Breaking down 3 of the Baazaria units! (Bloodreaver Wraith/Zombie Goliath/Nightfall Geist)
The Bloodreaver Wraith is an extremely important unit to Baazaria because it is one of the only units equipped to score big points through melee attacks. With a lethal combination of 3 movement (and Flying!), 3 rank, and a devastating melee attack, it scores victory points at a top-tier, elite level. As an Aerial unit, the Bloodreaver Wraith can unleash devastating attacks on both levels of the battleground, and can reach key spaces rather easily. The 3 rank helps it activate consistently before enemy high health units, and also enables Baazaria’s captains the freedom to use their command elsewhere.
Turbo-charged by the movement and rank, the BRW’s high damage attacks become very reliable. Despite only 2 health, it’s not as delicate as you’d think. 4 Evade is usually going to waste some spell/ranged unit activations, as opponents take the chance due to the immense threat the BWR presents. Aerial of course takes away the threat of a big ground unit dispatching the wraith and it’s low health total with a melee hit. The Bloodreaver Wraith is the ultimate point-scorer for the Baazaria Asanbosam/Wraiths strategy. The Asanbosam use their good speed and the Agility ability, to spread the board and press a fast, aggressive attack. The Bloodreaver Wraith becomes the chief point-scorer for Baazaria players who prefer to play this way because it has the highest attack damage and can keep up with 3 movement. It also is a huge threat to any enemy flying unit that takes to the skies to avoid blocking the Asanbosam on the ground below. It is one of the best “range killers” in the game, as it’s able to fly quickly into enemy territory, often unscathed thanks to Evade and rip apart a low health shooter, spell-caster or Captain camping on the backline.
Another area where the BWR shines is when paired with the board controlling, defensive minded Zombies and Deathstorm Lich. It plays the role of tempo changer and/or finisher perfectly. When enemies finally grind down the zombies and approach the Lich or the basecamp, zooming the Wraith out of the basecamp to wipe out an enemy during the reinforcement phase (then again at the beginning due to the Lich’s high Rank-through a command!) changes the momentum immediately. The Bloodreaver Wraith can demolish an entire enemy force this way, especially if there is an opportunity for a Frenzy attack sequence. Enemies can tend to get too bunched trying to hunt down the Lich or tag-teaming a regenerating zombie. Between Faction fit, Aerial movement, Evade, and lastly but most importantly excellent offensive skills, the Bloodreaver Wraith is an elite unit.
WHEN TO WARBAND: I tend to include the Bloodreaver Wraith in just about all of my Baazaria Warbands, since it fits in well in most Baazaria strategies. It’s also a desperately needed offensive unit in a faction that otherwise lacks significantly in that area.
WHEN TO BENCH: Parada’s Elf Sharpshooter and Precision are something to watch out for, as it can ignore the Evade ability and take out the Wraith with a single shot, and also being aware of Zyan and Doom Sand, as they have several fast, affordable flyers that can deliver lethal melee attacks on the BWR. Other than that it will be much more helpful than harmful for Baazaria.
Regenerating units are a Baazaria trademark, and as the only faction that can bring units back into the fold, it can serve as a huge advantage. Zombie Goliath is one of 3 current regenerators, and has the best Prowess of the 3 at 7, highlighted by 5 health. Zombie Goliath is a good unit for Baazaria when used as a space controller and protector for Deathstorm Lich. Its high health provides an element of toughness and regenerating it can make eliminating the ZG for good a very tall task. The Zombie is equipped to take a hit, and muck up enemy advances.
When used in a control, slow paced, grinding strategy that Baazaria can excel at, the Zombie Goliath is a great addition. However, when used in any other sort of more aggressive tactic, the ZG loses some of its luster. 1 rank is painful, even with Baazaria’s abundance of Captains. This hurts Regenerate more than anything else, because even with the fresh activation, likely there are a couple of enemies that will still be ahead in the cycle. It also wastes a command to move it up in the cycle, and for 2 damage that might not be worth it. Especially when Captains like Deathstorm Lich, Asanbosam Warlord, and Kichwavore Ravager can be more impactful attacking/spellcasting by themselves. Generating gold, however, is a nice plus for the Zombie Goliath.
WHEN TO WARBAND: When I am going for board control and a “Zombie wall” keeping the Zombie Goliath in is crucial. This strategy works well against melee, low rank factions like Kragg, as well as Parada.
WHEN TO BENCH: Factions that thrive on tempo like Zyan and Doom Sand are bad matchups for the Zombie Goliath, as they can penetrate defenses and reach Captains before the Zombie wall is formed, and have plenty of mobility.
Every faction has a de-facto “scout” type of unit that has the mundane but important task of claiming resource centers. For Baazaria, the Nightfall Geist is that unit. The Nightfall Geist has some nice wiggle with a 3 Evade, so as an Aerial unit it forces that same penalty when landed. The 3 rank is also quite nice, allowing the Nightfall Geist to avoid an unnecessary command. Being Aerial, the Geist can manuever around and over enemies and also can serve as a “hummingbird” a term first coined by Afraid, which in the right situations has some tremendous strategic value.
There are a few tough drawbacks for the Nightfall Geist, however. The first is that a lot of the designated “scout” type of units have a 3 movement, meaning they can reach that crucial resource center on the middle tile in one activation. They also are more adept at reaching corner resource centers thanks to diagonal spaces. The Nightfall Geist’s average movement can be overcome by Aerial and 3 rank, but it does not allow for Baazaria players to accelerate their resource gains. That can be a particularly glaring problem for Baazaria. While powerful and synergistic as a faction, the desolate and decaying swamps are resource-stricken, meaning every piece of gold and every drop of mana is valued. Translating this to gameplay, if you don’t use the Nightfall Geist in your vanguard or early on, the chances are that using it at all in a productive way evaporate round by round, as it does not generate gold and even at a cheap 2 cost, that gold can be more useful spent elsewhere.
WHEN TO WARBAND: The Nightfall Geist is the type of unit where the value is more determined by when you play it as opposed to what you play it against. Being Aerial, it’s a solid bet to play against ground-based factions like Parada, but can fit in fine against anything.
WHEN TO BENCH: A unit that loses its effectiveness as the game progresses, it’s more a matter of “when” than “if”. The Nightfall Geist is best used in the early game. Factions with superior “scout” archetype units like Moonshadow (Vukazi Scout), Kragg (Goblin Scout) or Zyan (Zyan Infiltrator) can render the Geist ineffective by getting to the resource centers first.