A new type of troop has been spotted on the plains of Eos nearly every week so far this year. One of the latest additions is the high-flying Steelwing Airships.
This article will discuss how you can get Steelwing Airships as well as their benefits in combat.
How to Unlock Steelwing Airships
Steelwing Airships can be trained after unlocking Mercenary Fighting Pit and upgrading it to level 4. Keep in mind that they will consume corn, so when training Steelwing Airships, make sure you’re prepared for their upkeep efficiency.
In order to train Steelwing Airships, you will need Mercenary Rations and Airship Fuel. Airship Fuel can be found from gathering on Mercenary Loot Caches as well as in Mercenary Chests. Other than that, you will need to purchase a pack to get Airship Fuel.
Uses for Steelwing Airships
According to the in-game blog, Steelwing Airships get a 500% attack bonus when your opponent has an active Battle Marker. That can be your own Battle Marker, or that of a fellow guild member – in either case, Steelwing Airships will do significantly more damage simply by activating the Battle Marker before these mercenaries reach their target.
In addition to their attack boost, Steelwing Airships are strong against Guardians and Traps. As anyone who has fought an empire full of City Guardians or Frost Guardians can attest, they are notoriously difficult to kill, and since they are hospitalized first (even before your traps are affected), it is extremely difficult to win a battle against a player with 100,000 or more City or Frost Guardians and a high Trap Attack score.
This is where Steelwing Airships come into play. First of all, their base attack and HP stats are the equivalent of T5 troops, only much faster. Even before the 500% Troop Attack boost comes into play, they are extremely powerful, and they deal 5x Damage to Guardians, 2x Damage to Traps, and are 5x the Speed of T6 Siege. These mercenaries were made to obliterate traps and Guardians like nobody’s business.
However, Steelwing Airships are a bit like glass cannons – they pack a powerful punch, but despite their T5 HP stats, they only possess T3 Defense, which makes them die faster than normal T5 troops.
Steelwing Airships are best saved for when you encounter an opponent with an empire full of Guardians. If you can’t knock out all of their Guardians in just a few of marches, it’s time to bring in the Airships. For larger targets, consider either sending a single march full of Steelwing Airships timed to hit them just second before your rally strikes. Including a couple thousand Steelwing Airships in your rally will make short work of any Guardians your opponent revives from the hospital.
Remind Me What Battle Markers Are?
If you didn’t purchase the Battle Markers, you’re in luck. There have been many reports that the Steelwing Airship packs that contain the Airship Fuel essential to training these mercenaries also contain one Battle Marker.
Battle Markers were released over a month ago, but at the time, players failed to see the utility of them, since setting a 30 minute rally on an opponent also allows players to view their coordinates wherever they may teleport to.
Battle Markers allow players to keep track of any opponent by marking their empire with a bright, glowing shade of red. The marked target’s coordinates will be viewable no matter where they teleport to, so long as the Battle Marker is in effect.
Each player can own up to two Battle Markers and keep track of two players at one time. The marker only lasts for 30 minutes, during which your entire guild can also see the target that has been marked, however, the target has no idea that the Battle Marker is there and receives no notifications once they are marker.
Steelwing Airships are among the strongest and most useful out of all of the mercenaries we have seen yet. Their addition to the Mercenary Fighting Pits is sure to shake up gameplay, especially for defensive players who, until now, have relied heavily on their trusty Frost Guardians to protect their empires.
If you’re an offensive player, be sure to work on crafting pieces of the Mercenary Commander gear set. This will not only make your Steelwing Airships noticeably stronger, but also to ensure that you have more mercenary troops coming back alive after the battle.
For defense players and traps, be prepared for when your opponent attacks the achilles heel of your City and Frost Guardians. Simply relying on your Guardians to take the brunt of attacks is no longer a winning strategy; consider gathering as many materials for the new Guardian gear set as quickly as possible in order to bolster your defenses.
Over the next few weeks, it will be very interesting to see just how these Steelwing Airships affect gameplay.