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【AutoChess:Strategy*Composition】Cave Divinity Shaman

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This is Otoche no Mori

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This article is about Cave Divine Shaman

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Team Composition

  • God of War
  • Goddess of Light
  • Grand Herald
    Soul Devourer
  • Swordsman
  • Water Spirit
  • Lava Shaman
  • Storm Shaman
  • The Scryer(Defector as replacement is okay)

HP buff from Cave synergy, the ability to counter carries with 4 Shaman and the lack of hard counter builds make this build very stable.

Compared to previous seasons when Storm Shaman was still a 4 cost, it became less common of a build but since the update on November 5th (buff to Cave synergy and Lava Shaman) lead to this build being popular again.

One of the features of this build is that there are 5 units that are 2G which makes the build cheap.

This guide will introduce a play style that focuses on that feature.

Different players have different playstyles, so please view this as one of the examples.

Key features of the playstyle

・Roll at level 5 
・Aim to 3 star all the 2G
・Keep 50G for a while

When I first taught this build to someone (during S7), they were surprised that even Soul Devourer and Goddess of Light were 3 starred but it feels like it’s becoming the norm now.

Early game (Round 1-14)

During early game, with this playstyle, these are rounds when no gold should be spent on leveling.

Round 1-3

When to play Cave Divinity

Item: Magicka Crystal + (Magicka Crystal or Magicka Staff) is given

Piece: Priest pieces (Goddess of Light or Fortune Teller) is given

It’s often thought that Teleport Dagger is the key item but personally I don’t make this item until late game.  I heavily prioritize Pulse Staff in the early game.

Voodoo Staff is also an item I prioritize for the late game, so Magicka staff is just as an important item as Magicka Crystal.  If skill damage is too low, it can be difficult vs Insects and Beasts when it comes to clearing Plague Wards (Poisonous Worm summons) and potentially could take a lot of damage as a result.

Besides that, make sure to pick items so in the end you can make at least one Ice Platemail and Python Wand

It’s tempting to put all items on the carry Water Spirit, but it is more effective to put Ice Platemail on God of War.  Since Water Spirit is ranged unit, it is often the case that the item is wasted as it is usually not focused at the start of the round.

Cons of Teleport Dagger (For high level players)
  • -Mana sucked by opponent’s Soul Devourer
  • -Able to be easily countered by opponent’s Taboo Witcher
  • -Opponent’s corner positioning stays still and hard to get into corners
  • -Easily countered by Doom Arbiter with Teleport Dagger
      ・Amongst the highest cost units, unit with the most mana is targeted the most (?
      ・During the assassin jump animation, Doom’s skill does not target Water Spirit.

Of course there’s a big merit to instantly gaining Mana so it’s up to preference of the player.

4-9 Rounds

If Goddess of Light is pulled, it’s okay to go for a lose streak but prioritize saving HP over continuing the streak.  The best is if you’re able to continue the streak while minimizing damage by eliminating some pieces in battles.

There’s a way of thinking that “it’s okay to not use items when lose streaking” but it is okay to combine items to preserve HP. Even if you keep the items, you usually need to combine it to beat Round 10 creeps anyway.

Rounds to hit interest point by

GoldPrioritizing HPPrioritizing Interest
1065
2087
30109

Since every round you get 5G+interest, even if lose streak is not sustained, it’s not difficult to make 10G in 2 rounds.

HP by rounds

RoundPrioritizing HPPrioritizing Interest
108070
156050
205040

If you open fort with just Priest, by round 10 you should have around 70 HP.

Round 10 Rock Golem Strategy

Water Spirit, Swordsman, Redaxe Chief, God of War and Goddess of Light is the basic early game composition.

Strategy Point

・Making sure each pieces skills hit multiple enemies.
・Use Water Spirit as a tank and use its skill right before dying (need 2 Cave synergy)
・Give items to Swordsman and make sure he finishes casting his skill

Image 1: Positioning vs Rock Golem
Image 2: Ideal movement pattern
Image 3: Non-ideal movement pattern

If the Rock Golems move forward first like in Image 2, it’s ideal.

If our chess pieces move forward first like in Image 3, not ideal. (Water Spirit not tanking)

In the case of the ideal pattern, Rock Golems can be beaten with all units as 1 star.  If the non-ideal movement pattern occurs, the round is lost unless there’s at least 1 2 star unit.  If there’s no 2 star unit, make a board that can win the round even if it costs a little bit of moneyFlaming Wizard with 2 Divinity synergy and Spirit Synergy is also effective.  3 Hunters are not recommended for this round since the nerf has happened.

Round 10-14

After Rock Golems, the focus should be to save money.

This is where the playstyle turns into Stay on level 5 and roll while keeping above 50G.

Rates for Level ⅚

1G Level 5: 40% -> Level 6: 33%

2G Level 5: 35% -> Level 6: 30%

Look to 2 star the 5 main units while the rate of finding them are higher.  Keep all pieces that will eventually be 3 starred.

It’s not a strategy that immediately looks for 3 starred units at level 5 so don’t roll below 50G.

Mid game strategy(Round15-25)

This is when 2 star Water Spirit activates itself as a carry.

Round 15 Wolves Strategy

I will challenge with the same 5 bodies as in the 10th round, but I want to keep about 3 of them with 2 stars.

Strategy point

・Make Swordsman’s skill hit all 5 wolves
・Depending on how many stars each unit has, change positions and pieces
・If Water Spirit is 2 starred, it’s okay to go level 6 here

There are scenarios where the frontline jumps to the front of the board but compared to Rock Golems, it’s not as punishing.

If Swordsman is only 1 star, this position is dangerous, so switch it either God of War or Redaxe Chief 

Same as Rock Golem, if you’re unable to beat Wolves, roll below 50G to make your composition stronger.

Round 16-19

All gold above 50G was used for rolling up until now, but now it’s time to start leveling while keeping 50G.

There is a strategy that looks to end winstreaks by going level 8 at round 16, but I keep at 50G most of the time.

It’s possible to maintain lose streak and only lose 2-3HP at this point in the game, so I don’t force leveling up.

Levels based on rounds

RoundPrioritizing InterestAiming to end winstreak
1668
1878
2188 or 9
2689

If there are people winstreaking past round 16, check if the streaker has already been faced during round 12-14.

If winstreakers haven’t been faced, break 50G and get stronger to get the gold bonus for ending the streaker.

Round 20 Lethal Ursa strategy

Strategy Point

・Place God of War on the very left to tank against the Red Ursa which has higher attack speed
・If still level 7, go for 4 Cave synergy instead

Generally during creep rounds, Area of Effect spells are not that effective so in the case that you’re still at level 7, go for 4 Cave 2 Divinity synergy instead of 2 Cave 4 Divinity.

I personally tried it myself, but apparently there is 4 Cave 4 Divinity that does not utilize Water Spirit.

Since the Cave synergy buff, it’s become easier to beat creep rounds.

Rounds 21-24

Round 21 is generally when power spikes hit for lot of builds.  Make sure to level up to 8 and put out 4 Cave 4 Divinity and Water Spirit.

After saving up to 50G again, keep it at that and roll.

If Grand Herald is 2 starred, it temporarily becomes Doom Arbiter’s skil counter so it’s generally not to level to 9 until doing so.

Mid game positioning

Round 25 Wild Wing Ripper Strategy

Strategy Point

・Leave God of War on the right to absorb the damage from the right side

Besides God of War, positioning for the rest is flexible.  It’s simple.

In reality, it’s possible to win this round without  making any positioning changes.

Late Game Strategy (Round 26 ~)

Focus of this phase is to 3 star the 2 costs and aiming for 4 Shamans too in the process.

It’s difficult to say when to exactly level to 9 since it depends on the board and the pieces you have but if The Scryer is pulled, it’s okay to go level 9.

If Grand Herald isn’t starred up and if God of War is close to 3 stars, it would be better to stay on level 8.  It really depends on what pieces you have, remaining HP, strength of other players so it’s best to scout and decide.

If there are lot of pairs for 3 stars on the bench, just all in and roll.

Once it gets to this phase of the game, Actions Per Minute gets higher and gets more difficult.

Seeing the pieces you worked so hard to collect turn into 3 stars is like being a teacher and seeing your students graduating.

Teachers from overseas will start to notice your students and will visit your board to find out what’s going on.  Let’s show off your proud students!

Why aim to 3 star all the 2 costs?
  • After 3 starring a unit, it no longer shows up on the shop and gets easier for other pieces to show up
    – Not worried even if Water Spirit is contested
    – Better chance finding the pieces from the same rarity than different.
  • Bait for Doom Arbiter’s Doom Curse.
  • To make the board strong to aim for 1st place
  • It’s fun!

To 3 star the 2 costs is just one of the playstyle of this build.  Depending on the opponents, it’s better to transition to Marine or to get faster 4 Shaman synergy.

Obviously, not all match will have enough gold to be able to 3 star all the 2 costs.

Generally, it’s better to 3 star whatever you have the most copy of, but if you get confused, refer to the below priority list.

Priority list for 3 stars

Water Spirit -> Soul Devourer -> Goddess of Light -> Lava Shaman -> Swordsman (->God of War)

Prioritize Soul Devourer and Goddess of Light which will remain to be used in transitions.

These two units are also backline which tends to survive longer and could also act as a bait for 2nd cast of Doom Curse.

Soul Devourer is really an “Orb of Refresh” on Water Spirit and Goddess of Light helps in reducing the magic resist of enemies.  It’s pretty common to see Goddess of Light binding units and buying enough time for Pulse Staff cooldown to reset, and beat the last remaining unit.

Even though God of War is at the bottom of the priority list, 3 starred version is very strong.

God of War cannot be one of the targets for Soul Devourer which means higher chance for Water Spirit to receive the spell.  Even if God of Thunder is in the shop, I wouldn’t change for it.

※2021.01.17 edit
In the time of writing, 5 Dragons were popular and transitions to 4 Marines were common.  In this current meta, it’s often the case to not transition and to stick with Cave Divinity Shaman and the priority for Lava Shaman and Swordsman has gone up as a result.  It’s better to lower the prioritization for Soul Devourer.

Late Game Positioning

Late game positioning is all about placing Shaman units to counter enemy carries.

Generally if Shamans are placed in the back, they can counter Teleport Dagger carries like Fallen Witcher.

If opponents realize this, they tend to switch up Teleport Dagger users so change your Shaman positions accordingly.

To counter Dark Spirit and Tortolla Elder skills, split up the units to left and right.

Extra: Round 45 Nian Beast counter #1

It’s rare to reach Round 45 to face Nian Beast but if you don’t remember these counters, this round will be a loss regardless of how strong the board is.

Best counter is to pull Dark Spirit and give it all items from Water Spirit.

However, there’s many cases that 5G of Dark Spirit is too much to hold until this round or is unable to be found.

In case of that, there is another counter unit for Nian Beast.

Extra: Round 45 Nian Beast counter #2

Single target stun spell user, Shining Archer.

Since 4 Shaman is useless versus Nian Beast, only use 2 Shaman and put Shining Archer in and give it all of Water Spirits items.

She will cast her stun while Nian Beast is penguin’d from 2 Shaman synergy and she can recast the stun while it is still under effect.

Compared to Dark Spirit, she’s more vulnerable so there’s a possibility that she might die from the splash damage.

Make sure to equip her with defensive items too.  If Teleport Dagger is available, it’s the best as it forces her to teleport to the furthest space.

Finally

How was that

If you read a lot of such English articles, I will continue to translate some popular articles into English.

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