So, the Cyclops Priestess: a rare Human card that for 4 mana will bless all units within one league for 48 hours. The effect of the bless is that a unit will not rise as zombies should it die while under the effect of the bless.
Is it just me, or is this basically totally useless?
The intent seems to be to apply this bless before suiciding an army into a stronger stack of zombies to weaken them. However, while thematically appropriate, with the way that the battle system and undead reinforcement work, a war of attrition is a losing strategy. Almost invariably, the better response when faced with a stronger zombie stack is to give ground, pull back and reinforce until a battle can be won.
So, has anybody found a good use for the Cyclops Priestess that I’m just not seeing?
But also, fighting battles that are doomed to failure, while in general not a good idea, can be the right play on occasion in Nightmare, when you’re desperate for Valour or an extra hour to marshal your forces at a defensible location. Very closely-matched–but losing–battles are more common than you might think, so the casualty rates can be pretty favorable, even in a loss, if you can prevent the resulting graveyard.
Or, consider this scenario (also very common in harder difficulties):
There’s a large force of Zombie Orcs bearing down on a Mana Pool. They arrive in five hours.
You can get an army of Swordsmen in place before the Zimboids arrive, but they will lose by 200 Strength.
Your ally can get one unit of Elven Archers in range of the battle in 5.5 hours, with their 200 Strength attack ready to go.
Now you have two options:
Pull back, abandon the Mana Pool, and deal with the resulting Orc Boss, if you can. Maybe your ally will get extremely lucky with the archers.
Attempt to defend the Mana Pool. If your ally’s ranged attack turns out to do at least 200 damage, you’ll win the battle. If not, you’ll lose it.
With a Cyclops Priestess available, Option 2 is definitively the better choice. You’ll have about a 50% chance of saving the Mana Pool. If you lose, you’ve still wiped out the army defending the new Boss, without leaving a large new graveyard to support it.
As for the Mana Pool scenario you outlined, it is clear that the Cyclops Priestess would be useful in that scenario but it seems a bit contrived to me.
I play pretty much exclusively on Hard or Nightmare, and based on that would consider such a situation too rare to justify a slot in the deck. In particular since the Cyclops Priest serves, to an extend, the same function (i.e. managing battlefield graveyards) and has a much wider utility.
Speaking of utility, does anybody know whether the spider trick can be done with the Cyclops Priest as well (i.e. does it eliminate graveyards of size one)?
Maybe she could temporarily stop zombies from rising? Like 12h no new zombies and 24h cooldown, for ~10 mana? If that’s too strong, simply have her reduce the nr of risen zombies by about 3/4, so you can’t just run in but it really stalls them. I’m thinking it would be used much like the Wizard or elven Tree guy, but for settlements instead of hordes.
Another option: any risen zombies will leave the settlement immediately, causing a steady stream of weak units instead of hordes. Can be used well, but only if you can manage the zerg rush, and only for reinforcements.
Option 3: zombies risen from the affected graveyard cannot move for the next x hours. this timer would affect the graveyard, so after x hours all zombies are free, regardless of when they rose.
Option 4: all settlements in a 1 league radius do not produce graveyards when blighted OR graveyard size is reduced by 100. Priestess is permanently rooted in a settlement. This buff can be cancelled, and will cancel the root as well. (some units can cancel buffs i believe). Might be limited to 1-2 settlements as well.
Option 5: can stop a boss from rising, but at great cost (high mana cost, 1 time use, needs unit sacrifice or conversion back to civvies for appropriate lore)
Option 6: any zombies risen from affected graveyards move to nearest other graveyard and turn back into bodies. Might be limited to next x risen bodies.
Thats all i can think of at the moment. Hope it helps!
If you are going the route of blessing towns to prevent graveyards, an interesting twist would be to have the city inflict some modest damage, scaled by population size, before being blighted. You could call the ability Inspire Defiance or similar.
You could even have the damage scale by both population size and Valour. This could open up some interesting strategic choices for deliberately sacrificing cities to inflict damage.
Very cool ideas! Some of them are insanely strong of course (Option 4 for example would make her just an infinitely better Elder Shaman), but I like where your head’s at.
On the same lines of “affecting the graveyard made by affected units”, how about these:
Blesses all Mortal Civilians in a 1 League area. If killed, any any that rise as Immortals permanently have -2 Base Strength.
Blesses all Mortal Civilians in a 1 League area. If killed, any any that rise as Immortals permanently have reduced speed.
Blesses all Mortal Civilians in a 1 League area. If killed, their rate of rising as Immortals is reduced by 25%.
Or instead of blessing units, a more powerful option could be something like: Consecrated Ground: Blesses all/target terrain within 1 League. Any graveyards created on Consecrated Ground are subject to some penalty; e.g. one or more of the ideas above.
I agree that option 4 is quite powerful. The idea was that it could only cover 1-2 settlements, and that you’d lose the Priestess to the zombies when they get blighted.[quote=“thethanx, post:9, topic:5485”]
I also like option 4, but maybe it would be something like “Target settlement within 1 league is blessed for 24 hours, Blessed settlements do not produce graveyards”
That seems quite powerful to me. If you had 3-4 of these, you could just move them ahead of the horde and ensure they never got to blight anything. Of course, you could say the same of the Shamans.
A very neat idea. maybe you could have 1/2 of the population turn into a “militia” type of unit whenever any battle happens on that settlement. This would give the settlement some fighting power of its own, but at the cost of risking the lives of civilians, which could have been used for producing gold or more powerful regular units.
That would be quite interesting. Kind of like a reverse version of that one Troll hero (Hag or something?). She would give a buff making all the units immune to compulsion, debuffs and whatnot.
I like where you’re going with this, but I’m not sure if people would use her. I fear that she would suffer from a worse version of what the Priest has, in that their powers only partially weaken things, and thus seem a bit powerless. That debuff might be quite neat to have, but i’m not sure if players would bother with it for such a relatively small return. it’s simpler and more statisfying to prepare a more permanent solution, even if it isn’t as efficient.
This might be a nice idea. Would it be permanent or temporary?
It would be kinda hard to implement though, since we can’t bind any debuffs to terrain as far as I know.
And to give another one: Cyclops priestess targets all graveyards in 1 league radius. As long as she does not move, all zombies risen from these graveyards are sem-permanently rooted If she moves or dies, all zombies are free to move again. This would allow for a form of CC, but demand good positioning, having her tied to the location, and potentially causing a death-wave if enough zombies are allowed to stack up.
It would be powerful combined with, say, elves, but so are most forms of CC
I think to have a symmetry with the Cyclops Priest and with the Elder Shaman, she could:
Bless civilians in a 1 league area. Blessed civilians will have a 50% chance to be laid to rest when killed and not become restless souls, waiting to rise up as zombies.
So you basically get a 1/2 size graveyard if your town gets killed. Not the 100% effect of the Elder Shaman, but you can still earn income and recruit the people until they get killed. Also in a small area of effect.