Originally by Sirhatter
- Because apprentice now has repaired spell-level, this wiki version of SirHatter's ancient guide has been edited a bit.
- last chapters lost - not (yet) on wiki
- 1 Preface
- 2 Verdant Guide for Apprentice
- 3 Land setup, economy
- 4 Breakdown of greens complex unit's
- 5 Celebration of the mighty Treant
- 6 What to stack below your Treants
- 7 The actual target picking - keys to grab quickly
- 8 What to do once youre over 5k or so
So a verdant guide for apprentice is in demand, and here it is, sort of.
A forewarning, the white guide took me quite a few hours to write (id say nearly 10-12). I dont intend to put that time into a green one given my retirement/laziness/need to take care of real life issues. However since many of the concepts in the white guide are pertinent here too, if you are familiar with archmage and have read the white guide, this should suit you ok.
I could write a better one, im sort of beta-testing the finer points on the new apprentice greens...
credentials: i consider myself to be most dominant as a green mage. it is the color ive played the most, and started out with, and while each color brings something unique to the table, green is probably the easiest to get good at quickly.
I put a green in the Ager-Non-Guild Hall of Immortals finishing 6th, and last reset, in spite of massive problems (read: multis wanting me dead) researching, i still was the 2nd fastest mage to 7k, and the only non-golemned green to hit 7k before arma (tho the other green clearly wouldve been 7k too given he bought the golem at 6500 acres)
To further forewarn you, I play a very aggressive green, and one that is very much on the high-risk high reward side. If this style of play does not suit you, stop reading now. Many veteran greens are going to argue that there are better ways, and perhaps even think that a few of my suggestions are blasphemous. So be it. This style worked for me. It can work for you on apprentice too.... The end goal of this document is... well thats secret for now. Good things to come I hope.
Verdant Guide for Apprentice
Overall summary of green
Green is the strongest mage speciality in Apprentice The Reincarnation. Outsiders to apprentice quickly wonder: What stops the Treant?. The answer is: Very little really. Green does not need to rely on heroes much at all, and in apprentice is the richest geld speciality in the game, insuring a healthy economy. It has access to the single most dominant unit, and in spite of potential mana issues, it can quickly find a way to play within its limitations and outgrab every other color and then outgeld them for the toys needed to win on armageddon.
Differences between apprentice and ultimate servers
Green on ultimate servers is an efficiency machine. It gets Nature's Favor (giving Treants Dryads and Nymphs and improved farmland bonus every turn) and has ultimate units that can be placed high in stackings. The result is a much different style of green can be played on ultimate servers, where most of one's army is destroyed in an attack run, only to see that it takes merely 20 turns to resummon units at the end, thanks to wonders such as Nature's Favor and the extra barracks it creates space for. Green can play so efficiently that some even utilized Blood Ritual as a way of making a hyper-efficient battle machine: an army that could attack over and over and constantly regenerate itself. That is not the case on apprentice. You have no ultimate units. You have to rely on the Treant more to win battles, and be smarter with your economy. On the plus side, without the Red Dragon, reds cannot easily feed off of greens without fear of seriously being maimed on defense. Furthermore, green's lack of reliance on heroes in a server where they are so hard makes it a very dominant color defensively.
Land setup, economy
At some point, you are going to finish research. This is when you will begin your grabbing and serious play. Economy should be set to around 35-40% Nodes, gradually increasing Barriers as you grab more land, low Forts (a number of 10-20 is ideal), a farm:town ratio of 1.8 or thereabouts, and a healthy 10% Barracks. Of course keep some Workshops around as well.
Spell wise, if possible, gain Magic's favor before casting enchantments. If not, you will want to put on a level 428 Sunray, Plant Growth, Weather Summoning, and Concentration. Optional are the enchantments Protection from Evil, Battle Chant, and Resist Elements, if anyone can prove it works for a green.
Regarding Geld usage, heroes are not required. In fact, keeping more than 1 or 2 is not recommended. The underlying big reason for this is discussed later. Ideally, the heroes to purchase if you choose to go down this path would include your top heroes that have above average non-valor abilities. The Warlord, a high level Shieldmaiden, and a Shaman with Channeling are probably the top 3 heroes a green can have. The Sage and Engineer remain useful as always.
Breakdown of greens complex unit's
With a relative low spell level, green will want to rely primarily on its native units (on-color). In the apprentice server there is only one acceptable choice for a top stacked unit as a green, and that is grabbing land. Most of you know what this is already... but perhaps its better to know why other units are not suitable. For the veterans, I only recommend reading the Treant vs Griffon comparison. The rest should be obvious to you.
- Treant, Werebear, Mandrake, and Griffon.
- Any one of these units is probably ok to have first occasionally
- However, three of the 4 units I've mentioned are pretenders to the throne at best, and one is my mind's only viable choice.
Let's take a look at the pretenders
A good unit on paper, high attack power, a very nice potential to valor boost, they enlarge and ring, and get human perks as well. Mid-range resistances though and low hit points. Your real problem with this unit is, as good as it looks on paper, it wont BEAT anything.
- It will hold its own against the white ground pounders, maybe even slightly win if enlarged, but wont really do enough damage. They will also die a good bit.
- Werebears will definitely lose to Hydra and Efreeti. This should be no contest. They are also going to lose head to head against Salamanders and even possibly Hell Hounds, given their 0% FIRE resistance.
- Werebears will presumably outdo Zombies if enlarged or ringed, and beat Ghouls if they get first strike, but bears can't dent Liches, and who on apprentice runs Zombies or Ghouls top anyway?
- The bear has to matchup against blue units. Any surviving werebears will put a decent dent in most any blue units, but since bears are so slow (low initiative), and quick to die (low hit points), surviving is tricky for them. Then theres the whole fact that the favorite spell of any blue is either Slow or Paralyze and, hmmm..., Werebears have 0% blue resistance... and initative of one. It thus is not a good idea to hit blues with heavy Werebears. Doh!
- That leaves other greens.
- You could match Werebear versus Werebear... but greens seem to have better options then Werebear...
- If you hit Werebears versus Mandrakes... These two units are similar in some aspects. A Mandrake has more hit-points with Plant Growth and slightly better attack power. Similar abilities and resistances, tho the drake does not valor boost quite so well... The Mandrake will win, since it gets the extra hit points, and has the extra MAGIC attack, unless both sides are severely boosted by heroes...
- It can't dish out quite enough damage to whites,
- It can't resist blue spells,
- they burn,
- doesnt run anything vulnerable on the ground to MELEE troops.
- Worst of all... if they run into other complex units of green, these will murder them...
This leaves two choices
Griffons were created with the thought in mind that they could replace treants in some stackings. Whoever thought that however, did a bad job of implementing it. I've heard some supposedly veteran am players argue for a Griffon top stack. Most of these players are the types that will run all flyers all the time and don't want to play offensively for real. They click explore until they that doesn't yield land anymore, at which point they might attack, or they might just try using Magical Compasses starting then. I dont respect Griffon users who constantly play them as a top stack. After youre done reading this, you shouldnt either.
Objectively looking at the units: both are nearly prohibitive in cost, and thus must be very good units to justify their cost. Treants and Griffons are more expensive mana wise than any summonable unit in the game, apprentice server and probably non apprentice server. Griffons also eat a fair amount of geld.
- Griffons cost 60 geld and 1.6 mana per unit per turn.
- Treants cost 1.8 mana and no geld per turn.
- Unicorns only cost around 1.6 mana per 1000 np,
- liches are generally considered mana costly, at only 2.4 mana per 1000 np.
- Griffons have a primary attack of 2400 and an extra attack of 3000.
- A ratio of 13.5 to 1 compared to their net power. Not great, but solid. You would be expecting more though...
- Treants have two attacks (because of Additional Strike) at ~8200 (lvl 428-448 [Plant Growth|PG]]), and a third at 2500, also of type MELEE.
- This is a total of nearly 20,000, and a ratio of well over 40-1 to their net power. Now this... this can be dealt with.
- enlarge adds 75% to the units attack power, counter and health power roughly.
- Ring increases your ap/counter by 99%, and decreases enemies ap/counter by 99%,
- as a downside it also INCREASES enemy hp by 25%. If i know someone is mass gorilla or bear, I do not use a ring on them. This because I'ld rather clear them out before they can touch me and not boost their hp, instead of watching them not be able to hurt me, but soak up damage.
- On top of that: you will run into opponents who have this thing called barriers. Funny how they work. If your battle spell and item hits these barriers, they don't have any effect. I hope you weren't counting on running enlarge/ring and getting it through every time.
- If you sneak through enlarge/ring, their primary attack becomes somewhere around 6600. Add the secondary attack of 3000 and youre at 24:1, which is better, but the treant still clearly wins.
Your griffons may be flying, but they can still be reached....
The initiative is the only concern here.. Even if the Treant has endurance, its nice to sometimes fatigue the enemy before they strike you. However, the Treant has two edges that put it game set and match way above the Griffon.
Advantage 1: HP/power rank ratio and resistances
- Treants have 7600 hitpoints! a hp/power rank ratio of 18-1!
- Griffons, by comparison, are about 6.25 to 1... vastly inferior.
- Griffons also dont have the same set of resistances Treants do.
If thats not enough, anyone who argues for these Griffons keeps depending on two things... enlarge/ring, to make them great. First, enlarge and ring, just like Plant Growth, do not have a multiplicative effect with heroes. This makes Treants, with their first two out of three attacks being boostable, the superior Valor boosting unit, (though both have initial ap/pr of 6:1, the treants is in actuality 12:1 with the boost).
Advantage 2: Assignment selection option
Assignments are critical to beating enemy stacks. I think people know that by now. Having to rely on offense on your spell and item getting through is dodgy. Many argue souped up griffons with rust/vial would demolish Archangels or Spirit Warriors and be the ultimate white killer! This is however stupidity, and a newbie mistake. An option to "let me pick two spells to use at the same time" has not been discovered yet as far as i know. Thus, you cannot cast Enlarge Animal + Rust Armor, and it would be quite a feature to use Ring of Animal Command and Vial of Venom at the same time!
Treants however, need no assignment to boost them every battle. You are free to set their assignments as you please. They can set anti nether/phantasm on defense with Sword of Light. They can go Flame Blade, Rust Armor, or do any number of very creative things. An animal user, if they wish to be creative, has to use normal size unfrenzied animals, which is a huge tradeoff.
Celebration of the mighty Treant
Really, for griffons being so expensive, there is almost no redeeming quality about them that makes it worth the price. The only unit to use is the treant. And that is the first stack of just about EVERY good green in apprentice. The treant blows away all other green units in terms of pure performance. Use them, and use many of them at the top of your stack. Do not use griffons top, which is the dead giveaway of an inexperienced player.
Its clear that the treant is your defensive powerhouse. I give it a rating of 41, which if youve seen my ratings for other units, is incredibly high. This will be the unit that carries you and stays at the top on long sieging campaigns across many kingdoms. This will be your unit that is versatile on offense... packing enough punch to beat Ascendant ground troops usually, being at least evenly matched against any Verdant troop on the ground, and with 80% phantasm resistance, this unit will find most grounded troops to be treefood! This makes the Treant unique. Most colors, you see, have a unit that is best on offense, and a different unit best on defense, or units that are situationally the best.
- Eradication has the Chimera... outstanding on offense, but extremely suspect on defense (those low hp and resistances dont do it any favors for sure!). On defense it has the Efreeti, which is clearly sturdier in nearly every case compared to Chimera, but can't pack quite the same punch. The Hydra with major heroes may make an interesting case as one of the best units offensively and defensively, but I think most would still say the Efreeti is slightly better at least.
There is also the Salamander for red, that packs a huge fire punch, but is considered fodder because of its low defensive capabilities.
- Phantasm has a Mind Ripper on offense, a devastating weapon against the right troops indeed! But the Mind Ripper has some holes on defense, and is not considered the favored defensive unit of choice for blue. Even the oft-spit on djinni, is probably considered slightly better (and most blues resort to aa/uni/lich anyway for main defense)
- Nether has the Vampire, pretty good on defense, except to the whole HOLY thing which it sees alot of.... offensively though, very very weak. The lich is similar, with a little more punch on offense, and being grounded on defense. The Wraith is again a slight upgrade from the Vampire on offense (especially with valor boosts compared to the Vampire), and the Wraith has more hp, but is lacking in key resistances... there is the Horned Demon, which may well be blacks best offensive unit, but is weak to so much on defense... Overall, black definitely joins red and blue as specialities that don't have a 'dominant' unit.
- and Ascendancy, if you havent figured it out, is the same way. the Archangel is usually a great blocker with a low attack power. the Spirit Warrior has major potential on offense, and is usually solid on defense, but some key missing resistances hurt it badly.
What to stack below your Treants
So why use anything else even? No other unit can even do close to what trees do for green. Sure blue needs rippers to kill things and then aa's and liches to protect it from ground pounders and on and on... and red cant expect to play defense very successfully for very long with mono chimera... but the green, pure trees, why not?
Conservative players have done quite well as mono Treants, and good for them. These players usually had the server-dominant guild behind them, otherwise mono-Treants doesn't let you stay in the top for long at all. Some have hit 7k land with it, and then gone on to hall. But the case for a deep stack, I think will outweigh the case for a mono-treants, though I will try to be objective in all instances.
But before you go on, know this, you can get to 4k with mono-Treant, maybe even 5k land. If that makes you happy, and thats your goal, then that is fine. Play along, and don't read the rest of this guide. GO mono-Treant, and work out your mana problems without my help... You wont want a player as aggressive as me and as driven as I was as your guide anyway. But if you want to do more, and become truly outstanding, I recommend the deep stack.
Why you want to stack deep and NOT RELY ON MONO TREANTS
The first problem with the Treant, as we mentioned, is that it has a god awful mana upkeep. Assuming about 40% nodes, every 3333 acres is around 10k mana. If you want to run mono treants, you are not going to get very many of them. Let's say you're at 3333 land, and have the 10k mana income. Your enchantments will cost at least 500 at the bare bare minimum, but assuming you have Concentration and Weather Summoning to allow you that high % of nodes, your looking at really 1300 mana. If you dont elect to run Barracks, you can squeeze in about 5000 Treants before you run into mana deficits. Of course, not running barriers is, as will be proven later, about the equivalent of putting a "all reds come and please farm me" sign on your kingdom's front door, and for good measure throwing up a billboard down the road that says the same thing to make sure everyone gets the point.
Let's pretend though, that you havent put up barriers.
- You can afford about 5k Treants. Throw in another 3000 for good measure and now you're pushing your limits: 8000 troops.
- Every battle you make will cost at a minimum 24k mana on 3k land to make one lousy attack
- 14,400 mana Siege costs
- + 2 turns of -5000 mana (more upkeep than income)
- + the cost of any assigned battle spell.
Compare that to a green that stacks deep on 3k land, and to be fair also has no bars.
- He might have 4000 Treants, a couple casts of Mandrakes and a variety of other troops, to get to about the same net power. The only difference is, he runs a deficit of only 2000 mana per turn.
- His minimum siege cost are only 16k mana on 3k land.
- 12,000 (Siege cost)
- + 2 turns of -2000 mana (more upkeep than income)
- + the cost of any assigned battle spell.
This makes a big difference, given that mana charging with a deficit of 20% of your income is much more effective than charging with a deficit of half you're income or more...
"But, hey!", you figure, "I've got 8000 troops, look at me, im invincible!" Well, perhaps you are. You've left yourself more vulnerable on offense for three reasons.
- Low down, mages go cheapo in their assignment. I've seen enemies of every color put the simple Web of the Spider Woman spell on defense... guess who is stopped cold? You got it... the mono-stacked initative=1 attacker. Sorry, there are no other stacks, so that web hits and stops... your Treants!
- Furthermore there is the fatigue thing. Treants have Endurance you say? They do indeed, but they Fatigue nevertheless, just at a lower rate. If you would have stacked deep, they'ld get hit once, maybe twice by low stuff. Not a big deal. But a blue with ranged troops galore, or a white running low fatiguers (Soul Speakers/Dryads/Psychic Wisps), will make your Treants become quite inefficient. You lose again.
- Lastly, even stuff like Paralyze will take an effect. Since it has several elements (a initiative reduction of 1 stack, an attack power killer of one stack, and some other effect), even a unit with 80% phantasm resistance like the Treants needs to stop all three effects. Three times 80% works out as: 0.80*0.80*0.80 = .512, meaning you have a 50-50 chance to block paralyze effects. Not so good. If in a deep stacking Paralyze hits your Treants, you lose about 2500 in your ap. That is not a big deal, because you still do some damage and hopefully have enough other stuff to win. But if it hits your trees when thats is all the single stack you got, you have probably lost the battle. (The slowing effect will kill you either way, so that should not be considered).
These are all nice and well points, but I have left the best point for last. An upside and downside all in one.
As its been mentioned before by other sages... It takes 5 surviving troops per enemy acre to take max land on a Siege, meaning if they had 3000 land, you need 15k troops.... It only takes 2.5 on a Regular. So you have youre 8000 trees, and you're so good you only lose 100 in your battle. Congratulations, you can take max land in a Siege from any mage that has 1580 land or less!!! This is not going to help much... 8000 trees is 3.3M power, and you have 3333 land, and your spell level... your mage is around 7.3 mil power, and youre hitting guys at 5.9-6 mil. Who at all has 1580 land and 6M power?
The curse of the veteran mage
The curse of the veteran mage is: They click Siege, and lose, where if they had gone Regular they would have won. And when they click Regular, they see weak Soul Speakers top, and damn themselves because a Siege would also have been won, and would have meant so much more land! If you dont like to think, or are incapable of it, this will work for you: You never siege!!!!! Click that bloody Regular button every darn time, and you'll have made the right decision if your mono-treant. Even with this change of tactic, you still can't take max land from any mage over 3200 acres.
Even without bars, you have to spend 5 turns mana charging, just to raise the 25k mana at 3333 land, needed to make a regular attack. And then you limit yourself to about 60 acres per win if you are lucky. Realistically, no matter how many trees you have, without barriers you are dead meat. That red with lots of chims will find you, and molest you with Web of the Spider Woman getting through every time.
Your mana deficit, even without barriers becomes an issue. You only get 150 turns in Apprentice. So disbanding, then mana charging, then summoning up Treants 12 times is not a realistic possibility... The fact is you cannot go on long attack runs as a mono treant mage. You are forced to spend huge amounts of turns mana charging and resummoning and on top of it every Siege is very expensive and the most you can gain is 60 acres... if you win. This is why there is a better way. Instead of running 8000 treants... (3.3 million power) what if you ran:
- 4500 Treants (1.8 mil power)
- 2000 Mandrakes (.4 mil power)
- 2000 Werebears (.3 mil power)
- 1000 Salamanders (.2 mil power)
- 5000 Elven Magicians (.2 mil power)
- 5000 Druids (.2 mil power)
- 3000 Dryads (.1 mil power)
- 1000 Nymphs (.05 mil power)
- 2000 Soul Speakers (.05 mil power)
Now you have the same army in net power...
- But now are well over 25k troops... full land is assured almost no matter what.
- But the upkeep is tremendously lower.
- You have put this army together, that for upkeep costs you 11,100 mana, under 100,000 geld, and no population.
The 3300 reduced mana costs makes a tremendous difference... Instead of spending 14400 on troops alone, you now spent 11,100. Your income is 10000. The 3300 mana you have saved can be spent in the form of 66 barriers (i.e. 2% of 3333 land, about 60% barrer resistance). So I now pose the question:
- 4400 Treants, some buffers/blockers/damage soakers, then Fodder,
- and a very good chance of blocking at least one of the spell or item,
- and a 1/3 chance of blocking both?
I leave the choice up to you... but as I do that, I'll throw some probable attackers at you. Have a defense in your mind, any defense at all. Make sure it stays the same for all 3 attacks though. We will call these your three attackers for today.
- Attacker 1: Red. Chim/Efreeti top, Lots of fire troops galore. sals, you name it. Throwing on Stun/The Spider's Web as assignment...
- Attacker 2: Green, just doing a Regular... lots of Treants, in fact, he is also mono-treant. Rust Armor/Carpet of Flying.
- Attacker 3: black. Lich top, a good number of efreeti and Salamander underneath, along with a few Wraiths and Vampires of course, and enough Zombies to take land. He is going Web of the Spider Woman/Candle of Sleeping...
If you have stacked deep, with a good assignment, you will surely block 2 out of the 3, depending on the assignment used (The Spider's Web will stop #2, and gives you an above 50% chance against #3 because you now have first strike with your fodder). A carpet will block attacker 2 if your barriers blocked his carpet. It will also let you probably beat attacker one. Flame Blade/Oil Flasks will block all three, if your Treants can actually get to hit without getting clobbered.
Treant users will have a much tougher time, especially if they chose to play without barriers. That's not the real problem though. Losing on defense isn't fatal, and it's not that bad, especially if you can get land back in counters. But if the mono-treant stack is one thing, it is slow, and plodding. 60 acres per win... move along slowly and steadily, and you can only afford to make 6-8 hits a day max. This will yield 360-480 acres if you're the best (luckiest) offensive player ever. Losing is not an option for the mono-treant guy, because he can't gain the land back quick enough...
However, for the deep stacked mage... If he loses 350 acres, its ok, since tomorrow he makes 600 and ends up ahead.
- Can take full land,
- Is much more flexible with his mana,
- Can rise quickly (bounce up).
If he loses 400 the next day, no worries he makes 700 2 days later as he finds some fatter targets. Its an upward spiral... And once you have that momentum as a green, it becomes very hard to stop you.
Right now I haven't proven this yet, but if you believe me when I say Verdant mages can climb very quickly, and can once they get the momentum, they cant be stopped, why would you pick such a plodding stack? The answer eludes me to this day... IT is, perhaps why, mages of varying skill and understanding, call mono tree users with the ubiquituous term 'N00b' (or worse). Thus, even though green has no unit better than the Treant, not even close, any serious verdant mage needs to have a properly stacked army, and a fairly deep stacked one.
|soandsoinIRC| Pure trees are for N00bs |soandso'sbuddy| yeah, just like guild N00bsRus
The actual target picking - keys to grab quickly
What to do once youre over 5k or so
- Trying to quickly hit the cap before you can get maimed and drop tons of land in a single day...