Breaking down 3 more of the Doom Sand units! (Assassin Mage/Battle Tembophant/Anubite Battlemaster)
Doom Sand has a lot of high potential- as in scoring potential- units. Most of them also demand a significant investment of resources and can be risky plays, unless the situation is perfect. The Assassin Mage is a crystal clear example. The Assassin Mage is a specialist, designed to unleash a devastating attack on a single unit by way of Mystic Sliceblade, a 5 damage spell that cannot be Evaded. Coupled with Teleport, the Mystic Sliceblade can be used at will as the Assassin can jump to any space on the board and rip off the killer blade. When used wisely and precisely at the right time, this spell combo is a battle winner.
The optimal way to use the Assassin Mage is when this combo is going to either win the battle or take out a very important otherwise unreachable enemy unit. While enticing, using the Mystic Sliceblade or Teleport (especially Teleport) for other reasons such as teleporting to claim a resource center or knocking out a low-point unit is usually a risk not worth taking. The first of two primary reasons that the Assassin Mage is such a situational unit is that it has no defensive skills whatsoever. At 1 health with no Evade or Spell Ward they are certain to be eliminated after teleporting- unless they deliver that critical, incapacitating kill. The second reason? In order to recruit the mage, use Teleport and Mystic Sliceblade, it will cost you 5 Gold and 10 Mana. Doom Sand has a lot of really powerful spellcasters, and while oftentimes the Assassin Mage will have a great opportunity to score points, there could be better ways to use and distribute mana.
WHEN TO WARBAND: The Assassin Mage is excellent at delivering crucial eliminations against almost all factions, and is another example of “when to play” vs “if”. Watch for the opportunity to use Mystic Sliceblade to win the game or score tons of points. Baazaria and Zermano, factions that tend to stay off the front line and have low health, are factions that are really vulnerable to the Assassin Mage.
WHEN TO BENCH: Using the Assassin Mage to do anything other than take down a top unit is likely to not end very well. The Assassin Mage makes for a really poor vanguard unit and resource gatherer, despite looking on the surface like they’d be a decent option for either. Factions like Zyan make for tougher matchups, as the Assassin Mage cannot target Aerial units.
Doom Sand’s spellcasters, massive monsters, and shifty kidnappers steal the show, and rightfully so. They are what makes the faction so flexible, with the ability to win with more battle styles than any other faction. But sometimes it’s nice to have a sturdy, consistent, affordable unit that can be relied on. The Battle Tembophant is exactly that. 4 gold is a great cost, and the 5 health allows it to absorb damage. This makes the BT a tough and affordable unit that can serve as the foundation of a variety of vanguards. The Battle Tembophant is certainly not flashy and often won’t be the catalyst to victory points, but it’s going to allow other units to shine, survive some rounds, take some hits, and generate some gold. Well worth the 4 cost.
WHEN TO VANGUARD: The Battle Tembophant is a strong play against factions that do not have a lot of attack potential, including Zyan, Moonshadow, and Baazaria. It’s 5 health attribute will require a couple of attacks to eliminate, drawing enemies closer and taking up activations. This will provide some nice targets for spellcasters and bring units to the front lines for Doom Sand’s colossal monsters.
WHEN TO BENCH: The Battle Tembophant has solid Prowess, but some factions have several units that simply outright beat it head to head. Units that feature multiple big-time melee attackers such as Kragg and Primus will not be good matchups for the Tembophant.
Seemingly one of the more underrated Captains in the game, the Anubite Battlemaster is an aggresive, offensive unit that can deliver a lethal ranged attack. The Battlemaster’s 4 damage ranged attack steals the show (single use) making the Anubite Battlemaster another Doom Sand unit that has game-winning potential. The AB is not a one-dimensional unit however, and can hold there own with melee attacks. The Anubite is a capable leader as well, and works the best when analyzing the battleground from afar, making a couple of commands to eventually set up that ranged attack. Because range does not require mana, the Anubite Battlemaster’s ranged attack is reliable and available.
While being a great offensive unit, the Anubite Battlemaster sometimes has to do most of the work on the front line, sometimes leaving them in vulnerable spots. This is because Doom Sand’s best melee units are either more expensive or have more useful abilities and spells that keep them out of the middle of the action. While the Anubite Battlemaster is capable of scoring points, when they are asked to carry most of the melee responsibilities, they will not last long.
WHEN TO WARBAND: The Anubite Battlemaster is a great combat-centric Captain, this allows them to matchup against factions like Baazaria and Kragg- the former they can overpower and the latter they can outrank. Factions like Ihalaban or Primus are solid choices too, where that mana-free 4 damage ranged attack can wound or eliminate big point units.
WHEN TO BENCH: Factions like Moonshadow and Parada can be a challenge as they have the high ranked, ranged units (similar to the Anubite Battlemaster) that can neutralize them before they can have a big impact on the battle.