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Alliance War - Basic Strategies

Here are some of my basic strategies for doing better at Alliance War. First, though, make sure you understand how Alliance Wars works and how points work.

Defense

When creating your defense, remember that Alliance War is different from a single raid. They don't just kill you once with one flag. They will likely have to kill you two to five times, and sometimes use multiple attempts to do it. Because of this, your War defense will likely be quite a bit different than your personal defense.

First off, the goal isn't just to stop your opponent from killing you, but to end the fight with as little damage as possible, reducing how many points they earn and increasing your chances for defending time and time again. To accomplish this, healers are important. With the War defense boosters, lasting longer just helps out the defense, too.

Next, you want to punish your opponent for having a bad board. If they have a good board, you will probably lose no matter what defense you've made, so design your defense with an average or below average board in mind. This means having a tank that does something bad to the offense's team when your special ability goes off. A healer rarely has much of a negative impact on your opponent's team. Some are better tanks than others, though (like Kiril and Boldtusk for common 4s heroes, or Guinevere or Kunchen for rare 5s examples). These healers don't just heal, but also have other effects that help your team win. Some of the worst healer tanks are Melendor, Rigard, or Sabina. They can go off five times and won't impact the game hardly at all.

Finally, you want to make sure your defense kills off the offense without giving them a ton of time. You want at least two good hitters on your team.

A good defense using only 3s might be (from left to right) Tyrum, Hawkmoon, Greymane, Belith, and Bane. Two healers, two fast hitters, a tank that can take a lot of hits while punishing a bad board. This is just an example, of course. So here's how you make your team with YOUR heroes:

  1. Check with your alliance to see if there are guidelines they follow. Always work with your alliance as much as you can with war.
  2. If you have a really, really strong hero that you've leveled more than anyone else (not suggested, but it happens), set that as your tank. Otherwise, choose a hero that has high defense and does something punishing as a special ability. 
  3. Set your flanks as healers (to the adjacent left and right of your tank). You can also use defensive guys here, like Spirit Link heroes.
  4. Set your wings (far left and far right) as your highest power hitters. Fast mana is usually best here, but slow yet powerful can work, too. 

That's it! Yeah, it's generalized, but it should work out for you. 

Offense

Attacking your opponents is a lot harder to give advice for, since it depends a lot on their defense. I'll list some general situations and how I like to deal with them.

USE ALL OF YOUR FLAGS!!! We've won and lost wars with single digit point differences before. EVERY FLAG CAN MATTER!! USE THOSE FLAGS!! EVERY TIME!! Seriously. This is important. Be a good alliance member and use every single flag every single war. If you miss using flags, be contrite. Beg for forgiveness and make sure it doesn't happen again. Even if you're definitely winning or losing, use those flags.

You don't have 30 guys: Plan ahead! You use 30 guys in total for war, so if you're just starting out, save up your two star guys and use those. Once you've used them, train them away. 

Taking out a much more powerful team: This will happen a lot. As your best heroes get used, you'll be left with fewer good guys to use. For this situation, you aren't trying to kill their team, but chip away at them. Try to tank bust by killing their middle guy or widen the hole if the tank is already dead. How? COLOR STACKING. Take 4 or 5 of the same color (preferably of the strong color vs your target). Yeah, this can be dangerous if you get a bad board without that color, but if you get an average board, you'll have a much, much better chance to kill that target! Each flag you use, keep making progress. I've spent 3 flags to kill one target before (and sometimes even 3 flags isn't enough, but keep making progress!) Alternatively, wait for one of your strong teammates to kill it. But if you MUST take it out, plan on spending three flags to do it.

Who should I target? Here's what I do when picking targets: I go to the little gear icon in the top left corner of the battlefield and select "Attack Team" from it. This allows you to see what heroes you have left without selecting a target! Very useful! I then hit "Autofill" which selects my most powerful heroes. That gives me an idea of my best team. I take a mental note of the team's power (let's say 2500pts) and then go to the Battlefield and see what my options are. If I had a lot of red, I'm looking for a green tank on a team with about 2500pts. If my options are a bunch of 2000pt teams, I'll spread out my heroes and bring teams of about 2000-2200pts. That should give me about a 90% chance of killing the defense with one hit. 

Coordinating: If you want to get the most points possible, coordinate. Communicate with your team. Let them know what you have left. Maybe they have a strong team that can kill a team in one shot. Maybe they have a strong team, but the tank is an issue (only have strong red guys against a blue tank). Maybe your weak team of all green guys can tank bust and the two of you can kill the team in two flags instead of three or four.

Remember the flee button: One third of the time, the defense booster is Field Aid, which heals everyone by 20%. A good defense has good healers. If you've got a bad board and your team has been eaten away and they are about to heal, just flee. Don't undo the work you've done by letting them heal.

Ghosting tiles: Most of the time you're fighting a defense with some heroes missing. In times like this, intentionally miss them with gems. You get DOUBLE MANA when you don't hit a hero from those gems. Plus, those gems charge them up faster. Sure, if you're gonna kill them (or hurt them badly with strong color gems) go for it. But ghosting gems is one of the most powerful techniques for winning fights. 

Those are my basic strategies for Alliance War. For more advanced strategies, I'll put them at higher level tips as I think of them. Good luck! And don't get frustrated! You just keep getting better, and there will be times your opponents will be just as frustrated by your excellent defense! And USE ALL OF THOSE FLAGS!

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