[Dom4] Sy on strategy and pretender design for LA Agartha

Dominions 4 is a turn-based fantasy wargame where the player is a god over a nation of worshippers, contesting with other pretender gods for the spot of top dog (er, top god?). Sy, a multiplayer Dominions veteran, walks us through his strategy in "I Equip My Heavy Crossbow" (game admins usually choose unusual names for the games they run). Sy's nation is Agartha, a race of cave-people. I've pulled out a few salient areas below, but the whole video is densely packed with more. First, Sy reviews why he considers Late Age Agartha a strong early- and mid-game nation:
Then a look at this particular game's settings, and why these favor his nation:
The increased resources from the game's settings allow Sy to take Sloth 2 on his Production/Sloth scale. In a different game without the high resources setting, LA Agartha would find Sloth 2 very painful, due to the nation's reliance on strong early troops before magic dominates battles. The "N9E9 bless" mentioned refers to a powerful set of buffs that his priests will be able to apply to any holy units with a Bless spell, based on the magic paths of their god. Sy spent a huge number of design points to crank up to two major bless effects with his 9 in each of Earth and Nature magic:
Clearly with Earth 9 and Nature 9 this pretender will be able to cast powerful spells, but let's not overlook that Astral 2 is an important part of this design. Combined with with the earth magic, Astral 2 enables this pretender to forge crystal coins, which in turn increase astral magic when equipped. Boosted up to Astral 3, and again with help from his earth magic, this god will later be able to summon golems, which are powerful combatants and Astral 2 mages in their own right. These golems, in turn, can be equipped with their own crystal coins to also reach Astral 3, allowing them to cast Teleport, which in turn makes them flexible harassers that strike before normal movement occurs (because ritual magics such as Teleport happen before army movement):
Drain scales (on the Magic/Drain spectrum) are not so bad for LA Agartha. Drain provides a flat malus to research points (RP) to mages in drain dominion, which is hardest on nations that plan to research with many small research mages. Sy plans to instead get a lot of research from fewer, heftier researchers:
Earth 9 was unnecessary and came with a hefty opportunity cost. In retrospect, Sy tells us he should have gone with a weaker bless in exchange for spending more design points elsewhere:
Heat (on the Heat/Cold scale) also ended up hurting Sy a bit. Cold would have increased the efficacy of some of his cold-aura undead, and cold dominion could have shut down some of the heat-loving nations that were in his game:

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