Hi everyone, Michael here with a review of the most twisted breed of cultist, the Hybrid Metamorphs. For more reviews and analyses, check out the Tactics Corner.
The Hybrid Metamorphs are twisted monstrosities, mutating in response to the approaching hivefleet. The Hybrid Metamorphs are a variation of the Acolyte Hybrids, with the option to take additional Metamorph weapons to boost their potency in combat. The squad consists of 5-10 models, at a cost of 9 to 14 points per model, depending on wargear (10 points base).
I would rate the Hybrid Metamorphs as Situational. They can take some potent combat weaponry, but at a cost, and are no more efficient than regular Acolyte Hybrids. They suffer from the same durability problems as most of the rest of the Cult Infantry, so will fall quickly to enemy firepower.
- Rending Claw- Melee, strength user, AP-1, 1 damage. On a roll of 6+ to wound, the attack is resolved at AP-1.
- Metamorph Talon- Melee, strength User, AP0, 1 damage. Each time the bearer fights it can make 1 additional attack with this weapon. Add 1 to hit rolls made for attacks made with this weapon.
- Blasting Charges (Frag Grenades)
- Any model may replace its Rending Claw with a Metamorph Talon.
- Any model may replace its Metamorph Talon and Rending Claw with a Metamorph Whip and Rending Claw.
- Any model may replace its Metamorph Talon and Rending Claw with a Metamorph Claw.
- Any model may replace its Autopistol with a Hand Flamer.
- A Metamorph Leader may take a Bonesword.
- One Hybrid Metamorph may take a Cult Icon.
- Metamorph Claw- S+2, AP-1, 1 damage.
- Metamorph Whip- Melee, strength user, AP0, 1 damage. If the bearer is slain in the Fight phase before it has made its attacks, leave it where it is. When its unit is chosen to fight, the bearer can do so as normal before being removed from the battlefield.
- Cult Ambush
- Unquestioning Loyalty
- Cult Icon- Re-roll hit rolls of 1 for this unit’s attacks in the Fight phase whilst it contains a model with a Cult Icon.
- Keywords- Tyranids, Genestealer Cults, <Cult>, Infantry, Hybrid Metamorphs.
The Hybrid Metamorphs are a unit primarily built for close combat. They have a similar profile to the Acolyte Hybrids; WS 3+, BS 4+, S4, T3, one wound, 3 attacks, Ld 7 and a 5+ armour save (the Leader has 4 attacks and Ld8). They have an extra base attack over the Acolyte Hybrids, but with the Cultist Knife of the latter, it works out around the same (you just don’t get the extra AP of the Rending Claw for the Cultist Knife).
They also come with a Metamorph Talon, giving them an additional attack that hits on a 2+. This is useful against opponents that don’t have a strong armour save that you need the Rending Claw to deal with, but you do get one attack with it anyway, going up to four attacks in combat.
You can swap out the Rending Claw for an additional Metamorph Talon, taking each Hybrid Metamorph up to 11 pts per model (compared to 10 for the Talon and Rending Claw). This gives each Metamorph 5 attacks that hit on a 2+, with no AP value. A unit of 10 Hybrid Metamorphs armed in this way will get 50 attacks that hit on a 2+ (with re-rolls if you take the Cult Icon).
If you take the Metamorph Claw, each Hybrid goes up to 13 pts per model. They then strike at S6 in combat at AP-1 with three attacks. This allows you to wound most enemy units on a 3+. However, combined with the Twisted Helix Cult Creed, you can go up to S7, allowing you to wound most vehicles and monsters on a 4+. This is a powerful option for the combat unit, but makes each Hybrid Metamorph pretty expensive for limited durability.
The Metamorph Whip is free, and allows you to attack in the Fight phase, even if the model is slain before they get a chance to strike. This does give you a cheaper option for taking the unit, as well as giving you some insurance against not being able to do anything with the unit before they are destroyed.
There are a number of useful Cult Creeds to help your squad out and make the best of their abilities.
I think Twisted Helix is a strong creed for the Metamorphs. Going up to S5 will help their combat prowess against a range of standard infantry models. As mentioned above, it also take the Metamorphs with the Claw up to S7, making it a useful choice for taking on vehicles.
Cult of the Four-Armed Emperor is obviously another useful Creed to take with the Metamorph Hybrids, helping to ensure that you can get into combat to use the most of their abilities. Paired with a Clamavus, and you can help improve their chances of getting into combat even further.
Bladed Cog can also be useful for helping to improve the durability of the unit, as well as giving you access to the Overthrow the Oppressors stratagem. With up to 5 attacks each, the chances of getting additional attacks with the stratagem are improved.
Most things that the Hybrid Metamorphs can do, the Acolyte Hybrids can do for a cheaper points cost and with access to more buffs and stratagems, so their roles will be limited in the army.
One useful role I do see for the Hybrid Metamorphs is in going after lightly armoured infantry models. With two Metamorph Talons, you can go up to 50 attacks for a unit that hit on a 2+. That is a large number of attacks for 10 relatively cheap models to put out. Paired with Twisted Helix, you can do a lot of damage to light infantry such as Guardsmen, Ork Boyz, Poxwalkers, etc. An outlay of 120 pts gives you a unit that has 50 attacks that hit on a 2+ (with a re-roll thanks to the Cult Icon) and will wound most infantry models on a 3+. They have no AP, so may struggle to deal with heavily armoured units, but on average will put 27 wounds on a unit of Ork Boyz, 21 wounds on a unit of Guardsmen and 11 wounds on a unit of Space Marines.
That is a reasonable amount of combat ability for a relatively cheap unit. With sufficient buffs from other parts of the army, you can increase this even further.
A Magus can cast Might From Beyond on the squad, to take them up to S6 and 6 attacks each (or S5 if you don’t go Twisted Helix), further increasing their damage output. Alternatively, Mass Hypnosis can be used to prevent enemy overwatch and give the unit -1 to hit, making the Hybrid Metamorphs safer from reprisal attacks if they charge into combat.
Once more, their durabilty is a major weakness to the unit. With only T3 and a 5+ save, they are going to fall quickly to enemy firepower and combat attacks in most cases. They can potentially function well as a unit working on the periphery of the battlefield, going after isolated units or objectives, where line of sight blocking terrain can keep them safe from enemy firepower.
The Hybrid Metamorphs have some added utility to the Genestealer Cult army if you arm them appropriately. They do benefit from not needed much in the way of support characters, allowing you to use these sparse resources on other parts of the army.
There are simply better units in the codex that can do the same job as the Hybrid Metamorphs in most cases, or can do it better, albeit for a greater points cost. They lack the Heavy Rock Weapons that give the Acolyte Hybrids a lot of their punch in combat, but can do well against lightly armoured opponents.
I do not think they are an essential part of the force, but could come in handy under certain situations and against certain unit types.
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