How to Play Each Faction (to supplement Maltz’s walkthroughs

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How to Play Each Faction (to supplement Maltz’s walkthroughs

Postby cjlee » Nov 13 2011, 17:24

Hi Everyone!

I have been evaluating this game and playing boss fights and other crucial battles from savegames I got hold of from a friend. It’s a story I’ll tell another day...

Firstly, let me warn everybody that in the campaign you will get assistant heroes in Map 2 via optional missions. Carry out these missions early so that you get the hero right away! Do NOT neglect the assistant hero as she/he (usually an opposite gender and opposite might/magic affiliation) will follow you all the way to the final epilogue campaign. If you ignore the optional mission, or if you let this hero die and don’t revive, the hero will be lost permanently.
Make sure you level up this hero because game will be far harder if you only have 1 hero. In practically all the final campaign maps you WILL get attacked nonstop from different directions and an assistant hero is necessary for defense.

Next, identify the Main Damage Dealer for each faction and figure out how he/she should be played. Everything should revolve around protecting this unit and enhancing its power henceforth. You should always max out your hiring of this damage dealer, and spend resources on other units based on how well they support your damage dealer.

Necro:
As Maltz said, Necro is most dangerous if you play as a magic blood hero. Necros stress on magic power. The lich is your main damage dealer followed by spiderwoman in late game. You will usually have far more liches than spiderwomen, so liches are more important. Maltz’s advice on hero build is excellent for anyone playing magic-blood.

If you play Necro might, ghoul is your main damage dealer followed by vampire in late game. In which case perks like Rush!, Warlord’s Command and Tactics are essential because vampires don’t move far. Also get Counterstrike 3, Resilience, Rampage and Cleave. This is a weaker build than Magic-blood.
If your scenario calls for defeating very powerful enemy stacks at the end, Might-blood is good because you get Doom. Otherwise Might-tears is more useful because you survive better.

Skeleton warriors are not very powerful, but they have strategic uses. Because they slow the enemy down and hit harder at close range, they basically prevent enemies from hurting your liches.
Ghosts should not be sent forward. Use ghouls or even lamasus to draw enemy attack, then use ghosts to heal - the healing also hurts all enemy units touching your unit being healed!
Lamasus should not be fielded unless you expect battle to take a long time. Lamasus die fast, but if you need to hang tough, they really help to weaken the enemy. With every turn, ALL enemies in contact with Lamasu will lose HP - so use Lamasus to block enemies from hitting your ranged units!

XXX

Inferno is best played as Might since it stresses attack skills. Might-blood gives you Mark of Chaos which is useful on a single enemy unit; Might-tears gives you Seal of Power which is far more useful in general because it helps you fight battles with no losses.

In Might, your dogs are most powerful - far more important than dogs were in H3, H4 or H5. Get at least some of the following: Reinforcements 1, Counterstrike 3, Rampage, Cleave, Heroic Charge, Taunt and Life Drain. Go in with a huge army - even though your other units probably won’t see much action - because you need a big army for more reinforcements. Charge your dogs forward and smile at them eliminating the entire enemy army with ease. Use Lilim to distract enemy ranged attackers.
Counterstrike 3 can’t be dispelled, so only a human opponent can survive. If you recall how your Azkaal survived in the first Inferno campaign map - the enemy has to keep running from the dogs!

If you play Inferno as Magic, Succubi are the mainstay. I find this a far weaker build because succubi have low initiative but Breeder Mothers are very weak ranged attackers. You need good survival spells, but there aren’t much that help. You can’t get light magic and heal demons! Sure, chaos magic helps keep your mana topped up, but Breeder Mothers are essentially imps that suck mana every turn so you’ll never run low on mana to begin with. You’ll probably find that you need juggernauts and life drain to keep the enemy from reaching your succubi. Since juggernauts aren’t the juggernauts they claim to be (i.e. die easily), it’s really harder than Might Inferno.

Magic-Blood gives you Armageddon. It is a weaker spell now, but advantage is that it hurts all non-demons. Both inferno magic builds have weaknesses. Armageddon won’t kill that many enemies, and do you really want to send your most important damage dealers, the succubi, into Abyss Gate for 1 turn and risk the enemy killing your gate before they return?

XXX

Haven

This is an annoyingly defensive faction. Be fully aware that most of your battles will be spent trying to avoid/minimize/ heal damage because you can’t inflict that much damage on your enemies and kill them off before they hurt you. Initiative is poor for most Haven troops, even upgraded ones. So you’re better off getting Tears and Counterstrike 3/Resilience and casting Celestial Armor/ Retribution 3.

Regardless of strategy, you should always use divine shield on one unit once divine shield is ready. Use that unit to ‘absorb retaliation’ from an enemy - then set all other units on the enemy!

Praetorians have only ONE purpose: to shield everybody else. They do next to no damage, but can reduce and absorb so much damage from the enemy that your entire army is better off clustering around praetorians who spend the entire battle on defense. Remember to heal them, because you could finish a battle with maybe 5% losses on every stack - with the exception of the praetorian stack which is dead!!!

Crossbowmen are not lethal units. In early game, use pressed attack on them to enhance their power; in late game upgrade them to Magogs (French for Marksmen) for additional damage on multiple enemies. Magogs can hurt your own side, so keep everybody clustered around praetorians to ensure that magogs won’t hit them.

Regardless of might or magic, your most powerful unit will often be the blondes in white gowns. Yes, they hit very hard - far more than Magogs or Praetorians or Sun Riders.
Since the enemy loves targeting the girls, the perk Reinforcement is your only hope - you need to get their numbers up because you can’t keep healing them. Their low initiative is actually a big advantage in many cases - you can wait all units, cast divine shield on the girls, use them to ‘absorb enemy retaliation’, and get everybody else to beat up the enemy.
Pretty Blondes have one very useful ability - they can heal. In Heroes VI, Heal will also damage 3 out of the 5 factions!
If you’re using Vestals, remember that a pacified enemy will lose pacification if attacked!

If played as Might, griffins are the main damage dealer. They have the very useful Battle Dive, but also can be played like hell hounds - reinforce them and send them forward to absorb all attacks, then use vestals to heal them.

Regardless of whether you’re might or magic, you should always get blazing glories. These can 1) invade a castle during a siege 2) auto dispel bad spells on your troops and good spells on the enemy 3) have high initiative so you often have a chance to cast Reinforcement before the enemy hammers your entire lineup 4) also happen to be good damage dealers, especially if you are a magic hero with Inner Fire to cast.

Sun Riders and Angels are not all that useful - if anyone can find a use for them (apart from Angels resurrecting), please let me know.

Magic-Blood and Magic-Tears are both great.
Magic-Blood gives you Word of Light which is awesome. It hurts 3 factions and heals 2, but of course don’t choose it if you’re expecting to face sanctuary or haven.
Magic-Tears gives you resurrection and divine intervention, truly fantastic spells. These fit perfectly into a Haven setup, so I recommend this as it can be used at all times.

I’ve played Haven Magic Blood and Magic Tears in the demo, but the campaign hero I got from my friend’s savegames was a Might-Blood hero. I found Hour of Judgment very poor - you need to cast Anathema first, and Anathema doesn’t seem to do much good. Not sure if it is bugged. Since Haven heroes stress defensive skills, I think Tears would do better but have not personally played a Haven Might-Tears hero.

Whatever you do, Don’t Get Fire Magic if you’re playing Haven. Yes, I know AI will Only Get Fire Magic. But Fire SUCKS, serves no tactical purpose and is USELESS at enhancing/ capitalizing on your troops’ abilities.

XXX
Sanctuary

I find Sanctuary the most complicated faction. It’s hard to devise a simple strategy for it. Maybe that’s because your heroes are more balanced. But the units also have odd abilities. Upgraded Toads (aka Kappa Shoya) can make a dangerous crushing attack at the start of the game, but that means they get too far ahead of the other units and will get turned into frogs’ leg soup.

A might hero would definitely need to go Kenshi and do everything possible to keep Kenshi alive and dangerous.
If you go Might, I strongly recommend Blood. Since a good deal of your fighting will be done with Kenshi fronting and ranged attackers hiding behind him, Prepare For Strike and Twin Fangs help increase your damage to incredible levels.
Might-Tears won’t work on Kenshi since 1) Eightfold Lotus is useless as Kenshi already has unlimited retaliation 2) You don’t want Eye of the Storm; you want Kenshi to be attacked so that he can retaliate!
If you go Might-Tears, you’ll end up using Eightfold Lotus on Upgraded Toads. It’s not a great choice. When not doing Crushing Leaps, Upgraded Toads aren’t the best attackers.

Sanctuary Magic-Blood is quite crappy and I won’t recommend it to anyone. These are just direct-damage spells which have minimal effect on most battles. Magic-Tears is superior. You can take one enemy stack out of the fight with serenity, and serenity can be cast every 3-4 turns. Tsunami is like mass stun. The main problem I see is that Serenity does not work on undead, while Tsunami doesn’t stun big units so it’s only strongest vs another Sanctuary enemy.

In general, I find Sanctuary’s Kenshi too weak because you can’t get Life Drain. You depend too much on hero and medusa (aka Pearl and Coral Priestresses) to do healing, which means you’re far weaker than Haven’s healers.

XXX

Stronghold

Largely because only one Stronghold unit has Magic damage, I find their Magic heroes way too weak. Magic-Blood is extremely weak, with the Idols of Storm and Father Sky’s Wrath offering minimal benefits. Magic-Tears is slightly better with Mother Earth’s Blessing, but due to extreme weakness of Magic heroes, getting more units for one turn won’t stop the enemy from bashing you up. Remember that barbarians have poor defense - since you have only one strong attacking unit as a magic hero, you are vulnerable.

If playing Stronghold, Might is really the way to go. You have the best Might lineup by far in the game, and unlike Heroes V you are no longer vulnerable to Dark Magic or lacking in ranged attackers. However, their abilities seem to be of limited use.
If you go Might-Blood, Power of the Horde is dependent on your army size. If you go Might-Tears, you get Unfettered and Might over Magic which I’ve never had any reason to use while playing the savegame hero I was given. In fact, I was so taken in with my friend’s Might hero and lovely barbarian army that I played the entire final map for Stronghold (lots of enemies pop out of portals to keep you on your toes) and still could not find a single time when I needed to use Unfettered or Might Over Magic!

(In the final Stronghold campaign map, you face a bunch of annoying demon heroes like Malik and Lamia who like to cast fire spells. They can’t beat you, but they can wear your army down with attrition because they come every week with one week’s production. I would rather cast a spell like Rush on Panther Warriors and decimate their army, and heal my army with Mass Healing, than use Might Over Magic and still suffer casualties from fire spells.)

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Postby Metathron » Nov 13 2011, 18:26

Wait, aren't you the one who claimed that HOMM VI had ended your love for the game? :tongue:
Last edited by Metathron on Nov 14 2011, 12:21, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Mozared » Nov 13 2011, 22:46

Decent write-up.

In regards to Sanctuary: they seem to play fairly well according to their core stolen philosophy of perfect harmony and balance and then striking at the right time, yade yada. I've been having great succes with a magic-tears hero. Serenity, Tsunami (which really is powerful against every faction, I've found most faction's strong units are the small ones) and Time Stasis allow you to CC everything after which you can proceed to take down the enemy's army stack by stack. I use (mass) Regeneration to stay alive, though the Kenshi's ability basically means that it's very hard for an enemy force to run into melee range and bash your ranged.

Biggest challenge there seems to be predicting when you are going to need who CC'd. As in: if the enemy army has two ranged units, you CC one the first turn and start killing the other. Next up you CC a melee stack, and in turn 3 you CC the melee stack that has just entered range while you start hammering the second ranged unit. Etc, etc; it's kind of confusing to explain, but you get the point.

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Postby RollingWave » Nov 14 2011, 2:12

Magic-Tear seems like the general best approach to Sancturary, half their units do damage in magic anyway, and their main damage output really lies in Kappa leaps and other spell effects. (the frozen grounds can dish out crazy crazy damage if placed right as welll). Tsunami means you can take out at least half their army for two turns which is obviously invaluable.

For Magic tear, the idea is to use teleport for Kappas so you can land perfect leaps most the time. for those first turn leaps the best idea is to generally try to summon a elemental on the enemy lines as well which would at least keep them occupied, and then cast both spirit bonds / wave of renewal on the Kappas and also cast frozen grounds around the Kappas, that way when the enemies inevitablly go and try to bash those Kappas they'll be in for some nasty surprises. Though Sancturary lacks life drain I've rarely found too much trouble in keeping their units alive even against really large armies. Wave of Renewal's heal total is significantly higher than the other two core creature that can heal (Wail of Netherword can theoretically heal more but is rather chance dependent for obvious reasons)

As for Barbarian Might's abiility, the first one is useful if your against human players that cast a lot of CCs, but since the AI almost never do that so it's useless, the ultimate is fairly useless right now because direct damage spells are too weak in H6. if theyu're powerful then there would be some serious uses.


Upgraded Lamasu's actually hits a ton against living enemies. they're probably the most powerful unit after Lich (though unupgraded versions are crap)
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Postby RollingWave » Nov 14 2011, 2:30

In a general sense

Sanctuary: Lvl 3 honor is really good, but lvl 2 is ok and lvl 1 is totally blah . really good units , really great hero abilities. probably the best overall faction right now, leaps is by far the best cost effective damage dishing ability out there, their real weakness is actually that they have no fliers, which can make positioning a nightmare and also makes them rather bad at castle attacks. teleport and tactics are very very important for them.

Inferno : blah all around, usless Breed Mothers and Maniacs, and others don't really makeup the differences, Cerebus and Pitlords theoretically can hit a ton but if playing against actual thinking players they're too easy to avoid. Gating is comparable to other abilitys when you have large armies but even then Rage and lvl 3 Honor's sitll generally more useful while Necromancy and Divne shields are much more useful in the early phases.

Haven: right now, the biggest problem is the simple fact that two of there units are completely broken by bugs, upgraded Griffens' ability is broken, and Sun Rider/ Crusader's charge ability is both broken as well, this is why you get the impression that they're terrible at dishing damage.. because those two units were suppose to be their main damage disher but right now their damage dishing ability isn't working... Haven might be even worse than Inferno right now simply because of the bugs, Crossbowmens actually do pretty good damage espeically later on against high defense unis.

Necropolis: their units are actually rather blah, their real strongpoint is that their ability means they shoul lose the least units in the neutural clearing phase so they shoul end up with bigger armies. the combination of regen / life drain and their heals means that they should take forever to take down espeically for none stronghold enemies. combined with things like upgraded Lamasus that makes them quite tough. probably the best balaanced and all around faction right now.

Stronghold: if there's a comparable faction to Sancturary right now it's Stronghold, rage is really really awesome and their units go along really well with the ability, he only somewhat blah unit for them is Goblins but even then with rage and high growth they can still dish considerable damage.

Overall, right now I rank the factions as Sanctuary >= Stronghold > Necropolis >>>>> Haven >= Inferno.
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Postby Kalah » Nov 14 2011, 8:53

cjlee, would you like to write walkthroughs yourself? :)
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Postby parcaleste » Nov 14 2011, 12:55

Metathron wrote:Wait, aren't you the one who claimed that HOMM VI had ended your love for the game? :tongue:

First I want him to answer this question. Come on, don't be silly, we all want to know. :D

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Postby maltz » Nov 14 2011, 21:19

Thanks for the great information! Based on what I have read so far, people generally prefer a magic hero more than might, since the level-3 magics (Time Stasis, Puppet Master, Blind, Frenzy) are so insanely good.

I think this largely overlooks the fact that some armies heavily rely on Might power and defense. A might hero's might army can simply do a lot more damage than a might hero, who can only act once per turn anyway.

But the campaigns are structurally very different from a Player vs. player game. In the campaigns, we have so limited unit production compared to the dumb AI's starting advantage. So unit conservation becomes the utmost important key to win. And magic heroes do that much, much better than a might hero.

But against a human opponent who roughly has the same resources as you do, a might hero could damage so much and quickly that that a magic hero cannot reverse. The AI might heroes are not really living out their potential.

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Postby RollingWave » Nov 15 2011, 1:30

maltz wrote:Thanks for the great information! Based on what I have read so far, people generally prefer a magic hero more than might, since the level-3 magics (Time Stasis, Puppet Master, Blind, Frenzy) are so insanely good.

I think this largely overlooks the fact that some armies heavily rely on Might power and defense. A might hero's might army can simply do a lot more damage than a might hero, who can only act once per turn anyway.

But the campaigns are structurally very different from a Player vs. player game. In the campaigns, we have so limited unit production compared to the dumb AI's starting advantage. So unit conservation becomes the utmost important key to win. And magic heroes do that much, much better than a might hero.

But against a human opponent who roughly has the same resources as you do, a might hero could damage so much and quickly that that a magic hero cannot reverse. The AI might heroes are not really living out their potential.


Yeah, and in this version the healing spells are all accessed by the might heroes anyway, so the difference in conservation is not THAT great,also exception of stronghold everyone else can get mass dispell anyway, (while barbarian's tear special is basically dispell magic) so in a real player vs player fight the advantages is much more even. though again much depends on the faction , I'd think magic hero is more logical for Sanctuary and Necropolis, where a much higher % of their units deal in magic dmg anyway, and where their unit specialties make magic heroe relatively preferable. (if only for things like teleport.)
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Postby Caradoc » Nov 17 2011, 19:11

Just about to play Inferno for the first time, so I'll take your advice. Thoughts on upgrade priorities?

Sun Riders: They take up space and move soon enough to get into blocking position. A single unit has enough HP to avoid taking losses in light attacks. They are also just fast enough that you have ways to close on opponents.
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Re: How to Play Each Faction (to supplement Maltz’s walkthro

Postby sezerp » Nov 20 2011, 21:56

cjlee wrote: Eightfold Lotus is useless as Kenshi already has unlimited retaliation (...) If you go Might-Tears, you’ll end up using Eightfold Lotus on Upgraded Toads. It’s not a great choice.


Wanizame OTOH... Ulimited retalation on those actually sounds like a good idea.

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Postby peta62 » Nov 21 2011, 2:10

Caradoc wrote:Sun Riders: They take up space and move soon enough to get into blocking position. A single unit has enough HP to avoid taking losses in light attacks. They are also just fast enough that you have ways to close on opponents.


And you can resurrect them after the battle if you loose some of them. Yes, perfect blockers.

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Postby RollingWave » Nov 21 2011, 5:35

Caradoc wrote:Just about to play Inferno for the first time, so I'll take your advice. Thoughts on upgrade priorities?
.


My thoughts so far on Inferno.

The SINGLE most important upgrade is goign from Juggernuat to Ravager.

this might surprise a lot of people, most people would say thing like Cerebus or maybe Lilims, but no, it's Ravagers.

Why? because the taunting presence ability is really REALLY good. the tricks is that it effects people over TWO square, so the trick is that you keep them at two square distance and THAN block the path in between with other units or gates (since you can gate units, you have more piece to block than other factions, if your a caster that can summon this become even more ridiculas)

Thoguhts on other units:

Demented : upgraded version is pretty solid, comparible with Crushers etc.. in long fights it can drain up crazy amount of might. espeically against other lower level units the drain is spetacular, if you hit a goblin 3 times for example they'll literally do 0 damage

Cerebus: Hits a ton but also made of paper, tough to keep alive in big fights but can be crazy strong if you can get enough of them, they'er a unit that you'll love for the damage and hate for the fragility.

Lilim: the enthrall spell is obviously very good, somewhat outclassed by Coral Priestesst IMHO but pretty good non thde less.


Breed Mothers : ugh.. a crappy unit , though the mana leech can be helpful in long fights otherwise their stats is depressingly bad, other than the fact that for a shooter they're quiet tough on HP, upgraded version gets a free reinforcemetn cast on them which isn't too shabby, but due to the craptacular damage they do it's a good specialty that doesn't help.

Tormenor: very good unit overall, good damage, good growth, good special.

Pitlords: Potentially awesome output, though you need enough fo them to really utilize their ability. luckily gating helps this aspect.

As a whole, the key to Inferno is that you need to let the battle drag on a bit to really utilize their power, if you get 3- 4+ gated units out there it's REALLY powerful, but before you get it out they're obviously at a really big disadvantage. they are by FAR the best faction in siege assualt and defense. where things naturally are slower, but in field battles they are really often at a disadvantage to other factions.

Tips on Gates: always gate the higher level units if you can, except maybe in siege fights where you should gate shooters first so you can accumulate luck faster. generally ravagers and Tormenters are teh best units to gate.
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Postby Naki » Dec 3 2011, 20:08

What does CCing/CCed mean?? Thanks!
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Postby Mozared » Dec 3 2011, 22:41

Naki wrote:What does CCing/CCed mean?? Thanks!

CC = Crowd Control; CC'd/CCed = Crowd Controlled.

Depending on the game, is has various meanings, but it usually means an enemy is prevented from doing something or is otherwise hindered in his actions. Basically, in Heroes 6, any ability that puts a debuff on the enemy that either A) prevents him from taking any of the five possible actions (Move, Wait, Defend, Attack or Spellcast) or B) lowers his initiative and/or speed can be called a Crowd Controlling spell. Think Frost Bolt, which slows an enemy down, preventing him from reaching you. Or any kind of stun, which locks an enemy down completely and prevents him from taking any of the aforementioned actions altogether.

It's hard to give a single definition, though, since something like Weakness (lowers damage of a unit) is not generally considered CC even though it hinders attack, while something like Taunt (forces enemy to attack nearest target, even if the target is an ally) ís considered CC even though the enemy isn't prevented from moving or attacking.

Perhaps "a spell that outright prevents a target from doing what the enemy player/AI would want it to do" is a good definition.

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Postby RollingWave » Dec 23 2011, 3:08

Right now, in normal mode duels, Haven >= Necropolis > Stronghold >= Sanctuary >> Inferno.

Blazing Glories' ability to dispell is simply too ridiculas in this mode, where mass spells are obviously going to play a huge role, and with tactic 1 they'll be tough as hell to take out .

Necropolis is powerful because it has uber healing + Lich's imbal hitting ability.

Inferno's limitation on gating is simply too much in this mode, where your likely to lose 2-3 stacks quiet quickly, you can only end up gating 4-5 units max and the range onces end up blocked while the melee onces are likely to be dead. with the nerf to life drain it actually gets harder for them since before they still had some hope in life drain Pitlords and Cerebus. now it's pretty hopeless. they might have a chance against Sanctuary who's lack of fliers can be exploited to some extend with gates but against everyone else it's a lost cause.
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Postby Lord_of_Misfortune » Oct 29 2012, 8:13

I could be wrong on this but i find the Might-Tears Sanctuary hero as the best out of all the might/magic blood/tears faction combinations. In all of my games (PVP or PVE), the Sanctuary faction is the hardest to execute due to Sanctuary units are not as resilient as other units. One wrong move could end in catastrophic proportions. each of their units' abilities complement another units', so you need to carefully think of each of your moves. If you execute them properly, you'll realize that fighting with sanctuary is a work of art.

It's hard to match with any spell or ability the initiative of Sanctuary creatures, especially having initiative boost from artifacts and Ambush passive skill. As an army, Sanctuary units have a very high initiative compared to other factions. Generally, you start a game first. I had games where armies are nearly obliterated before they can make their first move. In some cases, i was able to finish the game without my opponent having to make a single move on his seven-creature army.

Use tactics II to set up your unit base on the terrain. Start the combat by casting reinforcements on Sacred Kirin (usually the first creature to have a move). Then attack with hailstorms on weaker units. Hopefully cleave activates giving you an additional turn. Next, attack ranged attackers by blocking their line-of-sight. If you're fortunate, morale give you half a turn. Use it wisely. The next attacker would probably be Kappa shoya. If you couldnt use the leap ability due to unreachable targets, let them follow the trail mist from the Sacred kirin to give a possible additional move. With the additional attack, use the leap ability to cause an AOE damage on at least 2 stacks. All your units should follow the mist trail of the Sacred Kirin because chances are--they'll have an additional move. With the aid of Counterstike I,II, and III, you wont worry about being attacked by melee creatures from your opponent. By the time they act on thier first move, you have lowered them to an insignificant level that even casting vampire's embrace wont save them. If that's not enough, use the racial ability. With this kind of opener, the gauge could almost be filled.

This strategy is base on level 30 might tears hero with a large army and correct skills for sanctuary. On smaller armies or lower levels, magic hero tends to dominate might ones.

In addition, i found out that Mizu kamis are excellent tank creatures due to lifeguard membrane and pain mirror. Cast wave of revelation on a spirit-linked unit and you'll get two creatures healed with a single ability from the priestess.


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