Advanced strategy guide : Noticeable units

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Advanced strategy guide : Noticeable units[edit | edit source]

Up until now, I've spoken of things I have either read or watched or experienced myself, and they should be somewhat objective. In this section, I will list the units that, according to me, are at a power level such that they cannot be ignored and will often shape any set they're in, and will have to be considered no matter what strategy you're going for. I repeat, everything I say in this section is my own opinion, so take it with a grain (or a lot) of salt :)

The strongest unit[edit | edit source]

Currently, Centurion is the strongest unit in the game, and it is really rare that I will not go for it. As such, a Centurion set is pretty often a high economy set with Centurion as main absorber. It is usually still worth buying even if your opponent can freeze it (like against Vai Mauronax), because of the high defense tempo and aggression it provides. Occasionnaly, you stumble on a high aggressive set that won't let you buy Centurion, but most often, Centurion tames even the angry Red stuff.

The highest impact[edit | edit source]

Tia Thurnax is the unit with the highest immediate impact. While a naked Tia (meaning Tia without any other attacker) will rarely succeed, it is a unit that has to be bought in the course of a game. The right timing for the purchase is really hard to grasp, but the higher the economy, the later Tia will work out well. In a fast, aggressive game with Wall as best absorber, a quick Tia along with 2 Tarsiers can often get the job done, whereas you would not want it before the damage has peaked and the available good soak has been depleted in a longer game.

The anti aggression[edit | edit source]

Provided there is no burst damage available (Gaussite Symbiote, Cluster Bolt ...), Thunderhead is a unit that will make any aggressive strategy crumble and will force games in a later stage. Even staying 2 turns can be quite valuable for Thunderhead. Staying one turn makes it average value. Before buying it, try to evaluate the maximum damage output your opponent can get to shut it down on his next turn : if it is equal to 11 or more, think again !

I also have to mention the amazing synergy with Redeemer : buying a Redeemer the turn right after Thunderhead makes a lot of pressure, and the opponent's Gauss Charges created by Redeemer will crash into Thunderhead on its last lifespan turn.

The anti abuse[edit | edit source]

I have already mentioned this in the abuse section, but Xaetron is the best unit against any kind of abuses, as it will regain some life whatever happens. It is not completely impervious to it, though, as it will not exceed 12 health. This unit is pretty tricky to use at its best, though. Here are some pointers on how to use it :

  • Absolutely buy it against 0-attack strategies (like synched Iso Kronus or Scorchillas)
  • Never click it unless your opponent is not attacking it and makes it reach 12 health, or you really need the pressure (to kill Thunderhead for instance)
  • Use a second absorber in addition to Xaetron : you will want to absorb on Xaetron on one turn when it is high on health, then overdefend your Xaetron in order to absorb on the backup absorber without losing Xaetron and letting it build some bonus health. This works best with strong absorbers (but not too strong like Centurion and Defense Grid where you should defend on them each turn), doing it with a Wall is barely more efficient than absorbing on Xaetron each turn : you absorb 8 on Xaetron on a turn, then 2 on a Wall, which makes it an average of 5. That is still better than the 4 absorb on a single Xaetron, but you have to overdefend 5 health every two turns to achieve that. It is still worth it, but not a big loss if you can't do it.

The biggest cannon[edit | edit source]

The Wincer is the highest damage output from a single unit. Ok, I'm not counting Antima Comet or Resophore that can theoretically get over that. Actually, Antima Comet could legitimately be in this list as it can break apart your opponent if unanswered properly, but usually it is nothing impossible to deal with through early aggression or proper soak.

The Wincer is on another level : the pressure can usually not be defended in one turn, and the first shot rarely gets there. But the second shot is usually the strong one, and if necessary, the third one will seal the deal. Now, if you play The Wincer yourself, keep reminded that you can hold it. The pressure it brings is already strong, and if it is defended, you might not want to destroy your own economy too early by clicking it. Do it only if you think the next shot will do significant damage. If it is defended with frontline units (Polywall, Hannibull ...), try to set up the exact damage with permanent attackers and hold The Wincer while taking down the frontline defense and abusing your opponent's defense. The same goes with 1-lifespan defense like Plexo Cell : if your opponent defends massively with such defenders, it would be wiser to let the defense die in vain and not shoot. If you are the one playing against The Wincer, try to avoid being in either of those two situations.

The largest value[edit | edit source]

Whenever Arka Sodara is in the set, you practically have to get at some point the 7 attack threshold with BBR tech. If your opponent gets Arka and you cannot counter it with your own Arka, you're on your way to lose the game. Now, counter-Arka is well-known in the community : by buying Arka right into your opponent's Arka with exactly 7 damage, you deny the 6 absorb. But sometimes, you have no choice as your window to get Arka can be slim : if you get the tech with Chrono Filter, you can only buy it every two turns, if you get it with Centrifuge, then it's now or never, and if your set-up use temporary attack like Gauss Charges, then you will have to go for it. But do not overestimate the counter-Arka and underestimate the first Arka : getting Arka first means that you get to click it first, and the extra pressure sometimes will lead your opponent to leave his own Arka in defense (which is still good value, mind you, but it's still more satisfying to click the big elephant). Plus, the notion of counter-Arka loses its point as the damage gets past 7 and the counter-Arka does not deny full absorb.

Extra tip : be careful when you set up your Arka with R sinks like Perforator or Tyranno Smorcus : Attacking with them will spend the R you need to buy Arka !

The most annoying[edit | edit source]

You can ban it, but even bans are not perfect and you will have to encounter it some times : that's the infamous Thermite Core. Recently buffed, this unit is difficult to deal with, but its power level is absurd : with the right set-up, you can deny absorb completely multiple times in a row for a ridiculous cost. Both players end up with high amount of defense and Pixies, and the game is delayed for so long !

Against this unit, provided your opponent has set-up the perfect even attack value with permanent attackers corresponding to twice the amount of Thermite Cores he has, defending perfectly means nothing and any good absorber bought early will be for naught. The right way to play against it is to either go breachproof, or to defend for exact every turn without using good value defenders for as long as the Thermites can get full value. Then, go back to the good absorbers once Thermite's days are over.

This unit is the only one against which you're OK to defend for exact, without gambits : if your opponent takes the exact breach, he does not click the Thermites, and thus does not gain extra Pixies. If he does click, then he does not take the breach but gain the equivalent damage in Pixies for the following turn. In both cases, you're starved of your absorption, but you can't do much against it. Although, if you defend for exact; at least you don't overdefend meaninglessly. Don't do this if your defense is active, though (using Patroller or Urban Sentry for instance), as your opponent would get to shut down some attack on top of nullifying your absorption.

The difficulty when playing this unit is that you want to attack for a multiple of 2 every turn, and have the corresponding amount of Thermite Cores ready to click. If you have an odd value, you can still click a Pixie to make it even, but it lessens the value of the Thermite (building only 1 Pixie instead of 2).

And all the others ![edit | edit source]

I've mentioned a few units that are pretty noticeable according to me due to their strength and their great influence on many sets they're in, but pretty much all units can have such influence in a set, depending in which it is. Keep that in mind when you're picking your strategy, and try to evaluate the positive or negative impact of all units to see if it is doable.

Bonus tips : Engineer purchase[edit | edit source]

That's the last section of this guide, at least for now, and I didn't know where to put it, so here it is :

Ever ended up a turn with 2 gold and bought an Engineer, then noticed you're short on gold on following turn to spend all your tech ? I did. Often. But now, I'm trying to pay attention to it. Ask yourself this question : "Will I need that Engineer to defend on next turn ?" If you don't, then you should probably keep the gold. Engis are not a very good defensive value after all.

Ever ended up a turn with a bunch of gold and bought multiple Engineers to fill in, then noticed on the following turn that you do the same ? I did. Often. That's a sign that you're probably underteched : at this point, you might consider getting a Conduit or an extra Blastforge. Alternatively, if you still have some G in bank, throwing in a Gauss Cannon will often be a better choice than 3 Engineers if you're not hard pressed into defense.

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