AFK Arena Getting Prince in Abyssal Expedition Guide
Hi everyone, with another Abyssal Expedition right around the corner I thought I’d post my Improved Guide to always getting Prince. So far I’m 4 for 4, the first time out was a little dicey and I ended up getting it on the last day, but the next 3 I achieved Prince with many days to spare.
This guide is geared towards non-whales who have ascended 5-20 heroes, and have SI +30s built for 1-4 heroes. I think if you’ve ascended under 5 heroes it will be an uphill battle regardless of what strategy you use, and if you are over 20 you’ll have many viable paths to Prince. # of Ascended Heroes being a rough proxy for game progress.
Rule #1 – Play Honorably
The first choice you need to make when signing up for the AE is whether you want to signup as normal or honorable. Since this guide is for getting Prince the answer will always be honorable. Signing up for honorable also makes getting Prince considerably easier, because you are less likely to have Abyssal expedition team members drop, and you’ll have plenty of other strong team members to help you take the Large Cities and beat the final boss at the end, which are the only aspects of Prince that is in question if you play well.
But to get there, you’ll need to make good choices as you go along, as being ahead of the power curve in comparison to your nearby team mates is the primary factor in determining how difficult the expedition is going to be for you. Having done one expedition where I was behind the curve, one where I was in the middle, and two where I was ahead, I can say from experience that there is no comparison.
One caveat, and this is specific to the current AE map, you will need to have your Twins at least to Elite+ so that you can bring them on the expedition. I had no success getting 100M+ final boss damage out of a Twin-less team so I don’t think it’s worth the risk. If you don’t have your Twins at Elite+ or better I would advise you to signup for regular AE. But if you feel compelled to try honorable AE without the Twins, there is a team comp in the comments without them. I don’t believe I ever tried that exact team, but tried many like it to see if I could get 100M+ without the Twins, and the highest I got was 93M. I suppose the worst case is that you get the your 3000 diamonds back and no more.
Rule #2 – Pick a Single Carry Class to Start
Because your power in AE grows exponentially, the heroes that you pick initially will have a huge impact on how well you do. While the heroes you include on the first day will vary, to some extent, based on the heroes you have available, the path of least resistance is to focus on a single carry class (either Celerity, Warrior or Sorcery) while mixing in just enough Sustenance to keep the carry class alive. To this end, Rowan is going to be essential as his healing scales better than any other sustain, and his SI +30 will allow you to quickly close out battles. As for which carry class to use, the best for most people will be Celerity > Warrior > Sorcery. In order to consistently 3 star battles you need to win your battles in less than 30 seconds without losing a single unit. A 5 Celerity or 4 Celerity + 1 Sustain team can do just that, getting early kills that collapse the enemy side. So the rest of the guide will be written assuming that you picked Celerity as your carry class. However, I did do the first AE with Sorcery because at that point my best heroes were Sorcery. Don’t mess with Tank class heroes in AE, there will always be better options.
Rule #3 – Some Heroes are More Equal than Others
While Ascension levels mean a lot on the first day, they will become less an less important as the AE goes on, and relic levels determine most of your team’s power. The usefulness of heroes will therefore be determined primarily by their class, skills, SIs and furniture effects. Provided you go Celerity carry, there are a number of Celerity Heroes you should bring, even if they are only at Elite+
Cecilia – Like Athalia, Cecilia does an excellent job shutting down your opponent’s best backline unit, and she is essential for bosses. She’s also brutal against specific units like the Celestial Twins, scoring almost immediate kills that allow her to refocus on the next enemy hero. I can’t understate how important having this hero in your lineup will be.
Athalia – Athalia’s opening swoop can completely change the course of a battle when used against the right enemy hero. Line her up against the backline hero you need to deny. Her ult is also exceptionally good for AE and can help you stay under the 30 second time limit.
Eironn – Eironn is one of the strongest Celerity carries overall, and is essential to beating standard 5 person enemy teams quickly and without losing heroes. I imagine I’d still take him at Elite+, but honestly its been so long since I’ve played him without his SI I can’t say for certain.
Lyca – Her SI+20 (if you have it) will increase the damage output of the entire side. But even without it she’s one of the most solid celerity heroes in the game. I also elevate her stock a little above her natural ability because she fits into the Wombo Combo
Lucretia – Celepogeons tend to outperform Wilder/Graveborn/Lightbearer/Mauler heroes at the same ascension level, and Lucretia is no exception. Her skillset is perfect for her carrying an otherwise weak expedition team, particularly if you have built her signature item.
Ferael – A Ferael on your side makes the entire opposing side worse, by providing blanket disruptions and stuns. While it’s harder to target his disruptive ability than Cecelia/Athalia/Eironn, preventing the other side from attacking and ulting effectively is great for keeping your side alive. He’s just as strong in AE as he is everywhere else.
Gwyneth – Another essential archer, Gwen is an excellent damage dealer and her abilities allow you to shut down enemy healing. As one of the better Celerity carries in the game, she’s also one of the best heroes to take in AE. Just don’t expect her to carry like she does in standard play where she has Arthur supporting her.
Fawkes – His ability (provided you have enough insight to trigger it) to turn the early battle into a 5 v 4 is clutch, and is even better when you’re going up against a team that has already been weakened.
Tidus – A lot of the time he’s a glass-cannon, and tends to get himself killed charging into enemy lines, but his upside is too high to ignore. He also has the potential to go crazy and rack up kills, and is a great late-game substitution for the Wombo Combo.
Drez – His skillset seems particularly well suited to killing quickly and not dying. Although I’m not a fan in general, I feel you’ll want him here, particularly if you miss getting a Lightbearer or Wilder large city at the end, and need to go for Mauler. He’s also on a number of the best final boss Celerity teams.
Vurk – His ultimate tears your opponents to ribbons, and his rework is helpful to a Celerity team where everyone stays on your side.
Late AE Celerity
Thane – The easiest large cities to take at the end are going to be Lightbearer cities, with Rowan + 4 Lightbearer Celerity. Since I’ve already listed Cecilia, Fawkes and Gwyneth above, you’ll need one more. Thane feels like the best choice.
Kaz – Lyca and Eironn are exceptionally strong, but you’ll need another Celerity to fill out an all Wilder team at the end.
Rowan – Hands down the best support, because his potions don’t need relic investment to scale. He’s also the support hero you’ve likely invested the most in, so he’ll likely have the highest ascension level and SI. A key player in many lineups and also essential for Sorcery Based boss teams.
Twins – Twins are an exceptional support in most boss fights in all areas of the game. AE is no different. A lot of people believe the Twins are essentially a requirement for getting the last damage title against the final boss.
Numisu – His totems give your opponents plenty of targets, keeping them from hitting your Celerity heroes, a perfect setup for 3 star wins.
Rosaline – You’ll need to find the right team makeup to get her following the right hero. She has a lot of solid skills that scale well and is very strong on a number of Sorcery based boss teams.
Talene – I had taken her off this list, since including her would take a spot away from a standard 4 faction hero. But as mentioned in the comments, her resurrection ability means that she is allowed to die, and thus can be used in faction limited settlements. She is strong overall support provided you’ve built her SI up to at least +10, and a monster once you’ve built her SI to +30 and built her furniture effects.
Late AE Supports
Tasi – A good support to bring in late if you need to take a Wilder large city. She is also a good sub for Skriath in the Wombo Combo, if you don’t have Skriath’s +3 furniture effect. However, please note that her best abilities are CC abilities, which won’t work on single bosses, and won’t work period if your insight isn’t high enough.
Nemora – For the conquest of a Wilder large city
Since one of the final bosses has a heavy damage reduction against both Celerity and Warriors, and Sustenance and Tanks aren’t known for their damage output. You may need to take some Sorcerers late and build relics for them. You’ll probably need only 4 of these, since the last slot will be filled with Sustenance.Safiya – Her ult is one of the best scaling in the game, and her spectral disruption helps the entire backline. But the main reason to take her first is that she does double duty as a key member of the Wombo Combo.
Skriath – Much less potent than Safiya, but also a key player in Wombo Combo.
Belinda – Since the primary purpose for brining in Sorcery heroes is for the Albedo boss fight, Belinda is one of the best boss fighters in the game. Along with Rowan and the Twins, she’s in the top 5 Sorcery teams for the final boss fight.
Lorsan – Another great anti-boss mage for amplifying ult damage. From what I’ve seen his Gale Force appears to work on the final boss (at least visually) but doesn’t dramatically increase your damage output. It is believed that is because the damage reduction is applied both on initial damage and transferred damage, which means that non-Tank damage will always be reduced by one or the other.
Solise – Like Numisu, a hero that can produce alternate targets and heal is very helpful against a boss.
Ainz – The only hero that can defeat Ainz is … another Ainz! Not really, but he’s a solid choice if you have him.
Shemira – I had initially left her off this list, but … she is a hero that most people build, because she is a strong early carry. Her SI does deal extra damage to single target enemies, and she has a very strong self heal. If you’ve built her up, don’t have a lot of other Sorcery options and have to fight Albedo, I think you take her here. She is also unquestionably good against standard armies, particularly if you can get Rosaline to follow her. Also, if you are on the side fighting Dark Nemora, she is the number one hero in that battle.
Even if you don’t choose to invest relics in them, there are two heroes in particular, Safiya and Skriath (with his +3 furniture ability) that are worth taking on day 1. This is because the lineup of Eironn, Lyca, Rowan, Skriath and Safiya is so ridiculously overpowered that it will serve you from day 1 until the very end of AE, at least against 5 unit armies. This is true even if they do nothing but use their start of combat abilities and die immediately afterwards. Running Wombo Combo on day 1 also means that you can start taking tier 3 settlements before building relics, when otherwise you’d have to be content starting day 1 with tier 1s and 2s.
Rule #4 – Wombo is Life
The standard Wombo configuration for campaign is Rowan, Lyca, Safiya, Eironn and Skriath. In order to run this you need, at a minimum, everyone to have built their SIs and for Skriath to have his +3 furniture ability. Realistically however, to do well with Wombo Combo you are going to want everyone on the team to at least have their +20 SI, for Rowan and Eironn to have their +30 SIs and for everyone on the team to be ascended. If you have this, there will be tier 3 settlements that you can take day one without relics, which will provide you a huge boost.
As the AE progresses, you will be primarily building up your Celerity relic, and only slotting in Sorcery and Sustenance relics when you get them and you don’t need them for Celerity. For this reason, Wombo will remain effective, but get less and less effective in relation to your best all Celerity team. Once you have your Celerity relic to level 4, your Sustenance and Sorcery will only be around level 2 and your all Celerity team will become better than your Wombo. At this point a good move is to remove Rowan from your Wombo and put in Tidus. You should go back to consistently getting 3 star wins, where keeping Rowan earning energy for upcoming boss fights. Depending on when you build your Sustenance relic back up, you can also end up going back to Rowan for the Combo.
Rule #5 – Your Starting Lineup is Essential
Provided you have the heroes to do the Wombo Combo (Eironn, Lyca, Rowan, Safiya, Skriath, all with SIs and Skriath with his +3 furniture effect), you are going to want to include all five members of the Wombo Combo team in your starting 10. Then you’re going to want to fill out your lineup with the next 5 heroes from the Celerity Superstars list, with the heroes at the top of the list generally being better than those at the bottom of the list, provided they are equal in ascension levels. The ones at the very top are special cases, in the sense that even an Elite+ Athalia can do some serious damage. Also, please note that the ordering in the lists is somewhat due to the general ease in which you can assemble a great 5 Celerity or 4 Celerity + 1 Sustenance team within a single faction. For me Lightbearer was easiest, followed by Mauler, but I ended up using both Wilder Celerity heroes in the Wombo Combo, which is part of the reason I ranked them so high.
So, all ascension levels being equal a great starting ten would be:
Team A – Rowan, Lyca, Safiya, Eironn, Skriath
Team B – Cecilia, Athalia, Fawkes, Gwyneth, Ferael
If you don’t have the heroes to do the Wombo Combo (you can substitute Tasi for Skriath to a certain extent) I would scrap the idea of putting in any Sorcery heroes altogether, and work straight from the Celerity Superstars and Super Supports list. Also, Rowan and Numisu are the only two supports I would want to bring in day 1. Whichever support(s) you bring in you’ll want to bring in Celerity from the same faction for the faction bonuses.
Rule #6 – Be Committed
This rule is more applicable in the beginning of your expedition than at the end, but simply put, never be sitting on food. The expedition awards you with essence every hour, that will exponentially increase your relic level, which you can then use to conquer stronger cities. Rinse and repeat. The first day you should be prepared to battle until you’ve exhausted all your food, so that you can earn as much essence as possible overnight. During the rest of the campaign you’ll generally want to be logging in throughout the day, whenever your teams have food to attack again.
Rule #7 – Use as Few Heroes as Possible to Achieve a 5 Star Win
When you get a little more powerful, it will become possible to achieve 5 star victories without committing the full slate of 5 heroes. In fact, once you get going with relics, it’ll be possible for you to beat plains tiles in the opening area with a single unit. As a general rule, you can look at the overall power of units on both sides of the field, and if you have more than your opponent, drop heroes out of your formation until you have roughly the same. The exception to this of course is formations like the Wombo Combo that rely on specific combinations of heroes. Your Wombo team should typically be pushing against the strongest opponent formations, since it can often beat opponent formations with 2x your own power.
Rule #8 – Move Inland, Linkup and Push Towards the Next Boss
At the very beginning, you are going to want to move inland, while simultaneously linking up with your neighbors in a push towards the first boss you plan to tackle. In the current AE map you are only allowed to link up with half of the team early, but it is much easier to do so. Overall the path that each group will take is much more linear than in the previous Expedition map.
Rule #9 – It’s all About the Titles
Everything you do, at every point in the AE, should be geared towards getting your next title. Titles give you more tiles and/or more heroes, which in turn increases your power, as well as being the determinant of which rewards you get during the event. Your current title goals should also give you an idea of how far along you should have progressed. If your last title goal is to get a tile in the next area, for example, it means you should soon be progressing past the current boss. Also, please remember that you don’t get the next title until you’ve completed all of the goals. Getting some done early means nothing if you end up sitting on the last one for an extended period of time.
Rule #10 – Rock the Swap
Another thing to consider whenever you bring in a new set of 5 people, is that the heroes you picked for your initial 10 are generally much stronger than any new recruits. For this reason, it is often worth un-slotting your 5 best heroes, and then re-slotting them in the new 60 food slots. You’ll generally lose 20-40 total food this way (the food left on your top 5), but you’ll come out far ahead because your top 5 can take settlement tiers that your new recruits can’t.
Rule #11 – Don’t Assault Bosses Until You Are Ready
Food is the limiting resource in AE, so you don’t want to be using up large amounts of it on things like assaulting bosses until you’re ready. It’s much better to improve your essence/hr, build relics, and then attack when you’re ready. The best indication you are ready, as mentioned in the previous rule, is that your last remaining title goal is boss related. If it looks like pushing a boss will become important soon, but you still aren’t getting enough damage per attack to justify pushing, you can always save food and build essence until you are ready to push. Remember, only the final HP of a boss matters, but sometimes you need to do some early attacks to get the ball rolling. If your teams are better suited to taking out boss armies you should do that instead of attacking the main boss.
Rule #12 – Leapfrog Settlement Tiers
Fairly early on in the AE, you’ll hit your tile limit, such that to take additional settlements, you’ll need to drop lower tier settlements to take higher tier ones. As a general rule, you should be leapfrogging, with your settlements roughly split between your two highest tiers. So, at the point you can take tier 5 settlements, you should be dropping tier 3 settlements to get them, at the point you can take tier 6 settlements, you should be dropping tier 4 settlements to get them and so forth. You’ll need to keep a few tiles to keep you connected to your teammates, but try to keep the number of these tiles to a minimum. However, do keep in mind that plains tiles in later zones can be worth more than settlements in early zones.
Rule #13 – Don’t Be A %#$!
Sadly, I have to include this rule based on my experience with my last Abyssal Expedition. In my first three people were extremely cooperative. So much so that I feel we left quite a bit of power on the table, since people were holding plains tiles far behind our current position. The last expedition however, was the exact opposite. People routinely captured and then dropped tiles ahead of our position, even in the final area where they took 3 battles to capture. Simply put, don’t be a @#^$. If you take a plains tile that every team member can still use, don’t drop it until the majority of your team members have used it.
Rule #14 – Focus is Key
Focusing your relics on a single class, particularly at the beginning when resources are scare, is key. For this reason, at least 3 of the next 5 heroes you bring in should be the Mauler Celerity Superstars. If you want to contribute more to boss battles Twins are a good way to go, although Numisu will probably help you out more in general battles. You could get both, or go ahead to picking up one of the Late AE Celerity. The reason that relic focus is key is that fairly early on an Elite+ hero in a class you’ve focused on will outperform an Ascended hero you have no relics for. You should really only be building off-focus relics at the point your title goals force you to.
Rule #15 – Find Room to Grow
This one completely saved me in my first AE. I made some bad choices / didn’t have many choices in my starting heroes, and consequently spent much of the AE behind my teammates, such that the settlements tiers I needed to take were always taken by other teammates before I could get to them. However, there was one point in the second area where one of my teammates got it into his head that rather than have our group take out the boss that was right in front of us, that he wanted to sidetrack 100+ tiles out of the way to link up with another group. So I went with the new direction, but left a single tile on the original path, which no one else did. Once I’d leveled up my relics to the point I could take stronger settlements, I had a huge wealth of settlements to take. Using all of these settlements that weren’t on anyone else’s radar I was able to elevate my essence/hr to a rate competitive with my teammates. You should strive to do this in each AE, at some point you should branch off from the main group and expand to a location where you’ll have room to grow.
Rule #16 – City on a Hill
In my first three Abyssal Expeditions, the hardest title goal to complete to get Prince was getting that final tier 7 (Large City) settlement. So, once you’re at Duke you should be figuring out how you’re going to do it. The way that worked for me with every AE is to find a group of 3 people that all need a tier 7 settlement. Then you collectively find 3 large cities you think you can conquer, each person taking one army from each of the cities so that you all end up with one large city. Typically the easiest faction to do this with will be Lightbearer, so if you want to go that route you’ll want to go early with Cecilia, Rowan, Fawkes, Gywneth and Thane when there are still large LB cities left. Next will generally be Wilder, since a lot of people have been bringing Wilder to AE. For Wilder your best bet will generally be Lyca, Kaz, Nemora, Eironn and Tasi. Finally there is Mauler with Tidus, Drez, Numisu, Vurk and Safiya. I would not recommend going after Graveborn following this guide, and if you have a team that can pull off Celepageon you don’t need my help.
As recommended by junkmutt (and others), since most people are going to want to get a Lightbearer large city, you can abandon and recapture a single city once all of the LB cities are taken.
Rule #17 – The Final Conquest
In the last expedition two of the original Prince goals, “Deal 100M Damage With a Single Attack to the Final Boss”, and “Participate in Exterminating the Final Boss”. Were much more difficult to complete than they had been in the original three. This was due to facing two bosses at once, each of whom had damage reductions against the character classes that typically deal the most damage. The team I first cracked 100M with was Cecilia, Twins, Rowan, Eironn and Lyca. I’m not sure if that is the optimal one, but it was the best I had, considering the ascension and SI levels of my heroes. Two heroes that should be considered essential for every Celerity attempt are Cecilia and the Twins, to suppress the enemy team’s damage output and to speed up your team to the point it can deal the 100M.
However, since most expeditions are going to be Celerity heavy (we killed Ainz at the point Albedo was around 50% health) You are going to want to pivot to Sorcery as soon as you’ve gotten your first 100M Celerity hit. For Sorcery the best final boss teams all have Rowan, Twins, Belinda and Safiya. For the fifth team member you have a variety of options, but it’s hard to go wrong with Rosaline in this ult heavy comp. Others to consider are Lorsan (although using him ups the damage to Ainz), Solise and Ainz himself. Try to kill the first boss while the other has less than 5% health. My best sorcery team did less damage to Albedo after Ainz was killed than before.
Have fun out there, good luck with the stargazing cards and be sure to bank 3000 diamonds for the next Abyssal Expedition.