This is is a guide for going through the game's content on Nightmare while playing by yourself. There are a few changes that you must do to accommodate not having other players guard certain places on the map.
If you want to solo nightmare, there is some setup you will need to do before-hand
- If you don't have them already, you will need the Summoner and Series EV characters.
- The Summoner uses a separate set of unit points for his minions, and effectively doubles the number of defenses you can place.
- The Series EV provides a key defense for Nightmare: the Tower Buff Beam. This will multiply all the stats of any defense on it, and is necessary for handling some of the later levels on Nightmare.
- A level 74 character of each of the following:
- The level 74 characters should all be outfitted with a matching set of Mythical armor, with the appropriate stats. "Appropriate Stats" =
- +Tower Health and +Tower Damage for all builder classes
- +Hero Health and +Hero Damage for all DPS classes
- DPS classes and Active Builders ("Active" meaning they are on the map during the Combat Phase) need their armor upgraded to max out their resistances as much as possible:
- At minimum, Generic Resistance needs to be completely maxed. Without this, Ogres and Dark Elf Warriors will kill you in one hit
- It is also strongly recommended to have Fire resistance maxed as well. Without this, Kobolds and Dark Elf Mages will kill you in one hit. They are somewhat easier to avoid compared to Ogres and Dark Elf Warriors if you stay behind defenses, but one stray hit will take you out.
- DPS classes need at least a strong Godly weapon that is fully upgraded, with all points going to base damage. A decent starting point is the weapon you get for beating Glitterhelm Campaign on Insane
- They also need at least a Godly+ DPS pet. A good starting pont for DPS pets are the Animus pets that you get for completing The Summit on Insane.
- Builder classes should have a Godly+ pet that gives appropriate stats. You can use the Animus pets for this, but also, if you're willing to put some time in, do some of the Area 1 maps on Survival Hardcore Mix Mode and get to Wave 15 to unlock a decently powerful pet (usually +40-50 in all stats).
- Once you have all of your gear, you should be at around 350-500 mainstat on each of your characters. At this point, you are ready for Nightmare.
I also recommend you take a look at these guides:
How to build for Nightmare
This is a basic build for Nightmare, it will work for any map assuming you have enough DU/MU to cover all relevant chokepoints and enough +Tower Health/+Tower Damage/+Tower Range.
The basic build looks like this:
Each Chokepoint needs the following:
- A straight line of Archer Minions + a Mage Minion + (a Spider Minion) to completely wall off the chokepoint
- Being in a straight line is important so that they are all boosted by a buff beam
- Make sure all minions are set to 'Hold Defense' at their location, so that the wall is not broken
- Spider Minions are only needed if the chokepoint will have Ogres in them. They are there to web the Ogres which causes them to take double damage.
- The mage minion heals the archers, which is crucial for being able to hold the chokepoint when it gets overrun with Ogres. It also makes it easier to repair during combat, as you only have to worry about repairing your defenses and not your minions.
- A Gas Trap. This is important because it stuns Sharken, which would otherwise do serious damage to your defenses
- An "Aura Stack". This is just a term that means it has a stack of 3 Auras:
- The Ensnare slows enemies to a crawl which gives your Archers enough time to kill them
- The Strength Drain Aura does 2 things:
- Removes Elemental Affinity, so it guarantees that any enemies in it will not ignore damage from any of your defenses
- Reduces attack damage, this gives your minions and defenses a lot of extra effective health
- The Electric Aura is more for efficiency, it takes care of all smaller enemies (Goblins, Kobolds, Skeletons) and will do decent damage to the more medium-health enemies as well (Orcs, Dark Elf Mages, Wyverns, Goblin Copters)
- A Reflection Beam, in front of the wall of minions. This further protects your minions from ranged damage, which includes Dark Elf Archer arrows, Dark Elf Mage fireballs, and Goblin Copter rockets.
- Finally, a single Tower Buff Beam that goes through all of these defenses (except the reflect beam). It should be buffing all of the minions, all traps, and all auras. This is key, and this is why a Series EV character is needed on Nightmare for the higher-tier DLC maps.
Also, near the chokepoint and/or crystal, it's often useful to have some backup DPS, there are a couple of optimum options here:
- Harpoon Turrets, these have a wide range, can attack both air and ground, and most important, they pierce so every attack can hit multiple enemies
- Lightning Towers, these have full 360° attack range, attack VERY far, and can hit ground or air. They don't pierce, but their lightning attack will jump to nearby enemies, so its DPS is still very high against tightly packed groups of enemies
- Proximity Mine Trap or Inferno Trap. These both do good AOE damage directly at the chokepoint, and will hit for guaranteed damage as long as there is also a Strength Drain Aura at the chokepoint. These are good for the chokepoint if it's very small and you can't fit many minions there (e.g. the 2 back chokepoints on Alchemical Laboratory)
- These are almost always placed on top of a Tower Buff Beam to increase their damage and health so that they don't die to Spiders
This should be at every chokepoint if you can, and you should put it as close to the crystal as possible. This is because Spiders will constantly spawn on top of your crystals, so they need to be defended as well as the chokepoint. Also depending on the map, Goblin Copters could fly over your defenses and drop Ogres near your crystal, and if there aren't any minions close enough, the Ogre will be able to kill your crystal unless you are physically there to stop it.
The first 2 Waves
These need to be handled differently, because on almost every map, there is not enough starting mana to set up all of your defenses.
For maps that don't give much mana on the first wave, your priority should be the following:
- Ensnare + Electric Auras at all chokes
You need to quickly gather all chests and place your defenses as fast as possible, then switch back to your DPS class for the combat phase
The first Combat Phase on Nightmare will give a huge amount of mana, so you should only have mana issues for the first wave.
Generally the Second wave your priority should be walling off all chokepoints with your minions.