The Ikko-Ikki has an ability to immediately return to their Town Center if defeated. They can also build Shrines, granting a safe and convenient way to claim remote animal herds. The Ikko-Ikki have access to many upgrades via the monastery, such as the bombardment attack, stealth, the dodge ability and sabotage. The Ikko-Ikki begin with the divine strike ability, which gives them a 25% chance to instantly slay any enemy with fewer than 30.0 hit points.
- One of the more clever uses of a Japanese monk involves their stealth and sabotage abilities for undermining unique structures such as Factories and enemy Wonders.
- Japanese monks are also the only explorer type units to have the classification of Archer, allowing archer specific upgrades such as those from the Carib (x1.25 damage versus Villagers) and Seminole (+25% damage) to affect them.
- If the card Mountain Warrior is sent they will receive twice the normal resources or experience for Treasures, which can be a significant early game advantage (has no effect on treasures adding a percentage bonus) depending on the nearby treasures.
- The card Stream of Enlightenment will reduce the damage of nearby enemies by 7.5% per monk for a total of -15% if both are nearby. This nullifies Mansabdar unit bonuses entirely and still inflicts a 5% penalty while also reducing the unction advantage available to the Spanish.
- When using divine strike, keep in mind that melee attacks are faster and will thus cause more frequent divine strikes. If the enemies are stunned and of a weaker variety, move the monks into melee range to quickly destroy them.
"Like the yamabushi and the sohei, the ikko-ikki are an order of Japanese warrior monks devoted to a form of ascetic Buddhism, specifically the Jodo Shinshu, or True Pure Land Sect. This sect believed that all believers were equally saved by the grace of the Buddha.
The ikko-ikki lived for years as scattered mountain hermits until the fifteenth century, when the eccentric Jodo Shinshu abbot, Rennyo, established a temple in the Echizen province and began to rally the local citizenry behind him. Even though Rennyo was a pacifist, he advocated the use of pragmatic violence during dark times, such as the years of conflict that defined Japan’s warring states period. With the support of villagers and ikko-ikki monks behind him, Rennyo led an uprising against the samurai rulers of Kaga province in 1488. His army claimed the region and declared themselves its rulers. This act represented the first time in Japanese history that a group of commoners ruled a province. For the next one hundred years, the ikko-ikki fought against and alongside many powerful daimyo, including Tokugawa Ieyasu, Oda Nobunaga, and Toyotomi Hideyoshi, depending on their aims. Occasionally, they even found themselves facing warrior monks of other sects in battle.
The ikko-ikki monks wore clothes symbolic of their origin as countryside mobs, with traditional monk robes and varying degrees and types of armor. Many wore helmets, while others opted for the straw hat and cloak of a peasant. Naginata remained very common along with a variety of other blades, and a limited number of firearms. As they charged into battle, the ikko-ikki often carried banners ahead of them proclaiming, “Hail to the Amida Buddha!” and “Renounce this world and attain the Pure Land!”"