemy.

While the Ezekiel “tax” may seem as just that, he can be an effective character himself.  He is a Mastery Level 3 Librarian with all the same rules as a normal Librarian.  His Force sword is Master-crafted and he carries the Book of Salvation relic which grants +1 Attack to all Dark Angels units within 6″.  Even though he is on foot, he can be included in a Ravenwing Command Squad which can then conga line to keep him in coherency.  The added movement from Sammael’s warlord trait will make it fairly easy for him to keep up as the unit moves across the board. Also, Ezekiel’s 2+ armor save makes him a little harder to kill than the standard Librarian.


Overall, the Dark Angels Librarian is an incredibly useful unit.  They are cheap, have the ability to effect the enemy with maledictions that can be game changing, and compliment many Dark Angels builds nicely.  If you’re a Dark Angels player and you haven’t done so already, consider adding some of these guys to your force.


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About Chandler

Sometimes I play 40k. Sometimes I drink beer. Oftentimes I do both. I host an annual ITC Grand Tournament, Come the Apocalypse GT, as well as a podcast called Come the Apocalypse - a Warhammer 40k Podcast which you can find on iTunes or the Google Play Music store.

3 Responses to “Dark Angels Review: HQ: Librarian”

  1. WestRider November 8, 2016 10:42 am #

    Seeds of Fear doesn’t actually combo with Mind Wipe. Seeds only modifies Morale, Pinning, and Fear tests, not other Ld Tests.

    DA Librarians are pretty great, tho. I am definitely a fan.

    • Chandler November 8, 2016 5:09 pm #

      I meant Terrify combos with it. Wasn’t worded clearly. Will fix it.

      • WestRider November 9, 2016 3:35 am #

        Gotcha. That one does work, and is brutal if you do manage to pull it off.

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