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Disciple to the Chinese Monk. Good against archers, skirmishers, and artillery.
—In-game description

The Disciple is a melee Shock Infantry in Age of Empires III: The Asian Dynasties that is unique to the Chinese and can be trained by the Shaolin Master or sometimes converted from units defeated by the Shaolin Master from the Commerce Age onwards. It is essentially a weaker version of the Shaolin Master that can be acquired in large numbers. In standard random map games, the Chinese starts with a Disciple along with the Shaolin Master, instead of two Monks that Indians and Japanese do.


Disciples are unusually quick-footed for foot soldiers and take up no population but have a small build limit, which can be exceeded through the conversion of enemy units killed in combat.

The Disciple has a weak melee attack and acts as hand cavalry, being good against skirmishers and artillery but are vulnerable to Heavy Infantry and Ranged Cavalry. Disciples are treated by the game in the same way as Coyote Runners, so light cavalry units have large multipliers against them.

The Disciple can be upgraded at the Monastery, increasing his hit points and attack. The White Pagoda Wonder increase Disciples' hit points, attack and build limit.

Special ability[]

Critical strike.png Critical Strike (passive): Gives the Disciple a 10% chance to do double damage when attacking.


The Disciple is automatically upgraded at every Age up.

Colonial age up.png +20% hit points and attack
Fortress age up.png +30% hit points and attack
Industrial age up.png +40% hit points and attack
Imperial age up.png +50% hit points and attack

Further statistics[]

As Disciples are unique to the Chinese, only technologies that they have access to are shown in the following table:

Unit strengths and weaknesses
Strong vs. Treasure guardians, ranged infantry, artillery
Weak vs. Villagers, heroes, heavy infantry, light cavalry
Hit points The Five Precepts.png The Five Precepts (+20%)
Comanche Horse Breeding.png Comanche Horse Breeding (+10%)
Cree Tanning.png Cree Tanning (+5%)
Maya Cotton Armor.png Maya Cotton Armor (+20%)
Navajo Weaving.png Navajo Weaving (+5%)
Attack The Five Precepts.png The Five Precepts (+20%)
Carib Kasiri Beer.png Carib Kasiri Beer (+10%)
Mapuche Tactics.png Mapuche Tactics (+50% siege attack)
Zapotec Cult of the Dead.png Zapotec Cult of the Dead (+20%)
Yoga.png Yoga (+5%)
Master Lessons.png Master Lessons (+10%)
Speed Apache Endurance.png Apache Endurance (+5%)
Creation speed Inca Chaquis Messengers.png Quechuan Diet (-25%)
Cheyenne Horse Trading.png Cheyenne Horse Trading (-25%)

Home City Cards[]

As Disciples are unique to the Chinese, only their cards and other civilizations' TEAM cards are shown in the following tables:


  • There are unused voice files for the Disciple for Claim, Disabled and Revived. Probably the Disciple would be a Hero-type unit, as are the second Monks of other Asian civilizations.
  • Disciples converted by the Shaolin Master through the Make Disciple ability will always be Chinese, regardless of the original background of the unit. Strangely, this also applies to Treasure Guardians that are animals and pets.


One of the most famous Buddhist monasteries is the Shaolin Monastery, located in the Henan province of China, founded in 495 CE. The edifice is associated specifically with Chan Buddhism and the martial art of Kung Fu. Monastery legend states that the Indian monk Bodhidharma visited the temple in 527 CE. During his time meditating on the mountain overlooking the monastery, Bodhidharma taught himself a form of martial arts to defend against wild animals and bandits. He stayed at the temple for nine years, and before his departure he taught his disciples the skills he had learned, creating the martial arts legend that surrounds the Shaolin monks to this day.