Simple Monk Tweak that would most impact high-level play; monks lose 25%-50% of faith on failed conversion

Something higher level players complain about a lot with monks is the randomness of conversions. Sometimes you get a conversion at the maximum speed, while other times it seems to take ages.

I understand the frustration this can cause, but I don’t think narrowing the window is the right solution. I feel like this could rapidly lead to monks becoming more extreme; absolutely OP against some units with no hope of success, and absolutely useless against others, with no chance of failure.

But on a deeper level, I don’t think this is what the actual problem is. Yes, it can be frustrating to feel like you have no winning move, but that is the real issue; not the conversion times themselves.

What do I mean? It all has to do with counterplay. Consider the early castle age; if you have gone for knights, or godforbid, elephants, and your enemy has chosen monks, then you have essentially no choices. You can either attack, and hope you get lucky, or run away, and let your enemy completely control the fight.

That’s no choice at all, and it all comes down to the fact that there is no downside to being hyper-aggressive with monks. If you fail a conversion, it doesn’t matter, you can convert the next enemy you see, the instant you see them. This leaves your enemy with no real choice but to just attack as soon as possible and hope for the best.

But what if monks instantly lost 25-50% of their faith when they start a conversion?

This wouldn’t have much impact at lower levels, where players often lack the micro to escape a monk, or to take advantage of a weakened monk even if they do; but at higher levels of play, it turns a simple and unavoidable encounter into a choice. Running away briefly, to escape the conversion, could be a reasonable choice, if you can turn back immediately afterwards and snipe the temporarily helpless monk.

This also fixes the issue of garrisoning a monk repeatedly, hoping to farm a fast conversion; they would need to wait for their faith to regenerate, dramatically weakening that tactic.

However, this wouldn’t significantly impact converting siege, as siege is too slow to effectively escape.

It seems to me this would solve the issue at higher levels, without breaking the game for anyone else.



Pretty unorthodox way of thinking that’s for sure. I was thinking monk train at 75% faith instead of 100%.

1 Like

I like it. Nice original thought. I don’t think it’d impact elephants. But this kind of skill-dependent counterplay to monks would be good.


The biggest way it could help elephants is in tandem with other units. You pretty much always know what they’re going to try to convert, with elephants, so just by sending them back you could render their monks vulnerable to all your other units.

What exactly would be the problem with having a set time for monk conversion? And it’s guaranteed to always take that long, so there are zero insta-converts but also no chance of failing to convert, unless the monk is killed. I’m not saying it should be changed to a set time, I just don’t understand the purpose of the current RNG randomness.

The thing about the randomness of monks is, it makes them viable at a wide variety of skill levels. At high skill levels, reaction times are fast enough that they can avoid most conversions, but the possibility of a fast conversion still keeps them a threat. At low skill levels, reaction times are slower, but the possibility of a longer conversion leaves them the hope of stopping a conversion anyway, and the generally looser nature of builds means they tend to have more resources to spare.

The more you narrow the conversion window, the more unstoppable they become at lower skill levels, and the more useless they become at high skill levels.

The objective shouldn’t be to make conversions impossible at higher skill levels, but that’s what increasing the minimum time would achieve. The goal should just be to add more counterplay, to make playing against them more fun and engaging.


This would remove the deterrent effect of monks, plausibly shifting them to as low as F tier units. They would no longer be reliable counters to BBC play amongst other crucial uses. Heck, deleting units would sharply increase in value.


I don’t think it’s a bad thing to cost 25% of your faith for the death of an enemy unit.

As far as BBCs are concerned, monks would still move just as fast as them even without fervor, so as long as you don’t cancel the conversion, they could still chase them down forever.

I don’t see it as a big deal. Plenty of civs already lack either redemption or block printing.

1 Like

Block Printing is a unit defining tech in the Imperial Age, and Monks without it are seen as significantly weaker units to outright bad units.

Monks without Redemption see a dramatic drop in options but can still counter certain forms of play.

Monks chasing BBCs in the literal sense have a long tradition of dying.

That’s fine. The goal here is to make monks less OP at high levels of play, so the fact this makes monks weaker is working exactly as intended. If, after that, bombard cannons become overpowered - I doubt it, but I suppose it’s possible - they could be tweaked gently downwards in turn. No biggie.

1 Like

Either make their techs more expensive. Or just increase their cost to 120 gold.

I don’t think that would fix them where they are broken, it would just make them useless for more normal purposes. The objective should be for them to have lower highs, not higher lows.

1 Like

Just reduce the chance of conversion per attempt from 28% to 20%.

I’d be concerned that would bias things too much at a high level, while still leaving occasions where you have ‘unfair’ instant conversions. I don’t think the rate of conversion or min/max speeds should be touched, because for most of the game, they’re pretty fair.

That’s why this idea came to mind. It basically means you need to be more careful with small numbers of monks, which helps exactly where help is needed.

so with knights you run in a bit once
when you hear the conversions you run out of line of sight
you go back in and kill the monks without conversions while they are recharging

1 Like

That’s the idea. Of course, as soon as the conversion fails, they will be tasking their monk back to safety, so it’s not going to be quite as easy as that. It doesn’t take long to regen 25%.

Basically the idea is to add complexity to the engagement. Right now, you basically just attack and pray. With the change, there will be moves and countermoves.

Isn’t that the goal?

It will be less frequent.

I’d also like to minimize the randomness from 4-10 seconds to 5-9 seconds.

This feels like a interesting idea. There are a few finer details to be ironed out, though. Firstly, the way monks currently work is by chasing units till a distance if they run away from conversion. Assuming that doesn’t change, opponent can still go completely aggressive with monks. Not a huge issue, just wanted to mention that.

My bigger issue is that this doesn’t help the units that need the most amount of help, elephants, siege, etc. This change will mostly benefit fast units like camels and knights. But that balance is more or less fine, in my opinion.

All this is to say, this is a fine nerf, but I don’t have strong feelings one way or the other.


The goal is to shave off the tops of the mountains while leaving the hills largely unchanged. A universal nerf would lower the tops of the mountains, but probably still leave them high enough to be OP, while also lowering the hills to the point they feel useless.

The worst case scenario is making monks ONLY useful in the unfair scenarios and useless everywhere else!

I feel like siege is arguably fine atm. Yes, it gets pretty hard countered by redemption monks, but siege itself is a hard counter to many other things, so that kinda balances out. This suggestion would impact siege less than a lot of things, but that’s fine.

Elephants would still be more vulnerable than anything else, but I don’t see any way to fix that short of adding a unique tech specifically tailored to them(IE, 'Blinders, elephant max conversion range -2, or something similar). However, this would, at least, give them some possibility of counterplay. Elephants are quite a bit faster than monks, so unless your enemy is very aggressive with their monks(rendering them vulnerable), you would have at least a chance of escape, and making the monk vulnerable.

You’d need to follow that up with scouts or something, but that’s still better than now, where you have basically zero options!

At 26:17 of Viper’s video from his More TheViper channel entitled “The Viper reacts to ‘Monks are OP’ video”, he makes the same point I made about having a set time for conversions. I don’t think it would break the balance of the game. Yes maybe it would initially make monks more powerful at low ELO levels, but if they fix the randomness aspect of monks to remove the instant conversions, as well as the stupidly long conversions which lead to losing all your monks, I think we will see more monk plays at low ELO, which is ultimately a good thing because new players are often scared to use them. And once monk plays become more common and more part of the meta at low levels, counter plays to monks and their new fixed conversion time will become more common. It’s just a learning curve they will have to get past, just like when a new civ or a new strategy is introduced. Monks also require a lot of micro and micro is one of the weakest points of low ELO players, so this alone will prevent monks from being OP at that level.

Having a fixed conversion time also encourages more micro and early engagements. E.g. If you’re thinking about engaging monks, knowing their exact conversion time will make you better able to assess whether you have time to snipe siege or monks within that time window. Whereas currently, the consensus seems to be to opt for more passive and avoidant play, because the threat of insta-converts is always there.

Also random luck should never decide the outcome of games. Games should always be decided by superior skill and strategy choice. Getting lucky or unlucky with conversions can swing a game in a heartbeat in early castle age, which is totally unfair, especially for pros if there is money and tournament titles on the line. It’s important to note that a fixed time for conversion is both a nerf and a buff. It’s a nerf against instant conversions and a buff for those zero conversion situations when you lose all your monks. I don’t think there is a strong enough argument to keep the randomness aspect of monk conversion time. The randomness is what removes the skill factor of monks.