Just play the Balseraphs, then you won't have to care about failures. Summon a puppet, and have the puppet cast Domination. Alternatively you can use a national hero caster (Corlindale, Govannon) to do your dominating, and if they fail then kill them off and resurrect them (of course that requires a unit that can cast resurrection, and entails a certain down time after a failure in which Domination is unavailable to you). Palisade: 10% Archery Range: 10% Walls: 25% Wall of Stone: 25% Heron Throne: 25% Khazad Palace Bonus: 20% Chancel of Guardians: 25% Citadel of Light: 5% A city won't have all those bonuses at once, naturally, but can have quite a few of them. Shadowwalk is not as good as lowering defenses to 0%, but is better than attacking with no reduction. Of course, Shadowwalk will be less helpful if your opponent doesn't have many physical defenses built. Using siege or Fireball to fully reduce a city's defenses does nothing to counter first strikes or defensive strikes, so they are not perfect either. When the opportunity presents itself, I prefer to have both Shadow and Fire magic available so that I can use whatever tools are called for by the job at hand.