Yabusame balanced - Nerf not justified

My thoughts whether the upcoming nerf of yabusame archers is justified. Disclaimer: I like to play japan and i also like the yabusame archer design, altough i only rarely use them against canons.

But lets get into it. First lets look at the raw stats and draw some conclusions from that. I ll use the dragoons as a benchmark against the yabusame archers.
I ll also use the Spreadsheet created by u/Turnspender as basis and highlight the most important parts.


Yabusame cost a bit more than dragoons, especially coin. Because coin is generally more scarce and is gathered slower the cost of yabusame in total is 15 to 30 % higher (depending on what you assume).
Dragoons are a bit faster than Yabusames. Yabusame have practically the same speed as hussars, while dragoons do have 0.5 more speed than hussars.
Yabusame have the same HP amount than goons, but have considerable more range resist (50% vs 20%). This means yabusame survive longer in ranged combat but die faster in melee combat (if you adjust for cost).
Yabusame have 50% more range (18 vs 12), which is quite significant.
DPS wise, Yabusame are a bit under the dragoons generally speaking. They do have higher multipliers though, which makes them better against canons especially. They perform worse than Dragoons in all other fights though. Even against other light cavalry, yabusame perform worse (if you let the same amount of ress spent fight, pop adjusted yabusames win). Also: Goons are easier to hit & run with their faster attack animation and higher movement speed.


  • 30% more RR (50% vs 20%) – In Ranged fights, they can take more hits
  • more pop Efficient
  • 6 more range (18 vs 12)
  • way higher DPS against canons

  • lower DPS generally
  • longer attack delay
  • 15 % to 30% more expensive (Since coin better than Food)
  • Slower (6.8 vs 7.25 Speed) (Dragoons are faster than Hussars, Yabusame not really)
  • worse in Hit&run
  • worse vs melee cav

Yabusame are a better in their niche - They kill canon faster, have a considerable amount more range, survive ranged fire longer but are worse in all fights against cavalry (Melee AND ranged) due to their higher cost, are slower than dragoons and are squishy in melee fights. Also their big advantage of more range gets a offset by the fact that they are slower than goons (both stats, which are hard to quantify)
Also Yabusame do not have good synergies with the best unit of japan (Ashigaru) so that s another downside for me.
Nerf justified? I dont think so. They are a good designed unit, which compared to the standard excel at killing one thing (canons) at the cost of being worse against almost everything else (Cav, infantry).

Video Summarized

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Yeah, i haven´t studied this unit a lot, but i kind of know how it compares to other light cav and i don´t think the nerf is justified as you´ve said, sometimes players complain about units they think are OP but ignore all the downsides they have, and they want a nerf just because they don´t know how to counter them or know their weaknesses. I´m glad you speak out this xd i mean is not my fav unit but i play a lot of japan, and in TAD they were a bit UP but in DE they buff them a little in their damage so it started to do quite good; they could be better but they were fine.

I completely disagree with you.

Ashis aren’t the correct composition unit - it’s Yumis.

Yumis + Yabusame doesn’t have counters. Yumi are Japan’s best unit and Yabusame destroy cav and artiliery leaving no real counters.

The comparison is against Skirm + Goon. In this situation, you can still effectively use cannons. The Skirm + Goon player can try to kill cannons with Goons, but it is usually a suicide mission for the Goons. Yabusame don’t have that issue. They move in, take out the falc, and then let Yumis eat everything else.

I think it’s telling that you completely left Yumis out of this discussion. Seems a little biased


yabusame is not effective vs melee cav, you should be able to overwhelm it with hussars.

I agree, don’t they cost like 150 coin?

These are super expensive units that melt to hussar or any hand cav, and perform poorly as a dragoon, their only use is as anti-artillery.

The same way skirms will die to musketeers or halberdiers in melee. These are units you need to kite with.

It’s not like they’re paired with longbows that cant kite. Yumi fire like skirms. So yes, you need to kite your ranged army vs melee cav. Melee cav don’t counter yabusame unless they caught them off guard and the owner just decides to not kite with their ranged units vs melee units.

Also Yumi counter cavalry when massed. So the 2 unit composition cannot be beat. It needs the nerf.


That is if the hand cav can get close enough, it’s quite simple to keep cav away by building your base in a way that causes bad pathing. That’s also what makes the yumi so strong, and together the synergy is incredible

Also they cost less food I think the total cost is like 30 resources more, witch is hardly a lot considering that yumi are a cheaper skirmisher by 10 res so overall the cost Factoring everything in is not a significant increase since japan saves 10 resources per yumi and typically you make more skirms than you do dragoons, also generally ranged units are always better than melee units witch is why a unit with 50% ranged resist is insane.


Yabusame is OP Tier S

Yumi is OP Tier S

Ashi is OP Tier S

Naginata is nice Tier A

Incendiary arrow is nice Tier A

Samurai is OK Tier B/C (but probably the better unit in his rol)


The discussion was Goons vs yabus. Yabus are worse in a lot of situations compared to goons.
When up against Yumi/Yabu you should mix in more huss, as yabus are worse against melee cav than goons.
Sure yabus are good against canons, but japanese dont have acess to a effective other art counter.

i didnt even say you should mix Ashi with yabus. I said that making Yabus dont make a good unit composition with Ashis and ashis being one of the best units of japan means you often cant make yabus (Since then you need to switch away from ashigarus too)

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I’d lower yabusame to 8 damage and 16 range, with the original 200hp and 50rr, and then give japan access to “ranged cavalry caracole” at the arsenal or pavillion. then the unit wouldn’t overscale, and wouldn’t be quite so long ranged initially, but with caracole you can add the extra 2 range and 10% damage which would bring them in fortress age to nearly the same stats as currently (about 0.2 damage less), but only after an investment.

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Well if you use your huss on the Yumis, you force the japanese player to fight. Then you cant “hit and run” anymore, since yumi cant outrun huss. Yabu DPS against huss is not high enough to kill the huss and protect the yumis. This is the downside of having yabus compared to goons

I do understand your point.
The problem with Yabusame is that skirmishers just don’t kill they effectively.
Trading Hussars vs Yumi are not productive if the skirmishers cannot kill the remaining Yabusames.

But I must say that I also don’t like the solution of just nerfing the ranged resistance without giving anything else.

Honestly I think the best solution is to nerf the range resistance and give the same amount on HP buff to compensate.
In this way they get properly countered by units that supposed to counter them, and only the units that supposed to counter Yabusame will do kill them faster.

So -5% on ranged resistance and +5% on HP will be the ideal.

PS: If you are the AndiAOE. I’m a big fan of yours. Your videos are quite interesting and detailed. :+1:

I think yabusame in Isolation is fine its just the combination with yumis that makes it too strong.

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You didn’t mention Yumi at all in your post. You only mentioned Ashi and how they don’t synergize with Yabusame. Your post is just a 1:1 comparison between Yabusame and Goons, without taking into consideration the Yumi/Yabusame composition. I was the first person in this thread to refer to skirmishers or Yumi.

There are a lot of assumptions here:

  1. Can Hussar close in on the Yumi without losing half their mass? As I’ve mentioned before, Yumi counter Hussar when massed. If you have 21 veteran Yumis, you will be able to one shot a veteran Hussar. 8 Yabusame will 2 shot a hussar (1.5 firing speed).
  2. Yabusame wont just stepping in front of the Yumi. Yabusame have a slightly losing matchup against hussar in melee, but they have a massive advantage in pathing (they don’t need to) and focusing fire power (hussar can’t in mass)
  3. The hussar can’t attack both the Yumis and Yabusame. They’re going to get hit at range by something and will die.
  4. Your hussar are going on a suicide mission, so what’s your follow up? Your Hussar are all going to die trying to snare this army and the advantage you get is… your skirms can move in? Skirms lose to Yumi. The Japanese player can just sack most of their Yabusame and win the skirm war.

I am not at all convinced by your argument.


If yumi is the problem, then yumi is the unit to nerf no? Yumi/Yabu trades better vs skirm goon (someone has to have the best skirm goon comp) but trade worse vs Skirm/huss or musk/huss. Ofc someone would need to test all kind of unit compositions and matchups, from the pro games i saw i am not at all impressed by yumi/yabu composition (see the discussion here. Some suggestion of balance - Page 2 - ESOCommunity).

Well musk/huss is a perfectly viable unit composition but from the way you sound that “cant work” because of the melee pathing (spoiler: it does work even with current pathing).

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No. Yabusame got a buff and now the composition is overpowered. Thus, reverse the buff. While Yumi might need a nerf, they were okay before the Yabusame buff for DE.

Trades worse vs musk huss? You mean still beat it without much issue? Musk can’t do anything to skirms or goons (or the Janapese equivalents). Being slightly worse at a matchup you dominate anyways isn’t really a negative. You’re gaining a significant advantage over a 1:1 composition match up and you’re giving up a ‘winning more’ advantage against a match up you dominate.

It does not work against Skirm/Goon or Yumi/Yabusame. Are you seriously suggesting that you can beat Yumi/Yabusame with Musk/Huss? As I said above your musk aren’t doing anything. Yumi arches have 30% RR , deal bonus damage, and have longer range. Yabusame have 50% RR, deal 38 damage every 3 seconds (vs musks doing 13.8 ranged at them), and have longer range. Not to mention they can both infinitely kite musketeers (little harder with yumi, you have to use the range advantage).

Did we watch the same games? Yabusame were very clutch units.

If we want to bring outside discussion to it then here you go: Some suggestion of balance - Page 2 - ESOCommunity

  • Hazza agreeing that Yabs need nerfed

In reference to the video you seem to be alluding to: Some suggestion of balance - Page 2 - ESOCommunity

  • Hazza clarifying that the engagement was good for Dutch since they were trapped around a treasure and the Japanese army couldn’t fight well. “this fight shouldnt have gone that way normally”
  • Dutch had a 3 unit composition. This SHOULD beat 2 unit compositions.

And then we have the thread you posted there with the same topic. Yabusame balanced - Nerf not justified - ESOCommunity

  • Squamiger has a nice post with 9 upvotes detailing how they do need the nerf
  • Mitoe has a 24 upvote post going over how there needs to be a nerf. Goes further to say that the current stat spread was IMMEDIATELY NERFED during the ESOC Patch days

certain civs have absolutely no difficulty dealing with yumi-yabu. any civ that can ship mamelukes, also spahi for otto, the huge rattan shipments from china and just chinese cav generally after double faced, and of course spain with lancers and such. I’ve seen longbows win that fight too, but that really just depends on how glitchey longbows decide to be that particular day. All in all I think yabusame have been overtuned but yumi are the longstanding issue.

what other civ can crank their skirm unit up to 24 damage in age 2? (yumi attack +japan cons and daymio), then over 30 in age 3 with vet + pavillion, nevermind way of the bow hp/range. lets remember that a gurkha in age 4 is 24 damage, just so we’re clear

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Melee cavalry murders yumi yabu. This nerf is just done to apease the QQ community.

Not synergizing with ashi does not make Yabus bad though. Yumi are also OP. So you pick either [Ashi + canon] or [Yumi + Yamu]. This is how most civs work. Not every civ can just Carolean spam (or ashi spam). Having choices between several OP unit compositions is not a problem.

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just because hazza says on first sight that an engagement “is good for dutch” doesnt mean it is lol. Japanese had bigger army, better upgrades (at least 2 more cards + consulate + wonder). If dutch had cav combat, dutch army completely rolls over japanese here prooving that the unit composition itself is very well beatable, even by a smaller army with worse upgrades (!!). Dutch player was just too behind at that point hence why he lost that game.
On that note: ofc they are going to disagree - a good amount of ppl in ESOC forum are suggesting changes to the DE dev team. Personally i think ppl didnt understand/ test how to defeat the unit composition Yumi/Yabu and failed to adapt their playstyles accordingly (mixing in more melee cav).

I can also tell you that yumi/yabu gets destroyed by a unit comp with focus on melee cav (Skirm/ huss). I have tested this thoughout in lategame and i tell you this is a loosing game for japanese.

Regarding mitoes post: Ofc Yabus are stronger now than in TAD. This is obvious (in tad noone made them). The comparison always needs to be "how does this unit composition fare against other popular compositions". So the entire post is not to usefull for the discussion in my mind (still a great post in itself).