Giant and Titan
|• Immunity to mind spells|
|• Ranged attack|
• Immunity to mind spells
• No melee Penalty
• Hates Black Dragons
"Giants and titans are immune to spells affecting the mind. Titans do 150% damage to black dragons, can hurl lightning bolts in a ranged attack and suffer no penalty for hand-to-hand attacks, making them the most powerful ranged attack unit in the game." RoE manual
Mind Spell Immunity
Unlike the Black Dragon's full Spell immunity, the Giants and Titans are only immune to mind altering spells. This is still very useful as they're immune to Blind and Berserk among others. This allows them to be resurrected, but also killed by attacking spells, or affected by any other kinds of spells like buffing or debuffing spells. However, negative spells become less relevant with time as creature stacks become too big for spells to make meaningful dents in them, do comparable damage, or significantly lower their efficiency by spells like Curse or Weakness.
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Together with the Black Dragon, the Titan has become a symbol of the Heroes series since it first appeared in Heroes of Might and Magic II: The Succession Wars.
Titans are one of the two upgraded tier 7 units that occupy one hex, the other being Arch Devil. They are also living constructs, being able to be resurrected, unlike golems and gargoyles, but similar to the Crystal Dragon.
The ability to "burn with anger" and do extra damage to Black Dragons is likely a reference to 3DO's previous title Heroes of Might and Magic II. In that game, the Wizard and Warlock were widely considered to be the strongest heroes and there was some debate among players as to the single strongest 6th level creature. It is also probably because they are supposed to be the opposite of "chaos", the Black Dragon, being created by the wizards with the scope of slaying them.
In one-on-one combat with no stats bonus or defend, a Black Dragon barely defeats a single Titan. However, a difference of 1 more attack or defense for the Titan makes them win instead. Spells like Shield, Bless and Slayer have even more drastic effect.
While an Archangel will normally defeat a Titan one-on-one, the Titan can reliably win by defending 4 times and then attacking. Defending reduces the damage done by the Archangel and the additional 50 HP enables the Titan to land the killing blow on round 5. This defense technique also allows the Titan to defeat a Black Dragon purely by counterattacks.
Titans are the only town-aligned unit in Shadow of Death that can reliably take an equal number of Ancient Behemoths head-on and win. This is because of their unique combination of ranged attack, superior speed, 300 HP, decent Attack and tremendous damage. Ranged attack and being slightly faster allows them to score ranged hits before Ancient Behemoths even reach melee, high Attack and Damage mean Ancient Behemoths take a lot of damage, possibly even more than they themselves dish out, and high Health is the best defense as Ancient Behemoths ignore most of opponent's Defense stat anyway. Slight speed advantage also lets Titans kite Ancient Behemoths to some extent, allowing more hits free of retaliation.
With a health value of 150 and 16 defense, Giants have the lowest health for a level 7 creature (along with the Bone Dragon and Firebird), and are also boasting the second lowest defense value of a level 7 unit, the Bone Dragon's being lower by 1. On the other hand, Titans have the highest health for a level 7 unit that is not neutral, its value being 300, only matched by the Black Dragon's and the Ancient Behemoth's (and Haspid's in Horn of the Abyss). However, Titans have 1 less defense than the Black Dragon, but 5 more than the Ancient Behemoth (also 4 more than the Haspid in Horn of the Abyss). Their upgrade's health and defense bonuses are also respectively the highest and the third highest in the game, being a bonus of +8 defense from the base creature and double the health.
Giants and Titans have the highest max and overall (together with the Angels and Archangels) damage of a town affiliated creature, even higher than a Black Dragon's or Gold Dragon's. However, they have 1 less attack than the Black Dragon and 6 less than the most powerful town creature, the Archangel. Still, the difference between the Black Dragon's and the Titan's attack stat is minimal, and the later won't always be retaliated against when attacking, since they primarily use a ranged attack. And even then, the Titans have no-melee penalty. Titans also deal 150% damage against Black Dragons (but not against Red Dragons, and Giants don't hate anyone).
Efficiency and cost
Giants are very unimpressive 7th level creatures, and may not be worth the gold until your Cloud Temple sees an upgrade, especially due to their low health, defense and likelihood of being targeted by the AI. Titans, on the other hand, stand strong as one of the most powerful creatures in the game, boasting the highest health and max damage for an unit that is not neutral. However, here comes their only weakness: their creature and dwelling upgrade cost. The Titans are 1000 more expensive than a Black Dragon with similar stats and 1 less than an Archangel. The dwelling upgrade is also expensive in itself, but unlike other level 7 dwellings, you only pay a little price for the base dwelling (allowing you to accumulate more units earlier), and pay the rest of the resources with the upgrade.
Giants are subpar T7 unit, but (in HotA) they have some major vantages. First, their dwelling is relatively easy to build on the 5th-7th day of the first week. Second, they can be obtained by beating an Experimental Shop. Finally, they are among the strongest hard-hitters in the game, and 1 Giant is arguably a much better choice than 2 Nagas. Giants are vulnerable to direct damage spells as they have only 150 HP. Their Defense isn't good either, being just 16. Cure or First Aid Tent is highly advised to keep them alive for the further upgrading. As always, Resurrection is one of the best possible spells for both Giant and Titan.
If your hero happens to be an expert in Earth Magic with slow you will be able to dismantle a majority of neutral creatures (not necessarily with the help of mages) before they can land a blow. Additionally - with their mind spell immunity, Titans will not fall prey to the Forgetfulness, Blind and Berserk spells. Even in melee combat, your Titans should lead you to victory in a wide range of combat match-ups.
Air Shield might see some use, but it's rare for Titans to be really threatened in ranged combat, as they are the strongest ranged unit in game.
Prayer is of limited use, as Titans don't really need more speed being ranged troops, unless this increase grants you first turn or lets you act before the opponent, but Attack and Defense buff is good as Titans have only 24 in both stats.
Mirth and Fortune are a gamble, because the chance of good morale and luck occurring is relatively low, but when Titans do get another turn or deal double damage it's usually devastating because they hit very hard already. Prioritize more reliable spells over these, but if Master Genies cast them on Titans, they're good too.
Against Titans, it's recommended to attack them with all you've got before they start destroying your army, especially shooters. They should be targeted by offensive spells in the early game, like Implosion. However, keep in mind that they aren't affected by Blind nor Berserk. You can also target them with Black Dragons for 150% damage, if you are sure to lower their numbers a lot, but this is riskier than having your Titans attack Black Dragons, since you probably won't be able to resurrect your dragons unless you have the Orb of Vulnerability equipped. If Titans are behind someone else, attack that unit with Black Dragons, and breath attack will do 150% damage against Titans due to Black Dragons' hate against them. It works even if Black Dragons targeted another stack, and Titans won't retaliate - thus, when playing with Titans against their main enemies, be very careful to avoid these situations. 150% damage is dealt by Black Dragons' breath attack even if they by mistake attacked Titans which are in their army, so if you have both Titans and Black Dragons, avoid it.
Titans have relatively low Attack and Defense values, but more than make up for it in health and damage. Spells like Weakness and Disrupting Ray are very effective on them. Curse works well too, as it takes away 1/3rd of their great damage potential. Slow doesn't make much difference, as they can shoot.
Air Shield is good protection for your troops against Titans' ranged attack if you cannot stop them from shooting and cannot reach them with your own melee troops, especially with Advanced or Expert Air Magic. Stone Skin is more universal protection as Defense increase, but if you can force enemy Titans into melee, Shield is better.
If strong melee troop is attacking your Titans, consider using Fire Shield as its damage is not mitigated by Defense and does not depend on Titans being able to retaliate. Otherwise spells that improve their output might be better, as Titans are ranged troops with sizable number of shots.
Slayer is of very limited use against Giants and Titans, as the spell requires Expert Fire Magic to have an effect against them. Titans themselves can reliably kill any other level 7th unit in straight-out combat except Haspids (in Horn of the Abyss) and Arch Devils, but +8 Attack is nothing to sneeze at, as it can mean +40% damage bonus.
If you also have Master Genies in army, Titans should be top priority target to cast spells on, as buffs like Bless or Prayer greatly increase their power while letting your hero cast other spells. Consider splitting Master Genies into several stacks, as their spells' power and duration are not dependent on number of Master Genies in stack, and in case of emergency you can sacrifice Master Genies to take counterattacks for Titans or block enemy ranged stacks from shooting back. Most of the spells mentioned above are in Master Genies spell list, so your Titans should have at least some useful spells active.
A hero with Archery as a skill would be very efficient, increasing the Titans' damage output more than Offense would to other level 7 creatures (Archery also has damage bonus artifacts, unlike Offense), making them deal 150% damage in ranged attacks with Expert Archery. With Bow of the Sharpshooter, all of their melee attacks will be ranged attacks, without chance of being retaliated against, except for their own retaliations which will be regular melee attacks. The artifact also adds a 30% bonus to ranged damage, which will make Titans inflict 180% damage with it and Expert Archery, almost double than the base damage. Orrin is probably the best hero to use with Titans, as his specialty increases Archery damage bonus even more.