Abelard Werserian is the first melee vanguard-type character that appears in the game and your most trustworthy officer. Until you get companions like Heinrix or Ulfar, Abelard will be the bread and butter of your melee damage and tanking. Here’s our best Abelard build in Warhammer 40K Rogue Trader.
Tips and Tricks for Building the Best Abelard in Warhammer 40K Rogue Trader
As you can guess, Abelard works best in the thick of melee battle, drawing attention away from your companions and you. I found that placing him within 3 cells of a crucial enemy at the beginning of combat so he can Charge them works best. This is because engaging in melee with ranged damage dealers locks them down. As a result, they can’t use ranged weapons. Furthermore, any attempt to move or use Psyker powers will result in an Attack of Opportunity from Abelard.
This playstyle works best by focusing on Abelard’s defensive Talents, as we’ll show you below, and his Endure ability. Brace for Impact is free to use, but you won’t get much ally use out of it unless your Rogue Trader is also a melee-based hero. Indeed, Abelard will be far removed from your ranged allies.
Our core ability besides Charge will be Sworn Enemy for marking our targets and gaining increased damage and defenses against them, which will be most commonly used on bosses. However, in smaller encounters, this offers one-shot potential on key targets where you can drop this, charge them for an attack, and then a regular attack. Both attacks will benefit from the massive damage increase. This combo doesn’t allow you to use Endure for defense against attacks from other enemies, so only attempt it when you are decently sure you can one-shot a key target.
As for weapon use, I prefer using Axes on him due to his Death World origin’s Talent choice. Most of the powerful Talents there focus on targets bleeding, a status that Axes can apply. As for armor, always focus on the heaviest armor you can find. Don’t worry about dodge chance, as most of our defensive potential will be from armor damage reduction, parrying, and various ways to gain temporary HP from talents.
Best Abelard Build Talents
Abelard is all about gaining temporary HP and damage reduction through Talents. This, combined with his Death World Talents for critical hit chance, make him a dangerous melee combatant. As for skills, Athletics and Carouse are obviously useful, but Abelard also starts with a great Demolition skill, making him excellent for defuisng bombs. Here’s a level-by-level build for him:
- Level 2: Athletics or Demolition.
- Level 4: Thick Skin.
- Level 5: Living Shield + Weapon Skill.
- Level 6: Sworn Enemy + Athletics or Demolition or Carouse.
- Level 7: Weapon Skill + Trusty Weapon (Boosts our Axes).
- Level 8: Atheltics or Demolition or Carouse + Invigorating Hatred.
- Level 10: Epicenter of Slaughter or Defensive Maneuvers + Weapon Skill.
- Level 11: Taunting Scream (To be used on bosses to draw aggro).
- Level 12: Weapon Skill + Atheltics or Demolition or Carouse.
- Level 13: Epicenter of Slaughter or Defensive Maneuvers. (EoS is a great talent but we’re taking it later as you won’t be getting hit that much in the early game).
- Level 14: Brutal Hunter (Can also be taken earlier if you prefer the offensive boost over a defensive one).
This Abelard build offers a smooth blend of offense and defense, where you can charge with your Abelard and sustain him through temporary HP. He thrives in crowds due to Living Shield, and if they get too close, don’t be afraid to use your Axe’s area attack.
Furthermore, there’s an argument for Dual-Weapon Combat at Level 8 or Level 10 for dual-wielding axes. This would drastically increase your damage, but I wouldn’t necessarily recommend doing so. It will make popping your abilities slightly awkward because the second attack is expensive. Still, this can make your Abelard quite a threat in melee if you can handle the awkward Action Point costs and sustain him with Psyker and Officer buffs.
Best Abelard Advanced Archetype
I find that the Vanguard is the obvious choice for a melee Abelard tank, as it essentially grants you and your allies temporary HP in combat. However, I would argue that it isn’t the most effective for two reasons. You’re already outfitted with various sources of temporary HP from our Talents that don’t stack together with Vanguard’s core ability. And the 2-cell requirement for allies to be near you isn’t effective when Abelard charges the enemy in deep melee range away from your team.
That’s why I recommend trying out the Archmilitant. Yes, the idea of this Archetype is to mix melee and ranged attacks, but that’s not necessarily the only way to get Versatility stacks. Alternating between melee single and melee area attacks also works. If you can successfully mix these melee attack modes in combat, you won’t have to use ranged weapons to proc Versatility stacks.
Furthermore, these stacks are quite powerful because they boost your Weapon Skill and once you stack enough, your damage as well. Ultimately, it’s down to preference and playstyle so feel free to try both the Vanguard and the Archmilitant and see what works for you. You can always respec your Abelard if you find that one doesn’t suit you. As for talents beyond Archmilitant, check out our best Exemplar class talents.
That’s our best Abelard build guide for Warhammer 40K Rogue Trader, including the Talens and Archetypes you should choose to become an unstoppable force. For more builds like for Argenta and other useful tips for combat, check out our WH40K Rogue Trader guides library.