Devising your own formationEdit
Very often, you will find that your formation will be limited to the various formation shapes out there (plus many more to come), and the limitations imposed by objectives, most notably in the form of occupied slots, or the limited availability of crusaders in objectives such as Guys' Night Out, Beauties and the Beasts, Top Tier and so on. In times like this, you will find that it is most likely necessary to devise a strategy of your own (sure, game chats will come in handy, but the likely situation will be that whatever worked for other helpful players out there might not work for you due to differences in crusaders' EP etc).
This section will give a generic guide on how to devise a formation in all types of formation shapes, and will later elaborate specifically on various limitations imposed by objectives.
Devising a formation without limitations (such as Free Plays):Edit
The solo DPS build Edit
Basically, the idea of this build is to have a main damage-dealer doing most, if not all of the damage while other crusaders either serve to buff him or gold bonus. Many a time, the main damage-dealer will be dealing close to 100% of the formation DPS. The idea of this formation is to avoid monsters from even reaching you wherever possible.
- Know your main damage-dealer
- Find places for the main DPS buffers
- Find places for gold bonus buffers
- Fill in the remaining slots with secondary buffers
1) Know your main damage-dealer
For most people, this role is often filled in by either the Emo Werewolf, the Washed Up Hermit, Jim the Lumberjack or Sarah, the Collector. However, it is recommended that you experiment and determine the one with the highest damage-to-cost ratio to be used as the main damage-dealer. Note that RoboTurkey, while having the potential to have higher DPS, is not a worthy candidate for this role since he needs a damage-dealer for him to absorb DPS from.
- Be sure to have all criteria of their conditional buffs met and have them receive the same buffs to ensure a fair comparison. The level-up all button may come in useful.
Also, after knowing who that lucky guy is, you must also understand how his/her conditional buff works before proceeding with placing the next crusaders.
2) Find places for the main damage-dealer and the main DPS buffers
The main DPS buffers refer to the ones who have higher dps-buffing values but can only buff specific slots. They come into consideration because the different buffing mechanics of each buffers may conflict with one another, and there may be a need to bench some of them if they are unable to fit in the formation without sacrificing some crucial buffs. Should you do so, be sure that it results in the highest buffing value possible.
Detective Kaine (or Mister the Monkey) deserves a special mention here, because he needs that column with most slots. If Kaine's place conflicts with that of the other buffers who otherwise could not buff your main damage-dealer, prioritise Kaine over the buffers.
3) Find places for gold bonus buffers
The other crusaders that buff your gold bonus can stand anywhere they like as long as they get a place. After all, the ones involved besides Kaine would be Natalie Dragon (or Jack O'Lantern), Pete the Carney and Gold Panda. Do note that they must get a place in your formation because maximizing gold find is more rewarding than maximizing DPS.
4) Fill in the remaining slots with secondary buffers
If there are a couple of remaining slots, fill them in with the secondary buffers, those that possess only all-dps buffs. Put the Princess in first (unless you have RoboTurkey already), and then fill in the rest, ensuring you get the maximum DPS possible.
The dual-DPS buildEdit
This build is similar to the solo DPS build, except that you go with two main damage-dealers instead of merely one (note that RoboTurkey still isn't a good damage-dealer!). In this build, these two crusaders will be sharing about 50-50 to 40-60 of the overall formation DPS. However, buffing both crusaders with your buffers may prove to be challenging, and as such you may need to prioritize with buffing the one that deals more damage if your buffers could not buff both of them at once.
The tank buildEdit
The idea of this build is simple: to endure monster attacks throughout levels. You may or may not have enough damage to kill the monsters but slowly and surely you will, as you attempt to survive the onslaught.
- Place Khouri and Gryphon at the second column.
- Place durable crusaders (preferably Jack) at the first column.
- Find places for gold bonus buffers.
- Fill in the remaining slots with your highest damage-dealing crusaders and secondary buffers.
1) Place Khouri and Gryphon at the second column.
Firstly, you would wanna ensure that every single one of your crusaders survives the attacks. To do this, the first column of crusader(s) would be the top priority to protect. By increasing these crusaders' damage resistance and providing them a constant heal, your crusaders will be able to survive longer, as they are healed faster than they take damage. And Khouri and Gryphon provide just that.
Alternatively, you may switch to using Momma Kaine instead of Khouri. Although healing at a lower rate (higher if you have her item), it is much easier to place her and besides, she slows the farthest monster from your team, giving your team ample time to take down the monsters.
Note that Groklok, Drizzle and the Phoenix could also be very useful in beefing up your crusaders. Groklok at the frontline with Drizzle behind could increase the health and damage resistance of your frontline crusaders and should anyone die, the Phoenix could further increase the health of the remaining crusaders, making it all the more possible to endure further onslaught.
2) Place durable crusaders at the first column.
Durable crusaders are the ones that have more HP and hence can take more damage. The most durable crusader by far is none other than Jack, who is the only crusader to have skills to add to his durability.
Place the crusaders with more HP and less damaging potential at the frontline. Jack's presence will be more preferred there.
3) Find places for gold bonus buffers.
As usual, you will need that gold to level your crusaders and boost your DPS as well as the crusaders' health. While your build can afford to deal with levels where you kill monsters within 8 seconds, anything above that value is a no-go.
4) Fill in the remaining slots with your highest damage-dealing crusaders and secondary buffers.
It is noteworthy that the use of main DPS buffers, i.e. those that only buff specific slots, is not recommended. You are, after all, already reserving the first two columns for selected crusaders, so the likely scenario will be that you hardly have any space to plan your formation. Use crusaders that have all-dps buffs to better buff your team dps.
Alternatively, you may adopt the solo DPS build for the remaining slots if there are places for the main buffers.
Note that while there are also other kinds of strategies for progressing through levels, the above strategies have been the more effective ones out of all.
Devising a formation with limitations Edit
Limitations to formations are what make this seemingly boring idle-incremental game look more interesting. Sure, you start over with the same world, but it is these limitations that will make you scratch your brains out in how to overcome these odds and beat the objectives. However, these limitations should not deter you from completing those objectives and getting those precious rubies, if you have enough idols for a decent completion time, that is.
Before you start objectives with limitations, it is recommended that you settle with a set strategy that you have used for the freeplay of that world. You are also advised to have a quick look at the formation shape and limitations that you will be faced with (that is shown to you in the objective selection screen), before you start the objective.
Limitation type 1: Occupied slots Edit
Being the most common limitation in the game, this limitation features usual formation shapes with certain slots occupied (and the occupants do not provide DPS nor click damage, of course). Within this type of limitation, there contains many subsets of occupied slots that you will see in the objectives in this game. Certain subsets may overlap with one another.
Occupied slots subset 1: Constant occupied slots Edit
As the name suggests, the specific slots are occupied from the start of the objective (Area 1) and will continue to be occupied no matter how far you go (in the objective selection screen, constantly occupied slots will be marked with a cross).
This kind of occupied slots is simple enough to devise a formation because the resultant formation shape after the occupancy will be constant throughout. Once you settle with a strategy, you can pretty much use it to plow your way to the end of the objective.
Occupied slots subset 2: Increasingly occupied formation Edit
This form of occupied slots will start to get a little tricky, because the specified occupied slots may or may not be occupied at the start of the objective. However, what is certain is that very gradually, these specified slots will be occupied one by one, and by the end of the objective all of these slots will be occupied (in the objective selection screen, slots that will eventually be occupied are marked with a question mark).
You can settle with a formation when the limitation is at its minimum. However, you will need to think of different strategies and formations because the limitations will start to pile up as you progress through levels (if a slot starts to be occupied, whatever crusader you have there will be knocked out and benched).
Alternatively, you may settle with having crusaders in slots confirmed to be unoccupied throughout the objective, leaving slots that will be occupied empty. This way, you will not need to devise different formations every time the limitation piles up.
Occupied slots subset 3: Moving occupied slots Edit
This is a tricky form of occupied slots, because throughout levels the occupied slots actually MOVE (as in Mrs Fizzle's Field Trip)! While the number of occupied slots remain constant throughout, the positions of these slots do not (in the objective selection screen, objectives with this form of occupied slots will have all slots of the formation marked with a question mark).
When faced with such kind of occupied slots, it is recommended to be on alert and not let your guard down. You will need to devise a new formation every time the occupants move.
Occupied slots subset 4: Occupancy with buff(s) Edit
In this relatively new concept of occupied slots, whoever occupies that slot will actually buff you despite not having any DPS.
In this case, you have two choices: take it or leave it. If you want it, devise a formation with your specific crusaders being buffed by the occupant(s). Otherwise, just treat it as an ordinary occupied formation.
Occupied slots subset 5: Occupancy with debuff(s) Edit
Originating from event objectives, this form of occupied slots eventually became available as a main objective. In contrast to occupancy with buff(s), the occupancy will provide debuffs to your team. Very unhelpful of them, how could they?!
Unlike occupancy with buff(s), you will not want to ignore this problem and instead take note of the debuffs the occupancy will deal, where they will deal the debuff, and arrange your crusaders accordingly. For example, if the occupant freezes crusaders in the specific slot(s) and you are adopting the solo DPS build, be sure to keep your main damage dealer away from those slots!
Limitation type 2: Limited roster Edit
In some objectives, there will be specific crusaders who are barred not only from being in your formation, but also from being levelled (which means they will be unable to contribute to idol reward). Maybe because it's dictated by the objective you're playing. Maybe because you've accidentally sent a few of your trusted crusaders to missions and they can't come back till a few days later. There may be a need for a drastic change in strategy because it is likely that your usual crusaders will be locked.
It is noteworthy that in objectives with limited roster, the available crusaders will unlikely be able to even fill up your formation! Hence it is quite unlikely that you will need to bench any of the available crusaders.
When faced with objectives with limited roster, it is recommended that you study the list of available crusaders and hence devise a formation. You may wish to bench certain crusaders that may come into conflict with the conditional buffs of other crusaders.
Limitation type 3: Limited crusader number Edit
Your formation is not limited. All your crusaders are also available. But you are only allowed to use a designated amount of crusaders at a time.
The gist of beating objectives with such a formation is to maximize your DPS-gold product value (Formation DPS * Gold bonus) not only to have the maximum income when you go offline, but also when idling online. To do so, first prioritize your main damage dealer above all others. Then, start to increase your gold bonus. If there are more available slots, continue maximizing the product value.