Changing Madrasah

I think most players recognize that Madrasah is one of the worst UTs in the entire game and that it’s disappointing that with two big balance patches to Saracens since DE was released there have been no changes to it.

For those not aware, its effect is: Whenever one of your monks dies, refund 33 gold.

The problems with Madrasah are two-fold:

One, you obviously need a castle for it and then also to pay the small cost and wait for it to research. As most monk play is in early castle age, this means the tech is rather non-viable to get in time for heavy monk play. By the time imperial age rolls around it’s feasible but then monks start becoming less viable as a natural progression of the game. If this were a civ bonus it might be decent, but as a unique tech it just doesn’t work.

The second issue is more of a design flaw. It makes little practical sense to have a bonus that rewards you for your units dying. With monks, you would rather have a proactive bonus that makes them more effective while alive. Only getting the bonus when you lose your monks means well-utilized monks will not see any benefit.

I would like to pose some possible changes to it. Feel free to dump your ideas here as well. In my mind, it makes sense to keep it as a monk bonus because it only makes sense for the civ that represents arab muslims and islam to have some kind of religion bonus somewhere.

Starting with the very boring ideas:

  1. Increase the refund. Say 50-66% instead of 33%
  2. Make it a front-loaded cost reduction. So monks cost 33%+ less gold to train. Not exciting but it fixes problem #2

Slightly more exciting ideas:

  1. When a monk dies, it automatically succeeds on its conversion (if it was converting a unit). For balance purposes, this would have to exclude purposefully deleting the monk. This one does not fix problem #2 but it could certainly be powerful.
  2. Monks generate 50 gold upon successful conversions (only triggers once per conversion even with Theocracy for obvious reasons). This fixes problem #2 nicely.
  3. Some combination of stat bonuses. Faster conversion time, armor, hit points, healing speed, and healing range are all taken already. So I would suggest extra range, faster faith regeneration, and/or extra movement speed for this option. Range would probably be the most powerful and might make it more relevant in imperial age especially.
  4. Some kind of relic bonus a la Lithuanians. Say +1 range for monks per relic, or +5 hp, etc. The cap would have to depend on what the bonus is, as +1 range obviously would need a lower cap because it is very powerful.

Non-monk related idea:

Change name to Incendiaries → new effect: Cavalry Archers and Mamelukes gain +4 bonus damage vs. buildings. Probably still not particularly viable but I know lots of people are sad that the CA bonus is totally gone now.


I am only going to list ideas that are not direct stat buffs, some of which might be incredibly broken

    • Monks are able to heal themselves(not during conversions, independent action)
    • Monks can convert units while holding a relic and multiply conversion effectiveness to the same as a group of 5-10 monks(I would probably still not be tempted to risk using my relics as a monk power up)
    • Monk healing gains small area of effect, wouldn’t make this any larger than one tile so they can get 3-4 units at once
    • Monks gain ability to repair siege workshop units like a villager(Not from a distance have to be right next to it)
    • Gain ability to train monks at barracks
    • Relics generate gold while being held by a monk at same rate as if garrisoned in a monastery (standalone or combine with number 2)
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3 and 4 are good stuff to apply imo

A significant faster faith regeneration could be one of the most useful actually, without being too strong

If they want to keep the original idea a 50% refund or even 33% cost reduction sound like fair numbers


Area of effect healing would be interesting.

Rather than training monks at barracks, making monks train faster could be nice, perhaps as a secondary effect.

Madrasah is a building right? A kind of school. As I know Mosque pays expenses of Madrasah with the help of people. I don’t want to argue about what they teach because it’s a long arguement.

I have 2 ideas:
-A mosque generates same gold as a relic (0.5 gold per second). Limited in 1 for sure. So one free relic for keeping 175 wood building and researching a tech.
-You can use Monasteries as Universities

Both of them a little bit useless and lack of imagination.

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The Saracens are a great civ, why does everyone pick on them so much? Why is the entire community only focusing on rushes? Instead of building huge empires with hundreds of cavalry units, infantry and archers everyone just ends it with a couple of archers and scouts.

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What about make Monasteries double HP, +5 LOS and work 30% faster

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The Saracens are a great civ, why does everyone pick on them so much? Why is the entire community only focusing on rushes? Instead of building huge empires with hundreds of cavalry units, infantry and archers everyone just ends it with a couple of archers and scouts.

Saracens are fine (or at least they were pre-patch, we will have to see how the changes shake out). I didn’t mention anything about rushes though. And building huge empires has never been a part of this game. RTS games inherently favor fast paced games. Empire building is more like Civ where you can do more of a sim city kind of playstyle.

What about make Monasteries double HP, +5 LOS and work 30% faster

Why the extra hit points and line of sight? Making monastaries work faster could be decent though, like the Frank one of stables working 40% faster. Would be a pretty boring bonus but would likely be better than Madrasah and would make using monks later in the game more feasible.

Could help to push with monks

This isn’t about the Saracen as a whole but just this useless technology. Even in your example, how are you going to make this tech worth it, monks are just useless in large scale battles unless you’re an AI.

To answer the OP let’s not go too nuts. I like the suggestion of making the tech buff the monastery itself, otherwise just making the tech give a big discount to monks is fine too. There is a reason they dropped the knight refund idea for Burgundian, refunds just suck in this game.


I’ve been an advocate of any rework on Madrasah. Sounds badass? But you find out its a refund for monks /11

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I mean you can kind of use it to improve your cost/benefit ratio if you’re converting lower value units like archers and the monks are dying a lot, but the time window where that is viable is so short, by the time you research this the quantity of units on the map is high enough that you need semi-pro level of micro ability or something to use them effectively, I don’t know what most people can manage but I find anything over 5 monks pushing it for my button mashing skills, 3-4 conversions is going to help a lot in a small battle with 10-15 units on each side, but late castle age with 30-40 units on each side it doesn’t seem worth it

Just look at the monk bonus for Aztecs, I don’t think any other civilization gets something so incredibly busted as doubled hp on a unit(if you research everything in the monastery), put that on anything else in the game and you can probably use it as cheese strategy for +400 elo, with monks it is just ok, not auto win game

I think even some buffs that would seem seriously broken for other units on monks will have a decreased actual effect in practice, 33% gold refund would even be decent on other unit types, Slavs get +3/3 armor that would be broken on say pikemen - you either need something cheap with a fast research time that you are planning on using right after you reach castle age(so good enough that you gather stone for a castle ahead of time just to plan for it) or you need something really strong that makes monks still useful in small amounts later on if you want people to actually use it and it not be a place filler for the unique tech slot - with the primary functions a monk serve being converting units and healing units the only thing you can really buff to make them better in large scale is something that lets a small group of monks do one of those things better to more units, either conversion cooldown reduction, aoe heal so they can actually impact a larger group of units with the healing, range bonus for healing so they don’t die(Teutons already have), healing speed increase(Byzantines already have), actually main reason people don’t use the healing function is because you have to make your army sit still which is normally bad - maybe let the tech give monks ability to walk and heal units near them one at a time while still moving

I’m in favour of a Madrasah rework. What exactly I don’t know but right now it’s a underwhelming Castle Age UT.


Exactly my sentiments.

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I think the 33 gold refund should be a civ bonus, not a UT.
I’m not in favor of increasing the range of the monk, because as you know even only +1 range can be OP.
But then the civ needs a new UT, ^^.
A kean eye for balance will be needed obviously, as it would mean adding 2 buffs to a civ already strong.
What about a UT that gives a small bonus to their camels against infantry (+3?), as Saracens fought against goths historically. It would still be a bad choice to fight with them against pikes, but would help their camels against Huskarls or Champions.

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Camels are already good vs Cavalry, and Saracens get FU Hussars which already beat Huskarls.

There is no need for anti-Infantry Camels, specially when Goths would have absolutely no counter-play to it, since they get an awful Stables and Archery Range.

Also, it was not the Saracens that fought the Goths, it was the Berbers. And the Berbers already got better Cavaliers than the Goths, which is historically inaccurate as heck, aswell as having Genitours, which were actually anti-Berber native Iberians, specialized in fighting Moorish Cavalry Archers.

Goths have OP halbs against cavalry (especially camels) and Huskarl against Arbalest, I think they can fight this.
If they already have hussars against huskarls/champions, the camel bonus would only be situational, so no big deal about that, especially since I suggest a small bonus.
About the historical accuracy, you may be right, but this article states otherwise : Sarrasins — Wikipédia (the part about goth vs saracen seem missing from the english page unfortunately).
But if you have better UT suggestions, we are all ears, :-).

No, they die by the hundreds to Archers, because no Platemail.
Goth Halbs are actually amongst the worst in the game, and are not cost-effective.
Byzantines have the good, cost-effective Halbs, since Armour upgrades are the most important for the unit, as the damage values are mostly focused on unapgradeable Bonus Damage.

There is no need to change Madrasah, Saracens are already OP.

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Sub 50% winrate across all elos and patches, no early eco bonus, not considered S tier by any of the pros. Yeah sure “OP”.
Also, Goth stable is far from awful. FU until imp and even then still getting Hussar. Compared to a lot of other civs they have a fairly decent stable.