Legendary Charizard died when I tried to blind expand into a province that turned out to be full of Lamias and also had Howl active as a pre-battle-start spell and was in neutral heat scales (he actually got swarmed under by wolves, which I'm kind of surprised by with the heat aura). Totally worthless, buff plz Put an end to that particular test run pretty fast. Next time I might lean harder into the Air option instead of Fire; Thunder Weapons Fireblasts seems like it could provide some hilarity, or just doing like Farshot and stacking a ton of Precision on your fire-archer lines of Charmander
Hah.. yeah.. i also lost my Charizard to a heavy cavalry group.
But at the same time it not an earth serpent. You likely should not expand blindly with it.
Of course not certain if it can expand after the fireblast nerf.

Also not certain that Far Shot or Thunder Weapons work on ranged natural attacks?

It does seem to me that all the pokemon nations kind of feel very similar with just a different elemental skin on? Like practically everything has a ranged attack and they're mostly in cheap swarms, so the default strategy for almost all nations is just absolutely burying enemies under volume of fire, you really want Wind Guide/Flaming Arrows, and the ones that can do that easily just kind of Pokemon better than the ones that cant?
Yeah. Its perhaps not entirely removed from the truth either.
I have taken Order 3 on all nations so far. Well and likely you want Arrow fend more than anything else.

Is it intended/desired that your Pretender be the one casting the special recruit site rituals? If not, you may want to reduce the path requirements; 5 is a pretty high ask for recruitable mages, especially in paths where the boosters themselves are hard to make (Air/Fire suffer worst). If yes, this strongly discourages using immobiles, as you effectively lock yourself out of using these spells and recruiting their associated mon.
Well its not impossibly hard?
You need a level 4 mage and a booster. A lot of the nations can random a level 4 mage in their prime element.