When I was new to Zatikon, the Dracolich seemed like one of the most impressive units in the game. Someone pulled one out in coop, and, after most of my units were mostly wiped out, proceeded to defeat the AI essentially single-handedly. I proceeded to request that my coop partners bring a Dracolich, and kept hoping the new unit button would bring me one.
At a certain point, however, I started losing coop games and the honeymoon was over.
Value: Very Poor
Strong against: Early AI
Weak against: Higher level AI, competence
The problem with the dracolich is this: you need to actually kill something for its most potent ability to be of any use. A dracolich costs 550 points, more than half your army; as you’re bound to discover, this doesn’t leave that much room for units that can kill something(with an effective attack range of two, the dracolich just doesn’t fit the bill). It also doesn’t leave much room for command units, so that, in the event you manage to kill a lot of the AI’s units, you can barely use them.
Early AI typically sends in only a couple ‘weak’ attackers, who you can typically kill and resurrect fairly easily. However, at higher AI levels, the AI swiftly swarms you with units that are not only normally strong(like dragons) but also have empowerments(Arcane, rampaging, etc). Any units you manage to kill will be promptly re-killed, and you will soon be overwhelmed.
Drawing a dracolich in random is typically a death sentence, as your opponent almost certainly got more value for their 550 points. You only have 500 points left(excluding general and gate guard), and chances are a substantial chunk of those points went into one or two units. Your opponent should have absolutely no problem maneuvering around your three mildly threatening pieces, and typically needs to be playing sloppily to allow one of their units to die. If one of their units does die, chances are they will be able to rekill it before you get a chance to use it. They’ll push your back to a wall and go for the kill.
If this wasn’t already clear, make sure that you bring enough units to not be easily outmaneuvered by a player or swarmed by the AI if you insist on using a Dracolich(A mason would probably be helpful)
And lastly, a ‘fun’ fact:
If both players have a dracolich on their side, there is no limit to how many times a unit can be resurrected. In one game, in which I had a dracolich and my opponent drew a mimic(and mimicked the dracolich), we must have swapped control of this poor footman some twenty to thirty times. It took me an hour and a half to eventually beat my opponent as I slowly won the game of reversi, making for what remains the longest Zatikon match I’ve ever played.
Thanks to Mongolian for the random construction points correction.