Delves: Strategies, tactics and tips

I had it happen once in Warrens. In the penultimate room their last troop died from reflect while skull-killing my last troop and it counted as victory; couldn’t enter boss room, though, because the game kept insisting I must select at least one troop to take into battle or something along those lines.


The effect of Lycantrophy on potionless delves.

As you know from reading this thread I have been trying all factions potionless and have had them all a few times. I have yet to resume on Hellgate, and I’m in no rush. In fact I am at the point in the game where attempting it is pointless, as I did it with potions anyway. My logic is bar the actual thought that I have done them all, there’s nothing to gain. I think Hellgate will need 300 hoard or 75% faction stats, neither are something I want to do. The low drop rate of decent treasures puts me off as well.

So, the point of this post is that I wanted to share my experience of Lycantrophy whilst attempting the other faction I have yet to complete potionless, Indrajit’s Palace. For the record I now do factions in the event with potions, then later try them without. Next faction however comes in GW week.

Whilst doing IP since Monday 14th June I have missed about 4 days of doing it due to not bothering or limited play, so, when I have, I have attempted this faction with 133-144 hoard. I figure I have had about 21 attempts. On 3 occasions I have got fairly close to winning, 1 on Monday was down to me needing 1 skull hit and 1 cast of Indy to win. The AI got me as I just could not match skulls and it’s Indy can kill 2 troops easily.

I have been making a note of how many times the faction has been effected by effects the Devs place in delves.

7 runs have been blighted by the Tier V room of Mimic, Drowned Sailor, TMQ and Scylla. This has been the mandatory room . It’s, and just my opinion, but it is not possible to beat it without extraordinary hoard when you have no skull protection. You are not able to survive the TMQ casts. It’s worth pointing out that a lot of potionless runs and the hoard records are blighted by this room as it is more off the scale than anything else in Delves, generally avoiding it gives you a much higher chance of winning. Maybe the Dwarven Gate runs it close, but at least you may be able to deny Apothecary.

So of 21 runs, 7 have been denied by the mandatory 2nd room being this room mentioned above. Furthermore the room also has other factors that ruin runs, Drowned Sailor’s death mark, which is in my view a 75% chance to death mark your back 2 troops from my anecdotal history in potionless delves for however long that has been. Additionally Mimic seems to devour at least once most times in delves. So, that’s 7 goes where I haven’t been able to proceed with a full team.

The other 14 runs, 8 have failed to get to the boss room. 6 times I have gotten to the boss room, 3 times 100% intact. In the fails I have had 4 Lyco converted troops, Wood Rynax, Swamp Rat, Droggo and Aurai.

So what has happened to the other 8 runs?


I have had the following troops that I can remember in those 8 other runs.

Vine Marten x2
Armoured Boarlet
Spinnerette x 2
Swamp Rat
Mecha Rat
Chaos Hound

Of those 10 conversions, 6 have occurred after 1 turn grace… 1 changed on 4 turns and 3 recovered. On Tuesday in one run, I had Pegasus, Spinnerette and Vine Marten on the same run. None of the AI troops can make Lyco gems or do anything except explode or destroy or match them.

There’s a high proportion of AI troops that change the board state. Things you underestimate like the Trolls or Giant Spider etc. Those troops change the board and Lyco gems match up with purple.

In PF 500 runs, the AI has huge state bloated troops, a lot of factionless teams can’t cope without high hoards just vs stats, never mind death mark, shuffling orders, and status effects. Using Orpheus medals is a good option, but when troops have limited skull protection, additional stats are often mandatory. I will give a simple example of Lyco, Giant Spider, making purple (another is Grave Seer, but there’s so many that do) has on 3 occasions since Monday created purple and sky dropped a Lyco gem to 100% convert my effected troop. Today I have had another Vine Marten.

Ok, for balance reasons, I have converted 3 AI troops in the entire runs. Today I changed a Hellclaw Warrior into a Winged Bison and a Mimic into a Bone Scorpion. Awesome, Wing Bison transforms purple to red and matched with the Hellclaw Mage, it was a looping machine… and fed and fed their Hunters. The only other conversion I have made was Axolotl, which was useless for me, but made blue for Wraith…

AI 14 vs me 3.

There was an annoucement that the Devs will manipulate skyfall for Lyco gems, which they say will increase during the campaign. It does appear that this is occurring, but regardless, the effect of Lycantrophy is such a huge thing in potionless runs.

In PF with limited skull negation, 12 life and health from 3 MoS are often needed to survive. 1 Orpheus makes limited difference it seems and even 3 have lost me troops to Drowned Sailor in the past.

I’ll give some more opinion on it, but I will keep it brief. Lycantrophy is a blight and imho it needs to not occur when exploding or destroying.


I don’t disagree, but I still think this line of thinking is just inadequate.

Because lycanthropy needs to not be in anything at all ever. Just not exist. Straight up not in anything.

With that out of the way … I did clear Indrajit’s Palace 400 factionless with a Roc as my last troop. Suffice to say that it didn’t contribute. So I imagine 500 is still going to be doable, but not particularly easy. 400 did take me a few days.


I think the problem is that honestly will the Devs consign Lycatrophy to history as an epic fail? I don’t necessarily disagree with potentially removing it altogether, but I don’t think they will want simple removal on their copybook/resume.

Whilst, a halfway house is exactly that, the chances of a simple removal is imho going to be zero. They have already alluded to that and are making changes. I mean they cannot even accept that it is a negative thing 99% of the time.

I could work with different ideas on how to implement it. I get their need to change things up, but it comes at a cost to the playerbase in that it is a handbrake on play, it’s weighted against you most times and absolutely slows down playing the game. We are playing GoW at a time where we are falling behind the curve every day unless we are playing 16 hours daily, we don’t need more reasons to slow down gameplay or incur people’s wrath for playing. I just see it as a reason to curtail play as is, and by jove it does that.

Another thing that actually concerns me as much is Devs admitting to altering skyfall rates. It’s something we never know and have to take them at their word. When we are in a GoW era where monetisation is the be all and end all, that does not sit well with me. I no longer give them the benefit of the doubt on anything, whilst people might think that’s what we should, and I used to, I no longer do - cash is king. The actual failing to dislose VK rates, whilst it may be legal or illegal, seems to me to be something that they should be doing to help community confidence. Putting those tarot troops in the vault was quite a poor act, without drop rates and then silence on the subject.

Anyway rambled on…


Today’s delving in IP…

Delve 1

Delve 2

Resorted to 3 Orpheus and Mimic devoured 3 times on 3 casts, the s/s is before the last devour…
Delve 3

! :grimacing:

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Indrajit’s Palace done potionless.

Basically 2 Warriors and 2 Indrajit’s. 3 Nysha and Hellclaw Banner. L15, Hoard 155.

First room was reasonable but 1 skull hit from losing top slot. 2nd room was Bogstrider and Florian and co, avoided entangle on first warrior, skulled them.

Third room, Bandit and Sea Dog and co, fairly easy but could have lost top warrior. Gained agile from beating it.

Boss room - went as well as possible. Not hit by skulls, did 1 double hit with my Warrior vs their infernal armour whilst burning but my warrior had 206 attack (doubled), so only did 103 damage to it. Killed it after it healed once with spells, then basically skulled the rest. Lyco gems all over the board but took them, 1 converted their Mage into a Griffon Knight, but made no odds, did same damage as the troop it replaced and cast once when game was done.

Their converter basically left me loads of purple and red, I could refill all troops, withstand 1 Indrajit cast and then build the attack for damage. 1 skull hit I would have died as I was burning and it would do 800 damage, but managed to kill it and then cleanse a burn later.

Couple of things. It’s doable with 100 hoard if you get a run like I had and completely avoid being skull hit (yep, often impossible!). Don’t be tempted to raise the base stats with MoS, use Nysha and /or Orpheus.


Double Warrior does seem ideal, Mage is risky. I’ll try that next then.

This is getting out of hand. Though in this case I’m not sure I actually hate this.

This is supposed to be the Indrajit boss room mirror match. Instead its the massive RNG fest of Lyrasza’s Lair AND Werewoods. Its actually interesting.

(For the record it started with the red/green Werewoods cat, turned into Tobern, turned into the bird. Healed each time!!! 25% chance each cast, only cast twice …)

I’ll edit this with results. But on this board, well, may as well make a gazillion more skulls… it made another hound and I got skulled, figures. Note that Lyrasza’s Lair is also horrible. 33% chance to NOT instantly win this round, but noooooooooooooo.

Ugh I should have known. This is like 60 seconds later.

Worth noting that I got the boss room down to maybe half of one troop in the run prior because lycanstupidity gave me an Umberwolf. But THIS time they got two different skull transformers and all I got was a Chaos Hound.


Looks very close. Hopefully you will manage it upcoming week.

I’m sure it will be fine once lycanstupidity goes away. It hasn’t been pointed out much but having a near-permanent red/purple storm only makes things worse regarding purple->lycan gems …

So clearly this faction being released during this wretched pathetic campaign* is not a coincidence, we know better.

(* that’s wretched and pathetic relative to the usual amount. I already need to rein in my cursing about campaigns on a regular basis as it is, its freaking difficult.)

Check my thread, experienced the same thing yesterday and the day before. I am not gonna destroy another screen.

The one faction I would try during Lycanthropy is The Labyrinth. I’m sure it could/would backfire, but if you get into a Horned Guardian vs Horned Guardian stalemate, you can try to Lycanthropy the enemy…


So there is a chance for me to max it without 300 hoard level afterall ?

without having tried it myself, maybe.

The biggest problem of this faction is largely the unkillable enemy Horned Guardian in the last room and Lycanthropy can change that.

Your Horned Guardian is pretty valuable and the longer you can keep your full team alive, the less likely it’ll be hit by Lycanthropy as well

I’d concur with this. Before I did it potionless I had numerous attempts where it was HG v HG at the end, and I ended up retreating, as theirs goes off the scale. All you need is theirs to be hit with Lycanthrophy and yours not. You might have to chip away with your tooth pick for a while, and avoid all those Lyco gems, but it would be easier.

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Finally got Palace. Rather lucky than good. ONE attempt today (used three to clear campaign task, had one left sitting on Palace from before), caved to 2x speed to avoid the double skulls which was probably the most excruciating thing I’ve ever seen. Went down to one troop on one hit nonetheless and it wasn’t even a Warrior.

(I had a 3v1? But then it turned on me. “Oh its just their rare troop” that still does 260 damage a hit.)

3x Nysha
Hellclaw Banner

Just deny red > yellow > purple > green at all times. Hold Indrajit casts (and secondary Warrior casts) for when you can’t do that. Also very very important to avoid letting the board reset after your turn, because you tend to just get skulled in the face, so holding casts for when there’s clearly just one move left is also really useful.

If their Mage casts, pray? More often than not it just fills the board - particularly if we’re keeping red and purple off the board as much as possible - but having your lead troop burning is usually not great.

I actually didn’t clear 500 with a non-faction team and just poured everything into this, hence the 2,490. Awkward.

100 hoard doable.


Beat The Labyrinth with no potions, Hoard 199, 50% bonus, 2 Nysha, 1 Anu. medaled troops

final thought: EZ Clap

Room 1: It got a little dicey for my 2 Mechataurs and King Minos from all of the shuffling, but I managed to delay it long enough to get Horned Guardian back in slot 1.

Room 2: Glaycion, Winter Wolf, Ice Troll, Snow Guardian. The enemy team shuffling made it a bit easy. Glaycion never got a cast off, but it got close to full. Snow Guardian hit me a few times, but I had enough stats to take it. First slot Winter Wolf with Hunter’s Mark is a little scary, but nothing fatal thanks to barrier.

Room 3: Kruarg the Dread, Rock Worm, Cockatrice, Ice Worm. It wasn’t too bad, though I had to make sure I got rid of Rock Worm asap. Unfortunately, there’s no real way for me to win it fast enough to prevent my last troop from dying. (King Minos) Thankfully, I don’t “need” the 50% mana start. Kruarg gets +2 Red and +2 Green from the faction banner, unblocked. lol.

Room 4: Started with 3 troops. Thought I had a good start, knocking HG to the back.

However, they killed off my 2 Mechataurs before I can finish the enemy HG off. This happened though.

The rest of their team fell like dominos.

Mammoth did get a cast off with no barrier on, which hurt a little bit. New Lycan change made it weaker at least.


Horned Guardian (the only thing that really matters)
King Minos
Maze Banner (+2G, +2R, -P)

I definitely had a feeling the strategy would work, though Lycanthropy wasn’t that common in my matches. If I didnt land that Lycanthropy early, the match might have gone way longer.


Two in a week for me!

Lycanstupidity finally actually helped. Pretty sure I cleared the entry and the tier 5 room in the center without much issue, did lose my Huntsman in the tier 5 but Tomb Spider is pretty intimidating to replace it. Boss room I think lycan got maybe three of them? And then Giant Spider summoning an itty bitty Spiderling while webbed just let me cruise through and let them take all the skulls.

This is probably the state of this delve now, even after the campaign. Maybe a bit less, I was able to get a few more applications via gems. But the status effects being thrown all over will include this now.

Running this with anything besides triple cleanse medals is, obviously, a really bad idea.

I had Huntsman, double rogues and then Matron. Merlantis banner.

(Oh and obviously at hoard 100. Because I refuse to raise it higher.)


Always reminds me of this :sweat_smile::


The only time ever Lycanthropy did a good thing. Ever.

Hoard 199 + 50%; Orpheus medals; Labyrinth banner
Horned Guardian
2x Mechataur
King Minos

Room 1 - no problems.

Room 2 - Pyggra/Pyggra/Lord Ember/Sheggra.
Sheggra turned into Wererat, one of my Mechataurs turned into Hyena (on first opportunity with cleanse medals). Other noteworthy thing was them always getting skyskulls after Pyggra cast.

Room 3 - Baby Dragon/Baby Dragon/Dragon Eggs/Venbarak.
Only my Guardian lived, everything else died. One of Baby Dragons turned into Elemaugrim, other turned into Drake Rider (and subsequent Drake).

Boss room - single Horned Guardian against full enemy team…
Double Ly gems on turn one - Horned Guardian cleansed, Mechataur turned into Rhynaggor so I didn’t have to worry about getting silenced anymore. Shuffling enemy troops around and slowly chipping away until it was Guardian against Guardian…phew, those Lycanthropy gems took like forever to randomly fall, their Guardian cleansed another five times (so - six in total) before finally, after about 40 minutes, turning into Amarok; and then I sighed - oh, damn, don’t you dare devour me if barrier happens to be down! He cast once with my barrier up.

I’ll take this outcome, but it doesn’t change overall aversion against Lycanthropy (one swallow, as they say, doesn’t make a summer).