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EA Niefelheim, Sons of Winter


These are all nations sprung from old Norse myth. The Poetic Edda and some later tales, combined with general conceptions of Iron Age Scandinavia, are the main sources. Vanir, Aesir and Giants are ancient antagonists in these myths. The Aesir, being perceived as gods, have been made pretenders in Dominions. Not that Vanir weren't, but they seem less so than the Aesir in most instances. As with most nations of supernatural origin, it seems fitting that their magic fades with each passing age as humans become more and more numerous. Niefelheim, Jotunheim, and Utgård are part of the history of a single nation through the ages. – Illwinter

General Overview


National Features

Races Troops Magic Priests Buildings
Prefers 3
Shock Vulnerable, Ice Resistant Giants
Giant Infantry
Sacred Giants
Boulder-Throwing Siege Giants
water 44 (Rare 5)
death 33 (Rare 4)
blood 33 (Rare 4)
nature 22 (Uncommon 3, Rare 4)
astral 11 (Uncommon 2, Rare 3)
air 11 (Rare 2)
holy 22 in Forts Giant Fortresses

The Gygjor (plural for Gygjas) get two 100% randoms and one 10% random, each with the same paths (). Thus, each of those Mages has a 45.15625% chance of having nature 22, a 7.03135% chance of having nature 33, and a 0.15625% (1/640) chance of having nature 44. Gygjas can also get death 33 or blood 33, but the former is more common on Niefel Jarls (who have a 16/45 chance of death 33 and a 1/90 chance of death 44), while the latter is more common on Skrattir (who have a 1/4 chance of blood 33). On the other hand, air 11 and astral 11 are not guaranteed on any of your mages.

The Illwinter

Niefelheim's faith is still somewhat rooted in that of the Rimtursar, and in the hope of one day awakening them. The Rimtursar are glaciers, and so Niefelheim's Dominion naturally Spreads Cold in and around its borders, with a ~20% chance of lowering the Temperature by a Scale in each province within and adjacent to it. This ends at Cold3, of course.

Nation of Giants

Being a nation primarily populated by Giants, your Longdead Reanimation will mix in Longdead Giants with normal undead humans. Why they can raise Longdead Humans in their own lands is a mystery, though they might all be Serfs from Niefelheim's enemy. The same might be true for Soulless Giants and normal Soulless.

Capitol Special Sites

Enables recruitment of Niefel Jarl and Niefel Giant
Produces 4watergem2deathgem per turn


The nation is dominated by true giants (size 4, lot of hitpoints, high strength, and maintains a decent mobility despite the armor they wear). They are very resistant to cold damage and all ignore penalty to movement form snow.

Despite being able to one-shot most humans they hit regardless of protection, they have only average or slightly above chances to hit. Size 4s can only have one unit per square (can fit in an indie human) so they accumulate harassment penalties quickly, making them actually weak to a square of 3 humans especially if they have multi-attack.

In a large Dominions 5 rework of this nation's line, Niefel and Jotun giants are now vulnerable to shock damage instead of fire. This is difficult to counter with Niefelheim's native magic access, and a straightforward way to deal with the costly units of Niefelheim's roster.

TL;DR: Despite looking big and imposing, Niefelhiem is fragile when it comes to non-sacred infantry.

For brevity, these are the traits that Jotuns and Niefel giants have unless otherwise stated:

Jotuns and Gygjas

Niefel Giants


Has a solid but expensive lineup of commanders. They are all sacred thugs and/or strong mages with high hp and strength to shrug off most assassination attempts.

Image Unit Name Special Attributes Comments
Jotun Scout
Gold 55
Stealthy (40)
Mountain Survival
Forest Survival
A very expensive scout, but sacred and giant. Much memed for being a potential thug chassis, if not necessarily a cost-effective one.
Jotun Herse
Gold 75
Sacred 60 leadership sacred commander.
Jotun Gode
Gold 110
holy 22
Forest Survival
40 leadership priest.
Jotun Jarl
Gold 130
holy 11
80 leadership lesser priest.
Gold 225
death 11nature 11blood 11rp 1515random2100%

Supply Bonus (10)
Fortune Teller (10%)
Old Age (300/330)
Death Curse
Forest Survival
Gygjas are powerful mages, their wide spread of paths being perfectly suited to (ab)using the durability of Skrattir turbocommunions to dump a variety of magic onto the battlefield. They are also fast researchers; it is uncommon to be able to buy 15 for 2 CP. Fortune Teller is a nice side-bonus for protecting research resorts from bad events. However, they are fairly expensive and not sacred, meaning their upkeep adds up rapidly.
Jotun Skratti
Gold 345
water 22blood 22holy 11rp 1515random1100%
ShapechangerJotun WerewolfJotun Wolf
Skrattir are a powerful and versatile highlight in Niefelheim's lineup. Once shapeshifted, Skrattir gain 10% regeneration and are able to act as extremely durable communion batteries to support practically unlimited spell casting, allowing Niefelheim's mages to outlast other mage corps in the mid-to-late game. They are powerful thugs with minimal investment, and additionally bring the crosspath to battle. Their Jotun Wolf form is stealthy, allowing them to escape from otherwise impossible situations.1) Their only downside is their extreme cost, which in EA is exacerbated by their priestly status. This is especially painful given the general gold-scarcity of the era.
Niefel Jarl
Gold 510
Capitol Only
water 33death 22holy 22rp 1717random1100%

Chill Aura (18)
Cold Power (1)
Ice Protection (3)
Resist Cold (30)
Cold Recruitment (1)
One of the most expensive commanders in the game for gold. Niefel Jarls provide access to the powerful crosspath as well as high water magic. Their enormous chill aura allows them to be strong thugs or light supercombatants against unprepared armies, but they lack some traits which make other supercombatant candidates truly scary and are especially vulnerable if caught in the heat.


While Jotun troops are big and strong, their low unit density and somewhat mediocre melee stats and protection make them less effective in melee than one might expect. Still, their strength allows them to bash through high protection when defence is not an issue, and they are quite mobile even in the cold.

Image Unit Name Special Attributes Comments
Jotun Bondi
Gold 20
Giant light infantry with poor melee skills.
Jotun Warrior
Gold 30
Light infantry with slightly better stats than the Bondi. The javelins of the axe version deal a huge amount of damage compared to human equivalents, while the spear versions circumvent repel with their longer weapons.
Jotun Warrior
Gold 30
Jotun Hurler
Gold 30
Siege Bonus (5) Very gold-efficient siege chaff. A potential elf-killing tool due to their high-damage ranged attack.
Jotun Huskarl
Gold 35
Bodyguard (1) The cheapest of the giant body guards. Slightly better stats than the linemen but no better equipment.
Gold 40
Bodyguard (1) A good deal more expensive than Jotun Warriors, but has better equipment and slightly better stats.
Jotun Hirdman
Gold 50
Bodyguard (1) Almost twice as expensive as Jotun Warriors, but with much better melee skills.
Niefel Giant
Gold 140
Capitol Only
Chill Aura (10)
Cold Power (1)
Ice Protection (2)
Resist Cold (25)
Cold Recruitment (1)
An extremely expensive sacred unit who provides an excellent support tool in the form of its immense chill aura. Their single attack makes them less killy than their size would suggest, however, compared to other sacred giants like the Anakim of Ashdod. They are also heavily reliant on the cold for survivability due to their cold power, chill aura and ice protection.

Ordinarily they are only recruitable in the capitol, but one Niefel Giant may be recruited from each non-capitol fort while Illwinter is active.


While Niefelheim's heroes are both powerful, they also have a fairly late minimum arrival turn, making them much less likely to appear in a given game.

Image Unit Name Special Attributes Comments
Angerboda - Great Hag
Minimum hero arrival turn: 20
astral 33death 33nature 22blood 33rp 1717
Snow Move
Cold Resistant (15)
Poison Resistant (15)
Shock Vulnerability (5)
Supply Bonus (20)
Fortune Teller (15%)
Adept Crossbreader (8)
Death Curse
Forest Survival
An improved Gygja who provides especially deep access in astral compared to normal Gygjas. She is also one booster away from death 44 which is need to break into Vampire Lords with minimum effort.
Tjatse - Abductor
Minimum hero arrival turn: 20
air 33water 33death 33holy 22rp 2323
Snow Move
Chill Aura (6)
Cold Power (1)
Ice Protection (3)
Resist Cold (30)
Shape ChangerGreat Eagle
A Niefel Jarl that can become an air 44 Eagle. Opens up major air access, which provides access to excellent combat spells in addition to ritual magic.


Magic Access

In combat, Niefelheim has easy access to arbitrarily high path magic through hardy Skratti communions.

Niefelheim has access to the following paths for the purposes of rituals and forging:


  • No fire magic
  • air 11 on Niefel Jarls. air 33 can eventually be reached through Faerie Court
  • water 44 on Niefel Jarls, water 77 via a Water Bracelet, Robe of the Sea and Queen of Elemental Water
  • No earth magic


  • astral 22 on Gygjas, astral 33 via a Starshine Skullcap
  • death 33 on Gygjas and Niefel Jarls, death 44 via a Skull Staff
  • nature 33 on Gygjas, nature 66 via Thistle Mace, Moonvine Bracelet, Armor of Twisting Thorns
  • blood 33 on Gygjas, more through empowerment and various boosters.

National spells


Niefelheim does not have any national combat spells.


  • Conjuration 3 nature 22 for 8naturegem: Sloth of Bears ( Great Bear×10+)
    HP-dense summons with high strength. Not particularly deadly or survivable on their own.
  • Conjuration 4 death 22 for 15deathgem: Awaken Jotun Draugar ( Jotun Draug×3)
    Very expensive summons, notable mostly for their HP and fear aura. Shapeshifts into a bigger, stronger Jotun Draug below 40 HP.
  • Conjuration 4 nature 22 for 10naturegem: Brood of Garm ( Jotun Wolf×5)
    Giant sacred stealthy wolves that go berserk and have a fear aura.
  • Conjuration 5 water 22 for 5watergem: Summon Rimvaettir ( Rimvaetti×5+)
    Cheap, massable sources of chill aura. Like Niefel Giants, they can quickly put non-cold resistant enemies to sleep. However, they are much less mobile than Jotuns and Niefels both in combat and on the strategic map.
  • Conjuration 8 air 44earth 33 for 62airgem: Summon Dwarf of the Four Directions
    Shared between the Jotun and Vanir nations. Summons one of the four cardinal Dwarfs, with paths air 44earth 33random2200% and causes hurricanes to ravage the world. A guaranteed way to summon high-air casters for late game combat, rituals and forging, although a pretender is usually the only way to access this spell.
  • Thaumaturgy 5 death 11astral 11 for 3deathgem: Seith Curse
    Inflicts a curse on a random enemy commander in the target province as well as the caster. A situational way to debilitate a high-value target by increasing its chances to pile up afflictions.
  • Blood 6 blood 55water 33 for 120bloodslave: Illwinter
    Causes the world to progressively grow colder, unrest to slowly increase and enemies to occasionally be raided by Niefel Giants and Jotun Wolves. Additionally allows the limited recruitment of Niefel Giants from any fort. Also allows Niefel Jarls to be used offensively.

Notable Generic Magic


Although Niefelheim's troops are weak in concentration against other players, much of Niefelheim's power comes from its turbo communions. Horde of Skeletons is a go-to spell.

Here are some spells to help lines hold through army wipe spells: Battle Fortune, Mass Regeneration, Will of the Fates, Relief, Mass Protection, and Stygian Rains.

Can kill single targets with Soul Slay and Bone Melter

If using a Jarl as a caster, he can cast Freezing Mist and also Wailing Winds and Wind of Death with extra gems.

Ritual Magic

You are a blood nation and should be summoning minions to replace your giant troops. Blood Fecundity improves your economy.

you are strong skelli-spammers but there are other good summonses in blood and Conjuration. Conj has Jotun Draug and Rimvaetti. Blood has Frost Fiends and Cross Breeding. With little empowerment and boosting You have Vampire Lords as immortal thugs.

Magic Items

FIXME Do you have any National items(Construction Level, Price, and required Paths). Any unique generic items few other nations can forge? What item would be useful on your unit lineup (non-standard recommend thug gear)?

National Dicount Items

  • Rime Hammer: Constr 6. water 22air 11, 8watergem4airgem.


Power Curve

This is probably the most difficult section to get consensus for. Describe how strong the nation is during expansion, the early, mid and late game, and what makes it strong/weak at each of those points. This should give readers an idea of where the weaknesses of a nation lie (if they have not been shown already) and when to take advantage of a nation's strengths.

Expansion Strategies

List some example expansion strategies here. If a strong bless or pretender is required then leave the specifics for the pretender section.

Example Pretender Builds

List some example pretender builds. Try to use the following format to keep authorship and pretender design rationale clear.

See More

Note that the Jotun Wolf form also lacks most equipment slots, which may cause items to be destroyed if transformation occurs during combat or in the absence of a lab
niefelheim-ea.txt · Last modified: 2024/07/09 04:27 by johnnydown