4 more underused, under-appreciated units that I need to remember to utilize.
Recently, I highlighted 4 units that I thought were underrated, both by me and by others I have battled. This post takes a look at 4 more of my personal triple Us. (underused under-appreciated units) Again, this analysis is totally subjective, so if you have units that you tend to underrate or overrate, let us know in the comments!
Here we go!
SAVAGE MANTICORE (Moonshadow)
Perhaps this one is more of an example of an ability that I underuse. The Savage Manticore is a very solid unit, and 3 rank and 3 movement as a flyer is really helpful. It’s attack skill is nothing special and having a 3 defense is fine, but not great. For 6 gold, the pros of the Savage Manticore might not always outweigh the cons, but it still is useful from time to time. Piercing Sting though, makes the Savage Manticore go from “useful from time to time” to “useful almost all of the time.” Ripping apart an enemy unit’s attack attribute, especially one with an attack attribute of 3 or more, makes Moonshadow much more formidable. Moonshadow has the lowest overall/combined health attribute of any faction, so using Piercing Sting can help your other units survive. Poison Orb decreases the enemy attack attribute as well, and for a much cheaper gold cost you might say. That’s true, but Piercing Sting is much, much better for 2 reasons. Reason 1, it also does damage. The Savage Manticore’s Piercing Sting does not force you to have to compromise dealing some good old fashioned damage while also mitigating your enemy’s offense. Reason 2, it does not require mana. Moonshadow is more reliant on mana than other factions, and saving mana for Lightning Storm or Deteriorate is helpful.
I tend to skip over the Savage Manticore to try to go for flashier Moonshadow units like the Assassin Squad or Jabari Warlord. That has proven to be a poor decision in the past, because while both units have absolute gamebreaking potential, they also both have low health for their gold cost. Extending the game, being patient, and using the Savage Manticore and especially Piercing Sting to limit offensive units can pave the way for less risk in putting out a Moonshadow finisher.
ANUBITE ASTROMANCER (Doom Sand)
Doom Sand goes big or goes home, and while the Genie Khan has a better overall spell package and attributes, arguably Doom Sand’s biggest spell is Meteor Storm. 3 damage to anything (including aerial!) on ANY TILE? That is a massively dangerous spell. The Anubite Astromancer’s presence on the board alone forces your opponent to start spreading out. When you are up against low health (Zyan, Moonshadow), low rank (Kragg) or low movement (Primus) then you can really style the rest of your Doom Sand assault to pick off those far-flung units. The threat of the Meteor Storm means that your opponent really have to think about movement much more cautiously. Despite not being as skilled as other units, the Anubite Astromancer does have Spell Ward and 2 health, which enables them to survive at least 1 long ranged spell attack. Just recruiting the AA and having them chill right in front of your basecamp can change the momentum and strategy of combat.
7 gold is a tough sell in Doom Sand because for that amount you can recruit or are 1 gold away from recruiting the faction’s very best units. The low health and “one trick pony” nature of the Anubite Astromancer also forces me to look past them a lot. Like Piercing Sting, this is more about a spell that I underrate as opposed to the overall unit. All of that being said, Meteor Storm is arguably the most powerful spell in the game when you take into account all factors, and my excuses don’t justify how little I cast it!
REGAL MINOKAWA (Ihalaban)
Ihalaban has 3 units (Grand Bakunawa, Camazotz Sorcerorlord, Naga Archon) that are not only useful as fighters or Captains, they also happen to have extraordinary spells that can eliminate or severely damage multiple units. These flashy spells are what gets me. The Regal Minokawa can fly, but has no spells, it’s not a Captain, and once it’s eliminated your opponent is basically halfway to winning (or wins if it’s later in the game). No wonder I always go with those other 3 units as the featured units in my Ihalaban tactics.
Oh wait… I forgot… The Regal Minokawa is absolutely gargantuan. Perhaps the fact that I rarely use the Regal Minokawa can be easily excused if it were a ground-based unit.. but it can fly! There is nothing that can efficiently and consistently handle the Regal Minokawa one on one. The flying unit with the next highest Prowess (attack attribute + defense attribute) is the Greater Roc… and the Minokawa has a whopping 7 more Prowess! The 10 attack skill is really what is impressive. Only 2 units (Kraken Overlord, Monstrous Umuthi) can survive an un-parried attack from the Regal Minokawa. It’s totally understandable that the 12 gold can make or break you.. and even with 10 attack the aforementioned Ihalaban super-spellcasters have more offensive upside, but no unit (not only in Ihalaban, but in the entire game) has the potential to totally dominate like the Regal Minokawa… and that is a chance I don’t take enough!
GREATER WYVERN (PRIMUS)
I’ve already brought up how underrated the Greater Wyvern is and yet I STILL underrate it! Speaking of dominate aerial units, the Greater Wyvern is sort of the aerial melee powerhouse in Primus whereas the Monarch Coatl is the aerial spellcaster/captain powerhouse. In the rare case when both are on the battleground Primus is extremely, extremely hard to beat. But, let’s focus on the Greater Wyvern so I stop underrating it! At 8 gold it’s quite expensive, but the 6 attack and 3 movement is worth it. Not a lot of aerial units are going to survive one on one with the Greater Wyvern... and neither will a lot of ground units. Many aerial units have a target painted on their back as soon as they land-but Stealth on jungle spaces (Primus’ home terrain) enables the Greater Wyvern to avoid ground melee fighters almost as equally effectively as if it were in the air. Oh, and then it also reduces melee damage by 1 via Spikeskin. This makes the Greater Wyvern one of the most balanced, high level point scorers out there.
I don’t play the Greater Wyvern as much as I should because I lean towards using the Monarch Coatl and pairing it with one of Primus’ big ground units like Amazon Champion or Jungle River Kraken. Thus, I rarely have enough gold to circle back to the GW. However, I can make a strong case that the Greater Wyvern can be a better point scorer than anything else in the faction, and giving it more of a role as the primary force in my warbands is something I should consider more often.
What about you??? Leave a comment!