Breaking down 3 of the Doom Sand units! (Sirocco Conjuror/Doom Sand Archer/Firesky Wyvern)
One of my personal favorite illustrations in the game, the Sirocco Conjuror is one of several Doom Sand units that is capable of hitting multiple units at once by way of Sandstorm. On the surface, this seems like its a gamebreaker, but in actuality, unfortunately this incredibly illustrated unit fails to pack the desired punch. There are 2 factors working against Sandstorm. The first is that enemy units have to be on Desert Tiles. While this seems like it could happen often, savvy players try to keep their units on their own home tiles as often as possible, and rarely leave multiple units on enemy tiles. This significantly limits the impact of Sandstorm. If the Sirocco Conjuror is only going to hit 1 unit for 1 dmg, what is the point? Especially when there are lots of much more potent spellcasters on the Doom Sand roster that can use that 5 mana. Beyond Sandstorm, the Conjuror does not stand out. It’s core attributes are not good, and it’s 3 rank is nothing special for a spellcaster. Where the SC could be helpful is in multi-player games, where units can tend to get caught on Desert tiles inadvertantly. Generals can then simply keep the Sirocco Conjuror at a very safe distance and cast Sandstorm opportunistically. Outlaw Mage and Fireball is a better unit and a better spell in terms of attributes, abilities and spell power, and all for simply 1 extra mana and 1 extra gold.
WHEN TO WARBAND: The Sirocco Conjuror is a great example of a multi-player unit. Sandstorm is tempting, but unlike spells like Deathwave or Maelstrom, the battleground is too congested and the opportunities are too limited for the conjuror. However, in 3-4 player games, the Conjuror is a nice unit to have in your arsenal. The SC is really tile-placement dependent, so if you want to use it, focus on placing your tiles in enemy territory or on resource center areas.
WHEN TO BENCH: Against factions like Zermano and Baazaria, the Conjuror is an easy target for spells. Against the likes of Zyan or Parada, the Conjuror is an easy mark for fast flyers or long ranged shooters. The 1 damage impact of the Sandstorm is also not going to impact high health factions like Primus or Kragg, and Moonshadow’s evasion and immunity to spells make the Sandstorm spell ineffective.
DOOM SAND ARCHER:
Doom Sand Archer (DOOM SAND) (4 Gold/VP)
One of only 2 ranged units for Doom Sand and the only unit for the faction that can does not have the single use range restriction, the Doom Sand Archer can work quite well as a complimentary offensive unit. They have a little wiggle, and that Evade is just enough to make an opponent think twice before targeting them with a spell or ranged attack of their own. The fact that they don’t require mana makes them best when paired up with a spellcaster or 2, of which Doom Sand has plenty. Using a ranged attack to weaken or finish off enemies that are victim to spells is where the Doom Sand Archer shines. Any points they score outright or attacks they evade are simply icing on the cake. The DSA becomes an afterthought (this is a good thing!) as opponents often try to key in on more dangerous units and are deterred by evade, allowing them to often last several rounds.
Despite a clear role, the DSA’s gold cost is just a touch high, as the raw statistics are nothing special. The 2 rank holds the DSA back a bit from being a high impact early round unit, and the 1 health is, of course, very fragile especially for that gold cost. The flipside to being an “afterthought” is that the unit is quite easy to dispatch once it becomes a priority. That is the case for the Doom Sand Archer.
WHEN TO WARBAND: The Doom Sand Archer is a nice unit to have accessible against factions that use a lot of low cost, cheap units such as Moonshadow or Baazaria. You can also find success with them if you are planning on going spell-heavy, so pairing them with Assassin Mage, Genie Khan, or Outlaw Mage can be a big positive.
WHEN TO BENCH: Against factions where gold might be sparse, like gold-heavy Parada or Kragg- both of which will try to obtain and control gold mines, you might need all the gold you can get for more powerful units to keep pace. Both of those factions can out-shoot and survive ranged attacks from the Doom Sand Archer, and are therefore less than ideal matchups.
While Genie Khan deservedly gets the majority of the love from Doom Sand players, the Firesky Wyvern has some game-changing potential as well. 3 movement aerial units are always going to be valuable to a player, no matter the circumstance. Coupled with 3 attack, that makes the Wyvern a high quality offensive unit, capable of attacking in your opponents’ zone. Mana generation is typically a drawback, but with Doom Sand it can be a plus to feed those expensive spellcasters. The 3 movement also makes Scorchblast incredibly effective. Scorchblast packs a serious punch, and is a great way to neutralize a high health enemy. The ability really stands out because it does not require mana. With Doom Sand, any time you can put together points without exhausting your mana, you gladly take that opportunity. Scorchblast also can be an underrated finisher, so turning to the Firesky Wyvern when mana is sparse or used up is a sound strategy.
The Doom Sand trend is powerful, high-potential units (especially offensive ones) that are expensive to overpriced. In this way, the Firesky Wyvern is an exaggerated version of the Doom Sand Archer. Can be impactful, but for that price tag it might not be worth it. 7 gold, as I’ve mentioned in previous breakdowns, is my barometer of top end expense. 7 victory points is one thing, but 7 victory points for only 3 health (and no defensive abilities) is a a big drawback. This makes the Firesky Wyvern a really good situational unit, but unfortunately not a reliable unit. Despite having the same prowess and gold cost as the Genie Khan, the Genie’s upside with Wave of Blades and Teleport is arguably the best combo of spells for a single unit in the game, it can serve the role of Captain, and it generates gold.. Making it a better choice for 7 gold than the Firesky Wyvern most of the time.
WHEN TO WARBAND: The Firesky Wyvern is a solid unit to have available to battle high health factions like Ihalaban or Primus. It’s also a good unit to go with against opposing mana-heavy factions that might contest the mana pools- which limits how much mana is available to Doom Sand. Zermano falls into this category, Because Zermano has limited flying units and relatively low health units, the Firesky Wyvern is a great Zermano-wrecker.
WHEN TO BENCH: At 7 gold, there are situations where that gold is better used on other units, including against factions like Zyan or Moonshadow. Both factions have the high movement and high rank to mitigate the Wyvern’s strengths, and Doom Sand is better off using their gold resources elsewhere.
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