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The F2P/Low Spender Arena Guide (My Quest to Return to Gold IV With NO LEGENDARIES)
Thank you for Reading! Here's what I'm about in an interview with CluelessEcon I am the author of theF2P/Low Spender Team Building Guide (No Legendaries)and the SeminalF2P Update Seriesdetailing how I got Arbiter without Legendaries, Coldheart, Team Counterattack, AoE HP Burn, Massive Shields, Unkillable... Message me or ask questions! I'm thinking about making a Companion Video(Sample from my older F2P/Low Spender Post) for this guide and Updates to come showing how I Farm or Push with my Team. Let me know if that would interest you! Here's part II of this guide after the Bot Sheets were released https://www.reddit.com/RaidShadowLegends/comments/j0ejq5/f2plow_spender_arena_guide_ii_hard_arena_solved/ I may have gotten Arbiter playing the game my way in about 8 Months of work but the battle for everybody is still ongoing. I have decided to keep Arbiter on the shelf to once again focus on everyone's dreaded subject: Arena. It's been hard for everybody the past 3 months or so and even I actually bottomed out all the way to Bronze IV. It was a dark time in Raid for me I haven't been playing as hard and Arena seemed to be casualty in my playing time because the fights were so hard and took so long to finish. I'm making this guide to show you all the Speed and Champ Types it takes to Farm/Push my current Arena Level. Can you add these concepts to your own Success in Arena? I believe the answer is yes but it will take time. MyArena Team: Silver IV (Peaked Gold II) Turn Order:
291 Speed Speed Set x3 High Khatun 60 (Speed Lead+Speed Boost)
246 Speed 314 Accuracy Speed Set x3 Umbral Enchantress (Control)
153 Speed Dark Elhain Crit Rate 112% Crit Damage 173% 3.4k Attack Savage and Crit Damage Set (Nuke)
This should give you a quick peak at how high Speeds have to be and what STATS will currently work in the Arena Level I am in. I plan to make this a series which I will update every month probably so I can go on the Arena Journey with you. I'm thinking about putting some videos of me Pushing with this team so we could experience that Joy/Pain together. Like always I'm trying to see how far I can Push the No Legendaries Concept I've had but also I'm going to try to keep this more accessible by avoiding Non-Legendary Champs I've identified in my F2P/Low Spender Arena Threat List. My Team is what I like to call a "Control Team" and you will find that description in the F2P/Low Spender Arena Archetypes below. Introduction to Hard Arena Hard Arena is this period of time Raid where Arena has gotten ridiculously Hard because of how the Player Base have gotten Stronger and Smarter over time. It is a real phenomenon I've observed in other PVP Mobile Games I've played before and the only way out is when the Developers eventually allow "Trophy Infaltion" to happen by removing or lowering the Trophy Penalties for Losing. While we wait for this eventual fix in Raid we will use this time to understand Arena better and our place in it. So there are two main different styles in Arena gameplay and the mindset for each is vastly different. There is Pushing and Farming. You hope you can do both but realistically you will be doing one or the other depending on your current needs. If you want to save Gems set a Timer on your phone so you can Refresh more often throughout the day. Refresh is still actually the best Strategy in Arena and everytime you Refresh or move up/down a Tier always scroll to the bottom really fast to see if there is an easy win available. Pushing is focused solely on refreshing consistently throughout the day or even with Gems and picking out easy fights that you will try to win on Manual. You have to be focused on the game at this time and take breaks when you are in a bad losing streak. You will use Pushing when you need to touch an Arena Tier for Missions and should be a process you begin to do on the first day of Reset. When you are pushing you will set your Arena Team to your best possible Defense which will usually be your main Arena Team. The Skill here will be more about the Fights you Avoid and the Ability to Win Close Fights. Farming is all about using Tokens to get Medals as quickly and efficiently as possible for your Daily Quests or to Zero out your Tokens. You will need to set your Team Defense to something weak and drop Trophies. Stop dropping Trophies when your Win Rate starts approaching 80% and switch back to your Main Arena Team for Defense. You will be surprised how much Bronze/Silver Medals you can get doing this while your Team gets stronger over time. The best way to Farm in Arena is to have your team fight well on Auto and this is where you will need those Speed Glyphs to adjust your Team's Speeds so the go off on your preferred Turn Order on Auto. Farming Bronze or Silver even late into the game is still pretty viable as Great Hall Bonuses are permanent and even having lv6 Accuracy which is a Silver Upgrade will get you +40 Accuracy which is still quite strong. Mission Bottlenecks:
Part 2/4: Reach Silver I (Not Retroactive)
Part 2/4: Upgrade a Great Hall Bonus to lv4
Part 3/4: Reach Gold I (Not Retroactive)
Part 4/4: Upgrade Great Hall Bonus to lv7
Part 4/4: Reach Gold IV (Not Retroactive)
I've identified 5 truly difficult Missions that will impede your progress greatly as a new or midgame or even lategame player and you have to be aware of this. Your first real test will be touching then finding a viable way to Farm Silver Arena. So most of my Guides have left Arena as an afterthought that basically you progress through the game and you should be able to put a "decent" Arena Team together that can at least Farm Medals for you. Those days are over. Here are my current Arena recommendations and it will still revolve entirely around the F2P Trinity Mold I propose on my Teambuilding Guide and also some Champs that I believe are accessible enough and can help you get started. I will also have to put some addenda into the Team Building Guide as well to account for this change. How to Break Silver I and Farm Bronze: These are great vids for new players to watch regarding Arena:
In your first 30 Days your best Speed Booster that is Farmable is actually Diabolist. There are some better ones for sure but barring Apothecary I believe you should just get your Diabolist Farmed up from Chapter 12 in Campaign and Booked out with Dupes and leveled only as high as lv50 only. As soon as High Khatun shows up in your list immediately transfer your Fastest Speed Gear to her even if you drew Apothecary early. This would represent the biggest change to my longstanding recommendation of picking between the 2 co-member of the F2P Trinity Speed Booster Slot. Now I say use both or even lean more towards High Khatun because of how insane Arena has gotten. Your Minimum F2P Team must look like this turn order:
Diabolist/High Khatun (Speed BoosteSpeed Lead) - Fastest Gear Possible try to reach 220 Speed or higher.
Warmaiden (AoE Decrease Def) - You want Speed close to 200 and Accuracy above 100
Starter (Nuke) - Speed about 170-200 but slower than DebuffeBuffer
Pick your strongest Champ in your Main Content Team for Clan Boss or Dungeons.
That team will be able to Farm Bronze. Breaking through Silver I will require at least High Khatun on your team. As you get stronger Champs or Stronger Gear we can start diving into the the Archetypes. F2P/Low Spender Arena Archetypes: I'm going to provide you with some F2P Arena Teams here that I think will help you figure out how to build your own Team to Farm Silver with. Speed, Crit Rate and Accuracy requirements starting in Silver is going to go insanely up and you need to be ready for that. In general you are building these Arena Champs closer to your 10th 6* rather than earlier because even the most GG Arena Champs can easily fail without the proper Gear. Once are you are Farming Dungeons quite decently at Stage 16-20 we can start building these Arena Champs out. Always pick Progression over Missions/Challenges. The Progression will bring you the Gear you need to eventually break through Arena. There are going to be uses for your "obsolete" Champs in 3v3 Arena which is also rapidly becoming an essential part of our Game so don't let waiting for a better Champ stop you from improving your current Arena Team. Speed Team (Speed Tune 1st-4th):
Speed Lead (Ex: High Khatun)
Speed Boost (Ex: High Khatun)
Debuff/Buff (Ex: Warmaiden)
Nuke (Ex: Starter)
The conventional Arena Team. Easy to build and powerful if they go off in the right order. The main weaknesses will be Tanky and Control Teams. Winning the Speed Race with this team is absolutely mandatory which means you are gambling every single time you fight an opponent. Auto Friendly. Double Speed Boost Team (Speed Tune 1st-4th):
Speed Lead (Ex: High Khatun)
Speed Boost 1 (Ex: High Khatun)
Speed Boost 2 (Ex: Diablolist)
Debuff/Buff (Ex: Warmaiden)
Nuke (Ex: Starter)
This is the easy upgrade to the Speed Team above. Although all 4 Champs will have to be Tuned, by having 2 Speed Boosters on your Team your 2 other Champs can be slower to have more Stats/Sets you want in them. Obviously this team has 5 Roles so your Speed Lead must provide something else other than the Aura from the 3 other Roles. Auto Friendly. Block Team (Speed Tune 1st-2nd):
Speed Lead (Ex: High Khatun)
Speed Boost (Ex: High Khatun)
Block Debuffs (Ex: Marked)
Debuff/Buff (Ex: Stag Knight)
Nuke (Ex: Shield Guard)
Since we are playing against AI if you throw a Block Debuff up first on your whole team there is a good chance you survive Turn 1 and your slower harder hitting half of your team will have a chance to do their thing. Lighter on the Speed requirements but heavier on your Durability since you will need to survive some hits to dish out your own. Block Damage and Unkillable also works here though it will leave you open to Control Teams. The obvious weakness here is Madame Serris who takes all your Buffs away. Counters Speed Teams and Control Teams. Auto Friendly. Control Team (Speed Tune 1st-2nd):
Speed Lead (Ex: High Khatun)
Speed Boost (Ex: High Khatun)
Control (Ex: Gnarlhorn)
Debuff/Buff (Ex: Warmaiden)
Nuke (Ex: Starter)
Control Teams are what I used to Farm back when Arena was still easy and is very very good still. Generally you will be trying to have your Control Champ go second and disrupt the opposing Team enough to where your other Champs can go off at reduced Speed requirement. Control Teams reward Manual Players the best but can still be built to go Auto. Control Teams can Counter a lot of different Teams including even Tanky Teams and will reward you for Smart Play. You just want your Control Champ fast enough to beat their Debuffers/Nukers. Decrease Turn Meter works the same way denying the opposing team their Speed Boost ahead of yours. Counters Speed Teams or Block Teams. Main advantage to Block Teams here is you can safely fight Madame Serris or Champs that Remove Buffs. Manual is preferred. Double Control Team (Speed Tune 1st-2nd):
Speed Lead (Ex: High Khatun)
Speed Boost (Ex: High Khatun)
Control 1 (Ex: Gnarlhorn)
Debuff/Buff (Ex: Warmaiden)
Control 2+Nuke (Ex: Umbral Enchantress)
During the course of my playing the Hard Arena I've discovered a bit of a Tech Team that showed a lot of promise for me. It requires having your Nuker have an AOE Control aspect in his kit. This will allow you to shutdown teams for more than 1 Round which could be huge depending on how your RNG shakes out. A bit bare on Offensive Output but is very disruptive so you only build a team like this if you have a Strong Nuker that can also provide some Control. Umbral Enchnatress does this very well. Gnarlhorn can do his 1 Turn Provoke then Umbral can do her AoE Nuke with Block Buffs. Warmaiden should Debuff before your 2nd Control Champ does their Control and Nuke. If you do this right then you can potentially shut an opposing team down for multiple turns. Fights take forever though which is why I eventually gave this Archetype up for my Classic Arena Team. Manual is preferred Block+Control Team (Speed Tune 1st-3rd):
Speed Lead (Ex: High Khatun)
Speed Boost (Ex: High Khatun)
Block Debuffs/Control+Nuke (Ex: Scyl of Drakes)
Block Debuffs/Control+Nuke (Ex: Grizzled Jarl)
Debuff/Buff+Nuke (Ex: Stag Knight)
Same benefit as Block Team of having lower Speed Requirements for last Champ though they need to be Durable and hard hiting. Roles can also be interchanged especially for Block Debuffs lasting only 1 turn. Another cost would be Damage has to come from both Block Debuff and Control Champs since anything less than that will mean your team will be light on Damage. The goal is to get your 3 Damage Dealers at least 1 Turn Each to do their thing with your Debuffs on the Enemy Team at a lower Speed. I do this with Sepulcher Sentinel on my Teams depending on the Matchup. Counters Speed, Control and Block Teams. Manual is preferred Tanky Team: Tanky Teams are very Champ specific and can be built exactly like the teams above except they are very Durable or Resilient based from the Power of the Champs alone. Something like teams with Gorgorab or Skullcrown or Arbiter with Scyl of the Drakes or Skullcrusher or Madame Serris or Miscreated Monster. It seems like a lengthy list with other champs appearing here like: Brakkus, Duchess Lilitu, Sir Nicholas, Roschard the Tower, Maneater, Valkyrie, Martyr, Seeker, Siphi, Rotos etc. If you can build teams like these and are still stuck in Silver then your Stats are the main problem which will naturally get better fast because these Champs are amazing for Progression as well in General. You'll need to consult more specific types of Guides for your specific Champs but be sure that the Power is there. These are where the gamebreaking Arena Champs are because on top of their Unique and Powerful Effects they are also incredibly hard to kill. Tanky is just a variant of every other team but has the option to go without a Speed Booster. The Tech Team: This is what the Content Creators do. Is this accessible to us? Yes but it can be very very hard to do and is quite time consuming. You might be better off just spending the 5 Gems to Refresh and get better matchups. The idea here is you build more than 4 Classic Arena Viable Champs and swap them back and forth to create a more favorable matchup. This will make more sense if you pull more than 4 really amazing Arena Champs. Combo Team: This is another popular thing you will see with Content Creators where they have a specific combination of Champs that are so Powerful it's an entire Archetype but so champ specific that most of us can not possibly build it. Good examples are Blender Comps, Siphi+Rotos, Duchess Lilitu+Candraphon, Candraphon/Rotos Go Second Comps, 2 of Arbiter or Lyssandra or Siphi, Cardinal Go Second Comps, Hegemon Comps, etc. If you have a Meta Arena Champ you should put the time in to see how they perform in Elite Comps so you can pick up what you can duplicate. Building Your Arena Team: The first step will be to go to Zomb13Lord's Arena Calculator posted on u/Deadwoodjedi website here ttps://www.deadwoodjedi.com/arena-calculator to Speed Tune relevant Champs. With the Strategies I will be proposing you will need to tune anywhere from 2 to 4 Champs. So once you've committed to a certain Team Comp you will have to Tune that Team. Speed Leads/Boosters: Whatever Speed Lead/Booster you pick will need to better than High Khatun who we all get for free in 30 Days of Gameplay. Click on that Arena Speed Calculator I linked above and it should show every Speed Lead that is better than High Khatun's 19% Speed Aura. The Speed Tune will vary from base speeds, Speed Aura, Speed Buff and Turn Meter Boosts but to show you a concrete example of how big an impact a "better" Speed Lead/Booster can be to your Speed Requirements in my current Team if High Khatun had a 291 Displayed Speed my Umbral Enchantress would need 246 Speed to go Second. Now if I used my Arbiter instead and had the same Displayed Speed of 291 I would only need 225 Speed on my Umbral Enchantress for her to go Second. A Gigantic difference not to mention the Elite Speed Champs will have higher Base Speeds to go with those Speed Aura or Speed Boost Skills. Use that calculator to figure out what is your fastest setup if none of the "Go Second" options are available to you. Block/Control: This is another lengthy list but you will need to understand how to make them work. You want both Block/Control Champs to go off Second on your Team in most cases. This means lots of Speed for either then lots of Accuracy for Control Champs. Control can range from Stun, Provoke, Sleep, Freeze, Increase Skill Cooldown, Block Skill Cooldown, Decrease Turn Meter. You want to keep your opponent from using their relevant Skills in the Fight. Block Champs can range from Block Debuffs, Unkillable, and Block Damage. Block Champs look to keep your Team alive and functional betting your Team can beat the Opponents if your Champs can go off in the right order. The reason why I love these Champs for F2P/Low Spenders because they can even the Playing Field for you and lighten the Speed Requirements for your 2 other Champs because as long as your Speed Booster and Block/Control Champ are Tuned you will have a very good Chance of getting to your Debuffer and Nuker. Arena BuffeDebuffer: Buffs and Debuffs will lighten your Stat Requirements to Sweep the Enemy Team with your Nuker. The most obvious one here is Warmaiden with AOE Decrease Defense. Anything you want replacing Warmaiden must have both AOE and 100% Chance to place your Debuff. Having your Team Members perform Multiple Roles will make your Team a lot Stronger that is why some Champs are considered Elite Arena Champs. Buff should be more Additive to your Team than Mandatory unlike Decrease Defense. Arena Nukers: You will have to Deck out your Starter with the Arena Nuker Setup to perform your Best in Arena regardless of which Tier you are in. Gone are the days where you can get away with a Dungeon Setup on your Nuker. This role is so Important that I am deeming it the 8th Role to build in my Team Building Guide. Masteries on Offense should end in Helmsmasher to allow you to Punch through those High Defense Champs even if your Decrease Defense Debuff fails to come online. Starters will need at least 85% Crit Rate and as much Attack and Crit Damage you can squeeze into them. The 2 Starters that are a cut above for Arena Nuking is Athel who can place an Increase Attack Buff on herself and get an Extra Turn if she has less than 50% HP then Elhain who has 2 AoE Nukes with her A2 giving her a 30% Crit Rate Buff if she Kills and Enemy. Kael and Galek will do fine though their Multipliers are really Strong for Rares. You want their Nuking Skills Booked out here to max their Damage. Cruel Set is really good on the Starters for this. Once you can Farm Fire Knights you will want to consider putting on Savage or Crit Damage Set. The Free Champ that has Meta Potential for later in the Arena as a Nuker is definitely Dark Elhain. The Ability to Cut In and Nuke if any of your Team gets Frozen can be a Gamechanger in certain Fights. Immunity Set will allow her to go up against a Tormind and avoid getting Re-Frozen from all the Buffs you get from her Passive. There are a lot of Nukers that are better than these F2P Choices and I will try to identify them in the list below. F2P/Low Spender Arena Threat List: This is really where the trick is these days and why it feels so restrictive to a lot of people. Do I have some kind of Special Technique to teach you? This is where refining your own Arena Knowledge comes in and optimizing your Champs to squeeze out every last drop of Value from them. Here is where I introduce my F2P/Low Spender Arena Threat List and this applies to all Tiers so even if you are not in Gold yet it's time you learn the Lessons I learned the Hard Way. A lot of these Champs I usually just Avoid altogether. All Non-Legendaries noted here are Pseudo-Legendaries for me in Arena. I will say who I recommend to Skip or Fight when looking through your Sheet. You guys better start remembering their Portraits because you will see them a lot. Also if you are in Silver or Bronze there is a good Chance these Champs are not built well or are running with a bad Team. Farming against any of these is still possible if your Trophies are low enough.
Siphi the Lost Bride - Probably the most broken and resilient Champ in Arena right now. If you encounter her in Lower Tiers there is a good chance her team is Slow but for the most part I still lose more than I win against her. Skip
Duchess Lilitu - Incredibly hard to kill without a Single Target Nuker with the right Affinity and very good chance they go first. Skip
Krisk the Ageless - Really Tanky and that annoying Passive that Lowers both Attack and Defense basically leave you with few options to take him out on time. Skip
Skullcrown - I usually avoid Skullcrown. She is the one person counter to most Speed/Control Teams you can come up with F2P Champs. If built right she won't even need to take a turn to beat your Team when you trigger a Counterattack with her AOE A1. The unkillable guarantees she hits your team at least once. Skip if not using Block Team.
Rotos the Lost Groom - Can win by himself by interrupting your Speed Tuned Team. Best way to Control him is with Stun or Freeze so if you can reliably do that with your team then it might be a point of attack for you. Provoke will require some luck in Avoiding the Extra Turn Procs. Skip.
Foli - Seems like just another Elite Nuker on the surface but that Passive utterly destroys Control Teams. Capable of one-shoting your Nukers while being naturally Immune to Control Debuffs make him a problem to deal with. Skip if Control.
Big 'Un/Rae/Bellower - A1 Nukers that seriously mess with your Control Teams using Provoke if they get a Counterattack off. Skip if using Provoke.
Valkyrie/MartySkullcrusher - Not so much with Skullcrusher but still presents the grindy, time consuming Team Counterattack Mechanic. Fight if Control.
Lyssandra/ArbiteLord ShazaPrince Kymar - Faster Speed Auras than High Khatun but worth your time inspecting if their team seems to be built poorly. Fight.
Seeker - Really annoying to go up against. Amazing Base Speed means most likely beating your DebuffeBuffeControl Champ. If you do get a Nuke off first his whole team gets Increase Def which means there is a great chance they get to retaliate even if you are faster. Fight if Control or Block.
Tormind - If you are seeing this Champ in the lower Tiers there is a good chance he is not geared right and his Freeze will get resisted by your Team. If the Freeze does hit though you've lost the fight. Dark Elhain is really good here even if you get re-Frozen. Fight in Bronze or Silver.
Madame Serris - By herself may not seem like much but all the Debuffing and Buff Removal she does in one Champ leaves them plenty of room for more firepower on their team. She destroys Block Teams if she gets Turn. Skip if Block.
Gorgorab - Higher Speed Aura than High Khatun so look for a lack of Speed Booster in their lineup and that might be Weakness to Exploit. Try to kill him first if you can because Team Revive going off is usually a loss. Fight.
Zargala/Rhazin/Ma'Shalled/Mountain King - It's a speed race with these Nukers. If they get a turn then it's probably game over. Fight.
Roschard the ToweBad-el-KazaManeateWarlord - These guys are kind of the opposite of the Nukers where if they get a Turn it guarantees the fight lasts a lot longer than you want it to. Take them out first. Fight.
Miscreated MonsteSir Nicholas - They can snowball to beat your team almost by themselves if unchecked with Shields, Control and Team Ally Protect/Unkillable. Control works very well against them but they are usually quite Tanky as well so keep that in mind if your team lacks firepower. Control is very good against them. Dark Elhain can have her Passive go off if Sir Nicholas lands a Freeze. Fight.
Tag Team/3v3 Arena: An Opportunity? My 3v3 Teams (Bronze III)
All Builds are Counterbuilds: A Smite Guide to Building
I find itemisation in Smite incredibly fun, but also incredibly frustrating when it's the cause of losses in my games - because it's so preventable. I think in part, the current culture of building is also flawed at earlier levels. It's a process of eventual self-discovery to a truth that goes against what the early (though necessary!) stages of autobuy and finding builds online leads you to believe. For this reason, I felt inspired to make a guide. I've been paying attention to my matches, streamed games, and the comments on all of these, and I've noticed 3 types of people:
Entirely rip builds from smitefire/streamers/etc.
Have certain "builds" for single gods/types of gods/classes.
Theorycraft, however based on item-value itself.
I think at most levels of play, these are fine. However, these simply aren't anywhere near optimal approaches to building. If you're new, there's little wrong with autobuy. Provided you are making the effort to learn, improve, and eventually move past autobuy. In the same vein, if you fall into any of the categories above this could take you very far. But I think all players should be eventually aiming to most past the above. And where to? The way I think about it is, all builds are counterbuilds.
All builds are counterbuilds
You should always be building to win the specific game you are playing. However, every game you play will have (1) different gods, (2) different skill levels for each character in a role, (3) a different pace of play and so on and so on... So fundamentally, if you're building to win a specific game, and specific games differ, at the very least your mindset should differ from game to game. You may end up building the same items, and potentially even for the same reason as a previous game, but only because this game and a previous game are similar enough in the challenges facing you. In other words, all building is counterbuilding! Even if the challenge is, "they're all really bad so I don't need to worry too much and still win", you're by definition building based on what's in front of you right now in your role. Chances are, you'll be defaulting to whatever items are just good for your role, which is by definition at the very least playing to your strengths given (many) enemy weaknesses to turn the tide. All building is counterbuilding is a mindset that puts you into the frame of building relative to what's going on in the game - even if that's very little. But wait...surely I'm supposed to build to my characteclass/etc first! Of course! And this isn't the way this term is commonly used, but the truth is, this is counterbuilding. Building is always a matter of (1) enhancing your strengths/mitigating your flaws and (2)mitigating enemy strengths/enhancing enemy weaknesses in order to give yourself the advantage. These are two sides of the same coin. If I'm playing Anubis, building Bancroft's Talon + Typon's Fang works with his passive to create insane lifesteal (enhancing his strength). It mitigates his weakness (how easy he is to kill when static). Build a Divine Ruin on top of that against a Hades, and Hades now heals 40% less. Mitigating the enemy's strength. I'm now significantly more viable against this character in a matchup. So clearly, you always need to weigh enhancing your strengths against mitigating enemy weaknesses. As a Sylvanus, you're never going to be able to out DPS an Ah Puch. It'll always be worth therefore enhancing your strength in peel over trying to out DPS an Ah Puch. So build your protections and play support rather than gunning for Sylvanus ADC. But thinking about it in this way, if there's a problematic Ah Puch on their team, building Pestilence to prevent his healing will help that little bit more. Why this framing is useful. So because of the above, I think it makes a couple things clear. Most importantly, there's no such thing as a 'good' X build. You could be playing a four-ring hecate Olorun with Typhon's Fang + Bancroft's Talon, but if you're struggling up against a healing heavy comp, a Toxic Blade would do you better than one of your rings. From here, you eventually start being able to entirely counter specific gods. Facing a Da Ji or Loki as a warriotank, or even a squishy who's struggling? Build Hide of the Nemean Lion. The obvious example here is anti-heal. The reluctance to build it when faced with healers such as Aphrodite or Hel is befuddling, only because at mitigating 40% of healing you're nearly always doing more effective damage than building whatever you'd build instead. There are countless ways to adapt a build to the game at hand, but thinking about all building as counterbuilding makes this intuitive. If a single player on their team is storming, build a defensive item against them. Running a double magical duo comp? Well Spear of the Magus' passive now lets your carry do that 7.5% extra damage. Someone countering every ultimate of yours because of an Aegis + Relic Dagger? Here's where CDR may help. Etc. etc. Listing all the possible ways to counterbuild is important, but once you get into this idea and look for reasons to ensure every single item you pick serves a purpose in this game, it starts becoming second-nature. That purpose initially begins with "flat pen is nice early against this squishy and works with my kit", and frankly that's more useful (and a much better framework for the future) than "this is a nice item let me build it" Where to go from here... I think expecting all players to have an in-depth knowledge of abilities of every god is ridiculous. I'm nowhere near there yet. However, what's helped me build effectively is broadly knowing (1) which items serve which broad purpose and (2) which items are just good on which types of gods. The final, and most important rules are (3) build for who you wanna hit and (4) build for whose gonna hit you. These 4 things can be taken to their extremes - knowing every god in detail and building appropriately. But to be honest, you only need to know vague categories to start. (2) is honestly pretty simple. Mages do ability damage. Hunters to basic attack damage. Supports like protections. Warriors tend to like a bit of both. Assassins either do ability or basic attack damage. There are ofc important exceptions. Mage ADCs build rings, ability based hunters can do well with some ability items. (1) is covered by being able to select options in the in-game builder tbh. If you wanna see which items include penetration, Smite thankfully lets you see just that. With (3) and (4), at the highest levels of Smite this highly complex, but I think the categories below are useful starting points. Hitting Squishes - Flat Penetration Rushing Chronos Pendant is great and all, but by level 20 Hel, for example, with 0 protection items has 61 physical protections and 58 magical protections. Your magical attack that does 1000 damage is now doing 633. If you build 2 flat pen items each with 10 flat pen, that goes down to 41 physical and 38. The same magical attack is now dealing 724 damage. That's 91 more damage. Even being generous and taking an ability with 100% magical scaling, such as Nox's Siphon Darkness, if you swapped out Divine Ruin and Spear of the Magus for Rod of Tahuti and Doom Orb, that's 105 extra magical power at 20 more magical protections. Your 1105 damage is now doing 699 damage. And that's ignoring all passives. If you're building Spear of the Magus and Divine ruin, your target is now taking 7.5% higher damage from all sources and presumably healing 40% less. I don't plan on explaining this in detail for the others, but this is to highlight exactly why all of this information is so useful. Smite's mechanics are built such that penetration is king. Good, all-round items are Spear of the Magus (probably the best right now) as well as Spear of Myrddin or Spear of Desolation if your ability burst damage is very high. Flat pen is wide in terms of viable physical items, so pair flat pen with other item benefits. Crusher, Jotunn's (for the CDR), Stone-Cutting Sword (because of its passive) are all good. Hitting Tankies - Percentage Pen This one is clearly obvious and goes without saying. If anything, it's even more important as it's the only way you'll be doing large amounts of damage to tanks. Good items are Soul Reaver (probably your go to) and Obsidian Shard for countering strong, heavily protected tanks for magical. As with above, % pen has an even wider viable pool for physical % pen so pick these items along with other benefits. Titan's Bane is a good anti-heavy armour item, but Heartseeker, Serrated Edge, Soul Eater, Atalanta's Bow, Fail-Not and are all strong items with various purposes. Hitting w/ Basic Attack Damage - Power and Attack Speed Another simple one, if your character likes basic attacks attack speed is gonna ramp up your DPS. Good items are Atalanta's Bow and Qin Sais for physical. The ring tree is strong for magical. Ring of Hecate is busted right now. Hitting w/ Ability Damage - Power Even simpler. If you're a damaging character who does ability based damage, power is nice. The word of warning is that more power =/= always better. See the maths with flat pen above. For this reason, I think here is where you want to pay attention either to other features or specific passives for each character. For pure unmitigated power however, Rod of Tahuti, Doom Orb, Warlock's Staff, Book of Thoth (the single most) and Soul Reaver provide the most. For physical, Transcendence provides by far the most. Arondight, Bloodforge, Heartseeker are also strong. Being Hit by Anyone - Protections A bit like power, the idea of protections is simple at first but then this demands paying attention to passives and characters. If you're being burst down by a mage, build magical protections. If you're being damaged by a hunter, build physical. Even as a squishy, a single protection item can help keep you alive if you're otherwise nothing but fodder. In general, the more you need to peel (take damage from your teammates), the more protections you need. Supports peel a lot, and so have the highest protections. Warriors peel quite a bit due to being on the frontline, so they also need quite a bit. Because the logic is simple, balancing protection items is where this gets a bit more complicated. In general, combined items (both magical + physical / magical + power / physical + power / all three) provide less total protection but are quicker to build and take up a slot less than one magical and one physical item or one protection item and one power item. For this reason, they're often better in hybrid builds (warriors, or even assassins or some mages operating as bruisers). More so than ever now, most characters want to deal *some* damage so combined items let you save up a slot to do just this. Good items for physical protections are Breastplate of Valor (likely your go to), Hide of the Nemean Lion (who'd ever thought we'd see the day?) and Contagion for antiheal. For magical Genji's Guard and Pestilence (for antiheal) are two good examples. For both protections, Mantle of Discord, Gauntlet of Thebes and Spirit Robe are good examples. For power + physical, Glad Shield, Tyrannical Plate Helm and Lotus Crown (for healers) are good. For power + magical, Void Stone, Runic Shield and Ancile are good items. What about all the others??? There are plenty other super important stats, but in truth I think to some degree, these are all now character-specific. I'll break these down as much as I can. Antiheal: The most important one. Notice the bold here. Build antiheal. If you do 1000 damage, but then they heal 400, you've only dealt 600 damage. You could build a *whole new magical item* at 100% scaling that does an additional 145 damage, and you've still only dealt 745 damage.OR you could have done your 1000 damage with antiheal, they only heal 240, and deal 760 damage. Importantly, anti-heal counters lifesteal. Its ability to essentially do so much higher effective damage is why against a healer, or healing-heavy comp, there's no real reason not to build antiheal. Divine Ruin is your typical go to for magical damage dealers. Brawlers Beatstick for physical damage dealers. The others are: Contagion (physical protection); Pestilence (magical protection); Shadowsteel shuriken (attack speed/crit), and Toxic Blade (attack speed). Crit: Characters with in-built crit build this very nicely in general, as it tends to enhance their kit without much of a trade-off (e.g. Mercury) - giving them mad damage. More broadly, ADCs can build crit as an option to up their DPS, though occasionally this is at the cost of item utility, or both types of penetration. For this reason, crit tends to be better against other squishes especially when you have a lead or when a lack of DPS is the biggest inequality. I think a lot of the crit items are very viable right now. Shadowsteel Shuriken (for anti-heal), Wind Demon (additional attack speed and movement speed), Rage (highest crit %), Deathbringer (to up crit DPS even further) and Malice (characters like Mercury who benefit from both crit and ability-based attacks) as well as Fail-Not for sure are all viable. HP5 / MP5: Great for health/mana sustain, keeping you alive and casting abilites for longer. For this reason, supports/solo laners in general like this more. Dominates Assault but can also shine on solo lane. Shield of Regrowth, Stone of Gaia and Gauntlet of Thebes are all great for this. Health: Health outclasses protections in the early game, and is also a better counter to comps or gods with high penetration, as penetration ignores protections but doesn't do anything about health. The optimal full-tanky build for this reason combines health and protections. Health is generally paired with other features. For this reason, health is pretty widespread but concentrated around your tankies (supports/warriors/tanky mages/bruiser builds). Items like Genji's Guard provide health + protections. The hammer tree (and sledge in particular <3) is great for providing health + power for physicals, and items like Rod of Asclepius apply health + power. Movement Speed: Movenment speed is good for chasing people down and running away. For this reason, it is situational but gods with inbuilt speed (like Poseidon) and junglers in general build it well. For this reason, pair with the reason you want to run people down. For magical damage dealing, Doom Orb is a strong item, or Hastened Ring for Mage ADCs. For basic attack dealers, all the items in the Katana tree are strong. Winged Blade, Toxic Blade (for antiheal) and Witchblade all provide some health, attack speed, and movement, so that makes them fairly flexible picks that helps grant movement speed. CDR: CDR I think is simultaneously overrated on most gods, yet for this reason entirely underresimated on others. Gods with very high impact cooldowns (e.g. Hun Batz's ult) benefit from this nicely. Gods with long cooldowns or spammable abilities can benefit from this. If general, CDR is nice later on because in teamfights, being able to spam abilities more often lets you do more damage. Especially if you're finding teamfights are fairly extended, CDR can be a good pick. Chronos Pendant (the go to) and Spear of Desolation for magical, and Jotunn's Wrath (the go to) as well as Arondight / Hydra's Lament for physical are good items. For example, I personally like rushing Chronos Pendant + Shoes of Focus + Mage's Blessing with Poseidon on Joust. Knowing Poseidon is an ult bot yet that he's easily countered by Aegis, this strategy allows me to keep getting my ult off even given Aegis (and I spam it constantly). If any one on their team doesn't build aegis, then they're now heavily punished. It also means tanks such as Cerb or Ares who are countered by beads now either shine if the team builds Aegis and no beads, or if they decide to beads instead they become my prime target for ulting every 50 or so seconds. Pre-level 12, this strategy has been highly successful for me. By level 12, I have my flat pen anyway. But it's an example of a situational pick when CDR shines. What CDR isn't that great for is the early laning phase when you're clearing minions, poking the enemy, making rotations and generally trying to conserve mana and make sure every use of your abilities is considered. A 3-5 second difference shouldn't change your gameplay too much. Passives: I note this down because effectively making use of item passives not only offers exceptionally powerful counterplay, but at lower levels in all honesty can be the difference between turning a match-up you *technically* lose to one you win with ease. A great example is Hydra's Lament. Hydra's Lament makes your next basic attack damage for the next 8s after using an ability deal 40% more damage. Gods that chain their abilities with follow-up basics/have many AA cancels (Loki, Da Ji, Awilix, Susano) build this *really* well and it makes their next basic essentially give them the damage of a really good ability. It's a must-build (for the large majority of games, no such thing as a 100% must-build!) on some of these characters. If you see builds online for these gods, they'll likely have these items on for this reason. Because passives are so versatile, there's no hard and fast rule for them. However, when paying attention to premade builds, pay attention to passives that really make the build! Learning items takes experience (no one wants to sit there and memorise items), but I think the items worth learning first (and are easiest to learn first!) are items with passives that really, really, help gods. All antiheal items for one work on the basis of a passive. Letting you stick to gods with items like Hastened Katana makes it a good pick on AA gods such as Arachne or Mercury, which is why you'll see these in builds. Build Order Finally, a note on build order. I think this is actually one of the most complex parts of building and worth paying attention to builds for. But in general, the simple rule is build according to the progression of the game. With Conquest, in the laning phase, you're only playing against the other character in your role(s) and taking ganks from the jungler. Towards the mid-game, you'll see 2v2 and 3v3 skirmishes. Later in the game, 5v5s become more common. For this reason, I'll want to build against my lane counterpart first, then widen my focus as the game. This is why in general, as a squishy, you should start with flat pen then build into % pen. Or as a tanky, build the defence for whoever's hitting you the hardest (e.g. physical defence against another physical solo laner) before widening to the other (magical defence) against late-game burst damage. There is of course more to build order than this, but it follows the same logic. Anubis is very weak until he gets his lifesteal on, so irrespective of who is opposite you it can be advantageous to get a lifesteal item (Bancroft's Talon) online early so you don't feed. Or, AA assassins heavily struggle with jungle farming, but Golden Blade makes it 10x easier. Get your Golden Blade online quickly for this reason! It's all the same logic. You're mitigating your weaknesses and enhancing your strengths to deal with the enemy's weaknesses and limiting their strength to turn the tide in your favour. You are counterbuilding. The extent to which you need to do either depends on the game and your character. Anubis' lack of mobility makes him vulnerable against nearly everyone, so it's worth doing first often. However, sometimes even this can be less important if you're up against a mid-laner who's healing constantly that Divine Ruin may work better. Moving Forward Will all this in mind, I think a fairly easy starting point is just basic theorycrafting. On an average game as a midlaner, I know it'll make sense for me to build Mage's Blessing -> T1 Spear of the Magus -> Shoes of Focus -> Spear of the Magus -> Divine Ruin -> Soul Reaver then save my last 3 items (assuming I'll sell Maeg's Blessing and Shoes of Focus) for something like Chronos Pendant, Rod of Tahuti or a Staff or Myrddin. I leave my options open in case I wanna pick that defensive item against a storming assassin or Obsidian Shard against a crazy hard-to-kill tank. This is basic, but this is counterbuilding! I'm doing what I'm doing because I'm playing against a squishy at first, then up against tankies, and am a magic dealer looking to leverage my higher ability scaling against other characters. This approach will lead you building pretty similar to a lot of smitefire builds, and to be honest, maybe at times slightly sub-optimally because you didn't really that one god builds that one item really well. There's nothing wrong with referring to smitefire for this reason in particular. As bad as Silverbranch Bow is, Apollo actually builds it quite well. This guide at times probably reads from super-beginner to fairly advanced, but that's because I truly believe it can help everyone. Most players eventually grow into thinking this way, yet I think Smitefire stubborness is at least a part of why I still see antiheal never come on or come on so late game after game, even for those who know all of these basics. Hopefully this at least helps to foster that change in mindset. I think this mindset will absolutely see you building significantly better as you progress throughout smite. The more you learn items and learn gods, having this mindset makes your building far better than any of the initial 3 strategies. Soon you'll be confident in running that rogue build because you *know* just how impactful it could be in this game. So remember, keep counterbuilding! \Disclaimer\** There's a good chance I've forgotten items, my maths could be off at times, or forgotten certain mechanics. I'm not an expert by any means! I'm just a keen player and learner of Smite, and have been playing a lot of close attention to streams and competitive gameplay lately. I also think all of the above is a way of vocalising what I think is the intuition that players have after 100s of hours of Smite. Eventually building gets easier and easier, but I believe it's precisely because at some point there is a change in mindset. However, given this I could ofc be inncorrect. I'm unranked (I avoid playing ranked in all of my games for various reasons), but do consider myself to be at least strong when it comes to smite theoretically. Though I play support characters *significantly less*, so my knowledge there is fundamentally weaker (especially items I've forgotten/misunderstood!) But feel free to doubt my credentials tbh. Please definitely feel free to correct/disagree, I won't take it that personally. If anyone's interested, I'm thinking about making another guide about relics! Let me know if this is something you'd like to see. Edit 1: Fixed a typo. Edit 2: Thanks for the support! I'll be answering questions where I can, although definitely recall my disclaimer. This is at the end of the day a lonesome gamer's thoughts, but very glad to know it's helping so many out! Edit 3: Missed the movement speed bit! Now finished!
Notice: I played a lot with our good boy before and after the rework, but I'm not a high level player or I have so many games (daily routine consuming a lot of time to play), but I've been following the game since S3, and what I'm going to talk here because I like to stay up to date on the game and work on metacraft as a way to relax the mind with focus, my personal meditation method for saying haha. But let's start: I returned to the game these days, and as the pairing algorithm was taking my sanity out on my main role (support on low elo...THE SUFFERING), I decided that I needed to be more active on the map to guarantee collective advantages, and completed objectives. As Riot rarely remembers Warwick, I took a look at the [op.gg](https://op.gg) to know his current status, saw that it didn't change much as I expected, and went on to the game. In the first match, defeat by a wrong rune sum with a bot lane that more reconnected than farming, but in the next two games, victories for the Big Bad Wolf's consistent gameplay. I looked again at my choices of runes and items and compared to those of websites and content creators, I decided to take advantage of my insomnia to write a mini-introduction for beginners (without matchupes, the text will be long without it), and start a discussion of theorycraft with you: **1 - What WARWICK is at stake, and what to expect from it (or not):** He is a **Diver**, that is, an aggressive **Fighter** with mobility on the map, with his role in team fights being to find the perfect moment to start chaos, and take the most fragile opponents out of the fight. The focus is not the defense, it is the offensive, especially in 1v1 or 2v2 fights, to end wounded enemies and to be a constant threat to other junglers, both in duels on the river, and forcing trades on objectives on the map, must of time controlling them. Having or being put in a defensive stance with Warwick means that the game is going badly, but by staying calm, he can re-impose his pace of the game with his tools to create killing opportunities and goals. Because he has an offensive style, his main builds use tank itemization, with this focus on defense and utility being a guarantee that he will stay as long as possible causing damage. As your kit guarantees self-sustain and is damage oriented, damage-focused builds abuse this feature by blowing up targets and melting objectives, but I don't recommend it for beginners in the game or with WW, because of their vulnerability to group control and the fact that he wanting to fight, requires a certain synergy from the team as a whole to be truly efficient. Taking advantage of the cue for a detail that many overlook: Warwick is a particularly efficient hybrid damage dealer, benefiting from almost all offensive attributes, with the exception of lethality and critical, without being really dependent on any of them. Because it causes a lot of magic and physical damage in any configuration, your opponents will have difficulty in defensive itemization, however, the fact that he has a lot of damage in Q and a lot of attack speed in his W, despite generating very cool game experiences (AP with Dark Harvest is my favorite!), it also raises questions for beginners about itemizate him, and I'll talk about that in more detail later. And it is worth remembering: Warwick is not a tank per se, as its ability to crowd control / protect allies in large fights is quite limited (so pure damage builds are, in practice, only viable in experienced hands). Its objective is to track, surround, ambush and eliminate wounded or isolated opponents, not to defend the just and innocent. And taking some Poro Snacks in process of course...WHO IS THE GOOD BOY? WHO IS? 2 - Rúnir Úlfsins: Organized according to the pages of **LoLWiki**, but in the smaller runes I will only comment on those that I find relevant in a positive way (or that are VERY misleading for our beloved furry zaunite): >>>> *ACCURACY*: PRESS THE ATTACK is the most common as it is the most consistent with Warwick's style of play, and also adds utility for the extra damage of allies to the marked opponent. In case of doubt or being a beginner, it is the most solid choice. CONQUEROR is not usually a strong option in general. However, at the top lane it can be an option against Juggernauts. LETHAL TEMPO and FLEET FOOTWORK have very little synergy with the champion. The first may even work in very specific situations (combining with BotRK against a splitpsush Tank/Bruiser for example), but the second simply has no reason to be chosen in it, being more suitable for ranged attack champions. Smaller runes: TRIUMPH and LAST STAND are mandatory, remember that Warwick is similar to Tryndamere and Olaf in the sense that they are greater threats when their health bars are low and these two greatly enhance this aspect, increasing the survivability throughout the match, and being an asset against opponents who underestimate the champion. In the Legend: X series, Tenacity is the primary choice, but the others can be viable if group control is not an issue. The rest are not as good as they seem at first. >>>> *DOMINATION*: ELETROCUTATE and DARK HARVEST are only viable in explosive damage AP builds, but when they work they are really fun ... for the WW of course. PREDATOR is interesting for the synergy with its ultimate, but being honest, it is better on paper than in practice. But like the previous two runes on this page, it's SO much fun when it works! HAIL OF BLADES is a choice that I believe has potential, although I haven't personally tested it ... yet. As the changes to the rune came after the standard Warwick runes were established, along with the fact that he was not a popular champion, I believe that many players did not test this option on him for fear of being labeled "troll". But with an attack reset on the Q (which gives maximum health damage, it’s worth remembering), extra damage / healing per hit on the passive, and the increasing attack speed of the W based on the target’s lost life (which no longer has the 2.5 cap with the rune, remember that), dropping life bars quickly in a quick execution of basic skills and attacks, it in theory has good synergy with the champion's style. But I can be terribly wrong, so whoever used it or will use it, leave your opinion! Smaller runes: Cheap Shot and Sudden Impact look good, but in practice they ddnt work that good, so I personally like and use TASTE OF BLOOD, as it offers an additional healing source for duels against other hunters in the beginning, while the Q is unavailable. EYEBALL COLLECTION is my second option, when I expect a carnage, while ZOMBIE WARD and GHOST PORO has potential in other situations. The HUNTER rune series depends on your style / strategy, and using mine personal preference as exemple, I enjoy the presence of a map that RELENTLESS HUNTER grants, while releasing boot gold for other essential items like Tiamat. Since I try to ganks from the first minutes, when I get one or two accumulations, it almost the same MS as the T1 boot out of combat, and from 3 kills, almost the same as SLIGHTLY MAGICAL BOOTS, which favors me to keep even more pressure and mobility around the map, precisely the strength I most appreciate on WW. >>>> *SORCERY*: Only PHASE RUSH has any possibility of decent use among these Keystones, and even then it is the weakest option when compared to all the other really viable ones. In general this page is a good option for secondary runes only. Smaller Runes: NIMBUS CLOAK combined with Phantom is a strong combination to start the game, but if you don't create a snowball for your team soon, the ability's cooldown can generate a Feast or Famine effect. CELERITY and WATERWALKING are the most common and solid options due to their synergy, and the fact that the others are not very interesting for the game style that WW has. >>> *RESOLVE:* GRASP OF UNDYING is much viable at the Top, maximizing the ability to sustain constant Warwick exchanges. In some situations in the jungle it can be useful, on certain matchups, but I don't see it as a main option in this role. The other Keystones are not very efficient, with AFTERSHOCK being better on paper than in practice, but it can work in specific situations, especially on the Top route. Smaller runes: DEMOLISH and REVITALIZE are the best and most common choices, direct, synergistic and easy to make work. The other runes on this page can alternate with these options, with the exception of FONT OF LIFE and SHIELD BASH, which are useless. As a thumb rule, consider them just in case this is your main rune page. >>>> *INSPIRATION*: Honestly the page as a whole is very "offmeta", but it has some interesting synergies with GLACIAL AUGMENT (the other Keystones are "for fun") with the slowness in each attack being obnoxious on a champion like WW. In this configuration, TWIN SHADOWS and RANDUINS OMEN offer a group control option, with TS strengthening the ability to locate and reach targets on the map cheaply, and without relying on wards. Another item that in my opinion that can abuse this rune is LIANDRY'S TORMENT a secretly OP option against beefy opponents, as a second or third item for 1v1 or even 2v1, since the damage increase of the first passive of the item has synergy with the way WW's healing abilities work (based on the damage he does with his abilities), and his Q will almost permanently set the item's secondary passive, in addition to the useful attributes. Cheesy I know, but it can catch a lot of people off guard, since many forget the champion's hybrid damage power. Smaller runes: With the exception of TIME WARP TONIC, all the secondary runes on this page can work well, with MINION DEMATERIALIZER and BISCUIT DELIVERY being more functional on top role, and HEXTECH FLASHTRAPTION for the jungle. Just choose based on your playing style and need. **3 - ITEMS:** I will only comment on the choices of jungle items and some that I considered relevant out of the obvious ones, like SPIRIT VISAGE. >>>> 3.1 - *JUNGLE*: Although STALKERS'S BLADE(blue smite) has more choice percentage, I consider SKIRMISHER's SABER (red smite) as the ideal choice for 80-90% of matches. His W MS gain ensures that WW WILL reach its targets, and using Q's followup mechanic basically neutralizes the use of dashs and translocations. The additional real damage on autoattacks further increases the difficulty of itemizing defense against him. Only on confrontations against champions who are difficult to reach and / or hit with his ultimate, like Kalista, or in case of a tie at the beginning of the game, I think the use of STALKER'S BLADE is valid. As for the enchantments, I personally think CINDERHULK is only circumstantially good (although SUNFIRE'S CAPE has a similar effect and is interesting for use at the top), because WW jungle jungle doesn't make as much life for the % values to be so considerable, but I'll give more details to follow in your defense items. BLOODRAZOR can even work against compositions with a lot of HP (similar to BotRK) combined with LETHAL TEMPO or HAIL OF BLADES, but the two best choices in my opinion are WARRIOR and particularly RUNIC ECHOES. Both have excellent attributes for WW, but RUNIC ECHOES is cheaper, increases mana reserves, and decreases its dependence on Blue Buff by consistently recovering mana while clearing objectives and camps (indirectly allowing more ganks opportunities), while better increasing on damage, and consequently also healing by casting your Q, even outside of damage-focused builds. My decreasing order of choice for enchantment is RUNIC ECHOES> WARRIOR> CINDERHULK> BLOODRAZOR >>>> 3.2 - *OFFENSIVE CHOICES* As I said in item 1, the hybrid power of WW can generate confusion, because it opens up many possibilities, it can also generate confusion on beginners, so as a general rule, prioritize as follows: FIGHTER / TANK, prioritize items with high base attributes and cooldown reduction, but forget those aimed at benefiting effects that cause physical damage, such as BLACK CLEAVER, since your Q and Passive will be your main sources of damage and they cause magic damage (alternate between improving your Q and your W to level 3 in each, and then, choose which to maximize based on the match, leaving E for last); AP, buy LICH'S BANE and use builds of others AP Assassins or Burst Mages (maximize your Q, and if you don't have many openings for kills, maximize your W and focus on melting objectives, otherwise maximize your E so you don't get blown up while hunting); finally, in the case of builds onhit, choose items with this type of effect, and maximize skills in the order W> E> Q. TIAMAT and RAVENOUS/TITANIC HYDRAS: Priorities for jungle or top that are not building AP, to be able to clean waves of minions and camps in the jungle, but it is possible to play without them, using a SUNFIRE CAPE as an option in TOP and CINDERHULK / BRAMBLE VEST in the jungle. As my personal taste is to be more aggressive, I prefer RAVENOUS HYDRA, but TITANIC HYDRA is also a great choice. Anyway, do not close them immediately, wait until your 3 or 4 item, as the main focus is the passive effect and attack reset was already obtained in TIAMAT purchase. LIANDRY'S TORMENT, as I mentioned before, is a cheesy choice, when combining items or sluggish runes (not to mention obviously your FEAR or SUPPRESSION), especially in a Fighter versus tank or Juggernauts setting. RYLAI'S CRYSTAL SCEPTER / FROZEN MALLET may seem like good options at first, as they have a reasonable cost and attributes, and offer a constant control effect to keep the target stuck until it forces a Flash. However, these effects will only work in situations where WW has already established dominance in 1v1 and wants to have the initiative in the fights, due to the absence of area / distance damage effects in your kit, and thus, there are tremendously better options in this sense, like BotRK or in particular HEXTECH GUNBLADE. SPELBLADE EFFECTS: all items with this unique passive are good in WW, just not common (the exception being LICH BANE in AP builds). ICEBORN GAUNTLET can be a viable choice when combined with LIANDRY'S TORMENT in some situations where an opponent with low mobility can be a threat, such as a Juggernaut or tank at the top. TRINITY FORCE I consider it to be a better item to trade off with boots in late-game, or if you have a phenomenal start to the game. >>>> 3.3 - *DEFENSIVE CHOICES* Most defense items are somehow useful for our beloved chiuahua bodybuilder. I only have one consideration about CINDERHULK: it is used by the fact that most high level games have more team matches than isolated killing opportunities, as they have learned to use wards, always view the map and have a sense of rotation in the jungle, which IN THIS CASE makes it a better option, especially from the mid game when the WW starts to decay quickly. In all other situations, a simple BRAMBLE VEST will be more than enough to help clean the jungle camps (the secondary benefit of CINDERHULK), and release the other enchantments as an option, for the reasons I have already mentioned. **4- SUMMONER SPELLS** TOPLANE: IGNITE or BARRIER with FLASH OR GHOST. Pretty much everthing else its a bad or irrelevant choice. Choose Barrier against strong level 1/2 or ranged champions, and Ignite on everything else. FLASH OR GHOST at your preference. JUNGLE: SMITE (obviously) and GHOST or IGNITE. Ghost has a CD smaller than FLASH, which favors even faster and more constant ganks. Ignite can be chosen if the opposing hunter is someone who has a habit of invading his jungle, and / or dueling with WW at the beginning of the game, such as Trundle or Udyr. **5 - SKILLS** Finally, some skill tips: PASSIVE: Essential for your start, and the reason for not needing potions like most other hunters. Learning how to maximize / trust its use is what can make your game start destructive, managing your mana for use by Qs during cleaning, and allowing ganks from level 2 in ideal situations. ***Q***: WW's main trading tool, until GRIEVOUS WOUNDS effects are acquired. Since its damage is in% of maximum Health, it is not exactly as powerful at the beginning, when most opponents have low HP, serving more as an additional source of sustenance in the jungle. My normal choice is to alternate levels between this ability and your W until both are at level 3 (which decreases their cooldowns without forcing excessive mana expenditures), when deciding which one will be the most advantageous to maximize depending on the pace of the game. ***W***: most consider only the aspect of gain in attack speed, but in my opinion the speed of movement and gain of vision are what the most powerful skill at the table is, apart of course, the element of terror if someone gets with low health and don't know where the WW is. One form of use that I consider to be little known / used is to activate the ability at the entrance to the opposing jungle, and if the opposing hunter is not detected in that quadrant, invade to try to gain vision and perhaps steal a field or two early on. The reason: the passive effect is not lost when the ability is reloaded, nor is it warned to anyone other than the closest opponent. Additional points of subtlety and style, if you use this strategy when an ally manages to bring down an opponent's life to the chase threshold of the passive part of the skill. ***E***: A detail that many do not know, is that if this ability is active the moment you hit your ultimate on an opponent, the FEAR effect is activated without losing the damage reduction bonus. In team battles or skirmishes, most players try to take down the WW after it activates its howl, as it is a window of vulnerability in other situations, but in this specific case it can be their downfall, wasting important skills on a particularly tough target. Note that it is also a great mechanic for TOWER DIVES. ***R***: probably the first thing that many people remember about WW, its him jumping out of his sight before the screen became gray. First I will point out that he has an almost imperceptible charge before the lunges, and a slide after him landing, with the CC-IMMUNE effect ocurring ON THE JUMP DURATION, so, be careful not to get caught in these moments. TIPS: 1) It is possible to use the jump to intercept abilities directed at allies and keep running after; 2) if you miss the jump, activate the W to stop the subsequent slide.
I want to scratch that old World of Warcraft Classic itch on iOS, but can't find a proper MMORPG that holds up to my (only three!) expectations:
CharacteClasses/Talents: I'd love to play a game with more than one useful character build per class. The priest/shadow priest-choice is a great example for this. Please don't let me have the same exact active abilities like all the other priests.
Open World: Let me choose my own path. Let me explore your world on my own. Offer me quests but don't force them on me. Reward exploration.
Challenge: I can't stress this enough. Please let me die if I don't do anything. Spending your points, choosing your gear, using your abilities in a tactical order should feel rewarding.
Of course I tried the games that get often mentioned in similar threads. I'm going to update this post from time to time if I get interesting recommendations, so keep them coming. TL; DR at the end. Here are my FIRST IMPRESSIONS: Celtic Heroes + Open world MMORPG that rewards exploration and punishes you if you go the wrong way. + Choose among (at least) five classes (Warrior, Ranger, Mage, Druid, Rogue). + Build your character by spending stat and ability points how you like it. + No autoplay. My druid had to use more than her two damage spells to survive a fight. - There seems to be only one useful way to play your character. At least as a druid it was a no brainer in which stats or abilities I should invest my points. Am I wrong here? - Until level 15 there wasn't a single item drop. Can't say if they happen later. - It's still kind of easy. I had a strong max hp buff I never had to use. I never went out of mana. Villagers & Heroes + This one looks really promising! You get three different talent trees for every class (warrior, hunter, priest, shaman, wizard). There are no races, but I'm fine with that. + The trailer shows a beautiful open world that looks like vanilla WoW. - The beginning is very streamlined and easy. I never was even close to death, I never went out of mana. - The items you wear define the abilities you can actively use...?! This will be the game I will dig deeper into. Izanagi + Dark, postapocalyptic ninjas & monsters-setting. If you're into exploration you get rewarded by discovering rare crafting materials or hidden bosses. Following the main story my character learned to run up walls, so that I was able to explore unknown territory. Cool! + Start as a ninja-warrior, -assassin, -mage or -cleric. Invest stat points after each level up and decide which skills you want to unlock or improve. Exactly what I was looking for! + I died, because I couldn't defeat a boss, yay! Yes, I had to not spent my stat- and skill-points and yes, I avoided all the side-quests, crafting and improving my equipment, so that the boss became somewhat more challenging. But I died! - After I did that, the boss was easy. Free roaming enemies until lvl 9 don't attack you and after that they don't deal enough damage to become a threat. They don't even cancel you plicking herbs. Tell me if that changes later. - You don't get that open world-feeling, because you travel through tubular zones. Afaik it's impossible to get lost. Still one of the most promising examples so far. Adventure Quest 3D + The beginning was fun! The tutorial offers short, funny dialogue parts, and doesn't hold your hand too long. + After entering the populated main town I had to find my own way, read quest logs and short traveled into a forest, where I actually had to grind a bit to proceed. - In the beginning you can only choose between the warrior, rogue and mage class. Later you get the necromancer, hunter and paladin. - But it looks like you won't develop your character any further after unlocking its skills. So it seems to be an easy access fast food action mmorpg. - The reviews tell you that the gameplay repeats itself too often and you have to grind like a lot. Order & Chaos Online + 5 races (Human, Elf, Orc, Undead, Mendel), 5 classes + After the 20sec tutorial you enter an open world and start as a nobody. The game offers you lots of quest that you could accept, but you don't have to. + When you reach lvl5 you choose your talent path and invest points in the abilities you want to use. This game and Villagers & Heroes went the right direction here. It deserves a few more hours of my time, so thanks to u/SandOfTheEarth. + After leaving the starting zone, it actually gets kind of harder! You have to look out for patrolling mobs, plan the order of your quests to avoid long walks and work to make progress in the craft you chose.. — …but the game feels abandoned. It’s quite old and a sequel was released, that was abandoned, too.. It’s a shame that O&C2 took the super duper easy f2p path, instead of filling the niche of a more grown up mmorpg. So far, the closest you can get to WoW Classic. Evil Lands + Mind blowing graphics in the style of Elder Scrolls Online. + No autoplay. + There are talent trees but I can't tell yet if it gets close to WoW. - ... because, again, I was an epic mage right from the start. I just checked this: I pulled SIX skeletons (lvl1) as a lvl3 mage. They hit me with 3-4 dmg/hit. My maxHP: 614. Three more skeletons joined them. I blew them all away with a single fireball. Sigh. - No open world. Maybe thats a point I'm willing to drop. Era of Legends + Oh, man I really wanted to love this one. The WoW-like world and characters look amazing! It felt like coming home. While exploring you get rewarded with hidden chests and crafting materials. + Warrior, Assassin, Priest, Witch, Paladin, Druid, Ranger, Mage, Shaman, Dark Knight! I chose the druid because unlike in other games you can actually shape-shift, play him as a healer, tank or damage dealer! Awesome! +/~ The autoplay is restricted to the open world quests and you can switch it off. - The classes are race- and gender-locked! And you can't even customize the appearance of your character. (Later you can change the skins, but still.) Clones everywhere. - But again, it's so easy as it can get. In my first dungeon I got matched with a well balanced group and was so happy to buff them, shapeshift into bear form to tank, switch back to heal ... but it didn't make a difference. While facing the final boss, I just auto-attacked him and deliberately stood in his attack zone. I didn't even need a heal. Even when the boss attacked our mage, he never went below 75% health. +++ All of the following games share the autoplay-"feature" +++ World of Kings + Awesome graphics, a beautifully designed open world, World of Warcraft ripoff. + Humans, high elves, orcs, dwarves, nightbornes and, yes, furries can be warriors, fighters, rogues, wizards, mages, dark sages, clerics, paladins, archers or earthen walkers. On top of that they can split into different specializations! Wow! - But holy cow, the autoplay is such a turnoff. Right from the beginning you don't have to do anything! After five minutes I killed mobs, bombarded giants, fought a mirror match against myself, reached level 6, got a mount, visited three different places only by tapping the screen if a dialogue pops up. I don't know if I had to spend any points or if I should have equipped anything because it makes absolutely no difference. Is there, after passing the character selection screen, any difference if I play this game or a bot? Where's the point? Order & Chaos II: Redemption + Similar to World of Kings, so I repeat myself. Awesome graphics, a beautifully designed open world. + Five races (Human, Elf, Mendel, Orc, Kratan), five classes (Warrior, Ranger, Mage, Blood Knight, Monk). Promising! - Ads! Lots of them! Everywhere! - Autoplay. I can't see myself investing time into tactical thoughts if it doesn't give me any advantage. I deactivated it and went to a questing zone above my current level. I'll update this entry, when I visited my first dungeon. Crusaders of Light + I recognize a pattern: Like WoK and O&C2 the character models and the open(?) world look great. + Shadow Knight, Warrior, Mystic, Chaos Mystic, Ranger, Dark Ranger, Paladin, Divine Paladin, Elementalist - cool! - The pattern continues: Ads everywhere. - Autoplay. Right from the beginning my character looked like an epic hero. I blew through the first enemies and quests, got rewarded for looking at the screen passively, began with 20(!) health and mana potions although the crabs couldn't do shit. On purpose I didn't spend any points anywhere to see if the game gets at least a bit challenging. It didn't. Perfect World Ah yes, another example of + AAA Graphics — and autoplay. — After pulling five mobs (lvl5) my character (lvl 2) died after a minute. Got resurrected right where I stood without any penalties. Black Desert Mobile Thank you u/Darkfyra and u/TreeTalk for warning me to try this one out. - Autoplay. V4 - Autoplay, they just should get one trashbin, where I can throw all of them into. Daybreak Legends - Autoplay Dragon Revolt -Autoplay Lineage II: Revolution - Autoplay Talion + Here we are again: Cool graphics + The skill tree looks promising — Autoplay. It’s impossible to die. Your character auto attacks enemies with mighty spells as soon as they hit you. No challenge at all. +++ OTHERS +++ Albion Online + An open world sandbox MMORPG, isometric pov in a medieval sword & sorcery setting. Crafting is a big, big part of the fun here. + You start as a nobody and have to build everything from scratch. Instead of a class system you develop your character by playing a certain way. Use cloth armor and a wand to become a mage. Craft an holy staff and use it to become a priest and so on ... + No autoplay! The difficulty is ok so far. You really have to use your skills to avoid death! - It's kind of repetitive and grind-heavy. You don't get interesting quests offered. Instead I found myself farming materials in the wild, riding back to the city, crafting, back into the wild, farming ... you get the idea. - To play it on iOS you have to apply for the beta. If you're looking for a game that looks and feels like WoW, this one probably won't do it for you. But for me it's a pretty interesting alternative! Thanks to u/brockythekidd and u/kuzh for the recommendation! Dofus Touch + I have to admit, this game seems to match my expectations: A whole bunch of classes to choose from, complex skill trees, an open world to explore and you have lots of abilities to fight your opponents. Can't tell yet, if it's too easy. -But it‘s turn based in an anime 2d world with an isometric point of view. I’ll definitively get back to this one, but that wasn‘t what I initially had in mind. Dawn of Isles + Another isometric view MMORPG that throws you into a cute tropical island world in the art style of Zelda's Breath of the Wild. The world feels populated and lively, NPCs and other players are running around after you enter the open world. There's lots do, because it combines MMORPG elements with crafting/survival, base building and taming pets, probably pet fights, too. + Available classes: Fighter (Tank), Ranger, Dancer (Healer) and Warmage. I was told that it offers several viable talent options, but I didn't make it that far. - Because everything was super easy. The beginning is pretty dialogue heavy. You're forced to talk a lot, craft tools, repair a building, fight a few enemies, leave your island, talk more, tame your first pet. They pay you 1k gold for every little walk you do and gift you new armor that improve your stats, but it doesn't feel like an advantage, because you kill several enemies with only one use of your special ability. + u/Yasir_m_ mentioned, that you should wait for the endgame content to face the real challenges! Thanks for the tipp! Ragnarok M - Eternal Love + Again it's incredible that the anime + isometric view MMORPGs offer a variety of classes and skill tree options. If you like these, you will be very happy with Ragnarok M! - But again after spending an hour into this game I didn't feel challenged at all. Maybe it would have gotten harder soon. As you can see I probably didn't give those games as much credit as they deserve. What did I miss? Which game challenges you right from the beginning and lets you find your own way to develop your character and explore an open world? I'd be absolutely willing to pay (monthly) for a World of Warcraft-clone. But please, please make me suffer! TL;DR There's not a single MMORPG available for iOS
that can be considered difficult or challenging,
that forces you to choose your abilities wisely to defeat your enemies and
that lets you develop your character in different directions
that's not abandoned.
at the same time. Villagers & Heroes, Order & Chaos Online, Izanagi or Albion Online come closest. u/MacroPlanetrecommendedOldSchool Runescape. This one deserves a closer look.
How to deal with ranged shikigami as a melee dmg dealer?
I've played mobile mobas for a long time, but only now do I fell like asking this question. Mostly because this is the first mobile moba to not have a p2w rune system (believe me, the stats those can offer in the games like MLBB are comparable to a full item), but also of some of my favourite moba character designs. If you don't feel like looking into my points, then skip to the comments because this will be a long and rather biased post. Now I'd like to point out the problems I see in ranged champs: 1)Abusable kiting. Range advantage is a very big deal, and if you take easy mobile controls into account, I feel like there is no effort in kiting for ranged champions (especially mages with control). 2)Too much damage. The amount of easily dealt damage is tremendous in this game. Let me explain what I see as easily dealt damage - it's the damage you deal that takes no effort to apply, like: 1.auto attacks 2 scaling bonus damage 3.point click abilities 4.spammable abilities (some of them are not easy to land, but most I've dealt with feel brain dead to use) 5. Overall scaling And now I'll explain every section: 1.Self explanatory when you consider that AAs are technically a point click skill that costs nothing. And since there are crits (also passives that BUFF crits) and items that give AAs bonus proc damage, one AA can shred at least 1/5 of your health if you're not a tank. Now take range advantage and attack speed into account. 2.Bonus damage that I hate the most is tied between true damage and %maxHP damage. And there's so many mechanically easy champs that possess those. ADCs with Juzumaru (one of my most hated physical items in the game) are a nightmare to deal with.
An example - I had a game on Aobozu toplane a couple hours ago. Did pretty well, had about 6k gold and decided to go bot to 1v1 0/2/1 Chin who was free farming. I landed my abilities consistently (I had Buddha heart form to heal more often off of Buddha mark), and she just autoattacked me. I nearly lost on a lvl 6 6k farm Aobozu to a 4.6k farm lvl 5 Chin who just AAd me. I had Drum, phys protection boots and Soul Snatcher. She had Juzumaru and phys boots and that Scythe that gives you extra flat 15 dmg on AAs. Out of all my stupid misplays and mistakes, this "victory" got me most fired up.
Point click abilities - I understand their purpose to help newer players learn the game while nor worrying about skillshots, or catching enemies that are way too mobile. But most of the time they just ruin all the counterplay chances. In this game, Ootengu is one of my most hated mages because of this.
In my opinion, mages of Onmyoji have the most infuriating spammable abilities, on top of being one of the most infuriating classes to deal with overall. I just hate champs like Ootengu, Energa, Kingyo, etc. I don't even know how to approach them as a melee damage dealer. They always have enough damage to at least saw off half my health (if I'm lucky), and be ready to repeat it in a couple of seconds. I jump on Energa? 4k dmg within a second point blank while being stunned. I have Raja Warhammer? Same result, but at least I wasn't stunned. Magic resist? Almost same result, maybe I survive, but she flashes and casts stuff again. And most of the time they are WAY too far away.
While ADCs have stuff like Juzumaru or Otenta (technically buffs Crit damage, which is just bullshit on my opinion, as I've dealt with items like that), mages are just something else. Every item is cheap enough, good enough, and most of them give annoying passives and tankiness. Considering how most of them are easy to play and feel powerful in any stage of the game (unless you outfarm them by a LOT), I just can't understand why devs allow this.
As I said, my post is very biased, but this bias didn't come from nowhere. I am aware that there are some melee champs that are borderline busted, and I have faced some. But I played a lot of ranged champions over the course of mobile mobas, and almost always played tanks if team needed melee, and I just never noticed any fighters or assassins that were strong independently. They just kill the weakest members of the team to get lots of strength to steamroll or secure kills. I began to feel like mobile devs force ranged champs to become carries. I never liked playing ADCs and mages. My most favourite champion designes belonged to fighters and assassins (in this game some of my faves are Shuten Douji and Yasha thank god for his rework). But no matter how I tried to play them - I just suck or dominate visibly weaker players, while being more than decent with boring stuff like Kubinashi or Maestro. And I hate it. I want to enjoy playing the game, not just play it for high winrate. So here is my question to fighteassassin mains - how to you approach ranged champions? What are your characters, strategies or builds?
Biggest problem on brawl stars above 500+ trophies
Most of the time I lose a match with randoms it's for the same 4 issues: 1) Random decide to ignore his/her brawler role Most people ignores when the brawler they're using has a specific role in the Game. If a brawler it's heavyweight, you're supossed to play it aggro and stay on top of the map being annoying to their damage dealers and (of course) TANKING FOR THEIR SHOTS, I saw pretty amazing Rosa players that know how to play aggro un combination with her super, making insane openings for mid and lane to take advantage of the situation. 2) Random is auto-aiming e v e r y s h o t without keeping sistance Auto aim it's useful on CLOSE COMBAT and heist or siege, but relying on it on a very open map going against fast walking brawlers, you're going to be carried by your teammates as you're doing absolutely nothing to the fight. So, these players think the best option it's to mové towards a bull/rosa/primo/jacky and spam their shots P. S. There is a big big difference between shooting to pressure an enemy to walk on a certain direction and missing your shots. 3) Random not using super correctly If you're a dyna player, a mortis or a Gene main, you rely a lot on using your super correctly, but that doesn't mean you can use it just one time like a gadget. Use them on instinct, gene's super it's the best Game changer right now, but if you miss one on a pretty stale position, it doesn't matter, you're gonna get another one eventually of you aim your shots, 4) Random gave up after someone f-ed up Gave up if everybody died and you have 8 seconds left on gem grab, gave up if they spawn trapped you on siege and Hot zone and you probably won't be a le to make a comeback, gave up if your comp it's absolutely countered by your enemy team. But giving up because someone died on the first 15 seconds of the match it's plain stupid and a bitch move, giving up because you don't have good teammates it's a bitch move, doing nothing because someone it's a bot it's still a pretty bitch move. Don't ever give up, keep playing, your oponents are humans too, they can make mistakes even on the late Game, specially on gem grab and heist, if you died 4 times going to the same lane, change the lane, if you can' t compete against an enemy brawler, focus on the other two, but there's no reason to leave a match al os securing the other 2 people are going to fail. I'm thinking on making GOOD brawl stars video guides, not the Bad ones our youtubers are doing (except for ash, pretty good tutorials and tips) , whenever they play they do it with other 2 pro players, but they also struggle with randoms. The guides I want to do are on every brawlers, covering every match up, the way they're supossed to be played and making focus on BS championship where they made mistakes and lost matches because of that, also on own matches and the ones people send to me. P. S. I'm not a pro player, I'm a brawl enthusiast who's sick of not having where to learn how to properly play and not having a report button. And no, I don't wanna be famous on yt or something, I would make those videos only when NEW brawlers come out and whenever brawl stars championship is live. Other games I like are chess and mobile legends, so I think strategy and prediction are your best weapon against tour opponents.
Single-Class Build Series: All A-Bard (Linzi Respec)
TL;DR: Here's a cut-and-dry SCB Bard respec for Linzi (or for a merc or main character). We're going to spend a bit of time discussing how to optimally play a Bard. Even without a respec, properly playing Linzi can turn the tide of a combat encounter. Bards are extremely powerful if you know how to implement their abilities. ***SPOILER WARNING: This post contains item spoilers***
Optimally playing a Bard really requires you to play Turn-Based. You're going to find that a lot of Bard abilities will be a Swift Action or a Move Action. Although you can play a Bard via RTwP, a lot of the power of this class may be lost by doing so.
The second thing to understand is that Bards are a support class. Bards have a 3/4 BAB-progression and only have access to spells level 1-6. They'll never have a top attack bonus or an insanely high spell DC. Even with those limitations, however, they are an exceptional class that can make or break encounters when properly played.
Next, think of Bardic Performance as the primary ability for the class, like Rage for a Barbarian. And although Bards can do a lot with spells and skills, they're main focus will be buffing allies and hindering enemies with their songs. With the Lingering Song feat we're actually able to have up to three songs going in a single round. You can give your allies temp HP and a bonus to attack (Inspire Greatness), CC enemies to do nothing on their round (Fascinate), and make enemies shaken (Dirge of Doom), all in the same round if BP is properly implemented.
With that in mind, I'm not a fan of the Bard subclasses for this build (Thundercaller, Flamedancer, or Archeologist), although they will play well enough. All of the subclasses sacrifice exceptional Bardic Performance abilities, and that is our bread-and-butter for this class. Archeologists can make a great little tank class with their access to Uncanny Dodge, but that's a build for another day. Vanilla Bard (the base class) is the way to go.
Heighten Spell, Extend Spell, or Improved Initiative
BT (CT: Clustered Shot)
Improved Critical (Heavy Crossbow)
BT (CT: Hammer the Gap or Deadly Aim)
Greater Spell Focus
FEAT of Choice
BT (CT: Hammer the Gap or Deadly Aim)
FEAT of Choice
Please be mindful of shuffling around the feat progression here. Some feats, like Arcane Strike and Lingering Song, cannot be taken as a Bard Talent (Combat Trick). Also, if you're using Call of the Wild, please know that you can only take Combat Trick once. Lame, but that's the tabletop ruling. Your very first feat should be Lingering Performance. This feat allows you to use one round of your Bardic Performance and it will remain for an additional two rounds. Considering Bards have a very limited amount of BP rounds early on, this will help our Bardic Performance ability last on longer maps. Click your song on and off in the same round to save BP uses. *We're going heavy crossbows because there are more (and better) heavy crossbows compared to light throughout the game. If you want to cheese WF: Longbow (and go that route), you can equip (Lesser) Bracers of Archery on Linzi. This will allow her to take WF Longbow without MWP at Level 5 or 6 (Rapid Shot and Weapon Focus feats are easily switched for level 5 and 6 feats). Inspire Courage (BP), Inspire Greatness (BP), and Dirge of Doom (BP) ring out together in the Tenebrous Depths. Final Feat Choices\*
Spell Penetration and Greater Spell Penetration
Spell Focus and Greater Spell Focus
Skill Focus (Trickery, Perception, or Persuasion)
Augment Summoning and Superior Summoning (with SF Conjuration)
*Please note that even though this is an archer build, we do not need to take Improved Precise Shot because we have access to Echolocation (Level 4 Bard spell). Extend Spell, Heighten Spell, or Neither? If you mainly use your Bard as a buff-bot, go Extend Spell (Haste, Sense Vitals, Displacement, and Greater Invisibility are your big winners here). If you're more the CC type, take Heighten spell to up your spell DC on your control spells of choice. If you don't prefer either choice, I'd pick up Improved Initiative. You'll be more often early in the initiative order, able to cast Haste and use your Bardic Performance in the same round once you're level 7. What Spell Focus Should I Choose? Now that's the question. Here's the issue with Bards and spell choices...
Bards have access to some great buffing, summoning, and control spells. However, they're from an array of schools: Grease, Glitterdust, and Summon MonsteElemental spells (Conjuration), Hold Person, Hold Monster, Overwhelming Presence, Hideous Laughter, Cacophonous Call Mass (Enchantment), Phantasmal Web and Shadow Evocation (Illusion), Slow (Transmutation), Shout and Greater Shout (Evocation).
Although Enchantment is a top choice, Fascinate (BP) does a great job of CC-ing enemies open to mind-effecting spells with a very close ability DC. Also, many enemies are immune to mind-effecting abilities. If we do take SF Enchantment, however, this would free us up to use a different song, and not risk moving Linzi into close range to use Fascinate (BP).
With the cap caster level of 6, we're never going to have an exceptional spell DC for control spells. Even with top gear and a maxed CHA, we're looking at mid 30's for our spell DC. Fascinate (BP) comes in just under this when properly geared.
With all of this in mind, I like to go SF Enchantment for Linzi to free up her Bard Song. The Conjuration route can work for your main character. You can pick up Augment and Superior Summoning and use Heighten Spell for Grease and Glitterdust.
Even when you get to level 13, be mindful. You only get one Swift Action on your turn. Arcane Strike is a Swift Action, so is casting a spell with a Quicken Rod. If you want to rock your Bardic Performance (say it with me), sing first, then move. If helps, the TBM action economy looks like this. On your turn you can take...
Swift Action, Move Action, Standard Action (along with any free actions) or
Swift Action, Full-Round Action (along with any free actions) and a 5' step.
From levels 7-12, if you move first, you lose your Bardic Performance opportunity. From 13-20, if you use Arcane Strike or Quicken a spell (or any other Swift Action), you lose your Bardic Performance opportunity. So, sing first, then move. Be a Better Bard Fine Motor Skills: Use Inspire Competence (BP) before every skill check! There will be many skill checks throughout the game. Trickery, Mobility, and Athletics checks are very common on maps and will reward you with experience if you pass them (most only on the first try with traps being the exception). Knowledge and Lore checks are on every level of the Tenebrous Depths. Couple Inspire Competence (BP) with Tristian's Blessing of the Faithful (+2 sacred bonus to skills and everything else) and you have a nice little edge to pass harder skill checks. Use Your Use! Use Magic Device is a powerful skill. Linzi can use wands and scrolls to damage enemies, heal party members, or debuff disabled allies. Fascinating: If you're confronted with multiple melee enemies, use Fascinate (BP) immediately. As enemies charge at you, they'll need to make a Will save and will often stop in their tracks. Doom and Gloom: If you have party members with Shatter Defenses, Dirge of Doom (BP) is your song of choice, as it does not have a saving throw and results in the shaken effect for enemies who are open to Fear effects. Either way, a no save -2 to attacks, AC, and saves is brilliant. Better yet, it stacks with Archon's Aura and Prayer (cleric spells) which have similar effects! Linzi's Dirge of Doom (BP) setting up my Slayer to dish out some heavy damage via Shatter Defenses. By-the-Book Bard Strategies
Chapter I: Even though your Bardic Performance isn't too potent in the early game, every little bit helps. Take Remove Fear to counter Cause Fear commonly cast by enemy mages. Grease will make-or-break difficult fights. Use Hideous Laughter on enemies with low Will saves. Pick up Heroism at level 4. Glitterdust and Blur are also great choices. Use Inspire Competence (BP) for every skill check you come across (especially before conversations with NPCs in case of a Persuasion roll). Use mainly wands and scrolls for Bards, as your UMD will regularly fail.
Chapter II: Life gets a lot easier at level 6 when you learn Fascinate. Most enemies in Chapter 2 are vulnerable to mind-effecting abilities and you'll run into a lot of surprise encounters while traveling. Fascinate is your "Oh, shit!" button. Pick up Haste and Good Hope at level 7. Good Hope is a shorter, AOE version of Heroism that offers an additional +2 to damage. Slow should be your next spell choice. Dirge of Doom (BP) comes in at level 8. Coupled with Inspire Courage (BP), you can easily have a +4 edge to attack enemies in combat (-2 to enemy AC, +2 to hit). Use Magic Device becomes more reliable during these levels, allowing you to use wands and scrolls from other classes.
Chapter III: Inspire Greatness (BP) adds the joy of temporary HP. Greater Invisibility and Echolocation should be your first level 4 spell choices, followed by Dimension Door. Greater Invisibility + Sense Vitals means you can actually hit and damage enemies in combat. Use Magic Device finally becomes reliable. Counter Fey Confusion spells with Unbreakable Heart (also a cleric spell)
Chapter IV and Beyond: Bardic Performance is finally a Swift Action. Enemy-only AOE control spells come into play (Cacophonous Call Mass, Phantasmal Web, Overwhelming Presence). Summoning spells are now decent with access to Summon MonsteElemental V and VI. Greater Heroism is an exceptional buffing spell on your top damage dealers. Inspire Heroics (BP) grants a +4 dodge bonus to AC (simply amazing). Deadly Performace (BP) should be used on targets with weak Fortitude saves (save or die) and is a full-round action.
Flamboyant Hat: This hat grants its wearer a +2 enhancement bonus to Charisma. If the wearer has the bardic performance ability, it allows them to use it for 2 additional rounds per day
Maya's Charm: All the wearer's spells from Enchantment and Illusion schools have their DCs increased by 2, but the wearer takes a -2 penalty to Strength. Only characters with good alignments can wear Maya's Charm
Golden Vision: These bracers grant their wearer a +1 bonus to Illusion spells' DC and a +2 bonus to saving throws against Illusion spells
Clockwork Pendant: Automatically applies Extend Spell for Haste or Slow.
Ring of Reckless Courage: The ring adds +2 DC bonus to Mind-Effecting Spells, regardless of the spell school
Rod of Power Source: Empower Spell, +4 Spell DC to Conjuration Spells.
Vest of Mirrors (Artisan Item): Bardic Performance 4 additional rounds a day; cast Displacement 3 times a day as a 5th level wizard.
Strigoi's Embrace (Artisan Item): This cloak grants its wearer a +8 enhancement bonus to Charisma and the ability to cast Energy Drain once a day as a 13th level wizard
Final Thoughts Having a Bard in your party on higher difficulties can make-or-break encounters. How about you? Do you like having a Bard in your party or no? What other spells, items, or strategies have you found to be effective while playing bards?
County lines crackdown leads to 1,000 drug arrests
This is the best tl;dr I could make, original reduced by 72%. (I'm a bot)
National Police Chiefs" Council More than 1,000 people have been arrested and an estimated £1.2m worth of drugs seized in a police crackdown on so-called "county lines" gangs. During a week-long operation, police forces also shut down about 10% of the phone lines being used for drug dealing. County lines is the term used to describe criminal gangs who move illegal drugs from big cities to more rural locations and sell them via dedicated mobile phone lines. Nikki Holland, director of investigations with the National Crime Agency, told BBC Radio 4's Today programme: "Drugs dealers were a lot more visible on empty trains and on roads that are less busy so it was much easier to be able to spot the drugs dealers. Visits to 861 cuckooed addresses - a practice where drugs gangs take over the homes of vulnerable people to sell drugs. Metropolitan Police Deputy Assistant Commissioner Graham McNulty, the National Police Chiefs' Council lead for county lines, said: "We know now what a county lines phone looks like."
This is not a rant post. This is a post to inform of the current state of the game. https://preview.redd.it/s27j28wv7dj51.jpg?width=3240&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=95b8fafcd7282ec9ec7ebeda3b6ca805577909af Since Season 1, the game was in a nice state where fights were longer and it was harder to do damage without going full commitment and gold into it. The game usually ended when ADs, for instance, had at most two complete damage items. Only rarily did the game reach a point where you were full build, even at late game. Gold income was not so high, both in ambient and farming. Today, you can have three complete items by twenty minutes if you get the right amount of circumstances. Five plates give 800 gold. Add 400 atop that, and you got yourself a nice 1.2K, something old league would have saw as rich. Gold, today, however is inflated in value, but the items still are cheap compared to inflation. As a result, items are imbalanced in costs based on which classes have the easiest time accumulating them, which tends to be the bot lane and mid lane champs, occasionally jungle since they are in charge in taking it, who just uses it on mid a lot of the time. Opening mid turret allows for far greater advantage on the map afterwards, allowing mid and jungle to snowball map and objective control. That was just a precursor to the primary topic today. League really rewards AP as a stat, and it is only added to this effect due to the items being really good, and the champions who use it mostly being able to use them well.
With how low MR values are today, magic pen should have either been removed or a high investment on AP champs should be done before they can shoot through a tank's high MR. Either through making magic pen items expensive or some other mechanic so that mages can still do damage until a MR threshold is hit, where then there's a sharp increase against magic in general. That or add more MR protection options for those who want it to counter the low MR values capable in building resistances.
Due to higher gold income, damage is capable of outrunning the effectiveness of resistance and health building. You can be sitting on 300-500 bonus HP, and have 200 armor with 130 MR, and it won't matter against someone who has two complete items. It is easier to build armor, however, than magic resistance. The reason is usually is because physical attacks are abundant, so the balance is that armor should be easier to get to counter it. The discrepancy is that MR is harder to obtain cause mages have to spend something to do damage with AP, but this is not true much anymore.
With one complete MR item and merc treads, the average tank or fighter will have 150 to 170 MR before pen. If you are building sunfire standard, using tanks, that's 775 bonus health with 80 MR and 60 armor. That's 60% damage reduction from magic. But the values of mages at mid game, say level 13, when you have these stats? 250 AP minimum, whether cause of their first complete AP item, and whatever runes they decided to take, including scaling runes like eyeball collection, Gathering Storm, etc.
If you focus on building MR, you are a sitting duck, and will be further bad at taking objective damage (dragon, turret, baron). AD nowadays exists to force you to build armor or become a lot squishier to the game's default damage. It is the baseline damage type, and as a result, anyone building resistances at all, with exception of marksman, should default get armor less their kit comes with inherent armor buffs to allow you to forestall it with buying health instead. Because of using gold to build armor, MR becomes a harder stat to focus on in general. That is why most people build it later, cause you get better returns on health and armor.
Health...is usually good against mixed damage. In isolation. Due to the Hp% damage present in the game, especially through the overpowered Liandry's item existing, health becomes just as obsolete of a stat as MR. I will like to say here that there is a time in the game where having all these stats help. If your team's dps is behind, they won't be hurting your resistance building champ. But this goes for really any champ: if someone is behind, they won't be hurting anyone for a while.
Now let's get to the main course of what makes AP champions the stars of the show:
Usually ranged and have utility with nice AP steroids.
AP applies to turret hits, so they can take turrets just as well as AD. At a certain point, they're hitting objectives like a truck. Marksman are less needed for taking objectives, save for dragon and baron. AP is the "do all, be all" role however.
Lack of MR makes true damage easier to achieve with pen options from Sorc's, Morello, Liandrys, and Void Staff.
Mana is a cheap stat now, and harder to run out.
CDR is easy to get to max, allowing for a lot of spell rotations. Mana should be gating this, but it doesn't happen anymore save for exceptional champs like Anivia or Heimerdinger. Even then, Presence of Mind more than makes up for mana deficients in teamfights. Get one kill, your max mana goes up and you get mana refill.
Liandry's allows mages to both have default pen and always be able to damage bulkier champions. A situation of having your cake and eating it, too. Then eating the other person's cake. =)
Items are overloaded with so many useful stats. CDR is plenty, and the item effects are some of the best in the game (zhonyas, protobelt, GLP, Twin Shadows, RoA, Rabadons (+25% AP. Where's the AD equivalent?)
Conclusion As a result of the above:
AP champs are the carries these days. They are much more reliable than marksman, and marksman mostly exist as a default damage backup.
If you are playing a tank, if he does not have a strong MR steroid or big shields, tanks are only good as AD counters these days. They can no longer frontline against strong AP less that AP champ is behind. Tanks need armor and health first and foremost, as MR is lacking hard in build options.
Fighters exist mostly as soft-assassins and skirmishing. The funny thing is that I've seen way too many mages able to duel fighters as the years went, to the point that it is becoming quite funny watching a lux or ziggs just send a fighter's health down to 25%. Fighters are having to be given either lots of mobility, momentary shields, big steroids, or making them a drain tank to even survive, though it makes me wonder why Riot never gave tanks these kinds of options as they need both the most. (Spirit Breaker from Dota comes to mind of a reliable tank engager without the sloppiness of Sion's ult. For those who don't know, he rams through terrain and hones in on his enemies easily from across the map. Very convenient.)
AP supports can always hurt cause support items no longer cost anything for their free stats (imagine if any other role in the game got an item that just scaled and gave them a free 1000 gold with no investment but time). That Brand can rush liandrys and hurt everyone in the teamfight, including tanks, always.
I'm probably missing some more stuff, but these are the immediate things that come to mind. I remember the game being far more melee, marksman physical damage carry centric, and to see it trend to AP carry centric gameplay is interesting. Though from a balance point of view, I think it can be done better. Ranged marksman should be early game champs (cause having the advantage of range and default physical damage is highest in value at early levels), melee physical damage dealers should be coming online toward midgame, and AP carries should be slotted to get their power at late game. Just my general game design intuition telling me so, but that's a topic for another time. Thanks for reading!
Looking for "Oh Hell" enthusiasts challenging my AI
I just released a hobby project of mine: a mobile card game called "Trick Call", which is essentially my favorite variant of the card game "Oh Hell". I am curious to see how my machine-learned bots perform against experienced human players. If you're interested in taking the challenge, you can download the game here: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.aendien.TrickCall The game is for free and light on ads (one ad after each match). I didn't develop it for the money. In the end, I only hope to cover the server cost at some point. Here is some additional info on the rules: Trick Call is a variant of the card game Oh Hell*. It is specifically designed for online multiplayer. The game is faster (5-10 min), the role of luck is reduced, and it punishes wrong bids more rigorously. If you know Oh Hell already, you may find this list of Trick Call's rules helpful • Maximum number of cards: 8 • Minimum number of cards: 1 • Deal pattern: Up only • Romanian Whist style: Only the high cards necessary to deal all cards out for a maximum hand are placed in the deck. • Screw the dealer: The sum of the bids must not be equal to the total number of tricks available in the hand • Scoring: If the player’s bid is correct, he receives the number of points that correspond to his number of tricks plus one point. If the player’s bid turns out wrong because he has taken too many or too few tricks, his score is decreased by 2 points per missed trick • Hearts (and not Spades) is the trump color \Also known as 765, Lal, Whist, Elevator, Contract, Kachuful, Chukat, Kari, Blackout, Bust, Blob, German Bridge, Up and Down the River*
TL;DR: I've seen a few posts from new players about the difficulty of Vordakai's Tomb. So, here's a nice little guide for it. I recommend this guide if you're struggling with the dungeon or if you're unfamiliar with PKM rules to understand what's going on. It's actually one of my favorite dungeons in the game, but it can be absolutely demoralizing if you don't understand the combat dynamics. I normally play on Hard Mode, if that helps. *** SPOILER WARNING: This guide is a pit of plot, character, and item spoilers for this dungeon. I've used the spoiler markdown for the big plot spoilers only.***
********** \"You ready for this?\" \"Nope.\" \"Me neither. Let's go.\" Before You Start I recommend you create a hard save before entering Vordakai's Tomb and at the end of each dungeon level. Quicksave often throughout the dungeon (F5) in case your main character dies or you need to reload (F8). Unless you're a PKM or tabletop expert, shit can get heavy very quickly in this dungeon, especially if you're using RTwP. I recommend going Turn-Based for more control in combat. So, preparation for this dungeon is key. If you have the right spells, items, and characters prepped, it's going to make your life a helluva lot easier. Of course, you'll need Tristian for his storyline quest. I also recommend completing as much of the world map as possible before entering Vordakai's Tomb. Why? The higher your party level the better for this slog. During this recent run-through, my main character entered the dungeon at Level 13 and everyone else was Level 12. I had completed everything I could beforehand with the exception of the Dire Nalmarches. Use every edge you can to get top AC on your tanks. Here, I have three items that add +9 to Amiri's AC. The untyped +3 at the bottom is the Trailblazer's Helm. Party Comp Recommendations
Tristian: (required). If he's not respec-ed for damage (I like Fire Domain Primary Ecc. respec), keep him as a heal & buff bot and use Blessing of the Faithful on your tanks and damage dealers.
Linzi: I consider her essential for this dungeon. Her songs will help a lot with temp HP, bonuses to attack, damage, skill checks, and great buff spells. Also, exploit Linzi's Use Magic Device skill throughout this dungeon. By this point in the game, you should have a good amount of scrolls of Fireball and Scorching Ray, along with some handy wands. Undead are vulnerable to fire and divine damage.
At least one tank (I prefer two) with mid 50's AC or higher when fully buffed and/or fighting defensively. On my current run-through (Hard Mode), the highest enemy attack bonus I saw was +38 (so, a 57 AC is ideal for Hard Mode).
Damage dealers of choice: Please note that the harder enemies in this dungeon have either spell resistance (outsiders) or spell immunity (golems). If you bring Octavia along, she may be less effective in a few fights. Use spells that bypass SR, like Grease or Acid Arrow.
Any anti-Giant or anti-Undead gear: Bane weapons, Clasp of the Giant Slayer, etc. Every edge counts.
Camping Rations: 12-18 will allow for 2-3 full party rests. Bring more if you don't use Extend Spell for your buffs and need to rest more often.
Wand of Freedom of Movement (from Sepulchere of Forgotten Heroes).
Diamond Dust for Restoration or Stoneskin spells, along with any similar potions or scrolls.
Raise Dead scrolls and diamonds just in case.
Trapspringers Gloves (Hassuf) and Eyes of the Eagle (Hassuf): +5 to Trickery and Perception checks.
Kameberry Pie and Recipe: Kameberry Pie is one of my favorite recipes in the game. It gives your party Fast Healing 1 for almost a day. If you rest immediately before entering V's Tomb and use your Kameberry Pie recipe, it can actually last the entire dungeon if you only rest once.
Metamagic Rods (optional, but handy): Lesser Extend (Oleg), Lesser Empower (Oleg), and Lesser Maximize (Hassuf). By this time, Irene may have crafted you one or two Rod of the Fearless (Lesser Quicken). An Extend Rod can be acquired at the Bridge Over Gundrin River (cave). Invisibility + Vanish can get you the items behind the silly monster if you want to avoid combat.
Death Ward (Extended preferred): Cast this on your entire team. If you're low on spell slots, bring two clerics or Tristian and Jubilost. Negative Energy damage and level drain attacks are constant throughout this dungeon. It's a must.
Freedom of Movement (Wand preferred): The Wand of Freedom of Movement in the Tomb of Forgotten Heroes is unfortunately bugged; you'll need UMD to use it. At the very least, cast this on your front-liners. Cyclop Priests will commonly cast Hold Person and it will make your characters immune to its paralysis. If you have already used the wand, or don't have it, make sure it's memorized. Otherwise, have Tristian prep a few uses of Remove Paralysis (Level 2)
Delay Poison Communal: Poison in areas and from enemies are common in this dungeon.
Armor Buffs for tanks: Shield of Faith, Barkskin, Magical Vestment, and hopefully Shield (Infusion). You are running with Jubilost, aren't you?
Lesser Restoration and Restoration: Spells, scrolls, or potions all work. Most likely you'll experience stat drain via traps or attacks, and Death Ward doesn't protect you from this.
Stoneskin or Stoneskin Communal: Nice, but not required if you know what you're doing. I didn't have it on my last run-through. But the DR is nice because natural 20's happen, even with top AC.
Heal: Some enemies use Finger of Death in this dungeon. You never know who will get targeted or fail a saving throw, and Natural 1's happen, as well.
Resist Fire, Communal (optional, extended preferred): This will allow you to freely cast Fireball into combat with minimal risk for damage. If that's not your playstyle, you can pass on this buff. There is a battle near the end where Resist Cold can be helpful*,* as well.
Good Hope (or Heroism): I like Good Hope because it affects the entire party and gives an extra damage bonus. Otherwise, cast Heroism (longer duration) on your main damage dealers.
Blur, Displacement, or Greater Invisibility are all handy.
Echolocation (Infusion) is handy in the case of displaced enemies.
Banishment or Dismissal: Keep in mind, outsiders tend to have high SR, so these spells may not be as effective as we like.
Fire/Divine offensive spells, as undead are vulnerable (double damage) to these damage types, or spells like Undeath to Death.
Other effective control spells vs undead, such as Grease, Glitterdust, or Slow. Pit spells are fun in certain areas of this dungeon, as well.
Tristian enjoying undead fire vulnerability while getting a critical hit with a Maximized + Empowered Scorching Ray. --- Skill Check Yourself Before You Wreck Yourself You're going to run into a lot of skill checks throughout this dungeon: Perception, Trickery, Athletics, Mobility, and Knowledge checks are scattered regularly throughout this dungeon. These give a good amount of experience to your party. If you lack a competence bonus to a skill, toggle on-and-off Linzi's Inspire Competence for skill checks. If you took the Lingering Song feat (you did, didn't you?), it will last for three rounds (18 seconds). Make sure you toggle off Inspire Competence! If you do not, it will continue and waste your Bardic Performance rounds. Couple this with Tristian's Blessing of the Faithful (+2 Sacred Bonus to basically everything for one round), you will have a +5 to edge to passing your skill checks. Also, many Athletics and Mobility skill checks will award XP by going each way on maps. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. Whenever you see an Athletics or Mobility check, immediately go back the other way for more XP. To access the hidden room, pass the Perception Check at this door. Tristian's Questline So, massive spoiler alert: The real reason Tristian insists on coming along for this dungeon is that he was ordered by Nyrissa to steal the Occulous of Abadon (a powerful artifact gifted to Vordakai). However, you can talk him out of this and have him destroy the Occulous of Abadon instead. Here's how. During your time in Vordakai's Tomb, you'll have three RP interactions with Tristian (one on the first level, the other two on the lower level). For all three interactions, choose the Neutral Good response (Tristian's alignment). Although this RP will deny you access to two areas of the tomb, you can access those areas after you kill Vordakai. The area upstairs only has a Knowledge check. The downstairs room can be accessed later via Dimension Door and has the Dark Robe of the Acolyte (+4 to INT and CHA) and a gem worth over 20,000 gold. Be mindful, however. If you do not make the blood sacrifice before taking the gem from the statue, it will prompt a nice little fight with about half-a-dozen outsiders. It's a fun fight, though (I normally trigger it on purpose for the XP and loot). \"Quit being such a sissy, Tristian.\" Ferocious Soul Eaters Near the end of the first dungeon, you're going to encounter a Ferocious Soul Eater. This fight is one of the hardest fights in the game if you're not properly prepped for it. Why?
Remember that haughty raven that continually asks for your name and the names of your friends? In this fight, only the character whose name you gave can fight the initial Soul Eater. If you happen to bring the twins, however, you're in luck! If you give the name "Kaessi," to the raven, one of the Soul Eaters will call out for that name, but with fiercely lament that, "There is no Kaessi here!" (Works with Kalikke, not sure about Kannerah).
Secondly, Soul Eaters can drain a character's WIS if you fail a Fortitude Save. If a party member's WIS goes to zero, they die.
Finally, this ridiculous fight is followed by an ambush of (you guessed it) more Soul Eaters. However, now your entire party can fight, which is great.
When the raven asks for the names of your friends, reply with the names of your top damage dealers. These cats have a good chunk of HP, and the faster they go down the better. In my last run, my boy, Jubi, took out his FSE in one round via Rapid Shot + Haste + Fast Bombs + Holy Bombs.
Before the fight, use anything in your inventory to boost your DEX (like Cat's Grace) for a higher initiative roll or WIS (Owl's Wisdom or a Headband of Wisdom) in case you're damaged
Have party members ready with wands, scrolls, or spells of Restoration/Lesser Restoration. Use non-combatant's abilities, like Blessing of the Faithful (Tristian) or Bardic Performance, to buff attacks, damage, AC, temp HP, and saving throws.
Cast short-duration buffs immediately before the fight. Greater Invisibility or Displacement are always great choices.
After this fight is complete, explore the remainder of the map and collect any loot you didn't pick up. Then rest. Because you're going to have a fun fight immediately upon entering the lower level of the dungeon. A properly buffed Amiri finishing off her Ferocious Soul Eater... for Gorum! Cephal Lorentus If you've played Varnhold's Lot, you'll know the story behind Cephal Lorentus. He's an asshole of a Conjurer, but he made a massive sacrifice to save your party in the DLC. Because this dungeon hates you, you'll be fighting the undead version of this beast of a wizard. If you don't take him out in the first round, this guy will buzz all over the map via Dimension Door and wreck havoc on your party while a few dozen zombies spawn from every direction. If you love a good fight, let this play out for a few rounds and see the power of having an unchecked wizard on the battlefield. Cephal will drop a brilliant staff that gives you a +4 profane bonus to your INT (only usable by evil characters, however). It works wonderfully with a Jaethal respec. My Slayer attempting to finish off Cephal before he pops his Mirror Image Spell. \"Just die already!\" -Tartuccio. The Room of a Zillion Zombies This is one of the most hilarious fights in the game if you know what you're doing. The simple strategy is to send in a character with Invisibility, trigger the dozens of zombies in the room, and GTFO back to the hallway entrance that will serve as your choke point. Set up your chokepoint with spells like Grease, Acid Pit, Wall of Fire, or Sirroco and watch the fun begin. Just keep your tanks up front and watch the DoT spells do their work. The joy of enemy AI. Fighting Vordakai Honestly, this is probably one of the easier fights in the dungeon. Vordakai's AC isn't too high. He can be paralyzed. But he'll use Finger of Death on your party and more necromancy shenanigans. After you defeat the water elementals, just make sure to do a hard save before the fight. Unequip>! any important gear from Tristian!<, as he's going to be taking a hiatus from the party for a bit. Use your typical boss-fight buffs and it shouldn't be too much of an issue. There are two parts to this fight (before Tristian's dialogue and after Tristian's dialogue). --- Basic Dungeon Walkthrough Vordakai's Tomb, Upper Level Cliffs Notes for Vordakai's Tomb, Upper Level
Entrance and Undead Cyclops Ambush: The battle starts with the room filling up with poisonous gas and some friendly Zombie Cyclops.
Traps, Zombie Cyclops, and Hydras: Poisonous Hydras follow a few more and a high DC Athletics Check.
Some annoying raven, more Zombie Cyclops, and a few traps.
Here, choose Perception to reveal the secret room. There will be a Zombie Cyclops ambush when you exit.
What Loot Can You Find in Vordakai's Tomb? You're going to find a lot of good loot in this dungeon. CRL+F here with "Vordakai" to see what's available. Two dueling swords, a powerful earth breaker, a necromancer's staff, along with a few other goodies. Ancient Scrap of Script-Covered Leather: There is one at the gates and four in the dungeon. The specific locations can be found here. If you've been thorough with clearing areas, you will have all of the pieces of the Cloak of Sold Souls after completing this dungeon. Afterward
Decide the fate of the captured souls.
If needed, use Dimension Door to access the area that Tristian encouraged you to collapse (Area 8, Lower Level)
If needed, return upstairs for one final Knowledge check in the room that Tristian didn't want you to enter.
Talk to Maegar Varn at the exit.
Immediately upon leaving, access your Kingdom (you did build an Aviary in Silverstep, didn't you?) and build up Varnhold.
Upon returning to your capital, be certain to talk to the Storyteller. Hopefully, you've found all of the artifact pieces for the Cloak of Sold Souls.
Analysis on hangars of the 10 day Gladiator Championship arena (cuz it just ended on Steam yesterday)
Scorpion : Easily best bot in this hangar, downside was the low health pool, but the Cryo weapons allow for easy kill stealing, the ability is perfect for ambushing and nabbing one or two kills including Lokis because of QR, when played cautiously, it was damn near impossible to kill this bot. You were basically guaranteed a kill unless you ran into a 2v1 without your ability or another Scorpion.
Loki : Was surprisingly good, the energy machine guns had a high damage output at most ranges, it could pretty easily counter the Leech, and it wasn’t too bad at dealing with the Nemesis, the only downside to running this was that if you found your way inside a Scorpion’s 350m range, they would teleport over and quickly turn you to dust.
Leech : Was a good bot, but there were several counters present. The longer ability cool-down made it susceptible to Scorpions, Nemesis could use its shield more often and could sometimes outlive the shieldbreaker duration, and Loki could simply bait the Leech’s ability, wait it out, or maneuver around the Scourges lock-on.
Nemesis : Not a bad overall bot, the Igniters allowed for moderate damage output, and that was boosted by its high health pool, advanced heal module, and retribution shield. The only reason this both is 4th is because the other bots could all counter it. Leech could fry it up with shield breaker, Scorpion and Loki could get inside the shield, and even against Behemoth it usually took moderate damage before getting the kill.
Behemoth : By far the worst both in this hangar, it wasn’t anywhere near contending with the others. This setup got squished by literally all the others, phase shift did help some, but I can’t see why this was added in besides for Springfield and Yamantau because of the Dragoon setup (which the Loki still bests it on)
Ao Jun : This was the bot your whole hangar swung around, if you did good with the Ao Jun, you could be set, if you lost it too early, you would struggle to make up the placement. The glaciers were a high damage setup and could quickly steal kills, while it’s ability allowed for high damage output and mobility every 22 seconds. This bot squished most of the others, and it took catching the Jun without an ability to kill it, but last stand even made that difficult.
Nightingale : It didn’t exactly dominate, while the Hussar Marquess weapons had a very low damage output, they could fire fast enough to steal low health kills. Beyond the weapons this was a good bot, with its ridiculously long flight time, last stand, and phase shift, it could survive half the match and drill in a little damage along the way.
Invader : The 500m ranged energy machine gun setup shredded if the enemy didn’t have an escape planned and it’s suppression jump gave it some skilled mobility, but it severely lacked the durability to contend with the damage output of the other bots, and with death mark instead of advanced heal, this bot often got dropped pretty quickly.
Fenrir : To put it lightly, the bot was too slow, the high health pool lets it tank some damage, and QR with lock-on weapons gave it the best ability to kill low health Ao Juns, but every other bot could slowly lay in the damage while Fenrir struggled to catch up.
Cerberus : The bot was too squishy, and the quantum radar was pointless because its Igniter and Ember combo couldn’t even track the two flying bots in this hangar if the flame weapons weren’t bugged, this bot was only good kiting the flames around corners to tickle the others a little.
Ravana : This bot wasn’t by far the best, but overall, considering most maps and situations, it seemed to come out on top. The three Scourges did good damage, but the lock-on was a major downside. It could negate the Blitz’s suppression, sometimes get inside the Ares’ shield (but with only two ability charges and a heal module it was difficult to do so), and knock down the health bars of the Phantom and Tyr with ease.
Ares : The Ares almost tied first, but with Atomizers, although they pack some damage, you couldn’t kill steal too well (didn’t really matter when you ended any bot in one salvo). Overall, the energy machine guns with death mark were a high damage setup, the shield and built in weapons shredded if you caught a Tyr or Blitz in the open, and with last stand this bot could survive for a solid amount of time.
Phantom : Also a contender for best of this hangar, mostly because Cryogenic setups are just so good for quickly getting or stealing kills, it was fast, and could get in and out of combat with its teleport back, but due to the slight lack of health and low range compared to the others, this bot could only really counter the Blitz and Tyr.
Blitz : The 4 Halos just have way too short of a range to compete, the suppression shots mixed in with the burst shotgun fire could sometimes steal kills, but the Aegis shield didn’t have too much health, and even with shield breaker, it was terrible at countering the ares. Another reason this bot is 4th is because on some longer ranged maps, it was completely useless, the approach to enemies often got it killed.
Tyr : Just not a great bot for this hangar, the flame setup often missed its faster opponents (which was literally everyone... [also flamethrower bug (no splash)], and although it could tank some damage with the advanced healing module, unless you got really lucky, you were usually just cannon fodder for the others.
Ravana : Was the best bot of this hangar with a sizable margin, transcendence could outplay the Leech’s repulse and Blitz suppression, Scourges did a ton of damage and could corner-shoot, And the heal module gave this beast extra playability in terms of survival and strategy. With no real counters in this hangar, all the other bots could hope for was to slowly drill down the Ravanas health bar until someone could finish it off.
Leech : Honestly, pretty close between third and second, although the setup was good and you’d expect a ton of damage, the Cryos seemed to lack some splash damage so you missed a lot of rockets, but your ability duration is longer than the Ravanas two charges, so in direct brawl, with the Leech’s last stand, and phase shift, it stood a solid chance.
Phantom : Wasn’t actually that bad, the Halo and Corona setup did way more damage than I expected, and having the heal module is always a good thing. You could do some serious damage and kill-stealing if you played this bot well with its speed and teleport. On the downside, without any real methods of negating damage, you couldn’t contend with the Ravana or Leech’s firepower for prolonged periods.
Loki : What can I say, I mean sparks on a Loki just don’t work that well. It was good for Ravana trolling and could bring one down to low hp if you cut the Ravana’s lock-on at the right time, but this was usually a last played bot just to wait out the match and get some final damage in.
Blitz : 4 Gusts do NOTHING, even with the suppression shots AND death mark, it’s hard to get kills. You’re resigned to dealing the tiny fractions of a healthbar in damages and attempting to whittle down a target or kill-steal, the only dangerous aspect to this bot was if you got suppressed by the Blitz and taken out by the person engaged with you who could actually do some damage.
Strider : The bots for this day all felt really nice and solid, definitely my favorite lineup. The Strider did surprisingly well, it was the only bot you could end up with godlike after godlike err I mean “living legend after living legend...” with. The lockdown ammo worked pretty well on basically every other bot, the dashes allow for skilled play and a lot of strategy, and although you couldn’t kill steal too well, the Redeemer really packed a punch, not to mention the fact that you had a last stand as well.
Mercury : 2nd, 3rd, and 4th spots on this were really close, but despite the lack of survivability, I put the Mercury in 2nd because of its range and strategy. It doesn't have much health or any form of healing, but hell-dive can make some serious plays, and the avenger deals a ton of damage to the players locked down by your shredders. The major disappointment was Mercury getting a death mark, sure it dealt some extra damage, but honestly any other module, even QR would’ve been better.
Inquisitor : The Inquisitor and Hellburner are basically tied, but I gave 3rd to the ‘ol ‘quiz because I thought the heal module allowed for more survivability. It wasn’t a bad setup, and rockets usually dominate in arena because of their quick damage, but the 300 metre range kind of sucked when every other bot could out-range and out-maneuver you, so every other setup had a light counter to Inquisitor in this lineup.
Hellburner : The lack of most flamethrower splash was slightly easier to work with in this lineup (felt like it was fixed for just today?), and when you got it up and running, this thing actually worked astonishingly well. The flames did serious damage (although not nearly enough to killsteal), and it’s ability pairs very well with phase shift so a lot of plays could be made. Almost third, but given its ability... you know, kind of destroys it, you can’t stay in this too long, and the most you’ll get is 2 or 3 kills.
Pursuer : Not a bad bot, and the gusts actually felt decent on this bot in this lineup, but compared to the damage output of the other setups, this just didn’t do too well, no-one could counter the stealth, but you had to get real close for the gusts to work. Best at killstealing and cleaning up along with the Hellburner.
Ao Jun : This was a very balanced hangar, and the bots were pretty fun to play, at first I thought the Ao Jun was going to be towards the lower end of usefulness, but it’s ability outlasts most of the others, and each flight can rack up a solid amount of kills. Anti control makes nightingales throwing air support potshots pretty useless, and the advanced heal module is what really brought this setup to first.
Ravana : Ignoring it’s near uselessness on some maps, overall, this bot could be played very skillfully. The high healthpool and heavy armor kits made it hard to take down, but the two ability charges lasted shorter than the other bots abilities, so often they could just wait your two charges out, while you struggled to get within damaging range.
Ares : I also didn’t expect to be putting the Ares in 3rd, but the QR and ability damage made taking half the health off of an Ao Jun or Nightingale light work, killstealing while they were in flight could be done, and the Scourges outranged the other setups, so whittling down an enemy's health from a distance wasn’t too hard either.
Scorpion : It was a close call between 4th and 5th, but Scorpions ability was slightly more useful in this scenario. The biggest issue was the weapons, as much damage as atomizers do, you need weapons that compliment the ability. Without high health or a last stand, this bot needed to avoid damage, and that just wasn’t possible due to the nature of the weapons needing you to be exposed to do damage. QR was nice, but you just couldn’t do that much damage in the 6 seconds, and by the time Scorpion’s overdrives were triggered, it was usually long dead. The only bot you could easily counter was the Ares, but since it outranged the Scorpion, you had to take serious damage before making the teleport.
Nightingale : Usually rocket weapons perform well in kill based game-modes, but they didn’t seem to do all that much damage and most bots had a significant counter to some aspect of the Nightingale. The Ares and Scorpion had QR, the Ao Jun had anti-control, and the Ravana had transcendence. The last stand, triple heavy armor kits, and heal module gave this bot a tremendously long lifespan, so you could survive over half the game in this bot. It was still good for picking off kills here and there with the right timing, it just wasn’t going to get you the kills or damage needed for first place.
Phantom : This hangar was almost balanced, but certain bots still shone above others especially depending on the map. It was a close call between first and second on this day, but in one on one situations vs the Hades, the phantom came out on top. Energy machine guns were a high damage setup, this bot did not have a last stand, and the lockdown ammo was near useless, but the speed, corner-shooting, and high damage output made this bot the best of the day, bonus points for being able to kill the Loki in stealth.
Hades : This choice may be slightly disagreeable, but the Hades was a very versatile setup, it could quickly deal damage even from range with the 600m Dragoon setup, it had the added firepower and quick protection of the retribution shield, and had QR to deal with annoying Lokis. The only issue this bot encountered were robots able to either get close enough while the Hades was low on ammo to get inside it’s shield or outlast the low continuous dps of the Dragoon setup.
Loki : The Loki didn’t survive long out in the open due to the other high damage setups in this hangar, but the advanced heal module was forgiving of small mistakes, if you could close in on an enemy, the Blaze did very solid damage, and you could hold out in the game for a long time due to the continuous stealth. It was usually used as the final bot, but you could definitely nab some kills.
Behemoth : The lack of mobility will always drag slow bots to the bottom of arena rankings, today was no different, but with a last stand and some overdrives, this beast could shred anyone out in the open for too long and finish kills with corrosion. With shield breaker, it was an ok Hades counter, but it’s effectiveness lied in taking on bots in the open.
Fenrir: Slow bot, weak shield, only real damage dealer was the avenger. Lockdown ammo was pointless because of the pulsars, and the others all had lockdown counters anyway. The only time this bot was useful was in the mashup of bots off the start, when everyone is scrambling for a couple of early kills.
Leech : Slightly better than the Ao Jun, mostly because of the last stand. Shield breaker was pretty useful because it affected both the Blitz and the already subpar Nemesis. Did massive damage at range and up close, honestly a great setup for mopping up the whole competition.
Ao Jun : Second to the Leech mainly due to the lack of a last stand, but advanced repair let it live for about the same length as long as you were more careful. High damage setup and a good starting bot because of the extra mobility.
Blitz : Flames still had reduced splash, but if you could aim, this bot did okay. Quantum radar was useless unless the Ao Jun had no health left. But the ability and suppression shots could kill-steal pretty well.
Tyr : Cryo did high damage fast, but a full clip couldn’t kill kill most bots so you had to either drill enemies down or finish them off. The physical shield held up for at least one Ao Jun or Leech encounter, and lockdown ammo gave it some usability. The shield and module combined made it a feasible Leech and Ao Jun counter.
Nemesis : Wasn’t too bad of a setup, and the Coronas locked down somewhat consistently, the damage wasn’t horrible when you could achieve lockdown, but the majority of the time you had to play this bot really carefully. Wasn’t awful at kill-stealing, but with only 4 seconds of shielding and only moderate health even with the advanced healing, this bot went down pretty quick if you didn’t maintain max distance.
Nightingale : The energy machine gun setup did some serious damage at range, it had a long playtime with phase shift, its ability, and a last stand. You had to get in an absolutely horrible situation to lose this bot early. I actually kind of hated it’s disproportionately long lifespan because it meant half the game was spent dancing around with Nightingales across the map. But still, this was the best bot of the day, as you could sneak in damage and kills between ability cool-downs, you just had to be a little wary of the Cerberus with QR.
Scorpion : The Storm setup couldn’t whittle bots down too much, so you were confined to relying on your ability and stealing kills who were on low health. Advanced heal gave it an okay lifespan, but you had to be really careful to not overextend without a last stand.
Cerberus : If another bot made the wrong move, you could wipe the floor with them, QR was actually more than useful against the Nightingale because the ability locked down and suppressed mid-flight, that mixed with the shield to negate the Nightingale’s suppression made it an effective counter. A full clip from the really powerful Cryo Glacier combo could kill any bot but the Fenrir and its only major weakness was the Scorpion, which if you got within 350m of, you were as good as dead.
Phantom : An okay starter bot, speed and the last stand were your advantages. Did fine in terms of damage, and the phase shift combo with its ability could help dodge damage and abilities to sneak some kills in.
Fenrir : Too slow to catch up to literally any other bot, movement alone placed this guy in fifth, it was a solid counter to the Scorpion, but the flame weapons were still slightly bugged and really hard to aim properly. With enough skill you could manage to grab a kill maybe two, but versus any other bot in this lineup, it generally didn’t fair too well.
Ravana : Obviously this was going to land here, the Cryos with their splash and burst damage are amazing at killstealing and dealing quick damage. Your placement didn’tentirely depend on this bot, but it was greatly impacted by it. Transcendence voids the Ares shield; Leech’s ability; and the Leech’s, Ares’, and Loki’s lockdown; and QR made it an effective Loki counter. With this setup, you could down most bots in one clip. (*Sidenote: loved this setup because in my first game I got 7 kills by the 8:03 mark with the Ravana)
Ares : To start, the damage is as insane as ever, drilling those built in weapons into a bot’s side meant they were as good as dead. Lockdown ammo helped it grab Leeches and Behemoths, and the ability lasts long to catch Ravanas without Transcendence. The Marquess Hussar setup deals solid damage pretty quickly, and as a result, could kill-steal pretty well.
Loki : Aside from the Ravana, the Loki didn’t have any counters, some bots could skillshoot it, but with advanced repair, those tiny bits of damage didn’t really matter. You had to really wait on the right time to unstealth, but with the right timing and proper piloting, this bot performed okay.
Leech : With the silent nerf to the Pulsar, they don’t do anywhere near as much damage as needed to kill a bot with one ability charge. Three last stands didn’t help as they still only lasted the usual 3 seconds, and the 10 second ability ran out before any sizable damage could be done even with deathmark. Just kind of a mediocre setup that only really became effective on more open maps.
Behemoth : This bot was too slow, it has a massive damage potential, but it gets either killed too quickly or completely avoided. The upside was that if you caught a bot in the open, say a Loki without stealth, they would have their healthbar drained within a blink of the eye. Better on larger maps, but with the proper timing you could nab some kills, most of the time you just had to hope some bot would overextend themselves and take advantage of that.
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