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…