This article or section is EXTRA heretical. Prepare to be purged.
Ezekyle Abaddon, known as Abaddon the Despoiler to the people of Warhammer 40,000 and Failbaddon the Armless or Failbaddon the Harmless to the people of the fanbase, is Horus' successor as leader of the Black Legion and Warmaster of Chaos. He is renowned as the single greatest threat to the Imperium in the galaxy. This says more about the Imperium than Abaddon as his raging incompetence is now well known; he has launched thirteen consecutive Black Crusades against the Imperium, every one of which has failed miserably (by all we mean an overwhelming majority of 12/13). As is well known, the ruinous powers don't tolerate failure from their servants in most cases, which is why Failbaddon has been
turned into a mindless that-which-shall-not-be-named rewarded with the mark of every Chaos God. Wait what?
The only thing that makes him better than his Warhammer Fantasy counterpart is the fact that his model is relatively much cheaper in actual money terms. Seriously, Archaon costs about as much as a whole fucking codex.
Failbaddon failed his crusade for change
During the Great Crusade, Ezekyle Abaddon was the First Captain of the Luna Wolves/Sons of Horus, and Horus Lupercal's right hand man. Like most legionaries, he had a father/son relationship with his Primarch, but it extended further with Abaddon looking at Horus
as a friend with benefits like a god with benefits. When Horus was wounded on Davin, Abaddon agreed to First Chaplain Erebus's idea that they heal Horus at the Serpent Lodge. When Horus came back corrupted by Chaos, Abaddon didn't notice a thing and was corrupted along with his Primarch, gladly following him into the Horus Heresy. When Horus was killed by the Emperor, Abaddon, panicking, ordered the Sons of Horus to retreat, earning the hatred of the other Traitor Legions.
After Fabius Bile made a clone of Horus, Abaddon became enraged and ordered the Sons to attack the Emperor's Children, destroying the clone and Horus's body. After this, Abaddon, suffering great hatred for his mentor after what he percieved to be Horus' failure, declared himself the new Warmaster of Chaos and renamed the Sons of Horus the Black Legion, ordering them to paint their armour black and expunge the memory of the "failure" from their name (in a vain attempt to try and remove the stain of Abaddon's flight at Terra).
Abaddon somewhat fulfills the role of your typical, Saturday-morning cartoon villain, like Dr. Robotnik from Sonic or Dr. Wily from Megaman: He comes up with some extremely diabolical plan to take over the galaxy/planet, but ends up getting foiled by the hero EVERY fucking time, the only difference is that there will be an obscene amount of grimdark to make his defeat somewhat awesome. Despite this however, the High Lords of Terra still fear Abaddon as he might unite all of the traitor legions in a single attack that would destroy all of the Imperium......but with his inability to get shit done correctly, Angron, Cypher, Ahzek Ahriman, and a half-a-dozen-or-so nameless Chaos Lords are more likely to get this done than Failbaddon. Even Bale and Carron get more done, even though the latter is too busy shouting about METAL BAWKSES and the former too busy shouting about our favourite sorcerer.
A fan of Zoomjap it seems. And look where it got him, armless and failures galore!
He also has a model in the tabletop game.
It eats everything in front of it in close combat faster than an obese guy would eat his McDonald's supersized meal.Oh goddammit. Though after you watch this model go down in a single round to a couple of trigger-happy Tau Broadsides, it won't be fun anymore. Fucking railguns. Even more embarrassing is when he somehow manages to get murdered by a Crisis Suit in close combat. Seriously. Or loses all of his wounds to an unlucky series of Invulnerable saves when facing down any competently-done Tzeentchian Chaos Lord, who kills Abaddon for about half his points cost, just as planned.
His 7th Black Crusade was technically a "success" because he set his goal very very low this time, he basically freaked out Cadia with the threat of a massive invasion but was actually no more than a couple of skirmish runs on certain cities. Oh yeah, and once he massacred an unknown number of marines from the Blood Angels, but mostly it was to do with the fact he got an army of Khornate Berzerkers to fuck the Blood Angels over. Success is in quotes because even sending a whole crusade to target a single chapter is sad, especially when the chapter's still around at the end so yeah, it's still a failure by long-term accounts. The closest thing he can come to success is really just like those evil guys in cartoons who just laugh evilly and say "I have won!" while twirling their mustaches even though all they've managed to do is take over Wyoming or become the mayor of [[Chris-Chan|CWCVille] or something.
His 5th Black Crusade was also technically a success since it managed to wipe out 2 Space Marine chapters, but only with the help of Doombreed, the second angriest daemon entity in the universe. However all he managed to do was burn a city down, which isn't really that much of a feat since there isn't a Chaos Champion who hasn't burned some kind of major populace down either. However,this is still technically the greatest victory he has even achieved, and the most competent action of his life was basically pointing Kharn in a direction and letting kill everything in his path.
He also enjoys calling Horus a weakling and a fool, which is ironic, because Horus actually came close to killing the Emprah and caused the biggest heresy in Imperial history, whereas Abaddon has barely managed to take Cadia, which is step one to getting any fleet of value out of the Eye of Terror, all the more hilarious considering a single Waaagh! lead by Warboss Tuska Daemon-killa managed to force the Cadian blockade to get inside the Eye of Terror in order to stomp some Daemon Worlds. Even more dead 'ard factz proovin' dat da orkz iz da best, an' even da runtiest o' boyz can krump anyfing lotz more betta den any o' dem spikey boyz can! WAAAGH!!!
To his credit, Abaddon is a hilariously destructive force on the tabletop - between his Daemon Sword, Drachn'yen (which is the heir-apparent of Archaon's extremely bad-ass weapon, the Slayer of Kings), Combined Chaos Mark, and Talon of Horus rules, there are very few units in the TT game which can go toe-to-toe with Abaddon and hope to come out on top. Truthfully, most forces lack entire squads that can do much more than offer him more than a token resistance. He can be Tarpitted, but even this isn't guaranteed - his balls-out toughness and sheer volume of attacks if you roll well means he will mulch through formations in a turn or two at the most by himself. If Abaddon gets near something, that something is going to wind up raped in a matter of seconds. So, copy his statline into your homebrew Chaos Lord. And then Zogwort turns him into a Squig. Yeah. This has happened. It was tears-of-joy-worthy hilarious.
Another noteworthy method of getting the drop on ol' Abby-normal Mc'Failsalot would be to [[|Tyranids|NOM him to death with the Swarmlord]] (Or as those in the business (≡I≡) like to call it, 'Der Schwarmführer' or 'Schwarmolf Space-Hitler'.)which if accompanied by at least two Tyrant Guards, it will quite literally eat him with room left for dessert... True Story by the Way. Whoever gets the charge wins that combat actually.
As a note of mockery (and a testament to GW's abhorrent and perpetual lack of imagination when it comes to naming things), his full name is Ezekyle Abaddon... Get it? You see what GW did there? His first name is an Armenian contraction of Ezekiel, as in the Hebrew Prophet Ezekiel, and his last name is Abaddon, which was the ancient Canaanite word used for ruin, perdition and destruction (none of which seem to actually occur when Failbadon and his Try-hard Marines are involved, but we digress). Ha. Ha. Funny... This can of course be mollified, and indeed made awesome, by assuming that Kharn, Huron Blackheart, Ahriman, and all the other competent chaos lords call him "Zeke", "Abby", or some variant thereof to his face.
There's an ongoing betting pool on which Chaos Lord or Sorcerer is finally going to have enough of Abaddon's shit and Sindri Abaddon so someone more-competent can take command. Given Abaddon's progress and number of failures, it's entirely possible he'll be turned into a Chaos Spawn and.. WAIT OH GO--GRABLAAWRASDAFGSFDH
Ahem, as the previous writer was saying... and save every single stripe of Chaos the trouble of putting a few dozen Daemon weapon strikes into the douche. Most bets are on Eliphas the Inheritor, a revived Araghast the Pillager, just about any Tzeentchian Lord, Dranon of the Word Bearers, or Huron Blackheart of the Red Corsairs.
Also, it is tacitly known that Doombreed > Abaddon. Mostly because he actually succeeded during a Black Crusade and wiped out 2 chapters completely, unlike Abaddon who couldn't even do one. Fitting, considering that Doombreed, being the most ancient Daemon Prince of Khorne, is stronger than all the Daemon Primarchs combined,
and perhaps stronger than the Empra himself!! This would be true if the Emprah didn't banish Doombreed by simply telling him to fuck off and go back to the warp. <-- Word.
 Miserable Failure? Or Greatest of Trolls?
Abaddon's Black Crusades generally fail due to the same reason - and it is always the same reason. When a Black Crusade gets going, Abaddon's forces/bribe/coerce/intimidate other Chaos forces to accompany them, in a similar manner to an Ork WAAAAGH!! absorbing other Ork tribes as it gets going and building momentum. Many of the forces Abaddon winds up forcibly conscripting in this manner serve one purpose, and one purpose only - an expendable force of morons whilst Abaddon goes on to accomplish whatever the fuck his objective is, which may not be the same as what everyone else thinks it might be. Once he's gotten what he's gone out for, he effectively SINDRIIIIIIIs his erstwhile allies and leaves them to rot whilst his forces make off with cargo holds full of slaves, loot, and whatever the fuck else Abaddon was headed out for. This is, again, similar to how Orks operate - as a WAAAAGH!! loses steam, little bits will break off from the main force to do its own shit. Abaddon uses these force castoffs in pretty much the exact same way, using them to keep his enemies busy whilst his forces float back to the Eye of Terror so they can prepare for another attack.
Whilst Huron Blackheart of the Red Corsairs uses similar tactics, there's a difference - Huron doesn't abandon his followers to die for no particular reason but the lulz, an advantage which has allowed Huron to garner something precious from his troops: loyalty. It is this reason (amongst others) that many believe that Abaddon's days are numbered if Huron ever gives enough of a shit to go give Abaddon a stern talking to. That and he's stuck in the Maelstrom similarly as Abaddon is stuck in the Eye.
Whilst it can be argued that Abaddon's failures are just that - failures - especially when directly measured against the victories of the Thousand Sons during the Obscurus Purging or the World Eaters' exploits during the Dominion of Fire - a more adequate description is that he got what he wants and then leaves. In this regard, he kind of serves all the chaos powers at once - his dicking over his allies appeases Tzeentch, the death toll these little raids of his cause appease Khorne, the sheer volume of slaves and plunder they take please Slaanesh, and the destruction left in the wake of their crusades (which often end with virus bombings to cover their tracks) pleases the Plaguefather greatly.
Though even the staunchest of Abaddon's defenders will point out he's overpriced and that the arms on his model break fucking constantly. And that he generally sucks at extreme long-term planning. Tzeentch must enjoy fucking him over.
 Failure no more?
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In a desperate attempt to restore Abaddon's long gone credibility, the latest edition of the 40K rule book describes Abaddon's Black Crusades as "repeated blows to gradually weaken the Imperium as part of a greater plan" and "Definitely not 13 separate failed attempts to march on Terra, you would be mad to think that".
Thus far their attempts to fix Abaddon's reputation have been met with about as much success as their attempts to fix his arms (See below).
To elaborate: Abaddon's new plan is something called The Crimson Path. The idea is to zerg Cadia with enough daemons to destroy the Pylon network, and envelop the planet in the Warp. After Cadia, he intends to use the strategy to burn/slaughter/impress his girlfriend the whole way to Terra, by bringing the Warp to it. At the same time deploying minor warbands ahead to disorganize and plunder, kill, maim, burn, and do
bad totally sweet stuff to stir up the Warp. He is preparing for the next stage of the plan, when Cadia finally falls gets potted like an eight-ball, in the wrong damn pocket. Game Over.
It wouldn't be so bad. Ya'know, a planet lost in the Warp is not so uncommon these days. The bad thing is that Cadia has the ONLY warp-restraining system in thousands of light years(the aforementioned Pylon system). Why is this bad? This is when the vanguard of Chaos lackeys mentioned previously enters stage right. With the Warp getting
high turned into a nightmare shitstorm worse than any previous time in the last ten millennia, the Eye of Terror itself will expand at the hilariously snuff-y pain of the already plundered ravaged and raped planets. The CSM apparently NOW CAN resist warpstorms to a degree; thus making a scar where daemons will be a common sight, warp travel now more dangerous than ever. Abbadon and his brohams could advance without opposition, the "Crimson Path". Ah, and he plans to take the path directly to Terra, hoping that the Imperium, Eldars and Necrons don't get their shit together.
Although this pretty much defeats the entire purpose of controlling the Cadian Gate, that being the only stable means of passage in and out of the Eye of Terror, Games Workshop has again done the literary equivalent of shitting on proper strategy and tactics. Ehh, while it does require a war of attrition that the Imperium is good at any planets conquered cannot be retaken. Rather than just conquering the planet and then swarming out once he has consolidated his forces, they have Abaddon use a ridiculously costly, painfully slow method of advance that gets kneecapped if any planet holds him off, like what Cadia has done for the past 10 millennia. And it would certainly go belly up if he runs out of chaos space marines, which might happen if he keeps up this war of attrition long enough. It would work out on paper, especially now that the Emprah is too busy dying to really take care of as many of his worshipers as he was once able to; but if he takes Cadia this way, good job, now you just have to find another orifice to crawl out of. This is assuming, of course, that he's not just shooting parts of the eye of terror at the fucking planets, and thus not depending on being able to get in and out of the Eye at will.
This is like trying to finish one Crusade by launching fifteen more each time you take a step forward. But somehow, it's actually working. Advantage goes with nonsense strategies to the one who aligns with the Powers of Batshit Lunacy.
By the time he gets to the third planet the Tyranids will have eaten everything and Abaddon will find Terra stripped to the slag heaps, prompting him to scream in frustration until he gets stabbed by a hundred lictors. Hence the vanguard assault in multiple directions, to avoid being held in place completely in one strategically bottle-necked position while the Imperium regroups using all available resources around the Gate. (Resources they have built up for this scenario for thousands of years. The Munitorum is good for something.)
However, he actually did conquer Cadia as per the results of the Eye Of Terror Campaign but then the Imperial players threw a bitchfit saying it was a corporate conspiracy or that chaos somehow cheated (it didn't). Then GW's executives threw a bitchfit because apparently the writers aren't allowed to go past year 40999 (although it's far more likely that they were just afraid of losing their customers). So Chaos controls most of Segmentum Obscurus and Pacificus (Night of 1000 rebellions) and Abaddon and his fleet are making their merry way to Segmentum Solar but will never get there because GW won't advance the storyline.* So, I guess that means the Imperium wins by default.
Then again seeing how the Ciaphas Cain books are written about a hundred years after the 13th and everything seems fine it would look more like Abaddon failed again.
To add to the above, only the 13th of Abaddon's crusades has directly targeted Cadia, according to the 6th Edition Chaos Space Marine codex's Black Legion supplement. His first ever Black Crusade was to recover his fancy sword and cement his position as Warmaster. His fourth Black Crusade was directed against the Citadel of the Kromach on the planet El'Phanor, which was a success (and the gates of the Citadel were even broken by Abaddon himself). His sixth ended in the betrayal and elimination of the Sons of the Eye, another warband derived from the Luna Wolves/Sons of Horus that he viewed as a threat to his claim to be Horus' successor. His ninth was directed against Cancephalus, an Imperial naval base of strategic importance (which he not only destroyed, but bombed it with Cyclonic Torpedoes for good measure). The tenth was a strategic success, as he was able to assault Medusa with the help of Perturabo and the Iron Warriors; even though the Iron Hands were able to survive their siege, Abaddon and Perturabo learned a lot about Medusa's defenses and left the Iron Hands at a fraction of their original strength. His twelfth might also be considered a victory, considering he managed to acquire two Blackstone Fortresses (though it's arguable if this was his objective all along, a win is a win, pick up the chips and leave the table). Only his thirteenth Black Crusade is him directly invading Cadia, contrary to popular opinion. While he has sent forces there before then, they were primarily intended to distract the Imperium while he could accomplish his real goals.
Skub aside. The current status of the 13th Black Crusade is that the forces of Chaos have accomplished their greatest feat yet by conquering most of Cadia and gaining substantial footholds across the Eye of Terror battlezone. The problem is that this was accomplished at the cost of crippling losses to their fleets and huge losses to their ground forces. Which has left the cream of the Warp's corporeal armies trapped in warzones under constant orbital and atmospheric strikes while the Imperium redoubts are being prodigiously re-supplied and reinforced. The Night of 1000 Rebellions in Pacificus while major is hard to assess because they are almost certainly the work of Alpha Legion, who though nominally heretics have on numerous occasions enacted plots that ran counter to the goals of Chaos. Whether this was for LOLs, a genuine attempt to sabotage the forces of Chaos from within or shit-if-anybody-knows is up for debate.
 What Really Made Failbaddon?
Abaddon is clearly conceptualized as one bad motherfucker. He leads the Black Legion, which remains the largest and most coherent Legions of Chaos, he is the one that makes Imperial Commanders quake in their boots, he beats Draigo in one-on-one about 70% of the time, and his minions regularly sack Imperial worlds. So what happened?
Fucking Games Workshop and its inability to write worth shit happened.
Despite the fact that they wanted to make a dude who was the magnetic and indomitable personality that managed to get Chaos to get its shit together 13 times, despite the fact he rewrote the book on evil after Horus went down, and despite the fact that he is the #1 threat to the Imperium at large, he's little more than a joke to the fanbase except for when he's in close combat (and even then, depending if the players modeled him with arms or not). As a result of his 13 failed crusades, his reputation is a victim of the company that's trying to prop him up as a major threat. To save face with their number one "threat", GW has made him moderately more useful on the tabletop since he buffs his army and is slightly stronger, and since 6th ed. was released he's now immune to power swords as well as given a cynical attempt to salvage his reputation.
And in one story, Abaddon's incompetence was made canon. He built a massive space fortress named the Planet Killer, stuffed full of lance batteries and Armageddon cannons and Chaos Marines. Then he told all his escort craft to fuck off, and was promptly sniped to death by Imperial Lunar Cruisers with long-range torpedoes. He learned nothing from this and rebuilt it for the 13th Black Crusade.
Still, there is hope that GW will make him look like a legit threat, with 6th ed. and ADB writing up a series about the Black Legion pretty soon, Abaddon might find some face with each and every fa/tg/uy.
The Black Legion supplement does give him some of his cred back and explained what he actually did during the other 12 Black Crusades (which were actually fairly successful, albeit not incredibly so), and out-trolling a Daemon Prince of Tzeentch by taking advantage of the fact that time flowed backwards on the planet it was stuck on to deliver a message to his past self has got to be worth something. (He bet all his artifacts that he couldn't guess its true name; when he lost, the daemon prince told him its name as per the bet he made, and Abbadon was able to go back in time and inform his past self of the Daemon Prince's name before being erased by the ensuing paradox so he'd get the answer right and bind it to his will.)
A simpler way of looking at it is that Abaddon is a strong leader, albeit one with flaws. In the Heresy, he was in charge speartips (an elite assault force typically made of Terminatros), and while he certainly advised Horus on larger scale wars, he typically left logistics to other members of the Mournival, and largely to Horus himself. Thus, while he is the best warrior of the Chaos Space Marines, and perhaps the most charismatic, he is not suited to the intricacies of planning a large scale crusade. Horus himself failed to take over the Imperium, and he was said to be the greatest of the Primarchs; certainly the best warlord among them. He commanded the respect and unity of the Traitor Legions, whereas Abaddon must prove his authority by force of arms again and again. This is also backed by his own rules, he's a close combat monster but barely buffs his army (only his warlord trait really).
 The "No Arms" meme
His plan from the very beginning
While the exact origin of why /tg/ continues to depict Abaddon without his arms is unclear, these are some rumors; It all started when some drawfag made a picture of Abaddon painting, being the failure that he is he depicted him without arms and so now he fails in the ability to paint. Another is how someone posted a metal figure of Abaddon in some forum without his arms, complaining that his arms fall off/break very easily. Thus, the joke eventually caught on.
The other explanation is that Creed stole them during his invasion of Cadia, probably while doing doughnuts around him in a Baneblade, or it was Just as planned.
For all we know, a certain metal kleptomaniac nicked them from him when he was sleeping, having drawn a funny moustache on his face and left him a polite yet condescendingly trollish note and a bomb. Knowing him, Trazyn has put it in his gallery with Sebastian Thor's head and other shit in his "Body Parts of the Big and Fighty" gallery. Next up, Ferrus Manus's hands.
Another explanation points to a certain dick, who actually fought Abaddon and defeated him (in a White Dwarf issue where Abaddon was trying to wipe out the Ulthwe Seer Council but was driven off, actually defeated/killed alongside his retinue by Eldrad and his council, but 'teleported to safety'), cutting off both of his arms in the process, which further points to Abaddon's incompetency and lack of arms.
But actually, it's mostly due to the fact that his model's arms are fragile and thusly tend to BREAK ALL THE TIME, FUCK.
Recently, the Abaddon model has been remodeled in Finecast, affixing his pauldrons to his torso and socketting the arms into them. In other words, GW may have actually solved Abaddon's arm problem. (Nope, the arms still fall off like no tomorrow until the glue dries, especially his Sword arm.) Of course a pin vice would eliminate that problem, but there's no pleasing some people.
And with his arm problem solved, Abaddon can go back to (trying to) destroy the Imperium.
 Appearance in Chaos Rising
Abaddon makes a brief cameo during any of the endings, who's about to torture Eliphas for his failure to kill the Blood Ravens. For a second, it would appear that he ACTUALLY had arms, but it was later revealed by the camera crew that another Chaos Terminator with a lightning claw was behind Abaddon to act as his arms.
 Appearance in Retribution
Abaddon finally gets his big break in Dawn of War II: Retribution. He appears in the Chaos Campaign and serves no purpose than to screech about killing Kyras. The camera is conveniently positioned and several filters are employed in his portrait to avoid showcasing his lack of arms. This would explain why all he ever does is screech. At one point after Eliphas fails to dispatch of Kyras, Abaddon declares how he will make him suffer. Eliphas, no doubt unaware of his armlessness, bargains for mercy. Realizing that he can't do anything to him because he has no arms, he quickly lets Eliphas go under the guise that he wants to see him suffer.
Nurgle, Khorne, Slaanesh and Tzeentch all collectively went; 'Son, I am disappoint."
...But we all know better than that. And this is because, even with his retinue, Abaddon still could not kill off the Ulthwe Seer Council and a certain dick. Eliphas has, by this point, killed the entire Biel-Tan Seer Council with their Farseer by himself. Thus, we come to the obvious conclusion that Eliphas is probably the one who should be running the Black Legion. To be fair, /tg/ has had an ongoing betting pool on which of the Chaos Lords is going to be the first to up and try to SINDRIIIIII him, with the most common executioners listed being Ahzek Ahriman of the Thousand Sons, Erebus and/or Kor Phaeron of the Word Bearers, Eliphas the Inheritor, and Huron Blackheart.
 Abaddon's 14th Black Crusade
(Too important; moved here.)
 See also