Your automatically spawning army is the backbone of your attack and defense. Everyone in the game starts with footmen, but it's in your best interests to upgrade your barracks as soon as possible. Each upgraded barracks improves your base defense and spawns different units, like dryads, skeleton mages, and raiders. People often forget that higher tiers also gets you more hit points on your base. It's fairly easy for an opponent to destroy your Tier One base late in the game.
Footmen have no special abilities (Unit Level 2). They are not considered part of a race (Tier Zero) and do not get any race abilities or upgrades. They do get standard weapons and armor upgrades. From Tier Zero, you can choose (via the beacon next to your barracks) from any of the four races, Human, Orc, Night Elf, or Undead. The initial upgrade from footmen to Tier One is free and occurs after a seven minutes into the game.
When at Tier One of a race, you can move horizontally to another race's Tier One for 100 gold, or you can upgrade the race you're currently using to Tier Two for 1400 gold. You cannot go diagonally (for example, if you have Grunts, you can get Riflemen, Ghouls, Archers, or Peons, but you cannot get Militia). When at Tier Two and upwards, the same options apply. The cost for switching races also increases as you increase your tier. Currently, you cannot return to a lower tier once you have moved up.
|Tier||Human||Orc||Undead||Night-Elf||Cost||Cost to Switch Race|
|Tier 2||Militia||Peons||Crypt Fiends||Huntresses||1400g||400g|
|Tier 3||Spell Breakers||Raiders||Skeletal Mages||Druids of the Talon||2000g||700g|
|Tier 5||Steam Tanks||Kodo Beasts||Meatwagons||War Glaives||15000g||2000g|
Armies can be upgraded with a universal weapons upgrade and health upgrade up to fifteen times each. As you start changing your army, you can also take advantage of race-specific abilities. For example, starting at Tier Two, all Undead units get the Slam ability, and can be upgraded with Unholy Frenzy. Race upgrades don't carry over if you switch races -- so Level 5 Unholy Frenzy would not become Level 5 Improved Range if you switched to Night Elf. However, if you switch back to a race you had previously researched a racial with, they will still have the upgrades you paid for. Each race-specific upgrade has five levels. Weapon and Health upgrades apply to ALL units no matter which tier you learned them at, and have fifteen levels.
Obtaining Tier 5 is considered a game breaker as very few heros can withstand the attacks of high upgraded Meatwagons or Kodo Beasts, although a few item-stacked heros can give a good fight. A lot of games end with a race to collect enough gold to upgrade to Tier 5 and in very rare cases end with two teams with very powerful armies.
Common Tips and Strategies Edit
- A common strategy for balancing upgrading and tiers: Upgrade all available upgrades to level 1 immediately, then go to Tier One. Stay at tier one for as long as they are effective, spending your money on armor and weapons upgrades instead. Once your tier one start getting outmatched, ascend to the next tier.
- Remember that your army cannot be rallied to a specific location. A common mistake that players make is to let the spawned units pile up in their base, which means they are losing units and momentum in their offensive attack elsewhere. Especially in the early game, always have your army entering the fray. Many good teams share unit control so other players can help send armies out.
- The tier system was not designed to be "equal but different" at all levels. Some tiers are definitely better than others. Tier Four is generally the best bang for your buck, but some good players make it to the win screen with a lower tier, choosing to spend their money on creeps, items, and heroes instead. Don't just pick a race at random -- figure out what tier will be most useful late game against the heroes in the game and the other races on enemy teams.
- Unselect or disable Formation Movement by clicking the button near the minimap with a triangle of dots. It is not necessary in Footmen Frenzy and will improve your unit pathing and response time.
- Armies have a "Paper, Rocks, Scissors" theme where Humans>Night Elfs>Orcs>Undead>Humans. This means that units of the same tier with equal upgrades can still have a disadvantage.
- Upgading Tiers is an important strategy when building an army, but upgrades need to be taken into account if you are using your army throughout the game. For example, Tier 3 Skeletons with 2 upgrades in speed attack, 3 upgrades in damage, and 2 upgrades in health can be more effective in battle than Tier 4 Abominations with no upgrades and cost less at the same time. However, Tier 4 units are improved more per upgrade than earlier tiers, so upgrading tiers should not be delayed for too long.
- Often times, Players choose to spend lots of gold on items for their heros over spending money on their army. For some heros, this is an acceptable strategy; however, their army becomes their biggest weakness because Tier One armies can be farmed very easily as well as their base can be killed very easily.
- Should you choose to item-stack your hero or delay upgrading your army in the early game, pick a race that does not allow easy farming. In most cases, the safest choice is either Humans or Orcs, as Orc Grunts have twice the health points as Night Elf Archers and Ghouls can be one shot by a level 6 shockwave from a Tauren Chieftan. In most cases, pick orc as a race until you aquire the necessary items for your hero, spend 100g to change to race of choice before upgrading your army. Conversely, be on the look out for powerful heros with a weak Tier One army to farm off of.
- Scrolls are an army's best friend. Scroll of Roaaarrr boosts damage by %75, Scroll of Speed boosts unit movement speed to max, and Scroll of Darkness and Scroll of Miyata can help give your army a big sneak attack on an enemy base.
- Powerful heros such as Assassin and CattleBruiser are amazingly powerful against other heros, but are completely overwhelmed by a strong army. On the flip side, heros such as Archmage and Death Sheep can devestate strong armies while not being known for controlling hero battles.
Unit Levels can be found on the individual army pages. These levels determine how much experience you get for killing the units. Units with a higher level may be more deadly when you face them, but will give your hero more experience than lower-leveled units.