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Who Needs 3 Wishes, When 1 Will Do? - A 150 Proof Guide to Na’Ba by Baalz

What happens when a pretender harnesses the power contained the real genie lamp and wishes for ascension? Not that weak sauce forgable artifact, but the lamp that pops out an animated blue genie with the power to grant that wish? Phenomenal cosmic power in an ever expanding living space! This wish granting genie has a bunch of tricks to teach you, with tons of cousins to pop out and help before taking to the battlefield personally to create mountains of bodies. Like a magically charged sandstorm you’re gonna be blowing in from every direction and never allow your opponents to catch a breath.

Before digging into the details, this guide is written using the Dominions Enhance mod version 1.63. All of the fundamental concepts can be translated to vanilla fairly easily, though obviously some of the specific details will need to be tweaked. It’s a bit longer than your typical guide as I dig into some of the relevant Dominion mechanics beyond just talking about Na’Ba, which I guess might not be for everybody. That said, let’s dig in!

The guide can also be found here.

Pretender & Scales

Let’s start by laying out a pretender to make the most of our strengths. Na’Ba has two go-to strengths we’ll be leveraging the hell out of, and each of them benefit from some specific blessings. You don’t need to get everything on the shopping list, but it’s nice to have some options to pick from. Before getting into the optional stuff I’ll start with the one thing I’ll pretty much recommend getting 100% of the time - Blood magic on your pretender. You very much want to get into blood, and have no national blood mages so using your pretender to bootstrap in is one of the highest value things they can do. As long as you’re going into blood, the Bloodrush blessing fits very nicely with what we’ll be doing.

Next, consider that you’re going to have access to a lot of very solid sacred thugs. Thugging is a bit tougher in Dominions 5 than in previous versions, but these Jinnun are plenty powerful enough to fly around conquering indies and unsupported PD, and with a bit of effort turn into some real brutes. Two very strong blessings for your thugs to consider is a fire Awe blessing, or a nature regen blessing. You’re probably not going to be able to grab both with everything else you want, but I’d strongly consider one of them. A bit less critical but definitely worth considering is getting some earth Reinvigoration as well. All of these effects can be achieved with forged gear, but getting them in a bless will let you field thugs earlier and cheaper, and in greater quantity.

The other primary strength we’ll be abusing is hellacious combat artillery, which benefits a lot from the astral Far Caster blessing. We’ll get a lot more into this later in the guide, but a 150% range on high precision combat artillery will let you reach out and touch the enemy in a way that they will be utterly unable to respond to. Reinvigoration of course is a nice boon for evocation spamming mages as well.

Na’Ba’s recruitable troops can shine if we polish them enough, but they’re more support players to your real strength so sloth is a good choice, as is turning the thermostat up to Heat-3. Not only does Magic-3 fit in really well thematically, it also is gonna work really well with the strategy laid out here. We’re going to be bloodhunting, so growth and order would be nice, but will probably be in the “cut” category when you’re trying to figure out how to afford everything you want. You’ve got a few different ways to go on pretender chassis - an Awe blessing makes many choices for an awake expansion pretender viable, or you could go with a sleepier start and pick up more of those sweet blessings.

Or….that big beautiful genie can give it all to you. Consider something like an awake Pillar of Eternal Flame to get the laundry list of blessings, with F7E4S4B4, Awe, 2x Reinvigoration, Far Caster, Blood Surge. Turmoil-1, Sloth-3, Heat-3, Misfortune-3, Magic-3, Dominion 7. This build has fairly awful scales, but leans in very heavily into Na’Ba’s strengths - which is the sort of strategy I like. Everything that follows in this guide will work with that build, but if you really want to go Baalz to the wall you can lean in even more and squeeze the same paths onto a Stone Magus chassis. Actually, let’s swap the F7 for N7 to show some range. You’ll need to bump your dominion down to an alarming 6, and squeeze out 2 more negative scales (perhaps going down to Turmoil-3, while you’ve already got Misfortune-3..a particularly expensive choice) - but what that buys you is the unique ability to upgrade your capital’s starting castle. What *that* buys you is an extra commander point, which will translate to 150% as many of the best thing about Na’Ba - your cap only Malikah. It’s a very expensive pretender, but that damn near translates to 150% more power for Na’Ba on top of a crazy good blessing. I did promise a 150 proof guide to Na’Ba, so let’s see if we can make this work.

Early Game - Expansion

We will talk more about how to manage such awful scales and midling dominion score, but before we get to that let’s talk about what we’re getting for that enormous cost. First off, your sacred Jann Guards with this blessing will make very efficient if not particularly impressive initial expansion. With these scales aim for a fairly modest 2 expansion parties in year one. Get a critical mass of your sacreds up and they’ll do well enough at punching through indies with minimal losses. Supplement with Camel Riders recruited outside your cap and just work on getting a slow roll going.

Meanwhile, that ridiculous pretender you sprang for starts researching turn one and quickly gets to Construction-2, then Alteration-3. Now it’s time to start seeing why we leaned so heavily into the Jinnun. You’ll be able to field ultra-light Malikah thugs early enough to jump right in and help with your initial expansion, around halfway through the first game year. With 2 Jann Guard expansion parties, and 2 Malikah expansion thugs your expansion suddenly transforms from sleepy to blistering. Depending on the map & vagrancy of the random indies you can often claim over 20 provinces in year one with a new thug flying out every other turn. Don’t fixate on a specific number though, a mid teens score is plenty fast - it’s more important that you’re clever about not losing your assets, and that you’re piling up gold even with those awful scales because you’re not taking many casualties and mostly only recruiting Malikah.

Note, these are ultra light thugs and you need to be selective about where you deploy them. They are next to invincible against spear wielding humans - and even do well against heavy cav so send them straight to those sweet farmlands, but you’re gonna be disappointed if you send them against hard hitting guys like barbarians or Bone tribes…who conveniently fold like paper to Camel Riders & Jann Guards. Just use a bit of thought about what attacks where and don’t just try to push through if the indie distribution doesn’t present you with ideal paths. Your Malikah thugs are astoundingly mobile, they’ll hop right over rivers & mountains and give you a lot of flexibility in shaping what your borders will look like. Take advantage of that, you’ll likely see opportunities to do things like carve off some chunks of idies to continue digesting as all the initial player borders are stabilizing, quickly jump from one end of your nation over to the other that still has a lot of available indes, and just generally be more efficient due to flexibility than the raw numbers indicate. This can be so effective in fact that you may need to exercise a bit of restraint lest you wind up with multiple neighbors backed into a corner looking at a big scary (overextended) common enemy.

Thug Template (F15 Eagle)

Build equipped with a Halberd of Might, Enchanted Ring Mail Armor, Dragon Helmet
Script Meditation, Ironskin, Attack

Early Game - Laying the Foundation

Ultra light though these thugs may be, you can reasonably field 4 of them by around the end of year 1 and they’ll clear most things. Not only does this give you very strong indie stomping options, it’s the sort of thing lots of nations have a very hard time dealing with so early. Rushing in a big multiplayer game is often a fools game, but you can easily see opportunities to cripple neighbors before they can even get their second castle up if that’s your cup of tea. You’ll probably have trouble storming any capitals until later in - but your raid game is incredibly strong from the very beginning. Instead of trying to bite off more than you can chew, leverage the fact that you recruit cheap scouts in every province and look for somebody already at war. Just chew off the back half of their territory over a couple turns while leaving the heavy lifting to whoever didn’t read my advice about rushing and is attacking them from the other end.

Hopefully unsurprising at this point, one of the first things you’ll want to put that gold piling up towards is using your pretender to upgrade your capital’s castle (only 450 gold). From this point on, you should always have 2 in the queue, virtually nothing else takes precedence. (the reason you want two is because your “remainder” commander points will only rollover if you’ve got another one in the queue). You paid through the nose for this, take advantage to the fullest. Instead of the base 1 Malikah every 2 turns, once you upgrade you’ll get 3 Malikah every 4 turns - 150 proof as we’re really gonna lean on these ladies. One of the ways we’re paying for those garbage scales is you’re going to be attacked a lot by indies. Having a few kitted Malikah stationed strategically to immediately take back anything lost this way goes an enormous way towards removing the suck from Turmoil-3/Misfortune-3. Also - don’t leave piles of mages researching outside of your forts with weak PD as roving knight bait - you’re gonna regret it when that bait gets taken!

Your labs are half price (250 gold) in wastelands, so it’s worth keeping an eye out if any are reasonably conveniently located. You’ve got two mage options that you can recruit outside forts, largely skip the Hermit Sahir (more on that later) but you want as many Karib as you can get your grubby little genie hands on and no need to wait on fort construction to start popping them out. Karib are fantastically cost efficient researchers in a magic-3 scale, cranking them out will give you a surprisingly strong and upkeep cheap research core. If possible set these up in provinces with 5k+ population as you’ll be bloodhunting there later and life is more convenient with labs in place. If you pay attention you’ll often see helpful indy mages in some provinces as you’re deciding where to plop down labs - you’d really like to find some W1 mages if you can manage, so pay special attention to Jade Amazons or fish people indies as well as thrones, but at bare minimum you shouldn’t have any trouble finding N1 mages to supplement your site searching - send a couple around early and get a small N income going which you’ll use later. You’ll have other uses for them, but damn do you want Boots of the Messenger on every one of those Malikah’s pretty feet - not only do they add to your reinvigoration, they give you farther (flying, stealthy) map move.

You’ll also, of course want to get a few forts up too. Recruiting mages outside of forts is a bit slow due to command points, so you should find gold piling up again after paying to sprinkle some labs and temples around. Now is a good time to talk about what to do with those non-cap forts as they come online. The biggest concession you’re going to make to those garbage scales is to be very sparing in recruiting those appealing looking Sahir. Sahir can be very nice, and a different Na’Ba build could certainly focus on them, but largely skipping them is one of the ways we’re gonna pay for that expensive blessing. We’ve decided to go with a smaller number of very powerful mages rather than a larger number of weaker ones - don’t worry, we’ll still have plenty. You will definitely want to recruit a few Sahir here and there for specifically forging and backup combat mages, but with this build and those scales you have to be very vigilant about your upkeep. As a general rule of thumb, once your upkeep gets to about half of your income stop auto recruiting mages everywhere you can, and only recruit stuff for specific purposes - always recruit Malikah. You’re gonna find you hit this ceiling WAY faster if you’re recruiting Sahir in bulk, and your long term research is really gonna suffer for it. Sahir are pricey mages, but they are sacred which gives them half priced upkeep, which is why I find they’re a much better goto than the Hermit Sahir recruited outside the forts. They are a little better in the lab, but more importantly they can Cloud Trapeze and lay down some great artillery fire in a pinch where Hermit Sahir are pretty much just lab mages - it’s a very nice option to have for just a little more upkeep. Just remember, any turn Sahir are researching is an inefficiency so try to just recruit enough to get your forging, etc done.

Instead what you want to work on building up is a good core of the much cheaper mages, and fold the gold piling up into more places to recruit more cheap mages. The Karib are obviously the most cost effective researchers in Magic-3, but we’re also gonna make good use of those beautiful 1S2H Mukarib - and having fortune tellers all over the place is gonna blunt that misfortune scale we picked. Mukarib are also why one of our early research targets is going to be to bump our Evo to 3 and start cranking out Arcane Probings - having at least a modest S income is critical.

Squeezing our build down to a dominion score of 6 puts us in a bit of a danger zone if any of our neighbors have an aggressive dominion push. In the early game, while you have little upkeep you need to pay back some of those design points and have up at least 5 temples relatively quickly - before recruiting much stuff with upkeep. This isn’t actually that hard with our aggressive initial expansion, aim for something like your cap, 2 additional forts with temples, and 2 temple/labs outside of forts recruiting Karib. Note: remember we’re expecting a lot of indie attacks due to our scales, so take the time to script those research mages for combat as they start piling. Modest PD + thoughtful scripting should be enough to handily stop random indie attacks from popping your temples. Once you get to Jinn Blocks (see below) definitely plop one up wherever there’s a lab outside your forts and you’ll not need to worry about the majority of enemy raiders much less indie attacks.

Every Malikah not helping with expansion should immediately go out site searching as they come out. With any luck you should be pulling into the end of your expansion phase with strong and growing incomes in F & A and some incomes of S, E, & N. I’ll refrain from mentioning much outside of your national paths which you’ll just need good luck to find, but if you manage to locate W1 mages (or establish a good trading partner) you pretty much never run out of a desire for Holy Water - which gives you a lot more options in kitting your thugs out.

Recruitables Everywhere

The first thing you’re gonna want to take advantage of is the fact that you can recruit 20 gold scouts in every province, so…do that. You should relatively quickly have scouts heading out to every corner of the map. Having scouts everywhere is super useful to any nation, but even more so to Na’Ba because we’re going to have the mobility to project our power far and quick - so long as we have the intel to know where to go.

You’re definitely not going to be able to conquer the world with Jann Guards so what else we got? As already mentioned, Camel Riders can be reasonable to recruit outside of your forts in some circumstances, their hawks spawn each combat and fly forward to soak up lance strikes as well as disrupting enemy formations so they’ll string out and hit your troops piecemeal. Camel Riders also have decent enough defense to not immediately fold when flankers get to your back lines - though they do not fare well to enemy archer fire or prolonged melee. Also, definitely don’t mass many Camel Riders to sit around, they’ve got way too much upkeep for these scales to afford. Luckily, being recruitable everywhere without a castle you can generally mass up a group as needed.

Genie Trick: The Sheikh Camel Rider commander is recruitable everywhere, stealthy, fast, reasonably cheap and generates 1-3 disposable hawks each combat. These are an excellent choice to stick cheap magic items on to support your armies. You can easily crap out half a dozen in one turn from non fort provinces, they move surprising far each turn stealthily, and having a dozen hawks kamikazi-ing each fight can do a surprising amount to trip up things your opponent is trying to do. Particularly as you’re often already going to be dropping Wind Guide consider “fire at large enemy monsters” with things like Vine Bows or Golden Arbalests. Pretty nice supplement to what you’re doing - particularly as an irregular stealthy surprise, though do expect a relatively high attrition rate when arrows, etc. start flying so don’t stick too much gear on them or field so many your opponent starts specifically targeting them.

The Wall of Doom

In your forts though you’ll usually want to slowly pile up Adite Archers as a much better alternative. On first glance these look overpriced for archers, but despite their name and those big obvious bows don’t think about these guys as archers. What they are is pretty damn tough giant heavy infantry who will stay where you put them in a nice pretty line while your enemy runs across the battlefield. Their (Flaming Arrows, Wind guided) arrows can do a fair bit of damage in the right circumstances, but mostly your mages are going to do the heavy lifting in that department and your archers are there to be a big nasty wall for the enemy to run into after trying to zig zag through nasty spells. This is the first hint of how we’re gonna abuse that Far Caster blessing - it’s not hard to set up a line of 50 range heavy infantry leaving your opponent with little choice but to charge across the battlefield while your mages do their best to turn them crispy with high precision and extreme range. I think of this affectionately as my Wall of Doom. These Adite Archers take forever to mass up, but you don’t actually need a ton to make a respectable wall. With a few castles all feeding into one army you’ll quickly get a medium sized one, then a big one, then start thinking about fielding your second one - they generally have low attrition. Note, to be effective you really need to have your archers in a line, or double line formation with your mages behind it so don’t skimp on the leadership - Jann Emir are great choices to lead them. Fire randoms can cast Phoenix Power, Flaming arrows. Air randoms can cast Wind Guide. Earth randoms can get some Earth Boots and Summon Earthpower, Rain of Stones (your archers are pretty much immune). You can of course do all that with flying in, but not at all a bad cherry to have on top of 125 leadership on a guy to herd your wall around.

Adite Archers are plenty tough out of the box, but don’t neglect some magic support as appropriate to put them over the top. Give a couple Karib one E gem each (or Earth Boots if you’re bougie) and script Summon Earthpower, Iron Warriors X4 for “archers” that have 29 protection and 24 hitpoints. It doesn’t literally happen in the game, but I like to imagine a car crashing sound when the enemy front line runs into that. If you’re facing super heavy enemy troops that can punch through that impressive line, a few Karib spamming the humble Earth Meld, along with some Sheikhs with Vine Bows will work with the auto generated hawks to stall them and string them out so your artillery can blast them at short range. Don’t forget that if you went for a nature blessing Mukarib can spam Entangle Heretics if appropriate. Note: don’t be snobby if Malikah are the only E mages available, particularly if there are already half a dozen other Jinnun dropping fire artillery. Adding earth spells may be the highest leverage thing to do even if it’s a weak path for them.

Body Ethereal is another big toughness multiplier that your Mukarib are gonna spam by default for lower stakes fights. Mukarrib have awful morale, particularly in enemy dominion so when you’re using them in combat definitely invest in something to buff it when fielding them - Dragonheart Banners are one good choice. They also tend to be the some of the squishiest things on your side of the battlefield, so either invest in something to toughen them up, or (more likely) bring along a couple extra than what you think you need. Side note - we weren’t thinking about things like Iron Warriors and Body Ethereal when we picked Far Casting, but if you put a little thought into your scripting you can get a larger spread from your buffing mages than you expect which helps with things like covering them with a Dragonheart Banner.

One other spell bears special consideration with regard to the Wall of Doom - Flame Eruption at Evo-6. This spell is really the final piece that makes the Wall of Doom almost impenetrable. Place your fire mages a couple tiles behind your archers and they’ll do a pretty good impression of a flame thrower on the whole enemy front line if it manages to make it that close. Don’t worry about trying to script it, the spellcasting AI will definitely figure this out for you - just make sure it’s researched and your mages are fairly close behind the archers.

Communion Power Moves

What else are those little S1H2 guys piling up in our forts good for other than supercharging your Wall of Doom? First, don’t underestimate how effective a handful of H2 Banishment spammers are from behind a wall of solid blockers against anybody banishable. There are also some niche uses especially with the Banner of the Northern Star, but arguably the best thing you’re gonna do with them is communion support. You’ve got easy access to Crystal Matrixes, and the sweet spot is 4 Mukarrib as communion slaves. A deeper dive into communions is outside the scope of this guide, for simplicity’s sake we’ll just be assuming the use of 4 communion slaves - which is the sweet spot of reasonably easy to field while bumping anyone holding a Crystal Matrix up 2 in all their magic paths.

While 4 is the number of communion slaves you generally want, 5+ is the number of Mukarib you almost always want because having one as a communion master is usually an excellent idea. Divine Blessing as super convenient when you’ve got a bunch of sacred mages that you want to make sure are all Far Casting. Fanaticism helps everybody of course, but also helps a lot with your Mukarib morale problem. For the bigger fights, have the master cast Power of the Spheres to open up some juicy stuff like Doom, WIll of the Fates, and Antimagic.

Genie Trick: Notice that Magic Carpets are discounted for Na’Ba down to 12A gems. Keep a few in your lab, and use them to shuttle Karib and Mukarrib to the front lines with a handful of archers each. Shove the carpets back in the lab and pull them out for the next guys moving forward. This does tons to improve your mid game ability to reinforce your armies with a steady flow of both archers and your non flying mages. You shouldn’t have much trouble keeping 5+ Mukarib with any substantial clump of archers.

So what else does this communion buy us? The real power move is those Crystal Matrixes I mentioned to drop battle winners. With a Crystal Matrix, the right random, summon Phoenix/Earth/Storm Power, one booster & a Crystal Shield/Crystal Mask your Malikah get up to F8, A8, E7 and there’s literally no combat spells in these paths they can’t cast multiple times. Also notably - most things can be cast with just the Crystal Matrix and no other boosters, which lets you field a lot more power, a lot cheaper. What you don’t want to do generally is have the communion supporting a bunch of mages spamming mainline evocations in paths the slaves don’t have as that’s gonna have a high attrition rate for the slaves racking up lethal fatigue, even with your regenerating, reinviging giant slaves - some of the most resilient communion slaves around. Having a handfull of battle winner spells communion powered though will not be a problem for them. Bring a group of Mukarrib along with your Wall of Doom to generally spam Body Ethereal & Banishment, then switch them to a communion power move when you see the right opportunity.

So what are some good power moves? All of the following are battle winners in the right circumstances. Remember, all this stuff has 150% range, which makes some of these bonkers spells double bonkers. Note, many of these spells can be cast without a communion by burning more gems on boosters and casting, but most of them are exponentially more powerful if you cast them more than once - which is gonna be tricky to do the expensive way.

  • Shimmering Fields: This is the crown jewel, and the prime goto for communion power moves - and honestly by itself justifies this whole communion strategy. AOE 50, 10 AN damage, and with 150% range reaching out nearly 40 tiles this spell can easily annihilate whole armies single handedly. Available surprisingly early for this power level at evo-7, it’s a usually prohibitive A6 to cast but with this setup you can spam it multiple times with multiple mages.
  • Curse of Stones: This is notable for being available pretty early, at Alt-4 (plus Construction-4, really). This is another one you really want to spam a few times, with the extra penetration from using high level E casters and your magic-3 scale this “easily resistable” spell will totally screw enemies on the battlefield with a base MR of 10 that need to run all the way to your back line to engage you. Cast it a few times against the right kind of enemy and your battle is pretty much already won with few even being able to retreat.
  • Earthquake: Also available relatively early, it’s not going to hit your flying mages and your giant archers have the hitpoints/protection to not be bothered. Human sized opponents, not so much. Tip - have your Mukarrib etherealize themselves before becoming slaves and between that and their hitpoints they’ll be pretty earthquake resistant without needing to give them equipment.
  • Flame Storm The other crown jewel for late game, all the way up at Evo-9. With Far Caster this has a range of 60+, pair it with a Staff of Storms (to stop most fliers) and it will pretty much make you invincible to conventional armies late game.
  • Bladestorm Will decimate elementally resistant guys without shields - like a lot of the constructs that seem like an obvious goto for your opponent when they’re having the hell blasted out of them by fire and lightning. “Oh cute, you spent the last dozen turns massing mechanical ants. BLAMO!”
  • Mists of Deception This is comically effective at getting your opponent to get good and distracted while you pummel him with long combat evocations.

Combat Evocations

What about the bulk of your guys not in the communion? That’s where that fire and lightning blasting is coming from of course! Even without those flashy high end spells Jinnun are terrifying artillery casters. The obvious goto is dropping sweet fire magic - I already mentioned Flame Eruption, but the longer range fun starts with Fireballs, climbing to Falling Fires, heading up towards Pillars of Fire and Incinerate…it’s the sort of stuff that you really don’t want to run across the battlefield into. If your opponent is fielding stuff with good fire resistance it’s trivial to switch to the other straightforward combat magic and drop the various lightning hammers down. Lightning is armor negating, and the way the math works out it still has quite a sting even on units with a bit of electrical resistance.

Let’s talk about precision. This is something a lot of newer players overlook when getting excited about casting spells on the battlefield, but blasting the hell out of empty ground is the actual impact of a fair amount of combat magic. Your average mage has a 10 precision, which usually can’t hit things until they’re pretty close - effective battlemagic generally relies on the fact that when firing at big masses of troops a “miss” is likely to still land on a bad guy when you’ve got an AOE. Ripping an eye out and replacing it with an Eye of Aiming nets +5 precision, which is usually a pretty good value for any mage doing a lot of combat duty. Wind Guide (Eagle Eyes/Aim) gives another +5, which does stack with the Eye of Aiming, and racking up the experience stars give +1 each. The difference between 10 precision and 20 precision at long range is dramatic. On the flip side, Solar Eclipse gives everyone without Dark Vision/Spirit Vision a -3, Darkness is the same thing only more so at -6 (they don’t stack). An active storm cuts precision in half for those without storm immunity. This does stack with darkness, with the minus applied before the multiplier. If you stack up everything, Jinn with a 12 starting precision, gaining experience stars quickly from blasting people, after dropping Wind Guide will have about a 20 precision, with a 25 for the snipers you equip with an aiming eye. Conversely with a storm and darkness your opponents (without spirit sight and storm immunity) will generally have low single digit precision, and be lobbing their stuff into their own troops half the time. Even if your opponent happens to have the same +50% range blessing they’re not going to be able to hit the broad side of a castle at extreme range.

I also want to take a little time to talk more about storms. The short story is that generally they’re gonna screw your opponent much harder than they screw you, but they’re not cost free and you will want to consider when they’re appropriate. Your Jinn and Ifrit have storm immunity, so you don’t need to worry about the precision impact, but all the rain makes your fire magic cost more fatigue. Also, you’ll find it fairly common that many of your artillery mages are Sahir and Malikah who do not have storm immunity. On the flip side, a storm gives all your mages access to Summon Storm Power and air magic isn’t more expensive in the rain. All in all, consider the mix of what you have and what you’re facing, and try to script your non storm immune casters for stuff impacted less by the storm when you plan to have it up (hint: a good time to consider short range spells like Iron Warriors, or 100 precision spells like Incinerate). Also remember that one of the bigger benefits to having a storm up is it stops most fliers from bypassing your Wall of Doom and dropping in directly to say hi to your mages - so it’s often worthwhile to field a Staff of Storms even if you’re not clearly benefiting on the precision front. Ha - who would have thought I’d be recommending a Staff of Storms with a mostly archer army? Storms and darkness both will largely pull the teeth from your archers, but won’t stop them from staying put and being able to soak up a lot of punishment when your enemy makes it across the battlefield. Once again, not archers - linebackers. Note: a newbie move is to project to your opponent exactly what you’re going to do way ahead of time. Instead of marching your Wall of Doom around with a permanent storm so your opponent invests in the right counters, have a scout sneaking along with your army holding a Staff of Storms and a couple Crystal Matrixes. Whip those out just for the big important battle to catch your opponent with their pants around their ankles.

Another national spell to consider is Smokeless Flame. As the description says, it’s gonna really wreck the day of anybody even if they’re fire resistant. It does damage (45+ AP) comparable to dropping a Flaming Meteor on somebody, but is much more accurate and all your Jinn can cast it. This is a prime spell to cast with the guys you invested in an Eye of Aiming for, with a 25+ precision this spell is like a large caliber sniper rifle. Wider area spells like Falling Fires are gonna be more effective at killing most troops, but having a couple snipers picking off the high value big guys is brutal. Note, even though the damage of this spell is enough to theoretically wreck face even on people with high fire resistance (like SCs), the spellcasting AI isn’t going to actually do that, which is pretty disappointing. You’ll have to dig deeper into your bag of tricks for that situation.

The options of storm & darkness, along with high precision and 150% range on your end leaves you with all the tools to control the battlefield. This leaves your opponent with a choice between being completely outmatched at long range to a laughable degree, or marching across the battlefield and trying to pull down your ridiculously tough linebackers by hand while being pummeled at short range by some of the best combat casters in the game. Wall of Doom.

Big Wizards - Hammer Time

The picture I’ve painted so far is a pretty sturdy anvil to smash your enemies on. It’s also a pretty slow one, so now it’s hammer time. While your Wall of Doom grinds forward with those slow ass archers we’re going to take advantage of the fact that all of those bad ass artillery Jinnun are terrifically capable switch hitters that also live that #thuglife. Your Jinnunn are fantastically mobile stealthy, flying, cloud trapezing fiends that can disperse out to raid where your opponent is weak, then in a flash reassemble with the main host to drop that concentrated Smokeless Fire spam we were just talking about for the big battle. With that rather expensive blessing we sprung for, it doesn’t take much to kit almost any of your Jinnun out to single handedly squash unsupported PD. That grinding Wall of Doom is like an aircraft carrier battlegroup - you’re largely missing the point if you’re thinking about it as a slow moving ship.

??Malikah??

Alright, let’s get into your top shelf lineup. The obvious star of the show is that most wonderful Malikah you’ve been furiously recruiting as fast as possible all game at 150% speed. These ladies are absolute rock stars and excell at all the things we’ve been talking about. They start out as super mobile Fireball support and light flying raiders, transition to super cost effective heavy thugs and artillery midgame, and then transition to dropping battlefield wiping spells - all while zipping around in the air not only stealthily, but even able to quasi-stealth units they lead! These ladies are possibly the best recruitable commander in the game - you will hear others claiming that title, but none can match the raw power combined with the flexibility and mobility all in one package. You also have a limited supply, and it hurts pretty bad when any of them die. Luckily they don’t have to carry the show all by themselves.

Jinnun combine the raw power of fire with the speed and range of lightning. Between our 150 proof capital recruitment and optimizing for summoning we going to have have a whole lot of flying, scary Jinnun who can Cloud Trapeze - do not just leave them piled in your capital. By and large do not be concerned with keeping Malikah busy researching - that’s why we invested in a cheap research core. Instead, move them around all over your empire so that you are ready to respond instantly to anything. Stockpile various appropriate equipment in your lab, station Malikah all over, and you can respond in strength at the speed of magic across a huge area. Whether it’s somebody sneak attacking you, or neighbor suddenly showing weakness you’ll be able to scramble your air force while anyone else would just be trying to get set up.

SC Template (F35 Lightning II)

Build: with a Hammer of Thunder, Vine Shield, Rainbow Armor, Boots of the Messenger, Amulet of Antimagic, Ring of Frost/Lodestone Amulet
Script: Meditation, Ironskin, Resist Lightning, Fire Shield, Mistform, Attack.

Now this is a proper SC. Tweak it to tailor to what you’re specifically fighting and this is an army killer. I don’t want to mix my metaphors and have this jet fighter theme going, but damn if this doesn’t feel like Thor dropping out of the clouds to say hi with Mjölnir.

I can’t emphasize enough how important it is to understand one of Malikah’s easily overlooked, and easily misunderstood abilities - Obfuscate. Obfuscate cloaks up to 25 units per Malikah in the same province, not just units they’re leading. The critical consequence of this is that you can cloak other commanders - your entire army goes dark regardless of what is in it. If you’re in friendly territory, and your group size is less than 25 per Malikah it doesn’t show up on enemy scouting reports at all. This is super powerful if you keep it in mind - particularly because it’s easy for your opponent to forget (or never really understand). I highly recommend keeping a couple Enchanted Mirrors in your lab and shuffling them around to wherever you want other people to think your troops are. A half dozen archers can look like a good size force holding your border fort while none of your real troops show up - it’s really powerful if you leverage it but I suspect most people playing Na’Ba never really get a handle on it due to the fact it’s entirely non obvious from what you yourself can see. When you’re on the march use those Enchanted Mirrors to let your opponent think your Wall of Doom is heading that-away while you’re actually sneaking up on their cap - creeping into provinces you Cloud Trapeze thugs into ahead of it. 3 Malikah can cloak up to 75 units, which is a mighty fine Wall of Doom. Surprise Motherfucker! If you play with a bit of cleverness, fighting against Na’Ba is incredibly stressful because your opponents largely have no idea where anything actually is.

Genie Trick: All your stealthy, flying Jinn zooming around are terrifically mobile, don’t neglect to cut off the retreat routes of your opponent. Having nowhere to retreat to can turn a battle from a close victory into a war winning fight if your opponent loses all those support mages from the back row when everybody runs. Also look for opportunities to cut off chunks of territories from the capital as taxes won’t be collected from territories cut off from an uninterrupted path to the capital. This can rapidly handicap your opponent’s ability to respond to you as they can be suddenly faced with 0 gold in their coffers and literally be unable to put back up 1 PD after retaking provinces.

Genie Trick: Malikah sneaking away will avoid most stuff that your opponent tries to drop on their heads. If you’re expecting a kill squad to teleport in on top of your raiders - attack, sneak, then attack again. This leaves your opponent with very few options to kill your raiders, outside of trying to out-guess where you’re gonna hit next and trying to ambush you. If you’re wearing Messenger Boots you sneak and attack up to 8 provinces away from where you just attacked, so good luck with that.

Jinn

One of the first things to consider is to get up to Conjuration-4 pretty quickly to get access to Jinns. While these guys are not nearly as tough at taking it on the chin as the Malikah they only cost 18 fire gems, are storm/darkness immune stealthy flying artillery, and they do have a different kind of hard to kill which you’ll want to lean on sometimes. They’re not going to be able to leverage the Iron Skin/Mistform/Regen combo, but they do have an “unseen” ability, which combines with their Glamour, Ethereal & good defense (in Magic scales) to make them pretty evasive in dodging their first hit. If you spend enough gems you can kit them out to raid any PD, but honestly they’re never gonna be as good at that as the Malikah we’ve been recruiting at 150% speed all game - so only do that in in pinch. Where they shine though is dancing around the things big and strong enough to cut Malikah down. Jinn are your goto SC slayers, and what you want to look to to save you when a heavily blessed giant troops get uppity.

The trick to making the Jinn effective in melee is to stack things making them hard to hit, while minimizing how much they’re getting swarmed. This is why they’re so effective at giant killing - the more people attacking them, the less effective their defenses. Think about your Jinn when you’re dropping Solar Eclipse/Darkness,or blinding the enemy (see “Avatar of Destruction” below). Also crazy effective on Jinn - Lifelong Protection. I haven’t yet mentioned it, but as soon as your pretender has got that critical initial research done and upgraded your capital, switch straight over to bloodhunting and start empowering some scouts to help bootstrap into blood. You’ll want to pick up Construction-4 fairly early for both thug gear and Sanguine Dousing Rods. (Side note if you haven’t done this before - 50 slaves empowers anyone up to Blood-1, have them forge themselves a Sanguine Rod and then start bloodhunting in a province with 5k+ population. Each successive bloodhunter comes a bit faster than the last, repeat this until you have the blood income you want steadily flowing in, then empower whatever mage you want to start spending it). It takes time and work to get your blood economy going, but is considerably faster with a B4 hunter to help get you started. Eventually you’ll be able get a reasonable amount of blood slaves flowing, and forging a few Lifelong Protections is well worth the cost.

The reason Lifelong Protection is so good on Jinn is first off they’re pulling double duty as artillery mages, and a steady stream of imps is straight up wonderful at tying up and stringing out bad guys trying to run across the battlefield at your Wall of Doom. When they switch over to slayer duty though, 2 imps spawn on the Jinn’s tile each turn with a defense of 15. These high defense imps will divert several attacks each turn, and with that defense will even often pile up over multiple turns. Without everyone being able to focus attack the Jinn - go ahead and pull up the battle log to see something fun like “Invisibility reduces attack skill 12→2. Attack roll 5 vs defense roll 32”.

Thug Template (F22 Raptor)

Build: Jinn equipped with Vine Shield, Scepter of Cleansing, Crown of Eyes, Shroud of the Battle Saint, Rabbit Foot Charm, Lifelong Protection
Script: Mistform, Phoenix Pyre, Air Shield, Fuel the Fire (give him a couple gems obviously), Attack Large.

Genie Trick: When appropriate, consider slotting in Smokeless Flame into your thugs buff routine. If you time it right that cannon will obliterate the toughest guy running towards you before you jump into melee - which can clear anti-thugs. Better believe your opponent will be investing in anti-thugs when the sky darkens with swarms of raiding Jinnun.

Ifrit

Next up is a real bruiser, and where most of your blood slaves not going into Lifelong Protections are going to be spent. Ifrit are Jinn’s big brother, are total bad asses and a fantastic value for 58 blood slaves with the setup we’ve got here. They naturally have a heat aura and fire shield (very nice to already have up when enemy fliers come straight in), have about twice the hitpoints and strength of a Jinn, and come with a sword good enough it’s not strictly necessary to forge something else for them to swing. They also have both magic and heat power, which stacks on top of your Bloodsurge blessing for some absurd combat abilities in your heat-3/magic-3 dominion. If your war veers into heavy cold/drain dominion focus these guys more on artillery duty or defense thugging back home. You can send them almost naked for light raiding, and they’ve got the same “unseen” attribute as the Jinn so you can pull the same tricks there - but if you equip them to the teeth they’re tough enough to just tank most stuff and essentially only be vulnerable to SC counters. Finally, they’re at F3 (F4 with Phoenix Power!) which makes them noticeably better at artillery than the F2 Jinn.

SC Template (A10 Warthog)

Build Ifrith equipped with a Hell Sword, Crown of the Warrior King, Horror Plate, Holy Water, Amulet of Antimagic
Script Phoenix Pyre, Mistform, Mirror Image, Attack.

In friendly (heat/magic) dominion, with a couple of experience stars this guy has an attack pushing 30, clobbering with 44 damage on a length 3 weapon - so to land the first blow enemies need to use their fear hampered morale to overcome awe, overcome a repel, take a -10 penalty to attack from invisibility against his 20-ish defense, manage to hit through the Mirror Image, manage to hit through the etherealness, then poke through his 24 protection - with Mistform capping that at 1 damage. If they do manage the feat of making his nose bleed, now they’ve just made him berserk to make all that even worse and noticed he’s regenerating 3hp/turn on top of a life draining weapon, with a 13 point Fire Shield and heat aura…with Phoenix Pyre practically superfluous. This is why we took the effort to go into blood - set up an assembly line cranking out these guys.

Note: if you haven’t managed to scare up holy water remember that any of the Karibs you’ve got all over the place can step in and drop a blessing in a pinch. You can also have a Karib drop Iron Warriors & Iron Will if you need to squeeze out an extra edge for a tough fight. That will lose a lot of mobility options, but it’s a cheap option for when you need it.

SC Template (Ohio Class)

Build Ifrith equipped with a Banefire Sword, Vine Shield, Iron Face, Hydra Skin, Holy Water, Amulet of Breathing
Script Phoenix Pyre, Mistform, Mirror Image, Attack.

Need to project your power underwater? Jinnun can be subs as well as aircraft!

Bonus SC Template (B2 Bunker Buster)

Build Fire random Malikah equipped with a Hell Sword, Flame Helmet, Plate Armor of Earthpower, Boots of the Messenger, Skull of Fire, Amulet of Resilience + holding 5 fire gems
Script Adjust the script depending on what you’re dropping this on, but something like Ironskin, Phoenix Pyre, Fire Storm, Attack.

Ok, this one isn’t really a SC, but regardless of what you label it, it’s a hell of a lot of fun to deliver from high altitude via Cloud Trapeze. You can change out the ordinance by swapping appropriate randoms & items to do Rain of Stones or Wrathful Skies as well…or more than one with multiple Malikah if you’re feeling really sassy.

Genie Trick: After all the Arcane Probing you’ll hopefully find yourself with a 10+ astral pearl income. A Leng Spider summoned by your pretender can cast Awaken Magic Beings, which if you target a Jinn Warrior becomes a F2A2 Jinn. You can thus get 3 Jinn for 18F + 30S rather than 54F (if you summoned them directly), which is a little cheaper but more importantly splits the load between your fire and astral income which stops you from getting bottlenecked - an income of 6F+10S = one Jinn every turn. With some work you should also be able to get your blood income up to be able to summon roughly one Ifrit per turn (don’t overlook Erect Alter of Sacrifice at constr-7). With our upgraded cap we’re getting a new Malikah most turns. Who the hell needs to pay for upkeep sucking non-flying/invisible Sahir? You should be cranking out in the order of 30 top shelf premium Jinnun each game year.

Special Teams

It’s also worthwhile to note one important pit stop on your way to getting Ifrit. Dominions Enhanced adds the Ghaddar summon at Blood-3. You’re gonna wanna get a few of these before you shift most of your slaves into Ifrit. The worst one is the A/F one - he’s probably just gonna be a researcher though in a pinch you can use him as an assassin who can summon small fire elementals. The F2 ones are a little better as you can send them to help with artillery duty on the front lines. 50% of the time though you’ll get one of the varieties that are really worthwhile. F/B ones are bloodhunters that are half the price of empowering another scout, and more bloodhunters = more Ifrit. The F/D ones are the real gold you’ve been sifting for though. Try to nab one or two pretty early and get a death income going, first by manually searching then with Dark Knowledge. There’s lots of good stuff to leverage in D magic, but the obvious low hanging fruit are Fire Skulls and Banefire swords (giving your Jinn thugs fear on top of Awe and a strong repel is almost unfair). If you haven’t found a better option and end up with a pile of D gems just bite the bullet and spend 30D to empower once, then use Revenants to wedge all the way into D, 2-3 guys casting Dark Knowledge can net you a very solid D income.

Genie Trick: A Revenant with a Skull Staff and Crystal Matrix can drop D4 spells. Remember that Darkness is an upgrade to Solar Eclipse. On top of the precision impact already discussed, Darkness also makes it a good deal harder to hit your invisible Jinnun in melee - which helps out when things go bad and murderous angry men make it to your back field. Even if they don’t have any equipment, attacking an invisible Jinn in the dark gives a -16 penalty, and point blank evocations generally mean you don’t have to dodge for very long. Also, Darkness doesn’t impact your Malikah like a storm does, it’s a very useful option to have available.

When it’s convenient you’ll also want to swing up to Conj 6 to add Houri to the mix. Without having a body slot you don’t really want to thug with them, and they’re not nearly as attractive a price point as Jinn for artillery duty, but they do let you leverage your A gems into yet more overwhelming artillery and also add N2 to the mix - which you can do some one-off surprises with a Crystal Matrix like Clouds of Smoke. Really though the big thing is getting into Haruspex, Vine Shields, Hydra Skins, and Amulets of Resilience.

Next I want to talk about a Jinnun that I think many people will overlook - Jinn Blocks. On first glance you’re probably thinking “What the hell kind of useless crap is this?”. Once you polish that genie rock though and treat it right, what you’ll find are fantastically tough autoturrets that can easily rack up hundreds of bodies apiece, and stop an almost arbitrary number of chaff troops like undead. They are immobile, and can’t forge anything or really research, but they can preach and only cost 5 gems so consider sprinkling them along a border that you expect to have to defend at some point and just leave them preaching. They are a prime reason you can not worry too much about that 6 initial dominion score biting you later in the game - not too hard to build up a dozen Jinn Blocks along wherever you’re worried about a strong dominion pushing into your weaker one, like say Ermor or a lovely C’tis Miasma.

They’ll also handily mangle those undead hordes if they decide to roll in. How? One key thing to understanding Jinn Blocks is to note that they are Innate Spellcasters, so unlike most mages they can happily go on casting while engaged in melee. They are also fantastically tough for line troops to chip away at. The goto is to give each one a fire gem, script Phoenix Power, Body of Flames, Meditate, cast spells. Now what happens is the enemy charges forward to chip away at this 50 hitpoint, 25 protection, slash and pierce and fire and lightning and poison resistant, ethereal rock with reinvigoration that burns the hell out of them with a fire shield every time they take a swing - while vomiting a combination of Banishment and Flame Eruption at 150% range. Literally just 2 or 3 of these will destroy thousands of chaff troops like Longdead or Maenads and prove plenty painful up into heavy level troops. If you’re facing troops that have good fire resistance or particularly heavy armor, consider having a support mage cast Storm, and script the Jinn Blocks to Summon Storm power and they’ll now be blasting armor negating Shock Waves at the poor souls being marched into the meat grinder. These guys are fantastic border guards, but also make it damn tough to storm any of your castles (they can conveniently be summoned by the Karib you’ve got piled in every castle if it ever becomes sieged). They’re fantastic both at sitting just inside the gate as the welcome party you do not want to climb over, as well as putting one or two in the back row and making those flyers “attacking rear” immediately regret their life choices. Depending on what you’re facing, you can also consider giving them each a handfull of fire gems and starting the battle with a barrage of Smokeless Flames (after Phoenix Power/Body of Flames of course) - that’ll kick things off on the right note if there’s an elite vanguard charging straight into point blank range. Finally - Jinn Blocks not only have a 30 morale, they are physically incapable of retreating. Altogether a really outstanding value for 5 gems once you understand how to use them.

Genie Trick: Jinn Blocks are immoble, but the mages that can summon them are very much not. When you’re raiding all over the place with flying Malikah, consider dropping a Jinn Block or two on provinces you conquer with a lab in them before flying on to the next raid. Makes it a hell of a lot trickier to take back the territories lost to raiding. If you’ve got spare gold before your enemy has got a feel for how painful these guys are, after they’re summoned use them to pop up temples and start preaching. The preaching isn’t particularly dangerous with your dominion score, but temples popping up tend to be like waving a red cape at a bull and you can often get your enemy to run right into where your turrets are waiting for them.

Genie Trick: Your pretender brings many things to the table. Once you’ve got your blood economy kicked off, one great thing to do with him is become a battlebus. Use his high leadership to Gateway deep into enemy territory with all the slow archers you amass. No need to spend a game year walking across the world! Also strongly consider splurging 30 pearls to empower a Malikah to S2. That’s pricey, particularly after you stack an astral cap and coin on top, but having a couple astral bus drivers dramatically changes how your entire military functions. At that price you don’t want to risk the bus drivers in big fights, so just script Returning in case something unexpected happens and make sure to have other leadership present wherever you’re porting the troops to - almost no danger to the bus drivers even when they’re coming in hot for an ambush!

One last Jinnun I want to mention is a bit of a special teams player. Shaytan are overpriced for most of what you’d use them for - outside of emergencies you definitely don’t want to thug them out for raiding or risk them on the battlefield when Ifrit are cheaper and better at both those roles. Honestly, you’ll probably mostly use them as bloodhunters most of the time, and for forging Hell Swords and Hearts of Life. The really interesting thing about them though is their corruption ability. The exact mechanic of it isn’t super clear, but from the testing I did it’s effectiveness seems to be tied both to the morale of the unit being corrupted and the relative dominion strength. If you fly deep into enemy dominion you’re very rarely going to successfully corrupt anyone, but when that army with a stack of average morale mages is sieging one of your castles inside your domain you’ll be very happy to have a few Shaytan lurking around. Since you’ll still fail at corruption sometimes, kit and script them for assassination (which thankfully they’re pretty good at) and you’re really gonna wreck some invader’s plans while hopefully nabbing some nice stuff to help with your magic diversity. It really stacks up if a siege lasts a few turns with the enemy army bleeding commanders. With your weak dominion Shaytan corruptions are really gonna be relegated to a defensive tactic, but if you’re not under heavy pressure it’s not the worst idea in the world to invest in having a few of them bloodhunting as part of your national guard. You can also look for opportunities to kick off a war by trying to snag some enemy mages camped out in a border fort that your dominion is covering.

Genie Trick: Pretender → Blood Stone. Blood Stone + Earth Boots + Winged Helm on an earth random Malikah = Elemental Staff. Elemental Staff + Blood Stone + Earth Boots = every one of your Malikah can cast the Dominions Enhanced spell Become Golem. Pretender → Astral Cap. Astral Cap + Earth Boots = Key Stone. Adding all that up, after you’ve got your boosters all ready for 30E + 10S you get a 120 hp, 24 protection mage that regenerates 11 hp per turn, is immune to most things, and can still Cloud Trapeze. This is actually what you’re gonna want to drop in and cast Fire Storm, etc. with, though depending on what you’re dropping in on just your Fire Shield and extreme toughness is enough to flatten plenty of armies caught by surprise. This is particularly effective against armies that are focused on things circumvented by being Inanimate - like that huge pile of Asphodel vine critters. Watching them fling wave after wave into a 14 point fire shield looks a lot like water going down a drain, and even their vine elephants can’t trample you.

Genie Trick: Remember how we were just talking about looking for good opportunities to cut off your opponent’s retreat to good effect? Shaytan with a Blood Thorn can drop in and add Blood Rain to any battle that you want it. Another trick here is to pass out Banefire Swords and Horror Plates to a few Jinnun thugs, with another couple guys blowing Wall Shakers. (Note: use the Wall Shakers on a blessed unit rather than a scout to take advantage of Far Casting!) Between Bood Rain, Panic and overlapping fear auras even some fairly high morale armies will be running for the hills. Those hills your thugs just cut off…

Avatar of Destruction

Now it’s time to talk about fielding that cosmically powerful blue wishing genie directly on the battlefield. This gal (yes, it’s a blue woman genie even though she doesn’t look blue) has a special place in my heart, and will haunt the dreams of your enemies in a way that pompous Father of Jinn never will, while being available from the mid game on. After your initial expansions, suicide your starter prophet, and prophetize a Malikah. Not only does that make it dramatically easier to get around for throne claiming, you’re gonna build her into a nearly unkillable font of unimaginable pain. If commander renaming is enabled in your game, rename your new prophet “Pennywise”. Forge for her a Crystal Mask, Crystal Matrix, Cloud Cuirass, Ring of Returning, Boots of the Messenger and a Staff of Storms. How this works is that the Cloud Cuirass casts Mistform which will cause anything that hits you to do max 1 damage, which will trigger the Ring of Returning and send you back home. This makes it nearly impossible to kill Pennywise. The reason your opponents really, really want to kill Pennywise is because this flying, stealthy, trapezing horror who is completely undetectable on the strategic map with a map move of 5 provinces or a Cloud Trapeze when she wants to move fast seems to be goddamn everywhere and keeps murderizing everything. This is who pops in to drop Shimmering Fields and Earthquake. This is who dances in with a storm anywhere you will it, tossing out anything from Fog Warriors to Mists of Deception for your Wall of Doom. Pennywise will drop out of the clouds with a storm boosted Wrathful Skies and Air Elemental spam, or chain cast Living Fire depending on her mood. Pennywise will drop Heat from Hell and follow it up with a few Curse of Stones. When your opponent sprang for an elemental resistance blessing for his nice sacreds, Pennywise is gonna come say hi with Divine Wrath, spamming it enough to bring even high MR sacreds to their blind and diseased knees. Pennywise is a name your enemies will come to dread - which is great because Pennywise feeds on fear.

I don’t want Divine Wrath to get lost in the general orgasm of possibilities here, it’s specifically why we’re doing this with our prophet as hostile sacreds with good resistances is something you’re definitely going to have to deal with. When Ashdod or Ys is fielding high protection fire and shock resistant sacreds hitting hard enough to punch through your archers, Divine Wrath is what is going to quickly convince them critical masses of them are not what they want to invest in. Divine Wrath only affects hostile sacreds, and it’s a MR resist effect, but it’s a resist against 13 which means every time you cast it half of those base 14 MR guys in your (or any magic) dominion are going to get blind or diseased. Cast it 3 or 4 times before anybody can get all the way to your back field in a storm and almost all enemy sacred units, as well as a fair number of sacred mages will be blind and diseased. Even if they’re dropping Antimagic the attrition rate is going to be high enough that large stacks of sacreds really just don’t make sense - which is the sort of thing you really don’t want to find out after you’ve sunk all your design points into them. Blind people trying to hit invisible, mirror imaged, ethereal Jinn in the dark are going to have a pretty hard time of it - so don’t feel like this is just a hit and run tactic to bleed them with disease. Kit your Jinn with light thug gear and script them to go forth to slaughter once the enemy has a minus 20-something to attack, you can slaughter them all once they can’t see anything. Note, you will need 4 communion slaves to drop Divine Wrath with you prophet - Crystal Mask/Shield won’t bump your holy levels.

Obviously you’ve only got one prophet, but as you start piling up enough gems to equip and field multiple Malikah this way you can still do the rest of it - just rename them all Pennywise so that name will dominate the hall of fame, as well as nightmares. That Crystal Matrix adds a lot of power to what you can drop, but obviously you need some communion slaves to turn it on. We’ve geared up to have Mukarib everywhere, but if you want to add some top shelf mobility don’t overlook the Flower Charm forged item. Pennywise is not going to have slots to carry one, but she doesn’t need to work alone. It spawns 2 communion slaves, so if you send 2 Handmaidens of Pennywise, each carrying one you can cloud trapeze in with a ready made communion of 4 slaves. Use astral random Malikah or Sahir as handmaidens, and enchant them with Ritual of Returning before casting Mistform, then communion master - and you’ve now got 3 (almost) unkillable communion masters dropping in at magic speed to spam all that nastiness we just laid out, with communion slaves that are 100% expendable.

Shell Game of Pain

Next, we’re going to set up what I like to call the Shell Game of Pain. All those Jinn flying around causing havok are mages, don’t be shy about popping up a few labs deep in enemy territory where you’re raiding. You’re about to force your opponent to play a very awful game of “what’s behind door number 2?”. Remember how Obfuscate works! (See Malikah section above) When your opponent moves to retake what appears to be an empty province your Jinn snatched a couple turns ago, what does he win? One or more of these fabulous prizes:

  • Jinn Block autoturrets.
  • A Wall of Doom gatewayed in, supported by a bunch of artillery.
  • A swarm of flying killbots. Have some Malikah fly in with magic carpets loaded up with a dozen Clockwork Horrors each. Cast Mass Flight and Keen Blades and watch the hilarity of someone trying to do something like skellispam against an expected Wall of Doom.
  • Firestorm! Heat From Hell! Fire elementals! Magma Warriors! Scorching Winds! Curse of Stones!
  • Staff of Storms & Wrathful Skies! Rain of Stones! Air elementals!
  • Nothing but light PD…but before they can move out next turn custom tailored SCs jump in during the magic phase completely immune to whatever they’re fielding.

Genie Trick: Summon a bunch of Great Eagles. Have a Malikah lead them, equipped with Boots of Seven Mile Strides. You can park them along your border completely stealthed, and then can fly a totally ridiculous distance. For 8A gems, 6 Great Eagles have the siege strength of 2 Gate Cleavers as well as the hitpoints to shrug off whatever battlefield wide stuff you’re dropping if the enemy pokes their heads out the gate. What’s better than that though is investing in casting this spell a few times to build up a couple dozen Great Eagles (B-25 bombers). Cloud Trapeze a SC on top of an opponent’s fort to siege it in the magic phase, then in the normal movement phase of the same turn fly in your flock of wall breakers along with whatever it is you are going to use to storm the castle. Next turn you’re storming the castle and the first time your opponent gets to see your troops is when they’re coming through the gate. At this price point you can easily build up a few of these castle cracking squads over time.

Conclusion

Let’s tie all this together. After commanding that genie to help you ascend you take off like a rocket, expanding with the very fastest. Your gem income also blossoms quickly, and you hit first hostilities with kitted flying raiders and an ever growing, nearly impenetrable Walls of Doom marching forth, vomiting high precision fire and lighting barrages at absurdly long ranges, punctuated by communion powered spikes of earth shattering power. As you transition to midgame your carrier battlegroups spin up and launch attacks across a dozen provinces per turn, like Voltron transitioning between a swarm of independent heroes and reassembling into a devastating juggernaut when there is heavy lifting to do. Pennywise seems to be everywhere, and apparently has an open channel to the elemental planes with a power level somewhere above pretender. Lost provinces become expensive and unreliable for your opponents to retake as they keep stepping into landmines - some big enough to destroy entire armies. Those seemingly slow moving Walls of Doom start sneaking and gatewaying all over the place, setting up ambushes way larger than they have any right to be. Fortresses offer little cover as anything without a large army in it cracks far too fast for a response to be formulated. Storms and darkness largely shut down anyone even trying to shoot back at the hell being rained down from extreme range, it’s a very one sided firefight capped by a point blank beat down when they can even make it across the battlefield. The worst part is that it’s never clear what will be hit next and any seemingly empty province can contain sudden death, while assaults dropping at the speed of magic leave the opposition feeling stuck in the mud. Then the real onslaught begins. The evocations have advanced to the point that little else is needed for domination - who needs a Wall of Doom when communions are dropping in at magic speed and Shimmering Fields followed up by Flame Eruptions obliterate nearly everything without the need to fuss with melee. Smokeless Flame snipers with absurd precision are knocking off anybody tough enough to still be sticking their head up. Flame Storms are power washing the inside of fortresses like a flamethrower turned on a WWII pillbox, while blood is pouring from the sky, along with stones, lightning, and fire.

As I said, it really only takes one wish - if you make the right one.

150-proof-guide-to-na-ba-by-baalz.1601372901.txt.gz · Last modified: 2020/09/29 09:48 by naaira