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Stonehammer: An In-Depth Look

As I promised I would be doing another post on a different troop, here it is. The previous post was on Zuul’Goth. This time we’re looking at the Mythic Divine Dwarf, Stonehammer.

When Stonehammer first came out, I wasn’t playing the game. Apparently his ability stunned and burned all enemies, as it does now, and he created a mix of 15 red and brown gems, then gained 15 life. He also was only immune to stun and death mark, but still had the same 80% skull damage reduction. I don’t know if his life gain was tied to his magic at the time either.

In his current iteration though, Stonehammer creates a mix of 22 red and brown gems and gains Magic+5 Life. He also has the Dwarf trait Fortitude (Immune to Stun, Poison, Disease, Death Mark and Devour) instead of separate traits for death mark (Warded) and stun (Thick Headed). He gains 1 Life for each brown Ally.

First, let’s look at the most unique thing about Stonehammer: his Unbreakable trait, which gives him 80% reduced damage from skulls. There are very few troops who even come close to this number. Gorgotha has 75% reduction with Granite Skin, and four troops have 65% reduction from Ice Armor. Two have 60%, and everything else is 60% or lower:

Now, Fortitude is pretty amazing, but only Dwarves have it. Of those, only two troops (Lord Ironbeard and Thunderforge) have Stoneskin (50% skull damage reduction).

Immunity to stun is very important because if you’re stunned, your skull damage reduction trait does nothing. In fact, not a single troop that has 60, 65, or 75% skull damage reduction has any immunity to stun.

Gorgotha can cleanse himself with his ability, and he’s immune to burning and faerie fire, but not stun. Lady Morana and Frostfire Wraith are immune to Death Mark, Posion, and Disease, but not stun. Borealis and Glaycion are immune to Frozen… but not stun.

There are four traits that give immunity to stun: Invulnerable, Impervious, Fortitude, and Thick Head. Only Doom troops for players have Invulnerable, and Doom troops aren’t known for being great tanks (or great at anything really, but that’s another problem). Only four troops that are Impervious have any skull damage reduction (Carnex, Mecha Gnome, Vash’Dagon, and Trihorn), and their reduction is only 25% (and only 20% for Trihorn).

Then there are the Thick Head troops, and only three of them have skull damage reduction. Bulette and Turtle Cannon at 50%, and Winged Bison at 20%.

But wait, why is stun defense so important anyway – sure it disables our skull damage reduction traits, but the enemy actually has to stun us…

Yeah, that’s true, but there are an awful lot of sources of stun in the game, from Rock Troll’s Knockout (inflict stun when doing skull damage) to several classes with Impact (inflict stun when enemies deal skull damage to me), troops that stun with their abilities such as Emperor Khorvash, and the Warpriest class that has a 50% chance to stun a random enemy every turn.

So if you’re looking for troops with high skull damage reduction (at least 50%) and immunity to stun, there are only five of them. Of those five, only one of them can loop himself, gain life, and stun everyone else. And that’s Stonehammer.

His colors being yellow, blue, and brown, do color block a lot, but he generates brown and red with his ability, so he can refill himself and something red below him. He pairs quite well with Dawnbringer (two yellow allies) or Doomed Crossbow (generating skulls with little fear of losing your troop from enemy skull matches).

Naturally as with all high skull damage reduction troops, he’s still susceptible to Hunter’s Mark (although the damage reduction still works) and Webbed (which affects his life gain, or the damage he takes from Webspinner, which is still reduced by his trait). And of course, Enrage completely bypasses traits altogether, so that’s a moot point, no troops are immune to that (except maybe troops that weren’t going to reduce damage anyway!)

Stonehammer takes so little skull damage in fact that he can often win matches by himself against skull spam teams. His life gain is often higher than the damage he takes: for every 100 skull damage they team, he only takes 20, which would require a player to need only 15 Magic to break even on his cast.

Along with his stun and life gain, his burn ensures a slow death of the enemy as he skull bashes his way to victory, sometimes able to cast multiple times due to his ability creating brown gems!

So when do I use Stonehammer? I use him particularly in Delves and in Tower of Doom due to the many enemy troops that can stun front line troops and deal colossal skull damage. (Rock Troll is a very common enemy troop in these modes). And in Tower of Doom, his immunity to Death Mark is fantastic as well, and immunity to disease, which is very helpful given his high mana cost.

Stonehammer is an incredible Mythic and undoubtedly my favorite frontline troop (although for sheer speed in Explore mode, I use Glaycion).

The only way I would replace him as my favorite Defender is if an Impervious troop came out that had Aegis or Ice Armor (as they would be immune to Hunter’s Mark, Frozen, Silence, and Webbed, all things that Stonehammer is battling for eternity!)

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I too love Stonehammer, now that he is part of the 22 creators’ club. I also use him in a completely unorthodox way - at the back of the deck. See, he is absolutely, unequivocally the business at filling Umenath, which is always a fun thing to do. And they’re both divine, so yeah.

[6826,1263,6479,6340,3066,1,3,1,1,1,2,0,14028]

Sure, you could move Stonehammer to second and bump the other two down one slot each, which probably makes more sense as a backup plan if Umenath gets squished. But then you can’t say that you have a legit deck with Stonehammer in fourth place, man!

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Another great analysis ignite (and not just because I pulled Stonehammer from a lucky chest recently!). Great job of highlighting the strengths of the oft-maligned dwarf.

Scaling content is where Stoney is at his best, agreed. Matches are slower-paced, troublesome status effects are generally less of a factor, and he will survive the random skyfall skull hits that can so easily derail other teams. Unfortunately, the same factors also render his combination of stun immunity and skull damage reduction less uniquely valuable, since the sources of stun are far fewer in scaling content than, say, pvp.

Do you use him much in non-scaling content? Paired with Runepriest (and probably King Highforge), I’m thinking there’ve got to be some teams that use him effectively. His main problem there is a) many of the nastiest defenses don’t rely on skull damage, and b) the ones that do often have Rope Dart, whose entangle on cast neutralizes Stonehammer pretty effectively.

I’ve mused before that he could be used this way - probably the only way to take advantage of his stun+burn-all with a fireblade hero class (most likely Dragonguard, though Sunspear might work as well). It would probably come down to how quickly you can get mana to Stonehammer. It could work!

I kinda hope we don’t get a defender like that; it wouldn’t take much for them to make Stonehammer completely useless.

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I imagine any troop with impervious and 50% or higher skull damage reduction wouldn’t also be able to generate Mana for itself, heal, and stun all enemies :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

I would love to see Stonehammer buffed to 100% skull resistance even if we would never get that.

It would make him far more compelling as a first slot mythic for PVP and would make him a great tank for high level PVE.

Having a viable alternative in delves for first slot Rock Solid would be nice.

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In the Warrens, normal 500 I used 2x Stonehammer, one at the top, one at the bottom. Worked lovely when Trickster shifted the team. Ketras and Yasmine Pride with Bard or Mech - tree of knowledge if I remember correctly. Wasn’t the fastest but worked okay stunning the Lapina so it didn’t get enrage. Reds or overflow Browns filled Ketras. I also could loop both Stonehammers, one filling the other etc.

Couldn’t really use things like Earth Fury or Mang because of shifting and Bunnicorn’s charm.

Was playing around with Stonehammer yesterday a bit, and wow, does he pair well with Glaycion! At the least a synergy worth exploring in brown ToDs/delves, and probably useful in pvp as well.

I was thinking about Stonehammer again recently, and one reason I think he is not as highly regarded is how he compares to other Mythics whose main function includes board control.

(unquestionably better: Obsidius, The Gray King, The Possessed King, The Wild Queen)

The next tier includes Aquaticus, Infernus, Yasmine’s Chosen, and Queen Aurora. I would argue this foursome is better than Stonehammer as well, but it’s not quite as much of a slam dunk. Well maybe it is for Aquaticus and Infernus, who do Mythic-worthy damage and passively contribute statuses that can benefit the entire team. YC’s damage is worse, but she also contributes passive entangles and notably only costs 21 mana, making looping easier than it is with Stonehammer. Aurora’s spell heals 3x the amount of health per cast that Stonehammer does, and Rainbow Link makes her an elite support mythic.

That arguably leaves Stonehammer with troops like Champion of Gaard and Shahbanu Vespera, as Mythics that have some strong setups, just not as many as the ones listed above.