Super-Combatants or SC's are exceptionally strong units that act as one man army. In most cases gifted with lots of hitpoints, big size, good magic equipment and lot of magic buffs or resistances, an SC can take weak defended provinces alone or annihilate smaller armies. Building and outfitting SC's is a very popular occupation of many Dominions players. An unequipped potential SC is called an SC chassis, and each nation has access to at least a few, either by normal recruiting or more likely by summons.
It is also an important skill to learn as a new Dominions player. Getting a feeling for how strong certain SC are, and how to outfit and deal with them is important. In single player it is not that important but, it gets more so in multiplayer games. It is also important to learn that not all SC's should wade into battle unsupported. A good way to learn a basic understanding about SC's is to play Niefelheim, a nation which has easy access to a SC chassis (the Niefel Jarl). Experiment with different bless strategies, and different equipment and see how this all works together and learn that unsupported SC's can be killed.
With the proper research, all nations have the possibility of summoning powerful magical beings referred to as Elemental Royalty. Available at Conjuration Level-8 (with the exception of Father Illearth), these beings generally have a strong knowledge of magic, as well as some kind of natural resistances or other desirable skills. While they make powerful casters in and of themselves, when outfitted properly with the right equipment they can also be used as SCs. There are a limited number of each type of elemental royalty, available on a first-come-first-served basis. In general, all ER chassis have most normal slots for equipment, excepting they have no feet slots. They all have 0 Encumbrance, meaning they gain no fatigue from wearing armor or fighting, and most have no natural armor (0 protection) although some do.
Queens of Elemental Water
Bathusma, Thalassa and Limne are all powerful Water mages (W4) with 65 hp each and above average combat stats. They all have Recuperation skills (ie. they naturally heal afflictions over time), 100% cold and poison resistance and the ability to Regenerate 100% hp each combat round when fighting underwater. Bathusma and Thalassa are aquatic (ie. they need an Amulet of the Fish to enter land provinces), while Limne is amphibian, but their regenerative powers are somewhat diminished on land (90%, 75% and 50% hp/round respectively). Thalussa has Dark Vision.
In combat these ladies of the deep can self-buff Breath of Winter, Water Shield and Quicken Self. When used as casters, the AI will likely spam Falling Frost, Desiccation or Sailor's Death and the like. But one of their most terrible abilities is the ease with which they can cast such spells as Grip of Winter or Quagmire. It is fairly easy to give them 100% resistance vs both fire and shock, and combined with their amazing regeneration abilities makes them very tough to kill through damage alone. Possible equipment could be a Burning pearl and Dragon Helmet (100% vs. fire), Copper Plate (100% vs. shock) or Robe of Shadows (ethereal), Vine Shield (crowd control), Cat Charm (defense stat buffs) and a Fire/Frost Brand for a weapon.
Without fire resistance, they are quite vulnerable to enemies that use Fire Shield (ie. fire elementals; could be a bug, but they self-inflict massive damage when they hit such enemies).
Kings of Elemental Fire
Pyriphlogos and Rhuax are powerful Fire mages (F4 and F4E1, respectively) with high strength and attack but low defense stats. They each have 100% fire and poison resistance and generate powerful Heat Auras with a permanent Fire Shield spell active, and have Dark Vision. Pyriphlogos has 54 hp, is Ethereal and can summon Fire Elemental allies. Rhuax has 87 hp, a stony natural armor skin (prot 13) and can summon Magma Children (fire immune troops) allies. Neither of them can enter underwater provinces.
These glowing guys don't gain too many meaningful defensive buff choices from Fire that they don't already possess. Maybe try Phoenix Pyre, which may or may not be a good idea (Rhuax has a few more choices from his Earth splash). However, these guys might be just the candidates to pull off casting Fire Storm while leading a communion using a Crystal Matrix and survive to tell the tale. Their fire-based attacks and spells make them excellent candidates to fight against undead. As melee combatants, you could try a Ring of Regeneration, Vine Shield, a Frost Brand plus Rime Hauberk (100% vs frost, plus freeze Aura) and a Ring of Tamed Lightning (100% vs shock).
Queens of Elemental Air
Nephelle, Aella and Thuella are powerful Air mages (A4), each with 45 hp, decent strength, attack and defense stats, high precision, and all become more powerful during Storms. They each are Ethereal, have 100% shock and poison resistance and can Fly. Nephelle has a permanent Glamour spell active, can summon Slyph allies and gets an extra Shock attack. Aella can summon Air Elemental allies and gets 2 extra Shock attacks. Thuella gets 3 extra Shock attacks.
In combat, these gusty gals can self-buff Mistform, Mirror Image, Aim and Air Shield, not to mention Summon Storm Power, which makes them stronger. Add to that the AI's penchant for spamming Shock Wave, Thunder Strike and Orb Lightning and they can inflict some serious pain with spells alone. As melee SCs, possible equipment might be a Frost Brand and Rime Hauberk (100% vs cold), a Dragon Helm and Burning Pearl (100% vs fire, attack buffs), Vine Shield (CC) and Ring of Regeneration.
Kings of Elemental Earth
Oreigenes and Barathrus are powerful Earth mages (E4) with high Strength (27) and natural Protection (16+) stats. They each have 130 hp, natural Regeneration (5% and 10% hp/round respectively) and 100% poison resistance. They can move through mountainous terrain without penalty and are consisdered poor amphibians when fighting underwater. Oreigenes can summon Earth Gnome allies. Barathrus generates a free earth gem each turn, and can summon Earth Elemental allies.
These rocky rascals can self-buff Summon Earthpower, Invulnerability and Strength of Giants. They can also drop Curse of Stones without need of a communion, slowing down all non-undead units to a crawl. Another favored battle spell with a few E-boosters is Earthquake, from which they can quickly heal back any damage while enemy armies get devastated. As melee SCs, possible equipment could be a Cloak of Shadows (Ethereal), Fire Brand and Dragon Helm (100% vs fire), Ring of Tamed Lightning (100% vs shock), Ring of Frost (100% vs cold) and a Vine Shield. Another trick is to give them Hydra Skin Armor and a Ring of Regeneration, which together with their natural regeneration and high hp allows them to regenerate an obscene amount of damage each round.
Pedoseion is a powerful Earth/Blood mage (E4B3) summon-able at Blood-7, but in all other respects effectively resembles his Earth King brethren. His Blood magic enables him to easily join or lead magical Sabbaths.
King of Banefires
Antrax is a powerful Death/Fire mage (D3F3) with high Str(20) Att(18) but low Def(9) Prot(0) skills. He has 54hp and is Ethereal, Undead, 100% fire and poison immune with both Fear(3) and Heat(6) auras, while being surrounded by a Banefire Shield (16 AP damage). He also has Darkvision and his fist attack inflicts a Banefire Strike (decay).
In battle, with 8 death gems he can be scripted to cast Darkness, Soul Vortex, Fire Shield then Attack. Alternatively with enough gems and fire boosters he could cast Heat from Hell or Fire Storm. Possible equipment could be Charcoal Shield, Horror Helmet, Rime Hauberk (100% vs frost, plus freeze Aura), Ring of Regeneration and a Ring of Tamed Lightning.
While strictly speaking not elemental royalty, these SCs function the same in that there are only a limited number of them available for summoning through schools other than Conjuration. This makes them somewhat more convenient to research than the ER for some nations.
Available at Enchantment 7
Barksong, Barkheart and Ironbark are powerful Nature mages (N4E1, N4B1 and N5, respectively), each with 250 hp and high Protection, but mediocre strength and very low attack and defense stats. Each one is considered and Ivy Lord for summoning purposes and offers a substantial supply bonus, but they are susceptible to fire, only have 2 misc equipment slots and are all Immobile. Ironbark has Old Age as well, which means it will accrue incurable afflictions without a magical aid.
All said, they are the toughest ER chassis to deploy effectively as SCs. The most practical way to give them some strategic mobility is empowering to S1, then equipping a Crystal Coin and Ring of Sorcery and casting Teleport. This also gives them some useful astral magic (Body Ethereal, Astral Shield, Personal Luck) if they are to "solo" as SCs in combat. Note: Transformation (Alt-7) will turn a Treelord into another monster with ~20% chance of becoming feeble-minded or die outright. If the Treelord survives the transformation, the new form has the same magic knowledge and gains mobility, but will have significantly weaker body stats - hence no longer an SC.
Probably the easiest way to deal with Ironbark's years is to give it an Elixir of Life so it stops aging. Alternatively, it can be "cured" of old age by raising it's magic to N8 (empower to N6, then give him a Moonvine Bracelet and Ring of Sorcery... a huge cost of gems for 1 SC) or by using The Chalice artifact or global Gift of Health to cure any afflictions.
In combat, they can self-buff Personal Regeneration, Barkskin, Elemental Fortitude and Eagle Eyes, but without further buffs this is unlikely to keep them alive long when being swarmed by enemies. Thus the Treelords really need some helper chaff mages to add some extra defensive protection. Another way is to join a communion as a slave (either equip a Slave Matrix or empower to S1 or B1) so as to gain the master's self-buffs. Such buffs as Fire Shield, Mistform, Breath of Winter, Invulnerability, etc. all work to make the Treelord a much tougher hombre to kill. They don't make good melee fighters at all, so a Stone Bird or Dancing Trident helps take down any nearby enemies while the Treelord is scripted to Cast Spells. As such, they will likely spam Sleep Cloud, Poison Cloud, Storm of Thorns and Dragon's Breath as their fatigue allows.
The school of Blood also has it's share of unique summons, starting at Blood-6. All of them are Demons that gain strength when the battlefield spell Blood Lust(Blood-4 B2) is active, but are susceptible to Banishment.
- Bifrons(W3S2), Bune(W3H3), Cimejes(W3), Gaap(W2), Nycafor(W3) and Oriax(W3) are summon-able at Blood-6. They each have slightly different abilities, but they all share decent combat stats and full equipment slots with 86hp, cold immunity and cold auras.
- Buriol(F4), Ethanim(F4), Furcas(F4), Igarak(F4) and Magoth(F3S3) are summon-able at Blood-7. They all have above-average combat stats and full equipment slots with 62hp, heat immunity, heat auras and can fly, but suffer from susceptibility to cold.
- Amaimon(F4B3), Gorilon(D4B3), Mabakiel(D3B3) and Mastema(B4) are Demons summon-able at Blood-8. They each have slightly different abilities, but they all share above-average combat stats and full equipment slots with 55hp, Darkpower, poison immunity, stealthy and can fly.
- Belphegor (F4E4B4), Belial (F4N4B4), Buer (F5D3B4) and Pazuzu (A5D3B4) are summon-able at Blood-9. They all have slightly different hp, stats and abilities, although each one is quite powerful in it's own right. Immunities generally match their elemental paths.
- Niefel Jarl
- try equipping a Frost Brand, Vine Shield, Horned Helmet, Ethereal Robe, Boots of the Messenger, Lucky Pendant and Ring of Regeneration. An Earth/Nature bless also helps increase his fighting longevity. Script Bless, Holy Avenger, Breath of Winter, Quicken Self, Attack. Substitute a Dragon Helm and Ring of Fire Protection vs nations using fire magic.
- Siege Golem
- cast the ritual at Constr-9 with an E3 mage, then convert the summoned unit into a commander using Gift of Reason (Thaum-4 N4). Forge a pair of Stymphalian Wings (E4) with other equipment added as needed, such as extra attack (stone bird, serpent etc). The resulting SC chassis has flying, trampling, mindless (immune to mind hunt), fear, all resistances (100% vs fire, cold, shock, poison), 0 enc, 24 base protection (even more with the armor), turn 1 attacker (hard to counter with any mage or teleporting thug that needs a turn or more to buff). Fly several of these ahead of your armies to break the walls of a castle. Perfect to combine with almost any battlefield-wide effect as they are immune to most everything (ie. fatigue spells, acid, all elemental damage, destruction, iron bane etc).
- cast the ritual at Constr-8 with an S3E2 mage, then convert the summoned unit into a commander using Gift of Reason (Thaum-4 N4). Like the Siege Golem discussed above, Golems have lots of resistances, and can self-buff using their astral magic. Outfit it with a Charcoal Shield, a Fire/Frost Brand, and Boots of Quickness. Script Body Ethereal, Astral Shield, Personal Luck then Attack Closest. Other useful items are Rime Hauberk, Dancing Trident, Stone Bird and Horned Helmet to make them a veritable walking death dealer.
- Wraith Lord
- available to any nation able to cast the Conj D4 Summon Wraith Lord ritual, this commander can self-buff the spell Soul Vortex (Alt 6) in battle before attacking, which sucks up hp from nearby (living) enemies. Minimum kit would be outfitting it with a Horror Helmet to increase its Fear effect and Boots of Quickness for extra movement speed and attack. It evokes Fear, generates a Cold Aura, is Cold Immune, Poison Immune, is Ethereal, has 0 Encumbrance (ie. never tires from combat) and if it dies in friendly domain its Immortality causes it to be resurrected.
- this a pretender chassis available to most nations that can very easily be designed as an SC available on turn 1. Take at least 4-6 levels of Nature magic (which increases the effectiveness of the Wyrm's intrinsic Regeneration skill) and a Dominion of 6 or more (preferably 9 or 10 for the Awe bonus) which will dramatically increase the Wyrm's total hp in strong friendly dominion. Increasing Regeneration also decreases the chance of gaining Afflictions in combat. Push your dominion into enemy territory, then attack. The idea is to regenerate faster than the enemy can inflict damage. Eventually the Wyrm can be outfitted with 2 Horror Helmets, an Amulet of Resilience and can self-buff Barkskin or have your national mages add other protective spells.
- summon which-ever unit you feel is the most deadly available to you, convert it into a commander if necessary using Gift of Reason (Thaum-4 N4), then make that commander into your Prophet. In friendly dominion, your prophet gets bonus hitpoints, strength and combat bonuses. The higher the friendly dominion (ie. more candles), the higher the bonus. With higher hitpoints, things like Personal Regeneration will also be much more effective. Beware, though, as the reverse is also true: fighting in enemy dominion weakens your prophet. This gives extra incentive to push friendly dominion into enemy territory. But employed wisely, you can make an extremely powerful SC this way. Some noteworthy examples are Eater of the Dead, Abomination, any of the Elemental Royalty or Devils, etc.
- E9 Cyclops
- take E9 on your dormant cyclops pretender. When he enters the game, give him a pair of Winged Boots. So after a year you get a SC god and the E9 bless for your sacreds. With a supply of E-gems your SC god can drop in on anyone within 3 provinces and cast multiple earthquakes/rain of stones to destroy entire armies.
One good way of bringing down an SC is scripting a group of mages to spam spells for which the SC has no resistance. Remember some spells offer no MR check or are AN.
- Frozen Heart (Alt-6 N1) AN, Cold Based, Not blockable by shields, Works underwater, Not vs. Lifeless.
- Demon Cleansing (Ench-9 W5) Battlefield-wide. All demons take 2x damage for rest of battle.
Another way is to render the SC incapable of doing anything or make it vulnerable to being mobbed by spamming spells that raise its fatigue above 100.
- Ghost Grip (Conj-5 D1) Causes 25+2*D fatigue damage over 5-square area, heavy armor reduces.
- Shock Wave (Evoc-2 A2) Causes fatigue damage as well as 7+1*A AN shock damage.
- Sleep Cloud (Evoc-3 N2) Causes 40+3*N AN fatigue damage/turn over a 1+1*N square area for 3 turns; Not vs. Mindless, Undead or Lifeless, Works underwater, MR negates.
- Stellar Cascades (Evoc-5 S2) Causes 25 AN fatigue damage over 5-square area.
- Sleep Touch (Thau-0 N1) Touch attack, 110+ AN stun (fatigue) damage, Not blockable by shields; Not vs. Mindless, Undead or Lifeless, Works underwater, MR negates.
- Sleep (Thau-2 N2) Range 30, 110+ AN stun (fatigue) damage, Not blockable by shields; Not vs. Mindless, Undead or Lifeless, Works underwater, MR negates.
- Summon Sprites (Conj-6 A1N1) 6 very weak Sprites, ranged attack causes sleep. (not very reliable)
- Paralyze (Thau-4 S2) Victim can not move for many rounds, MR negates.
These spells can "one-shot" an SC if they fail an MR check. Use a Rune Smasher to increase likelihood of success.
- Control (Alt-6 S3) Caster gains control of an enemy magical being, MR negates.
- Polymorph (Alt-8 N3) Caster transforms enemies into swine, MR negates.
- Disintegrate (Alt-8 D2) Caster causes victim insta-death, MR negates.
- Opposition (Ench-6 S3) Caster attempts to dispel magical summons, Only vs Magic Being, MR negates.
- Unraveling (Ench-8 S6) Caster attempts to dispel all magical summons, Affects friendly units, Only vs Magic Beings, MR negates.
- Control the Dead (Thau-5 D2) Caster takes control of some enemy undead, MR negates.
- Enslave Mind (Thau-6 S4) Converts victim from a commander into a pathless unit under control of the caster, MR negates.
- Charm (Thau-7 N3) Victim changes faction to that of the caster, MR negates.
- Master Enslave (Thau-9 S8) Caster attempts to take control of all enemy units, Not vs. Mindless, Works underwater, MR easily negates.
- Undead Mastery (Thau-9 D7) Caster takes control of all enemy undead, MR easily negates.
- Infernal Prison (Blood-9 B3F1) Target is instantly thrown into the fiery prison of Inferno (ie. dies).
- Claws of Kokytos (Blood-9 B3W1) Target is instantly thrown into the icy realm of Kokytos (ie. dies).
- Swarm & Kill
- Fire Bola (Const-4 F1) Hit entangles and burns target.
- Vine Whip (Const-4 N2) Hit entangles target (Str easily negates).
- Herald Lance (Const-4 S2) Removes fear from nearby units, 3x damage vs Undead.
- Evening Star (Const-6 F1D1) Hit drains target's strength, non-resistable.
- Axe of Hate (Const-6 N2) Hit causes target fatigue, bestows disease.
- Eye Shield (Const-2 N2) Enemy attacks provoke Lost an Eye afflictions.
- Star of Heroes (Const-2 E2) Chance of destroying target's armor.
- Rune Smasher (Const-4 W2F2) Reduces enemy MR vs spell attack.
- Flesh Eater (Const-4 B1) Deals a Chest Wound affliction.
- Picus + Procus Axes of Rulership (Const-8 D2E1 & B2E1) When double-wielded, hits cut off target's arms.
- Elf Bane (Const-4 E1S1) Chance of auto-killing magical beings.
- Heart Finder (Const-4 B3) Chance of insta-killing opponent (save vs MR).
- Ethereal Crossbow (Const-6 S1) Hit inflicts 999 damage.
- Frost Fiend Cold Aura inflicts fatigue damage vs non-cold resistant.
- Ghost Cold Aura(3) inflicts fatigue damage vs non-cold resistant.
- Guardian (Ulm) Black Halberd inflicts fatigue damage.
- Aboleth/Giboleth (EA R'lyeh), Illithid/Illithid Lord (MA R'lyeh) and Starspawn (LA R'lyeh) Mind Blast paralyzes target. MR negates.
- Manikin/Mandragora' Sleep Vines attack inflicts fatigue damage.
- Sprite (Fairy Queen's troops) Elf Shot makes target fall asleep (fatigue 110).
- Woodsmen Blowpipe Blowpipe attack inflicts paralysis damage.
- Winter Wolf Cold Aura inflicts fatigue damage vs non-cold resistant.
- (ie. natural attack considered magic)
- Ether Warriors (Ether Gate spell)
- Fire/Frost Drake's ranged attack
- Fire Snakes
- Spring Hawks
- Wight both the individual commander and the spell Legion of Wights
- Units with poison weapons/attack
- Units with cold/heat/poison auras, the aura effect is fully applied
- Archers when buffed with Flaming Arrows spell
- Sacred units with a F9 or D9 bless (flaming/death weapons)
- Some national Priests and Commanders come with magical weapons (poison counts as magic)
- Some national troops come with magic weapons (ex. most Caelum troops, Ulmish Guardians, etc)
- Ichtyids or Mermen when deployed in swarms can repeatedly immobilize a lone SC with their nets, which reduces SC's defensive skill, while each subsequent attack on the SC in the same round has an increased chance of hitting.