In Dominions 3 the magic paths of your Pretender God determine what effects your sacred troops get when blessed.
How bless works
During pretender creation, design points can be spent to increase magical paths of the pretender. The costs of this depends on some factors. If the pretender does not already have one point in the path, the first point cost will be determined by the "new magic path cost" of the pretender chassis. If the pretender chassis already has one or more point(s) in the path, the cost of the first point is 8. The further costs are shown below.
- 1) if starting a new magic path, use the cost for a new path
- 2) for new magic paths, add the new path cost -8
As you can see from the table, a high level bless (lvl 9 or 10) can be very costly. So if you choose a chassis which already has a few points in a path, you can potentially save a lot of points.
To use blessings you will need sacred units (indicated by an unlit white candlebra on the unit screen) and a priest. When the priest casts bless on the sacred unit it will get blessed and gain your Pretender's bless effects. This indicated by the white candlebra being lit. Right-clicking on this will show the exact bless effect.
All priests can cast the basic blessing spell, which affects a small number of units. Priests with level-3 holy magic can cast the divine blessing spell, which affects all sacred units on the battlefield, a far more efficient strategy. If you don't have a level-3 priest, it may be wise to use 'hold and attack' to make sure your sacred units are fully blessed before engaging the enemy.
Bless has no effect on non-sacred units.
Your prophet is always blessed, even outside of combat. The Shroud of the Battle Saint blesses any commander which wears it, even if they are not normally sacred. Pretenders cannot be blessed at all.
The Bless Effects
The bless effects are tied to your Pretender's starting magic paths. Dying, empowering or wearing magic boosting items has no effect on them.
- The default bless that everyone gets - Morale +2
- Fire 4 - Attack Skill +2
- Fire 6 - Attack Skill +3
- Fire 8 - Attack Skill +4
- Fire 9 - Flaming Weapons (+6 Armor Piercing fire damage) & Attack Skill +4
- Fire 10 - Flaming Weapons (+6 Armor Piercing fire damage) & Attack Skill +5
- Air 4 - Air Shield (20%)
- Air 5 - Air Shield (30%)
- Air 6 - Air Shield (40%)
- Air 7 - Air Shield (50%)
- Air 8 - Air Shield (60%)
- Air 9 - Shock resistance (75%) & Air Shield (70%)
- Air 10 - Shock resistance (75%) & Air Shield (80%)
- Water 4 - Defense Skill +2
- Water 6 - Defense Skill +3
- Water 8 - Defense Skill +4
- Water 9 - Quickness (50% more action points) & Defense Skill +4
- Water 10 - Quickness (50% more action points) & Defense Skill +5
- Earth 4 - Reinvigoration 2
- Earth 6 - Reinvigoration 3
- Earth 8 - Reinvigoration 4
- Earth 9 - Armor value +4 & Reinvigoration 4
- Earth 10 - Armor value +4 & Reinvigoration 5
- Astral 4 - Magic Resistance +1 (Max 18)
- Astral 6 - Magic Resistance +2
- Astral 8 - Magic Resistance +3
- Astral 9 - Twist Fate (protection from first hit) & Magic Resistance +3
- Astral 10 - Twist Fate & Magic Resistance +4
- Death 4 - Chance to cause more afflictions in battle +100%
- Death 5 - Chance to cause more afflictions in battle +150%
- Death 6 - Chance to cause more afflictions in battle +200%
- Death 7 - Chance to cause more afflictions in battle +250%
- Death 8 - Chance to cause more afflictions in battle +300%
- Death 9 - Death weapons (+2 Armor Negating damage, MR negates) & Affliction chance +350%
- Death 10 - Death weapons (+2 Armor Negating damage, MR negates) & Affliction chance +400%
- Nature 4 - Regeneration +5%
- Nature 6 - Regeneration +10%
- Nature 8 - Regeneration +15%
- Nature 9 - Regeneration +15% & Berserk +2
- Nature 10 - Regeneration +20% & Berserk +2
- Blood 4 - Strength +2
- Blood 6 - Strength +3
- Blood 8 - Strength +4
- Blood 9 - Death Curse (Slain blessed units curse their killer) & Strength +4
- Blood 10 - Death Curse (Slain blessed units curse their killer) & Strength +5
Notes and Speculation
- The Blood 9 bless, death curse, gives a chance to inflict a curse on the killer of the blessed unit. Magic resistance is believed to play a role in this. Some players have reported horror marks as well. The blood-9 bless is not a highly rated bless, since it only takes effect after death.
- The lesser blood bless, increased strength, improves the distance and power of throwing weapons such as javelins.
- The Earth 9 bless affects units wearing armor; units which only have natural protection are unaffected.
- The regeneration effect of a nature bless is especially effective on sacred units with lots of hitpoints, such as giants and centaurs. Additionally, even a low level of regeneration will greatly reduce the chances of acquiring afflictions.
Some nations benefit and perhaps even require a bless strategy to work. Bless effects tend to be very expensive in design points, often needing one or two paths at level 9, although lower levels can sometimes work. You will probably need a high dominion to recruit as many sacred units as possible. When thinking of bless strategy think of the following factors:
- Does the nation have sacred units, and are they good?
- Can the sacred units be produced in large numbers?
- Does the nation need the sacred units to be successful?
- Does the nation have access to powerful sacred commanders or summons?
- Do you have access to Divine Bless priest spell with that nation?
- Can the nation afford to take neutral or even negative scales?
If the answer to majority of those questions is "yes" then a bless strategy can be successful. Next you need to think of the following:
- Are the sacred units easy to get and cheap, or are they hard to get and powerful?
- Which makes the units more powerful: a bless that plays into their strength, or a bless that reduces the unit's weaknesses?
- What bless the unit needs to get to the goal you've set?
- Is there a pretender that can offer the bless or blesses you need in affordable forms?
- Can you use dormant or imprisoned options to get more points?
This is a very important part as one could say that a bless strategy lives and dies by this point. A good example of a bless strategy is Marignon taking a Fire 9 pretender. This gives the flagellants flaming weapons and a boost to their attack skill. Blessed flagellants attack accurately (+4 to Attack) with their flails that now do 6 points of armor-piercing fire damage on a hit. And a flail does two attacks per round. Three fire blessed flagellants can do 36 points of AP damage at an optimal situation and this is before their base damage comes in. This strategy plays to the strength of the flagellants which are their large number of attacks and human wave attack potential. It does nothing to alleviate their weaknesses.
A strategy that negates weaknesses is taking a pretender with Earth 9 as Arcoscephale. This gives you powerful reinvigoration which can also help your mages if you make them Battle Saint's Shrouds. But this bless also gives the heavily armored Heart Companions even better protection and reinvigoration to keep fatigue (from the heavy armor) at bay. While perhaps not such a killer strategy as the aforementioned flagellant strategy this one illustrates how to use bless effects to negate weaknesses. Another nation with sacred unit fatigue problems is Abysia, but their sacred units also greatly benefit from a Fire or even a Water bless.
There are great many different bless strategies which range from moderate to extreme. Part of the fun is trying them out and finding a strategy that fits your style and needs.