Breaking down 3 of the Parada units! (Elf Archer/Eloko Grand Druid/Grove Umuthi)
Elf Archer (PARADA) 3 Gold/VP
The Elf Archer is one of the most important and cost effective units in the Parada arsenal. There are currently only 2 units in the entire game with a Range attack ability of 3, so having that sort of reach across the battleground is always a positive (even if it is for just 1 damage). The Elf Archer‘s low cost makes it an ideal support shooter in range-focused warbands, which are Parada’s strength. It is almost always most effective paired with another skilled ranged unit like Elf Sharpshooter or Centaur Skirmisher where that 3 range can either wound or finish off the targets of more lethal shooters.
At 3 gold, it is obvious that the Elf Archer is not going to be the centerpiece of the offensive strategy for Parada. It can be extremely effective on corner tiles and the spaces on the far columns of the battleground, especially Parada home tiles where it can leverage ranged attacks on diagonal spaces. That said, if the Elf Archer is ever on the center tile near the center resource tiles, it’s probably as good as eliminated.
WHEN TO WARBAND: As one of the best 3 cost units in the game, Elf Archer can find a role against any faction, but is particularly useful where some extra, non-melee damage is needed. Units with high health, found in Kragg, Primus or Ihalaban, can cause problems for Parada if they survive the inital barrage of arrows. Elf Archer adds an arrow to that barrage without costing too much.
WHEN TO BENCH: Elf Archer’s cheap cost makes it worthwhile against almost any Faction, but Moonshadow (Evade skills) and Zermano (long range spells) can mitigate the Elf Archer’s effectiveness by limiting the number of shots it can take or outright dodging them.
ELOKO GRAND DRUID:
Eloko Grand Druid (PARADA) 7 Gold/VP
Parada has the least amount of Aerial units of any faction, and the one that they do currently have, Yumboe Battlemage, is far more suited as a long range attacker and Captain than mixing it up in melee combat. That means that Parada needs to deal with Aerial units somehow… and that is where the raw power of the Eloko Grand Druid’s Tornado spell comes in. Tornado shreds every Aerial unit, making it a constant threat for major points, especially in 3 and 4 player games. The EGD’s high rank also means it will likely have the opportunity to launch the spell early in the round before enemies can land if they are caught in the air when the EGD hits the battleground. It also creates mind games for your opponent, as they will constantly have to evaluate when to land or remain Aerial, increasing the chance for a crucial mistake somewhere else. The high mana cost is not really a problem in Parada warbands because not a lot of units utilize mana.
Unfortunately, if opponents simply choose to not use Aerial units, the EGD suddenly becomes an overcosted and subpar unit. Jolt is a nice spell, but Parada has plenty of ranged attackers, and at a whopping 7 gold there are plenty of much better, more effective options. The Eloko Grand Druid is also one of the worst possible Vanguard units regardless of circumstance. It’s 7 points could put you in a major hole, and it does not generate gold. Opponents can then simply choose not to use Aerial units if the EGD is on the battleground early.
WHEN TO WARBAND: Tornado is an absolute Zyan killer! Zyan’s flying units cause major problems for other factions, but all except Valkyrie Defender cannot survive a 4 damage hit. Keep it in the Warband and then catch Zyan leaving their units Aerial between rounds. Then make them pay. Also keep it in the Warband in 3 and 4 player games!
WHEN TO BENCH: The Eloko Grand Druid should likely be benched if you see your opponent bench an aerial unit or 2. Against Aerial units that are immune to spells or have evade, it’s simply not worth the 7 Gold 9 Mana resource drain, so Baazaria and Primus are terrible matchups.
Grove Umuthi (PARADA) 4 Gold/VP
Parada’s Grove Umuthi provides a cheap costed and high health unit, that works best at absorbing hits and defending shooters. The Grove Umuthi’s best trait is it’s 6 health, which allows it to often survive more than one attack. When properly positioned in tiles and spaces in front of shooters, the extra cover can allow shooters an extra ranged attack. It can also serve as a bodyguard for Captains, and is decent in the Vanguard because the Umuthi’s high health can allow it to absorb damage and draw the enemy attention while Parada’s other units get into position.
There are two serious drawbacks to the Grove Umuthi. The most obvious is the movement of 1. As mentioned, it can be effective when it gets into spaces it can establish a defensive cover. The problem is actually getting to those spaces. Against speedy warbands or if there is a terrain tile disadvantage, that can be a major issue. The other drawback is the mana generation. Parada does not need a lot of mana, and although cheap, the 4 gold spent on the Umuthi is basically a sunk cost. It is not generating that gold back and it is not mobile enough to be relied on to capture a Gold Mine consistently.
WHEN TO WARBAND: It serves as a helpful defense unit against Warbands that don’t generate a lot of powerful melee strikes, like Baazaria or Zermano.
WHEN TO BENCH: Against dynamic and speedy warbands that can cover the battleground and attack in a variety of ways like Doom Sand and Moonshadow, the Grove Umuthi is relatively ineffective. It’s bad mobility also makes it an easy choice to bench in multiplayer games that have more non-Parada terrain tiles.
Drop a reply if you’ve got questions or thoughts on these units!