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Note: This is only a guide; ultimately, the decision on how to skill your characters is completely up to you and how you want to play the game. This simply provides a rough blue-print for the main builds.
There is currently a maximum total of 650 skill points that can be placed into your character, with a maximum of 180 points into any one of 10 skills. If at any time you wish to swap the focus of your build, you can respec your character for the price of 100,000 mana after talking with the Tavernkeep.
There are three basic builds: Hero, Tower, and Hybrid.
- A Hero build focuses on the Hero's stats (Surprise surprise); this could be for damage OR for health (Such as for a tank).
- A Tower build will focus on tower stats; You can have well rounded towers, or specialize one or two of the towers' aspects.
- A Hybrid build has a little bit of both.
The different stats are:
- Hero - Health, Damage, Movement Speed and Casting Rate
- Hero Abilities
- Tower - Health, Damage, Range and Rate of Fire.
A majority of Hero builds focus on one thing - Damage. This build (A DPS build) is the setup a lot of Huntress characters use, and around a 50-50 mix for Apprentices and Monks, the latter having a roughly 50-50 mix of melee and ranged focuses.
DPS is a pretty simple build; put as many points as you can, as quickly as you can, into Hero Damage. But what about the other 211 points? It's best to build up your hero's health and movement speed; there's little point in being able to do high amounts of damage if you die in a single hit, or if you take forever to get where you're needed. Depending how often you use your Hero's abilities (I'll use the Monk's Hero Boost for example), you may also want to build that up with some of your remaining skill points.
A DPS build works very well when trying to level up a character, especially if you set up with a stronger Tower character beforehand.
The other Hero build works best with the Squire, and that is a Tank build. Given his obscenely high amount of health, and ability to block, he's a great class for absorbing large amounts of damage. Stack a whole lot of points into Hero Health (Damage, Movement Speed and Blood rage are also good ideas), and upgrade the resistance points of your armor. The idea is to make him as tough and tank-like (Hence the name) as possible. It might not be a very common build, but it can still be quite effective.
Tower builds are essential for the harder difficulties, because with the faster moving mobs, it's highly unlikely the Heroes will be able to keep all of them in check by themselves. A well-setup tower build means you can essentially sit back and wait for the round to finish with the defenses doing all the work.
Each class will generally have a different focus for their tower stats, since their towers vary so much in how they operate. But the biggest things to concentrate on are generally Tower Damage and Tower Speed (Firing rate, effect speed, and reset speed, depending on your class).
While constructing your tower build, there are two other skills you should remember: Hero Movement Speed and Casting Rate (Monk and Apprentice also have Tower Boost and Overcharge respectively). On Insane difficulty, with the limited build phase, it's crucial to be able to place all necessary defenses as quickly as possible. Casting Speed not only helps with summoning, but also with upgrading and repairing the defenses in both the Build Phase and the Combat Phase.
Squire towers are well suited to physically blocking the path of monsters. As such, Tower Health is generally most important to a defensive tower build. Spike blockades can absorb more damage than any other Squire or Apprentice tower. (Hint: If they're placed facing backwards, they will be attacked less often, and last longer). If you prefer a more offensive tower build, focus more on Tower Damage and Attack Speed. Note that the Attack Speed for projectile turrets seems to be limited by the tower's attack animation.
Apprentice towers benefit primarily from Tower Damage and Attack Speed. Other useful stats include Tower Health, Tower Range, Hero Movement, and Casting. Some points in Overcharge help placing/upgrading towers in a pinch. Use a combination of all tower types, and learn how they all work both by themselves and together; this will allow you to create much more effective defenses. Combine Apprentice towers with the Monk auras you will make many rounds in survival.
TIP: If you hold M1 then hold M2 you will Auto Fire
For a Tower-spec Huntress (sometimes called a "Traptress"), it's important to know that traps work differently than Squire and Apprentice towers. Traps cannot be attacked directly by monsters; instead, they have a limited number of detonations which increases with the Tower Health stat. After a trap's last detonation, the trap will disappear. Tower Attack Speed determines the delay between detonations. Tower Health and Attack Speed are therefore tied together since high Attack Speed is useless without correspondingly high Tower Health, and high Tower Health is of little benefit without Attack Speed. Detonation damage is straightforward and increases with Tower Damage. Trap radius increases both the trigger size and the area of effect.
TIP: Trap trigger size can be controlled with the + and - (plus and minus) keys when placing the trap. The area of effect remains the same size regardless of the trigger size.
NOTE: Proximity Mine Traps placed close together will set each other off! This can be used to chain detonate Proximity Mine Traps near the crystal to kill Wyverns.
Monk auras are spherical areas of effect. A monster (or player, in the case of the Healing Aura) must be inside of the sphere to be affected. An aura's health degrades naturally over time, and more rapidly depending on the number of monsters inside, therefore higher Tower Health results in auras lasting longer. Tower Radius increases the size of the sphere. Tower Damage and Attack Speed affect different auras in different ways.
TIP: Aura size can be controlled with the + and - (plus and minus) keys when placing the aura. As the aura is upgraded, it will expand based on the adjusted placement size.
TIP: Auras can be placed closer together if equipment with Area of Effect range is removed before placement, and re-equipped when finished.
While not commonly used, Hybrid builds have far more potential now with the introduction of Mythical Loot items. A hero can be setup for Towers, and have a high-powered weapon dealing a lot of damage. This is the most effective way to set up your hybrid character, although not everyone has access to the millions and millions of mana some people charge for these weapons. The alternative to this is to simply divide your skill points into both Hero and Tower stats. This will, of course, mean that both your hero and your towers will be weaker, but being able to do both can be a huge advantage.