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Lithuanian unique cavalry unit with attack that ignores armor.
Age of Empires II description

The Leitis (plural Leiciai) is the unique unit of the Lithuanians in Age of Empires II: Definitive Edition. It is a heavy cavalry unit whose attack is unaffected by armor, but only against units.

Leiciai can be upgraded to Elite Leiciai in the Imperial Age.


The Leitis is a variation on the Knight line, with more Line of Sight in the Castle Age, less hit points in Imperial Age, a cheaper gold cost but slightly more food cost, more speed, less armor, and higher attack and the ability to bypass enemy armor.

Aside from the extra 100 food at the beginning, Lithuanians have no real economy bonus that helps them in the Castle Age, and while an early rush into fast Castle is a viable strategy, in most cases the player would follow this up with Knights rather than Leiciai. Most of the time, the player is better off focusing on Knights until the late Castle Age.

If the player starts with a Castle (like in the Regicide game mode) or the game reaches such a point, Leiciai generally outperform Knights in a few ways:

  • In the Castle Age, Leiciai not only ignore melee armor, they have +3 attack over Knights too
  • In the Imperial Age, they are cheaper and much quicker to upgrade

If the player's economy is thriving, and the player manages to create at least two Castles, they may prefer the Leitis over the Knight line if the enemy is not making archer units. Their armor-ignoring ability helps them easily defeat well-armored units like the Serjeant, the Teutonic Knight, or the Boyar, leaving units like these basically "naked". The special attack of the Leitis also has the advantage that it negates every armor upgrade at the Blacksmith researched by its opponents, bonuses regarding melee armor, or unique technologies that improve melee armor, so if an opponent researches all of these upgrades, it will be a waste of resources that could be better spent on more units or attack upgrades, rather than increasing armor. For the Leitis itself, the increased attack upgrade from the Blacksmith will amplify their already powerful anti-armor attack.

A common dilemma for Lithuanian players in the late game is whether to use Paladins or Elite Leiciai, as both are affected by the Relic bonus. This depends on the situation and available resources. If it is a 1v1 match and there are not large amounts of archers, or if there are some specific match-ups (e.g. durable melee-armor units), the Leitis should be preferred, since their attack deals much higher damage and can decimate the enemy army much quicker. But in team games and particularly in a pocket position as well as against large groups of archers and to destroy enemy bases, the player should prefer Paladins instead, since their hit points and pierce armor are higher, and they can still also deal a fair amount of damage, which can be high as 20 with all four Relics collected.

As a cavalry unit itself, the Leitis can be cost-effectively countered by any of the common anti-cavalry counters, such as Halberdiers but with just two Relics, the Elite Leitis can kill Halberdiers in three hits. Camel Riders can also pose a threat to them, since they have high attack bonus against cavalry and are tankier than Halberdiers, although in some cases, Leiciai can actually survive a combat and trade cost-effectively against Camel Riders, due to the latter's slightly lower attack speed and higher gold cost than Leiciai. Leiciai still will not fare well against Battle Elephants and Imperial Camel Riders, so it is advisable to avoid these match-ups. Also, they can be defeated by other unique units such as the Samurai, Kamayuk, Genoese Crossbowman, Mameluke and War Elephant, though they will receive a lot of damage from Leiciai. Leiciai can also suffer against large groups of foot archers, mounted archers and even Hand Cannoneers due of having less hit points and pierce armor than a Paladin, even when they are faster than them. For this reason, using Leiciai in conjunction with the fast and armored Lithuanian Skirmishers is necessary when facing archer civilizations.

One important property is that the armor-ignoring attacks of Leiciai do not work against siege units, ships, and buildings. Not working against siege units is a buff against rams, since they have negative melee armor, thus enhancing the Leitis' attack even more. However, it hinders them against Bombard Cannons, Trebuchets, and siege units with Ironclad. Not working against buildings is a balance change made before the launch, since it had +10 attack against Castles as an extreme case.

Leiciai are more of a 1vs1 unit because of less varied enemy army (it will be either cavalry-focused or archer-focused) and less reliance on gold. They are less preferred in team games, due to gold being more easily available and the Paladin being more well rounded. Also, Relics are easier to get, since they are more in number (Elite Leiciai usually do not offer much improvement after two Relics except against buildings and Bombard Cannons).

Comparison with similar units[]

Leitisicon Leitis line Knight aoe2DE Knight line
Cost 70 food, 50 gold 60 food, 75 gold
Movement speed 1.4 1.35
Other Attacks ignore melee armor
CastleageDE Castle Age Leitisicon Leitis Cavalier aoe2DE Cavalier
Hit points 100 120
Attack 13 12
Attack speed 1.9 1.8
Armor 1/1 2/2
Training time 20 seconds 30 seconds
Line of Sight 5 4
Upgrade cost
and time
750 food, 750 gold
45 seconds
1,300 food, 750 gold
170 seconds
ImperialageDE Imperial Age Leitisicon Elite Leitis Paladin aoe2DE Paladin
Hit points 130 160
Attack 16 14
Attack speed 1.9 1.9
Armor 2/1 2/3
Training time 18 seconds 30 seconds
Line of Sight 5 5

Further statistics[]

As Leiciai are unique to the Lithuanians, only technologies that are available to them are shown in the following table:

Unit strengths and weaknesses
Strong vs. Melee units (especially Serjeants, Teutonic Knights, and Boyars)
Weak vs. Pikemen, Kamayuks, Genoese Crossbowmen, Mamelukes, Camel Riders, Monks, War Elephants, Battle Elephants, Samurai, large groups of archers.
Hit points BloodlinesDE Bloodlines (+20)
Attack Forging aoe2de Forging (+1)
IronCastingDE Iron Casting (+1)
Armor ScaleBardingArmorDE Scale Barding Armor (+1/+1)
ChainBardingDE Chain Barding Armor (+1/+1)
PlateBardingArmorDE Plate Barding Armor (+1/+2)
Speed HusbandryDE Husbandry (+10%)
Conversion defense Devotion icon AoE2DE Devotion (+1 min, +1 max)
FaithDE Faith (+4 min, +4 max)
HeresyDE Heresy (die upon getting converted)
Creation speed ConscriptionDE Conscription (+33%)
UniqueTechCastle-DE Kasbah (+25%, with a Berber ally only)
Upgrades EliteUniqueUnitDE Elite Leitis

Civilization bonuses[]

  • Lithuanians AoE2 Lithuanians: Leiciai gain +1 attack for each Relic garrisoned in a Monastery, up to +4.

Team bonuses[]


AoEIIDE icon Definitive Edition[]

  • Leiciai have 12 attack and Elite Leiciai have 14 attack, and Lithuanians had access to Blast Furnace. The armor-ignoring ability of the Leitis works against all units, but not buildings.
  • Initially, the Lithuanian civilization bonus could give Leiciai a maximum of +5 attack from the Relic bonus. With update 34055, it was reduced to a maximum of +4.
  • Initially, Leiciai trained in 23 seconds (20 for Elite) and cost 50 food, 80 gold. With update 36906, they train in 20 seconds (18 for Elite) and cost 70 food, 50 gold.
  • Initially, Leiciai had 2 pierce armor. With update 42848, they have 1 pierce armor.

Dawn of the Dukes icon Dawn of the Dukes[]

AoE2Icon-DynastiesIndia Dynasties of India[]


Leitis (pl. Leičiai) is actually an exonym used by Latvians (a related Baltic people) to describe the Lithuanians. In turn, Lithuanians used this Latvian exonym to describe a social group of Lithuanian soldiers subordinate only to Lithuanian state and monarchs, not to Lithuanian nobles.


  • The Leitis' armor-piercing attack appears to be based from Medieval and Renaissance soldiers who "negated" enemies' armor by bludgeoning them with maces, morning stars, war hammers, war picks, flails, etc.
    • Ironically, the Bulgarian Konnik does not negate enemies' armor, despite wielding a flail.
    • This helps the Leitis defeat any heavily armored foe such as Teutonic Knights and Boyars outright, which possibly mirrors the Polish-Lithuanian alliance's victory against the Teutonic Knights at Grunwald as well as some Lithuanian successes against Muscovites.
  • Though the in-game Leitis' health and armor rival the Knight line's, Lithuanian cavalry at Grunwald were actually lightly armored; whereas their Polish allies fought as heavy cavalry.
  • A fully upgraded Elite Leitis with all four Relics has 22 attack, which is tied with the Elite Shotel Warrior and Elite Monaspa when massed with 21+ units for having the second strongest attack of all units outside of the siege and gunpowder section, being only surpassed by the Elite War Elephant with 24 attack. Since the Elite Leitis ignores armor, in practice it deals even more damage to some enemy units than the Elite War Elephant. Only the Elite Coustillier can deal higher damage with a total of 40 attack (before armor) using the charge ability.
  • Leiciai and Monaspas wield lances as long as those of Steppe Lancer-line units, visually; nevertheless, their attacks do not benefit from their weapons' length.
  • Despite Leiciai wielding a tower shield, they are not affected by the Tower Shields technology.
    • The Leitis shield resembles the Lithuanian civilization icon.
  • With the buffs introduced in update 36906, the Leitis immediately became into one of the most controversial (for being too strong) unique units, due to being easier to create in large groups and very effectively annihilate most units that they fight at low gold cost and not even being too weak against large groups of archers and defensive structures, unlike the Cataphract. Since it was also too powerful in team games in the very late game because the low gold cost, in conjunction with the quick training time and decent melee and pierce armor while being able to scale up high attack that ignore armor with Relics, this made the Leitis able to be fielded in large numbers and stand up against both Paladins and Arbalesters (both which are highly used in team games) which also explains why they lost one pierce armor in update 42848, making the Leitis more situational and limited to be good only in melee combat.
    • After the change, and until Dawn of the Dukes, the Leitis, despite being cheaper and quicker to train and upgrade, was then rarely seen in most games, possibly because getting a reasonable number of them requires having multiple Castles, while having low pierce armor limits their effectiveness for raiding. Most people prefer to use Lithuanian Knights most of the time. Since Dawn of the Dukes, the Lithuanians lost Blast Furnace, and the Leitis have adjusted their attack, so they become more frequently used again, though mostly against civilizations that focus on melee units, while the Knight line and Winged Hussars are preferred against ranged units.



Notes and references[]

  1. The Leitis has a special property which it shares with melee units with Wootz Steel, and the Composite Bowman.
Units in Age of Empires II
CivilianMaleVillDE Villager · Tradecart aoe2DE Trade Cart · FishingShipDE Fishing Ship · Trade cog aoe2DE Trade Cog · King eu aoe2DE King
ReligiousMonk aoe2DE Monk
InfantryMilitiaDE Militia · Manatarms aoe2DE Man-at-Arms · Longswordsman aoe2DE Long Swordsman · Twohanded aoe2DE Two-Handed Swordsman · Champion aoe2DE Champion
Spearman aoe2DE Spearman · Aoe2-infantry-2-pikeman Pikeman · Halberdier aoe2DE Halberdier
Eaglescout aoe2DE Eagle Scout · Eaglewarrior aoe2DE Eagle Warrior · EliteEaglewarrior aoe2DE Elite Eagle Warrior
ArcherArcher aoe2DE Archer · Crossbowman aoe2DE Crossbowman · Arbalester aoe2DE Arbalester
Skirmisher aoe2DE Skirmisher · Elite skirmisher aoe2DE Elite Skirmisher
Hand cannoneer aoe2DE Hand Cannoneer
Cavalryarcher aoe2DE Cavalry Archer · Heavycavalryarcher aoe2de Heavy Cavalry Archer
Aoe2de DOI elephant archer icon Elephant Archer · ElephantArcherIcon-DE Elite Elephant Archer
CavalryScoutcavalry aoe2DE Scout Cavalry · Lightcavalry aoe2DE Light Cavalry · Hussar aoe2DE Hussar
Knight aoe2DE Knight · Cavalier aoe2DE Cavalier · Paladin aoe2DE Paladin
Camelrider aoe2DE Camel Rider · Aoe2 heavycamelriderDE Heavy Camel Rider
Battle elephant aoe2DE Battle Elephant · Elite battle elephant aoe2DE Elite Battle Elephant
Steppelancericon Steppe Lancer · Elitesteppelancericon Elite Steppe Lancer
Xolotlicon Xolotl Warrior
AoE2DE Armored Elephant icon Armored Elephant · AoE2DE Siege Elephant icon Siege Elephant
SiegeBattering ram aoe2DE Battering Ram · Capped ram aoe2DE Capped Ram · Siege ram aoe2DE Siege Ram
Mangonel aoe2DE Mangonel · Onager aoe2DE Onager · Siege onager aoe2DE Siege Onager
Scorpion aoe2DE Scorpion · Heavyscorpion aoe2DE Heavy Scorpion
Bombard cannon aoe2DE Bombard Cannon
Trebuchet aoe2DE Trebuchet
Petard aoe2DE Petard
Siegetower aoe2DE Siege Tower
War shipTransportship aoe2DE Transport Ship
Galley aoe2DE Galley · War galley aoe2DE War Galley · Galleon aoe2DE Galleon
Fire galley aoe2DE Fire Galley · Fireship aoe2DE Fire Ship · Fastfireship aoe2DE Fast Fire Ship
Demoraft aoe2DE Demolition Raft · Demoship aoe2DE Demolition Ship · Heavydemoship aoe2de Heavy Demolition Ship
Cannon galleon aoe2DE Cannon Galleon · Elite cannon galleon aoe2de Elite Cannon Galleon
AoE2 Dromon Dromon
ReligiousMissionaryIcon-DE Missionary · AoE2 WarriorPriest Warrior Priest
InfantryBerserkIcon-DE Berserk · Aoe2de Chakram Chakram Thrower · CondottieroIcon-DE Condottiero · Aoe2-icon-flemish-militia Flemish Militia · GbetoIcon-DE Gbeto · Aoe2de Ghulam Ghulam · HuskarlIcon-DE Huskarl · JaguarWarriorIcon-DE Jaguar Warrior · KamayukIcon-DE Kamayuk · Karambitwarrioricon-DE Karambit Warrior · AoE2 DE Legionary new icon Legionary · Aoe2-icon--obuch Obuch · SamuraiIcon-DE Samurai · Aoe2-icon-serjeant Serjeant · Shotelwarrioricon-DE Shotel Warrior · TeutonicKnightIcon-DE Teutonic Knight · ThrowingAxemanIcon-DE Throwing Axeman · Aoe2de Urumi Urumi Swordsman · AoE2 WarriorPriest Warrior Priest · WoadRaiderIcon-DE Woad Raider
ArcherArambaiicon-DE Arambai · CamelArcherIcon-DE Camel Archer · ChukoNuIcon-DE Chu Ko Nu · AoE2 CompositeBowman Composite Bowman · ConquistadorIcon-DE Conquistador · GenitourIcon-DE Genitour · GenoeseCrossbowmanIcon-DE Genoese Crossbowman · Imperialskirmishericon-DE Imperial Skirmisher · JanissaryIcon-DE Janissary · Kipchakicon Kipchak · LongbowmanIcon-DE Longbowman · MangudaiIcon-DE Mangudai · PlumedArcherIcon-DE Plumed Archer · Aoe2de ratha ranged Ranged Ratha · Rattanarchericon-DE Rattan Archer · SlingerIcon-DE Slinger · WarWagonIcon-DE War Wagon
CavalryBallistaelephanticon-DE Ballista Elephant · BoyarIcon-DE Boyar · Aoe2de camel scout Camel Scout · CataphractIcon-DE Cataphract · Aoe2de roman unique centurion icon Centurion · Aoe2-icon-coustillier Coustillier · Flaming camel icon Flaming Camel · ImperialCamelRiderIcon-DE Imperial Camel Rider · Keshikicon Keshik · Konnikicon Konnik · Leitisicon Leitis · MagyarHuszarIcon-DE Magyar Huszar · MamelukeIcon-DE Mameluke · AoE2 Monaspa Monaspa · Aoe2de ratha melee Melee Ratha · AoE2 Savar Savar · Aoe2de shrivamsha rider Shrivamsha Rider · TarkanIcon-DE Tarkan · WarElephantIcon-DE War Elephant · Aoe2-icon-winged-hussar Winged Hussar
SiegeAoe2-icon--houfnice Houfnice · Aoe2-icon-hussite-wagon Hussite Wagon · OrganGunIcon-DE Organ Gun
War shipCaravelIcon-DE Caravel · LongboatIcon-DE Longboat · Aoe2de Thirisadai Thirisadai · TurtleShipIcon-DE Turtle Ship