The basics of strafeEdit
The basic setup called "Strafe" is having a hero with the Strafe/Stun (hit all targets) skill, Charidae (chance to increase random hero morale to 100, and only UP TO 100) and three drummers (add 34 morale to all own heroes, take away 5 from all opponents). These things work nicely together as by only having one skill attack hero you are focusing Charidae's efforts, giving almost guaranteed Strafes each round.
Why would I want to be a strafer over my current setup?Edit
Strafing seems to be the most cost efficient way of progressing through the NPC zones. That is, you can progress quickly because you do not have to sit around waiting for silver for upgrades. This is because the only offensive item you need will be a horse, instead of 3-4 weapons, a couple of horses, et cetera. Getting the money (as well as the properly coloured items in the first place) for those will take a lot longer.
But... but... warlocks are cool! (or something like this)Edit
Warlocks early game are not very good. Their stats are bad, their success rates vary from crap to decent, but more importantly you will not, I repeat not, have the books to support them. Other than that, see the previous answer.
Why add drummers when Charidae would already make using Strafe possible?Edit
There are three reasons for this:
- Charidae can fail (65% success rate I think);
- Morale over 100 adds damage percentage equal to the amount over 100. A 200 Strafe does twice the damage a 100 would do.
- Taking away morale is nice: in Cheer + Drum vs Cheer, the former Strafes twice as often.
What is this Stun skill?Edit
Stun is a skill that in addition to hitting all targets (like strafe) also has a chance to stun (as per Confuse skill or Flash Warlocks) targets. This works as follows: first there is a chance of the stun going off (i.e. not seeing Failed everywhere), and then an additional chance of actually hitting specific targets with it. The downside of Stun over Strafe is that it deals about 80% of Strafe's damage. Even so, it is a good idea to switch to a Stun hero as soon as possible as they are more useful later in the game.
How to unlock the necessary heroes:Edit
I will first give a list of all the relevant heroes for this guide. The boldface heroes are those with Strafe, the red heroes are those with morale boosts, whereas the green heroes are those intermittently used for leveling. The stats highlighted in blue are those most relevant to that hero (this is used to prioritise what stat you should Improve that hero with, for fighting against NPCs).
Yes, the drummers have no need for stats for offensive purposes, nor does Charidae need int for her cheer (int does not affect chance of success; a book would only benefit her through soldiers).
I listed str as most relevant stat for these heroes because higher str means higher defense against normal attacks, which are most prevalent in NPC fights. In PvP where you would want to have skill defense vs other strafers it's a different story. Yes you can put ichea in front of a warlock, but do note that the formations are rather rigid because of the order in which skills must be used (cheer, 3x drum, strafe).
|Jenlon||Strafe||68||50||49||Begin of Militia|
|Thewlon||Level||62||51||51||Begin of Donjerd|
|Charidae||Cheer||42||29||87||End of Other|
|Whattoc||Heal||68||30||103||End of Other|
|Roychute||Defense||68||58||37||End of Roychute|
|Ichea||Drummer||47||58||77||Middle of Lloybuke|
|Lloybuke||Drummer||69||43||72||End of Lloybuke|
|Boxiren||Strafe||63||78||27||B 38k RP|
|Maeford||Drummer||55||55||63||B 43k RP|
|Wittesis||Stun||79||79||80||V 50k RP|
|Euthius||Drummer||43||13||86||V 38k RP|
|Jurica||Stun||68||80||43||Middle of Monhue|
|Janikia||Cheer||63||71||94||V 130k RP|
|Lentone||Stun||67||87||75||M 190k RP|
|Napyiae||Drummer||63||17||82||M 6k RP|
|Teurete||Cheer||54||33||87||Middle of Lubon|
|Sheoyon||Strafe||88||101||61||V 450k RP|
|Guanyris||Stun||105||95||65||B 480k RP|
2. Starting from scratchEdit
This section is about how to start from level 1 and develop most efficiently into the full Strafe setup. While leveling you will have to pick up two heroes not part of the Strafe setup per se, which you will only use to level up.
Choosing your main hero:Edit
The best main hero (also called starting hero) to choose is Haera. If you do so, she will be your Strafer for a while, instead of Jenlon. As you can read above her stats are comparable to Jenlon, yet she has two big advantages over him:
- Haera will get more soldiers than Jenlon;
- Haera has the innate ability to crit and parry.
Other choices are Haitheis and Trephics, both of which are alright because they do not have a skill and as such will not take cheers from Charidae away from your Strafer. They will soon be replaced, however.
Militia and Donjerd region:Edit
At the start of the Militia region, buy a Copper Sword as soon as possible, and keep it at the highest possible upgrade level allowed by your Shop. Draft Jenlon as second hero, putting him in front of Haera. I recommend you do not buy a horse for the initial stages of the game. As for armors, try getting one Copper Plate as drops from the Bariones NPC, and buy another when you can have three heroes in formation. As for formations, use CR. From Militia clearance you will get your second weapon, an Iron Sword. Upgrade your items a bit before moving to Loyan.
Hero setup at end of Militia: Haera Jenlon.
Items at end of Militia: Copper Sword 1-X, Iron Sword 1-X, Copper Plate I-X.
At the start of the Donjerd region, draft Thewlon. For most of your fights, put Haera at top, Thewlon Jenlon mid. Equip your weapons on Haera and Thewlon, leaving Jenlon without one. Get to TC 11 as quick as possible and stay there for a while leveling up your War Academy. As for techs, focus on Arming first, Signal Flag second, Armoring third (unlocked at TC 15). Push to TC 15 when you are done with Arming.
Hero setup at end of Donjerd: Haera Jenlon Thewlon
Items at end of Donjerd: Copper Sword 2-V, Iron Sword 2-V, 2 x Copper Plate 2-V.
Gamzon and Other region:
Go for Gamzon region first. It should be straightforward to progress. Push to TC 25 to clear Gamschild as you will need Ranking. Do not spend much silver on items: get your strength from technologies. Make sure your houses are all maxed straight away.
Hero setup at end of Gamzon: Haera Jenlon Thewlon.
Items at end of Gamzon: Copper Sword 2-V, Iron Sword 2-V, 2 x Copper Plate 2-V.
(see rp heros guide in this wiki if you don't have this yet)
At this point draft both these heroes while firing Jenlon. Try getting a Tiger's Head armor from Other PR. Now push to TC 30 and use the newly unlocked Dealer function to get a blue horse. Start pouring all of your silver into this horse. You are now going pure Strafe from here on.
Hero setup at end of Other: Haera Thewlon Charidea Whattoc.
Items at end of Other: Copper Sword 2-V, Iron Sword 2-V, 2 x Copper Plate 2-V, Vigilante/Oliver MAX.
Roychute and Jackluis region:Edit
Start with Jackluis. Point of interest: Tiger's Head armor from Jackluis clearance. You should now have two blue armors. If not, do Jackluis PR until you get a War Prodigy. Upgrade only these two armors, do not spend silver on others yet.
Hero setup at end of Jackluis: Haera Thewlon Charidea Whattoc.
Items at end of Jackluis: Vigilante/Oliver MAX, 2 blue armor near-MAX, Hope Bringer / Blue cloak medium.
Roychute. Point of interest: Instant Heals books from Roychute clearance. Draft Roychute in favor of Thewlon. Roychute's ability is improved defense. He thus makes for a very good tank as he does not have morale. Equip Instant Heals on Whattoc but do not upgrade it.
Hero setup at end of Roychute: Haera Roychute Charidea Whattoc.
Items at end of Roychute: Vigilante/Oliver MAX, 2 blue armor near-MAX, Hope Bringer / Blue cloak medium, Instant Heals 1-I.
Cupecus and Lloybuke region:Edit
Start with Cupecus. Point of interest: Loyalist horse from Cupecus clearance, which will replace Haera's horse until much later. Start upgrading this horse like crazy. The only things you should spend silver on is getting this horse up to say level 4-I as soon as possible, with some silver going into getting your two blue armors at 350.
Hero setup at end of Cupecus: Haera Roychute Charidae Whattoc.
Items at end of Cupecus: Loyalist MAX, 2 blue armor near-MAX, Hope Bringer / Blue cloak medium, Instant Heals 1-I.
Lloybuke. When you defeat Lloybuke, you should have obtained a fifth hero slot (15k RP, level 50 WA), which you should fill with Lloybuke, as well as replace Whattoc for Ichea. If you do not, still replace Whattoc with Lloybuke and try to get a fifth slot as soon as possible. Do not forget improving your heroes' stats. You will want another armor, upgraded mildly, as soon a yellow will take its place
Hero setup at end of Lloybuke: Haera Charidae Roychute Ichea Lloybuke.
Items at end of Lloybuke: Loyalist MAX, 3 blue armor ~350, Blue cloak medium.
Luisdgar: You will receive a Red Sparrow (level 38 yellow) armor as clearance reward. Focus purely on upgrading this armor, over all other armors (yet still most silver should go to Loyalist). You do not want to spend any more silver on blue armors at this point.
Matton: At around this time you should unlock Maeford (Beluprus 43k RP) or Euthius (Volpugny 38k RP). Replace Roychute with him. You will receive a Warsong Cloak (level 55 yellow) from clearance reward. This cloak can also be obtained from the level 2 cloak dealer. Upgrade it mildly: when you are pure strafe you hardly have to deal with skill attacks from NPCs, as they gain 25 morale per hit, but lose 3x5 = 15 morale per turn due to your drummers, meaning that it will take 10 turns for them to gain enough morale, plenty of time for you to kill them.
Switch Haera out for Jurica if you are Beluprus, switch Haera for Wittesis (Volpugny 50k RP) if you are Volpugny. For Malscinia players, most likely your RP will not be close to 190k RP yet, in which case I would recommend getting Jurica before transitioning into Lentone (Malscinia 190k RP).
At around this point, really start using honor to improve your heroes' stats. The main objective is to keep Jurica/Wittesis' dexterity maxed (so hero lvl + 20), and Lloybuke's strength maxed. Charidae will be replaced by Teurete (or Janikia, Volpugny 130k RP), and furthermore Maeford gets replaced by Jaswan for Beluprus. You will start to switch out of pure strafe in a few maps, meaning that long term investments in other drummers are not advised. Do keep their strength high, but really, only doing *some* one Charidae and max on Lloybuke is enough.
The improving goes as follows: first you take a bunch of honor (50k+, it's expensive), and then just keep doing the honor only improve until the stat you want goes up, otherwise keep your current stat. You should take +1 str +60 dex +1 int over +10 str +59 dex +15 int on Jurica/Wittesis: you only care about the main stat. It is not feasible to get more than one stat high with honor only improves, and it will cost you a lot more to get the main stat up high using other improves (say the 2 gold one).
Ryeshock: In this area you will start to really need three good (yellow armors). Also around this time your Loyalist should hit level 6-V, at which point you should stop upgrading it as it is not worth the silver anymore. Instead, focus on getting five yellow armors, for which I would suggest one Lion's Head and three Umbral Armors, which together with the Red Sparrow from Luisdgar clearance gives you five. Lion's Head drops from Jamseus at the end of Luisdgar, whereas Umbral Armor drops from Duolix in Monhue. Duolix has a 36 limit maximum, whereas Jamseus only has 6, which explains my choice of armors purely on the practical reason of feasibility of farming.
Allies region and beyond:
These areas are somewhat beyond the scope of this (beginner's) guide. You will notice that using Strafe becomes more tedious as the cost of upgrading your horse increases. I would recommend going for Danny (red horse 55 req from Level 3 dealers, 10 fragments) around the end of Lubon. This will take you a while, but regardless of your future plans you will at some point need one. It is entirely possible to clear Allies and even Empires using Pure Strafe, but the alternatives in the form of Rock Warlocks and Fire Bulls are just going to be too good to pass up on.