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image: Dota Auto Chess
translated from: 90后老玩家

Beginning in January and every day since, I have been playing a few games of Auto Chess after work, becoming sort of a habit. So I’ve decided to put together a quick and simple guide to ranking up in Bishop games.

Truthfully, the game consists of half Knights and half Bishops. It’s not that the Knights are incapable of becoming Bishops, but their laziness to find people with similar rank to play with does get in the way. As for the rest, they are hovering around the Bishop rank and I am no different.

But, enough blabbering, I’ve played at least 250 games at the rank of Bishop across different patches using different strategies encountering all kinds of different scenarios.

The basics of Dota 2 Auto Chess

A great start is half the battle. In Auto Chess, if you can get a winning streak and accumulate some extra win bonuses, that’s your resources to winning or at least achieving a minimum top 4 place.

  • What is a good start?

There aren’t too many combos in the early game. To put it bluntly, whoever has the most 2-star pieces or whoever has the highest level or whoever can maintain the longest win-streak, they will be king.

  • Don’t commit yourself to a certain path in the early game.

Many new players commit themselves to playing the Knight strategy just because they have a Luna and a Chaos Knight and as a result, miss out on many other chess pieces. Five to six rounds later, they realize that they are still holding on to a Luna and Chaos Knight only.

In the early game, follow the patch and focus on strong individual pieces – Mars, Anti-mage, Timbersaw, Tinker, etc. Once you hit a 2-star on one of these strong pieces, you will be able to stabilize in the early game.

  • Place more emphasis on low-cost pieces.

The sole purpose of this should be to get a solid 2-star base. You have limited gold at the start and if you buy two 3-cost pieces, it means you are missing out on six 1-cost pieces.

Also, the higher cost pieces have a lower probability of appearing, making it much harder to hit 2-stars. In the worst-case scenario, you will have a terrible draw and will be holding on to many 1-cost pieces – thus not hindering your economy and making it much easier to upgrade to 2-stars.

  • Remember the combos.

If everyone’s pieces are at a similar level, it comes down to who has the better combo.
[2 Beasts, 2 Undead, 2 Trolls, 3 Goblins, 3 Warriors, 3 Assassins, 3 Elves].
Before round six, these combos can greatly increase your win rate so use them wisely.

When do you level up? When do you save? When do you refresh pieces?

Leveling up, saving or refreshing pieces are the main issues of economy mechanics in the game. Many people start the game with good draws and have a winning streak but fail to manage their economy and fall off in the mid-late game. On the contrary, some have a terrible start but are able to win in the late game. The determining factor is always the economy.

  • Levels – Early game focus on leveling up, late game focus on chess pieces.

The most common playstyle in the current patch is:

  • level 4 at 0xp up to level 5.
  • level 5 at 4xp up to level 6.
  • level 6 at 8xp up to lvl 7.
  • After you hit level 7, most of the conventional routines are in place. At this point, you need to look at your pieces.

If you are missing chess pieces of you have too many 1-star pieces, focus on refreshing instead of leveling up. If you don’t have many pieces that need upgrading (for example: among your 7 pieces, 5-6 of them are 2-stars), focus on leveling up; or if you have a key strategy to be completed (for example: hitting your 6 Warriors, 6 Elves, 6 Assassins, 3 Mages, etc), focus on leveling up.

  • Economy – find pieces early game, save gold mid-game, all-in late game.

Don’t be too bothered about the 1-2 gold interest in the early game but rather try to get as many good pieces as possible and get as many level two pieces on board. Win as much as possible and try not to lose any health (obviously). Don’t forget you get 1 gold for every victory too.

During the mid-game once you hit six pieces, you can start deciding your strategy and combo going into the late game. Sell off any unused pieces and start focusing on pieces that add to your combo. By doing so, you will definitely be able to get at least 3 gold interest every round and prepare for the late game.

In the late game with at least eight chess pieces, if you have more than 50HP, continue earning your interest. But if you have less than 50HP, it’s time to start thinking if you can survive even if it means using up all your money. You can only spend if you are alive.

  • Refreshing chess pieces – pay attention to your board size and upgrading pieces.

There are 2 main purposes to refreshing – finding pieces that fit your strategy or upgrading current core pieces. Before you refresh each time, think carefully.

Do you have enough space?
If not, who will you be replacing?
Are you stronger overall or weaker after replacing?
With the current level, what are your odds of getting the pieces that you need?

For example, if you are level 8 and you wish to find a Techies, I’m afraid spending 100 gold will not be enough. Also, you will need to consider which pieces need to be upgraded to 2-star and which pieces can try for 3-stars. If you refresh aimlessly, not only will you affect your economy, it will also take up unnecessary spaces in the waiting area.

What are the strongest combos and strategies?

We constantly hear statements from the community when a new patch is released:
“Troll Knights are unbeatable!”
“Elf + 6 Assassins are the king of this patch!”
“6 Goblin strategy is godlike…”

However, here we are not talking about which ultimate strategy is the best but the recommended strategies to rank up in the Bishop level of games.

Recommended strategies.

  • Goblin strategy is not suitable as the current patch is too fast-paced. It is almost impossible to reach level 9 and find Techies.
  • Troll Knights are rarely played, if you go for Trolls but did not hit the Troll Warlord, your entire strategy is dead. If you hit your Troll Warlord before finding the other pieces, the tempo is too slow. Also, Troll Knights strategy will result in you having limited spaces on board. Moreover, without the ability to control if your Knights don’t activate their shield, they will get demolished.
  • You should give up on playing Assassins if at least 2 other players are ‘stealing’ your Assassin pieces. Assassins tend to be high level pieces and if you don’t hit 2 or 3-stars, the damage output is simply not enough.
  • Unless you can level up quickly on Elves, don’t play it. Also, without Lone Druid, it’s a joke regardless of how many Elves you have.
  • Do not play the God strategy if you are not familiar with it. At the Bishop level, most people can’t decide on which pieces to have or not to have, resulting in a waste of gold. This strategy also gets destroyed by certain unique pieces such as Demons or Ogre.
  • Six Warriors strategy is still feasible. Although Warrior have been nerfed, it is still playable if you find Kunkka and Doom.
  • 6 Knights + 3 Dragons is still one of the more stable strategy. The shield buff from 6 Knights is more than twice as strong as the buff from 4 Knights. Combined with the 3 Dragons, the damage output will be enough. A very stable strategy once achieved and not easily countered.
  • Warrior + Hunter strategy is better than 6 Hunters. This strategy consists of 3 Warriors and 3 Hunters, together with smaller buffs like 2 Beasts. An extremely dynamic strategy with a frontline tank and damage output which is much stronger than a 6 Hunter strategy that crumbles if your Medusa does not manage to get off her ultimate.
  • Mixture of others into 3 Mage strategy. This could be the strongest strategy, in my opinion. It does not matter if you have the Goblins or Warriors or Knights as your frontline tanks, your damage output is secured the moment you have 3 Mages.

I hope that this basic guide can help you all to find your way into the Bishop ranks of Auto Chess. Let me know down in the comments if you have any other tips or tricks.

Don’t forget to also check out the Autochess Tool and join us on the Discord channel here.

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