Pro-tip: it’s really easy to search for the guardians in the troop menu by searching for the words “gift of” – they are the only troops with “Gift of” in their text, since all of their +4 to all stats traits start with it.
I’ve used a bunch of these troops now for a few weeks and there are definitely some that are better than others. Each one has exactly the same traits, but each one’s ability is slightly different.
Cunning, Purple: damage is boosted 4:1 by enemy’s life. If the enemy has 40 life, it will do 10 extra damage. Note that if you look at the calculated Boost damage, close it, then open it again, it will change back and forth between two targets. For instance, I have 4 enemies with 8, 10, 11, and 15 health. That’s +2, +3, +3, and +4 damage. When I look at the calculated damage, it swaps between 2 and 3. I think it’s looking at the weakest enemies.
The boosted damage is pretty good. In difficulty 12 Explores, enemies have around 150 health. That’s 38 bonus damage. Against purple enemies, that’s 76 damage (the bonus damage gets doubled too).
Defiance, Brown: damage is boosted by enraged allies, and thus is capped at +20 damage. Enrage is only removed by attacking with skulls, not casting abilities, so you will still benefit if the troop casting is enraged. However, Cunning only requires the enemy to have 80 health to get the same boosted damage, and scales up from there, so is more viable in Delves and Explores.
Ferocity, Red: damage is boosted by life, attack, and armor, at an 8:1 ratio. To get 20 boosted damage, you would need a combined 160 life/attack/armor. My Tauros PvP team uses 2x Ferocity, so I miss the 4x bonus, but even still, I have a boost of 27 damage (84 life, 59 attack, 67 armor). This guardian by far has the most potential though. Every 4 match gives it 12 life/attack/armor, which is 1.5 extra damage. That means two 4 matches gives it 3 extra damage – or one 4 match if you’re running 2 of them. All other guardians have damage caps.
Finesse, Yellow: No damage boost. Instead, if there’s a Storm, it gives 6 mana to all other allies. Potentially very powerful if you run two of them. The first one gives the second one 6 mana, and the second one then needs just 5 mana to cast its own, which would give the first one 6 mana as well. The only issue is the color blocking. I’m not sure it’s worth it to run two of them, but it potentially could be, especially with Phoenica, since every 4 match would give her 8 Magic which would do 16 damage during a Firestorm. Unfortunately, the easiest way to keep a Firestorm going is to play Sunspear, which is Raksha. Stormcaller, which would make you a Stryx and allow you to benefit from the stats and mana, summons a Lightstorm instead. So if you don’t use Phoenica and want to use Stormcaller, you might be able to use Taloca, since a 4+ match would give him 8 Magic, and his ability does Magic+10 Scatter damage, triple in a Storm. Split evenly among 4 targets, that translates to 3 extra damage per enemy per 4+ match, and that’s on top of his Lightning Bolt trait, so you’d be wanting 4+ matches anyway. Potentially very powerful.
Persistence, Green: No boosted damage. Instead, there’s a 25% chance to devour a random enemy. I haven’t actually used this troop, but I am 100% certain that the random enemy can be either of the first two targets he hits, which really kind of sucks, because devouring someone you just did damage to (especially double damage to) isn’t that ideal. Also he might try to devour someone who is immune. Kind of gimmicky, not sure it’s worth it in any serious team, although maybe in a delve if you don’t have other better devour sources.
Treachery, Blue: Exactly the same as Defiance in boosted damage – it does 5 extra damage per poisoned enemy. One caveat: all of your troops can be enraged, but not all enemies can be poisoned, so it’s possible the “bonus” damage could be anywhere from 20 to as low as 0 if all enemies are immune (undead or dwarf teams).