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Squire and Countess class extensive guide/Tower effective usage and tips

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All Squire and Countess class extensive guide:
Tower effective usage and tips
By Czokalapik Version:1.0.0


 
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Patch accordition

7.32
Heroes
Squire - Countess


Tower effective usage and tips

Word of introduction

As you will play you will notice that some towers are just not as good at a specific location, or even usless for the whole map. That DUs usage on Squire is overall high, and on some maps you will notice greater need of more defenses than a map allows. Also sometimes towers act totally useless and strange.&nbsp This guide was created for you to know, why, when and how - just that.

Remember that the Squire is a really great builder despite his high DUs usage, slow and situational towers. You just need to know how to use them, and know what to choose at the right moment to farm, play survival, pure strategy, or boost low lvls, or whatever, just to be (at least) good.

General towers, gameplay and mob behavior tips

Aggro

The Throne Room-aggro

Aggro example in The Throne Room using harpoon

In Dungeon Defenders you can notice, that mobs can be steered. That's called aggro - mobs will follow and try to destroy towers that stand on their way, or attack them, even when they are steps away to Crystal. This isn't used too often, as mobs usually are weak, you can solo map, or play it with friends on higher difficulty, but on Nightmare you can use aggro for your advantage.

In some maps this will give you lots of time, the best example is The Throne Room. You can place Harpoons or Bouncing Balls just by bottom crystal on higher level, facing to side corridors. Mobs will walk untill they are hit by harpoon, then will go all the way back and on the steps by spawn point to upper level, again, all the way to the middle just to hit harpoon.

Royal Gardens-fooling-mobs

Fooling mobs using aggro in Royal Gardens

You can also fool mobs using aggro, so they won't attack vurnerable towers, like on Royal Gardens map. Place two bumpers on top of the stairs like on image, and one harpoon on the opposite site (between two plants) so it will shoot almost directly into spawn points. Fun fact is: mobs won't attack harpoon, they first spotted Bumpers (from indoor) and will go for it no matter what.
By the way - better option for this map is to put defenses under the bridge, i'm only showing this example because it's best to demonstrate this "technique".

Another important thing to note about aggro is that it's used in many late game maps, like in Mistymire Forest - putting bouncer on spider's spawn points will prevent them from webbing other defenses, because if bouncer can't kill spider in one hit, spider will go back to bouncer not even looking at other towers.

Who is my ally?

Magus Quarters-squireandmonk

Example of monk and squire effective gameplay

In other words: with what hero i should play?

Earlier there was monk, but there was a patch, and next patch, so now Every support class (monk, series ev, huntress) are great to play with.

Gas Trap / Ensnare Aura

On right image you have example of great Ensnare usage (you can use Gas Trap in similar way). If you will place Ensnare Aura as it is on the picture harpoons will shoot mobs on the stair first, then anything that won't be killed will almost stop on the edge of aura and harpoons will not only shoot it, but they will shoot-and-kill X mobs standing in this point with one or two shots, and will also pierce and kill some more that are on the stairs (ofcourse size of aura have to be adjusted).

Proximity Mine Trap

Damn those kobolds, right? Well, Kobolds are real threat for your Spikes, but they have low hp, i like to use Proximity at Spikes to quickly kill those little kamikaze.

Trash mobs - here other classes shine!

Squire have huge offensive power, but there are other towers that can handle lesser mobs MUCH better than Squire.

First of all - for clearing trash mobs you can use squire's harpoon or cannon on small hallways, where mobs are nicely lined up. But on open spaces there are four main towers to handle lesser mobs MUCH better:

  • Proxomity Mine
  • Inferno Trap
  • Electric Aura
  • Lightning Tower

In my opinion Proximity Mine is one tower that doesn't REQUIRE buffs of guardians or Tower Buff Beam to clear trash mobs, other 3 towers shouls have buffs to do their job.

Series EV

Series really shines, Physical Beam can be used instead of Spike Blockades on wider hallways with lower DU and similar HP, Tower Buff Beam can boost your towers greately, you won't even need Guardians thanks to It.
And of course Reflection Wall in later content will save you from spider webs.

Have second Squire builder with Tower HP (Or Series EV)!

Another thing i reccomend is having second Squire/Countess builder focused only on towers health (Or Series EV).

After i've created good items set and started harder survivals i suddenly felt how low hp my Spike blockades have. So i equipped my Squire with Tower HP items (while myCountess got Tower DMG/Rate/Range + some hp set). It was a relief, Spikes had almost 50% health more, ogres had problems with destroying them, and i had more time to repair them on survivals.

Remember that having Tower Health alt hero is useful pretty much only in late late late game. Personnaly i bought items that could go to 360 Tower HP upgraded (2700 overall, that's Spike with ~200k hp fully upped on Nightmare) after i got 2200+ Tower Damage items on my main builder.

Series EV or Squire for Walls?

It's pretty simple, Series EV will have more Thp thanks to second weapon slot, but still Squire will have higher hp Spike than 2-3DU Physical Wall, but if you have to place wider wall Series will almost always be better.

So when you should use Series?

  • Just put something to stop those little mobs on small hallway: Use 1DU App's magic blockade or 2DU SEV's Physical Wall
  • 3DU-wide hallway, what should i build? When there is a threat like ogres or ninjas - use Spike Blockade, but if you just need to stop lesser enemies put whatever you like, even 2DU Physical Wall will be good as it will aggro mobs to itself.
  • Wide hallway: If there is lots of ninjas i'd reccomend using 2-3 Spike Blockades, they will be more resistant as only one of them will get hit, but if Ogres are rushing on your walls it's better to use Physical Wall - you will save DU and there is no point in building Spikes as they would get damaged almost equally from Ogre's swings.

In conclusion

I have all that classes leveled up equally and i use them equally often.

For example this is how you can use all above combined: http://ddplanner.com/?l=4965,support-classes

Every hero is good, you will need trap or dps hunt one day, or tower app, but if you play, try to do it with monk at start, or lvl up monk yourself, also i strongly recommend lvling up Trap Huntress and Series EV, in late game survivals those are often used more than Aura Monk.

Other tips

  • General tip is that you can damage mobs while they are in spawn area, but only ranged (wizards and archers), melee will become killable after few minutes in spawn area. Placing Harpoon directly infront of spawn point can help in Insane (or lower) survival games where most of the time mobs spawn from only one point in bulk, and often can't walk out of it because they block eachother. But you need decent tower range, so that melee mobs won't be hitting it from spawn circle. Also Ogres will probably destroy it, so take it into your consideration, put it on another floor, or block it with bouncer or blockade if you have to. Only harpoon can do this, because only harpoon can pierce targets (cannonball can do this, but less efficient).
Aura placement

Example of good and bad monk-squire cooperation.

  • Teach your friends to cooperate with you! As i mentioned earlier Monks Ensnare Aura (and of course Strength Drain Aura) is your best friend, but most of the time Monks will put it too close or too far of defenses, they will make it too big or too small. Teach them how to do this! For example when you don't need to remove elemental affinity of monsters, but you only need to weaken them with Str Drain Aura. On the right image you have two examples how to do this so SDA won't be eating too much HP handling much less mobs:
    • first showing, that Ensnare aura have to be bigger and further away your defence because it will slow all mobs in range of harpoons/cannons, but Str Drain aura have to be smaller, so it will only affect ogres and some minor mobs that weren't killed. Str Drain looses HP much faster than Ensnare, even when affecting same amout of monsters, so don't waste it's precious HP.
    • second showing that auras can't be too big. Aura reaching further than your defenses can reach will only take too much dmg from too many mobs and will drain too much HP.

What and when

Path width and towers to use

So, i find it convenient to split hallways into 3 groups:

  • Small, where you can place only one spike blockade (long stairs leading to crystal on Magus Quarters map)
  • Medium, where you can place 2-3 blockades (stair on the sides of bottom crystal on Hall of Court map)
  • Wide, where 4+ blockades are needed (bottom stair by the ogre spawn point on The Summit map)

Small

I always tend to use Harpoons in those small hallways, they do 300% of their job, killing whole line of mobs with one or two shots. Cannons there are just much less efficient, they will do dmg, bigger dmg than in wider corridors, but still it will be much less than harpoon. Exception for this rule are paths with stairs like in The Ramparts. Just left from the middle Crystal there are little stairs down, and back top. Harpoons wouldn't hit so many mobs there, they won't be in nice straight line, so instead of harpoons i put Cannons in such situations.

Harpoons shouldn't be distracted if you like them to focus only specific choke point.

Medium

In medium hallways it depends on map and mobs, but most of the times i try to use Cannon and Harpoons mix. Cannons deal massive damage in totally random way by bouncing from walls or mobs, and harpoons just do their job. For example in Glitterhelm Caverns on bottom right side of the map i always put bouncer just after turn left from spawn point, after it 2 Cannons and one Harpoon. Harpoon ofcourse will do huge damage when mobs will come out, but cannon balls will bounce from the wall and turn right, into pack of mobs still hiding from harpoons sight, so some of mobs won't even use health of my Ensnare aura placed at bumper before the curve in corridor.
{C Also you need to remember that in medium and wide hallways mobs won't attack any tower placed directly in the middle, unless it will damage them. They will just try to go beside it. So those are perfect spots to put SnD, only ogres will stop to harm it in medium paths (in wide hallways they will also try to walk by it) and rest of mobs will get sliced.

You will notice than in some maps, more than others, Cannonballs will do much better damage than Harpoons. For example in Endless Spires you have 3 major choke points, one top, and two in the middla of the map, left and right. Those two middle stairs are almost perfect for 3-4 cannonballs layout, they will wipe out anything that moves much better than harpoons (haproons can be good there, when you have Ensnare Aura placed like in 4th image in this article - Magus quarters). Why only almost perfect? because they can't bounce off the wall, they will drop off the ledge.

The Summit-nuke-point

Creating nuke point in The Summit

Wide

So, wide paths now. Bottom stairs in The Summit is best example here. When you put SnD in the middle of the stairs, even ogres will walk by it, and smaller mobs won't even get hit because hey will walk too far on the stairs edges. But you can use it as your advantage!

Like on image on right you can put SnD in the middle, then add two bumpers or blockades like shown on image, and add harpoons behind them (or cannons). Most of mobs will be constantly damaged by Slice, will stop on bumper and get kicked on Slicer or bottom of the stairs (or most likely killed) and harpoons will help with ogres attacking bumpers.

And the fun part i used to call creating "a nuke point".
Add 3 or 4 Cannons on upper floor. cannons will drop down and land somewhere on the top line of the stairs, then bouncing on mobs heads. Add Ensnare aura (not too low, you don't want it to loose too much hp by handling too many mobs), and dinner is served! Nuke point created, marry xmass!

Wyverns and Squire's anti-air

There are 3 things you should know by now if you are playing Squire:

  1. Wyverns are hard to kill by squire, they can spawn too randomally: FALSE
  2. Squire's only anti-air are Harpoons: FALSE
  3. Squire has bad anti-air overall: FALSE

Ok, one by one.

ad 1. This is semi true, Wyverns spawn randomally ONLY when they spawn in bulks, but still in same spawn point, just not the exact same spot, it can bee little left, or little right). So you can alway predict where they will appear.

2012-01-14 00008

Unusual Anti-Air in The Throne Room.

ad2. Nope, Squire's... everything can be used as anti-air, it is just map dependant.
For example on The Ramparts map you can place SnD on the middle of the roof to kill every wyvern flying by (still - on higher levels, or in Death From Above SnD alone won't be enough).
You can also place two Bumpers right by the top crystal in The Throne Room because wyverns will fly lower to the crystal (and only to the top one if they weren't targeting any defenses or players damaging them on the way), and stop on anything close by that deals dmg to them, and this anything is Bumper, so they will catch it's aggro and won't harm crystal.

ad3. Squire has good anti air, harpoons pierce targets, so they can kill multiple wyverns from one shot. And after some patches they are targeting predicted position of enemy.

2012-01-14 00010

Glitterhelm Caverns Harpoons layout

One more example of placing towers, this time normal harpoons, but in minimalistic form in Glitterhelm Caverns. When i've tried couple of ways to lay harpoons i have failed many times, but once i've managed it - 3 harpoons, 18 DUs and perfect anti-air. All the wyvern will always fly in harpoons way.

When placing harpoons, don't ever let them to target anything else if map is swarming with wyverns. Harpoon have to face their flight path all the time to be most effective, and trust me, with arrows that pierce targets it will be effective.
Remember, that not only harpoons can guard you from air attacks, be creative!

Bouncer, Spike Blockade or Slicer?

If you are, without much thought, placing "best" of melee towers (SnD is considered best for many) you are doing it wrong. Spikes and Bouncers are really underestimated by many players, don't make same mistake.

Like i said before SnD is best in wide and medium corridors, it's a little stronger than bouncer, but have about 75% spike blockade's HP and it doesn't have bouncer defense from melee (like the name, bounce off).
So in my opinion SnD should only be used in wide corridors, sometimes it's good for wyverns.

So main problem is Bouncer/Blockade. Bouncer does about 2-3 times as much dmg as blockade, and it doesn't have to be targetted to dmg mobs, but it have about 1/4 less HP.
First things first. Use Blockade for ogres spawn points, or just if you want to block something for less DU and you don't need so much damage there. Blockade is strong, does nice damage and can stand against ogres.
Bouncer on the other hand can be used for different reasons. Say you want more damage on certain spot, and you are sure you are strong enough for your defenses to hold against mobs, ofcourse answer is Bouncer. Also while blockade blocks small corridors fully, bouncer doesn't, so mobs will first try to walk beside it while it will do it's job. Use it when you think mobs won't reach your cannons or harpoons.

Some interesting tips about Bouncer and Spike Blockade

Bouncer - often used to guard Spider's Spawn points, it can one-hit spider, and later, even with more hits required, spiders once damaged by bouncer will return to it, killing themselves. That prevents defenses from being webbed. At the moment it's one of most effective ways to deal with spiders. Remember that spider that can't return to bouncer if not one-hitted because of environment, too long distance or defenses blocking way it will attack closest defense, so make sure to position bouncer so spiders won't have problems with returning to it.

2012-02-18 00002

Using two spike blockades to block wider corridor.

Spike Blockade - It's 3 DU, but to block wider corridor you dont have to use 9 DU and put 3 spikes, sometimes two will be enough, sometimes instead of two one will be enough. It's because Spike Blockade is huge, game object that creates it is big box that you can rotate to increase it's effectiveness.

For example on right you have two Spike Blockades placed on bottom Mistymire Forest bridge, rotated they are taking more place blocking path that normally would require 3 Spikes.

Remember that it needs testing! When you will place blockades in such way jump over to be in front of Spikes and try to walk through them, on right, middle, left. If you can't - ogre won't be able to. But important thing is that Kobolds CAN squeeze between Spikes where ogre can't.

Spikes

3 spikes

Also one important thing about Spikes is that when you build them not skewed like in picture above, but in straight line, like on image on right with some off towers behind spikes Ogres won't hit Blockades, or won't hit them for a while if damage from towers behind are bigger and done earlier than Spike's damage.

After some observations and testing i think it's just matter of simple aggro. For example if you will build blockades backwards, so spikes won't be facing ogre you don't even have to have offensive towers behind, ogre will try to go to you if you are close enough. And when he will start hitting Barricades one or two hits from hero will again couse him to stand in place.

Also Kobols sometimes try to find a way between Spikes when they are built in straight line without exploding on impact (eventually they'll explode, but some of them will stand in front of Barricades for some time before they do).


Environment is your ally

Dundef

Bouncing enemies off the ledge

Dropping enemies can be greately "exploited" (in a good way, no rule breaking ofcourse). On the image on the right there's an example of showing mobs "new way they can go", in other words bouncer can drop enemy off the ledge, here you have example on how it's done in Castle Armory. Bouncer placed here will drop any enemy off to the rest, where other defenses are doing their job. And as mentioned earlier you don't have to worry about ogres if you will place your harpoon/cannon on lower level to catch ogres aggro.

That is only one example, there are many other ways and many maps where this can be used, but as you can see you can save lots of DUs thanks to this tower.

Some other finishing tips, finally word about Cannons

So, that's pretty much all i can say about Squire tips. Remember that every tower can be used to 200% of its potential or more.

But as a finishing word i will say something about Cannons, because i left them without word, and words are worth here.

You should know by now, that squire's towers have shortest range, ot at least THEY said that (majority i mean). Nothing more wrong if you can use them like you should.

Endless Spires HCNM-farm

HC NM Endless Spires Squire/Countess farm.

Cannons have biggest range, and cannon balls will roll untill they will collide with someting and brake. How do you use it? Go to Endless Spires and put on both left and right stairs two cannonballs facing south. They will shoot cannons when something comes close, but, if some balls will miss they will roll TO THE END OF THE MAP!

And the fun part about it is that also Wyverns flying above Cannons will trigger them to shoot.

On right you have map layout for using cannons like this (that's layout for soloing Endless Spires NM HC i used before Djinn patch).

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