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Heroes Community > Heroes 5 - Modders Workshop > Thread: Heroes 5.5 Impossible Strategies
Thread: Heroes 5.5 Impossible Strategies
azalen
azalen


Hired Hero
posted November 16, 2016 01:06 AM bonus applied by VokialBG on 17 Nov 2016.
Edited by azalen at 02:38, 19 Mar 2017.

Heroes 5.5 Impossible Strategies

I wanted to share some of my strategies for beating Heroes 5.5 on Impossible with the community.   Mags and company have done an exceptional job with this mod, and I haven't seen any significant strategy threads (other than legacy TOE forum and Celestial Heavens posts).  So, I wanted to at least start the discussion.   Here goes:  

To beat Impossible AI, you must recognize several things:

1) Neutral Creature stacks will almost always outnumber your army and have much higher growth rates.  

2) The opposing AI starts with a lot more resources than you do, and I believe it cheats a bit.  This is fine, as although the AI is much improved, it isn't as good as an experienced human player.  Therefore, the cheating is necessary to make it a legit challenge.  

3) Impossible AI requires that you maintain your momentum, or you will lose the game.  Taking massive losses in any one battle is usually a game killer.  However, you can not wait to get an overwhelming force, because you will fall behind the opponent and the neutral growth rate.  


There are several core tenents that you must master in order to achieve victory in Impossible:

1) Blocking:

This is the most important concept in all of Heroes 5.  The core concept of blocking is that all creature stacks, no matter how powerful, are limited by the fact that they can only attack one stack at a time (with some exceptions).  Therefore, you can greatly limit your army losses by forcing a very powerful stack to attack one of your meaningless stacks.  i.e A big stack of Arch Angels isn't going to do much to your army if they spend their attack step killing a 1 unit goblin stack.  When blocking, you want stacks you generally don't care about (usually of 1 unit each) to block and take hits so that your big damage dealers (usually your ranged units) take no losses.  

Understand the opponent stack.  If it is a large stack, blocking becomes much easier, because you only have to keep off 2-3 attackers at once.  If it is a dragon stack, you should position your blocking units one tile away so their breath can't hit your ranged (if you have Tactics).

Another concept of blocking is that it isn't always the right move to attack a unit in melee range with your ranged stack.  This allows the opposing unit to retaliate, incurring losses to your ranged units.  Sometimes, it is better to stay in defend mode and let your hero and blocking stack finish off the attacker.  

Another more advanced tenent is what I call the "thin out the immediate attackers" strategy.  With this method, you greatly reduce the units attacking your blockers, but do not finish them off.  By not killing them, these attacking units block other larger stacks from attacking your blockers.  You then direct your ranged units to thin out the larger stacks that are unable to attack.  This works well when going up against large sized creatures.  

The perk Tactics can often help you with blocking, particularly for blocking large units (very important for barbarians protecting their Centaurs).  

Note that terrain can play a huge part in your blocking strategy.  A terrain element can act as a permanent blocker for you, enabling you to deploy more blockers in another area.  

Basic Blocking Primer: A Quick Primer on some Blocking Arrangements.  All of these arrangements are from lower left corner perspective where you can protect your ammo cart.  
--------------------------------------

Table:

B = 1 Unit Blocker (This can be 3 units for Inferno with Gating)
F = Main Blocker Stack (They Serve as Melee Finishers)
R = Ranged Unit Stack
L = Tough Large Level 5-7 Unit
P = Phoenix

This is a basic arrangement against small units.  Surround and protect both your ranged unit and your main blocking stack with 1 unit blockers.  Keep a 1 unit blocker stack in reserve upper left to fill in any holes.

--- --- ---
|   |   |   |
--- --- ---
| B |   |   |    
--- --- ---
| B | B |   |
--- --- ---
| F | B |   |
--- --- ---
| R | B |   |
--- --- ---


Minimum blocking arrangement to block against large units in the corner.  Unlike small units, you need only 1 blocker to fully block, not 3.    

--- --- ---
|   |   |   |
--- --- ---
|   |   |   |    
--- --- ---
|   |   |   |
--- --- ---
|   | B |   |
--- --- ---
| R |   |   |
--- --- ---

Minimum blocking arrangement to block against multi tile attack creatures (Dragons, Blood Eye, Champions) and some area effect creatures (wyverns, thanes, nightmares).  Position your blockers a tile away from your ranged unit and prevent their large bodies from landing next to your ranged creature.  You need 2 blockers to protect your ranged stack at the minimum.      

--- --- ---
|   |   |   |
--- --- ---
|   |   |   |    
--- --- ---
|   | B |   |
--- --- ---
|   |   |   |
--- --- ---
| R |   | B |
--- --- ---

(Tactics Required) Protect your large unit (i.e. Centaurs) from small units.

--- --- ---
|   |   |   |
--- --- ---
|   | B |   |    
--- --- ---
| F | B | B |
--- --- ---
| R | R | B |
--- --- ---
| R | R | B |
--- --- ---

(Tactics Required) Minimum blocking arrangement to block your large unit (i.e. Centaurs) from other large units.  You must protect the diagonal corner.  

--- --- ---
|   |   |   |
--- --- ---
|   |   |   |    
--- --- ---
| B |   | B |
--- --- ---
| R | R |   |
--- --- ---
| R | R | B |
--- --- ---


Simple Blocking Arrangement utilizing level 5-7 units as large blockers for your ranged.  Usually, you will put regeneration on your large blocker (or they already have it like Hydra) and endurance buffs.  You can fill the lower right adjacent with a small blocker if necessary against small units.      

--- --- ---
|   |   |   |
--- --- ---
|   |   |   |    
--- --- ---
| L | L |   |
--- --- ---
| L | L |   |
--- --- ---
| R |   |   |
--- --- ---


Summoning Blocking: (Credit to Elvin's Celestial Heavens Academy Guide) This blocking is designed to force your Phoenix (an excellent blocker due to its Resurrection ability) to be constantly re-summoned in the large creature arrangement above.  You must fill all the 2x2 spaces with a 1 unit blockers so that the phoenix appears in the right spot directly above your ranged.        

--- --- ---
| B |   |   |
--- --- ---
|   |   |   |
--- --- ---
| B |   |   |
--- --- ---
|   |   |   |
--- --- ---
| B |   |   |    
--- --- ---
|   |   |   |
--- --- ---
| B |   |   |    
--- --- ---
|   |   |   |
--- --- ---
| B |   |   |    
--- --- ---
| P | P |   |
--- --- ---
| P | P |   |
--- --- ---
| R |   |   |
--- --- ---



2) Locking Down Stacks:

Locking down a stack is an important concept, particularly for dark magic oriented factions.  The idea is that, no matter how powerful the stack, if you lock it down, it can't damage you.  There are a number of ways to both hard lock a stack: (blind, puppet, torpor) or soft lock a stack (slow, wasp swarm, sorrow, confusion).

Locking a stack is one of the more effective ways to take on ranged units early game.  Another way to take on ranged units is to only deploy your blockers and destroy them with your hero, never exposing your ranged dealers to damage.  With this method, you sacrifice a lot of blockers, but you maintain your all-important ranged damage base.    

Good blocking combined with locking stacks is a good way to take on powerful level 6-7 gatekeepers, since both blocking and locking scale infinitely with the power of the stack.  


3) Replenishment Strategy:

No matter how good you are at blocking, there are times where your army will be forced to take losses in order to achieve a must-win goal.  This can be when you are taking on very powerful neutral gate guards (level 6-7 stacks) or ranged stacks in the early game (elvish archers and druids being good examples).  

In general, you want to replenish the losses your non-retaliatory damage dealers take (usually your ranged units).  This is where your replenishment strategy comes in.  Replenishment options can vary widely.  For Might factions, War Machines -> Tent is the most obvious strategy.  Light Magic Regeneration and Resurrection are good options.  Summoning has arcane armor and the ability to summon both terrain blocking (crystal and blade barrier) and blocking units (phoenix, phantasmal, elementals).   Dark magic has Vampirism, albeit a level 5 spell.  Necromancers have easy mode with easy access to animate dead and necromancy talent.  

A replenishment strategy is not always for your damage dealers, but your blockers as well.  If your blocking stack dies or takes losses, you can heal it/ressummon it/ressurect it to block again.  


4) Spend your Money Wisely:  

If you spend money on units that consistently take losses, than you are not investing wisely.  As a general rule of thumb, you want to invest heavily in your ranged damage dealers and a blocking stack early game.   If it is a slow walker (like minotaurs and golems) or a fast glass cannon unit (like genies or griffins), I recommend avoiding spending money on those units until end game.  

For early creeping, you usually only want to spend your money on 2 army slots: your ranged stack and a stack of blockers.  You then occupy the rest of your army slots with 1 unit blockers that are split out from your main blocking stack.  The 1 unit blockers are the ones you want to take the hits and your main blocking stack serves as a melee finisher for anything that gets close to your ranged units.  

Most of the time, you want to save your money to build towards your economy (Capital in particular), your castle (for extra creature growth), your mage guild (for game changing creeping spells), and your level 6-7 dwellings (depending on faction).  So, save your money by only spending it on cheap ranged units and blockers.  

Finally, you want to focus on building your creature dwellings out before the week-end to maximize your unit production.   The idea is that you will have your max army to draw on for the end game, even though you may not be spending money on buying these creatures in the creeping phase.  


5) Building your Main Hero for the End Battle:  

While the main focus of the game is early game creeping and breaking through the high level stacks, you also need to keep an eye on building your hero for the end game.  

First of all, a good rule of thumb is that magic heroes have an easier time creeping (thanks to better replenishment and blocking options), and will usually have access to better artifacts and stats than a might hero (not always, but a general advantage).  To be successful, a magic hero usually needs to take down the gatekeeper stack before the might hero.  A might hero will struggle a bit more on creeping, and usually take more losses, but they also tend to have a stronger end game skill set than magic heroes (again, a generalization, and not always true).  

Magic heroes, however, can turn the tide with a well placed spell.  Puppet Master, unanswered, is devastating to a might hero.  Imploding that stack of Elvish Archers before they can attack is bad news for Sylvan.  Mass buffs/curses like Haste/Slow/Deflect Missile can change the game.  Summoning can often pull games out that once seemed lost by constantly resummoning powerful attackers/blockers.   Also remember that a might hero will also usually have a spell school - most commonly Light or Dark, to counteract whatever the magic hero is doing, but they won't be able to cast as fast without Sorcery.    

Where a Hero goes on the ATB bar is critical to the course of a battle.  This is where perks like Swift Mind and Distract, Hero abilities like Wind Speaker, and skills like Sorcery play an absolutely critical role.  Might heroes always want higher initiative to overwhelm their opponents with powerful, lucky attacks before they can act.  Magic heroes want to go first and cast spells often in order to survive and turn back the onslaught.  

In general, a might hero should always focus on the attack stat, and the magic hero should focus on spell power.      


Thoughts on Spells and Perks:


Battle Frenzy:  Battle Frenzy is very powerful for several factions and should be considered practically a requirement for them.  It can deliver an outsized damage boost in the early game.  Factions that benefit in particular: Academy (Gremlins, Gargoyles), Inferno (Imps, Demons, Cerebri), Necromancer (Skeleton Archers, Ghosts), Sylvan (Dryads, Dancers, Elvish Archers), Stronghold (you want all the damage you can get for Centaur).  Also, if you start with minor artifact, Necklace of the Bloody Claw is very, very valuable one to start with.  

Sorrow: Sorrow is an interesting spell that is only level 1, but can deliver a high level dark spell effects of locking down/ensnaring powerful stacks.  The catch is that it is chance based (morale and luck).  It can be a decent spell to take down a gatekeeper stack if you don't have a better option.

Fire Trap: Fire trap was very powerful in TOE, and remains so in 5.5.  Its impact is that it can deal effectively with slow walker units that you normally wouldn't be able to take early game.  This goes all the way up to Treants, Raks, and Magma Dragons.  You will need Expert Summoning, however, to make it good.  It also has the side benefit of being a bit more mana efficient than destruction when going against large creatures.  

Regeneration: The power of Regeneration is that it is only a level 3 spell, but it can serve as an overpowered replenisher strategy you need to take on the powerful nuetrals.  The reason is that, when placed on a level 7 stack, it makes that level 7 stack a very effective blocker that can mitigate big hits with their high defense and regenerate their losses later.  In particular, a simple arrangement of a level 7 unit in defending mode buffed with regeneration, blocking for a ranged unit in the corner, is a simple and very effective creeping arrangement.  

Destruction:  Destruction magic is effective early game, but Impossible growth rates can surpass the static scaling of damage spells.  Therefore, it can be very mana intensive, and destruction's effectiveness can depend greatly on how many mana wells are available.  

Logistics:  Logistics is not absolutely required for early game, as your main focus is building your hero to break the gatekeeper stack.  Logistics won't do you any good if you can't compete with the growth rate of Impossible Neutrals.

Swift Mind: Swift Mind is one of the best perks in the game.  It is very effective for the end game and helps in creeping as well.  If you are a magic hero, consider this perk a requirement and Enlightenment a must take.   It is great for a might hero as well with a typical one spell school build (light or dark).   Intelligence, another Enlightenment perk, is also excellent.  Enlightenment is a great skill in general.  

Sorcery: If you are a magic hero, you take this skill as a requirement.  All magic heroes should have Swift Mind and Sorcery.


Breaking the Gatekeeper Stack (Know your Level 7s):

Breaking a Gatekeeper Stack that blocks you from artifacts, stat houses, etc.. is often the difference in the game.  Here are some of the strategies I use for each type:

Arch Angels/Seraphs: Although Arch Angels stats are intimidating, they do have 2 significant weakness - they can only attack one unit at a time and they are vulnerable to Dark lockdown.  Therefore, you need to arrange your blockers carefully to take the huge hits that they deliver.  Be careful where you line up your large creatures, as Angels can hit those 1st turn if they are adjacent.  Use a combination of good blocking and dark magic lockdown to take the Angels down.  Seraphs are an incredible pain because of divine vengeance - for that, not much to say other than get resurrection/tent.  

Arch Devils/Arch Demon: Devils are simply an easier version of Arch Angels.  They can't reach your army on their first turn as an Arch Angel can, so you get 1 extra turn to manage things.  The main thing you need to watch out for is "Teleport Other" on your ranged stack.      

Magma Dragons/Lava Dragons: Magmas are very tough and have dragon breath, but they still have all the disadvantages of large, slow walkers.  Summoning, with Fire Trap, and summoned blocking objects like Arcane Crystal/Blade Barrier/Phantasmal forces, help keep these guys away form you.  Use dragon blocking tactics against them.  Also, Mass Slow and Sorrow works on them, soft locking them for the ranged kill.  Of the 2, Lavas are easier to deal with because you can use your finisher without taking fire shield damage.

Blood Eye/Untamed Cyclops: Cyclops have higher initiative and speed than Magma dragons and have Dragon Breath-like multi-hits.  If there is a good way to block them with the terrain, you can use Summoning blocking.  Otherwise, Dark soft locking is the better bet.  Use dragon blocking tactics.  Otherwise, you should be able to take these guys down, as they are not as tough as Magmas.  

Ghost Dragons: Ghost dragons are the easiest 7th level to deal with.  Good blocking is sufficient to take them down.    

Storm Titans/Titans: Now we get to the "trouble" stacks.  These guys will absolutely destroy your ranged stack if left alone.  If they are Storm titans, you can range block them by Summoning spells and rushing small blocker units at them.  If they are Titans, they have a ranged special that can't be blocked.  Dark soft locking, particularly sorrow and mass slow have pretty good impact.  If you have great level 5 spells like Arcane Armor, Resurrection, or Vampirism, you can take them with your level 7 stack alone and leave your ranged units at home.  If you don't have Resurrection or Vampirism, sometimes Regeneration on your level 7s and Dark soft locking can be enough.    

Crystals/Emeralds/Red/Black Dragons: All these guys are very bad news for you.  You can use dragon blocking tactics with the Tactics perks to keep them off of you on the 1st turn.  Otherwise, you will need a powerful replenishment strategy on your level 7s like Arcane Armor + Regeneration, Resurrection + Regeneration, Vampirism, etc... Like Titans, it may be a better idea to leave your ranged at home and let your level 7s (buffed with level 5 spells) and blockers fight it out.  Crystals and Emeralds are vulnerable to Dark, so mass slow at the beginning combined with dragon blocking will slow down the damage, allowing your replenishment strategy to keep up.

Phoenix: Dealing with Phoenix is similar to dealing with Arch Angels.  They are vulnerable to good blocking because they can only attack 1 unit.  You don't want to use finishers on them because of fire shield, so just keep your ranged and hero firing away at them through the resurrection.    


Faction Notes:

Sylvan:  

Sylvan is the most powerful might faction in my opinion, primarily because of the higher than average initiative of their units.  Dryads and Elvish archers make for a very powerful start (I like to use blade dancers as blockers).  Arcanes are still OP (captain obvious).  Dryads with battle frenzy are incredible finishers.  Druids are good, but you have to split stack them to maximize lightning bolt, reducing your blocking slots, so I usually skip them while creeping.  Emeralds and unicorns round out the roster.  Sylvan doesn't really have much trouble at any point of the game.  

Their might heroes are all ridiculous.  Ossis is crazy at all points of the game.  Wyngaal is exceptional in the end game hero battle.  Anwen gets the biggest damage spikes of any hero in the game.  The magic hero aspects of Sylvan are somewhat predictable and boring (usually light with some other school), as it is really the might heroes that scare you, but they are still solid.  

Sylvan's main weakness is a few end game scenarios when their emeralds can get puppeted or their elvish archers get obliterated with destruction.  It comes down to a swift mind vs creature initiative war and the ability for Sylvan to counter/resist spells.  


Dungeon:  

Dungeon is a very map dependent faction.  Uniquely, their primary ranged unit (Furies) are a a melee unit, which you can't totally block for (Assassins have too little growth to be effective).  This makes them a "close run thing" for every battle (kinda annoying), because you can never completely block for Furies.  Movement upgrades like Tactics/Winged Boots/Aura Swiftness are of high value so your Furies can reached opposing ranged units on their 1st turn.  

Dungeon magic heroes have the unique ability to engage in "Stalkers only" creeping, where the hero becomes the primary damage dealer while the Stalkers stay invisible.  This allows you to save all of your money and race to dragons.  

Dungeon has a major issue with their "replenishment" strategy.  They don't have easy access to Light, so it is either Tent or an all out blitz of destruction and dark spells to keep losses to a minimum.  If you get Vampirism, it is creeping easy mode.  As an Overlord, you really want War Machines->Tent bad to keep your Fury numbers up.  

Early end game, Dungeon is very effective, as destruction effectiveness can surpass creature growth at the point where you first get 4th-5th level spells and have one of the 50% spell damage artifacts.  However, you must press your advantage, as destruction scaling falls off after that.  Also, Vampiric Red Dragons, commanded by an Overlord, can be very effective stack, and one of the main reasons for playing a Dungeon might hero.  

Of the heroes, Yrwanna stands head and shoulders above all other might heroes (sorta the dungeon version of Gorshak).  She is capable of breaking gate keeper stacks before end of week 4 as her stalkers are tremendous offensive units with a solid might build.  Keep her fury numbers up early, and the rest of the game is cake.    

Raelag is the best of the magic heroes with his hero special.  Initiative suppression gives Raelag the time to fit in those all important dark and destruction spells before the enemy stack can act.  


Inferno:  

This faction has been improved significantly with the change to gating.  Before they used to really, really struggle with creeping.  Now, they creep fine, but they play a bit differently than other factions.  

The issue with Inferno is that they don't get Succubi in large enough numbers early game to serve as an effective ranged force, so they have to depend somewhat on gated imps and demons to do some of their damage.  Consider Battle Frenzy an absolute requirement and try to start with Necklace of the Bloody Claw.  Breaking the gatekeeper 6-7 stack often depends on your Cerebri as they are high damage and non-retaliatory, but can also be destroyed in a single hit - so be careful.  

Gating is primarily used to summon blockers and finishers.  One of the secrets to using gating properly is to have just enough in your blocking stacks so that they can gate in additional 1 unit blocking stacks i.e. 3 units in your demon stack so that they summon an additional 1 unit blocker.  This allows you to gate in tons of blockers to help you take out those gatekeeper stacks with minimal losses.

For creeping, I recommend Succubi Mistresses over Seducers as you need a good ranged force going forward, and Seducers don't act fast enough or long enough with seduce to be good against neutral stacks.  At the end game, you may want Seducers more for second puppet - just remember they have lower initiative, and you are taking away a significant offensive component from your army.  

Like Dungeon, Inferno suffers from replenishment strategy issues.  War Machines and Tent are highly desirable for the early game to reduce your delicate unit losses and assist your Succubi with ballista.  

End game you are looking at dark magic and all out blitzkrieg attack.  If your opponent has an answer to dark spells, you are kinda in trouble.  Of the heroes, I like Jezebeth a lot, as she makes succubi chain shot very dangerous.  I don't particularly like Inferno as a magic town, but if you want to live the dream of 2 puppets at once, I'd probably go with Agrael to make sure your seducers get off their puppet in time.    


Dwarves:  

Dwarves have been significantly nerfed by moving Charge rune to 3rd tier and higher cost to runes.  Because of the higher costs of runes, you don't want to use them as part of your normal creeping - instead, save them for major gatekeeper battles and the end game.  Dwarves struggle a bit to creep, lacking a great ranged unit, but it is made up for by a ridiculous end game.  

My recommendation right now is to use the upgraded harpooners as your ranged force (a rather mediocre unit) and a strong dwarf blocking/finishing stack.  Again, Battle Frenzy and Necklace of the Bloody Claw is your friend here.

Dwarves possess the toughest level 7 unit, but interestingly, they are hard to use when creeping because you can not tent/regen/resurrect them.  You might be better off considering Thanes and regeneration if you have an expert light hero when creeping mid game.  

Dwarves have pretty easy access to light and war machines, so replenishment in combination with runes is workable.  Ethereal rune is a good early rune to use for avoiding losses.  

Of the might heroes, I like Ingvar and Tazar.  None of the magic heroes are that great, but they benefit from strong units and runes.  


Academy:

Academy gets access to the premier tier 1 ranged unit in Gremlins.  Gargoyles make good, cheap, tough blockers and have magic immunity which can be used against problem stacks like druids/wizards.  Again, get Battle frenzy and Bloody Claw Necklace.  Gremlins get very powerful and Gargoyles can do surprising damage when you have both, giving them finishing capability.   Academy has a great end game as well with initiative boosting artificer artifacts.  

Academy has a powerful creeping game due to the combination of ranged gremlins, mages and titans.  Mages are nice, but not absolutely required for creeping.  Just race to Storm Titans to lock up the creeping game.  You can save money on Raks, Genies, and Golems until you really need them for the end game.  

Storm Titans work very well as combination ranged attackers/blockers.  Get Regeneration, put it on your Storm Titans, and they will both block for your Gremlins and dish out ranged damage.  Combo regeneration with arcane armor, and Titans can take neutrals on their own.  

Although Academy units are not overwhelming, their strength comes from their ability to best maximize and adapt to what the map and random skills gives them.  Library and Artifact Guild are what provide this flexibility.  The most common strategy for the end game is to load up on init artificer creature units, and soft lock your opponent with mass slow/mass haste.  Then, with the ATB bar at your command, have your way with ranged units and follow up spells.  

Havez is one of the most powerful heroes in the game because of the combo of gremlins high init, initiative artifacts, and Havez's hero special.  With Havez, your gremlin stacks can actually surpass your titan stacks in power.  Jhora is a great end game magic hero that can win the ATB bar casting war.


Necromancer:

Necromancers have the easiest creeping in the game... for the magic heroes.  The formula is simple: get Skeleton Archers and necro up even more Skeleton Archers.  Also, get Battle Frenzy and Necklace of the Bloody Claw.   Ghosts are epic blockers with etherealness.  Take losses? Raise dead.  Need some extra offense?  You've got spell power for destruction.  There is no doubt that Necros are fun to play because they have all the answers for creeping.  

The same can not be said for Death Knights, which like Dungeon and Inferno, struggle a bit to replenish their units.  They do have the option of going Necromancy if they don't get Tent or Summoning, but it isn't ideal.  

Necros must creep fast to win, because their units are weak compared to the competition.  Their level 7 is the worst level 7 and their level 6 is only average.  So they had better beat their opponent to the artifact stash in order to compensate with better stats.  They also don't get the benefit of morale on their troops, and their initiative is decidedly mediocre compared to opposing might factions.  

Thanks to 5.5 changes, Necros now make great destruction heroes.  So, they represent a triple threat of dark, destruction, and summoning.  This is the source of their true power in the end game.  Sandro, in my opinion, is easily the best necro hero, as you need gobs of spell power to take the end game.  

Death Knights are interesting, but are somewhat behind the 8 ball due to lacking morale boosters and weak units.  I like Lucretia here as she makes Vampire Lords another stack your opponent needs to respect.    

As a side note, spend your necro points on Skeletons early and Wraiths later.  Wraiths are your main end game unit, not dragons, and you get a decent return on your necro points for them.  If you have Lucretia, get vamps instead.  


Barbarian:

Barbarians have three core problems on Impossible... Centaurs are large sized and hard to block for, their only replenishment method is War Machines Tent, and Blood Rage damage mitigation doesn't scale against Impossible stacks,

There are solutions to these problems, but they are related to very specific talents.  First of all, get War Machines and Tent above all else - you need to maintain your Centaur numbers.  Second, tactics is good to help you arrange goblin blockers for your Centaurs.   I'd take Battle Frenzy, Retribution, and Tactics for my attack skills, which unfortunately means no Archery.  Even though Archery is attractive, you will want tactics for end game so your Cyclops can cross the battlefield in 1 turn.    

Creeping, you are going to be using Goblin Trappers and Centaurs.  Trappers slow down enemy units and provide blockers for your Centaurs.  Initial blood rage talents are valuable to pump the initiative of your Centaurs and give them damage mitigation.  

As you progress, you are going to be using a lot of Word of the Chief (both from your hero and your Chieftains) to turn your Centaur into a machine gun.  The idea is that Tent now replaces your Centaurs lost to Word of the Chief, and they fire so rapidly that you don't need to replace losses from enemy units.  

Make sure to pickup Tactics and Aura of Swiftness, as it will be very important for your units to cross the battlefield on the first turn.  End game, we have the usual Dark counter to Barbarians, so Shatter Dark is a necessity.  Angry, blood raged Cyclops and Centaur delivering huge, lucky attacks on their first turn is what wins you the game for Barbarian.  

I haven't tried Witch Doctors/Shamans, so I can only comment on the might heroes.  As far as might heroes go, I think that Gorshak is clearly the best hands down.  Crag Haack is also workable.  


Haven:  

Haven is a dull "Timmy" town full of overly strong "stats" units.  They don't have the initiative of Sylvan, but their units make up for it in raw power.  Crossbowmen are your primary ranged unit, who can devastate high level units if they get close with their specials.  They do, however, suffer from low initiative, so you will need to block effectively for them and they are vulnerable to higher init ranged units of other factions.  

Haven's level 4, 6 and level 7 are all really strong, but they do have to watch out for Dark on Angels (they certainly have the tools to deal with it, though), and Destruction on Cavaliers.  I personally like Seraphs for creeping due to their free regeneration ability.    

I personally don't find Haven very interesting, but they are undeniably strong.  

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yogi
yogi


Promising
Famous Hero
of picnics
posted November 16, 2016 04:27 AM

great post
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Elvin
Elvin


Admirable
Omnipresent Hero
Rejuvenation process
posted November 16, 2016 06:42 AM

Thumbs up
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Restoring the light, facing the dark.

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magnomagus
magnomagus


Promising
Legendary Hero
modding wizard
posted November 16, 2016 01:10 PM

Thank you for your detailed guide, now I have something to link to when I get complaints again the game cannot be beaten on impossible
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MMH5.5 Downloads | MMH5.5 Translations | MMH5.5 FAQ

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Raenus
Raenus


Famous Hero
Grouchy curmudgeon
posted November 17, 2016 11:33 PM

Thoroughly enjoyed reading that, easily QP material in my opinion. Thank you.

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azalen
azalen


Hired Hero
posted November 18, 2016 05:48 AM

Thanks guys.  I was inspired by Elvin's Celestial Heavens guides.  I learned a lot reading those guides and hope to do the same for other players.  

I'll do my best to continue improving this post.  Any feedback is appreciated.    

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strigvir
strigvir


Adventuring Hero
posted November 18, 2016 07:36 AM

How do you counter Dark Magic as Dungeon/Inferno?

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azalen
azalen


Hired Hero
posted November 18, 2016 04:50 PM
Edited by azalen at 16:56, 18 Nov 2016.

strigvir said:
How do you counter Dark Magic as Dungeon/Inferno?


Luck->Magic Resistance->Warriors Luck.  You can also look for magic resistance boots in the artifact guild and switch up to black dragons if you are really concerned about it.  Otherwise, you counter it 1 for 1 with your own dark spells.  

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dace
dace

Tavern Dweller
posted February 24, 2017 01:40 PM
Edited by dace at 13:45, 24 Feb 2017.

azalen said:

Inferno:  

This faction has been improved significantly with the change to gating.  Before they used to really, really struggle with creeping.  Now, they creep fine, but they play a bit differently than other factions.  

The issue with Inferno is that they don't get Succubi in large enough numbers early game to serve as an effective ranged force, so they have to depend somewhat on gated imps and demons to do some of their damage.  Consider Battle Frenzy an absolute requirement and try to start with Necklace of the Bloody Claw.  Breaking the gatekeeper 6-7 stack often depends on your Cerebri as they are high damage and non-retaliatory, but can also be destroyed in a single hit - so be careful.  

Gating is primarily used to summon blockers and finishers.  One of the secrets to using gating properly is to have just enough in your blocking stacks so that they can gate in additional 1 unit blocking stacks i.e. 3 units in your demon stack so that they summon an additional 1 unit blocker.  This allows you to gate in tons of blockers to help you take out those gatekeeper stacks with minimal losses.

For creeping, I recommend Succubi Mistresses over Seducers as you need a good ranged force going forward, and Seducers don't act fast enough or long enough with seduce to be good against neutral stacks.  At the end game, you may want Seducers more for second puppet - just remember they have lower initiative, and you are taking away a significant offensive component from your army.  

Like Dungeon, Inferno suffers from replenishment strategy issues.  War Machines and Tent are highly desirable for the early game to reduce your delicate unit's losses and assist your Succubi with ballista.  

End game you are looking at dark magic and all out blitzkrieg attack.  If your opponent has an answer to dark spells, you are kinda in trouble.  Of the heroes, I like Jezebeth a lot, as she makes succubi chain shot very dangerous.  I don't particularly like Inferno as a magic town, but if you want to live the dream of 2 puppets at once, I'd probably go with Agrael to make sure your seducers get off their puppet in time.    




Hi folks, I'm looking for an optimal strategy with inferno using HOMM5.5 in impossible single player games (playing on huge random maps). Any help will be much appreciate, espacially for the 1st 3 weeks.

I forgot to say that I play with "tax mod" and disable all the capitols in the castle!


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