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Heroes Community > Heroes 5 - Modders Workshop > Thread: Heroes 5.5 - 5 Star Hero Guide
Thread: Heroes 5.5 - 5 Star Hero Guide
azalen
azalen


Promising
Adventuring Hero
posted March 17, 2019 03:25 AM bonus applied by Galaad on 17 Mar 2019.
Edited by azalen at 05:06, 16 Jun 2019.

Heroes 5.5 - 5 Star Hero Guide

Here are my opinions on which heroes are the best 5 star Heroes in 5.5, explanation as to why, and a bit of a guide for each....

*EDIT* I moved dungeon magic heroes to 5 star after some reconsideration

*EDIT* Added Minasli to 5 Star Hero list after considerable play testing.  Added additional Ossir recommendations (missing Enlightenment->Intelligence for Arcane Avenger build - thanks to bulya)


5 Star Heroes
------------------------------------------------

Ingvar

Rating: 5 Stars

Creeping:

Ingvar is an absolute creeping power house.  First of all, he starts with Advanced War Machines and Ballista, ideal starting skill of any might hero.  Second, his special is the nuts.  Mountain guards feature +10 defense when they haven't moved from their position and Large Shield for defense against missile units.  When combined with Ingvar's special, they become very difficult to kill for even the hardest week 1-2 stacks.  Combine your mountain guards with skills like Battle Frenzy, Stand your Ground, and Combat/Retaliation Strike and all you really need to creep is to put your mountain guards in defend mode, a Resurrection tent, and a ballista (though you still want a stack of harpooners to deploy when it is safe to do so).

End Game:

As most experienced players know, the dwarven rune-based end-game is devastating no matter what Dwarven might hero you face.  Ingvar, however, has one important difference: He has an immortal stack of dwarves running around, possibly equipped with amulet of the bloody claw and battle frenzy, doing their best impersonation of a level 7 stack.  

For the end game, mass Light magic buffs like Mass Deflect, Mass Haste, and Mass Endurance play particularly well with dwarves, as it forces your opponent to get into melee range where you hold a decisive advantage with Rune of Battle Rage and Rune of Dragon Form.

Weaknesses:

There are a few scenarios where Ingvar can potentially peter out week 3-4.  If he doesn't get tent and can't replace his dwarf losses week 1-2, it can lead to issues.  Also, dwarves are still vulnerable to magic attacks from stacks like druids, mages, and Titans and non-retaliatory damage dealers can also give Ingvar issues.  Ingvar also can't use a "tank" strategy like heroes of other factions considering magma dragons non-replenishable nature.  

Top Gets:

War Machines->Tent (replace dwarf losses), Battle Frenzy (pump dwarf damage), Amulet of the Bloody Claw (pump dwarf damage), Defense->Vitality->Stand your Ground (multiply your dwarf defense bonus and health), Combat/Retaliation Strike (you will be doing a lot of defending/retaliating), Rune Magic (for the end game), Light Magic->Master of Abjuration->Twilight (for the end game -mass deflect missile and pump your spell power).

As with any might hero, you will want to look into magic resistance for the end game from luck and artifacts.



Ossir
                                                                     
Rating: 5 Stars

Creeping:

Ossir takes the most powerful glass-cannon units in the game, Arcane Archers, and makes them even more dangerous.  There are very few stacks Ossir has difficulty with considering his ranged prowess.  

However, Ossir is not invincible.  Certain mobs cause him problems.  You will need replenishment strategies for ranged/magic mobs that can inflict severe losses on your delicate Archers with single casts/ranged attacks.  Also, you don't have any special blocking capabilities... basically throwing out 1 stack blade dancers is what you got.  Consider having heavier tanks like Treants/Dragons with a replenishment strategy like War Machines->Tent, or Light Magic->Regeneration to either block for Archers or deploy only the tanks when your Archers would take heavy losses.

Ossir has a choice of what he wants to pursue... he can go all out ranged.  This build includes Archery, Triple Ballista, Fire Arrows, and possibly Arcane Avenger.  He is particularly suited to this build given he already emphasizes ranged units.

He can also choose a traditional Sylvan Alpha Strike build, which includes a focus on crossing the battlefield in one turn and delivering massive Lucky/Avenger strikes.

Both are effective, and both benefit from super-powered Arcane Archers.  

End-Game:

What makes Ossir special is his ability to present to the opponent multiple must-deal-with threats immediately on turn 1, particularly with the Arcane Avenger build.  

If facing down a might hero, an Ossir army will typically have his Arcane Archers split into 2 stacks so they can wreck multiple targets.  If facing down a magic hero, they will usually be in one stack protected by Silver Unicorn Magic Resistance Aura.    

In an Arcane Avenger build, the opponent must address the Arcane Archers, the Triple Ballista destruction spell machine of death, and all of the other Sylvan Alpha Strike units.  Any of of these threats will wreck your opponent's day.

Weaknesses:

In the end game, Arcane Archers have a sign hanging on them saying "Nuke Me with Swift Mind Spell Cast Plz", which means there goes the meat of your hero special.  Also, consider doomsday gate guards like Titans stacks, which will promptly cook your Arcane Archers with Call Lightning to good effect. Ossir's hero turns simply aren't powerful enough to deal with situations where his Arcane Archers can't be deployed.  In these cases, you may have to go with the Light Magic->Regeneration tank route.    

Top Gets:

Ranged Build:

Archery, Triple Ballista, Arcane Avenger, Enlightenment->Intelligence (For Arcane Avenger  - you will need mana with Ossir's small knowledge stat), Battle Frenzy->Retribution, Morale, Luck, Dragon Eye Ring (10% initiative Ranged Units), Light Magic->Twilight (replenishment/tank strategy), Ring of Machine Affinity (extra ballista shot/destruction spell)

Alpha Strike:

Tactics (Alpha Strike), Battle Frenzy->Retribution, Morale->Aura of Swiftness, Luck, Dragon Eye Ring (10% initiative Ranged Units), Ring of Celerity (10% Initiative), Lion King Crown (lucky hits, morale triggers for continued alpha-striking)



Lucretia

Rating: 5 Stars

Creeping:

For a might hero, Lucretia is a creeping power house.  She starts with Combat, which most would consider to be a terrible starting skill, but in reality is actually an awesome starting skill for Lucretia.  Why?  Because you can get Chain-Attack->Stunning Strike in short order.  Chain-attack seems to be made to work with Skeleton Archers, especially ones with awesome 1-stack ghost blockers in front of them.  Combat is also a great base skill for your vampire retaliations.  

Necromancy is a great early pick for Lucretia, helping her to increase her skeleton numbers early week 1, and her vampire numbers in later weeks.  

Around week 2, you will want to switch to vampire/skeleton archer creeping.  Lucretia vampires are super charged vampires, capable of taking on big level 6 and 7 stacks, giving her a great answer for week 2-4 creeping.

Keep an eye out for War Machines->Tent, as this will greatly ease the game for you and Ballista is a nice add.  Lucretia is one of the few might heroes that can go without war machines in the early game, but that's not to say it isn't useful to her.  

End-Game:

Lucretia has the same problem as all other death knights: her level 6 and 7 stacks don't measure up to opposing might faction level 6-7 stacks.   She also doesn't have the benefit of morale on her units.  On the other hand, she will likely have the best might stats in any encounter (with morale adding attack instead).  Also, her creeping advantages should give her an artifact advantage over her opponent.  

Necropolis units have low hit points, making them particularly vulnerable to destruction magic.  Luckily, Shatter Destruction is available to Lucretia should you anticipate such an opponent.

Unlike other death knights, Lucretia vampires demand an IMMEDIATE answer, whether it be putting an "Implode Me" sign on her vampires, or a might focus fire by level 6-7 units.  This give her an advantage over other Death Knights, as she demands certain actions of her opponents.  

You have a choice in the end game of whether or not to go with Dark Magic (Mass Slow, Mass Confusion, Blindness, Frenzy).  The problem with this path is, unlike light, Dark Magic offers no spell power buffs.  It also requires significant investment in both Dark and Enlightenment to make it good.  Cheaper skill options like banshee wail (decent when combined with morale lowering artifacts) and continuing to utilize stunning strikes are available if you choose not to go down the dark magic path.  In many cases, the Shatter Light/Destruction skills might actually be better.  

Finally, Lucretia has an Ace up here sleeve that evens the odds against late game Hereos.  Death knights can get both Aura of Swiftness AND Diplomacy.  They also have a building to transform units into Necropolis units.  Winning a Diplomacy Role on a stack of Level 4 units and transforming them into Vampires (effectively doubling the size of the stack) is a potential game breaking event.  

Top Gets:

Chain Attack->Stunning Strike, War Machines->Tent, Battle Frenzy (pump skele, ghost, vampire damage), Amulet of the Bloody Claw (same), Crown of Leadership (win diplomacy roles and use Shrine of the Netherworld), Cloak of Death's Shadow/Ring of Broken Will (even the morale playing field), Unicorn Bow (Skeles and Liches), Staff of the Netherwold (good for everyone, and necro doesn't care about morale penalty)



Havez

Rating: 5 Stars

Creeping:

Havez has the tools to be a very good creeper with his super-powered, high-initiative gremlins.  You will want to get Battle Frenzy asap to pump the offensive prowess of your gremlins.  Then, Archery and Flaming Arrows are nice to get along with a usual War-machine/Tent/Ballista build.  

Summoning is a good early get for Havez for Clone, Fire Trap, and Arcane Crystal/Blade Barrier.  Your units depend on ranged to be effective, and manipulating the battle field to maintain this advantage is important.  Light magic->Regeneration on Colossus, which block for your gremlins, is also effective.  

Finally, Havez has access to artifact merchants, which allows him to get the very best artifacts (see below) for his units.

End Game:

Devastating end-game with high initiative ranged units.  Pack your units with high initiative artificer artifacts.  After the initiative stat, build your artificer artifacts based on your enemy.  If you suspect a destruction hero, get magic resistance.  If you are fighting a might hero, attack might be better.  Artificer health is a great for your level gremlins to improve their resistance to destruction magic.

Start the battle with a Swift Minded Light magic/Mass Haste to further pump your initiative advantage even more.  Then, rely on Empathy to speed up your spell turns and start laying on the clones of your Gremlin stacks.

Weaknesses:

There is a period of time where Havez can peter out creeping around week 3-4.  Seer stats are spread out among all 4 stats and their units are not overwhelming from a pure strength perspective, so sometimes Havez lacks the oomph to deal with certain encounters where his ranged tactical advantage can not be leveraged effectively.  Havez also has a weakness in the end game to heroes with the mass-deflection spell.  

Top Gets:

War Machines->Tent (replace Gremlin losses from ranged), Battle Frenzy (pump gremlin damage), Empathy (faster light and summoning casting speed), Dragon Eye Ring (pump initiative of ranged units), Amulet of the Bloody Claw (pump gremlin damage), Unicorn Bow (pretty much game), Ring of Celerity (more initiative), Staff of the Netherworld (pretty much game)...



Minasli

Rating: 5 stars

Creeping:

Minasli is mostly overlooked by Heroes 5 players, as her power is not immediately obvious.  However, after considerable play testing, I've decided to rate her at 5 stars given her high proclivity for week 2 breaks.  What makes Minasli special?  First of all, she has Iron Maiden, which is a really good hero special.  This is the hero special that once made non-modded Heroes 5 Deleb famous.  She also starts with War Machines Ballista and Luck, a great starting package for any might hero. This alone, however, does not make her a 5 star hero.  Sheltem, for example, also has this special, and although he is a very good might hero (one of the few playable Inferno might heroes), he is not a 5 star hero.  

What pushes Minasli over the edge into 5 star territory is her access to Artificial Glory in the Artificer skill tree, something no other non-Academy hero has access to.  This skill gives your Ballista a chance for Morale triggers.  When considering the stacking nature of triple ballista and Iron Maiden on top of the morale trigger, this becomes very Big Game.  Effectively, it means you can dominate Week 1 and Week 2, creeping with the equivalent of a bazooka, making the offense of the rest of your army almost trivial by comparison.  This power makes Minasli a consistent Week 2 breaker.  Now, you do have to do some careful skill management in Week 1, as Artificial Glory is a skill point in a Base Skill you don't start with, so be careful to prioritize Artificer early and force Artificial Glory.

End Game:

Minasli transitions into a traditional Academy might hero end-game after she week 2 breaks, meaning reliance on initiative artificer artifacts and a mix of mass-light and summoning spells.  Minasli's ballista is also powerful enough to scale into the end-game and present a must-deal with threat for the opponent.  She also has easy access to March of Golems, making Golems a respectable unit on the battlefield.  In general, she should have artifact and stat advantage over her opponent due to her powerful week 1 and 2.

Weaknesses:

Minasli suffers from of the same problems that all Seers do: her stats tend to be spread out over all 4 categories and Academy units are at a disadvantage in a late-game slug-fest situation (they are more tactically powerful than physically strong).  Also, Iron Maiden doesn't really scale past week 3, so you will need to transition.  Finally, a human opponent will nullify her hero special easily by simply targeting the ballista early with aoe destruction spells.  

Top Gets:

Artificer->Artificial Glory, War Machines->Triple Ballista, Attack->Flaming Arrows, Ring of Machine Affinity (quad ballista), Lion Eye Crown (morale for Artificial Glory), Morale->Empathy (cast summoning/light spells faster with your morale triggers), Dragon Eye Ring (pump initiative of ranged units), Amulet of the Bloody Claw (pump gremlin damage), Unicorn Bow (pretty much game), Ring of Celerity (more initiative)



Zydar

Rating: 5 Stars

Creeping:

Zydar has a big problem creeping week 1: demon units suck at creeping.  Also, taking the Demon's primary blocking tactic Gating is not really on the menu (that skill slot is far more valuable for spell caster skills).  Zydar, however, starts with destruction magic, sorcery, and arcane training: a good skill set to get going on your quest to melt faces.  The first few days of week 1 can be a little hairy, so make sure you start with some minor spell power/50% damage artifacts to get started.  You will need to use a lot of advanced 1-unit stack squire hero tactics to get Zydar through week 1, but once you get there, something magical happens - Zydar starts to leverage wind speaker and empowered spells.  

At that point, Zydar arguably becomes the most powerful magic hero in the game.  Simply put, the combination of Windspeaker and Empowered Spells can dominate opponents.    

End-Game:

Zydar is a terrifying opponent in the end-game throwing out empowered/slipper/meteor showers and implosions at a rapid pace.  Also, imp stacks can not be ignored as they can drain whatever spell-casting mana the opponent has, crippling both the might and hybrid classes that have lower mana pools.

The main fear of a Zydar hero would be a hero with Shatter Destruction.  In this case, a Summoning backup spell school (which also helps in creeping) might be in order.

Weaknesses:

Demon town doesn't help Zydar at all with bad creature units, no artifact merchants, and no real town perks to speak of.  At least the mage guild has a proclivity for high-value destruction spells.

Top Gets:

Zydar is a typical destruction caster, so he favors the typical skills: Max Destruction, Empowered Spells, Max Sorcery, Enlightenment/Swift Mind, Caster's Luck, a 50% damage artifact,  etc... After that, he is after anything that gives him spell power.  Staff of the Netherworld and the morale reducing artifacts also help against might heroes.



Elleshar

Rating: 5 Stars

Creeping:

Elleshar starts with Destruction and Enlightenment.  Enlightenment, in addition to the XP bonus, gives you desperately needed knowledge points in week 1, so it is a great support skill to start with.  He does waste a skill slot on the useless Scholar skill, his one blemish.  In addition to his spell power hero special, Elleshar also benefits from Sparkling Fountain spell power buffs from each Sylvan town, giving him abnormally high spell power compared to other heroes.  This additional spell power really puts Elleshar head and shoulders above other magic heroes when it comes to both creeping and end-game.  

Elleshar benefits from good Sylvan glass cannon units that perform well mopping up destruction weakened enemy stacks without taking losses themselves.  Pixie high initiative/non-retaliation spray attack kills multiple units weakened by destruction strikes.  Arcane Archers, are well, Arcane Archers.  

For particularly hard encounters, Elleshar can rely on Ancient/Normal Treants.  These guys have massive hit point pools for their tier, allowing them to absorb magic strikes (think Titan call lightning) and brutal level 7 stack hits with enough endurance to give Elleshar time to clean up with destruction casts.  Given that Treants aren't really important to the offense of your army, you are also ok with taking losses with those stacks (its there job).  If you have light magic, a single cast of Regeneration on Treants is often enough to keep their numbers up while you focus the rest of your turns on destruction casts.  

End-Game:

Legend tells of the High Mages that destroyed Miyeritar (Forgotten Realms reference), and it is very possible Elleshar was responsible!  Elleshar operates like a standard destruction hero with spell power higher, on average, than any other hero.  

Elleshar has an additional Ace up his sleeve: Channeling.  Channeling can potentially push Elleshar above 100+ spell power at level 36 or so.  At these spell power levels, Emerald Slipper/Casters Luck/Empowered Meteor Showers can effectively gut your opponent's army in a single cast.  Elleshar can't do this on his Swift Mind turn (having to give time for Dryads and High Druids to do their thing), but his second turn will effectively finish the opponent.  

At these levels of spell power, all spells are good for Elleshar... want a devastating 100 spell power Pheonix?  Sure.  An immortal Celstial Sheild... why not.  Elleshar has more options than just destruction to be effective, depending on what the opponent's counters are.  

Weaknesses:

Elleshar doesn't have access to Artifact Merchants like his Dark Elf and Academy competitors, potentially putting him at a disadvantage.  The critical thing here is that he finds a 50% damage artifact that matches a high-level destruction spell that he picks up along the way.  If he doesn't find one, he can be operating at a substantial disadvantage, despite his spell power.

Top Gets:

Elleshar is a typical destruction caster, so he favors the typical skills: Max Destruction, Empowered Spells, Max Sorcery, Enlightenment/Swift Mind, Caster's Luck, a 50% damage artifact,  etc... After that, he is after anything that gives him spell power.  Staff of the Netherworld and the morale reducing artifacts also help against might heroes.



Jhora

Rating: 5 Stars

Creeping:

Jhora is an example of a hero who isn't completely about raw power, but succeeds because of her flexibility and the fact that her town is completely aligned with her skill set.  Academy provides Jhora many spell choices, good ranged units and blockers to support her Summoning/Light skills, Artifact Merchants, and Artificer Enhancements.  

Jhora has Windspeaker, the best magic hero special in the game.  Windspeaker allows Jhora to take full advantage of the Academy faction's flexibility. The negative is that Empowered Spells are not available to her.  Now, it is possible for her to get Occultism from Witch huts (intended or not, hard to say), but let's just assume she can't get Empowered spells.  

Jhora starts with Artificer and Consume Artifact... 2 bad skills.  At least consume artifact leads to "Wizard's Reward" a quick +2 spell power and gold bonus.  In the plus column, she starts with Summoning, the hands down best creeping magic school.

Starting out, Jhora is going to be low on spell power, so she is best served by getting the + 4 summoning skills like Master of Conjuration and quickly moving into Pyromancy.  Fire Elementals really help creeping week 1.  Also, remember that Elemental Waistband is an excellent artifact for Jhora to begin with.  Moving forward, Fire Trap and Fire Wall are going to be Jhora's main killing spells.  Conveniently, you get Fire Wall free of charge by simply taking Pyromancy, meaning you don't even have to build up your mage guild.  Fire Trap dominates large walkers.  Fire Wall stacking dominates difficult Gatekeeper stacks.  Academy, in particular, makes great use of Fire Wall, because gargoyle blockers can fly over the Fire Wall to block, giving you an opportunity to stack even more Fire Walls in the same spot.  

Phoenix feather cape is a major top get for Jhora.  The reason is that it works with Fire Wall, giving it the stopping power you will need to break stacks week 3, even with Jhora's lower than average spell power.  

Later in the game, you will be be able to use Artifact Merchants to account for Jhora's spell power deficiency, and insure you get a 50% damage artifact (if you go a destruction route).  

End-Game:

Jhora has many end-game spell choices which she can choose to best effect.  Summoning/Light magic is the most common build for Jhora.  Clone, Hypnotism, Phoenix, Mass Deflection, Celestial Shield, Resurrection, Mass Haste are some of the spells you are looking at combined with Artificer enhanced units.  She can throw out Cloned hit&run units if the opponent chooses to stay back, or Firewall her opponents ranged units.

She can constantly summon a phoenix as a kamikaze attack unit or blocker.  She can also manipulate the battlefield with a well positioned blade barrier/arcane crystal.  

If Jhora happens to obtain a 50% damage artifact and has the right destruction spell for it, she can also throw out some non-empowered destruction power (with caster's luck, it is still effective).  

What makes Jhora powerful is she throws out these spells at an extremely rapid clip with Windspeaker, making it very difficult for her opponent to react to the changing tactical landscape of the battlefield.

Weaknesses:

Jhora lacks the raw spell power of opposing factions.  She also doesn't have empowered spells, elemental vision etc... to giver her spells immediate stopping power.  She makes up for it with Windspeaker and her ability to alter the battlefield in other ways.

Top Gets:

Jhora is a typical Light/Summoning focused caster, so she favors the typical skills:  Max Sorcery, Enlightenment/Swift Mind, Light Magic->Twilight, Summoning->Pyromancy,  Phoenix feather cape is a high get because of Fire Wall.  After that, she is after anything that gives him spell power.  Staff of the Netherworld and the morale reducing artifacts also help against might heroes.



Sandro

Rating: 5 Stars

Creeping:

The Heroes 5 "Vecna", I'm rating Sandro 5 Stars not necessarily on raw power-level, but mainly on how easy he is to play at a high-difficulty level and how well he matches up with Necropolis.  Sandro is the hero I would recommend most when first learning magic heroes on impossible.  With Sandro, very few battles can go badly because you have all the creeping tools available to you day 1.

Sandro starts with Necromancy and Summoning.  Necromancy allows Sandro to quickly raise a big army of skeleton archers week 1.  Summoning has 2 of the best creeping tools in the game: Fire Trap and Fire Wall and some great side perks that give you big bonuses and free spells.  Even if you do take losses, you have Eternal Servitude and Raise Dead.  You pretty much have all the creeping tools you need on day 1.

Ghost blockers give Sandro ample spell turns to destroy the stacks with skeleton archer assistance.  If you can't deploy skeleton archers, simply deploy 7 1-unit ghosts and kill the stack with Sandro himself.  There are very few encounters where Sandro will have issues.

Phoenix feather cape is of particular interest to Sandro because of fire wall stacking.  The fact that ghosts both fly over fire wall and have etherealness makes them the ideal blockers for the fire wall stacking tactic.

End-Game:

Sandro functions as a standard destruction/summoning hero with above average spell-power thanks to his special.  One big end game benefit is that Sandro doesn't have to spend a skill slot on Light magic to raise his troops.  Raise dead is there from turn 1 with ample spell power to power it.

Sandro has benefited from the move of Puppet Master to the Summoning tree.  Given his super-high spell power, he can control his opponent's best unit for the duration of the battle.  

Sandro has the option to go with a number of different spell school routes, giving him the advantage of surprise.  Summoning/Destruction with a focus on Destruction will probably be the most common build... Tossing Meteor Showers being the most common option, but there are other possibilities.  Instead of throwing out an Implosion, how about sending in an 80 spell power phoenix?  What about mixing in a Storm Wind (Sandro has access to Shatter Light)/Staff of the Netherworld/Mass Slow taste of Dark magic?  How about messing with your opponents units with hypnotism and frenzy?  There are a lot of ways Sandro can go.
 
Given all of Sandro's creeping advantages, you would be expected to have beaten your opponent to the artifacts, and should have a stat advantage.  If you don't, then you are probably in trouble.

Weaknesses:

Necro troops are week when it comes to level 6/7 units.  They lack the staying power to maximize Sandro's casting time.  Also, Necro town lacks access to the Artifact Merchants, making it more likely you will miss out on a 50% damage artifact.

Top Gets:

Sandro is a typical Destruction/Summoning caster, so he favors the typical skills: Max Destruction, Empowered Spells, Max Sorcery, Enlightenment/Swift Mind, Caster's Luck, a 50% damage artifact,  etc... Phoenix feather cape is of particular interest, because it pumps Fire Wall, a powerful summoning creeping spell.  After that, he is after anything that gives him spell power.  Staff of the Netherworld and the morale reducing artifacts also help against might heroes.



Dungeon Magic Heroes (In General)

There is a very good reason why Dungeon magic heroes are banned on many competitive maps.  All Dungeon magic heroes benefit from one of the most broken mechanics in the game: Stalker Creeping.   The hero specials and starting skills are somewhat minor (although starting with Empowered Spells and Destruction is excellent) compared to the huge advantage that Stalker creeping gives.    If I had to take a favorite starting hero, I'd take Raelag, as his special is the most relevant for the end-game battle.  However, Sinitar's hero special is very useful in the creeping phase, as his mana efficiency can potentially accelerate you 1-2 turns (more significant than you think when talking about competitive play).  Kastore is also good as Summoning is more mana efficient than Destruction at creeping weeks 1-2.

Creeping:

Stalker creeping is probably the most broken mechanic in the game.  What it allows you to do is for you to buy only level 1 units and race to Dragons and level 5 spells immediately.  You can creep by turning your Stalkers invisible and simply spamming your Destruction spells on the mobs until they are dead.  This works on almost everything save magic-resistant mobs - although things like Magnetic Golems aren't really something to be feared.  Invisibility lasts for 3 turns, but you can milk far more than that by simply waiting to turn invisible until absolutely necessary.  Splitting your stalkers into multiple 1-stack units and placing them in opposite corners while invisible is another tactic, forcing creatures to travel the map to kill each individual stalker.  Also, when your stalkers do turn visible, they have good initiative and speed, allowing them to run units around the map.  What this amounts to is you will often have 5-6 hero spell turns before your stalkers even have the potential to be attacked.  This is more than enough for a well-crafted destruction hero to kill almost anything.

With Stalker creeping, you can focus all your resources toward building your gold base, building towards dragons, your mage guild, and buying spell power artifacts from the Artifact Merchants.'

A Dungeon magic hero is actually able to perform a week 2 break fairly consistently, making them the best creepers in the game.

End-Game:

Destruction heroes are the original Destruction Casters.  Often times, you will pick a second school to shake things up against the opponent in case they take Destruction counter-measures.  Light is my personal favorite to protect my Dragons, but Dark and Summoning can also wreak havoc.  

Elemental Visions gives your Destruction spells even more damage, giving you the potential to have the highest Destruction damage in the game.

Weaknesses:

Dungeon magic heroes don't quite reach the top-end of the other magic heroes on this list.  None of their hero specials compete with something like Windspeaker, and a hero like Sandro and Elleshar can potentially outclass their spell power.  Therefore, they need to beat these heroes to the artifacts to have a comfortable advantage.

Like all Magic heroes, Dungeon heroes are highly dependent on the prevalence of mana wells for their efficiency.  Destruction is not as mana efficient as Summoning, and a low concentration of mana wells can severely limit your creeping speed.

Top Gets:

Dungeon magic heroes are typical destruction casters, so they favors the typical skills: Max Destruction, Empowered Spells, Max Sorcery, Enlightenment/Swift Mind, Caster's Luck, a 50% damage artifact,  etc... Dungeon magic heroes can go with any of the other 3 spell schools as well to potentially surprise their opponent if they are loading up on anti-Destruction measures.  



Some Popular Heroes and why they didn't make the 5 Star List:
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1) Wyngaal:

I'm on the 5 star fence with Wyngaal.  He is the king of the Sylvan Alpha Strike, but in my opinion he has a bit of a
struggle creeping in the early and mid-game.  His hero special isn't THAT impactful when creeping, mostly just insuring your
archers go first (which they usually already do with 11 initiative).  In my opinion, 5 star heroes can beat him to the artifacts
when creeping.  


2) Yrwanna:

Yrwanna didn't make the list because of the recent speed nerf to Blood Furies.  This dramatically impacts her effectiveness because
Furies MUST reach their opponent on their first turn - and no, Blood Sisters ARE NOT Blood Furies... 2 points of initiative makes
all the difference.  Even if she did have Blood Furies, she's is a tough play given every battle is a close-run initiative war.    

3) Gorshak

Gorshak is unquestionably the best Barbarian hero, however, that does not make him a 5 star hero.  I think of Gorshak as a 4 star hero
that happens to be the best hero of his faction.

4) Haven Heroes:

Haven has a strong end-game, but I don't think the week 1-2 performance of Haven is particularly good with any of the heroes.  Of the
ones I like, I'd rate Irina and Dougal at 4 stars.  Their problem: poor initiative on crossbowmen.  

5) Dwarven Heroes:

All Dwarven might heroes have strong end games, regardless of hero special.  Karli is probably the best after Ingvar.  After that,
they all start playing similarly to eachother.  

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Lilt
Lilt

Tavern Dweller
posted March 17, 2019 02:23 PM
Edited by Lilt at 19:30, 19 Mar 2019.

I really enjoyed this read!

In the future, if you have the inclination, I'd love to read about the best end-game factions and the best end-game heroes from each faction in your opinion (e.g. assuming level 50 with equal-ish armies).

I know creeping is fundamental to the game so you can't rightfully ignore it, but I'm definitely curious about that since I've never seen an endgame-only list. I imagine heroes like Wyngaal do better, but I'm curious who else does!
____________

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Rimgrabber
Rimgrabber


Adventuring Hero
It's a fixer-upper
posted March 18, 2019 11:14 PM

Good post! Hope we get to see more stuff like this for 5.5.
____________
http://heroescommunity.com/viewthread.php3?TID=44170
^ my dead proposal thread. Maybe I'll update it again someday
http://heroescommunity.com/viewthread.php3?TID=44815
^ My novelization of HoMM 5

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fidanas
fidanas


Adventuring Hero
posted March 19, 2019 07:38 PM

Respects...!!!
____________
Just another turn and i'm done...

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Esto100nec1
Esto100nec1

Tavern Dweller
posted March 24, 2019 09:46 PM

1. Tell me where the game uses the colors of the vertices?
2. Where is it possible to find and download the gr2.decode plugin for 3ds Max 2008 or for another version of max?

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bulya
bulya


Hired Hero
posted June 11, 2019 04:53 PM

I wonder why don't you put enlightenment as a Top Get for Ossir's range build.

The arcane avanger ability isn't as strong without enlightenment, which can make it to a very powerful thing (both, for mana and for other stats including SP).

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monere
monere


Famous Hero
posted June 11, 2019 06:59 PM

great guide, dude. I don't play 5.5 anymore (not because I don't like it, but because I don't have the time anymore), but should I ever come back to it I'll remember these tips when I play the game.

Thanks for sharing them with us, mortals

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bulya
bulya


Hired Hero
posted June 23, 2019 11:40 PM

Seems like you mostly play with 8 skills, something I don't do.
Your top picks fill the hero with so many skills that he can't get it all, so either a choice must be made (and for example, empowered spells without Destruct is quite useless), or pick the more improtant ones that will make it possible to break early, and play with the rest according to my opponent. I feel like logistics is always a nice pick, may be not week 1 but later on its surely is (for the map control I get I also get some boost to my stats by creeping more then my opponent, unless he picked logistics as well, so investing like 6 level ups is worth it). But nobody there has room for logistics if its a 6 skills game.

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Caracal
Caracal


Adventuring Hero
posted June 24, 2019 03:37 PM
Edited by Caracal at 16:21, 24 Jun 2019.

After my recent game with friend on Let's fight I would suggest Demon Lord Sheltram if I remember the name correctly. It's the hero with fireball effect on balista. He basically destroyed me in my own starting area beginning week 4. I was just getting ready to break out on chill out where he took both of my towns and rolled over me with hero lvl 33....week 4. He also said he cleared all 3 utopias. So definitely a hero with great creeping potential.

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bulya
bulya


Hired Hero
posted June 24, 2019 04:33 PM

I think Lets Fight! doesn't allow a lot of late game play, so all heroes with early game buffs like a strong balista for Sheltem gain an advantage there as they don't really lose their advantage till the very last battle of the game.

I think on larger maps, less rich ones, where making it far takes a bit more time and breaking half a week later then my opponent isn't that crucial as on Lets Fight! Sheltem and the other heroes with the big early game buffs aren't as strong as they are on Lets Fight!.

On Lets Fight! the first one to break is likely to claim the utopia in the middle, and if he makes it further then even claim the level ups in my underground. Which rewards for the lack of late game buffs (like some of the suggested heroes).

So I doubt Sheltem, even though I agree he is one of the stronger Inferno heroes (perhaps the strongest might Inferno hero).

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