Death knights - back from the graveyard

The power of dks - Death coil - Haste - Raise Dead - Whirlwind - Unholy Armor - Death and Decay - Human countermeasures - Other countermeasures

The power of dks

Death knights are useless in melee combat, but they are very good at destroying buildings. They have two good spells, but unlike the human ones, three spells are next to useless. They can even be exorcised easily; once your opponent knows you have got dks, he'll build a church and go for exorcism. Despite their weaknesses, dks are still necessary to win a game against a good opponent, mainly due to death and decay.

The death knight's spells:

Spell Gold Time to research Mana usage Duration Range Shortcut
Death coil - - 100 - 10 C
Haste 500 100 50 25 s (1000 cycles) 6 H
Raise Dead 1500 100 50 > 10 mins (> 25000 cycles) 6 R
Whirlwind 1500 150 100 1 minute (> 2000 cycles) 12 W
Unholy Armor 2500 200 100 13 s (500 cycles) 6 U
Death and Decay 2000 200 25+ - 12 D

Death coil Death coil icon

Death coil deals 50 damage to an organic unit within a 5 x 5 target area; it also brings up to 50 health points back to the dk. If there are multiple units in the target area, death coil looks for the weakest one and kills it; then, it moves on to the next weakest one and deals the remaining damage to it. Theoretically, you could kill four units with 12 health points each.

An example: you've reached the killing fields (peon mining area). There are one peon with 6 health, two with 15 health and others with 30 (full) health. The death coil will kill the three wounded peons and deal 14 damage to a randomly chosen peon from the survivors.

Like archer's arrows, death coil does not miss even though it appears to. A unit that flees from a death coil can still attack once and run a few steps but is finally cought by the spell. Death coil fizzles uselessly if there are no units within the target area (using 50 mana!). You can't cast death coil on your own units to heal the dk, but you can cast it on critters to suck 5 health points from them :-)

These properties make death coil very useful against archers and sappers (if there are knights, archers and sappers within a 5 x 5 area, the sappers will be killed first, then the archers). An archer or a sapper will be killed by a single death coil. A death knight with 200+ mana can easily finish off a gryphon. Use one or two axethrowers and one death coil per gryphon to pull of air attacks.

Death coil is a useful spell to support your units in melee battle. For hit and run attacks or if you want mass damage, you had better use death and decay instead.

Haste Haste icon

This is one of the two spells that are worth being researched. Haste speeds up a unit up to the speed of an ogre (with some exceptions) for about 25 seconds. The unit may be non-organic (like juggs and cats). Haste does not double the number of attacks, though, which makes the spell weaker than its human counterpart, slow.

Haste alters the speed of units as following:

The units that are worth being hasted:

Raise dead Raise Dead icon

The first of the crappy dk spells. For 50 mana, you get a slow, weak skeleton. The spells raises skeletons from rotten bodies near the target area, and if your dk has enough mana, you can get multiple skeletons ot once. You can't get just one skeleton and spare the rest of the mana, though.

The skeletons are basically like slow, short-sighted, non-upgradable grunts. They don't need any farms and they have only 40 hit points. This makes them an easy prey for exorcism. More often than not, guard towers and archers finish them off before they reach their target (usually a catapult). Knights can easily kill them, with or without exorcism.

You should only use this spell if all resources are used up and no mines are left. Then you can gain a few extra units for free. But even then, a death and decay does a lot more damage for the mana than some bloodlusted skeletons.

Whirlwind Whirlwind icon

Another spell that is nearly useless. You make a twister appear up to 12 matrices away from the dk, and the twister deals some (but not much) damage to all units in its range. The twister moves around randomly, so it may very well turn back on its caster or just move to an empty area. It doesn't even last long enough; you can't kill a building with it because it moves around all the time.

You should not waste gold for this spell. Death and decay is much stronger and faster. The only use I can imagine is to humiliate your opponent by showing him "look, I can win with whirlwinds" :-)

Unholy Armor Unholy armor icon

This spell sucks up half of a unit's health and makes it invulnerable for a short time. It would be a fairly good spell, but its short duration and its high research cost make it useless. Some players have tried various tricks: cast it on a dk to make him invulnerable to exorcism and attacks, cast it on units with low health to use them a little longer. These units can still be polymorphed, though. You can also use this spell to blow up sappers.

However, you had better use the mana for an attack with death and decay. In melee battles, you should kill wounded units with death coil and forget about your guys that are about to die. If you have already researched this spell, you may use it to power up juggs that have survived two hits and only 10 hit points left. All in all, this is another spell that does not justify its high cost.

Death and decay Death and decay icon

This is the equivalent to the human blizzard. It has a very long range and does lots of damage. It easily levels towers and walls and it can kill many units. This is the spell you should research first (of course after the ogre spell bloodlust). Because it is such a powerful spell and used by both races, I've made an extra page for it.

Human countermeasures

Dong! and he's gone. Humans have exorcism, the coolest weapon against death knights, and polymorph that is equally effective. To kill a death knight with exorcism, 240 mana is needed; for polymorph, you'll only need 200, but the paladin's mana is less valuable. Slow will annihilate haste.

Other countermeasures

Orcs have no specific countermeasures against dks. Both races can make death knights less effective with good recon and a few archers in the city. Ogres will also kill death knights quickly but they cannot be placed at the mine since they would be an obstacle for the peons.

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