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7.07: State of the Game - Squire v. Apprentice


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Here is an overview of how ALL towers in the game currently stack up:

Apprentice-

Magic Barrier: Still the cheapest way of creating defensive walls. 1 DU can net you over 4k HP, nothing else can beat this structure's HP/DU ratio. However it is still somewhat fragile on its own and lacks any offensive damage.

Magic Missile: Far and away the cheapest way to bring damage to the enemy. Even after the Harpoon buff this tower can out DPS the harpoon despite half the DU cost. However it lacks the piercing and range provided by the harpoon.

Fireball: A contender for the best damage tower in the game currently. For 5 DU this turret provides solid DPS that is about 12% more than the magic missile , AoE damage, and a knockback. However it will not damage fire-aligned enemies.

Lightning Turret: Just get a lightning aura, silly.

Deadly Striker: The best DPS and range of any mage tower, but also extremely expensive. This weapon can pierce any terrain and has extreme range, so with good position it will constantly be at work - unlike other towers which may sees lulls in the battle. Despite these advantages it comes in dead last at raw DPS per DU of any ranged turret due to its high cost. However, the previously mentioned advantages could mean that this tower may apply more actual DPS in battle given its constant application in combat. Extremely fragile.

Squire-

Spike Barricade: Doesn't generate as much HP/DU as the apprentice version, but it now comes with a hefty damage reflect that can easily exceed 1,000. The full utility of the buffed spike barricade has yet to be seen - but it's definitely a contender now.

Bouncer Barricade: Has less HP than a slicer now but deals over 2-3k dmg per second with a respectable pushback effect. Great for areas that can send enemies into the abyss. It may also have more "effective" HP than a spike barricade since it can constantly push some melee enemies trying to damage it. The 4DU cost, modest DPS, and mediocre HP compared to other blockers make this a viable, but situational choice for Squires.

Harpoon Turret: Recently buffed, but still one of the more underpowered structures. Has one of the worst DPS/DU ratios in the game next to the Deadly Striker but without the extreme range or surface piercing. Should be limited to situational air defense (the deadly striker or magic missile is still more proficient Wyvern defense) and areas where 3+ targets can be consistently pierced with every shot (long narrow lanes and other linear paths).

Bowler Turret: Probably the best Squire turret right now and it's competitive with many Apprentice options. For 7 DU this turret will bring more single-target DPS to the enemy than any other tower currently in the game. Offers great range but is limited by a narrow field of fire and physics constraints. The bowlers include an effective knockback and the ability to strike multiple foes. This turret offers a DPS/DU that is competitive, albeit slightly worse, than the fireball turret. Tacticians will have to weigh heavily which will better form the backbone of a map's defense. The fireball currently holds a slight advantage thanks to a wider field of attack, anti-air capability, and a more consistent AoE - but the Bowler may prove to be a more potent turret when physical conditions allow ball bouncebacks and long-range bowler fire or when a supplemental turret/aura for fire immune enemies is not available.

Slice and Dice: Still somewhat subpar, with modest HP and DPS this tower offer potent AoE DPS but at a cost - without the ability to knockback like the bouncer, this turret is highly susceptible to being swarmed by 10k+ HP orcs and assassins who can deal several blow before dying. Without a strength drain aura this proves to be a lethal vulnerability in Squire defenses that doesn't justify the 8 DU price tag.


Conclusion: All Squire turrets are currently much beefier than their Apprentice counterparts. However, the Apprentice wall's are also the most efficient form of defensive wall HP in the game. Apprentice towers also hold a definite lead in the DPS per DU field, but the bowler is definitely a strong contender that would not be out of place in any defensive scheme. Ultimately a mix of fireball and magic missile is still the most damage and effective lane defense available and is virtually impregnable when combined with proper auras. While the bowler is a competitive choice, the spike and bouncer barricades each offer a defensive option that enhances a defense in ways unavailable to an apprentice alone. However, be wary of spamming your "improved" harpoons since they are generally an inefficient choice unless placed selectively where piercing 2-3+ enemies will occur consistently.

While it is still early, the Squire at least seems to provide an acceptable tradeoff - loss of tower DPS and offensive options in return for roughly 50% more tower HP and more versatile defensive options.

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Atleast some one agrees....

Yes...i read the whole wall of text.
Some one FINALLY sees the positive side about things and not "I wish they were OP again"

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"I wish they were OP again"

If only they'd even admit that they were OP. "Squire wasn't OP, everything else was UP." Riiiight...

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I like your post. You are definitely correct with your conclusions. I can currently solo almost anything on insane(but they do have 170+ on their main stats) using Squire for spikes, monks for auras, app for DPS towers, and hunt while in the game. I am pretty happy of having to use 4 of my chars on solo which I hope is the reason trendy keeps changing ramps.

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If only they'd even admit that they were OP. "Squire wasn't OP, everything else was UP." Riiiight...


Well, to be fair apprentice's towers made squires look much much worse than they actually were.

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VERY well written man! I like how you try to make an objective view rather then basing it fully on your opinion. The comparison is nice =]

Me being nitpicky - You forgot the rest of the "towers" as I include traps and auras as them xD

Posts like these make my day much better =]

What happens to the mana when a bouncer blockade knocks something into lava? Is that mana lost? That could also be a drawback.


The mana is lost!

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After fiddling around more in-game I'd have to say I'd tip the scales a little further towards apprentice. Enemy orcs are able to strike the spike barricade from enough range/angle that they do not get hit back in many scenarios. After trying some strength-drain + spike barrier combos (effective HP of like 33k+ on the spikes barricades) - I realized that this game is mostly about killing things BEFORE they reach your wall - "turtling" is not going to be an effective strategy without a huntress on every crystal.

Therefore I found myself with this scenario on Squire v. Apprentice lane defense:

Defending a lane with Squire = 1 bouncer, 1 ballista, 1 bowler = 17 DU with 19k HP and roughly 13k DPS

Defending a lane with Apprentice = 3 magic barricades, 1 fireball, 3 MM's = 17 DU with over 22k HP and roughly 18k DPS

This is just a rough sketch where I tried to portray an even level of DU, and I think my conclusion in the OP still hold - the bowler is the best value for a Squire and I would still drop a bouncer unless there is a huntress guarding the area. For everything else, MM and Fireball with the occasional Deadly Striker for Wyverns. Deadly Strikers hold off air better than Ballistas but can also snipe enemies 24/7 while waiting for wyverns and will therefore give you a bigger bang for your buck.

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Does anyone recall if spikes are supposed to hit enemies independently or only on attack? Just saw a gobling beating on a spike barricade and not being affected...

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I think a major drawback of the deathstriker is missed. The weapon has very high damage shots but those are often wasted on it poking goblins down. Frankly it's a waste of points to put a weapon like this out if it is not going to favor high hp targets over low hp targets.

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I think a major drawback of the deathstriker is missed. The weapon has very high damage shots but those are often wasted on it poking goblins down. Frankly it's a waste of points to put a weapon like this out if it is not going to favor high hp targets over low hp targets.


I believe they changed its focus a little bit so that it would target Wyverns/necros before anything else.

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After a certain point, more hp becomes useless. (incoming enemies will tear through them either way in 4-person maps) Useful solo for buying time to cross the map and assist your towers, they don't buy much time for team games on their own.

for example: spike barricade spam is enough for solo ogre crush to stall while you dps, try it with 2-4 people, the squires will be pulling ogres and tanking to buy time, because the barriers still die in only a few hits, the map increases both the number of ogres and their health by a large amount. Alternatively, you just spam spike barricades and use all huntresses.

I'll take auras instead of barricades ty.

P.S. stop buffing their hp as a trade off for lower damage, it just makes them better at the one thing they don't need buffing in, and suck harder at their weakest point, leaving gaps for solo play, and gaps for teams without apprentices.

P.P.S. I play tower apprentice, I just don't like it that I want to quit any game that uses squires to offset a lack of monk or apprentice towers.

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I believe they changed its focus a little bit so that it would target Wyverns/necros before anything else.


that was the harpoon turret... focus on anti-air

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Therefore I found myself with this scenario on Squire v. Apprentice lane defense:

Defending a lane with Squire = 1 bouncer, 1 ballista, 1 bowler = 17 DU with 19k HP and roughly 13k DPS

Defending a lane with Apprentice = 3 magic barricades, 1 fireball, 3 MM's = 17 DU with over 22k HP and roughly 18k DPS


Problem with your calculations here is that the units that do most damage are kobolds and ogres, and they do aoe damage so multiple defences can go down in 1 go, and therefore often need more maintenance. also the hp of single defences is lower making them easier to destroy before you get to them.

not that im against apprentice towers, im just saying that its not unbalanced with the dps to hp ratio that you suggest.

Edit: also squires generally hit multiple enemies whereas only fireball can hit multiple, so your dps cant really be accurate

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that was the harpoon turret... focus on anti-air


Incorrect, as usual. Deadly strikers will annihilate wyverns and necromancers above all else, no matter how many goblins are closer. They usually target orcs before goblins, and sometimes archers before goblins. Never kobolds before goblins, sadly.

Sometimes the AI derps and targets goblins anyway, and it doesn't seem to have anything to do with the should-be target just moving into range. But the fact is, deadly strikers are ungodly powerful now, more viable than they've ever been. They 1-shot insane wyverns at a fast rate and 2-shot insane necromancers (and focus them down, targeting the same one before it can heal).

A very needed change, but it throws tower balance dramatically into the apprentice's favor for once, as harpoons absolutely cannot handle necromancers now with skeletons taking 2 hits to kill.

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Incorrect, as usual. Deadly strikers will annihilate wyverns and necromancers above all else, no matter how many goblins are closer. They usually target orcs before goblins, and sometimes archers before goblins. Never kobolds before goblins, sadly.

Sometimes the AI derps and targets goblins anyway, and it doesn't seem to have anything to do with the should-be target just moving into range. But the fact is, deadly strikers are ungodly powerful now, more viable than they've ever been. They 1-shot insane wyverns at a fast rate and 2-shot insane necromancers (and focus them down, targeting the same one before it can heal).

A very needed change, but it throws tower balance dramatically into the apprentice's favor for once, as harpoons absolutely cannot handle necromancers now with skeletons taking 2 hits to kill.


Well...sorry for that.
Just looked into the Patch Notes down to 7.04 and could not find something like this about the DST.
I have not actively seen this inGame but will have an open eye. Thanks for the correction

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I thought I mentioned it was a stealth buff, that was only vaguely confirmed in a dev post. I did in another post.

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Yeah like I said in another post, the game is starting to feel really balanced. I and 2 other friends each with a different class for tower buildings (and a huntress each for the DPS) mixxed and matched and built a perfect setup on insane summit that we could leave it to defend the crystal while we fought the boss. We only lost a couple of towers before taking the boss down.

It's impossible to complete with any one class, but it's not that hard with a good setup of different classes towers.

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After fiddling around more in-game I'd have to say I'd tip the scales a little further towards apprentice. Enemy orcs are able to strike the spike barricade from enough range/angle that they do not get hit back in many scenarios. After trying some strength-drain + spike barrier combos (effective HP of like 33k+ on the spikes barricades) - I realized that this game is mostly about killing things BEFORE they reach your wall - "turtling" is not going to be an effective strategy without a huntress on every crystal.

Therefore I found myself with this scenario on Squire v. Apprentice lane defense:

Defending a lane with Squire = 1 bouncer, 1 ballista, 1 bowler = 17 DU with 19k HP and roughly 13k DPS

Defending a lane with Apprentice = 3 magic barricades, 1 fireball, 3 MM's = 17 DU with over 22k HP and roughly 18k DPS

This is just a rough sketch where I tried to portray an even level of DU, and I think my conclusion in the OP still hold - the bowler is the best value for a Squire and I would still drop a bouncer unless there is a huntress guarding the area. For everything else, MM and Fireball with the occasional Deadly Striker for Wyverns. Deadly Strikers hold off air better than Ballistas but can also snipe enemies 24/7 while waiting for wyverns and will therefore give you a bigger bang for your buck.


Nice that you noticed that DD is all about being on the offense, being too defensive is bad in this game.

Let me join your theoretical lane defense scenario!

Defending a lane with Huntress = 1 mine, 1 gas trap = 6 DU. Requires repairing every 2-3 minutes. Probably less than 3k DPS. I guarantee that this will hold anything those 17 DU of squire/app defenses would.


The classes are supposed to be different. Simple DPS/HP numbers on paper don't always tell you everything, which I tried to illustrate.
The squire vs apprentice problem is that their defenses are too similar, too comparable and thus one or other is always going to be "best" in the eyes of theorycrafters, all of whom don't even play the game.

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Problem with your calculations here is that the units that do most damage are kobolds and ogres, and they do aoe damage so multiple defences can go down in 1 go, and therefore often need more maintenance. also the hp of single defences is lower making them easier to destroy before you get to them.

not that im against apprentice towers, im just saying that its not unbalanced with the dps to hp ratio that you suggest.

Edit: also squires generally hit multiple enemies whereas only fireball can hit multiple, so your dps cant really be accurate


There is an addendum to this calculation:

1) I space my barricades so that kobolds/ogres will not damage what's behind it

2) Both of these setups would have an ensnare + lightning aura in front of them

While all 3 of the squire turrets have their own form of AOE, I find that the fireball turret can put out more AoE than the rest combined. The bowler relies on awkward bouncing to get multiple hits, the harpoon requires a precisely lined up shot, and the bouncers requires multiple enemes in melee range. The fireball will kill everything that isn't fire immune before it gets through an ensnare aura. On Insane halloween I had no problem holding the entire bottom/lower spawn with 1 ensnare, 1 lightning, 1 magic barrier, 1 MM, and 1 fireball turret - and it held the line even against the final mini-ogre wave. I tried the same with a squire setup and spikes + bowler (10 DU compared to the 9 DU required in the previous setup) and the spikes went down in Wave 10 and the Bowler in Wave 10/11 on both tries.

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Nice that you noticed that DD is all about being on the offense, being too defensive is bad in this game.

Let me join your theoretical lane defense scenario!

Defending a lane with Huntress = 1 mine, 1 gas trap = 6 DU. Requires repairing every 2-3 minutes. Probably less than 3k DPS. I guarantee that this will hold anything those 17 DU of squire/app defenses would.


The classes are supposed to be different. Simple DPS/HP numbers on paper don't always tell you everything, which I tried to illustrate.
The squire vs apprentice problem is that their defenses are too similar, too comparable and thus one or other is always going to be "best" in the eyes of theorycrafters, all of whom don't even play the game.


I analyzed the towers independent of other factors, "in a vacuum" so to speak, here's why:

1) Many people like to solo content and thus will require setups that will get little/no help during the combat wave.

2) Saying "well this setup would work with a character who can spam 100k piercing DPS through walls and across the map" is rather silly. The first time I beat Halo insane in a group, it was with a more defensive setup (like 2-3 spike barriers per lane, before they had their HP nerfed) - but that's because we had a DPS huntress at each crystal. Since then I've been beating Halo Insane solo and you cannot rely on having your Huntress's DPS everywhere. I think there is always a caveat for these discussions by saying "none of this matters if you have a DPS huntress who can kill anything that walks out of a spawn.

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There is an addendum to this calculation:

1) I space my barricades so that kobolds/ogres will not damage what's behind it

2) Both of these setups would have an ensnare + lightning aura in front of them

While all 3 of the squire turrets have their own form of AOE, I find that the fireball turret can put out more AoE than the rest combined. The bowler relies on awkward bouncing to get multiple hits, the harpoon requires a precisely lined up shot, and the bouncers requires multiple enemes in melee range. The fireball will kill everything that isn't fire immune before it gets through an ensnare aura. On Insane halloween I had no problem holding the entire bottom/lower spawn with 1 ensnare, 1 lightning, 1 magic barrier, 1 MM, and 1 fireball turret - and it held the line even against the final mini-ogre wave. I tried the same with a squire setup and spikes + bowler (10 DU compared to the 9 DU required in the previous setup) and the spikes went down in Wave 10 and the Bowler in Wave 10/11 on both tries.


Which spot is the bottom lower? Do you mean the very bottom one? I've had better luck with squire stuff on that one.

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Incorrect, as usual. Deadly strikers will annihilate wyverns and necromancers above all else, no matter how many goblins are closer. They usually target orcs before goblins, and sometimes archers before goblins. Never kobolds before goblins, sadly.

Sometimes the AI derps and targets goblins anyway, and it doesn't seem to have anything to do with the should-be target just moving into range. But the fact is, deadly strikers are ungodly powerful now, more viable than they've ever been. They 1-shot insane wyverns at a fast rate and 2-shot insane necromancers (and focus them down, targeting the same one before it can heal).

A very needed change, but it throws tower balance dramatically into the apprentice's favor for once, as harpoons absolutely cannot handle necromancers now with skeletons taking 2 hits to kill.


I would still only use one per crystal at most, possibly less - since they offer the least DPS per DU. If you are building "forward" defenses like on a Royal Garden style map, then the DS flounders since it fails to do anything that another turret can't do better, the wyvern spawns are predictable and would be much better handled by 2 MM's than a DS pointed in that direction.

However on "centralized" defenses like Summit and Halloween, they shine brighter, since they can always be firing at something that other turrets cannot reach and can pick off necro's which tend to be more of a problem on centralized defenses compared to forward ones where the turrets are pretty much in spawn range.

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