Angel and Archangel
|• Hates devils|
• +1 morale to creatures in hero's army
|• Hates devils|
• +1 morale to creatures in hero's army
• Can cast resurrection (100 HP per unit)
"With their great offensive and defensive power and flying ability, angels and archangels are among the mightiest creatures in the game. Both do 150% damage when attacking devils. Additionally, the archangel is able to resurrect dead allied troops once per combat." RoE manual
Angels and Archangels hate Devils and Arch Devils, which causes them to do 50% more damage to them. They also increase the morale of the hero's army by +1. The morale bonus effect lasts until the end of the combat, even if all Angels/Archangels die during the fight.
Additionally, a stack of Archangels may cast Resurrection spell once per combat. The effect does not follow any of the Resurrection spell's formulas (including the effects caused by the Rockland terrain), and is always 100 health points per Archangel. Like with Advanced and Expert Earth Magic, the Resurrection effect is permanent. Archangels' Resurrection has the same limitations as the regular Resurrection spell - Golems, Gargoyles, war machines, Elementals and Undead can never be resurrected. Gold and Black Dragons can only be resurrected with Orb of Vulnerability.
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Their only downsides are the lack of immunities and high cost (highest cost of all not-neutral level 7 creatures). Archangels are also among the strongest level 7 units recruitable from a town. They have the highest attack and defense (both 30) out of all level 7 creatures that you can recruit from a town and only Azure Dragons and Crystal Dragons have higher attack and defense (Rust Dragons have the same). Only Phoenixes (21) and Azure Dragons (19) have higher base speed than Archangels' 18. The Ancient Behemoth, Haspid and Titan can defeat an Archangel in a one-on-one combat (Titan can win by defending 4 times and then attacking).
Archangels have the highest AI Value of any creature in Restoration of Erathia with 8776. The only creature which gains size on upgrade.
Casting the Clone spell on a stack of Archangels before the stack has cast their Resurrection, enables the clone to cast it. Typically the Resurrection cast by Archangels (100 x number of casting Archangels) is more powerful compared to a hero's Resurrection (40/80/160 + 50 x hero's Power) and is always permanent, unlike hero spell which requires Advanced Earth Magic to last longer than the current battle. After the clone has cast the Resurrection, it is almost preferable to let the enemy destroy it in order to cast Clone on the Archangels again. Additionally, spells like Fireball or Meteor Shower can be used to destroy the clone. The clone can also be used as expendable stack to use up enemy retaliation, with added bonus of striking very hard and possibly another clone coming soon.
It takes three Archangels to resurrect one Archangel, while five can resurrect two. Thus it could be wise to divide them into stacks of 3 or 5, 8, 10, 13 etc. so they can resurrect each other.
One Archangel can resurrect up to 100 health, so in Castle army 1 Archangel can raise 1 Cavalier or Champion, over 3 Monks or Zealots, just under 3 Swordsmen or Crusaders, 4 Griffins or Royal Griffins, 10 Archers or Marksmen and 10 Pikemen or Halberdiers.
Archangels' extremely high speed makes them very useful to resist Dragogeddon tactics. As they are faster than Gold and Black Dragons, use only Archangels and cast Anti-Magic on them, making Armageddon spell completely useless on the battlefield.
Because their damage is not based on a range of numbers, but is instead set at 50, spells like bless and curse have almost no effect on them. Because they do a precise amount of damage in combat, they are a sure-fire unit. Use spells affecting attack or defense instead, like Bloodlust, Weakness, Stone Skin, Disrupting Ray. Shield has additional benefit of not being Defense buff, so it stacks with Stone Skin and protects better against Behemoths, as they partially ignore opponent's Defense. Slayer is strongest possible attack buff without downsides, but requires specific enemies or Fire Magic secondary skill to work against all level 7 creatures instead of just the "monstrous" ones. Counterstrike is potentially very strong, as by their nature as powerful, fast melee troops they will often be amidst enemy troops, taking multiple hits each turn and with this spell they will fight back, as if they had additional turns. Similar effect can be achieved by good morale, as it's practically a given considering their +1 bonus, same town type army bonus, cheap and common +1 artifacts, and Mirth spell. At best it's only 12,5% though, or average of 1 bonus action per 8 turns.
Casting the Frenzy spell on a stack of Archangels and then casting the Clone spell on the same stack, removes the effect of the Frenzy spell from both the clone and the targeted Archangel stack.
Their great weakness is their lack of immunities - they can be slowed, blinded, berserked, in extreme cases even hypnotized. If facing powerful magic hero, it might be worth it to just cast Anti-magic on Archangels in the first turn to prevent them from being disabled. As Angels have 200 health and Archangels 250, they are not particularly threatened by direct damage spells, but such spells are still something to expect - Angels have very high Defense stat, so if the opponent cannot kill them using their army, they might try to do so using magic, like Implosion or Lightning Bolt.
Another downside is that great as they are in battle, they are also appropriately expensive - while Angels are decently priced at 3000 and 1 , Archangels cost 5000 and 3 , making them the most expensive town-aligned unit in game. Their dwelling is also one of the most expensive in game, requiring 20000 and 10 each of , , and and again this amount for upgrade, and to fulfill its requirements Monastery must be built first, for another 2000 , 5 wood and 5 ore, and 2 each of magical resources. Considering that Castle's Resource Silo produces ore and wood, it might cause shortages without external sources.
Angels also lack any form of area attack, so they must rely on cutting their way through tightly packed enemy troops to reach the shooters or valuable troops shielded by others, and will inevitably take many hits in the process, possibly even being wiped out if the opponent can focus on bringing them down while other Castle units cannot keep up with them due to their Speed being 9 at best (not counting any bonuses).
As both kinds of Angels are flying, fast, very strong creatures, it might be tempting to just unleash them in the middle of enemy formation, but take care to ensure they are not overwhelmed - all-around strong as they are, they are not invincible, they cannot reliably deal with multiple enemy stacks at once, and they do not particularly excel in any single area. They are especially vulnerable to "wasting" counterattacks on a sacrificial, expendable, or tough stacks, so the more vulnerable, expensive or hard hitting troops remove chunks of their health with impunity. Thus when attacking ranged unit with other stacks nearby, either cast Counterstrike on Angels, or try to position them beyond reach of some defenders. Another great spell to use before committing Angels to all-out assault is Shield.
With 18 Speed Archangels are the second fastest town-aligned unit after Phoenixes. This alone makes them useful to have in army, even if your main town is not Castle - having almost guaranteed first move can be decisive in battle and allows to win at cost of far less casualties than more evenly matched meat grinder would cause. This is particularly important advantage for towns whose armies are otherwise slow, like Fortress, Stronghold or Tower.
Because Archangels are 2-hex sized, exercise some caution when using them and other melee units against creatures like dragons - targeting the weaker stack on adjacent hex will still deal full damage to both main target and Archangels, but only the main target will be able to retaliate. This also concerns Frost Ring spell - while you can use it safely with Angels, it's not possible with Archangels.
Large size also means they can be blocked from attacking ranged unit in the corner by blocking just 2 of 3 hexes adjacent to it. While they usually can simply hack their way through any screening stacks, it might take some time as Archangels lack any form of area attack, especially if the defenders are tough troops like Iron Golems or Ogres and do nothing but defending, while the ranged unit can keep firing on Archangels with full power shots, safe from retaliation.
Best secondary skills for both types of Angels are Offense to capitalize on their great attack power and Armorer to help them live longer, as they are natural damage magnets. Leadership is made mostly redundant by their +1 morale bonus, because morale only goes up to 3 and their inherent +1 bonus stacks with all other morale benefits like adventure map objects, artifacts, single town army type +1 bonus and, when defending a town, Tavern's +1 or Castle's Brotherhood of the Sword's +2. Tactics offers a dubious benefit to them in offense - usually they have first turn in combat and unless disabled, slowed down or bound they can fly anywhere on the battlefield. Starting in player-made formation might benefit the rest of your army that does not have 18 speed though, or if you use defensive strategy. Having Tactics might also be useful simply to deny its use to the enemy, especially if they have vulnerable ranged units that you'd like to force into melee before they can be blocked by defending melee troops.
Because of the above, the best heroes to combine with Archangels are those of martial class and well-scaling specialties, like Crag Hack or Tazar. Neela and Mephala also have good specialties, but not-so-good secondary skills - Scholar isn't good for main hero and Leadership is largely redundant in Castle army with Archangels. Decent starting Castle heroes are Sorsha with Offense and Edric with Armorer. Loynis is surprisingly good because of his Prayer specialty and good chance to learn Water Magic skill, which will eventually allow him to clone Archangels.