Thursday, August 30, 2007

A Quick Footmen Frenzy Creep Guide

Creeps are a very important part of Footmen frenzy, particularly in the first few minutes. Often your usage of creeps will determine whether you level or not. Hence learning to choose and use them effectively is a great help in learning to play frenzy, on several different levels.
This effect upon leveling is amplified by good teamwork, since each player can only buy 3 creeps. Picking which ones to get in what situation is an important skill for teams hoping to enter and do well in the weekly tournaments. You should plan your strategy around what creeps each person is going to use and choose these based on what heroes and techs they are getting - thus you have clearly defined what each person is doing and you can ensure you don't fall behind because you're missing something.
You should try to keep your creeps within the range of the fountain of mana since the extra regeneration amplifies their abilities a lot. Creeps without mana can be killed to make way for new ones if you're out of food.

A list of each creep and their suggested usage follows. These are intended as guidelines in using each creep and give situations when they are good - putting them together with your own techs and hero combos is up to you.


Spells: Slow, Invisibility, Polymorph

The Sorceress is an excellent mid game creep. The main usage for her is invisibility - using this spell it is possible to sneak up on armies and heroes and get into position without being detected. Invisibility is usually used as a surprise - it's high mana cost prevents it from being spammed early game without a couple of sorceresses. However, remember good players will use dust spam and witch doctor wards to nullify your advantage. Invisibility also allows you to dodge projectiles such as bolt, coil, and shadow strike - this is most effective if you have very little lag or if you just need to prevent a hero from killing you until your allies can drive it away.

Slow is semi-useful against high tier non ranged armies, however since you can only have 3 creeps it is difficult to get the mana to cast it enough to make a difference. You should always turn off autocast when you get sorceress until you want to use slow. Using it to slow heroes can help you to finish them off, but counters like speed scrolls and teleport scrolls usually prevent this, and it can be hard to know when to cast.

Polymorph is good for shutting down other creeps if you can get in close, but it is not generally used.


Spells: Heal, Dispel Magic, Inner Fire

The Priest is a specialty spellcaster who mostly exists to counter other creeps and summon heroes. He is good as a specific counter against heroes such as Beastmaster, Firelord, and Dark Ranger. I would recommend getting one fast at the start if you don't have the ability to focus wards much since they all die in 1 dispel. Whenever you see summons, even late game, get priests to dispel them and make heaps of gold. This is especially good against Scroll of Necromancy and Animate Dead. You can also counter spells like silence and drunken haze.

Heal is useful if manually cast (turn off autocast - it's a waste of mana) on a weak hero, as it allows you to sit around in the field while being healed and doesn't force you to back away from the action to get or use salves. Inner Fire is a mediocre companion to this which raises your armour and gives just a little extra survivability to your hero. Unfortunately you need to cast it often as it has a low duration.

Witch Doctor:

Spells: Sentry Ward, Stasis Ward, Healing Ward

The Witch doctor is a very powerful frenzy creep as his main abilities are AOE instead of single target. He only has the mana for one Heal Ward at the start, which you should use judiciously. Stasis Ward is possibly more useful in footmen battles, as when well placed it allows you plenty of free hits and a chance to cast channeling AOE. Witch Doctor is pretty much essential at the start; ideally get your allies to pool you so you can get one right away. Keep 2-3 around for the first part of the game and keep him near the mana fountain to make sure you can cast as much healing and stun as possible. His wards should be placed behind your lines (slightly in the case of stasis, as far as possible while affecting footmen in the case of heal) to prevent the enemy from killing them before they have an effect.
Make sure before you cast that you're in a location where you'll be fighting for a while.
Sentry ward is an underused but useful counter to invisibility and wind walk.


Spells: Purge, Lightning Shield, Bloodlust

The Shaman is a footmen battle specialist since he has the only damaging AOE amongst creeps. This is balanced out by his relatively high cost. Use lightning shield to gain extra XP and gold at the start, although you will not get your investment back fast but rather need to rely on slightly faster leveling.

Against good players who micro out the shielded unit this combines well with stasis wards. Target a footman with high health so that your spell lasts the full duration.

Purge is a good companion spell that can be used to slow enemy heroes or to save your own heroes from single target dispelables such as entangling roots. It costs a lot of mana however and the range is not great. It can also dispel summons in a pinch, although priest's dispel is far superior.

Bloodlust is a specialty spell which helps heroes which rely on attack (Assassin, Priestess, Blade,
Pitlord) to do more damage. You have to keep casting it though as the duration is low. Combine this with Unholy Frenzy to get the equivalent effect to ~4000 gold worth of items. It can also be used on demolisher, to speed up slow heroes like Dreadlord and Panda, and to bloodlust Tauren for extra pulverize.

Don't leave it on autocast.

Druid of the Claw:

Spells: Roar, Rejuvenation

This creep is useful throughout the game if you can keep it alive. It is melee so it doesn't tend to work well in a control group with other creeps. Roar is marginally useful for footmen, use it at the start if you have the micro to keep the druid hold positioned near the fountain. Rejuvenation is less useful in frenzy because heroes quickly get far more than 400 hp, however it can be used to save heroes and creeps from small amounts of damage if necessary.


Spells: Curse, Anti Magic Shell

Banshee is a rarely used creep which is a specific counter to hero killers, both physical and magical.

Anti Magic Shell protects you from a certain amount of magic damage; note that it does not prevent side effects like stun and slow. This is great mid game, especially against the Death Knight who cannot target the banshee instead. Curse weakens physical hero killers like Blade/Jaood/Avalanche so that they hit you less often and you have more chance to escape. In this case it's a good idea to use it in combination with invisibility and possibly slow since it only causes the hero to miss 33% of the time unlike the old pocky's 66%. Always turn off autocast.

Troll Priest:

Spells: Sleep, Heal

An underused but powerful custom creep (the only one left ), the Troll Priest is great for preventing powerful heroes from bothering you and for getting cheap surrounds with melee. Sleep costs quite a bit of mana, but it is still spammable and allows you something like the old creeps where you can put a lone hero out of action for a while. It also allows a team without disable to cancel channeling spells like Blizzard and Death and Decay. Heal is the same as priest's, and has the same usefulness, however as before remember to turn of autocast so you have mana for the more important sleep.


Spells: Raise Dead, Unholy Frenzy, Cripple

Necromancer is a combination creep best used with heroes which can shut down the inevitable dispel counter. His main spell as normally used, Raise Dead, produces heavily armoured but low hp skeletons which give you quite a bit of extra bulk and DPS on the battlefield. If used in conjunction with a hero like DR or DK that can shut down opponent's creeps, or used in a situation where this isn't a problem (eg a rush), raise dead can be very effective - but it's free gold if your opponent can get a priest out and begin dispelling.

Unholy frenzy is much like bloodlust and is best used in conjunction with it. The small damage taken by the target is fairly irrelevant in frenzy.

Cripple is much like slow with a high mana cost and can be used on heroes if needed. I rarely find a use for it since Necromancers mostly need all their mana for Raise Dead.


Spells: None

The demolisher is a legacy creep - once overpowered and essential it is now hardly ever used as it does a fraction of the damage and also takes up valuable food. You can try using it with unholy frenzy and bloodlust to boost it's effectiveness, but be aware that it is vulnerable to enemy spells as it doesn't have the mechanical classification in frenzy. Perhaps with the cooldown decrease and hp increase we will see more of it in the future.


Spells: Repair, Blink

Essential if your base is damaged or being attacked, fairly useless if not. Does not take up food, so you can safely mass a couple if you're afraid your base is going to die. When under attack, walk the peasant into blink range of your building and then blink to a free space so that you get there as fast as possible.


Spells: Load/Unload

The zeppelin is a semi-useful utility creep. Often used to protect and speed up sheep on a battlefield, the zeppelin can protect your weak units and heroes while allowing you to use them when it's safe or just to gain experience. Be aware that it is very obvious when a zeppelin is in use and that counters such as ranged units, orbs, and phoenix can quickly bring it down and leave anything inside paralyzed. You can also use it with mass teleport to transport allied heroes and units.

Creep Related things:

Superlanboy's Staff of Sanctuary:


Rarely used, this item allows you to instantly save creeps (and other units) from being killed. One good use is to charm an enemy creep and instantly staff it to prevent it from being killed by your enemy before it can escape. Try it out when you have low lag and are facing creep killers such as DK and Alchemist whose missiles can be prevented by its use.

Special thanks to nipp0523 and goron- who helped me with screenshots; images by bark so if they dont make sense dont blame tek -bark

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