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Thread: Updated spear guide for 270/EX runs

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    Updated spear guide for 270/EX runs

    Spear guide for v11 NA/EU for 270 and EX (torment) runs. A lot has changed since last version regarding spear strats, so just created a new thread.

    The current strongest way to maximize your dps for 270 games is to use slows, spear of adun and shrine (w/ SD gem). For high torments, using spear can be over 10x stronger than any other build because spear damage is (basically) unaffected by torments.

    This is for classic only. Spear is still a good unit for ET, where it is similar to other sxd units, but in classic spear allows for a strategy which makes it tons and tons better than any other unit. This requires spear spawning numerous beams at once (which are aoe), and having the beams attack enemy units that are globbed up together in one corner of the board (which is achieved by building/using units with "slow" skill/abilities)

    Unit Comp

    Spear
    3-6 taldarim motherships ("talms") for slow bubble (see below)
    Other slow units (selendis, tychus, behemoth, queen)
    DPS units (any other attacking unit like legends, etc..)

    Example Game

    up to r100 - play normal, bank.

    after r100 - roll 10/4/8/15s to build some larger DPS units like legends or w/e you need to surive if/after you torment. However, save all your pmech and pbio to make spear and talms, and prioritize making a bunch of artosilopes (green neutral deers) in addition to flowers.
    - you will need 3-6 talms (# of talms depends on your stats, difficulty and if you have a rune with +15 unit acceleration. loosely: ~3 talms prac-hell, ~4 talms for inf-ult, ~5 talms for impts & tf, up to 6 talms for hof)
    - make 3 flowers and 7+ artosilopes. You want at least 6 artiselopes for spear, plus one more for the flower w the speed spell on (the middle spell).

    r120-r200 - After u make talms + spear, Continue to build as many "big" units as you want, but don't upgrade them yet. Try not to upgrade any units w/ gas yet if you can. Makes late game easier to spend $ when there is more lag.

    Place the talms stacked on top of one another. After you individually time their autocast they will cast a permanent slow bubble. Until you have the enough talms for a permabubble, turn off the talms autocast, otherwise it can just groups enemy units into balls that move around ur board and are difficult to kill.

    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. W/o support you may not be able to kill leaked units cuz talms/spear cannot kill anything that doesn't walk into it's killzone.

    r200-250+ - buy gas, upgrade ur stuff.

    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.

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

    3. Have these units around spear: melee, aoe and other slow units

    4. Have your other units in the opposite corner of ur slows/spear, or scattered around the board. It may be helpful to hotkey them to snipe leaks at the end of rounds(esp on debuffs).

    then either:

    5a. Constantly manually recharge the spear's energy w a bunch of artosilopes (hotkeyed). If you have 9 artosloples where you are constantly manually recharging spear,you can get up to 12 beams out at once. This can absolutely melt everything. Artosilopes have to be @nf'd and have autocast OFF. However, if the game gets too laggy (lag increases dramatically w/ higher difficulties and torments), then you may want to...

    5b. Use an "autocharge" setup with artosilopes. An example setup is https://prnt.sc/jth69i
    where the green dots are artosilopes. The idea here is that the 4 artosilopes closest to the spear will autocast recharge the energy on the spear, and the 3 other artosilopes will autocast recharge on the the other 4 artosilopes.
    - Artosilopes must be @nf'd w/ autocast on
    - Artosilopes on hold position
    - Must select Options>Lag>off
    - Must monitor the spear for optimum performance. It tends to move around sometimes, and you want to keep it positioned in the center of the 4 artosilopes.
    - You may not want to use other units w/ slow abilities in this method, as those units can steal mana from your artosilopes where it would be better served on the spear.
    - for this method, you may not see many beams until later in game (r200-230+). Spear beams spawn more frequently in this setup when there are a ton of units around the spear, and during later rounds lots more enemies spawn every second.

    Example @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 how the spear works. This is ultimate round 280, and it is a meat grinder for whatever goes into the "slowed" area. Spear beams are aoe and their aoe area is very large (greater than width of the lane). At later rounds, the beams will all naturally go to the same spot, focusing that area w/ a lot of damage. Unfortunately 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.

    IMPORTANT NOTE ABOUT SPEAR: more lag = less beams. This applies to BOTH manual and autocharge methods. If you have high fps, you can get up to 12 beams out from the spear manually, and mbe 7+ beams on autocharge. If you are at 1 fps you may only get 2-3 beams out from the spear manually and 2-4 on autocharge. The spear will often do more damage than all your other units combined, so increasing the number of beams by just 1 can have a gigantic impact on total board dps. See below section on builds and also see http://www.arcade.sc/threads/12509-L...for-buff-games for some info on unit lag.

    Shrine play (this also good for non-spear games)

    - Mist and Purify are very strong through r270 w/ SD gem
    - Casting mist/purify stops spear from spawning beams for a period of time, so careful when you cast them. The spear stops casting new beams anyways w ~15 seconds left in every round, so casting shrine at that time can work nicely as it won't decrease the spears damage.
    - Raptor gem allows you to have 8k+ on shrine, which can be extremely helpful. For example if you have 6k energy left on shrine at r260, you can purify every round thru r270, which compliments spear very well.
    - after r250 you will regen 800 shrine mana every round, so you can mist every round w/o losing shrine energy
    - you can use two mist/purifiers in a round if necessary. On difficult rounds you can watch the game timer and use a shrine spell 30 seconds into the round and then at the very end.
    - mist and purify have its damaged nerfed by 0.5% for every round after r100. With SD gem, mist still does great damage through r260 and purify through r280. However if you are going for r300, you want to switch to corruption/got sometime after r270 and definitely after r280 as mist/purify do almost 0 damage near r300.

    Game Difficulty Notes

    veasy to vhard:
    - run RP, units can be too slow and not make it to slow/spear area.
    - SD, raptor, SXD suggested

    hell+
    - shield-off, SD, raptor SXD suggested
    - game lag more because of enemy buffs.

    imps+
    - raptor gem becomes really really valuable, as spear can easily clear non enemy buff rounds, and using 1 or 2 mist/purifiers will clear up supershields and invuln rounds easily.
    - you may want to substitute in 1 tychus (w/ slow spell on autocast, other spell off) for an artosilope. Enemy units so fast that they can almost run thru the talms bubble. tychus spell makes them bunch up more, which makes beams better for these diffs.

    hof
    - SD, silence, raptor, SXD suggested (don't use shield off gem)

    low torments (0-6)
    - spear does fantastic but not crazy insane damage. May need a lot of other units to compliment.

    high torments (7-9)
    - spear starts to do crazy insane damage, and at t9 it does ridiculous damage. If you have like 50 legends out and a spear out on a t9 run, spear will do >10x more damage than all your legends combined. (because spear not impacted by torments)
    - hercules bomber and warfields become great, although they lag. Herc's damage is also not impacted by torments as much as other units, and same w/ warfield's emp ability. see below for more info
    - commander raynors have a great (low lag) spell, which 1-shot kills units regardless of torment, difficulty or round #.

    "Types" of spear builds

    There are lots of "types" of spear builds, meaning: a lot or little non-spear dps units, what types of dps units (e.g. hiddens vs legends), should you get good-but-laggy-units (warfields&hercs), manual or autocharge setups.

    I feel the type of spear builds one should run is driven purely by lag. The amount of lag you have is determined by the difficulty and torments, as well as the strength of your computer. Difficulties and torments impact lag a lot. For example, on practice-t0, if you have 50 legends, warfields, spear and talms, you may be at 50fps @ r270. For thefinal-t9, you may have 5 legends, no warfields, and spear&talms and you may be at 1fps @ r130.

    Manual recharge method is the highest damage spear build possible, as 12 beams has the dps potential to obliterate all enemies (any difficulty, any torment). Unfortunately, it's just impossible to get 12 beams out if it's laggy. At a certain point, the lag makes it that you can get more beams with autocharge method vs manual recharging. And even though lag also impacts autocharging, there further comes a point where additional lag won't reduce # of spear beams any more (call this "Max-lag"). Here, spear will always get 2-4 beams, and never really goes below that no matter how much laggier it gets.

    Noting the above, i feel there are 3 general types of spear builds:

    1) low lag, manual recharge games
    This build can typically only be done prac-vhard. Here you only want a minimal amount of non-laggy-regular-attacking units (e.g. legends, behemoths..) to cleanup any leaks. Focus on getting a lot of beams out and will have enough to clear up to ex9 on diffs w/o enemy buffs. When lagless, you can also use a bunch of pirate capital ships (@nf'd) which when you rotate through their freeze spells will completely stop leaks from the slow area.

    2) laggy, but not crazy laggy, autorecharge games
    This build is focused on getting 4-7 beams out of spear for autocharge. There is lag, but it's not ridiculous (like 5-15 minutes per round irl). Here you are still trying to minimize lag to maximize beam #s, so high dps-lag free units should be your preferred units in this build.

    3) Max-lag games
    These are games where your lag is just f'd no matter what you do. Autocharge method will yield 2-4 beams no matter what you build/add to your unit comp. Here, the good-but-laggy-units of warfields and hercs are great, because more lag won't really hurt spear performance anyways, and you need all the extra dps you can get because spear is producing so few beams. Typically HOF and high torments on ~inferno+ fall always into this area.

    Your XP will also impact what type of spear builds to do, as although your XP won't impact actual spear damage, it will obv impact the damage of all your other units.

    So there's no "best" way to do any given game. If you are 7m XP and have $5k gaming computer, you may be able to do hell t9 w/ just spear and a few behemoths. If you have a 2010 macbook pro and are 1m xp, you may need to go max-lag build for the same game.

    Other stuff

    > Spear beams are NOT impacted by any of your stats, including SD (i.e. SD will not increase beam damage. investing in SD is for shrine). Because of this, note that spear does the same damage no matter what your XP is. If you are really good at spear micro (manual recharge and actual micro'ing of beam placements), you can ex9 prac-vhard with very little XP (spear alone can clear these 270s). I suspect as little as 300k xp is enough to prac ex9 if you are clever.
    > You may have to deplete your mineral bank midgame (r100-r160) to get your spear and slows up. For some games, 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. Since spear can do like 99% of total board damage (e.g. in t9's), then even if it kills your mineral bank to craft it, you've already succeeded in building the vast majority of what you will need to get to 270.
    > rune w/ pmech +1 is great, as it directly impact beam's damage.
    > You actually do not need the sxd gem, although it helps a ton. You can get the sxd's w 1-2k minerals, which may sound outrageous, but w the spear doing so much of your board's damage, it's completely worth even that much $.
    > Xelnaga Kerrigan is a good SXD-unit secondary for her extrinction spell, but not always necessary. Sometimes extinction spell can be very helpful (use at end of every round if you have REST ON). also:
    - for HOF, XK cooldown is slower, so I would not recommend XK for this difficulty, as she can cast extinction only once every two rounds.
    - there are also incidents that XK's extinction can crash a game if you are in a very laggy game.
    > Lag is always a challenge, so be as clever as you can. No matter what, you will likely be on 1fps by the end of most games, but therein there's a big difference between 45 sec rounds irl and 15 min rounds irl. Some games it can be be easier to roll 10s and build your hiddens first (e.g. behemoth, nemesis, hercs, talms, spear). Then later in game when it can get laggy (e.g. r160+) you can roll 4/8s to get artifact and craft those units which don't require 10's (e.g. legends, sk's).
    > You will probably need slow game speed down later in game to improve lag. Either use "+" and "-" or go to options.

    Credit to all who contributed to the community knowledge used here. I'm sure i've missed some but at least broteinshake, psycodiver, jmac, lazyturtle, ramonov, fvz, wmai, baddark, mang have contributions in the above.
    Last edited by DeeJL; 06-14-2018 at 07:26 PM.

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  3. #2
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    And DJL missed D marauder.this unit is really good for slow. It?s aoe slow units. I use this a lot when high torment game.

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    I try to cover everything, but ppl always have good f/u questions pointing out areas i missed.

    made changes within the initial post and added a section in the middle. You may have to reread it find out what changes i made, but didn't want to just keep adding notes at the the beginning/end, as i did that before, and things got confusing quickly. That said, i realize that the post is getting pretty damned long as is.

    For other specific questions, in addition to posting here, you can ask me on ldpro discord (just PM me if you can) and I'll offer my thoughts in the general chat. https://discord.gg/gxHgHrB

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    Junior Member sockeater's Avatar
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    Thank you for this guide! Can you give me some insight on how to actually keeping yourself alive on T9? I have ~520k exp and T9 reduces my damage so much that I barely survive past 110s on prac mode. Is it a decent idea to go for an early herc bomber to survive until I get my spear or should I work to get spear by the time I hit T9?

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    @sockeater, prob u need spear out by the time you t9. but that's just a guess, hard for me to say. You'd need to use a lotta of tricks to get t9 w/ ur xp (even thought I still think it's possible). PCS may be req'd for t9's at ur xp (again though, just a guess). GLGL! One way to look at ur games is that spear alone is enuf to clear ex9 prac 270, so if u get it anytime earlier, it should be able to clear that round too (assuming u have the green deer)

    On a totally different note, got asked a few questions today in game, and just thought i'd post it here:
    - I believe SXD's do NOT help spear produce more beams (the 25% accel bonus from SXD rank). But i tested this long ago, so if this has changed, someone let us know.
    - SXD's do NOT help artifact or poke's cast energy regen spells faster/more frequently.

    *** pls post screenshot if you can if you get it. That would be an amazing accomplishment at ur xp
    Last edited by DeeJL; 08-03-2018 at 01:27 AM.

  7. #6
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    its doable with 520k xp if you manage to rush soa and 2-3 lopes before you have to buy torments. might require some luck if you dont have sxd gem

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