Breath attack is a special ability typical for living dragons, but also for Firebirds and Phoenixs . It enables them to attack two consecutive hexes at once, making individual damage to both hexes. However, creatures that are two hexes wide do not suffer double damage from the breath attack. Although creatures with breath attack specialty cannot directly attack allied creatures, they can - similar to Liches and Power Liches' Death Cloud and Magogs' Fireball Attack - cause damage to allied creatures located on the second hex. In other words, breath attack will also damage the hero's own troops if they are standing directly behind the attacked hex.
Damage for each attacked stack is calculated separately. Black Dragons' hate against Titans works even if the latter were not attacked directly and suffered from breath attack. If your Black Dragons by mistake attacked Titans who are part of your army, they will still deal 150% damage.
Creatures with breath attack:
- Green and Gold Dragons
- Red and Black Dragons
- Firebirds and Phoenixes
- Rust Dragons
- Azure Dragons
- Mechanics and Engineers
Two bugs related to the Breath attack remain unresolved.
Dragon Breath Exploit
As a result of the AI being made to always attempt to burn with a Breath attack when possible, if behind the dragon stands a stack of units (particularly such that at least one creature can withstand a Dragon's attack), and there's another, weaker stack directly above or below them, next to the dragon, the Dragon will move 2 hexes (above or below, depending on where the weaker stack stands) and attack the weaker stack; the breath attack, however, will not activate, and the stronger stack behind the Dragon will remain untouched.
Mechanic and Engineer's breath attack direction
Mechanic's and Engineer's Breath attack, when attacking a 2-hex creature from the hex directly above or below them, does not follow the direction of the sword-arrow, but rather the direction of Mechanic's or Engineer's movement.
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HotA is most likely aware of the Dragon breath exploit, but decided not to fix it as a result of it being rather niche and mostly used for tactical advantage.
The AI can play rather well around breath attack, so do not expect to bait enemy dragons into retaliation onto their own stack.