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LA Xibalba, Return of the Zotz


"Xibalba is a nation inspired by Mayan mythological concepts as expressed in the Mayan texts Popol Vuh and Chilam Balam. The Popol Vuh describes the creation of the world and other mythological concepts. It also tells of the hero twins Hunahpú and Xbalanqué and their travels to Xibalba, the Mayan underworld, through which the sun travels during the night. Ever since high school, when I first came across the pen-and-paper RPG Chill, and found a creature named Camazotz, I've been intrigued by batgods and Mesoamerican myth. The bat-god was actually the first god made for Mictlan, when that nation appeared in Dominions 2. When I started to work on Xibalba it was clear from the beginning that it would be a Mayan nation of bat-people.

Xibalba was also one of the first nations to get a national global spell based on its national backstory. The concept had been used when we remade the themes and carrion woods into a national spell, but we were never fond of how that worked out. The Xibalban Theft of the Sun along with the Agarthan Unleash Imprisoned Ones reintroduced the national global enchantments."

- Illwinter

Xibalba is a vast realm of dark caverns beneath the forests of Mictlan. Living in the caverns were the bat people, Zotz, but that changed when the cavernous realm was struck by a great disaster. A star fell into the ocean and a great deluge flooded the caves of Xibalba. The Zotz were almost wiped out and their realm was conquered by Atlantian refugees. For a long time the toad people ruled Xibalba and became powerful. Eventually the Bacabob left the caverns to conquer the sun-lit world. There they met Mictlan and the Lawgiver. The humans were more numerous and while the Xibalban Bacabob were mighty, they could not prevent the death of their kin. Slowly the Xibalbans were decimated and the Bacabob withdrew into the flooded city and fell into a centennial torpor. When the caves began to dry up the Zotz started to return in numbers. In the still waterfilled depths of Xibalba the Zotz priests found and unwittingly awoke the Bacabob. Now the Zotz once more inhabit their ancestral home, but serve the divinities of subterranean waters and the Awakening God.

General Overview

In the Late Ages Xibalba regains EA Xibalba's summons and retains most of MA Xibalba's tools and magic. Due to the low gem density and high population count of the Late Ages, the bats' ability to blood hunt on a massive scale is more important than ever. The amphibious Muuch are especially useful for claiming the now mostly empty seas of the Late Ages.

Unfortunately, LA Xibalba also inherits the poorly-equipped troops of the Xibalban line. This is especially problematic given the heavy armor and mass crossbows characteristic of the Late Ages. Expanding at a competitive rate is still possible with the right build, but it requires practice to master. LA Xibalba also lacks a reliable way to summon Ozelotls, meaning it simply cannot mass these in the same quantities as its Early Age predecessor or contemporary LA Mictlan. Still, LA Xibalba has the magic diversity to use most of the tools generic blood offers, and the proficiency in blood hunting to fuel big plays.

Like many Late Age blood powers, Xibalba has enormous scaling power but suffers from a lackluster early game, and lacks the tools to deal with certain kinds of rushes. Overcoming these challenges is key to unlocking the late-game potential of Xibalba's blood hunting and path diversity.

National Features

Race Military Magic Access Priests Buildings
Prefers 1
( )
Light-to-Medium Infantry
Flying Sacreds
Half-Giant Sacreds
water 44 (rare 5)
earth 33 (rare 4)
death 33
nature 22 (rare 3)
blood 22
air 11 (uncommon)
fire 11 (rare)
Hero: fire 22water 44earth 44
holy 33 Cap-only
holy 22 in Forts
Hero: holy 44
Primitive (Castle)
Can build Underwater Forts
Underwater Fort Recruits

Capital Special Sites

The Obsidian Cavern The Flooded City

Enables recruitment of Camazotz, Obsidian Warrior
Produces 2deathgem per turn

Enables recruitment of Bacab, Wo' Muuch
Produces 1watergem1earthgem per turn

National Units

Xibalba is dominated by the Zotz, which are size 1, cold blooded, stealthy bats. Zotz are easy to kill, meaning they need to use surprise attacks, dropping on the enemy commander as divebombing cannon fodder.

Your commanders, in addition to the normal Zotz trait, also all receive a bonus to blood hunting. This is an especially great trait on a blood nation. However, their units have a below-average Patrol value despite being a flying nation. This is countered by their ability to easily amass cheap troops to patrol out unrest.

as remnants of the middle age, the Muuch are frogmen that bigger with age. The Grunts are a bit tougher and stronger than normal humans. living in caves so long has caused the former Altlantians to attempt to have paler skin and perfect dark vision. You could use them as a little tougher spamable line troops in early expansion but suffer from weaker armour and are often killed because of lack of head protection. there best use is expansion underwater and becomes better at being spamable bricks after rushing research (only until your are ready to progress blood research).


For brevity, these are the traits that all Zotz and Muuch units have unless otherwise stated:

Zotz (Bats)

Muuch (Frogs)

Notably Zotz are highly mobile due to being stealthy and able to fly, while Muuch provide an easy means to breach the land-water barrier. Both gain a strong advantage from fighting in the dark, either naturally in caves or due to spells like Darkness.

Sprite Unit Name Special Attributes Comments
Cave Rec+
Forest Rec+
40 leadership commander.
holy 11
80 leadership commander with minor priestly ability. Enables formations.
Ajaw Kan Ek'
holy 22
Old Age (107/100)
120 leadership commander-priest, providing a major morale bonus on top of Sermon of Courage and other priestly duties.
Ah Ha'
Underwater Rec+
water 11earth 11holy 11 9
Can make a light thug with earth and water buffs plus a bless.
Ah Itz
death 11blood 11random1100% 11
Discount Camazotz outside the capital. Most efficient blood hunter in terms of gold. Not as reliable in combat, at least without communions.
Forest Rec+
nature 22blood 11random010% 7
Inept Researcher (-4)
Supply Bonus (20)
Ways are very infrastructure-light to recruit, especially since LA Xibalba has cheaper forest labs.

Disregarding the 10% random, nature and blood are very useful in keeping sabbath fatigue down, sniping out enemy wizards, summoning the better troops that will replace your frog and bats while also giving them additional protection.
Cave Rec+
earth 11death 11holy 22random1100% 11
Fortune Teller (10%)
A somewhat expensive mage due to its holy 22 paths, but provides access to a potential earth 22 outside the capital.
Fortune teller can be useful, but Xibalba's other mages are often more flexible due to being able to blood hunt and communion.
Capital Only
earth 11death 22blood 11random1100% 15
Old Age (103/100)
A strong, cost-efficient mage that is not slow to recruit. As a flying mage, each Camazotz is a versatile asset.
death 22 lets them raid with undead hordes, and the Blood allows them to bring Sabbaths anywhere.
Air & earth randoms can protect troops in different ways, especially with the help of sabbaths, with air notably providing access to Wailing Winds.
Capital Only
water 33earth 22death 11holy 33random1100%
Gift of Water Breathing (20)
Cold Resistant (5)
Resource Bonus (5)
A strong water mage who also provides the most reliable access to earth buffs in LA Xibalba's roster, but expensive and slow to produce.

Unlike their MA equivalent, they are holy 33 and can thus Divine Blessing and claim thrones, greatly improving their utility.

The following commander can only be recruited underwater:

Sprite Unit Name Special Attributes Comments
Lakam Ha' Batab
Amphibious, 40 leadership commander for leading whatever troops are produced underwater.


Note a general lack of hats in LA Xibalba's unit roster, even among those which wear body armor.

Sprite Unit Name Special Attributes Comments
Zotz Warrior (lance)
Cave Rec+
Forest Rec+
Naked, flying milita with mediocre combat stats. They die and rout rather easily, but they are very resource-cheap. The lance variety has bonus damage upon landing, but due to the way the flying lance bonus works they end up doing less damage than the club sword even on the initial strike.
Zotz Warrior (club sword)
Cave Rec+
Forest Rec+
Zotz Dart Thrower
Naked militia with a mace and a weak javelin-equivalent.
Zotz Guard (lance)
Zotz warriors with a token amount of protection and slightly higher combat stats, including morale.
Zotz Guard (club sword)
Sak Muuch Dart Thrower
Light infantry with a javelin-esque ranged attack. Substantially more damaging than the Zotz equivalent due to higher strength, but unlikely to get through the heavy armor characteristic of the Late Ages.
Sak Muuch Warrior
Light infantry with better-than-human hitpoints and strength. Can beat indies with pure strength of numbers, though they are much more difficult to mass than MA Xibalba's Muuch Militia. Club swords are well-rounded damage-dealing chaff while spears can repel and take no penalties underwater.
Sak Muuch Warrior
Obsidian Warrior
Capital Only
Fire Resistant (5)
Not Stealthy
As cheap sacreds with a strong magic weapon and reasonable combat stats, Obsidian Warriors can be made extremely proficient at tearing through hitpoints and protection if supported by a suitable bless.
Wo' Muuch
Capital Only
Half-giants with magic gear. Much more expensive than Obsidian Warriors, but also deal more damage and are more durable due to higher hitpoints and an obsidian cuirass. Still hatless, however.

The following units can only be recruited underwater:

Sprite Unit Name Special Attributes Comments
Lakam Ha' Warrior
Light Muuch infantry that can be recruited underwater. The net variety potentially has a niche in disabling high-defence targets, if that becomes necessary.
Lakam Ha' Warrior


LA Xibalba has only one hero, albeit a powerful one.

Sprite Unit Name Special Attributes Comments
Mam Lum - Grandfather Earth
Minimum hero arrival turn: 10
fire 22water 44earth 44holy 44 25
Fear (5)
Fire Resistant (5)
Cold Resistant (12)
Resource Bonus (15)
A powerful earth and water mage, as well as a very strong priest. Opens up high earth and water globals, and can claim thrones as well!


Magic Access

LA Xibalba can access high-path magic in combat through the use of sabbaths, though at the cost of blood slaves and potentially communion slaves.

For rituals, LA Xibalba has access to the following paths:


  • No fire magic except for a 2.5% on Ways
  • air 11 on Camazotz, Ah Itz
  • water 44 on Bacabs, water 77 via a Water Bracelet, Robe of the Sea and Queen of Elemental Water
  • earth 33 on Bacabs, earth 44 via Earth Boots; empowering them in Blood thrice gives more boosters


  • No astral magic
  • death 33 on Camazotz, death 44 via a Skull Staff
  • nature 22 on Ways, nature 33 via a Thistle Mace; empowering them in Blood twice or a blood Camazotz once gives more boosters
  • blood 22 on Camazotz; empowering them in Blood once gives boosters

National Spells


LA Xibalba's national combat spells provide great alternatives to generic buffs in natively available paths, as well as good options for dealing with strong single targets.

Soul-breaking Spells

  • Thaumaturgy 2 earth 11: Break the Second Soul
    Give one target a limp affliction. Not as deadly as breaking the First Soul, but can impede a thug's map move in a harassing attack, and may result in lowering an expensive unit's melee stats and may eventually die if forced to move around a lot.
  • Thaumaturgy 2 air 11: Break the Third Soul
    A weaker, unresistable version of Steal Breath.
  • Thaumaturgy 2 death 11: Break the Fourth Soul
    Curses the target.
  • Blood 2 blood 11: Break the First Soul
    Bleeds and (potentially) diseases a single target. Can be devastating against thugs and supercombatants.

Soul-gifting Spells

  • Thaumaturgy 3 earth 11: Gift of the Second Soul
    A worse version of Temper Flesh.
  • Thaumaturgy 3 air 11: Gift of the Third Soul
    Gives Reinvigoration, a bonus in a blood communion or active thug.
  • Thaumaturgy 3 death 11: Gift of the Fourth Soul
    Single-target Luck.
  • Blood 3 blood 11: Gift of the First Soul
    Regeneration for blood mages. Zotz do not have enough HP to properly benefit, but Onaqui and any blood thugs/SCs can make good use of it.


Non-blood Summons

  • Conjuration 3 earth 11death 11 for 2earthgem: Summon Sacred Scorpion ( Sacred Scorpion×1)
    A durable chassis with a death poison attack. Difficult to mass, however.
  • Conjuration 3 nature 11holy 11 for 2naturegem: Summon Jaguar Toads ( Jaguar Toad×2)
    Small tramplers with poisonous skin that spit AN mortal poison. They are easy to kill and undisciplined makes them hard to buff.
  • Conjuration 3 nature 22holy 11 for 25naturegem: Summon Jaguars ( Jaguar×17)
    A much lesser cousin of the Ozelotl that can be summoned with nature gems, which are much more precious than slaves in the Late Ages. They are at least fast to summon en masse.
  • Conjuration 4 water 22 for 3watergem: Summon Jade Serpent ( Jade Serpent×1)
    A sacred standard-bearer with a lot of hitpoints and a poison attack.
  • Conjuration 5 nature 22 for 8naturegem: Summon Monster Toads ( Monster Toad×3)
    Sacred tramplers that spread poison with their poison skin and poisonous cloud. Squishy due to low protection, but can disrupt formations.
  • Conjuration 7 nature 44 for 60naturegem: Summon Balam ( one of: Balam of the North, Balam of the South, Balam of the East, or Balam of the West)
    Jaguar shape shifters with a Onaqui and Zotz form. They are nature 44blood 22holy 33random2200% mages. Handy for late game rituals and battle magic. Also throne claimers!
  • Conjuration 8 air 44 for 75airgem: Summon Chaac ( one of: Chaac of the North, Chaac of the South, Chaac of the East, or Chaac of the West)
    The Chaacs are powerful late-game mages (air 44water 22holy 33 with either +water 11 or +random2200%) that provide access to high air magic, which is an excellent combat magic path. Allows a pretender with the requisite paths to generate more high-air casters to distribute among armies. Their passive Natural Storm ability does disable flying, however.

Blood Summons

  • Blood 2 blood 11 for 8bloodslave: Bind Beast Bats ( Beast Bat×3)
    Sacred flyers that can come online very early. Not nearly as deadly as Ozelotls but deal a significant amount of fatigue if they can wound with their poisonous bite. Mixing in some can quickly put monsters to sleep if you can overcome their prot and defenses.
  • Blood 4 blood 11fire 11 for 16bloodslave: Bind Jaguar Fiends ( Ozelotl×3)
    Deadly sacred flyers. LA Xibalba regrettably lacks the ability to summon Ozelotls without a very lucky random on a Way, but these are deadly and mobile troops if this spell can be cast.
  • Blood 7 blood 44 for 101bloodslave: Contact Onaqui ( Onaqui×1 + Beast Bat×8)
    A big death 22nature 11blood 33holy 11random1100% mage that freespawns Beast Bats.
  • Blood 8 blood 66fire 22 for 40bloodslave: Rain of Jaguars ( Ozelotl×14+[lv])
    A late-game but much more efficient way to mass Ozelotls.

Notable Generic Magic

Discuss the top few generic spells that most increase a nation's combat power or synergize with national strategies. These will generally be early-to-mid game spells since individual spells matter much more during those periods of the game. Some examples are Foul Vapors for MA C'tis, Horde of Skeletons + Sabbath Master/Sabbath Slave for the Niefelheim line of nations, Mother Oak for the Pangaeas, Wailing Winds access, etc. For broader advice on magic use, link to Not-Lola's Basic Magic Use Guide.

This is also a good place to point out notable magic weaknesses, such as a lack of nature access making a nation vulnerable to Foul Vapors.

Combat Magic

As the majority of your nation good units are flyers, your sabbaths can safely spam Earthquake without hurting your own troops(as you need a Blood communion to cast, you may want to cast Gift of Flight or Mass Flight on your Blood Slaves if your not finished with casting blood spells).

Camazotz are good at death, its crosspaths with Air and earth and skelispam, and Ways provide nature and spamable blood mage. Your still have Bacobs with their powerful Water and Earth access with the side of Death and Nature crosspaths (with gems or booster).

Your greatest weakness is the parody in the difference of protection. Your are still a suicide spammer. a way to swing the favor is the use of Darkness and Quagmire.

Should also consider Legions of Steel, Strength of Giants, Marble Warriors, Wave Warriors, Quickening, Wooden Warriors, Stygian Rains as it will fix many problems with your current troops and improve your summoned one but will come later in the game but your real problem is not being eaten during expansion and early game.

All this water makes you good at cold spells when in the Cold scales, assuming your don't mind your zotz quickly falling unconscious from the fatigue, Apparently, the Muuch's Atlantean heritage prevent these frogs from hibernating during the winter.

Ritual Magic

The main concern for Xibalba is how quickly they can reliably swap over to better-summoned troops. What a mage muuch is good at is creating lots of Claymen(Clayman 5+[lv1/2]), also set to summon Naiad and Kokythiad (water 33 with nature 33 or death 33). Clayman, Your national Toad summons and Demon Jaguars, can fill out your armies, including your Death bats that summon longdead hoards.

good Idea to twiceborn your Camazotz for that chance when they die and come back as a death 33.

Ways casting Blood Fecundity improves your gold Gold and Blood Slave economy.

Curse of Blood is part of your late game. Mound Fiends are an option if you want to spam more undead. Summon Balam gives strong mage thugs.

Gets Blight and Rain of Toads as ways of disrupting the long game of another player's production.

Magic Items

Is another Earth death nation to make Shademail Haubergeon and Shadow Brand.

the Water, Death, Blood, nature, and earth paths are really good at making thug and communion items. Lots of Regen, Hp boost, Reinvigoration, QUickness, and alternative damage options.

Sanguine Dowsing Rods boot your slave harvests.

Armor of Twisting Thorns is a good fit on a Way as a boosting item

You need lots of research fast so Skull Mentors

Badab make the most use of Ring of Regeneration and Coral Blade. especially if they get a nature random and gems with Personal Regeneration.


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.

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xibalba-la.txt · Last modified: 2024/07/09 05:11 by johnnydown