Journey for better heroes - A painstakingly long road to TC20 (and beyond) for a F2P

This section will list all the unique heroes 3* and above heroes that I have acquired (and kept one copy of) since started playing this game.

Season 1: All 3*, 4*, and 5* acquired
Season 1 3* Costumes 1: All acquired
Season 1 3* Costumes 2: None
Season 1 4* Costumes 1: All except Boldtusk, Cyprian, and Grimm
Season 1 4* Costumes 2: Caedmon, Kelile, Gormek, Li Xiu, Kashhrek, Wu Kong, Hu Tao
Season 1 4* Costumes 3: None
Season 1 5* Costumes 1: Elena, Horghall, Richard, Joon, Vivica, Isarnia
Season 1 5* Costumes 2: Quintus
Season 1 5* Costumes 3: None
Season 2 3* : All acquired
Season 2 3* Costumes: Melia, Mnesseus, Gill-Ra
Season 2 4* : All except Danzaburo
Season 2 4* Costumes: Triton, Sumitomo
Season 2 5* : Atomos, Ariel, Tarlak, Misandra
Season 2 5* Costumes: Ariel
Season 3 3* : All except Agnes
Season 3 3* Costumes: Kvasir
Season 3 4* : All except Jott, Almur, and Sumle
Season 3 4* Costumes: Gullinbursti
Season 3 5* : Fenrir, Norns, Alfrike, Gefjon, Frigg
Season 3 5* Costumes: None
Season 4 3* : All acquired
Season 4 3* Costumes: None
Season 4 4* : Griffin
Season 4 4* Costumes: Griffin
Season 4 5* : Professor Lidenbrock
Season 4 5* Costumes: Professor Lidenbrock
Season 5 3* : All Acquired
Season 5 4* : Azmia
Season 5 5* : None
Pirates of Corellia: Vodnik, Sally, Boomer, Peters
Guardians of Teltoc: Guardian Jackal, Guardian Bat, Guardian Falcon, Guardian Lemur
Knights of Avalon: Sir Lancelot, Merlin, Bauchan, Treevil, Lady of the Lake, Guinevere
Fables of Grimforest: Pixie, Gretel, Hansel, Gnomer, Boss Wolf
Wonderland: Shrubbear, Phoenicus, Captain of Diamonds, Cheshire Cat
League of Villains: Edd, Skrekok, Ingolf, Sanngrior
Starfall Circus: Whacker, D’Andre, Candy
Slayers of Fell Shadows: Noril, Cillian, Aodhan, Orla, Maeve
Ninja Tower: Sapphire, Kinsaishi
Tower of Magic: Dölgöön, Willow
Tower of Styx: Dante
Owl Tower: None
Clash of Knights: Ludwig, Wren, Fawn, Bertulf, Aderyn
Three Kingdoms: Li, Yao
Sanctuary of Gargoyles: Hohenwerf
Springvale: Squire Wabbit, Chick Jr., Killhare, Jack O’Hare(C), Lady Woolerton
Sands Empire: Arman, Hisan, Jabbar, Gafar
Return to Morlovia: Vlad, Jack, Frank(C), Ana-Belle, Francine(C), Goopy
Santa’s Challenge: Frosty, Buddy, Carol, Buster
Legends of Kalevala: Joukahainen, Para, Lemminkäinen, Mielikki, Aino(C)
Bards: Rhys, Zarel, Zhabog, Garyas
Monster Island Hunters: Edelaide, Cedar
Constructs: None
Mighty Pets: Ribbit, Waddles
Brave Musketeers: Planchet, Felton
Lunar New Year: None
Season of Love: Zarola, Voluptas
Contest of Elements: Zione
Carnival of Gods: Alessia
Secrets of the Opera: Swan Maiden
Goblin Village: Boots
Untold Tales: Jaco, Phorcys, Aqualith
Heroes of the Month: Frida, Vela, Glenda, Malosi, Noor, Jean François, Chakkoszrot, Gravemaker, Iris, Zagrog, Silvaria, Klaern, Tahir, Morax, Gilligan, Gregorion, Leadria, Athena(C), Telluria, Gladius

Total number of unique 3* and above heroes (not counting costumes): 231

------------------------------------------------- Below is the start of the original entry-------------------------------------

I am using this as sort of a log just to see where my F2P play style is taking me as I am inching towards the start of my first TC20 training.

So I started playing around the beginning of January of this year, F2P about 99.9% the way through. The 0.01% was when Google, for some reason, decides to give me a promotional USD $1 to try spending it in the Play Store. So there was a deal for $0.99 and since I have no where else to spend this dollar, I decided to use it there. Believed it was for some gems. The rest of the times have been Gem hoarding the occasional splurge (of 250 Gems on deals). Back around the end of March, I had been leveling my buildings fairly evening across the board. Until at many veterans’ recommendations, halt everything else, but just get my Training Camp leveled up to the max.

Prior to this, there was really no sense of urgency for me to do this, until I am running into bottle neck in which I am just not doing enough damage to Titans, struggling through map levels and rare quests even with battle items and stuck with the same heroes for the longest time.

You read it correctly, I’ve spent a total of $0.99 on this game thus far, so no VIP Pass for a 2nd builder and gems collection. Just straight up playing the game and collection gems the way the game provide me as rewards for chests, Mystic Visions, etc. So there are going to be days where I am stuck with max iron / food waiting for a building to be finished, so I can get to the next phase. Hey, I wanted to see where patience is taking me, and some might refer this as self-inflicted pain or that I am a glutton for punishment.

It is around the start of the TC concentration decision, that I have only 4* heroes, which all came from Tokens (gotten in game from chests and Mystic Visions). Around the second week of April, before my 2-3 week trip out of the country, I was at SH level 16, one TC15, one TC13 and the 3rd one at TC10 or so. So my main efforts were for me to rush my SH to the 20 before anything. This, of course will make sure I am doing levels, opening chests, hitting Titans, doing quests, etc. Oh, and to slow things down on resource gathering, I don’t raid, so gone are the extra Iron/Food, and the Hero chest fill up. I am not really hurting for food/iron most of the time, but not filling up hero chests is also setting me back on seeing elemental chests and “potential” loots after Raid Arena has been introduced.

Before I left on my trip, I already have Melendor, Kalile, and Li Xiu all 3^60 (and these were my highest heroes) and waiting for ascension materials to come (I can barely finish Rare quest level 4 at the time). Before my departure, I loaded up the two higher TCs and are running TC13 training to see if I can get lucky somewhere, hopefully in the forms of 4* Purple/Blue, which I have been lacking, even until now. All this time, gathering enough Iron to get the Stronghold level up, and noticing with each level I go up, I am always going to be looking for more Iron Storage, which were not on par. Trying to work on all this while traveling (and without reliable internet connection to boot) is not very efficient, and I probably was able to get my SH about 1 level up after my return from the trip.

As painful as that was to read, this is essentially what true-spirited F2P does, even before the VIP Pass come along. Now that I think about it, I might just belong to the category of C2P (Cheap to Play). Fast forward to beginning of June, I finally was able to get 5x Level 18 Iron Storage to hoard enough Iron for SH20, and another week from that to get enough to upgrade to SH20, now the next hard part is to get my TCs up. So I first took the lowest one to get it up to 13, took out the TC13 training from the 15 and put it in there, then start the road to get it to 20, figured the Iron storage should be enough, and they are, but it still takes time…

With each milestone comes different challenges that just comes in the forms of realization something else was missing. After finally getting that TC up to 20, then I realized to do the Legendary Research at 20 requires 1313K of Food. So it’s time to get to the Food Storage I’ve largely been ignoring to get them up to the levels I need them to be and fortunately, now with 4, they don’t all need to be at level 18 like Iron. I finished TC19 research as I was waiting for enough Iron to get the Food Storage upgraded. For those of you wondering and too lazy to do the math, I was able to hoard just enough food at Food 13 x 1, Food 12 x 1, and Food 11 x 2 = Max at 1330K)

During all this time in the span of almost 2 months. My Token summons, constant TC13 trainings have produced me… Melendor, Kalile, Gormek, Caedmon, and just yesterday, Colen. Still no Purple / Blue 4*. The RNG really likes to give me duplicates and/or not the colors or types I am really looking for. On a slightly brighter side, I have at least a copy of every 3* hero (except Squire Wabbit on my roster). But last night I finally hoarded enough hams to start the TC20 research, and I shall start my first TC20 training in 6 days… and while that is happening, slowly getting my other TCs to level up. Hope I will have prepped enough Food and Recruits for that first go. If not, not the end of the world as these are easier to fill up, but these delays… Can take a toll on a player’s mind.

The results of my labor (mostly on the mind) will slowly be revealed starting sometimes next week.


Same here. I’ve got 44 pulls from TC20. And the color distribution is far from even! I know it’s a statistically small sample. But comparing pull colors to my ascend materials, I wonder if it fits statistic error range…


I’m going to max my Lianna soon, so will check how the distribution will change with no green ascend materials.


I started at the end of May one year ago. I’m not free to play, l splurged on the VIP pass.
At the advice of my first Alliance leader l kept everything leveled as l went. My journey to level 20 will end this month when the last of my forges reach level 20.

1 Like

Nice write up. Keep courage, and hang in there. On average 1 out of 30 summons from that TC20 is a 5 star, but they can be 60 summons apart, or 90 if your luck is bad, or 3 if it’s your lucky week.

Recognizable write up too. Yeah, been there, done that. I got to my first TC20 almost completely without the 2nd builder from VIP, and a 10 hero summon more than you, which didn’t speed things up that much - even though I did get an early Wu. It’s indeed a long road. But keep your eyes on the ball, every step forward is another one, and you get there. Indeed much of that road is paved with getting storages up to snag. There’s a benefit to that as well, the game doesn’t tell you, but it’s pretty noticable: the amount of ham/iron from chests improves with your storage lvl.

I have 2 TC20’s and a TC11 filled up 3 weeks ahead, and yes that’s a lot of recruits. If you’re having trouble with the recruits for one TC20, then you’re not using all your world energy or you’re spending it in the wrong places for recruits. Because recruits don’t come from spending diamonds, they come from farming, farming, farming.

That’s indeed the core of being hardcore F2P: if you want all the momentum you can get in this game as F2P, you’re going to want to use every point of (world/raid/titan) energy you get, and use it right.

On F2P you can surely get 2 TC20’s working 24/7. It just takes a load of persevering farming. Over time they will provide you 4 stars and the occasional 5 star. The pacing of that matches quite fairly with the inflow of unfarmable ascension materials, provided you never miss a hit on the titan or a rare quest. No you can’t ascend them all, no way LOL, and not always the exact one you want best, but yes you can ascend some of your choice and do very nicely with those. Key is to enjoy and employ what you get rather than fret on what you miss.

So I’ve travelled your road, and I know the road ahead. It’s not by any means a shorter road. But there’s different sights along the way, and different chokepoints. You’re going to find out unfarmable ascension mats don’t come fast, but they do trickle in if you keep at it. You’re also going to find out that the training from 3/70 to 40/80 consumes a lot, a really big lot, of feeder heroes. But you’ll shatter your glass ceilings once you’re near completion of a fine 5 star behemoth, let alone with two. It just takes a whole lot of time and a whole lot of hanging in there, dieseling on. Don’t ride a race car on this road, take a slow but steady diesel truck. Put on some music, chat on the 27 Mhz, and enjoy the ride. It’s not about the speed, it’s about the steady miles behind you. What good is a journey if you don’t enjoy it?

Have fun and bon voyage!


He must have hated you really hard :rofl:

Congratulations and good luck. While I splurge on the VIP each month, I got my 2 TC20’s running before it was released (and when I was still strictly F2P) so the path you’ve taken is very familiar to me. TC20 has yielded a couple good 5* heroes for me (Marjana and Magni) over the past few months.

The only place we’ve diverged is that early on I decided to hoard all gems until I could do 10X pulls during events. While I have been unsuccessful in my attempts to get Panther and Guin, those pulls have yielded a couple of HOTM (lucky) which form the core of my team now. I’d recommend it rather than spending 250 gems at a time on troop pulls.

Hope you get Magni on your first pull :slight_smile: good luck.

1 Like

So sorry man. People should be free to choose their own path for leveling, but in general that’s not good strategy. Level the buildings you need before ones that have limited use. Like, what’s the point of having 4 level 19 houses before TC20?

All that said, huge props on maxing out all buildings. I’m pushing for that now. I’m hoping to get there by mid August. (lotsa house and forge leveling to go.)

Thanks for all the encouraging words.

Nice chart, that’s something I haven’t really been doing, and that’s been charting my drops/results. I figure RNG is going to RNG. I just might start charting my TC20s. Because, with no event heroes, no 4* purple/blue, no 5* any color, the worst they can do to me is just giving me the status quo by ways of a slew of 3* again… But we’ll see if I will first get… behind any of the following price doors.

  1. Get myself a rainbow 4* team that I can effectively put on the field (we all know fresh out of the box 4* are really pudgy)
  2. Get myself a 5* hero (any color)
  3. Get myself an event hero
  4. Get myself a HoTM

You sure you didn’t misinterpret your first Alliance Leader’s words? At first glance I thought that looked like he/she wanting you to make sure your building levels aren’t too low. I mean, it is not like he/she would purposely hinder your progress at farming better heroes when you are in the same alliance. As much as any one would like to boast about how strong his/her rosters are, it takes more than 1 hero to take down a Titan (especially the higher leveled ones) and the better your alliance members are, the better they are at adding in damage, so the boastful one would not have to spend (as many) Battle Items, Gems/$$ for extra resources, and Alliance Flasks.

Yes, I am doing this all no VIP Pass. I still planning to do so as I finish rounding out the rest of my base. Perhaps a little more towards storage as the extra income of ham/iron would help with other items needing updated in there.

For me, I’ve stated in other posts, when I play games, especially when it comes to online/mobile games, it is how much you are looking to get out of it. In this game, the decision on whether to spend “any” money comes down to the core reason that I play this game, it is entertainment by ways of flashy gems and matching shields. There is no end game mechanic, I don’t get paid for being a top ranked player, I don’t get paid for how much I play this game, and finally when it comes down to it, it’s just bragging rights and name(handle) recognition by the E&P community. So F2P/C2P is where it is at for me. And believe me, my resolves have been tested earlier in the game to start spending on gems because I started seeing many alliance members of mine acquiring 4* and 5* heroes and HoTM left and right to their roster. But I kept at my goal.

I don’t have problem really with recruits, that’s really just another tiny possibility of a delay when I start my first TC20 as soon as the research is finished next week. 2 days of training per session on a Legendary class is ample enough time to gather food and recruits to add to the queue.

F2P and C2P is a long road vs. P2P… But I think you remember the progress more this way, I even thought of starting a reflections post about who everyone’s first 4* hero is and how it was acquired, who everyone’s first 4* of a color is, or even who the first fully ascended 4* and skill maxed hero is. I guarantee you, unless records/logs are kept, the F2P players will remember these bits of information more than most P2P players who almost always have too many heroes to count, or constantly raises the question of who to ascend first.

For reference, my first 4* hero is Melendor acquired through a Hero Token pull (and I am glad it was him because I couldn’t get myself on a mass healer like Hawkmoon, Belith, or even Friar Tuck to save my life and Sha Ji just isn’t cutting it. The above mentioned 3* healers were all acquired after I started doing TC13 trainings and by then Melendor has already been the longest standing 4* (still one Sturdy Shield away from the last tier) on my roster, the longest standing hero any color on my roster is still Bane that came with the game. The first fully ascended 4* is Li Xiu.

I will just be curious (and a little excited) to see who graduates out of my TC20 first who is not a 3* and not someone I already have.

When I first started and saw the price tag of 300 gems per hero pull, I thought meh, that’s probably doable and the 2600 gems for hero pull is something I was probably never going to do or get to do. So I was spending the 300 gems for a summon each time I reached it. 3* came from those, and no HoTM. I changed that goal after a small sample size of 4 x 300 gem pulls and decided to start hoarding gems.

The 250 Gem deal were the only ones that hindered my progress in Gem hoarding to do a 10x pull just once. But those were not on Troop Pulls, but rather flash deals that sells 1 Hero Token, 1 Troop Token, and a few farmable / craftable item. So yeah, the troop tokens I use as I get them as they don’t end up giving you chances at HoTM. But Hero Tokens, I now keep for these seasonal events.

I will see from the TC20 results to see whether my first 10x pull will be an elemental or an event summon. But that probably won’t happen for a while, unless I somehow win a Gem lottery that greatly advances my progress. :wink:


In a far away land where money are absolute, a single hero fight with a broken sword just to survive.



i tried to be f2p for a long time but i’ve lost my patience and bought the VIP pass, i wish i had your will power i’m also thinking about the VIP pass for my second account, the waiting times are nuts


I totally recommend buying VIP for your alt. I bought it for mine and I got to TC13 in a month. I probably could have done it faster if didn’t level my farms, mines and WT to match the SH level. I don’t regret it though, having those resources on hand made for fast hero leveling.

Everyone starts this game as F2P as soon as the boot up the game on a new download. How long he/she remains that way really depends… Like I said, there were definitely times when my will power and resolve are tested and wondered if I would just spend a few dollars here or there, that couldn’t hurt. Then I started thinking, you know, what’s to stop me from thinking that “every” time?

Plus, with numerous posts about players threatening to rage quit and forming a exodus line out the door and taking other players with him/her after number 10x pulls, $ spent on gems and not producing the results they are looking for. It is my thought that most P2P will never be satisfied regardless what result they are getting because they will be comparing their results to players in 7DD / Crystal Palace and think they themselves are getting the screw job and those top players bought their way to the top, etc. I don’t really want to put myself in that group.

It is typically these two reasons that always made me stay my hand on making monetary purchases in in-game shops.

I am actually looking at this taking it slow approach is something that is beneficial, making the game largely unfinished and there is always something left for me to do or experiment. Whereas if I finished doing everything by ways of spending, and if the new contents aren’t interesting and gets repetitive, I might have moved on to something else. The current part is largely grindy and repetitive, but at least I am still working towards something unfinished, and I am generally ok with that.

But that is just me. Do what you feel is most comfortable with based on the level of involvement you wish to be in.

1 Like

Congrats on your determination getting as far as you did, effectively for free!

I also think you got particularly bad advice on keeping all your buildings leveled up with your stronghold. Without VIP, you do need to keep your iron storage caught up farm more than you do with VIP or you will overflow during long builds. But letting food storage, and houses lag behind will slow you down a lot on the way to TC20. You also don’t need to get all your TCs up at the same time, and certainly only need one high level forge, and may want to let it lag a bit too. At least if you are trying to get to TC20 faster!

(With the VIP second builder and a strong focus on stronghold/TC development, I’m currently on day 101, and about to start my stronghold 20 build in a couple hours.)

I’ll admit it. I started the game thinking I’d play for free. That didn’t last long enough for the starter special to expire, 'tho. I bought it and VIP for my first month within two days!

I’m also really glad that the game is set up so that both paying and free players can coexist. Yes, I have some advantages. Yes, players who outspend me have more advantages. I’m impressed that SG managed to strike a balance that mostly works for both free and paying players.


Thanks! I read your post in another thread and looks like you are almost starting TC20 too! Best of luck to you as well.

Can you imagine how much of a riot and mass exodus exit will be incited if SGG make each individual TC, Forge, having its own research structure? (e.g. Research is not one and done and has to be researched individually) :crazy_face:

To be frank, no one really gave me any advice on how to progress through the early parts of the game. Most of my knowledge to the game were acquired through looking at the wiki and lots of self trial and error. In the beginning, I was just looking to take things step by step and making sure everything is nice and peachy and not lagging too far behind. Had I continued that path, I might start my road to TC20 on a later date, especially still running on $0 budget allotted. But at least I won’t have problem with storage (iron/food/recruits) buildings lagging behind. :laughing:

For slow, grinding, C2P like myself, I can constantly find something to do as I trudge along, I think SGG will need to worry more about keeping P2P entertained with new contents (as they will be progressing through the infrastructures/contents faster) than to someone like myself.

1 Like

Yes. I just started my stronghold 20 upgrade. So a week before I can start TC20, but I’ll be ready for it when it is done–I’ve got a TC that will hit 19 in two days.

1 Like

I wish you luck on your F2P journey. You have more patience than I do and hopefully your TC20 gives you the heroes you are looking for.


I don’t think so. I’m happy where l’m at.

@Shohoku79, granted l may have misinterpreted my leaders’ comments about how they wished they had kept everything leveled as they went but l have never regreted my decision.
I am not known as a person who has “good” luck.
However in this game l have benefited from the blessings of the RNG Gods.
My first hero (from an epic token) brought me Vivica and a bonus draw of Hel. My second token brought me Sabina.
Now I save my epic tokens until l have 5 and that usually gets me the HOTM (l am missing Athena and Ares).
I love this game because you can learn something every day from some amazing people
I wish you luck in your journey, please keep posting. :smile:


Thank you for your encouragement. But if one can equate luck of the result of the tokens/gems in this game, then I’d have to say perhaps the RNG Gawds were not particularly cruel, nor were they particularly kind to me in my roster thus far.

Tokens/Gems have gotten me Melendor, Kelile, and Li Xiu, no 5*, no HoTM, no event hero any star
TC13 have gotten me repeats of Melendor and Kelile (both of which are going to be food because I don’t keep dupes), Caedmon, Gormek, and Colen. I think the mentality is that I will keep at most one copy of every 3* and above hero that I can get my hands on, only because of the hero space capacity and won’t be looking to increase that until I at least finished one 10x pull.

The rest of the tokens / gems have all been 3*. So as you can see the RNG Gawds have a pretty weird sense of humor when it comes to wanting keep me weak at blue and purple… Fun story, for the longest time I’ve been devoid of 3* blue / purple troops and didn’t actually start getting them until a month and a half ago. My first 3* troop was a yellow, and coincidentally, my first 4* troop (that I finally managed to get) was a yellow… Weird huh?

So yeah, I am still waiting to see who my first blue/purple 4* hero is…

In another 2 days the research will be done, and I can start pumping in the recruits and food for the first training session… We’ll see… But chances are, it might just be another familiar face from the 3* camp.

1 Like

So, uh, counting down the clock to the start of my first TC20 training, which should be sometimes tomorrow night, a bit of an event thrown in.

So I had 3 Hero Tokens saved up and was going to try to use them as soon as the Summer Event started, but decided to save them for a chance when Greg shows up as the HoTM, because Gravemaker is just not speaking to me. So I saved them until 7/1 hits and did the pulls tonight, maybe I can get a Sand Hero, and if I am lucky, a HoTM.

So when the dusts settled, Berden, Bane, and Chao. The RNG Gawds laughs at my little 3 attempts and brushed me aside. However, it is not a complete waste by any stretch I suppose, because I don’t have Chao yet and it is certainly another one 4* to add to my collection. In another thread, I had wondered what my luck would be like as on the rest of my goals.

  1. My first rainbow 4* team
  2. My first 5* hero
  3. My first event hero (any color or *)
  4. My first HoTM
  5. My first 4* Troop

Looks like I’ve gotten the last one done first a few days ago, and that was really the one I was thinking that will happen last, with the way my luck has been going. Any way, unless another Hero Token comes my way before next Sunday, I probably won’t summon again using Gems in the summer event because I am hoarding Gems for 10x pull (I even bypassed the Dino Day sale because 250 Gems is quite a bit for me to make up with my style of playing).

Meanwhile, the clock continues trickling down on the TC20 research…