the difference between 50% chance to save and 30% chance to save is pretty big imo, considering they're both t3.
bloodletters won't be reducing attacks back unless they're near the end of a combat, with opposing units getting stepup and steadfast. In 7th yes, it made a difference, but that no longer applies.
then you apply the shadow buffs (which can be used at range, since your mages aren't sitting behind the unit), synergizing with the flamers.
Netlists aren't always the best, or only solution.