One can be a real Holy Dwarf at level 11 only with Expert Holy Magic and two Dominions. I was without early-upgraded Berserkers, so I’ll tell you about the “Shooting Holy Dwarf” Tactics.
Note: Berserkers change the tactics a little bit, because they are rather strong units.
As it was mentioned before, we choose the Shooting build. The main stacks are Master Spearmen, Bears (Frontier Ursaries), Dreadbanes and Priests. Brawlers are usually used for cover or for removing enemy retaliation.
Parameters, Artifacts, Skill levels, Guilds and Talents
The average guild levels at level 11 are:
HG 5; LG 5; MercG 2-3, I had better Guild levels: HG 6, LG 5(6); MercG 3.
Note: Thieves/Rangers and Commanders Guilds are not considered here, as many players do not use these guilds at level 11 or have minor guild levels (e.g. CG 1).
An ordinary warrior artifact full-set is used with Sorcerer Robe, Cape of Magical Power (or Cape of Arcane Protection/ Cape of Winds) depending on the enemy (for example, if you have the difficulty with the magicians, you should take one of the capes for protection against magic), there is no multipurpose set of artifacts.
This parameter set is good against all the enemies except Dark Elf attacker or Elf attacker in some cases.
And this set is good against Dark Elf attacker (Elf attacker in some cases), as any extra defence parameter can change the result of the battle (the damage dealt depends on the defence parameter of the defending stack and the attack parameter of the attacking stack).
Note: This parameter set is the most multipurpose, the other options with less Spell Power and Knowledge and more Attack and Defence will not be considered. All my parameters with Shop-artifacts (I didn’t use presents) and guild levels are displayed. The Parameters may be higher or lower in your case.
Talents may be chosen only this way.
At level 11 I took part in PvP battles with the 8th and the 9th Dwarf faction skill level. The 9th skill level for Holy Dwarf is not so important. It is a pleasant bonus (don’t forget that it gives you not only the Battle Rage Rune, but some additional parameters as well).
It is important: Not every enemy at level 11 is aware of the Dwarf’s 9th skill level, so the Battle Rage Rune can be used with the maximal efficiency.
Now you know what the shooting Holy Dwarf build is. Let’s pass over to the battles and combat tactics.
Standard setup: divide Brawlers into three equal stacks of 6 units, and use them to cover the main stack or remove a retaliation. It is useful to divide Master Spearmen into stacks of 3-4 units, when you play against Necromancers. Small stacks are needed to remove misses from the enemy Apparitions.
Don’t forget that massive Holy spells are casted on the area of 4x4, you should remember it when you move your main stacks (Masters, Bears, Dreadbanes and Priests). You should also remember that since level 10 all the chaosers have Fireball spell with the area of effect 3x3 cells. This means that you probably will not be able to buff all your stacks with one cast while playing against the enemy chaoser.
It may be useful to cast Evasion spell at the first cast, when you play against shooting factions. It is not always necessary.
Let’s speak about 4 Knight builds: Holy knight, Defender, Fervor-Knight, Attacker.
You shouldn’t hasten while playing against this enemy. You also shouldn’t buff your units with all the casts at once. You may start with Mass Stone Skin, Priests start with Evasion on Bears and Dreadbanes. Then look at your opponent carefully. In few cases Knight will spend all his mana (or almost all) and begin to charge. In this situation cast Mass Chastise and then Dispersion on Guardians to remove the enemy buffs. Then act according to the situation, you can cast Rapid or remove buffs from another dangerous stack, for example, Monks. As the enemy hero is out of mana to buff his units again, his troops will not be dangerous anymore. But you can rarely meet such a stupid Knight.
If Knight is not stupid, he will not use all his mana, but wait until you do it earlier. He will shoot back with his Crossbowmen and Monks. You should move your troops as close as possible. Chastise can be useful for the effective attack, the example is shown on the screenshot below:
Many variants of attack are possible here. Remember about Bears’ Full Metal ability and Aimed Shot of Crossbowmen. Sometimes you can lure Guardians from the “box” with your Dreadbanes or Master Spearmen to knock them down with your Bears. The result of the battle depends on how will your Bears knock enemy Guardians. The fact how you and your opponent will use mana is also important (you should take 6 Knowledge instead of 5 because of the enemy).
It is important: Rune of Magic Control can steal one buff, so use it if necessary against Holy Knight.
Two variants are possible: Knight will either attack or stand in defence. If he attacks, put your Brawlers to prevent enemy Cavalry and/or Griffins from striking your Dreadbanes/Bears, see the example on the screenshot.
Shoot enemy Crossbowmen with your Masters and Priests. Cast spells should be in this order: Stoneskin then Chastise. You may attack after the second cast as by this time enemy Guardians will be close and it will be hard to cover your main stacks. Remove the retaliation and try to knock Guardians with Bears if possible. Try to kill Griffins and Cavalry with your Masters/Priests.Then finish killing them with Dreadbanes. Rapid is the third cast. Soon the battle will be over.
Here is the other variant: Knight stands in defence waiting for our attack. Full buff is required here: Stoneskin, Chastise then Rapid. Shoot enemy Crossbowmen with your Masters and Priests while buffing. After the buffs are casted, approach carefully to take the convenient attack position, the same one as in the battle against Holy Knight. The result of the battle depends on the fact how Bears will knock the enemy Guardians, the enemy actions are also important.
He is an inconvenient opponent, as he may not give you an opportunity to cast all your buffs before the attack. High morale and Fervor perk help his troops act more often. Even knocked Guardians can overtake Bears. Shoot the enemy Crossbowmen with your Masters and Priests as usual. A buff order depends on the enemy actions: if he attacks at once, cast Stoneskin and then Rapid. You should attack carefully, try not to put your Bears and Masters under the Guardians’ strike, try to knock Guardians. Chastise is the third cast, so try not to place your stacks too far.
If Knight doesn’t attack at once, a buff order is the following: Stoneskin, Chastise then Rapid. Knight is not so dangerous when your army is buffed. This build is fearsome only with spontaneous Morale, which can change the result of the battle.
He is the easiest of the opponents. These Knights usually take Fortune, Morale, Defence and Offense Perks. He will not be able to reach your troops with his Guardians soon, so shoot enemy Crossbowmen with your Masters and Priests as usual, a buff order is the following: Stoneskin, Chastise then Rapid. If he attacks, wait for the proper time to attack, if not, move our troops as close as possible for a convenient attack.
It is important: You can cast Evasion if necessary (Use it as the first, (the second) or the last cast).
Two builds: Debuffer and Attacker (may be with Dominion of Pain).
Attacker (and Destroyer of Defence)
Holy magic means death for the Necromancer. Necromancers can be defeated with the help of Holy magic. You may not even shoot before Chastise cast, but if you choose to shoot at once, shoot the enemy Skeletons. A buff order: Evasion, Stoneskin, Chastise, Rapid. You may move your troops to the attacking positions while buffing. See the screenshot:
As you can see, the enemy can’t reach our troops, while we are able to strike first. Remember: try to destroy all Vampires in the stack. Apparitions with their Drain Mana ability are dangerous for Priests, try to use all their mana, or avoid Apparitions strike. It is useful to divide Master Spearmen into stacks of 3-4 units to remove misses from the enemy Apparitions. Now about Defence Destroyer build (Dominion of Pain Perk). The Tactics is similar to the one against Attacker, but remember that Disruption Ray can be cast on the 5x5 area, while your buffs cover only 4x4. Fortunately Bears with their Full Metal are not affected by this spell. There’ll hardly be any difficulties against these enemy builds.
It is your antibuild. But fortunately it is a rare one. In fact, Necromancer can overpower all your buffs except Evasion, so we will not take ranged damage, but will not deal it as well because of Confusion spell. You should shoot at once, not waiting for Chastise. Mana usage is the decisive factor here, like in a battle against Holy Knight. It is better not to attack without buffs. As we can’t avoid the enemy debuffs, full buffs should be casted. The order is something like this: Evasion, Chastise Stoneskin, Rapid. Remember about Dispersion Spell and Rune of Exorcism. Attack after a full buff, like in a battle against Attacker.
It is useless to divide Wizards into builds. Your chances are better against the Wizard without Sorcery. A Wizard-attacker build is a very rare one, so we’ll not speak about it.
Wizard is a very difficult enemy for Holy Dwarf without Berserkers. The result depends on the Wizard’s mistakes – if he makes many mistakes, we win, if not - we lose. Use Rapid and Chastise buffs and sometimes Bless. Try to get rid of Genies and Mages at first, then kill Sphynx Guardians, Golems and Gargoyles. Put your troops at the corners of 4x4 square, as it is shown on the screenshot. It will help you to put the buffs properly and not to be damaged by Fireballs. Masters can go into melee at once with Rune of Charge, it may surprise the enemy. Lorekeepers should be first to be killed, as they have 25 mana and can cast Dispersion 2 times.
It is important: Don’t forget about the Rune of Magic Immunity, but it can trigger wrong elements. You may use it on full stack of Brawlers or Priests, sometimes on Masters.
Wizard faction skill levels may help you, as each of them reduces damage by 3 percent.
Elfs usually takes Fortune and Morale Talents. So here are some general pieces of advice. Two variants are possible: if Elf doesn’t attack at once, then you may cast Stoneskin, Evasion, Chastise, Rapid and attack! He will not be able to stop us.
But don’t forget Treefolk with Entangling Roots. Try to avoid them by your Bears, as these tough trees can hold your precious bear for a long time, and we don’t need it at all, buffs are not eternal.
If Elf decides to rush, the situation is more difficult. Masters and Priests may shoot Forest Keepers if they are at the direct shot distance. You should cast buff quickly and cover your “box”. See the screenshot:
Buffs should be put according to the situation, I advise Stoneskin, then Chastise or Rapid. Forest Keepers should be attacked by Bears after the second (sometimes after the first) buff. Try to knock them and not be caught by Treefolk. After Forest Keepers are dead, attack Unicorns and Treefolk, Trees are more dangerous . If you are still without Evasion, it is high time to cast it, as the enemy Grandmaster Bowmen may kill your troops. Dreadbanes or Masters can deal with them while Bears are busy with Unicorns or Treefolk.
There are two ordinary types – with Wolves and Hobgoblins. The first type will try to attack us. Wolf Raiders will try to deal with Bears or Dreadbanes, so cover them with Brawlers. If it is not enough and Barbarian is going to strike our Bear with Wolves, use Dreadbanes with Rune of Etherealness for cover, Bears are more important. If Rocks or Wolves are at the direct shot distance, shoot them with Masters and Priests. A buff order: Evasion, Stoneskin, Chastise, Rapid. Knock Wolves or Rocks with your Bears after the first/second cast if necessary. When Wolves and Rocks are dead and we have a full buff, kill Orcs, Ogres and Cyclops.
The other Barbarian will likely stand in defence. Cast a full buff, then attack him. Do not underestimate Hobgoblins, they can deal great damage. Shoot them with Masters and Priests. Orcs have no melee penalty, so they can also be dangerous. Try not to put your Bear in the place where you can be reached by the three stacks (Ogres, Orcs, Hobgoblins).
It is important: Combat Readiness ability (every stack of Barbarian troops led by a lord accumulates damage to-be-dealt when it spends its turn without attacking) can be removed by your weak stacks before the main attack.
Ogre-mages are able to cast Chastise, You can steal it with minor stacks of Master Spearmen and the Rune of Magic Control.
He is a serious opponent with the new Dark Elf ability. The tactics is similar to the one against Wizard. You can use Rune of Charge on Masters standing on the first line. Put your stacks at the corners of 4x4 square to avoid enemy Fireball. Chastise and Rapid are used, sometimes Bless. The remaining mana can be used for Magic Arrow spell. Dark Witches are the first target as they can cast Slow. Lizards are the next target, Hydras and Minotaurs can be killed later. Dark Elf doesn’t have pierce through magic resistance as before, so the Rune of Magic Immunity can be helpful. If you believe in your luck, try it on Bears and Masters. You can use the Rune with Priests only, if you don’t. The result depends on the Dark Elf, if he makes mistakes, a victory is possible.
It is important: Lizards have Lizard Charge ability, which ignores 20% of defence for every cell passed, they are dangerous even in the Chaoser’s army, though Bears are immune to their ability.
He is not dangerous, if he doesn’t have an early upgrade. Lizard Assailants are fearsome for the Dwarf. Let’s talk about the tactics. Imagine Dark Elf is without Assailants. Shoot Shrews, cast buffs: Stoneskin, Chastise, Rapid and attack! Minotaurs can strike twice, so be careful with your Bears. Lizards can’t reduce Bears armor, but can easily do it with your other stacks. In the end of the battle look at Hydras, their attack will increase because of the Rage ability.
Now let’s speak about the enemy with Assailants. Such type of Dark Elf usually takes Tactics Perk, so Lizards can strike at once. Try to guess the enemy troop settlement and not to put your Dreadbanes under the enemy Lizards strike. Everything is similar to the tactics against the attacker without upgrade, though you should start your attack earlier. Try to hold the “box”. Much depends on the Random, so it is difficult to defeat such Dark Elf. Dark Elf has better chances here.
First of all, let’s speak about Attacker, the more common one. Shoot Cerberi and Spawns. Buffs: Stoneskin, Chastise, Rapid and Evasion if necessary. Try to kill Horses with your Bears after Chastise cast, Dreadbanes are good against groups of Spawns and Cerberi. When Cerberi, Spawns and Horses are dead, deal with Cave Demons and Succubi. Demon is not dangerous for Dwarf, remember that it is not necessary to kill gated armies, they will disappear after main troops are slain.
Demon-Chaoser is a quite different case. You should attack at once. Cast Rapid, then Chastise and other buffs if necessary. Some mana can be used for Magic Arrows. Demon-Chaoser is unique, so you should kill all the units in his stacks, as even 1 Cerberus can deal 200 damage by Hellfire. Dreadbanes are good for killing small groups of your enemy, you can attack at once, as the enemy defence is low. Rune of Charge can be also used. Mistresses should be killed along with Cerberi, as they are the Death-Mashine in the Chaoser’s army. Then kill Horses, Incendiaries and Cave Demons. It is important to kill main stacks as soon as possible, leaving the gated ones. Rune of Magic Immunity is useful, as it can protect us against the fire damage, dealt by the enemy troops. Remember that Hellfire is triggered with retaliation as well as with strike, so take the retaliation of big enemy stacks.