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View Full Version : H7 line-ups first impressions



ZergRusher
03-23-2015, 01:19 PM
In this thread i'd like to post my first impressions of the H7 line-ups. I will try to write about each of the faction but i can't promise i will have the time to do so. Please note that I’m exclusively a duels player and I stopped playing maps so my perspective on the issue may differ from players that enjoy a normal, map mode. Also i cannot stress this enough that those are only first impressions and nothing is set in stone - the game is in alfa stage and everything may change.

Anyway, without further ado:


Haven Line-up


Core Creatures


MARKSMAN

Abilities: Piercing Shot

Very similar to H6 Marksman and I expect similar stats. I’m really glad that they left the Armor Piercing (H6)/Precise Shot (H5) ability and stayed with Piercing Shot (Piercing Bolt in H6 – the ability to shot through multiple units, including friendly ones). Armor Piercing was really strong because it allowed to target enemy shooters and kill them quicker while defending your archers turtle-style. Piercing Shot punishes camping which is a good design in my opinion. Probably will have no range penalty (although I would prefer if they get it – to prevent camping strategy) rather small defense and initiative.

SILVERBACK

Abilities: Unlimited Retaliation, Feral Charge

Wolf Duchy’s equivalent of a Griffin, Silverbacks has unlimited retaliation. The other ability, Feral Charge will probably work as activated ability that gives you a bonus to damage (and maybe even movement) but will lower your defense until his next turn. I hope he will have high initiative to take advantage of the Feral Charge – you use the wait command and then attack at the end the turn to move him again in the beginning of the next turn so your opponent cannot take full advantage of decreased defense. With low initiative using his ability might become too risky. Also the 2 abilities doesn’t really synergize since Unlimited Retaliation is defensive and works best in a blocker while Feral Charge is offensive.

LEGIONNAIRE

Abilities: Shielding

H7 equivalent of H6 Praetorian Or H5 Squire – basic defensive tank unit with appropriate ability. I guess it will work in similar fashion as Shieldguard from H6 (When an enemy attacks an adjacent friendly stack, 35% of damage is dealt to the creature with 25% reduced effect.). Those kind of units shine in PvP duel format but are rather irrelevant in map scenarios when most duels are fought against neutral creep. My only reservation is that they incentivized turtling strategies in H6 and the same might occur in H7.

Elite Creatures


CUIRASSIER

Abilities: Charge, Bash

Standard horseman that has always been a backbone of Haven striking force. I expect overall good stats. The first ability, Charge will probably increase damage by 5-10% per each tile crossed when attacking. The second ability Bash is quite interesting. It probably won’t activate if you don’t charge – meaning you don’t move a tile when attacking. But when you do move – the enemy creature will be pushed away (I guess 1-2 tiles away from the direction of the attack) and will be stunned (decrease in initiative?). Please note that Bash means that Cuirassiers are practically immune to retaliation.

JUSTICAR

Abilities: Cleave, Opportunity Retaliation

They remind me of Crusaders from H3. Her first ability, Cleave, is basically Double Strike but there is a condition in the description: when in favourable situation. It might imply that Cleave activates only in certain situations (we saw a similar mechanics in H6 Crusher’s ability: Assault). I’d prefer if this was simply a flavorful wording and that the ability activates every time to make it more predictable and easier to learn. As always, I expect the retaliation to occur after the first strike. The second ability, Opportunity Retaliation, might be similar to Shield Bash from H6 ( When a friendly stack is attacked, the creature gets a free attack on the attacker if it is in range). Since they feel like glass cannons of Haven’s armies it might be a good idea to position them close to Legionnaires.

ABBOT

Abilities: Aura of Cleansing, Ranged Retaliation

Pretty standard Haven unit, Zealot from H3 or Inquisitor from H5. Not sure how Aura of Cleansing is supposed to work. Apparently units adjacent to Abbot will be dealt reduced damage either from creatures or spells. I don’t know if it’s a proper interpretation since it seems to duplicate Legionnaires’ Shielding ability. Second ability: Ranged Retaliation may allow Abbots to win range duels. I expect No Melee Penalty (same as Zealots and Inquisitors) so Haven player doesn’t have to focus on protecting their shooters and play more open style of battle.

Champion Creatures


SWORDMASTER

Abilities: Sweep, Indomitable

In H2 we have already seen humans as tier 7 units – Crusaders. Sweep attack will probably work similar to the same ability in Duel of Champions – Swordmaster attacks not only the targeted unit but also each adjacent to him in the attack line. I have no idea what Indomitable does but I can venture a guess: I think he will be immune to mind related effects. Frankly speaking they don’t look to me as a champion unit so I expect higher weekly growth.

CELESTIAL

Abilities: Aura of Purity, Resurrection

Since H3 I have always associated Haven with Angels so they are the proper champion unit to me. Some key characteristics such as overall high stats and steady damage will probably remain unchanged. In H6 duel format, Haven armies were overly reliant on Angels, mostly thanks to their faction ability (Guardian Angel) . I’d prefer to see the power to be more evenly divided across units in H7. Celestial’s first ability Aura of Purity, protects versus enemy effects and abilities – so I guess it will apply Absolute Purity to Celestial and each adjacent unit. It’s another ability that supports camping strategy. Second ability is standard and found in every upgraded Angel unit: Resurrection. I expect Resurrection to work like heal as well but with a weaker effect than when actually resurrecting a deceased unit.


Thoughts on the whole army


Overall I have rather mixed feelings. The are 2 issues I'm especially worried about: abundance of melee units and camping strategy.


Too many melee units. Haven has lost their maneuverability that they usually had because of flyers. Especially in H6 maneuverability was a huge asset of Haven (Haven had Griffins and Sun Riders with special ability to turn into light and ride through obstacles). Please remember, that in H7 there will be obstacles on the battlefield so an army with so many melee units might become very clunky. If you go for a Swordmaster route, siege battles might become a nightmare. To compensate it, Swordmasters weekly growth has to be significantly stronger (than flying Celestials) which might be hard to balance. I recommend that Silverbacks get a passive ability that allows them to jump over obstacles and maybe even clamber on a castle gate.

Turtling seems like a viable strategy. With so many abilities that work with adjacent units and relatively strong shooters plus traditional healing and defensive abilities of Haven, camping in the corner seems to be the most straightforward option. Just imagine the line Justicar. Legionnaire and Angel in front of the shooters. It will be really hard to break. Of course it’s just early impression but I think they need to make sure that this won’t occur in online battles because playing as and especially against turtling player isn't fun.

Necropolis line-up


Core Creatures


Skeleton Hoplite

Abilities: Undead

It’s almost a vanilla creature since it’s hard to perceive Undead as an ability. Since there is nothing to write about I will use this opportunity to describe undead. Undead are immune to poison, mind effects, fear, and morale effects. Negative light spells are more effective on the creature while supportive spells won't affect it, except for healing spells that damage it instead of healing it. Those are pretty standard H6 mechanics. We still need to know how much more effective are light spells. In H6 it was 20% more damage (+20% to undead, +10% to demons and orcs) and I’d expect a similar multiplayer. Probably we will see a numerous weekly growth and mediocre stats.

Banshee

Abilities: Undead, Vigilance

It’s a little bit weird to see the Ghost unit from Necropolis without some form of Incorporeal ability. I guess they will simply add lots of HP or strengthen defense of the unit to compensate which I think is the correct approach. There’s no need to introduce a new ability that can be represented in stats even if it adds more flavor to the unit. Thanks to her second ability, Vigilance, Banshee can never be flanked. However as far as I know, flanking doesn’t have a huge impact since it’s been toned down (apparently was too strong in flyers and teleporters - read more here (https://mmh7.ubi.com/en/blog/post/view/battles-in-heroes-vii )) so I don’t envisage Vigilance being important. Practically it’s another vanilla creature, probably a defensive flyer.

Death Spider

Abilities: Undead, Withering Venom

Spiders are a new introduction to the Necropolis line-up which bothers some people. I don’t mind them – the spider cult was part of Necromancy for a long time and you can see a lot of spiders and Namtarus in other games of the franchise (like Might&Magic: Duel of Champions). They look like a melee unit (at least from the animation but they might be shooters as well – spiders were shooters in M&M: DoC) with damage over time (DoT) ability: Withering Venom (probably it will be a passive ability that activates at every attack but it might require some activation and have its own cool-time ). I don’t understand why they are undead though.

Elite Creatures


Vampire Knight

Abilities: Undead, Vigilance, Life Drain

Very similar to their H6 counterpart in design and I also expect similar abilities. I think they will be a teleporter with above average stats, rather defensive. Apart from being undead they have their signatory Life Drain (Life Drain won’t work on Undead) that should prolong their “life” on the battleground and Vigilance that prevents them to be flanked. In the previous installments Vampires usually had some immunity to retaliation. Hard to say if this will be implemented in H7 as well.

Note: Remember that they promised to change the animations of Vampire Knight and Lich - source (https://mmh7.ubi.com/en/blog/post/view/necropolis-update-important-information)


Archlich

Abilities: Undead, Staff of Disruption

Possibly the only shooters in the Necropolis roster. The artwork is, like Vampire’s, “borrowed” from H6 with few improvements. Archliches have an interesting ability, Staff of Disruption that reduces enemy defense in the targeted area. As far as I understand the ability is an active one (there is “can” in the description) so probably you will have to choose between dealing damage and debuffing enemies. The problem is that Liches were always heavy damage dealers and it’s fair to assume offensive stats as well so it might be hard to sacrifice their attack and weaken enemy defenses instead.
Note: Remember that they promised to change the animations of Vampire Knight and Lich

Note: Remember that they promised to change the animations of Vampire Knight and Lich - source (https://mmh7.ubi.com/en/blog/post/view/necropolis-update-important-information)

Plague Lamasu

Abilities: Undead, Aura of Pestilance

We know Lamasu from H6 and not much has changed. The description of its ability is a bit confusing to me. The pestilence is immediately causing loss of speed and strength, and soon the pain is taking its toll. If you read it carefully you can deduct that the Aura of Pestilance activates immediately when an enemy creature is adjacent to Lamasu while in H6 the aura was applied only during Lamasu’s turn. Also the part soon the pain is taking its toll might indicate damage over time. I can only speculate now so I guess we have to wait and see how the ability really works.

Champion Creatures


Grim Reaper

Abilities: Undead, Nightmarish Presence, Fatal Strike

LotR inspired compilation of Death Knight and Wraith feels very climatic to me as a H3 Necro fan. Reapers have 2 abilities. The first, Nightmarish Presence will probably be similar to Black Dragon’s Terrifying Presence (H6) – reduction in morale for adjacent creatures (alternatively a chance for an enemy unit to skip a turn). The second ability, Fatal Strike, sounds like Mighty Gordon’s Death Gaze – a chance to kill one top creature of the attacked stack (H3 - 10% to kill 1 top creature of enemy stack per a Mighty Gorgon, capped at 1 per 10 MG) which would make Grim Reapers a perfect counter to enemy champions.

Spectral Dragon

Abilities: Undead, Soul Flaying Breath, Soul Reaver

Bone Dragons have always been the weakest out of the strongest units. I would expect that, once again, the stats will be rather sub-par compared to other champions and they will compensate with abilities. Soul Flaying Breath seems to be another debuffing effect, probably a passive one that will reduce max HP from adjacent enemy units. The second ability (third if you count Undead), Soul Reaver, allows you to get additional mana from the Dragon’s attacks. The ability indicates that Spectral Dragons might be more useful when choosing the magic path for your hero. Of course as Dragons they will be flyers.


Thoughts on the whole army


Overall the line-up looks dull. There are only a couple of creatures with interesting abilities and most of them are some kind of health/defense debuff (Liches, Lamasus, Dragons). One would expect those abilities on supporting units but Liches, traditionally Necropolis damage dealers, also perform as debuffers. This might make it harder to exploit the synergy between weakening enemies and then killing them. Passive abilities such as Undead and Vigilance doesn’t really add much to the gameplay (especially that we know that Flanking won’t give a powerful bonus).

The good news is that the line-up is no longer shooter-centric as it was the case with H6 where Skeletons, Liches and Weavers decimated you from afar. This led to turtling strategies that weren’t fun to play as and were frustrating to play against.

Necropolis is traditionally a defensive faction with rather slow units and sub-par initiative (how much speed or ini can an undead unit have after all). Flyers and teleporters in H7 will be a tad stronger than they look on paper thanks to flanking and there are 2-3 of them in the line-up (3 if you choose to play with Dragons).

I was hoping to see the Namtaru’s ability to switch forms in H7 since I believe it was a great idea that incentivized to open up and fight in the middle of the battlefield and not just hide your shooters in the corner. Sadly, the function hasn’t been utilized yet and, seeing the M&M team cutting corners, I’m afraid that we won’t have it since it’d require two creature models instead of one.

Academy Line-up

Core Creatures


MASTER CABIR

Abilities: Immune to Fire, Vulnerable to Water, Soldering Hands

Cabirs are the new Gremlins. Basic Academy shooters with 3 abilities. Cabirs are immune to fire which should synergies with spell heavy style of the faction. Opponents need to be wary of this ability and not clamp up their units around Cabir. Since they are fire spirits they are vulnerable to Water (I expect 25% more damage from water spells – there’s a similar ability in H6 – Vulnerability to Air and the modifier is 25%). I’m not the biggest fan of such abilities since they are too narrow and don’t matter in most matchups. The last ability is the most interesting – Soldering Hands allow them to repair construct creatures: Gargoyles, Golems and Colossus. We saw this ability in H5 and the rate was 5HP per Goblin and I think we can see a very similar ratio. Since they are shooters the tradeoff between repairing and dealing damage may actually become too big and we may rarely see the ability being used.

PS: Cabir plushie anyone?

OBSIDIAN GARGOYLE

Abilities: Construct, Magic Immunity

The design of the H7 Gargoyles looks much better than gravestone/toilet seat H5 ones although magic can only explain how they fly with such wings. They are the first Construct creature from Academy and as such they cannot be healed or resurrected (only repaired). They also have Magic Immunity so learning area of effect spells seems to be a great idea if you’re playing as Wizards.

SANDSTONE GOLEM

Abilities: Construct, Unfettered

The second construct creatures, Golems have always been melees with lots of defense and HP. Their ability Unfettered prevents the opponent from decreasing his initiative or speed. To be honest I don’t think that this ability will prove useful since Academy has 3 shooters and Golems are a defensive unit so speed and initiative isn’t that important especially when Golems usually have those stats rather low. So far we haven’t seen many abilities that interacts with initiative and speed which further weakens the ability, which would be fairly useful in H6. I predict that they will be used to shield shooters, especially Cabirs.

Elite Creatures


DJINN CHANNELER

Abilities: Mana Drain, Immune to Prime, Magic Touch

Djinns belongs to Academy and it’s good to see them in H7 as well. They are probably a flyer but it’s hard to confirm from animation with high speed and initiative and rather poor stats. The unit has 3 abilities. Mana Drain allows them to “drain” mana from enemies and channel it to your hero. Not sure whether they will steal mana from enemy heroes (there was such an ability in H6 – mana leech and the rate was 4% of enemy hero man pool) or get it by attacking enemy creatures. Djinns are also Immune to Prime. Not sure how useful is this ability since as far as I know prime doesn’t have area of effect spells (Implosion is the strongest damage dealing spell from prime) but it still prevents enemy Slow. On the other hand with Golem’s and Djinn’s immunities I don’t think that your enemy will cast mass slow on you. I don’t know if they are immune to friendly prime spells like Haste. Finally the Magic Touch allows them to cast a random spell on an enemy creature. We don’t know if this is a passive ability that activates on attacked creature or is it an active that allows to cast a random spell on target stack.

RAKSHASA RAJA

Abilities: No Retaliation, Sweep

The Rakshasas looks much better as Beatmen than in H5 blue Spirit form. Those melee “cats” will probably have offensive stats which synergize with their abilities. They are immune to retaliation and have Sweep (they will attack every enemy creature in the attack line). Sweep will force the opponent not to clamp up his units but to disperse them. It’s hard for me to predict their initiative. Rakshasas are swift creatures but I don’t think that speed and ini will be particularly high – rather standard for elites.

DISCIPLE

Abilities: Piercing Shot, Nova

H7 version of an Archmage, Disciple is a standard magic shooter (and a flyer apparently) in Academy. They always have high damage and rather low HP. As far as I remember , they are large creature so it won’t be easy to protect them. They have 2 anti-turtling abilities. I support as many camping counter measures as possible but I feel like those abilities should be spread among units and not dedicated to one. Anyway, Piercing Shot allows them to pierce through multiple units. Right now I don’t know if this include friendly unit but I hope so because in this way the ability requires adequate positioning. The second ability, Nova is some kind of a Fireball which should be super effective against clusters of units. The magic carpet may indicate that they will be Mobile Shooters (an interesting ability from H6 that allows shooter to move and then shoot).

Champion Creatures

SIMURGH
Abilities: Arcane Wings, Magic Catalyst
New take on a Phoenix? Simurghs are flyers that facilitate your hero magic thanks to their abilities. It’s not easy to decipher the meaning of Arcane Wings but it will probably prolong negative effects on enemy units close to Simurghs so it has some synergy with the Djinn’s ability to cast a random negative spell. Their second ability, Magic Catalyst is an amplifier for spells. There was a similar ability in H6 – Heart of Darkness (each Black Dragon increases the damage and duration of all Darkness abilities by 0.5%, up to a maximum of 5% - a very small buff) but I predict a stronger impact than it was in H6.

TITAN
Abilities: Construct, Magic Absorption
We have already seen Titans as the best creature in Academy in H3 and H5. Possibly the strongest shooter in the game, they have only one ability apart from being a construct (not counting no melee penalty): Magic Absorption. According to the description they absorb part of magical attacks or spells to improve their own attacks. Since I don’t recall such an ability in the previous installments I can only venture a guess that when the Titan is damaged by a creature or spell it gets a bonus to his next attack.

Thoughts on the whole army

Academy line-up is really offensive with 2-3 shooters, no retaliation and Sweep Rakshasas and 2-3 Flyers. The only defensive unit is a Golem. Offensive units are much stronger with high initiative since striking the first blow is twice as important.

A lot of units have some sort of magic immunity which synergize with mass removals and area of effect spells. I’m a little bit concerned about Armageddon strategy when Academy heroes starts the game with Armageddon (2 creatures are immune) or play the spell at some point – this has to be balanced properly so Academy cannot start with it and can only punish the opponent if he doesn’t target Armageddon immune creatures.

Anytime when you have a faction with 3 shooters one has to be anxious about camping. Turtling seems like a viable options – hide your shooters behind Golems and Rakshasas, boost them with Djinns and decimate enemy stacks from afar with no retaliation creatures and magic. Such a strategy might become really boring to play against (we’ve seen it in H6 Necropolis).

I have one last worry, although a small one. High number of Immune to Retaliation creatures might be problematic for some races. For example, some tactics might boost retaliation damage and Academy line-up might make those strategies irrelevant.


Stronghold Line-up


Core Creatures
-------------------------
Crusher
Abilities: Demonic Lineage, Unfettered
Basic melee walker. The artwork has very strong desert, Arabic feel and takes inspiration from a Duel of Champions card Sahaar Brute. Demonic Lineage gives them resistance to fire (but not immunity) and vulnerability to light magic. It’s hard to predict the correct multipliers but in H6 it was 10%. Their ability Unfettered (same as Golems from Academy) prevents the opponent from decreasing his initiative or speed. I don’t know how strong this ability is since Stronghold has 3 shooters (+ Harpies that have Strike and Return) and may decide to play defensively. A shield may indicate rather defensive stats (compared to other Stronghold units).

Fury
Abilities: Strike and Return, No Retaliation
Exactly the same as H6 equivalent but this time the scantily clad bird-lady is actually a tad of a looker. From the released images we know that they have high Initiative. Thanks to Strike and Return and No Retaliation they work as shooters and in H7, because of flanking, they might actually be better than shooters. I suspect a rather fragile body but decent damage.

Gnoll Hunter
Abilities: Opportunity Shot
Goblin replacements - core shooters probably with a range penalty. I have really hard time deciphering their ability: Opportunity Shot (If one of their allies is attacking, they always try to use the opening to throw a dagger in the flank of the targeted foe). It may activate only in limited range around Gnoll Hunters. I’d expect low defense/HP and relatively high initiative (but not as high as Harpy).

Elite Creatures
-------------------------

Centaur Marauder
Abilities: Mobile Shooter, Maneuver
It’s almost the same as it’s H6 counterpart which is fine since H6 Centaurs design was pretty good. Centaur Marauders will be able to move and shoot and move back and then retaliate (providing that there is space to move back – if not they will simply retaliate probably by kicking the enemy unit and dealing half damage because of melee penalty).

Venomous Wyvern
Abilities: Regeneration, Resistance to Earth, Acid Breath
A new take on H5 Foul Wyvern. While the artwork is great, the model looks kinda like a diminutive dragon. I really don’t like the Regeneration ability. In maps this may encourage players to send them towards enemy and then at the end of the battle use end turn to heal them up in order to avoid loses – a very boring and repetitive gameplay. In duel mode this ability shouldn’t be that strong since at certain point one should be able to target the unit down and not allow to take advantage of regeneration. In any ways, Regeneration is better on defensive units and I don’t think that Wyvern will be such. Resistance to Earth gives some protection from spells of this school. Again it’s hard to predict the exact modifier. The last ability: Acid Breath is a simple damage over time. In H6, DoT was usually 20% of normal attack and lasted 2-3 turns.

Basilist Lancer
Abilities: Petrification, Long Range
We had a very similar unit in H5 – Dark Rider. Apparently a Goblin is riding a lizard-like Basilisk. Petrification seems like an active ability that gives you a chance to turn an enemy creature into stone. Long Range is probably a passive ability that allows Riders to avoid retaliation when attacking a “medium” creature. Since we don’t have “medium” as a size I think it means a 1x1 creature and not large, 2x2 ones.

Champion Creatures
-------------------------

Enrage Cyclops
Abilities: Demonic Lineage, Sweeping Bash, Fiery Eye
The first Stronghold Champions doesn’t differ much from its H6 self. Demonic Lineage gives them resistance to fire and vulnerability to light magic. Sweeping Bash is, I think, an activated ability (possibly with a cooldown) and should effect friendly creatures as well. Fiery Eye makes him a shooter, maybe with a range penalty. In H6 creature that took range damage from Cyclops they also got Damage over Time effect – Burning Rage. It’s hard to say if Fiery Eye will also include some DoT effects.

Ancient Behemoth
Abilities: Piercing Claws, Mighty Pounce
Behemoths come as a bow towards old fans of the series. They look like a white King Kongs with tusks. Piercing Claws reduce the defense of enemy units when Behemoths attack them (in H3 the reduction was huge – 80%, making Ancient Behemoths stronger in 1v1 duel than Archangels). Mighty Pounce is an activated ability (hard to tell if there will be any cooldown but I’d expect one – sth like 3 turns). A similar ability can be found in H6 (Crushing Leap +5% per each tile jumped and area of effect damage, leap cannot be longer than twice the creature movement).

Thoughts on the whole army
-------------------------

First thing that comes to my mind is that I don’t see obvious synergies in the line-up. Maybe between Gnoll and Harpy (you attack to expose enemy to flanking attack by Gnolls). 2-3 shooters and Harpies will probably make Stronghold player to stay back and wait for the enemy to come to them under heavy fire. There is a lot of No Retaliation abilities in Stronghold and in H7 (which makes Ulimited Retaliation very weak – Silverback)

Thorssen64
04-24-2015, 08:10 PM
Those are just numbers. Until you see how they work out in game that's all they are. Who knows which stats or abilities are the most important until you see how it all fits together?

ZergRusher
04-30-2015, 08:05 AM
Those are just numbers. Until you see how they work out in game that's all they are. Who knows which stats or abilities are the most important until you see how it all fits together?

Of course i admit that i'm only speculating and, as i said in the begining, those are only first impressions but it's not really about the numbers. Some things are quite obvious and won't change even when adjusting stats of creatures like possibility of camping or lack of synergies in Necro's army.

Lord-Khanival
04-30-2015, 04:33 PM
Necropoils creatures have to rely on various abilities, magic, necromancy and sheer numbers rather than raw power, speed, initiative or multiple strikes (morale). In H6 they were admittedly too strong