What should be done to balance Malay?

I personally think they should nerf or remove the faster ageup bonus.

Malay are fine. They are only towards the top at the sub-1000 Elo level, which is not an indicator of strength, because player skill is sub-optimal.

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you can’t balance a civ just for low ELOs because many people there do mistakes and don’t use well the civ bonuses (see Chinese), but check tournament perfomance of Malay:

Hidden Cup V - aoestats Malay have the highest WR/PR
https://www.reddit.com/r/aoe2/comments/1dc80la/warlords_iii_civ_stats/ alongside Georgians Malay had the largest number of bans.

Since the free infantry armor upgrades, Malay now have timing + unit switch just too easy to do, try to go Cavalry vs Malay, hard switch into armored Pikes, skirmishers vs archers? Hard switch into Karambits with 3 PA in castle age, and that continues in Imperial aswell, Arbalest+Halb for instance is wayy too powerful with that timing+resource saving advantage.

So my proposed nerfs to them are:

  • Non-Elite Karambit Warriors pierce armor reduced from 1 to 0 (this way going into a full 1 castle Karambit Spam in castle age won’t be as easy way to counter mass skirmishers, and force to actually pick up the elite upgrade, giving more chances to react).
  • Plate Mail Armor isn’t free anymore (So Malay still have that timing window in feudal and castle age, but that falls off in Imperial where you won’t have insta +3/+4 armor Halbs so isn’t that oppresive vs Cavalry civs).

Those nerfs would keep Malay fine for lower levels but hits them on pro level.


So you want to remove the only bonus that makes Malay as Malay?


I’m sorry if this sounds rude, but you are talking out of your ***. Nobody “just switches into Karambits" upon seeing Skirms. Karambits need a Castle plus a decent food eco and as such it is a hard transition. Likewise, pikes with +2 armor, big deal, just make Forging on your Knights and you’re fine. Other civs have similar power spikes. Tatars get free Thumb Ring, Mongols get Steppe Lancers. Franks get free Bloodlines and Knights with 4 (!) pierce armor in Castle Age.

Malay are quite good in the end, but they don’t come without weaknesses. For example, not having Knights with +2 means their only counter to Skirms is their own Mangonels.


I think Malays are fine. I didnt hear any pro complaiming about them, especially compared to chinese and georgians.

I will drop a whataboutism (which I find reasonable when it us about game balance) that according to stats.io they are outperformed by Hindustanis and Roman accross allElo/1200+/1900+ (1v1 all maps) and are not top 5 (in winrate) in either of these 3 settings.

And this is a “hard” civ that does not get decent castle age knights/equivalent (lacking the second atmor upgrade is a bi deal), and I consider that we should be more lenient toward civs lacking good castle age knight/equivalent or xbows.


Please get your facts clear and don’t come out to say otherwise, if Malay have such a clear weaknesses then why are a top ban in pro tournaments? I guess pros have clearly no clue on what are doing according to you​:rofl::rofl::rofl:

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If you post a 20 min video, courtesy would suggest you provide a tl;dw:

Regardless, Malay might be top tier, but nerfing for the sake of it is wrong, and at least Malay are hard to play at top level, unlike something like Franks.

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Here’s again at the moment, basically the points I said is what he say there, and Ornlu casts tons of pro S tier games as well.

I think this is a fair suggestion.

Absolutely not.

It was not the best idea to give Malay free infantry armor. But it is what it is. Let’s start with small nerf first.

Imo castle and imp infantry armor being free is the problem and not the faster age up. Anyways you can make some changes to Karambits and stagger the bonus by a thin margin. Like 40% feudal, 50% castle, 60% imp. It will be 15 seconds extra to feudal age, 10 seconds extra to castle age and 5 seconds extra to imperial age. Won’t make a difference at lower elos but could be something at higher level.

I believe he’s not denying that Malay are strong but rather with your statement that they can easily switch into Karambits to counter skirms or counter knights with free armor on pikes. Malay’s high ban rate in Warlords 3 is because of its versatility. Its good across all categories of maps because of bonuses relevant to water. Changing the armor of Karambits won’t fix that. But plate mail armor not being free will be a good nerf.

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Well was implying that Karambits need a huge eco to be spammed in castle age, yes a 25f 15g def needs a huge one…, also Ornlu stated it clearly, Malay can easily switch into Karambits mid- late castle age and you can spam something that comes with free 3 PA and isn’t even countered by other trash unit, so your option vs that are knights or cavalry UUs? Malay can the go into pikes with that armor upgrades for free (resources saved+earlier durability). I mean in most pro tournament games that I saw is basically that.

Well he said decent eco and yes you do need that to spam Karambits. Cheap but trained in 6 seconds. So 250 food, 150 gold per minute if you want to spam continuously from 1 castle. That’s comparable to the resource utilization rate of Monaspa, Leitis, Coustillier etc.
And even I misread your original statement to be from a different context. Something like “Malay player hit castle age fast, did xbow opening with ballistics, opponent did elite skirms with ballistics to counter that, Malay can now switch into karambits right away”. That transition is actually difficult, could easily take more than 5 minutes. But if you were talking about something like this “Malay did fast xbow ballistics, killed several vills, boomed behind and then opponent decided to go all-in”, then Malay has these options to defend against such plays.

Ornlu was referring to closed and semi-closed maps where Malay were good even before the free armor upgrade buff and this change strengthens them even further. Anyways I think he’s specifically referring to some matchups against eagle civs or Dravidians where Karambits make sense in such maps.

I never remember seeing a game where Karambits were the main army of the Malay player and they won. It was mostly Arbalesters + halbs and Karambits used to just distract with raids or snipe siege.