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Zapotec warrior armed with a shield and a sword to counter Infantry and Cavalry.
—In-game description

The Zapotec Lightning Warrior is melee heavy infantry native warrior in Age of Empires III: The WarChiefs that can be trained at a Trading Post built on a Zapotec settlement which replaces the Aztecs in the expansion, thus the Zapotec Lightning Warrior acts as a replacement to the Aztec Jaguar Warrior.


The Zapotec Lightning Warrior is similar to the Aztec Jaguar Prowl Knight. It is capable of countering both heavy infantry and cavalry, much like its Aztec counterpart, but it is cheaper, has less siege damage and melee damage, and has a low melee resistance. It can prove to be a cost-efficient unit and an all-around combatant due to its availability in the Commerce Age.


Age Upgrade Cost Effect
Age III tech tree aoe3.png
Native Warrior Societies.png Zapotec Warrior Societies 200 wood,
150 coin
Upgrades Zapotec Lightning Warriors to Elite (+25% hit points and attack)
Age IV tech tree aoe 3.png
Champion Natives.png Champion Zapotec 400 wood,
300 coin
Upgrades Zapotec Lightning Warriors to Champion (+40% hit points and attack); requires Zapotec Warrior Societies
Imperial Age
Legendary natives.png Legendary Native Warriors
Exalted natives.png Exalted Natives
1,500 food,
1,500 wood
Upgrades native warriors to Legendary/Exalted (+50% hit points and attack)
The Legendary Native Warriors improvement is available in the Capitol for European civilizations and in the Town Center for Native American and Asian (as Exalted Natives) civilizations.

Further statistics[]

Unit strengths and weaknesses
Strong vs. Cavalry, Shock Infantry, heavy infantry, buildings
Weak vs. Skirmishers, archers, artillery
Hit points Infantry Breastplate.png Infantry Breastplate (+10%)
Thin Red Line.png Thin Red Line (+20%, British only)
Corselet.png Corselet (+25%, Spanish only)
Cree Tanning.png Cree Tanning (+5%)
Maya Cotton Armor.png Maya Cotton Armor (+20%)
Navajo Weaving.png Navajo Weaving (+5%)
Attack 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 Military Drummers.png Military Drummers (+10%)
Tillys Discipline.png Tilly's Discipline (+20%, Germans only)
Cherokee War Dance.png Cherokee War Dance (+20%)
Inca Road-building.png Quechuan Mountaineering (+20%)
Apache Endurance.png Apache Endurance (+5%)
Sight Town Watch.png Town Watch (+2)
Creation speed Standing Army.png Standing Army (-25%)
Penalties Thin Red Line.png Thin Red Line (-25% speed, British only)
Tillys Discipline.png Tilly's Discipline (+10% cost, Germans only)
Corselet.png Corselet (-15% speed, Spanish only)

Home City Cards[]


The WarChiefs[]

  • Zapotec Lightning Warriors have 11 hand attack, 30 siege attack, train in 20 seconds, and have a x2.0 multiplier against cavalry and x1.5 against shock infantry.

Definitive Edition[]

  • Zapotec Lightning Warriors have 12 hand attack, 24 siege attack, train in 30 seconds, and have a x2.5 multiplier against cavalry, x2.0 against shock infantry, and x2.5 against heavy infantry.

The African Royals[]

  • Although it is not listed in the patch notes, with update 50830, the Zapotec Lightning Warrior portrait has been updated.

In-game dialogue[]

Main article: Zapotec#In-game_dialogue



The Zapotec, a Mesoamerican people who developed an advanced civilization, inhabited cities as well as towns, their homes built from stones and mortar. They had an early written language system, which perhaps influenced other Mesoamerican writing systems developed as by the Aztec, Maya, and Mixtec.

One of the most powerful and sacred forces of nature to the Zapotec was lightning, personified by Cociyo or the Thunder God. Images of the Thunder God often reflected a serpentine nature, perhaps mirroring the undulating movements of lightning as it strikes the earth. Dressed for battle in lightweight yet sturdy cotton armor, the lightning warrior was an elite infantryman feared throughout Mesoamerica during the 1500s.