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


Responsible
Known Hero
posted November 23, 2019 04:53 AM bonus applied by Galaad on 23 Nov 2019.
Edited by azalen at 01:22, 24 Nov 2019.

Heroes 5.5 Academy Guide

Academy Guide

Disclaimer

The intention of this guide is to give an overview of the Academy factions from the perspective of Impossible
difficulty.  On a guide like this, there will likely be some disagreement, so hopefully it will create a good
dialog going forward.

Note that I have changed the structure of this guide after taking feedback on my earlier Necropolis guide.

Also, check out Elvin's 3.1 Celestial Heavens guide on Academy.  Even though it is focused on Heroes 5, there
is still valuable knowledge there that can be applied to Heroes 5.5

Elvin Academy Guide 3.1

Overall

Academy can be considered the "Good" sister city of Necropolis.  Whereas Necropolis favors Dark and Summoning
magic, Academy favors Light and Summoning Magic.  Like Necropolis, Academy offers good creeping tools for
weeks 1-2, sporting no-less than 3 ranged units and a proclivity for War Machines.  In exchange for this
creeping prowess, a price must be paid later in the game.  Unlike Necropolis, which pays for their creeping
power by giving up power in the late game, Academy gives up its power in the mid-game (weeks 3-5), but then
quickly regains power later in the game.  This is due to a decent level 6-7 creature combination and their
faction special, Artificer, which allows Academy to abuse the most important creature stat in the game:
Initiative.

Strength Rating

3.5/5 Stars - Academy has a strong creeping game week 1-2, but they can struggle in the middle weeks 3-5.
This weakness is quite important considering week 3-5 is when many games are decided on small maps.  A much
more powerful late-late game makes Academy better than Necropolis overall in my opinion.

Fun to Play/Flavor Rating

4.5/5 Stars - Academy is inspired by the Forgotten Realms Netheril setting, a kingdom of floating cities ruled
by powerful mages.  It does a great job of making you feel like you are playing a Magic themed faction, using
your wits and clever tactics to defeat your opponent rather than brute strength.  

General Faction Strengths

+Gremlins, Wizards, Titans, and a proclivity for War Machines makes Academy the premier ranged faction in the
game.
+An excellent level 1 unit: Gremlins. They are ranged, have high growth rates, easy to block for (small
creature size), and have exceptionally high initiative.
+Capable of some impressive creeping exploits thanks to Summoning tricks and ranged capabilities.
+Academy has a lot of flexibility adjusting to what the Map/RNG gives them.  Whereas other factions may be
highly dependent on getting certain skils/artifacts/spells, Academy can work with a lot of different RNG
combinations to produce a winning strategy.
+Lots of Quality Hero Options.  Not a lot of stinkers here.
+Artifact Merchants
+Library
+Unpredictable late game... Academy can suprise with different spell school choices, able to utilize any of
the 4 spell schools effectively.

General Faction Weaknesses

-Wizards and Seers have their stats "spread out", lacking emphasis on the offensive stats of Attack and Spell
Power.  This leads to a "jack-of-all-trades-master-of-none" effect in the mid-game.  When you are going up
against an experienced player, this stat discrepancy matters.
-The Faction special Artificer has little to no impact until late-game, leading to a completely dead skill
slot for much of the game, particularly for Wizards.
-Gremlins suffer from a combat effectiveness falloff at the beginning of week 3 when their attack power is too
low to overcome the defense of level 6+ units.
-3 of the Faction units: Gargoyles, Genies, and Golems don't bring much to the table in slug-fest type situations.
Genies are glass cannon offensive units.  Gargoyles are blocking fodder.  Golems are near-useless without
March of Golems.
-Ranged units tend to be less effective in the end-game battle because the opponent will usually have Aura of
Swiftness, Tactics, Windstrider Boots, Rune of Charge, or Mass Deflect Missile (Light Magic focused factions)

Artificer (Faction Special Skill)

Artificer is completely useless early game.  The most notable of the secondary perks is Artificial Glory,
which can really catapult a War Machine hero like Minasli to stratospheric heights.  March of Golems makes
Golems go from trash to just alright, but it doesn't make much of an impact creeping because you don't use
Golems to creep. In the late-late game, Artificer becomes dominant.  Initiative and Speed artifacts make
Academy one of the most powerful factions in the late game.

For Artificer, Mercury is going to be your key resource to supply your Initiative artifacts as your top
priority stat.  Luckily, your town resource building produces mercury – another win for Academy.

One unique aspect of Artificer is that your main hero doesn't necessarily have to have the skill to make use
of it. Instead, your main can skip Artificer, and you can designate a Knowledge based Governor to be the
Artificer "hero".  When the time comes to build Artificer artifacts, transfer your knowledge artifacts from
your Main to the Governor and have him build the Artificer artifacts.

The Initiative Cascade

The Initiative Cascade is the key to Academy’s late game prowess.  Whereas all other factions can only
manipulate the Initiative stat through artifacts and the Haste/Slow spell, Academy offers Artificer, which
offers an additional buff to creature Initiative.  This leads to a cascade of self-reinforcing power:

1) The 3 Academy Ranged Attackers (Gremlins, Mages, Colossus) can get in more non-retaliatory ranged attacks
before the opponent can move to block them.
2) Morale is more powerful stat with faster units, as the 0.4 ATB multiplier is applied to a much higher
value.
3) Morale->Empathy Triggers (Seers) happen more often accelerating your hero’s casting turns.  
4) Accelerated casting turns allows you to place an early Mass Haste spell on your troops, helping the
self-reinforcing loop.
5) Summoning->Phantom Forces (usually on Colossus) adds an additional high-initiative ranged attacker to the
party.
6) Kshatra half-circle attack becomes more deadly, as it no longer held back by low initiative, especially
when you stack Dash on top of things.  
7) Triple Ballista at 13 Initiative can get in on the act, especially when you have Artificial Glory (unique
to Academy)  
8) Academy can focus on Attack stat and Attack skills as they will be doing super-fast
non-retaliatory attacks, rendering defense fairly irrelevant.
9) Wizards can further enhance the Initiative spread by going Dark Magic and combining Mass Haste on your
creatures with Mass Slow on the opponent’s creatures.

The key initiative level to beat here is your opponent’s Swift Mind turn.  When the opponent gets their
Swift Mind turn, you want them to be basically picking up the pieces from your onslaught.  

Academy Faction Tactics

Academy has many tricks up their sleeve, so this is going to be a big section…

Gremlins + 5 1-unit Gargoyle blockers + Big Gargoyle Stack: This is your typical creeping setup weeks 1-2.
The idea is that Gremlins, War Machines, and the Hero carry out most of the offense while the Gargoyle
blockers block for the Gremlins.  Your big stack of Gargoyles serves as a reservoir for 1-unit Gargoyle
blockers and a blocker of last resort/offensive backup for your Gremlins.

Hero Stacking Creatures: Each week, make sure you hire a new Academy Hero and add their Gremlin and Gargoyle
stacks to your main.  Week 1, there is actually a chance of getting 2 Academy heroes and their armies.
Increasing your Gremlin numbers is critical to your success.

7 1-unit Gargoyles, Engineering Ballista: This is a setup to take out difficult week 1 ranged mine guards like
Elvish Archers/Assassins without taking Gremlin losses.  The concept here is that the Ballista will take out
one Archer stack with Engineering Initiative at the start.  Each archer attack will only take out 1 Gargoyle,
by which time your hero and Ballista should kill the rest of the stacks.  When all is said and done, you
should have 1-2 Gargoyles left.

Big Gargoyle Stack + 6 1-unit Gargoyles.  This setup is designed for more difficult ranged encounters, like
casters or mid-tier ranged damage dealers without taking Gremlin losses.  Your main Gargoyle stack is a fairly
tough hit point pot, and can take a few ranged hits.  This gives you more turns to take out the ranged
attackers with Hero turns and War Machines.  The 1-stack gargoyle should block the ranged attackers as soon as
possible to take the pressure off your main stack.  For spell casters, Stone and Obsidian Gargoyles have
useful magic immunities for things like Druids, Water Elementals, Archmages, Rune Priests etc...  Using this
tactic will deplete your Gargoyle blocking force, so this is more of a one-time only tactic for a critical
mine.

Summoning->Conjuration->Pyromancy: Most Elementalists start with this combo, but it is also very useful for
Wizards.  This is a very quick way to get big Fire Elemental stacks that can dominate alongside your Gremlins
and War Machines.  They also serve as an additional blocker for your Gremlins.  You can manipulate the
location of where the Fire Elementals by occupying the top spots with Gargoyles, forcing them to appear one
move away from your Gremlins.  Finally, you get Firewall, a powerful level-4 spell, for free, without ever
having to go back to town.  

Firewall Stacking: This is one of the most powerful Gatekeeper breaking tactics in the game.  The trick is to
place multiple fire walls in front of your ranged.  When the mobs finally get through your blockers to attack
your ranged, they get hit by 3-4 Firewalls at once, making them crumple like flies.  Gargoyle’s flying
ability is important here to fly over the Firewall so they can block in front of it.  This gives your Hero
time to stack more Firewalls in front of your ranged.  As an added bonus, Firewall also does well against 4
stack ranged attackers, hitting 2 at once.  Note: Phoenix Feather Cape works with Firewall, so shift your
strategy to Firewall if you manage to pick it up.

Fire Trap: Fire trap gets the job done against walkers of every kind, and it dominates large walkers all the
way up to Magma dragons.  It is the ideal cheap killing spell for both Wizards and Elementalists.  

Battle Frenzy/Amulet of the Bloody Claw: Gremlins benefit tremendously from this skill/artifact combination.
Gremlin damage average goes from 1.5 to 3.5, a 130% increase.  This is particularly deadly with Havez.

Phantasmal Forces: Phantasmal Forces is an example of a Summoning spell that doesn’t need Spell Power or
even Expert Summoning to be good.  This is important for Seers, as cloning Gremlin stacks is a powerful Might
hero move.  Clones, like Fire Elementals, also serve as blockers, with the very useful Etherealness special.  

Regeneration Tanking: An alternative creeping tactic; the idea here is to place Expert Light Regeneration on a
Giant/Colossus/Titan and have them maintain a defensive stance.  You can add Endurance and Celestial Shield to
make them even tougher.  While the Titans absorb big hits with their high defense, you work on the mobs with
Spells/War Machines.  Small range units, like Gremlins/Mages, can also be positioned in the corner behind the
Titans to contribute ranged attacks when it is safe to deploy them.   To be clear, you still deploy your 1
unit Gargoyles to block for your Titans to keep the big hits off them as long as possible; giving you a chance
to get your Light Magic spells going on the Titans.  Note, if you miss Regeneration in your Mage Guild, you
can still pick it up with Summoning->Master of Life.

Phoenix Tanking: Similar to Regeneration tanking, but instead of Light Magic, you keep resummoning a level 5
Phoenix every time it dies that then repositions itself to block for a ranged force in the corner.  Like Fire
Elementals, you can manipulate where the Phoenix is summoned by placement of your Gargoyles.

Arcane Crystal/Blade Barrier: Academy thrives on creating additional blockers so that they can continue their
ranged assault.  Arcane Crystal comes for free from Master of Earthblood, and adds to your tool chest of
Elementals and Phantasmal Forces to artificially create more blockers beyond the 7-slot army.  It’s also
good for immediately block ranged attackers.  Blade Barrier is the ultimate blocking spell, and confuses the
AI to the point of helplessness.

Mark of the Sorcerer: Originally an Academy exclusively, Heroes 5.5 has made this skill available to all
casters.  However, Academy Wizards are still the class it is best suited with their large mana pool.  It costs
half a turn to place it, so it lacks immediacy.   However, by doubling up spell casts, it can compensate for a
Wizard’s lower spell power.  I like this skill for a “Destruction Jhora” build, as she takes less of a
turn hit from Mark of the Wizard.  Taking Mark of the Sorcerer means you lose out on Arcane Brilliance, a very
good perk, and take Wisdom – a terrible perk.  See Elvin’s Academy Guide for more information on how to
use Mark of the Sorcere.  

Wasp Swarm Soft Lock: At Expert Summoning level, the Wasp Swarm stun becomes significant enough to
control the enemy initiative.   It doesn’t do notable damage, but it locks down enemies long enough for your
ranged forces to take them down.  Good against 2 or less stacks.  

Hive: Hive casts continual Wasp Swarm, freeing up your hero to Wasp Swarm lock other stacks up or do something
else with their spell turn.  

Artifacts of Particular Interest

Elemental Waistband: A great way for Wizards and Elementalists to get started is to have this artifact.  +4 to
Summon Elemental combined with +4 Master of Conjuration and Pyromancy means you are already at 10 Spell Power
to cast +40% Fire Elementals, making a mockery of week 1-2 creeping.

Breastplate of Eldritch Might/Beginner’s Magic Wand: You will have knowledge from your stats, so Spell Power
is what you need to focus on early.

Phoenix Feather Cape: Academy has easy access to Firewall through Pyromancy.  Phoenix Cape makes Firewall
powerful enough to take down Gatekeeper stacks.

Edge of Balance: +3 Attack is great for Gremlins.  You don’t care about -1 defense being a ranged faction.

Ring of Caution: 6 stats from a minor artifact is excellent.  The speed penalty is irrelevant for Academy week
1-2.

Amulet of the Bloody Claw: Combine with Battle Frenzy to have Gremlins doing 130% more damage.

Dragon Eye Ring: Incredible for Academy.  Gives you 4 stats and 10% initiative to ranged, of which you have 3
units.  This artifact is huge for the Initiative Cascade.

Ring of Celerity: This is like Dragon Eye Ring, but it applies to all of your units.

Dragon Talon Crown: Triple Ballista is an important part of your ranged assault.  Combining this with
Engineering gives Ballista enough initiative to join the Initiative Cascade party.

Ring of Machine Affinity: Extra shot on Ballista and +4, Tent, and +4 ranged attacks from Ammo Cart.

Cape of the Lion’s Mane/Lion Crown: Morale is a better stat for you than any other faction because of
Initiative Cascade and Artificial Glory.  The +6 attack set bonus is quite good as well.

Staff of the Netherworld: Increases the Initiative Cascade spread between your creatures and your opponent’s
creatures.  This is arguably the most powerful artifact in the game.

Unicorn Bow: The dream artifact.  Dramatically increases the damage of your Gremlins, Colossi, Fire Elementals,
Phantasmal Forces, etc...  


Class Summary: Seers

Seers are the Might class of Academy.  The first thing to recognize about Seers is that their 30% Attack Roll
is pretty pathetic for a Might class, making them more of a mixed Might/Magic class.  On the other hand, they
lack Sorcery, so they will never compete with a pure Magic class on a toe to toe basis.  So what's the payoff?
The short answer is that Seers take advantage of Academy's great week 1-2 performance and then leverage it
into the deadly late game Initiative Cascade.

As a Seer, you are going to have weak Spell power, so you will be reliant on your Gremlin stack and War
Machines to creep.  When going War Machines, you will have a choice between Triple Ballista and First Aid Tent
– the conservative choice is usually to take Tent to keep your Gremlin numbers up, but Triple Ballista gives
you more offense.
Around week 3-4, Seers can start struggling, particularly with Gatekeeper stacks.  Gremlin attack power
isn’t enough to pierce the defense ratings of level 6/7 stacks, and your Seer's attack power is not be
enough to compensate.  You will also be vulnerable to rushes during this phase from your opponent.  

To help in Gatekeeper battles, Seers have some interesting options in the Summoning school that are easily
reachable and not particularly Spell Power dependent:
1) Arcane Crystal is available for free from Master of Earthblood and can serve as an additional
blocker/terrain manipulator for your Gremlins.
2) Master of Conjuration->Pyromancy can create a stack of Elementals that can serve as an additional range
force and block for your Gremlins.  Elemental Waistband helps here as well.
3) Fire Trap is good, even at low spell power, against walker level 6/7s .  It also benefits from Master of
Earthblood.
4) Firewall stacking (which you get for free from Pyromancy) works if you get lucky with Spell Power artifacts
and happen to find a Phoenix Feather Cape.
5) Phantasmal Forces and Blade Barrier, 2 amazing summoning spells that aren’t very spell power dependant,
are available if forced to build to mage guild level 4.

There is an alternative path that requires a great deal of skill investment.  You can pick up Expert Light
Magic and then make the very significant investment into Arcane Armor (6 skill points).  This gives you
Celestial Shield at + 10 Spell Power and (hopefully) Regeneration (Master of Life is there in the summoning
tree if you miss it in Mage Guild).  You can then tank with your early Giants against Gatekeeper stacks.  I
would only recommend this against the most dire gate guards (Titans).   Bottom line: scout your Gatekeepers so
you can build your hero accordingly.

For the most part, you will have to use a combination of good Gargoyle/Summoning blocking and a well placed
strategic Summoning spells to overcome Gatekeepers during this phase, but you generally will never be "out of
options" like some other Might factions can sometimes be when they get unlucky.  For your struggles in the
mid-game, you will be rewarded as you transition into the powerful Initiative Cascade of the late game phase.


Suggested Skill Progression Prioritization:

Early Game:

1) War Machines->Tent (Keep your Gremlin Numbers up)
2) War Machines->Ballista->Engineering (Ballista + Gremlins is deadly)
3) Attack -> Battle Frenzy (Dramatically increase Gremlin Damage)
4) Attack -> Archery -> Fire Arrow (Increase Gremlin damage and dramatically increase Ballista damage)
5) Logistics -> Pathfinding (After War Machines and Attack, you are free to get Logistics)
6) Finish out Luck  
7) Summoning: Summoning is a better school weeks 1-3 than Light with some nice +4 spell perks to compensate
for your weak Seer Spell Power.  Almost all Summoning spells save Fist of Wrath are good and have powerful
situational uses.

Mid Game:

1) Enlightenment -> Eagle Eye, Swift Mind, Intelligence (You want to Swift Mind your Mass Haste in the end
game and more mana)
2) Morale -> Diplomacy, Empathy
3) Light Magic -> Master of Wrath (Mass Haste), Master of Abjuration (Mass Deflect is nice), Twilight
4) Luck -> Magic Resistance -> Barbarian’s Luck (protect your own troops against Magic)
4) Artificer -> Only Artificial Glory is worthwhile of the secondary skills.  

Optional/Situational:

1) Shatter Destruction -> Corrupt Destruction -> Mana Burst -> Arcane Armor: A super high powered Destruction
caster getting off a Swift Minded, Empowered, Lucky AOE spell is a concern for you and your low HP units.
Arcane Armor gives you Celestial Shield and a huge spell power boost to cast it.
2) Defense -> Vitality, Forge Master, Armorer (Defense is worthwhile against good end-game Might factions like
Dwarves and Haven, but not really necessary against other factions).  Forge Master and Armorer protect against
Destruction casters.  
 
Seer Heroes:

Havez: Havez is beast, sporting one of the best late games of any hero.  His week 1-2 is killer, starting with
a double stack of Gremlins.  Now, his mid-game is certainly not as super-strong as some of the other 5 star
heroes.  But oh man, if he gets to the late game?  Super-pumped Gremlins with 23 Initiative are a terror to
behold.  In the end-game, you will actually be debating whether it is better to Phantom Forces your Gremlins
or your Titans - yes, Havez gremlins are that scary.  
Rating - 5 Stars

Minasli: Minasli is a devastating rusher, capable of breaking consistently on week 2. Although her Iron Maiden
Ballista special isn't super-powerful on its own, it keeps multiplying in power as you start adding on the
ballista shots with Triple Ballista (you skip Tent with Minasli), Attack->Fire Arrow, and then combine it with
Artificer->Artifical Glory (with some Morale boosters).  There is a certain point where Minasli's Ballista is
just so powerful; you don't even need to deploy creatures (just a few 1-stack
Gargoyles will do).  Plus, her starting skills are beast: War Machines->Ballista and Luck.
Rating - 5 Stars.  

Josephine: From the lofty heights of Havez and Minasli, we come to Josepehine, who still has the excellent
Logistics special for large maps.  Starting with Advanced Luck is alright - not super great, but ok.  Her hero
special doesn't help you with Gatekeeper battles, so you are going to have to rely on normal skills for
creeping.  Josephine's logistics special becomes more and more powerful as the game goes on.
Rating - 3.5 Stars

Razzak: Ok, so now we are getting to decent but not great heroes.  The strategy here is to combine Master
Gremlins with Steel Golems for the 1-time Repair resurrection.  Grab March of Golems, and all the sudden
Golems start looking pretty good.  The problem?  Giving up 1 initiative on Master Gremlins stinks, and Golems
are just not good enough to be a prime stack, even with Razzak's special.  
Rating - 2.5 Stars

Davius: I'm going to be blunt here: recruitment specials aren't great; especially when they are for creatures
you aren't really going to get until week 2 and have bad initiative.  Davius is just a blank-slate Seer to me.

Rating - 2 Stars

Rissa:
Rating - Resource Secondary hero


Class Summary: Wizards

Wizards are the true "flavor" representatives of Academy, representing the "Clever Mage".  Unlike the "hybrid"
classes of other factions, Wizards are a true Magic class.  However, unlike most other true Magic classes,
Wizards do not focus on raw spell power.  Instead, they focus on Light magic buffs on their creatures and
strategic Summoning spells.

Wizards, as a class, have some serious problems right off the bat when compared to opposing Magic factions:

1) Wizards start with Artificer, effectively a dead skill slot.  A lot of them also start with Consume
Artifact, a worthless skill.  The only good news is that Academy Award is one skill slot away for a quick +2
Spell Power.  
2) Spell power at 35% roll isn't going to get the job done.  
3) No Empowered spells (unless you cheat it out of a Witch Hut).  

The good news?  Most wizards have easy access to Summoning, which can single-handedly sustain creeping for
weeks 1-2 while they fill out their Skill tree with the better magic skills.  With a good 40% knowledge roll,
you will have a big mana pool to work with giving you better creeping stamina than other magic factions.
Wizards also have a town that fully supports them, giving them extra spells from Library and Artifact
Merchants to buff their lower spell power.

War Machines works just as well for Wizards as it does for Seers thanks to Wizard's high knowledge roll and
the Attack + Knowledge formula for Ballista.  You can get Triple Ballista instead of Tent for Wizards, as
maintaining your early Gremlin stacks is not as all-important as it is for Seers.  War Machines also allows
Wizards to save mana for extended creeping sessions.

Like Seers, Wizards can effectively exploit the Initiative Cascade in the late game.  From a skill
perspective, Wizards get Sorcery for faster spell casting, but don't get Morale->Empathy that Seers do.
Stat-wise, Seers have a 20% higher attack roll, but that is not a huge difference.   So, Seer's ranged
creatures will get more turns with morale triggers whereas Wizards will cast faster and with higher Spell
Power.  

Finally, Wizards offer some unpredictability for the opponent.  A Wizard can pick any of the spell schools and
be effective at it.  Want to combine Light and Dark Mass Haste/Mass Slow/Frenzy for an even more powerful
Initiative Cascade?  Sure.  Get Occultism out of a Witch Hut or a spell power Artifact?  Go Destruction.  
You can go many different ways beyond the usual Light/Summoning build, potentially surprising your opponent.  


Suggested Skill Progression Prioritization:

Early Game:

1) Expert Summoning->Master of Conjurations->Pyromancy (Quickly build your Fire Elemental force and get early
Firewall for difficult ranged stacks)
2) Master of Earthblood (if you get Firetrap from your mage guild)
3) Academy Award for quick and dirty +2 spell power if you are forced to start with Consumer Artifact
4) Enlightenment->Intelligence (big mana pool early means greater creeping stamina)
5) Expert War Machines -> Ballista -> Engineering -> Triple Ballista (Triple Ballista will greatly enhance
your offense without costing you mana)
6) Expert Attack->Archery->Fire Arrows->Battle Frenzy (Greatly enhance Ballista and Gremlin Damage)
7) Sorcery->Arcane Training->Arcane Brilliance (spell speed, mana reduction, spell power)
8) Logistics -> Pathfinding (Always take Logistics when you think you have enough to creep effectively)

Mid Game:

1) Expert Luck -> Magic Resistance -> Barbarians Luck (Additional damage for your Initiative Cascade and Magic
Resistance protection)
2) Expert Light Magic -> Master of Wrath -> Master of Abjuration -> Twilight (Mass Haste for Initiative
Cascade, Celestial Shield, and Resurrection)
3) Enlightenment->Eagle Eye->Swift Mind (Land Mass Haste early)

Optional/Situational:

1) Expert Artificer -> Artificial Glory: You have a choice of picking this up with your Main or having a
secondary governor learn this.  If you pick it up with your Main, you can get Artifical Glory when you have
the Morale Artifacts to power it, making your Triple Ballista more deadly.  
2) Expert Dark->Master of Mind: The idea here is to enhance your Initiative Cascade by debuffing the enemy's
creatures.  Mass Haste on your creatures and Mass Slow on your opponent's creatures means an insurmountable
Initiative advantage.  Also, have you ever seen a Dashed/Hasted Vampiric Kshatra?
3) Expert Destruction: Wizards are ok Destruction casters as long as they have a 50% damage artifact and some
Spell power artifacts from Artifact Merchants/map RNG.  You will probably want to invest in Casters Luck and
Mark of the Sorcerer as well if you go this route.  Keep in mind that Occultism can sometimes be teased out of
Witch Huts as a Wizard.
4) Expert Defense->Evasion->Armorer->Forge Master: Additional protection for your creatures in slug-fest style
end game battles.
   
   
Wizard Heroes:

Gurvilin: Gurvilin is pretty bad.  Why in the world would you want to buff Gargoyles?  He also starts with
Destruction, not the Wizards "forte".  The best thing I can say about him is that he starts with Eldritch
Arrow, an ok starting spell.
Rating - 2 Stars

Narxes:  Narxes is ok.  Buffing mages is a good thing for the end game, but you won't get mages in meaningful
numbers until week 2 for creeping.  Starting with Light Magic, a poor creeping school week 1, is not ideal
especially when you are giving up your other skill slot to Artificer.  However, Narxes does set you up with
the possibility of Regeneration tanking with Collosus/Rajas for your pumped Battle Mages.
Rating - 3 Stars

Jhora: The undisputed queen of wizards since Heroes 5 first began, Jhora rocks the best magic hero special in
the game: Windspeaker.  That extra spell casting Initiative allows you to land that all important 1st turn
Mass Haste earlier than your opponent to get the Initiative Cascade going.  With Sorcery and Jhora's
initiative, you can alter the battlefield faster than your opponent can counter with Light and Summoning
spells.  Jhora can also surprise the opponent with other spell schools like Mark of the Sorcerer Destruction
and Mass Slow Dark. The only thing bad I can say about Jhora is that she starts with Artificer and Consume
Artifact, 2 really terrible starting skills.  The good news is she starts with Summoning, so just pickup
Pyromancy, and you should be fine.
Rating - 5 Stars

Cyrus: Spell twister is worthless for creeping.  As far as it being useful in the end-game battle, I would
give it is a Spock "interesting" rather than "fascinating".  He starts with Advanced Artificer and Magic
Mirror, a truly awful start.  I'm not a fan.
Rating - 2 Stars

Faiz: I don't really know how Time Shifter works as the description is not specific enough to judge.  I'm
guessing if it were actually good, we would hear a lot more about it, so I bet it isn't.  Starting with Dark
Magic, Artificer, and Consumer Artifact is big fail.  
Rating - 2 Stars

Maahir: I like Maahir.  His special, combined with starting Enlightenment, will allow him to gain levels quite
fast and will give him a big knowledge pool - important for early creeping.  Maahir also makes an excellent
governor secondary hero to be your Artificer.


Class Summary: Elementalists

With Elementalists, there is no "jack-of-all-trades-master-of-none" issue that Seers and Wizards have.
Elementals have come to Heroes 5.5 to do one thing: melt faces.  Sporting the most Magic hero focused stats of
any class: 50% spell power and 30% knowledge, Elementalists have the stats to get the job done.  Obviously,
with those kinds of stats, you are expecting a pure Destruction hero, but Elementalists largely start off with
Summoning.  This is actually all right, as you can take advantage of Summoning's good creeping spells and
superior situational mana efficiency week 1-3 and then transition to Destruction week 4+.

Elementalists start off with Summon Elemental, a level 2 spell, which is an excellent creping spell through
weeks 1-2 (see faction tactics).   You can supplement Elementals with other Summoning spells like Fire Trap
and Firewall for more immediate killing power.

Later in the game, Elementalists will want to transition to Destruction for its immediate stopping power and
AOE spells.  Luckily, Academy offers you all kinds of advantages for this transition, with extra spells from
the mage guild and Artifact merchants to pickup your 50% damage and Spell Power artifacts.  If your opponent
has a counter for Destruction spells, you still have Summoning school as an offensive backup.

For all of this power, you make 2 major sacrifices.  First, you give up having the powerful Triple Ballista of
Wizards.  Second, you give up much of the Initiative Cascade that Wizards and Seers have.  Lacking Artificer,
you can still use Artificer artifacts, but you will have to rely on a secondary hero to construct the
Artifacts.  On the other hand, Ballista tends to be an easy target in the end-game and Artificer is a horrible
skill until late game, so in most cases your raw spell power is more relevant than what you give up for it.

Suggested Skill Progression Prioritization:

Early Game:

1) Expert Summoning->Master of Conjurations->Pyromancy (Quickly build your Fire Elemental force and get early
Firewall for difficult ranged stacks, big ol' Phoenix in the late game)
2) Master of Earthblood (if you get Firetrap from your mage guild)
3) Enlightenment->Intelligence (big mana pool early means greater creeping stamina)
4) Sorcery->Arcane Training->Arcane Brilliance (spell speed, mana reduction, spell power)
5) Occultism->Empowered Spells->Exorcism (More spell power)
6) Logistics -> Pathfinding (Always take Logistics when you think you have enough to creep effectively,  don't
do "win more" when creeping)

Mid Game:

1) Enlightenment->Eagle Eye->Swift Mind (Melt Faces before opponent can attack)
2) Expert Destruction
3) Expert Luck -> Erratic Mana -> Casters Luck
4) Destruction->Master of Ice -> Cold Death OR Destruction->Master of Storms -> Secrets of Destruction
depending on what spells/50% damage artifacts you have.

Optional/Situational:

1) Expert Light Magic -> Master of Abjuration -> Twilight (Ressurection, Celesital Shield)
2) Expert Dark->Master of Mind: An opening Mass slow on your opponent's creatures gives you more time to melt
faces
4) Expert Defense->Evasion->Armorer->Forge Master: Additional protection for your creatures in slug-fest
situations.


Elementalist Heroes:

Nathir: Nathir has a clumsy start as he starts with Empowered Spells and the Catalyst hero special, yet does
not begin with Destruction. On the other hand, both of these skills are highly desirable for a Destruction
mage.  I do like that Exorcism is right there for the taking, giving you a quick +2 spell power.  Bottom line,
Nathir is a very capable Destruction caster with a clunky start the first 3-4 turns or so while he builds up
Destruction skill.
Rating 3.0 Stars

Nur:  Swarm queen is situationally useful.  It acts like a much more powerful Stunning Strike at the
opportunity cost of your hero's spell cast turn.  As a creeping spell, it's not great, as you want your mana
going towards finishing the encounter, not endlessly spending mana on locking down stacks.  Against gatekeeper
stacks, it can be pretty strong in the right situation.  Nur does have excellent starting skills, being just 1
skill away from Pyromancy.
Rating 3.5 Stars

Galib: Galib has the same excellent starting skills as Nur, but his hero special is terrible.  Quite frankly,
Genies are not great units for Academy, and you have to recruit them to boot.  Maybe you can construct a big
stack of cloneable hit&run genies... I guess?  Not good.  
Rating: 2.5 Stars

Zehir: Zehir's hero special allows you to perform some amazing creeping exploits.  The power of it is, when
your gargoyle blockers die, they are replaced with an additional blocker in the exact same spot.  It’s
almost like having etherealness on all of your Gargoyles.  Not only that, Elementals replacements are not just
blockers... they are actually strong enough to finish off weakened stacks when creeping.  On top of this,
Zehir also starts off with the same excellent skillset as Nur.  The only minus is his hero special is only
situationally useful in the end game, but additional blockers can still play a significant role strategically.

Rating - 4.5 Stars

Theodorus: Theodorus doesn't mess around.  50% spell power role + his hero special means he is ideally setup
to rain Empowered Meteor Showers on his opponent.  He starts with the excellent Master Conjuration package to
get you started immediately on turn 1 and his additional Spell Power allows him to transition to Destruction
early.   Theodorus is an excellent hero, if a bit on the boring “raw power” side.  My only negative is
that his portrait looks like an old man, so the role playing is weak with him.      
Rating - 4.5 Stars

Emilia: Emilia is hard to evaluate as her special is very map dependent.  On a mana-well sparse map, her
special could be very important, and potentially surprise an opponent on a map they wouldn’t expect to see a
Destruction caster.  Her special can help her go more turns without visiting a mana well as well.  
Rating – 3 Stars



Academy Creatures

Gremlins: Gremlins are your bread and butter ranged unit for creeping in week 1-2.  They are plentiful and
have high Initiative.  They benefit tremendously from Battle Frenzy and Amulet of the Bloody Claw.  Only the
upgrades are worthwhile, however – the base gremlins having horrific 8 initiative.  Upgrade ASAP.

Master Gremlins: Master gremlins are situationaly useful.  They can be played with a hero like Razzak to
repair Golems as a 1 time resurrection (you won’t be bothering with Golems otherwise).   They are also
useful in the end-game for War Machine focused heroes like Minasli.  Repair gives your ballista an extra life,
forcing your opponent to spend 2 turns to finally kill it.  For this, you pay a heavy price: you lose 1
initiative when compared to Saboteurs, which is very significant when considering the Initiative Cascade.

Gremlin Saboteurs: These guys are excellent, sporting 12 Initiative, and almost always the ones you want to go
with for all phases of the game.  They are good for any hero, but reach new heights with Havez.  In full-blow
Initiative Cascade mode, they become one of the deadliest stacks in the entire game.  That’s quite an
achievement for a humble Level 1 stack.  

1) Initiative (Duh!)
2) Attack (More attack power all the time)
3) Health (Make your opponent pay for attacking your Gremlins by giving them an absurd health pool)


Stone Gargoyles: Gargoyles perform a key role for your Army: blockers and ranged damage sponges.  The damage
sponge role comes into play against ranged and ranged spell casters – situations where you can not deploy
your fragile Gremlins.  In this situation, you only deploy your Gargoyles and rely on your hero
spells/Ballista to kill the ranged units.

Gargoyles come in pretty good numbers, insuring you won’t run out of your sacrificial squad.  They have ok
initiative, so they will generally get to their blocking spot on time.  Finally, they Fly, which is key to
them working well with Summoning spells like Firewall, flying over the Firewall to block and give you time to
keep placing more Firewalls in front of your ranged.  Generally, you don’t need to upgrade Stone Gargoyles,
as they perform their role just fine non-upgraded.  Note: Don’t forget Stone gargoyles are Immune to Air,
important when going up against annoying Druid stacks.  On a humorous note, Gargoyles have Enrage, which is
pretty pointless.  

Obsidian Gargoyles: These guys are major upgrades from Stone Gargoyles in terms of their blocking/range damage
sponge role.  They are tougher, have really good Initiative, and have additional magic immunities.  The only
issue is their dwelling requires Ore, which is in short supply when you are racing for Titans.  I upgrade them
generally only if I see problem caster stacks like Mages or Water Elementals guarding a key mine and I need
their magic immunities for damage sponge.  In the late-game, they can become an offensive factor with Battle
Frenzy and Amulet of the Bloody Claw.  

Suggested Artificer Artifacts for Obsidian Gargoyles:

1) Initiative (Duh!)
2) Speed (flying and blocking opposing ranged units is one of their key roles in the end-game)
3) Optional: Attack (if you have Battle Frenzy/Amulet) or Health.


Elemental Gargoyle: Specialty unit primarily used by Elementalists to up the ante on their Destruction casts.
The dream: Empowered, Casters Luck, 50% damage artifact, Elemental Gargoyle Aura death magic.  Note that the
Gargoyles also suffer lethal damage if caught in AOE blasts.  

 Suggested Artificer Artifacts for Elemental Gargoyles:

1) Initiative (Duh!)
2) Speed (Getting into position turn 1 is critical to their use)
3) Health – Durable thorn in the side of the opponent


Iron Golems: The first real dud in the Academy roster.  Iron Golems are awful and not worth spending money on
in the creeping phase.  They are slow, have bad hit points, have terrible initiative, and don’t hit
particularly hard – not a great combination.  The upgraded golems have some strong utility uses in the
end-game, so let’s get to those…

Steel Golems: Steel golems are terrible unless you have March of Golems, in which case, they become decent
end-game units.  March of Golems gives them 6 speed and 10 initiative.  Add on Artificer artifacts, and that
can become 8 speed and 12+ Initiative, becoming a legit threat.  If you are playing with Razzak, then they can
become dangerous enough to receive “focus fire” status.   Play with Master Gremlins for a free 1 time
resurrection to continue the build-up.  At no stage, however, would I say the payoff here is an overwhelming
“must-kill” threat for your opponent.  

   Suggested Artificer Artifacts for Steel Golems:

1) Initiative (Duh!)
2) Speed (Getting into position turn 1 is critical to their use)
3) Optional

Magnetic Golems:  Magnetic golems have only one job: protect your ranged attackers from Destruction casters.
Camp them next to your Gremlins, Mages, and Titans to frustrate your Destruction opponent’s AOE spells.
Remember, you don’t necessarily need a full stack of Golems for Magnetism to take effect.

Suggested Artificer Artifacts for Magnetic Golems:

4) Health
5) Defense
6) Optional


Mages: One of your ranged triumvirate, albeit the weakest of the lot.  Mages come with the No-Range penalty
special and can hit multiple attackers in a line.  The negative is that they have a very low damage range for
their tier at 7-7, have very low hit point totals, and they hit your own units unless you upgrade to Battle
Mage.  The non-upgraded version, in particular, has a pathetic 18 hit points.  Because of this, I wouldn’t
bother hiring mages until you have upgraded their dwelling.  

Archmage: There are 2 reasons you would take an Archmage over a Battle Mage: 1) You need access to Cleansing
because of a suspected Dark Mage opponent.   2) You are an Elementalists, and you want Energy Channel for
those expensive Empowered Destruction casts.  Otherwise, missing out on Dampen Magic is too much of a pain to
take them.  

Battle Mage: This is the common upgrade pick for Mages.   Dampen Magic is the key skill here, allowing you to
block for your Battle Mages without them killing your own units.  Dampen Magic also works for the faction
mirror match as well, defending against enemy and neutral mages.  Battle Mages have some interesting debuffs
in Expert Slow and Expert Confusion that can be situationally useful.    

Suggested Artificer Artifacts for Battle Mage:

1) Initiative (Duh!)
2) Attack
3) Optional


Djinn: Another dud in the Academy roster.  Djinn are glass-cannon flyer units.  The main problem with Djinn is
that their hit points are pathetically low for their tier and they have no special abilities to mitigate this.
To add insult to injury, they are large, making them strategically limited.  

In the end-game, they are fairly useful, as they have good initiative and hit pretty hard, but they are more
of a “luxury pick” after you get your critical Titan, Gremlin, Mage, and Raja stacks.  Djinn do make good
emergency Phantom Forces targets if you’ve lost your Titan and Raja stacks to lucky blows.  I usually
recommend passing on Djinn in favor of racing to Titans, but their domicile does lead to the valuable Treasure
Cave.  

Djinn Sultan: Sultans still have terrible hit points.  They can cast blessings, but this isn’t really useful
in the creeping phase.  In the end-game, I can see them sitting back and
buffing your Gremlins/Titans/Mages/Raks with blessings and then attacking anything that dares to get too close
to your ranged, sorta ok – again, they are a luxury pick.

Djinn Vizer: I’d recommend going with these guys for the end-game if you have the money to fill out your
army.  55 hit points is average for the tier.  Wheel of Fortune isn’t really worth your time, so just get to
flying around the map attacking low defense targets (ranged units in particular) with your high damage
attacks.

Suggested Artificer Artifacts for Viziers:

1) Initiative (Duh!)
2) Speed (Flying around the battlefield delivering offense where it is needed is the main purpose of Viziers)
3) Optional


Rakshasha: Raks are really good 6th level units that have one major disadvantage to overcome: their low
Initiative.  Rani’s only have 9 Initiative, and their upgrades actually get worse with 8 Initiative – this
is Treant slow territory.   For the most part, Rani’s aren’t worth spending money in the creeping phase.
Their upgrades, however, are end-game elite players.  

Common to the upgrades is the ability Dash.  Dash has a heavy price in costing a creature turn, but it has the
effect of dramatically increasing Rakshasha initative for 3 turns – note that the next turn is calculated at
the higher initiative level.  This is scalable with all of the Initiative Cascade effects, making Raksasha go
from slow units to insanely fast.  Considering their stats, special abilities, and toughness, a dashed,
Artificer artifact Raja is terrifying… a must deal with threat that will tear apart an opponent’s army.  

Rajas: I like Rajas during the creeping phase as no enemy retaliation is more useful than circle attack for
minimizing losses.  They are also a tad beefier than Kshatras.  In the end-game, no-enemy retaliation with
Vampirism can make Rajas function like super-beefy vampires – very good, but honestly Kshatra’s
half-circle attack is a more intimidating ability for the opponent.

Kshatra’s: Half Circle attack can tear apart an opponent’s entire army, especially when Dashed and buffed
by Initiative Cascade.  One thing I really like here is the super high 27 attack and the big time damage range
– that’s almost Level 7 offensive power.   The best defense is a good offense… your opponent will be
forced to focus fire the Kshatra’s while your ranged units tear them apart.  


Giant: Giants are a pretty simple unit.  They are slower than average, have below average hit points, they hit
fairly hard, and they have no real special abilities to speak of.   Mostly, you use them for Regeneration
tanking when you can’t afford the upgrade.  Otherwise, upgrade ASAP.  

Colossus: For creeping, there is no choice; you take Colossus every time for the ranged attack.  For end game,
the choice is a bit more complicated: Do you think you can get a ranged attack off before the opponent crosses
the battlefield?  Colossi are large and easy for the opponent to range block, so ranged attack may not be
particularly relevant in the end-game battle.  In this case, Titans are better, as they are melee slug fest
units.  

Now, if you have Initiative Cascade going, then it is Collosi all the way, since you can get in 1 or more
ranged attacks in before being blocked.  Most of the time, you aren’t going to spend the money/go back to
town to convert Colossus to Titan, so you usually end up with Colossus because of creeping legacy.

Stormcaller is almost always not worth the opportunity cost of foregoing a normal attack.  Maybe in a
situation where you are ranged block, but still need to do something to disrupt the opponent’s ranged attack
with the damage reduction.  I have yet to see such a situation.  

Titans:

Several things to note about Titans:

First, notice their tremendous damage top-end of 75.  A mass divine strength can effectively increase their
damage by around 30%.   Titan’s do not have a multi-hit like other level 7 melee attackers, but they hit
like trucks to compensate.  

Titans also have Call Lightning, which does have some relevant uses.  It does a lot of damage when compared to
most creature spells.  Most of the time, your normal attack will do more damage, but Call Lightning is a
backup if you want to do damage without risking retaliation or need to hit an opponent’s glass-cannon ranged
units (Elves) that you currently can’t reach.  Air protection does not work against Call Lightning as it is
effectively a pure magical attack.

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Bulya
Bulya


Adventuring Hero
posted November 23, 2019 05:59 PM

Quote:
Chain Attack->Stunning Strike: Combat is a bad skill for Academy, but the perk Chain Attack->Stunning Strike
is quite good when combined with high initiative Gremlins.  Consider this an option if you are having bad luck
with your skill tree.


Either I'm missing something or you have an error there.
What Academy class has access to combat?
I checked the 3 academy classes, and neither of them have access to combat! So I don't really get how can stunning work with academy.

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frogo
frogo


Adventuring Hero
posted November 23, 2019 08:59 PM

azalen is back with his guides and its on my beloved Academy
nice to see

Overall a nice read, as always

Seers having combat would be quiete something on their gremlins i think, sadly they dont get it
Stronger retal i wouldnt say is weaker for armies with a lot of ranged dmg, as those are the ones that will stay back and defend while the enemy charges in (generally speaking, obviously dependent on many factors, enemy hero being the biggest one).
Also for Seers it is to mention that starting with luck is pretty bad for academy.
Magic resistance: fine perk, but as a starting perk pretty useless.
Errectic mana: not so much needed with a seer.
Casters Luck: no destra.
Soilders Luck: Academy units dont benefit from it.
Crit: decent.
Also Seers are the only "might" class that dont get a WM at start.
This also takes away the chance for the other classes to get an ammo cart/tent from their 2nd hero.

Also in terms of ballista: Knowledge and attack both boost dmg of the ballista, but attack also (obviously) boosts the ballista attack, so these two stats can not be seen as equal for the ballista. This is especially to be considered when picking up ballista as a wizard.
For wizards its also worth mentoning that they will probably craft the most powerful mini-artis, especially Maahir will end up with some big bonuses to his creatures.
Faiz ability is actually very strong, its just that starting with artificer + dark is holding him back a lot. Still should probably get a higher rating, due to his ability.

I think in general its difficult to make such guide, as a lot is dependent on the match up. I dont think elementalists are forced into destra, or that starting with haste/slow is always a good idea for a Seer. This is not really a critic, as the match up is difficult to take into account when writing a guide, i just wanted to point it out .

Academy units certainly dont shine with raw power.
I think you were pretty spot on with your unit analysis.
Only thing i didnt like was that you didnt give any credit to t3.
I wouldnt switch those out for any other t3 in the game, the creeping power is immense and even in lategame they may not be perfect on the main hero, but can be deployed on suicide heroes that can beat any other suicide hero.



____________

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thGryphn
thGryphn


Promising
Famous Hero
posted November 23, 2019 10:41 PM

I'm not gonna mention the Combat hickup, oops I did but I think you're not doing justice to how immensely useful Magnetic Golems are for creeping.

Especially with upgraded Gremlins that can revive golems, but not necessarily, you can resurrect Magnetic Golems with your own area spells. It doesn't get better than that: damage opponents and resurrect Magnetic Golems at the same time. And works like a charm at any stage of the game; even against human opponents, it is very very useful. Add to that the Gremlin's resurrection ability, you have a tank of a blocker unit that just won't die.

Using the Magnetic Golems, Academy is the most powerful faction against destruction-magic creeps that are nightmares for most other factions: Druids, Water Elementals, Pit Lords, Rune mages.


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azalen
azalen


Responsible
Known Hero
posted November 24, 2019 01:20 AM
Edited by azalen at 01:21, 24 Nov 2019.

TY all for feedback.

Yes, Combat was a big oopsie.  You got me on that one.  Ty for catching that - I will correct.

I haven't considered some of the tactics you guys suggest with Magentic Golems.  For the most part, I've always just used them to protect my ranged.  I will reconsider T3.

Also looking at the smaller details Frogo suggested adding.

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Bulya
Bulya


Adventuring Hero
posted November 24, 2019 04:22 PM

What is the way to manipulate the location of the elementals?

I guess its putting a creature in the exact middle of the the first row, a creature in the the corner the gremlins are not, a creature and a creature next to it?

I'm working on a strategy myself now, something that is quite different then what is usually played. Gradually I make it more consistent, and the creeping can go insane, but also very badly, depending on those minor stuff, so if I can get the answer to this one it can make the creeping even better for what I do.

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azalen
azalen


Responsible
Known Hero
posted November 24, 2019 10:34 PM

Bulya said:
What is the way to manipulate the location of the elementals?

I guess its putting a creature in the exact middle of the the first row, a creature in the the corner the gremlins are not, a creature and a creature next to it?

I'm working on a strategy myself now, something that is quite different then what is usually played. Gradually I make it more consistent, and the creeping can go insane, but also very badly, depending on those minor stuff, so if I can get the answer to this one it can make the creeping even better for what I do.


Start with your gremlins in the bottom corner and your 1-unit gargoyle stacks occupying the top corner and each adjacent spot downward.  This will force the fire elementals to appear randomly in one of the 4 spots above the gremlins.  This means they are within one move of blocking for the gremlins.  The same trick can be carried out with Phoenix more easily because they are large size, so you can force them to one spot by putting gargoyles in every-other spot downward.

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E1ChuRich
E1ChuRich


Hired Hero
posted November 25, 2019 08:20 AM

Thanks brother. I always enjoy reading these!

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fidanas
fidanas


Adventuring Hero
posted December 17, 2019 11:15 AM
Edited by fidanas at 11:15, 17 Dec 2019.

Thank you for your wonderful guides, always reveal new approaches to the game. As much i know, as much i know that i don't know enough...

Please explain something about artificiers.
If i use my secondary hero as artificier, and create an artifact with him, can i use this artifact to equip my main (no artificier skill) hero creatures???

Man...i know nothing...
____________
Just another turn and i'm done...

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frogo
frogo


Adventuring Hero
posted December 17, 2019 12:27 PM
Edited by frogo at 12:27, 17 Dec 2019.

@fidanas

Yes you can. The only diffrence will be that your crafted artifacts will probably weaker than what your main hero would be able to craft, if he had artificer himself.
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fidanas
fidanas


Adventuring Hero
posted December 17, 2019 05:54 PM

Thank you frogo.
____________
Just another turn and i'm done...

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jwallstone
jwallstone

Tavern Dweller
posted January 30, 2020 06:58 AM

Is Minasli's Iron Maiden ability actually useful? I tried it and the fireball effect on the ballista deals only a single point of damage at low levels. Doesn't seem to help with creeping at all.

Is it actually useful later? The scaling seems terrible.

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bulya
bulya


Adventuring Hero
posted January 30, 2020 12:34 PM

jwallstone said:
Is Minasli's Iron Maiden ability actually useful? I tried it and the fireball effect on the ballista deals only a single point of damage at low levels. Doesn't seem to help with creeping at all.

Is it actually useful later? The scaling seems terrible.


It is useful. She is one of the stronger Seers.
Due to some nerfing that included her and Sheltem the Iron Maiden ability was nerfed. But it is still useful. It deals very little damage while the hero isn't developed, but once you reach level 8 it starts doing more then 1 damage, not to speak of the amount of damage it does when the hero reaches level 20... (I say hero as it goes for both, Minalsi and Sheltem)

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jwallstone
jwallstone

Tavern Dweller
posted January 31, 2020 04:51 AM

bulya said:
It deals very little damage while the hero isn't developed, but once you reach level 8 it starts doing more then 1 damage, not to speak of the amount of damage it does when the hero reaches level 20...



It is still doing 1 damage at level 8. According to the formula, this ability would do 1 damage all the way to level 10, where it would only jump to 24 damage.

An ability that does a single point of damage until level 10 just does not make sense to me. Maybe the scaling makes some sense at much higher levels, but having a fireball explosion do 1 point of damage, being utterly useless for so long is not a successful game mechanic design.

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thGryphn
thGryphn


Promising
Famous Hero
posted January 31, 2020 06:27 AM

Yes, I noticed this too. I think it doesn't really round up like the formula implies. The -1 in the formula should probably change into 0.

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Zaio-Baio
Zaio-Baio


Promising
Famous Hero
posted June 09, 2020 01:59 AM

Well, as far as 3.1 Tote goes Academy is actually not that great on L size and above rmg maps. Yes, artificer is nice, yes, havez start is nice, but its not enough to have good results vs strong players.
Main weakness is the low chance to get logistics - 2%. And not having logistics + warpath is a disaster on large maps. Expert logs give +30% movement, what about warpath ? Warpath gives +250 movement points after each fight. However, +250 movement points is ridiculous. Heroes' starting movement is 2500. So 250 movement is equal to +10% movement after each fight. On large rmg maps your main hero can have 5-6 fights/day. That's 80-90% more movement points compared to a hero with no logistics + warpath skills. It means that your opponent will get a lot more artifacts and visit a lot more stats boosters on the map. In heroes 3 you need lvl 40 kyrre/gunnar/desa to have +90% movement, and in heroes 5 you can have it week 2 with some towns. Whats worse is that logistics + warpath can be mentored out for some might skill before the final fight.

Also on rmg maps there are no sylvanna trees and the stat boosters are far from each other, so if you mentor a knight/ranger to lead the academy army his level and his stats will be significantly lower than your main hero's. As a result it's usually a better idea to stick with your wizard, but then you have to deal with his low chance to get offered attack, defense, leadership (2% each). Speaking of leadership it contains some great perks for big maps - empathy and diplomacy. On its own diplomacy its not that strong, but when paired with crown of leadership it may win games. And ofc logs + warpath work very well with diplo + crown.

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Bulya
Bulya


Adventuring Hero
posted June 09, 2020 07:43 AM

@Zaio-Baio

Seems like you didn't read it well. Its not a TOE 3.1 guide, its a guide for a mod that heavily changed the balance. And Academy is if not the strongest, then one of the strongest factions on it.

So everything you say there isn't relevant. Academy has more then just one hero class, log is available to all of them with decent percentage.
One of the heroes classes are not as magic focused. The magic focused heroes have access to irresistible magic.
etc....

And the guide doesn't even talk about the questionable golem only creeping way Academy can do (at least some heroes). And questionable by means that its nearly broken by means of balance. I hope that the upcoming patch actually fixes it well enough, yet to be tested.

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I34LPHEI2ON
I34LPHEI2ON

Tavern Dweller
posted September 19, 2020 12:16 PM
Edited by I34LPHEI2ON at 12:24, 19 Sep 2020.

magnetic golems and Nathir is OP

I haven't played 5.5 in so long I'm not sure this would work but the following is for 3.1

This strategy is addicting and overpowered. I'm not sure anyone else has thought of it but you can pretty much dominate any map with about 80 or less magnetic golems once you get it down.

Nathir the Wizard has spell power increased per lvl for fire spells and starts with the fireball spell. With the mark of the wizard skill and fireball alone you can do very well... then add in the ignite skill, firewall (which you can park your golems in to heal) and it's just too easy. Taking out 20 some lvl 7 units is a piece of cake with only 30 or 40 magnetic golems. Of course then there is the phoenix feather adding +50% dmg to fire spells and aura of fire from the gargoyles which I rarely even bother with because it's already too easy. The only problem is fire immune creatures which there are few enough of that you can usually avoid them til the time is right.
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Rimgrabber
Rimgrabber


Known Hero
It's a fixer-upper
posted September 19, 2020 02:00 PM

Nathir is no longer a fire specialist in H5.5, he has Sinitar's vanilla specialty that lowers the cost of empowered spells.
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http://heroescommunity.com/viewthread.php3?TID=46284&pagenumber=1
^ Part 2 of my proposal for Heroes 8 (Part 3 coming soon)

you lost your internet privileges

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