Monk and Zealot
|• Ranged attack
|• Ranged attack
• No melee penalty
"Monks and zealots train themselves to control and project their personal energistic forces, which they deliver as ranged blasts. While monks suffer the normal penalty for ranged unit hand-to-hand attack damage (50%), the better trained zealots do not." RoE manual
Heroes with a specialty
- Ingham the Cleric has monks as a specialty, which increases the attack and defense skills of any monks or zealots for each level attained after 5th level and gives them a speed bonus of 1.
- Dracon the Wizard can upgrade Monks and Zealots (also Magi and Arch Magi) into Enchanters.
- In Hota, AI Value of Monks was increased to 582.
- Shadows of Monks and Zealots' adventure map view were fixed:
- In Horn of the Abyss , ranged units can now select whether to use a ranged or melee attack.
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Their stats are very low for a level 5, but they are indispensable due to their ranged attack. However, it's only enough for the enemy to strike this unit a few times and it's dead (even if they have no melee penalty with upgrade), so they should be well protected if they are to still deal some damage and survive harder battles. Their stats are also almost the same as the level 4 Arch magi, and their specialties weaker for the same cost and lower growth.
12 Attack is on the low side for level 5 unit. 7/10 Defense is the lowest in their tier. 30 Health is also lowest in their tier. 10-12 Damage is low, but acceptable for a ranged unit. Speed of 5-7 is low to average, but considering their fragility, it might not be enough to guarantee they will live long enough to do anything. They are quite underwhelming troops, as unlike Marksmen they don't make up for their vulnerability with powerful attack.
As their damage spread is very low, Bless and Curse have almost no effect on them, changing their average damage from 11 to respectively 12 and 10. Advanced spells don't fare much better, causing Monks and Zealots to deal 13 and 9 points of damage. Spells affecting Attack might be better, like Precision or Weakness.
While some spells might make a difference for them, remember that they only have 30 Health and so if they are hit by a strong stack, they are dead, buffs or no buffs. Think twice before casting powerful spells on Monks or Zealots, as if they die before making use of it, you have only wasted spell points for no gain.
Direct damage spells are very effective on them, as 30 health paired with ranged damage means high kill priority. Disabling them with mind spells is another option, as they have no immunities and other stacks may need to be dealt with first.
In Castle army, Monks and Zealots both are like improved but overcosted Archers - incredibly fragile ranged troops that aren't really compensating for their weak defenses in any way. Keep them away from melee; despite no melee penalty they are no match for their own 5th or even some of 4th level troops in equal numbers. They can be easily overwhelmed and crushed even by lower level troops, exploiting their low health and not-so-good damage. Beware of dragons, AoE spells and multi-hex attacks.
Being fragile ranged troops, they benefit the most from Archery, Tactics and Armorer. Orrin is the best hero thanks to his specialty, provided they are not dead by their turn and are able to shoot. Valeska is another decent starting hero thanks to Archery.
The addition to the game Horn of the Abyss changes the situation of Zealot, which adds a button that allows you to change the attack mode. At 7 speeds, your Zealot move faster than most low-level units, which allows you, depending on the situation, to wait for the opponent to come within range and choose whether you want to strike in close combat without penalty or shoot from a distance. Skillful control of Zealot allows you to avoid the enemy's retaliation, even if it seems that zealots have less damage. This especially works when you are fighting wandering creatures on the adventure map, as the AI often divides the army into many weaker units.
In addition, in the HotA, Ingham, a hero with Monk specialty that gives bonuses to +1 speed, is a mage and has the mysticism ability at the start of the game, which allows him to regenerate magic mana faster. Playing as this hero, if you develop magic talents, you can easily cast spells that paralyze the enemy: slow on level expert, forgetfulness on level expert, sorrow on level expert, resurrection on level expert, prayer on level expert, blind on level expert, fly on level expert. All these example spells, with a well-thought-out strategy and the use of the attack mode switch, allow you to win the map against the AI with only a Zealot.