Check out this guide for a few tips on how to progress early in the game, what some of the milestones are as well as tips on map layout and monsters.
How Do I Progress?
There are about 9-10 ways to progress in this game:
- Tower Level (Gold, lasts for an entire prestige)
- Monster Attribute Level (Tower XP)
- Multi-Card DPS (Essence) 3.5 Spells (Essence, short-term boost)
- Research (Essence)
- Artifacts (Wave)
- Relics (Prestige Points)
- Tech Tree (Scrolls)
- Tournament (Tournament Points)
- Premium Upgrades (Gems/Money)
It's unlikely that you've explored all of these options in case you ever get stuck. If you have indeed done everything reasonable within your current possibilities, chances are, you're likely better off prestiging and gaining general game progress.
I'm Stuck in Wave ###, What Should I Do?
Below you'll find a flowchart that should give you general advice on what to do with your run, if your intent is to reach a milestone (list in the question below).
Step 1: Have you had your current run for less than 2 days? If that's true, go to the next step, otherwise you should probably prestige.
Step 2: Are you within 50 waves of a milestone (list below, personal highest wave does not count as a milestone)? If that's true, move to the next step, otherwise you should also prestige.
Step 3: Here's a list of options you should have available to you: Check the list of ways you can progress above and hopefully upgrade something you had missed, wait for the next daily reward and upgrade your monsters, change your spell loadout to full damage (ex. Rain of Fire, Strength Aura, Frenzy and Deadly Strikes).
Tip: If you tap on a Helicopter with a 2x Damage Boost for 2 Minutes in it, wait until your current wave ends in -5, or a bit less, before collecting the reward/watching the ad, to make sure you save the boost for the hardest part.
What Milestones Should I Be Aiming For?
Below is a list of milestones it's recommended you reach, as they will likely make your future runs from that moment on fairly easier.
- Wave 20: New spell Strength Aura
- Wave 40: First new monster pack, new spells Death Awaits and Masterhip
- Wave 50: Prestige unlock
- Wave 80: New pack, Cargo Ship unlock, new spell Frenzy Aura
- Wave 100: New Artifacts, new spell Prosper
- Wave 120: New pack, new spell Deadly Strikes
- Wave 150: New spell Freeze
- Wave 200: New spell Essence Storm
- Wave 250: New pack, new Artifacts, new spell Heavy Weapons, unlock Boss Rush
- Wave 400: Tech Ship unlock
- Wave 500: New pack, new spell EMP
- Wave 750: New artifacts (Artifact re-roll recommended here)
- Wave 800: New pack
- Wave 1000: New spell Time Warp
- Wave 1250: New farm map available for gems
- Wave 1500: New pack
- Wave 2500: New push map available for gems
And last but not least, every new tournament bracket is also considered a milestone, even if you barely reach it and likely place in the last tier of the next tournament, as the rewards are almost certainly better than what you'd get in your current bracket anyway.
How Can I Improve My Map Layout?
Here is a handy guide on setting up your maps to help you progress. Thanks to CarcosaDweller on Discord for creating this pictorial.
Which Monsters Should I Choose?
There are four parts to this section. Starting with part 1:
Which monsters should I choose in 'x' situation?
First, I want to ensure you read the image in the last part showing you a proper layout. This is a tremendous example of how you can setup your map pre-wave 800.
For the most part the best way to play Idle Monster TD is by selecting 2 monsters (of 2 different elements) to be your DPS Monsters, while the remaining 8 will be Support (including 1 to 2 Fluffy variants for Gold Lust at the front of the map). There are two main reasons for this. First, the experience gained is concentrated in just those two. Second, two is the minimum amount you can use to get past most waves, and by only having two you reduce the amount of gold you need to hit their highest possible level. If you use 3 or 4, you will end up causing them to hit a lower max level, thus putting out less damage. The only time the 2 Monster setup is burdensome is after you hit wave 500 (though usually not until around 750 or so). At this point robots can have 2 Elemental Shields at the same time, this means there's a chance they can have the same shields as your DPS Monsters attack with. While this is discouraging, you can still continue. If you fail a wave you only go back to the last wave ending in -1, so at the most you get sent back 9 waves and you try again. If you're playing manually this also means you have the opportunity to use spells. Rain of Fire (ROF) is GREAT for annihilating monsters with shields, and once you hit wave 500 you also unlock the ability to buy EMP, which temporarily removes the shields of the robots so you can quickly kill them.
Blah blah... what monsters do I pick?? That brings us to part 2:
Monsters to Pick Pre-Wave 800 (when you unlock Godly Monsters)
From the start, you should always put out the two monsters (of different elements) who put out the most damage when placed on the field. This may take a few minutes to figure out, but it'll go by quickly. Your goal here is just to keep slowly upgrading your monsters until you can prestige or hit wave 120. That's when you unlock: Legendary Monsters. Legendary Monsters should be used as your two DPS once they are unlocked, and you will use them ALL THE WAY to 800 (yes, skip Mythic and Celestial).
Why Legendary Monsters?
- Their Passives give them a bonus boost to attributes (especially Fire Devil).
- You unlock them early, which means you have more time to level their attributes.
- They are cheaper to obtain Multi-Card Bonuses for than Mythics/Celestials.
Typically Fire Devil is the Primary, with Sea Mustang or Beary Fungi as Secondary.
Okay... so what happens after 800? Part 3:
Monsters to pick Post-Wave 800 (when you unlock Godly Monsters)
Now the fun begins. Typically, you will want to use Conduit as Primary DPS with Tortuoise or Ginga as Secondary DPS.
The reason to choose Conduit first is: It has one of the most valuable skills in the game: Gold Lust IV. Gold Lust itself is used from the very beginning (if following along). It's a very powerful skill which amplifies the amount of Gold you draw from the robots. Conduit is extra important as not only does it have the highest level of this skill, but it's base stats are nearly the same as the other Godly Monsters. On top of that, your first goal with Conduit will now be to ascend it as you can and amplify the Gold Lust IV skill even higher. With Ascension you can get Gold Lust IV up to 10.0x power, making gold struggles a thing of the past. Conduit should be the primary focus for this reason, and in Targeting make sure you set it to Use Skill on Bosses only (since you have Fluffies at the front anyway, this ensures the best Gold Lust is used on bosses).
The reason to choose Tortuoise over Ginga is: Since it's a secondary, you only need it to clean up single robots. It's skill is a single target attack with amplified damage, so it'll be great to use against single robots AND you won't need to level Tortuoise as high as Conduit.
The reason to choose Ginga over Tortuoise is: Ginga gets an amplified Critical Hit Damage from their base stats, making Ginga a strong choice. It also has an always active move where it does splash damage to monsters around those it attacks. Ginga also has a MASSIVE range, one of it not the highest in the game... however you must be careful placing Ginga as it can easily reach in front of Conduit which makes it hard for Conduit to get the kills.
Okay, so legendary before 800, Conduit + Tort/Ginga after 800, but what about Immortals? Part 4:
New METAs have not been discovered yet, and when they are this guide will be updated to reflect that. Currently the Immortals are so new, it's hard to say exactly when we should switch or what we should switch to. Each of them have their ups and downs, and there's a lot of testing left to do. When you unlock Immortals I'd encourage you to try them out, see what works for you. No two accounts are the same, so what works for you may not work for another, and vice-versa.