Naga and Naga Queen
|• No enemy retaliation
|• No enemy retaliation
"Nagas are guardian defenders of great strength. Their multi-sword attacks always do maximum damage and are so overwhelming they are impossible to counterstrike against." RoE manual
Heroes with a specialty
- Fafner the Alchemist has nagas as a specialty, which increases the attack and defense skills of any nagas or naga queens for each level attained after 6th level and gives them a speed bonus of 1.
[Show user commentary]
[Hide user commentary]
They are very resilient, hit like a truck and have a good special. The Naga Queens are considered to be the best level 6 units, along with the Dread Knights. Their only downsides are that they are a bit slow for their level and very expensive, combined with their somewhat low defense and likelihood of being targeted by the enemy, especially in PvP multiplayer.
16 Attack is decent, but only 13 Defense is on the low side. Fixed 20 Damage of Nagas is high, and Naga Queens' 30 is the highest of all 6th level creatures. 110 Health is just below Dread Knights. The only lacking stat is 5/7 Speed. By their nature as very dangerous melee troops with low Defense they tend to attract damage, so when using Nagas, make sure they aren't taking too many hits and keep hitting themselves.
No retaliation is excellent special ability, ensuring that Nagas dominate any melee combat in which they are not overwhelmed. Thanks to it and fixed damage, their output is on par with some weaker 7th level creatures. Their gold cost is close to 7th level too, though.
When fighting Nagas, remember that Defend command is nearly useless against troops with no retaliation ability, as it forfeits your stack's turn and possible attack to gain only a small defense bonus. It's better to strike with expendable or especially tough troops first to ensure Nagas' retaliation isn't devastating, then overwhelm them. Conversely, when using Nagas, it's usually better to attack or wait and strike than defend, as they cannot be retaliated against so Defend gives up their greatest advantage of being able to strike twice while the opponent can only do so once.
Best defensive spells for Nagas are Shield or Stone Skin as they are going to be in melee often. Air Shield might be good if your Nagas cannot reach the enemy shooters quickly. Fire Shield works well if you're fighting powerful, high-damage creatures.
Counterstrike is very powerful when cast on Naga Queens, as it basically gives them more attacks when fighting several melee stacks and helps to make up for expendable stacks using up retaliation. Counterstrike and some defensive spell like Shield make for great combo to Teleport Naga Queens in the middle of enemy formation. Even if they don't manage to destroy the opposing forces by themselves, the enemy stacks will be busy trying to kill them and taking horrific casualties from extra retaliations, all the while they are shot at by your other troops like Titans and Magi. Counterstrike combined with no retaliation also means that in practice Naga Queens can take several opposing stacks on at once and win, because they keep dealing damage both in their turn and in opponent's turn, while any melee stack deals damage to them only when attacking and then takes another heavy hit in retaliation.
Mirth and Fortune are hit-or-miss buffs when cast on Nagas, as with +3 total luck and morale they have 1/8th chance of getting another turn and 1/8th chance of dealing increased damage. Because of Naga Queens' incredibly high damage potential, this can be devastating in battle, as your hard-hitting stack deal yet another crushing blow free of retaliation or suddenly strike as hard as 7th level creatures. While Morale and Luck tend to reliably shine in prolonged battles, Nagas' nature as powerful yet relatively fragile damage magnet means they might not live to benefit from morale or luck, so it's still a gamble. Basically these spells are not consistently good enough to have priority over sure-fire buffs, but if your Naga Queens get Mirth or Fortune from Master Genies, all the better to cut the enemies up with.
Prayer is all-around great buff, fixing their low defense, increasing attack and giving speed boost, all in one spell.
Haste and Slow are game changers when used on Nagas. Haste ensures they can reach enemy ranks in 1 turn. Slow practically disables them, as Nagas' low base speed is already their weak spot and with Slow they can be either shot/kited to death or ignored until more dangerous stacks are dealt with.
Disrupting Ray hits their weak point, Defense, but you will need army that can make use of it and possibly survive being in melee. Thus it's better used together with Slow and ranged troops or fast, no retaliation creatures like Vampire Lords, Magic Elementals or Devils and Arch Devils.
Frenzy might be very useful but strongly depends on situation. When facing unreachable ranged stacks, it's just bad, lowering Defense for no tangible benefit. However Nagas have no retaliation special ability, which means this defense penalty only matters if they are hit. Combine Frenzy with Haste, so they can harry the enemy melee stacks like Devils, hitting them hard and then retreating where they cannot be reached, or immediately reach enemy ranks in turn 1 and cut ranged opposition to ribbons or at least deny them ranged hits free of retaliation. When facing powerful enemies like level 7 creatures, Frenzy might be a good way to deal them far more damage that would be otherwise possible and force the opponent to choose either dealing with Naga Queens being the immediate danger and be shot at by Tower's powerful ranged troops, or ignore them and take insane casualties, as Frenzied Naga Queens hit about as hard as Angels. Counterstrike and Shield are also good spells to pair with Frenzy, granting more hits and partially mitigating Frenzy's downside of taking more damage.
Clone works on Nagas with Advanced Water Magic. Its possible use are getting more Nagas and, to some extent, protection of the original stacks from being targeted, as clone is generally higher priority target due to its fragility and the same damage potential. This combo is surprisingly useful due to no retaliation, which means that you can send cloned Nagas into melee combat as they will persist after attacking in their turn, and practically ensures that clone will take at least one attack very soon instead of the real stack.
In Tower armies they usually are the top priority stack to disable with spells like Blind, Berserk or Slow, as Giants and Titans are immune to mind spells, Titans have ranged attack and lower level Tower creatures lack their raw power. Thus it might be wise to have a Cure waiting for use or just preventively cast Anti-magic on Nagas, as because of their low (compared to Titans) health they are also direct damage spell magnets.
Because of their low speed and relative fragility but great attack power and 2-hex size, in Tower army Nagas can be used as screen to shield ranged stacks and force the opponent to deal with hard-hitting Nagas first while Master Gremlins, Arch Magi and Titans can keep shooting them with impunity.
If you have them, Master Genies should either cast spells on Titans or Naga Queens, as Giants are rather weak for their cost and level, and Naga Queens with their no retaliation ability might be more useful as the main hard hitter. As Master Genies usually move before Naga Queens thanks to 11 speed and their spell power does not depend on numbers of creatures in stack, divide them to cast several beneficial spells on Naga Queens and then send the buffed stack forth to dominate the battlefield. Most of the spells mentioned above are in Master Genies spell list, so your Naga Queens should have at least some buffs appropriate for the current situation.
One of the great things about Naga Queens is that their building upgrade requires no wood, making them under certain situations much more feasible to obtain compared to Arch Magi.
A good tactic for early game on maps with relatively enough resources is to try to build the upgraded Golden Pavilion as soon as possible, building the base dwelling first week (together with Citadel or even Castle, on rare occasions) and upgrading it the week after. The 4-6 Naga Queens at the beginning of the second week will ensure your victory over almost any neutral stack, allowing you to expand way quicker.