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Religious leader who trains Disciples, stuns Guardians, and has a chance to inflict a Critical Strike in combat. Explores, fights, and builds Town Centers and Trading Posts.
—In-game description

The Shaolin Master is a melee infantry Monk in Age of Empires III: The Asian Dynasties that is unique to the Chinese. It explores uncharted areas of the map and has some special abilities to help himself and his settlement. In standard random map games, the Chinese start with a Shaolin Master and a Disciple.


The Shaolin Master lacks a ranged attack; he is equipped with nothing but a pair of fists, but has the highest hit points and attack of all Asian Monks. A second Shaolin Master can be made available with the Walk the Rice Paper Home City Card.

The Shaolin Master initially has the Critical Strike ability which gives him a chance to inflict extra damage on attacks and train Disciples, and can do roundhouse kicks and strengthen nearby Disciples through Home City shipments and Monastery improvements. Like other monks, he can temporarily stun treasure guardians, but with a shorter cooldown. From the Commerce Age onwards the Shaolin Master has the Make Disciple ability which gives him a small chance of converting defeated enemies into Disciples.

Special abilities[]

Stun.png Stun: Stuns a treasure guardian from a range of 16 for 20 seconds. 40 seconds cooldown.
Critical strike.png Critical Strike (passive): Gives the Shaolin Master a 20% (40% with Slow Motion Routines) chance to do double damage when attacking.
Monastic sangha.png Monastic Sangha (passive; requires Training Forms): Increases the hit points and attack of Disciples in a radius of 24 around the Shaolin Master by 10%.
Make disciple.png Make Disciple (passive; available at the Commerce Age): Gives the Shaolin Master a 10% chance to turn any enemies he defeated into a Disciple.
Roundhouse kick.png Roundhouse Kick (requires Snatch the Pebble Home City Card): A powerful attack that does 170 (42.5 against villagers, Spies, and Ninja) melee damage to the target enemy and other enemies in an AOE of 3 around the Shaolin Master, and increases his Critical Strike's chance to 100% for 8 seconds. 120 seconds cooldown.
  • In unpatched versions of the game Make Disciple's conversion chance is very frequent; in patched versions the conversion chance has been greatly reduced.
  • Roundhouse Kick ability will be upgraded in the Fortress Age and the Industrial Age, increasing the base damage dealt to 225 and 270 respectively.


The Shaolin Master gets +50% hit points and attack in every Age up.

Further statistics[]

As the Shaolin Master is 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, infantry
Weak vs. Villagers, heroes, cavalry, Spies, Ninja
Hit points Cree Tanning.png Cree Tanning (+5%)
Maya Cotton Armor.png Maya Cotton Armor (+20%)
Navajo Weaving.png Navajo Weaving (+5%)
Sikh Gurus.png Sikh Gurus (+50%)
Attack Supreme Ultimate Fist.png Supreme Ultimate Fist (+300%)
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 Inca Road-building.png Quechuan Mountaineering (+20%)
Apache Endurance.png Apache Endurance (+5%)
Other Training Forms.png Training Forms (gives the Monastic Sangha ability)
Supreme Ultimate Fist.png Supreme Ultimate Fist (+100% Roundhouse Kick damage)
Slow Motion Routines.png Slow Motion Routines (doubles Critical Strike chance)
Carib Ambush Party.png Carib Ambush Party (train Carib Ambushers)
Loyal Nootka Warchief.png Loyal Nootka War Chief (train Nootka War Chief)

Home City Cards[]

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


The Asian Dynasties[]

  • The Stun ability has a cooldown of 30 seconds.

The African Royals[]

  • With update 38254, the Stun ability has a cooldown of 40 seconds.


  • The Shaolin Master's Make Disciple ability works on animals (e.g. Treasure Guardians and pets). It also works even if the defeated enemy is a non-Asian unit (e.g. a European Musketeer).


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.


See also[]