Art of Conquest Dragons Guide

by Spawn

Hey guys. With the release of the Dragon Dawn patch yesterday there has been a fair bit of excitement but also a lot of confusion. There are a bunch of new resource types and lots of new things to do and all heroes are now speaking mandarin. Here is an attempt to demystify a few things for the casual player. Please note that I may be wrong about certain things and will gladly accept criticism/correction.

What are Dragons?
A creature which will become a part of your army and behave like a super unit. You can deploy them during pvp / siege / pve / void for a limited number of times per day.

How to get a Dragon?
You can collect your first free dragon egg by sharing the event on Facebook (it should show up in your event tab) and another free egg from Void. You only need one egg to start off.

How to hatch the Dragon egg?
After installing the update you will find a new building in your base called the Dragon Lair. Alternatively you can click on the new Abyss button which you will see when you select your base. If you can’t see either of these, reinstall the app (this happened to a few folks).
Once inside the Lair, you will find an option to Hatch your Dragon eggs. You can also Train or Release an existing baby dragon but I would advise you to NOT do either of those right now.

Which is the best Dragon?
There are several types – Onyx / Jade / Azure etc. Each Dragon has 7 abilities, which can be leveled up. Every Dragon egg also has a “quality” type (rare, epic, legendary are the ones I have seen so far). The Dragons of higher quality will have a higher skill cap (up to level 72), so naturally a Dragon which has high skill cap on every skill (60-72) is much stronger. HOWEVER, there are a few things to consider:
1. Yes, the Onyx dragon looks super cool (black and red) and its special black hole ability looks awesome but it is too early to establish that to be strongest. We will need weeks of play-testing and data to see what best suits the meta and even then there would be several Dragons which may emerge as the top tier.
2. Hatching a perfect Dragon (72 on all abilities) sounds like the dream but this is not crucial at this stage. It will take a LOT of grinding to get the abilities even to 30s and possible months of grinding/spending ($$) to get individual skills maxed out. So don’t be disheartened if your friend hatched a perfect Dragon and yours has low points in max skill – you have a long way to go with plenty of opportunities to get more eggs.
TLDR: There is NO best Dragon, any Dragon works for the purpose of how you will be using it right now.

What are Dragon abilities?
Each dragon has 7 abilities which are one of these 3 categories:
Yellow abilities – These affect your economy (resource production / capacity, research, building speed etc). They are passive and will be in effect as long as you own the Dragon.
Orange abilities – These are spells which the Dragon can use during an actual battle, usually to damage or disable enemy troops. You need to deploy the Dragon along with your army for these.
Purple abilities – These are auras which affect your troops giving them more hp/attack etc.
Depending on the stage of the game or your current objectives, a different set of abilities may be more useful to you – for example research speed boost to help you complete researches OR HP boost to help with PVP OR Mech bonus damage aura for a pesky Void level.

What’s with the new resources?
This patch introduced 4 types of resources:
1. Soulfire: This is used to evolve Dragons or level up skills. I would recommend that you PRIORITIZE EVOLUTION over skill leveling (will explain why below). You collect it from Abyss or from dailies and also (because Lillith $$) buy from Shop using Linari.
2. Dragonglass: Red crystals which are used for leveling up your Dragons or unlocking new skills or killing Whitewalkers. Same as above I would recommend you PRIORITIZE LEVELING over learning new skills. These are pretty rare to get but some gets generated from Abyss and also Shop ($$).
3. Valor: This is collected from dailies and chests and are used to level up your whale-o-meter. Not related to Dragons so I won’t discuss this here.
4. Battlebits: Also not related to Dragons, you will collect some from dailies (even more if you are tier 15 whale $$) and can use them to do quests quickly if you are feeling lazy. A smarter way to use this is to save it for when the hero you are trying to level is out of energy, you can use these to feed him/her quest exp instead of spending energy potions.

So what should I be focusing on right now?
Your priority is the ABYSS. It’s like a new Void which has levels and once you clear the levels you keep collecting resources from it. You can only use heroes along with your Dragon (Jaq/Rose are not allowed). You should be able to reach level 80 quite easily but will be blocked after that since Dragon level 15 is needed to progress. Also note that Dragon levels are limited by evolution (baby dragon cannot go beyond level 6, need to evolve to fledgling which works till 12, then needs to be evolved to juvenile dragon to proceed further). This is why you should use all your Dragonglass and Soulfire EXCLUSIVELY to evolve and level your Dragon – the higher the level, the further you can go in Abyss and the more resources you will generate. For example at level 80, we generate 1400 Soulfire per hour.
You can assign some heroes to slots in the Abyss to keep collecting resources (this does not consume hero energy and they keep collecting even when you are offline).
Remember (this is important) to log in once every 8 hours to tap on all the vials and chests accumulating in the Abyss. These work like your resource collectors, if you don’t tap them they can get maxed out and you lose out on precious resources.

You may need to reconfigure some heroes to help you with Abyss. DPS heroes like Mako and Vallari work really well and Tiadrin can win the Abyss by herself. Tanky heroes like Bane, Gafgar, Virion are useful to act as your front line. Cleo and Avril both worked quite well since their massive AOE spells can clear up hordes efficiently (mana is infinite in Abyss). Avalon Warhorn and Elena Magic Resist also help out quite a bit, especially vs Spiders which do magic damage and take ages to kill. Lastly, Rufio with decent levels and equipment is nothing to mock and works quite well in this format.

I messed up and spent all my Dragonglass on getting a cool but useless ability to level 20 but can’t evolve Dragon, what should I do?
This is by far the BEST feature of this patch. At any time you can release your existing Dragon and start training a new one which will inherit the level and evolution stage of the last one. Also, all Soulfire used for abilities get refunded so you can setup your new Dragon as you like, so absolutely no pressure to get the perfect setup right away. Personally I wish this mechanism could apply to other features of the game such as research progress or hero stats.

Should I release the baby Dragons I don’t need?
My advice – DON’T. As you progress through Abyss, Void, dailies and chests you will get a LOT of Dragon eggs. I would suggest you leave the baby Dragons as is, don’t train them yet and don’t release them. Wait till you get a better idea about which abilities help out in which scenario. Each Dragon has a unique set of abilities and it’s too early to know which are useful.
Few common scenarios I found in my house – “I don’t like clutter so I released all my low skill level/ low quality dragons and only kept the perfect 72X7 ones.” Guys, level 72 skills are MONTHS away. There may be a situation where you absolutely need a particular skill but you don’t have a Dragon for it and even level 36 would have sufficed.
“I can’t decide which Dragon I like most so I keep training and releasing new ones.” The impact level of these Dragons are incredibly low at this point, so it doesn’t really matter which one you have. Once they grow up a switch might be really good but you need to have your options ready for then.
“But I found a better Dragon!” It doesn’t matter, you aren’t going to reach that level 60 ability anyway – you just wasted a high stat Dragon which might have come in handy later.

Should I include Dragons in PVP/Siege?
My merged server has almost everyone at castle level 40 (1 mil to 2.5 mil power) and we have been playing for 10+ months. In this scenario, the stats/DPS from juvenile Dragons compared to other heroes and troops are hilariously low. On a newer server Dragons may make more sense, in older ones there’s fair bit of grinding/paying($$) till they get PVP worthy.

Update:

Now that we got a whole weekend to play around with Dragons and got to do a Dragon Raid as well, here is the second part of the guide with more updated information. 

Lets start off with the most burning question:

Do purple abilities require the Dragon to be deployed along with army?
NO they do not. Purple abilities are GLOBAL PASSIVE so as soon as you activate your dragon, the buff applies. We tested this multiple times and you can do so yourself too – take a screen shot of Swordman HP before and after activating any Dragon with the Fortitude aura (0.15% HP boost to melee units). This clearly shows that Dragons with more purple abilities are incredibly strong (highest we spotted was 3) because they will provide significant boosts to your army without eating up any space within army formation.

How do I enter a Dragon Raid?
As you progress in the Abyss you will collect pieces of Dragon Maps. Once you complete 10 pieces of a specific colored map you can initiate a Dragon Raid.
Dragons in the raid range from 1 star to 10 star, the 10 star ones have the highest HP and yield best rewards. When someone activates a raid, this can be shared on house / group chats so everyone gets to attack the Dragon.
When you click on the raid link you will be taken to the raid screen and you will notice 5 dragon horns (forgot what these are called, they look like horns). You need a dragon horn to attack and each horn replenishes in 5 hours (assuming up to a maximum of 5 horns). So effectively you can do 5 attacks every day more or less.
At the end of 5 attacks I found myself with 10K of each rare resource, 200+ Dragonglass, a huge amount of Soulfire (don’t recall exact amount) and various random blue/purple items. More than anything else, this is a huge source of progress for your Dragon.
A general tip for raids would be to create a custom group between multiple houses to share Dragon Raids on, there will be plenty for everyone and you will always have a raid available for your daily.

What formation should I use for Dragon Raid?
The raids have a big Dragon surrounded by some other smaller units and it occurs in phases. At the end of each phase the Dragon will fly up in the air (and become non-targetable) while you need to clear the ground troops which will respawn. Your objective is to maximize the amount of damage to the Dragon while its on the ground until the timer runs out. You are awarded chests based on how much damage you deal.

This mode is all about sustained damage and bonus damage to Giant units. We found good results with Monks and Archers yielding somewhere around 38 Mil to 46 Mil damage per attack (10-12 chests). One Rakan player with fairly high runes used Monks and Crossbows to deal 56 Mil damage.
Few other learnings we had – loaned Dragon Turtle did NOT work well for this mode, since it’s not about burst damage but sustained damage. Snipers and Blasters performed poorly because they ran out of ammo in the first few phases. Gold Mech do really well due to bonus damage to Giant units. (I’m sure there will be more optimized formations dealing 70 mil+ damage soon, these are just early findings).

Best heroes for this format are strong aura heroes and consistent damage dealers. I went with Avalon, Yip, Jaq, Rufio, Mako, Virion and Elena (magic resist to reduce damage from Dragon). Do not make the mistake of using Jaq Spray early on because once the Dragon flies up in the air you will waste your ammo on the ground troops. Using 2 front line troops is more than enough (preferably 2 Monks), try to fill the rest of the space with Archers.

Which is the best Dragon?
Revisiting this question with the updated info we have.
Needless to say, the Dragons with the best yellow and purple abilities are very popular right now since they add to our strength without compromising existing setups and I still believe we are a long way off from actually using Dragons in place of fully upgraded gold troops.
The most popular Dragons are those with both Logistic Acumen and Treasure Hunting abilities. With both these abilities at level 24 you get +15% research speed boost which is way more impactful than anything else Dragons can do at this stage. One raid should give you enough resources to get your Dragon up to that level. This combination of skills can exist on ANY colored Dragon.
The best compliment of purple skills with these depends on your race (humans benefit much earlier from Dragons). Fortitude (+HP), Alacrity (+Attack Speed) and Ferocity(+Damage) auras seem to be the strongest ones. They benefit humanoids at early levels (Archers, Swords, Monks, Crossbows, Blasters) so usually will be quite good (since majority of player base are humans/dwarf).
You can find this combination of yellow and purple abilities on ANY colored Dragon so be on the lookout. Also, you don’t really need 72 level skill on these abilities most of the time (unless for Lich) so don’t dismiss low skill cap Dragons.

Orange abilities haven’t been explored enough yet, so no comments on these.

I am stuck and unable to progress in Abyss!
As mentioned in the earlier guide, your Abyss is capped by Dragon level (you need level 15 Dragon to progress beyond 80 and level 20 to progress beyond 110). Be very careful in your use of Dragonglass since it’s more beneficial to progress in Abyss as opposed to have high level skills ready on your Dragons right away (higher Abyss level yields better passive resource generation).
Dragonglass is extremely difficult to find (even the Shop sells only 2 crystals for 120 Linari which is ridiculous) so if you really need to, you can release some baby Dragons to get extra Dragonglass. Each rare baby Dragon gives 2 crystals when released (epic and legendary give more) which is not a lot… but at some point you will find Dragon eggs more frequently than Dragonglass. I know this contradicts my previous suggestion of not releasing any baby Dragons right now, so please be careful you don’t release any baby Dragons with useful abilities. You can hold at most 15 baby Dragons at a time so you should be able to maintain a few with good options while releasing others.

Some people got stuck around level 83-84 (with the level 13+ Gold Mech) and an easy way to beat them is using Elena’s summon cavalry. Those are the best summons (swords and archers don’t even scratch mech) and can be further improved with morale boost (Virion’s divine set). Remember that Mako is one the highest damage dealers and can be boosted with Avalon War Horn and Yip Tailwind.

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