Breaking down 3 more of the Zermano units! (Storm Conjuror/Overlord Sorcerer/Savage Cyclops)
Zermano’s single target spellcasters are in a league of their own. With efficient mana costs and good rank, they can take over a game. Storm Conjuror is a great example. Lightning Bolt is a very good offensive weapon. 3 damage is great, but 3 range is even better. 5 mana is reasonable for that sort of damage and cheap for that sort of range. The Storm Conjuror’s rank of 4 makes it incredibly effective, because they will be able to activate first or early on more times than not, and 3 range will cover a lot of spaces. 5 gold for this sort of offensive capability is a good value. Storm Conjuror can cast Lightning Bolt twice off the bat (since players begin the game with 10 mana- provided you don’t use any other spells). With such a high rank, bolting more than one unit is plausible in most situations.
The Storm Conjuror is an undeniable glass cannon. 1 health is 1 health, and with no defensive abilities anything can take the SC out. This can be absolved sometimes by placing Zermano’s water spaces strategically. Zermano has more water spaces within their tiles than any other faction, and while the obvious bonus to that is more opportunity for Zermano’s Aquatic units, an underrated bonus is the potential to create moats and angles to protect the SC (and other spellcasters). Strategic placing will also help maximize the Storm Conjuror’s range, as spells can traverse water spaces. The other drawback besides low health with the Storm Conjuror is simply competition within Zermano for mana. Several of Zermano’s units need access to mana in order to use their spells. The Storm Conjuror provides nothing without a consistent supply of mana, whereas other units like the Zermano Battle Mage and Blizzard Elemental can bring more to the table beyond their spells (for similar gold costs). This makes the Storm Conjuror a really, really good offensive support unit, but ultimately puts a cap on their potential.
WHEN TO WARBAND: Storm Conjuror’s high rank and Lightning Bolt make it capable of activating early and stretching the board, meaning it can cut down dangerous ranged units on Parada and Moonshadow before they have a chance to establish position. It’s also a good bet to clear key units in oppositional spellcasting factions like Doom Sand.
WHEN TO BENCH: Battles that will focus on melee matchups or have units that can span the board either via universal spell (Deathwave for Baazaria) or fast aerial units that can avoid spells (Zyan) can eliminate the Storm Conjuror without much difficulty.
95.8% of units in the game when at full health cannot survive a single casting of Vaporize. That is a POWERFUL spell- and one of the most lethal overall attacks in the game. Overlord Sorcerer should be feared and respected when they hit the board. 7 gold for that kind of game changing impact is not that bad. At 4 rank, they are going to activate early and unleash some major, major pain. 2 health is not great, but it means that they can take a cheap shot or a light spell and survive. Zermano has a lot of trouble with Aerial units, so Skypierce can be useful, even if it is only a deterrent. Dominion is also helpful, particularly if Zermano can place Mana Pools on water space and use big Aquatic units to secure them. Sounds like an absolutely incredible potentially top 5 in the game unit! Well— That’s all the good news.
Don’t get me wrong- all of that is true- but the reality is that much of what the Overlord Sorcerer provides is not always practical or possible. 7 gold is a good value for a unit with this kind of rank, top-tier spell, and a couple of other useful attributes, but 9 mana is not. 9 mana is a big investment because Zermano has a lot of other spellcasters that need mana… Casting one Vaporize, which only has 2 range, can severely limit the opportunity for longer range spells like Jolt, Lightning Bolt, and Ice Missle. Those longer range spells, despite not delivering nearly as much damage, is where Zermano typically can gain a huge advantage. Where Overlord Sorcerer and Vaporize really shine is when massive health units advance through those long range spells and water spaces and reach Zermano’s really low health and terrible melee units. The Ov. Sorc. can then decimate something with high health and preserve the other spellcasters. Maybe you don’t have a lot of mana… would Skypierce and Dominion would still be helpful? Perhaps, but suddenly spending 7 gold to just poke an Aerial unit or capitalize on a couple of rounds of controlling the resource centers seems massively overcosted. The conundrum of the Overlord Sorcerer is, if you are going to use them, make sure that you use Vaporize… and if you are going to use Vaporize, make sure it doesn’t derail the rest of your units. This makes Overlord Sorcerer a high quality situational finisher and end-game play as opposed to an anchor, play any time sort of top 10 in the game unit.
WHN TO WARBAND: High health factions like Kragg, Ihalaban, or Primus and even Doom Sand make for great opportunities to use the Overlord Sorcerer to wipe out big, tough units.
WHEN TO BENCH: Factions like Baazaria or Parada are going to require some long range spells to take out units that don’t need to cross the board- and that is going to require mana. Make sure that units with spells that have 3 or 4 range have adequate mana before considering the Overlord Sorcerer .
Zermano really struggles when they have to meet enemy units in melee combat. They mitigate some of this with Aquatic surprise attacks, and whittling down enemy health with spells, but they lack in combat abilities and Prowess. Savage Cyclops is not a very good overall unit in grand scheme of things. It’s got average movement and rank and no spells or abilities. It does have a solid Prowess and generates gold… and that is exactly why despite not being very good overall it becomes a very important unit for Zermano. Lurking Inkanyamba is a good, tough unit, but can get abandoned as an Aquatic unit, leaving it unable to protect low health units. Quicksilver Golem is an excellent defensive unit- but can struggle to eliminate enemy tough units due to an average attack skill. Kraken Overlord? In 2 player games, that’s gonna cost you— a lot.
That leaves Savage Cyclops. 5 attack is good to push back and even score some points in the trenches, and 5 health will absorb a big attack. Simply using it as a bodyguard for spellcasters allows it to preserve their low health and generate much needed gold. While overall being below average, the areas where it can hold its own give it an important role for Zermano.
WHEN TO WARBAND: Factions like Zyan and Doom Sand will send a lot of units at Zermano’s spellcasters quickly. Getting the Savage Cyclops in a position to defend them and fight back will go a long way.
WHEN TO BENCH: Factions that can combine high rank with good movement and multiple methods of attack like Baazaria and Moonshadow will have a lot of ways to work around the Savage Cyclops, or eliminate it without much trouble.