A well-known topic about the build variety has been warming our souls for many months already. If anybody forgot, I’ll recall the abstract:
It is suggested to add some new classes (builds) to every faction with different talents cost, army recruitment and some additional bonuses. For example, Knights in the Shooting build for hunting, Necromancers, specialized in Raise Dead at high levels or with Offense skill branch, Wizards with Holy and Darkness magic, Elf- Chaosers, Barbarians with good defense or with Darkness spells, Dark Elfs with Holy and Nature magic, an army and a rush build for Dwarf-Chaosers.
Last time I wrote an article, concerning this topic, so I’ll highlight the phrase about Elf Chaosers. As a person, who plays the original HoMM V for Elfs with Chaos and Darkness magic, I wondered why LWM Elves have so castrated version of the battle magic – Nature magic only with only half of the spells in the branch, and the absence of Sorcery branch. So it was decided to check the elf-chaosers’ abilities, adapted to the present day situation.
It took some efforts to imitate a duel. For the combat of full value Elf needs a Wizard-Chaoser companion. This companion should cast chaos spells on the probationer instead of Elf (who casts only Raise Dead spell, and in this situation Wizard skips his turn). The probationer must attack Elf on the 10 cell-wide field (a duel field). Elf himself can put his troops on the 9 cell–wide field only, as he is with a companion and the field is reduced. But it is critical against Dark Elf only. Wizard participates in a combat with his hero only, his troops are put on the far border of the field to prevent Chain Lightning on them.
There were two Elf Chaoser’s builds to check each faction:
The First is with Expert Chaos Magic and Expert Sorcery + Reducing mana cost talent + Erudition. Spell Power 35/36, Mana 140.
The Second is with Expert Chaos Magic with Advanced Defence, Vitality and Stand Your Ground instead of Sorcery. Spell Power 31/32, mana is the same.
The constant talent cost was used in calculations: (Erudition 10, Defence 9) and imitated Chaos 10 and Sorcery 7 points.
It is impossible to fight against probationers-chaosers, as it is impossible to imitate Raise Dead spell several times together, as Elf has no Sorcery branch, and Wizard has one. The victory against Chaosers is impossible without Raise Dead and Sorcery anyway.
Please don’t judge severely and insult the participants of these battles for their mistakes. All people make mistakes (and I as well), the reason is the effect of surprise and bad understanding of how to behave with Elf Chaoser (which doesn’t exist in the game and nobody met him in the battle). This is not a guide with instructions what to do, but the examples of battles. You can see that the result depends on doing and not doing mistakes. One can’t avoid mistakes when such builds are realized.
For the laziest ones, who wants to see the conclusion of the article without watching the battles, welcome to the Spoiler:
Even without any changes in the army recruitment (the old one), and talent cost (the price didn’t change), Elf has good chances to survive in this cruel world, even more chances than Elf with Nature magic (it will be so for a long time, until the appearance of the Magic Guild level 5 with all its benefits).
The build is rather good against Barbarians, Knights and Necromansers, 50/50 against Elfs and Dwarfs. It is very weak against Demons, Dark Elves and Steppe Barbarians. The comparison with Wizards and Dark Elf Chaosers is impossible in full, but on the basis of comparison with Nature build there are almost no chances against Dark Elves, and Nature build is better against Wizards, even without Sorcery.
The test was made before the latest minibalance, where the 17 level Dwarfs and Barbarians became stronger. It is quite obvious, that Elf Chaoser has no benefit in it, as he somehow managed to kill these opponents.
What variant of Elf Chaoser is more preferable? With Sorcery or without it? I prefer Sorcery. Another variant with Stand Your Ground is good against some opponents in duels, but it is also bad against the other ones as well as in group 2x2 battles. You’d better not fight in group battles or against chaosers, if you don’t have sorcery. The result of the whole test: if Chaos Elf build is introduced without Sorcery, it will be as dead as Nature build (which is used in some Blindfold tournaments only).
Bearded ones are a rare occasion at the 17 level PvP, in spite of their various tactical abilities. The battles against them have interesting results. If you have Stand Your Ground build, Dwarfs can’t do anything against Ancient Treefolk defense. But they crush the trees with cruelty if Elf has Sorcery build. It is a rare occasion when Sorcery weakens the Chaoser.
I didn’t expect any positive combat results here, knowing very well, that a wounded tree can be scared by Cry of Fear (as Nightmares ability does) and lose its defense position, which means a certain death…
But the result appeared to be even sadder: Steppe Barbarian defeats Elf even without Cry of Fear, destroying the poor Elf Chaoser in few turns. Then he even has enough power to defeat a Wizard companion. It is quite hopeless.
They were some kind of outlet for Nature Elf, as they were the only opponents, which were defeated by Nature Elf with almost 100% chance. Let’s see what has changed with different spells in the spellbook.
The combats were not equivalent, as a faction defense was not taken into consideration. As we had Wizard caster, an enemy (Elf) had 0 faction defense. In fact, an enemy (Elf) should have gained 36% less damage, which is rather tangible. Nevertheless, I was killed in the first combat… The second was not so good as well, though Treefolks with Stand Your Ground became impenetrable for the opponent, but it was rather hard to win with leg-up of faction defense.
Conclusion: It is much easier to kill long-eared brothers in the Nature build. The enemy Elf has good chances to defeat Elf Chaos if Luck is triggered on the first turns and he has Sprites for Dispersion of Stoneskin.
At first I thought that Holy Knights would be better than common Fervor-Knights. The opponents were not so optimistic. The result was surprising.
In common, Knight in Sorcery build is not so fearsome. The typical bollard can’t do anything with Treefolk, Holy Knight can be a real trouble: the main thing is to prevent Teleport of Crossbowmen. Everything is worse with Defense build: the typical Knight is not a problem, but Holy Knight is…
It is difficult to catch Griffins under Rapid without Sorcery+ Flying Crossbowmen with Archangel for Ressurection + Dispersion of Stone Skin ( -24 Defense with Stand Your Ground) +the enemy Hero can destroy the defense. So the result depends on who makes more mistakes.
Elf Chaos (Sorcery) + Fervor Knight [Victory]
Elf Chaos(Defense) + Fervor Knight with Luck [ Victory]
Elf Chaos (Sorcery) + Holy Knight [Victory]
Elf Chaos (Defense) + Holy Knight [Defeat]
Everybody agrees: Necromancers have few chances against Elf Chaoser. There were two builds tested – with Darkness magic and Attacker.
The Chaoser defeats Necromancer easier than Nature Elf. Nature Elf lacks mass casts for flying troops (there are many of them, and they don’t run through walls of fire, and Treefolk can’t catch all of them with retaliation). It is enough for Chaoser to destroy scythed ones with his first cast to feel comfortable all the combat. Necromancer is able to kill Chaoser in Nature build, but this build is used in Blindfold tournaments only.
As it was expected, Demon Rushers destroy Chaoser easily. It is their mission to eat up different sorcerers. The Hell branch with Fear Attack and Intimidation Aura of Nightmares and lots of gated Pit Demons with Blade of Doom (-1 Treefolk with each strike + Disruption Ray) work well against Elf. But it is easier to play Chaos then Nature against Demons.
In the first battle I had to sacrifice Unicorns to protect Treefolks from Nightmares full stack strike. The victory was close in the second combat, but Fear knocked Treefolks from the defense position. Elf can win in such duels if Fear/Aura will not trigger, and Demon has bad troop settlement. Too many ifs…
Poor green skinned fellows have no troops for killing Treefolks. Ancient Behemoths are the only stack that can be able to deal some damage to Treefolks, but Elf Chaoser has a good opportunity to destroy them before they reach Treefolk. There are two other ways, which are never used in CG: 15+ Thunderbird build with a strike before Treefolks take the defensive position (sometimes with luck or morale) and Hero Damage build (about 100 damage ignoring the defense with each hero strike). Barbarian has no chances in other cases.
One of the most imba opponents for Elf Caster and for every Caster as well.
Shrews with high initiative, Lizard Assailants ignoring 100+ Treefolk defense, Black Dragons, immune to magic, and Witches with Disruption Ray… Such enemy left no chances for Nature Elf no matter what build he had. It was even more interesting to see the combat with Dark Elf Chaoser.
The battle was really surprising. Dark Elf had bad troop settlement and didn’t strike Treefolks with Shrews, Brilliant Unicorns blinded Lizards, so the result was unexpected. But it was hard for Ancient Treefolk even with luck… leaves and branches were scattered in all directions due to cruel strikes of Minotaurs and Black Dragons.
If the situation in the first battle could be changed by the simple strike of Shrew on Treefolk, Defense build was quite hopeless. Nothing could save Elf from his wicked long-eared opponent. Even a troop settlement…