Might & Magic: Clash of Heroes Strategy Guide 
for the Nintendo DS console.
by Blackbird
#0000

Version History
v 1.00  3/5/2010  Major sections of the guide completed.
v 1.01  3/9/2010  Attack types and minor revisions added.  
v 1.02  4/5/2010  Minor revisions.
Added:
- Small section on 0 damage scenarios in easter egg section.
- New Inferno strategy concerning Fiery Brimstone usage.
Revised: 
- Griffin unit text for a minor observation.
- Djinn unit text for clarity.
Fixed:
- Djinn attack type was incorrectly listed.
v 1.03  to be added:  little foreseeable future content, unless new sections
are added.


= Intent ======================================================================

The following guide contains almost everything I've observed regarding Clash of
Heroes gameplay, metagame, and strategy.  SpiritReach has already written a 
walkthrough for this game, so I've focused this guide primarily on discussing 
the strategic elements and mathematical formulae of this game, instead.  I may 
add additional sections later, if it's in demand.  I hope you find the current 
contents of this guide informative and useful.  It's fairly verbose, hopefully 
you won't be scared off =D.  

This guide is divided into several sections.  The major portions of the guide 
include basic, intermediate, and expert strategies.  Basic strategy is 
generalized advice for playing the game well, aimed especially at newer 
players.  Intermediate strategy deals with more advanced techniques that might
be informative to someone that has already had some experience playing Clash 
of Heroes.  Expert strategy deals with the most difficult or abstract 
techniques, or strategies that are only useful in niche situations.  The 
expert section is aimed at speedrunners, completionists, multiplayers, and 
hardcore gamers.  Following these sections are discussions of Faction-specific
strategies, units, heroes, and artifacts.  Discussion of units assumes that 
they are Level 5, as in Quick Battle mode.  The final portion of the guide 
includes exploits and fun facts.  

Important:  >> Read This First <<

Where possible, I've attempted to keep the guide spoiler free.  
Faction-specific discussion includes unmarked spoilers on the available units 
(particularly the unlockable units) and heroes.  In all other places where it 
is necessary to reveal spoilers, I've marked them with spoiler tags.  Like so:
*spoilers* Spoilers go here. *end spoilers*


= Glossary/Definitions ========================================================

A database of terms you will see referenced often in this guide.  

A row refers to the horizontal axis of the map, like so:  ========

A column refers to the vertical axis of the map, like so:  |
						           |

There are 6 rows and 8 columns in each battlefield.  

Formation:  A unit or group of units that is active, or the act of creating an
active group.  
Charge:  The act of creating a Formation or attack.    
Charging Formation/CF:  Abbreviated as CF.  Refers to a formation counting 
down turns until attack.  
Charge Time/CT:  Abbreviated as CT.  The number of turns a unit must delay 
before attacking.
Attack/Atk:  Abbreviated often as Atk.  The strength of a unit while it is 
charging.  Could also be called a unit's active HP.  
Toughness/Power/Pwr:  Abbreviated as Pwr.  The amount of damage an idle unit
absorbs when it is destroyed.  A unit's idle HP.  
DPT:  Damage-per-turn.  Total damage a unit does, divided by the number of 
turns it needs to charge.  
Attack Type:  Some units cross the battlefield to attack.  These are melee
units.  Other units do not cross the battlefield, and are ranged attackers.
Melee units are affected by the Inferno Faction's wall ability, while ranged
units are not.  This makes ranged units slightly better against Inferno.  
Reinforcements/Reinforcement count/Unit cap/count:  The total number of units
you can field at one time.  
HP:  The hit points of a hero or unit.  
Mana gauge:  A gauge that fills with mana as the hero takes or receives damage.
When it is full, the hero's spell can be cast.  There is more detailed 
information about mana accumulation in the strategy sections.  
MP:  Alternatively used to describe a hero's mana.  
High-tier:  Refers to Champions and Elites collectively.
Low-tier:  Refers to Core units collectively.  
Core/Core Unit:  The basic units of this game.  A core unit takes up one 
square.
Wall:  A defensive unit created by creating a formation horizontally.  
Walls take up one square, are generally more durable per square than Core 
units, and cannot be used to create formations or attack.  
Elite:  A 2x1 sized unit that requires 2 Core units to charge.  Elite units 
generally have special abilities and moderate Atk values.  
Champion:  A large 2x2 sized unit that requires 4 Core units to charge.  
Champion units generally have special abilities and extremely high Atk values.
Stock:  The quantity of Elites or Champion units available for a given unit.
If Stock is exhausted, you will be unable to field the unit, among other 
things.  See the section on Stock in the Basic Stategy section for more
information.  
Solo:  Refers to fielding only one Elite or Champion and leaving the other 
slot empty.  As an example, using only Vampires, or only Angels, etc.  
Skirmisher/Skirmishing:  Refers to the strategy of using Core units to attack
the opponent's battlefield with the intention of destroying idle-high tier 
units.


= Table of Contents #0000a ====================================================

Use Ctrl+F to look up header numbers.

Top/Version History #0000
Table of Contents #0000a
Basic Strategy #0001
Intermediate Strategy #0002
Expert Strategy #0003

Sylvan Faction #0004
  -Strategies #0004a
  -Heroes #0004b
  -Units #0004c
  -Artifacts #0004d

Haven/Empire/Human Faction #0005
  -Strategies #0005a
  -Heroes #0005b
  -Units #0005c
  -Artifacts #0005d

Necropolis/Undead Faction #0006
  -Strategies #0006a
  -Heroes #0006b
  -Units #0006c
  -Artifacts #0006d

Inferno/Demon Faction #0007
  -Strategies #0007a
  -Heroes #0007b
  -Units #0007c
  -Artifacts #0007d

Academy/Wizard Faction #0008
  -Strategies #0008a
  -Heroes #0008b
  -Units #0008c
  -Artifacts #0008d

Defeating Chapter Bosses [not implemented]
Walkthrough [not implemented]
Puzzle Solutions [not implemented]
Exploits #0009
Fun Stuff/Easter Eggs #0010
Closing Comments #0011


= Basic Strategy #0001 ========================================================

This section covers basic gameplay strategies and general advice for new 
players.  These are the fundamentals.  

    Staying Focused

As a new player, it is easy to forget that the ultimate goal of each 
encounter is to defeat the opposing hero by damaging his hero zone, not to 
defeat his troops.  Enemy troops are only an obstacle towards the real 
objective of depleting the opposing hero's HP.  Stay focused on damaging the 
enemy hero when it's convenient to do so.  It doesn't matter if the opposing 
hero has a Champion charging to attack you in 6 turns if you can defeat him by
attacking an open column within 2 turns.  Ignore threats that aren't 
significant, address threats that are, and stay on the offensive.

    When To Use Links and Fusion

Both Linking and Fusion increase the amount of damage you can do with each 
attack, so you should use these techniques whenever possible.  You create a 
Link whenever you create formations with the same color and charge time.  
Linking is your most basic offensive strategy. Linking is good to use when 
you aren't heavily threatened and have a lot of space and actions available 
to form and complete attacks.  It is relatively simple to create combo chains
into Links, so you can easily Link several units at once and quickly rack up 
impressive damage bonuses.  The weakness of Linking, however, is that the 
attack bonus of Linking doesn't occur while the unit charges.  The formations
making up the Link may be destroyed by opposing attacks before the Linked 
units can resolve their attack and gain the benefit of the Link bonus.  
Individual Link attacks may also do less damage compared to Fused attacks.  
Attacking across multiple columns allows the opponent to block the damage 
with several column's worth of idle units and walls, distributing the damage.
This is especially true of Linked Core units, which are often halted by masses
of opposing idle units, despite the Link bonus.  The best way to use Links is
to Link Core units to Elite or Champion units, boosting the attack of your 
strongest potential damagers.  

You Fuse units when you create a formation, then create another formation of
the same color and unit type on top of it.  Fusion has advantages and 
disadvantages compared to Linking.  Fusion immediately increases the current
base and maximum Atk of the formation by 100%, making it both harder to kill
and better able to pierce through many layers of enemy units and walls.  If
you Fuse a unit multiple times, it's base and max Atk are increased by X times
100%, where X = the number of times the unit has been fused.  A unit Fused
twice will resolve it's attack with 300% of it's normal power, a unit Fused
thrice with 400%, and so on.  Only the available units and actions limit the
number of times you may Fuse.  Fusion is best used to reinforce an Elite or
Champion unit to prevent it from dying, or to increase the damage of a 
formation attacking through several rows of walls or units.  Compared to 
Linking, you need fewer units to take full advantage of Fusion, and so Fusion
is ideal when you have relatively few reinforcements available (for example,
after you've already created several Linked attack formations).  Fusion 
refunds the reinforcements needed to create the Fused formation, so you can 
reinforce to get those units back immediately, if you like.  The disadvantage
of Fusion is that it requires the full 6 rows of space in order to create the
needed formations.  This precludes being able to combo into a Fusion, so you
must individually create each Fusion you need.  It is difficult to Fuse many
formations at the same time.  

    When To Reinforce 

Reinforcing too often wastes actions, but reinforcing too rarely decreases the
opportunity to gain more actions by creating chains.  For this reason I 
recommend, as a general guideline, reinforcing when you have 13 to 16 or more
unit count available.  Occasionally, you may need to reinforce to get a 
desired color.  For example, you absolutely need an orange unit to complete a
Champion's charge, but it would take 5 actions to retrieve it from your 
existing units.  If you only need one unit to complete a formation, it is 
actually more advantageous to reinforce with a lower unit count, to reduce 
the possibility of your formation being buried by unnecessary units.  It may 
cost you less actions in the end to simply reinforce to get the unit you need,
rather than "dig out" another.  It may be occasionally desirable to gamble on
the drop from reinforcements giving you more opportunities to create Links.
Reinforcing generally takes a lower priority than creating Links to existing
formations, though.  

Sometimes it can be beneficial to reinforce for defensive purposes, as well.
If you have a large number of reinforcements available and an enemy formation
is about to attack an empty column, it is a good idea to reinforce.  Often 3
or 4 idle units will drop in, forming an immediate damage buffer, and this is
more action-efficient than dropping three units into that column individually.

    "Digging Out" Buried Units

At the start of the battle and frequently after you reinforce, you will find
that your high-tier units are "buried" under unnecessary Core units, which
prevent you from charging them.  The AI loves to attack idle Champions
especially, so it is important to "dig out" and reposition or charge these
units as quickly as possible.  If there is only one off-color unit on top of
a high-tier unit, it is safe to leave it.  Simply pile up the appropriately
colored units on top of the stack and delete the off color unit, creating the
formation.  If there are many unnecessary units, then there are a few options
you can consider.  If you can create walls from some of the blocking units,
the walls will ascend to the top of the column, out of the way.  This works
well, because the AI is likely to focus it's attacks on the idle unit's
column, anyway.  Just be aware that creating a wall doesn't free up a row; if
you need an additional row to create the formation, then you must make two
walls and fuse them, or move another unit out of the column first.  Another
option is to create a formation on top of the idle unit, causing it to
descend to the bottom of the column, where you can pick it up.  This works
well if you want to reposition the unit, and there is enough space for it to
descend.  However, if you want to charge the unit where it is, be forewarned
that you will have to wait until after a Core formation has resolved it's
attack to do so.  There will not be enough space to create a new formation
with three rows occupied.  Be wary that your unit does not become trapped, as
well.  Creating formations on top of a unit can trap it if there is no space
to descend, pinning it in a position where it is easily destroyed by attacks.
When the above methods would cause more harm than good, there may be times
where it is most effective to simply move the intervening Core units aside
manually.  Take a look at your options, consider the number of actions and
turns needed to free the unit, and plan accordingly.  

    Learning How To Combo - Chaining Units

A great way to learn how to create the various combinations and chains is to 
figure out the solutions to the various puzzle challenges within the game.  
Such quest givers are identified by the puzzle-piece shaped icon above their 
heads.  The puzzles force you to discover the necessary combinations in order
to complete them.  Puzzles are generally worth doing anyway, because they are
easy and reward you with resources and Artifacts.  There is no better way to 
learn than experience.  If there is enough demand for it, I will include puzzle
solutions in a later iteration of this guide.

    Using Walls Effectively - Don't Wall Yourself In

It can be tempting to create walls for combo points.  However, if you don't 
need those walls to defend a column within a few turns, they will eventually 
become a hindrance.  Each wall counts towards your final reinforcement count.
You will have fewer units freely available to create Linked attacks later.  
Walls also prevent Fusion; even one wall prevents Fusion in that column, 
because you need the full 6 rows of space to create the formations.  You may 
gain actions in the short term by comboing walls, but create too many and you 
will eventually be forced to delete some of them in order to free up space and
unit count, wasting actions.

That said, walls are extremely useful for defending your hero and keeping your
offensive formations alive.  The best time to make a wall is after you have 
created your major offensive formations.  Attack formations, especially Core 
units, are initially fragile until they reach their full Atk value.  If 
needed, you can use walls to protect those formations until they finish 
charging.  This is especially true when you need to protect formations that 
are Linked.  Just be sure you don't put up walls in front of any formations 
you might want to Fuse later.  

When you create a wall, the units under those walls temporarily rise one row
so that the wall can ascend to the front of the column.  You can anticipate
this movement to create chains, especially other walls.  

Walls are generally better than idle Core units in terms of Power per square.
They are particularly effective at stopping attacks from Core units.  Massed
walls mitigate a Champion's attack somewhat, but you will need many walls.  
You can wall up against Elites, too, but since they only attack one column, 
you may have excess walls remaining.  

    Unit Stock and Using Idle Units to Defend Yourself

The most simple way to defend your hero is to reduce or eliminate the Atk of 
incoming attacks by blocking the damage with the Power of your idle units.  
Core units are preferred for this role (Lv 5 Zombies are especially good at 
it).  You should avoid blocking attacks with idle Elite and Champion units, 
except as a last resort.  It is okay to block an opposing Elite or Champion 
attack with an idle Champion if you have no other means to defend yourself.
Just remember that Elites and Champions have a finite troop count, and die 
instantly if hit while idle.  They can also be destroyed while charging, but 
it's much more difficult for the opposing player to do so.  You will quickly 
exhaust your resources if you allow your high-tier units to die too many 
times, as you will have to purchase new units from the creature dwelling to 
replace them.  

There is one important exception to this defensive strategy:  Don't block a 
Bone Dragon with idle units.  Bone Dragons gain Atk from devouring idle units,
so you will actually take more damage than you would otherwise.  Use walls and 
active formations to block them, instead.  

    Unit Stock, High-Tier Availability, and Unlocking New Units

You unlock a new unit type whenever you purchase even one stock of that unit.
If you have no Elites or Champions, it is well worth purchasing one or more 
to include in your army if you can find a creature dwelling.  Elites and 
Champions have a stock cap.  I recommend purchasing several stock, when 
possible.  Increasing the unit stock of a given Elite or Champion makes it 
more likely to show up when you reinforce, and additionally provides 
insurance.  If your stock is low, your high-tier units may not appear very 
often, even if you reinforce multiple times.  If you lose all of a given 
unit's stock during a battle, that unit will get no Exp for that battle 
(effectively wasting it).  It is a good idea to have some backup stock.  

    High-Tier Unit Cap and Unit Slots

There is an unwritten rule in the game that you may only have up to 4 Elites, 
2 Elites and 1 Champion, or 2 Champions on the battlefield at once.  This is 
the "high-tier cap".  You can expect not to receive additional high-tier units
so long as the existing ones are still on the battlefield.  To get more, 
either resolve the attacks of high-tier formations you have already created, 
or Fuse your idle high-tier units to existing formations.  Then you free up 
another "slot" for a high-tier unit to arrive among reinforcements.  As I 
mentioned above, having higher stock increases the odds that you will get 
another high-tier unit among reinforcements.  I believe the odds of getting a
high-tier unit are also better if you reinforce more units at the same time.  
When picking your high-tier units from the unit menu, you have two slots 
available.  The high-tier units that drop during battle will be a combination
of the units in those two slots.  An example:  With Vampires and Ghosts, you 
might get 3 Vampires and 1 Ghost, 2 of each, or 3 Ghosts and no Vampires.  
You would never get 3 Vampires and 2 Ghosts, though (because that would 
exceed the cap).  If you choose only one high-tier unit and leave the other 
slot empty, the game does not penalize you for this in terms of the quantity 
of units that appear on the battlefield (although there is an opportunity cost
regarding XP gains).  Instead, you will receive the full alotted quantity 
that unit type only.  For example, using only Vampires, you would receive 
between 1 to 4 Vampires every time.  With a Champion unit, you would see 
between 1 to 2 of that unit.  If you use one unit slot only, then you are 
going "solo" with that unit.  In some cases, it can be advantageous to use 
only one type of high-tier unit (for example, one unit's special ability is 
critical in a particular scenario).  

    Simple Strategy for Victory Against the AI - Use Champions 

I've found that the AI in this game is generally very poor at defending 
against extremely damaging attacks, just as those from Champions.  If you can
get a Champion charged, preferably with a few Linked formations, that is 
usually enough to crush the AI.  


= Intermediate Strategy #0002 =================================================

This section covers slightly more advanced strategies for players already 
familiar with Clash of Heroes.  

    Don't Weaken Defenses - Attack Intelligently   

All units have two seperate values for HP.  The first is Attack.  You could 
call this "active" HPs, the amount of damage a unit can cause when it attacks
or negate while it is charging.  The second is Power.  This is a unit's idle 
HPs, the amount of damage it negates while inactive.  When defending against 
an attack, carefully consider if a unit would negate more damage while 
charging or idle.  As a general rule, a Champion or Elite unit negates far 
more damage while it is charging; you want to charge them immediately if you 
plan to defend with them.  However, for Core units, the general rule is to 
compare the active and idle values.  A perfect example is the Archer.  In the 
Archer's case, a charging Archer will, at best, inflict 8 damage to an 
attacking formation if it resolves it's attack (without Linking or Fusion).  
However, the idle Power of each Archer is 3.  This means that a stack of 
three idle Archers taking up the same space as a charging formation of 
Archers will negate 9 damage when hit instead of 8.  If you create an Archer 
formation the turn before an enemy attacks, the comparison is even worse; 
the Archer has only 4 Atk (it starts with half it's fully charged value) 
compared to the 9 Pwr three idle archers would have.  Unless you can resolve 
a Linked attack beforehand, it is actually better to leave the Archers idle 
if your only objective is to reduce the damage of an incoming attack.  
Remember to consider the time available to a charge a formation, too.  Core 
unit Attack values are typically weaker than their combined Power until their
attack resolves.  If you create an attack formation 1 or 2 turns before the 
enemy attacks the column, you often effectively weaken your units and cause 
yourself to take more damage.  

In other words, plan your attacks carefully.  Don't charge Core units to 
defend against an attack unless they have enough charge time for their attack 
to exceed the combined Power of three units, you plan to use other means to 
negate the attack (walls), or you plan to Fuse them.      

Zombies are the most extreme case of Pwr being better than Atk.  A newly 
formed Zombie has 4 Atk compared to the 12 Pwr of three idle Zombies (3 times
as much damage negated)!  One exception to this is Gremlins.  Gremlins have 
an extremely high Attack stat, making them equal or better than their idle 
Power, even when newly created. 

    Prioritize

Often you will face a circumstance where you have a limited number of actions, 
and two seemingly equal opportunities present themselves.  For example, do you 
charge an idle Champion, or do you create a formation to counter an opposing 
formation?  In cases like this, I recommend examining the situation in greater
detail.  If the idle Champion is in no present danger, then it might be safe 
to leave charging it until later.  However, if that Champion would block the 
opposing attack if charged, then it makes sense to go ahead and charge it 
immediately.  As you play, you will get a better sense of what to do in each 
situation.  

    Saving Actions For Later

Sometimes, it may be more beneficial to delay some of your actions until later.
For example, you have a Champion with a CT of 4, and enough actions to create 
several CT 3 formations of the same color.  Rather than make those formations 
immediately, it would be more advantageous to wait a turn and form them on the
next turn, so that they can be Linked with the Champion.  In this case, it is 
advantageous to set up your formations in advance, so that you can activate 
all the necessary formations without using any actions, and then continue with 
the rest of your turn.  The most basic way to "store" actions in this way is 
to create a stack of 2 units of the same color, then place a different colored 
unit on top of these, then finally a third (of the same color as the first 
two) on top of that.  When you wish to activate the stack, you delete the 
different colored unit and create the formation with a simple chain.  Creating 
a formation this way costs a net of zero actions.  You spend an action to 
delete the unit, but gain it back then the formation is created.  You can 
essentially store a number of actions/formations in advance, and then activate 
them all at once when it would be the most beneficial.  

    What To Do When You Have Nothing Better To Do

There will be times when the majority of your unit count is bound up in 
charging formations, and you are left with little to do but wait for the 
attacks to resolve.  Even if you have enough idle Core units to create 
formations, I recommend against creating solo, un-Linked Core formations 
unless they have a specific purpose in mind (hit an idle Elite, etc.).  
Attacking Core units rarely inflict damage through opposing idle units without 
Linking.  Instead of cleaning up stray idle units and attacking inefficiently,
I recommend doing other things instead.  This can include setting up actions 
for later (see above) or deleting excess walls that would otherwise sit around 
blocking Fusions and taking up unit count.  This period is also an ideal time 
to Fuse units, especially those that are already Linked.  It is safe to leave 
unneeded idle Core units alone; they might be useful for comboing later.  

    The Mana Gauge - Casting Spells More Often and Avoiding Mana Overflow

The mana gauge is directly proportional to the amount of health your hero has.
At first level (10 HP), it contains up to 10 mana, and at 10th level (100 HP) 
it contains up to 100 mana.  

Mana in this game is gained in three principle ways.  First, by inflicting 
damage to the enemy hero.  Second, by receiving damage to your hero.  Finally, 
you can gain a small amount of mana for each Link or Fusion created, and each 
additional action you gain (by creating chains).  Damage you inflict to the 
opposing hero increases your mana gauge by a 1:1 ratio.  If you inflict 1 
damage, you gain 1 mana.  At level 10, if you inflict 100 damage, you gain 100 
mana and charge your gauge from 0 to 100%.  Damage you receive increases your 
mana by twice the amount of damage taken.  At level 10, if you receive 50 
damage, you gain 100 mana and charge your gauge from 0 to 100%.  I believe 
each Link, Fusion and extra action gained from chains increases the mana gauge 
by ~6% (to be confirmed).  You can also gain a small amount of mana for each 
action you have remaining when you end your turn.  I believe your mana gauge 
is filled by 3% for each action "banked" in this way.  It would require 34 
actions lost to fill the gauge by this method alone.  

To cast spells more often, the most straightforward way is to make strong 
attacks and create large sets of Links by comboing.  A riskier but faster 
strategy is to intentionally take damage.  Once the mana gauge is full, any 
additional mana gained is wasted; it does not carry over towards the next 
spell.  Therefore, pay careful attention to your mana gauge.  If you expect to 
hit or be hit on the next turn for a large amount of damage and you have full 
mana, go ahead and cast your spell, because you will recharge most or all of 
your mana on the next turn anyway.  Generally, attacking Champions are the best
way to do this, although Elites sometimes do enough damage, too, especially if 
several attack at once.  40+ damage is a good rule of thumb.  Similarly, you 
might choose to cast a spell before you create a large number of Links or 
chains, to avoid overflow.  Here is an example of how spell casting can be 
chained:

Charge spell by Linking+Chaining -> Cast just before your Champion attacks -> 
Recharge spell quickly by dealing heavy damage to the opposing hero with 
Champion -> Cast again -> Recharge spell when enemy formation hits you -> Cast 
again. 

By "chaining", you can cast several times consecutively.  Some spells benefit 
from this more than others.  This can be a game-winner for someone like Anwen 
or Fiona, but it might mean little to Godric.  

    Mana Overflow and Usage of Damaging Spells

As an extension of the above ideas, you can also attempt to manage mana in a 
few other ways.  Damaging spells are an exception to the rule that damaging 
the opposing hero generates mana.  Spells like Sniper Shot do not generate 
mana for your hero, although they do generate mana for the opposing hero by 
inflicting damage.  If you have a damaging spell ready, like Sniper Shot, 
Blood Ritual, or Staff of Explosia, it may be more beneficial to clear the way 
for one of your strong attack formations instead.  By reducing strong defenses 
against one of your Champions, you cause it to inflict more damage against the 
opposing hero, generating more mana.  In a sense, you have indirectly caused 
your damaging spell to generate mana.  

You can also use mana overflow against your enemy.  If the opposing hero has 
already filled their mana gauge, it is the perfect time to use a damaging 
spell to strike the opposing hero directly.  The extra mana generated from 
inflicting direct damage is immediately wasted as overflow, giving your 
opponent fewer opportunities to cast spells later. 


= Expert Strategy #0003 =======================================================

This section covers the elements of the metagame that are the most abstract or 
challenging to use in practical gameplay.    

    Attack Order and Combining Attack Formations

Ordinarily, formations attacking within the same turn attack in the order that 
they are created.  Linked units attack first before un-Linked ones.  When 
units attack at the same time (within the same Link) the unit with the fastest 
attack animation generally attacks first.  I don't know if there is a hard and 
fast rule for which units attack first, but some units have significantly 
slower attack animations than others, like the Succubus.  In a Linked attack, 
Core units generally attack first before Elites and Champions, because the 
latter tend to have more complicated animation.  In some cases, you can use 
the attack order of formations attacking in combination to beneficial effect.  

A perfect example is the Succubus.  Each time a Succubus' attack hits anything,
it's damage is reduced by 25% regarding how much damage it inflicts to the 
opposing hero.  A Fused Succubus with 100 Atk only inflicts a mere 25 damage 
to the opposing hero if 5 idle Core units of any type block it's attack; in 
this example, 5 units with Power 2 each could block an amazing 75 damage.  If 
you have a 10 Atk Core unit attack in combination with the same Succubus, the 
Core unit attacks first (because of the Succubus' slow animation) and clears 
the column of idle units, allowing the Succubus to inflict full damage.  
Attacking in combination would allow you to do far more damage than you could 
have otherwise, in this case.  Attack order might also be useful when an idle 
Champion blocks one of yours.  If you hit the idle Champion with a Core unit 
beforehand for even 1 damage, you destroy the unit, preventing it from 
negating more damage from a larger attack.  Djinn are another unit that 
benefit from combined attack.  Not only do you want secondary formations to 
follow up and shatter units the Djinn has frozen, but Djinn also do not damage 
or destroy units themselves.  If you plan to make consecutive attacks with 
Djinn down the same column, it is a good idea to clear some of the frozen 
units by attacking in combination, so multiple Djinn don't lose attack power 
against the same set of units.  

Attacking in combination can occasionally be detrimental.  For example, if a 
formation destroys idle units in a Bone Dragon's column, then it actually 
decreases the damage you would have done, because the Bone Dragon won't have 
the opportunity to devour those units with it's special ability.  

    Gaming The Drop System - If You Want Something, Do The Opposite

You may have noticed that this game is programmed never to drop a unit in such 
a way that it creates a formation immediately.  With this in mind, you can, to 
an extent, predict where units will drop during reinforcement from the units 
you have currently on the battlefield.  Many times, you reinforce because you 
need one more unit to complete a formation.  As an example, you have a blue 
Champion with 3 blue Core units on top of it.  Ordinarily, you could never get 
a fourth blue unit to drop down and complete the formation; if you reinforce, 
several "junk" units will likely drop on top of the formation.  You'll have to 
spend even more actions clearing those units before you can move a new blue 
unit from somewhere else to complete the formation.  However, if you first 
place a unit of the opposite color on top of the blue units and then reinforce,
you increase the odds of a new blue unit dropping into place above the 
mis-matched color.  Then you can simply delete your mis-matched unit and 
complete your formation at a net action cost of 2 (1 for your initial move 
with the mis-matched unit and 1 for the reinforce).  Effectively, your off 
color unit became a unit of the right color.  It's definitely a gamble, but if 
you have an off-color in place, there is a 33% chance you will get the color 
you want to drop on top of it, rather than 0.  

    Creating Formations Without Moving - Using Your Opponent's Moves 
    To Your Advantage   

It is occasionally possible to create formations and gain actions out of turn.
The simplest scenario where this can occur is when an enemy formation destroys 
some of your units.  As a result, the remaining idle units in the column drop 
down.  If this drops your idle units into a position where a wall is created, 
this formation occurs automatically at the start of your turn, and you gain a 
free action for doing so.  With practice, you can predict how many units the 
opposing formation will destroy, and arrange your units so that they drop into
combinations afterward.

You can create a similar effect by anticipating when your own units will 
resolve their attacks.  When an attack resolves, that unit is removed from the 
battlefield, and any units above it drop down.  You can arrange units above 
your formations so that they drop into chains, as well.  

    AI Manipulation

As you play Clash of Heroes, you might notice that the AI has a very strong 
inclination to keep it's idle Champions alive.  You can exploit this 
inclination by creating formations of Core units in the same column as the 
AI's idle Champions.  Frequently, the AI will choose to waste actions trying 
to move the idle Champion to a safe location, rather than charging it 
immediately.  

    Anticipating AI Behavior and Spell Countermeasures

The AI has a very strong inclination to create formations to attack your idle 
Champions.  To counter this, I advise the player to charge their Champions and 
Elites as soon as possible, to the exclusion of Core units.  You can create 
walls in front of idle Champions to protect them until they are charged.  The 
AI will almost always attack idle Champions immediately, so it is best to get 
them charging before they are destroyed.   

The majority of the AI's spellcasting is easy to predict.

Anwen, Cyrus, Nadia, Fiona, Varkas - These characters will use their spell as 
soon as it charges.  If you see their mana gauge nearing full, it is best to 
take precautionary measures, if appropriate.  

Anwen and Fiona - These heroes will (almost) always fire their spell down the 
least defended column, so that it can do the most damage directly to your hero.
If you plan to defend against their spell, try to defend evenly across all 
columns.  If you leave any weak points, the AI will exploit it.  This means 
it is normally impossible to defend completely against these spells (they 
simply do too much damage) so you can, at best, try to mitigate the damage a 
little.  If you are playing as Godric and you can confidently guess when Anwen 
or Fiona will charge her spell, you can use Holy Shield preemptively to block 
the damage next turn.  This is one of the best ways to block an AI's damage 
spell.  It doesn't work against a human player, though, for obvious reasons. 
 
Cyrus - Cyrus will (almost) always throw his Staff of Explosia in the most 
open area he can find, unless one of your formations would defeat him on the 
following turn.  You can anticipate this and leave a non-critical area 
undefended for him to throw the Staff to (preferably away from your charging 
formations).  Failing that, you can try to pick up and drop the Staff in a 
less critical area if it doesn't explode immediately.  Avoid dropping the 
Staff within two tiles of your hero zone; your hero will take damage from the 
explosion.  See Cyrus' entry in the Academy Heroes subsection for more 
information about this spell and it's countermeasures.

Nadia - Nadia's spell attacks randomly.  I recommend keeping your battlefield 
as empty as possible just before she casts this spell.  If you have fewer 
units (especially idle high-tier units) around, there is a greater chance her 
spell will harmlessly attack open areas of the battlefield.  Avoid reinforcing 
just before she attacks; this is a good way to lose several idle Elites or 
Champions at once, a costly mistake.  

Varkas - Not too difficult to counter.  If you anticipate his spell, try 
building walls to lift your important formations and idle units out of the 
first two rows.  This keeps them safe from Varkas' damage.  

Godric - Godric uses his spell the turn before you would inflict damage to him 
with your attacking formations.  There may be a threshold of minimal damage 
that must be exceeded before the AI decides to use the spell, but if there is,
it is very low.  I've observed the AI using Holy Shield to block Core 
formations.  There's not much you can do to prevent this, other than to avoid 
charging his gauge (ease up on attacks, etc.) before your strongest attack is 
ready to launch.  

Markal - Seems hit or miss.  He's likely to use it if he has an idle Champion 
or two or more idle Elites.  Plan ahead and position units to counter his 
Champions and Elites if need be.  

Findan - I've never observed the AI use this spell, so you don't need to worry 
about it!  

Aidan - I believe he casts this spell when he has a certain number of walls.  
It's usually not too threatening, just be aware of your idle high-tier units.
Create your own walls to counter his, and keep your battlefield full of idle 
Core units to block the rest of the damage.  

Jezebeth - She casts this spell when you exceed a certain number of walls.  
The opportunity to blow up your formations and idle Champions may play into 
the timing of her spell, as well.  You can avoid triggering her spell 
altogether by not creating walls (for her to blow up).  If you need walls, use 
them sparingly and use idle Core units to create a safe gap between your walls 
and your idle high-tier units.  

    Using Treants Against a Sylvan Player

See the Treant entry within the Sylvan unit subsection for details.  


>> Faction-specific discussion includes unmarked spoilers for unit types and 
heroes. <<

= Sylvan Faction #0004 ========================================================

One of the strongest factions, with powerful spells, fast units, decent walls, 
and excellent unit specials.  Generally considered overpowered in both single 
and multiplayer.  

Sylvan Walls - Sylvan walls are quite good.  They are tied for second highest 
base Pwr, after Haven.  The 12 Pwr maximum is an important number, because it 
means that the only un-Linked/Fused Core unit that can pierce it is the 
Gremlin (and high-gauge Sprites).  Sylvan walls regenerate 2 HP per turn (4 
with the Vine Glove Artifact).  Between their high Pwr and regeneration, this 
makes them very good at resisting successive attacks from Core Units.  Weaker 
units like Archers and Zombies will have an especially difficult time bringing 
down Sylvan walls because of the regeneration.  You can create walls in 
advance of an expected attack, allowing them time to regenerate to full 
strength by the time the attack arrives.  This saves you the actions of having 
to create two sets of walls and fuse them.  Similarly, if you want to create 
two rows of walls in the same location, you can save actions by creating one 
set, allowing it to regenerate for a turn, then creating the second set.  This 
way, the walls do not fuse and regenerate to full strength seperately.

I feel that Sylvan walls are the second best in the game.  They are effective 
against Core units, and their special ability is useful.  Haven's walls are 
better than Sylvan's because they are more effective at blocking Linked Core 
units, and are also more effective when massed against Champions and Elites.  
However, Sylvan's walls are better than Necropolis and Academy walls, which 
clutter the battlefield, and Inferno walls, which are weaker against some unit 
types.  


= Sylvan Strategies #0004a ====================================================

    Pressure Offense

This strategy utilitizes 2x Hunters, 1x Pixie or Bear, Unicorns and/or Druids, 
and Emerald Dragons.  Vine Gloves, Phoenix Feather, and Enchanted Staff are 
the most useful Artifacts for this strategy.  

The gist of this strategy is to exert early threat to idle enemy 
Champions/Elites by attacking with your Hunters.  While the opposing hero 
attempts to protect his idle units, you seize the initiative and form an 
attack with the Emerald Dragon(s).  If the opposing player attempts to counter 
attack your idle Dragon with his own with Core units, you simply shut this 
down with Unicorns.  Druids can be used if enemy Champions are a greater 
threat.  Once you land a Dragon attack, check to see if you have inflicted 
enough damage to charge your spell.  Usually it is charged immediately.  As 
Anwen, you cast Sniper Shot, attack the column the Dragons cleared, and 
generally win the game.  As Findan, you create another Dragon formation as 
soon as possible and make it attack immediately with Swift Strike, attempting 
to create a chain of powerful attacks that the opposing hero will be unable to 
keep up with.  It is also viable to leave the Dragons out and use Druids and 
Unicorns in combination, because the Druids will counter opposing Champions.

    Treants

This strategy utilizes 2x Pixies, 1x Hunters, Unicorns, and Treants.  Vine 
Gloves or Doubling Cape can be used.  

This strategy favors Findan.  You create a solid defense early on with walls 
and Unicorns, which is difficult to penetrate.  Then you stack on top of that 
massive HP walls in the form of buried Treants once they launch their attacks.
After that, you leave the mana gauge full and make powerful attacks with your 
Pixies while you wait for your Treants to drain the opponent's remaining HP.  
	

= Sylvan Heroes #0004b ========================================================

Anwen is the Sylvan hero featured in campaign mode.  Her spell, Sniper Shot, 
is extremely powerful, and arguably the best spell in the game.  It inflicts 
damage equal to half of her maximum HP to a single column (50 at level 10).  
Use it to destroy enemy formations or finish off the opposing hero.  

Findan is unlocked for Quick Battle mode by completing the Sylvan campaign.  
Findan's spell is Swift Strike.  It reduces the number of turns for all of 
your currently charging formations to 1.  I feel like this spell is almost 
wasted on the Sylvan faction; so many of their units are extremely fast 
already, it seems like Swift Strike makes little difference.  Rangers don't 
benefit from it, and two out of the three Elites only gain attack 1 turn 
faster.  Nitpicking aside, this spell has its uses.  It is possible to attack 
consecutively with this spell.  First attack with a Champion.  If you inflict 
enough damage to charge your spell, form another Champion and use Swift Strike 
to make it attack immediately, creating a chain of powerful attacks that 
leaves your opponent without adequate time to defend.  Swift Strike allows 
more flexible Linking; you can create units of the same color with Charge Time 
5, 3, and 1 on the same turn, then use Swift Strike to make all formations' 
Charge Time 1, so they become Linked.  This is particularly valuable for 
boosting your Champion's attacks.  Interestingly, Findan's Swift Strike brings 
all units to their maximum Atk value when it is used, regardless of any damage 
the unit might have taken previously.  This has the effect of making your 
units defend with their full HP for one turn.  However, when a formation's 
attack actually resolves, any damage taken by it is accounted for and the 
unit's Atk decreases accordingly.  It's unfortunate that Swift Strike doesn't 
permanently heal your units, but maximizing your Atk with "temp HPs" for one 
turn is still very useful if you need to set up a strong defense immediately.   


= Sylvan Units #0004c =========================================================

As a basic, general purpose setup, I prefer 2x Hunter, 1x Bear, one of Unicorn 
or Druid, and Emerald Dragons.  There aren't really any bad Sylvan units 
though, so feel free to experiment.  Pixies aren't very good for Anwen, because
her spell is almost always used immediately.  

    Core

Hunter - Atk 7, Pwr 2, Charge 1, DPT 7.  Hunters are superb skirmishers.
Attack Type:  Ranged

Pros:  They have the fastest Charge Time in the game, so they excel at putting 
early pressure on your opponent to defend his idle Champions.  You can also 
build up the mana gauge very rapidly with them because they cycle 
reinforcements rapidly, which you can use to create more Links or chains.  

Cons:  They have weak maximum damage, which means they have a difficult time 
piercing through multiple idle units or walls to deal damage to the opposing 
hero.  They aren't very good at defense, either.  It is difficult to Fuse 
Hunters because of their CT 1.  

Pixie - Atk 6, Pwr 2, Charge 2, DPT 3 to 8 (varies).  Pixies are situational; 
you must build around using them.  
Attack Type:  Ranged

Special:  They gain a bonus to Atk proportional to how full the mana gauge is.
This bonus ranges from 0 (when the gauge is empty) to 10 (when the gauge is 
full), and is applied only after the Pixie's attack resolves (not while it is 
charging).  I believe the bonus is equal to 1 damage per 10% of the gauge 
filled.  

Pros:  They do extremely impressive damage for a Core unit when the mana gauge
is full.  This makes them good at attacking the opposing hero and other 
formations that they can hit first.  

Cons:  They are the worst unit in the game at defending, with a Pwr of 2, 
DPT 3, and a pitiful base Atk 6.  Pixies offer very little damage reduction if 
they are attacked.  However, if they can resolve their attack beforehand and 
gain their bonus damage (particularly with a full gauge) then they can inflict 
significant damage to targets they hit.  You must use them proactively.  
Pixies are weak in general unless the mana gauge is full.  This is problematic 
to the Sylvan faction especially, because their spells are extremely 
powerful.  Anwen will almost always want to use her spell immediately, leaving 
the Pixies little time to take advantage of their full potential.  Pixies are 
best used by Findan, especially if you are willing to play a more defensive 
game and hold on to your spell until it is needed.

Bear - Atk 10, Pwr 3, Charge 2, DPT 5.  Bears are respectable 2-Turn attackers,
especially as a compliment to Rangers because of their differing CTs.  
Attack Type:  Melee  

Pros:  They are the best defenders among the Sylvan Core units, with a decent 
Pwr 3.  They have the second best base Atk of any CT 2, and the third best 
base Atk compared to Core units overall.  Only Gremlins, Swordsmen, and Horned 
Demons are stronger, and the latter two have CT 3.  Bears are probably the 
best Sylvan Core unit for Fusing purposes.  Bears are well balanced and strong 
overall.  

Cons:  Not as fast as Hunters, but other than that, it doesn't have any glaring
weaknesses.  

    Elite

Druid - Atk 25, Pwr 5, Charge 2, DPT 12.5.  Druids are fast and excel at 
shutting down slower units like Elites and Champions. 
Attack Type:  Ranged

Special:  If it hits a formation, it increases the Charge Time of that 
formation by 3 (4 with the Enchanted Staff).  

Pros:  Druids have an extremely fast CT, for an Elite.  It is tied with 
Sorcerers and Unicorns for the fastest CT.  This makes Druids amazing at 
harassing idle Champions and Elites.  Even if the opposing unit is charged, 
the Druid inflicts a CT penalty against formations it hits.  Successive Druid 
attacks can "stunlock" enemy formations, which is especially crippling to any 
Champion-based offense.  Druids have above average DPT, as well.  

Cons:  Not as strong as Unicorns.  Although it's DPT is high, it's maximum 
Atk is low, so Druids can potentially be stopped by factions with stronger 
walls, like Haven, and massed idle units.  Only the Haven's Priest has a 
weaker max Atk among Elites.  Druids are slightly difficult to Fuse, because 
they attack quickly.  

Deer - Atk 26, Pwr 5, Charge 3, DPT 8.67.  Deer have above average speed and 
attack over walls.  I feel that they are good, but overshadowed by the other 
Sylvan units.
Attack Type:  Melee

Special:  It jumps over the first 2 walls in it's column, ignoring them.  

Pros:  The Deer's attack time is above average.  Although Deer do low max 
damage, they are difficult to completely defend against because they jump over 
walls.  This means the opposing player must generally create an attack 
formation to oppose them, which can be difficult to do effectively given the 
Deer's speed.  Deer also have an ideal speed for Fusion.

Cons:  In any other faction, Deer would be awesome, because it's special 
ability is very useful.  However, the Deer has the unfortunate distinction of 
being within the Sylvan faction, where it competes with other amazing and even 
broken Elites.  The Deer isn't as strong or fast as the Unicorn, nor do they 
have a potent defensive utility like the Unicorn or Druid.    This makes Deer 
the worst of the Sylvan Elites at defending.  

Unicorn - Atk 30, Pwr 6, Charge 2, DPT 15.  Unicorns are absurdly broken.  
They are strong, fast, have an amazing DPT for an Elite, and combine this with 
a game-breaking defensive ability.  
Attack Type:  Melee

Special:  While the Unicorn is charging, it creates a barrier across the top 
row of your battlefield.  The barrier works somewhat like a wall, except it 
cannot be destroyed.  Attacking formations must cross the barrier, which 
blocks a fixed damage value (15 at level 5, it may be less for lower level 
units) per column.  Units that take up two columns, such as a Champion, have 
their damage penalized twice.  Multiple Unicorns charging at the same time 
stack the damage reduction of their barriers.  2 Unicorns charging 
simultaneously reduce 30 damage per column, and so on.    

Pros:  It has the best CT among Elites, along with Druids and Sorcerers.  It 
has above average max Atk, and excellent DPT for an Elite.  The Unicorn's 
barrier is an absurdly good defensive utility.  Think about the barrier as 
equivalent to having an indestructible layer of Haven walls across your entire 
first row, except it takes up no space.  This means you gain a benefit similar 
to walls, without the drawback of actual walls taking up space and unit count.
The barrier completely shuts down Core attacks; even highly Linked groups 
rarely do significant damage through it.  Even Elites and Champions suffer 
significant penalties.  The barrier's defense also generally buys enough time 
for you to charge an idle Champion with impugnity.  Succubus are crippled by 
the Unicorn's barrier.  Succubus attack four times, so the barrier negates 
four times as much damage.  Often, the Succubus' attack cannot pierce the 
barrier, and so it's damage is effectively negated.  In short, the Unicorn has 
incredible defensive and offensive potential.  It is probably the best Elite 
in the game, overall.  

Cons:  The only real weakness of the Unicorn is it's availability.  As the 
Sylvan's unlockable "rare" unit, it has a smaller max unit stock than most 
other Elites.  This means that the Unicorn has a lower chance to arrive among 
reinforcements.  It can be a pain if you reinforce your units and don't get 
any Unicorns, especially when you really need one.  Unicorns are the most 
expensive unit to purchase in Campaign mode, so affording full stock is a 
challenge.  As a minor nitpick, It's often more beneficial to stagger seperate 
Unicorn formations to keep up a barrier every turn.  Fusing Unicorns comes 
with this small opportunity cost.  

    Champion

Treant - Atk 95, Pwr 29, Charge 5, DPT 19.  Treants are a decent Champion with 
a defensive bent.  
Attack Type:  Ranged

Special:  If the Treant damages an opposing Hero, it buries itself in it's 
current location.  A buried Treant remains on the battlefield with an HP value 
equal to the damage it inflicted against the opposing hero, although it does 
not attack or charge.  Aside from becoming a wall of HP, a buried Treant also 
leeches life.  It deals ongoing damage on your turn equal to 10% of it's 
current health.  Your hero also regains health equal to the ongoing damage 
dealt.  The combination of installed HPs and life drain makes Treants a potent 
defensive tool.  

Using Treants Against a Syvlan Player:  A buried Treant is immobile; it does 
not drop to the top row like a CF, but other objects like walls can pass 
through it, provided they have enough space.  Idle reinforcements drop on top 
a buried Treant; they do not pass through it.  Depending on the conditions 
prior to attack, a Treant may embed itself within rows 3 and 4, preventing any 
further formations from being created in those columns.  A buried Treant 
counts towards the high-tier unit cap; if you have two buried Treants, you 
will no longer receive Elites or Champions among reinforcements.  This could 
actually be exploited by the opposing player; they could allow the Treant to 
do very little damage to them, but still become buried.  Then that player 
could ignore the buried Treant, leaving it alive to lock down a portion of the 
battlefield and to handicap the Sylvan player's ability to attack with 
Champions and Elites.  A buried Treant cannot be deleted, just like a CF, so 
the Sylvan player would have no control over when an ineffectual Treant is 
destroyed, either.  For this reason, it is strongly advisable to delete idle 
units and walls before the Treant's attack resolves, so it ascends to the top 
row.  This leaves space to create new formations after the Treant becomes 
immobile.  In single player, concerns of Treants being used against you are 
minimal.  In multiplayer, you must be cautious when using them; make sure your 
Treant does enough damage to be an ongoing threat.  

Pros:  Treants have the highest Pwr of any unit in the game.  Although it's 
generally a bad idea to block with idle Champions, Treants make the best 
emergency wall if that's necessary.  Buried Treants create pressure by placing 
ongoing damage on the opposing player, effectively forcing that player to 
attack them or eventually perish.  They also give the Sylvan faction a means 
to recover health, which may be important in a battle of endurance.  

Cons:  As I've described above, Treants can potentially be exploited against 
you in multiplayer.  Treants have the second-lowest maximum Atk of any 
Champion, meaning they are also among the most easily blocked by a human 
player (the AI is still bad at it, though).  Treants are slower than Emerald 
Dragons, and offer less initial damage.    

Emerald Dragon - Atk 105, Pwr 21, Charge 4, DPT 26.25.  Dragons are both fast 
and strong.  
Attack Type:  Ranged

Special:  The Emerald Dragon breathes acid breath.  Any squares reached by the 
Dragon's attack (up to two full columns) are covered by a tile of acid slime.  
The slime inflicts 3 damage per tile to any unit on top of it, even charging 
Ghosts.  Slime serves as a deterrent, killing idle reinforcements that drop in 
those columns later, and hindering any effort to create formations in those 
squares.  A slime tile lasts for 5 turns or until it damages any unit, 
whichever comes sooner.  Slime essentially locks down a column's usability 
until the acid squares have been "soaked" by destroying idle units or 5 turns 
have passed.           

Pros:  Dragons are extremely fast for a Champion, attacking within 4 turns.  
They aren't significantly weaker than most Champions regarding max Atk, and 
have very high DPT.  Compare them to the Pit Fiend, Rakshasa, and 
Bone Dragon.  All of these have a similar maximum Attack, but are slower.  
Emerald Dragons usually beat other Champions to the attack.  This gives you 
significant advantage, because resolving your attack first applies a host of 
multipliers, like Link bonuses.  The fast CT also gives your opponent less 
time to prepare a defense.  Emerald Dragons attack early, deal big damage, and 
charge your spell.  Then you finish off the opposing hero with Sniper Shot.  
Acid Breath isn't an amazing special, but it doesn't need to be when Emerald 
Dragons have good base statistics.      

Cons:  Emerald Dragons don't have any glaring weaknesses.  Their max Atk 
value is low to average, so the strongest Champions, like Sword Masters, can 
overpower it in an unlikely defensive battle.  Emerald Dragons can be blocked 
more easily than other Champions unless it benefits from Links.  


= Sylvan Artifacts #0004d =====================================================

Sylvan artifacts don't stand out immediately, because there are few obvious 
damage boosts to be had.  Vine Gloves provide a respectable defensive boost, 
Enchanted Staff increases Champion control and stunlocking, and Phoenix 
Feather adds longevity and an opportunity to bust out your hax spell one more 
time.  

Ring of Vitality - Average.  Increases your maximum health by 15%, which has 
consequences that might not be immediately apparent.  The number of HP you 
have determines how much mana you need to fill your mana gauge.  Having 
greater HP increases the amount of damage you must take or inflict in order to 
fill the gauge, meaning it fills more slowly (a small penalty).  Anwen's spell 
power is based directly on her maximum HP, which this item increases.  With 
the Ring of Vitality equipped, her Sniper Shot inflicts more damage.  At 
level 10, she inflicts 58 damage instead of 50.  Findan gains no such 
consequential bonus from this item, and only benefits from the additional HP.
In comparison to the Phoenix Feather, this Artifact allows Anwen a more 
powerful finishing move, but slows your casting.  The Phoenix Feather doesn't 
increase your max HP, but instead heals you when you reach 0 HP.  The opponent 
can keep damaging you without effect while you are at 0 HP, which means the 
Phoenix Feather grants 10% or more additional HP, and probably a chance to use 
your spell again. For this reason, the Ring of Vitality is strictly worse than 
the Phoenix Feather for Findan.  The Phoenix Feather increases total HP without
increasing max HP, so Findan's spellcasting speed isn't penalized.  For Anwen, 
the difference boils down to one large finishing move or two faster, but 
weaker, spells.  I feel that the latter is more useful, especially considering 
the additional survivability of the Phoenix Feather.   Even still, you are 
likely to use this Artifact for at least a little bit, as it is the first 
Artifact available to you.  

Dragon Scales - Awful.  Adds 1 turn to the duration of the Emerald Dragon's 
acid slime.  This is a pointless Artifact, because the slime is far more 
likely to be removed instantly by damaging reinforcement units than existing 
for the full 6 turns.  Opposing players will simply soak up the acid damage 
within one or two turns, after which the extended duration is meaningless.  A 
contender for worst Artifact.            

Deer Antler - Good.  It increases the Deer's overall Atk by 25% the moment it 
is formed, raising Maximum base Atk to 33 and DPT to 11.  This makes the Deer 
better for defending, and brings it roughly on par with the Druid offensively.
Significantly, 33 Atk lets you overrun other Elites with more Atk left over, 
and also allows a Deer to beat a Knight one-on-one.  If you like using Deer, 
the Deer Antler is a good artifact.  

Golden Roots - Terrible.  It makes your walls respawn whenever they are 
destroyed, but this works against you.  Once you've created a wall, the only 
way to completely get rid of it is by deleting it.  This leads to a cluttered 
battlefield where you have a lot of unnecessary walls sitting idle, taking up 
your unit count.  It's actually better to create walls on a need-to-use basis, 
allowing them to be destroyed by enemy attacks.    

Enchanted Staff - Excellent.  Adds another turn to the Druid's CT penalty, 
bringing the total penalty to 4 turns.  This makes it even easier to stunlock 
units with Druids, and also increases the window of opportunity to follow up 
with another Druid attack.  This Artifact is great if you field Druids, 
especially in the scripted Campaign battles that pit you against pre-charging 
Champions.  

Vine Gloves - Excellent.  Doubles the regen of walls.  This ensures that walls 
reach maximum Pwr in 2 turns, as opposed to 3.  This is a critical number, as 
most Core units attack in 2 turns.  This artifact allows you to create a wall 
at the same time as an opposing Core formation and be ready to defend by the 
time their attack resolves.  Vine Gloves are also excellent for repelling 
repeated attacks against the same column; unless your opponent's Core units 
all attack simultaneously, they face a good chance that the wall will have 
completely regenerated by the time the next attack arrives.  Vine Gloves 
improve your ability to repel Core attacks, and make your walls faster to 
respond against bigger threats.    

Treant Sap - Poor.  Doubles the life leech of Treants.  In order to take full 
advantage of this, you must first hit with a Treant, and additionally do 
impressive damage with that attack.  If you inflict 50 initial damage, you 
will leech 10 HP per turn, which makes up the base Atk difference between 
Dragons and Treants for every turn the Treant survives.  However, you can 
also improve the life leech of a Treant by simply increasing it's raw Atk with 
the Lion's Mane or, more likely, the Doubling Cape.  This has a twofold 
advantage.  First, bonus Link damage benefits all of your units, even when 
your Treant is not attacking.  Second, improved Links increase the initial 
damage of the Treant, which consequently increases it's life leech afterward.  
The Doubling Cape does almost the same thing, but with extended benefits to 
the rest of your units, too.   

Lion's Mane - Poor.  Lion's Mane is really contingent on how good Fusing is 
for a particular faction.  The Sylvan faction has very fast units and quick 
unit turnover, making Fusion unappealing.  Hunters are very difficult to fuse,
and the 2 CT units also require some forthought.  Champion units could benefit
from Fusion, but getting Champions of the same color are unlikely because of 
the unit cap, and Fused Champions are overkill even without the Lion's Mane.
This leaves the Deer as the best candidate for Fusion, and it probably gains 
more general benefit from the Deer Antler.  

Doubling Cape - Average.  The Sylvan faction strives to Link as often as 
possible, because it has a fast unit turnover and can take advantage of 
Linking to quickly build mana.  Improved Linking also helps their Core units 
to better pierce rows of idle units.  As I mentioned above, perhaps the best 
use of the Doubling Cape is to increase the max Atk of a Treant, consequently 
causing it to drain more life.   

Phoenix Feather - Excellent.  Compared to the Ring of Vitality, it grants 10% 
or more additional HP.  The Phoenix Feather's real strength is contingent on 
how powerful a faction's spell is.  The logic is that, if your hero is reduced 
to 0 HP, then it is probably because you took a lot of damage.  Therefore, 
your spell has probably charged.  Becoming revived next turn gives you an 
opportunity to use that spell when you would not have otherwise.  Anwen's 
spell is probably the best in the game, and Findan's is very good.  Having the 
opportunity to use these spells one more time, especially as Anwen, is a 
game-winner.  With the Phoenix Feather, Anwen gets up and deals a finishing 
blow to the opposing hero.  It's an excellent artifact for the Sylvan faction.


>> Faction-specific discussion includes unmarked spoilers for unit types and 
heroes. <<

= Haven Faction #0005 =========================================================

The most defensive faction.  You have extremely tough walls, strong but slow 
units, and special abilties that emphasize defense.  Haven's play style 
emphasizes fortifying your battlefield and then counter attacking.  Haven 
Elites don't have very strong offensive abilities, so you will typically want 
to pair an Elite for defense and a Champion for offense.  

Haven Walls - Haven walls are solid.  They don't have any special ability, but 
they more than make up for this by having the highest base Pwr of any wall in 
the game.  With an impressive maximum of 16 Pwr, even base strength walls can 
block weaker un-Linked units, like Archers and Hunters.  Full strength Haven 
walls are nigh-impenetrable to most Core units, with the exception of Linked 
Gremlins (although they fare better against them than other walls).  Use 
individual Haven walls to form a solid protection against early attacks by 
Core units, so you can charge your Champions safely.  Later, layered Haven 
walls prove more effective at resisting the powerful attacks of Champions than 
other factions.  

For this reason, I feel that Haven walls are the best in the game.  It is hard
to overstate just how useful having a really tough wall is.  Haven walls make 
it very difficult for other factions to threaten you with Core units, and keep
your idle Champions safe until you can charge them.  They are also the best 
walls at mitigating Champion-level damage.  


= Haven Strategies #0005a =====================================================

    Low-Tier Offense

This strategy is especially useful in the first half of the Haven Campaign 
mode.  It utilitizes 3x Spearmen, and optionally any high-tier units you need 
to level up.  The Golden Spear is easily available and ideal for this 
strategy, but the Lion's Mane can work too.  

Spearmen have a special ability called First Strike.  When they attack, they 
don't lose Atk value if they hit any unit equal or lower to their Atk value.  
Against idle core units and weaker formations, they can pierce through a 
column and inflict damage equal to their full strength.  Golden Spear applies 
this benefit against walls, too.  This fixes the major problems of using Core 
units for offense, in that they cannot usually pierce through multiple walls 
and massed idle units.  Large numbers of Linked Golden Spearmen are commandos 
that roll over any idle units, Core formations, and walls and do full damage 
to the opposing hero.  Fused Spearmen can even overrun some Elites.  The only 
way to reliably block a Golden Spearman is with a Gremlin, a charging Elite, 
or a Champion (idle or otherwise).  Solid, as far as Core offense goes.  Later 
on, the Spearmen strategy loses some steam as hero hit point totals get higher,
but against lower hit point totals, you can defeat the opposing hero more 
quickly with Spearmen than with your slower Champion attacks.  This makes this 
strategy ideal for the first half of the Haven Campaign.  

The weakness of this strategy is that Spearmen are fragile, and terrible at 
defending if they are attacked before they resolve their own attacks.  This 
makes this strategy much less useful against faster factions, like Sylvan.
You must keep the Linked Spearmen alive in order to attack effectively.
Fortunately, Haven's excellent walls are useful at preserving them.  Against 
later opponents that have Champions, the Spearmen don't have enough DPT to 
mount a significant defense.  

    Dual Angels 

This strategy utilizes 1-2x Swordsmen or Spearmen, 1-2x Archers, Angels, and 
optionally Sword Masters.  Dwarven Hammer and King's Crown work well for this 
strategy, granting extra actions to get your Angels charged sooner.    

Angels heal other CFs for a substantial amount of hit points.  It is difficult,
but if you can get two Angels charging at the same time, then they heal each 
other, becoming almost impossible to destroy.  Any chip damage from Core or 
Elite units is rapidly healed.  The only way to destroy an Angel in this 
state is with overwhelming damage from an opposing champion.  Ideally, both 
Angels attack with close to their maximum Atk value, dealing a crushing blow.
Sword Masters don't appear very often, so they compliment Angels well.  Sword
Masters are stronger than Angels, so it benefits your offense and defense if
it drops.  If not, you will almost always receive two Angels, and execute your
primary strategy.  

The weakness of this strategy is that it is very Champion-dependant.  If the 
opponent has Djinn, Sorcerers, or, to a lesser extent, Druids, they can shut 
your strategy down and pick off the Angels one by one.  

    Balanced High-Tier

This strategy uses 1-2x Swordsmen or Spearmen, 1-2x Archers, Knights, and 
Sword Masters.  Dwarven Hammer or King's Crown work well for this strategy.  

This is a basic, balanced Haven setup.  Knights make good mobile "walls", and 
have a decent max Atk.  Sword Masters have the highest base Atk in the game, 
so they are excellent attackers and defenders.  In this strategy, you protect 
yourself initially with the Knights, then get a Swordmaster charged and make a 
strong attack by linking it with the rest of your units.  It's a strategy that 
is balanced between offense and defense.  

The weakness of this strategy is that, without healing, you have no answer to 
spell damage.  

	
= Haven Heroes #0005b =========================================================

Godric is the Haven hero featured in Campaign mode.  Godric's spell is Holy 
Shield.  It creates a barrier of walls over your hero zone (behind the rest of 
your battlefield) that block damage equal to half of his maximum HP (50 at 
level 10).  The barrier only lasts for 1 turn; use it just before an enemy 
attacks with a formation or formations that would deal significant damage to 
you.  Try not to save it overlong though, or any additional mana you gain will 
be wasted as overflow (more about this in the strategy section).  I feel this 
spell is about average.  Combined with Haven's defensive units, Holy Shield 
gives you very good survivability, but it does nothing to directly improve 
your offense (although you can play more recklessly with it and ignore a few 
more enemy formations than normal in favor of attacking through empty columns).

Varkas is unlocked for Quick Battle mode by completing the Haven campaign.  
Varkas' spell is Elrath's Sword.  Amusingly, when you cast it in battle, it is
called Edric's Sword.  This is a typo.  Elrath's Sword damages all the squares
in the first two rows of the enemy battlefield.  The first row (the row 
closest to you) receives damage equal to 10% of Varkas' maximum HP per square.
The second row receives damage equal to 5% of Varkas' maximum HP per square.  
This works out to 10 damage and 5 damage per square, respectively, assuming 
Level 10.  Assuming a Champion was fully within the first two rows, it would 
take 30 damage altogether.  An Elite or Core unit would take 15.  This seems 
a little underwhelming to me, when you consider that Anwen's spell does 50 
damage, and Cyrus' staff explodes for up to 85 damage.  Elrath's Sword weakens
units, but it doesn't typically destroy anything but Core formations, walls, 
and weaker Elites.  It's great for popping idle units in the first two rows, 
but does nothing to hit units further back.  Overall, I feel this spell is a 
little underpowered.  It is easy for a human player to reduce or avoid the 
damage by keeping his units out of the first two rows with walls.  That's not 
to say that the spell isn't useful, though.       


= Haven Units #0005c ==========================================================

Unless I'm going for a Spearmen offense, I like to field 1-2x Swordsmen, 1-2x 
Archer (for variety of timing).  The selection of High-tier units depends on 
what strategy you are going for.  I tend to prefer Knights, Angels, and Sword 
Masters best.  Priests are weak, but make up for this somewhat by making your 
hero difficult to defeat.  If you can land a Linked Sword Master attack, it's 
often a game winner.       

    Core

Swordsmen - Atk 11, Pwr 3, Charge 3, DPT 3.67.  Swordsmen are average Core 
units.
Attack Type:  Melee

Pros:  Setting aside Gremlins, Swordsmen are tied with Horned Demons as the 
Core units with the highest base Atk.  This makes them decent at busting walls,
and they have a good chance of doing at least a little damage to the opposing 
hero.  They are especially good candidates for Fusion.  

Cons:  With a CT of 3, they are fairly slow.  Their DPT isn't great.   

Spearmen - Atk 9, Pwr 2, Charge 3, DPT 3.  Spearmen have amazing offense for a
Core unit, but poor defense.
Attack Type:  Melee

Special:  Spearmen have a special ability called First Strike.  When they 
attack, they don't lose HP if they hit idle units or CFs with equal or lower 
Atk values.  They charge through weaker living units without weakening 
themselves.  Spearmen are superb at attacking through rows of idle Core units 
that would ordinarily soak up all the damage of a Core formation.  Walls still
weaken (and probably stop) them, unless you equip the Golden Spear artifact.

Pros:  Thanks to the First Strike special, Spearmen are much better attackers 
than their stats would suggest.  They are great at damaging the opposing hero 
through idle units and other Core formations.  Since Spearmen don't lose much 
(if any) strength when attacking, this more than makes up for their low 
maximum Atk and DPT because they often inflict full damage to the opposing 
hero.  

Cons:  Spearmen are awful at defending, with Pwr 2 and a pitiful DPT 3.  They
aren't good at blocking damage, even when idle.  

Archer - Atk 8, Pwr 3, Charge 2, DPT 4.  Archers are faster than other Haven
units, but a bit weak.  
Attack Type:  Ranged

Pros:  Archers have a CT of 2, making them the fastest Haven units.  They are
fast enough to do passable Champion harassment, but don't excel at it, unlike
Hunters.  Archers have decent Pwr, so they are on par with Swordsmen as idle
blockers.  

Cons:  With a low max Atk, Archers aren't very good at piercing through walls
or idle units, and have a hard time damaging the opposing hero.  

    Elite

Knight - Atk 30, Pwr 6, Charge 4, DPT 7.5.  Knights are solid units that 
attack and defend equally well.
Attack Type:  Melee  

Special:  A Knight begins charging with it's maximum Atk value.  Note that a
Knight doesn't gain any Attack with each turn of charging, because it begins
fully charged.  It can't recover from any damage it takes, for example.

Pros:  Knights are very useful as defensive blockers.  You can almost think of
them like portable walls; because they reach maximum Atk immediately, you can
drop them and charge them at the last moment to throw up a defensive barrier
comparable to 2 full-strength Haven walls.  Unlike other Elites, you don't
have to worry about Knights starting at half strength and getting picked off
by Core units.  These attributes make Knights synergize well with Angels.
Knights provide an instant barrier, but don't recover HP when damaged.
Angels heal the Knights, restoring them to their original offensive capacity.
With a max Atk of 30, Knights inflict above average damage offensively.  They
are also good for Fusing.

Cons:  Knights have a fairly slow CT.  This doesn't hinder their defensive 
effectiveness because of their special ability, but it does give an opponent 
plenty of time to defend against them.    

Priest - Atk 22, Pwr 4, Charge 4, DPT 5.5.  Priests are weak Elites that are 
partially saved by a great special ability.  They have good defensive utility,
but terrible offense.  
Attack Type:  Ranged

Special:  A Priest heals the hero for 3 HP each turn it charges.  If you fuse
Priests, it becomes 5.  

Pros:  The healing ability is useful.  You can recover from attacks that would
put any other hero in danger of defeat, such as damaging spells.  In 
combination with Holy Shield, your hero becomes nigh-unkillable.  Priests 
become better when Fused.  

Cons:  Priests are slow, have the worst max Atk of any Elite, and pitiful DPT.
With a starting Atk of 11, Priests are extremely vulnerable to being picked 
off by attacking Core units immediately after they are formed.  Gremlins make 
short work of them.  Priests aren't very good at piercing through walls or 
idle units, either, by Elite standards.  

    Champion

Angel - Atk 115, Pwr 23, Charge 6, DPT 19.17.  Angels are a Champion with 
average offense and a useful healing ability.  
Attack Type:  Ranged

Special:  Angels heal your damaged formations when the charge each turn.  The
healing is equal to 25% (rounded up) of the healed formation's maximum HP.
Therefore, the greater a unit's maximum Atk, the more it heals per turn.
Priests heal 6 HP, Knights 8 HP, Griffins 26 HP, and Sword Masters 34 HP. 
If you have two Angels, they heal each other.  Angels synergize well with
units that have a lot of HP, because those units can recover the most damage
every turn.  Knights make a good compliment, too, because of their special
ability.  You can set up a Knight as a "wall" to block an attack, then have an
Angel heal them up for a counterattack.  

Pros:  Although they aren't as strong as Sword Masters, Angels are still 
strong and have many of the same advantages.  Linking an Angel is easy, 
because it has a long CT.  Link lots of Core units to an Angel to boost it's 
attack.  The Angel's healing ability compliments Haven's defensive theme, and
helps you counterattack.  If your formations take a lot of damage during an
Angel's CT, it is entirely possible that the Angel will make up for it's lower
max Atk by restoring the attack potency of your other formations.  Two Angels
charging together are very difficult to get rid of by normal means.  Angels
are also much more common than Sword Masters, and you can count on them to
arrive within reinforcements.  Some players will favor that consistency.  

Cons:  Angels have the slowest CT of 6.  This gives an opponent plenty of time
to prepare defenses against them.  It also makes them particularly vulnerable
to anti-Champion units like Druids and Sorcerers.  

Griffin - Atk 105, Pwr 21, Charge 5, DPT 21.  Griffins are fairly average 
champions with a kamikaze attack.
Attack Type:  Melee  

Special:  Griffins double their current Atk if they hit a stronger formation
(usually another Champion).  This has a kamikaze effect; the Griffin is 
removed as if it still had it's original Atk value, but the defending target
is damaged as if the Griffin had twice the Atk.  This almost always destroys
whatever the Griffins hit.  Unfortunately, this special does not apply to 
bosses or the opposing hero; I was disappointed that you cannot inflict double
damage to the Haven chapter boss.  Interestingly, Griffins inflict double
damage to a Holy Shield that is stronger than them.

Pros:  Griffins are almost guaranteed to destroy a Champion they hit.  They 
have average speed for a Champion, which lets them attack first before the 
slowest Champions.

Cons:  I don't find the special ability particularly useful, compared to 
Haven's other Champions.  The Griffin is likely to destroy any unit it hits,
but the Sword Master is likely to do the same, with it's huge max Atk.  To 
take advantage of the special ability, you must also resolve your attack first.
If the Griffin cannot go first, then it is no better at defending than any 
other 105 Atk unit.  It would be better to defend with the massively-powerful 
Sword Master and then counter attack with the remaining Atk.       

Sword Master - Atk 135, Pwr 27, Charge 6, DPT 22.5.  Sword Masters have a slow
but extremely powerful attack.  They have the highest base Atk in the game, 
being rivaled only by other Champions that have gained bonuses from Artifacts.
Attack Type:  Ranged

Special:  If a Sword Master damages the opposing hero, it inflicts a "Mortal 
Wound" in the form of ongoing damage.  This inflicts 3 damage on each of the 
opponent's turns until the end of the battle (either hero is defeated).  Once 
a Sword Master has hit a hero, the opposing player has a limited timeframe in 
order to achieve victory.  If a hero has the misfortune of being hit by 
multiple Sword Master attacks, then the ongoing damage stacks for each one.

Pros:  With the highest base Atk in the game, Sword Masters can beat other 
base Champions in a one-on-one battle, with a few exceptions.  Resolving a 
highly-Linked Sword Master attack is often a game-winner, as it is very hard 
to defend against.  Linking a Sword Master is easy, because it has a very long 
CT; Link lots of Core units to a Sword Master to boost it's overwhelming 
attack.  The Mortal Wound special compliments Haven's strengths very well.  It 
puts pressure on the opponent to win quickly, when Haven excels at a waiting 
game.  The Sword Master has a very high Pwr, so it can make an emergency wall,
if need be.  

Cons:  Sword Masters have the slowest CT of 6.  This gives an opponent plenty 
of time to prepare defenses against them.  It also makes them particularly 
vulnerable to anti-Champion units like Druids and Sorcerers.  Availability is 
another problem with the Sword Master.  As Haven's unlockable "rare" unit, and 
a Champion, it has a very limited stock of 3 units.  This means that the Sword 
Master has a fairly low chance to arrive with reinforcements; you might not 
get one in the initial drop, or even within the first several turns.  I have 
observed battles where I selected Sword Masters and never received them among 
reinforcements.  For this reason, I like to pair Swordmasters as a compliment 
to more common units like Knights or Angels.  


= Haven Artifacts #0005d ======================================================

Haven faction can pick from a choice array of amazingly good Artifacts.  There
are several excellent options to choose from.  King's Crown and Dwarven Hammer
grant substantial (sometimes game-breaking) numbers of bonus actions, while 
the Golden Spear grants excellent low-tier offense.  The Crown of Elrath is 
good, and the Staff of Elrath provides an interesting alternate strategy.   

Staff of Elrath - Average.  Works as described; each Priest inflicts 3 damage 
per turn to the opposing hero while it charges, instead of healing you.  
Damage inflicted in this way does not increase the opposing hero's mana.  This
damage scales with Fused priests, as well.  You can utilize Haven's excellent 
defense to gradually wear down the opposing hero with ongoing damage, so it's 
a decent strategy, if slow.  

Winged Helm - Poor.  This artifact gives Griffins the Knight's special; they 
have full Atk as soon as they are formed, and don't recover any Atk on
subsequent turns.  This ability just isn't as valuable for a Champion as it
is for an Elite, though.  Full Atk is excellent for an Elite, because
otherwise it is in danger of being picked off by Core units when newly formed.
There is also the "portable wall" factor of Elites.  They can be charged
quickly, so you can drop them in on the last turn to block a formation.
Griffins, on the other hand, face little threat of being destroyed early,
even if newly formed, and can't be charged quickly enough to create a sudden
defense.  The niche use for this ability is if you need to quickly block a
Champion-level attack at the last moment.  Champions have long CTs, though,
so you should have plenty of time to establish defenses even without this 
item.   

Crown of Elrath - Good.  It does exactly what it says; your mana gauge fills 
twice as fast, no matter what means you use to fill it.  Haven spells are 
average to good, so casting them twice as often is not a bad thing.  Perhaps 
slightly better for Varkas, since you can use his spell proactively, but 
Godric can benefit too if you're in a bind.  

King's Crown - Excellent.  It removes the action cost for reinforcement, which
overturns all the rules about reinforcement.  You can essentially spam 
reinforce whenever you want.  Need another orange unit for that combo?  King's
Crown.  Need idle blockers immediately, but don't want to sacrifice your 
offense?  King's Crown.  On average, it gives you a free action every few 
turns, or possibly more often, depending on how frequently you need to 
reinforce.  Just make sure you don't get carried away and bury important units
by spamming reinforce too often.  

Golden Spear - Good.  Spearmen's First Strike (see the Spearman unit to get a 
recap of how that works) also applies to walls.  This makes Spearmen into one 
of the deadliest Core units, offensively.  The opposing player is essentially 
forced to block them by actively forming Elites or Champions.  This creates a 
great low-tier offense, especially in Campaign mode, where HP totals are 
lower.  I haven't rated this Artifact as highly as others, because Spearmen 
cannot defend adequately against Champions.  This Artifact is superb early in 
the Campaign, but should be replaced later in the Campaign when Champions 
become a threat.  

Blessed Helm - Poor to Average.  Provides a 10% chance of Critical Hit.  Great!
Wait, what does Critical Hit even do!?  After testing, I believe this is how 
it works:  Critical Hits only occur when you hit/damage the opposing hero. 
When you inflict damage to the opposing hero with a formation that has lost 
Atk value (by being damaged prior to attacking or by destroying 
units/formations/walls etc. during it's attack) a Critical Hit causes that 
formation to inflict damage as if it had it's normal maximum Attack value.  In
other words, a Critical hit causes a formation to inflict damage as it if had 
not been damaged at all.  This is an interesting mechanic, but I don't think 
it will replace the substantial action bonus of King's Crown or Dwarven Hammer.
It can't be ignored, either.  Although the chance is only 10%, if a unit 
reaches a critical mass of initial Atk, it has a chance to instagib an 
opposing hero no matter how little damage it inflicts.  If a Sword Master 
reaches 150 damage when it's attack resolves (only 1 Link needed) it has a 10%
chance of defeating the opposing hero if it inflicts even a single point of 
damage.  This could have interesting applications for multiplayer, although 
it's probably unnecessary in single player.    

Dwarven Hammer - Excellent.  The Dwarven Hammer eliminates the action cost to 
delete a wall.  At first, I thought this wasn't very useful, then I realized 
the game-breaking potential of deleting walls to drop units into formations.  
Ordinarily, the net gain is 0, but if you remove the cost of deletion, you 
gain an action every time.  If you plan well, you can gain almost as many 
actions as you want.  You can reinforce, create a wall or two, then generate 
several more actions by deleting walls and dropping units down. There have 
been occasions where I decided I didn't like a particular drop, so I turned 
all reinforcements into walls, gaining actions in the process, deleted the 
walls, and then reinforced again for a "do-over".  You can often do this 
multiple times, accumunlating actions as you go, until you have set up as many
Linked formations as you want.  This item also allows unparalleled control of 
your defenses; you can create walls to block only the columns you need, then 
delete any other walls, freeing up reinforcements.  This item even enables 
shenaningans like deleting every wall before reinforcing every time, to ensure
that you always get the maximum unit count/chain potential for each drop.  
Even if the results are less predictable than the King's Crown, this item can 
enable some really insane action gains and lead to some impressive combos.  It
also keeps your battlefield uncluttered and focused on offense.  This might be
my favorite Haven Artifact, but it can be challenging for a new player to use
effectively.  It's also more luck dependant.  I would advise players to 
compare it to the King's Crown and see which one you prefer.  

There is a rumored exploit for this Artifact that results in a formation with
infinite damage.  See the Exploit section for more information.     

Lion's Mane - Good.  The Haven faction benefits very well from Fusion.  
Spearmen justify Lion's Mane almost by themselves;  they are the perfect 
candidates for Fusion, being able to run over Elites and inflict full damage.
Swordsmen and Knights are slow enough that they are easy to Fuse, as well.  
The Priest's healing ability stacks when Fused, so there is so wasted 
opportunity there.  Champion Fusion is always hit or miss, but a Fused Sword
Master is nigh-unstoppable.    

Doubling Cape - Average.  Haven's slow Champions, particularly Angels and 
Sword Masters, provide lots of time to set up large Links with Core units.  
This increases the effectiveness of those Links.  Doubling Cape is also one of
your few options for increasing Atk.  This Artifact is overshadowed by other 
options, though.

Phoenix Feather - Poor.  Haven's defense is already good enough without the 
extra HPs, and the potential spellcasting benefit isn't as compelling when 
your spells are average and you could take the Crown of Elrath to cast them 
twice as often.  There are better artifacts to pick from for Haven.  


>> Faction-specific discussion includes unmarked spoilers for unit types and 
heroes. <<

= Necropolis Faction #0006 ====================================================

A well balanced faction.  Depending on the artifacts you pick, Necropolis can
be either defensive or offensive.  Many of your units have extremely useful 
special abilities.  The Elites, in particular, are extremely useful, so you 
will generally want to use one.  

Necropolis Walls - Necropolis walls are average.  They have 6/12 Pwr, which 
puts Necropolis on par with Sylvan.  Full strength walls are fairly decent at 
blocking unlinked Core formations, weaker Core units, and Elites (when massed).
The special ability of the Necropolis wall creates additional walls when any 
idle units are destroyed.  When any Necro units is destroyed, it leaves behind
an "inactive" wall in it's space, which drops down to create a new Necropolis 
wall on your next turn (or merge with other walls created by this special).  
The Pwr of the wall created varies.  Core units leave behind a single 1 Pwr 
wall, Elite units leave behind two 1 Pwr walls, and Champion units leave 
behind four 2 Pwr walls (two per column).  I find this special ability to be 
more detrimental than useful.  Usually, if your idle units are being destroyed,
then it is likely that your opponent has already launched all his attacks from
that column, and so creating additional walls there is unnecessary.  The 
created walls have a low Pwr anyway, so it rarely provides any useful blocking.
Automatic wall creation only serves to clutter up your battlefield, preventing 
Fusion, locking up spare reinforcements, and wasting actions if you decide to
delete unneeded walls.  Unnecessary wall creation is directly detrimental to 
Fiona, as it locks up reinforcements that could be used to increase her spell's
damage potential.  When it is convenient to do so, try deleting walls to make 
chains, especially if you can combo without creating additional walls.  This 
helps to keep Necropolis' clutter to a minimum.  

I'd rate Necropolis below Sylvan's wall, which has, in my opinion, a more 
useful special ability that doesn't clutter your battlefield.  Necropolis is 
still better than Academy and Inferno factions, though, which have walls made
of paper.  This places Necropolis solidly in the middle, regarding wall
effectiveness.    


= Necropolis Strategies #0006a ================================================

    Spider Cloak & Vampires (Offensive)

This strategy abuses the overpowered Spider Cloak artifact.  It utilitizes 3x
Zombies, Vampires, and any Champion (solo Vampires work great in Campaign mode,
too).  Obviously the Spider Cloak is the Artifact of choice.  

You start each battle with dangerously low health, so your first priority is 
to get your Vampires charging.  Use a combination of walls and Zombies to 
block the incoming damage of any Core units (and faster Elites).  If you can 
survive until your double-strength Vampires attack; you are almost guaranteed
to win.  The Vampires are very strong, and will drain back a substantial 
amount of health when/if they damage the opposing hero.  Additionally, you 
will have huge Atk advantage against any other Faction going forward.  

The weakness of this strategy is that unguarded attacks, Fused Core units, and
fast Elites like Unicorns and Sorcerers can one-shot you early on.  If your 
Vampires don't drain enough health, damaging spells like Sniper Shot and Blood
Ritual are a threat too.  You have to play extremely aggressively and block 
opposing attacks with your own, more powerful, formations.    

    Ghosts & Blood Ring/Ritual Dagger (Defensive)

This strategy utilizes 3x Zombies, Ghosts, and any Champion.  Blood Ring or 
Ritual Dagger are preferred.  

Charging Ghosts are portable, invulnerable walls.  Place them in front of Core
units to negate their attacks, or stack multiple Ghosts in front of Champions 
and Elites to reduce damage.  If you take damage, Blood Ring and Ritual Dagger
are utilized in place of Vampires to recover health.  With Ghosts providing a 
stable defense, you can attack safely with your Champion.  

This is a balanced strategy with no obvious weaknesses.  With only one 
Champion, though, it will have a somewhat weak offense, since Ghosts aren't 
great offensively.  

    Dual Threat Champions

This strategy utilizes 2-3x Zombies, 0-1x Ebon Guard, Wraiths, and one of any
other Champion.  This is a strategy that heavily favors Markal.  

The best way to take advantage of Markal's spell, Death March, is to charge 
two Champions at once with it.  Idle Champions are more vulnerable to attack 
than Elites, and more difficult to charge.  The advantage of charging them 
instantly is obvious.  An opposing player will have a very difficult time 
defending against two Champions at the same time, especially if one or both of
those is a Wraith.  One Champion threatens the opponent with massive damage, 
while the other poses the threat of instant death.  The opponent will often 
have to compromise between blocking one Champion or the other.  To create this
scenario, simply survive with Zombies and chain combos to build up the mana 
gauge until the spell is available, after which you set up your dual attack.

The weakness of this strategy is that it has little early offense, isn't very 
mobile, and is slow.  It's very vulnerable to factions that specialize in 
handicapping Champions, as well as those with strong skirmishers.   
	

= Necropolis Heroes #0006b ====================================================

Fiona is the Necro hero featured in Campaign mode.  Her spell is called Blood 
Ritual.  The end result of the spell is somewhat similar to Anwen's Sniper 
Shot; you fire a magical bolt down a single column, inflicting heavy damage.  
However, the damage of Fiona's spell is determined in a completely different 
manner, which rarely achieves it's maximum damage potential.  This makes it 
somewhat more balanced than Sniper Shot.  When you use Fiona's spell, all idle
Core units currently on your battlefield are immediately destroyed (being 
converted into idle walls in the process) and converted into damage.  The 
damage is equal to half the total Power of all the units destroyed this way.
In this manner the maximum possible damage is contingent on three factors:

1)  The number of idle Core units currently available (not in an active 
formation, or converted into a wall).  
2)  The Power individual Core units absorbed.
3)  The total number of reinforcements allowed to your hero (your unit cap).

Since the damage potential is heavily based on the Power of your Core units, 
Zombies are by far the best Core unit for increasing the damage of Fiona's 
spell (and for Necropolis in general, more about that in the units subsection).
Each Zombie destroyed inflicts 4 Pwr/2 damage, or 2 damage per Zombie.  The 
total maximum damage if you absorbed a full 32 idle Zombies (your maximum unit
cap) would be 64, even more powerful than Anwen's Sniper shot at Level 10.  
However, in a realistic scenario, the damage is far lower, anywhere between 30
to 50.  Unfortunately, there will always be at least a few units converted 
into walls by the Necropolis' wall ability by the time you charge the spell, 
and your Champions and/or Elites take up some of your unit cap.  To get the 
best damage out of Blood Ritual, it is best to cast it when you have few 
active Core formations on the battlefield (perhaps immediately after several 
Linked formations attacked).  You should also ensure that you have as many 
idle units on the battlefield as possible before casting.  Reinforce if 
necessary.  Overall, Fiona's spell is fantastic, but it requires just a little
more consideration to achieve the best results than Sniper Shot.  

Markal is unlocked for Quick Battle mode by completing the Necropolis campaign.
Markal's spell, Death March, instantly Charges all idle Elites and/or 
Champions currently on the battlefield.  Since you can have a maximum of 4 
Elites, 2 Elites and 1 Champion, or 2 Champions on the battlefield, it is best
to cast the spell after you have reinforced and gotten several high-tier units
to drop.  This spell saves you many actions which would be spent clearing
unneeded units and charging the high-tier units.  Death March creates a nice 
mobility advantage, too.  It is simple to pick up a high-tier unit, drop it in 
the most advantageous strategic position, and then charge it instantly with
Death March. You can also create chains with this power.  When you activate 
units with Death March, they ascend to the top of the column as normal, 
moving idle Core units to the rear.  If a formation is divided by the Champion
or Elite, then activating it with Death March will cause those units to come 
together and create a chain.  Keep an eye out for these combos when you 
prepare to use Death March.  The most dangerous threat of Death March, though,
is that it can create Fusions from same-colored units in far fewer turns.  It 
wouldn't be too far-fetched to Fuse three Elites in a single turn with Death 
March, suddenly creating a formation that is very difficult to block.  With 
several obvious advantages, Markal's spell is fairly solid.  The only downside
is that it doesn't remove the inherent weaknesses of high-tier units that have
a long CT.  Your opponent still has several turns of opportunity to react to 
your spell by countering or defending against your units.


= Necropolis Units #0006c =====================================================

Zombies are hands down the best Necropolis Core unit.  They are much tougher 
than the other Necro Core units, and don't have significantly worse offense.  
I always take three of them, but you might try adding an Ebon Guard for timing
variety.  Even then, I'd only consider it as Markal.  Taking non-Zombie Core 
units immediately decreases the damage potential of Fiona's spell.  If I'm 
using Spider Cloak or Blood of the One, I take Vampires.  If I'm using the 
Blood Ring or the Ritual Dagger, I take Ghosts.  The remaining unit can be 
anything; each of the Champions has distinct advantages, but I prefer Bone 
Dragons myself.  With the Spider Cloak, Vampires are perfectly capable of 
clearing the Campaign mode solo.  

    Core

Skeleton - Atk 9, Pwr 3, Charge 2, DPT 4.5.  Skeletons are somewhat 
unremarkable units.  They are statistically better than Zombies until the 
latter reaches level 5.  After that, Zombies are better.
Attack Type:  Melee  

Pros:  It's slightly better as a skirmisher than the Zombie.  That single 
point of Atk can mean the difference between piercing a base wall and not.
It's got decent DPT, particularly at lower levels.  

Cons:  Nothing remarkable.  It's not particularly strong, weak, tough, or 
flimsy.  

Zombie - Atk 8, Pwr 4, Charge 2, DPT 4.  Zombies are an extremely good Core 
unit, with the best idle toughness of any Core unit.  This makes them amazing 
at defense.  A Zombie is significantly weaker defensively if you Charge it the
turn before it is attacked; it is better to leave the units idle if they don't
have enough turns to resolve an attack.  A candidate for best Core unit.
Attack Type:  Melee  

Special:  When a Zombie hits an opposing formation, it inflicts a Plagued Bite,
which does ongoing damage.  The damage is equal to 2 per turn, and it stacks
if multiple Zombie formations hit the same target.  The plague damage does not
double if a Zombie is Fused, however.    

Pros:  Zombies have the highest idle toughness of any Core unit, with 4.  As a
group, this makes them exceedingly good as meatshields to block Core and Elite
attacks.  The ongoing damage special is useful, and can add up to a 
significant penalty against units with a long CT, like Champions.  If a Zombie
can resolve an attack, the ongoing damage generally makes up for any base Atk
gap there would be between Zombies and other Necro Core units.  It is also one
of the few things that can damage a charging Ghost.  Fiona's spell is based on
the toughness of her Core units, so the more Zombies you use, the greater her
spell damage will be.  

Cons:  Zombies are somewhat weak with a max Atk of 8.  This makes them poor at
breaking through walls and idle units, where their plague damage isn't an 
advantage.  By extension, Zombies aren't very good at damaging the opposing 
hero, either.  The ongoing damage makes up for this somewhat against targets 
the Zombies can hit early, and that have a several turn CT (Champions, 
especially CT6 ones).  Of course, if you use the Spider Cloak, this is 
overturned, and Zombies become the best Core unit, hands down.  

Ebon Guard - Atk 10, Pwr 3, Charge 3, DPT 3.33.  Ebon Guard are underpowered 
and slow.
Attack Type:  Melee

Pros:  It has a different CT than Zombies and Skeletons, so you might include 
it for variety.  

Cons:  It has low maximum Atk for a 3-Turn Core unit, is slow, and has poor 
DPT.  It's just not very good.  Compare it to the Imp, which has a useful 
special to make up for it's statistics, or the Bear/Swordsmen/Horned Demon, 
all of which are statistically better.  A candidate for worst Core unit.  

    Elite

Vampire - Atk 27, Pwr 5, Charge 4, DPT 6.75.  Vampires have low-to-average Atk,
but their attack drains HP.
Attack Type:  Melee  
 
Special:  Vampires have a special called Blood Drain.  When they hit the 
opposing hero, your hero gains HP equal to the damage dealt.  There is a lot 
of overlap between Vampires and the Blood Ring/Ritual Dagger Artifacts.  
Choosing both makes you very durable, but might be overkill.   

Pros:  Blood Drain is a very useful special ability.  It synergizes amazingly
well with the Spider Cloak.  With this Artifact, you begin with 10% of your 
maximum health, and gain a 100% Atk bonus.  When a Vampire hits the opposing 
hero, a great deal of your missing HP is restored.  Even if you aren't using 
the Spider Cloak, the HP gains from Vampires respectably increase your 
survivability.  Fused Vampires drain even more HP.  

Cons:  Vampires aren't particularly good at defending; they start with a low 
initial HP value making them vulnerable to attacks from Core units.  They also
have low DPT, and a slow CT.  

Ghost - Atk 26, Pwr 5, Charge 4, DPT 6.5.  Ghosts are excellent defenders that
are invulnerable while charging.
Attack Type:  Melee  

Special:  Ghosts do not take damage from most sources while charging; they are
effectively invulnerable, with few exceptions.  The only time a Ghost can be 
destroyed is while idle.  When an opposing formation hits a Ghost, it's Atk is
reduced by the Ghost's current HP value.  If the attacking formation survives,
it moves through the Ghost without harming it. 

Charging Ghosts can only be destroyed by other Ghosts, the Wraith's Death 
Touch, and Djinn (in combination with another unit).  Zombies and Emerald 
Dragons can also damage Ghosts with their ongoing damage, but probably not 
enough to actually destroy them.  Ghosts are penalized by Druids and frozen
by Djinn, but cannot be damaged by either unit.  Sorcerers do not return
Ghosts to an idle state; they have no special effect on Ghosts. 

Pros:  Ghosts are amazing defenders.  Once they are charged, you don't have to
worry about them dying.  There is little consequence to charging Ghosts at 
the last moment, giving them a "portable wall" effect.  In that regard, they
are similar to Knights.  Few Core units can pierce through Ghost formation; 
such attacks are effectively negated in a Ghost's column.  Stacked or Fused 
Ghosts can reduce or negate the damage of Elites and Champions without the 
potential consequence of losing your own stock, either.  Succubus are crippled
by the Ghost's special ability.  Succubus attack four times, but do no damage 
to the Ghost each time.  So the Ghost reduces a Succubus' Atk by four times 
it's current HP value; often, the Succubus' attack cannot pierce the Ghost, 
and so it's damage is effectively negated.  Charging Ghosts are immune to many
special attacks and spells, as well, which is extremely useful against heroes
that specialize in destroying opposing formations, like Nadia and Varkus.  A
consequence of not taking damage while charging also means that Ghosts always
resolve their attack with their maximum Atk value.  Ghosts have below average
maximum attack, but opposing players must still defend against them, because 
they always attack at full strength.  

Cons:  Ghosts are one of the weaker Elites in terms of max Atk and DPT.  They
aren't particularly effective at attacking the opposing hero.  Their slow CT 
means it takes a few turns for their "damage negation" to ramp up, even if 
they can't be destroyed.     

    Champion

Bone Dragon - Atk 105, Pwr 20, Charge 5, DPT 21.  Bone Dragons are a fairly
average Champion with a potent offensive special ability. 
Attack Type:  Melee 

Special:  Bone Dragons devour idle units they hit; instead of decreasing the
Atk of the Bone Dragon by the idle unit's toughness, it is instead increased
by that toughness.  Bone Dragons can quickly accumulate a significant Atk 
bonus by eating numerous idle units, particularly idle Champions.  

Pros:  Bone Dragons are difficult to block.  The opponent must create walls or
active formations to block a Bone Dragon, because idle units will only 
strengthen it.  Essentially, the opponent is forced to react against a Dragon.
If you use the Spider Cloak, Bone Dragons are massively powerful, with 210 
base Atk, a near unstoppable figure.  The Cursed Shield also synergizes well
with Bone Dragons, and is less risky.  Although their max Atk is lower than 
the Death Knight, they make up the difference in Atk if they hit only 8 Pwr 
worth of idle units.  That is only 2 Zombies, or 3 of any average 3 Pwr Core 
unit.  Doing this is fairly easy against the AI.  Additionally, Bone Dragons 
have a slightly lower CT, which makes them a little better overall, in my 
opinion.  

Cons:  Bone Dragons don't have any special weaknesses, aside from the usual
ones associated with Champions.  Their max Atk is a bit low (without the 
Spider Cloak), so the most powerful Champions like Death Knights and Sword
Masters will defeat them in defensive battle.  

Death Knight - Atk 120, Pwr 24, Charge 6, DPT 20.  Death Knights are oddly
without a special ability.  That aside, they are strong but slow.
Attack Type:  Ranged

Special:  None, as far as I can tell.  

Pros:  It has above average Atk for a Champion.  With the Spider Cloak, they
have a crushingly powerful 240 base Atk, the highest base Atk in the game 
(after Artifacts).    

Cons:  Death Knights have the usual shortcomings of Champion units.  They have
the slowest CT of 6.  This gives opponents plenty of time to prepare defenses
against them.  It also makes them particularly vulnerable to anti-Champion
units like Druids and Sorcerers.  

Wraith - Atk 67, Pwr 13, Charge 4, DPT 16.75.  Wraiths are somewhere between
an Elite and a Champion in strength, but they have a deadly special ability.
Attack Type:  Ranged

Special:  The Wraith has Death Touch.  Anything a Wraith hits is destroyed, 
even the opposing hero.  A Wraith's Atk is reduced by formations it hits, as
normal.   

Pros:  Wraiths exert a lot of pressure on the opposing player.  If only 1 
damage reaches the hero zone, that player is defeated, so the Wraith is a 
threat that must be defended against.  This can force the opposing player to 
spend actions defending, putting you in a position of strategic advantage.
Wraiths also excel at defeating opposing Champions.  They will typically 
exhaust their Atk in the process, but a Wraith can destroy any Champion, no 
matter how powerful, so long as it can reach it.  Finally, Wraiths are much 
faster than other Champions.  With a CT of 4, they are as fast as some Elites,
which can be a difficult threat to respond to for slower factions.  With the
Spider Cloak, Wraiths have power similar to other Champions, but retain their
threatening special ability.  It is challenging to block 134 base Atk 
completely.    

Cons:  Wraiths have the lowest max Atk of any Champion; it is somewhere 
between an Elite and a Champion in Atk.  It also has a lower DPT compared to
other Champions.  This makes Wraiths comparatively bad at defending against 
opposing formations; if a Wraith is on the receiving end of a Champion attack,
it will likely be defeated.  With Elite+ Atk distributed across two columns of
potential blockers, Wraiths are also much easier than any other Champion to 
block.  Massed Haven walls are particularly effective against the Wraith.  
Wraiths also have availability problems.  They are the Necropolis' unlockable 
"rare" unit, and have an extremely small stock cap of 3.  This means that the 
Wraith has a very low chance to arrive among reinforcements.  For that reason, 
I don't recommend fielding solo-Wraiths.  Pair them with another Champion, or 
an Elite.  


= Necropolis Artifacts #0006d =================================================

Necroplis faction has excellent Artifacts.  Blood Ring and Ritual Dagger 
increase your durability, while Spider Cloak grants an absurdly overpowered
Atk bonus at the cost of your durability.  The Spider Cloak is probably the
best Artifact for the single player campaign, but the Blood Ring or Ritual 
Dagger provide less risky alternatives.  

Blood Ring - Excellent.  Each time you destroy an opposing idle unit, your 
hero gains HP equal to the Power of the destroyed unit.  If you hit idle 
Champions or a full column of idle Core units, that HP can add up very quickly,
conferring a respectable boost to your hero's longevity.  Compared to the 
Ritual Dagger, this item is more active.  You can potentially accumulate HP 
much more quickly by making strong attacks and clearing out a lot of idle 
units, but your opponent can also deny you HPs by making formations or walls.
Blood Ring works best when your Core units can freely attack idle units on the
opposing hero's battlefield.  Units that throttle low-tier attacks, especially
Unicorns, render this Artifact ineffectual; it would be better to use the 
Ritual Dagger instead.     

Twilight Urn - Appallingly Bad.  This Artifact states that it "doubles the 
starting Pwr of walls created by fallen units".  However, this is only 
partially true.  This Artifact only doubles the Pwr of walls created when an 
idle Champion is destroyed.  The walls created when idle Elite or Core units 
are destroyed are normal 1 Pwr ones.  So you only get the benefit of this 
Artifact when one of your (very limited stock of) idle Champions is destroyed,
a tactically disadvantageous situation that you would ordinarily avoid at all
cost.  A candidate for the worst artifact in the game.  

Ritual Dagger - Excellent.  Each time you delete an idle unit, your hero gains
HP equal to the Power of the deleted unit.  You don't have to go out of your 
way, either; you can gain this HP just by creating chains and dropping units 
down normally.  If you're really desperate, you can delete an idle Champion 
and gain an instant, sizable boost to your HP.  Compared to the Blood ring, 
this item is more passive.  You can't accumulate HPs without spending actions
to do so, so you can't gain HP as rapidly as you could with the Blood Ring.
However, you have complete control over how and when you gain HP, so your
opponent can't do anything to prevent it.  The Ritual Dagger isn't quite as
good without the option to delete idle Champions in an emergency, so I'd rate
it a bit lower if you are only using Elites.  In the end, I think it's a
matter of personal preference; both items have good points.     

Cursed Shield - Average.  It halves the Pwr of your opponent's walls.  This 
Artifact has several benefits, a rounding oddity, and a bug(?), which I shall
explain.  First, the benefits.  It's a significant penalty to factions which 
depend heavily on their walls, particulary Haven.  With this artifact, your 
Core units are actually able to pierce full strength walls and threaten the 
opposing hero's idle Champions, which is usually impossible because Zombies 
are weak offensively.  This Artifact actually reduces the base Pwr of the 
opposing hero's walls, so it cripples the efficiency of Aidan's spell, Fiery 
Brimstone.  This spell is dependant on the HP of Aidan's walls, and Cursed 
Shield halves that, making his spell deal half damage.  It could be useful if 
you have trouble with this spell.  Finally, it synergizes especially well with
Bone Dragons and Wraiths.  The opposing player is essentially forced to defend
against the Bone Dragon with active formations, because he cannot defend with 
idle units and his walls are ineffectual.  Similarly, weakened walls are 
easier for the Wraith and it's Death Touch to pierce.  I feel that this 
Artifact is somewhat less valuable against the AI, though, because the AI 
rarely chooses to mass walls.  

Cursed Shield has some oddities, though.  Factions with 10 Power walls 
(Inferno and Academy) have 6 Power against Cursed Shield.  How does 50% of 
10 = 6?  I believe it is a result of a rounding error.  The game uses the base
Power of 5 (doubled to 10 to get the full strength wall) and halves it to 2.5,
which it rounds up to get 3 Power.  When fused to create a full strength wall,
it becomes 6.  An odd result of this is that, because Sylvan and Necropolis
walls don't benefit from the rounding error, they end up having the same final
wall Pwr as Inferno and Academy.  The Factions benefitting from the rounding
error are the least penalized by Cursed Shield, anyway, so it's even more
incentive not to use this Artifact against them.

The second thing I discovered is a potential bug. I say potential, because it 
may or may not be intended by the developers. When you use the Cursed Shield 
against the Necropolis Faction, the base Power of walls created when you 
destroy the opponent's idle units is doubled to 2 HP. It is as if the opponent
gets a free Twilight Urn Artifact (and by that, I mean it works accurately to 
the Artifact's description, unlike the real Twilight Urn). One possible reason
for this anomaly is that the developers may not have wanted to unfairly 
penalize the Necropolis wall's special ability. Although the Power of walls 
created by idle units is doubled, the overall Power of the wall is still 
halved, so the net result (unless there is a rounding issue) is that idle 
units are still negating the same damage, overall. 3 destroyed idle units 
create a 6 Power wall, which when halved negates 3 damage, so the math works
out. If that was the intention, it seems like they should have also doubled 
the regeneration of the Sylvan wall, too. Very odd.

Blood of the One - Good.  It increases the Vampire's overall Atk by 25% the 
moment it is formed, raising Maximum base Atk to 34 and DPT to 8.5.  This 
makes the Vampire better at both defending and attacking.  The only problem 
with this Artifact is that it simply appears inferior compared to Spider 
Cloak's absurd 100% Atk boost, which applies to all units, not just Vampires.
Still, Vampires are a good Elite and worth using, so you might consider this 
Artifact if you want more Atk but don't want to start with dangerously low HP.

Talon's Talon - Terrible to Poor.  Works as described.  The Bone Dragon gains 
double the Pwr of devoured enemies as an Atk bonus.  This is reasonably good 
against the AI, but an intelligent opponent will minimize the effect of this 
artifact by keeping idle units away from the Bone Dragon.  The real problem is
that the Spider Cloak confers an Atk boost to the Bone Dragon that is an order
of magnitude greater than even the best Atk bonus you could hope for with this
Artifact.   

Spider Cloak - Easily one of the most overpowered artifacts in the game.  All
of your units gain 100% (double) Atk as soon as they are formed.  The effect 
is similar to gaining a free Fusion for every attack formation you create.  
Vampires drain a silly amount of health, Ghosts are amazing blockers, Wraiths
are a terrifying threat, and your other Champions are generally one-shot 
knockouts.  Even your Core units are respectable attackers.  The downside of 
this is that you start with only 10% of your maximum health.  Even a single 
Core formation can defeat you if you fail to guard against it.  The point that
makes this Artifact overpowered is that your health isn't capped at 10%; it 
can be restored to maximum by healing effects.  Vampires, with the huge Atk 
bonus, can easily drain enough HP when attacking to restore your HP back to 
safe levels.  It's a very swingy Artifact; either a stray attack breaks 
through early and you are defeated in one hit, or you survive until your 
Vampires attack, recover the majority of your HP, and then generally steamroll
your opponent.  This Artifact trivializes Campaign mode if used carefully.  

Lion's Mane - Average.  Necropolis Core units aren't especially Fusion 
friendly, but their Elites benefit well enough.  Ghosts turn into massive 
damage blockers, and Vampires drain more HP.  

Doubling Cape - Terrible.  The Doubling Cape compares really poorly to Blood of
the One and Spider Cloak, both of which outstrip the benefits of the Doubling 
Cape in bonus Atk, and additionally strengthen units before the attack is 
resolved.  The latter Artifacts are simply superior for both offense and 
defense.   

Phoenix Feather - Poor to Average.  You would probably receive greater 
survivability benefits from equipping either the Blood Ring or the Ritual 
Dagger.  The increased longevity consequently lets you take more damage for 
the purpose of charging your spell more often.  The Phoenix Feather lets you
do this to a lesser extent, and Necropolis' spells are quite good.  The logic 
is that, if your hero is reduced to 0 HP, then it is probably because you took
a lot of damage.  Therefore, your spell has probably become charged.  Reviving
next turn gives you an opportunity to use that spell when you would not have 
otherwise.  Fiona's spell is occasionally equal to Sniper Shot, and Markal's 
spell is fairly solid too, so it's not as bad as it could be.  


>> Faction-specific discussion includes unmarked spoilers for unit types and 
heroes. <<

= Inferno Faction #0007 =======================================================

Inferno is a very offensively-oriented faction.  You've got paper-thin walls, 
so you need to create attack formations immediately, or risk losing your idle 
high-tier units.  The Inferno Faction has several good Elite units, but the 
Champions are poor to average.  Not only do the Elites have more desirable 
special abilities than the Champions, they can also be charged quickly 
(keeping them safer from early Core attacks).  This Faction favors it's Elites 
as a result of these two factors.  

Inferno Walls - Inferno walls are fairly poor.  They have a base Pwr of 5, and
a max Pwr of 10.  Ranged attackers like Hunters and Apprentices shoot right 
through base strength walls.  Even full strength walls are little barrier to 
most Core units, especially when Linked.  The Inferno wall ability is 
additional fire damage.  Units that cross the walls in order to attack 
("melee" units) take extra fire damage proportional to the current HP of the 
wall.  This damage is equal to 25% (rounded up) of the wall's current HP/Pwr.
This damage is inflicted twice, once for each tile the attacking formation 
passes beyond the wall.  Here are a few examples to better explain how it 
works.

10 HP wall (full strength normal wall) * 25% = 2.5, rounded to 3 fire damage
per tile.  10 HP wall + 3 fire damage to melee units x 2 tiles = 16 damage 
total.

A 13 Atk melee unit attacks a wall with an idle Core unit behind it.  It would
take 10 damage for hitting the wall, then 3 damage for crossing the tile.  In
this case, the attacking formation would be destroyed without damaging the
idle Core unit. 

A 20 Atk melee unit attacks a wall with an idle Core unit behind it.  It would
take 10 damage for hitting the wall, 3 damage for crossing the next tile, 
destroy the idle unit behind the wall for 3 Pwr, and then take 3 damage for 
crossing a second tile.  It takes 19 damage total, and would inflict 1 damage
to the hero.  

8 HP wall (full strength w/ Rage Shield) * 25% = 2.  8 HP wall + 2 x 2 damage.
Total damage = 12.
5 HP wall (base strength normal wall) * 25% = 1.25, does not round up.  5 HP 
wall + 1 x 2 damage.  Total damage = 7.
4 HP wall (base strength w/ Rage Shield) * 25% = 1.  4 HP wall + 1 x 2 damage.
Total damage = 6.

It is possible to do 0 fire damage if 25% of the wall's HP doesn't round up to
1.  1 HP wall * .25 = .25.  .25 doesn't round up, so it's 0 x 2 fire damage.  
A 2 HP Inferno wall blocking a melee unit blocks 4 times as much damage 
overall compared to a 1 HP one!  

On paper, it seems like Inferno walls offer similar protection to Sylvan or 
Necropolis walls, but this is only against melee units.  It also takes several
squares for the full fire damage to be applied, so the protection isn't as 
good for units standing immediately behind the wall.  The point of a wall is
to protect formations and idle high-tier units sitting behind it, but Inferno
walls only offer their full protection after the unit has already attacked 
several squares.  The really bad part about this ability is that the 
significant number of units that do not cross the walls to attack ("ranged" 
units) are completely unaffected.  Examine the unit subsections to see which
units are and aren't affected by Inferno's wall; units with the melee attack
type are affected, while ranged units are not.  A sizable part of the Inferno
wall's damage mitigation is bound up in this special ability, so it's
protective ability against ranged units is awful.  For this reason, Inferno
walls the strongest against the Necropolis and Inferno Factions, which have
only melee-type Core units and a strong melee emphasis in the high-tier.  They
are the worst against Academy and Sylvan, which feature predominantly ranged
attackers.  

I'm of the opinion that Inferno walls are the worst in the game.  You can't 
rely on them to protect your idle units, and a good portion of the units in 
the game ignore your wall's special ability.  


= Inferno Strategies #0007a ===================================================

    Nightmare Cascade 

This is an offensive strategy that is especially good in the Inferno Campaign
mode.  It utilitizes 2x Hellhounds, 1x Imp or Horned Demon, and 
solo-Nightmares.  You can optionally use Sorcerers.  Celerity Ring, 
Rage Shield, and Thorn Whip are all good Artifact choices.    

The strategy is very straightforward.  Get your Nightmares charging, Link them
as much as you can, and then run over your opponent's battlefield with your 
cascade.  Nightmares have great offense because they always attack 
simultaneously.  Try stacking or Fusing Nightmares for even more damage.  
Sorcerers are ideal to fit into a solo strategy because they don't have enough
availability to stand on their own.  Sorcerers counter Champions, as well.  
Hellhounds give you an extra turn to charge all of your Nightmares, so that 
you have more actions available to Link them.  Horned Demons add variety to 
the Link timing, as well.  In Campaign mode, where hero HP totals are lower, 
you can often overrun opposing heroes on the first cascade.  

The weakness of this strategy is that it has unstable defense against 
Champions (if you don't get a Sorcerer, you can be in trouble).   

    Elite Sorcerers

This strategy uses Elites only.  This strategy is viable for Inferno because 
both Sorcerers and Succubus are excellent counters to Champions.  It utilizes
3x Imps or Horned Demons, Succubus, and Sorcerers.  The Rage Shield or Fire 
Ring are the best Artifacts since you don't need many actions for this 
strategy.  

Another simple strategy.  Elites generally cannot beat Sorcerers or Succubus 
one-on-one, and Champions are completely shut down by Sorcerers.  Succubus are
fairly good at defeating Champions too, especially in a group or Fused.  This
strategy doesn't have strong offense, because Succubus are poor at damaging 
the opposing hero, but you can wear down the opponent slowly with a relatively
tough defense and your Sorcerers (who do have good offense).  This is a good 
strategy against opponents without overpowering spells.  

The weakness of this strategy is that faster Champions can pose a problem if
you get unlucky with Sorcerer arrival.  This strategy also tends to inflict 
damage in smaller increments, granting opposing heroes multiple opportunities
to charge and cast powerful damage spells.  Heroes like Anwen and Fiona will 
defeat you with their spells.

    Champion Sorcerers

This strategy uses Champions in concert with Sorcerers.   It utilizes 3x Imps
or Horned Demons, Pit Fiends, and Sorcerers.  Celerity Ring and Rage Shield 
are the best Artifacts, but Devil's Tail and Chaos Crown might see use.  

Inferno Champions aren't great, but big damage is big damage.  The best way to
play this strategy is to charge your Champion, then charge your Sorcerers 
behind it.  The Sorcerers attack and disable any Champions your opponent sets 
up to block yours, allowing you to smash through with a Pit Fiend for game 
winning damage.  

The weakness of this strategy sits on the Sorcerer's low arrival rate.  You 
may begin the battle with two Pit Fiends, which leaves you without an answer 
to early attacks.

    Fiery Brimstone

This strategy aims to exploit Aidan's spell, Fiery Brimstone, to its maximum
potential.  Only Hellhounds and Sorcerers are used, because they have a lower
CT and free up reinforcements quickly.  Celerity Ring works best for this
strategy, and Rage Shield should be avoided because it decreases your spell
damage.

This strategy makes a few opening attacks to destroy idle Champions, inflict
some damage and build up mana.  After some mana is accumulated, stop attacking
and do nothing but create as many walls as possible to convert into fireballs.
Try to concentrate many walls into fewer columns, if you can.  Fiery Brimstone
can inflict extremely high damage if all your reinforcements are converted to
full-strength walls beforehand; 100+ damage is possible.  The best time to
fire your spell is when your opponent has relatively few units on the
battlefield (just before reinforcement).  Save your Sorcerers to check your
opponent's most important threats, particularly any Champions that are
charged.This strategy is designed to defeat heroes with powerful spells, like
Anwen.  The damage is inflicted all in one large volley, so you attempt to
either eliminate your opponent within a single turn or to waste enough mana
as overflow that you will have the opportunity to defeat the opposing hero
before their spell can be charged again.

The weakness of this strategy is that it is passive.  With many of your
reinforcements locked up in walls, it can be difficult to respond effectively
to your opponent's moves.  If you are unlucky with your Sorcerer availability,
your opponent could Link a devastating Champion attack against you.
	
= Inferno Heroes #0007b =======================================================

Aidan is the Inferno's Campaign hero.  His spell is called Fiery Brimstone.  
It converts every wall on your battlefield into a fireball (removing your 
walls in the process), which then fire upwards along their respective columns.
The damage of each fireball is equal to the HP of the wall that created it.  
This has significant consequence, because one of the Inferno's most desirable 
Artifacts, the Rage Shield, decreases the HP of your walls, directly 
decreasing the damage potential of Aidan's spell.   As a reminder, the HP of 
normal Inferno walls is equal to 5/10, so this is the maximum damage you can 
do per shot.  The stronger the wall, the more damage is inflicted.  

I find Aidan's spell to be poor to average.  Removing your walls can be a 
double edged sword.  I like that it can quickly eliminate battlefield clutter.
You can free up reinforcements, create space for Fusion, and occasionally 
create chains this way.  However, there are times when your walls would negate
more damage by remaining on the battlefield, because this spell doesn't 
account for the extra fire damage that Inferno walls can inflict.  Fiery
Brimstone is occasionally useful for destroying the opponent's idle high-tier
units or as a finishing move, but it requires actions to set this spell up for
best effect.  You must create many walls to increase the damage potential of 
this spell, which is ordinarily an undesirable action (for Inferno especially).
It can be difficult to balance between attacking effectively and accumulating 
enough walls to make this spell effective.  Walls are created in horizontal 
segments, so the damage from this spell tends to be spread out among many 
columns.  This makes it easy for the opposing hero to block the damage by 
creating his own walls or by blocking it with a horde of idle Core units.  
I've found the best timing for this spell is when the opposing player's 
battlefield is almost empty of units.  When there are few idle Core units on 
the battlefield, this spell can inflict respectable damage to the opposing 
hero.   Against the AI, you can easily predict the point just before it 
reinforces, and cast the spell then.  Another good time might be after several
of your Linked formations attacked, clearing most or all of the battlfield and
leaving it open to attack.  Overall, I definitely find the spell useful, but 
can't rate it as highly as other spells because it can be difficult to set up
and use effectively.  

Jezebeth is unlocked for Quick Battle mode by completing the Inferno campaign.
Jezebeth's spell is called Wall Crusher.  It explodes all of the opposing 
player's walls, inflicting minor damage to units and formations adjacent to 
them.  The damage is equal to 25% of the wall's current HP.  Also note that 
the damage does not stack.  If more than one wall would explode the same tile,
only the highest damage is applied.  Put another way, a formation can only be 
damaged by this power as many times as it has tiles.  An Elite can be hit 2 
times, a Core formation 3 times, and a Champion 4 times.  The damage per tile 
of this spell is between 1 to 4 for each unit adjacent to an exploded wall.  
This means an Elite can take, at most, 8 damage from this spell in an ideal 
scenario.  A Champion takes 16.  In a realistic scenario (against factions 
other than Haven), the damage is even lower.  Even one damage will destroy 
idle high-tier units near the walls, but against formations, this damage is 
insignificant.  It will rarely destroy even Core formations.  This leaves the
utility of destroying walls.  Against the AI, this is underpowered, because 
the AI rarely creates walls more than 2 rows deep.  Against another player, 
this has some strategic threat.  The player must choose between the threat of
exploding walls, or choose to play without walls, which hinders chaining and 
defensive potential.  With careful strategy, though, a player can manage the 
threat of this spell.  You can negate much of the threat by placing an idle 
Core unit between your wall and the high-tier unit you intend to charge.  In 
my opinion, this is the worst spell in the game.  The opposing player has a 
lot of control over how effective your spell is.  


= Inferno Units #0007c ========================================================

All the Inferno Core units have their strong points, and have their roles in 
different strategies.  Inferno Elites are very strong.  Succubus are excellent
at defeating other Champions and Elites, but are bad at damaging the opposing 
hero.  Nightmares are great as a solo option, especially in the Campaign mode.
Sorcerers are amazingly good, and are only handicapped by availability.
Inferno Champions are poor to average.  Since Inferno Elites are extremely 
good counters to Champions, it is perfectly viable, and perhaps optimal, to
field Elites only.  

    Core

Horned Demon - Atk 11, Pwr 3, Charge 3, DPT 3.67.  Horned Demons are average
Core units.  They are identical to Swordsmen.
Attack Type:  Melee

Pros:  Setting aside Gremlins, Horned Demons are tied with Swordsmen as the 
Core units with the highest base Atk.  This makes them decent at busting walls,
and they have a good chance of doing at least a little damage to the opposing 
hero.  They are especially good candidates for Fusion.  

Cons:  With a CT of 3, they are fairly slow.  Their DPT isn't great.   

Imp - Atk 10, Pwr 3, Charge 3, DPT 3.33.  Imps are slightly weaker than Horned
Demons, but make up for this by draining mana.
Attack Type:  Melee

Special:  Imps drain mana whenever they damage the opposing hero.  I don't 
know the exact formula, but they drain enough mana that the gauge is depleted 
slightly, even after the damage from the Imps.  

Pros:  Although identical statistically to the terrible Ebon Guard, Imps make 
up for their lackluster stats with an awesome special ability.  Several spells
in this game are  devastating when cast, so Imps are ideal against opponents 
with these spells.  Consider Imps better than Horned Demons whenever the 
opponent has a powerful spell (Sylvan, Academy, and Necropolis Factions).  
This makes Imps quite good in multiplayer and in the Quick Battle mode.  Imps
drain more mana when they inflict more damage, so they are superb Fusion 
candidates.  

Cons:  Imps aren't very good in Campaign mode, because most battles are 
against opponents that do not cast spells.  If the opponent doesn't have a 
spell, then Imps are strictly weaker than Horned Demons, and should be avoided.

Hellhound - Atk 9, Pwr 3, Charge 2, DPT 4.5.  Hellhounds have moderate speed 
and decent DPT.
Attack Type:  Melee

Pros:  Hellhounds are useful to Inferno because they have a CT of 2.  This 
makes them ideal units to pair with a Nightmare strategy, which is very 
demanding of your actions.  The lower CT gives you enough turns to Link them 
with your Nightmares.  CT 2 also makes Hellhounds a good compliment to Horned
Demons or Imps, so your Link timing can be varied.  Hellhounds are decent 
skirmishers.  Hellhounds aren't significantly weaker than Imps, so they are 
better offensively when the opposition doesn't have a threatening spell.  

Cons:  With average Atk, they sometimes have difficult time breaking through 
walls.  A CT of 2 makes them more difficult to Fuse compared to the other Core
units.  

    Elite

Succubus - Atk 37, Pwr 7, Charge 4, DPT 9.25 (see Special).  Succubus' damage
mechanic makes them excellent against large targets like Champions, but poor
at damaging the opposing hero.  
Attack Type:  Ranged

Special:  Succubus attack in a different way than other units.  They fire four
consecutive fireballs, each of which explodes as soon as it hits any opposing
unit, causing splash damage to adjacent squares.  

Splash Damage Discussion:  A Succubus' attack occurs in four sub-attacks.  
Each sub-attack inflicts 25% of the Succubus' Atk value in primary damage, and
then inflicts 25% of that value as splash damage to the 4 squares to the top, 
bottom, left, and right.  This splash damage does not reduce the primary 
damage; it is in addition to the Succubus' normal damage.  As an example:  

A 48 Atk Succubus attacks.  It attacks 4 times, each for 12 primary damage.  
When each of it's attacks hit, they inflict 12 primary damage, and cause 3 
splash damage to each adjacent square.  

When each fireball hits any object, no matter how few HP it has, it stops and
explodes, negating 25% of the Succubus overall Atk.  For this reason, a 
Succubus wastes a great deal of their potential damage if they don't attack in
concert with other units or through empty columns.  A mere 5 idle Core units, 
of any type, reduce even the strongest Succubus attack by 75% of it's 
potential damage.  5 Pixies (10 Pwr) could reduce a 200 Atk Fused and Linked 
Succubus to a mere 50 damage.  Although there are ways to get around this, 
like Linking with units stacked on top of the Succubus, Succubus are generally
worse at damaging the opposing hero than other Elites.  Oddly, at very low 
Atk levels, this mechanic works in the Succubus favor, where it could clear 
out more idle Core units than it could have otherwise because of 1-2 Atk 
splash damage.  

The upside of this ability is that splash damage can hit a formation multiple
times.  A Succubus that hits a Core or Elite unit directly damages it twice; 
once with the primary damage, and once with the splash damage.  It's even 
better against a Champion, which is hit twice by the splash damage.  This 
effectively increases the Succubus' Atk by 25% against Elites and 50% against
Champions.  The bonus splash damage makes Succubus a superb counter to large
units.  Although the fireball explosions have a significant downside, they 
spread damage through adjacent columns and potentially destroy high-tier 
units, a beneficial side-effect.  

Pros:  Succubus are amazing at attacking other Elites and Champions.  The 
splash damage is also useful for destroying idle high-tier units.  Succubus
have the highest base Atk of any Elite, making them decent defensive units, 
despite their DPT.   

Cons:  The damage mechanic makes them poor at attacking the opposing hero.  
Ghosts and Unicorns have defensive abilities that often negate the Succubus'
attack outright.  Succubus are also comparatively slow, with a CT of 4.  

Nightmare - Atk 34, Pwr 7, Charge 4 (varies, see Special), DPT 8.5.  
Nightmares are excellent offensive units that always attack in unison.
Attack Type:  Melee  

Special:  Nightmares have "Demon Blitz".  When any Nightmare resolves it's 
attack, all other Nightmares currently charging also attack, using their 
current Atk values.  The actual CT of any individual Nightmare might range 
between 1 Turn to 4, if preexisting Nightmares trigger it's attack early.  The
more Nightmares are available on the battlefield, the better the cascade 
effect becomes.  For this reason, Nightmares highly benefit from being fielded
solo or in conjunction with a "rare" unit like Sorcerers, so that as many 
Nightmares arrive within reinforcements as possible.  

Linking with Nightmares:  Linking the Nightmare that initiates the cascade is
simple; just Link the unit by turn count and color as normal.  However, 
Nightmares formed after the first Nightmare cannot be Linked normally.  When 
the lead Nightmare attacks, it begins a cascade, breaking any same-turn Links 
the other Nightmares had.  However, you can still Link "secondary" Nightmares.
Instead of Linking formations to the secondary Nightmares, create formations 
as if you were Linking them to the lead Nightmare.  When the cascade begins, 
the secondary Nightmares will attack as if they had the same CT as the leader,
and so they will become Linked with any formations created to "Link" with the
lead Nightmare.  An example:

Turn 1:  A Red Nightmare is formed.
Turn 2:  A Red Imp is formed, and Links with the Red Nightmare.  A White Imp
is also formed without a Link.  
Turn 3:  A White Nightmare is Formed.
Turn 4:  The Red Nightmare attacks, linked with the Red Imp.  Then the White
Nightmare attacks, becoming Linked with the White Imp, which attacks at the
same time.

The exception to this is if you have Nightmares of the same color as the lead
Nightmare, but created later.  The nature of the color system means any 
same-colored units created would be automatically Linked to the lead Nightmare,
meaning they would attack in the first wave, before secondary Nightmares
attack.  An example:

Turn 1:  Red Nightmare is Formed.
Turn 2:  A Red Imp is formed, and becomes Linked with the Red Nightmare.
Turn 3:  A second Red Nightmare is Formed.  
Turn 4:  Red Nightmare 1 and the Red Imp attack in a Link.  Red Nightmare 2
attacks subsequently to the lead Nightmare, and thus loses the benefit of the
Link with the Imp.

Pros:  The cascade effect allows Nightmares formed after the first to attack
sooner than their slow CT of 4 would suggest.  Using the method described 
above, you get the benefit of having ease of Fusion with the early Nightmares,
and ease of Linking with the later ones.  Nightmares have a strong max Atk of
34, so they inflict solid damage even through walls.  Nightmares stacked on
top of each other always attack on the same turn, making them superb for
piercing a column and inflicting heavy damage.  Overall, they are strong
offensive units.

Cons:  The cascade effect causes Nightmares created late in the turn countdown
to attack with a fairly low Atk value, for an Elite.  

Sorcerer - Atk 34, Pwr 7, Charge 2, DPT 17.  Sorcerers are amazing units that
are only hindered by availability.  They are rivaled only by Unicorns in 
overall effectiveness among Elites.  
Attack Type:  Melee

Special:  Special:  Sorcerers de-activate any formation that they damage and
fail to destroy, returning it to an idle state.  This is particularly
effective against Champions, because they are very slow and require several
actions to charge.  Sorcerers cannot damage Ghosts, and thus the Ghost does
not return to an idle state.  Sorcerers take damage from the Ghost and pass
through them normally, like any other unit.

Pros:  Sorcerers are astoundingly good.  They have an extremely fast CT, a 
special ability that renders even the strongest opposing units ineffectual, 
and the best base DPT of any Elite unit.  Their DPT is more akin to the lower 
end Champions.  Their Max Atk is also very high as well, only surpassed by the
Succubus, which requires 2 more turns to charge.  These qualities make 
Sorcerers amazing at defense and offense.  

Cons:  The only weakness of the Sorcerer is availability.  As the Inferno's 
"rare" unlockable unit, it has a limited stock of 5.  This reduces the 
occurance of Sorcerers among reinforcements.  For that reason, it is best to
use Sorcerers in conjunction with another unit.  In the Campaign mode, 
Sorcerers are also extremely expensive to purchase (but it's so worth it).  

    Champion

Abyssal Lord - Atk 120, Pwr 20, Charge 6, DPT 20.  The Abyssal Lord is an 
oddly weak Champion with some redeeming points.  
Attack Type:  Ranged

Special:  The description states that it summons "four flaming geysers".  
Visually, the Abyssal Lord fires a bolt of fire that pierces through the 
opposing columns, regardless of blocking units.  I don't fully understand how
the Abyssal Lord's special works, but this is my best guess.  I believe that
the Abyssal Lord inflicts 25% of it's current Atk value to each unit and 
formation in the columns it attacks, as well as the opposing hero.    

Pros:  It always inflicts the same proportion of damage to the opposing hero,
no matter how many units block it, unless it is completely destroyed.  This
makes it a threat over time, because it is nearly impossible to completely 
defend against.  Put another way, the Abyssal lord always inflicts at least 
some damage to the opposing hero unless it is completely destroyed prior to 
attacking.  If the opposing player has significant defenses set up against 
your Champion, then the Abyssal Lord would do more damage to the opposing hero
than ordinarily possible.  The damage pierces through the column, so it can be
useful to destroy units behind a formation that cannot be easily destroyed
(like a charging Champion).

Cons:   It always inflicts the same proportion of damage to the opposing hero,
no matter how many units block it.  The ratio of the damage is somewhat low.
A base Atk Abyssal Lord, without Links, would do a mere 30 damage to the 
opposing hero, even left completely undefended.  Almost any other Champion 
would defeat the opposing hero in the same scenario.  Simply put, unlike the
other Champions, an opposing player can actually choose to ignore an Abyssal
Lord and survive handily, provided that player began with full health.  The
Abyssal Lord doesn't have the game-ending threat that other Champions do.  
This is extremely poor strategically, because the opponent could set up his 
Champion elsewhere and launch a potentially game-winning counterattack (which
you have one less Champion to defend against).  Abyssal Lords also suffer from
the usual Champion pitfalls of being countered by several units and having a
slow CT.  

Pit Fiend - Atk 110, Pwr 22, Charge 5, DPT 22.  Pit Fiends are average 
Champions with no special qualities.  
Attack Type:  Melee

Special:  None, as far as I can tell.  

Pros:  Pit Fiends are, in a word, average.  They have a fairly good DPT and 
average CT for a Champion.  They provide the Inferno faction with a 
"game-ending" Champion, a role which the Abyssal Lord doesn't fill.  They have
all the normal advantages of Champion-level damage.  The Rage Shield or 
Devil's Tail improve the Pit Fiend's max Atk and DPT further, making it 
comparable in strength to a Sword Master (minus ongoing damage, but with a 
lower CT).

Cons:  They lack a special, which is disappointing, especially if you compare
them with the very similar Rakshasa and Bone Dragon, both of which have 
extremely useful special abilities.  


= Inferno Artifacts #0007d ====================================================

Inferno faction has excellent artifacts.  Several of them directly boost 
Attack, most notably the Rage Shield.  Overall, I would say that the Rage 
Shield and the Celerity Ring are the best Artifacts available, but the other 
Atk boosting Artifacts and the Thorn Whip aren't bad.  The defensive artifacts
tend to be themed around the Inferno wall ability, which has obvious 
weaknesses.  

Stone Claw - Terrible.  This artifact is misleading in it's wording.  It 
doesn't actually double the fire damage caused by walls.  What it does do is 
double the duration of the fire damage.  So a melee unit that crosses a wall 
takes fire damage for 4 tiles instead of 2.  I think this is quite poor.  It 
does nothing to improve the protection of units standing immediately behind 
the walls, and it also does nothing against ranged units which ignore the fire
damage to begin with.  In short, Inferno walls are bad to begin with, and 
this Artifact doesn't do anything to improve their fundamental shortcomings.

Fire Ring - Average.  It increases the Succubus' overall Atk by 25% the 
moment it is formed, raising maximum base Atk to 46 and DPT to 11.5.  This 
makes the Succubus better for both defending and attacking.  Consequently, 
splash damage also increases, making Succubus even better at busting Champions.
Compared to the Rage Shield, this is a safer option if you don't want to 
penalize your walls.  It doesn't offer the broad bonuses that Rage Shield 
does, though.  The Atk bonus to Core units is especially valuable, so I can't
rate this Artifact as highly as the Rage Shield.  

Devil's Tail - Average.  It increases the Pit Fiend's overall Atk by 20% the
moment it is formed, raising maximum base Atk to 132 and DPT to a substantial
26.4.  This makes the Pit Fiend better for both defending and attacking. 
Compared to the Rage Shield, this is a safer option if you don't want to 
penalize your walls.  It doesn't offer the broad bonuses that Rage Shield 
does, though.  The Atk bonus to Core units is especially valuable, so I can't
rate this Artifact as highly as the Rage Shield.  

Thorn Whip - Good.  There is a typo in this Artifact's description; it confers
a bonus to "Hell Chargers" but it clearly means Nightmares (as they are listed
on the unit screen).  After testing, here is what I understand regarding the 
fuctionality of this Artifact.  When a Nightmare formation attacks, it begins
a "cascade" where all other Nightmares currently charging immediately resolve
their attacks as well.  The Nightmare that initiates the cascade (the one that
finishes it's CT first) will be referred to as the "lead Nightmare" or leader.
The leader attacks first (along with any units Linked to it), after which any
"secondary Nightmares" attack (with their Links, if applicable).  The leader
gains no benefit from this item.  The bonus is applied to Nightmares whose
attacks are triggered during the second part of the cascade, after the 
initiating Nightmare has finished attacking.  Ordinarily, the secondary 
Nightmares end their CT and resolve their attack with whatever their current
Atk value is.  If you created a particular Nightmare on the previous turn, 
then it only have a little over half of it's maximum Attack value.  However,
this Artifact instead sets the Atk value of secondary Nightmares to their 
maximum base Atk value (34) before they resolve their attacks as part of a 
cascade.  As a result of setting Atk to a fixed value, this has the nice side
effect of restoring any HP lost from opposing attacks before the secondary 
Nightmares attacked.  The leader isn't healed, of course.  The strength of 
this Artifact is that it allows more flexibility when charging your Nightmares.
You can create two or three Nightmare formations on the last turn possible 
before a cascade begins, and they will attack without penalty (potentially an
Atk bonus of 15 or more).  The downside is that it doesn't improve max Atk 
like the Rage Shield does, so it doesn't increase the maximum damage possible
or help the Nightmares to survive until the cascade begins.  I think the 25% 
bonus from Rage Shield generally makes up for any lost Atk caused by the 
Nightmare's cascade, but some players may prefer the stability of better walls.

Rage Shield - Excellent.  This item confers an Attack bonus of 25% to all your
units.  This is as good as it sounds.  Your Core units are better at piercing 
walls and skirmishing, your Imps drain more mana, your Sorcerers have 
Champion-level DPT, and your Champions inflict crushing damage.  The Pit Fiend
becomes roughly on par with the Sword Master, minus the ongoing damage special.
The Attack bonus is conferred immediately upon formation, so it makes your
formations better defensively, as well.  The downside is that this Artifact 
decreases the HP of your already pitiful walls by 25%.  Obviously, this makes
the HP of your walls lower (5/10 base becomes 4/8, respectively) but it has 
other consequences as well.  The effectiveness of the Inferno wall's fire 
damage and Aidan's Fiery Brimstone spell are directly based on the HP of the 
wall, so these effects are penalized by Rage Shield.  Specifically, your full 
strength walls inflict 2 fire damage per tile instead of 3 (base strength is 
unchanged thanks to rounding) and Aidan's spell inflicts less damage per wall.
The improved Atk of your Core units will somewhat make up for your inferior 
walls, but you must play a little more aggressively and proactively create 
formations for defensive purposes.  My opinion is that Inferno walls are 
terrible to begin with, so the player may as well just discard them altogether
and use Rage Shield to improve Inferno's offense. 

Celerity Ring - Excellent.  The Artifact works as described.  You begin with 5
actions at the start of your first turn.  This works out to 3 additional 
actions if you go first, or 2 additional actions if you go second.  Obviously 
the former is better; you effectively take two turns at once.  It is hard to 
overvalue how good it is to have a really great first turn; getting the battle
started on a favorable note allows you to carry that momentum forward.  The 
first turn is often the most action-intensive.  You might need a lot of 
initial actions to clear out your high-tier units if they get buried by a bad
draw.  The Celerity Ring is very nice for this scenario, because it helps to 
"luck-proof" your first few turns by giving you enough actions to deal with
any problems.  With good luck and 5 actions, you can often charge a Champion
(or two) on the first turn, or set up several units in a large Link.  This
Artifact has great synergy with a Nightmare-based strategy, too, because you 
can get several of them charged on the first turn.  The cascade attack comes
sooner, and with stronger Nightmares.  A solid alternative to the Rage Shield
if you don't want to sacrifice your walls.   

Chaos Crown - Poor to Average.  Causes your formations to inflict fire damage
to melee attackers that defeat them.  This damage works exactly the same as it
does for Inferno walls; in fact, you could think of your formations as Inferno
walls with HP equal to their Atk value.  The damage is equal to 25% of your 
formation's current HP (before it was attacked) and is applied twice as the 
attacking formation crosses the next two tiles.  This means that your 
formations effectively negate a total of 150% of their HP against melee units.
Your units can have significantly higher HP than your walls (particularly 
Champion units) so this can work out to a very significant amount of fire 
damage.  A destroyed Abyssal Lord might inflict 40 or more fire damage over
two tiles.  This can significantly increase the damage mitigation of your 
active formations, to the point where you might reconsider the balance of idle
toughness to active Atk for Core units.  Unfortunately, this has several 
shortcomings, too.  It has the same weakness as the Inferno wall in that 
ranged units ignore the (substantial) fire damage.  Second, the damage is only
applied after your unit is destroyed, which isn't an ideal scenario.  It's 
disadvantageous if one of your high-tier units was destroyed, even if it might
have been a necessary sacrifice.  In the same scenario, the unit might have 
survived and counterattacked if it had an Atk bonus from Rage Shield or 
another Artifact.  As compelling as this item might be for defense, I don't 
feel that it is proactive enough when other items provide both offensive and 
defensive benefits.  I consider this item better than the Stone Claw, at 
least, because the potential fire damage is an order of magnitude greater.

Lion's Mane - Average to Good.  Fusion has great synergy with Imps, and Horned
Demons are easy to Fuse, as well.  Sorcerers are a challenging to Fuse because
of their speed and rarity, but when you can Fuse them, they make for a 
powerful formation.  Nightmares are easily Fused and benefit nicely from it.
The Inferno Champions all benefit from Fusion, with the usual caveat that it
is unlikely to happen because of the high-tier unit cap.  Succubus don't 
benefit as much from Fusion because of their unusual damage mechanic; a lot of
damage goes wasted with Fusion, although Succubus are easy to Fuse.  

Doubling Cape - Terrible.  Doubling Cape compares terribly to Rage Shield and
the other Atk bonus Artifacts, which provide greater Atk bonuses offensively
and also bolster defense, unlike the Doubling Cape.  

Phoenix Feather - Poor.  Inferno doesn't benefit as much from the Phoenix 
Feather as the other factions because their spells aren't as potent.  You only
benefit from a survivability standpoint, and the Atk power Artifacts provide 
that indirectly by making your formations negate more damage when attacked.  
It might have a niche use against factions that can do heavy damage without 
attacking your formations (Anwen's Sniper shot, etc.).


>> Faction-specific discussion includes unmarked spoilers for unit types and 
heroes. <<

= Academy Faction #0008 =======================================================

The Academy faction favors defense, but not as heavily as Haven.  Several of 
the Academy's units are excellent defensively, but poor at attacking the 
opposing hero.  Much of the Academy's offense is bound up in it's Champions, 
like Haven.  Many Academy units have quirky specials, some of which are quite 
good.  Academy walls are at once good and bad.  More on that below.  Academy 
spells are powerful, but one is randomized and difficult to predict.  

Academy Walls - Academy walls are somewhat poor.  They have a base Pwr of 5, 
and a max Pwr of 10.  Individually, they are about as effective as paper 
sheets at blocking Core units from attacking through them.  The Academy wall 
ability is strange.  The Pwr of the Academy wall varies depending on the total
number of Academy walls on the battlefield.  There are some oddities of the 
ability that I can't yet account for, but the ability works roughly like this.
The Pwr of Academy walls is equal to the number of walls created.  If you 
create a basic set of three walls, then each wall will have 3 Pwr.  If you 
create two sets of three walls, then each wall will have 6 Pwr.  The power of
Academy walls continues to increase as more walls are created, capping at 10
Pwr.  This means that Academy walls have an extremely low initial Pwr for the
first one or two sets of walls created.  They are almost useless until you
have created several sets of walls and increased their overall Pwr.  Each time
you create new walls, all of the existing walls increase their Pwr by the 
number of walls created.  In this way, you can "recharge" existing damaged 
walls by creating new ones.  So long as you have ten walls or more, your newly
created walls will have 10 Pwr.  However, if your total number of walls is 
ever reduced below 10, then the other walls become correspondingly weaker.
This can occur if walls are destroyed or deleted.  For each wall destroyed 
beyond the tenth, the Pwr of the remaining walls is reduced by 1.  For this 
reason, it is wise to create more walls than you need.  If a strong attack 
destroys many walls at once, it is entirely possible for the walls to lose Pwr
and "collapse" even as an attacking formation is destroying them, reducing the
Atk the walls negate.  It is also possible for Academy walls to be destroyed
from this Pwr loss, even without being attacked.  In summary:  The advantage
of Academy walls is that, once you have created a certain number of them, you
always generate full-strength walls immediately.  You can also repair walls by
creating walls anywhere; you don't necessarily have to stack new walls in the
same place unless you want to layer them.  The disadvantage is that they have
a low Pwr cap so you need many of them to effectively mitigate heavy damage.
This is compounded by the possibility of wall collapse, which means you must
keep a large number of walls on your battlefield in order to keep your walls 
at full effectiveness, even as they are destroyed.  Academy walls penalize 
your reinforcement cap.  

Personally, I feel that Academy walls are the second worst in the game.  They
have a low Pwr, comparable to Inferno walls, but they make up for it somewhat
by being able a accumulate full-strength walls quickly and being able to 
"recharge" damaged walls.  Academy walls mitigate decent damage when you layer
full strength walls, and since they can be layered quickly, I'd rate them
slightly above Inferno walls, which take longer to accumulate.  


= Academy Strategies #0008a ===================================================

    Solo Djinns

This strategy utilitizes 3x Gremlins and Solo-Djinn.  Optionally, add Phoenix,
because they have a very low occurance rate.  The ideal Artifact for this 
strategy is the Djinn's Sash.  

This strategy thrives on lockdown and control.  Attack repeatedly with your 
Djinn, freezing as many columns and units as possible.  With enough columns 
frozen, your opponent will have trouble creating chains, walls, or doing 
anything effective.  This strategy is especially effective against factions 
that rely on Champions; Djinn simply shut them down.  Frozen Champions are 
immobile and greatly reduce the usability of their columns.  Use Gremlins to 
clear columns of idle units, allowing Djinn to attack for increased damage.  
Gremlins are also useful for destroying frozen formations.  I feel this 
strategy favors Nadia slightly, because her spell is better suited to clearing
the battlefield of frozen enemies and giving your Djinn a clear path of attack.

The weakness of this strategy is that it has very low offense.  Djinn are poor
at attacking the opposing hero.  They also do nothing to destroy Champions, 
although they lock them down.  You must attack strategically with your 
Gremlins in order to maximise the Djinn's damage potential.  This strategy 
also tends to inflict damage in smaller increments, granting opposing heroes 
multiple opportunities to charge and cast powerful damage spells.  Heroes like
Anwen and Fiona will defeat you with their spells.  

    Early Offense (Campaign)

This strategy utilizes 3x Gremlins and Solo-Magi.  The best artifacts 
available early in the Campaign mode are the Battle Wand and the Mana Shield.

Academy offense is (in my opinion) awful until you get Champions.  This isn't
an optimal strategy, but rather the one that makes the best of the limited 
resources available at the start of the Academy Campaign.  Djinn are poor at 
attacking the opposing hero.  Titans have low DPT and are extremely vulnerable
to being destroyed by Gremlins prior to being charged.  This leaves Mages as 
the only unit with early availability and salvageable offense.  For the best 
results, Fuse and Link Magi repeatedly to make strong attacks through a single
column.  The effectiveness of this strategy hinges on defeating the opposing 
hero rapidly, before he can charge a Champion.  I used this strategy for 
speedrunning purposes.  

This strategy runs out of potency as opposing HP totals rise.  Later in the 
campaign, it is wise to switch out Magi for the excellent Rakshasa and Phoenix
units.  If the opposing hero charges a Champion, this strategy has no answer 
to it.  

    Mana Superiority

This strategy utilizes 3x Gremlins, and Solo-Rakshasa.  Optionally, add Djinn
to counter Champions or Phoenix because they have a low occurance rate.  This
strategy favors the Scimitar and Absorb Circlet Artifacts.  

This is a strategy suitable for the end of the Academy campaign, as well as 
Quick Battle mode.  In my opinion, Rakshasa are the best Academy unit overall;
their amazing special ability means you can do Champion-level damage without 
increasing the opponent's mana.  At the same time, you gain a large quantity 
of mana from inflicting that damage.  If you attack primarily with Rakshasa, 
then it follows that you will be able to cast your spell far more often then 
the opposing hero can, and thus win.  To enhance this strategy, the Scimitar 
is ideal.  It increases the damage inflicted and also reduces the window of 
turns your opponent has in order to counter your Rakshasa.  Scimitar Rakshasa
are extremely potent attackers.  The Absorb Circlet is another respectable 
option; you can quickly accumulate mana by chaining wall deletion, cast your
spell to clear the way for your Rakshasa's attack, and then immediately cast
again with the mana you gain from inflicting damage.  A cascade effect is 
created.  With the Absorb Circlet, you not only deny your opponent mana gain,
but also gain more mana yourself.  

The weakness of this strategy is that it has low maneuverability and is 
Champion dependant.  Without Elites, it is difficult to respond to changing 
threats.  Once you have charged your Rakshasa, it is a fairly static and 
predictable strategy.  
	

= Academy Heroes #0008b =======================================================

Nadia is the Academy hero featured in Campaign mode.  She casts Lightning Bolt.
It fires five bolts of lightning that strike random positions on the 
opponent's battlefield, inflicting 21 damage to any unit hit at Level 10.  
Each Lightning Bolt strikes a 2 x 2 area of the battlefield.  It is hard to 
quantify how good this spell is, because it is random and therefore 
unpredictable.  Sometimes luck favors you and you strike every one of your 
opponent's important formations, and other times you are frustrated as the 
bolts harmlessly strike empty areas of the battlefield repeatedly.  If you do
hit, this spell is fairly potent at clearing out opposing formations, and the
number of bolts means you stand a good chance of destroying one or more idle 
high-tier units, no matter where they are placed.  This spell really shines 
against bosses, because they have a huge "hit box" for damage detection.  It
isn't unusual to hit a boss three or four times with this spell, inflicting 
63-84 damage.  Overall, it is a useful spell of at least average power.

Cyrus is unlocked for Quick Battle mode by reaching the top of the tower in 
the Academy Campaign.  Initially, I thought Cyrus' spell, Staff of Explosia, 
was poor, because the AI was terrible at using it.  However, having playtested
it, I now believe this is actually among the best spells in the game.  The 
functionality of the Staff is complex.  When you throw a Staff, it always 
lands in the first two rows of the opposing battlefield (with a few exceptions,
more on that later).  Anything the Staff hits when it lands takes damage.  The
Staff has an initial "HP" equal to 25% of Cyrus' max HP.  A level 10, this is 
25 damage.  This is the maximum damage that the Staff can inflict on impact.
If this damage is enough to destroy all the obstacles (walls, formations, etc).
in the Staff's landing site, then it lands and remains on the battlefield with 
a CT of 2.  If this initial damage is exceeded, then the Staff immediately 
explodes for it's full damage.  It can be advantageous for the Staff to 
explode without the countdown, because it gives the opponent no time to 
counter it.  When the Staff explodes (either by exceeding it's initial damage
or by counting down it's CT) it inflicts damage equal to 15% of Cyrus max HP 
(15 damage) to each tile within a small diamond-shaped radius.  Here is a 
diagram of the blast shape:

    X
   XXX
  XXXXX
   XXX
    X

The blast is centered upon the tile of the Staff closest to the hero's damage 
zone.  On the top screen, the top of the staff is the center of the blast, and
on the bottom screen, the bottom of the staff is the center.  

The maximum possible damage against a formation is determined by it's size.
If you cast Staff of Explosia at Level 10 and hit a Champion (2x2 unit) 
directly with the Staff, it would take 25 initial damage first.  Then, if it 
survived the initial damage, the Staff would explode immediately, damaging the
Champion's four tiles with 15 explosion damage each.  The total damage would 
be 25 initial immediately followed by 4 tiles x 15 damage, for 85 total damage
against a Champion.  Similarly, an Elite formation takes up to 55 damage, and 
a Core formation takes up to 70 damage (but will usually be destroyed by the
initial damage anyway).  This is enough damage to destroy most Champions 
instantly, unless they are almost fully charged.  Even if the Staff cannot 
easily damage the opposing hero, it is by far the best spell at destroying the
opposing hero's Champions, even surpassing Sniper Shot and Blood Ritual.  
Needless to say, the option to destroy a Champion is excellent, particularly 
if you can clear the way for your own Champion to inflict massive damage.  The
blast is large, so it also has a very good chance to destroy nearby idle high
tier units (or you can throw it to destroy idle units in the first two rows
pre-emptively, before they can charge).  

If the Staff does not explode immediately and remains on the battlefield, it 
can be interacted with, much like any other formation.  You can actually pick
up and drop a Staff of Explosia thrown at you, just like you could any other
idle unit, following the normal rules for doing so.  Similarly, Staff of 
Explosia will rise to the top of a column like any other unit if you charge a
formation or create a wall on top of it.  This has two uses.  The first is to
free up the Staff from intervening units so you can pick it up and throw it
away from critical units.  The second is a method to damage the opposing hero
with the Staff.  To do this, you must trick your opponent into creating a 
formation on top of the Staff, causing it to rise near the top of the screen.
If the Staff's explosion reaches the hero zone, the opposing hero will take 
damage.  Players are unlikely to fall for this, but the AI might.  If one of
your formations hits a Staff you threw, it immediately explodes.  The 
explosion does not damage your own formation, which makes this a useful 
strategy for clearing out a column of defenders in advance of your formation.

Two exceptions cause the Staff to continue moving past the first two rows.
Hitting walls causes the Staff to continue moving forward through the column.
The Staff will continue moving through any number of walls until it hits an 
idle unit or formation, reaches an empty landing site, or runs out of initial
HP (25) and explodes.  Ghosts cannot normally be destroyed by damage while 
charging, and the Staff is not an exception to this.  If you hit a Ghost with
a Staff, two things can happen. If the Staff's initial HP is exceeded, it will
explode instantly as normal. However, if the Ghost does not do enough damage
to explode the Staff, the Staff cannot land within the Ghost's square, so it
continues moving and instead lands on top of the Ghost (exploding if the
enemies it clears to land there do enough cumulative damage).  

An exploit allows the Staff of Explosia to strike the hero zone directly 
against a certain faction, instantly defeating the opposing hero.  See the
exploit section for more information.  


= Academy Units #0008c ========================================================

Gremlins are easily the Academy's best Core unit, despite their low damage 
against the opposing hero.  The Academy's other Core units are terrible, so I
always take 3x Gremlins.  Magi and Titans are slow and have terrible DPT, so I
rarely use them outside of select strategies.  This leaves Djinn and 
Rakshasas.  Rakshasa offer amazing offensive utility, especially when combined 
with the Scimitar Artifact.  Meanwhile, Djinn counter Champions, offer 
control, and lock down the opponent's unit cap.  Phoenix have a very low 
occurance rate, so they aren't suitable for use alone; I generally combine 
them with the aforementioned units.  

    Core

Apprentice - Atk 8, Pwr 2, Charge 2, DPT 4.  Apprentices are awful.  They 
compare terribly with Gremlins, which have the same CT.  Even looking at other
Factions, Apprentices are strictly inferior to Archers and Bears, among 
several other units most directly comparable to it.   
Attack Type:  Ranged 

Pros:  None really, when Gremlins are also available.  

Cons:  Inferior max Atk and DPT makes Apprentices less effectual than Gremlins
at both defending and destroying opposing formations.  Their pitiful Pwr of 2 
makes them poor at mitigating damage while idle.  Their low max Atk means that
they aren't any more effective at damaging the opposing hero than Gremlins, 
except in the rare circumstance when the column is completely undefended.  As 
a player, you are literally handicapping yourself by picking Apprentices.  A 
candidate for the worst unit in the game.   

Gremlin - Atk 18, Pwr 3, Charge 2, DPT 9 (see Special).  No, that Attack value
is not a typo.  Gremlins are amazing defenders, but poor at damaging the 
opposing hero.  They are among the best Core units in the game.  
Attack Type:  Ranged

Special:  A Gremlin's Attack begins at an unusually high value for a Core unit,
but decreases as the shot moves through the opposing battlefield.  You can 
think of it like a shotgun that loses accuracy at a distance.  In the most 
simple example, if a Gremlin attacks down an empty column, the damage is 
reduced by 2 for each row of the opposing battlefield.  As it crosses the 6 
rows of the opposing battlefiend, damage is reduced by a total of 12, making 
the final damage of a base Atk Gremlin 6.  However, this mechanic behaves very
strangely as soon as it interacts with other objects that reduce damage, such 
as units the Gremlin hits.  I've observed scenarios where the Gremlins 
actually increase their Atk in farther columns after losing Atk from hitting 
walls and idle units.  I admit I don't fully understand how the damage 
reduction mechanic interacts with the Atk Gremlins lose from hitting units.
The ranged damage reduction never reduces a Gremlin's damage to 0 (although 
opposing units can, of course).  

Pros:  Gremlins are amazing defenders.  With their astoundingly high Atk and 
DPT against nearby units, they are better than another other Core unit at 
piercing walls and idle Core units to destroy idle high-tier units.  They have
a CT of 2, enhancing their role as a supreme skirmisher.  They also excel at 
picking off newly formed Elites and weakening charging Champions, especially 
when Fused.  Although they negate more damage while actively charging, even 
idle Gremlins have an average Pwr of 3, offering standard damage reduction.  
Although their Attack is very weak by the time it reaches the opposing hero, 
Gremlins are also better than any other Core unit at piercing walls and idle 
units, making them the most likely of any Core unit to do at least some damage
to the opposing hero (even if it is just chip damage).  The rapidity of the 
Gremlin's attacks somewhat makes up for it's low damage per attack.  Fused 
Gremlins, while difficult to form, mitigate the problem of attacking the 
opposing hero.  The static damage reduction of the distance penalty is only 
applied once, so the second Gremlin in the Fusion effectively goes unpenalized.

Cons:  Base Gremlins are poor at attacking the opposing hero.  Despite their 
base Atk of 18, Gremlins lose 12 damage against to the opposing hero, even 
left completely undefended.  This means the opposing player is less penalized
for choosing to ignore them.  You cannot defeat the opposing hero as quickly 
in the ideal circumstance that you are able to repeatedly attack against 
lightly defended columns, either.  When Gremlins do hit the opposing hero, 
they tend to inflict chip damage, which is builds up the opponent's mana gauge
in a disadvantageous manner.  

Golem - Atk 10, Pwr 3, Charge 3, DPT 3.33.  Golems are underpowered and slow.
Golems are Identical to Ebon Guard; compare them to Sylvan's Bears to 
understand why this unit is poor.
Attack Type:  Melee  

Pros:  It has different CT than Gremlins, so you might include it for variety.
Gremlins benefit more from Fusion, but Fused Golems aren't bad.  

Cons:  Compares terribly to Gremlins, except in niche scenarios.  It has low 
max Atk for a 3-Turn Core unit, is slow, and has poor DPT.  It's just not very
good.  Compare it to the Imp, which has a useful special to make up for it's 
statistics, or the Bear/Swordsmen/Horned Demon, all of which are outright
better.  Another candidate for worst Core unit.  

	Elite

Mage - Atk 30, Pwr 6, Charge 4, DPT 7.5.  Mages are slow and deal average 
damage.  
Attack Type:  Ranged

Special:  If a Mage hits an idle unit, electricity spreads through it, 
destroying adjacent idle units.  In order to start the initial chain, the Mage
must shoot directly through an idle unit (it must be in the column the Mage 
attacks).  The electricity then spreads to adjacent units.  In this case, 
"adjacent units" only includes the idle units horizontal and vertical to the 
idle unit that is hit; diagonals don't count.  Electricity does not spread 
through walls or active formations, either.  The electricity spreads through 
the initial unit, the units adjacent to it, any units adjacent to those units,
and so on, until all valid targets are destroyed.  Note that the destruction
of idle units occurs after the Mage's attack is resolved.  This means that 
multiple idle units in the column the Mage is attacking would still reduce 
that Mage's attack before they are destroyed by electricity.  

Pros:  The special ability can be useful for destroying idle high-tier units,
or at least making it difficult to absorb the mage's damage without 
consequence.  Max Atk is respectable, if average.  Mages make good candidates
for Fusion.  Even early in Campaign mode, I believe you have an unlimited 
supply of them by speaking to an NPC.  

Cons:  It has a fairly low DPT, and a slow CT.  This makes it somewhat poor
offensively, because the opponent can easily prepare against it.  The Mage 
attacks so slowly that it is difficult to take advantage of it's special 
ability.  The Mage's slow CT makes it somewhat vulnerable to Core units.  

Djinn - Atk 32, Pwr 6, Charge 3, DPT 10.67.  Djinn are an odd unit that lock
down other units by freezing them.  They are essentially "Druid-lite".
Attack Type:  Ranged  

Special:  Any unit hit by a Djinn is not damaged, but instead frozen for 4 
turns.  Djinn pass through other units harmlessly, although the Djinn's Atk is
depleted by units and formations it hits as normal.  Frozen units are immobile
and cannot be interacted with, except to delete them.  Poorly positioned 
frozen units can easily block a column's usefuless and prevent the opposing 
player from fully exploiting chains.  Formations that are frozen can be easily
destroyed.  If an attacking formation inflicts at least 25% damage to a frozen
formation, the frozen formation is shattered and destroyed.  Idle units that
are frozen are not immediately destroyed (for the purposes of high-tier
stock), but they are still vulnerable to destruction from other attacks.

Pros:  It's CT is above average for an Elite.  Djinn make excellent counters
to Champions and slower Elites.  They have better Atk and DPT than Mages, if
you can find undefended columns to attack from.  You can control and reduce 
your opponent's options by freezing multiple columns at the same time.   

Cons:  Djinn don't do any damage to opposing formations, except walls.  Rather
than depleting the health of a Champion or Elite so it can be destroyed, Djinn
harmlessly freeze units they hit, effectively wasting their damage.  If/when
the opposing unit eventually becomes unfrozen, it can still Attack at it's 
full strength.  Djinn don't destroy idle units, either.  If you have multiple
Djinn attacking through the same column, then each Djinn is fully penalized by
any opposing units in that column.  No matter how many base Atk Djinn you send
to attack a column with 33 Pwr in it, you will never inflict any damage.  The
Academy player must rely on other units to finish off frozen units and clear 
out columns for Djinn to attack through.  Fortunately, Gremlins are somewhat 
good at this, but I still dislike that Djinn inflict no damage to units, 
especially when you compare Djinn to Sorcerers and Druids.    

    Champion

Rakshasa - Atk 105, Pwr 21, Charge 5, DPT 21.  Rakshasa are average Champions
with an amazing mana drain ability.  With the Scimitar Artifact, they become
superb.
Attack Type:  Ranged

Special:  The Rakshasa deals equal damage to HP and MP when it hits an 
opposing hero.  Although the Rakshasa increases the opposing hero's mana by 
damaging it, it also inflicts the same damage to MP simultaneously.  The net
effect of this is that the opponent's mana gauge remains the same.  Although
this doesn't actually deplete mana, this is still spectacular, because 
Champion-level damage would typically charge an opponent's spell instantly.  
This makes Rakshasa invaluable against Factions with strong spells; 
particularly Sylvan, Academy, and Necropolis.  

Pros:  Rakshasa are a superb offensive unit.  Their special ability compares 
favorably with units like the Bone Dragon and Pit Fiend.  With the Scimitar,
Rakshasa are astoundingly good.  They have a max Atk comparable to the Phoenix
or Sword Master, and a CT comparable to the Wraith.  DPT is amazing, as well.
A CT of 4 is extremely fast for a Champion, and goes a long way to avoid the 
typical weaknesses of Champions.  Scimitar Rakshasa are more difficult than 
other Champions to prepare against or counter.  Rakshasa don't increase the 
opponent's mana gauge.  When you consider that Champions typically inflict 
heavy damage, charging the opponent's gauge instantly, this is a huge 
advantage, especially against the Sylvan Faction.  The mana drain may prevent
or delay you from receiving substantial spell damage.

Cons:  The usual Champion drawbacks apply.  These are somewhat mitigated if
you equip the Scimitar to decrease CT to 4, giving the opponent a smaller 
window of opportunity to counter the Rakshasa.  

Titan - Atk 110, Pwr 22, Charge 6, DPT 18.33.  Titans are somewhat 
underpowered Champions that compare poorly to Rakshasas, in my opinion. 
Attack Type:  Ranged 

Special:  When the Titan resolves it's attack, existing walls take damage 
equal to half their current Power.  If a wall has an odd number of HP, then 
the damage is rounded up.  5 Pwr walls take 3 damage, for example.  This 
damage occurs just before the Titan begins it's attack, so the Titan will have
the opportunity to attack through the walls it has already weakened.  

Pros:  Titans can be fairly effective against Factions that rely on their 
walls, like Haven.  Although the Titan itself is weaker, it makes up for it's
lower base Atk by damaging any walls the opponent has massed against it.  
It might be helpful against Aidan, too, whose spell power is directly 
determined by the HP of his walls.    

Cons:  Titans are slow, weak for a 6 CT Champion, and have a low DPT.  Against
Factions that don't have especially notable walls, they are unlikely to do as
much damage as a Phoenix or Scimitar Rakshasa would.  It ought to inflict 
higher damage, since it is going to be a prime target for Sorcerers and Druids.

Phoenix - Atk 125, Pwr 25, Charge 6, DPT 20.83.  Phoenix are strong but slow 
Champions with potent special abilities.  
Attack Type:  Ranged

Special:  Phoenix have two special abilities.  The first is a special attack
called "Supernova".  When the Phoenix resolves an attack, pillars of flame 
damage units in the two columns to the left and right of the Phoenix, in 
addition to the Phoenix's normal attack down it's two columns.  A diagram:

H - These columns are hit by flame damage.
P - The Phoenix
A - The Phoenix attacks these columns, but no additional flame damage is added.

  HHAAHH
  HHAAHH
    PP
    PP

The distance the flame travels is contingent on the distance the primary 
attack travels.  If the Phoenix' HP is depleted early in the attack, the 
flame damage will not reach into the back rows.  The flame damage from 
supernova inflicts 10 damage per tile to units in the affected columns.  
Larger units, like Champions, take up to 40 damage, Elites take up to 20 
damage, and Core units take up to 30 Damage.  Idle units are destroyed.  When
a Phoenix resolves it's attack, it usually clears out the better part of the 
battlefield.  The additional flame damage from supernova does not inflict 
damage to the opposing hero (although the Phoenix' normal attack can).  

The second special ability is resurrection.  If your hero is reduced to 0 HP
while you have a charging Phoenix on your battlefield, you aren't defeated 
immediately.  Instead, the Phoenix revives the hero at the start of your next
turn with 10% of your max HP.  This effect occurs no matter how much damage 
you take or how many attacks deplete your HP.  You are effectively immortal 
while the Phoenix is charging.  However, if the Phoenix is destroyed or 
rendered idle while your hero has 0 HP, you are immediately defeated.  

Pros:  Phoenix have respectable max Atk and DPT, even setting aside their 
supernova attack.  Supernova is a very destructive special that spreads a lot
of damage around and has a high chance to destroy idle high-tier units.  The 
Phoenix doesn't necessarily need to be in front of opposing Elites to destroy
them, and it can significantly weaken Champions just with it's flame damage 
alone.  The resurrection special is useful, but difficult to rely on when 
Phoenix appear among reinforcements infrequently.  

Cons:  It has the slowest CT of 6, so it's vulnerable to anti-Champion units.
Phoenix are the Academy's unlockable "rare" unit, and have only 3 stock.  
This means that Phoenix appear infrequently among reinforcements.  I recommend
using them in combination with a more common unit, like Rakshasa or Djinn.  
Unlike any other unit in the game, Phoenix cannot be purchased in Campaign 
mode; your initial 3 stock are all that you will receive.  Once your stock is 
depleted, you will be unable to use Phoenix for the rest of the Campaign.  Use
them wisely, or even better, don't allow them to be destroyed.  


= Academy Artifacts #0008d ====================================================

Several Academy Artifacts have strange effects that change the metagame 
somehow.  Some of these are extremely useful, and others are not so useful.  
The Scimitar stands out as the most obviously beneficial, but the Absorb 
Circlet, Djinn's Sash, Battle Wand, and Mana Shield can all be useful at times.

Thanks to the readers for pointing out that the Phoenix Feather, Lion's Mane,
and Doubling Cape are obtainable in Campaign mode.  These Artifacts aren't
immediately obvious because you must backtrack after you reach the final boss
in order to get them.      

Gauntlet - Awful.  This Artifact allows you to pick up and drop walls in the 
same way you could any other unit.  The flaw with this utility is that you 
must still obey the normal rules for picking up units; that is, you may only 
pick up a unit if there are no other units on top of it.  Walls, however, have
the highest priority to rise to the top of a column.  This means that your 
walls will almost always be buried underneath charging formations or idle 
units, unless you specifically dig out/leave a column empty so that you can 
pick up walls.  Even if you have walls available to pick up, this utility 
isn't that great.  The nature of the Academy wall special means that you must 
create many walls anyway in order to ensure that your walls do not "collapse" 
when some are destroyed, so having excess walls is not necessarily bad.  
Careful movement of few walls is counter-intuitive to this Faction.  It is 
possible to create chains by dropping a wall into a column and causing the 
other units to ascend, but when it is difficult to grab a wall under other 
units in the first place, why bother?  Possibly the worst Artifact in the game.

Absorb Circlet - Good.  Deleting walls generates mana.  The mana gained is 
equal to the HP of the wall deleted.  Deleting ten 10 HP (full strength) walls
will charge your mana gauge from 0% to 100%.  To fill your gauge more quickly,
try creating chains by deleting walls; deleting walls in a way that you create
more walls or formations is a good way to accumulate even more mana in one 
turn.  If you keep your wall HP high and chain well, it is entirely possible
to charge your spell every 2 to 3 turns.  The effort spent is well worth it,
because Cyrus' spell is superb, and Nadia's spell is good, if unpredictable.
If you can succeed at charging your spell before your Champion attacks, try
clearing the units in the Champion's column with your spell, so that it 
inflicts more damage.  This sets up a cascade where you immediately charge
your spell again.   

Compared to the Battle Wand, this item doesn't have the same immediate benefit,
and it requires a little more work to gain an extra spell.  However, during 
the course of a drawn out battle, I feel that the Absorb Circlet would 
ultimately generate more mana than the Battle Wand.     

Djinn's Sash - Good.  Increases the freeze duration by two turns, giving you a
greater window to keep Champions frozen, and generally increasing your ability
to lock down your opponent.  Useful in a Djinn-based strategy.  

Battle Wand - Excellent.  Works as described, you begin battle with your spell
charged.  The usefulness of this is obvious, as Academy's spells are very good.

Scimitar - Excellent.  Reduces the Rakshasa's CT to 4 and simultaneously 
increases Atk by 25% the moment the Rakshasa is formed.  This raises initial
Atk to 66, maximum base Atk to 131, and DPT to a whopping 32.75.  This makes
the Rakshasa better for both defending and attacking, with the speed of a 
Wraith and the strength of a Sword Master.  The CT of 4 is a major bonus.  It
reduces the window for opponents to counter the Rakshasa with Sorcerers or the
like, and also decreases the time the opponent has to prepare, mitigating two
major weaknesses of Champions.  This Artifact easily makes the Rakshasa the
best high-tier Academy unit, in my opinion.  Unfortunately, it is also the
last Artifact you receive in Campaign mode.    

Gold Slippers - Average.  Works as described.  Walls are destroyed just before
the Titan attacks.  This is a decent offensive bonus against Factions with
stronger walls, like Haven, but less important against Academy.  It might be 
an interesting counter to Aidan's Fiery Brimstone, by denying the opposing 
player the option to accumulate too many walls.  The Gold Slippers augment the
Titan unit only.  However, I feel that Titans are somewhat underpowered as a
unit and compare unfavorably to Rakshasas (especially with the Scimitar 
Artifact).  With that in mind, I think this Artifact loses some value.

Mana Shield - Good.  Another of the Academy items that alters the metagame 
somewhat.  Damage to your hero is reduced by any Mana in your gauge first, 
before your hero loses HP.  Damage is reduced at a rate of 1 damage per 2 mana.
If you have a full mana gauge at level 10, you could negate 50 damage before 
taking damage to your HP.  As a consequence of this, the way mana is 
accumulated is also changed.  Your hero no longer gains mana when damaged (as 
a result of instead using mana to reduce damage).  This is for obvious reasons;
if formations attacking the hero charged the mana gauge at the same time, then
they would instantly generate enough mana to negate their own damage; the hero
would be immortal.  This means you must rely on other methods to accumulate 
mana, such as inflicting damage to the opposing hero or creating chains.  As a
result, it's difficult to value the defensive contribution of this item when 
it depends greatly on how many chains the player is able to execute.  I would
expect it to mitigate a significant amount of damage in every battle, though.
I imagine it could easily extend the life of the hero by 50% or more.  An 
incidental penalty of the alternate mana accumulation is that you can no 
longer intentionally take damage to charge your spell faster; those favoring 
more aggressive play will dislike this.  Note that this item does not preclude
the player from casting the hero's spell; it is simply more difficult to 
accumulate the necessary mana when it is occasionally depleted by damage and 
one of the major sources of mana has been removed.  

Lion's Mane - Average.  If you choose to use Golems, this can improve their 
utility somewhat.  Gremlins are significantly better at attacking the opposing
hero when Fused.  Both of Academy's Elites are easy to Fuse and benefit nicely
from it.  Djinn, in particular, can use the boost to inflict more damage 
through defending units.  

Doubling Cape - Poor to Average.  Academy has lots of slow units, giving lots
of time to set up Links.  It also has few options for directly increasing Atk.
Gremlins benefit nicely from this, although it is almost overkill.  The 
Doubling Cape does nothing to improve your defense though, so I can't rate it
as highly as better Artifacts like the Scimitar.  

Phoenix Feather - Good.  Although it has some overlap with the Phoenix unit 
itself, this item is still beneficial to the Academy.  The increased 
longevity lets you take more damage for the purpose of casting spells more 
often.  The logic is that, if your hero is reduced to 0 HP, then it is 
probably because you took a lot of damage.  Therefore, your spell has probably
charged.  Becoming revived next turn gives you an opportunity to use that 
spell when you would not have otherwise.  Cyrus' spell is excellent, 
particularly if cast to clear an opposing Champion.  Nadia's spell is also 
good, if unpredictable.  


= Exploits #0009 ==============================================================

This section includes strategies which may be considered exploitive or unfair.

    Breaking Boss Encounters  *spoilers*

Some encounters have scripted events.  These scripted events cause the battle 
to progress in a pre-determined way, such as the appearance of successive 
waves of pre-charged formations.  After certain triggering events occur, the 
script advances to the next phase of the battle.  In some instances, it is 
possible to break these triggers in such a way that the AI will cease to fight
you.  An example of this is the final battle against Azh Rafir.  At the onset
of the battle, two pre-charged Raksashas attack you, followed by a pre-charged
Phoenix a turn later.  In this case, the trigger to advance the battle is the
removal of all three of these Champions from the battlefield; either by 
destroying them, or when they resolve their attacks.  However, the game 
doesn't account for the possibility of rendering the Champions idle with 
Aidan's Sorcerers, and thus unable to attack.  If you use a Sorcerer to return
one of Azh Rafir's Champions to an idle state and then leave it alive, the 
battle will not progress to the next phase!  So long as at least one enemy 
Champion remains alive, the next phase of the battle is not triggered.  
However, the player may still act and attack as normal through other columns.
The player is able to attack without resistance until Azh Rafir is defeated.
Needless to say, this trivializes this boss encounter.

It may be possible to break other battles in the same way, though I have not 
verified specific encounters.  I suspect the scripted encounter where Aidan 
must destroy the portal can be broken the same way.  Elves can likely achieve
a lesser effect by stunlocking bosses with Druids.

*end spoilers*

    Instagib Opposing Hero With Staff of Explosia 

It is actually possible to strike the opposing hero zone directly with Cyrus'
Staff of Explosia, in the same manner as you would with Anwen's Sniper Shot,
for example.

The Staff of Explosia has a strange quirk where it will continue moving if it
hits walls, rather than stopping in the first two rows as it usually does.  
Normally, the Staff would run out of HP before it reaches the opposing hero 
zone.  However, against the Necroplis faction, you can exploit their faction's
wall ability to strike the hero zone directly! 

First, use any formation to destroy a column of opposing idle units. You must
destroy at least 4. (Gremlins are superb for this.) The destroyed Necropolis 
units leave behind an equal number of 1 HP walls, which are "inactive" until 
the Necropolis' player's next turn.  If you immediately throw a Staff of 
Explosia down this column, (before the idle walls descend) it keeps moving. 
The walls are ignored because they are inactive, however, the Staff cannot 
land in their spaces, either. Instead the Staff is carried directly into the
opposing hero zone, where it explodes, doing ridiculous damage. The Staff's
explosion hits multiple squares, the majority of which are included in the
hero's hit detection zone, and so the opposing hero is hit many times at once.
Hitting the opposing hero zone directly with the Staff pretty much instagibs
the hero; I've confirmed in testing that it will defeat a Hero with 150 HP at
full health.  That's a one-shot kill.  How do you like those apples, Anwen ;)?

    Infinite Damage With Haven (Unconfirmed)

I've heard claims that you can gain infinite actions with Haven.  You
accomplish this by creating walls from chains, deleting them for free with the
Dwarven Hammer, reinforcing, and then repeating the cycle.  Ordinarily, you
would eventually end your turn when you had locked up all your reinforcements
in CF's.  However, if you only create one formation and repeatedly Fuse that
formation into a "super stack", you could theoretically keep the combo going 
for some time.  I haven't been able to create an infinite with this combo
myself, though.   

    Inflict Damage Through Holy Shield

Not really an exploit, but this seems like the most appropriate section for it.
While it is possible to break Holy Shield with massive damage, there is 
another way to inflict damage through it.  If you hit the Holy Shield directly
with the Succubus' attack, the initial damage is absorbed as normal, but the 
splash damage is not.  You can actually inflict approximately equal damage as 
you would normally, because the splash damage hits up to three squares of the 
hero zone.  Scary.  


= Fun Stuff/Easter Eggs #0010 =================================================

This section includes interesting or obscure scenarios which may amuse you =).


    See Results of Cyrus' Battle *spoilers*

After Azh Rafir is defeated in the final battle sequence, you actually don't 
have to fight Lord Bloodcrown immediately.  You regain control of Nadia, and 
you are free to exit the room and backtrack through the level if you so desire.
If you walk back outside, you can see the results of Cyrus' battle to hold off
the Academy forces pursuing you.  You are also free to engage in random 
battles and gain a few levels before the final boss, if you so desire.  Isn't 
it nice that the final boss is patient enough to wait until you're ready?

*end spoilers*

    Typos

Varkas' spell is called Edric's Sword if you cast it in battle, when the 
proper name for it is Elrath's Sword, as written when you select him in Quick
Battle mode.  

The Inferno faction has a flaming horse unit that is called a "Nightmare" in 
the unit selection screen, and a "Hell Charger" by the Thorn Whip Artifact.  

An Academy Artifact is called "Mana Sheild" when the proper spelling is 
"Mana Shield".  

    Defeating Heroes In Unexpected Ways

As mentioned in the exploit section, it is possible to defeat an opposing hero
with Staff of Explosia.  Another unlikely power is Jezebeth's Wall Crusher.  
You can actually damage an opposing hero with it if they have walls adjacent 
to their hero zone.  It's extremely unlikely that the AI would create that 
many walls, and Wall Crusher does miniscule damage, but it is theoretically 
possible.  

    Damaging/Destroying Ghosts

Ghosts are normally invulnerable while charging.  They allow attacks to pass 
through them, negating the damage without receiving damage themselves.  
However, it is possible to damage a Ghost by attacking it with a Zombie or 
Emerald Dragon.  The Zombie itself will do no damage to the Ghost, but the 
ongoing damage from the Zombie's Plagued Bite will inflict damage to the 
Ghost.  Similarly, Dragons do not hurt Ghosts directly either, but they can 
damage Ghosts with the acidic slime their attack leaves behind.  I don't 
think it is possible to inflict enough damage from either source to completely
destroy a Ghost, though.  

Only three units can destroy Ghosts.  Ghosts can damage and destroy other 
Ghosts, presumably by virtue of being ethereal themselves.  Wraiths can 
destroy Ghosts they hit because of their Death Touch special ability.  Djinn 
can also destroy Ghosts in combination with other units.  First freeze a Ghost
with the Djinn's attack, then shatter it with another unit.  

    Inflicting Zero Damage

Several scenarios can cause 0 damage to be inflicted.  Some spells and effects
inflict a percentage of base damage, and if the base is low enough, the damage
is rounded to zero.  Low HP Inferno walls are a good example.  Amusingly,
Wraiths cause 0 damage if they hit a hero that has already been defeated by
another attack.

    Getting a Tie/Draw

I've heard that it is possible to get a draw in a Clash of Heroes battle.  
I've never observed this in my own games, because setting up this scenario is 
extremely unlikely, but this is how I understand it happens.  If your hero is 
defeated during your own turn, your units still resolve their attacks before 
the battle ends, so it is possible to defeat the opposing hero at the same 
time.  Two examples of how this can happen are dying from a Staff of Explosia 
or dying from ongoing damage (such as the Sword Master's Mortal Wound effect).
If you get a draw in Campaign mode, I believe you are defeated anyway and must
reload your game.  

    Running Out of Space

It is possible to create a wall in such a way that it has no space to exist, 
and so it immediately disappears.  The most common way this happens is if you
create a wall and a Core unit attack formation with the same move in a full 
column.  Both the wall and the attack are formed, however, the wall has no 
space to drop down to, and the attacking formation takes priority.  In this 
case, the wall is deleted automatically.     


= Closing Comments #0011 ======================================================

Thank you for reading this guide.  Please help me make this guide better by 
pointing out any inaccuracies in this guide, any additional points you'd like 
me to test, and  any idea you disagree with or feel I've overlooked.  Please 
point out spelling, formatting, and grammatical errors, as well.  Feel free to
suggest any additional sections that you would like to see in this guide.  I 
prefer not to give out my email, but you can contact me in either the Capy 
forums or the Gamefaqs forums.  My username is Blackbird on the Capy forum and
Outshinedsg on Gfaqs (Blackbird was taken already).  Please do not re-post the
contents of this guide to any other websites without first requesting my 
permission.     

Thanks to Wave1000 for suggesting content for this guide and for input on 
multiplayer strategies.  
Thanks to Sector24 and Hynreck for suggesting revisions.  

No thanks to my computer monitor, for being a scrapheap and delaying this 
guide.  

Clash of Heroes was developed by Capybara Games and produced by Ubisoft.  All 
content of Clash of Heroes, from which the information presented in this guide
is derived, is copyrighted by them.  Thanks for making a great game, Capy!