Like with all my articles and posts these are just my opinions, so these aren't meant to be the end all be all. Just my personal experiences using the unit and utilizing them in my games.
Dodge this!!!! The Protectorate of Menoth has a variety of infantry ranging from cheap, average to expensive infantry. Out of all these units 3, standout as mainstay choices that many players love to use. The first one in no particular order is the Exemplar Errants, who combine effective combat skills and ranged attacks with a whole deck of special abilities. The second unit is the Temple Flameguard(Which I will hopefully write about in the future), which provide a nice tarpit in the form of a shield wall with flaming spears. Lastly there is the Holy Zealot unit, which is quite useful and potentially devastating to your opponent. The ability to have an entire 10 man unit throw grenades at the enemy will always have tactical value, and while some may choose other units for certain reasons, the zealots will always be used for one.....blowing up your enemy into tiny pieces.
Looking at the unit's stat card here, I can say that nothing about their basic stats is really worth bragging about, because most of their stats are below average. They have mat and rat 4, def 12 and arm 12, so at first glance its easy to see how fragile this unit can be. But what is worth mentioning is that they have Spd 6, which is normal for this kind of unit, but because this is Menoth, buffs will make these guys very mobile. The unit is really cheap in pts coming at 4pts for a min of 6 guys and 6pts for a full 10 man unit. The unit has a great ability in the form of prayers that they can sing once a turn. Fervor grants this unit 2+ to all their attack and damage rolls, effectively making their mat and rat 6, and now their grenades are 14, meaning they can possibly damage anything. The Warding Prayer, grants the unit the ability to not be targetted by enemy spells, which automatically makes them more survivable. Looking at the grenades, they have critical fire so there is the possibiltiy for some fire damage goodness. The grenades are only range 5 meaning you need to get dangerously close to use them. So here in lies the greatest strength and weakness of the zealots, on one hand you have the potential to splash multiple AoE 3 fire death onto the enemy, but on the other hand you have to risk being in charge range and/or suffer multiple turns of long range shooting. Having def and arm 12 doesn't help this much either meaning you need to deploy this unit properly in order to get the most out of it.
But thankfully the Holy Zealots do have one thing going for them and in a real big way, their Unit attachment the Monolith Bearer. This UA is absolutely amazing, it grants the unit Fearless, meaning that this unit won't be running away anytime soon. Next if a zealot dies from an enemy attack the unit automatically recieves 4+ armour, affectively boosting them all up to arm 16. The last and most important ability that this unit has is it's mini feat "Greater Destiny" which makes the unit invulunrable to all damage, excluding spells and feats, but if you have the prayer of warding on; with a few exceptions the only way your opponent can deal with this unit is with their feat(Unless they have spells that don't require a model to target or spells that can bounce like chain lighting) This mini feat lasts for one turn, but it can allow you many opportunities to get those grenades off and to even bog down an objective.
The downsides to this unit that haven't been mentioned already? Well the Monolith Bearer is an officier meaning if he dies then the monolith is lost, also he has no grenades. Like all one wound infantry however, the zealots still can fall prey to any beserkering or multiple attacking models or solos. Also any warjack can trample over them and because zealots have no reach or any actual fighting strengths, they won't scratch the paint job.
So how can you get the most out of the zealots then? Well several Menoth warcasters have some decent syngeries with the zealots, vindictious comes to mind being able to use true path to boost their movement allowing them to run 14 inchs and walk 8 inchs to throw their bombs. Harby can also boost their speed and allow this unit to quickly advance up the field. The Testament of Menoth and the High Reclaimer can use zealots to gain cheap soul tokens to boost their warjacks and spells. Even in lists were they is no direct syngeries, they provide the ability to spam AoE's in any Menoth list, in addition to any sprays or other templates the battle group can provide. Any warcaster with a defensive buff can extend the lifespan of this unit with spells like defenders ward or ashen veil. There are several ways to run and utilize the zealots and truthfully their is no perfect way to use them, I've tried using multiple small units without the Ua and they are a flanking second wave unit. They can be a small unit with the Ua, which isn't optimal, but can still be a small speed bump for your opponent and finally taking a giant unit of 10 with the Ua for a powerful unit that can't be removed easily.
The Holy Zealots, 8pts of infantry removal at your service.
Till Next Time