With special request from Paul Rage, here’s the (very very very) long-overdue Nightmare Pits post.
Nightmare Pits, or Pits in short, is one of the two dark strongholds available in the game. While it used to be one of the better strongholds around, it is now rarely used by late-game players as the current strengths of dark and fire minions are rather lackluster. Thus, Pits fare as a relatively average stronghold unless one has high minion mastery and bonuses at his/her disposal.
Like the typical stronghold strategy posts, this entry will cover the Nightmare Pits in general, along with some strategies to both build it (part 1) and raid it (part 2).
*Special thanks to my guildmates, especially Shan, for their advice on building Nightmare Pits.
This stronghold is squarish and medium in size with a fairly open space in the center. It also has 4 fixed columns situated closer to the corners of the room.
The main characteristic of the room is its tile layout: 7 larger tiles and 8 smaller tiles positioned within the room. The larger tiles being the ones that light up and the smaller tiles are permanently ‘safe‘ zones that do not light up to burn/heal.
The larger tiles light up randomly and sporadically from the start of and throughout the duration of the battle. Each tile lights up for 6 seconds at each instance with 2-5 tiles being active at any point in time. The activation of the tiles also have erratic start times so the timings of tiles will not be in sync. Moreover, the tiles do not light up immediately after they have been switched off – something useful to note during raiding.
Purple fiery light underneath the tile indicates that the tile is activated and this triggers two actions:
(a) HP regeneration if a dark minion is over the tile
(b) Dark Damage if a raider is stepping on the tile
For (a), the HP regenerated based on percentage of Max HP of the dark minion and the value of healing is dependent on the tier of the stronghold. The higher the tier, the more HP the minion will recover (ie. 9% per second at T6). It will recover HP for every second it stands on the activated large tile. However, the HP regeneration ONLY applies to dark minions and other elements do not undergo recovery.
Likewise for (b), this damage received is proportionate to the tier of the stronghold. Dark damage applied once a second and will be removed when you step off the burning tile. The current damage at T6 is low for nature or other neutral elements. Perhaps it would have some impact for light raiders who most likely entered there by accident.
On the other hand, the smaller ‘safe‘ tiles are situated along the central aisle and the four corners of the room. These four corners are diagonally aligned with the pillars making them good cover from enemy projectiles, providing short reprieve to players who wish to recover their HP or wait for their skill cooldowns.
At T6, the room gives an equal bonus of 100% for all dark stats of atk, def and HP.
TL;DR: 2 types of tiles – Larger tiles recover HP to dark minions and damage the raider; Smaller tiles are safe zones for the raiders
Strategy and Tactics
To Build it
*Disclaimer: I’ll do a role reversal by explaining the strategies of raiding after sharing the setups that are applicable for higher tier strongholds. Raiding will be in part 2 to shorten this post. It will be due soon!
With its strong healing capability, Nightmare pits is a largely defensive stronghold and this can be built in 2 main ways:
- Revival Setup
- Over-Healing Setup
In short, the Revival setup centers around having a good number of undead minions which can revive others or be revived. The Over-healing setup takes a more offense-oriented approach by having dark minions which continuously heal themselves while inflicting damage to the raider. If built with strong minions, both setups can be immensely frustrating since inexperienced raiders will forced to deal with endlessly healing/reviving minions.
Both setups are ridiculously annoying to take out if you aren’t geared well to match the strength of the minions. Strategies to overcome these will be covered in the next entry.
This setup revolves around the revival ability of undead minions, specifically:
- Harbinger (Champion) – Flying, Undead ally buff, Slowing
- Lord of Eve (Champion, Event) – Knockdown, Bind, Undead Ally buff
- Acolyte (Support) – Periodic Invulnerability, AoE Knockdown
Minions that can be revived include:
- Acolyte (Support)
- Ravager (Melee Striker) – Armor Shred
- Pumpkin Ghoul (Melee Striker, Event)
- Pumpkin Tortured (Ranged Striker, Event)
- Ghoul (Melee Striker)
- Tortured (Ranged Striker)
One way to tell that the minion is revive-able is that their corpses will stay within the map with a small persistent zone effect (acidic pool) at their area of death. They show as red dots on your mini-map even after they have been taken out, signifying that they still have the potential to be revived. However, do note that undead champions (ie. Harbinger and Lord of Eve) do not benefit from being revived as their corpses vanish shortly upon death.
The MVP for this setup would be the Harbinger. Being a dragon-type, it is able to ‘hover‘ over the field for long periods of time and this makes it completely invulnerable during flight. Thus, it can potentially hover over lit tiles and regenerate HP in the air without receiving damage. A cheaper alternative would be the Acolyte as it can generate a field of invulnerability to recover some HP if sitting on a lit tile.
A general guide for stats would be to pump up your Dark Def & HP minion bonuses as these will keep the minions with the revival ability from dying off too quickly.
The current problem with this room is that these minions are fragile even at high mastery. Although the M7 variants of Harbinger, Lord of Eve, Acolyte and Ravager might offer some durability, these don’t pose too much of a threat to Nature-oriented or well-geared raiders in higher leagues (ie. Master and above). Additionally, the much-needed Harbingers are hard to pull from Stronghold chests unless they are boosted and this makes it difficult to obtain duplicates. Thus, a good version of the setup will be expensive to build and even rarer to come by.
TL;DR: Rely on revival ability of undead dark minions (Harbinger, Lord of Eve, Acolyte) paired with other revive-able undead minions. Boost Dark HP and Def stats.
This particular setup focuses on having strong dark minions which are hard or just frustrating to kill, resulting in them healing faster than your raiders can damage them while they chip away at the raiders’ HP. This also involves having offensive minions of fire element (and sometimes nature as well) to ward off pure ‘stronger‘ nature raiders.
Abilities that you would want to have are high dodge/evasion, flying, high defence/shielding, teleportation or simply moving really fast. Such minions to consider include:
- Corvus (Champion) – High dodge based on distance, Dark Ally buff, Good damage
- Harbinger (Champion) – Flying/Periodic invulnerability, Undead Ally buff, Artillery
- Lord of Eve (Champion, Event) – Teleportation, AoE knockdown
- Dread Voror (Defender) – Projectile reflect, AoE bind
- Ravager (Melee Striker) – Armour shred, fast
Corvus shines here due to its speed, inherently high dodge and ground rune ability (click here to read more). This makes it tricky for ranged raiders since Corvus’ dodge is proportionate to how far the projectile travels, meaning that the further you are from Corvus, the higher his dodge will be. Thus, this makes Corvus almost immune to ranged damage. Moreover, its fast speed also makes it tricky for melee raiders to catch up and its flight dive attack will constantly widen the gap between it and the raider.
On the other hand, its ground rune ability can be placed on the floor and this is unhindered by physical obstructions. Thus, the ability can hurt the raider even if he/she is standing behind the columns as cover.
It is also good to have certain fire minions to counter the pure nature raiders, or other support types that help boost the survive-ability of the other minions.
- Ignicore (Champion) – Armor shred, Chaser
- Dominator (Champion) – Chaser, Ally damage buff, damage reflect
- Fire Colossus (Champion, Event) – Periodic invulnerability, DOT
- Assassin (Champion) – Armor shred, Bind, Slow, DOT, Multiple lives
- Scorcher (Ranged Striker) – DOT, Periodic Invulnerability, Explodes upon death
- Druid (Support) – Healing, Slowing
- Gelid Voror (Support) – Projectile reflect, Ally Armor buff
Unfortunately, as mentioned earlier, these non-dark minions DO NOT benefit from the healing of the tiles. Thus, they might be easy pickings if you don’t have mastery or significant element bonuses (>30%) for these.
Minion bonuses should be corresponding to the types of minions you bring in, with Dark element being priority. Dark HP, Def will take precedence over Attack to ensure that your minions don’t die off too quickly. This is unless you have plenty of high attack dark minions (ie. Corvus) of which you’ll probably want to focus on increasing your dark attack instead.
For other elements, it’ll be good to prioritise on attack especially for Fire (and Nature) to fend off the nature raiders. If you’re using these other elements as support units (eg. Druid and Gelid Voror), opt for Defence/HP bonuses instead. These will be necessary to keep them from dying too soon since they aren’t healing with the other dark minions.
In comparison to the previous setup, I find the Over-healing variant to be more accessible since you’re free to use a larger range of minions, instead of those which revive or can be revived. This can also put the ‘stronger‘ nature raiders on edge since DOT from fire minions do pack a punch. The downside is that you need to build 2 or even 3 elemental bonuses in tandem which can be an issue for less active raiders.
Of course, it’s possible to mix the 2 setups together, but do remember that obtaining duplicates for mastery will be the major (financial) obstacle. This is especially so if you rely on rarer minions that don’t get boosted often (eg. Harbingers, Corvus-es) or event ones (eg. Fire Colossus, Lord of Eve).
TL;DR: Use dark minions that are hard to kill so they heal faster than the raider’s damage. Add in some Fire or nature minions to the mix to fend off the other raider’s elements. Boost dark HP/Def/Atk and the other element stats you use based on the types of minions you have (eg. fire offense minions = fire atk).
Placement of minions in this case should be similar to that of nettles (click here). The free space with little cover also allows you to maximise the offensive capacity of your minions while benefiting from the healing tiles.
The center minion will be the first to engage the raider so this can be a fast-moving Chaser type (eg. Ignicore, Dominator, Lord of Eve etc.) or a tough-to-kill minion that will linger near the raider throughout the battle (eg. Corvus, Assassin etc.).
The front row will be occupied by your chaser or offense-oriented units. Minions like Corvus, Ravagers and Lords of Eve do well here. You can also ‘hide‘ your Fire Colossus at the front which I found to be often missed during blind raids in GW.
Place Harbinger(s) and other support units (eg. Druid, gelid voror) at the back of the room to prevent raiders from attacking them straightaway. This will give them time to take flight and/or buff the surrounding minions. Harbingers can also benefit from being in the front row since they will spew their dark breath when the raider first enters the room.
Center – Ignicore, Dominator, Lord, Corvus, Assassin
Back – Harbinger, Acolyte, Druid, Gelid
Front – Lord, Ravager, Corvus, Fire Colossus, Ignicore, Dominator, Harbinger
Do stay tuned for part 2 where I’ll detail how to raid in pits.
Oh yes, and Summer Event is incoming sometime next week or so.
To be continued! 🙂