At the beginning I would like to thank you Devs for reworking Aztecs.
Community was asking for this for a long time and finally patch is coming Thank you.
Overall Aztec part is looking very nice in my opinion:
Arrow Knights re-balance
Fix for Warriors
Useful new cards (I still need to test Calendar Ceremony)
More colorful Aztec military cards
Golden visual upgrades for Legendary units
Home City and Chief customization
In this post I would like to focus on Jaguar Prowl Knight re-balance which I’m not sure if I agree. According to patch description Jaguar Knight will have 20% less HP and 20% less attack, it will cost 90food + 30 coin instead of 120 food + 30 coin. Speed will be increased from 4.5 to 4.75.
First thing I noticed is - in PUP patch Jaguar Knight has 16 attack and 205 HP (down from 20 and 240). It means that attack is 20% smaller and HP is 15% down (not exactly as patch notes says).
Anyway I’m not sure if 205 HP and 16 melee attack is enough for an Age III melee unit without access to Elite/Veteran upgrade. Now this unit feels to be very dependent on upgrade cards and still will be heavily countered by mass of skirmishers/archers.
Of course it needs to be tested but for now I guess better option would be to decrease both attack and HP by 10% (it would decrease overall unit strength for 10% x 10% = 21%) and leave new cost (90 food + 30 coin). That way unit would be 21% weaker in general and 20% cheaper.
So here is my proposition:
… → OLD → PUP version → Suggestion
HP → 240 → 205 → 215
Attack → 20 → 16 → 18
Speed → 4.5 → 4.75 → 4.75
Cost → 150 res → 120 res → 120 res
BUT jannys have ranged attack. Said this, they have to keep their base attack, at least when full upgraded. In a unit with bonus a reduction on stats are worse than in other units, now they have less 39 damage to HI and 26 to Cav. I remember u that azzys dont have any option to kill mass infantry quickly. ERKs are good, but halbs can go into melee. Not always you can hit and run
Yeah, I know - Aztecs have difficulties dealing with big infantry mass because they lack of artillery and none of their range units deals area damage. But this is separate issue. Jaguars can’t help here much.
In the same way that units like dopps and samurais present a threat to skirms and other units if they ever make contact, except in the case of those units where its area damage in this case its pure DPS.
I would imagine it would be like how the Lancer + rod comp works for spain expect its reversed where coyote provides the tanking against range and speed and jags (with the proposed 4.75 speed) would be able to keep up with them and provide pure dps to just shred anything that they come in contact with.
JPKs speed buff and lowered cost is plenty to make up for their decrease in stats. It’s speed boost alone is huge for catching enemy musks and annihilating them. Let’s not forget they can go stealth mode, this unit is one that could easily become OP, I think the devs have it in a good place, especially now that the temple of quetzalcoatl is an age3 card now.
I’m not convinced that scaling down their stats to be cheap and cost effective is a good idea for melee units. Since melee units do not scale with mass like ranged units do, it probably is a better idea to have them be expensive and strong.
This is due to the fact that they cannot focus fire like ranged units, have to pathfind to their target, have to pathfind between targets, and straight up wont attack if they cannot reach the front line.
We can potentially call this efficiency by footprint. Or how efficient a melee unit is compared to how much space it takes up.
I haven’t done testing on this, but this effect should become more pronounced as armies become larger. There might be a better case for making them 15-20% better in HP and Attack and increasing their cost by the same % to accommodate. Something like 288 HP, 24 Attack, 4.75 Speed for 150 food and 30 coin
Of course, stealth is very important, the JPW, the Forrest Prowler and the Tashunkes are excellent units for precisely that reason, if you know how to use stealth, you can do a lot of damage.
-When I’m in a bind, I can use stealth to save my units.
-When I want to spy on my enemy.
-When I want to make ambushes.
-When I want to raid or attack the opponent’s economy without being detected.
Sometimes the main natives need to actively use stealth, when a European or Japanese attack us with mass artillery, having the stealth card available to make Coyotes and Chimus invisible is essential, because huaracas and arrows knights simply do not work.
If you don’t believe me, well, don’t believe me, I’ve seen a lot of pro players use stealth, especially with coyotes, tashunkes and JPW, there are even videos.
Of course, you have to take care of the heroes, but it is logical, otherwise it would be too strong a skill.
The other issue connected to recent Jaguar changes is deck creation. If you want to use Jaguar Prowl Knights you basically need to include 2 new cards in age III (“Ritual Gladiators” and “Great Temple of Quetzalcoatl Support”).
It is quite impossible to squeeze these cards into age III without removing some other crucial card.
I think that Knight Hitpoints and Knight Attack should be available in age 2 and Knight Combat available in age 3. We could even slightly modify the cards, so that they also affect the units of the War Huts, I would not see problems, because the Haudenosaunees have 3 Similar cards, two at age 2 and one at age 3, affecting commercial age and fortress age units.
But honestly, I would not like otomis, pumas and coyotes to have those cards available in age 2, but not only available in Industrial.