Strategies for playing the board in raids

If you have a diamond and a match-3, check which will max your hero’s special. If the 3 is enough then save the diamond to charge up again later.

Unless the diamond will kill the opponent’s dangerous hero like a reviver.

1 Like

Some possible raiding heresies from my own experience:

  • don’t get TOO hung up on mana breakpoints

Firstly, most matches you make will be match-3s, so unless a breakpoint drops a hero from “more than 9 or 6 tiles” to “9 or 6 tiles or less,” it probably isn’t going to come up in most moves. (Arguably, one of the particular scenarios most worth actually paying attention to involves Very Fast heroes — whether intrinsically VF or because of Rush — all having a chance to actually fire in 6 tiles with a minimum of +9% mana generation.)

Secondly, if you run a variety of heroes, keeping a track of VS/Slow/Ave/Fast/VF vs Magic vs Charge (ninja) vs Styx vs Changing Tides speeds, plus any various situational modifiers (specials, passives, bard bonuses, etc) might result in playing the game with a spreadsheet open (especially if ignoring the first point above).

Thirdly, and possibly most importantly, mana breakpoints will be disrupted. This will happen through any number of enemy actions, whether it’s Sorcerer freebie ailments, enemy Specials firing, or any number of mana-cut mechanisms (from Specials, minions, etc.)

I’m certainly not saying that mana doesn’t matter — just that it often pays to know what is most likely to make the biggest difference.

  • time REALLY matters: don’t wait too long

I am certainly likely — even TOO likely — to hang onto a ready-to-fire Special in order to set up a combo or reply to an imminent opponent action, and that can be important. But I’ve also learned the hard way that waiting until the “perfect time” or trying to manage a sweet combo of tiles can be lethal.

It’s all well and good to go into a raid with some killer combo, but you need to be ready to be tactically flexible when you can’t get the combo to go off as all one-two-three-win, even if it sometimes means firing a Special “too soon” or out of order or in a way that will only wipe one foe instead of three or all.

If you’re delaying making this tile match or firing that Special, it definitely pays to know specifically why you’re waiting — and if that reason is more than 2 (or even 1!) turn(s) in the future, it better be a mighty compelling reason.

In other, more common words: don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good.

An important corollary of this train of thought is

  • take the easy kill

It’s tempting to try to get “the most total damage” out of your hit-3 by hitting three foes at 75% hit points instead of the lone foe in the corner at 5% hit points. It can be frustrating to fire your “will do 1200 damage” sniper at a foe with 63hp. It can be sorely tempting to severely damage or maybe kill an enemy Aramis instead of definitely killing the badly wounded double-costume rando S1 hero.

And there can be exceptions, when inflicting an ailment or cutting mana on a key hero matters more than wiping that other one right now — but in my experience, the more exceptions I make to “take the easy kill,” the sorrier I am when the badly wounded foe hangs around/gets healed/gets minions/gets another Special charged/gets in one too many slash hits because they aren’t gone.

Additionally: dead enemies means ghosting tiles, and that can potentially better than any mana buff or “I have this ability on a Fast/VF hero instead” gambit. Being able to open a hole in enemy formations can be critical for mana management, and one reason that “mere snipers” can be underrated or overlooked on offense.


yeah, i usually do this too, practical idea

One thing I remember being told is to go for the kill even if it is an overkill with a special. Last thing you want is to use your special on the second-weakest target to put them in the red and then having an unlucky combo charge opponent’s healer to heal both.

1 Like

Yup, I’ve made the mistake of using a special on someone else thinking that tiles could kill them… the answer is usually no. Of course, I’ve also gotten the occasion where I’ve “wasted” a special killing a fighter who proceeds to revive a number of times before a healer like Cleopatra ends up topping up their health.

Here’s a tip I’m surprised to see unmentioned:
Take advantage of fully charged enemies to clear tiles beneath. If you can’t stop them from firing you can still clear dead tiles or possibly charge your own heroes without …adding mana to enemies.

Pretty simple really.
Board management takes some thinking.
But once your eyes adjust to lateral moves that open up connections below, I wouldn’t label it critical thinking.
But more of yet another RnG mainline where sometimes you have 4 or 5 options to process. And sometimes you only have 1 move. There’s zero strategy in single move scenarios. Processing the options just takes time and a little practice. You really don’t need a college degree for that.

1 Like

er… I actually think it has been, but it is a generally good situation to watch out for, with one important caveat:

make sure the enemy is FULLY charged before doing this

namely, make sure it’s not “just” that the mana bar is full—but to x1–on, say, a Magic or Charge (ninja) or Styx speed hero; it pays to not inadvertently charge up a x1 “ouch” Special to a x2 Magic or x3 Styx “ALLYOURBASEAREBELONGTOUSLOLZOR” Special :stuck_out_tongue:

Having said that, while I sometimes see reference to “tile dump” heroes, I consider very few if any enemy heroes to be completely safe to dump tiles into unless

  • they are fully charged, or

  • they are otherwise incapable of gaining mana (ala Proteus Special), or, possibly

  • they are incapable of using their Specials (silence, mindless attack or similar, though in the latter case still watch for passive/family abilities that can activate on Special), or even

  • they can fire their Special but it will literally have no effect or will be reflected

and even then, it pays to be aware of possible counterattack, or Sorrow-type-minions, or buffs that get stronger with every hit, etc etc.


Usually tile dump is a hero that is passive, like a healer or a minion maker. Those types of heroes can make great tanks, but they need more than just their primary function. Say overheal or ailment protection are great examples of turning a tile dump into a monster and of course more than anything else: Mana boost. If a healer can boost the mana of their allies they are most often really good tanks!

But in reverse, if they don´t have those extras, healers are tile dumps. Minions become outright liabilities if you attack with a Grimble etc. You literally try to keep them alive to fire their special two or 3 times :smiley:.

There are lots of those around as soon as you leave the top corner of the game.

kudos to all for a great thread - every time I think of something, I find it’s already been added!

1 Like

I’m familiar with the term, just that even the most “passive healer” is erasing much or all of the incidental (or even not-so-incidental) tile damage I might be causing while trying to get my heroes charged up…

…and if my team is taking slash hits without healing while my foes are at full, and getting ready to fire, then that “tile dump” tank is still making me wonder if I should be taking my chances spreading tiles around a bit rather than keeping my enemies at 100% hp forever (even in the theoretical case that the healer does literally nothing else).

—Of course, this is often a semi-moot point since I can only partly control where I can make tile matches at all, much less in the color(s) I’m looking for.

But this is another point that sometimes gets lost in raid discussions:

  • tile damage can matter

It’s very well and good to try to coordinate Special attacks, countermeasures, defenses, healing, etc. but simple tile damage can be an important resource (especially for buff-heavy teams but also, often, the more concentrated a raid team is, whether it’s 3-2 or even mono, less so for rainbow).

I want to be able to take advantage of opportunities that tile damage can open up, whether that means preventing healing before all the tile damage gets erased, or firing a /gasp/ sniper opportunistically at a wounded foe to just get them off the board.

1 Like

since you are the attacker, you choose the team you bring, so make sure you bring a team that can kill a full health target. In that case the healer keeping them at 100% health is doing absolutely nothing as it doesn´t matter if they have 100% or 10% health.
So no do NOT play tiles anywhere else if you can avoid it, the others may actually prevent you from doing what you want to do while the tank is not.
Also if you can only kill 1 target at a time, do not start by killing the tank. Kill the ones that are an actual threat to you and keep the tank around as tile dump. If you can kill 3 in one go of course take him out together with 1 side and you have more than half the board for ghosting. No need to keep him alive in that case.

do not attack without a healer. and again a tile dump for tank is basically a guarantee that your healer will be able to keep you alive, because nobody can kill you before you charge your healer.
Even horrible boards are not a problem, because you can simply throw all the junk into the tank without damage to yourself.
The only problem would be a board that forces you away from the tank. Basically removing the tile dump from the board lol.

The only one who will ever have trouble with a tile dump for tank is someone who cannot do enough damage to kill targets at full health. But with say 1 healer, that leaves 4 heroes to kill 1 target, shouldn´t be all that hard. And if you can kill more heroes or use fewer heroes it only gets easier…

There are certain tile dump setups that are pretty much guaranteed wins too. Against a team with a minion tank and no other healers I can take Noor, Visacro, Gulli, Luigi and Raff (rainbow almost fully passive team) and win just by continuing to dump tiles

1 Like

In general, the more you stack the more important the tile hits become. This is offset by an increase in off-colour tile hits that give you no benefit.

Play rainbow and you are generally trying to charge your specials. Play mono and you are generally trying to get on-colour tile matches. The specials become finishing moves rather than initial big hits.

Play 3-2 or 3-1-1 and it is a mixture of the two.

1 Like
  1. again, assuming that the healer is only healing, not overhealing or buffing or debuffing or anything else

  2. even in this extreme case, the heal-tank is buying time — even if I am magically able to send zero tiles into anyone but the tank, while I’m just tile dumping, enemy heroes are charging and mine are not; enemy heroes are doing slash damage and I am doing no tile damage

Counterpoint: opening a lane early means I can start ghosting tiles early, which is either (A) an actual safe tile dump (B) a way of getting double mana for my heroes or (C) both.

Well… if you have heroes that can win basically with passives vs those specific heroes.

For that matter, minion-heavy defenses seem to be increasingly out of favor especially over the last year or so with the number of anti-minion folks increasingly rolling around.

Im thinking here heroes like viscaro, gulli, salmon loki, maybe even baldur. Surrounded by healers/minion makers. Would generally work for a non minion tank too as long as there are no healers or maybe a slow corner healer

Yes there are fewer minion tanks but they are definitely still arouns

In line with some of what Homaclese has been saying

  • you dont actually NEED to bring damage to win

Passives certainly help, of course, and this is easier to pull off in Buff Booster, but today’s PoG mono-blue tasks had me running

Part of the strategy of running this offense is realizing this will be (and needs to be) a very long fight, so it can be an advantage to make moves quickly and get the raid to “increased damage” turns ASAP.

1 Like

that is the definition of a tile dump from the beginning. So yes assume that, if you don´t we are not talking about tile dumps. Well they can buff and debuff all they want as long as they don´t boost their own mana or steal yours. Those 2 things would make a healer tank a good tank rather than a tile dump.

lol I don´t know what you are thinking, but you got it upside down. If you tile dump into a tile dump tank, your heroes are charging and the enemy is not charging lol. Well the tank is, but he does nothing whatsoever. The other heroes on defense get few tiles and charge much slower than normal. Your own heroes charge as always, which is the whole point, you charge faster than the defense does. I don´t know what your constant problem with slash attacks is, any S1 4 star healer can heal you enough to survive a few slash attacks. If your team can´t even survive a few slash attacks how do you think you survive hits from a a damage tank???
I mean we are talking about close to the easiest defense you can face in this game. Unless you find somebody with a Vollermork tank it´s not getting any easier. There is no way to talk this up.

If you have Ninja Granny in your mind, then yes she is a problem! But she is not a tile dump! I am talking about tile dumps, with an emphasis on dump, because that is what they are. Heroes that do nothing but heal, they belong in a dumpster (for tanks at least)

Maybe… we are going off different definitions of “dumping tiles”?

My assumptions, at least with regards to raids:

  1. I do not raid rainbow unless a task is forcing me to, which means most tile matches I make give my heroes precisely zero mana

  2. I’m also assuming, for simplicity, that we are talking about classic “V” formation defense (ala wars and tourneys)

  3. I understand “tile dumping” to mean striving to make tile matches that only hit the tank, as much as that’s possible. This may be in form of

3a) Making matches in my colors when possible, then trying to “tile dump” into the tank whenever matches in my colors are not possible, or

3b) Ignoring even matches in my own colors unless they would also somehow match solely into the “harmless” tank

Under this understanding, the act of tile dumping itself is generating literally no mana for my heroes — while heroes on defense actually accrue small amounts of mana for free every turn even if I somehow avoid even inadvertent stray tiles or tile cascades.

So when I’m worried about enemy slash hits, it’s not because I didn’t think to bring a healer or my healer can’t keep up (though “harmless” buffs, like attack-up, might mean that slash hits become non-negligible much sooner than later), it’s because a healer who doesn’t fill up the mana bar isn’t healing.

If I’m busy trying to only send tiles directly into the tank to the exclusion of all else, I’m not charging up while my foes are.

Furthermore, I’m not even sure how many heroes actually constitute “harmless” tanks — I’ve been considering the hypothetical case of a heal-bot tank that “restores XX% health” and nothing else, but… many, if not most, healers don’t work like that.

(Perhaps a 100% pure minion-summoning tank, as long as I have a reward-me-for-destroying-enemy-minion hero or a punish-you-for-having-minions hero and I can charge that hero up even while “tile dumping” on the tank.)

1 Like

I think we must be playing 2 different games, I can´t explain this discrepancy in perception any other way…

In the game I play tiles are random, it doesn´t make a difference if you look at the middle or the sides of the board, tiles are randomly lying around and you make matches (preferably not at random). When you match your own tiles you charge your heroes, no matter if the tiles are in the middle or not.

The more tiles you play the more you charge your heroes (because more tiles means also more of your good tiles). A tile dump lets you dump tiles, which means get rid of garbage tiles (that don´t charge your heroes) without causing you any harm. At the same tile it also lets you charge your heroes with good tiles without doing you harm. If you do the same to a non-tile dump enemy he will do you harm, no matter if the tiles are good or not… The advantage of a tile dump is the sheer quantity of tiles you can play without getting hurt.
If you somehow manage to charge slower by playing more tiles you are doing something seriously wrong. I don´t even know that´s possible if you try to do it on purpose.Yes you can always have bad RNG, but that´s not a proof of anything, it´s a numbers game, the more often you do it the more often it works that way.

Do you think you can charge your heroes faster if you have a 9-tile win team and 9 matchable tiles on the board from the get go (including tiles on the sides) by playing those 3 matches? Yes OBVIOUSLY, you go make your 3 matches and win the match!!! No discussion necessary! We don´t need to talk about tiles dumps or any tactics whatsoever. Make the matches-win-hit next target!

Again, a tile dump is a dump for garbage tiles. You need that when you have a lot of garbage on your board, as randomly happens all the time. That´s the situation when people run around complaining about bad boards all the time. That´s when you want a tile dump tank. it let´s you remove the garbage and give you all the time you need to find the good tiles coming in later in the game. Not when you have a diamond in your damage color on the starting board. You don´t care what tank is there, stop wasting your time thinking about tactics, just go ahead and win.

I basically disagree with every single point you make, but let´s take it step by step.

Define “most”. You are half correct if most to you means more than 50%. If most means anything more than 60% to you then I disagree. Most (say 90% and up) of the useful teams consist of 2 or 3 colors. That means 40% or 60% of tiles generate mana. Mono teams and rainbow teams can be powerful, but most (close to 100%) people do not have the heroes or the troops to pull it off. If you talk about beginners, well, they have to play with what they have, no matter if that´s rainbow or mono, simply by not having anything else. Anyway that´s a whole different can of worms to open (and off topic, so I end it here). Bottom line 40 to 60 % of tiles generate mana in most (:D) cases.

Doesn´t matter. A tank is the one who gets hit by tiles the most. if you have a reverse formation with 2 raffaeles on the wings, you try to throw the tiles there. It´s not as good, but the idea is the same.
If you can manage to throw 17 vertical matches in to the raffaele wing on a normal formation (so basically the opposite of a tank) it also works as a tile dump, but it isn´t something I would count on exactly. The place doesn´t matter, only that you try to throw tiles preferably into a hero that does nothing to you when he fires.

yes, the only thing I agree with. With the little addon, that it is a tank only in most (say 99% of) cases.

No, literally the opposite. In 90% of cases (I know it gets old, but I asked a definition of most from you, so I should do as I ask I suppose) that is the wrong first move. You do NOT play your tiles first, unless of course as always, if you have a killer starting board with all you need presented to you on a silver platter you go ahead, make your matches and win. Otherwise, you do NOT play away your tiles first. Instead you dump garbage first, preferably in a big combo move (outside rush, where you need less tiles and a combo that gets out of hand will often kill you, of course tile dumps help immensely there, too!)

Once the garbage is reduced, the number of your own tiles on the board is increased, which allows you to create more powerful gems as well as the opportunity to match your tiles more creatively in order to get the 9 (or 6 or 7 or 8 or whatever your team needs) tiles in order to win. Dragon bombs are absolutely essential if you are trying to charge heroes in less than 3 matches. and they get rarely delivered to you for free, you need to work for them. If you fool away the first 3 match you get, your chances of ever building a bomb is close to zero. Diamonds require even more work, in addition to the above you need very good eyes to find them. Most (alrightI get tired of percentages) let´s say many diamonds never get made, because people don´t see the diamond they could make 1 or 2 moves down the line and instead destroy the diamond by making a 3 match. (Again this is starting a whole different discussion, but at least still on topic of the OP)

This is getting very long again so I will skip all the next bits, I think all of it should be answered above somewhere, but one more point I find interesting:

Let´s say at the top level of play these heroes do not exist anymore. 1. Because nobody would ever play them (they of course still have them, they just never use them) and 2. Because new heroes are much more powerful than that.

So which tile dumps do exist? Well they exist further down in the game, where people don´t have the shiniest and newest OP killer monsters. Until about 1 year ago or so most healers, did hardly anything more than heal They just had a heal and a little gimmick. Only the very best had something to take them out of the tile dump category, because the skills that make a tile dump into a meta tank are: 1. Overheal, 2. Mana boost and 3. Ailment protection.Can´t think of anything else right now. And for meta tanks you need at least 2 of those skills.
Until about 1 year ago, these skills were extremely rare and hardly existed at all. Overheal (especially with more than a marginal amount) was on what 5 heroes? Mana boost, slightly more common on damage heroes, but on healers? Ariel comes to mind, but who else?. Ailment protection: Vanda and Garnet, anyone else? Point being: Close to every healer that came out in the first 5 years of the game would be considered a tile dump now. Of course at low enough level play where nukes don´t exist and people still hit each other on the head with sticks and stones the requirements for tanks are also lower. So it is all relative.

1 Like

Just as a side note ithar is a tile dump. Somehow somewhy people use her in defense at times.

Ludwig is a tile dump… once you c sabina or felton him.

Most aor hitters are tile dumps once you get a taunt on.

As mentioned minion makers are tile dumps if you have a counter.

Weaker snipers can just about be considered tile dumps

Taunters are almost always tile dumps.

Theres many categories… and i lovd them all

1 Like