As the most durable of the normal monsters, the main focus of any zombie should be taking the shrine by standing on or near it.
Outside, your primary job as a zombie is to be a meat shield and keep the dwarf's bows put away. By engaging dwarves in melee, you are depriving them of their powerful bows while freeing up skeletons to shoot at dwarves uncontested. If you can sneak around the main wall, knocking archers off the relative safety of their wall is a great way to kill dwarves. Also, keep an ear open for repairs being done by dwarves. Many dwarves will retreat to repair their armor and may be caught off guard or even killed by a zombie who catches them with their armor off.
Inside, tactics remain mostly the same except the dwarves may get stronger in melee by using PROC tunnels. The best way to counter PROC tunnels, aside from creepers destroying them, is to take out the dwarf's light sources. The Fury of the Night upgrade (which works when the zombie is in darkness) more than doubles a zombie's attack power and can take even a veteran player by surprise.
Even as a fully upgraded zombie, you will not win a swing vs. swing battle against a good dwarf. The zombie has the advantage of speed when they make contact with a dwarf, and that advantage should be used to full effect. Strafe around a dwarf while putting in a few good hits and make the dwarf earn every hit they make against you. Even if you are not killing that dwarf, you are damaging their armor and in time they will need to combat repair or risk losing their Mana regeneration.
A good tactic to use against dwarves when fully upgraded, especially in or near shrine defenses, is to wait in a dark area for a dwarf to wander or be blasted in. A dwarf being blasted into darkness by a creeper may be caught off guard and already damaged by the explosion and it may only take one or two strikes to finish the dwarf off. Additionally, some dwarves may try to hide away from the main battle to repair their armor uncontested. If a zombie is waiting and the dwarf takes its chestplate off for repair, it can be a very easy kill.
Skeletons can range from pesky and annoying to very dangerous and deadly monsters based on a player's skill and the build of the skeleton. The different skeleton types each serve a certain purpose for the monster army, and none should be considered too weak to use. A good monster army should have at least a couple of each of the skeleton types for maximum effect. There are a few considerations and tactics that can be applied to all skeletons that are listed here:
- Skeletons are not melee warriors. Skeletons are among the lowest health monsters and, save the wither, only have natural regeneration and a single use healing tonic that provides fast, limited duration regeneration as their only means to heal. Even withers should not be considered melee as their healing effects are not powerful enough to stand up to a runeblade. Try to gain elevation and stay out of small passageways and PROC halls to avoid being an easy target to start a PROC with.
- The damage potential of bows is affected by the drawback time applied before the shot. A full draw will give the skeleton maximum damage while quicker draws will cause less damage, yet keep their knockback potential and effect application at full. Try to judge each situation and decide if a quick shot is needed for knockback or arrow effects or a full power shot would be more suitable.
- Knockback can be used as both a direct and indirect ally in a melee fight. If a dwarf is trying to charge a skeleton, the arrow of a skeleton can produce a knockback that will keep a dwarf at bay. Some stubborn dwarves will continue to try a head-on charge that can be easily thwarted with a constant barrage of arrows. Additionally, even if a dwarf gets to melee and starts taking down health, knockback can be used to get away. Try jumping while sprinting away from the dwarf. As the dwarf attacks, they will send you in the direction they are swinging and combined with a sprint and being airborne already, the skeleton can be knocked out of melee range long enough to send an arrow at a dwarf to push them away further.
- The skeleton should always be mindful of their arrow count. Nothing is more embarrassing and deadly than running out of arrows as a dwarf charges. The creation of arrows take a couple of seconds, and any knockback applied will cancel the arrow creation.
- Be aware of mana levels during prolonged sniping sessions. Once a great place is found to attack dwarves, it can be easy to forget about mana and the player can be left with a weak skeleton once they die or the dwarves retreat. If a player is intent on evolving a skeleton or other monster classes, keep an eye on mana levels and consider using the seppuku item located in the player inventory once mana is full (500) to be brought back to the monster selection screen after a few seconds.
Impact Skeleton Edit
Impact skeletons, also known as knockback or demolition skeletons, are a decent multi-purpose monster who sacrifices killing power for a couple of other abilities that are useful at nearly any stage of the game. The first ability is a noticeably increased knockback from shots. While it serves the obvious function of knocking dwarves off of walls or into ravines easier than any other skeleton, it should be noted that it can be very useful to stun a PROCing dwarf. While by itself it may not end a PROC, if a dwarf has its sights on a skeleton line, that increased knockback may just cause the PROC to run out, leaving the dwarf in a vulnerable position of doing a suicide charge or fleeing under a rain of arrows. The other often overlooked ability is the siege cannon. This ability allows a fully upgraded impact skeleton's arrows to damage walls 50% of the time. While it is not as grand as a destruction creeper's explosion, this ability can whittle away walls surprisingly efficiently. Arrow spamming a wall at close range can make a hole in a blue wall just as or perhaps faster than a single destruction creeper. For even better results, work with a destruction creeper for a fast wall take-down.
Impact skeletons can also take some abuse with their arrow barrier ability, which provides two absorption hearts per level. These hearts do not regenerate through natural means or with a healing tonic. This makes impact skeletons a two shot monster with a bow outdoors after the first few levels, and as beefy as a creeper in melee for at least the first few hits (though, it is HIGHLY recommended to stay away from melee as the slow, one use tonic is the only way to heal outside of natural regeneration).
Note that the final upgrade, Demolisher, is disabled due to a glitch that would cause some player's Minecraft clients to crash. Since it provides no benefits, it is worth skipping to work on another monster tree.
Flame Skeleton Edit
The flame skeleton is useful for players who want to hit something without being an expert sniper and cover ground quickly from spawn. While the additional damage from flame arrows is negligible, it can cause dwarves a visual annoyance and may even alarm some players who are being damaged while nothing is around them. The fire from flame arrows should be seen as a DPS aid and not as a primary source of damage.
Volley shot is where the flame skeleton truly shines, though it does have a few issues to be aware of. The volley shot will release a large rain of flame arrows in the general direction of where the skeleton is firing, hitting both dwarves and monsters for arrow damage plus flames. It is extremely effective against archer nests on walls, however in a melee battle it may prove to be detrimental to the war effort. The arrows do slight damage to AI zombies which make them easier for dwarves to start a PROC with. Flame arrows can also hit player monsters such as a creeper which will reset its fuse timer or even kill a low health monster like a rat. This can be helpful to zombies with Rapid Regen upgrade, because this counts as arrow damage and cause them to regenerate rapidly. This is a known bug and is currently being evaluated by the developers.
The final upgrade, Conflagration, is an interesting upgrade that gives the fire effect a chance to spread to other entities. The effect makes the flame arrows work as a weak AoE attack that will inflict an average of 1 heart of damage to an area near where the arrow lands. While this is certainly not much damage, it makes the fire skeleton able to damage dwarves, even slightly, by simply firing in their direction; hitting an AI zombie will trigger the effect and still cause the dwarf to catch fire.
Flame, along with poison skeletons, both lack any type of health upgrade and should be played cautiously as they are easy melee kills. Flame skeletons may even be more fragile than poison as they lack any type of deterrent other than arrow knockback.
Poison Skeleton Edit
The poison skeleton has a number of interesting and useful abilities that suit an infiltrator, lone wolf, or pesky play style. Just as the flame skeleton before it, the poison skeleton's poison is to be considered a DPS aid and not as a primary source of damage. However poison arrows, when fully upgraded with crippling poison, will hurt a dwarf with far more than damage itself. At full upgrade, being hit by a poison arrow slows a dwarf by 60% for three seconds. In a non PROCing dwarf, that is just faster than a crawl and even in a PROCing dwarf it may be more than enough to end a PROC. A charging dwarf who is hit by a snaring poison arrow will suddenly become a target that a decent skeleton should be able to kite.
The other two upgrades suit the infiltrator style and can be a great boon to the battle against the dwarves. The Infiltrator upgrade allows a skeleton to spawn climbable vines which can allow all monsters quick and easy access through walls or onto perches that may be impossible for dwarves to reach. Use these vines to get to places where any monster can bypass walls, PROC halls, and other defenses. These are particularly useful to turn EZ Fix Slabs against dwarves by the dwarves making monsters archer platforms. The final upgrade, Thunder Attuned, allows the poison skeleton to bypass shrine protection. This can be useful to destroy lighting, sabotage defenses, and generally make the rest of the game more difficult for dwarves as they are forced to retreat. Few dwarves will ever defend past the forward shrine, giving the skeleton time to destroy everything possible.
There are two additional items of note about the poison skeleton. First, an infiltrating poison skeleton is the prime candidate to lose out of mana generation due to the vast job of knocking out lights or other sabotage. Be careful of mana and consider using seppuku and trying to sneak in again after upgrading to cause more havoc. Second, along with flame skeletons, poison skeletons do not benefit from any type of health increase. However, the snaring arrow effect makes a poison skeleton harder to catch than a flame skeleton.
Wither Skeleton Edit
Wither skeletons have the ability to deal massive amounts of damage in a very short amount of time. The wither effect should be seen as a DPS aid and not the primary source of damage.
As a wither you have the ability to single-handedly take out a dwarf in a short amount of time thanks to the sniper upgrade. The damage dealt to a dwarf is affected by the draw time of the bow, but three full powered shots should kill a dwarf if they are not careful about healing. Teams of wither skeletons can be an effective tactic as multiple wither skeletons can focus a dwarf to take them down quickly. The other wither upgrade, Darkness Devours, currently does not behave properly and is bugged, the developers are aware of this bug.
The final upgrade, Nether Skeleton, can be seen as a double-edged sword. It does increase the skeleton's health by five hearts and give its head damage immunity (the skeleton looks taller, and the head is outside of the hitbox). However, the wither skeleton will look like its namesake therefore warning dwarves that very damaging arrows will be coming from the skeleton. Dwarves may also try to deal with a wither looking skeleton before all others as the dwarves know that wither skeletons are extremely dangerous. It comes down to personal preference if a player wishes to take the final upgrade as looking like every other skeleton, while still having the wither damage, has its advantages and it really only provides extra health and false height.
The main focus of the creeper can be either burst damage with incredible knock-back (blasting) or defense destruction with moderate knockback (destruction).
A very important note about all creepers: if you are hit by a dwarf before detonation, run away for at least five seconds. There is currently a bug that awards a dwarf a kill and a proc if a creeper explodes within five blocks after being hit by the dwarf. This hit will clear (safely) after about five seconds and it should be safe to explode again without fear of triggering a PROC.
As a damage creeper, your primary job should be disrupting dwarves while looking for opportunities for an easy kill. If you see a cornered dwarf who is bleeding (red particles), go ahead and blow up next to them. At worst, you are making them consume more mana by healing and at best you can earn a quick, easy kill. Using terrain and walls to your advantage is another great tactic to use as a damage creeper. Sneaking around the main wall, creeping up behind archers, and exploding them onto the battlefield or into a ravine can be both fun and profitable. Exploding on a shrine can also be effective by knocking defending dwarves away from the shrine and allowing it to fall faster. It should be noted that a fully upgraded damage creeper will instant kill a dwarf if their chest-plate is off for repairs and they have no absorption hearts from momentum or NisovinsIllusion shielding spell. (May also instant kill with leg-plates off, but cannot confirm at this time.)
As a defense destruction creeper, your primary job should be destroying the dwarven walls and PROC halls. Allowing fellow players or AI zombies easy access to the dwarves by destroying their stationary defenses will do far more damage in the long run than trying to blow up the dwarves themselves. The rats that can spawn from your destruction are effective at damaging weakened walls further and harassing dwarves, but can be easily PROCed by a veteran dwarf. As a destruction creeper, unless you know you can get away with an explosion near dwarves, stay away from them.
The Broodmother upgrade should be considered optional for a destruction creeper. As it allows a player to be a completely different monster with different abilities, it is wise to only take it if you are intending to use it as it provides no benefits to the main destruction creeper. Broodmothers can be a boon to the monster army when used properly, however it can be very easy to misuse the broodmother to the detriment of the war effort. Broodmothers, and the AI rats it can spawn, are very small and hard to hit. A broodmother can typically move around the shrine unnoticed and help to drain the power to bring the shrine down. The AI rats that it spawns can be difficult for intermediate dwarf players to hit and can cause knockback to harass dwarves and further damage grey stone walls. However, veteran dwarves know what to look for when hunting down the source of AI rats. A rat that is backpedaling or strafing is a dead giveaway to a veteran dwarf who can usually make quick work of a broodmother. Camouflage is the best defense a broodmother has; look and act like the rats that are spawned in order to stay hidden and help take down shrines.
Spiderlings excel at wall destruction and hit-and-run harassment of dwarves. Their low profile, higher than average running speed, and better than average jumping ability make spiderlings moderately evasive while completing any tasks at hand. No matter what a spiderling is doing, the spiderling should always be moving to take advantage of the speed and jumping and not sitting still as an easy target for an archer or a PROC. When against archers at range, consider adding jumps to running to throw off an archer's shot. Against a charging melee dwarf, however, jumping will slow down forward momentum. Considering simply staying flat and running away or lightly zig and zag in case the dwarf decides to pull out its bow. It should be noted that spiderlings are among the favored targets for starting a PROC due to their low health, so it is advised that the spiderling not get into melee too often or obviously.
As a spiderling, it is recommended that the player focuses on taking down walls and PROC halls first before trying to take on dwarves. The spiderling's long ranged corrosive spit (right click with fangs) will not harm a dwarf, but it will turn any wall into green goo which can be spit on again, quickly punched out by melee (or an impact skeleton), or blown up by any creeper to make large holes very quickly. Spiderlings should make sure to keep their distance from dwarves that are defending the wall their are dissolving. It is important to note that this ability will only work when the spit hits the side of the block; hits to the top, bottom, or corners of the block will not change the block to goo.
A daring spiderling may try for a bite against a dwarf for a long duration poison effect. As spiderlings have very low health, it is recommended that the spiderling go in, do a bite or two, and then quickly run out of range. The poison will apply on bite about 50% of the time, and it has a long and moderately potent effect on dwarves. This can be very effective against cornered dwarves who are already taking a lot of damage; the poison will make the dwarf consume healing ale faster and may lead to their downfall.
Iron Golem Edit
As an iron golem, your job is to provide a big distraction for the dwarves, hopefully being able to corner and kill dwarves.
Outside, you should be sneaky and stay away from all the archers on the walls because an iron golem's armor is easily destroyed by bows.
Inside, stay away from BruceWillakers and NisovinsIllusion as they are the only dwarves that can PROC you. Instead, focus on a lone dwarf and try to get them in the corner. A cornered dwarf can be an easy kill provided the golem's armor holds out.
Knockback is very difficult for an iron golem, as the only way to move is by jumping, so single out a lone dwarf and focus on them. Use the golem's knockback resistance to your advantage.
Because of the Iron Golem's slowness, the field of view makes everything seem closer than it actually is. This can be countered by going into settings and making your field of view quake pro.
As a venomburner, your primary goal is to try to stay alive when in the light, and efficiently kill dwarves in darkness.
Light is the single greatest weakness of the venomburner. Venomburners lose their ability to drain dwarf mana and heal through attacks, and they can only rely on natural health regeneration when not fighting in the darkness. This does not mean that a venomburner is completely useless during the daytime or in well-lit areas however. Venomburners are slightly faster than dwarves when running so a good chase while spamming flame and biting is a decent tactic for a fleeing dwarf. When the venomburner starts taking damage, take advantage of the enormous jump boost and get out of harm's way. A venomburner can jump up onto EZ Fix Slabs, shrine walls, or PROC tunnels fairly easily and can use their short range flame spam to harass dwarves while being moderately safe from harm.
In darkness, however, a venomburner becomes a true powerhouse if used correctly. If a dwarf is foolish enough to try to tank through a venomburner's damage and mana drain in darkness, tank them back. Swing vs. swing, a venomburner will heal almost as fast if not faster than a dwarf can do damage while the dwarf is losing mana from both using its healing ale and the venomburner's mana drain. Feel free to engage in close range, toe-to-toe melee with dwarves while there are no light sources around. Most of the time, a venomburner will not even need to worry about maneuvering as their health regeneration for attacking will make up for most damage done, unless they are being severely focused, hit by bows, or there is a PROCing dwarf coming.
Of note while in combat, a venomburner will make a squealing/sucking sound when being healed. There is no sound (other than the common hit sound) when attacking for no healing.
Also, while attacking a dwarf, hold down the right mouse button while left clicking. A venomburner will be able to spam flame while also getting in bites causing even more damage than doing one or the other.
Wolverines are a durable front line fighter that can be considered the assassin of the monster army. Physically, wolverines are nearly identical to a fully upgraded zombie (including having the Fury of the Night upgrade) except with +1 attack power and a less powerful health regeneration buff from arrow damage. However their leap ability, while operating similar to a zombie's, has a much greater range and height than a zombie being able to leap to cover great distances quickly and leap over or onto most front wall fortifications. Wolverines also enjoy a hit box that is smaller than a zombie's making them very difficult to hit in a melee battle.
Considering all of their melee advantages, wolverines should be used in a very aggressive fashion while keeping their leap ability in mind. Try leaping onto the front walls of the dwarven keep to attack archers. Use the wolverine's great speed from attacking and take out torches and other light sources while attacking dwarves for high damage. This is particularly useful during the first night when many younger dwarves are using archery and can be caught surprised by a pack of wolverines at their backs. In addition, even veteran dwarves, especially those who have the Darkvision upgrade and can see without light, can be caught off guard by the wolverine's Fury of the Night. When the wolverine's health starts going down, the wolverine can leap away from battle very quickly to look for an easier target or let natural regeneration restore some health.
Be wary of cornered dwarves or dwarves who are trying to start a PROC. Due to their dangerous nature, especially in the early game, wolverines tend to be priority targets for a PROCing dwarf. It may be tempting to put in a few hits against a cornered dwarf but if that dwarf start a PROC, it is possible to be killed quicker than the reaction time needed to turn and leap. Also, a wolverine is not as durable against bows as their zombie brethren. While they can take a hit or two and recover some health, a wolverine will not recover all of the hearts lost as a fully upgraded zombie would.
When playing as a rat, use your small appearance and hit box to your advantage. They are very capable of effectively hiding behind a single block, or in 1x1x1 holes in the ground. Your hit box will not save you from arrows that would hit you if you were dwarf-sized, however.
While rats have only one heart, they can take one melee strike without dying, but the second strike will always kill them. This is from the extra nine hearts that all players start with (like in vanilla Minecraft) before it is adjusted to one heart. Those hearts, while not seen, are still counted and are lost upon the first hit.
Rats have potential to synergize well with broodmothers. They are identical to the rats summoned by broodmothers, so long as the dwarves do not notice the difference in behavior.
Rats aren't that useful late game because most players stick with one default monster (zombie, skeleton, or creeper) and because they will easily give PROCs to dwarves, but if a shrine is taking a long time to capture, you can use the rats small size to hide near the shrine so it will take other monsters less time to capture it.