The Dungeon Challenge Meta has once again been shaken up by the release of the new Medium Wood Nymph. She is responsible for revitalizing the stun meta as she is able to stun nearly the entire team while also providing modest damage and a wonderful on-death effect.
As a result, many players are now using Wood Nymph (3 or 4-dot) and the Small Toad as a ground AoE stunner. This has resulted in massive stunning but thankfully Creatures can no longer be chain stunned into oblivion.
While the stun-strategy is not exactly fun, it is still less horrible than before since you can at least take an action in between.
With all of the above points in mind, the tier list will experience shifts at the top as older strategies of a mana funnel are less potent for AoE oriented cards.
You can read about the most previous Tier List updates HERE.
I will now be combining my Legendary and Rare Tier list into one post moving forward.
—video coming soon—
The current PvP meta has now shifted towards nuke-oriented first floors that ideally try to remove key Creatures right away while also relying on stuns to prevent Attackers from retaliating.
This large burst damage combined with the inability to take an action can cripple many players if luck goes against them.
As a result, players are now having to rely more on passive awakenings to stay alive as they are being bombarded by Defender’s Special Abilities.
Floor 2 and 3 tend to have less relevance as most of the fight is predetermined in the first few turns. As a result, the key to success is building and countering Floor 1.
All Bosses have natural counters and I often receive feedback saying that they can easily defeat XYZ Boss. This is perhaps a result of them actually running their specific (colour) counter or entering with the full team alive. And to be honest, if you enter a Boss with all 5 members alive, you are most likely to win any way. Thus, the validity of Boss’s somewhat hinge on Attackers entering their floor heavily damaged, out of mana, or missing multiple members.
Enchants are a reasonably new feature within Creature Quest as they allow for further customization. While there are countless different combinations available, there will naturally be those that are superior overall.
Generally speaking, the stat-boosting Enchants tend to be the most universally strong option, especially on their primary attribute.
if you wish to read my in-depth Enchanting article, please click HERE.
For the purposes of this article, it is assumed everyone has perfect Gold Enchants.
For the sake of this article, it will assume everyone has equal Kingdom buffs. Amusingly, due to the steep rise in Kingdom costs, most players tend to be clumped around a similar level and thus more even playing field.
Updating Tier Lists
Indicates a Creature has moved up that many tiers since the last posting.
Indicates a Creature has moved down that many tiers since the last posting.
Always assumes max awoken, equal number of Combo Dots, and optimal Enchants.
Lists all assume fully awoken and equal Combo Dots. However, due to the scarcity of 4-dots, it is safe to assume a Creature may move up 1-2 tiers if they are your only 4-dot.
New criteria for Offense
Successful Offense teams are now built around funneling Mana into a specific Creature to have a Special Ability ready by your second turn/cycle. As a result, we need to carefully decide who will be your Mana Funnel recipient as you will be using their Special Ability before any one else on your team.
For a period of time, it was viable to funnel Mana into an AoE Creature who could then combo to 4x/8x and have them remove an entire row of Defenders. Sadly, with the current Stun meta, you can no longer reliably activate a combo and must use them without any additional multiplier.
For example, my older team funnels Mana into Phoenix to have their special ready every single turn if they are used first:
After acquiring new Creatures, I have modified my Offense team to this form where I am able to use my Gold PWR Oathkeeper to sweep an entire row (and heal almost 10k) with 8x combo. Also, having two White Creatures help divert damage away from each other. While it is no longer feasibly to perform an 8x combo, my Oathkeeper still provides some healing, damage, and vital Protection buff.
Unfortunately or fortunately, no one is able to feasibly fill out 5 dungeons for the stun/silence immunity so it now the most important to find counters to wave 1.
I strongly suggest you check out my video detailing how to make a stronger Offense team:
AoE or Area of Effect are Special Abilities that are able to deal damage to several targets. However, they tend to have lower base damage to compensate for this and can also be classified as strong or weak AoE.
Any special that randomly targets Creatures is feasible on Single Target but is horrible against multiple targets. This is because you will often fail to actually kill anything. In addition, abilities that deal significantly less damage to subsequent targets is considered weak as you may only remove one Creature.
Thus, you want to look for AoE Creatures who deal full damage to all targets to ensure multiple enemies die in one Special. However, all AoE Creatures require some form of combo to deal damage which can be risky if those colours die or are stunned.
From my above example, my Oathkeeper is able to hit 8x Combo and sweep an entire row as he deals full damage to all Creatures.
Pure damage is less powerful unless it is blisteringly high
If your Special is unable to kill a single target with no combo, it is not worth pursuing as a mana funnel as you would have been better off with an AoE ability to remove several threats. In addition, if you require 2x to remove one target, your mana funnel Creature will not have enough mana to cast again unless they have some form of mana generation via Deathblow.
One main problem arising now is the HP of defenders outpaces the PWR gains through Kingdom Shrines and Enchants. This has made it nearly impossible for a Creature to use a Single Target ability and kill any Defender they were not already strong against.
Creatures need to survive
Unless you are running a Resurrection Creature, fragile cards will be less desirable as they can be quickly removed from powerful Floor 1’s. Thus, many cards that were quite flimsy have been demoted accordingly.
By extension to this, passive abilities tend to shine as they still take effect even when you are stunned.
It’s hard being
Last Tier list we saw Green Creatures face a challenging time due to the prevalence of Wyverns and Boarbarians. However, with the introduction of Wood Nymph and the common sighting of Toads on the ground, it has somewhat pushed out some major Red threats. As a result, it may be quite challenging for Yellow Creatures to survive as they will be stunned all the time from Nymph and take more damage from her Special Ability.
Some may argue that Red Creatures may excel now but if Toads are always present, they can present a serious threat. This is because the Small Toad is now able to reach high level of PWR through Shrines and Enchants to deal reasonable damage to attackers.
Due to the overwhelming strength of colour counters, it becomes crucial to find solutions to challenging Floor 1’s. However, it can be difficult if using Blue, Red, Green, or Yellow Creatures as they are losing the rock/paper/scissors match too often.
Thus, it is advantageous to run several Creatures that are White or Black as they are more effective overall. This is because they are still vulnerable to their opposite colour but also strong at the same time. Furthermore, stacking several of the same colour leads to distractions as enemies will tend to have more scattered damage as they are now effective against multiple targets. This can lead to protection for valuable Creatures such as Astral Watcher.
Finally, it is wise to create your Mana Funnel on a Creature where there are multiple of the same colour. This will allow you to charge up a wider variety of actives based on the situation at hand.
Dungeon Offense Tier List – December 30, 2017
Cerberus A -> S
Cerberus is easily the strongest Dark Creature in the game and has only gained more relevancy with the stun meta. This is because his counterattack passive does the most damage of any passive and will heavily cripple or outright kill a Defender while also leaving a sizable DoT.
As a result, Cerberus can happily sit on your team and execute Defenders by simply being stunned or debuffed. Furthermore, Cerberus has one of the most or most damaging Special Ability in the game. This enables Cerberus to deal massive amounts of damage to Bosses without any combo multiplier and will most likely kill any in 2 hits.
Valkyrie A -> S
I was on the fence with Valkyrie for A or S as she does provide the most buffs in the game but also suffers from white being highly contested and her splash damage dealing less to secondary targets. However, with the emergence of Wood Nymph, it has become nearly impossible to combo any AoE while the value of buffs is perhaps stronger than ever.
Valkyrie can heavily buff you PWR, ATK, DEF, and LUK which can help counteract the debuffs from Statue as well as improving your durability through higher DEF and lower chance to be critically striked. Thus, a mana funnel built around Valkyrie can function well as you can use the buffs to help ride out the tide of stuns. Remember, it is advantageous to run another Creature of the same colour as your funnel to have special diversity.
Minotaur Warchief S -> A
Minotaur Warchief was just recently promoted to the S-rank but is now falling back down to A as a result of the stun-meta. This is because Minotaur relies on having 4/8x combo to cleave down an entire row which may not be feasible if cards are stunned.
This leaves Minotaur unable to eliminate any Creature with 0x combo and hinders his ability to function. However, he still has the advantage of using 120 mana for his Special.
VIP 8 / Fallen Angel S -> A
Fallen Angel has the ability to produce 200% ATK splash on deathblow when fully awoken. This actually pushes him above the damage output of variuos other AoE characters while also being a favourable colour. In fact, with his scaling ATK component, he technically does more damage than his PWR cousins as he will pierce through the DEF more easily with only a single Enchant (can take +crit for Mercury).
This AoE damage should put him close to with Colossus as he can wipe out an entire floor as it is not restricted to row damage. Unfortunately, he cannot be reliably used as a Mana Funnel recipient as the splash damage is reliant on Deathblow. Thus, if you cannot execute a single Creature with no combo (assuming team is stunned), you cannot produce the 200% ATK splash.
Colossus S -> A
Colossus has the ability to quickly wipe an entire floor when combo-ed correctly. Unfortunately, having your Creatures stunned prevents him from dealing enough damage as you are unable to combo.
Raiju S -> A
Raiju debuted at S as it was my hope we could abuse his on-death passive that grants 100 mana. This abuse would come from him being level 1 and un-totemed in order to die quickly. Sadly, Kingdom shrines provide far too much HP and actually prevent him from being instantly killed. This now forces him to be used as a traditional Creature.
While the mana gained can be game changing, their usage on your team may mostly be for acting as a mana bank or secondary funnel if you run other Yellow Creatures.
Sphinx S -> A
Sphinx also suffers from the inability to reliably combo for massive damage. While the Silence can be meaningful, AoE stuns tend to be superior. Also being Yellow leaves her vulnerable to Wood Nymph and Statues.
Fire Giant S -> A
Fire Giant still possesses one of the strongest Single Target abilities in the game as he can deal an instantaneous 420% PWR along with a sizable burn. Unfortunately, the HP-scaling from Shrines/Enchants outpaces PWR gains or at least they did at level 25 and Silver level. However, judging from the difference with Gold Enchants, the gap between damage and health widens.
As a result, Fire Giant is unable to kill any non-Wood cards (maybe some flimsy fliers or ground Rares) without a Combo. This results in him being less consistent as you can no longer rely on him to remove a key enemy Creature.
Stegosaurus C -> B
Stegosaurus received a sizable DEF buff recently that improves their damage and survivability. Furthermore, Blue Creatures are starting to move into a good place in the meta due to facing fewer Dungeon defender counters compared to Red, Yellow, and Green Creatures.
Monkey King D -> C
Monkey King has deceptively high damage output if he is able to chain between 2+ targets along with his +40% crit rate. This can result in surprising damage while also being a flop if things do not go your way.
As a result, he has some potential for wave clearing but it is inconsistent at best.
Hydra C -> D
Hydra struggles to remain relevant in any game mode due to the random target nature of their Special along with dealing far less damage than Cerberus. Cerberus is able to excel despite a random-target Special due to being Black, having more raw damage (and DoT damage), and one of the best Counter Attack abilities in the game.
Thus, it feels like Hydra is the bad baby brother of Cerberus and needs a rework to regain relevance.
New criteria for Defense
Dungeon Defense primarily revolves around how strong your Floor 1 is and Bosses have less relevancy at this point in time. This is because if an Attacker is able to reach your final floor with all Creatures alive, they are going to win the vast majority of the time.
Thus, Dungeon Bosses are now mostly for killing off weakened Attackers.
Just bear in mind that a 4-dot Creature will often surpass higher-tiered alternatives with 3-dots. This list assumes all Creatures are 4-dots (which is unrealistic in practice).
Another point to keep in mind is that colour counters are even more effective as a Creature that is weak to another will have a significantly lower chance of landing their debuff statuses along with dealing half damage. This vulnerability goes both ways as an Attacking Wood Creature will most likely solo a defending Yellow Boss.
Stun was/is King
The Stun meta is a frustrating experience but at least we are able to actually take an action and are no longer able to be chain stunned. Stunning is more powerful on Floor 1 than Bosses as you have 6 Creatures attacking at once and can do far more damage overall.
As a result, Stun-oriented Bosses can still function, but are unable to repeatedly stun the same Creature again which takes away one of their strongest assets.
Colour Counters are more meaningful
Colour counters even more power when facing what they are effective against as they will be far less likely to become debuffed. What this means is that a Red Boss will be significantly less likely to be stunned by a Green Attacker. This also applies to Boss’s Specials against attackers.
What this means is that the popular meta cards will be able to effecitevly solo what they are effective against. This also means that Bosses that rely on debuffs are going to lose even more ground.
As a result, many bosses that used debuffs are now demoted and in all honesty, Wood bosses are now even more vulnerable to Phoenixes.
With all that being said, White and Black Bosses remain unchanged.
I am well aware that every boss has a counter and can be defeated with specific set ups but there are still some stronger options compared to others.
Dungeon Defense Tier List – December 30, 2017
Monkey King D -> B
Monkey King has been a meme in the Creature Quest world (or at least my guild) as he almost felt like a poorly copied Creature as his awakenings share the same wording as Archmage. As a result, he is often neglected and ignored; however, I took the plunge and fully awoken mine to see if he had potential.
While on Offense he is lackluster, he can make a reasonable defender despite being modestly fragile. This is because as a water type, he shuts down Phoenix along with having some security against Yellow Attackers due to green heavy floor 1’s. As a result, Monkey King’s 40% Crit rate can result in surprising, albeit inconsistent damage.
Due to his chaining mechanic, he is best against full teams or crippled teams that have no gaps between Creatures. This is because his chaining cannot jump over dead Creatures so his damage heavily hinges on being able to chain his Special. If he was changed to chain/jump over dead Creatures, he could become quite formidable.
Building a strong Dungeon Defense
Check out my earlier video on how to build an effective Dungeon Defense for making a strong Floor 1:
Rare Creature tier list
I plan to be including this section to all my Tier List posts moving forward. You can read the first Rare Tier list HERE.
The following Tier List evaluates the performance of each Creature without taking into consideration elaborate Defender synergy.
Elaborate Defender synergy is essentially using any 2+ Creatures to enhance the overall performance of your group. This could be multiple Poison characters to more easily trigger the bonus damage, a LUK debuffer to help proc your Mummy awoken effect, or buffing any stat except PWR.
I consider PWR to be by far the strongest stat for a Special to scale off from as it enables you to use 1 buff to dramatically improve the whole team. As a result, PWR buffs tend to be superior to the other stat-modifiers.
Prior to the release of Nymph, the Dungeon Defense meta largely worked around Single Target abilities with complimenting support (buffs/debuffs) to enhance those Creature’s performance.
However, with the addition of Nymph, we are starting to see a rise in stuns as she is able to stun multiple targets while providing modest damage. Just be aware that you cannot re-stun the same target so they will be able to take an action eventually.
Points to consider:
- Does the colour counter popular meta Legendaries?
- Does the Special deal large amounts of damage (crits, high multiplier etc.)?
- Does the Special provide reliable stun/silence?
- Can the Special provide multiple (relevant) buffs/debuffs?
- Buffs: PWR or Mend
- Debuffs: PWR, DEF, or Fatigue
Having a healer is helpful, but they need to provide more than just healing to be relevant as a Defender.
Rare Flying Creature Dungeon Defense Tier List
Rare Ground Creature Dungeon Defense Tier List
Chaos Nymph – Debut at B
Chaos Nymph is the second exclusive Rare Creature we can obtain from the Battle Tower. While the distribution model can leave many players crying foul, Chaos Nymph is a wonderfully balanced and designed card.
Chaos Nymph is a highly specialized Dungeon defender as she can excel against certain team compositions while being lackluster against others. This is because she has a unique Special that steals enemy buffs while increasing her damage output based on the number stolen.
This buff stealing can make her truly terrifying against players who rely on various buffs from their Mana Funnel. Valkyrie and Anubis are the most vulnerable as they produce the most number of buffs, but Genies and Oathkeeper all lose their unique advantages against Chaos Nymph.
Having a specialized counter against several popular Creatures is wonderful as it adds an extra layer to your Dungeon Defense as you can somewhat customize your defense based on who is attacking you. Just exercise caution before using Chaos Nymph as her damage output is abysmal if she cannot steal buffs. Finally, you can always utilize Creatures who can dispel such as the Nine-Tailed Fox or Wyvern who always deal significant damage without without enemy buffs present.
Presently speaking, it is is best to run Dungeon 5 or Dungeon 4 if lacking 3 strong Medium Fliers. However, just randomly sticking in high-ranking Creatures is not always the surest path to victory.
You can classify Defenders as Support or Offense and you need a healthy mixture of both to succeed.
Supportive Creatures provide buffs, debuffs, stuns, silence, Resurrection, or any combination of the above. This often means they deal little to no damage. As a result, I would suggest you never run more than 3 Supportive Creatures as your overall damage would be too low and probably fail to stop as many Attackers.
On the flip side, you should run between 3-5 Offensive Creatures and is based on the Creatures you have on hand. You need some Support to augment the performance and the key is finding a healthy balance.
At the moment, I am running 3 Support Creatures and it seems to work quite well:
To Toad or not to Toad
The Wacky Toad is a Small Ground Creature who is able to stun 1-3 targets while also having one of the highest HP stats of a Common Creature. Prior to Kingdoms, Toad was instrumental in enabling the old stun meta but fell out of favour when Dungeon Challenge 2.0 came out.
However, Toad is once again a fearsome threat as he is able to stun alongside Wood Nymph and keep the enemy from taking any actions. Furthermore, with PWR Enchants and Kingdom Shrines, the Wacky Toad is now able to deal reasonable damage. This is because small Creatures once had abysmal stats but decent Special multipliers. Now with Enchants/Shrines, these Small Creatures are now able to achieve respectable stat levels.
Ideal dungeon composition
This is just for fun, but I feel the “ideal” dungeon composition would look something like shown below. However, they should all be 4-dot which is not something I have at this point in time.
The rationale behind this team is that the double stunners will provide enough time for Wyvern/statue to cast. Wyvern and Skeletons are key here as they have some of the highest damage in the game along with Skeletons having 40% crit rate. This will result in frequent kills while you remain helpless to react.
This month’s tier list is heavily influenced by the focus being shifted towards powerful Floor 1 set ups and countering the new Stun Meta.
Let me know what you think about the changes and how you plan to develop and build your team moving forward.
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