Breaking down 3 of the Zyan units! (Zyan Hoplite/Royal Titan/Regal Pegasus)
Zyan’s massive army in Graviterrus is anchored by it’s endless supply of foot soldiers. The Zyan Hoplite encapsulates this along with a few other units on the Zyan roster. The Zyan Hoplite might not stand out at first glance, but there is a lot to like about this cheap soldier. One important detail is that the ZH generates Gold. One of the several reasons Zyan is the best faction at stockpiling and recovering gold is because they have low cost units that will re-coup their gold costs simply by surviving a couple of rounds. The Hoplite is one of those units. Outside of that, the Zyan Hoplite’s 2 attack attribute is often overlooked but really impactful. Of all the units that cost 2 or less gold in the game, the ZH is the only one with a 2 damage melee attack. This makes the Hoplite a really good Vanguard unit and nice extra hack to proliferate damage high health enemies. Overall, the Zyan Hoplite is a great value unit.
1 health with no defensive abilities is 1 health with no defensive abilities, no matter how you slice it. This does make the Zyan Hoplite an easy 2 points for your opposition. Make sure that when moving the Hoplite you keep from interfering with the movement paths of better units. Sometimes Zyan floods the battleground with a lot of cheap units (a good strategy!) but those smaller units can get in the way of Zyan’s finishers.
WHEN TO WARBAND: The ZH is a great extra weapon in any battle that is going to see a lot of melee combat, so against Kragg and Primus it can be really helpful.
WHEN TO BENCH: 1 health can be picked off from afar, and therefore Parada and Baazaria (among others) could make the Zyan Hoplite’s time on the battleground brief.
Royal Titan (ZYAN) (12 Gold/VP)
The Royal Titan– from a strictly attributes and abilities standpoint- is the best raw melee fighter in the game. The Titan splits skulls with a pure 7 damage, that cannot be blocked or lessened thanks to Overpower. This makes the Royal Titan a great “monster slayer” and point scorer, carving up big health units that often have Natural Toughness. When it comes to receiving melee damage, the Royal Titan more often than not will Parry it away…Parry 4 usually is not worth the chance, especially for anything lower in the rank cycle and with 7 or less health (which happens to only be 8 units in the game- and only one – Grand Bakunawa– has a 3 rank). This essentially means the Titan will wipe out anything that steps towards them and gets Parried. The Royal Titan also can be a Captain, although it is such a good fighter, that Captain bonus is mostly used to help break ties- a Zyan specialty. The Royal Titan also benefits quite a lot from this.. Zyan’s Captains give them a lot of tie-breaking advantages and command opportunities, which helps the RT get to the frontline early in the round.
Now for my hot take (which I know a lot of players disagree with!)-The Royal Titan is not a top tier unit. Despite being an undisputed powerhouse melee unit, it’s not unstoppable for range/spell based factions. They can volley a couple of attacks, and whittle down that 7 health from afar. That is not the reason I find the Titan not be elite though. After all, not a lot of units can handle 7 damage. The reason I have a hard time putting the Titan into any sort of best unit list is it’s whopping 12 gold cost. If the Titan were 8 or 9 or even 10 gold, I’d say it’s a top 5-10 unit in the game. But in reality, the 12 points your opponent can score without ever having to deal with it face to face makes it a liability at times. Due to the average movement, it needs to be moved tactfully to get to the front line without sustaining too much damage. Even though Zyan is great at racking up gold, 12 gold is going to be a big, big hit in resources- often leaving little available to recruit a couple of ground support units to soak up some spells and ranged attacks as they escort the Royal Titan to the front line. As a 12 point unit, opponents are often going to zero in on it immediately, and with the right units, the Royal Titan can be eliminated for 12 titanic (pun intended) opponent victory points without scoring.
Regal Pegasus (ZYAN) (4 Gold/VP)
All of Zyan’s other flying units are Captains, making the Regal Pegasus sort of the “forgotten flyer” for the faction. Regal Pegasus still fits the mold of the preferred Zyan unit. Good movement, Aerial and affordable. It’s actually Zyan’s cheapest Aerial unit and it does not compromise that 3 movement. With a solid prowess for it’s cost the Regal Pegasus makes for a good Vanguard unit and corner resource center captor. It’s not going to rule the skies on it’s own, but pair it with Sunfire Angel or Valkyrie Defender and it makes for a good, mobile support unit that can have a positive impact either fighting or controlling spaces.
The Regal Pegasus does have it’s limitations. Outside of it’s good movement, there is nothing that stands out statistically, and the average rank makes the other Aerial units of Zyan much more effective. As a 4 cost unit, there are a number of situations in which it is better to just apply that gold elsewhere or wait and recruit one of Zyan’s better 5 gold units. The Pegasus is also going to have to pick and choose where and when it lands, as it’s attack and health attributes are fine, but nothing special. Pairing it with a better, Aerial Captain brings out the best in the Regal Pegasus, but in certain situations the Regal Pegasus can be unnecessary.
WHEN TO WARBAND: The Regal Pegasus is a solid contributor as an Aerial unit against factions that are relatively vulnerable to Aerial units like Zermano or Moonshadow.
WHEN TO BENCH: The Regal Pegasus might not be the best choice against heavy hitting, high damage factions like Ihalaban or Doom Sand, as they have a lot of units that can eliminate multiple units, and if the Pegasus is in the crosshairs it’s going to be easy points for your opponent.