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Speed Explore: The Basics & Breakdown

First, I need to preface this by saying that this is not necessarily the fastest explore method for trophies. That may or may not belong to some Phoenicia variant where she can obliterate the enemy team with one cast. That requires any class that can activate a Firestorm at the start of the battle. You’d also want The Maraji Queen to start her at 50% mana. Then you’d want some way to generate mana quickly for her, like Leprechaun. Then you can run the Hierophant class because it has access to Firestarter and you’ll give Phoenicia 3 bonus Magic from having 3 Bright Forest troops. With 3 Medal of Nysha and max Magic from all other sources (Delves, Kingdoms, Guild, etc.) she’ll be doing 120-140 damage with her cast, depending on red gems and burning enemies (each one is worth 2 damage during a Firestorm). That’s won’t get you very far in Difficulty 12, but it can one shot everything in Difficulty 5 (maybe 6, I’m not sure of enemy health at the moment). That’s only 2 trophies, but it’s very fast.

Difficulty 12 enemies have ~300 combined life and armor. How do you blow through that? Well…

  • Scorpius can do lethal damage to the last two troops if they are poisoned.
  • Zuul’goth can kill an enemy
  • High King Irongut can devour an enemy

Those require lots of mana though. So let’s take another route.

  • Borealis deals triple skull damage to Frozen enemies.
  • Webspinner deals triple skull damage to Webbed/Poisoned enemies.
  • Fireblade, level 100 talent for the Fire tree, deals triple skull damage to Burning enemies.

Triple skull damage is great, but that still takes way too long. We’d have to have 100+ Attack to kill an enemy with one skull match, and we need them to be burning/poisoned/frozen.

Webspinner sets up its own triple skull damage, because it webs when dealing skull damage. Borealis can freeze all enemies, but then you need to match the skulls after the enemy’s turn. That’s far too slow.

But that still doesn’t get us 100 Attack. Even using Fist of Zorn isn’t enough, because he gives Magic/2 Attack to the first Ally – that makes Medal of Nysha a poor contender here, better to use Medal of Seasons for +12 Attack (Medal of Nysha would only give +6 Attack, and you’d lose the +12 Life/Armor).

So we need something else: Enrage. Classes with access to Enrage are any that have the War talent tree, with Bloodthirsty at 70 (Enrage on 4/5 matches).

Only two classes have War and Fire though – Warlord and Slayer. Warlord might seem like a good choice – it has things like Commander and Hack n Slash, but those doesn’t help us enough.

Slayer has what we’re looking for: the Bloodlust talent. When an enemy dies, become Enraged. But if we have to kill an enemy to become Enraged, that doesn’t help us against the first enemy. Well, here are my two variations, based on another team I saw. First, the team I based this on:


The relevant talents are Ferocity (+4 Attack), Firestarter (Create a firestorm at the start of a battle), Bloodthirsty (become enraged on 4/5 matches), and Fireblade (triple skull damage to burning enemies).

The way this team works is you open with Leprechaun during the Firestorm, which explodes lots of red gems and fills Flammifer, which you use to fill Zuul’goth the rest of the way. Then Zuul’goth kills an enemy, which puts Burning on all the rest of the enemies, makes a bunch of skulls, hopefully a 4/5 match, which creates a Bonestorm from Scylla, which causes you to land multiple Skull matches against all the enemies and they quickly die.

In practice, this is an extremely fast team when it works correctly, but it can tremendously backfire. There is no way to get Burn onto all enemies without Zuul’goth’s cast, and Zuul’goth’s cast is dependent on Leprechaun’s explosion (number of starting green gems for him to explode), how many matches fall during the initial Firestorm, and whether you can get Flammifer cast off and get a 4+ match on it to fill Zuul’goth, which will enable the Bonestorm.

If the Bonestorm happens too soon, you’ll have skulls, but no mana for Zuul’goth. Ideally, you need the Firestorm to last for the Flammifer, but not after, because when you cast Zuul’goth is when you want the Bonestorm. Routinely, you’ll cast Leprechaun, stuff will explode, a Bonestorm triggers and the enemy matches skulls and kills your Hero. Bad times.

So then I put my thinking cap on. How can I ensure that all enemies are burning, without Zuul’goth? Bring in Infernus, who burns all enemies on 4+ matches.

And because the Bonestorm isn’t essential, let’s actually get rid of Scylla. Well, now we need 4+ matches. So I dropped Leprechaun and brought in Apophisis:

There are two reasons to use Apophisis over Fist of Zorn. The first is that it converts a useless color, Green, to Skulls, instead of converting Yellow (which we need for Flammifer). The second is that Apophisis gives us Life, which is far more beneficial than more Attack (which is just overkill).

But now we have another problem… what happens when there are no good early matches for Apophisis? Well, that kind of sucks. You have to slowly build up Flammifer and get the cast off so you can cast Zuul’goth, then you can usually use Apophisis for a quick finish.

But I think we can faster, and it pains me to do it but… we need to cut Zuul’goth. The only thing he does is instant kill one enemy and then burn the rest. But Infernus already does that, without having to get any mana. But now we need to get rid of Flammifer because Fist is converting yellow gems and we don’t need the red mana Flammifer generates.

We still have our Firestorm though, and we want to convert something that’s not already taken. Bring in Doomed Crossbow.

Now we have two Empowered options – converting yellow OR green gems to skulls, giving us 4+ matches much quicker for the Burn, and giving us the skull matches for Fireblade. Note that a 4+ skull match will burn all enemies, but not before you deal the skull damage, so you can’t kill the first enemy with a 4+ skull match if that match is the one that Burns them with Infernus.

Overall, I think this final version is much safer and faster. You aren’t relying on the RNG from explosions and Bonestorms, and you aren’t relying on a single color conversion and filling 32 mana.

ONE FINAL NOTE, and maybe I should have put this first… I only do Explores in Ghulvania, because there are no troops with immunity to burning – also no troops with Dodge or Skull damage reduction, but that wouldn’t matter with Enrage.

Edit: Sometimes you get really bad starts though where an explosion would really help…


Very nice. Excellent analysis. Thank you for sharing your teams.

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Not saying I’ve put together a team with him, but Wrath is another option for Burning all enemies.

Personally, for fast exploring on Level 12, I use:

Mountain Crusher
Ethereal Sentry
High King Irongut
Vash Dagon

Eagle Banner (Brown ++ Yellow + Purple - )

Class is pretty much up to you, but anything that creates a Dust Storm at the start of the battle and/ or gives Barrier to the Hero when matching Brown is a good option.

Charge up Mountain Crusher ASAP and you should get Ethereal Sentry ready to cast in a turn or two.

ES boosts HKI’s attack to give him a guaranteed 100% Devour and Vash’s curse power zaps the traits of enemies who are immune to Devour.

Vash also allows for a quick finish by Devouring HKI when there’s only one or two enemies less and doing lots of damage from the boost in Life :+1:

The only problem is if an enemy does damage to HKI’s armour before ES can boost his attack, then you just have to hope that the RNG is with you on the Devours…

I go with:
Stormcaller, with Earth’s Fury
with yellow storm at start of every turn, and 3 gems exploded each time you match 4 gems, HKI is almost always full mana (he is only one that uses yellow in this setup). Also Mercy empowered conversion to start the thing rolling.
As soon, as you get 1st earthfury cast, HKI gets 100+ attack and 100% devour chance.

Only bad spots for this build are kingdom with lots of devour immune. So basicaly Khaziel/Drak-Zum. TPK helps a bit because he can always transofrm them into anything (and as transformed troops loose all their traits, you can easliy eat them). Other than that, Earthfury boosts attack of your hero and other troops, so you can skull bash devour-immune ones also.

I’m still running the good old Skeleton key team:

Cedric Sparklesack
Egg thief
Skeleton key
2x Nysha, 1x Anu
Class of your choice
Hunter’s banner

Not the fastest team but very consistent and allows brainless play because almost everything can be ignored. I always explore Broken Spire. It also has a nice extra gold bonus which adds up although I didn’t take the time to calculate the gold/h ratio yet but i think it’s around 300k. The suggestions above are earning less gold per match but are faster, which can result in more gold/h of course.

I have 4775 from a level 12 explore. It takes 45-60 seconds per match (some exceptions do arise ofc).

I use this team on E12 grinding too. After leveling all classes to 100, there’s really not much else to do but medal hunting.

Essence of Evil (Barbarian - Root Trap, Leafstorm, Enrage)
The Wild Queen
The Maraji Queen
Green2Purple1 banner

3xNysha recommended. Can do with as many Nysha and remaining seasons.

Loads of fun, this one. Can do well in any kingdom.

Slayer-Zuul is most effective only in Ghulvania.

This is a great thread. Thank you for starting this. Very helpful…

This is my PvP team:

You can pretty much pick any class, because your hero basically does nothing here. Zuul’Goth is fantastic in first slot because he gains stats from skull matches and is impervious – no worry about getting shut down (especially from entangle).

The double skull empowered troops help you get a fast start on mowing down enemies. I run this with 3x Medal of Seasons. Currently I’m leveling Barbarian (I have nearly every class at 100 and it’s one of the four I don’t), but it works very well for this set up because I have Root Trap (entangle first enemy), Lightning Strike (explode 1 gem on 4/5 matches), and Blood and Glory (1 extra Glory in PvP matches). It does fairly well against anything. I almost always choose the right-most fight, unless it’s something like 4x treasure troops or something in the middle.


If you want to level up in explores, I recommend the following:

Savage Hunter is an incredibly unique troop because it’s the only troop that has both Eagle Eye and Bloodlust:

I recommend Pan’s Vale, as it has a ton of green enemies for him to deal double damage to. I don’t recommend Forest of Thorns, because there are far too many enemy troops that entangle.

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Great thread, thanks for putting it together :smiley:

Just wanted to add, Tink Steamwhistle’s Electrostorm counts as firestorm for Phoenicia, so she can work with any class now :slight_smile:


Ooh, great info! I hadn’t realized that. Thank you!

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I hadn’t realised that, either! Crazy.

To add to the “Phoenicia can be used with any class” line of thought, I started using this variant when I was levelling Monk (no Storms), and then various other classes, and haven’t looked back:


Just cooked a Stryx team. It is fun due to all the bonuses that we get out of the synergy in this one. Works great in E12. Safe and not really slow. Start doing some 4-matches and you are on.


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