1.Disciples in Supremacy are underwhelming when it comes to their role in comparison to other units with similar roles, even when taking into account cost. I believe the best point of reference for early game support-Hero trainable unit in this regard are Spanish War Dogs.
- To pick the White Pagoda Wonder is to sacrifice many other powerful options instead. This is why it is meant to provide you with a viable improved proper unit, beyond just a scout. Sadly even if you spend the extra money to buy more upgrades from the Monastery, they are barely competitive with other scout units, when they should be a proper cheap unit at this point. Moreover, they are the only scout with shock infantry tag, making them useless against the most produced Age II unit, musks. Besides this, they cannot raid because of their negative multipliers vs vills and they cannot snare.
I believe that this situation is a result of an over-nerf from when China was first released, Disciples had more critical hit chance and could convert enemy units. White Pagoda rush used to be unstoppable. I think this should be revisited to find the right balance and make this unit useful (but not OP), and White Pagoda viable.
Here is a list of pets and scouts from Age II so you can judge for yourself.
Disciple Age II without upgrades (80food, build limit 5)
Fully upgraded disciple Age II (White Pagoda + 225 wood Saloon cost + 300 food, 300 gold for upgrades) (build limit 10)
Age II Unpgraded Spanish War Dog (75food, build limit 5)
Fully Upgraded Spanish War dog (Conquistador, Team Hand Infantry Attack, Archaic Infrantry HP cards)
Age II Unpgraded Scout (90wood, build limit 5)
Fully Upgraded Scout (Advanced Scout Card, build limit 25, 1pop)
Age II Unupgraded Axehilt the Tame Tiger (135food, Requires ''Favorable Karma card, build limit 10)
Fully upgraded Axehilt the Tame Tiger (Dravidian Martial Arts card)
Age II Unpgraded Wagner the Pet White Tiger (120 food, build limit 10)
Fully Upgraded Wagner the Pet White Tiger (225wood Monastery, 75food 75 coin upgrade, Dravidian Martial Arts card)
For the lols but they don’t classify Age II Envoy (50food, build limit 5)
Also tricky to classify because of range attack bonus and because it is probably bug cause it doesn’t shadow tech to Age II but it does for the following ages, Age II Aztec Eagle Scout (80food, 5 build limit)
I think that the upgrades you can buy for disciples in the Saloon should be buffed vastly to both help disciples and represent their cost accordingly. As to not affect treaty too much, this buff should act on regards to initial Age I base stats and not over their shadow-tech. An alternative solution is to buff the Age II White Pagoda effect.
Either remove their shock infantry tag or fully embrace it by giving them a snare ability when you build White Pagoda and maybe remove their penalty vs vills (this should be under observation tho).
This would be the cherry on top and maybe too much to ask but if you could represent their new warrior status (while making them esthetically different to Rattan shields) with White Pagoda by giving them this spear or something like this image that would be incredible too:
Thanks for reading!