Sacrifice: Pyro Mission 2
For this mission, Pyro provides...
600 Mana, 2 Souls
Like other level 2 units, the Tickferno is a support-oriented unit; it fires a beam which rapidly wipes out the mana supply of enemy units caught in it, making it fantastic for preventing an enemy wizard from casting much in the way of spells, particularly the more powerful and expensive spells, and also letting it cripple the damage output of enemy ranged units.
Unlike all the other level 2 units, the Tickferno is also lethal in its own right, enough so that I personally tend to stop using level 1 ranged units if my forces have Tickfernos the instant I've got access to Tickfernos. It's an all-around fantastic unit, especially since it's a surprisingly long-ranged unit with little in the way of competition there for a while. Their beam also lingers long enough that an initial miss can turn into a partial hit, making them a bit more reliable than most equivalently-accurate ranged units. They're also a surprisingly accurate unit, speaking of, which means that while eg a pair of Flame Minions hits clearly harder than a lone Tickferno, that's only if you assume they're hitting equally often, when in actuality the Tickferno will be hitting more often.
They're my personal favorite of the level 2 units.
As usual for level 2 spells, Fireform is a shield spell. Unlike all the other shield spells, Fireform provides no damage reduction whatsoever; it's only defensive quality is blocking off various effects like Slime, as per all shields. Instead, it causes all nearby non-friendly units to take damage surprisingly rapidly; it's fantastic for ensuring early melee units can't meaningfully harm you because they die in seconds, and if you're willing to position your wizard aggressively it's actually a shockingly good way of dishing out damage to basically anything, even other wizards.
This overall means you tend to use Fireform a bit differently from other shield spells, in that it's less of a 'combat is about to start, might as well put up the shield' sort of spell and more something to use either in close anticipation of effects that shields block (Again, like Slime) or when you're already in the midst of the enemy.
While Fireform is a very good spell, it's a very poor shield, and this is the primary reason I feel level 2 is a bit of a hard choice. I feel the Tickferno only really has one other unit meaningfully competing with it as a choice, but Fireform is so bad at being a shield... if you want a good shield at being a shield, you'll have to give up on Tickfernos. Simple as that.
Notably, there's no spells in the game to provide damage reduction on your wizard aside the Level 2 shield spells. So it's not possible to take this level on the idea that you'll just go with a shield-equivalent option in a level or two. You'll just have to accept your wizard's durability is poor if you take Pyro 2.
The mission is probably the most obnoxious of the 'introducing the player to wizard combat' missions. Yogo has his significant stat boosts that make him a giant pain to kill, and more importantly the mission is littered with Trolls a full level early, when you don't have proper counters to them. It's bad enough that we're dealing with a unit early, but I'm going to break from my usual policy of not touching on other gods' unit to point out that the Troll gimmick is that they regenerate in combat; any other non-Charnel unit that was being fought a bit early with no wizard support and no possibility of the wizard re-summoning it would just be tedious to wear down. If you screw up and let Yogo steal some of your souls early on, you may well find yourself completely unable to kill a Troll at all.
Fortunately, there's not very many Trolls. In fact, you saw them all in this video; the Boon requirement is killing all the Trolls, and I got the Boon. It could easily be way more annoying.
Oh, and if you're wondering why those two Trolls went running away and let me kill them without resistance, they got assigned to Yogo and were apparently trying to rejoin his forces. The AI can be dumb like that.
Narratively, we're starting to see very clear signs of one of my main issues with the Pyro route. When Ambassador Buta and Faestus show up, Eldred's narration makes it clear that at the time he was assuming they were doing something terrible and evil. Why? Why is it when we were serving Charnel Eldred wasn't hostile and suspicious of Charnel's motives at every turn? He has zero reason to be assuming Buta and Faestus are doing something terrible, and it's not like the story couldn't have leaned on the flashback nature to have Eldred make it clear he now knows they were doing something terrible.
In conjunction with the 'betray Pyro in mission one' option existing, the game is trying ridiculously hard to convince the player that Pyro is bad news on no basis. Charnel, meanwhile, congratulating a minion on driving Sirocco insane with his presence was not used as an opportunity to have Mithras pop in and go 'wow, did you really stick with this guy?
It's going to get worse, and the apparent reasons behind the devs choosing to do it are cringe-worthy.
But we'll get to that as it becomes more apparent.
See you next Pyro mission.