Abbasid has the strongest traders, second to Ottoman. Malians actually is just nr 3.
The list of strongest traders are currently:
6: everyone else.
1: Abbasid is strongest because they get following:
Traders cost 40 wood 40 gold. (You can spam more traders faster)
Tradewing upgrade grants following:
25% additional secondary resource (food or wood)
+5 Melee and Range armor. (Fully upgraded imperial age, you require 11 Mangudai to 1 hit kill a abba trader, compared to only 8 Mangudai against normal trader with no armor)
30% More gold return.
Meaning a Abbasid Trader in a 4v4 map, say french pass, is able to trade 570 gold and 143 food.
Additionally, if you place 1 or 2 castles with Medical Centers, they will heal any traders passing by that might have been bitten by wolves and rabid raiders.
2: Ottoman has the second strongest trader because they get following:
You start with 2 traders from Sultani landmark.
Sultani landmark produces gold from garrisoned traders (good for early game when u dont have map controll)
40% more gold return from traders with Vizier upgrade.
And with the Sea Gate Castle landmark (which makes them the strongest)
40% increased movement speed and +10 armor.
This landmark buff itself is insane for trade. Why?
with 40% more gold return + 40% faster movement speed. You are essentially DOUBLING your trade income!
+10 Armor, remember with the abbasid you need 11 Mangudai to 1 hit KO a Trader? Well Against Ottoman traders, you need a whopping 22 Mangudai to 1 hit kill a Ottoman trader! DOUBLE the amount of investment needed to effectivly raid ottoman traders, this isn’t even considering the faster movement speed, meaning knights have a harder time hitting traders more frequently, and the fact that the traderoute is lined up with castles to provide this buff.
While Ottoman Trade dosn’t provide secondary resource, It does grant you far more gold.
In return it is also far more pop efficient.
With 40% more gold and 40% more speed.
Trade bags make traders %40 carry more, sea gate makes tham %40 faster. If you were to use both of those you would have:
In essence, you need far less traders than any other Civ to earn the same amount of gold. Meaning you save on Pop-cap.
3: Malians has the third strongest trader because they get following:
Passing Traders and Trade Ships are taxed, generating 10% of their carried gold immediately as bonus resources. Each Trader or Trade Ship can only be taxed 5 times on each trip, and 7.5 seconds have to have passed before a specific unit can be taxed again.
The outposts + landmark also provides additonal early defense.
This is actually pretty good for early trade.
However Malians do not get increased trade value bonus. Meaning they only trade in base-value. They also don’t get movement speed nor additional protection.
meaning the same traderoute the Abbasid mentioned earlier, the Malains would earn 381 Gold.
From that 381 Gold value, the toll outpost if you go for Saharan Trade Network landmark will grant you 190 Gold extra and 95 Food.
So In total, each trader would essentially produce 571 Gold and 91 Food.
Compared to Abbasid Trader that produces 1 less gold but 52 more food. a total of 51 more resources.
Compared to Ottoman Traders producing a whopping 747 gold over the same amount of time period. Which is 81 more total resources than the Malians.
While Ottoman traders provide more total amount of resources. I rank Abbasid above ottomans simply because of the Secondary resource is far more usefull.
You loose the bonus gold gained from resource-trade, Abbasid can avoid this resource trade all togheter. and the fact they can also go over to providing Wood and Gold, as Wood is a finite resource, and abbasid already have a very strong food economy.
This gives abbasid hands down the best traders in game.
4: Mongol trade has a strong trade, but it takes times to kick in.
With the Silver Tree landmark, they get the cheapest traders in game. However, this discount ONLY applied from traders buildt from the Silver Tree. Double producing traders is also very strong, however it does drain your stone econ that you will need for other things, and set you back militarily or upgrade wise. Especially in the early game where Stone is limited.
It also needs a X amount of traders for the Trade bonus to take effect.
The Yam Network, much like the sea gate castle, provides a speed buff for your traders, increasing the income rate from the traderoute.
However it is just a 15% speed increase, and requires quite a bit of time and investment to set up, as you have to build towers along the entire way and the effect dosn’t linger.
But because of the stone commerce and imp stone commerce especially, it does make it increadible strong in the late game, especially for mongols.
Big question is after the patch if the Mongols can still trade that stone generated to teammates. This might potentially throw Mongols into 1st or 2nd place. As nobody else can trade for stone after the patch hits, making the Mongols only one able to produce infinite stone. but based on the fact that the devs intention for stone not to be trade-able. Then the stone benefits only benefits the mongol player to a certain extent.
I hope this post was Insightfull in trade.
Trading is my favourite ECON thing to do in age of empires.
I even made a Abbasid build for a Feudal Tradewing that allows you to hit Imperial Age as abbasid in around 14 minutes, On certain map (french pass) I can even hit 11 Min imperial as abbasid with the Feudal Tradewing build. infact, my build is based on the old cost of abbasid traders (50w 50g), with the reduced cost, you should be able to easily hit imperial in 13 minutes.