Umbra's Nether Guide

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Playing Nether by Umbra Taken from UBB:)


Contents

Introduction

I made this guide using BLITZ server as a base. I’ve never played S1 or APP as Nether so I don’t know if it will work outside a 5 minute server. But the concept of playing Nether is there so just read and try to get the idea on how to play it. If Blitz server does ever come back up, hopefully this will help new Nether mages in the near future.


People say Nether (black) is hard to play. One of reason I have heard is Nether has too many pop eating units and you get pop spiral too fast. Another is that it is hard to play Nether because Ascendants (whites) feeds on Nethers. The answer to those may vary, it depends on how you play Nether. This guide was made with inputs from how I play Nether based on my experience in game. So it is my style and there are certainly others better ways to play Nether.


Units

Every guide I write I always say this, do not mono stack until 3.5k land. There will be people out there who would recommend that you Mono Zombie until 3.5k land, which is basically exploring until the explore limit. The reason why I do not adhere to this kind of playing style is that, if you cannot defend your land below explore limit, you will have a hard time defending it EVEN MORE when you get over explore limit. Losing land may suck, but it is through losing that you will learn what a good unit to use is; why they are good stacked above or stacked below or why you shouldn't use this unit. Fight your way up from low lands, do not mono stack.

To this point what would be the good units to use for Nether?
Let me start of with the on color (Nether) units a Nether can summon.


Nether Units

Skeleton The most basic of all Nether units. You get it free from Black Sabbath (see what it is below) and basically a unit which really has no use but for fodder. People usually disband them and leave some (around 10k less) as additional fodder for pillage protection. When you play Nether, never stack these above always put this below as fodder, last stack always. If you do stack many of these, more than 20k and you lose land, then blame your stupidity for it.


Zombie Second lousiest unit of Nether. You also get these free from Black Sabbath. But the difference between Zombies and Skeletons is that Zombies have actually good use. Zombies are good damage soakers. A lot of Nethers use zombies as top stack at the beginning but in the middle of the reset they then to lose their luster as the top ground stack for Nether. They aren't bad and they aren't good in a sense. The good thing about them is they are FREE and saves you the turns needed to summon them. 130k zombies can kill around 120 unicorns or 300 horned demons. That isn't really bad for the second lousiest unit of Nether isn't it? (more about zombies in the stacking part.)


Ghoul They are a better version of Zombies. I cannot really comment on these because I have never used them in my stacks. The reason why I do not use them is because they are not disband able. I really do not need another unit that I cannot disband. But based on experience from what I've encountered, Ghouls has its use. Some people mass stack Ghouls at the top. They can stackwipe Ultimate units like Unholy Reavers and Titans if they can attack first. (not disbandable)


Shadow A unit I seldom see Nethers use. I use them as fodder killers. Why shadows you ask? They are good for killing units that are weak against magic (Elementals) and as fodder killers. Their attack is magic and they have an attack initiative of 2. The problem with them is if you stack a lot of them and they get hit by something that kills them effectively, they can lose you battles. Good thing about them is they have 100 percent resist on missile, paralyze and melee.


Wraith A decent flying unit for Nether, they are cheap to summon and maintain. Problem with them they die too easily to ranged attack. Sometimes will lose the battle for you because of this but they are decent killers if they can attack first. i love these even with its weakness. Their attack of magic paralyze is awesome because the enemy cannot counter attack. (not disbandable)


Horned Demon No Nether can live without them in my opinion. They are one of the best pound for pound melee units in the game, can hit the enemy unit twice and have an attack of poison melee. Same as Wraiths, cheap to summon and maintain but also do die easily from ranged attacks. One of the best units that isn't an Ultimate unit in my opinion. The downside of Horned Demons is they have an initiative of one. (undisbandable)


Vampire Second greatest of the pop suckers of Nether units. It has a upkeep of 5 pop per unit. Do not summon too many of them or else you will be in big time trouble. They are really good units to use in my opinion. Their only noticeable weakness is against holy attacks, which really isn't a problem (will explain why in the bottom). They have a decent defense against ranged attacks and are really good melee blockers. Someone using a mono Horned Demon or Mono Leviathan stack with flight won't do ***** if you stack Vampires top. They are that good against the best melee units. One advantage they have is they can fly. They have Steal Life as an attribute with magic ranged and magic paralyze as attacks means you cannot counter them. (not disbandable)


Lich One of the best defensive units in the game. Its only noticeable weakness is from holy attacks. It can take a beating from hard hitting melee units like Horned Demons, Treants and Leviathans and still survive with little losses. Most Nether use these as top stack when they are at the top ranks. Their attack attributes of magic ranged and cold ranged makes them decent attackers also. Liches are the reason why Erad mages are afraid of hitting Nethers in the latter part of the game. People stack so many Liches at the top that Red Dragons or Chimeras tend to get slaughtered in mass numbers when they meet up. (not disbandable)


Demon Knight If you look at the people who know how to play Nether, you will never see Demon Knights in their stacks. I've only used them once when I was first played Nether and frankly I didn't like them. Costs 6 turns to summon and compared to Liches its pop upkeep is even worse. The only visible use of them is to block Ascendant attacks (something which a Nether shouldn't be afraid). I've seen people stacking them top. Can block Nether and Ascendant attacks but against a Blue, Green and Erad mages, Demon Knights really do not survive that long. Maybe one of these days I'll revisit these and try them out again. (not disbandable)


Unholy Reaver The only Ultimate unit of Nether. They are damn good killers with psychic range and melee paralyze as its attacks. One of my favorite Nether units but sucks your pop like crazy if you use them. One problem with Unholy Reavers is they are not disbandable and when you cast them they usually end up top stack. It is hard to get units above Unholy Reavers except for Zombies but Zombie top isn't feasible when you are at the top ranks. Unholy Reavers I noticed is weak in defense that is why you should never stack them top stack if you are at high lands and high rank. You have to make them hit first in order for them to be effective. Usually Nethers who use them use Ash in defense. At low rank and lands, you can get away with stacking them at the top. (not disbandable)


Dark Elf Magician These are barrack troops, with ranged magic with an initiative of three makes them a very good unit to use. You can save turns using them because you do not have to summon them but recruit them. The thing about barrack troops is they cost a lot to summon and maintain. I can say I am a bit biased against barrack troops. It is something I think I can live without as a Nether.


If you look at the above units I have mentioned. You would say only four units are disbandable? How am I going to survive without my population plummeting like crazy? The trick to playing Nether is to use and mix off color units into your stacking. So usually your stacking would be half disbandable, half not disbandable. That is one way of keeping your pop in check.


So which are the good off color units should one use as Nether? I will mention only those that I have used.



Phantasm Units

Djinni They are real cheap to summon in my opinion. 60k mana with 4 turns only and makes your NP go up higher with it being a flying and a complex unit. Nethers use it as top stack just like Ascendants use Archangels top stack. Djinni has decent defense and offense. Not bad not good depending on where you stack them. But being off color complex units, there is a chance you will fail when summoning them once in awhile.

Medusa Cheap to summon also in my opinion. I like its attack which has ranged poison and paralyze which makes it uncounterable. One of the off color units that is always in my stack when I start climbing. They die horribly if paired with something that can kill them effectively like Horned Demons or any hard hitting melee units. Good to stack as third or fourth ground.

Psychic Wisp This unit have an initiative of three and ranged psychic as its attack. Most Nethers prefer dryads (magic ranged) over wisps.

Sirene Have psychic and magic as its attack. Usually used as a fodder killer or as an elemental killer. Have attributes of Charm (makes attacks less effective) and Beauty (-5 percent penalty when attacking that unit) makes it a good damage soaker if one goes for defensive kind of stack. A unit mostly used in specialty stacks.



Eradication Units

Efreeti Erad version of Liches. They are weaker though than Liches but have an attribute of marksmanship (hits better) and has a ranged attack of fire (initiative 4) and magic ranged (initiative 2). Basically used by most nether who do DOS/CARPET on defense as a unit below Liches. As a complex off color unit it has a summoning failure tendency.


Salamander Very good fodder killers with fire as its attack. Its downside is has an initiative of one and dies horribly against most melee and flying units.


Hell Hounds Very good fodder killer with an initiative of 3 fire breath and melee (initiative 1). It actually has the same use as Sirenes which is used to kill Elementals or for specialty stacks.


Chimera A flying unit which has fire breath (initiative 3) as its attack coupled with melee attack. Pretty hard to summon and has a bigger summoning failure rate than Djinni and Efreeti based on my experience. Weak to ranged attacks but a nice fodder killer.


Wyvern Has melee and poison melee as its attack. I tried using them but they do not do much damage in my opinion. But people who use nether flying stacks say they are good units to use.



Verdant Units

Dryad Ranged magic but has better defense than psychic wisps with attributes of Beauty and Charm. You get less of them compared to wisps.



Ascendant Unit

Soul Speaker Ranged psychic. Advantage is a portion of the units resurrect after getting killed. You also get less of them compared to wisps.



Defensive & Offensive Nethers

So now we have gone through the units one can use a Nether, your next question would be, with that much units being mentioned, which unit will you choose to make a good stacking?


It really depends on how you want to play Nether.
You can be defensive or offensive. With that said you also have to have premium items for defense. What are the good items one can use as defense?



Defensive

If you want to be as defensive as possible in low lands, use satchel of mist paired with fog cloud. With that said you need to use good units which are defensive. How do you look at units to see if they are defensive or not? Look at its attribute: namely attack resistance and abilities. Satchel/Fog combination makes the invaders accuracy lesser. So if you use a dryad which as beauty and charm as its attributes, it would even make the invaders accuracy lower. Liches are good defensive units that is why people like to stack it at the top. Take time to look at the attributes of each unit. In time you will understand why using these units along with this particular type of item/spell is suitable to each other.


One of the best defenses in the game that a Nether can use only is called Dreams of Seduction plus Carpet of Flying or commonly called DOS/Carpet. DOS is a spell that makes you summon succubi to aid you when an invader attacks. Succubi are great because even if it dies in droves, the net power (NP) loss won't be included in the computation of the battle outcome. To you who might be reading it the first thought that would go in your mind is, isn't that great? DOS/carpet isn't really advisable to use below 4k land. The main ingredient for DOS is your population. The more population you have the more Succubi that will come to you. If you compute your population incorrectly, your succubi will have a tendency not to be top stack, which would defeat the purpose of using DOS/Carpet in the first place. DOS cost 80k mana which is a lot in my opinion at low lands (5k down). Carpets are also expensive items. So it is more advisable to use Dos/Carpet above explore limit or preferably above 4k to 5k land. During times of war it isn’t advisable to use DOS. The enemy can just confuse you to stop you from summoning DOS or they can kill of your population to make your Succubi go lower.


How do you compute how much Succubi will come to aid you in battle? This website will compute it for you [[1]].


DOS/Carpet gets harder to crack as a Nether gains land. It is hard to crack but not impossible. A Phantasm mage with a flying/ranged stack with items/spell getting through can beat a DOS/Carpet. An Ascendant or a Verdant can do Call Hurricane and try to pull down your units. As it is said, no matter how good your defense is, it is still breakable.


One problem with Nether units is their low initiative. Units like Horned Demons have an initiative of 1 only. How does initiative affect game play? A unit moves first when its initiative is higher so higher the initiative the better. There is also a fatigue factor in the game mechanics. If a unit gets hit his fatigue factor goes up and he is less effective in offense and defense.


Some Nethers use Fog/ Spiders Web or Giant strength/Spiders Web in defense. The logic of this kind of defense is for the initiative 1 units not able to move. It is effective against Verdant and Nether attackers but doesn’t really guarantee you can make the enemy unable to move. Why? As you go higher in rank and land, Spiders Web loses its luster. People in the top 100 will be using Ash for offense. People at the top are rich to afford the best items for offense. Carpets, Candle of Sleeping, Ash you name it. Remember it is much cheaper to buy good items to use for offense than to buy one Magical Compass to gain land. Well for me it is more fun to attack and gain land than using a Magical Compass to gain land.



Offensive
My way of playing defense is by being offensive.
The best defense is offense. Ash/Giant Strength and Ash/Battle Lust would be the item/spell for my kind of stacking. Basically I want my units to attack first. The logic of it is when you hit the invader first hard enough; you hope you can damage his army enough for it to be ineffective. His attack on you would be lessened in might and would not deal enough damage to you. With that said I also use offensive units in great numbers.


My stack would look something like this in the beginning.

  • Zombie
  • Unholy Reaver
  • Lich
  • Wraith
  • Medusa
  • Horned Demon
  • Vampire
  • Shadow
  • Hell Hounds
  • Skeletons


As you go higher in rank you can afford to disband your Skeletons and change it into other units. If you notice I have a ten unit stacking.
Why ten units?
It is to prevent fatigue on your top stack. If you have less than 10 kinds of units in a stack lets say 7 only. Your top stack will get hit more than once. If you had 10 kinds of units, each unit would have been hit once only. Remember the fatigue factor I mentioned. The more times a unit gets hit, fatigue sets in and It becomes weaker each hit. The logic of having a ten unit stack is to spread out the damage.



Nether Essentials: Over Summoning & Black Sabbath

Over Summoning

So how do you build a stack that is offensive enough for defense and offense? There are several important things to be a successful Nether you should learn.

Why should you over summon? That is the common question I hear from people. Over summoning has its advantage. When people look for targets, people often look for mages with fat lands and an under summoned army. How do you know if that mage is fat and under summoned? You look at your land and your NP. Let us say you are 3k land and have an NP of 14 mil. While someone below you is 3k land also while only having 11 mil NP. So he is under summoned right? Yes and no. Really depends also on what people are stacking. Some people who stack defensively (Lich/Efreeti heavy) tend to be under summoned yet good enough to block attacks. But most are under summoned that you can easily take land. Remember there are always better and lesser players in any game. I am an over summoning advocate and there will be people who don’t want to over summon. As I said this is the way I play.

You have to set a benchmark also for being over summoned. Me for instance I can summon to 11 million NP on 2k land. Yes it is possible to do so. Your next question would be what is the most effective way to over summon? Three important things you should consider.


Black Sabbath

Black Sabbath is a Nether only spell that gives your three things when you cast it, gives your free zombies and skeletons every turn, give you some protection against Ascendants and the most important thing is it gives you 3k extra mana in your income. 3k extra mana. In low lands that 3k extra mana is like a mana from heaven. You can summon more stuff with it. If you are Nether, the first thing you do when you start making a stack is to run black Sabbath. Black Sabbath alone cannot make you over summoned if you do not know another important part of over summoning.

Mana Charge… Summon …. Mana Charge Tactic.

When you look at your status report you will see a part like this.

Interior Info.
Gold M.P. Pop
Income 1,048,323 15,954 7,978
Unit Upkeep 222,010 -10,000 7,900
Building Upkeep 134,310 5,650 0
Hero Upkeep 15,000 230 0
Spell Upkeep 0 1,600 666
Unit Recruit Cost 0 0 0
Net Income 677,003 -5,954 - 588

If you look at the above status report you will notice in the MP part you have a income of 15,954 and a net income of negative 5,954. The funny thing is that when some people see a negative income in the net income section of the MP, they think you should not mana charge anymore because it is negative. Wrong! It actually works this way, every time you mana charge you get 15,954 less the -5,954 in the net income section which would come out around 10k mana added to your mana pool each time you charge (actually the income MP part fluctuates around 1k to 2k at times).

The trick to the mana charge summon tactic is this way, count the no. of times you need to summon your units. After full mana charge, summon a unit, mana charge then summon again mana charge and so on until you finish. There will come a time when the your income (MP) would be lets say 15954 and your net income (MP) -14000. So it comes out your getting only around 2k mana net. Around that time you have to stop doing the mana charge summon tactic and just finish up summoning.

I guarantee if you do that your NP would increase. The 3k extra mana Black Sabbath gives helps a lot when you are doing the mana charge summon tactic. 3k in ten turns is already 30k additional mana. 50 turns is 150k mana. It will be a bit slow doing this kind of tactic and you might get onlined for moving so slow. Well those are the breaks of the game. But as you get more lands around 5k up, the 3k extra mana you get from Black Sabbath won’t be as good as it was when it was in lower lands.


When you are over summoned there are a lot of other advantages. Let us say you are at 3k land at 17 mil NP. And someone at 5k land with 19 Mil NP whacks you. The one at 19 mil np is under summoned compared to you. Even if you lose a lot more NP in the battle it will go out in the end he lost the more power than you because your army has a higher NP than the invader.

Another advantage is when you are choosing targets. Lets say you do not like the potential targets in your range. Since you are over summoned, you can afford to disband some units to make you go lower to fish for targets. One example is when you are running zombie fodder so you can just disband around 500k NP worth of zombies, go down and whack somebody. Since you are oversummoned you can afford to disband some of your units. Sometimes over summoning is just a mirage you do to leapfrog some players who are under summoned.

Mages will choose to hit an under summoned mage rather than an over summoned mage in most cases. Over summoned means harder to win against. Of course you need to stack well also in order to defend.


The next thing you need to learn is what units you summon first.
Usually the rule of thumb is summoning the units that have no pop upkeep and have lesser summoning cost.

Example of a stack that has these units.

  • Zombie
  • Unholy Reaver
  • Lich
  • Wraith
  • Medusa
  • Horned Demon
  • Vampire
  • Shadow
  • Hell Hounds
  • skeletons


First would be either Shadows or Hell Hounds. Next you can either summon Medusa or Horned Demons or Wraiths. Horned demons and wraiths have cheap upkeep so it really doesn’t matter if you summon them that early by preferably summon Medusas first. Next would be Liches as compared to Vampires coz Vampires have a higher pop upkeep than lich. You need to watch your pop situation on the main page. If your pop keeps going down negative like this -700 -600 -500 that means you are okay but if it starts to go like this -500 -600 -700 going up then you must hurry and finish summoning before your pop goes spiral. Last summon always should be Unholy Reavers which have a very big pop upkeep.

Population Woes

Yes, when you first play Nether, there will be a big chance when your new the first 600 turns you run when you have a full stacking you will get pop spiral. It is because you summoned too much pop eating units and they didn’t die when you did your attack run or you ran to few towns/farms to support your pop eating army.

How do you know if you have enough towns to support your pop eating army? A Nether mage normally runs around 30 to 35 percent or less of his lands used for nodes. Rest is used for towns and farms. It is hard to give you exact numbers of each unit to summon so try summoning yourself. If you pop spiral then you will know the numbers you summoned are too much. Experience is the best teacher, soon you will know how much to summon.


Keep Wine of Three Whips in stock for emergency population.
It gives you 10 percent of your current pop so if your pop is like this already 100,000/500,000 it is more efficient to pillage than to use the Wine.

One way to kill of your pop eating units is to suicide them against an Ascendant mage. It is really effective. Sometimes I deliberately siege an Ascendant mage just to kill off my units if I see I can’t seem to kill them off from the attacks before.


Of course you have to leave land for barriers also. You do not have to have full bars right away when you start climbing. Slowly build them up but build them up fast. Barriers is a must for Nethers.
By the time you reach around 2.7k land you should have at least 70 percent bars already.


Personal Playing Style

One common thing I hear from some Nethers is that they are afraid of Ascendants. That is quite laughable. If you know how to over summon properly, you can get up higher and faster in rank than most Ascendants. White mages needs more land to rank up compared to Nethers. You can leapfrog most Ascendants in the beginning if you just over summon and gain land. At the top 100 you will seldom see 10 whites in the top ten by the time you reach the top. So your Ascendant problem is solved. So it is a MYTH that Nethers are food for whites. At the top the ones that hunt you more are Nethers, Verdants and Phantasms. You will seldom get hit by a Ascendant and even more seldom by Erads.

And yes it is possible to hunt Ascendants also though it isn’t advisable; it is fun to win against Ascendants.

Honestly different people like different units for their stacking. Even if you copy every unit of my stack there will be a tendency that you won’t like the unit I am using. Based on the units I mentioned above, pick and choose the units you like.


The next part is the stacking I used in 11 days to reach 4k land starting from 2k land. Take note this was in the middle of a reset. I lost land during this time also so you can see how fast a Nether can rank if he just knows what he is doing.

Day 1.

Rank 276 Power 11,598,282
Land 2,167 Fortress 13

  • Zombie 0 0.00/0.02/0.00 127251 22.9%
  • Lich 0 0.00/5.00/2.50 950 23.1%
  • Wraith 0 0.00/0.30/0.20 4410 8.5%
  • Vampire 0 0.00/2.50/5.00 282 7.0%
  • Wyvern 0 20.00/0.35/0.00 2993 6.8%
  • Medusa 0 0.00/0.25/0.00 3501 8.4%
  • Shadow 0 0.00/0.15/0.00 17285 8.3%
  • Horned Demon 0 0.00/0.25/0.20 3806 7.8%
  • Hell Hound 0 30.00/0.18/0.00 2150 4.1%
  • Skeleton 0 0.00/0.01/0.00 26452 3.2%

Used Ash/Giant Strength on defense but failed miserably in defense because I didn’t have URs to do enough damage. Went down to 1.7k land. Usually the first day when you start making a stack to rank, you will usually lose. Don’t give up just take it as beginning blues.


Day 2

Rank 210 Power 12,972,656
Land 2,213 Fortress 14

  • Zombie 0 0.00/0.02/0.00 137616 21.5%
  • Unholy Reaver 0 0.00/125.00/70.00 41 21.4%
  • Wraith 0 0.00/0.30/0.20 4638 7.7%
  • Lich 0 0.00/5.00/2.50 747 15.8%
  • Horned Demon 0 0.00/0.25/0.20 5543 9.8%
  • Medusa 0 0.00/0.25/0.00 3912 8.2%
  • Shadow 0 0.00/0.15/0.00 16902 7.0%
  • Hell Hound 0 30.00/0.18/0.00 3500 5.8%
  • Vampire 0 0.00/2.50/5.00 54 1.2%
  • Skeleton 0 0.00/0.01/0.00 15372 1.6%

Used ash/giant strength still blocked 2 attacks.


Day 3.

Rank 286 Power 11,791,740
Land 2,499 Fortress 17

  • Zombie 0 0.00/0.02/0.00 141644 26.5%
  • Lich 0 0.00/5.00/2.50 819 20.7%
  • Wraith 0 0.00/0.30/0.20 4381 8.7%
  • Medusa 0 0.00/0.25/0.00 4612 11.5%
  • Horned Demon 0 0.00/0.25/0.20 5057 10.7%
  • Shadow 0 0.00/0.15/0.00 19347 9.6%
  • Hell Hound 0 30.00/0.18/0.00 3851 7.6%
  • Vampire 0 0.00/2.50/5.00 57 1.5%
  • Unholy Reaver 0 0.00/125.00/70.00 3 1.9%
  • Skeleton 0 0.00/0.01/0.00 10444 1.3%

I summoned one shot of URs actually. Ash/giant strength. Blocked 1 attack.


Day 4.

Rank 143 Power 14,843,982
Land 2,737 Fortress 19

  • Zombie 0 0.00/0.02/0.00 163555 22.7%
  • Unholy Reaver 0 0.00/125.00/70.00 43 19.9%
  • Lich 0 0.00/5.00/2.50 987 18.5%
  • Wraith 0 0.00/0.30/0.20 5037 7.5%
  • Horned Demon 0 0.00/0.25/0.20 5545 8.7%
  • Medusa 0 0.00/0.25/0.00 4240 7.9%
  • Shadow 0 0.00/0.15/0.00 18152 6.7%
  • Hell Hound 0 30.00/0.18/0.00 3752 5.5%
  • Vampire 0 0.00/2.50/5.00 53 1.0%
  • Skeleton 0 0.00/0.01/0.00 15624 1.4%

Ash/giant strength still. Lost 1 blocked 2. Lost 100 land.


Day 5.

Rank 198 Power 13,335,207
Land 2,880 Fortress 22

  • Zombie 0 0.00/0.02/0.00 124175 20.5%
  • Lich 0 0.00/5.00/2.50 892 19.9%
  • Wraith 0 0.00/0.30/0.20 4689 8.3%
  • Medusa 0 0.00/0.25/0.00 5201 11.5%
  • Horned Demon 0 0.00/0.25/0.20 5800 10.9%
  • Unholy Reaver 0 0.00/125.00/70.00 16 8.8%
  • Shadow 0 0.00/0.15/0.00 16072 7.1%
  • Hell Hound 0 30.00/0.18/0.00 2539 4.4%
  • Psychic Wisp 0 0.00/0.06/0.00 13916 6.1%
  • Skeleton 0 0.00/0.01/0.00 22630 2.5%

Ash/battle lust. Was so damaged the day before one hit went into damage status again. Blocked 1.


Day 6.

Rank 181 Power 13,965,189 Land 2,880 Fortress 22

  • Zombie 0 0.00/0.02/0.00 130838 20.3%
  • Lich 0 0.00/5.00/2.50 963 20.2%
  • Wraith 0 0.00/0.30/0.20 4594 7.6%
  • Medusa 0 0.00/0.25/0.00 4611 9.5%
  • Horned Demon 0 0.00/0.25/0.20 5257 9.2%
  • Unholy Reaver 0 0.00/125.00/70.00 16 8.3%
  • Shadow 0 0.00/0.15/0.00 18978 7.8%
  • Hell Hound 0 30.00/0.18/0.00 3772 6.2%
  • Psychic Wisp 0 0.00/0.06/0.00 14487 6.0%
  • Efreeti 0 100.00/2.50/0.00 401 5.0%

Ash/Giant Strength still. Blocked 2 attacks.


Day 7.

Rank 204 Power 13,192,751
Land 3,062 Fortress 26

  • Zombie 0 0.00/0.02/0.00 106757 18.7%
  • Lich 0 0.00/5.00/2.50 886 20.9%
  • Wraith 0 0.00/0.30/0.20 4200 7.8%
  • Medusa 0 0.00/0.25/0.00 3724 8.7%
  • Horned Demon 0 0.00/0.25/0.20 4193 8.3%
  • Efreeti 0 100.00/2.50/0.00 695 9.7%
  • Hell Hound 0 30.00/0.18/0.00 3264 6.0%
  • Sirene 0 0.00/0.30/0.00 2711 5.6%
  • Psychic Wisp 0 0.00/0.06/0.00 15937 7.4%
  • Unholy Reaver 0 0.00/125.00/70.00 8 4.7%
  • Skeleton 0 0.00/0.01/0.00 18648 2.2%

Running Satchel/Fog. Blocked 2 attacks.


Day 8

Rank 181 Power 13,947,270
Land 3,174 Fortress 27

  • Zombie 0 0.00/0.02/0.00 105228 17.2%
  • Lich 0 0.00/5.00/2.50 1002 22.1%
  • Wraith 0 0.00/0.30/0.20 4400 7.7%
  • Djinni 0 0.00/5.00/0.00 343 6.4%
  • Medusa 0 0.00/0.25/0.00 3970 8.7%
  • Horned Demon 0 0.00/0.25/0.20 4547 8.4%
  • Efreeti 0 100.00/2.50/0.00 719 9.4%
  • Hell Hound 0 30.00/0.18/0.00 3474 6.0%
  • Psychic Wisp 0 0.00/0.06/0.00 16596 7.2%
  • Unholy Reaver 0 0.00/125.00/70.00 8 4.4%
  • Skeleton 0 0.00/0.01/0.00 23310 2.5%

Fog/Mist blocked more than 3 attacks.


Day 9

Rank 117 Power 15,664,415
Land 3,493 Fortress 30

  • Zombie 0 0.00/0.02/0.00 130357 18.6%
  • Unholy Reaver 0 0.00/125.00/70.00 34 16.2%
  • Lich 0 0.00/5.00/2.50 1092 21.1%
  • Medusa 0 0.00/0.25/0.00 5370 10.2%
  • Horned Demon 0 0.00/0.25/0.20 5205 8.4%
  • Wraith 0 0.00/0.30/0.20 3412 5.2%
  • Vampire 0 0.00/2.50/5.00 242 4.7%
  • Djinni 0 0.00/5.00/0.00 220 3.6%
  • Efreeti 0 100.00/2.50/0.00 590 6.7%
  • Hell Hound 0 30.00/0.18/0.00 2581 3.9%
  • Skeleton 0 0.00/0.01/0.00 14642 1.4%

Blocked 5 attacks with Ash/Giant strength.



Day 10

Rank 82 Power 17,655,519
Land 3,821 Fortress 33

  • Zombie 0 0.00/0.02/0.00 173296 21.5%
  • Unholy Reaver 0 0.00/125.00/70.00 47 19.4%
  • Lich 0 0.00/5.00/2.50 891 14.9%
  • Medusa 0 0.00/0.25/0.00 6012 9.9%
  • Wraith 0 0.00/0.30/0.20 4643 6.1%
  • Horned Demon 0 0.00/0.25/0.20 6538 9.2%
  • Vampire 0 0.00/2.50/5.00 207 3.5%
  • Efreeti 0 100.00/2.50/0.00 763 7.6%
  • Hell Hound 0 30.00/0.18/0.00 3469 4.6%
  • Djinni 0 0.00/5.00/0.00 161 2.3%
  • Skeleton 0 0.00/0.01/0.00 11978 1.0%


Day 11

Rank 82 Power 17,669,175
Land 4,072 Fortress 35

  • Zombie 0 0.00/0.02/0.00 159464 20.3%
  • Unholy Reaver 0 0.00/125.00/70.00 43 18.3%
  • Lich 0 0.00/5.00/2.50 1061 18.3%
  • Medusa 0 0.00/0.25/0.00 5898 10.0%
  • Wraith 0 0.00/0.30/0.20 4878 6.6%
  • Horned Demon 0 0.00/0.25/0.20 6179 8.9%
  • Efreeti 0 100.00/2.50/0.00 770 7.8%
  • Djinni 0 0.00/5.00/0.00 241 3.5%
  • Hell Hound 0 30.00/0.18/0.00 2449 3.3%
  • Vampire 0 0.00/2.50/5.00 119 2.1%
  • Skeleton 0 0.00/0.01/0.00 10424 0.9%


11 days to get to 4k if you know what you are doing. And my stacks weren’t even that over summoned. Could have over summoned even more but there was war in the guild during the time.


Why Rush to the Top?

The reason why people like to rush to the top after researching is obvious.
When you break the top 100, you get lesser attacks. You earn geld better at the top. Not as much as whorers but decent enough to buy the items you need for defense. At 4k land I can earn at least 650k to 800k per turn. That’s quite good in my opinion. Nethers have the potential to jump that fast up the ranks even faster than what I did. Stacking is really the key, whether you are Nether, Blue or Erad. If you stack well enough with good items used in defense, even without uber heroes you can still rank up.


Nether is so versatile that you can change from a defensive stacking to an offensive stacking in just a matter of hours. Here is an example of it.


After I did my 200 turns, I was running a dos/carpet defense at this rank.

Rank 120 Power 15,344,735
Land 4,445 Fortress 39

I had this much population and mana left

Population 858,215/895,290 Magic Power 1,210,714 / 1,436,000

My stack was:

  • Zombie 0 0.00/0.02/0.00 98017 16.7%
  • Lich 0 0.00/5.00/2.50 948 21.8%
  • Vampire 0 0.00/2.50/5.00 310 7.2%
  • Medusa 0 0.00/0.25/0.00 4105 9.3%
  • Horned Demon 0 0.00/0.25/0.20 4708 9.1%
  • Efreeti 0 100.00/2.50/0.00 979 13.3%
  • Djinni 0 0.00/5.00/0.00 305 5.9%
  • Wraith 0 0.00/0.30/0.20 3181 5.8%
  • Hell Hound 0 30.00/0.18/0.00 4147 7.5%
  • Skeleton 0 0.00/0.01/0.00 28796 3.3%

I could have stopped there or summoned up a bit more but I did this after 5 hours when I had enough turns.


Rank 59 Power 19,504,301
Land 4,445 Fortress 39

Population 838,784/895,290
Magic Power 532,671 / 1,436,000

Ash/giant strength

  • Lich 0 0.00/5.00/2.50 1447 22.6%
  • Unholy Reaver 0 0.00/125.00/70.00 38 14.6%
  • Zombie 0 0.00/0.02/0.00 113205 13.1%
  • Medusa 0 0.00/0.25/0.00 6635 10.2%
  • Horned Demon 0 0.00/0.25/0.20 7540 9.9%
  • Wraith 0 0.00/0.30/0.20 4552 5.6%
  • Vampire 0 0.00/2.50/5.00 310 4.9%
  • Efreeti 0 100.00/2.50/0.00 979 9.0%
  • Djinni 0 0.00/5.00/0.00 305 4.0%
  • Hell Hound 0 30.00/0.18/0.00 4137 5.1%
  • Skeleton 0 0.00/0.01/0.00 12816 1.0%


From 15 mil np defensive stack it became a 19 mil np offensive stack. Isn’t that amazing? Or I could have not summoned up but cast devils instead…. Evil yumyum. So many choices.


Anti-Devil

Or I can run an anti Devil stack like an Ascendant runs. The concept of anti Devil top is use flying units to block devils so in an Ascendants case it would be using Archangels. In a blacks case the best unit to use would be Djinni. I’ve never lost against a Devil counter with Djinni top. If I remember right I’ve blocked around 10 Devil counters with Djinni top.

  • Djinni 0 0.00/5.00/0.00 1401 15.8%
  • Unholy Reaver 0 0.00/125.00/70.00 67 22.2%
  • Wraith 0 0.00/0.30/0.20 7204 7.6%
  • Lich 0 0.00/5.00/2.50 1194 16.1%
  • Vampire 0 0.00/2.50/5.00 480 6.6%
  • Medusa 0 0.00/0.25/0.00 6849 9.1%
  • Horned Demon 0 0.00/0.25/0.20 7930 8.9%
  • Zombie 0 0.00/0.02/0.00 73582 7.3%
  • Dark Elf Magician 360.00 10.00/0.10/0.00 10848 3.7%
  • Efreeti 0 100.00/2.50/0.00 343 2.7%


Blue and Nethers are the best colors to do over summoning with less land. The difference though is Phantasm uses fliers and Elementals and Levs to over summon thereby giving it a ridiculous upkeep in mana after summoning. Nether in the other hand has only one Ultimate unit and yet it can also over summon like hell also but have lesser upkeep on mana compared to blue mages.


Stacking: Units and Where to Stack them

I like to push my good offensive units down the stack. Which means if I have a way to push my Medusas and Horned Demons down I will do it. How do you push them down? By using flying units. Using my anti devil stack as example:

  • Djinni 0 0.00/5.00/0.00 1401 15.8%
  • Unholy Reaver 0 0.00/125.00/70.00 67 22.2%
  • Wraith 0 0.00/0.30/0.20 7204 7.6%
  • Lich 0 0.00/5.00/2.50 1194 16.1%
  • Vampire 0 0.00/2.50/5.00 480 6.6%
  • Medusa 0 0.00/0.25/0.00 6849 9.1%
  • Horned Demon 0 0.00/0.25/0.20 7930 8.9%
  • Zombie 0 0.00/0.02/0.00 73582 7.3%
  • Dark Elf Magician 360.00 10.00/0.10/0.00 10848 3.7%
  • Efreeti 0 100.00/2.50/0.00 343 2.7%


I pushed my Medusas and Horned Demons down to 6th and 7th stack. The reason why I do that is for them to kill the fodder and middle stacks of the invader. By using ash, they can be really deadly down low. The logic behind it is that usually people stack the top three stacks really solid. So why should you waste time trying to find a way to whack the top three stacks when you can whack the lower stacks silly. Though it doesn’t work 100 percent of the time, I can say around 60 percent of the time it works.


Someone higher than you theoretically has a good chance of beating you. He is at the top of the food chain and your below him so you are his food per say. Pushing the good melee units down is only one way to defend your land. Sometimes you have to change units or reorder where you stack them. It is to confuse the enemy. If you stack the same units at the same place every time, soon the attacker will know you noticed my 11 day run I sometimes run Fog/Satchel, it is to keep the enemy guessing. Running different types of defense also helps a bit.


When you are below explore limit (3.5k down) it isn’t a bad idea to stack Zombies as top stack. Zombies are sturdy enough down the ranks to use. Very good damage soakers. If you run a ten unit stack, they won’t die in droves unless you are really unlucky a spell or item goes through.


Liches are normally stacked top or second. The problem with Liches if you are having a hard time ranking is they will die horribly to Ascendants if you top stack them. So if you are having a hard time getting up to rank 150 or higher. Stack something above your Liches for protection against Ascendants.


At first you can get away with stacking Unholy Reavers at the top. But as you gain land, it really is not advisable to stack them as top stack. They aren’t the best defenders of Nether units. More often if someone is allied with top mages, the reins their allies sends will be a big factor in killing a lot of your URs. When you are planning to use URs, use ash in defense. URs hitting first is pretty awesome but if it gets hit first it dies like flies at times.


Stacking Wraiths as top stack isn’t advisable also. Wraiths are weak to ranged attacks which is the first attack that usually hits the top stack.


Even Djinni as top stack has its problems. More often if Phantasm keeps visiting you, their Elementals can kill Djinnis effectively. Dominions own Djinnis also. After playing a Phantasm mage for half a reset, even I am afraid of stacking Djinnis top nowadays. I’ve seen so many ways to kill Djinni top. Even mass Sprites top stack can kill Djinni.


Another problem of stacking Djinni top is it often gets sent as reins to allies killing some of them off in the process and making them go second stack. It also isn’t really turn effiecient to summon that much Djinni to make them top stack. There will be days your summoning failure rate is really horrible.


Efreeti people like to push them below Liches. Problem with that it is really not advisable to do so when you have so little land with Efreetis costing so much to cast and have a chance of failure. So Efreetis in large numbers are advisable when you have more land. Above explore limit would be good.


So in a way each unit has its good and bad points. You just have to stack according to what color is hitting you often. As I said improvise, change your units and stacking order once in awhile. Being creative is the key to a successful defense.


=Lands

Land is easier lost than gained. That is why high level Nethers like to use DOS/Carpet as defense. It really depends on how you play, I like being offensive, raw offensive hitting power whacking the enemy silly is how I play. So it is up to you to choose how you play Nether. Hopefully this little guide will help you appreciate the beauty of playing a Nether mage.

Addendum:

At the time I was writing the above guide, I really hadn’t seriously delved into trying out DOS/Carpet on defense. I just ran it before one or two days to see how it works. Before writing this guide I had never broken 6k land as Nether so I decided to see what really makes DOS/Carpet work.

My comment on DOS/Carpet after trying it out? It simply is awesome. It is not only in defense where it shines but also on offense let me explain.

This would be my Status report as a nether running DOS/Carpet.

Rank 40 Power 24,063,058
Land 6,930 Fortress 38
Geld 154,423,131 Item 182
Units 229,296 Turns left 2

Spell Level 470
Population 1,341,502/1,398,360
Magic Power 1,965,754 / 2,449,000

Gold M.P. Pop
Income 1,688,057 25,084 8,219
Unit Upkeep 367,300 30,536 9,114
Building Upkeep 171,950 8,750 0
Hero Upkeep 0 0 0
Spell Upkeep 0 1,600 666
Unit Recruit Cost 0 0 0
Net Income 1,148,807 -15,802 -1,561


If you noticed I have that much mana leftover after summoning. It is because with DOS/carpet you can afford to make a stack, look undersummoned for your land base and yet your defense is good enough to block most attacks. A mage attacking me would usually lose at least times two NP than what I lose.


This is what I do usually, since I can run my mage only once a day, I make it a point to use up all my turns that by the time I come home I would have max 200 turns without any turns unused go to waste. After I finish my run, I make a stack that is pretty solid enough in defense. After that I simply mana charge to full. Then if I find I can insert a few more units in the lower stacks I do so.


You can simply just geld and mana charge if you want running DOS/Carpet if you are not in the mood for an attack run. Just disband some of your units when you are doing so to save mana and resummon them after. At 6k land up you should be getting at least 1 mil geld each turn so it is really profitable running DOS/Carpet.


With DOS/Carpet stacking, you will probably have so much extra mana leftover that you can use DOS in every attack you make. I tried using DOS every attack run for 3 days and I still had 1 mil mana left over after. I usually hit only 5 to 8 mages each attack run when I am at high land.


Or when you are doing your attack run and you see a mage you would like to hit but your stack seems in disarray, you can always summon units since you have so much extra mana and do an additional hit. That is what DOS/Carpet stacking offers you.


Attacking at Higher Lands

So when you are at high lands (5.5k up) which target would you hit? I hit those oversummoned mages with low lands (4k down). I usually go in with regular attacks (to avoid siege penalty for my ground units).


You would be wondering why hit those oversummoned mages when at the first part of the guide I would say oversummoning is very good? Well after running DOS/Carpet I seem to notice one thing. Oversummoned mages usually use Ultimate units in their stacks especially Phantasm Mages. If you are lucky and get DOS through, you can win around more than 50 to 80 percent of your attacks for sure. I use DOS/Ash on offense not DOS/Carpet. I will avoid at all cost those mages running carpets on defense.


The thing about some oversummoned mages is that they seem to forget running Ultimates above isn’t safe. Even running them second stack isn’t safe also at times. One lucky pairing and you would surely win against most oversummoned mages. I would hit Verdants and Erads (which I would normally not hit) and with Dos getting through, I could win against them.


As one nether said, running DOS/Carpet on defense is simply lame but yet it makes your stack stronger in offense since you can make all your stacks stronger by slowly inserting more units in each stack. Your stack will become quite balanced in strength and each unit can be a force to reckon with when you are attacking.


In the end I only lost one attack since running DOS/Carpet in defense at 4.7k land and managed to reach 7.1k land before losing to a devil counter finally.


So if you want to be a safe Nether run DOS/Carpet at high lands because it really is good or you can always oversummon as a Nether, the choice is up to you.


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