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Tips on Completing Chapter 15 of Shadow Dragon Without Casualties

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I would have originally titled this "advice for dealing with Gharnef the first time he appears without loosing anyone", but then decided that he wasn't the sole reason for why I lost a few units on this map.

Now I do think that Chapter 15 of Shadow Dragon is one of the best desert levels in the series, with enough land that even my mounted units can do something and enough sand that the "desert" part isn't just for show. And while I find its implementation questionable, I do appreciate that Imhullu making Gharnef invincible is shown and not just told, which helps adds more weight and importance towards getting Starlight and building up a mage strong enough to take on Gharnef.

With that said, dealing with Gharnef himself is something I've struggled to do without loosing anyone. Units with high resistance are rare in this game, and Gharnef is faster than he looks, so it's easy for him to double characters who could otherwise take a hit from his spell. Even when I've successfully cornered him with help from the river section of the map, it's likely that I either lost someone in the process or he kills one of the people I'm using to stall him.

Not helping is that there are wyvern riders on the map as well that will fly towards the army, and chances are that they can kill the units with high resistance in one round of combat because mages and healers aren't famed for their defense. Killing the wyvern riders before they reach that moment can also be complicated if they're within the range of Gharnefs spell, creating a classic "between a rock and a hard place" scenario if I want to use someone else to deal with them. I usually have my flyer units on the left side of the map so that the magic using enemies there don't cause any trouble, and they aren't always fast enough to make it to back to the main group in time to deal with the enemy wyvern's, and that's not even bringing up whether they're strong enough to deal with the threat in the first place

Again, I do like this chapter otherwise and can beat it no problem, but I would like some tips on how to do so without causalities along the way.

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just use warp

For a less cheesy answer, start by taking a look at Gharnef's stats. Pay close attention to his Avoid; that's his Attack Speed, since enemies have no Luck and terrain bonuses are not factored in there. Now look through your units and mental math what he does to them, including with a Barrier/Pure Water boost (if you have them). Keep in mind this deteriorates over time, although you won't be dealing with him below +5. (He'll leave on turn 6, before attacking.) That said, only a well-trained cleric is going to tank him while being doubled.

Another trick you can use is to bait him with a flier, and it doesn't have to involve tanking him. A Dracoknight can reach the wall outside of Gharnef's cubby in two turns from any of the right-hand deployment slots. Position them next to the wall in line with the lower chest on Turn 2 and he should turn around and go back inside. Pull them away and repeat once more if you want to ensure he stays occupied. You can also use a Pegasus Knight for this if she starts in one of the three rightmost slots. I don't recall the enemy Dracoknights moving until I got into at least one of their ranges, so if you stay away then they shouldn't cause problems. Bear in mind there are reinforcements from the fort near them (first on Turn 8 ) and they're aggressive from the start.

Hope this helps!

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There's three things that make this chapter suck:

1. Gharnef, but if you're fast, he isn't much of a threat.
2. Those Dracoknights, who you'll have to deal with.
3. A bunch of mages that have no respect for the sand.

You'll need to cut your way through the desert.  If you have the Barrier staff, it'll make things a lot less headache-inducing.

For the Dracoknights, use arrows to take them out.  I bait them so that they're clumped together, then let whoever has the Silver Bow go to town on them.

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Use Pure Water or a Barrier staff to weather Gharnef's attacks and those of other mages. Shoot down the dracoknights with a Silver Bow or the Parthia, if you have a unit capable of using it. Excalibur works well, too.

Edited by Shadow Mir

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