Some more feedback after completing the event:
I coasted through this event on my main account while barely trying. Only bought t3, but I was able to brute force my way through every fight because they needed a double-tap to kill me from full, which isn’t hard to manage when you also have heavy board mod and barriers.
My alt account had a bit more of a rough go since I don’t have the resources to trait Stone-Shaker and while I have a Forest Guardian, that is also untraited. Also my Stone-Shaker’s stats look like this:
and heres what a towers stats look like
I was able to do a no-loss run to the citidel, at which point things got dicey with pretty much everything being a one-shot on pretty much every troop I have, but I could crawl forward putting the hero with Mang and using a looping skull spam setup and replacing the fallen hero with a spider. Would have been easier if I made the hero a warden so he lasted a bit longer with the barriers and the beast buff, but after winning like this a few times I decided it wasn’t worth it at this point. I could keep playing, as this was probably the most enjoyable either event has been, but since we aren’t anywhere close to the next reward tier, I probably won’t since the battles are so long (something that still needs to be addressed).
Heres the team for reference.
I feel what I was experiencing on my low level account is about right scaled up to a high tier purchases for endgame. I was looping and using barriers, but it wasn’t “easy” I had to be careful, think a couple moves ahead to extend my loops, and with all that I had the tools I needed to fight things much, much stronger than me. Hero is a two-shot with skulls, but basically any tower casting would end me without barrier up. The problem here, of course, is not every week is going to have something that can barrier, certainly not as easy as Forest Guardian (there is always technically dawnbringer, but that isn’t an option for so many people). Towers have way more forgiving scaling than raids, so losing my Mang in the above team meant slower-going, but not basically “give up” because I couldn’t even appreciably damage any of the minions. When things have scaled that far above you, though, either way, managing barriers or looping is absolutely essential part of being able to make progress. Without extra-turn barriers as a part of your kit on the table (and no, dawnbringer does not count in this instance) and/or the ability to loop entire teams to death, I feel that these, too, will be too predicated on stat checks and RNG to be enjoyable.
I think raids and invasions both need to take a step back and examine what the “core” of their mode is supposed to be. Each one gives a specific task with a specific set of restrictions. I do like team building restrictions and taking some of easier converter loops off the table is essential for modes like this to maintain a bit of variety between the mode every time it appears is, but I think the categories they have been placed in are simply too arbitrary for a consistently satisfying experience in either mode. I wouldn’t want, for example, Suncrest as a raid kingdom or Stryx as a raid type for either of them, because they are all too straightforward, lack board mod, and are low scaling that I’m basically relying on the few things my hero does well to carry the entire battle, and you can’t use good play to overcome the scaling.
This could be mostly solved by the hero actually having a complete toolkit to competently perform in any given role that the kingdom or troop type is missing, but there are certain weapons already too essential to the process to make up for an entire kingdoms lack of being able to bring anything to the table in either mode, and the godslayer/siegebreaker don’t really adequately fill this out either.
tl;dr: I have a feeling a large part of what made Invasion tolerable was the powerful kit we have this week. I don’t want to play either of these modes without a consistent and reliable way to board mod outside of using the terrible, terrible hero options. Being able to take hits by managing barriers is also a key element that gives it a puzzle-like feel and allows battles to play out with some give and take when things scale up. Every single event needs to be tuned so that this type of give and take is possible, but sticking with troops types and kingdoms with one or two lackluster new troops, they wont be.
Oh, and the event weapon is still terribly designed. Still a potential game-loser when you get into the main meat of the content, and robs you of your occasionally essential hero weapon swing slot, but more useful to brute-force through early rounds a least. Suggest, again, that these have double damage to towers and bosses at least, if not triple.