Part 73: Astral: They Weren't Kidding When They Called Me, Well, A Witch.Astral: They Weren't Kidding When They Called Me, Well, a Witch.
Minor Magic Resistance
For one astral bless points you can gain minor magic resistance! This is +1 MR and you can only take it the once. MR is just generally good to have. A lot of the terrible bullshit and even the inconvenient bullshit often allows your troops a MR check to resist it. It is worth noting that the bless is only active when you are blessed so unless you have a way to be blessed outside of combat (Prophet, God in candles or wearing a permabless shroud) you won't benefit from it for resisting mind hunt or leprosy. If you have the spare points there is really no downside here.
Arcane command is more corner case. It gives all your sacred commanders the ability too lead Magic Beings and increase their leadership of said magical critters by 10. If your nation has a lot of magical troops to ferry (Kailasa) this can be a godsend. This isn't something you take just because though. You probably want a reason to spend that one astral bless point.
Major Magic Resistance
Minor magic resistance is fine I guess... but have you tried Major Magic Resistance? For 3 astral bless points you gain +2 magic resistance and this stacks with minor magic resistance if you absolutely want to go full 'fuck magic'. MR is just very good to have. It isn't flashy but it helps shut down MR-check-centric offenses involving things like, I don't know, Blood Vengeance.
For 4 astral bless points (up from 3 astral bless points last patch) your sacred troops weapons become 'magic'. Magic weapons bypass etherealness and invulnerability. This hard counters the Etherealness and Stygian Skin bless and troops with those innate properties. Double check, though, that your mainline sacreds don't already have magical weapons as that is more common than you think, especially in EA. It's an okay bless that is more for hedging against eventualities as it doesn't provide any extra efficacy or damage beyond countering those effects.
Do you want to be cool like Ulm? Do you want to shoot your spells 50% farther? For a mere 4 astral bless points you CAN my friend. This is good on a nation with sacred mages with good evocation paths or spells (like Ulm) so you can lay down your terrible nightmare spells from downtown. Range can be a fiddly thing in dominions and if targets are not in the range for their scripted they can go off-script with regrettable results. It's a very decent bless if you have the mages to take advantage.
:in an extremely Wang Xifeng voice: surely i will kill him to show my finesse
Arcane Finesse is another good 4 astral point bless for mages, though of a different stripe. It grants a +1 penetration bonus to blessed units making their spells and innate attacks like mindblast more likely to pierce the victim's MR. It's a good bless. Like the MR bless it won't help you on the strategic layer unless you are somehow permablessed. Putting a shroud on a mind hunter though... there's a thought.
The first of the incarnate astral blesses. It costs 6 astral bless points and grants all your blessed sacreds the Twist Fate effect per the astral spell. Twist fate negates the first successful attack the unit incurs (but not instadeath stuff like soul slay or petrify). This is of course pretty decent, but is most effective on troops that are hard to hit in the first place. High defense units, units that can't take surrounding penalties like most cavalry and glamour troops. If you have high defense glamour cavalry like a lot of elf nations you have a recipe for frustration because the first time someone finally makes it through your 25 defense and the like 50/50 miss chance (or worse depending on air paths) of the mirror image effect from glamour it just doesn't count. It's not a bad bless at all.
For 7 bless points and an incarnate god you can wonder if your bless is doing things for you, make charts and argue with people on the internet over if you wasted your points or in fact shrewdly took advantage of a poorly understood but potent advantage. The bless describes itself as the fates watching over your troops and anyone striking against them incurs bad luck. The consensus seems to be that fatewaving inflicts a significant maledict on enemies taking a swing at you and that it is ?probably good? but good luck finding out from the game itself. This bless also requires that your scales be at least nominally in Misfortune. This isn't really a huge deal and it is fairly common in the SA meta for people to take 2 points of Misfortune for the points. Good luck scales were somewhat weakened in the change from Dom 4 to Dom 5.
For 9 astral bless points, an incarnate god and at least 2 points of good Luck scales you can be lucky at last. Luck is actually really good. Any time your troop would take a fatal blow (not an instant kill one though) the unit has a 75% chance of just ignoring it. This makes finishing off a lucky unit real annoying. Combine it with pernicious effects like a fire shield or some sort of heat or cold aura and you have a logistical nightmare to fight. As Marignon once I took a Fire Shield, Luck and Blood Vengeance bless and it was pretty incredible once it came online. Luck sees the most use when your sacreds aren't especially hardy. If you have a 70 hp sacred giant luck isn't going to kick in until he is on his last legs. A normal like 10 hit point flagellant though might as well be ignoring 75% of all attacks coming his way. Luck doesn't help with damage over time from poison, or aging to death from decay and all of these things can be kind of important to remember. It is an expensive bless, but having a god with huge astral paths can be a great late game flex.
For 10 astral bless points, an incarnate god and on top of that maxed out positive Magic scales you can be ethereal. Ethereal is kind of like the Fear bless in that it is good-ish at like 8 points but at 10 it is a crazy investment for a bless that is straight up useless against some nation's sacreds innately plus anyone who sprung for Magic Weapons. An ethereal unit ignores 75% of strikes from non-magical sources and this is pretty huge against troops with no magical options. On a hardy regenerating unit you can chew through a lot of chaff without taking enough damage at once to die. That said it is just really too expensive. You can do it but you will pay through the nose. Follow your bliss though.
Okay well that's it for blesses I thought there were other ones but I must be mistaken anyway let me just make a PG with astral AND fire for this one game and take a look at my opti- what the...
:adds death points:
...the madmen... they did it...
Next Time on Bless Chat: They Did It, But They Didn't Do a Lot of It.