Imp and Familiar
|• Magic channel
"Small, frail, and armed only with their natural scratching claws, imps and familiars are among the weakest units in the game. They are, however, produced in great numbers. When familiars are on the battlefield, they channel 20% of spell points spent by enemy spellcasters directly into their hero's spell point pool. " RoE manual
Building the Birthing Pool increases Imp and Familiar growth by 8 per week. With the Grail building of Inferno built, the Deity of Fire, will also make every upcoming week to be the week of the imp, which will double their growth.
Special Ability: Magic Channel
While Imps possess no special abilities, Familiars have ability phrased as magic channel. It enables hero to gain spell points during combat if the enemy hero casts any spells and at least one stack of familiars are alive. Mana received this way is 20% of the points the enemy hero uses for the spell (rounded down). The points go straight to hero's mana pool and are at disposal the next time hero wishes to cast a spell.
However, the effect is not cumulative, which means that the channeling works only once no matter the number of familiar stacks. Naturally, the channeling does not work if all the familiar stacks have died during combat.
Heroes with a specialty
- Ignatius the Demoniac has imps as a specialty, which increases the attack and defense skills of any imps or familiars for each level attained after 1st level and gives them a speed bonus of 1.
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Imps and Familiars are literally one of the worst creatures in the game, upgraded or not, except for the peasant, pixie which becomes a strong and fast unit when upgraded to sprite, and the regular gremlin, who becomes an useful shooter when upgraded. However, they are nice to have as cannon fodder and also to steal some mana from the enemy hero. They can also be farmed for Demons, or, with the Grail building of Inferno, become more than a decent stack, with their double growth. Still, they are more expensive than they should be.
Enemy shooters will often prefer Imps to other Inferno creatures. Therefore, if you intend to turn them into Demons anyway, a good tactic is to let them soak ranged attacks while the rest of your army closes the distance.
Familiars have decent speed for a level 1 creature and can be given to army-less scouting heroes to boost their overland movement.