|Squire and Countess class extensive guide||By Czokalapik||Version:1.0.0|
About this guide
The reason i wrote those guides is i just love Squire/Countess, love DD overall and i wanted to share some squire tips and strategies with you.
First of all: everything here is my personal insight and many of you will have completely different habits, map layouts or understanding of specific mechanics of Squire/Countess. So i encourage you to comment on those guides, leave your ideas and possible corrections.
What you will read here is only from perspective of one player (me) and one player only, layouts are built by me and for me, many of them are very common but modified by me so i could handle maps easier - do the same if something isn't working for you. And again, feel free to leave comments when you have some thoughts.
Introduction to Squire/Countess
Squire and Countess have same towers, same tower stats, but different skills and hero stats.
You can see some info in Squire and Countess Weapons, but important thing is that not every weapon from each class have same speed or same damage. For example Backstabber, while being sword is more like Gauntlet when it comes to damage and speed. Also bigger weapons are little slower than smaller ones (even in same category).
Thanks to Machiavell's testing of different weapon types you can see what kind of weapon have highest dps in practice:
|DPS||Type of weapon|
|689,772||Duelist's Saber (Rapier)|
Simply because i'm having problems with actually hitting mobs with slow swing of hammers when running through group, and because small weapons (Backstabber) just don't do so much damage to larger groups of enemies i prefer Swords (mid sized or larger ones). That's why Frost Blade, Sand Blade, Sea Sword, then Rapier or Katana are my personal favorites because while still big they are very fast and do high damage per hit. Also, like Machiavell's tests shows, Vanguard is surprisingly better than Frost Blade (considered by DD community as best), that weapon also would be good choice.
Reason why i don't like small weapons is simple: in end game content those would only be good for ogres, because positioning yourself to hit smaller moving mobs, or mobs attacking you from every side is just... will result in death eventually from group of ninjas or because of spider web.
More info (with more theorycrafting) about weapons in great article: Extensive Weapon Effectiveness.
Differences between Squire and Countess
While still almost same hero class, Squire and his female counterpart Countess, are different when it comes to hero stats and hero skills:
|Hero health||Highest in game, about 35-40% more than Countess. Only Barbarian can have higher health because of additional item slot (second weapon), but Health gain per skill point and base health is lower than squire's.||Third highest in game, about 35-40% less than Squire. While low base health Countess have high health per Hero Health skill point gain.|
|Hero damage||Less than Countess by about 20-30%. Squire have 4 hit combo that always hits 4 times in same cone of attack that is about 180º.||Countess have more damage than Squire by about 20-30% and her combo is different: after 2 initial swings in 180º cone of attack she is attacking from top, that last attack will hit twice if weapon returning from right side before 3rd attack didn't hit anything, if it did - attack from top will hit only once (still it will always be 4 attacks).|
|Hero speed||Squire have slowest hero speed in game, second is Barbarian. Caps at 99 skill. (400 for Nightmare)||About 50% more than Squire's speed, one of fastest heroes. When second skill Call to Arms is toggled Countess is fastest hero in game currently (7.17e patch). Caps at 99 skill. (400 for Nightmare)|
|Hero casting speed||Same as Countess||Same as Squire|
|Damage skill||Circular Slice is an attack that can be great in dealing with large groups of smaller enemies. It's a stationary, 360º cone attack. Increasing skill stat in Circle Slice will increase it's damage.||
Joust is skill that will trigger charge with weapon in front of Countess, this attack will push everything (excluding bosses only) and damage everything in the way. While active it can damage one enemy multiple times.
How strong Joust's attacks are, and how long Joust is active depends on skill stat (bigger stat - longer charge and more damage), but it can be cancelled when player wants it by toggling it again (sometimes it's needed because Joust can bring Countess to charging off the edge of map).
|Buff skill||Blood Rage greately increases damage done, run speed and decreases damage taken. It drains mana while active. Mana drain will increase with time when Blood Rage is active (more info at skill's page).||
Call to Arms is in every way same as Squire's Blood Rage with one exception - damage boost is an aura that works for every player around casting Countess, rest (damage reduction and hero run speed increase) applies only for Countess casting CtA.
As i said before, both Squire and Countess have same towers with same stats, nothing changes here.
For more info on each tower check its own wiki page (link above each picture).
Spike Blockade (Spikes)DU, 30 Mana
With high 3 DU usage Spike Blockade can sometimes be much better than Apprentice's Magic Blockade. For 3 DU Spikes can block area where 2 MB are required, additionally it have much more health (about 4x more with lower Defense Health, 2x more with Thp maxed out).
As a bonus it reflects damage to attacker, but this damage is very low and shouldn't be considered in any dps calculations.
More about placing Spikes later in second part of this guide.
Spikes are not affected by Tower Range stat.
Bouncer Blockade (Bumper)DU, 40 Mana
Bouncer, while having much lower health than Spikes it deals great amount of damage and can bounce off enemies.
Actually Bouncer have highest DPS among all Squire's towers, but because it's melee and situational tower it's not used as dps tower. Also it's not used as blocking tower very often, because ogres that are attracted to bouncer, not towers behind it (more on that in second part of article: aggro), won't attack Bouncer close enough so it can attack them back.
But because of its nature, bouncing enemies, it can be used to bounce monster off the ledge, or kill spiders flying off the sky.
It's also very good anti-air tower when placed correctly.
It can't bounce off Ninjas, Ogres or Bosses, and it's not affected by Tower Range stat!
|DU, 80 Mana||
Harpoon's projectiles can pierce targets. With high damage, decent attack rate, and big cone of attack (about 120 º ) it's often main damaging turret for Squire.
Placing harpoons sometimes can be tricky as they won't target predicted monsters position, but current one (more on this later in this guide), but well placed can be really effective.
Bowling Ball Turret (Cannon, Bowler)DU, 100 Mana
Cannons have really small cone of attack (but mind that they can shoot in bigger cone than game shows) but have highest attack range of all Squire's towers. Balls shot from this turret will roll until they will colide with terrain or hitting some monsters (they can hit more monster before crashing if monsters are weaker).
This tower can deal more damage than any other tower in game with enough range and if placed in small corridor (especially when Balls will roll downhill).
Slice N Dice Blockade (SnD, Slicer)DU, 140 Mana
Slicer is tricky tower, it doesn't have much damage overall, it have low hp for melee tower, range is also pretty small (but unlike in Bouncers case ogres attacking it are damaged by it).
Spinner is also affected very little by Tower Range stat (it increasing only starting spin range), and Tower Attack Speed stat only affects time to reach max spin.
For high DU usage some will say this tower is too weak overall to use, but it can be used in many cases very effectively (more on that later), it's especially useful in earlier games (medium, hard campaign), and sometimes as anti-air tower.
Squire/Countess towers have high Defense Units usage, thus placing towers as a Squire requires more tactic approach than in Apprentice's case. But on the other hand all towers of this class are very resistant and deal high damage.
Squire's defenses are much less flexible than Apprentice's, range towers do mainly single-target damage if monsters are not in one line (App have Lightning and Fireball towers for dealing with larger groups), and melee towers (Bouncer, Slicer) can get destroyed easily when placed wrong. That's why Squire/Countess builder gains much more from other hero classes defenses than App for example because while doing main damage with cannons/harpoons (especially to ogres) or hilding monsters with Spikes other classes defenses with lower DU usage can help with bigger groups of monster (Proximity Mine Trap, Fireball Tower, Lightning Tower or with holding them off (Ensnare Aura, Gas Trap, Darkness Trap).
I will talk mostly about end game stats here, because way to max level, better items and late game content is pretty simple, and stats distribution follows same path as end-game.
What i recommend is to create Builder for leveling rather than DPS when you are playing alone or can't find decent Builder, because most of maps won't be difficult for you, and are easily soloable.
If you want more specific information on leveling and farming i can recommend you third part of this guide: Exp and mana farming which contains specific information on how and where to level up and farm, how high stat you should have on specific game progress using Tower Builder Squire/Countess.
As i mentioned earlier, currently best melee weapons are Frost Blade and Katana, you won't need to look for those yet though, in early game just get something with decent base damage, The High Five for example is very fast, easily obtainable, and it has really decent dps. For early levels I strongly recommend getting a good weapon and upgrading elemental damage on it. (Elemental damage increases at a higher rate than physical damage on a weapon.)
Remember, that Elemental Weapon Damage won't scale with your Hero Damage stat, offensive skill, nor with any dps pet, but is still good and cheap in upgrading for learning/leveling phase. Late game, (Insane/Nightmare difficulties or level 60+) you should be upgrading only physical damage on your weapon. This is because Blood Rage and Hero Damage will not modify elemental damage.
As for stats I have some rules i think everyone should have also:
- Hero speed caps at 99 skill (400 in Nightmare), so if you want to move faster put some points in it, but when you'll get equip providing something around 99 (or more) in hero speed - respec and get rid of points invested in this stat.
- DPS classes can be valuable mainly in Easy>Insane difficulties. Later, in Nightmare, hero dps is lowered, so it will never be better than a defense's damage. That's why every player should have decent Hero Casting Speed and repairing/upgrading towers should be more important than dealing damage. While on lower difficulties hero dps is much bigger and sometimes thanks to DPS classes defenses won't need repairing. However, it should always be a rule of thumb: Upgrade/Repair > DPS.
- In Nightmare, the most important thing is to survive, so every player should have good resists and decent health. For low levels/difficulties, upgrading resists would be waste of Mana.
So now some stat distribution priorities, in my opinion you should be looking for:
Weapon Damage > Hero Damage > Blood Rage, Call to Arms > Hero Health + reach the cap for Hero speed and get a decent casting rate
And for Nightmare:
'Reists > Weapon Damage > Hero Damage > 'Hero Health + up to 99 Hero speed, decent casting rate and some decent points in Blood Rage, Call to Arms
There is nothing more to say about dealing damage; the rest is pretty much self-explanatory. Squire/Countess have only 2 damage skills to use, and those are for groups of monster (remember that Joust on Countess can be cancelled, charging Countess can drop off the edge of the map sometimes). Both of those skills gain damage when Blood Rage / Call to Arms is toggled on.
Also jumping into a large group of monsters (ninjas especially), under ogre's club, or in front of boss should be done with Blood Rage / Call to Arms toggled.
Creating a Builder
In early game builder will also deal damage, so decent weapon is required, but above all else Squire/Countess Builders should focus on Towers Damage and Towers Health as they scale best. While in Apprentice's case Tdmg and Tatk rate are most important, Squire towers won't gain that much from Tower Attack Rate.
In my opinion good Squire Buider should have ratio of Thp : Tdmg : Trange : Trate stats like this:
2,5 : 3 : 1,5 : 2
And again some of my rules:
- In later difficulties, Tower Range isn't something you should invest heavily in. You should get some from your gear, but you shouldn't invest heavily in it because you only need so much in the stat before it's overkill.
- Tower Attack Rate applies only for Harpoons, Cannons and Bouncer. Among those three, Bouncers gain most from this stat followed by Cannons. That's why Trate isn't the most important stat for Sq/Count builders, but still valuable and builders must have the stat on all their items.
- Tower HP scales the best of all Tower Stats for every hero class. Sq/Count should invest reasonable amount of stats in Thp, but still Tower Damage should be priority.
- If you play a builder as your active hero in late game content (Nightmare) you should always invest in Resists before investing in any Tower stat when upgrading your armor!
More info on builder with some tactical approach in next part of article: Tower effective usage and tips
Melee classes have more pets to choose from than ranged classes. For instance, Squire Guardian is rarely used by ranged classes as it has to be close to barricades. Also dps pets on ranged classes sometimes just don't shoot projectiles because they are too far away from the enemies. Melee dps can get dps ranged pet with extremely slow projectile speed because he will be very close to mobs and those projectiles will hit, unlike in ranged class case. Also melee dps class can use melee dps pet for same reason.
In early game you will just get what is given to you, but in late games my recommendations are:
- Get a good Genie, so you won't have problems getting mana to upgrade defenses.
- Get a good App/Hunt guardian when def is upgraded - those will be pets you'll get a lot of use from in later games and they may be required by some players hosting games you join.
- Get a Kobold on a Treadmill. This gives EXCELLENT tower stats for builders.
- For DPS, get a Squire Guardian, sometimes it can be useful
- For DPS, get a decent DPS pet, as I mentioned earlier. It can be melee, ranged with extremely slow projectile speed, or an Animus - it doesn't matter for DPS Squires. (my personal favorite is Serpent or Seahorse with low projectile speed.