Some tips and a tier list

Before we get to the list you’re actually here for, I’d like to go over some general concepts which I hope will be helpful to new(ish) players. They’re more like rules of thumb, but you should at least be aware of them before breaking them.

  • 1-keys and panic point trading

I’ve excluded 1-keys from the list because you shouldn’t really judge them as combat units. They can be helpful for that, but their main point is to either take panic points before they are well-defended or to reconquer them once they are. Don’t use them to take unclaimed panic points unless they would survive. Else it’s generally not worth it, because your opponent can just retake the point with their own 1-keys, and then you both paid 1 but they get the point.

Muffintop is special in that you like to keep it in reserve in case you ever need to cheaply remove poison or patch sth. up. Always consider using Clinico instead though (or Bluelien if you have it), because that gives you prolonged benefits over the entire match whereas Muffin is just a flat -1 key.

  • Key trading

You want enemy phobies you kill to cost more, or at least no less, than the ones you lose in the process. So when you attack and kill sth., you should ask yourself how much you will lose on the counter-attack. Identifying opportunities of attack while considering counterplays is one of the most important (and hardest) skills in this game, but there are just too many variables to make a comprehensive guide or sth. You just have to learn from experience.

A few guidelines i can think of though:

If you can take a panic point while trading two equally expensive phobies, that’s in your favor.

Retaking a panic point is worth roughly 1 key, so it’s also fine to trade a phobie that costs you 1 more key if you also get to conquer a point while doing so.

Sacrificing units to take points doesn’t mean much if you can’t defend them, i.e. you need to be able to kill whatever your opponent could reclaim them with.

Equal trades while you are ahead on panic points work mostly in your favor (as you are keeping your opponent busy, so to speak, while the clock is ticking).

Depending on how aggressive you and your opponent play, measured key and panic point trading isn’t always possible. If the match devolves into a complete brawl, just embrace it. When you have to choose between phobies to kill because you can’t take care of everything that’s thrown at you, pick the biggest threats, not necessarily what’s most expensive (Snowball on cooldown f.e. is rarely a priority).

  • High cost phobies

It’s a pretty tempo-oriented game, meaning you are (or should be) quite busy constantly fighting for panic point control. If you’re just saving up keys while letting your opponent take over the map, it will usually lead to a loss, which is why 7+ cost phobies don’t see a ton of play. The other reason is ofc that they’re simply more expensive, so you can’t have as many of them. What this means in relation to this tier list is that you should look at „good“ phobies as „good in comparison to others of the same cost“ and not expect expensive units to win you matches by themselves just because they’re high on the list. By rule of thumb you can afford to play like 1 big (i.e. 7+ keys) phobie on small maps and about 2 of them on big maps. A good time to start saving up keys is when the match is in a stable state and you’re near the maximum amount of phobies, but during very active matches with constant trading there’s nothing wrong with relying exclusively on mid- to low-cost units. It’s probably even the better choice.

  • Push and pull

Pull abilities are very dangerous, but ofc the rules of good trading still apply. You may snipe an inconvenient defender like Stabby, but if it means you then lose your Miss Moffat you’ll have traded down even if you also took a panic point. Also keep in mind that in order for pull to be effective on maps without chasms, you need to first create a force to actually dispatch pulled phobies with. Moffat / Attractor comes later.

Push is highly map-dependent. Without chasms to potentially push sth into, you should mostly avoid using phobies with such abilities. Heavo 2.0 is an exception in that it works well on a variety of maps, because it can bust whole formations with its combination of high hp, 2 movement and a ranged group push.

  • Melee and ranged

Ranged units aren’t stronger per se, but your team should generally have more ranged than melee phobies. That’s for one because you want to maintain distance to panic points you’re defending, else your defenders get whittled down with every exchange of 1-keys (since 1-keys are melee). Secondly, being able to keep your distance is safer in general – having to come 1 tile closer often means taking significantly higher damage from the counterattack. Thirdly, ranged phobies simply have more tiles available from which to attack or defend any specific tile. If you have too many melee fighters, it becomes difficult to focus your efforts on a certain point or unit.

  • Slow and mechanical phobies

There are plenty of really nice slow moving phobies. All the ranged ones, that is. But if you use too many of them at once your overall lack of mobility will cause problems, since they get in each others way when you need to reposition and it becomes hard to gang up on opposing units. So just don’t overdo it i guess. On small maps i’d say use no more than 2, on big maps no more than 3. Even less if there’s a lot of ground to cover.

Similarly, going overboard on mechanical phobies can also lead to a bad time, even if the ones you pick are individually pretty decent. Only mechanicals have a dedicated counter as effective as electrical damage (which ofc makes up for their better stats and poison immunity).

  • Situational phobies

I’ve added an extra tier at the end of the list for niche phobies that only have one specific job or need to meet a lot of conditions before they have an impact. None of them are fighters, but under the right circumstances they can all be good, some even great. Just don’t play them willy-nilly and expect positive results.

Lastly, I’m not going to give my reasoning for why all these phobies ended up in their respective tiers, 'cause that’s too much work. Feel free to ask though if you want me to elaborate on some of them.

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how do to deal with quag that taking point freely during early game?

btw nice tips bruh :+1:

i put paddles in situasional and repeler a little up because in big maps is a good suport. but out of that, i don´t have idea whit some phobies like Speedola brothers, i know how works but i never fight againts theirs individualy or together.

I’m assuming you mean on big maps, 'cause on small ones it’s less of issue early on. Surprise Pasgetti can help when there’s a central panic point 4 tiles away from either spawn point and you have the 6 keys for it. Smiley does the same job if they’re going for a really close point. Disease doesn’t kill Quag mind you, but at least turns it into a lame melee unit without so much staying power. Other than that, you just have to heavily fortify the panic points it can reach. Cassowary / Gesundheit and Stabby / BoMangles f.e. make for a potent 5-key combo. BOOM can also help. It’s weaker than the 2- and 3-key version ofc, but at least you can just take a panic point with it if Quag doesn’t come out. Use power boost tiles. Keep Snowball in reserve. Place Moffat 2 tiles away to scare it off. Gonzo ofc defends for tons of damage. Placing traps can work (freeze, poison or just dmg). Or just use your own slime.

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Got any tips for someone who’s got no electric units except erratic? Really tough dealing with mechanicals for that reason. I see that you have ray chargles and temptress fairly low. I’ve always wanted them desperately as well as thunder rocks because they are mobile electric units that are lower cost. Curios to hear your thoughts. Thanks for the effort you put into this :+1:

Yeah i had the same problem for the longest time until i found Temptress, Ray and Sparkles in relatively quick succession (over the last month or so - still got some leveling to do there). I put all 3 of them a bit lower than Erratic because they’re leaning in harder on the electrical damage, which you want to avoid most of the time (depends on your opponent’s setup ofc). That said, they all have their situational benefits and i’m happy to finally have the options.

Erratic is more well-rounded because its statline is quite strong even when you don’t deal with mechanicals and aoe + leech work really well together. The big downside is the lack of mobility, which Gravedigger and Miss Moffat can help a bit with. With Digger around you’ll often have shortened some pathways and the ability can serve to create a lighting rod for Erratic, thus extending its reach. Same with Moffat, you can cover more ground with Erratic when that unit is also in play.
Another thing is the 6-key cost. That can be annoying since Bo, Heavo, Gonzo, etc. are so strong, yet cheaper, when it’s preferable for your counter-plays to be cheaper and thus lead to a key advantage. But i’d argue you don’t even need to bust out Erratic just for one of these. When they’re saving up keys just do the same and if the combined cost of their mechanical threats exceeds 6, bring Erratic.

Hey Nihgo I’m a big fan! Always awe and respect each time you gave me a beatdown, which is all the time so far.

What are your thoughts on the 1 key and 2 key advantage for second players on small and big maps respectively? Assuming both players make the optimum play, how does going first have an advantage worth 1 key, and how does the second player capitalise on their key advantage?

Hey Nihgo!

You should join the discord - you’re a popular name around there as a strong player. I haven’t faced you yet, but I look forward to it.

Do you have any tips against Fire Ant? I just cannot seem to be able to deal with this guy once he is played, especially on a stage like Phobopolis.

Thanks for taking the time to write out your thoughts!

For the most part these extra keys seem to even out first player advantage just fine, but i’m not tracking stats or anything. On turns 1 or 3, player 1 can usually grab an otherwise contested panic point for free and player 2 can then reclaim it with a 1-key. Seems fair enough to me.
The exception are maps with an even amount of panic points though, where it’s often very hard to break stalemates and in that state having more keys is just better.

As to taking advantage of going second, imo it depends on your opponent’s opener. You’re the reactive player at first. Think of ways to keep your opponent from taking panic points for free and/or to take them yourself, then see how it goes from there.

When facing Fire Ant you can usually say goodbye to your hopes of getting anywhere near their heart since these traps can blow up an entire team after it ganged up on sth. You have to either try and win patiently via panic point control and/or use Honey Bear for the occasional drive.

You can use countertraps to some degree to keep your territory clean. If put on top of theirs you need to be careful though since the fire trap still goes off (place your trap from a distance and evacuate the area around it, like a bomb squad operation). The other way around, i.e. them placing fire traps on top of yours, this doesn’t happen iirc, so you can create safe spots, too. If both trappers end up merely neutralizing each other, that’s in your favor since your trapper was cheaper.

You can also clear out traps with phobies that can be safely positioned on a tile you suspect (Quag / Gator are good; Tickles / Doom ofc; anything sturdy with a healer around, esp. Bluelien; Charon does ok on lava maps if you’re actually leveling that phobie; any 1-key if it also claims a panic point (they shouldn’t waste their fire traps on contested panic points, but it happens)).

Try and threaten Moffat/Attractor, since you have more room for maneuver if Fire Ant can’t get close to your side.

Creating more space with Grave Digger or Crushmore can help, too.

Other than that, it’s a weak fighter for its cost (low attack value, fire dmg doesn’t stack), so actually engaging it (with mostly sturdy phobies ofc) when it’s a bit exposed can also do the trick, but i’d say only do that in async where you have time to really think through the ramifications of a move like that. Otherwise it’s just gamble.

Thank you for this - very helpful!

I hope to see you on discord. :slight_smile:

Honestly I’m just tired of hopeloy thinking he’s good with first play level 20 snowball and second play level 23 stabby

I’m calling you out hopeloy ! Run that level 1 fade “madelephant”