The Rune Priest in 40K
For a long time the Rune Priest was viewed as the Cadillac of 40K psykers. At low cost with a 4+ psychic nullification bubble and powerful unique powers like Living Lightning and Murderous Hurricane they were hard to beat.
With the release of 7th Edition things have changed. Read on as we take a look at this new version of the Rune Priest!
Mastery Level Upgrade
Unlike their Imperial Fist counterparts who are mostly dedicated to combat, the Rune Priests use their psychic powers to bolster the courage of their battle-brothers. They are selected for this role from among those who display traces of psychic power and undergo many tests, hardships and rituals to ensure their soul is pure enough to resist the whispered temptations of Chaos.
Taking this upgrade provides the Priest with a powerful new power. Storm Call is a power that allows the Priest to re-roll hit rolls on units within range and is useful in dealing with flying units.
The Priest also gets a new option with this upgrade in the form of Chooser of the Slain. This is the one that most people will auto take as it makes the Rune Priest much more effective at shooting and it can be pretty spooky against Monstrous Creatures and other high toughness enemies. However it does make the priest more expensive and as such I don’t see this as an essential upgrade to take.
A rune priest is more than a magus he is a lorekeeper and a drinker. He likes to read and enjoys a nice libation after he clears a dungeon or defeats a dragon.
At levels 6, 9, 13, and 17 you learn a new runic stance. You can enter one of these stances as an action and it lasts for a minute. You can only use a single stance at a time and you cannot enter another until you finish a short or long rest.
This power is pretty cool as it gives your priest a couple of extra weapon attacks every turn with AP5. It can be pretty useful if you are fighting some Monstrous Creatures or other high toughness stuff.
As an action you can bless yourself with a powerful runic bulwark that protects you against fire, cold, lightning, and poison until the end of your next turn. You can only use this power once per battle and you need to finish a short or long rest before using it again.
In order to become a Rune Priest the Fenrisians must undergo a series of tests and hardships to ensure their souls are pure and untainted. They must be utterly resolute in their faith and able to resist the whispered temptations of Chaos that plague all psykers. If they can, they are rewarded with the ability to wield powerful psychic powers for the benefit of their battle-brothers.
They must also be able to endure the harshness of life on the edge of the galaxy and the horrors that it holds. As such they are often clad in terminator armor, complete with a storm bolter and a wolf amulet.
For those that want to give their Rune Priest a little extra punch in close combat then the wolftooth necklace is a must. It will see your Priest hit on a 3+ in close combat and is a real game changer in terms of efficiency and power.
A rune priest’s best weapon is Prescience. This powerful casting power allows him to boost the attacks of a pack of berserk Blood Claws in assault phase.
In a terrifying display of psychic power the Rune Priest bellows an ancient curse and his frosted breath coalesces into a murderous hurricane of wind and snow. His foes are buffeted in a furious tempest that whips them from the skies and drops them atop icy Fenris’ rocky peaks.
He can also erupt into a blast of lightning, causing all units within 24″ to take an initiative test and die if they fail. And he can even summon the mighty Jaws of Fenris to open and devour all that stand in their way! The elements obey this man of war, granting him an almost godlike control over the elements. This paired with the ability to deny the witch and the wolf tail talismen save makes the rune priest a powerful choice for the Space Wolves.