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lolada

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Edit: Updated 14.01.2019. patch 1.28.2 after Golden century DLC.

State edicts


State edicts are a feature added in Mandate of heaven DLC that lets you activate special bonuses to your states. You can find them by clicking on province: there are two tabs in province view, first one is province tab, second one is state tab - that's where edicts are hidden. There's only several edicts available so it shouldn't be too hard to get max out of them.

First thing to know, state edicts are available only in states, not in territorial cores, and state does not have to be fully cored to activate edicts. These are the most important provinces of your empire so that's a good start. Most of the edicts are useful in the first 200 years of the game which is plenty and its basically the most important part of the game. Lategame, 1650y and later, players usually get very large, reach cap on state land and expand a lot through territories which can't activate edicts. This makes edicts less interesting, but keep in mind that some of them can be good whole game, like fort defense, or development edict. Depends a lot on your playstyle also.

Cost

It costs +200% state of your state maintenance to activate an edict. In general it will cost you 0.5-1 ducats/monthly to keep an edict turned on. You can turn it off after a year, which means using it is minimum 10-20 ducats expense. Later in the game you don't really care about this cost.
Its considerable expense early and forgetting about it for a long time can be a visible money drain. You should judge the situation, small amount of ducats is sometimes worth spending for state edicts benefits. Capital state can turn on edicts at reduced cost, plus this state is usually one of your richer states, which makes it more worthwhile to consider using edicts there.

Mapmode

One useful tool that many players don't know about - State edicts map mode - there's one, put it somewhere visible and use it. You won't be forgetting about edicts and won't have to click through states to search for them either.

On to edicts:

Edict Effect

Advancement Effort
: +33% Institution spread

This one is sometimes useful to speed up institutions a bit, some like colonialism are really slow so you might as well turn this one on. Click on institution icons to see green patches on map where institution is spreading to know where to turn on edicts. It spends money to potentially save some monarch points that you could otherwise spend on higher cost techs. For later institutions it also comes in handy because your country gets large and you have spare money. Nothing worse than to wait ages for institution to spread. In the end, if you are not in a hurry to tech you can let the institution spread on its own and ignore this one.

Centralization Effort −0.03 Monthly autonomy change

- Oooook this one is eeeeeegh very slow and weak. Its possible the worst edict in the game. It will lose you some money and gain tiny amount of money and manpower in return.. over really long period might be worth it.

It takes about 3 years to reduce 1% autonomy in a state, around 70 years for 25% autonomy.. way too slow. If the state is really important just click -25% autonomy button and be done with it. Later on, you don't even want to use it, because you can increase absolutism by reducing autonomy on a button click.
There's some use for rich countries like France or GB.. Ottos.. you can use edict on Ireland or Syria since you have spare money anyway.
Rare occasional use if you need to drop autonomy quickly <75%. so you can increase it again to avoid rebels.

Defensive Edict +33% Local defensiveness

- This one is very good and it stays good during the whole game - its basically a ducat paid military idea. You should teach yourself to turn it on if you keep forts - which you should have. Its another story, but when you get in position to have spare ducats, having a few key up-to-date forts is well worth the money. Now, if you already pay for the forts you might spend a bit to make enemies siege it considerably longer.
Base siege time tick is 30 days - this will increase it to 40, if its in bad terrain or you have other bonuses it gets close to 50. If you have Defensive idea group that's extra 20% and well it will start taking years for enemy to siege anything. It even gets better lategame because AI doesn't know to stack enough artillery and forts become super strong. Gives you more time to react, saves your unprotected land, spares you from chasing enemies, makes them lose lots more on attrition etc.
Quite useful edict - its tied to forts - when the time comes use few updated forts well and use this edict well.

Encourage Development −10% Local development cost

Mostly used when you want to quickly develop to embrace institutions. If you are later developing some states you could certainly turn it on. Saves some monarch points for ducats which is always a good thing. You can easily calculate how much. For example, if you spend around 2000 points to develop first institution, this edict saves you 200 monarch points for 10-20 ducats. Easily worth it. To maximize benefits, develop land in states and in batch, turn on edict, spend all points in single state, turn off edict after a year. Could be used a lot for taller style of play.

Promote Military Recruitment +25% Local manpower modifier

- Manpower edict: 25% manpower bonus is significant and manpower is scarce and valuable in this patch so this one should be useful if used correctly. You can think of it this way: it will generate you some manpower for some ducats - in general that's a good deal.
If you don't use it you will end up using more mercenaries so you will lose ducats anyway. You might as well turn this one on when your manpower is low. Even later when you have 100+k manpower, one hard war and you can lose it all quite quickly. That makes this edict useful and it actually becomes better with time.

So how to maximize this one... Some states have good terrain for development, for example in older patches Wallachia had 3 farmland provinces. When you have spare points dump military development there (rather then randomly..) and build manpower buildings there. Give the provinces to Nobles for extra manpower, turn on the edict. In my Hungary game (Hungary has +20% manpower idea) at 1600s i had 20+k manpower just in these 3 provinces, thats huge. My total manpower was 130k at that moment.

Lategame you can simply activate this edict in every state and keep it on, my last GB tall-ish game i ended up with 100k+ ducats anyway.

Protect Trade +50% Local trade power

It seems that this one often pays of at the start of the game if your capital state has trade center. This should be one of the first to check when you start the game. Capital has cost reduction for state maintenance and edicts and at the game start trade nodes are heavily contested so this edict's is often profitable. Venice, Lubeck, Hamburg, Portugal, Riga and some others - small trading nations in general benefit from this. Its gain between 0.1 - 0.3 ducats per month, so some ome free and instant temples basically.

Other than this use its hard to make this edict profitable. Might also be profitable in other trade center states, basically it depends on your trade power share in trade node and situation can change over time. To check it turn on edict, check monthly trade income, if it has increased more than your state maintenance keep it. Otherwise turn it off in a year. You might sometimes lose few ducats trying it, but in long term you could save 100s of ducats.
In Dharma update you can upgrade trade centers for significant base trade power, check if edict is worth turning on there.
Enforce Religious Unity +1% Local missionary strength

This edist is quite good - one of the best. When activated it can mean the difference between rebels spawning or not which is a big deal. It allows you to convert more developed provinces, it also speeds things up and can save a lot of money since now conversions actually cost decent ducats. Consider giving provinces you want to convert to clergy/ulema estates, if you make them happy you get +2% to missionary strength and -25% missionary maintenance cost.

Its also beneficial to convert provinces methodically in states rather than do it lazy through religious screen (ordered by faster conversion usually). This way you minimize chance to activate revolts from different kind of rebels on different sides of your empire. If you are not doing this you should probably start - check rebel progress often and you can even stop conversions if you must for a while to let rebels progress stop. Long term it will save a lot of manpower and money.

Another important benefit is that this edict helps you to skip picking up Religious or Humanism idea groups. These groups are great but if you are like me and you hate picking up the same idea groups every game you will start to appreciate this edict.

Age specific state edicts

You need 800 splendor points to activate these edicts and they are only available in its age. These edicts will probably be not your first pick, which means you will have quite limited time to use them. They look shiny, but in reality, only Feudal De Jure Law is somewhat good. You still might find them useful in some games so keep on reading..

Feudal De Jure Law -5 Local unrest

- This one is best of special edicts - can be quite useful to stop revolts in newly conquered lands. Combination of increase autonomy and this edict usually does the trick. There are lots of countries that can afford to take this edict as first choice. On its own - 5 might not be enough tho.. use army to suppress rebels and it also stacks great with Humanism bonuses.

If you are very small nation - ie. OPM like Ryukyu its really handy to have - since you often can't handle 10k+ rebel stacks at all. It can make the difference between saving or losing your game. Use spare state to temporary state land where you need to stop revolt and decrease risk to 0%.

Religion Enforced +90% Resistance to reformation

- Looks useless, tried it, a waste of edict. It apparently saves you some time, but centers will inevitably convert you. Prepare some strategy for religion if you play in or near HRE - if this thing is not buffed its probably worst edict overall.

Edict of Absolutism -0.25 Monthly devastation

- This one is available in Age of absolutism. You might turn it on if some of your core provinces get a lot of devastation during hard long war. In Dharma there are events, monsoons that are state-wide and quite annoying in India so activating this edict to counter it would be nice. Still if you really want to remove devastation somewhere, developing a bit will be way faster.

There are probably 3 splendor abilities in age of absolutism that you will pick before this one.. so its of very limited use.

That's about it. Hopefully you found this guide useful, i certainly had fun writing it ^^.
For more information check Eu4 wiki page: http://www.eu4wiki.com/Territories_and_states
 
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Y. D. Dandy

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Your guide seems useful for min-maxing, and the suggestion to use the trade edict in your capital and the manpower edict where you have lots of nobility (I generally have some states with a lot of grain/fish/wool provinces which I've pretty much entirely given to the nobility. And since I usually do keep a few forts for the AT (usually on mountain provinces and near strait crossings), the defensiveness edict is actually a good idea.

That said, I actually like the autonomy reduction edict but I also spend a lot of time at peace, and like playing countries where the terrain isn't conducive to rebel fighting. I generally only manually lower autonomy after the Age of Absolutism and in gold provinces. I also use feudal de jure law often when I have it; in right-religion provinces of your culture group it can often prevent rebellions from firing entirely.

But I'm mostly commenting because you don't mention my favorite edict: Enforce Religious Unity. Was it not available when MoH first came out? It's probably my single most-used edict early game. Late game, institution spread is probably the one I use the most, and I think you undersell it. For the first three institutions last three institutions, I usually need to develop to them in the ROTW (for which of course I I use the development edict), but that's usually not enough to embrace it, so that edict then comes in handy. For the last three edicts, using it in states with the right buildings and high dev provinces can make being able to embrace lightening-fast, and you may even save a few hundred ducats between the time you can embrace and the time you want to tech up. And of course it syncs really nicely with the icon of St. John Climacus if you're playing an Orthodox country (though you wrote this before Third Rome) or Adaptive-level isolation as a Shinto one.

ETA: I forgot to mention until I started reading your other guide: there is another case where the Edict of Absolutism comes in useful. That is if you have state provinces which are within reach of the Barbary Pirates or the Knights, but you either cannot get a CB on them or war against them is more effort than stopping the the raids is worth. It means you get back to prosperity much quicker, particularly if you also have a fort. In my Ethiopia game, I had it on in Lower Egypt until I'd confiscated the coasts of the Barbary States. I then statified Tunis and realized the Knights can raid heretics, which meant I had it on Tunis for awhile while I dealt with more pressing enemies, like the Ottomans.
 
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lolada

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Thanks @Y. D. Dandy for comments, i am glad you found the guide helpful. It seems i somehow deleted the part with Enforce Religious Unity edict - probably accidentally while editing post for typos - i am sure it was there in original version. You are right, its one of the best and most useful edicts, i use it a lot in every game. I will try to find original version of the guide, should be somewhere on my laptop - if not i will rewrite the chapter again.

Since the time i wrote the guide, i played more ofc, and i tend to agree with some of your comments. I used a lot Instituion edict - institution spread can be really slow if you have a big country - especially Colonialism can be annoying. I also picked a lot institution spread age ability lately. If you play Hordes or Russia you can really feel the pain here...

Feudal de jure can also be quite good if you try hard to use it - combination of using this edict, plus some harsh treatment and good army placement can stop quite a few rebellions that would otherwise hit a country quite hard. It can really save the game - big revolt on very hard difficulty could easily be game over since AIs will dogpile you if you lose army on rebels.

I still haven't find a good use for Autonomy reduction edict - the thing is just way too slow.

edit: I added missionary conversion strength edict chapter to main post
 
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