|This article is about the unit in Age of Empires II: The Conquerors. For the unit in Age of Empires III, see Missionary (Age of Empires III).|
|“||Spanish unique unit. Mounted Monk. Converts enemy units and heals friendly units like Monks, but cannot pick up Relics.||”|
|—Age of Empires II description|
Unlike most unique units, Missionaries do not have an Elite version.
Like its cousin, the Monk, the Missionary is capable of healing units as well as converting enemy units, but (unlike the Monk) the Missionary cannot pick up Relics. Before the Definitive Edition, it only healed at half the speed of a Monk (1 HP per 0.8s instead of 0.4s) and was unaffected by Husbandry.
It can move quite fast, making it capable of fleeing from almost all enemy units but cavalry. Including several of these in a force of Knights can considerably improve chances of winning a drawn-out battle. Missionaries also work well for converting the surviving Villagers, buildings, and units of a defeated enemy. They are affected by all Monk technologies. However, despite their advantages in movement speed, which is one of the major Monk disadvantages, the Missionary only has 7 range compared to the 9 of a Monk.
Both the Monk and the Missionary have the same cost, making the choice between them mostly a matter of tactical utility. The Missionary generally outperforms the Monk in most ways greatly improving the Monk's offensive abilities both for army support with healing friendly forces to actively converting enemies and fleeing from counterattacks. The Missionary fares much more poorly on the defensive lacking range (although with Bloodlines, they can have more hit points to compensate for this somewhat), so for situations where they must hold out in a siege behind walls, the regular Monk performs better.
For the Spanish, the Missionary gives the Spanish far more tactical flexibility for their Monks, especially while on the offense and during the late game when the Relics have already been collected.
As Missionaries are unique to the Spanish, only technologies that are available to them are shown in the following table:
|Unit strengths and weaknesses|
|Strong vs.||Slow non-ranged units, buildings without conversion defense, Knights|
|Weak vs.||Archers, Eagle Warriors, Light Cavalry, Camel Riders, Halberdiers, Genoese Crossbowmen, Towers, Castles|
|Hit points|| Sanctity (+15)|
|Range||Block Printing (+3 conversion range)|
|Speed|| Fervor (+15%)|
Husbandry ( )
|Conversion|| Redemption (convert buildings and siege weapons)|
Atonement (convert Monks)
Illumination (regain faith faster)
Theocracy (only one Missionary rests after conversion)
Inquisition (Missionaries convert faster)
|Conversion defense|| Faith|
- A team containing Byzantines: Missionaries heal 50% faster.
- A team containing Huns: Researching Bloodlines is 20% faster.
- A team containing Lithuanians: Monastery technologies are researched 20% faster. Missionaries are trained 20% faster.
- A team containing Teutons: Missionaries are more resistant to conversion.
- Missionaries require a Castle.
- Missionaries heal at half the rate of Monks.
- Missionaries are unaffected by Bloodlines, Husbandry, Fervor.
The African Kingdoms
- Missionaries no longer require a Castle.
- Missionaries now heal as quickly as normal Monks.
- Missionaries are now affected by Husbandry.
- The Missionary is the only unique unit trained at the Monastery. That makes the Monastery the only building providing only one unique unit (the Krepost can only train Konniks and the Donjon can only train Serjeants, but they are a unique building unto themselves; just like the Burgundian Town Centers can only train Flemish Militia after the Flemish Revolution).
- The Missionary is one of the few unique units that don't have any base melee armor nor pierce armor. The others are the Chu Ko Nu, Gbeto, Slinger, Imperial Camel Rider and Kipchak.
- The Missionary is one of the few unique units that don't have an Elite upgrade. The others are the Slinger, the Condottiero, the Flaming Camel, the Imperial Camel Rider, the Imperial Skirmisher, the Flemish Militia, and the Houfnice.
- Unlike the Monk, the Missionary's name is historically accurate, because the definition of Missionary is 'a person sent on a religious mission, especially one sent to promote Christianity in a foreign country', and Missionaries' main purpose in this game is to convert units.
|“||As Europeans gradually came to understand that Columbus had opened the door to two complete continents, they awoke to the desirability of converting the potentially immense native population to Christianity. The Spanish, Portuguese, and other European nations sent monks called missionaries into the New World to bring about conversion and salvation. To be a missionary required great faith, a strong constitution, and great zeal. They often were required to plunge into the wilderness amongst peoples of radically different cultures and beliefs. Many missionaries suffered despair, torture, and death at the hands of natives who resisted the message being brought to them or identified the monks with the disease and conquest that accompanied them.||”|
|—The Conquerors manual|