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Thread: an Ex/270 strategy w Spear

  1. #1
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    an Ex/270 strategy w Spear

    ** post update 5/14/18:
    - Updated (& shortened) for patch v11 in NA/EU

    ** post update 3/12/18:
    - Updated some info w/ the most current game knowledge from the community
    - Updated unit composition info, even more focused now on low lag units
    - Just want to restate that this guide is for CLASSIC IBKT. Spear for Eternal runs has different elements (no slows req'd for example) and different goals.
    - Regarding high torments (esp ex9) and high diffs (e.g. imps/thefinal):
    > You may have to deplete your mineral bank midgame (r100-r160) to get your spear and slows up. For these difficulties, you almost can't survive past ~r160 w/ any other units, so you need to have spear in action by then.
    > Even if your bank goes to 0 (literally) when crafting spear & slows, you can still be totally fine. Recent community thoughts have spear doing up to 90-97% of the total board damage by r270. So even if it kills your mineral bank to get to it, you've already succeeded in building the vast majority of what you will need to get to 270.
    > Pirate Capital Ships (pcs) placed near spear really increase the power of spear builds, and may be required for thefinal 270 (no req'd tho for prac-vhard ex9s). For me, I hotkey 4 pcs separately each to 4 hotkeys (e.g. 1-4) and for tougher rounds I rotate through them. This is really annoying to do if you have to do it every round, so just beware. see below for more details.


    ** post update 12/23/17:
    - 4 pcs can be incredibly helpful for difficulties w/ debuffs, and can be helpful for other diffs too, so long as you've managed lag enough so u can micro. Each pcs can cast a freeze spell twice during last 30 seconds of round. When micro'd, this will stop all leaks from your spear/slow area (except for invuln debuff). For these difficulties, you want all your units in the same corner. This micro & unit positioning is usually only needed rounds 250+. (e.g. your slow units are: 4-5 tdms, 1 tych, 1 queen, 4 pcs)
    - warfields appear to be useful, but may also lag. Still open debate on whether they are OP or meh.
    - lag = low beam count for spear. Again to stress why lag is so important when considering unit composition. If you have high fps, you can get up to 12 beams out from the spear. If you are at 1 fps w/ a 5 second delay between a mouseclick and the action, you may only get 4-5 beams out from the spear. The spear does more damage than all other units combined, so more beams has a large impact on total board dps. Carriers and valks do a crap ton of dps for legends, but the tradeoff is # of spear beams. If your computer is strong enough, buy the carriers/valks, but watch out it decreasing the #of spear beams too much.


    --- GUIDE ---

    The current strongest way to do 270 high difficulty rounds is to use slows, spear & aoe. For high torments, using spear can be over 10x stronger than any other build because spear damage is unaffected by torments. BUT spear is also the most micro-intensive and potentially the most laggy.


    Example Build strat.

    Do basics- max bank, sell little. If you are try-harding, have an idea on how to use every where u can. (e.g. use all tbio units, extra ghosts = make warfields, extra marines = make more tych).

    up to r100 - just bank as much as possible, 15s to help.

    after r100 - roll some 4/8/15s. Roll until u are close to making some legends. Switch to 10s. w 10s, generally look to complete legends and you want to make:
    - 3+ talms (~3 talms for prac - hell, ~4 talms for inf-epic, ~5 talms for ult to tf, 6 talms for hof)
    - 1+ tychus
    - Spear of Adun
    - 3 flowers, 7+ artiselopes (do NOT sell neutrals, even dogs. You really want at least 6 artiselopes for spear, plus one more for the speed flower. 9 artiselopes gives you max # of beams i think, up to 12)

    continue to roll 4/8/15s when u need (i) more "units for dps, or (ii) artifact. Ur mineral bank can be as high, but if you let it get too high (e.g. 2k) , you may not have enough time to spend all your $ by r270

    After u make 3+ talms + spear, r160-220 = go back to 10s, unless you still don't have artifact. See later section on how to use spear. Continue to build as many "big" units as you can, but don't upgrade them.

    Try not to upgrade any units w/ gas yet if you can. Makes late game easier to spend $ when there is more lag.

    3+ talms stacked on one another (after you time their autocast) will cast a permanent slow bubble.

    Until you have the enough talms for a permabubble, turn off slow bubble autocast, otherwise it just groups enemy units into balls that move around ur board and are difficult to kill.

    Also, beware of only making the talms + spear too early (or w/o other units). Talms aren't for dps, they are for permabubble for spear and aoe units. If you basically only have talms + spear, (i) your bubble will leak units a lot and (ii) u won't be able to kill the leaked units cuz talms/spear cannot kill anything that doesn't walk into it's killzone. You can bank w/ spear and pcs, using it's freeze spell at the end of a round, but it's very micro annoying and if you fail micro, you can be screwed.

    r200-240 - empty bank, buy gas, upgrade ur stuff. Its best if you are tracking how many units still need to be up'd, so you don't overbuild too much. It takes ~50-70 minerals to buy enough gas to do 23 ups (w max gas lotto). So if you have 30 units that aren't up'd yet, then ~2.1k minerals will fully up them. @r245, if u have 1.4k in bank, you'll have enough by 270 to fully up 30 units.

    Fun part - At this point you should have not many units on the board (see screenshot later).

    Unit Positioning / microing spear

    1. Place ur talms/permabubble in the furthest part of a corner as u can. You want the bubble to touch as little of the board as possible- i.e. make the "slowed" area as small as you can. This is important, and there are multiple reasons for this, hopefully it's apparent why.

    2. Place ur spear around the "slowed" area.

    3. Have these units around spear: all melee and aoe units

    4. Have your other units in the opposite corner of ur slows/spear, or scattered around the board. hotkey them to snipe leaks (esp on debuffs). NOTE: if you are doing pcs freeze micro at end of rounds, all your units should be in one corner. Pcs will stop all leaks (not counting invuln debuff) so all your units can be grouped together.

    6. Constantly manually recharge the spear as it gets harder to kill the units. Beams are aoe, and the area of effect is very large, the entire width of the lane. 9 artiselopes constantly recharging the spear will have the spear produce up to 12 beams at all times, and up to 9 beams at a time on debuffs in late game/high diff. Have these artiselopes hotkeyed. They have to be @nf'd and have autocast OFF.

    My board @r270
    http://prntscr.com/fi4jug

    Spear shooting a single beam
    http://prntscr.com/fi4k22

    Spear shooting 8 beams
    http://prntscr.com/fi4kb4

    This last screenshot is where u can see the power of the spear. This is ultimate round 280, and it is a meat grinder for whatever goes into the "slowed" area. The damage of spear beams is huge, it can do <97% of your total board damage in t9 (a lot less, but still a ton in lower ex's). Unfort u can't look at the killcount on the spear itself, as each beam it spawns is actually a (temporary) unit that has it's own killcount.

    other stuff:
    - Easier if you are theone (rank & upgrade master)
    - u don't need sxd gem, but it helps a ton. You can get the sxd's w ~1k minerals (granted can be much more if unlucky), but spear still pays for itself. (as Magni in Cruxis just noted to me, w/ pbanker u have 1k in bank anyways. So it's spear vs pbanker AD bonus)
    - warfields can be helpful for their emp, but not quite sure how much. They can also lag
    - 3+ stetmens, 2 for slowed area, 1 for opposite corner
    - XN is a good SXD secondary for her extrinction spell, but not always necessary. Sometimes extinction spell can be very helpful (use at end of every round)
    - can turn REST ON to craft as much as possible between rounds.
    - Real enemy is lag. be as clever as u can

    ---------

    YOu do want at least 1 tych w only his slow spell on autocast (turn off the other spell). Every add'l tych u don't need to slow spell on. Throw in a queen and selendis too.

    This is for classic. For et, legends & lopes better than spear/talms.

    More info on when to stop building units. So continuing what i wrote above, in the game i posted screenshots of, I kept rolling units while keeping my bank ~1400 until i had 30 units not up'd at ~r240. That way i knew could up them all by r270. If i needed more dps on the board to survive @r240, i could have reduced my bank to like 1k, but would then know i could only afford to upgrade about 20 units by r270. So at that point in game, how many units u build (unupgraded) should be tied to what you are keeping in ur bank.

    u don't need a million sp to do this strat. I would imagine anyone theone and mbe ~400k sp can do it. w or w/o sxd gem, but need ezrank. I started using spear around 1m sp w/o superrank, but can be done earlier. I just didn't know the strat earlier.

    For easy difficulties (e.g. prac-vhard), run RP. It's slow rounds that kill u, cuz units don't reach spear killzone.

    This post is to cover as much ground as possible and hopefully gives you an idea. It also assumes you know the terms and basics. If not, look elsewhere in forum to fill in blanks. I

    Read updates at the top of this post.
    Last edited by DeeJL; 05-14-2018 at 11:11 PM.

  2. Likes eumel, ThatsMe, darklord, zegamez, FluX liked this post
  3. #2
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    Thanks for sharing your strategy/tactic, i can see that you used a lot of time on this post. It is always cool when people share with the community.

    I formatted my PC 2 weeks ago and i haven't installed SC2 on it yet, but your post makes me wanna re-install and get playing again =)

    Hopefully my Bank files will work ^^

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    @flux - Thanks & glad to hear you're getting back on.

    My post took longer to write than i expected, but glad to contribute to the community as I don't enuf. 30+ ppl were pm'ing me on spear, but hard to explain thru sc2 chat, so I just said i'd try to answer on forum.

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    yep, great quide.
    I'm very looking for try that when I will have some time to do this :-)
    it is quite long game.
    I focused on Xelnaga only with SXD gem, bcs is most easy to build, spear is hardest and I hate that the beam is going to spawn point of shrine. but for sure wil try this strategy this weekend :-)

    thx for this guide

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    Love the guide, i tried it, but the lag made me so angry ~160 i decided to hold off until we get unit bank on EU, if ever ;)

    Thanks anyway, love the post and great job sharing!

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    @lamieee did you reduce game speed when it started to lag?

    (assuming you did tried doing it solo, unfortunately doesn't work if you were buffed)

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    Yea, lag is beast. Unit bank would be awesome. Original post is for getting as far as you possibly can. here's a lag minimal strat which still gets you a lot further than legends & lopes:

    Spear + legends
    - bank to like 600-800 minerals
    - roll a ton of 10s and sell everything except pmech, dt parts, and stuff for 1 tychus (like empty bank making this stuff, it may lag a ton for just a few rounds, but rest of game won't)
    - after you have ur warp prisms, tal tempests and 2 karax switch to 4/8s for rest of game
    - make legends/hells out of non-pmech units, make spear and talms w/ pmech units

    Note in this method, you may have to micro (recharge) spear for most of game, instead of just the last 20-30 rounds.
    Last edited by DeeJL; 06-15-2017 at 05:06 PM.

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    Ppl are also asking me how much lag in my games. Most games I am on highest or 2nd highest gamespeed for ~80% of game (it may skip tons of frames, but I'm not doing anything during those rounds anyways except buying gas, re-ranking or upping stuff). Somethings that may help:

    - Roll a crapload of 10s all at the same time (roll 100-300 at a time, don't do bit by bit).
    - use merge panel*
    - use "G" hotkey for neutrals* **
    - use "V" hotkey for grouping*

    * I find i don't have to actually select and move many units when crafting. (use merge pad ONLY for those units not on merge panel)
    ** select all dogs, hit "G", select all crabs, hit "G", select all karak's...etc.. You can turn 50 dogs into 10 units in like 5 seconds.

    Example:

    1. roll 100 to 400 in 10s at the same time. Lag goes absolutely nutz, but it only lasts a short bit.
    2. slow game to slowest
    3. then use merge panel to instantly cut the # of these new units by 50-80%***
    4. only stuff left are things requiring manual merging or reranks, e.g. warmongers, dark zealots, dark high templars, hiddens.
    5. increase game speed back up as far as you can, making hiddens
    6. repeat step 5 as necessary, then go back to step 1.

    *** for example, even at 1 fps, u can make a k5 in like 10 seconds from just 10s, when using merge panel

    As w/ all, there are many exceptions. In my last game i did try hard, and took almost 10 hours irl (w/o pauses). I was on slowest speed almost whole game after r150. But this was also cuz the higher the difficulty, the more the lag, especially when enemy units take only a few game seconds seconds to do a lap.
    Last edited by DeeJL; 06-15-2017 at 06:21 PM.

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    I will give it another try when i have half a day free time ;) but the lag in this game is just killing me

    Thank you again for posting this!

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    If you can do a timing atleast little you need only 3x TMS to have full time slow bomb but i were using 2x tychus and 3x queen too for total slow all oyu need then is DMG so for this case i were doing XNK since she has Chain attack and talandar for splash DMG etc ...

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