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A Guide to Demigod Strategy 1.19

All of Kestrel's Strategies in One Place

By on October 23, 2009 7:25:47 PM from Demigod Forums Demigod Forums

I've taken every guide I've written since release and edited it to apply to current gameplay, then crammed it all into one post, along with some new thoughts.  If you read all of the previous stuff I wrote you probably won't get much out of this, but I thought any newer players would benefit from seeing it in one place. 

What would make this golden would be to see a replay+commentary for every point (good or bad) in the comments, and I will certainly edit them into the main post and distribute karma like mangoes from heaven.

The post will be organized as follows:

I.  Movement

A.  Running Away
B.  Chasing
C.  Kiting
D.  Dancing
E.  Anchoring

II.  Positioning

A.  Exposure
B.  Team Dynamics
C.  Map Dynamics

III.  Micro

A.  DG
B.  Team
C.  Minion

IV.  Items

A. Priorities
B. Feeding

V.  Citadel Upgrades

A.  General Thoughts
B.  Upgrade Priority

VI.  Demigod Choices

A.  Individual
B.  Team

VII.  Interesting Mechanics

A.  Gold and XP
B.  Portal Buff
C.  Stun Immunity
D.  Slow Cap
E.  Flag Locks

VIII.  Diagram of a Skilled 3v3 Game on Cataract

IX.  Conclusions

A.  The Rivers
B.  Communication
C.  Beyond Chat
D.  Finally

I. Movement:

How and where you move is really important and there are all sorts of small tricks but the essential things are simple:

A.  Running Away - an important part of the # 1 rule - DONT DIE, EVER

- Learn to run away.  Much better to forfeit the kill opportunity than give your opponents free gold and experience.  If you are the nubcake in the above scenario then gtfo.  You will not win a 1 v 2 duel unless you know something your opponents don't know (like that you are a Badass (TM) - if there is any question about this then you are not yet a Badass). 

Unless you are a Badass you need to run any time

1.  You are losing more health more quickly than your opponent

2.  You are at half-health or lower

3.  The odds are bad (1 vs 2) or about to get that way

4.  You are out of mana and you won't get enough for your bread and butter skills any time soon

5.  Your opponent has a wave of high-level grunts or minions to back him up and you don't

6.  You are at the enemy flag and you see the teleport telltale which indicates enemies are on their way

7.  Something feels wrong about the situation, like your Badass opponent having low health but continuing to fight - either he suddenly got clumsy or he knows something you don't know

- Run smart.  If you are at half health and you run screaming past a (non-Erebus) dropped health potion one more time I will break my monitor. *Pick it up - it heals you*  If you see a baddy intercepting the shortest line of retreat find a different way home.  If you don't have support don't stop running unless something has shifted radically in the battlefield ( a dropped pot, an allied set of towers, sudden Badassness).  I've lost track of how many new players I've killed because they stopped running long enough to fire one last parting shot.

- The flipside is that if you are running past your supporting allies too fast they often can't keep you alive - I've lost track of how many new players on my team have died because they sprinted for the crystal instead of hanging around for a heal, shield, or kill.   That said, knowing when to stop running is much harder than knowing when to run, so if you are just starting out commit to being a coward

B.  Chasing - not as important as knowing when to run, but knowing when to chase will earn you kills and keep you alive.  A couple of points here -

1.  If your gank team is converging on some poor little nubcake DG try to go where he will be when he starts to gtfo, not where he is chillin before he sees you coming.  You need to anticipate your opponent's likely course of action, if all you do is react you will never catch them

2.  You can chase someone further if you have allied DGs backing you up.  You have to break it off sooner if your opponents do.  We'll talk more this in depth in the positioning section

*Speed is an important component of both running away and chasing - it's often useful to supplement your base speed with items throughout play.  This must be carefully balanced against the need to hold points and successfully fight battles - in many cases slow and steady does win the race

C.  Kiting

1.  Kiting - the ranged DG wants to stay far enough away that he doesn't get hit while maintaining minimum distance for his own attacks.  It isn't complicated but it's a classic example of managing exposure, which we'll go over in a bit.  

So when you are Regulus plinking away at Ooze UB, you don't have mines or tower support, and you finally have his attention - you need to run, and you need to do it either faster than him or to a safezone close enough that catching you would kill him.  Don't keep attacking with confidence when he is right up next to you - you will get eaten in most cases*. 

*Of course there are exceptions, but unless you designed the battle to take advantage of those exceptions you need to run away. 

As soon as UB gives up and turns away from you though, you should start plinking away again.  He advances, you retreat.  He retreats, you advance, and the whole time he is losing health and you are staying strong.  This principle is called kiting, so if your ally says "hey - you are feeding kills because you don't kite enough" now you know what he means.. 

2.  Ranged DG include some minion-build Generals, most Reg builds, some Spit-UB builds, most Tower Rooks, and Torchbearer.  (That's right, Tower Rook is a ranged build.  A good Tower Rook kites by maintaining his garden and moving the towers uplane without exposing himself - he does damage at range without taking any, and he can retreat a towergarden as well as advance it)

3.  When your kite falls you will begin taking melee damage - you have become exposed.  You want this to happen only when you are sure you can kill before dying.  If your kite falls before you are sure you can win then you need to get out of there, because you are probably over-extended.  We'll talk more about exposure and extension in a bit. 

OK so now we understand kiting and how it relates to Demigod, right?  As a general rule if what does most of the damage isn't physically attached to your avatar then you should probably learn how to kite.    

D.  Dancing

- it's kiting with more than one target, and the player dancing alternates the kite with his partner(s).

1.  Example: If my ally and I are playing a 2v2 on Prison against skilled opponents and he draws fire from both of them he will retreat and I will move up to attack their flank.  When they switch their focus to me I will retreat and he will move up to attack again.  If one opponent becomes exposed we will both attack him, as he retreats his ally will advance and we will break off our attack. 

If both teams are good they will dance like this until one sees an advantage and presses the attack or feels disadvantaged and retreats.  If one DG is ranged or weak or ooM he will always use his ally as cover - if one DG is has better melee or stamina he will always present himself to be the focus of enemy attacks. 

It's called dancing because that's what it looks like - watching two good teams dance you can be forgiven for believing it's a synchronized routine. 

2.  The above paragraphs are my attempt to describe a difficult set of concepts (Replays, please) but if you'd like you can distill it down to this -

If Dancing then when you are being focused on by more than one DG you retreat until they shift focus or the odds change.  When your ally is being focused on you attack until the enemy shift focus or the odds change.

If you retreat or advance too far when dancing then you will become too exposed or expose your ally.  Retreating too far means your ally can't support you and your ally is easy prey, advancing too far means your ally can't support you and you are easy prey.  Dancing is good, over-extension is bad.

3.  Learning how to dance as you and your allies are retreating is probably the most important application.  Running blindly once your health gets critical might mean the ally covering you will be killed.  I've seen this too many times - an experienced player gets killed because the ally he is trying to save just books it. 
Manage your escape so that everyone gets out alive - at higher levels you can turn the tables on your pursuit so that they are actually the ones dying..

E.  Anchoring

- per transitive in a previous thread, sometimes being able to stay in one place is more effective than being able to move around.  Demigod is hugely about map and flag control, and if your opponents can't push or kill you out of the lanes then you will almost certainly win, no matter how quickly they move or how well they kite.  As of 1.19 item balance, specifically the synergy between idol priests (%-based heals) and cheap hp items, hitpoint stacking builds are generally more effective than the alternative, but we will talk about that more in Items and Builds. 

*The thing to remember with Anchoring is that it is the most effective of the three on a strategic level, but only if the teamwork is there and each anchor player can rely on the others to back him up.  If you can't distribute the heat across the team effectively then your opponents will quickly find the weak link and your team will crumble.

II.  Positioning:

We talked about movement, now let's talk about where you want to be moving to.  In order to do that we have to look at the concept of exposure

A.  Exposure - measure of risk based on calculation of your position on the map and in relation to allies and enemies.  Managing exposure skillfully is a direct result of environmental and tactical awareness 

1.  About the least exposed position on the map is next to your health crystal with a couple of friendly Support Generals and a Tank UB  in front of you.  It's very hard to die in that position.  (Which is part of why Crucible and Exile are frustrating maps to play Slaughter or Conquest on) 

The most exposed position would be at 100 hp, no mana, no allies, and several enemy towers, grunts, and Demigods focused on you.  At that point you are extremely over-extended and will die.

2.  A skilled player is consistently calculating his exposure and that of his allies and opponents.  When you supporting Heal Sedna is out of mana then your exposure goes up (though you'll never know that unless they tell you - polish UI to include allied mana please).  When there is an enemy Snipe Reg somewhere within sniping distance your exposure goes up.  When you are fighting two DGs by yourself your exposure goes way up.  When you are fighting in the shadow of an enemy tower or against a DG with strong minion or grunt support your exposure goes up.  When you are further away from your allies or your safezone than your opponent then your exposure goes up. 

Flip those factors and your exposure goes down. 

3.  Skilled players are constantly attempting to keep their own exposure low while maximizing that of their opponents.  In a skilled game when one player over-extends or becomes too exposed he dies.  (In a *very* balanced skilled game no one dies until the endgame. I've seen games that hit 25 minutes before First Blood)  In newbie games players often fail to take advantage of an opponent's over-extension - it's why you can play 5 games where you feel invicible and then get completely rocked even though nothing has changed about your playstyle or team - you were making mistakes the whole time, it's just that no one was punishing you for it ^^

4.  As mentioned in the definition above, exposure is best managed by players who have a heightened awareness of all aspects of the game environment.  You should constantly be gauging the minimap, grunt streams, war rank, tower health, DG health and mana, gold flow, upgrade priorities, opponent max health numbers, and on a tactical level - own and team and opponent health, mana, abilities, and cds, item telltales (like yellow text for crit damage, etc), and positioning.  After a while you will be doing these things instinctively, but if there is something I just listed you don't look at too often then you should start.

B.  Build Dynamics

- If you are playing a DPS Fire TB don't walk up to my Tank UB to cast Ring of Fire.  You are like wet tissue paper and range is one of your strongest advantages.  Don't waste it.  Whittle me down from a distance and use Ring to keep me away.  If I keep coming throw a Nova and get out of there.  You get the point - if you are playing a harrassment or support build you don't start a battle at the front with a big target on your forehead.  You have to position yourself to deal damage without receiving it and be ready to run if focus shifts to you despite your best intentions..Only when your opponent breaks off to run do you jump in to finish things. 

And if you are playing a harassment build you have to help your slower, thicker, and much more survivable allies out.  Don't leave them hanging when they hang themselves out there in front of you - they are the shield and you are the sword.  One without the other will break...

Tanks - read the bold print above and reverse it.  Don't let your lil buddies take the heat..  Be bold punks to keep the heat on you and if you are the designated tank you need to gear like it - but more on that later.

Support - you are working hard to minimize the exposure of your team, overall.  A single well-placed heal or shield or even monk summons can make the difference between a total team wipe and victory in any given battle.

C.  Team Dynamics

By now most players understand that over-extension into enemy territory is bad.  If you try to solo a couple of enemies or an enemy and an enemy tower you will most likely die.  What people are still having difficulty with is how teamwork can alter the parameters of exposure.

1.  You can chase a dying enemy DG further into a nest of towers if you know you have a shield or heal ally in range who will cover you.  Conversely - in most cases, if you are being chased by a midgame enemy your odds of survival are much better if you can get to a shield or heal ally than they are if you run toward your towers. 

2.  You can become exposed when you run away.  The most frustrating experience I had recently was trying to get an allied Erebus to stop running so I could shield him and we could kill the enemy Reg chasing him.  He bypassed two sets of towers and was a couple of hits from dying by the time I finally got him to stop - and live to kill his pursuer. 

My ally was thinking as if he was playing a 1v1, he had to escape his enemy.  He needed to adjust his thinking to realize that by fleeing he was over-extending himself - staying to fight actually minimized his exposure.

At the risk of repetition - Your odds of survival are much better with DG support than they are with anything else 

3.  Dancing and Kiting are two movement protocols teams can use to manage exposure.  Anchoring relies on abilities, mitigation, items, and large health pool to manage exposure.  Each team will use each of these to varying degrees in every game.   

D.  Map Dynamics

- every map is different in terms of what positioning and exposure look like.   I'd like to have some input from the community before expanding on this, but the basics

1.  Prison - unforgiving gank map - it's very difficult to grab outer flags without exposure, so teammates should try to stay within at least half-map distance at all times for mutual support, and be prepared to retreat or cut off opponents at all times

2.  Cataract - classic lane/tower map - the most exposed position in play is just past your opponents outer towers on both the inner side and the portal side.  Farming or capping beyond this point is dangerous unless you have cover or a quick exit

3.  Leviathan - long lanes, weak citadel position - The long center lanes on this map mean that if you are going to run away you need to start early, because it will take you a really long time to get back to any reasonable safety.  A Snipe Reg with Renewal and Tracking can snipe you down before you reach your crystal if you aren't careful.  The outer lanes are dangerous once your outer towers are down because opponents can pincer quickly.

III. Micro

A.  DG Micro - time your interrupts, shields, buffs, debuffs, heals, nukes, fakes, and stuns to what your allies and opponents are doing.  It's that simple, no?

I'll get into mechanics further down, but it's worth noting that when your team does 25% damage (not as a percentage of total target health but as a percentage of total damage done to target) to a grunt in your proximity you get gold value from that grunt split according to what other DGs are nearby or got the killing blow (i.e. Heaven's Wrath).  It's not really worth farming starter grunts for gold, but if you were going to do so you could just hit each one once and get gold value for their deaths.  Or you could have your ally do the same thing - as long as someone is doing 25% dmg everyone around them splits the gold.

We'll look at this more and at how XP is divided in the Mechanics section further down, suffice to say XP isn't micro-intensive.

Other than that individual DG micro is fairly simple and has more to do with timing to the environment and being aware than any other factor.

A few flashy individual maneuvers -

1.  You can anticipate opponent abilities by timing their cooldowns, which is helpful for shields and interrupts

2.  Faking casts is especially useful when playing against skilled interrupters.  You can fake by either casting something non-essential and letting it get interrupted and then hitting your real skill or by canceling a cast before the interrupt  - the second is much hard to pull off but it gets you bragging rights.  This works to cancel out timed shields as well

3.  There is a fine balance in skilled play between using low health to pull opponents into exposed positions and letting them kill you - Sigil of Vitality, Potions, Universal Gadget, Blood-Soaked Wand, and Orb of Defiance (if you have backup or minions) are all useful triggers for chase-reversals.

B.  Team Micro

You aren't going to learn how to use team micro from anything I write here - it's just about playing enough that you can put it together with randoms and playing with friends enough that you can anticipate their actions.  No Strategy Guide will help you there, but a couple of quick thoughts -

1.  UB's Grasp does not trigger stun immunity, so Boulder+Grasp+Charm for example, is a workable stunlock
2.  Nukes work best when your team coordinates to nuke all at once, ideally overwhelming an opponent before his team can react
3.  Buffs and Debuffs are massive and can be stacked between players.  Fire Aura + Surge of Faith = sick team move and attack speed increase.  Bite + Ground Spikes = insane armor debuff on an opponent. 
4.  Favor and shop items can and should be stacked - the most obvious is Heaven's Wrath, but there are many items which can have devastating applications when your whole team is using them.
5.  Teleporting is a truly vital component of any lane map game.  You always need to have a couple of scrolls on you, and you want to use them to support your allies in escapes or ganks whenever you can

At the highest levels of team micro it is possible to pull off impossible WTF kills and escapes - nothing in this game gives a better rush than that
C.  Minion Micro

(minions started getting more use and recognition since I first wrote this, which is great, but I cut down the rant as a result)

1.  Basic Hotkeys:

O = regroups minions on DG

M = selects all minions

N = selects Demigod and minions

H = selects Demigod

I = selects unique minions (Spirits, Yetis, etc..)

Leftclicking twice on a minion will highlight all minions of that type

2.  Minion Micro Applications

-  Actively managing your minions will almost always have better results than letting them passively follow you

-  Active management is more than focusing fire, minions can help your ally or harrass your enemy on the other side of the map, act as markers or scouts, decoy towers, mines, and grunts, destroy buildings, and generally rock (exception to rocking - Shamblers, Yetis)

- Even if you don't like minions on your General - buying idol monks and keeping one with an Assassin ally is indispensable.  Assassins can lane for twice as long through midgame with a monk as backup.  Monks should be every General's first buy, imo, and be micro'd out of danger whenever possible.

IV.  Items and Equipment

A.  Item Priorities

There are essential, useful, expensive, and useless items in DG.  Fortunately for this guide writer, if not the game, the essential items can be counted on one hand, and the useful items number less than 15.

Generally, players currently focus on cheaper (under 3000g and favor) items that supplement their hitpoints, hp regen, armor, mana, mana regen (+ set number > + % til late game), and map control (port scrolls, speed items, totems of revelation, locks, etc).

Against minions and Rook towers stack armor.

Against everything else stack health

If you are a glass cannon stack mana and potentially slow/speed items

When in doubt - stack health

B.  Feeding Items

You can buy items by left-clicking on them in the shop menu. 

Once you close the shop open your equipped/character stats interface and right-click on an item to drop it.  It will appear on the ground as a rotating treasure chest. 

Anyone can pick up the chest and the item within will be automatically equipped on them if they have room or don't already own the item  (Consumables can be stored in stacks of three) 

Items can be sold back to the shop for 80% of their original value. 

Idols cannot be dropped

Feeding, trading, or reselling items has obvious applications.  The most common is having one teammate go back to base to load up on pots or teleport scrolls so that his ally(s) can stay in the field. 

Other uses I've seen or used -

1.  In a three person team, one assassin and two support generals, the support feed items to the assassin to outlevel his damage or tanking

2.  One player feeds the other an item he can sell to the store to buy something more expensive than either player could afford on their own

3.  All players on a team drop items that one player can use to buy an artifact or high-level citadel upgrade

4.  Players drop pots and other consumables just behind their first line of towers so that active item slots are free, to lessen the need to hit base, or to give fleeing teammates a needed ace in the hole

5.  New players feed experienced players who will be better able to use the gear/gold

Things to avoid when feeding items -

1.  Pick up an item you already have or don't have room for - it doesn't work

2.  Attempt to exchange items when your opponents are anywhere nearby (nothing worse than dropping Slayer's Wraps for your teammate only to have an enemy pick them up)

3.  Attempt to drop an item while still in the shop interface (the item will be sold back, and you will have lost 20% of your gold)

4.  Feed teammates who don't need it or don't know how to use it
a. don't need - Support QoT is usually set with a helmet and some idol priests through midgame, you don't need to give her a Mageslayer because her role isn't DPS in most cases
b. don't know - Stacking items on the team TB when that TB doesn't know how to play yet tends to be a bad call

5.  Act as if you are as buffed as the guy you just spent all your gold equipping.  You aren't, so don't get out in front of him

6.  Expecting the feed to yield immediate invincibility for your team - it won't do that.  What it will do is create asymmetries most opponents aren't used to countering.

7.  Expecting the feed to bring your mediocre team to victory over a tight and organized set of opponents.  That won't happen, and they will exploit the asymmetries you present to them ruthlessly

V.  Citadel Upgrades

A.  General thoughts - Every Citadel upgrade has its uses (with the exception of Death timer - needs some love).  The first level is *always* going to be the most cost-effective.  A couple of things to remember -

[Per transitive] - Your upgrades should be about the map and team you are on.  On a map like Prison I'll upgrade XP every chance I get because when you can cap a flag every 20 seconds even 10% advantage adds up.  On a map with 50 towers I'm going to upgrade tower offense and tower defense more often than I will on a map with 15 towers.  Use your upgrades based on how they scale in given circumstances

- War Rank. In order to upgrade your grunt types you will need to control the neutral flags at least half the time to earn the War Rank necessary to upgrade.  If you can't do that then your enemy will be able to field catas and giants before you.  Unless you want that to happen (and you might, if you eat Giants like candy) make sure you have War Rank equity.  As well as War Rank you need gold.

- Just because you have Giants doesn't mean you win the game.  Maybe your opponent has Giants too.  Maybe they have crazy AoE and are just sucking up your grunt streams like soda and levelling every 5 seconds and buying multiple artifacts which they are dropping at your feet to humilate you.  ^^  Momentum can shift pretty quickly once the big units are on the field.  As a Rule of Thumb - in Conquest, you haven't won the game against a good team until you have (any neutral portals and) at least one of your opponent portals locked down and producing siege units.  By "locked down" I mean you have a lock on that portal and you put a new one on every time it expires.  A good team will do anything they can to keep you from locking a home portal, because they know it's the end if they can't get it back, so bring lots of guns.

B.  Priority of Upgrades on Cataract

1.  Tower Regen 1 - this is cheap, and helps to keep your outer towers up into midgame.  Your towers aren't really a deterrent at that point so much as an early warning system and a teleport landing zone, but they are really good at both so try to keep them as long as possible

2.  Currency 1 - by far the most useful upgrade you will get and the main reason you want early map control.  If you can get it significantly earlier than your opponents you have a big advantage.

3.  XP 1 - 10% upgrade is more than a level in difference by endgame.  Reaching 10 or 15 before your enemy is a big deal.  This is the only non-grunt upgrade I would encourage you to buy multiple levels in, because it directly affects your DGs.  5 level differences between xp teams and non-xp teams at endgame = GG in most cases

4.  Priests - useful on a team without monks and provide good attrition and grunt support.  Dangerous if your opponents are comfortable farming them for the extra xp

5.  Angels and Catapults - Angels still don't do much your minions won't do better, but catas can be close to unstoppable when they start to stack up - you should save these for when you are capping enemy portals if possible

6.  Blacksmith and Armory - two levels in these upgrades go a long way toward making your grunts more powerful than their counterparts.

7.  Giants - endgame engines of destruction - you really don't want the other guy to get these first unless you are playing a bottleneck map

*If it isn't on this list then as of 1.19 you can and should ignore it, unless you really know what you are doing*

VI.  Demigod Choices

A.  Individual Selection

From easiest to use on a team to hardest -

QoT (with 1.2 bug fixes she's probably going to the top of this list, but let's see)

1.  I'm not saying that you are cheap or bad because you play Erebus - there are some awesome vamps out there, and their skill level can be the same or better as that of an awesome QoT

2.  I'm not saying that an excellent Rook/Reg/QoT team can't beat an excellent UB/Oak/LE team - they certainly can

3.  I'm definitely not telling the newbies, casuals, or competitives to avoid Regulus or QoT

4.  Finally, I'm not saying Regulus is harder to use than, say Rook -the bottom four are loosely interchangeable

What I am saying is that the further down that list you go the more skill you will need to be successful in a high-level 3v3 on Cata. 

Just as important - the further down that list you go the better your team must be to understand and take advantage of your abilities.

When you come into a skilled 3v3 and ready up as TB you really need to know what an effective TB looks like, how that fits into your team, and how your opponents will counter, or you don't belong there as TB.

Random example:  You can be the best player in a game and pick Reg and up your win conditions 30% because your opponents are able to deflect the gank/suppression you selected for and you don't have a team that can push lanes and control the map (neither of which Reg can do very well against, say, an Oak).  If you can't make the kills/suppression and your team can't hold flags then GG

The bottom four DGs on that list are unforgiving - they will kill you again and again if you make mistakes with them, and they will keep you from winning again and again if your allies don't know how to play with them. 

They are powerful specialists in the right hands and on the right teams, but the TL;DR can be summed up right here:

Unless you are confident in the abilities of yourself and your allies you should not play Rook, Reg, TB, or QoT in 3v3 PUGs against competent teams which include Sedna, UB, LE, and Oak

B.  Team Selection

To expand on the above a bit -

Certain teams are going to be better at a given strategy - Spit UB+Fire TB+Snipe Reg + 3 Heaven's Wrath is made for ganking, for example.  Conversely, if that team can't get the kills then it will be in trouble.

A Tower Rook+QoT+Minion Erebus team doesn't really care about the kills - it will be focusing on map control and pushing lanes without dying.

In each case it's worth thinking about what your team build is best at, as long as you have some idea what the your allies are going to be doing.  When you find what your team is good at, do that, rather than trying to force an unnatural strategy.

(I.E.  There's nothing sadder to me than a glass cannon Fire TB finisher who gets saddled with a Heal/no Pounce Sedna and a Minion Oak - you can't push as a team, you can't kill as a team, and you can't hold flags - why are you here?)

VII. Interesting Mechanics


A.  Gold and XP Bounty

Per Micah (thanks for digging through the LUA for this stuff)

1. Flags split xp to every allied DG in (short) range of a cap.  Portal Grunts split xp and gold per Micah below.  Minions give no xp or gold when killed.   Minions are great because they reward your opponents nothing when they die but while alive can kill, and you never run out of them.

2.  If a demigod and their army (ie: minions and summons) does 25% of the total damage done (not 25% of health, 25% of total damage done) to a reinforcement then when that reinforcement dies a bounty is split amongst all nearby demigods (not just the one who did the damage). Also, if a demigod or their army gets the killing blow on a reinforcement then the bounty for that reinforcement is split amongst nearby demigods.

3.  If a demigod does 25% of damage but does not get the killing blow and is not nearby the gold is still split between nearby allies, but the damager don't get part of that split. If a demigod (or their army) gets a killing blow though, that demigod does get part of the gold (not xp) bounty for the kill.

- so that means as long as one guy in a lane is farming his ally can be sitting back and chillaxing and he will still get the gold benefits.  (Doesn't really make sense to me but I didn't write the code)

- again per a conversation with Micah made after his clarification post - Grunts will not provide xp to their killer unless he is in range, so using your minions to farm xp only works if you are close by.

- DGs, unlike grunts, reward gold and xp based on who last-hit and give some to assists too.  You can hit a DG once and still get an assist, so when you see an enemy in trouble you can always poke them for some bling without stealing the kill.  Gold on assists is split between the assisting players.

*The rules on gold bounty from grunts are complex, but the thing to remember is that you get gold as long as someone on your team is killing or tagging grunts in your area

*The rules on XP bounty from grunts are easier - if you are close by then you will get XP

*If you hit an opponent DG you will get gold and xp when they die - if you get the last hit you will get more of each

TL ; DR - Teams should split lanes to farm grunts and cap flags, but gang up on opponent DGs for the kill

B.  Portal Buff

Per Gunblob, abuggeredhedgie, and RAWRRRR (thanks for digging and testing, guys)

1.  If you cap and keep an enemy portal each member of your team will receive FULL xp and gold every time a wave spawns from that portal.

2.  This buff does not apply to neutral portals

3.  This buff does not apply to home portals

What this means: You should cap and lock enemy portals whenever possible

C.  Stun Immunity

1.  Stunlocking was out of control in Beta, so the devs instituted an immunity mechanic (devised by Sorian o7) where a stunned DG would be immune to new stuns for twice the period of the initial stun.  So if your Rook Boulders my Oak and I am stunned for 2 seconds then an immunity timer is initiated which means I am immune for the period of the initial stun and for 2 seconds afterward. 

2.  Stun immunity applies to Mass Charm, Boulder, and Frost Nova

3.  Stun Immunity does not apply to Foul Grasp, because Grasp also keeps the UB grasping from moving or attacking without interrupting the stun.

4.  Because Grasp is excluded from the mechanic, it is possible for a closely coordinated team to stunlock by having UB bridge the gap between stuns with Grasp

*This is the only team immunity mechanic in play*

D.  Slow Cap

Slows on a target DG are limited to a maximum debuff of 33% of maximum speed - A DG will not be slower than 67% of its maximum speed, under ordinary circumstances.  One or possibly two exceptions to this cap exists. 

*This is the only stacking cap mechanic in play*

E.  Flag Locks 

1.  Flag locking can be interrupted
2.  Flag locks have a duration identical to the cooldown period
3.  Flag locks can not be placed on top of each other - you must wait for the lock to expire before placing a new one
4.  A good team, once they have locked one of your portal flags in late game, will never let you have that portal back.  Your only viable move is to lock their portal flags in return.  If you aren't able to get the lock and keep it then you will lose.

VIII.  Diagram of a Skilled 3v3 Cata Game

"Skilled" assumes that mistakes are minimal on both sides - no one is being pulled into an obvious gank, everyone has an escape route, and teams coordinate effectively to protect and support each other while advancing their strategies.

In all cases flexibility is the most important aspect of play.  Pursuing your strategy at the expense of actual events will get you crushed if your opponents know what they are doing. 

That said, I see people throwing themselves madly into battle to protect the Brilliance Flag - you shouldn't sacrifice your DG for something of little importance.  If all of the below seems like common sense, congratulations, you know your Cataract strategy and I'm not talking to you   If any of it seems wrong let me know, always happy to learn something new...

Offensive Priorities (map):
1.  Fortitude Flag (lockdown*)
2.  Center Flag (for WarRank and Experience buff)
3.  Outer Tower on Opponent Goldside
4.  Opponent Gold flag (lockdown)
5.  Outer Tower on Opponent Celerityside
6.  Opponent Goldside Towers
7.  Opponent Goldside Portal Flag (lockdown in conjunction with unit upgrades or to weaken opponent unit upgrades)
8.  Opponent Celerityside Towers
9.  Opponent Celerityside Portal Flag (lockdown per above)
10.  Enemy Citadel

*lockdown - you don't ever want to lose this flag for more than 45 seconds.  If being pushed off the flag then you should lock it.  If you lose it you want it back ASAP

Defensive Priorities (map):
1.  Fortitude Flag
2.  Goldside Outer Tower
3.  Gold Flag
4.  Celerityside Outer Tower
5.  Back Celerity Flag
6.  Goldside Towers
7.  Goldside Portal Flag
8.  Celerity Side Portal Flag
9.  Allied Citadel

Citadel Upgrade Priorities:
1.  Currency 1
2.  Tower Regen 1
3.  Exp 1 (optional - control center if you go this route)
4.  Priests (optional - poor against AoE teams, good if allies don't have monks)
5.  Priests/Angels thru Catas/Giants
6.  Unit Armor and Damage

*Please DON'T buy Death timer upgrades or currency upgrades past level 1.  Building upgrades past level 1 are extremely situational - unless you know why you are buying them don't*

Demigods - All DGs are viable on Cataract in 3v3, though some burn out early.  Common anchors as of 8/13/09 are Sedna/UB and Oak/Erebus.  In most cases you want at least one General and one Assassin, after that it's playstyles, team dynamic, and opponent counters. 

No verdict yet on whether Carry DGs should get the solo lane for greater xp.  I expect it's extremely situational. 

Flavor -

Fortitude Flag is the prime Dark offensive lane and Light defensive lane, because it leads to the Light gold flag and has a gamechanging 15% hp buff.  Dark will always have two DGs in this lane, with the faster or less solid one swinging mid as necessary.  Dark wants to control Fortitude, knock over the solo tower, cap and lockdown the Light gold flag, knock over the gold towers, and take the portal flag on this side. 

(taking the portal early means every player on your team gets all of the gold and xp from that portal - it's risky but if you can do it then you are in a good position)

Light might need two DGs in the Forti lane to counter Dark, but if at all possible should push the Brilliance Lane hard and early to gain access to the Dark Gold Flag.  Once the Dark gold flag is locked down or at least accessible, one DG should relieve the Fortitude defender and together they should concentrate on defending and pushing the Forti lane for the Dark Celerity Flag.  As much as anything this is defense-by-offense - Light can't afford to let Dark control this lane.  Whenever it can Light will focus on razing all Dark structures in or close to the lane to prevent Dark port access.

*Please note - It is possible for Light to mirror Dark and pressure the Brilliance portal instead if they are willing to operate at a 15% health deficit.  Midgame that can be a 700-900 hp difference, but it isn't insurmountable. 

Midgame Center - if the lane fights have been settled and everyone has a port scroll for defensive maneuvers your team can pull all spawning enemy reinforcements to the center flag for xp and to allow your units a shot at the towers mid.  Taking down these towers allows your reinforcement streams to converge, greatly magnifying their effect.  At this point you should be looking for Catas with damage upgrades or Giants.

Lategame - create pressure at the enemy's front door either through grunt upgrades or DG influence or both to the point where the enemy must commit to the center.  If they are any good they will port to threatened portal flags, so coordinate movements so that their defense is either too late (run two DGs to the flag, cap and lock before they can port in), misplaced (feint for one portal while your ally locks the other), or costs too much (defending the portal means the center is weaker and gets pushed hard). 

Once you have locked down an enemy portal and all allied portals and have catas it is very difficult for your opponents to win.   GG everybody!  Please don't let me catch you squabbling over the Brilliance Flag anymore

IX.  Conclusions

A.  The Rivers

Each team in Demigod is shepherding its own river (in the form of the grunt streams) into opposition with the other.  When your river has pushed the opponent river all the way back to source and broken it you have won.  Everything you do in the game is fed back into that larger flow.  Every time you lose sight of that larger flow you endanger yourself - every time you hold that awareness in mind even when your river is weak you grow stronger. 

If you have ever lost a game you thought you were winning, one where you had more kills, more gold, better DGs, better players, or higher War Rank, then it comes down to this fundamental thing: your opponents worked the rivers better than you did. 

B.  Communication

The basis of controlling those rivers is working as a team, and working toward each small goal together while being aware of the larger goal.  Sometimes you will have a team who essentially understands the way things are supposed to flow.  When that happens it's beautiful, and you can surf

In most cases, however, your team will be a mixed bag of players who understand how not to die and maybe even how to operate together in a battle.  What can make a team like that better than mediocre is a consistent effort to communicate, from all sides.  It's really hard to get big picture stuff across without voicechat, but you can and should supply the little things if you don't want to be flailing, and those little things should point to something bigger.

Vocab I use in day-to-day pugging: 

sh = shop, I'm going shopping
s + x = Snipe x where x is a given target
cover = stay close while I cap this deep flag or pursue deep enemy
oom = out of mana
care = be careful
b = back 
fk = faking a teleport which will not complete
ff x = focus fire/attack x where x is a given target
upgrades = announce the upgrades you just bought
left, right, mid, portal = locations on map, since people change orientation it's really good to ping (p) as well

C.  Beyond Chat

You can approach a level of play with some allies that goes beyond communication.  It doesn't seem to be about familiarity, vent, or even skill.  It's the visceral connection you get from paddling, sparring, or dancing with a partner who knows implicitly how to anticipate what you will do next.  When you get with someone like that for the first time it makes every small niggling frustration we battle as Demigod players just melt away. 

The flipside is that you can be on voicechat with someone whom you know is badass and it just doesn't seem to work right - each of you executes perfectly yet somehow you get in each other's way..

Make friends with the people you play well with, regardless of their stats. 

D.  Finally

Keep an open mind.  We are still discovering many of the mechanics of play, and typically new ideas are met with scorn right up until they are shown to be correct

Like Ghandi said:

First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win

If you are new to play or an old hand and you disagree with any of the above then I would seriously be overjoyed to see comments which challenge my assumptions.  Just because you are new doesn't mean you are wrong, and just because I am experienced doesn't mean I know it all..

That said - do us the favor of testing out your theory and posting the replay, or pointing to the LUA so we don't have to go on your opinion alone

It would be excellent to see replays that illustrate any of the above as well.  I'll edit them into the post with any comments. 

That's all I got, but Nucleus Accumbens has collected alot more over here

Thanks for reading, Kestrel

+118 Karma | 6 Replies
October 23, 2009 9:16:00 PM from Demigod Forums Demigod Forums

I really don't like how you make the XP1 upgrade seem important.
It totally depends on your team and your playstyle wether it's usefull or not, it's certainly not something you should alway get and if you do get it you have to get XP2 too and keep the xp flag, locked if you have to.

Also, getting priests early does the opposite of what you try to accomplish with your XP upgrade, you give the enemy the chance to sit back and get more xp / gold than you.

October 24, 2009 4:44:23 AM from Demigod Forums Demigod Forums

Quoting Yeodan,
I really don't like how you make the XP1 upgrade seem important.
It totally depends on your team and your playstyle wether it's usefull or not, it's certainly not something you should alway get and if you do get it you have to get XP2 too and keep the xp flag, locked if you have to.

Also, getting priests early does the opposite of what you try to accomplish with your XP upgrade, you give the enemy the chance to sit back and get more xp / gold than you.

XP is unimportant in pug games. I'd even argue that it is bad. XP is vital in close premade games. Play with/against the top 20 players, see they all get XP. Thanks.

Also, Priests aren't bad. They push towers awesome and the heals are nice. It's a matter of knowing when to buy them. It's typically safe to get it Warscore 6 or 7. However, I prioritize XP 2 before Priests so that typically pushes it back.

Or, you know, your one UB could get that /Narmoth's Ring/. Because he's goign to need it

October 24, 2009 7:11:46 AM from Demigod Forums Demigod Forums

I'm not saying XP upgrades are bad, I'm not saying priests are bad.

Priests allow your team to push forward, you don't need xp upgrades if you want to push the enemy, you need items, unless we're talking late-game.

XP upgrades allow the other team to stand their ground more imo but give you more levels in the end-game giving you the advantage, getting priests early would destroy your advantage cuz you give the other team extra xp too while you're not as capable to push them back because of the item disadvantage.

Yes I know, it's only one or two items on one or two demigods, but that one item will lose you a battle vs opponents of equal skill.
Even if it's not 3v3, the side where the underequipped guy is on won't be able to push, unless the opponent sucks, in that case it doesn't matter wether you get xp or not.

October 28, 2009 12:03:52 AM from Demigod Forums Demigod Forums

Quoting Yeodan,

Yes I know, it's only one or two items on one or two demigods, but that one item will lose you a battle vs opponents of equal skill.

Even if it's not 3v3, the side where the underequipped guy is on won't be able to push, unless the opponent sucks, in that case it doesn't matter wether you get xp or not.

I'm not really sure what you mean when you say "...that one item will lose you a battle vs opponents of equal skill."

Lacking the Vlemish or whatever doesn't mean you die if you know what you are doing, it means you have to break off from one or two engagements, maybe you get pushed out of a lane for a little while, maybe you just farm off the push...depending on your build you can be successfully undergeared for most of a game without consequence.  Point is, you don't miss it, because neither team is going to be trying for a risky gank at this level and both teams understand how to escape one.

"Losing a battle" doesn't mean much if no one dies or has to hearth, no portals get locked down, and you can still farm the lane, no?

I think the issue Abuggerhedgie is pointing to is that in really skilled games everyone maxes xp intake and no one dies.  In games like that XP I makes a difference that being underequipped for a little while just doesn't.

There could be some cognitive dissonance here:  we buy it so it must have value, right?  But I think the flipside applies, too - we bought the upgrade, so we need to max out our xp as much as possible to make it worthwhile.  And there are tactical elements too - you bought priests and I am melting through them - rather than mirror your move I will get xp and establish a large level advantage.

I include XP upgrades in the guide because even when you aren't playing 2-kill games you should get into the habit of considering level differences in play as something you can affect if you do it early enough.

As far as getting priests early - it's something I recommend only for teams that don't have Generals.  The regen is worth the benefit to your opponents if you can consistently keep them out of lane (which is what an Assassin team should be doing)

Thanks for the feedback, and let me know if you change your mind about this one

October 28, 2009 12:30:23 PM from Demigod Forums Demigod Forums

Couple of things

 From easiest to use on a team to hardest -

QoT (with 1.2 bug fixes she's probably going to the top of this list, but let's see)

1. I would say although Lord Erebus is the strongest DG he isnt that good a team player. The list you have there is really the rating of how strong the DG's are when played to their potential. Even then I would say Regulus comes before Torch Bearer

2. I think you should write a guide on possible play styles (advisable ones anyway) For example Regulus should always have snipe and should either health stack or speed stack. Rook has 3 styles, Hammer rook, Tower rook and Hybrid Rook. Tell people how to play their DG's with possible guides to back this up. <something I was looking into writing myself when I see some rather horribly played DG's>

Another thing I would like to have mentioned is that letting your opponents have preists is ok AS LONG AS YOU KILL THEM. Many people buy preists right back but if your team has an Oak up one lane and a Rook up another then letting the enemy have preists shouldnt matter. Free experience and gold.

Other than that I think the stuff here is quite pretty ^^

October 29, 2009 12:32:24 AM from Demigod Forums Demigod Forums

Quoting _Golgoth_,
Couple of things
1. I would say although Lord Erebus is the strongest DG he isnt that good a team player. The list you have there is really the rating of how strong the DG's are when played to their potential. Even then I would say Regulus comes before Torch Bearer

2. I think you should write a guide on possible play styles (advisable ones anyway) For example Regulus should always have snipe and should either health stack or speed stack. Rook has 3 styles, Hammer rook, Tower rook and Hybrid Rook. Tell people how to play their DG's with possible guides to back this up. <something I was looking into writing myself when I see some rather horribly played DG's>

1.  EB is possibly the biggest team player (provided he is assassin build) Bite for slow, stun area, and BS for chasing, EB (the way i play him anyway) is effective solo but is gamechanging in a team. No other DG has the range of skills that allow for such a vast array of teamplay strategies (except maybe TB, which doesnt have AA /facepalm). Hence why he is in nearly all Pro games.

2. Reg doesnt need snipe and IMO unless your going for full support build snipe is a poor skill choice for the vast majority of players (simply because ppl tend to hang onto their snipe for a KS instead of trying to help ppl during the fight). Further with AA you can do more damage (500 for lvl 2 snipe is 3 AA's), participate in the dance, act as bait and slow the enemy with mines/MoTB. Also i agree with Kestral that TB does come before reg (in a team setting), as reg has no stun and as such cannot prevent things like teleports and cap locks, (also note that ice TB= ultimate Tower rook counter).

As for XP1, havent got it ever, you simply dont need it and TBH i think getting priests early is a better strategy ALWAYS (and it leaves you money for currency and items). Yes the enemy can make money and XP off killing them, however, you get bonus heals and ALOT more DPS from your creeps allowing you to hold the lane, sometimes even in a 2v1, which allows you to farm their creeps and push towers etc,

Anyway +1 for the most awesome guide around!


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