Econ play

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Econ play consists in accumulating long-term advantages. As a strategy, it can appear through:

  • Getting a third Engineer early and using the additional EnergyEnergy to increase your economy.
  • Defending with the most efficient Blockerblockers and Healthabsorbers available.
  • Massing attackers with constant Attackdamage in order to wear down your opponent.

Winning with econ is about overcoming your opponent in the long haul by making more of your resources in economy, defense, and offense.

Econing up[edit | edit source]

Literally, econing up is the act of increasing your GoldGold production (through base set Drones or others). As a strategy, it boils down to gathering more resources than your opponent, buy more units, and eventually overpower them.

In a matchup between two players going for high economy, the challenge lies in figuring out the right turn to stop econing up and transition into Attackdamage production. If you do it too early your economy won't sustain you, if you take too long you risk not being able to catch up in attack.

Turtling[edit | edit source]

Turtling means defending your production units while you ramp up their number. Increasing your economy means delaying your Attackdamage, especially against an opponent going tempo; that will leave them free to build up even more attack.

Fundamentally good defense is based on the same defense concepts for a player going econ than for anyone else, but having more resources lets you get efficient Blockerdefenders more easily. Since you will have to outlast an opponent with earlier damage, it is particularly important to try and make use of all preventive defenders to their fullest (not only random set units if there are but even the base set Rhino for instance, through setting up a Rhino train). Getting high Healthabsorb in time is also paramount to surviving early rushes. Although you should always try to get offense over defense, being on the safe side of things is generally a good bet when playing econ.

Here are some units which can help you with your defense:

Defense Grid
Defense Grid
Pros:
Cons:
  • Lasts only Lifespan7 turns
  • High Blue resourceblue cost
  • Doesn't have PromptPrompt
Defense Grid not only protects your economy with its huge Healthabsorb, but also actively fosters it by creating additional Drones over its Lifespan7 Lifespan. You have to take into account that it doesn't help your defense immediately when you buy it though (since it lacks Prompt). Also as the name suggests its Lifespan property forbids you from relying on it for too long.
Polywall
Polywall
Pros:
  • Low cost for its Healthabsorb potential
Cons:
Polywall is very helpful at stopping early rushes thanks to its high Healthabsorb, forcing your opponent to get to at least Attack6 before they can do anything to you. Later in the game however it is susceptible to getting picked off because of its FrontlineFrontline property, possibly denying value to your other absorbers against an opponent with flexible attack.
Chieftain
Chieftain
Pros:
Cons:
Chieftain is a classical example of a preventive defender, in that its best use case is to Attackattack twice before dying on Blockerdefense on its last LifespanLifespan turn. If you manage to start a Chieftain train (buying one every turn while using the oldest to help defend) the value they provide is tremendous. Like other blockers with Lifespan they have counters though.

Constant Damage[edit | edit source]

Constant damage is Attackattack produced by units attacking every turn (either passively or through their Abilityability). It is the opposite of flexible attack, both more reliable and more predictable, and generally constitutes the backbone of your offense. While used in almost every strategy, it is of particular importance to a player going econ.

When going econ, you're playing for the end game. You're not trying to hit precise timings like a player going for burst would. Your objective is to grind out your opponent through constant Attackdamage. As such, deciding when to switch from increasing drone count to building damage is probably the most important choice in econ games.

You generally want to go for the most efficient source of constant Attackdamage available. In absence of better attackers in the random set Tarsiers are default choice, but it is generally possible to find better. Good examples include:

Zemora Voidbringer
Zemora Voidbringer
Pros:
  • Hugely boosts both your constant Attackdamage and your economy
Cons:
  • Takes a long time to build
  • Consumes a lot of Green resourcegreen to attack
Zemora Voidbringer illustrates perfectly the principle of econ play; it takes a long preparation (both in Build timebuild time and in Green resourcegreen tech) for an awesome payoff, if you can get there. The fact that it produces Goldgold as well as Attackdamage ramps up your economy even higher when it hits the board. Its main weakness is of course its long construction, during which you are vulnerable to rushes and other tempo plays.
Shadowfang
Shadowfang
Pros:
  • Extremely gold-efficient for its Attackattack
Cons:
Shadowfang provides a lot of Attackdamage relative to its Goldgold cost, making it excellent as the back line of high econ strategies. It can also be rushed but is hard to protect in that setup. Having to invest in multiple Anime can be wasteful if the random set doesn't contain other useful Red resourcered units though.
Omega Splitter
Omega Splitter
Pros:
Cons:
Omega Splitter excels both at Blockerdefense and Attackoffense, and is then a good first buy when playing econ: even if you simply plan to use it for Healthabsorbing at first, it will threaten your opponent and force them to build defense in reaction.