+++++++++++++++++++++++++++ WarCraft III Night Elves Multiplayer FAQ by Zorlond Jaeger email@example.com v1.4, 8/05/02 +++++++++++++++++++++++++++ Table of Contents: Note Version History Observations Heroes Units Buildings Racial Counters Build Patterns Dirty Tricks Failed Experiments End Credits ==== Note ==== Well, my second FAQ ever. Yippee me. Now, I am not ranked on Bnet Ladder (Azeroth domain) in any way, but I do specialize in one race only. Night Elves. So, I think that does qualify me, if only somewhat, to write a FAQ on using them in Multiplayer. If you'd like to advise or question, my email is firstname.lastname@example.org, advice is always welcome. Please, no 1337 or flaming. And ask for permission before using my FAQ elsewhere. You can always find the most recent version on GameFAQs. My profile (for those who care) as of 5:15 PM on 8/5/02: Race choices: Humans 0 games Orcs 0 games Undead 0 wins, 2 losses, 0% Night Elves 64 wins, 53 losses, 54.7% Random 2 wins, 3 losses, 40% Solo: 1 win, 0 losses, lvl 2 Random Teams: 62 wins, 49 losses, lvl 10 Total Games: 66 wins, 58 losses, 53.2% Throughout this FAQ, I will be putting letters in parentheses to indicate important hot keys. Memorize them, use them. Much faster than using the mouse, trust me. I won't indicate them for most autocast spells, not much sense in those cases. =============== Version History =============== 1.4 - Modification to the Note, another alteration to my build pattern plus the addition of two contributed build patterns, a new Dirty Trick, and modifications to the Wisp, Huntress, and Hippogryph unit descriptions. 1.2 - Revisions to the DH and KoG, some more hotkeys found and included, and a submission added. Big update in the Units section, Damage and Armor values for all tech levels included. A small but significant alteration in the build pattern section. Little tweaks scattered about, plus a lot of spelling and grammar fixed. (man, MS Word was brutal...) 1.0 - First release. I'm running entirely on my own observations here. Probably quite sloppy. ============ Observations ============ I have this tendency to notice patterns fairly easily. One major one I've seen with NEs is the Huntress Rush. I have yet to master this, I'm of the mindset that a few Hunts protecting several Archers will do far better in the long run, but I have fallen to Hunt Rush before, so I may be wrong. The Night Elves (from here on referred to as NEs) are a race of ranged fighters, with few melee units. So fight at range. If you have a partner, have them handle the melee and back them up. NEs also regenerate Hps only at night, outside of spells and other healing. Another observation: A basic ignorance/apathy towards the importance of the damage vs. armor modifiers. This is entirely across the board, gentlemen. I've seen so many tactical blunders due to this that I'm ready to scream. This is how it works: Piercing damage does extra against Heavy armor, but less against Light and Fortified. Normal damage does extra against Light armor, but less against Fortified. Siege damage does extra against Fortified, but less against all others save Medium. Chaos damage does extra against pretty much everything (fortunately, rare). Light armor takes less from Pierce and Siege, but more from Normal. Medium armor takes equal damage from everything. Heavy armor takes less from Siege, but more from Pierce. Fortified armor takes less from Normal and Pierce, but more from Siege. Hero armor takes less from Pierce. You got all that? Good. Memorize it. Know what your units have, what your opponents have, and plan accordingly. I'm sick of seeing Abominations charge at me again and again, and getting butchered by my little Archers every single time. ====== Heroes ====== A few notes about Heroes in general. They're the only units who have extra stats (STR, INT, AGI). I'll list their stats as 'STR 19+2.4', which means it starts at 19, and grows 2.4 points per level, barring bonuses from items. Keep in mind how stats behave, and adjust accordingly. Primary stat adds directly to damage. STR adds 25 Hps per point and boosts hp regeneration. AGI boosts attack speed, and every 3 points of AGI adds one Armor point. INT adds 25 Mps per point and boosts mp regeneration. ------------ Demon Hunter ------------ 500 Gold, 100 Wood, 5 Food (NE Form) Normal Damage (2-24 + AGI) Hero Armor (0 + AGI/3) STR 19+2.4 AGI 22+1.5 INT 16+2.1 100 Hps + 25*STR 0 Mps + 25*INT (Demon Form) Chaos Damage (2-24 + AGI) Hero Armor (0 + AGI/3) STR 26+2.4 AGI 20+1.5 INT 16+2.1 100 Hps + 25*STR 0 Mps + 25*INT The Warrior Hero of the NEs. At low levels, he is very easily slain, which can make gaining experience a difficult task. But once he has gained some levels, he can become an unstoppable force, especially once he gains Metamorphosis. Due to various discussions on Bnet, and reading a few other FAQ's, I decided to at least give this old boy another look. And my opinion of him has improved drastically. Yes, he is easy to kill, in skirmishes with enemy units (He always seems to be the first guy to keel over in the fight), but against creeps he is deadly even at lower levels. Just don't try to bite off more than he can chew, leave that Granite Golem for later, after he's got two or three more levels and some Huntress support. And if you happen to see a creep drop a Periapt of Health, count yourself very lucky and give it to your DH. Mana (B)urn: Drains up to 100/200/300 Mps from the target, doing equal damage to Hps in the process. A tricky spell to master, but can mean the battle if used on enemy heroes early into the fighting. Unfortunately, I don't use this myself, this power being sacrificed in favor of the other powers. If you're going to use it, get second or third level in this, first is mostly useless. Immo(l)ation: Ignites the DH, dealing damage (10/15/20) to all adjacent enemies every second. This is mandatory for the DH, and will shorten all the melee fights he is going to get into, very important for his survival. Get this up to third level pronto. Evasion: Passive, allows the DH to completely ignore 10/20/30% of the attacks coming at him. Very important, two levels will do you well. Three will do you better. (M)etamorphosis: The DH transforms into a demon able to do chaos damage at range and with splash, which makes up for his slight drop in AGI, and making him great for base assaults (Chaos does full damage to Fortified). Hps go way up due to a boost in STR, plus his health regenerates (again, at night only) at twice normal speed, making him a force to be reckoned with. Once you reach lvl6, grab this and go nuts on your opponent. Be careful of your timing, though, you only get about a minute of being a demon, and the cooldown can leave you a bit vulnerable. ------------------- Keeper of the Grove ------------------- 500 Gold, 100 Wood, 5 Food Normal Damage (2-8 + INT) Hero Armor (0 + AGI/3) STR 16+1.8 AGI 15+1.5 INT 18+2.7 100 Hps + 25*STR 0 Mps + 25*INT The Mage Hero of the NEs. With my new view of the DH, this has become my least-used hero, while he does have useful abilities, IMO, they do not add up to a significant difference. Using him is difficult and requires more personal attention than I like to give to a single unit, even if they are a hero. (E)ntangling Roots: The NEs are a race of ranged fighters, with few melee units available to them. Which makes this power all the more useful. The target is immobilized for a short time, taking damage every second. This is crippling to a melee unit, as they are unable to move, though they can swing at anything within their reach. Use this to delay enemy heroes, but keep in mind that spells are still allowed when constrained by this... (F)orce of Nature: A very popular choice. Aim at a patch of forest, and 2/3/4 Treants will be created, available as surprise troops, free scouts, emergency re-enforcement, what have you. They may be few, but as any strategist knows, a few in the right place at the right time can mean a lot. This power can also be used as a quick means of drilling through forest barriers, useful on some maps. Thorns Aura: All friendly units within the aura will deal damage to anyone striking them with melee attacks. Not really a whole lot of damage, here, but it will improve the survival of your Huntresses and Druids of the Claw drastically. (T)ranquility: Healing on steroids. All ally units in a large range will be healed 20hps a second for 30 seconds. This is a major deal, especially in team games, as even the mighty Orcs can respect the sheer amount of health coming their way. Even those normally immune to magic are affected by this. The only weakness is the KoG must remain immobile while the spell is active. Attacking or moving will cancel it. But if you can keep the fighting within the KoG's area without overexposing him to attack, your force is pretty damn close to immortal for those 30 seconds. --------------------- Priestess of the Moon --------------------- 500 Gold, 100 Wood, 5 Food Normal Damage (2-12 + AGI) Hero Armor (0 + AGI/3) STR 18+1.9 INT 15+2.6 AGI 19+1.5 100 Hps + 25*STR 0 Mps + 25*INT The Priest Hero of the NEs. My very favorite hero. Her powers can mean life or death for the whole game. Do not squander her talents, and she will never disappoint you. Like other NE units, she is able to Shadow Meld, invisibility at night. (S)cout: In WarCraft III, scouting your opponent is beyond important. It should be done early. It should be done often. You should not even think about doing it. Just Do It. This power creates a magical owl that you can send anywhere you like on the map. It sees invisible units and is indestructible. It cannot be canceled by outside forces. More levels of this make the spell cheaper, but more importantly, the owl summoned is faster, lasts longer, and sees further. Get this at lvl 1 or 2, and again at lvl 4. Searing Arrows: Autocast capable. The PoM's arrows will do extra fire damage (10/20/30) with each attack, for a low mana cost. Personally, I sacrifice this power in favor of others, as the damage is so low as to be negligible. Get this power last, and watch your Mps when set to autocast. Trueshot Aura: This is the second biggest reason I enjoy the PoM so much. All friendly ranged units in the area do an extra percentage (10/20/30%) of damage. NEs specialize in ranged fighting. The math should be clear. I max this first and foremost. The only downside is that going invisible at night causes this aura to go non-functional... Star(f)all: This is the #1 reason I enjoy the PoM so much. For 25 seconds, the very large area around her becomes a meteor storm, exclusively targeting enemy units, slamming each one every couple seconds. There is no limit to how many units can be targeted by this spell, and they will all be damaged equally. Thus, this spell grows exponentially in power with the size of the enemy force within range, turning the area around the PoM into a no-go-zone. The one weakness, she cannot move or attack while the spell is in motion. Doing so will cancel it. ===== Units ===== A little note, you'll see that the damage and armor listings are arranged as: (19-23/20-26/21-30/22-34) This is to indicate the effect of weapon and armor upgrades, and indicate raw values, not added values. I tried it the other way (19-23/+1-3/+1-4/+1-4), but it left things rather unclear, even to me, so I cut it out and did it right. Also, the Claws and Talons, while in NE form, are affected by their level of training, not by the other upgrades. Their alt forms are affected by the Beast upgrades, however. ------ (W)isp ------ 70 Gold, 1 Food Medium Armor (0) 120 Hps Standard worker. Builds stuff, fixes stuff, gets resources, you know the drill. They collect gold and wood without needing to go back and forth, which makes them very efficient harvesters. Unfortunately, their collection of wood is the slowest of all the races, only 5 wood per 'trip', making NEs even slower than Orcs in getting wood, though without the possibility of ever running out of trees to harvest. Wisps are helpless on their own, incapable of doing harm to most units. Note, most, not all. All Wisps are capable of (D)etonate, which cancels all magic effects indiscriminately in a medium-sized area, doing 200 damage to all summoned units affected, and drains mana besides. Can be important for the lower-level summons (this butchers skeletons) and important spellcasters. In v1.2 of this FAQ, I slightly decried Mac's (email@example.com) Wisp Sentinel tactic as being not worth the investment. I sincerely apologize, Mac, I have tested this, and it is now a standard part of my build order. The very first three games I tested this on were each an interesting experience, but have earned the tactic the name Early Warning Wisp Detection Net. The Wisps that perform construction tasks were always a bit of a 'Now which tree should I stick this on?' situation. This answers the question quite well. It is risky for the Wisps in question, the odds of survival are a bit low, but the sacrifice is more than made up for by the knowledge that a rush is coming, or is not. The very first time I tested this, my team was warned by the impending arrival of an attack force about 10 seconds before it struck. Three of the five Wisps I used were killed, but the warning they bought more than made up for their sacrifice. The second trial was different. Three Wisps were lost to creeps, which effectively shows how knowing a map well can improve this tactic. Still the remaining Wisps arrived at their destinations... And never reported anything passing them. It was not because of bad placement, it was because the enemy never left their bases. This knowledge was also good, though not as important as the first trial's. Knowing someone is turtling (perhaps teching to air units too) can be quite nice. The third trial was nearly a disaster, and not because of the Net itself. Stromguarde is a very easy map to get lost in, and I wasted far too much time and effort trying to set up the net just right, causing my building and unit production to falter, and ultimately putting my team in jeopardy. And the Net went wasted as a Tauren Chieftain from the other side hunted down all the Wisps alone before they could see anything. We did move on to with the game, but my actions proved that over-attention to this Net does not give added benefit. Bottom Line: The magic number seems to be two or three Wisps, no more. Place them in key locations, somewhere the enemy would normally walk past when heading to your base. Keep the Wisps away from creep spots, not only does this keep the Wisps alive, the enemy will also most likely be steering clear of creep locations on their way to you, even at night. When you get the Sentinel ability and the opportunity, bring the surviving Wisps back to safety and replace them with Sentinels, this time making the net more thorough, as creeps are cleared out. -------- (A)rcher -------- 150 Gold, 10 Wood, 2 Food Piercing Damage (19-23/20-26/21-30/22-34) Light Armor (0/2/4/6) 260 Hps The basic military unit of the NEs, and one of the best ranged fighters I've seen in any game in a long time. Extremely upgrade-able, getting the standard weapon/armor upgrades, plus a range and +3 damage upgrade, and can be turned into a Hippogryph Rider. These should always be a part of your attacking force, no matter what. Has Shadow Meld. ---------- (H)untress ---------- 225 Gold, 20 Wood, 3 Food Normal Damage (16-18/17-21/18-24/19-27) Medium Armor (1/3/5/7) 550 Hps A short-range fighter, the Huntress is the best protection your Archers could hope for. Her flying-spinning-killing-thing starts off being able to bounce from one target to another (doing reduced damage to the second), and can be upgraded to bounce to a third target (or bounce from one to a second and back to the first). This adds up considerably, especially for the larger Huntress groups. While reasonably tough, and able to benefit from the PoM's Trueshot Aura (short-range, not melee), they shouldn't be counted on to stand toe-to-toe with other races' melee fighters without backup. In effect, they are 'meat shields', there to keep the enemy away from your Archers. Hunts do have another nice ability, the Sentinel. Each Hunt can send an owl to live in a specified tree, there to watch and report anything in it's sight range. It can see invisible units and over trees, and lasts the entire game. The only down side is that each Hunt can only do it once, but I tend to go through so many Hunts in the course of a game that it's not much of a consideration. Scattering these Sentinels about the map serves as an Early Warning System, a powerful tool when combined with the Early Warning Wisp Detection Net described above. But watch out for players destroying the affected tree, that cancels the Sentinel. Has Shadow Meld. ------- (D)ryad ------- 170 Gold, 60 Wood, 3 Food Piercing Damage (15-17/16-20/17-23/18-26) Light Armor (0/2/4/6) 380 Hps 200 Mps Sometime, you should take the time to listen to all the Dryad's 'annoyance' messages, the last one's a hoot. :D Seriously, though, these are a significant part of your arsenal. Dryads are naturally immune to magic, which can be a problem (limited healing options, no benefits from buff spells) but is more benefit than detriment (any Archmage who casts Blizzard on a group of Dryads is a Bloody Idiot). Their spears are coated with a Slow Poison, which not only does the expected 8 points of damage per second, but also drastically reduces the target's movement and attack speeds. With an upgrade, they are capable (Autocast capable) of A(b)olishing Magic, dealing major damage to summons as well. This is Very important for some of the NEs countering strategies, so always have these ladies in mind. Unfortunately, the Dryads do not autocast A(b)olish Magic on summoned creatures, you'll have to do it yourself. Still, a very nice way to deal with that bloody Infernal they paid good money/mana for. ------------------- Druid of the (C)law ------------------- 300 Gold, 80 Wood, 4 Food (NE Form) Normal Damage (19-22/20-26/21-30) Medium Armor (1) 430/505/580 Hps 200/300/400 Mps (Bear Form) Normal Damage (29-44/30-50/31-56/32-62) Heavy Armor (3/5/7/9) 960 Hps 400 Mps At last, a melee unit. These guys are exceedingly adaptable units. Their primary task is heavy assault, but they are also capable of casting useful spells. They start with (R)oar, which boosts damage to every friendly in a medium area, very useful for mass assaults. With one level of upgrade, they gain Rejuv(e)nation, which enchants one target to regenerate 20 Hps per second, usually fully healing them within 10 seconds or so. With the second upgrade, they gain Bear (F)orm. This is the Tank Mode. When you go into battle with these guys, first (R)oar, and then change (F)orm. Then dish out the hurt in massive amounts. Be aware, Claws cannot cast spells as a Bear, and they're kinda slow to move. Use it only in battle. Also note, using (R)oar on your Orc partner's battle groups will very quickly earn his respect. -------------------- Druid of the (T)alon -------------------- 160 Gold, 20 Wood, 2 Food (NE Form) Piercing Damage (10-12/11-15/12-18) Light Armor (0) 225/300/375 Hps 200/300/400 Mps (Crow Form) Piercing Damage (23-31/24-36/25-41/26-46/+1-5) Light Armor (0/2/4/6) 375/450 Hps 300/400 Mps Tricky, tricky, Blizzard. Because the Claws aren't able to take Bear Form until their final training, the form doesn't behave outside the stats I listed. The Talons, however, are another story. Because of their training, the Crow form gets an additional +1-5 Piercing outside of the Beast upgrades. Unfortunately, there's no telling how the two upgrade paths will mesh, so that last addition could go anywhere. These guys are a bit difficult for me. Potentially, they are dangerous. They start with Faerie Fire (autocast capable), which sharply lowers the target's armor and makes them incapable of going invisible. I usually turn this autocast off, as their mana is better spent elsewhere. Their first upgrade gives them Crow (F)orm. This is good if you're not using the PoM, Talons make for very durable scouts and good anti-air besides (though they can't cast spells as a Crow). But it is the second upgrade that makes them powerful. The ability to cast (C)yclone. This renders a target unable to move, attack, cast spells, or be attacked in turn. It effectively removes them from play for half a minute, enemy heroes should be your primary target for this spell. There's nothing like hitting a Tauren Chieftain with this, killing his escort, then turning your entire forces' attention to him alone (or leaving while he's up in the air, dying of embarrassment). ------------ (H)ippogryph ------------ 190 Gold, 20 Wood, 2 Food Normal Damage (38-46/39-55/40-64/41-73) Medium Armor (0/2/4/6) 500 Hps Rizka Armadhana <firstname.lastname@example.org> came up with a very convincing argument for using the Hippogryph in certain situations. With the full assortment of upgrades, a Hipp plus an Archer will, together but not riding, do 41-73+25-37 damage to any air units you send them at. 12 Archers working closely with 12 Hipps will inflict even more damage. You can consider this to be lethal to any and all air battle groups, including the dangerous Mass Frost Wyrms and Mass Chimeras. And once air superiority has been acquired, since the two groups will very likely be working closely together, it is a simple matter to combine them as Riders for the final push. Pure efficiency Rizka, I love it. :) ------------------ Hippogryph (R)ider ------------------ One Archer + One Hippogryph Piercing Damage (19-22/20-26/21-30/22-34) Heavy Armor (0/2/4/6) 780 Hps Basically an Archer in the Air, but don't discount them just because of that. Riders benefit from all the upgrades Archers do, have heavy armor, and can only be targeted by anti-air attacks/spells. And at the rate they fire arrows, a squad of these can take out Frost Wyrms very easily. They're not suitable for base assault alone, but aiding Chimeras, they are lethal. The only problem is that going for Riders is a bit time consuming, possibly dangerous if the enemy strikes at a bad moment. --------- (C)himera --------- 390 Gold, 70 Wood, 5 Food vs. Units, Piercing Damage (67-83/68-100/69-117/70-134) vs. Buildings, Siege Damage (45-55/46-66/47-77/48-88) Heavy Armor (2/4/6/8) 900 Hps These guys are pure Base Assault. If you've got a half-dozen of these, with support, the game's pretty much yours. The siege damage attack requires an upgrade, but getting that should be a given, really. You won't see these guys except in late-game, when you've got the spare resources for them. ---------- (B)allista ---------- 245 Gold, 85 Wood, 4 Food Siege Damage (56-69/57-83/58-97/59-111) Medium Armor (2) 380 Hps All races have a siege engine, and this is the NE's. I only break these out when the enemy's entrenched themselves in behind a wall of towers, and even then, only a few at a time. They're only useful against buildings, really, but they do have one benefit the other siege engines don't. With an upgrade, they do major splash damage in a line behind the target. Which means that tight cluster of towers is a perfect target for Ballistas. No other siege engine can smash three towers in one shot. ========= Buildings ========= NE Ancients have the unique ability to be both building and unit, switching between the two as needs be. Up(r)ooted, they are capable of defending themselves and (E)ating trees to heal, but cannot build units or research. (R)ooted, they can research and train, but only the Protector can fight. In either state, they regenerate Hps naturally, though only at night, like other NE units. -------------- (T)ree of Life -------------- 400 Gold, 150 Wood, produces 10 Food Normal Damage (41-50) Fortified Armor (2/7) 1300 Hps This is your first-grade headquarters, your source of (W)isps, and entangler of gold mines. That's a free ability, requiring only time to set up, close proximity, and that the ToL remain rooted at all times. If it up(r)oots, the mine is freed. (U)pgrade this to the Tree of Ages. Allows the Hunter's Hall. ---------------- Tree of Ages (U) ---------------- 320 Gold, 80 Wood, produces 10 Food Normal Damage (49-60) Fortified Armor (2/7) 1700 Hps Your second-grade HQ. At this point, you are able to research a combo speed/armor upgrade for all Ancients, important if you think they'll ever move far from their starting base. Fortunately, once you have a ToA, you can research this upgrade at an available ToL, so the ToA isn't tied up from (u)pgrading to the Tree of Eternity. Allows second-level upgrades, Ballistas (with the Hunter's Hall), Ancient of Lore, and Ancient of Wind. -------------------- Tree of Eternity (U) -------------------- 350 Gold, 120 Wood, produces 10 Food Normal Damage (60-74) Fortified Armor (2/7) 2000 Hps Your final-grade HQ. New allowances here, though the ToE doesn't have anything new itself. Third-level upgrades and the Chimera Roost, specifically. ---------------- Ancient of Wa(r) ---------------- 230 Gold, 70 Wood Normal Damage (45-55) Fortified Armor (2/7) 1000 Hps Your source of (A)rchers, (H)untresses, and (B)allistas. Also responsible for various upgrades. Archer range and +3 damage (separate upgrades), Hunts Sentinel and glaive, and the Ballista splash damage. Having two of these should be SOP most of the time. ----------------- Ancient of (L)ore ----------------- 240 Gold, 80 Wood Normal Damage (41-50) Fortified Armor (2/7) 900 Hps Another important structure. This gives you your (D)ryads and Druids of the (C)law. Also trains Dryads in Abolishing magic, and two levels of Claw training. The Claws also need a ToA or ToE, Claws cannot be made if you loose your main HQ after making a Lore Ancient. ----------------- Ancient of (W)ind ----------------- 220 Gold, 80 Wood Normal Damage (38-46) Fortified Armor (2/7) 900 Hps Somewhat less important, but still major. This is where (H)ippogryphs and Druids of the (T)alon are trained. Researching the Riders also happens here, as well as two levels of Druid training. Allows the Chimera Roost. ------------------- Ancient (P)rotector ------------------- 240 Gold, 100 Wood Normal Damage (34-41) Siege Damage (52-64) Fortified Armor (2/4) 550 Hps The Defense Tower of the NEs. It does Normal damage when up(r)ooted, and Siege damage (ranged and splash) when (r)ooted. This makes it one of the least-ideal defense towers in the game. In certain situations, it's good, but outside those, not so good. Which is pretty much standard for defense towers in general. Hence, I don't make many of these. I prefer to use units to defend my base when necessary. ----------- (M)oon Well ----------- 175 Gold, 40 Wood, produces 10 Food Fortified Armor (2) 600 Hps 300 Mps The Farm of the NEs. Regenerates Mps during the night, which can heal and recharge mana (with autocast) to friendly troops. A big note to all Team Players! While the autocast only works for the player who made the Moonwell, any ally can stop by a Moonwell and heal themselves! Just pick your wounded unit and right-click on the Moonwell. Poof, all better! NE players, try to stick some of these where you and your allies can get to them easily. You'll both benefit from their use. ----------------- (A)ltar of Elders ----------------- 300 Gold, 100 Wood Fortified Armor (2) 900 Hps Your source of Heroes. Nothing too special about it otherwise, except that you need one to upgrade to a ToE, and you should have one WELL in advance for the heroes alone. --------------- (H)unter's Hall --------------- 245 Gold, 100 Wood Fortified Armor (2) 1100 Hps This is the Upgrade House, and allows Hunts and Ballistas (with ToA). Three levels of weapon/armor upgrades, in two groups. The NE upgrades affect the Archer, Huntress, Rider, and Ballista. The Beast upgrades affect the Dryad, Hippogryph (sans Rider), Chimera, and the alt forms for the Claws and Talons. You can also get the Ultravision upgrade here, which allows all NE units and buildings to see the same range at night as they do in the day. Nice, but not too needed. ---------------- (C)himera Roost ---------------- 280 Gold, 100 Wood Fortified Armor (2) 1200 Hps The source of one thing. Chimeras. If you're making these, then you've got a big, tough base to crack. And the Chimeras won't let you down. Get the corrosive acid research done quickly, and buildings will just disappear. =============== Racial Counters =============== This is where I'll be going over the basic counter-strategies the NEs have available for facing the four races. I'll mention patterns I've seen with the players of said races and how best to counteract them. ------- vs. Orcs ------- Heh. If it's one thing I've said often, it's that the NEs Own Orcs. Here's the basic run-down of the situation: Orcs operate by a "Ugh, Me Hit Hard" mind-set, while NEs work with a "I'll hit fast and often, and from safety" mind-set. Don't let them corner you, and don't be afraid to hit-n-fade often. The Orcs' one structure upgrade, the spiked barricade, only does damage to melee fighters hitting them, a rare occurrence with NEs. Do not use Riders against Orcs unless you expect no Raider presence (possible, but verify with scouts first), but do use Archers to counter any Tauren that appear (remember, pierce vs. heavy!). Their Shamans are rendered impotent by your Dryads, and even their Grunts respect the ricochets of your Hunts. So, basic strategy is, scout early and see what they're planning. Then follow some rules of thumb: Lots of Spirit Lodges? He's going heavy Shamans. Counter with heavy Dryads, with Hunts support. Lots of Barracks? Most likely going heavy Grunts. One-two Dryads mixed into an Archer/Hunts group, eventually replacing Hunts with Claws. Also works on heavy Trolls. Lots of Watch Towers/Burrows? He's turtling. Bring out the Ballistae, backed with whatever you feel like. Lots of Animal Dens? Yeesh, heavy Raiders. That's a Bad Idea on his part. Archers/Hunts, but no Riders or Talons in Crow form. Also watch for Kodo Beasts devouring your units, but they're Heavy armor. Kill the Beast before the unit dies, and they come out wounded (and presumably covered in ick), but still able to fight. Also keep in mind that the Orc Heroes are very dangerous. Either isolate them with Cyclone or Entangling Roots, or target them first at every battle. The Far Seer is arguably the least dangerous, and the one I see most often. --------- vs. Undead --------- Not easy, but workable. You've got to remember one thing. No Air. His Fiends will screw you straight. The mind-set of the Undead is "Overwhelm with Superior Numbers". Fortunately, his units are, one-to-one, on par with your own. So what this means is you've got to be more efficient than he is when it's time to throw down, because he can field twice as many units as you can. Pick your fights, draw him into a bad situation, and trick his troops into lining up to be executed. Also, use the Scout and Sentinel abilities, don't let him use his Shades to scout you. Again, scouting is key. Here are some rules of thumb for ya: Lots of Crypts? Two possibilities. Heavy Fiends (good for you), or heavy Ghouls (not so good). The Fiends do little damage on their own, and are not that tough, so a standard Hunts/Archer approach works well. The Ghouls are worse, though. They're fast, they build quick, and they can get a lot of them. Pure Rush material. Seriously think about investing in a DH as either first or second hero if you even SUSPECT he might Ghoul Rush. Immolate will tear them apart. Lots of Temples? Ooh, heavy Necros. A mixed batch of Dryads and Hunts will ruin his day. What skeletons the Dryads don't abolish won't stand up to the Hunts' ricochets. Lots of Slaughterhouses? Another pair of possibilities. Heavy Abominations (which die in front of your Archers) or heavy Meat Wagons. The latter is rare, but I've seen it. It's trouble for your base and units if that's his plan. Splash damage and plague. The answer is simple. Get in close and use their minimum range against them. Hunts or Claws will work, but anyone inside their minimum will do a lot of damage. And watch out for a particular Dirty Trick here. Fully loaded Meat Wagons drop all their corpses when destroyed. Necros coming in behind them. Do the Multiplication. Lots of Boneyards? Oh God... Heavy Frost Wyrms. This is trouble. Why'd you let him get that far into the tech tree? The key is efficiency here. Use Archers. Lots of them. Hunt them down. No Frost Wyrm escapes. Every single one you kill costs him an arm and a leg. But what's good about this particular possibility is that he can't afford a sizable group of Wyrms -and- a regular ground force because of the food limit. He's gotta have one or the other. The Undead Heroes are an iffy bunch, with one notable exception. The Dreadlord. His Sleep ability will mess up your heroes at every chance, -especially- if you do a Starfall or Tranquility in his presence (Sleep will cancel both). But, if there is no Dreadlord to be seen, let 'em rip! Starfall is murder on just about all the Undead, especially since they tend to favor En Masse attacks, and that's where Starfall is strongest. -------------- vs. Night Elves -------------- Facing your own kind, eh? Traitor. ;) In any case, you should be familiar with the ins and outs of the NEs already (at least, I hope so, it'd mean I did this FAQ right), so you should have noticed some key weaknesses to exploit. One, heavy Hunts is a very common early tactic. Trick them into a narrow pass or bridge, pin them there with a few Hunts and waste them with Archer fire. If you've got a partner, have him come charging up the other side of the pass/bridge and crush them. And as time passes, get your Riders out and tear those Hunt Rushers a new one. Dryads don't do well vs. Claws, Claws can't face Archers, and a PoM stuck up in a Cyclone can't use her aura to help her troops. Most of the time, a balanced approach is best, a little of everything in your groups. That way you'll rarely find anything you can't counter, and be difficult to counter in turn. --------- vs. Humans --------- Worst for last. This kind of match-up is the main cause of most of my losses. Humans Own NEs, same way NEs Own Orcs. You've got to assume he'll send lots of Footmen, so don't make too many Archers. The Footmen's Defend ability will make a mockery of your arrows. Most Human players know not to use Knights, so that weakness is rare, but should definitely be exploited if it does happen (Heavy Armor). His Riflemen are not as strong as your Archers, you're on the winning side unless you have much fewer units. If you ever see Priests or Sorceresses, target them first. Your fights will be much easier without their interference. And while Humans have two Siege units (Mortar Teams and Siege Tanks), I only really see one in the late game, the Tanks. This is one situation where the Ancient Protector makes good sense. They both have Fortified Armor and do Siege Damage. There are only two differences. The AP does splash damage, and the AP has a minimum range. So, if you can prepare for it, have one uprooted AP keep the Tanks busy while the rooted ones chuck boulders into the mess. The Human Heroes are a versatile lot. The Dwarf can mess up your Starfalls and Tranquils with his Storm Bolt (and do a number on your Hunts with Thunder Clap), and the Paladin can insure that his troops just won't die. Targeting these guys can be considered a priority. Humans are also home of the Ultra Gay Archmage Rush. Don't blame me, it's not my title, it's the general consensus of all Bnet players. One lone Archmage hero charging into your base, summoning Water Elementals and causing a mess. He won't hang around for a fight, will constantly fall back and return if you try to hit him with your Ancients, and generally annoy the hell out of you. Not much I know to counter this, other than a better hero with support. Unfortunately, you can't ignore it, and this tactic's entire purpose is to keep you busy and distracted while his base cranks out Footmen. The Archmage also has a Dirty Trick in the form of Mass Teleport. One guy runs through your defenses, finds a quiet corner to sit, and boom, you've got a lot of uninvited guests. Of course, I rarely actually have static defenses, so I don't see this too often. Hope you've got a Town Portal Scroll handy. ============== Build Patterns ============== --------- Zorlond's --------- Here's the pattern I usually follow: Send 4 Wisps into the mine, fifth makes an Altar. (Note Change! A few people have pointed out to me that the main reason why Archmage Rushes work so well on me is the fact that my first hero comes out so late. While I haven't quite ironed out this new approach, I have noticed a drop in successful Archmage Rushes since I started doing this) Order up 6 more Wisps at the ToL. The first starts a Moonwell. A PoM/DH is ordered the moment the Altar is ready. The next two Wisps go straight to the trees to harvest. Fourth goes to the mine. Fifth becomes a War Ancient. I order another pair of wisps. Sixth makes another Moonwell. This is another change, a big one. When the first Moonwell is finished, the Wisp who did the job becomes the first Wisp in my Detection Net. See the Wisp Unit description above for the details of this tactic. When a second build job is done, that Wisp becomes part of the Net. A third may be sent depending on the map size and complexity. I start training Archers. The new wisps also go into the trees. The Wisp making the second Moonwell is used to make two more. I continue to order Archers, one at a time. Once I have at -least- five Archers and my PoM/DH, they run off to hunt creeps and secure a second mine. (map dependant) A Wisp starts building a Hunter's Hall. Start upgrades when ready, but they're lower priority than units/construction. Once second mine is secure, I take a wood-harvesting Wisp and make it a new ToL. As I need new construction, I use Wisps harvesting wood. After the initial Wisp training, I rarely need to train new ones, except to fill the second mine. Make a second War Ancient. Start making Hunts. Upgrade your ToL, and research unit upgrades. Continue creeping and scouting with PoM and troops, with occasional skirmish with enemy troops. This is the point where a choice must be made. I hope you've done some scouting of the enemy bases by now, because this is where you need to prepare your counter. Either make two Ancients of Wind (Riders), two Ancients of Lore (Dryads and/or Claws), or one Ancient of Wind and two Chimera Roosts (for the rare Mega Turtle). You'll need to secure a third mine for the last one, but other than that, this pattern has served me quite well. Advice on how to streamline/beef-up/drastically alter this pattern is very much welcome. I will test all advice myself before adding it to this FAQ. And now, the two contributed build orders, in the contributor's own words. ---------- StubbyWL's ---------- i don't like ur build order, but it's urs, but pls add some more... the reason archmage works against that, is ur hero is up REALLY slow, this is just for me, but my build = 4 to gold 1 to altar 1 to well 1 to gold then at leaset 4 to wood, then either tech up to tier 2, in which case as soon as 70 wood comes up after the upgrade, start AoW or if i goin hunts (against hums mainly) wait for 160ish, start hall, then aoW OR, do some other strat ------- Rizka's ------- As for build order I usually send 3 to mine, 1 make moonwell, 1 make altar. Queue 2 to wood, 2 to mine. queue 2 more to wood, 1 for spare. after finishin up well go make ancient of war and the other one go wood until u have enough to make hunter's hall. Thanks to Stubby and Rizka for the difference in where the Altar is built, I appreciate it. To everyone reading this, I know these build orders aren't very specific, but Stubby declined a request for more details, and I didn't feel comfortable altering either entry without permission. Please do contribute your build pattern, if you feel it is distinct from what has been shown here. This FAQ should not be limited to my sole experiences, I can only see so much. ============ Dirty Tricks ============ This little section are for Dirty Little Tricks I come up with or see or hear about. These will be tricks that the NEs do themselves, not tricks done -to- them (those will be in the Racial Counters section). Please, do share. --------------------- Hiding in Plain Sight --------------------- This little trick originates from a base attack I once did on a fellow. His troops returned to his base earlier than I expected, and the fight was not going my way, so I took a chance and h(i)d. It was at night, and all I had were Archers, Hunts, and my PoM. These are the only units you can do this with, if any other unit types are involved in the base attack, this Won't Work. See, without Detection capability, using the H(i)de command looks very much like you used a Town Portal out of his base. So all you have to do is sit. And wait. And when he leaves... ----------------------------------- How Does a Giant Hide in the Woods? ----------------------------------- This one is exclusively the domain of the Ancient Protector. What you do is have the AP (E)at out a small niche in the forest, just big enough for it to root in. Which it does. The AP's coloration is so similar to the ordinary woods that an opponent sending in a Scout Owl or a Shade might not notice it, and assume that you do not have APs set out (or assume fewer than you really do). This also shields the AP somewhat when the attack does come, since there's so little of it exposed to melee attacks... ------------------------- Invisible Wall Formation! ------------------------- Contributed by Jaurel Julao (email@example.com), this Dirty Trick also depends on the H(i)de ability, and so only works at night. On some maps, there are areas that are narrow and cramped, and absolutely must be used if a land force wants to get to an enemy base. The bridges of Stromguarde and the slopes of the Crucible being two of these. A group of Huntresses, standing shoulder-to-shoulder and ordered to remain hidden, will bar the way of anyone without detection capability, thus keeping them out of your base, and leaving them wide open to the hail of arrows from your Archers, especially since the Archer, with the range upgrade, far out-distances all the other non-siege, non-air ranged units... ================== Failed Experiments ================== This is the Purgatory for any things I try on my own that go wrong or don't work out. It'll also be where I consign any advice that goes horribly wrong. Or even any stories you'd like to tell of your own failed experiments. Go Not These Ways, Mortal, For They Do Not Work. --------------------- March of The Ancients --------------------- I once had a brainstorm. Ancients are capable of combat, after a fashion. And, while slow, they do a lot of damage per hit, and reside within the safety of Fortified Armor. They also don't require Food. And Ancient Protectors are capable of Siege damage, improving their ability to assault bases. So, joy of joys, what of whole -squads- of APs? Relentlessly marching into the enemy base, crushing all in it's path? A nice idea. It died young. I joined a custom team game to test this out. While my partners were, ostensibly, keeping the enemies off of me, I made APs. Lots and lots. Three full squads, in fact, 36 in all. They were quite impressive, marching across the map... At a turtle's pace. Even with the speed upgrade, I couldn't get them into the action fast enough. My partners butchered the other players long before my APs arrived. I did manage to see one squad face a defense line of Watch Towers. The towers took out a depressingly large number of APs before being breached (a full squad). One enemy base was basically handed to me by my playing partners, entirely for the sake of the experiment. But even as my APs smashed through the enemy base, I knew this tactic was not worth it. They were simply too slow to justify the tactical expense. =========== End Credits =========== "Mac" <firstname.lastname@example.org> "Jaurel Julao" <email@example.com> "Rizka Armadhana" <firstname.lastname@example.org> "StubbyWL" <email@example.com> Thank You for reading my FAQ.