Ninja Rook. Yes, a ninja rook is possible.
3. General Strategies
4. Play style over a game
I like to play "heavy" classes in multiplayer team based games in ways they're not set up for. I like to play a ninja Heavy in TF2, because despite map design there are plenty of places to park a large angry Russian without anyone noticing. It's great to jump out from a corner your gun spun up and mowing down several players, then running for your life.
What do I mean by playing a heavy class in a "ninja" style? There are three words which define this play style for the Rook: Unpredictability, Speed, and Ambush
- Usually, everyone knows where the rook is on the map or where it's going most of the time. It's kind of hard not to be noticed by the entire party when you're a walking castle. This has to stop. The rook should "blend in" with creeps and other demigods. The rook should no longer be a mostly stationary defender, instead opting to fight in all areas of the map. By staying stationary, you are giving your enemies the opportunity to come up with a plan to strike your defense. This is very, very bad. By moving around, your enemies will think twice about taking that flag. This is very, very good.
- There is a large emphasis on speed, cooldown, and teleport items in this build. At some point, your team (including Unclean Beast) will all be staring in awe muttering "That five hundred ton bag of bricks is hauling some serious arse." Speed will be critical in the harassment and psychological warfare aspect of this build. You should be able to escape or catch any demigod.
- The ninja rook almost never takes another demigod head-on. I know this goes against your natural rook sense of "I AM BIG I CAN TAKE BEATING URRRNNFFF," but because you will not be focusing on traditional combat items, surprise will be essential. Place a tower farm in their retreat path. Lure them into areas that appear to be undefended, and let towers you place crumble to further give the impression that you are no longer watching that lane.
- I have only played one multiplayer game with this build. I haven't had the chance to give it a thorough test. It's rather gimmicky and not really a "serious" build, I suppose, but I think it would still be fun to try. This build will probably get laughed at by veterans.
3. General Strategies
- Look for blind spots on every map. Even in small maps, there are areas behind enemy lines in which there is limited/no vision to creeps and towers. Great places to set up traps or just sit down and rest your massive body for a while.
- Towers are your friends. Place towers behind enemy lines out of sight radius of the creeps. These allow you to teleport behind enemy demigods and give them a surprise face compression.
- Be where people are not, and leave towers and observation wards all over the map to scout for you. This play style relies on three things: observation, observation, and obsvervation. You should know what all enemy demigods are doing at all times.
- Always stay stocked with 3 teleport scrolls whenever possible.
- Don't teleport directly to a position that's getting attacked if you want to defend it. Teleport to a structure nearby, preferably behind them. You want to always be strolling out of their fog of war with a wicked smile on your face and make them think that you break the sound barrier by being in nearly two places at the same time. Done right, the enemy will never see a teleport spell circle with you showing up in it. You'll always be tearing out of the shadows to assassinate them.
- Capture flags in enemy territory only if there is no activity there. Go behind their base and capture (lock) their creep spawn a bit at a time. Go stand on the flag between waves, and go off to the side before they spawn. You can watch the lights on the portal - when they all light up, a wave spawns. Run back and repeat until the flag's neutral. Unless the creeps are very weak, you should not be sitting on the flag beating off wave after wave of creeps.
- Unless there is a weak demigod you can assassinate quickly, avoid ambushing more than one demigod at a time.
- Coordinate with your team. Your ambushes are much deadlier and effective with support, either weakening them first or finishing them off for you if you have to run.
4. Play style over a game
- Keep careful watch and kill someone, anyone, in an epic ambush. This needs to be done early, done viciously, and done without remorse. Notice where enemy demigods are going and wait in an area out of the line of sight of creeps and towers. Obviously, don't hesitate to hoof it out of there if things go south. The reason why this is important isn't the humiliation of getting beaten down by a large pile of stones hiding in a corner no one was looking, it's the fear and paranoia. You must introduce into their minds the possibility of getting backhanded by a ninja rook anywhere on the map. The player will communicate to the team what you're up to, and this is good. You want them to know that you can be anywhere at any time. If you don't manage to kill anyone you won't be taken seriously and your team will be wondering what the heck you're doing.
- The enemy team begins to figure out what you're doing. It's time to implement the second phase of the plan. Stay in one area and play a "normal" rook. You should always be doing what they are not expecting you to be doing. Take advantage of the fact that they will now be checking corners, nooks, crannies for your accursed towers or massive bulk. Push the front, set up your tower farm, support your team mates, do whatever you need to do to give yourself a war score and resource advantage. If they're not paranoid, continue to harass and move around.
- The enemy team is probably a little bit calmer now. They're more survivable, they move faster, and they haven't seen your hijinks for a while. But you know this will happen. You have been preparing. It's time to strike. Set up towers behind enemy lines, and leap from the shadows. Use boulder roll and hammer slam combo with impunity, and run away if things look bad. Hit demigods distracted by your friends and hit them when they're not expecting it. Use your warp items to move around quickly.
- Keeping other players off balance. They're expecting you to be another ho-hum tower rook or something similar. However, the ninja rook gives you an aspect of psychological warfare. You're everywhere and nowhere at once. Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition just as nobody expects the ninja rook.
- Mass area denial. By leaving towers all over the map, some in sight and some out of sight, you're limiting enemy demigod movement since you can be there at any time.
- Durability. Make no mistake, you're still a rook and come with all the advantages of being just plain HUMONGOUS. You strike viciously from nowhere and can't be killed in your short engagements. If things look bad, you can outrun any demigod. It's a win-win situation.
- Lethality. Catching a demigod by surprise gives you a significant advantage even if your combat equipment sucks. You're not sticking around for the party, you will be focusing on stuns and burst damage to bring down a demigod as quickly as possible.
- Fun. You control the game now. If you're not having fun watching your opponents scramble futilely to keep up with you, or if this style of play somehow doesn't suit your rook, feel free to abandon it.
- Expensive. This build is not cheap, and requires some quality speed items to obtain desired galloping pace. You will also be investing heavily in teleport scrolls. You will likely not have money left over to upgrade the citadel and will have to depend on your teammates to do that.
- One trick pony. If your opponents get really good at figuring out what you're doing and where you'll be, you have problems. Your items give you little to no edge in combat. You must never get teamed up on, and you may even have problems holding off one demigod.
- Tiring. It's fun, but requires you to work hard. You can't park the rook in the lane, set up a farm, and go grab some coffee. You're always moving around, always looking for weaknesses and blind spots to prey upon. This may not be your idea of fun.
- Creeping. You'll be too busy setting up and moving around to get much xp from creeping, potentially keeping you several levels under your opponents and with a bit less gold.
Lv 1 - Power of the Tower I
Lv 2 - Archer Tower
Lv 3 - (Save Point)
Lv 4 - Power of the Tower II
Lv 5 - Boulder Roll, Tower of Light
Lv 6 - God Strength I
Lv 7 - Power of the Tower III
Lv 8 - Trebuchet
Lv 9 - (Save Point)
Lv 10 - Power of the Tower IV, Boulder Roll II
Lv 11 - God Strength II
Lv 12 - Hammer Slam I
Lv 13 - Hammer Slam II
Lv 14 - Hammer Slam III
Lv 15 - Boulder Roll III
Lv 16 - God Strength III
Lv 17 - Poisoned Arrows
Lv 18 - Hammer Slam IV
Lv 19 - Dizzying Force
Lv 20 - Stat boost
There will be 3 kinds of items you will want to stack:
- Lower cooldown
If you have extra gold (which you should from all the ninja-style demigod killing)
- Burst damage
It's really up to you want you want to pick up first, but you'll eventually want all three. Speed is the core of this build, but early in the game you won't have much money to buy that many great speed items. Lower cooldowns allows you to set up a tower farm in someone's retreat path in seconds, along with increasing your burst damage by maybe allowing you to use your abilities twice a battle. However, like speed, there is little initial advantage. I recommend getting scrolls of teleport first, and a warp item once you have good speed and cooldowns.
The burst damage is especially for endgame. Everyone will be souped up with better items, tougher armor, and more hitpoints. This should not negate your ability to blink in and destroy a demigod in five seconds. Stun helps keep prey cooperative.
That's about it. This build/style could definitely use some work, but I just want to throw the concept out there.