|“||Mesoamerican cavalry. Strong vs infantry and siege. Weak vs Pikemen and Camel Riders.||”|
|—Age of Empires II description|
The Xolotl Warrior is a heavy cavalry unit in Age of Empires II: Definitive Edition that can be trained at Stables converted by American civilizations. It has the same statistics as the Knight and also appears in the fifth scenario of the Montezuma campaign, The Boiling Lake (replacing the Elite Tarkans present before the Definitive Edition).
The Xolotl Warrior is ordinarily available to the Aztecs and Incas, as they have access to Redemption and, therefore, the ability to convert enemy buildings. Mayans can train the Xolotl Warrior from Stables placed in the Scenario Editor, in MegaRandom maps if starting with a Stable, or in Stables captured in Battle Royale mode. The Xolotl Warrior is considered a regional unit.
Like the Knight line, Xolotl Warriors are a somewhat powerful and versatile addition to almost any army composition. Their high attack and speed make them excellent for assaulting and flanking, along with high hit points and damage resistance to provide a perfect meat shield for ranged units and siege on the frontline.
Also suffering from the same pitfalls as the Knight line, Xolotl Warriors are hard-countered by Halberdiers and Camel Riders, vulnerable to conversion by Monks and can be overwhelmed by massed archers (if used in small numbers).
However, unlike Old World heavy cavalry, Mesoamericans lack further upgrades like Cavalier, any defensive armor upgrade in the Blacksmith, Bloodlines and Husbandry, making the unit subpar compared with the Knight line in late Castle Age and Imperial Age.
However, the unit looks much better in games starting in Post-Imperial Age (Deathmatches and Battle Royales among others) since they receive +30 HP and +2/+2 armor making them almost equal to Viking Cavaliers (10 HP advantage, 2 attack disadvantage) or Korean Cavaliers (10 HP advantage, speed disadvantage).
|Unit strengths and weaknesses|
|Strong vs.||Infantry, archers, Villagers, siege weapons, Cavalry Archers, Light Cavalry|
|Weak vs.||Boyars, Pikemen, Kamayuks, Berserks, Genoese Crossbowmen, Teutonic Knights, Mamelukes, Camel Riders, Monks, War Elephants|
|Attack|| Forging (+1)|
Iron Casting (+1)
Blast Furnace (+2)
|Conversion defense|| Faith|
- Aztecs: Xolotl Warriors are created 11% faster.
- A team containing Teutons: Xolotl Warriors are more resistant to conversion.
- A team containing Lithuanians: Researching Heresy and Faith is 20% faster.
- A team containing Bulgarians: Researching melee attack upgrades at the Blacksmith is 80% faster.
In a normal game situation where the Stable has been brought by conversion, and not placed through Scenario Editor or in Mega random games where the player may start with a stable, the following depict some technologies which the player might think will affect this unit, but actually do not.
- Researching Conscription has no effect on Xolotl Warriors. However, if the opponent had Conscription researched, and then the Stable is converted, the Stable still works 33% faster, and consequently Xolotl Warriors are created 33% faster.
- A team containing Huns: Xolotl Warriors are NOT created 20% faster. However, if the converted stable belonged to Huns or their ally, they are created 20% faster.
In case the stable is the player's own, that is available through scenario editor or as a part of luck in Mega Random games, the following bonuses become significant:
- Researching Conscription makes stables work 33% faster. So, Xolotl Warriors are created 33% faster.
- A team containing Huns: Stables work 20% faster. So Xolotl Warriors are created 20% faster.
- A team containing Berbers: With Kasbah researched, researching Conscription is 25% faster.
In Battle Royale mode, the stables belong to Post-Imperial Gaia and Conscription affects Xolotl Warriors.
Despite the resemblance to Knights, Xolotl Warriors do not belong to the Knight line of cavalry and are allotted the same slot as the Scout Cavalry line in the Stable. Therefore in any game mode, they do not enjoy any team bonus benefiting the Knight line:
- A team containing Franks: Xolotl Warriors do NOT receive +2 LOS.
- A team containing Persians: Xolotl Warriors do NOT receive +2 attack against archers.
- In a patch, without explicitly mentioning it, the Aztecs' bonus of faster military creation now also affects cavalry (and hence Xolotl Warriors).
- With update 42848, Xolotl Warriors are granted +30 hp, +2 attack, and +2/+2 armor in matches that begin in the Post-Imperial Age.
- The Xolotl Warrior training button uses the same slot as the Scout Cavalry line; as a result, Xolotl Warriors are not available in Full Tech Tree mode.
- The Xolotl Warrior wears the shield, jaguar skin, and macuahuitl of the Aztec unique unit, the Jaguar Warrior.
- Xolotl is an Aztec dog god of lightning and death.
- The Xolotl Warrior is possibly inspired from the Dog Soldier in Age of Empires III: The WarChiefs, specifically from the fact that the Lakota called horses as "holy / mystery / wonder dogs" (šuŋkawakaŋ). Other Native Americans just borrowed the foreign word for "horseman", e.g. Nahuatl cauallero from Spanish caballero "horseman > knight > gentleman".
- Many Native Americans learned to ride horses and used them to fight Europeans. The first recorded were the Incas commanded by Manco Inca Yupanqui, who performed a known feat of defeating a reinforcement army of 3,000 Spanish soldiers capturing weapons, artillery, prisoners, and horses.
- The Tlaxcalans, who spoke Nahuatl like the Aztecs but sided with the Spanish during the Conquest, were allowed to own and ride horses, and later served the Spanish as cavalry in the northern Mexican frontier.
- This unit is referred to as an "Aztec Raider" in the game files.