Part 71: Blood: It Won't Cost Much.Blood: It Won't Cost Much
According to my notes the blood is the life and for every blood bless point you put into Strong Vitae your blessed sacred get an additional hitpoint. If this sounds exactly like the nature bless that gives +1 hp that's because it is. They also stack. Do you want to put 10 points into nature, blood and death to get Strong Vitae 10, Resilience 10, Undying 10 and have an effective +30 hp on every sacred unit? RIP to your scales but it would be pretty funny you have to admit.
Strength of the Flesh
In another bless that is just some other path's bless with the serial numbers filed off you can spend 3 blood points for the STRENGTH of the FLESH which is just +2 strength which means your units deal an extra 2 damage more or less. Strength affects your siege strength too but you only get the bonus when blessed which happens only in combat unless you are a Prophet or wearing a shroud or something. It stacks with itself and with it's earth path clone spell. Strength bonus is perfectly okay for it's cost I suppose.
But blood surge, for 4 bless points, is real good. Blessed units gain the BLOOD SURGE effect as soon as they kill another (non-inanimate) unit. Blood surge status gives +3 attack, +3 strength +1 defense, and +1 reinvigoration and lasts a few rounds and those bonuses are really really good when you math up how spendy it would be to get all those bland stat bonuses off other paths. Most of your sacred units are probably reasonably elite to start with and are going to have no trouble dunking another unit to get this ball rolling and for its cost (and it isn't even incarnate!!) you can very easily pair it with another more deadly primary bless. Did your sacred wizard demolish an enemy at a distance with fireball? GOOD ENOUGH enjoy your +1 reinvig to stave off spell fatigue!
The first incarnate-only blood bless costs 5 bless points and is kind of weird. Blessed units will transfer half of all damage received to other nearby sacreds within 'range 5'. This is best with high health sacred and combines very well with regeneration blessings and spells. It is possible for this to backfire in some situations though especially if you pair it with death explosion. I saw a Marignon do this and annihilate themselves. This sort of bless works well until it absolutely doesn't. There are some extremely high damage spells that exist though that you absolutely do not want cast into your masses of blood bound units.
"Sweet Blood Bond Bro"- DivineFrog's Marverni versus Howareu's Lanka
Unholy weapons costs 6 blood bless points and requires an incarnate god. With it your sacreds gain an unholy bonus to their attacks that does +10 armor piercing damage to enemy sacreds and pretender gods. Like other weapon blesses it doesn't do anything for natural ranged attacks like breath weapons and mind blasts. 10 is a lot of extra damage and this is a pretty brutal counter to sacred troops and thug expander gods. It does still feel cornercase when compared to the other blood options. Several nations do not have sacreds as their line troops and this bless isn't going to to do much for you there.
For 8 blood bless points and an incarnate god you get one of the best paradigm shift blesses out there- BLOOD VENGEANCE. 8 points is about my limit for path spending on a bless and BV delivers. Any time a unit (any unit even your own units) successfully damage the blessed unit they must make a magic resistance check or take the exact same amount of damage they just dealt. Early on this isn't the biggest deal and of course it pairs best with high health or regenerating troops, but as the game matures BV can act as a check on some of the nastiest battlefield-clearing spells in the game. Fire storming or earthquaking into an army with blood vengeance units is almost certain death for most casters in the end. There are ways to get around it of course. Indirect damage from poison or being set on fire from heat auras, instant death spells, decay, using summons, etc. The problem is your enemy has to basically constantly plan around Blood Vengeance and that is just exhausting
Blood is a really good bless path. It's economical and mixes some blandly good stuff with some really interesting stuff with some paradigm changing stuff. Having a god with high blood also opens the door for using high path blood spells down the line which are also generally pretty crazy good.