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Unit FormationEdit

In PvP, players tend to fall in one of two camps - either they have spent real money on the game and have the units to match or they only have the units attainable through non PvP battles, lucky chests/unit multipliers, PvP kidnapping (rare for good units) and whatever gems they gathered through 'daily bonuses'.  For those not spending real money, there is also a difference between those playing through FaceBook or another method supporting 'Friends' for Wanted battles and those playing through Game Center on iOS - there are a number of extra units available to the former, and much less so for the later.

Typically the following units (in numbers greater than 4 or 5) indicate real $ spent (concentrating on Legendary only):

  • Demonoligists, Dragons, Grey-maned Griffins, T-Rex, Champions, Dryads, Dukes of Darkness, Ancient Ents

Whereas armies (in decent numbers) containing the following can be gained through normal non-PvP play:

  • Assassins, Dark Griffins, Gargoyle Shamans, Paladins, Cyclops

The reason this is important is that successful PvP beyond about level 25 is extremely difficult for those not willing (or able) to spend real money and can lead to frustrating defeats and languishing in the lowest PvP tiers.  This is not to say that spending money is absolutely required (20 x Gargoyle Shaman at level 31 can help), but many of the best abilities (Resurrection, Chain Lightning, Infernal Fire etc.) are limited to a handful of $-only units.

So with that said - what about army composition?  The paragraph above mentions Legendary only units, but are they really required?  The answer is, technically no, as Common units can occupy any of the five starting unit hexes and Special units any of the three middle unit hexes and from a strict (total) Health and normal damage standpoint there may not appear to be much difference.  There are however differences and they are significant:

  • Legendary units have much higher Health (per unit), meaning they take longer to kill and therefore cause more damage for longer
  • Legendary units have very high attack and defence modifiers meaning they have an immediate advantage over Common/Special units
  • Legendary units generally have better ressistances to damage types (Physical, Alchemical, Magical)
  • Legendary units have the best selection of and most damaging special abilities

For all these reasons it is highly recommended that you go into battle with a Legendary unit (even if you can't get the full compliment vs. your leadership).

The case for Special vs. Common units may not be as clear-cut as the difference between Legendary and Special/Common (certain Common units can be more effective than Special units in given scenarios), however many of the same arguments stand so its more of a question of - can you afford the better Special units in numbers large enough to meet your leadership?  If not, replacing a Special unit with a Common alternative may well be the best composition.

A Question of ClassEdit

The next thing to consider is what unit classes to enter battle with, this is especially important in PvP as each player knows nothing about the opposing army until battle commences (in non PvP or PvP raiding the player can at least see what units they will be facing).  As noted in the Classes section of the Wiki this means choosing between Archers, Mages, Healers, Defenders and Warriors and then determining whether to realize that class through Legendary, Special or Common units.

A natural tendency would be to try and get one of each class, as that way your army can attack/defend any opposing unit with a bonus to effectiveness; however this may be easier said than done due to limited unit numbers for a particular class or the desire to following a particular style of warfare (all-out ground based assault, defensive attrition battle, or full aerial attack etc.).  There is no perfect answer here, but a balance of Defenders/Warriors vs. Archers/Mages/Healers is typically a good mix for most PvP battles and offers the greatest flexibility in tactics.

Some actual examples of army composition seen in the real world of PvP:

  • "Tank based aerial assault" -> Emerald Dragons or Dark Griffins (Healer/Defender), Necromancers (Mage), Rangers or Royal Thorns (Archer/Mage), Evil Eyes or Druid (Mage/Healer), Archer or Pilgrim (Archer/Healer)
  • "All-out ground assault" -> Assassins (Warrior), Black Unicorn (Warrior), Ancient Serpents or Sea Wolves (Warrior), Possessed Bears or Ghosts (Defender/Warrior), Pirates or Swordsmen (Warrior/Defender)
  • "Magician central" -> Demonologists, Gargoyle Shaman or Arch Mages (Mage), Necromancers (Mage), Inquisitors (Mage), Evil Eyes or Pilgrims (Mage/Healer), Druids or Gargoyle Trainees (Healer/Mage)


UpgradesEdit

Once you have decided on your units and army composition, its now time to look at upgrading particular units.  Are upgrades necessary?  Absolutely; maybe not in your first few PvP battles, but as you progress up the tiers and player levels it becomes increasingly difficult to win without upgrading your army.

Don't believe me?  Consider the following - a Lvl 0 group of 50 (50 x 70 leadership = 3500) Possessed Bears vs. a Lvl 0 group of 23 (23 x 150 leadership = 3450) Assassins.  Normally this would be an easy win for the assassins provided they use their abilities to strike first (initiative) and 'no-counter' wisely.  The base stats for these two units:

Bears: 680 Health, 100-120 (slightly more with Fury), Attack 100, Defense 90

Assassins: 1200 Health, 230-250 Damage (more with special attacks), Attack 340, Defense 200

Now consider the same number of units but with Lvl 15 Bears vs. Lvl 0 Assassins:

Bears: 750 Health, 125-150 (way more for Fury), Attack 166, Defense 176

Assassins: 1200 Health, 230-250 Damage (more with special attacks), Attack 340, Defense 200

Not nearly as straight forward now, especially given that Bears have a natural advantage over Assassins (Defender vs. Warrior) - Assassins would likely still win (equipment/spells would play a big part) but we're talking about a group of Common units almost matching Legendary units!

Upgrades don't come for free however, they are relatively straight forward to about lvl 7 or 8 for all units (xxxx amount of gold and y books of strategy - both increasing per level), but they get nasty expensive and unpredictable after that as success guarantee goes way down (around 20% for final lvl 15 upgrade) unless you can afford the gems (paying gems guarantees 100% success, but the gem rate is very steep for the later levels).

Lesson to take from this: don't ignore upgrades, I would even suggest getting as many upgrades as you can before pursuing serious equipment (through crafting).  If you meet players over about lvl 30 they are GUARANTEED to have upgraded their units and it is not uncommon to meet armies that have all units maxed out to level 15.

How do I see unit levels in combat?  Can't really speak for non-mobile platforms, but on iPad and Android you hold your finger down on the screen on the combat screen, it shows all unit levels and also a number for each unit representing the 'who goes first' (based on initiative), both vital bits of information, and the first thing you should check when the battle screen comes up!

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