Deus Shift isn’t very complex game by rules, but it does have long learning time, which prevents people from staying in it. To help newcomers get through this barrier and to give them boost for becoming formidable opponents I’ve started this thread. I’m not going to cover very basics, they are described in the tutorial, so I’m going to start a bit further and give you more information about units – they are your tools, you have to know how to use them. But this is general description, in time you will develop your own view, I’m just trying to speed it up.
Basic defensive units – Sentinel and Defender. They both have mostly the same role: blocking enemy advancement on your position. They also add some mana income, so keep that in mind. Sentinel is stronger vs Ghoul, but weaker vs Raven; Defender is vice versa – strong vs Raven, vulnerable to Ghoul. Also, Sentinel is your primary unit for mana farming because it generates double amount of mana on dominated wheel. On the other hand, Defender is a little more tough and mobile than Sentinel. Don’t rely on them to lead attack, but don’t forget – they can support it well or counterattack using Death Shift.
Basic offensive units – Raven and Ghoul. These are what you need to break through Sentinel/Defender wall, at least until you can afford something more powerful. Raven’s flight ability is very useful too, it may help you to get unit out of trouble, even your own Heart, or drop fresh reinforcements in battle. Ghoul is one of your primary units to deal direct damage to Heart, his fixed +2 to attack make him useful vs tough units like Berserker and keep him dangerous even when low on health. On the other hand, Ghoul is vulnerable to counterattacks and has Heart Bound 2, which means losing Ghoul hurts more. Don’t forget that Ghoul can teleport back home (or move within your dominated wheel freely).
Advanced defensive unit – Berserker is expensive but worth its cost. Its main quality – toughness, it takes very low damage from attacks, and is very hard to break through. Berserker also has high enough damage and uses Physical Shift to attack, which gives it some offensive usage. If you have a lot of mana and don’t know what to buy – think about Berserker, it is a choice that can’t go wrong.
Advanced attacking unit – Vanquisher. Vanquisher is single most expensive unit in mana and in Heart Bound, but it also deals the most damage to enemy Heart in direct attacks. He is able to kill most other units in one blow, although he gets some back and is vulnerable to counter attacks, so trading it for enemy unit isn’t a good idea – you will lose more. So main uses for this monster: grinding enemy Heart; Carefully destroying enemy lesser units, avoiding counter attacks and keeping Vanquisher alive; Breaking through crucial position that is hard to deal with other way. Be careful when you use Vanquisher, unless you deal direct damage to Heart with it which is always worth it, you have to know exactly what you want to do, or you will just waste lots of mana and loose Heart hp.
Support units – Annihilator, Specter, Cauldron. Common thing about all support units: they are vulnerable to direct attacks and useless on front lines, so keep them secured in the rear. They all work distantly. First one – Annihilator, is a kamikaze unit. It can deal good damage and has splash, sometimes his attack can be devastating. I personally don’t use it often, but I can suggest two ways to use it: either buying and exploding it on the same turn, when you get Deus. Keep this opportunity in mind, I did it few times and it can be very powerful. Second possibility – buy it when you have nothing better to do, and just keep it until good opportunity arises. Annihilator is the only unit except defensive ones that generate mana, so this kind of investment may prove worthy, though I didn’t try it. Next unit on the list – Specter, it has only one ability – “Swap Health” and it does exactly what the name says. Interesting and useful unit, very powerful in some situations. I don’t know what to add here – I’m sure you have the idea on how to use it yourself. Cauldron – expensive ranged support unit, basically it’s just an artillery that sits behind your lines and smashes enemy units from afar. If your opponent has one in safe place, it’s very hard to deal with. Can’t give you solution because I haven’t tried any against human opponent.
That’s all about units for now, it should be enough for you to have something to base your decisions on and to stop guessing blindly, but there are still plenty of room for improvement. Few more advises to get into play: write down on paper unit damage table to be able to refer to it when you planning your next move; observe moves of your opponent – copying him will quickly get you on his level, but only your own thinking will let you beyond.