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Subject: Best Classes and Hero Combos rss

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Eric B
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I was expecting to see a lot more on this subject, but so far things have been pretty quiet. The only thing I have really heard is some people saying the Pit Fighter Beserker seems a little under powered. I am wondering how the other classes compare? Is anyone finding certain classes really powerful? What about some being pretty weak? What about heroes and pairing them with certain classes?

I heard playing Owen as a Pit Fighter is pretty good since every attack he makes in Shadow Mode allows him to heal 1. This helps counter balance losing hp from enemies and when you harm yourself using Bloodlust. What other hero and class combinations have people found that are powerful or work really well together? Are there any that are absolutely terrible?
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Aaron K
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It is an interesting idea to see if choosing some underpowered options might balance the game out a little...while also potentially adding some interesting combos.
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Paul Bauman
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I've also had trouble with the Pit Fighter because the risk of using 1/5 of my health to get more oomph on my attacks doesn't mesh well with the swinginess of the dice. I think the class would work well with 4+ players, but I'm mostly running 3 and decided that class is too situational for a smaller party.

Right now, my preferred combo is Shadow Barbarian with Nelly (from ZC:BP, +1 yellow die with a two-handed weapon? Yes, please), Battle Wizard with Elias (I just like the thematics of Sword & Spell and what is basically a free heal in Shadow Mode with Life Siphon), and rounding things out with ranged attacks, Slippery, and re-rolls for days is Sibyl the Nightshade Ranger. Quite a viable 3-person party.
 
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Ian Williams
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My 'best' team so far has been Paladin of Fury, Nightshade Ranger and Warrior Priest. Initially it was Owen, Sibyl & Ann, but I actually found there was more healing than necessary. Currently I'm using the all-elf team of Azrael (can use 2-handers with a shield) Silas and Sarah (+swords when with other heroes). Although that's mostly for thematic reasons.
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Jan
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So far i tried the following "new" combinations.

Azrael & Paladin of Fury:
- The Paladin is the only class which gives benefits from wearing a shield. Perfect fit for Azreal

Myriam & Warrior Priest.
- Standing in the Light, doing dark things from behind. Myriam steals Bäms or Diamonds from her Opponents and transform them into healing or wounds.
She needs backup, because she wants to stay in the light.
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Bone White
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Nelly + Bloodmoon Assassin:

Charge into battle, and gain bonuses if doing so from the dark. If you deal a wound you get a free slippery move out... allowing you to charge in again... and again.
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David Griffin
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I've played almost every hero at least once and a bunch of the crossovers. That doesn't mean I'm an expert but I'd like to talk about this a bit as well.

As classes, I don't think much of the Paladin of Fury class. The Bulwark perk seems nice, but due to sequencing of characters in a turn, he doesn't get into the zone he needs to be in often enough to make a real difference. Blocking for another character also should work more often than it actually does, but maybe I'm not using it right. When I make him into a tank, I still want him to do a lot of damage, so I seldom am using a shield which means I don't get good benefit from the shield bearer skills. And none of his perks let him keep pace with the monster's defenses. So an OK tank, but not that great a character IMHO.

Noble warrior is a little better. The target lock talent is pretty great really (though it costs XP). Command is pretty effective too, as other characters can often deal damage better and they end up getting an extra turn. The skills are OK. Offensive skills are somewhat weak, though Shadow Encore stays with the buff motif, so it helps OTHER characters hit better.

Pit Fighter I'm not so sure of. It's dangerous in this game to take wounds because it's so easy for monsters to one-shot the heroes. Even a point or two can make the difference between winning and losing, and so much of this class has to do with being down a little on health. Yet it does have good removal of enemy defense and some ability to inflict damage through defense. Not a favorite class for me but not bad.

Bloodmoon Assassin is also not a favorite. To have it's free perk be an actual disadvantage is really a problem. The signature perk is a weak version of teleport which the Battle Wizard gets all the time. Still, he does have a weaker version of the Ranger's ability to remove defense and some ability to hop into and out of enemy zones once slippery and remove health from monsters with high defense. And Assassin can wound without getting through defense too. Not bad, but should have a real perk instead of Shadowborn.

Warrior Priest is a very good healer but not a very good warrior. Again it's perk is effectively a weakness IMHO. Yes I like the thematic nature of having your shadow powers work in light, but it's ONLY light and not shadow. If it were both THAT would be a good perk. As it is, this character is out of phase with the other party members and there ends up being NO place where you can ambush a monster where all your characters are at their best. Note that the best I did with this character was when I equipped it with spears that went to range 1, but it was still kind of tricky because there aren't enough good spear type weapons. It does have purge though, which can damage through defense, and as I said, is a GREAT healer.

The Bonecrusher has a signature perk which is actually part good and part bad (which to me is unfortunate). It's really only a good idea when you are pretty sure you can kill your enemy. Inflicting wounds entering zones is nice. Good health, good melee skills, excellent charge, taunt, ability to stun and good abilities with hammer and mace all make this a decent character class as a damage dealer and tank. I wish the signature was better.

The Bloodmoon Nightrunner (thief/rogue) is a good class with a good signature and a decent free skill. Good skills to reduce defense, some perks for dual wielding and "junior ranger" skills with a bow. Nothing wrong, perfectly good as a characters, but not as good a fighter as a Bonecrusher or Barbarian and not as good a ranged fighter as a Ranger. But versatile. Maybe keeps weapons of both types and spends some time switching between them for monsters of various types?

Not sure about the Sorcerer. Interesting signature skill to transmute with 2 cards. Explosive escape is weird but interesting and useful. Excellent wound dealing through defense (glad this isn't a monster) but not a big damage dealer (though necro is interesting). The wound/heal is nice too. Only complaint really is that I'd rather have a Battle Wizard.

Shadow Barbarian ia a very good fighting class (maybe a little better than Bonecrusher -- I admit it's a question). The ability to not wear armor is actually quite viable. I've done both and they both work well. Reroll with 2 handed weapons is nice, charge is good, ability to use shadow frenzy in latter stages of the game sound good (but I tend to forget). Nice to have +1 health to start (more important than you think) and the minion kill can be very nice to finish off that last minion to hit the boss. Great class.

Battle Wizard is a great class with good mobility with teleport and a signature skill which would be better if you could choose to spend it once you have the bang or diamond (not sure whether you can or not). Good damage dealing, especially with Sword and spell dual wielding melee weapons. Nice with the kings armor/weapon set. Not bad at range with magic weapons but never really great. Decent minor healing ability.

Then there is Nightshade Ranger, the King of the classes IMHO. Wow, this class does nearly everything right. Slippery from the start. Signature really only for emergencies when it finds itself in a zone with an enemy unexpectedly. SUPERB defense reducing options with Shadow Hunter. Excellent rerolls with Ranged Specialist. Great ability to get in more attacks with safe shot. And you can even reduce damage to yourself. And most of the really important abilities cost 5 and can be gotten in the first couple of levels -- woot! With safe shot and slippery, very hard for monsters to pin down. He just steps away and does colossal damage to them. Add a Piercing Javelin when the monsters are nicely lined up (see mission 9) and watch the fireworks. That said Fire Bows are nice generalized weapons for the Ranger.

For heroes, Sibyl and Sylvan are hard to beat. Sibyl's ability to add 2 swords to any attack where she rolls a bang with the Ranger's ability to reroll and convert rolls after reroll make for frightening damage to mobs and also wandering monsters. Sylvan's +3 swords to wandering monsters, while not up to Sibyl's abilities make WMs much more likely to go down. Bjorn is the best Shadow Barbarian IMHO with his head butt ability and his ability to add a wound with a bang in shadow. Elias is a great Battle Wizard with his similar Zap ability along with the ability to get a bang in attacks (which feeds the fireball ability).

Honorable mention to Baldric whose slightly weaker add a bang to magic attacks and his dual wielding magic weapons with sword and spell which makes two handed melee weapons magic weapons, and wow. Ann's ability to heal as a perk with her bangs for wounds makes her a good damage dealer dual wielding, but I wouldn't make her a warrior priest. Maybe a Noble warrior or a Bone Crusher. Lots of the Nightrunners can make decent Rangers, and ironically they're often better Rangers than nightrunners. Lil Ned's shadow perk is nice, but losing defense makes him somewhat disappointing. It's thematic, but if he's going to lose a shield, he should get more swords for it. It's better later on when he can afford to lose a shield more. The ability to attack at range 1 makes him more likely to be in shadow which can help some. Neat character, but no plastic snap on base and with a few flaws.

Karl is a decent Battle Wizard who's bangs get 2 bangs in the dual wielding magic form (or melee with sword and spell). His ability to add a red die if he gets 3 or more yellow swords is a bit too situational to be great, but it can still be effective. Victoria suffers from having a less that great class (Warrior Cleric) but makes the most of it. If you allow her to level slower, her ability to use her signature ability twice can really make her a good healer.

Mila is a junior barbarian. She has a decent shadow perk that can peel away the enemy defense, but her regular skill of rolling a red dice and looking for a bang or a diamond is a much poorer version of Bjorn's head butt.

That's what I think anyway. I've only played about 14 games so far. I've had some crushing losses too and some great wins. I suspect there are some rules I might be playing wrong, there are a lot of edge cases in the rules (or more to the point, not in the rules). I think I'm playing right now, but can't be totally sure.
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Cameron Ross
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Just played for the first time and tried a couple different combinations. I honestly found my Ostara/Paladin to be the most powerful. At the end of the quest I was still just using my starting long sword, but that didn't matter as I managed to stick to the shadows, and had Payback 2. Most of my turns had me using my 1xp skill and taunt to ensure I was.taking the majority of the attacks, and attacking as many different enemies as I could, as most enemies counter attacking me just ended up taking a reliable two-three wounds. It practically felt like cheating, I did get a bit lucky on defense gear, but if you make getting Ostara more defense dice a high priority you will build yourself a thorny, hard to damage wall that enemies just crash against. After I took the taunt skill the rest of the party only ever took damage once.
 
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David Griffin
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Life101 wrote:
Just played for the first time and tried a couple different combinations. I honestly found my Ostara/Paladin to be the most powerful. At the end of the quest I was still just using my starting long sword, but that didn't matter as I managed to stick to the shadows, and had Payback 2. Most of my turns had me using my 1xp skill and taunt to ensure I was.taking the majority of the attacks, and attacking as many different enemies as I could, as most enemies counter attacking me just ended up taking a reliable two-three wounds. It practically felt like cheating, I did get a bit lucky on defense gear, but if you make getting Ostara more defense dice a high priority you will build yourself a thorny, hard to damage wall that enemies just crash against. After I took the taunt skill the rest of the party only ever took damage once.


It could be the reason I didn't like the Paladin was that I had him armored up so he didn't take damage.
 
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Cameron Ross
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carbon_dragon wrote:

It could be the reason I didn't like the Paladin was that I had him armored up so he didn't take damage.


Well, one of us was using the Payback skill wrong. Having him armored up if the way to go, as from what I recall Payback activates if you roll more shields than they roll swords. Using Ostara where blanks count as shields I grabbed Payback as soon as I rolled three defense dice, and rarely failed to proc it.
 
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Eric B
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carbon_dragon wrote:
Shadow Encore stays with the buff motif, so it helps OTHER characters hit better.


It actually applies to other heroes AND the Noble Warrior himself.


carbon_dragon wrote:
Not sure about the Sorcerer. Interesting signature skill to transmute with 2 cards. Explosive escape is weird but interesting and useful. Excellent wound dealing through defense (glad this isn't a monster) but not a big damage dealer (though necro is interesting). The wound/heal is nice too. Only complaint really is that I'd rather have a Battle Wizard.


I gave an example of the Battle Wizard's max damage in another thread. There I showed how a Wizard could get up to 33 max wounds per action. For a Sorcerer, they aren't far behind. Having the max dice rolls would give them 15 shields, 3 bams, and 3 diamonds. Using the Scepter of Hate you can use 3 bams to do 3 wounds and a diamond to do another 3 wounds, or 6 wounds total. Blood Rage gives 3 more wounds while Magic Sparks gives 1 sword and 2 bams. Those 2 bams and a rolled diamond can be used for shadow Drain to do 3 more wounds (and heal the damage from Blood Tribute). That's 28 wounds.

Now, using Necro gives a max of 9 more wounds. If you did at least 1 wound to a minion, Necro would kill it and allow you to roll 2 red dice and take all swords and apply them as wounds. tha't s a max of 6 swords or wounds. That brings the total number of wounds for the Sorcerer up to 37, 4 more than the Wizard. Granted Necro can only be used once, but Moira get's a similar hero skill which can do a max of 6 wounds once per activation. That means a perfect activation would see the Sorcerer doing 99 wounds. The Battle Wizard could do the same max.

Granted these are one in a million chances and extremely rare. The point is both have very comparable damage. The Battle Wizard can heal a little more, heal allies, and has higher damage potential in any given action, but the Sorcerer can heal themselves while doing damage, can run from enemies while inflicting damage, and does more guaranteed wounds.


carbon_dragon wrote:
Then there is Nightshade Ranger, the King of the classes IMHO. Signature really only for emergencies when it finds itself in a zone with an enemy unexpectedly.


The Signature actually works when you attack an enemy, not when they attack you. This allows you to re-roll the defense dice of an enemy if they had a particularly great roll. Combined with your attack dice re-rolls this can be brutal for the enemy.
 
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Eric B
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It's a shame a shield is required for Almighty Tank on the Paladin. I understand why thematically, but it limits the Paladin's options. You pretty much have to use a 1 handed melee weapon and shield. I would have loved it if you could dual wield swords like Owen's model shows and still be able to use that skill. The Short and Long Swords are perfect for dual wielding on the Paladin. You can dish out some decent damage with them while still tanking since they give defense dice. Unfortunately you can't use them and still get the substantial bonuses from Almighty Tank.

This is why I think Azrael actually makes one of the best Paladins. He makes great use of using a shield, gaining two benefits from it. Not only does he get Almighty Tank, he can also equip a 2 handed weapon as if it were a one-hander. This gives him a little extra damage output while still using a shield. Of course the Dwarven Shield at level 3 gives all Paladins this same effect. Rolling a bam in Shadow Mode on Azrael allows you to remove the best attack die when you are on defense which is incredibly powerful. Compared to the +1 heal on attacks from Owen seems like overkill considering your high defense and other healing abilities as a Paladin. Plus it only works on yourself further limiting it's use.

One super powerful combo I have found as a Paladin is using Azrael and having a full set of Knight's gear. This, along with Payback 3 means you will do 6 wounds every time you roll a bam on defense (as long as you have more shields than the enemy rolls swords). With a counter attack and normal attack from the enemy, that's 6 wounds per. Add in a good level 4 or 5 two handed weapon and you will be maxed on attack dice thanks to the Knight's set bonus. You also will have an automatic 7 shields in Shadow Mode thanks to Knight's Armor (+3), Almighty Tank (+2), and Light in the Darkness (+2). Even without the Knight's set you can still rock a good shield and two handed weapon and be close to max on attack dice and defense, with up to +4 shields. Removing an enemy attack dice on defense means they will almost never hurt you.

Another Option is Ostara with her Shadow Mode skill and the Knight's set and Payback. That gives the same +6 wounds on a single bam roll as with Azrael, but any additional bams inflict an extra wound to attackers. That gives the potential to do up to 11 wounds when an enemy attacks you. That can really add up; 11 wounds during an enemy counter-attack, another 11 max during the enemy activation when they attack normally, and then any additional wounds from your 3 attack actions? Granted this is with perfect rolls, but it's not uncommon to do roughly 20 wounds in a since round with Oastara (end game with good gear). That's not bad considering she doesn't take ANY damage herself.

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Eric B
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Another really powerful combo I have found early on is using the King's set of gear with the Bloodmoon Nightrunner class. Both Whisper and Silence get -1 shield as skills, though Silence is better for damage as he gets an attack OR defense re-roll when attacking while Whisper is better for mobility. This means you can re-roll a particularly good defense roll to help eliminate some would be shields.

Paired with Sneak Attack this gives -2/3/4 shields. The real magic happens when you have a full set of King''s gear though. The crown gives another -3 shields with a full set, bringing that total to -5/6/7 shields (thought you probably won't want to be using the King's gear by level 5, other than the crown). A static -6 shields in Shadow Mode at level 3 is pretty darn good considering most enemies at that level only have 3 blue defense or 2B, 1G. With these dice they are only going to get 6 or 7 shields at most, and you are eliminating all of them but 1.

If you want to go a step further you can include the starting Mace, or level 1 Mace to give an additional -1 shield. This would bring the max up to -6/7/8 shields. Granted this might not be ideal when you have a full set of King's gear since you would be wasting a yellow die. Unfortunately there aren't a lot of one handed melee weapons with only red dice at levels 2 and 3 so it will be tough finding an optimal match.

The level 2 Ice Sword is a good choice since it allows your bams to stun, thereby giving you a skill that actually makes use of bams and stops any would be counter-attack. The level 2 Spear of Impalement is also a decent option to help you attack from range 1 if you so desire. This will give you an easier time staying in the shadows and not wasting actions moving into range. Unfortunately it doesn't use bams so they will be going to waste. The level 2 Long Sword is another option which gives you 1 red die and gives you 1 blue to help with defense.

If you use this combo up to level 4 you have a few more options with the Fire and Ice Swords. Both give 2 red dice and a bam effect. The The Ice Sword gives the same effect as the level 2 version (Stun), while the Fire Sword gives an additional diamond effect which would pair well with Dual Weapon Specialist. You would automatically get +3 swords and be negating -5/6 shields to enemies. Add in +3 wounds from Overkill and all the swords you roll as wounds and you could be doing some serious damage rolling 3Y/2R dice (average 6 swords). That's almost a guaranteed 12 wounds per action, with up to 18 wounds total with an optimal attack roll.
 
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