Why you should be using Herbal Medicine

If you had a dozen villagers idling, you’d definitely make sure to fix it asap. If you lost, and saw you had a dozen idle villagers, you’d probably blame that lapse for your defeat.

So why is everyone ignoring what are essentially dozens of idle villagers spread across the map, in damaged units?

Herbal Medicine makes castles heal your units by 72 hp/minute. This is, basically, pure resources being returned to your pool. Take a Paladin, for example; it costs 135 resources, which is restored over 2.22 minutes in a castle. That’s the equivalent of 60.8 resources per minute! That’s the equivalent of losing a fully upgraded gold miner AND farmer, for over two minutes, for just ONE unit!

And it doesn’t take any more effort to task these units to a castle than it does to retask a villager to a farm or wood line after a raid. Just send them to the castle, recoup some losses, and take them out a few seconds later.

But DemiserofD, what about the cost of the tech itself?

It costs 150 gold. That means that, if you garrison a castle with 20 cavalry archers, the tech pays for itself in seven seconds.

If you have time to retask idle villagers, you should have time to use Herbal Medicine.


Sharing some examples from the viper’s game which I enjoyed a lot.

Viper using herbal medicine to heal paladins. Winning an highly unfavorable matchup against britons on closed map.

Magyar cavalry archers. Herbal medicine giving insane values to keep army running doing 1v3.


It costs 350 gold not the 150 you stated, but agree it is a bit weird that it’s often seen as a pointless tech when it can definitely provide some value.


i think part of the issue is that your military should be on the field giving pressure, either forcing the opponent to spend more res or forcing them to idle vils aka lose res…

so its not as simple as resources “returned” from healing, its also resources lost because your military isnt doing anything… monks can also heal military and dont need as much micro (climbing in and out of the castle is slightly more work, but not a biggy)

i do like herbal medecine, and i really appreciate getting it for free with my OP teutons… but i cant always justify it in every game, as i said, the military should be out pressuring the opponent…


Alternate name for this thread: Why we should be nerfing Herbal Medicine. :rofl:

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I think that part of the problem is when you can get it you are more so applying continuous pressure. At least at the lower elo for sure. It comes down to either letting the unit die to keep another alive or losing momentum mid way through a push.

This tech is pretty much useless if you need your army to fight, take map control, … Things like that. In most cases you want to be active with your army and you dont want to waste is ‘doing nothing’. That is why people tend to not use this tech in most cases (Viper already shows there are exceptions).

Note: I am not saying that you dont want to use this tech, but this is the explanation why it isnt used very much.

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With Teutons I use it excessively. I even do the FC into conqs build order with Teutons, so I can heal my wounded knights. By the time I reach castle age all my villagers are normally at 1hp and it’s so satisfying to heal them all.


You mean FC into teutonic knight with Teutons or FC into conquistadors with Spanish ?

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What are you doing that leave most of your vills at 1 hp

It is also heavily elo dependent, if you’re lower elo you can get away with healing your army and easily outlast people until all of the gold on the map is stripped and you have barely spent anything because you lost so many fewer units than they did, that doesn’t work so well if your opponent is able to actually pressure you without dealing with your military if you aren’t pressuring them with it - same reason turtling works much better at low elo compared to high elo, combining herbal medicine healing and turtling is actually very very effective below 1k

Much like building defenses, healing has a place at higher ELOs, you just need to know the correct moment to take advantage of it, like Viper has done in recent tournaments posted above.

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It is one of the best techs in the game; many people underestimate this tech, they don’t know how useful get 6x healing speed, but this tech will not be that much useful in early or mid castle age or even the late one, it is useful in imp or even late imp when you have large army with large production so you can heal your injured units in the castle and send others to fight

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I couldnt find a Teutons build order so I’m using one intended for Spanish, with Teutons. And I make regular Knights which can only garrison in castle, I only make TK to counter pikes. It should be the same for either build order anyway aside from cheap farms and my extreme walling which is compensated for a bit by cheap farms. Age of Empires 2: Fast Castle Conquistadors - YouTube

It happens the most when I practice holding against 3 Extreme AI and they do a 6 minute drush and get past my walls, when the enemy breaks in and I have to fight with villagers, and when I use villagers to tank hits while walling behind my walls till I reach castle. I keep microing the weak ones to my TC and using new ones. Since I don’t make any military till castle I have more time to micro my villagers.

Thats crazy. I have a hard time with 1. How fast do you get to castle? Also have you tried swapping the weak to the farms behind tc to help keep production going and then using the newer ones to defend? I have actually been having a hard time with a feudal archer rush. Thats what my extreme ai likes to do.

Well I don’t stand a chance against 3, it just makes it more challenging to defend while practicing my FC buildorder. I click up to feudal at 33 population, full wall by 6-8 mins then start double walling immediately (took a lot of practice) then I click up to castle at 35 pop. I found if I try go for anything less than 33 pop to click feudal I can’t go up to castle at 35 pop reliably enough for it to be worth it. I get to castle age in just over 18 mins if everything goes well, and have wood to drop a second TC and make a couple of Knights with +3+2 armor to help defend, which I keep healing with my castle as I build up their numbers and get bloodlines. I’ve found double walls are absolutely necessary vs human players since the wall nerf in dark age, which is why I’ve made it mandatory.

And I always micro my weak villagers behind my TC also, and have the full HP ones farm on the front, so they take a lot of archer fire by the time I reach castle age then get fully healed up and can take more, I keep re-garrisoning damaged villagers then sending them back to work.

Yeah, that’s fair for any tech. But HM is probably more situational than most.

People have been saying it’s less army (about 5 knights) in exchange for fast healing. But a more apples-to-apples comparison might be 4 monks instead of HM. Monks heal 150 hp/min, more than twice as much as HM, so if you’re healing 8 units, those 4 monks are a better deal — and that’s even before considering conversion, which is also free resources.

Now, a monk can only heal one unit at a time instead of all the units garrisoned in the building, so above 8 wounded units you should in theory get HM, right? But if you have a sizable army garrisoned, you’re giving up so much map control and pressure that in 95% of games you would rather have, because most mid- to high-level games end from aggressive play before running out of resources. You’d rather pay 100 gold for another monk with its possible pressure and conversions.

So the main roles for HM are when you can’t protect monks on the field; can’t afford to wait for slow monks but have a forward castle; or are already backed up so defensively and have so little room to lose units that you have to garrison and let buildings take the fight.

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Given the tradeoffs of using this tech, even after buying it, perhaps this is an opportunity just to give it to all civs for free when they reach Castle Age. A new tech could replace it, similar to how tracking was removed from the barracks and just provided to everyone for free in Feudal Age.

Alternatively, the cost could be reduced to 50 gold (so the Aztecs can continue to upgrade their monks) and the real cost is the time taken to research in the monastery. I suspect most people still won’t research it, though – due to the map control concern.

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i like this idea in case no one mentioned it… HM was actually buffed for DE… almost double the rate.so clearly devs were aware of its lacklustre performance… but i think they should reduce the price, at least 150 or less because it is so situational…

I think Herbal Medicine is insanely good for how quickly it heals low hp units like archers, and they only have to garrison for like 10 seconds in a TC or Castle which heals twice as fast. It would be really annoying dealing with an archer player who keeps healing their mass of archers, since I usually fight archers by softening them up with some Scorpion hits then going in to kill with my Knights. With just a few hits from Scorps I can easily kill them. Without weakening them I’d never usually be able to engage with Knights. I never use Mangonels because they’re double the cost, but even then, full HP archers can basically tank an almost direct mangonel shot in DE and then would easily be able to heal up fully in a nearby TC and tank more shots, and Scorpions would become absolutely useless in small numbers because they not only can’t kill, they can’t weaken units, and the meta would change to something like TC rush with Britons and Sicilians if every civ got it for free.