Shifts in the Battle Tower Meta – August 2, 2017

Introduction

VCME has released another major update that both upgrades countless non-Legendary Creatures, but also revamps the Battle Tower scoring system. The goal of these changes is to create Creature diversity along with more meaningful usage of non-Legendary cards.

This article will provide some insight on the shifting meta and how to best take advantage of the changes in the Battle Tower

Video commentary

—video coming soon—

Battle Tower changes

The Battle Tower has undergone numerous revamps to both excite and raise the level of competition for a top score. Prior to this update, the key to success was to abuse on-colour damage and aim for as much mana and health remaining as possible. Furthermore, resurrecting strategies worked wonders as you could easily revive a dead teammate and continue going.

However, this update has now shifted the focus to using size-specific Creatures and having no one die to ensure the highest survival score possible.

There are two categories for scoring in Battle Tower: damage and bonus multipliers.

Damage

Baseline damage is somewhat of a fixed score as it is dependant on the health of all the enemies you encounter and is hard to shift up or down. However, you are able to score additional damage points by using on-colour specific Creatures. This occurs when you attack using the correct Colour Counter (eg. using Fire to fight Grass enemies). Thus, you can potentially double your damage score by using perfect colour counters but is not feasible outside of mono-colour levels.

Overkill/Splat Overkill occur when you deal 50%+ of an enemy’s maximum HP in a single hit and can offer very minor additional damage points. Hardly ever occurs.

All of your Damage points are then added together and form your baseline score. This baseline score can be further augmented by the various bonuses listed below.

Bonus Points
  • Mana can contribute up to 10% bonus and is calculated based upon your percent of remaining mana when you complete the level. Only factors in surviving Creatures.
  • Survival is new multiplier that can award up to 100% bonus based on the remaining health of each of your Creatures. However, if a Creature dies (even if resurrected), it will automatically contribute 0% (instead of up to 20%) towards survival.
  • Floor Bonus occurs when completing a Boss floor (the corner levels that reward a prize).
  • Size Bonus is also new and can contribute the most bonus points of any multiplier. It is calculated based on the size of Creatures used regardless if they survive til the end. Each Creature used on your team provides their own multiplier
    • Legendary Creatures award 0% each
    • Epic Creatures award 10% each
    • Rare Creatures award 30% each
    • Common Creatures award 50% each

All of your bonus % are then multiplied against your Damage score to award your grand total.

Maximum bonus multipliers for each category:

  • Mana 10%
  • Survival 100%
  • Floor 50-100% (cannot control)
  • Size 250% for 5 Common/Small Creatures

Battle Tower strategy

With the changes to the scoring system, strategies of old are no longer as efficient. Survival and Size are the big are the new determinants of points for Battle Tower. This is because they can provide up to 350% bonus when fully optimized and will downplay the merit of conserving Mana or even pursuing perfect Colour Damage.

Survival

Mana still awards up to 10%, but with Survival contributing up to 100%, it becomes more efficient to burn a Special Ability to heal your party, especially if no one has died. With 5 Creatures and each having 2 Special charges, one Special will only contribute 1% total bonus. By comparison, healing your entire party will provide significantly more bonus multiplier as each percent of health contributes 0.2% bonus. Thus, if you heal a single Creature more than 5% of their maximum health, you have already come out ahead. However, you will almost always be healing more than 5% and most heals splash across the team. Thus, you should use Specials liberally to keep your health as topped off as possible. Furthermore, this change also places heavier emphasis on Mend skills as they can provide the most healing when used right away.

Colour damage

Having perfect Colour Damage will result in an effective 100% multiplier as you double your base Damage points. However, this is not feasible on non-mono colour levels nor the higher tier floors. As such, you should still try your best to pursue these points but when progressing through multi-colour battles, it will be safer to pursue survival and smaller-sized Creatures.

Size matters

Except this time it is the little things that count for more. Using a full team of invested Legendaries will certainly trivialize content, but it will unfortunately award the lowest amount of points.

Bonus points for size contribute the most to your score. In fact, Size bonus contributes more than all the other multipliers put together and should be the first thing you try and maximize.

The beginning floors will naturally be easy enough to be conquered by a team of purely small Creatures, but you will have to grow in size as you progress. This can be delayed via Totems, 4-dots, and awakenings, but you will need to start using larger Creatures eventually.

However, it is still possible to use certain small Creatures in the upper levels provided you bring the more desirable ones.

What are good Small Creatures?

Small Creatures tend to have the lowest base stats which inhibits their potential to survive massive attacks and to deal large amounts of damage. Granted some Small Creatures are inately durable and a 16x multiplier can provide meaningful damage, they just cannot compete with their larger cousins.

However, what they do excel at is abusing their lower Mana cost Specials and by providing support/utility.

Buffs that provide percent bonuses do not care which Creature actually cast them and technically have the same potency coming from a Small Creature. Thus, utilizing numerous buff Small Creatures can help bolster your overall stats and can prolong their usage.

Furthermore, many Small Creatures have powerful healing and even resurrection abilities. These can help keep your party alive as you often bring some form of sustain anyway. Furthermore, cleanse and dispel Specials can be utilized by Small Creatures. Thus, if a Small Creature can provide the required utility, it is in your best interest to use them over something larger.

Small Creatures can be abused

Each Small Creature will provide 50% bonus and this value may or may not be decreased in the future because it actually awards too many points.

What I mean by this is that if you bring a Small Creature and it dies right away, you still gain the 50% bonus for Size while sacrificing 20% for survival. This is equivalent to bringing a Medium Creature and having it survive at full health (30+20%).

What this means is that you can abuse this semi-loophole and populate a team with 4 Small Creatures and one self-sustaining Legendary.

All 4 of your Small Creatures can die and you will still gain the 200% bonus multiplier. Your single Legendary Creature will provide 0% for size but can in theory achieve 20% for Survival and potentially 10% for Mana. Thus, you come out on top with up to 230% bonus for a single surviving Creature.

Off the top of my head, Phoenix and Vampire are incredible carry Legendaries as they have massive self sustaining Specials and high damage output. Thus, a team of 4 Smalls plus Phoenix/Vampire can clear countless upper levels in the Battle Tower.

Other powerful carry Creatures are those with massive Mend buffs or innate self-sustain.

Sample BT49

This was done last minute when I realized the scoring change and certainly has plenty of room for improvement. However, what really needs to happen is more Combo Dot Colour flexibility so you can build a synergistic team that can actually combo with itself as I was quite restricted in what I could actually bring.

Two Smalls, one Medium, and two Legendaries were able to get the job done with no deaths.

Conclusion

The Battle Tower Scoring changes are well received as it finally gives players a reason and motivation to start using more Creatures. While I personally feel the grind of 51 floors is tedious each week, the changes to the teams I use will provide excitement as new strategies emerge. In an ideal world, i would like to have fewer floors to climb/be scored on, but have each one being a reasonable challenge. Prior to the scoring changes, the first 40ish floor were just mindless swiping so the shift to using different Creatures is a step in the right direction.

Let me know what you think about the Battle Tower changes and what strategies you have been using thus far.

Happy Questing!

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