Epiphenomenon’s Guide to the Rook
Why should you read this guide?
If you look at the stickied guides on how to play the Rook, you will see a plethora of strategies. Most of them are not really viable. None of them demonstrate an understanding of the dilemma a Rook faces. As I play rook almost exclusively, I’ll try to set the record straight. I am rather certain that there is only one way to effectively play as a Rook, but I’m always open to new ideas.
The Rook’s fundamental dilemma
The Rook’s towers are very strong early game, but they are nearly worthless towards the end. Trebuchets, catapultasauri, and giants are all excellent endgame counters. Towers will not do much against level 15+ demigods. Plus, setting up eight towers usually takes 64-80 seconds. You simply will not be able to hold a tower farm in the endgame against good players.
Rook towers are relatively stronger than anything else at the start. This will give you an early game advantage. However, if you are playing against good players, it usually is not enough to decisively win before the endgame arrives. This means that you need to change from a “tower Rook” to a “Boulder Roll/Hamer Slam” Rook midgame. This is something that I feel most tower Rook guides miss. Strategy guides that focus on Hammer Slam miss the fact that towers are a strong advantage in the early game. You're very strong in melee combat with two towers up at level one.
Here is my build for the Rook:
Level 1: Power of the Tower I
Level 2: Archer Tower
Level 3: Hammer Slam I
Level 4: Hammer Slam II
Level 5: Boulder Roll I
Level 6: Power of the Tower II
Level 7: Hammer Slam III
Level 8: Tower of Light
Level 9: Save Point
Level 10: Hammer Slam IV and Boulder Roll II
Level 11: God Strength
Level 12: God Strength II
Level 13: Trebuchet or Save Point
Level 14: Save Point
Level 15: Dizzying Force and Boulder Roll
Level 16: God Strength III
Level 17: Poison Arrows
Levels 18-20: Stats
Taking “Power of the Tower” at level 1 is a must. If your first point is spent on towers, there isn’t a single Demigod that can take you on singlehandedly at Level 1. This allows you to control flags longer and farm creeps unhindered.
If you aren’t good at Boulder Roll and Hammer Smash, then get “Power of the Tower II” earlier. You will probably need to manage your mana wisely, so keep that in mind. Your targets are stunned longer at higher levels of Boulder Roll, so it should be easier to perform a Boulder Roll/Hammer Slam after level 10.
In the endgame, the only purpose of your towers is to give you and your allies a place to teleport to.
I never take anything beyond “Power of the Tower II.” It takes too much time to create your tower farm, and when the endgame hits you have spent 4 skill points in a talent that is worthless in the endgame..
Scale Helm (550 Gold)
Banded Armor (550 Gold)
Vlemish Faceguard (1750 Gold) This build uses a lot of mana, so a second helm helps.
Unbreakable Boots or Plenor Crown (1500 Gold) If you need more health, go with Unbreakable. If you need mana, go with Plenor.
Hauberk of Life (1750 Gold)
Narmoth’s Ring (Replace Banded Armor) (4000 Gold)
Groffling Warplate (Replace Unbreakable Boots) (5200 Gold)
The Amulet of Teleportation is the best favor item for the Rook, in my opinion. The Rook is so slow that he needs to be able to teleport from place to place. Cutting your travel time in half when leaving to go shop is a great. It lessens the Rook’s main disadvantage, which is a lack of speed.
A few strategies:
I usually throw up my towers on one side of the map, and then teleport to the other side to fight. The “squishy” players on my team farm creeps from the safety of my towers while I am busy elsewhere. It’s as if you are two places at once.
Being a “ninja” is a great tactic. Teleport and immediately boulder roll/hammer slam an opponent. This requires significant situational awareness. Don't start "ninja-ing" until you get Boulder Roll.
A final word:
If this is your first time trying the Boulder Roll/Hammer Slam thing, please keep in mind that you are going to die a lot. You will lose a lot. It takes a lot of time to master this build. Ultimately, however, I think it is the Rook’s strongest skill in the endgame. Thanks for reading! Please ask questions or tell me what I’m doing wrong.