Comprehensive Piece Guide From a Player Rated Over 3000 Hello everyone! Welcome to my guide to all pieces in existence and serves as advice for how to use each piece and which tiers to use and some general strategy. All pieces are discussed for at least 100 words. I do not claim that my opinions are objectively correct however I will stand by most but not all claims in this guide. This guide is primarily for people new to the game or lower ranks but there might be some things someone outside of those ranks could do with this guide (burn it to the ground I guess). Anyway, that’s probably not the right way to begin the introduction to this guide and if I learned anything from drak’s guide it’s that guides like these will be questioned so that will be fun. Use control-f to get to specific pieces in this guide. Also, all pieces are in alphabetical order so you can find them that way if control-f gets messed up by me talking about other pieces elsewhere. Rating scale: 0(awful should never be used) 1(has some niche uses) 2( is powerful in its niche but garbage outside of it or just slightly underpowered 3(average) 4(good) 5(powerful) 6( very good in all situations) 7(must use) no pieces are currently a 7 so IDK why I have it. AirElemental Rating: 3/3/2/2 This piece falls into the category of short rook. Base has 3 range for the cost of 8 which is standard. I would not recommend using this piece unless you have a specific use for the wind (like a rush deck using it to push allied units). Also using ++ or +++ is fairly iffy as you can only use wind once at ++ to get a meaningful value increase and the sylph is absolutely useless. The piece at base also compares very poorly with base crusader- I do not think wind is more valuable than the shield. Some people might say wait but base can promote, this is a beginner trap as you are spending 1 to increase the value of the piece by 2 and get an extra range. This is bad because when you inevitably trade it away you will have lost a ton of extra morale. Alchemist Rating: 4/3/2/5 This piece can be very good and +++ is seen in a bunch of GM armies. However, using any tier but base and +++ is fairly bad in opinion. + just gives you extra cure squares which in 95% matches are going to be garbage and you’re gonna be throwing a point away, even in the 5% of matches they matter in only about half of those will it make a meaningful difference as if it nuances your opponent’s army enough they’ll just down trade for it giving you maybe a 5 morale but more likely 2 morale advantage. ++ is just kind of silly because at this point you can get knight attacks for only 5 more which makes the piece a threat instead of a piece to trade for a couple of free minions and a cheap champ. Angel Rating 5/3/3/5 This piece at base is pretty decent being only one of two pieces able to attack at extended knight range allowing it to fork and get some free pieces. This piece is really good at forcing tempo moves from your opponent by being able to threaten the king from outside the range of most other pieces. I would hesitate to use anything beyond base though unless you have +++. + is pretty garbage 2 extra cost for a diagonal move is just not worth it. ++ is also not worth due to its poor comparison with +++. +++ gets range 2 diagonal move/attack which does wonders for its speed and becomes extremely good at getting free pieces by forking king. One final thing about this piece is its passive. Enchanting minions for a turn is decent with samurai but the beginner trap that even GMs fall into (see Betel) is sacking it on a minion for the enchant is just not worth it for 15 cost do not do it. It's one of the easiest ways to lose only slightly harder to than running 3 greed+++ keep that in mind in case grand decides to add an anti chess mode. Antimage Rating 2/2/2/3 This piece is really bad at all tiers except +++ where its slightly below average. This piece is bad at base as a warrior unable to move diagonally. Then it at + is a warrior without range 2 move. At ++ its pretty bad compared to any other piece you could have at the price point but is better than +. At +++ its actually decent as it becomes a ninja++ without the unblockable move and attack for 3 less. The only problem with its gimmick is that even armies that use a lot of magic still use other pieces that can take it which makes it a priority for trading. I would avoid using it in all armies except ones that get completely nuanced by magic but even in those its kinda questionable. Apprentice Rating: 1/0/3/4 Base apprentice serves only one purpose- being a sacrificial swapper answer to the thundermage lifestone nuance but so many other things do it so much better so it's garbage. + is just a crap swapper for 2 cost. I’ve never seen base nor + used in any remotely serious army. ++ is the first semi decent tier and becomes a mini champ but unless you have a specific use for the swaps, in my opinion, drake+/skeleton+++ is better in most situations. +++ is like ++ but costs 4 more and can now actually fork enemy champs making it fairly dangerous and can be fairly good in trade armies. Aquarius Rating:3/4/3/3 Base aquarius is in my opinion very good at base for only 6 cost. Its special destroy ability is really good at base for defense as any piece trying to attack risks being frozen if it's a knight's move away from it. I feel that + is best as a sacrificial attacker. It can attack the enemy line then freeze everything opening it up so you can recapture safely and come out ahead. But now that its ability has a valk range it can start to make threats, with sufficient backup to freeze the enemy king. ++ and +++ are good for their on death effect that I talked about earlier but now the destroy self ability gets rather expensive so I would avoid using it unless a check mate is guaranteed. Arachnid Rating:2/1/1/4 I kinda feel that base and +++ are the only tiers worth using. Base is okay but it completes with moon fox for as a short bishop and I feel like it would be kinda silly to take this over moon fox which gets a second life for only 50% more expensive or medusa base for one more. Range 1 poison just isn’t that useful. + and ++ are just garbage ++ is a bishop with range 1 poison I feel losing color-boundness and using bishop+ would just be better in almost all circumstances I guess ++ could be used in some rush decks but it really isn’t worth it 99% of the time. +++ is pretty decent. It can attack with poison 2 squares away allowing it to pick off minions and give unblockable threats which is incredibly good. Archbishop Rating 1/2/2/1 This piece looks good but every time I try to use it I just get frustrated with how it can’t solo mate (unless your opponent's king is in a corner with no minions anywhere to be found) and how it inevitably gets stuck somewhere due to its infuriating blind spots. At ++ where it finally gets semi decent range it costs just as much as a queen and I feel, despite thinking queen is garbage, it would be better in 99.99% of situations. If you are struggling against this piece you probably have at least 1 of 3 common beginner problems. 1. You have way too many utility minions (portal, beacon, nexus, lifestone kinda,) not having minions makes it much harder to deal with it. 2. You have too many expensive champions with minions that don’t give them any support e.g. soulkeeper fireelemenal dragon++ with bad minions such as penguin shieldsmen ect. 3. You try to repeatedly move poisonmage or ranger in the hopes of getting free minions while your opponent develops their pieces and inevitably either forks your king or takes your ranger or poisonmage Archer Rating: 2/1/1/4 Archer is only really useful at base and +++. Base can kill some stuff and some people have had some success with a line of these but I really wouldn’t recommend using this unit unless you are just using one of it because the blind spot in front of it is just asking for soulkeeper to come and wreck your line as you only have one turn to prepare if you’re black vs a soulkeeper+++. Archer+++ is a quick promoter and is hard to block in the end game and promotes to a decently powerful 16 cost unit. But + and ++ are jus bad as their promotes aren’t nearly as good as +++ and take far long to reach the 8th rank due to not having the teleports +++ does. Axeman Rating 5/5/3/4 Axeman base and + sections are very powerful when placed near your king as they don’t need to move and give superb protection to the king axeman is an almost strictly better pawn for one more and is far better due to them being a sudo king attacker when 2 are next to each other and its capable of mutual defense for only one cost. + is good if you plan on actually advancing your axemen and can provide solid control over an area. ++ is just garbage. The extra mobility from the starting position is pretty bad and most often useless. +++ has range 2 sideways attack which allows for it to act kinda like a champion with its impressive coverage and locks down the board even more than base and + but its less cost effective so for that I have to drop it a point. Banshee Rating 2/1/1/2 This piece is just a poor man's ghast especially with the most recent patches removal of its full range teleport it's even less useful. At +++ you finally get a full range teleport with some fancy swaps but at that point why not use a rook for one more. 11 cost for a king attacker is not a good deal. This piece is only usable at base as a cheap swapper and at +++ backup I guess. Please don’t use this piece. Okay I have to write another 20 words in this section but I’m not feeling it. Moving on to the next to the next piece. Basilisk Rating: 3/2/2/4 This piece again suffers from garbage middle tiers. Hey look at + we get a movement backwards, yay. Or for 3 cost we could get something that can actually attack stuff in front of it like a samurai or salamander. This piece used to have an even worse comparison with salamander but salamander got nerfed or something and now they’re not the same price. I feel the only tier worth using is +++ as a quick promoter for its reasonably powerful promotion. This piece's petrify is fairly useless as it can be rendered useless or even used against you as a double threat if your opponent has an angel to outtempo you. I feel in most cases it's worth spending the extra point for a samurai for all tiers except +++. Bat Rating 1/1/3/5 This piece starts out weak as its infuriating to try and promote base on a board with more than 3 pieces on it. And +’s extra movements are rather useless as well. ++ can promote in 2 moves which is very solid but +++ is obviously the best tier of bat with one turn promotion and a promotion worth a net 20 value and 5 morale drain on each attack making surviving without a king in the endgame very possible and can lead to some extremely easy victories in the endgame if your opponent has a lot of 0 cost minions scatter around unprotected on the board. Beacon Rating 2/3/2/2 A piece that along with other developmental pieces is a newbie trap. Using more than one of these pieces is an excellent way to lose. This piece is in the middle of the pack for developmental pieces and is used in a top 15 deck to great success but its scarcely used in the top 50 as decks should avoid having any kind of developmental piece as they just throw away a minion slot and are usually worthless in the endgame. Like any immobile piece using a swapper is important if you want to avoid being zapped by thundermage. If you don’t have a swapper in the deck you might want to invest in ++ or +++ to give it some mobility. Behemoth Rating 3/2/5/4 This piece at base is pretty bad. While it can get right next minions in order to kill a champion it needs support so if your opponent takes it with their champion and it was next to a minion now you can’t recapture as their champ is now protected unless you have another behemoth. Of course base is good if you’re gonna run a ton of these but outside of that it's pretty bad. + is probably the worst tier as extra mobility doesn’t help this piece very much at all because you still have the same problem as you did at base- you can’t initiate a trade because most champs have diagonal attacks rendering its ability worthless. ++ is where this piece starts to get incredibly broken it can initiate trades and you can now do one of the most scum tactics in all of CEO behemoth minotaur combo. This combo involves using multiple minotaurs to defend behemoth and lock down the center of the board making it impossible for any champion or minion to take behemoth without their king being exposed. +++ is good but I feel it's just too expensive for what it does. Berserker Rating: 2/2/1/3 Ah the classic melee champ that's too general so nobody uses it. Its fairly bad due to the fact that competition at 8 is very competitive. Comparing base to the crusader you trade a movement range and the shield for diagonal attack only. I feel crusader is going to be better 99% of the time. What if you want something to defend yourself from the diagonals. Air Elemental base exists and will be better 99% of the time. You can get Earthelemental+ Chastity+ or Alchemist instead too. I feel the only semi decent tier is +++ but then again you can get harpy++ or Frostmage+++ or even Antimage+++ for one less. This piece is just too generic Bishop Rating: 4/4/3/2 Bishop is an incredibly strong piece at base. It can attack a full diagonal at base for only 10 points making it an essential piece for rush decks of any kind. This piece, however, gets worse as you upgrade it like all classic pieces due to grand’s insistence on not radically changing their movesets. + is the only decent upgrade as it makes the piece no longer color bound which is a huge improvement making it only semi useless as opposed to useless in the endgame. ++ is garbage due to the fact that those moves are the most pointless things on the planet and +++ is just confusing to why anyone would ever want those teleports. Bomber Rating 1/1/1/0 This piece would be decent and maybe even good if it wasn’t so nuanced by magic. Magic just completely destroys them which is one reason +++ is so bad. The only tiers worth using are base and ++ as ++ can get to the enemy line fairly quickly and base is just so cheap it doesn’t matter if it gets killed on its way there. +++ is laughably expensive. For 4 cost you could actually use a good minion. It's a pretty terrible piece. Don’t use it unless you have a very very good reason to use it in some wacky rush/stall deck. Butterfly Rating 0/3/1/3 This piece’s ability takes way too much tempo to use and is easily countered. I see masters do a silly opening of moving it 3 times to cast on the champion line. This is just rather silly as it takes me much less tempo to avoid it, not to mention that some games go a lot shorter than the 23 moves it takes to revive and casr. Base butterfly is useless as once it revives and doesn’t kill anything its useless. + is a threat after it revives with skeleton moves so you might have to move away from it but 99% of the time it's harmless. ++ is a joke the diagonal moves don’t do anything for it. +++ is okay just as a king attacker but the op piece of garbage that is rg++ is better in almost every way. Chastity Rating 5/3/4/3 At base it's incredibly good king attack is extremely underpriced and a 5 cost king attacker would already be pretty good but having full range attack on top of that is really strong. It passive doesn’t do much to lessen how extremely good of a defender this piece is. + is pretty good but in my opinion it's just too expensive and isn’t as cost effective as base is. ++ goes back to being incredibly good at defending with all those extra attacks in front of it for only +2 from +. At +++ the swaps don’t do much for it. If you want swaps just run paladin. Comet Rating 4/3/2/2 I feel this piece is best used to stop annoying undefended high value champs from terrorizing you at the start of the game. This piece synergizes very well with samurai as samurai take only one turn to take the piece giving your opponent less time to outtempo you. That being said this piece has some serious weaknesses if your opponent runs an angel or a ninja they may be just able to threaten your king until the freeze wears off. I also feel that higher tiers of comet are pretty bad as now you are paying much more to take a piece and makes it incredibly hard to trade as your opponent will usually take whatever you use to take the frozen piece so the higher cost makes it very hard to come out ahead in morale. Crusader Rating 5/3/2/2 At 8 this piece is incredibly strong. It can usually up trade due to its armor and can be revived with a lifestone making it the ultimate piece for any trade deck. However the higher tiers are just laughably bad. ++ gives diagonal moves and +1 attack range for 50% more. This is a terrible deal. Then at ++ you just get diagonal attacks for 5 more and at +++ you get extra shield range and attack range for 3 more. My problem with these upgrades is at + you could get a fencer+++ a very strong piece falling into a similar niche for the same cost. At ++ you could get a phalanx++ for just one more and it would be far more effective. At +++ you could get a freaking queen for 1 more (not that I recommend that) it's just bad. Demon Rating 2.5 all tiers I don’t really have any strong feelings about this piece. Base is a pretty solid 10 cost champ and +’s extra teleports are nice but might not be worth the extra 2 cost. Demon++ gets some cool knight attacks and is pretty decent. +++ gets some pretty tricky swaps that could be cool but it starts getting too expensive to see regular use. However Demon gets set back by the fact that its just too generalized. The knight moves hint at wanting a closed game but the short rook aspect goes against it. It just tries to do too many things at once. Dove Rating: 4/3/4/5 Base also known as free ghost with nuance is great in the place of a ghost for a corner bishop in a rush deck. + is difficult to and it’s unclear to why you would use this piece outside of a soulkeeper dove rush but even then it’s rather confusing. However ++ can promote in 2 moves which is great and even less if it's moved up at all which is pretty good. +++ is incredibly good for even non-rush decks as you can use its valk swap to develop a champion turn 1 and it's now stuck behind your minion line so it won’t get destroyed by the enemy minions. Also, doves promote angel, is best at base and +++ for reasons I explained earlier in this guide. Dragon Rating 4/3/2/2 This piece is a total beginner trap. People look at this piece and say hey look it can checkmate by itself it's really good and it is pretty good. However, it can’t checkmate until late game and if you have that great of a material advantage by then it doesn’t really matter what pieces you have you can usually checkmate as if your opponent isn’t an idiot and has at least one king mover they can prevent it. Therefore base is the best tier and anything above + is overkill. This piece has additional uses aside from checkmating king now that its price has been reduced to 15. It can corner pieces that nuance your army and down trade with them and is great in that aspect which is why I give it a much higher score than the other tiers. Drake Rating 1/2/2/1 This piece is like apprentice+++, it’s a champion in minion form. However unlike apprentice+++ its absolute garbage. Not being able to move diagonally until +++ is a huge problem and unlike most champion minions it can’t force a trade as it cannot fork them with its limited attack squares and difficulty moving. Base is pure garbage as moving only one space at a time for 4 points is a horrible deal. + is better now that it can move but it still has an absolutely horrible comparison with skeleton+++ as for one more point you can get status immunity and diagonal moves. ++ with it’s attack being unblockable can now kinda threaten multiple champs at once if someone was dumb enough to let that happen or you could just get a skeleton+++. At +++ it can finally move 2 spaces in a diagonal direction. But for 2 more you could have apprentice+++ which is what it wants to be. Dryad Rating 5/5/5/6 The classic morale farm piece and is a staple of anyone who actually wants to be competitive in the game as stall is the only viable build in the higher ranks and if you don’t have a dryad you’re screwed. Any square protected by it cannot be broken through even with an infinite number of non magical attackers. This piece is a necessity if you want to run a lich. It's not fun to use nor is it fun to play against it’s just a necessary part of every game. Thank you for coming to my TED (Technology, Entertainment, and Design) talk. Duelist Rating: 3/1/1/4 This piece is decent and has a solid end game promotion. However running a line of these is one of the stupidest things you can do in this game due to their pathetic amount of coverage. Also running any tier except base or +++ is bad because these upgrades don’t really give you anything worthwhile and just cost more points. +++ allows 2 duelists to defend each other and gives a much more powerful promotion and has much better coverage. Running a full line of these is still not recommended but Stalwart a top 10 player runs a few of them to great effect. EarthElemental Rating: 5/5/5/5 This piece is a great filler piece but can be placed into thundermage armies and can be really powerful. A 6 cost king mover is pretty good and this like most has an added upside of having immediately harmful magic at range 3. At + the extra petrifies can be fairly helpful is a decent upgrade. At ++ it gains range 2 attacks at a still fairly affordable price and is one of the best tiers of the piece. At +++ it is the only piece with immediately harmful magic at range 5 and can be portaled out to achieve a quick thundermage victory if your opponent lacks pieces capable of swapping. This is not a recommended strategy as not only is it rather cheap and makes people not want to play with you but it also doesn’t work a lot of times as most people who know what they’re doing have a swapper and all noobs run some tier of paladin or sk. Enchantress Rating:0/1/1/1 Enchantress is bad. Don’t use enchantress because enchant is a terrible status condition. Why? All any half decent player has to do is make threats until enchant runs out and takes your piece. It's so easy to overcome that it’s not worth spending valuable champion slots on this piece of garbage as not only is enchant useless it costs tempo to do nothing and then you’re left with an overpriced king mover. Enchantress wind samurai tactics can be avoided by any half decent player. The only reason I rate enchantress +(+) (+) 1 is because it is at the very least a king mover. Envy Rating: 4/3/2/1 Envy is best at base where copying any champion or even some minions will allow you to come ahead. Also it has pretty good coverage for a 4 cost minion and is by far better than any others but that doesn’t say very much as you should try to avoid being forced to run a champion of 5 or less because you will have less material than your opponent as your cheap champ can’t do anything (exception: greed+ or higher). The problem with envy’s threat squares is that they’re soft and won’t protect the king/expensive piece and they also won’t defend against cheap pieces. Envy should not be run at any tier except base or maybe +. I’m sorry Kevin but envy +++ is garbage. You’d have to find a champion of a greater value than 12 which some armies don’t even run (I have a trade army where necro+++ is the most expensive piece at 14 with the next greatest value piece being Earthelemental++ at 11). Fencer Rating: 1/3/3/5 Fencer is an interesting piece that starts out as absolutely useless at base and gradually becomes more powerful with fencer+++ completely overshadowing all other tiers. Base is useless due to it not only being unable to solomate but can’t threaten anything that's more than a square away. + fixes that weakness. ++ adds more nuanceable armor that I can’t recommend due to most pieces with range 2 attack having unblockable attacks. +++ is a beast it can teleport directly into enemy formations and wreak havoc for only 12 cost. Honestly grand this piece should be 14 at least due to how powerful this is and the fact that it can almost always get a good trade. FireElemental Rating: 2/4/5/5 This piece is incredibly good at stopping dryad but often you will find that your opponent will trade for it if possible and at base and + stopping that is very difficult. This weakness makes the far more mobile ++ and +++ the best tier of this piece. This piece at base is pretty useless as it can’t do the one thing it does best, terrorizing kings and minions. They will always move to your blind spot forcing you to retreat. + can get trapped fairly easily so I would not recommend using due to the large number of points invested in it. So how does one counter this all powerful piece? By using champions that attack like a knight or just have long range like moonfox or bishop. This piece can lose you the game if your opponent gets a tempo advantage as they can force you to move and not feed it and it will just decay and die. FireMage Rating: 3/3/3/3 This piece is not terribly strong. However it's a lot of fun to use and has some enjoyable interactions with samurai due its magic happening before the samurai trigger. This piece’s upgrades are fairly straightforward and are recommended if you don’t want to end up chucking your mouse through the screen trying to get its ability to hit the right spot. However even then upgrades are recommended to actually be able to hit a minion trying to get you out of your ideal location you just spent 2 turns moving to. So yeah that’s firemage moving on because I still have another 80 or so pieces to do. Fireball Rating:-1000/3/3/2 Fireball is an interesting piece. It’s one shot ability doesn’t hurt it as much as you might think, it's mainly more a champion deterrent than an actual threat. At base this piece is absolute garbage as for one more it gains 2.3x the attack squares. While attack squares aren’t as good for this piece as any other, being only able to attack in a straight line for 2 is garbage. This piece is solid at + and ++ and you should choose one of those based on your army. +++ is bad because you don’t want the teleport. As I said earlier fireballs should be the last defender on a piece not an attacker to deter people from trading. If they teleport forward they’re likely going to get killed by minions. Also 5 for a single use unit is a little expensive. Fortress Rating:2/2/2/1 This piece isn’t much better than its cousin, the archbishop. Its blind spots are the most annoying things on the planet and due to its high cost it can’t actually take anything. However unlike the archbishop it can actually solomate at all tiers and at higher tiers it can’t even trade with the king due how expensive this stupid piece is. Don’t use it. If you ever think you want to use it just get a queen and enjoy how great it is compared to this piece of garbage. Wow I need to say 11 more words about this piece of garbage. Oh wait I guess not. Frog Rating 2/1/2/1 This piece is below average. Not being able to attack anything in a corner is infuriating so obviously if you absolutely want to run frog keep it near the center. I guess the chain attacks might have some use in avoiding insta capture after leap but I would not recommend using this piece in any army other than a meme army. Just run literally anything else other than this minion. Its promotion is also pretty bad. At base its toad which is just a weaker king attacker. + just gives you it + some teleports. ++ just gives everything and a few attacks and +++ finally gives you a semi decent overpriced piece. Yay I guess. FrostMage Rating: 1/1/3/5 This piece starts out incredibly weak as freeze is pretty bad in general as it just sets up your opponent for a double threat on one turn and can wear off if your opponent manages to out tempo you. However +++ just has stupidly good coverage. Perspective: You’re trying to kill a frostmage+++ after the patch and you just laugh- frostmage has always been harmless. So you take your warrior and realize wait a second they put a minion in front of it now what do you do. You take your angel and realize the stupid mage can hit you wherever you threaten it from. The only thing that can threaten it is a knight mover but I guarantee that your opponent has put a minion in front of those blind spots and you can’t take the minion without being killed or frozen then thundered. This champ is responsible for some of the cheapest strategies in the game. Its range 2 freeze at +++ is just maddening. FrostMephit Rating:5/3/3/4 This piece is interesting while freeze normally is pretty bad the freeze on death makes it so your opponent can’t take a frostmephit without having another threat ready for next turn which makes it really good as it doesn’t have to be protected as long as another minion is 1 move away. It's also one of the cheapest minions able to move backward and is an excellent counter to ranged magic. Base is the strongest tier due to its spamability and running a full line of them can be a viable strategy. The only other tier worth running in my opinion (well obviously this entire guide is my opinion which I’ll need to spend 10 years defending every stupid thing I said in this doc) is +++ if you have use for the swaps. Swaps are really under appreciated in this game as they can allow for easy double threats and rescue frozen allied pieces. I also believe that base is absolutely terrible design as it is complete rps. This retarded piece counters so many armies so incredibly hard that its very hard to win with the following setups against frostmephits- armies that use expensive minions and a ton of anti-minion get absolutely countered as their minions trade poorly and their champs can’t do anything without being frozen and killed by another stupid mephit, samurai wall, some rushdecks, any army that doesn’t spam equally tradeable minions. If there is any piece that I would want nerfed in the next patch it would be this piece along with all destroy/void and frostmage+++ and medusa. Gemini Rating: 2/4/3/3 This piece is more than first meets the eye and has many different uses. Option 1: Split near the endgame and wait it out with your morale advantage. This strategy is pretty good once you get to that point but it will make the mid/early game harder due to having a material disadvantage as you should keep the gemini away from the fray but it's a won game if you make it to that point. Option 2: split and trade one twin for an opponent's champ. This I feel is the best option you split in the mid game and trade for a champ giving you a material advantage as you just paid for to kill an enemy champ which is a good deal. The only trick is keeping the twin alive for the rest of the game. Option 3: Split and trade both twins. The only problem with this strategy is that it is really hard to get good trades for both twins as your opponent will be reluctant to trade their champs for them as they are worth a little less than 8 in material (slightly worse than crusader). You can use any tier but I would say + is the best tier as it has attacks for the least cost. Ghast Rating 1/2/2/2 I would use any tier but base as upgrading to + gives you double mobility for only one point. This piece can be used after a rush to fill the void and protect minions while they try to promote .Outside of that use I can’t see any reason anyone would use this piece when banshee costs the same amount and has better mobility. But I don’t know maybe someone else has an idea for a use for this piece because I don’t. Even when using it to protect minions while promoting it needs a defender which kinda renders the whole point of the piece worthless. If you want something to popup on death spots just use a tombstone. Ghost Rating 4/2/4/2 This piece has one purpose: allow things to attack or use magic through it. It works best in front of rooks in rushes to allow them to control the file. I would not recommend using + or +++ as the extra mobility on this piece doesn’t help it that much- it's still very slow. I also advise you to use dove instead for bishops unless you, for some reason, need the attacking power t1 and before something gets taken. This piece is a decent defender and a garbage attacker as if you need to attack just use skeleton for 1 less and if you are running a rush this thing is far too slow to attack anyway. GiantSlime Rating:1/2/1/2 Portaling this piece out turn 1 is a terrible strategy. Base can’t hit anything and is in general worthless, a champ that can’t do anything outside of range 1 is pretty bad and you’re definitely not going to reach the enemy line with it unless your opponent is horrible at army building. + is decent but it still struggles to reach the minion line and giantslime is easily put down by anyone who knows what they’re doing- you might get 3 minions if you’re lucky. ++ is bad just because the extra mobility is pretty worthless. +++ is bad because spending 12 to kill a few minions is terrible in most matchups. Also giant slime is worthless against magic so you’re basically stuck with an overpriced champ that's worse than crusader for 1.5x as much congrats. Gluttony Rating 3/2/3/2 Ah yes the champ that a bunch of people thought was going to be broken but is an absolutely worthless attacker. Unless your opponent screws up big time you’re not going to get anything remotely close to the power of the gluttonies grand showed us. But why do you rate it a 3 you might say. Well it’s an incredibly good defender because you’re opponent can’t take the piece its guarding with a piece of similar value because then gluttony gets incredible power and will snowball to win the game. Base and ++ are the best tiers for that reason the extra mobility isn’t very useful and the armor on +++ isn’t going to help anything as it will just disappear the second it takes anything. Gnome Rating 3/2/4/5 This piece is another incredibly powerful defender if your opponent takes the piece its guarding you get an extra champ. Not only that but unlike gluttony it doesn’t have to move to the square to increase its power. After petrifying the enemy it can then let a weaker minion take it. The best tiers for this piece are base and +++. Base is just cheap enough to run a bunch of them so you can force a promotion for a relatively low price. + is bad as the extra movement doesn't help it much. ++ however is decent due to its promotion, EarthElemental, gains range 2 attacks at ++. +++ is incredibly good as that upgrade doubles its coverage allowing 2 gnome+++ to lock down the center of the board forcing your opponent to promote one of them. GravityMage Rating: 0/0/0/3 This piece is garbage until +++. Actually I guess I wouldn’t say garbage but in order to use this piece effectively you need to build your entire setup around so why would you use any tier but +++. I have mixed feelings for this piece. On one hand it's a very cool piece but games involving armies based around (see betel’s cancer army) are no fun to play against despite not being incredibly op. In this kind of army I would recommend running a dryad because you will work up a sizable morale debt through killing minions with thunder mage after being frozen and dragged into the center with gravy. Greed Rating: 1/2/4/5 This piece is inordinately useless at base and + due to only getting 2 extra points with a worthless piece. ++ and +++ are great endgame pieces and can easily win you the game. The trick with greed however is not to be stupid. Don’t run more than 1 greed. It's a horrible idea as if you trade a single greed during a game you’ve basically lost. If you run more than one it makes it impossible to not trade it. Greed must be well protected. I would recommend putting it far from your king to avoid forks that could force you to trade it. Guardian Rating 2/2/2/3 I would avoid using guardian at any tier except +++ for extremely high value pieces that can immediately recapture any piece that attacks the guardian. There are a bunch of strategies that use a bunch of +++ to defend a queen++ or an soulkeeper++. These strategies fall pretty hard to magic so I wouldn’t recommend them but yeah it’s a fairly niche piece and rather weak outside of specific armies. Using any tier lower than +++ is a little iffy because these tiers need to be in front of a piece to protect it which removes a lot of its purpose and use. Harpy Rating: 3/3/3/3 I have no strong feelings about this piece; its blind spot is so freaking annoying but the teleports are pretty nice. But not being able to kill something directly in front of you is incredibly obnoxious. I feel it's a little too expensive for a short rook but the diagonal attacks are semi useful but the blind spot is just aggravating but it makes up for it in mobility. It can be used for a spearman rush deck to push the spearmen but otherwise the wind is less than useless. All tiers are fine depending on what you use it for. HauntedArmor Rating: 3/4/4/3 This piece especially at higher tiers is excellent at solomating. This piece's armor allows it to get good trades as long as it can get close to an enemy champion. Base is a little lackluster due to its slow movement and is not recommended if you want to be able to use it anytime before very late game. However this can be remedied through setups using wind or nexus but these setups get heavily nuanced and are not very strong. + is probably the best tier of haunted armor as it's cheap enough to be able to trade with most champs while still having decent mobility. ++ is good for king hunting and in my opinion +++ is not necessary and is too expensive to be useful. Hoplite Rating 1/5/4/6 This piece is really good and a hoplite rush will crush any player without enough nuance pieces. Base is really bad as it can’t stack and do the signature 2 by 3 hoplite block without other hoplites. + is good as it's really cheap and a block of + hoplites is still very formidable. ++ is bad due to paying an extra 2 points for highly nuanced armor. +++ is incredibly dangerous and is best used to support other tiers of hoplites and a full block of +++ is bad because its just so impractically expensive (both in coins and points) and will force you to use multiple greeds or lose a few rooks. If you are running hoplites you need to trade with nuance pieces as soon as possible (such as, lilith, behemoth, dryad, FireElemental, ranger, ect.) to ensure the rush succeeds. Hostage Rating 3/2/1/1 I really hate this piece. It's really bad. It can’t protect your pieces as if a move is advantageous enough to your opponent they will make that move. A 5 material gain for 8 morale is always a great choice. If your opponent leads in material they **will** win as long as they don’t blunder. Therefore the only use of this piece is to block attacks from long range. This piece gets progressively worse because you’re spending points on a piece that can’t attack and the additional morale loss doesn’t mean anything. Also it gives your opponent morale if you blunder it. Don’t use any tier but base. Hydromancer Rating: 2/4/4/4 This piece is very underrated. While base is terrible at 6 cost (you could get a knight for that) and has exactly 4 attack squares. + is the first good tier as it has twice the number of attack squares than base and can trade very well. I’ve won a game due to forking my opponents greed+++ and king despite being down by 17 points. ++ is also good because it makes it much easier to maneuver so this is an important upgrade for people who don’t want to have to deal with its obnoxious movement. +++ is incredibly good as it gains unblockable attacks which makes its forks even more dangerous to your opponent. +++ is definitely the best tier. Knight Rating 4/2/4/2 This piece, like most classic chess pieces, retains its power in CEO even requiring grand to nerf it in the last patch. Base is incredibly good at trading and is a staple of trade decks. + is pretty bad because the extra mobility doesn't help it very much and hurts its primary function. ++ is decent as it two knight+ can trap enemy pieces fairly easily. +++ is incredibly bad as it further hurts its trade ability and is a horrible upgrade. If you run multiple of these it can free up points to invest in the many powerful minions in the game making your deck extremely dangerous to enemy champions. Of course you will need to invest in a necromancer to ensure your deck isn’t destroyed instantly by low cost minions. Legionary Rating: 2/4/3/3 This piece is incredibly weak at base a warrior++ costs 1 more for double mobility therefore running one is not advised. + is much better as an extra range allows for much more forking power than base and is the best tier of legionary. ++ gets more horizontal and vertical range which helps this piece a little though it might not be worth the increased cost. +++ gains double movement and is fairly menacing but again this upgrade depends on what you use this unit for. Do you use it for threats and trades? Probably better off with a lower tier. Do you use it primarily for defence? Probably better off with a lower tier. Do you use it to take your opponents hanging pieces and need mobility to escape? You might want it. Lich Rating: 3/4/4/5 This piece only gets better as you upgrade it. Base is a solid piece but lacks defence forcing it to be a stationary back row piece. + gets some attacks so it and the skeletons it summons can mutually defend each other definitely recommended. ++ gains king attack again would definitely recommend taking this over the previous tiers. +++ is incredibly strong however. It now can summon skeletons into locations so they can mutually defend each other making it very dangerous and a high priority to take out. This piece if it gets to the 6th rank can just spam skeletons and promote them instantly. If you manage to do this you’ve practically won the game. This unit is very good with tombstone as tombstone can replace fallen skeletons at a fairly inexpensive price and allows you to keep moving forward as death locations are now very dangerous to your opponent as having multiple champions around them can enable dangerous forks. Lifestone Rating: 4/3/3/2 I feel that base is the best tier followed by + and diminishing all the way to +++. Why do I say that well if your opponent is smart they won’t develop their high value champs until much later in the game making lifestone +++ worse because it will take longer to be able to use its ability making a minion taking it much more likely before it gets used. Also higher tiers of lifestone are bad due to losing more morale due to the thundermage nuance making it much harder to beat these matchups without having a bunch of swappers. However +++ is good for allowing you to clone phoenix which is nice. Lilith Rating 1/1/2/2 I feel this unit is incredibly weak as it struggles both against cheap minions and expensive minions. You see this piece cannot affect the biggest minions which is what one would think it would be best against charming weak minions makes it hardly worth its cost. However I believe Up tiering this unit is the only way to get use out of it. For if it cannot exploit the rare hole in the enemy line then this piece is worthless. This piece is good against hoplites so If you really, really, really, hate the occasional hoplite army this is the piece for you in which base will suffice because if you move it too much against a hoplite rush the rush can avoid it. Lust Rating 3/4/1/2 This piece is really silly. Base and + are the best tiers by far followed far behind by ++ and +++. This piece is one of the only pieces where I wouldn’t use ++ over + even if ++ cost 2 less than +. Why? Because the addition of 4 more targets to its pull ability can cause it to have to give up a piece it's about to draw in if your opponent chucks a forward attacking minion into its additional forward facing target. +++ could be decent if it didn’t have the extra targets because I could definitely see the teleports being helpful on + but I don’t know because I haven’t upgraded to +++ because it's a terrible piece. This piece has a very powerful synergy with samurai which can make its targets insta kill zones but it can be difficult to set up. MageTower Rating 3/3/2/2 This piece’s upgrades are the most uninteresting upgrades of any piece. Even lust’s upgrades are better at least they’re kinda interesting- they stab you in the foot but at least they’re interesting. Let’s see at + we get a…….. Swap? at range one yay most forgettable upgrade ever. At ++ we get these mildly exciting extra teleports. At +++ we get even more mobility that no one cares about yay. Also the fact that it has random status immunity is just stupid nuance and its blind spot is rather annoying but its manageable. Why couldn’t we get an upgrade to remove it or I don’t know increase the range of the piece? Medusa Rating: 2/2/4/3 At base this piece is a sad little short bishop when you realize you could get rid of these silly petrify squares that are absolute garbage and get a moonfox instead for 3 more. + is a pretty standard upgrade but now you can get a moonfox for 1 more. Why wouldn’t you just use a moonfox? At ++ it starts getting serious with a range 3 petrify which is truly scary especially if you have a thundermage as well making its petrify squares death zones. +++ is just a little too expensive in my opinion for what it gets you but honestly I’ve never used it but it doesn’t seem to justify the huge price increase for it. Mercenary Rating: 3/1/1/0 I swear this piece is just a joke at this point. At base it's an okay 1 cost defender that can’t take champs without defecting so you’d probably want it far away from your own champs but if you trade it quickly its above average. At + it gets some sad movement bonuses that might be useful but not worth double the cost. At ++ it starts completely embracing its meme status and becomes completely useless as it now costs too much to trade with minions and can;t take champs without giving your opponent an okay piece. At +++ it completely secures it’s meme status and embraces its uselessness by giving an additional attack square of range so your opponent can immediately take one of your champs for the champ you just took. Just a wonderful piece. Militia Rating:5/4/5/3 This piece is strong for one reason: terrible design. For that reason it will likely never be balanced without being nerfed to oblivion. This piece has suffered a series of nerfs to try to make it less broken. What makes this piece bad design? It is balanced by paying morale on death which allows you to put a lot more points into your champs while still having some decent minions. Of course if you are using these you want to avoid using other sources of morale debt (magic, reaver, ect.) and running a whole line of these is not advised running around 2 or 3 is probably best as it reduces potential morale debt to a minimum. Its promotion serves only to protect you from morale loss due to losing the piece and is usually useless at that point in the game. Minotaur Rating 3/4/4/2 This is the other part of the classic behemoth minotaur combo. This piece is most efficient at + and ++. At base range 3 attack makes it unable to attack outside the range of the 8 cost short rook which is rather unfortunate and especially if you’re using the behemoth minotaur combo you definitely want to upgrade its range to range 4 to be truly oppressive at + for only 2 more points. ++ just gives a diagonal move which is quite helpful if not mandatory for this piece. At +++ I feel it's just too expensive to be useful. The trick with this piece is to have another piece threatening the champion you’re going to take with the minotaur so that you can get a guaranteed 2 for 1 or better trade. If you want to use the behemoth minotaur combo it's advisable to use 2 minotaurs in the center and a couple behemoths to completely control the center of the board. MoonFox Rating: 4/3/3/4 This piece is really good at killing the AI. All you have to do is park it in front of an enemy champ unprotected in a place where when it revives it can instantly kill the enemy king. This will work every single time against the AI. This piece is most efficient at base as you get 2 champs for the lowest cost possible and +++ as it no longer requires protection as it can immediately recapture anything that takes it. Be aware that this piece will work up a morale debt of 4 so be careful if you have other debt inducing pieces. This piece can fit in any army really but prefers armies that allow it a clear board so it can maximize its revival to get multiple champs. This piece is also really good in the end game due to the fact that you can put it in a location where its revival will mean the loss of a high value piece so you can leave it completely unprotected. Necromancer Rating: 2/2/3/4 This piece is a very good anti minion piece. This piece gets better the higher tier you get. The base tier is pretty unexceptable- no king attack on a 7 cost champ making it so minions can just move closer to avoid its threats. Same with + as it still can’t have full king attack. ++ is decent but +++ is always worth it to allow it to further expand its capabilities to make minions, as long as it stays alive as it will be a high priority for your opponent to trade for. It’s always worth spending 2 to kill a minion (even a value 0 one) as it will allow you a material. After transforming a piece next to a high value target it can be incredibly advantageous if you start a trade sequence as if you do it will revive on your turn (I think if not just kill something else with it) and allow you to get free material either by taking the thing next to it or allowing your piece to escape recapture. Nexus Rating: 1/1/2/2 This piece is largely useless. Base is pretty useless as it can’t teleport its target 3 spaces in one direction which is largely the purpose of using it. + is also pretty bad it now can teleport something but it can still only grab a piece immediately adjacent to it. You would be better off 99% of the time with a portal. ++ is better now that it can teleport much more things to its target and can be useful but honestly you probably would be better off with a beacon because the teleportation isn’t terribly useful outside of the first 10 moves in the game. +++ gives you more targets so now you can revive the phoenix beacon strategy because it can teleport the egg around and into your back line. Running more than 1 or 2 utility minions is still not recommended. Ninja Rating 3/3/2/1 This piece is fairly bad in my opinion. There are some high rated players that can make use of base but I just feel it gets progressively worse as you upgrade it as it just gets too expensive to trade which is the primary purpose of unblockable attacks. I also feel base has a poor comparison to antimage+++ as antimage has its passive and a similar moveset to ninja++ just with the unblockable attacks replaced with attack only at the same price as base ninja. + is an okay upgrade that allows it more mobility. ++ gives it some attacks but makes it impossible to to trade. +++ is rather silly with the angel teleports that make no sense as it doesn’t need more mobility and definitely doesn’t need the price increase. You can use it to get a quick smother mate but most people can avoid that fairly easily by having at least one piece capable of swapping or advancing the minion in front of their king. NullMage Rating: 0/0/1/2 Haha nullmage the thing grand released to keep order in the universe at release it was as bad as voidmage was good. After a patch and a buff it’s… still bad. Base and + are unusable due to their lack of range. ++ and +++ are better ++ is crippled by its lack of mobility and +++ is rather expensive. I’ve seen some players try to use it but their nullmage armies are fairly weak especially compared to their mains. I beat guhbuh when he was using a silly nullmage army and could have won another match if I hadn’t blundered at the end. Its nulling ability is fairly bad as it can be overcome by merely trading the piece and is fairly easily avoided. It's real use is to allow a piece to no longer block movement to allow threats on the king. This is easily countered by simply taking the nullmage and they’re left with a below average setup using too many rooks and rook like pieces. Paladin Rating: 2/3/2/2 This piece’s upgrades are fairly useless after the first. Base has a horrible blindspot on the diagonals and + fixes that problem. ++ is pretty bad because the teleports do fairly little for this piece. +++ is also bad because the swaps are even less useful. This piece can be used as a crutch for poor army building and tactics and not many top 50 players use this piece due to the fact that chastity is paladin without swaps and is much cheaper. Also if you build your army well enough and don’t use tons of utility minions you should be fine and not need this piece. Patience Rating: 3/3/2/2 I don’t like this piece. This piece forces a stall meta and is not fun to use nor play against. The player using this piece has to be very careful not to trade lest increase the percentage of comparative material deficit therefore it becomes an incredibly stally game. I would not recommend any tier above + as you put your game on a knife's edge because if you get behind it would be rather hard to catch up while down in material; any blunder means game over of course if your ryan who doesn’t make very many mistakes you’ll be okay but at has ranking he can’t lose games so this piece is a little silly. This piece even when its activated isn’t that great; it's slightly more powerful than its cost but not by much perhaps 2 points better at the most. Pawn Rating: 4/3/2/2 This piece is one of the most powerful 0 cost minions and can trade really well with other minions and can control space around it fairly well. However base axeman is better and I would highly recommend using that instead due to being able to mutually defend each other. Higher tiers of this piece are not recommended above + as a quick promoter isn’t terribly valuable in this game due to how easy it is to defend the back row in this game compared to normal chess. A few pawns can trade incredibly well with other minions in this game so they’re not a terrible piece to use; they're just too general for high level play. Penguin Rating: 2/1/1/0 This piece is bad at base and only gets worse as you upgrade it. This piece at base is worse than a pawn. It has half the attack squares and freeze isn’t useful as it can’t ever attack that piece so you’d need another minion to kill it which simply isn’t useful against other minions and has marginal utility against enemy champions. It looks even worse now that undine base is the same price and it has infinitely more mobility and its freeze is actually fairly useful. It’s higher tiers get so much mobility that no one cares about because it still can’t move forward left and right. This piece can’t even promote so getting to the edge of the board is meaningless just like all its added mobility. You could use this piece to try and freeze pieces for thunder mage/gluttony and nexus but that would be easily out classed by actually running decent minions and using a frostmage+++. Phalanx Rating: 2/2/2/1 This piece is simply too expensive for how much it gets nuanced. At base this piece is okay for bot farming due to bots not understanding how armor works but this piece gets nuanced so hard by your opponent having decent minions and using them that it's borderline impossible to checkmate an opponent's king with this unless you’ve already won. Base struggles to make threats due to its infuriatingly slow mobility and I would use a haunted armor++ instead for the same price because it can get to expensive pieces fast enough to not cost silly amounts of tempo to use. + allows it to make more threats but for 16 points you could use an actually decent piece instead. ++ becomes so outlandishly expensive that its not worth talking about and spending 21 points for a piece that gets nuanced before you can say garbage is pretty silly. Phantasm Rating: 3/3/2/2 You know I was going to rate this piece 0/0/-1/-1 and call it a day but I made a pretty dope phantasm rush and beat some people which was kinda amusing but to be fair I believe this piece is better than most people give it credit for. Firstly this piece can be incredibly tricky with its teleports and can infiltrate the enemy line and, in a rush deck, this is huge. Obviously this piece is only better than a ghost if you design your army around it. If my rankings weren’t so messed up and inconsistent I would likely give it a 2/2/1/1 for power. However a blob of these is just so indisputably strong and obnoxious that they’re useful enough. The only problem with a phantasm blob is that it is in almost every way worse than a hoplite rush as it can’t advance easily at all. The best tier is obviously either base or + because it just gets some whacky swaps at later tiers that aren’t worth the price and just solidifies the impression that many people have that it's just a worse ghost and it is unless you have a use for the teleports. Phoenix Rating: 4/4/4/4 This piece is incredibly annoying to play against as in some setups such as a gravity nexus setup it makes it impossible to take when the phoenix is within range of any of these pieces due to it being teleported to safety making for horribly stally games and is one of the least fun armies to play against in ceo. This piece is almost useless in non cancer armies which makes this piece horrible design as it's either broken or an easy way to lose. All tiers are fine due to the moveset changes being fairly trivial with the only difference being how long it takes the egg to hatch and the penalty for losing the egg (price + penalty always equals 25 at all tiers) so use any tier depending on your army’s needs. Pikeman Rating: 2/1/4/4 This piece starts out very weak at base. Its limited mobility, a lack of attacks outside of range one, and no promotion is pretty bad. + doubling the cost for a range 2 attack square is a joke. ++ is really good due to how much coverage it gets and makes it impossible for lower range champions to take it without getting recaptured. I haven’t used +++ but I feel it's a little too expensive for regular use at 8 but then again it has absurd coverage so I don’t know. This piece is best used near the center to maximize its coverage and in quantities of no more than 3 due to if you use more you begin to get diminishing returns and the lack of tradable minions will really hurt your army. If your army uses a bunch of expensive minions or doesn’t have enough tradeable minions magic becomes really important to defend against entropic minions such as a vm or necromancer. You also want to use a bunch of low value tradable champions such as knight when using pikemen to shut down your opponent from using anything other than minions against you lest risk being forced down to trade their champions. PoisonMage Rating:1/2/2/3 This piece is really bad. This is one of the most common beginner mistakes which is developing a poisonmage and nothing else and running around the board in the hope of getting a free minion. While this can work against the AI it will not work against an opponent who knows what they’re doing and will crush you with their developmental advantage while you’re busy running around the board with your silly piece until they inevitably catch it due to all of they’re pieces being advanced choking you out of the board. Not to mention that this strategy will flat out not work against any one using heavier control decks without entropic minions for you to steal much or even get close to. This piece is weak at all tiers except +++ which has some serious long range valk poisons however its fatal flaw at that tier is that it is no longer safe from trades as it is fairly solidly in the mid cost range at 13 cost. Portal Rating 1/1/1/1 Running this piece is rather silly and often foolish. Attempting to use this piece more than once will make it extremely inefficient compared to nexus and beacon. This piece has literally no purpose after the first 2 turns and often a ghost will be infinitely better. If your army needs this piece it usually has other problems. I know of exactly one army from a gm that uses a portal but it doesn’t really need it. Any tier is bad but they are pretty much evenly bad depending on what your army needs but +++ is usually unnecessary as ++ will usually do everything it can do for less. Pride Rating: 4/3/3/2 This piece can be very useful to counter morale debt and can be used to allow for lich spam or to counteract morale loss from militia. At base this piece is a very solid 6 (3 during the game) cost king attacker this makes it a solid piece but is slightly worse now that chastity is only 5. + is a little expensive for warrior movement, same for ++ and +++ is just way too expensive to be traded making this piece’s purpose less useful as a debt suppressor. However this piece can become incredibly powerful if it eats an expensive piece because it can force your opponent to down trade for it to avoid losing to morale decay. This piece is strong in stall armies and is better than gluttony imo for defending mid cost champions as it is far more mobile than gluttony. Prince Rating 2/1/3/1 This piece, considered a crutch by many, should only be used in a rush deck or a rg++ deck. This piece is best at base if you know your king will surely die in the early game however if you can’t I would use ++ as its a warrior ++ for 2 more instead of an incredibly overpriced king attacker. Prince base is absolute garbage in the endgame as your opponent can usually force your king away from prince and king attackers are largely useless. ++, however, is capable of doing much more and controls a decent amount of space and is fairly mobile. + is extra mobility on a piece that can’t move away from the king, how useless. +++ gets some swaps that are largely pointless unless you have some undying hatred of armored pieces. Princess Rating 0/0/2/1 This piece is pretty weak for a number of reasons. 1. While this piece doesn’t cost this piece doesn’t cost any points when building your army you lose a minion slot making your opponent’s minions much harder to deal with. 2. If you can promote this minion odds are you’ve already won or could win due to being up in material. 3. Its promotion can be nuanced easily by paladin and chastity. 4. Blundering this piece can make it very difficult to win. If you absolutely have to use this piece ++ is the only viable piece due to the morale penalty of +++ being far too high. Base and + are very difficult to promote and are therefore useless. Pyromancer Rating 2/2/3/2 This piece is okay and incredibly annoying to play against. At base this piece is fairly weak with its stunted mobility it is difficult to get anywhere. I would recommend using + to get some extra mobility. ++ is good as it finally gets some attacks outside of range 1 which is nice. +++ however is just too expensive to be worth using as if ++ wasn’t getting traded for all the time then +++ will surely get traded. This piece is good at defending frontline minions and combos well with units that can freeze/inflict status at range. On the flip side if you’re fighting this piece you simply have trade with a minion in front of it while defending that piece with a rook of some type. Queen Rating 2/0/2/1 This piece is the only original chess piece that is absolute garbage in this game. Bringing this piece out early is an even bigger deathwish than regular chess due to minions being stronger than in regular chess which makes it much easier to corner the queen. + is an absolutely terrible upgrade- more mobility on a piece that has far too much mobility already and adds the ability to jump the minion line on a piece that can’t survive if developed early thanks grand. ++ is of the same calibre as base. However this piece is pretty bad when compared with dragon+ as dragon+ has the same checkmating power as a queen for much less. +++ is only useful if you want to be able to lose 30 morale by losing a single piece. If you want the knight swaps just use an sk++ Ranger Rating: 0/4/3/3 This piece is great for defending an area as no matter how many attackers your opponent has on a square they can’t move to that square without being taken by the ranger. Base is useless due to its horrible mobility; it can’t threaten anything. + is good due to it being a powerful threat that can force your opponents to down trade for it. ++ us okay but the diagonal blindspot hurts it alot and it costs a lot to have a blind spot on an anti-minion piece. +++ just becomes incredibly expensive but it can kill minions fairly well and, unlike necromancer, it is useful against champions but your opponent can trade for it easily. Reaver Rating 4/3/4/3 This piece is good but usually only when it's the only morale debt inducing piece in an army as if it trades for a mid cost champion it can give you a material advantage. Base is decent as it can be a budget king attacker- I’ve seen one army using 6 of these but I’m not sure how wise that is. + is a little weak as it's very slow and can’t fork anything and is too expensive to use in great quantities. ++ is good as it's mobile enough to force a champion trade without costing too much. +++ is a little too expensive and induces a significant amount of morale debt so I would avoid it. Rook Rating 4/4/2/2 Rook, like almost all classic chess pieces, is very good in this game. This piece is the cheapest full range attack making it a quintessential piece for any rush in the game. Outside of a rush this piece's full range is rarely used however and you’re usually going to be better off with some type of short rook ditching the extra range for a different bonus. At + this piece gains some diagonal moves which are very helpful in allowing you to stack 2 rooks onto a column. ++ gains an additional range of movement which is usually useless and hurts it’s trading ability so I would avoid using this tier if possible. +++ gets some cool swaps that are absolutely garbage. RoyalGuard Rating 1/1/5/2 This piece is very weak at base and +. It’s a skeleton without status immunity and a promote and has a teleport that is fairly useless as if you have to use it you’re going to only use it in an emergency unless you’ve built an army around it then why not use ++. ++is incredibly powerful as it is one of the cheapest king attack units and has an extra semi useful ability boosted by its powerful moveset. +++ is a grand design which probably deserves a higher rating than 2 but it’s swaps are absolute trash which makes it just ++ for an extra point. Salamander Rating: -5/2/3/2 This piece is fairly useless. Base is horrible. There are so many other 0 cost minions and they all make this unit look terrible not only is it color bound but it can’t go backward. Undine base is better in so many ways having a nearly identical moveset but without destroy and having move or attack and also having weak coverage on its sides and that piece is bad. Duelist has armor and is not entropic nor color bound. + is simply a worse samurai as it not only costs tempo to destroy stuff in front of it but it also can’t perform double kills. ++ is the only good tier as it can now be used as a promoter and breaks it’s direct comparison to samurai. +++ just becomes far too expensive to be used- at that point you’re probably better off with militia or frostmephit. Samurai Rating 4/3/2/2 This piece is really good not only does it have militia-like coverage in front of it, it also has the ability to allow you to take another turn after it takes something in front of it. This ability can also be used in samurai columns to make it so that when one samurai moves in front of another samurai nothing can stop (except magic) the samurai from taking a piece in the diagonal spots in front of the first samurai. Samurai also has an amusing synergy with meteor mage as it can trigger immediately after it gets pushed. However, this strategy can be counter but is amusing nonetheless and I would highly recommend using it in any army with a samurai line just to have an extra tool up your sleeve. All the upgrrdes are stupid as they grant extra mobility extremely ineffectively. + is the only upgrade I could see being useful- any higher upgrades and you’re better off with militia. Shieldsman Rating Joke/Joke-20/Joke-300/Joke-9000 Wow this piece has been buffed to great effect- it’s still completely worthless. Don’t use this piece unless you have some bazaar undying hatred of rush- oh wait it's still completely worthless against rush. Its promotion is also absolutely worthless. After several upgrades it still has the same number of attack squares but costs infinitely more. Oh but you get some wonderful movement squares- how exciting. The only possible offensive use for this piece is beating your opponent with this joke of a piece. But joking aside you could do some weird moves by threatening to take a high valued piece with the piece this piece is guarding due to the swap which might make it okay. Siren Rating: 1/1/1/2? This piece is really bad- simply put it’s ability is easily countered and if your opponent can out tempo you you’ll be just giving them free pieces. This piece’s ability should only be used on minions as if you use it on a champion it’s very inefficient- hitting the resign button is much faster. This piece remains consistently bad at all theirs except +++ but you’re just paying more for it. +++ is a little better due to being able to kill minions before they get to it but its likely still just garbage and probably not worth the points spent on it. As you could get a vm++ for not too much more. Skeleton Rating: 2/1/4/3 This piece is pretty weak at all tiers except ++ and +++ due to how poorly it trades and how slow it is. At base it's bad due to its poor trading ability and how horrifically slow it is. At + its a mercenary for 2 more with status immunity that can’t trade with anything and can’t threaten champions. At ++ it's very good if you’re already using a necromancer as you can get a 2 point material advantage for every one of these you have in your army otherwise ++ is worse than + also using this combo also provides anti minion due to necromancer being a solid piece against minions. +++ is a solid minichamp that has the added bonus of nuancing people that use frostmage+++ and alch. Slime Rating: 2/3/3/2 This piece would be incredibly good if there was no ranged destroy in this game, unfortunately it exists in spades. At base this piece is a little lacking due to lacking sideways movement and would be a solid 1 cost deterrent if its promotion wasn’t garbage. + fixes bases problems but is a little more expensive but is far better than base as its promotion is infinitely better. ++ is also solid as it can attack sideways which makes its defensive coverage much larger and allows 2 of these to mutually defend each other. +++ is a little weak as its movement is unnecessary and Giantslime+++ isn’t that much better than ++ that it justifies the extra point. Snake Rating: 0/0/0/1 This piece at all tiers except +++ is not used in any grandmaster army (even Ryan’s) and likely will not be found there anytime soon unless it is buffed for multiple reasons. First off, it can’t attack outside of range 1 which is a problem to anyone that wants to use it for it’s intended purpose- setting up 2 for 1 minion trades due to not being able to attack outside of any usable minion’s attack range. Secondly its passive gets nuanced all the time as almost everyone has a champion that costs more than 10 or has magic adjacent to every minion in their minion line making it even less useful. Finally, higher tiers trade incredibly poorly even in the unlikely event of a 2 for 1 trade. Soulflare Rating:1/1/2/2 This piece is pretty useless from my encounters with it. Base is laughably bad- its a worse fireball for one less that can’t target champions. Pieces charmed by soulflare are usually retaken instantly. The only thing I have yet to try with this piece is a soulflare rush due to being too broke to afford multiple copies of +++. At + this piece is bad but now costs 2 more to avoid being nuanced by thundermage. ++ is far better that + but now you have to rely on your opponent having hanging cheap minions or incredibly expensive minions. Same thing for +++ its just not worth it. However there is one interesting interaction with tombstone. This piece can kill a minio and leave 2 death locations (1 where it died and the other where the charmed minion dies) but again it probably isn’t worth it as gemini can do a similar trick and leave 3 death locations. SoulKeeper Rating: 3/3/4/4 This piece starts out okay and increases in power as it up tiers. Base is pretty much a better knight+ but it still isn’t that great as it's rather slow. + is the worst tier of solukeeper as I don’t think extra mobility is worth 3 points as it removes any possibility of getting a favorable trade with it. ++ is solid as it can really capitalize on weak minions with diagonal blindspots. +++ gets extra mobility making it useful in rush type decks but I would avoid using it in any deck except those as the extra movement isn’t really necessary it takes this piece's price to another level of absurdity. This piece combos really well with comet by freezing targets for it to attack as well as beacon to recall the spawn ghosts however I wouldn’t recommend using this piece in the current meta due to it being shut down by heavy control setups but it's probably still fine at lower ranks as you don’t really see these kinds of nonsensical setups until then. Spearman Rating: 1/3/2/2 This piece is okay but I feel pikeman does almost everything better except promote which is the primary failing of that piece. I would avoid using base as a only being able to move straight cripples the piece as mobility is very important for it to be able to threaten champions and force them to move off a file. + is good for the aforementioned reasons and is a very worthwhile upgrade. ++ is okay but is just far too expensive to be decent so I would avoid using it as it is a 5 cost entropic minion which will get destroyed by ranger and FE. +++ is an okay upgrade if you’re running a spearman rush but otherwise it's not worth it. Also I don’t believe spearman rush to be viable at all due to how expensive high tier spearmen are and the fact that hoplites are better in almost every way as unlike a spearman rush hoplite rushes don’t completely lose if they fail to break through if they’ve taken a couple decent minions/champs however spearmen rush due to how poorly they trade, you will end up downtrading so you need to break through if you don’t want to lose and its rather hard to do with spearmen as they’re fairly slow so your opponent can bolster their defences in the meantime. If you decide to use harpy+++’s to propel the spearmen you end up with some overpriced rooks that will down trade making the rush even worse. Spider Rating: 0/0/0/1 This piece is very bad as I’ve already stated multiple times in this guide, poison is absolute garbage, range 1 poison is useless in almost all situations. So here we have a piece whose only attack is range 1 poison with the added bonus of being color bound until +++ so it can’t even attack half the squares on the board. At + this piece gains more mobility which is pretty bad on a piece that already has plenty of it and hurts it’s trading ability. If you say that doesn’t matter as it can get pieces for free with poison you’d be incredibly wrong as it's nearly impossible to get a free piece with range 1 poison as plenty of minions have attacks in front of themselves and usually your opponent will control squares on both sides of it. The poisoned piece will likely suicide into the spider and you now have a trade, but worse as you now have to spend another turn retaking whatever took it if you defended the spider. ++ is more mobility for 2x the cost. +++ might be the only tier with a foreseeably use as a trash promoter. Stonemage Rating: 0/0/0/0 This piece is one of the worst pieces ever. At base you have a ghost that isn’t transparent for 2 more with some extra swaps and as a champion, what?, you say there's some dark grey squares on this piece too, they’re absolutely useless- you can either pay 1 to petrify a unit that you could take with a different unit already or you can make some vampire food they’re garbage and irrelevant to the value of this piece. + you get 2 more swaps and more petrify locations for the price of a paladin that will do everything this piece does but better as those petrify locations are useless. ++ wow you can spend 3 more points to get nothing but 2 more swaps- what a steal. +++ oh look it's the same thing as the last 2 upgrades but now your total price is up to 15 wow it’s about as useful as a gold plated toilet. Summoner Rating: 3/3/3/3 This piece is the only developmental piece that is actually fairly decent as it retains some usefulness in manipulating the board throughout the game after developing pieces as its primary use. It can move pesky minions away from the center and can be used to protect the king like a paladin by either teleporting the king or the piece in the same row that's threatening it using the teleport to ability target squares. All tiers of this piece are good but some are better than others base and ++ are the best tiers as they have the best mobility for the least amount of points- the diagonal moves on +++ aren’t necessary likewise the swaps on + don’t justify using it or not just using ++ but any tiers fine. Swordsman Rating: 1/0/1/1 This piece is very questionable and definitely did not deserve to be nerfed last patch. At base also known as ranger food it is a skeleton but is bound to its file and can’t move backward. With its horrible mobility it's nearly impossible to threaten anything and for whatever reason it costs a point. This looks especially bad when undine is currently a 0 cost minion with militia movement and slightly weaker sideways coverage. I could definitely see this unit still be garbage at 0 cost. + is a skeleton but almost objectively worse in all aspects except for the promotion which will never happen with this unit because it's ridiculously slow and the promotion only exists for flavor. ++ is bad as for 1 more you could get a king attacker like rg++ or butterfly+++ who have much better mobility. +++ is a joke as it costs the same amount as a king attacker but lacks backwards attacks and has extra movement from its starting square which is also garbage as warrior+++ is also pretty bad. Sylph Rating: 1/1/3/2 I don’t enjoy this piece. It's largely based on your opponent being an idiot and walking next to it due to it not showing up on the danger grid while being balanced by you hanging pieces on its square because of it showing up on your danger grid. Base and + never promote due to it being difficult to get next to an enemy minion to push it to promote. ++ is the best tier as it can usually get wind twice and even blowing something once will significantly improve the piece. +++ is just a little too expensive for my taste but it could work. Taurus Rating: 0/1/4/4 This piece is inordinately bad at base and + as its too slow to make threats with its ability. At ++ however it gets a range 2 attack removing its blind spot and making it essentially a short rook for 8 cost but with diagonal moves and range 2 diagonal attacks which is above the curve for short rooks. At +++ it gains diagonal attacks for 2 more which I also consider an okay upgrade. This piece's advantage is that if it gets past the enemy minion line when the minions have advanced it can get a free minion by rushing it backward onto your side of the field. Temperance Rating: 1/1/0/0 This is one of the only pieces that becomes worse (disregarding point values) as you upgrade it. At base this piece’s high cost and horrible movement make it difficult to uptrade and failing to do so quickly will result in a piece that can no longer force trades due to the amount of pieces off the board and cannot checkmate king due to its skeleton like movement leaving you with none of the 10 points you spent on it nor a useful piece. + improves its moveset but hurts it’s ability to actually trade rendering it worthless. ++ gives it range 2 attacks and allows basically any champion to walk up to it and kill it, not to mention how many armies don’t run very many units above 14 cost, ensuring a down trade. +++ is beyond useless for the aforementioned reasons. Templar Rating: 0/1/1/1 At base this piece is worthless. It’s whole point is defense but not being able to defend the square directly in front of it makes it lose some value. At + I would not use this piece unless you need the swaps as base drake for a similar amount has better coverage. ++ is imo not worth it at all as you could use apprentice ++ at this point which is so much better than it for 1 less point. +++ is similarly useless to ++. The only time I would advise using this piece is if you’re running lifestone but apprentice ++ does its job better while also providing another minichamp to trade. ThunderMage Rating 1/2/3/3 Upgrading this piece is essential to allow it to be useful. This piece is strictly a combo piece as it is fairly worthless without petrify and allows for free pieces when combined with it and improving this piece makes all the petrification in your army better. Upgrading this piece allows it more mobility and makes thundering theses targets much easier especially when combined with its increased thunder range. I would not recommend using base as its limited mobility makes it worthless in all uses except for nuancing lifestone and pathetic at defence. + is decent. ++ however completely outshines it as the swaps make it much easier to use. +++ is also worth a point for more swaps and thunder squares. Tiger Rating: 3/1/2/2 I dislike this piece and haven’t really used it very much as I feel it is very overpriced at all tiers except +++ where it's only slightly overpriced. At base it's okay as you can usually uptrade with it for a stronger minion at 1 cost the only problem with this piece as if it survives to the end game it's useless but for 1 point it's no big loss. + however I feel is very overpriced as for 2 more points it improves its ability to threaten minions but ruins its ability to get a good trade as minions costing 4+ points usually have range 2 attacks which makes it much harder to trade with them not to mention if this piece survives until the endgame it will have a difficult time doing anything and will just be a 3 point waste. ++ and +++ are both over priced by 1 or 2 points as they need to get hanging minions for them to be useful and that doesn’t happen very often if your opponent is any good so +++ is just a kingattacker for 2 more points compared to butterfly+++ or rg++ with a highly useless ability. Also I would advise against using more than 1 tiger in an army as you will not only have difficulty in threatening champions but also finding good trades for them as armies don’t usually run more than a few high cost minions. Toad Rating:1/0/1/2 This piece is bad simply because its gimmick is so useless. At base you have a kingattacker for 1 less than grand’s standard pricing that can’t attack anything between it and the edge of the board, that has a piece behind it, and in a corner. This piece also can’t recapture stuff because it ends up in a weird spot afterward undefended. So with that said the best tiers are the ones with the most unblockable attacks and the least stupid leap attacks and teleports. + is garbage as the teleports are useless if you can’t attack anything. ++ is better due to it having some non leap attack attacks and +++ is the best tier as it's just a crap ninja. Tombstone Rating: 3/2/3/3 This piece has received a couple of buffs in the last patch which have increased its viability to actually be very playable now. This pieces ability to summon skeletons to the front lines is incredibly powerful as it makes any squares next to the death square threats so long as the death square itself is protected. Also the tombstone’s skeletons are practically half price as it gains value but makes losing the tombstone more dangerous but that becomes near to an impossibility as you summon more skeletons. This piece combos well with itself (I would recommend using 2 in every army as they allow for free skeletons until they stop giving morale), lich (as its skeletons create death locations and allow for the horde to create permanent outposts where they die), dryad (death locations/morale farming), and gemini. (2 pieces to trade plus a death location where the split happens) All tiers of this piece are fine except + in my opinion. Base is good just as a filler for an army that needs some extra material late game/extra utility at the cost of early game power. + is weird as it neither allows for long range summoning nor is it cheap so it's pretty bad. ++ is good as you can summon a ton of skeletons before it stops gaining value, and +++ can summon skeletons almost to the back line making it easy for them to promote. Undine Rating: 4/1/3/5 Undine is interesting. Despite freeze being utterly worthless 90% of the time especially due to it not being able to permanently freeze something due to the push it is a solid 0 cost minion without the freeze flavoring and gives it some extra control and has a decent promotion for a 0 cost minion. + however is worse due to paying an extra point for some more freeze is fairly meh and not a good investment. ++ is solid due to getting a freeze in front which controls some extra space and prevents your opponent from moving a piece there. +++ is really powerful as it has militia movement with some added freeze for only 4 points which is absolutely incredible and is one of the best minions in the game in my opinion. Valkyrie Rating: 3/2/2/2 This piece can deliver very unexpected forks but suffers from being colorbound and having limited maneuverability. The king teleportation stuff is just flavor and might have the occasional use of saving your king when you blunder. At base this piece is best as it has 2 range 3 unblockables on each axle for a mere 8 cost making almost any fork worthwhile with this piece and limits the chance of it surviving until the endgame where its not terribly useful due to having less pieces to fork and it’s aforementioned colorboundness. Each subsequent upgrade increases the cost and allows it more squares to fork. In my opinion each of these upgrades is worthless especially + as it just gives more useless king teleport locations for 2 points. Vampire Rating: 3/3/4/5 This piece is incredibly powerful but must be used fairly carefully as it can get trapped fairly easily. At base this piece is the only tier I consider to be slightly below average as it has the moveset (+bat flavoring) of a legionary++ for 3 more, at that tier its morale vamp has minimal effect and with its short range and slow movement it can find difficulty in sniping hanging minions. + gives more range and more importantly, increases its vamp ability by 50% for a mere 3 points definitely recommended. ++ further enhances its moveset and vamp ability to a point where stealing minions can hurt your opponent terribly. At +++ it gains more bat squares, range, and vamp ability and is definitely recommended as at that point increases don’t hurt its trading ability much as you can’t trade it anyway. The bat squares on this piece can be useful for allowing the piece to survive and escape but I would only recommend using them when the vampire will immediately promote from using them as leaving a bat form is very risky as bat base and + are very difficult to promote if there’s more than a few pieces on the board. The bat transform also nuances poison and other statuses which can be helpful to keep in mind when fighting a vampire or using one. This piece has a final use of disincentivizing your opponent from trading VoidMage Rating: 3/2/6/5 Ha you thought I forgot about the fact that I have a 6 rating for pieces. This piece goes from balanced (or slightly up) at base and + to absolutely broken at ++ and +++. This piece’s power comes from its inordinately long range and the fact that it’s destroy also blocks for the vm to prevent it from being taken. At base this piece is decent and is a good cheap anti minion/rangerlite. At + this piece is completely overshadowed by ranger+ that costs 1 less and actually destroys the things it targets without spending 2 and can fork reliably. At ++ this piece can completely lock down the file that it's in making it impassible while still staying at a very competitive price point. +++. An extra 2 points for a piece that doesn't need to move much for more movement is very silly and is a completely worthless upgrade but is still absolutely broken due to how broken range 3 destroy is. Warrior Rating: 3/2/3/3 This piece is a solid tradable champion at all tiers. At base this piece is fairly decent for its price point and can come out ahead in most trades and has enough range to avoid most minions. + is largely unnecessary as it doesn’t add to the power of the piece terribly much. ++ is another solid piece as it can now fork things and can force trades. At +++ the extra movement again can be useful but is fairly unnecessary as this piece has plenty of movement already. This piece at all tiers can be a decent defender and due to being a fairly cheap king attacker. WaterElemental Rating: 4/3/5/3 This piece is very strong. It’s magic allows it to control more area around it and can prevent high value targets from moving in its blindspots and can checkmate king almost as well as a dragon at higher tiers. At base this piece is a solid king attacker, only overshadowed by pride and can be used as trade fodder with the added benefit of more control. + is largely an unnecessary upgrade as it greatly hurts it’s trading ability which is the primary purpose of this piece. ++ is a very strong piece as it has the moveset of a warrior++ and has incredible coverage to go with it for only 2 more points. +++ gets some unblockable attacks that, while nice, increase the price of the piece far too much to be useful as you could use a dragon+ for only 2 more- a much more powerful piece. WindMage Rating: 2/1/1/1 This piece in a very grand way of upgrading only gets swaps and worthless long range wind. This piece is okay at base if you have a need for the push but otherwise it's just a bad king attacker with some teleports. Avoid using upgraded versions of this piece for the aforementioned reasons and you’ll be fine. Strategies using wind are usually fairly bad as they’re easily blocked and get nuanced against certain armies which is unacceptable for an army used in ranked as it can lead to losing against someone rated much lower than yourself. It's a pretty bad piece. Wisp Rating:1/2/2/1 This piece, while incredibly annoying to play against can be thwarted by being taken by minions and also comes at a cost of using 1 less champion which makes your remaining champions trade far worse in comparison to your opponents. At base this piece has a very limited range of movement so it is advisable to use a higher tier remedy. + is solid as it can reach almost all the board and all of it after its first teleport while still avoiding a high value to avoid allowing champions to take it. ++ does little + does unless you need a wisp to reach your opponent’s area on its first move. +++ has gotten to the price where opposing champions can take it while coming out ahead and its swaps aren’t terribly helpful as presumably the wisp will be blocking an attack at all times- exactly where you don’t want your pieces. Wizard Rating 2/2/2/1 This piece is okay but I feel its largely a beginner piece as it has a very small attack range for 13 points. Legionary++ is the same cost but has a range 3 attack in all directions. So unless you need the swaps I would avoid using it at base. + gives some extra worthless swaps for another point. ++ gives some teleports which are nice but not worth it at 15 cost for a piece that can’t attack outside range 2. +++ gives more swaps. Yay. This piece can be used to swap fireballs and other immobile pieces like tombstone forward so that’s nice but this piece is still so overpriced that it's not worth it. Wrath Rating: 2/3/2/1 This piece is very interesting as it is really good in certain situations- but mainly as a stall piece to prevent trades in front of it by hurting your opponents tempo and threatening to continue its tempo advantage especially if your opponent's king is trapped and requires an additional move to escape. This piece combos well with wisp as wisp can trap your opponent’s king further and force your opponent to remedy their tempo disadvantage immediately allowing you to potentially exploit that vulnerability. Base is rather lacking due to the lack of kingattack which hurts its prowess as a king defender therefore + is the best tier. ++ is rather lame as the additional thunder spots are fairly weak. +++ The movement is nice but it's not worth using at the cost of it. The lightning is okay at nuancing immobile pieces but is not as good as thundermage as it lacks movement and range.