Version 1.8 is now live and brings some of the most exciting changes to the Dungeon Challenge Meta. Most notable is two colours and two stats being boosted each week. This provides great incentive to fill out multiple dungeons to capitalize on the extra stats. In fact, these changes will modify how I rank Creatures in my Tier lists as we can now reliably experience boosted stats.
This article will highlight how I feel you can create a strong defense along with utilizing powerful combinations to create unexpected and lethal floors.
–video coming soon–
Disclaimers & assumptions
I do not have a magical crystal ball that can predict the future, but it is my belief that we will enjoy DEF & ATK buffs on a regular basis (judging from the fact that we have never had a week where PWR or LUK was boosted) and will be making my recommendations based on this.
In addition, with the potential to promote Combo Dots on Creatures, we can now enjoy numerous 4 Dots and potentially create more diverse and exciting dungeons.
I am not sure if the two boosted colours will always be the same (eg. always White and Black) but regardless, it is advantageous to try to maximize your boosted colours for each dungeon. For this, I will be referencing my Tier Lists (next update will come soon) to try and use either S-tier off-colour or A-tier on-colour.
The stat gains are enough to propel A-tier Creatures up to top-level status and even just running duplicates of the same one will yield impressive results.
At this point in time, I am not running Dungeon 1 as it has the weakest layout as Medium Fliers do less than Grounds, so utilizing Dungeon 3 is the better “bad” layout.
Current Dungeon Challenge – Black & White
I feel that Black and White are the two strongest colours for Dungeon Defense and having both boosted at the same time is absolutely devastating for would-be attackers. This is because their colour-weakness is also what they are strong against which enables them to have no true counter. Furthermore, Defenders start with their Specials faster so they will be able to kill their colour-opposites with ease.
This will probably be the week where Defenses experience the highest win rate but you will still need to utilize potent combinations to succeed.
Of course having optimal Enchants and higher level Shrines will improve your win rates, but building intelligent dungeons is perhaps more important.
Stat Boosts will provide a significant boost to two specific colours and enables lower tier Creatures to become quite formidable. Furthermore, it can help propel Small Creatures up to lethal levels as their own stats become inflated.
This is important as you will want to try your best to run Stat-boosted Creatures for the majority of your Dungeon.
This is because an Attacker will be unable to kill a single Defender on their first 5 actions (all Basic Attacks). This enables your Defense the chance to cast several Specials and ideally remove one Attacker.
No matter how strong your dungeon is, you will want to run some form of buffing/debuffing. This usually comes in the form of Support Defenders who are more oriented towards providing utility for your Defense and is one reason why Statue reigns supreme. However, with Stat-boosts and greater accessibility to 4-dots, we are now able to build more interesting compositions.
However, you cannot just throw in any boosted Creature and have to consider who your primary damage dealers are along with what stat they scale off of.
For example, if you plan on heavily running Kitsunes , you will want to run a LUK buffer instead of the standard Wyvern . This will be explained in greater detail under the Creature Combinations section
Stun is still King
Regardless of which Colours are being boosted, you will still want to run a Defender who can Stun. This is because it will buy additional time for your other Defenders along with breaking up the pace of Attackers as they can no longer Combo, take an action, or donate Mana.
This places significant value on Wood Nymphs , Wacky Toads , and possibly Gnome Crossbowmen . Every Floor 1 must run at least one of these.
One may argue that mass silencers such as Lightning Nymph can work well, but Attackers can still take an action so it will be less effective overall.
Enchants to use
Enchants are a wonderful way to add an additional layer of potency to your Creatures but some are stronger than others. The following is meant to be a guideline and not an absolute rule to follow.
Always choose the Primary stat of your damage dealers over what is listed below. Supportive Creatures may not require their primary stat to excel and are better suited towards utility. This applies to Floor 1 Creatures:
- Wood: Health (nothing else comes close)
- Ore: % mana drain (Support) or Bonus Boss damage (Damage Dealers)
- Sulfur: Random Stat-debuff (non-debuffing Support) or LUK (Damage Dealers or debuffing Supports)
- Mercury: Chance to double-strike (Support) or Critical Hit chance (Damage Dealers)
This section is going to highlight specific set ups and which dungeon to run them in to better take advantage of their potential. Using a standard Wyvern plus Skeleton can’t really go wrong, but I wish to expand possible compositions. Emphasis is placed on same colour combos to better take advantage of the stat boosts.
In general, Supportive Creatures tend to come in the form of Fliers as they often lack the raw damage output of Ground Creatures.
Clockwork Demolisher + Wood Nymph – Dungeon 4 & 5
Clockwork Demolisher is in a Fantastic spot right now as the DEF/ATK buffs enable him to shine bright. Furthermore, his ability to synergize with Wood Nymph (DEF Buff) helps provide more damage and durability for your team. However, it is his DEF break that makes him terrifying as he amplifies the output of all your Defenders. This makes him a pseudo Support/Damage Dealer and will be re-promoted into S-tier on my list.
Black Cat + Mummy – Dungeon 3 & 4
Dungeon 4 forces players to use one Small Flier, two Medium Fliers, and three Medium Ground Creatures. As such, you need to find an ideal Small to run that can compliment your defense. While using the Monarch Butterfly can be a nice default choice, the Black Cat + Mummy combination is absolutely devastating.
In fact, Black Cat + Mummy creates the highest conditional damage in the game (possibly rivaled by Kitsune + Muse) as Mummies gain +50% damage to LUK debuffed Creatures. This is further amplified by the LUK buff that creates an environment where you can have reliable Critical Strikes to potentially remove non-White Creatures in one cast.
If lacking a Black Cat, you can use Marionette as an alternative.
Kitsune + Muse – Dungeon 5
Kitsune is the highest single target damage Medium in the game (360% LUK with exceptionally high base LUK) and is the only true counter to Cerberus as she can outright one-shot him with a single unbuffed cast.
However Kitsune is somewhat fragile but this is naturally compensated via Stat-boosts, but with Muse, she can become quite terrifying.
Muse provides a large LUK buff which effectively enables Kitsune to nearly execute almost any Creature in the game. Furthermore, the Mend buff helps your team sustain along with the massive heal.
The healing component helps ensure your other Creatures who may not have stat-boosts survive the wave of Basic Attacks from Attackers.
Lizardman + Pirate Kobald – Dungeon 4 & 5
During Boosted-Water weeks, utilizing dual Lizardmen with a single Kobald Pirate will be devastating. This is because you already enjoy a buff to your ATK along with scaling off ATK. In addition, you are able to propel your damage to new heights via Kobald’s ATK buff. This set up will require you to run all Flying Supports.
Mantis + Gnoll Cutthroat – Dungeon 3 & 4
The Friar Mantis is the strongest damaging Small in the game and is further augmented by their PWR buff. While this has perfect synergy with most Defenders, it is worth trying to stack them with their own colour during those boosted weeks. While the Gnoll Cutthroat is not as commonly seen, he will be amazingly popular during Green weeks and the Mantis will become his new best Friend.
One can argue that the Carousing Clurichaun is a strong pairing, but it is harder to justify running any other Small Ground than the Wacky Toad. Perhaps on Dungeon 1 this can work, but it is already a lackluster dungeon.
Mothman + Witch – Dungeons 1-5
It may be rare that both Creatures have their stats boosted, but there is interesting synergy between Mothman and Witch. Both are able to apply a DoT (damage over time) poison on Attacker while either gaining bonus damage or detonating the DoTs. This is valuable as their previously middling damage output is greatly amplified by running several poison Creatures. Furthermore, it is important to not over-populate your Dungeon with Mothmen as you wish to run the more Supportive Medium Fliers instead.
Clockwork Technician + anything – Dungeon 1-5
Clockwork Technician is an often under-rated Small Flier but becomes quite terrifying on White boosted weeks. This is because they gain enough durability to survive through Basic Attacks and most Specials while also providing a large amount of healing. However, it is their Buffs that can make them formidable and potentially stronger to run compared to the Monarch Butterfly . While the Butterfly can buff all stats reliably, Clockwork can actually full heal his allies. This is perhaps most valuable on wave 2 as you can keep your Boosted Epics alive while also providing valuable buffs.
Naga Priestess + PWR Epics – Dungeon 1-5
As part of my update to my Tier Lists, Naga Priestess will be promoted into S-tier. This is because she provides both PWR and LUK buffs along with a sizable single target nuke. However, the fact that she buffs your other Creatures makes her a formidable defender.
A Beetle is a one of the stronger Ground Epics, but he becomes even more terrifying when his Special does significantly more damage and stun lands more reliable. In essence, Naga Priestess makes all of your other Creatures better while also being a large threat.
Countering strong Defenses
Along with the buffs to Dungeon Defense, Version 1.8 also granted players the ability to reroll Combo Dot colours into their ideal compositions.
This opens up the door to a wider variety of teams and this may become crucial to surviving through difficult weeks. Furthermore, with the ability to preview the dungeon, you can modify and create a team that can counter their set up or at least mitigate unfavourable colour match ups.
This will most likely lead to the situation where you actively try and avoid certain colours on your Offense team. For example, during White/Black boosts, it may be challenging to carry a White Creature through Dungeons riddled with Skeletons. Utilizing Dungeon Preview and Combo Dot sets will become more important overall.
Just remember, the Black/White combination will probably be the strongest one overall as it has no innate counter.
The Dungeon Challenge meta will continue to remain dynamic and exciting with different Colours being boosted each week. My hope is that the colours will rotate over time so there will never be any “perfect” set up to ensure experimentation and variety each week.
Let me know what you think about the current changes and what kind of Defenses are you currently running.
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