Phase 4: Defense Fighting(The Featherweight Fighting Division)
The reason I will recommend starting with defense fighting is two fold. One, it's the easiest way to fight. And two, when you start getting in to offense fighting, you will have to drop your shields to do so, so you will want to have the strongest defense possible at that point to defend against any counter attacks.
By this time you should have the shaman for your troop type up to level 60, your Raine the Wanderer up to level 60, and all of the best troop specific fighting gear for both your hero and your shamans, as well as your fortress fighting gear for your hero and Raine, and you should have at least some of your hero fighting gear upgraded(doesn't have to be all the way but as high as you can get it). Your hero should also be above level 60, I'd recommend 65 or higher before you start fighting but as high as you can get it. You should have a troop set for defense for your hero with as many defense stats as you can get. You should have gems and runes set for defense. All troop defense(tourmaline), and whatever troop specific defense gem, troop specific health gem, and troop specific defense rune your troop type requires.
Your Valkyries Citidale should be maxed for health and defense for your troop type up to tier 5 at least. You should have a good amount of main knowledge focusing on defense in your oracle. Your VIP level should be at least level 30 or higher. You should have as many achievements as you can get. Your upgradable town skins should be as high as you can get them, especially the ones that provide defense stats. And last but not least, you should be well on your way through Helheim, unlocking as many floors as you can and getting all 3 stars on as many nodes as you can. You should not have done any of your special knowledge in the oracle yet. Those are tricky, and mistakes can be made, so we will talk about those in this Phase.
The purpose of this section will be to get you started on some of your fighting and troop training achievements, and to start getting you soul shards. It's important to note that you are never done upgrading. You should always be working towards maximum strength so we will spend a little time on that, but otherwise we will focus on the most useful ways to spend your troops, and what to start doing with the soul shards.
Always be working on your oracle and town upgrades, and for now do so with the intent of focusing on defense and health.
Get to the point in your T7 upgrades where you can not only start training your troop type, but to where that training will be as cheap and fast as possible maxing out training cost and training speed. Don't worry too much about the T6's, they're an obsolete item. Just get that stuff as you get the totems needed to unlock it.
Always be pounding the invaders and ghosts to improve your upgradable hero gear and max out your runes. It takes a long time and a lot of effort to do both of those things.
The quickest way to upgrade your hero gear is to pound the uber chiefs when they are on the map, and do tons of task refreshers for the standard materials(during task completion contests to get a little extra gold and boosts our of them as well).
As for ghosts keep hitting the Helheim Warrior for the good building speed rune, the Plague Raven for the good knowledge upgrade speed rune, and the Marsh Nixa for the good troop training speed rune, until you have all of them maxed to the gold level. This will be of the utmost importance when you get to the really high knowledge upgrades, for getting your planner achievement, and for training T7 troops. You won't regret it. Also always be hitting whichever ghosts drop your troop specific offense and highest defense runes you can get until they're all maxed out at the gold level too.
Keep an eye on your upgradable town skins, and your VIP, and always be plucking away at Helheim.
Get what Aesirs you can with resources and gold. Skip the ones that don't provide you with relevant fighting stats, you don't need them. All troop defense, all troop health, troop specific defense, troop specific health. Don't need any offense just yet, it won't be useful to you and will only bloat your influence. Stay lean and mean for this phase.
In short, upgrading never stops. Hold off on your special knowledge until you read the last part of this Phase.
-----------------------------Let's start fighting------------------------------------
Here we will focus on achievements and soul shards. You don't want to just fight for the sake of fighting, you will lose troops, a lot of troops, especially in the featherweight division. You want this troop loss to be productive and help you grow.
In Phase 3 I told you to train 115 million T1's. This will get you working towards your Need More Warriors achievement, but it was also to prepare you to lose those troops in Jotunheim for the Brave Heart achievement. The Need More Warriors achievement, aside from giving you gold, will also give you impoved troop training speed. And the Brave Heart achievement will give you gold, an offense in an onslaught bonus, and a troop revival bonus. And last but not least, losing these troops in Jotunheim will also get you kills and some soul shards, though not that many of either right away, but it will get you working towards town skins that require kills, and towards the Gladiator achievement. So here's what you do.
Don't do it alone, try to get your clan involved, especially the big players. If you arne't in such a clan you can take the lead yourself on this one, or join a clan like Cagon with members that will join you. Make sure you don't have a lot of resources in your town otherwise you will lose them. Give them to an alt, a bank, or to the clan stronghold.
Play a hero double. Play a couple of hours of disguise. Put on a Bastion of the Beast town skin if you have one. Your upgradable town skins bonuses are always applied, you won't lose them by playing a Bastion of the Beast, and you don't have to wear them to get their stats. Put on your hero defense set. Select your troop specific shaman. Ask your konung clan for the imposter repute for 1 hour while you are still in your home kingdom(optional, this is for the troll achievement and won't negatively affect your fighting stats). Or you could ask for a troop specific fighting scroll for one hour(also optional, this will improve your fighting stats but won't get you the troll achievement). Move to Jotunheim. Play a Warrior Number in an Onslaught scroll of the highest percent you can. Set up an 8 hour onslaught with just a hero against the place of power there(save your second hero and shaman to stay in the town), but don't send it. Instruct your clan mates to send troops set for defense not offense, and wait for as many of your clan mates to join this onslaught as you can. If your clan mates don't want to drop shields to join this onslaught let them know they can reinforce your mead hall instead. If your clan has a member or two with strong spies save the mead hall for them though, as spies can not join onslaughts. Don't forget to reshield quickly with an 8 hour shield after setting up the onslaught.
Once all of the clan mates who are going to join you have joined you, give them a one minute warning, and all of you should use that time to play an infirmary expander scroll, a 35% reduced enemy health scroll, a 35% reduced enemy offense scroll, a 500% defense scroll if you have them or the next highest % if you don't, and summon an aes that provides the best defense or health bonus when summoned. After everybody is ready, drop your shields by sending a single troop or spy to a nearby town that is unshielded, and wait.
If you are smaller than 350 billion or 400 billion influence, which during this phase you should be a lot smaller than that, it will not take long at all for someone to come along and zero you. Do not reshield until you have gotten your Brave Heart achievement. You need to lose 115 million troops in Jotunheim within an hour to get your Brave Heart achievement to level 1. You need to kill 5 million troops with a negative repute to get your Troll achievement. If you succeed in that one it will not show up for 3 hours as it's a secret achievement.
Tip: Don't try for more than one Brave Heart achievement at a time. If you train 500 million T1's thinking you'll get through the first 3 levels in one go, and someone comes along and kills 450 million of them in one onslaught, you will only get one level out of it. It will count the first 115 million towards the achievement, and then reset for level 2, so all of those extra troops that were killed will be a waste. I learned this the hard way.
This routine in Jot can be followed all the way to level 10 Brave Heart, getting a few Need More Warriors achievements along the way, if you stay small enough the whole time. Once you get to be 350, 400 billion influence, people will be very reluctant to attack you with full strength, and it will become harder to lose those troops and get that achievement.
Train the right amount of T1's because they're cheap and quick to train, and follow the above routine until you get all of your Brave Heart achievements, and again, you will get some of the Need More Warriors achievements along the way, and possibly even a Wolf of Jotunheim achievement or two as you get stronger, possibly a Troll achievement or two or three if you go for it, and it will all add up towards Collector achievements, and the checkpoints if you pass enough will add up towards Friend of the Nibelungs achievements, and it will get you started on and maybe even through a Gladiator achievement. It will also give you some soul shards.
The amount of troops you need to let die in Jotunheim for the different levels of Brave Heart are as follows.
1) 115 million
2) 135 million
3) 130 million
4) 135 million
5) 130 million
6) 140 million
7) 155 million
8) 260 million
9) 400 million
10) 900 million
It couldn't hurt to have some upper level toops when you go for these achievement too but expect to lose them as well if you do. They'll get you more kills and soul shards, but again, expect to lose them.
If you do this during times of keys hunt contests, especially personal keys hunt contests, it's very easy to place in the top ranks of those contests and get a little extra something for placing in these top ranks.
Siege fighting is another great way to get achievements and soul shards if you have a clan that does frequent sieges. I like siege fighting, especially for featherweight division fighters, because it's simple, you do not have to drop shields, and it's defense, which is what we're geared up for anyways.
T1's are not good for sieges, so save those for losing them in Jotunheim. For a siege you will want T5's - T7's. Anything less will be slaughtered too quickly and easily.
Sieging is a relatively easy process. Get your hero set for defense, but put on it's Ubba gear for fortress fighting instead of it's troop specific fighting gear, and make sure you have all of the same defense and health gems and defense runes you'd want for defense in Jotunheim, and select your Raine the Wanderer and again, make sure all of the same defense and health gems and runes you'd want in Jotunheim are there in his gear. Play a hero double, a Bastion of the Beast, a few hours of disguise if you don't want any enemies to see your gear, like if you're sieging during a clan battle for example, play a 3250% number of warriors in a march increase and send two marches of your strongest warriors to reinforce your clans stronghold, one with the hero and shaman, and another with just the hero. Marches can be sent without a hero, but will die quicker.
Before the computer player marches get there make sure you play an infirmary expander scroll, a revival of warriors scroll, a 35% enemy health reduction scroll, a 35% enemy offense reduction scroll, a 500% defense or the next best % scroll, and summon an aes with the best defense or health bonus you can. It's also a good time to ask for a positive fighting repute from your konung clan, or the imposter repute if you want to go for the Troll achievement. It's a good idea to try and heal warriors as you they die, and as they die you might want to pull your marches back in between attacks and reload them to full strength again.
It's important to note that this procedure for doing a siege is best done during times when there is no major event going on in the kingdom, when it's safe for you to siege without the threat of another kingdom counter attacking your siege. For sieging during clan and kingdom battles it's a little different of a procedure, and involves sending your troops in right before the march gets there, and pulling them back right afterwards so as to not leave them exposed for other clans counter attacks.
Sieging is a good way to work towards your Gladiator achievement, upgradable town skins that require killing enemy warriors, and get lots of soul shards.
-Homgang Fighting(optional and up to the clan if they want to do this contest)
Fighting in Holmgang is exactly the same routine as sieging. Since you are still a featherweight fighter, and only concentrating on defense, stick to defending the forts in Holmgang.
-KvK and KvK:F fighting
I'd not recommend this as a featherweight fighter. You will only get the enemy kingdom more points than you get. You are not quite ready for this yet. It will waste troops that would be better spent getting Jot achievements, and taking part in sieges and Holmgang defenses. We'll get there though.
---------------------------------What to do with soul shards------------------------------
Soul shards will get you two things. Aesirs, and secret knowledge in your oracle. Start with the Aesirs first.
Some Aesirs can only be unlocked with soul shards. You will want to use your soul shards on these first and foremost as their bonuses are greater than what you can get from the secret knowledge in your oracle. A lot greater. Also, once you have enough Aesirs to level 10 you can start working on the Lord of Ghosts achievement. The Lord of Ghosts achievement has confused many a player so I'll give you a quick run down. You will 1, have to look it up in google or refer back to this to find out the right order to summon the Aesirs in for this achievement, and 2, the part that confuses people, will have to summon them rapidly. You can't summon an Earth Aesir, and then 2 hours later summon a fire Aesir, and then 2 hours later summon an Ice Aesir, and expect to get the Lort of Ghosts achievement. You have to summon them rapidly, like within a minute of each other, and you have to summon a final Aesir to finish it off. The final Aesir doesn't have to be level 10, and doesn't have to fit into the pattern of Earth, Fire, Ice, Earth, Fire, Ice, it just has to cancel out the last Aesir you did to complete the achievement.
With your soul shards, the first Aesirs I'd recommend unlocking and maxing out are Honir, Magni, Forseti and Freyer. Those are the four that will help you with your development the most. They all come with some nice standing offense, defense, and health bonuses, but more importantly, if you summon them Honer gives a 30% learning speed increase, Magni gives a 30% building speed increase, Forseti gives a 30% troop training speed increase, and Freyer gives a 40% troop training speed increase. All but Freyer are fairly cheap as far as Aesirs soul shard cost goes. Freyer is pretty expensive on the soul shards but worth it. Also the first three, Honir, Magni, and Forseti can get you Lord of Ghosts level 1 if you rapidly summon them in the right order.
You don't have to unlock all of the Aesirs. Just the ones that will give you relevant defense, health, or offense knowledge that will help you. For example, I don't have Vali because I don't need Vali. It provides no relevant bonuses for me. It will only bloat my influence and give me nothing in return.
As far as the secret knowledge goes in your oracle, you will want to select which one you do first very carefully. Most of these knowledges are not that signifigant of increases. What is signifigant is the troop specific ones towards the bottom of each category. These upgrades will give you the largest offense and defense bonuses out of all of the rest of the categories put together. So, it goes as follows.
The secret attack knowledge has melee offense and defense, and killer offense and defense.
The secret defense knowledge has ranged offense and defense, and cavalry offense and defense.
The secret fortress knowledge has siege offense and defense, and scout offense and defense.
You will want to do the one with your troop type first. So, even if you're a melee player and want to work on your defense stats, it's better to go for the secret attack knowledge first because the melee defense in that is greater than the entire secret defense knowledge combined. Or if you're a ranged player and want to improve your offense, it's better to go for the defense secret knowledge first because the ranged offense will be stronger than the entire secret offense knowledge category combined. This is a mistake many players have made and regret. I got lucky. I happen to be cavalry, and wanted to work on my defense first, so the defense category worked best for me.
It's important to choose the order you do these in wisely because once you start on one, the others get very expensive and time consuming. And once you start on a second one the third and final one gets very very expensive and time consuming. Aside from going for the one with your troop type first, I'd recommend going for the fortress one second, but that is entirely up to you.
Since it takes so long to get all of your Aesirs with soul shards, I'd also recommend doing a lot of if not all of your first secret knowledge category with gold. It's relatively cheap and if you get enough achievements done you can get through all of it with just achievement gold. That way you don't have to wait, and it will get you through some of your Freyas Tears achievements for spending that gold.
------------------------------------Preparing for Phase 5, Middleweight Fiting Division----------------------
In the beginning of this phase I mentioned further upgrades. I mentioned getting to the point where you can train T7's, and also maxing out the knowledges which reduces T7 training cost and time. There is one last achievement to work on while you're in the featherweight defense division. The Bloody Jarl.
It may seem a waste, but you will have to train millions of T7's, and dismiss them. You don't want to hold on to them just yet, as they will bloat your influence, and you want to stay lean and mean so people will be willing to attack you in Jotunheim. This achievement is of the utmost importance to move from featherweight to middleweight fighting. One, it will give you tons of gold. Over 500 million for all 10 levels combined. And two, most importantly, it will give you a 20% troop training speed increase, as well as 20% offense increase against T5's, T6's, and T7's. The importance of that troop training speed up, combined with the troop training speed up of the Need More Warriors achievement can not be overstated. Upper level troops take so long to train, that every training speed up you can get, whether it be from knowledge upgrades, achievements, hero/shaman gear, the Inga the Wise shaman, gems, runes, scrolls, in game bonuses, bonuses from winning CvC's and KvK events, the Bastion of the Beast town skin, and summoning the right Aesirs, will add up and greatly to reduce this time, saving you literally years, decades even, of boosts.
The Bloody Jarl: How many T7's to dismiss to gain each level
It may seem like a daunting task, and a waste, but again, it's worth tons of gold and the bonuses you get are essential to becoming a stronger player. It will also get you further along in your Need More Warriors achievement, and your Jarl Almight achievement.
------------Overview of Phase 4: Defense Fighting(The Featherweight Fighting Division)------------
Here we discussed some further upgrades, but most importantly the processes for doing some productive fighting in Jotunheim, Sieges, and Holmgang, all with the intent of getting soul shards and getting achievements. We discussed what to do with those soul shards and how to best select which special knowledge category to start with. If you're working your way through this Phase you should also get started on some, and maxed on others, of the following achievements: Braveheart, Collector, Freyas Tears, Gladiator, Jarl Almighty, Lord of Ghosts, Need More Warriors, The Bloody Jarl, Troll, and Wolf of Jotunheim.
WHY CAGON WILL BE A GOOD FIT FOR HELPING YOU THROUGH PHASE FOUR
We have members who will join you in Jotunheim to help you get those achievements. We do plenty of sieges. We do some Holmgangs if the clan is feeling up to it. We have guides in our regulations section for the secret achievements to help you through those, so you don't have to google every time you want to upgrade one. Our stronghold will provide you with plenty of fighting bonuses making you stronger without bloating your influence. And we have guides in our regulations section for which invaders drop which gems for gem hunting, and which ubers drop which materials and gems, and a guide for which floors/nodes of helheim drop which scrolls.
Popular consensus has it, and I can confirm, that if you apply your champions stats in helheim in the following ratio, you will get the furthest.
25% strength, 50% agility, 25% intuition, and 0% vitality