In my perspective, this is a guide on how to improve at the game. It’s not all down to chance.
Ultimate Tier List with Tips
How Is the Game Played?
I’ll presume you’re familiar with the foundations of SAP, so I’ll focus on what makes it unique among similar games. SAP, unlike other Auto-Battlers like TFT and HS Battlegrounds, has far less RNG components because the pets attack in order. This isn’t to say the game isn’t affected by RNG, but I’d argue that anyone who continuously blames losses in this game on RNG isn’t looking at it correctly.
You don’t have to get 10 wins right now.
The majority of people appear to be preoccupied with the notion that 10 wins is the only way to go and that anything less is a defeat, terrible rng, or anything else. 7-8 wins is good enough in my opinion and should be considered an overall “win.” Don’t beat yourself up if you get to 8 wins and then lose three games in a row to god squads; learn to see it as a triumph and the game becomes much less tilted and enjoyable.
Unlike other manuals, this one will not go into great detail on specific methods. Instead, I’ll list how I play and think the game should be played at each point of the game.
Early Game (Tiers 1&2)
Try to take good early game units (Ants, Fish, etc). Do not get baited into trying to revolve a whole team comp around certain Tier 1&2 units. Examples of this are Peacock, Dodo, or even Horse strats. You may win early, but if you cannot pivot out of these strats in mid and late game then your run will likely end at 5-6 wins. Instead going with generally good units early that you do not feel attached to will both win you rounds and also make it easier to pivot into mid or late game. Also almost never level up a unit while at tier 1. Wait the round or two instead so that leveling will give you access to much better Tier 3s, some of which can be either early game carries or can let you immediately pivot into a certain playstyle.
Mid Game (Tiers 3&4)
These are the rounds that make or break a run. If you cannot do well in the Mid Game you will either die hopelessly in the Late Game or in some cases not even make it to the Late Game. Tier 3&4 gives access to much better build around Pets than in early game. In general Mid Game is when you should start to develop a good idea of how your team comp will be and you should start investing food into Pets you think you will keep for awhile among other things.
Late Game (Tiers 5&6)
By this point you be focused on getting to 10 wins if you have enough life. If you are on lethal (3 hearts or less) instead all of your resources should go into survival, do not gambit on somehow miraculously winning so that your strat will magically work next round because most of the time you will just lose and your run will be over. Leveling at Tier 5 is also extremely powerful in most cases as most Tier 6 units are meant to be build-arounds, and getting them just a bit early is all the better. One thing that some players don’t think about is gearing up your units. In the late game a well used Steak or Melon Armor can win you rounds by themselves.
I don’t really know where to put these but here’s some random good tips and tricks.
Faint effects can be triggered in the shop via pill. This is something everyone should know, with the most infamous example being pilling an ant instead of selling it in order to give a random permanent buff. This can also be done in front of an Ox to give it permanent attack increases and also letting it start with Melon armor, which is a lot more useful than one may think. This also lets you do some funny stuff like having permanent bees or killing your units in the shop with the Hedgehog.
Always upgrade Buy effect Pets by directly putting them on the Pet from the shop. The reasons to do this vary. For the Otter this allows for the buffs to never hit the other Otter, and when you buy an Otter on top of a level 2 Otter this will trigger the new +2/+2 effect instead of the +1/+1 effect. For the Cow if you can get to level 2 and buy a cow on top of it the milk with now give +2/+4 and so on.
Equipment is Key. Equipment refers to Melon, Garlic and other food that give permanent buffs. The later into the game the more important these become. A personal pet peeve of mine is seeing a player hyper roll late to get a unit to Tier 3 instead of buying a Steak or Melon or even a Pepper that could easily win them a round or two by themselves.
The Tier List
Here is my personal tier list for the game (Beta v15) I will now go into detail for certain Pets, feel free to comment or message me any questions or opinions you may have regarding this Tier List.
S tier compromises Pets/Food that I believe can fit into almost any comp and make it even better.
Chocolate and Melon are a given as the generally agreed upon best Foods in the Game.
I firmly believe that after the adjustments the monkey is the single most broken unit in the game. For those who do not know the Monkey was moved up one tier and was changed to +3/+3 every turn instead of +2/+2. The reason why this is broken is that a lvl 2 Monkey now gives +6/+6 every turn. Getting a lvl 2 Monkey enables you to either hyper scale an already good unit or, more importantly enables you to super pivot late, pretty much solo enabling Leopard and some other Units.
As for the others in this tier Scorpion can fit into almost any team, and putting a 1-UP on it is a good tech.
Snake can go behind any big unit and straight up make it better.
Tiger can go behind a multitude of units and make them busted.
Cow although nerfed makes up for it with its new level up effect as long as you can afford the space.
Ox and Hatching Chick single handedly carry Mid Game if you can get them at a good time.
A tier are amazing but often cannot solo carry a run or need some sort of condition that keeps them from S tier.
Garlic is amazing Early/Mid-game, but is often replaced by Melon in the Late Game.
Steak is possibly the most underrated Food in the game. Put it on any of your scalers or support units Late Game and you can easily cheese some victories.
Pear and Sushi are just generally good ways to spend 3 gold if you do not need to roll.
Snail is another nerfed unit that is still amazing, the only thing keeping it back is obviously the loss condition and the need to have an open space.
Turkey is the hard carry in Summon builds, do not be afraid to sell your lvl 3 horse for this thing as it is immediately better in all ways.
Ant is just simply the best Tier 1 unit in the game with the added bonus that it can be pilled to give the +2/+1 buff.
Caterpillar at Tier 3 evolves into a butterfly that copies the highest stats of your squad, the only reason it isn’t higher is that it does not fit into squads that don’t have any big carry units.
Bison can solo win you games if you can get it early, but it sucks if you get it late or do not have a level 3 pet.
T-Rex can be thrown onto almost any team for decent benefit, gets a lot better if you can get it to level up.
Hippo is the go to single carry unit for most players. A scaled Hippo with Garlic can hard carry you until Super Late Game in most cases, but relies on said scaling to do good unless you are against a weak summon build or something similar.
Puppy is worse after the nerf but is still good enough to justify the A tier. Pairs well with Swan.
Cat is greatly underrated by some. If you see one late it can easily replace a rabbit, poodle, penguin, etc. and getting it to either lvl 2 or having two seperate cats in play is insane.
Deer is another somewhat underrated unit by some and in my opinion is the core of the only good versions of the summon build past early game. Having two deer is often better than keeping a slightly buffed cricket or something in a summon build.
Fly had an interesting adjustment that makes it a lot less annoying but still good. Fly is lower than Turkey and Deer because it needs them to be good but they don’t necessarily need Fly to win. Besides this Fly is still an auto include in any Summon build.
Dragon is insane if you get it from a level up on Tier 5 but past that is usually too late for it to be worth it. The additional requirement of having to play Tier 1 units and have a space available is also a downside obviously.
Swan is pretty much the only Tier 2 unit that can reliably be brought into the Late Game, it makes T-Rex, Puppy, and food builds a lot better from it’s extra economy while having decent starting stats for early game.
Rhino is good but most people would rather just have a hippo. It is better in scenarios where a lvl 2 or 3 Rhino can destroy certain Summon or Hurt builds instantly, so that justifies it’s A tier spot.
Fish is another excellent Tier 1 unit with great stats and a pretty good level up effect. Gets bonus points for often being kept at lvl 3 in order to boost Bison.
Turtle has a number of uses including early Melon Armor by pilling it, carrying Microbe builds, and just being a great Mid Game unit in general, especially if you can get it to lvl 2
B Tier are all decently viable units that are just overshadowed by higher tier units.
Can is a decent way to spend 3 gold if you are ahead and don’t see anything good in the shop.
Meat is good early and can make early game units last an extra couple of rounds
Pill allows for a bunch of cool and good interactions via Faint effects.
Kangaroo is definitely worse off from the nerf, now getting countered by deer, dolphin, etc. That being said, it can still easily pop-off especially if you get it early behind a decently sized unit and Tiger Kangaroo later is still a somewhat viable strat.
Buffalo is basically just a better Dog that doesn’t always require an extra slot, which makes up for it coming later than the Dog
Rabbit is a criminally underrated Mid Game support. Even at just level 1 getting off multiple food buffs on a unit you are going to keep for Late Game can go a long way. It is also easily replaced as soon as you get a Cat.
Otter as explained in the Tips section is great as long as you buy additional Otter on top of the one already in play.
Penguin can give your team much needed wide scaling, if you have at least 2 lvl 2 or 3s it is generally worth it. Works great with a lvl 3 unit you plan on keeping in order to buff Bison.
Leopard is pretty much getting hard carried by Monkey right now. If I have a level 2 Monkey and I see a Leopard I will go out of my way to try and fit it into my build and it usually pays off greatly, especially when paired with Melon Armor and a Tiger. Besides that it kind of comes too late.
Whale feels like its fallen off a bit in the last few months but keeps a B spot from it’s synergy with both Deer and Hedgehog.
Hedgehog has become all the rage lately and can actually be a really good mid game carry in hurt builds.
Pufferfish is another essential part of the hurt build, the only reason both it and Hedgehog are not higher is that they fall off pretty hard Late Game as it is often hard to fit scaler units into hurt builds.
Bat is alright lvl 1, but lvl 2&3 can be pretty amazing, especially due to the fact that Weak overrides equipment such as Garlic
Crab I initially thought was trash after it’s nerf, but it can still carry Early/Mid with Meat on it, and you can buy another Crab on top of it to update it’s HP
Worm is amazing if you get is early and can commit food to it, but is useless if it shows up late or you would rather level and scale other units.
Sheep is a decent Mid-Game Summoning build unit as well as being a decent slot in if it shows up on a Tier 2 level up.
Mosquito is a great Early Game unit that falls off pretty hard unless scaled, the only reason to do so would seemingly be if you get it to level 3 for Bison. Oddly enough becomes useful again Late Game as it can snipe off Melon Armor.
Dolphin is a pretty good slot in Mid-Game for a round or two and is good in meme snipe builds.
Beetle is good early for it’s stats but can often be a trap if you commit too much food to it.
Spider is a decent summoning unit that can only cheese you some wins through RNG
Parrot is great when paired with either Ox or Deer, but besides that is kind of a meme.
Poodle is a decent scaler but it’s biggest downside it that itself is a Tier 5 unit and can take buffs from other Tier 5 units you would want to scale.
Chicken and Goat go together as an interesting pair in a unique shop buffing build. Honestly I have not played with it enough to decide if they need to be either higher or lower.
Dog has fallen from being a possible S tier unit to low B due to moving from Tier 2 to 3. This is actually a HUGE difference as a turn 3 or 4 Dog is necessary for it to be good. That being said if you are lucky enough to get it from a Tier 2 level up it can still be pretty good.
Seal is good in my opinion but is definitely overshadowed by Worm due to just coming later.
Beaver is decent stats early with an okay selling effect, that’s about it.
Bluebird is alright if you plan to either keep it or another unit until at least Mid Game.
C Tier are only good for a couple rounds, are in bad builds or in meme builds.
Apple and Salad are what you will settle for if you have 3 extra gold, Salad being a lot better if you have a Rabbit early.
Cupcake is a nice temporary buff, but being temporary keeps it from being any better.
Honey is alright in Summoning builds early and can cheese wins if given to the last unit.
Pepper is decent late game, but you would pretty much rather have a Steak or Melon Armor in most cases.
Skunk I might actually have too low as it can be pretty clutch in some cases, especially if leveled up, but sucks against summon builds and I think it can hit the same unit multiple times if you get unlucky.
Microbe might also be too low but at the same time the Microbe build heavily relies on getting a leveled up Turtle to override the Weak on your own units.
Gorilla seems good in theory but being Tier 6 means it has to compete with all the other Late Game units that also need at least some scaling, and it just does not match up with the others.
Octopus sucks unless you can miraculously get it to lvl 3, then it’s GOATed. When paired with Tiger at lvl 3 it can easily win some rounds without even attacking, but again this all relies on you getting a Tier 6 unit to lvl 3
Owl is a decent round or two slot in and also a pretty good buy/sell unit.
Tropical Fish is an okay scaler that should be replaced by Late Game.
Dromedary is actually slightly underrated with decent stats and an okay effect for Early and Mid Game.
Pig is only good for buy/sell strats, but is really good in those.
Rooster/Dodo is the infamous duo that previously would have been easy S-Tiers, but with both getting big nerfs they fall this far. Turns out auto winning by having a 25 attack Dodo and a level 2 or 3 Rooster does not work anymore. Rooster can still see play in summoning builds and Dodo can be scaled and be okay, but they are both a shadow of their former selves.
Shark might be the biggest Noob trap in the game. At best it is an alright unit. In reality it comes too late to be put in Summoning builds that need to transition into Tiger/Rooster/Fly Late Game.
Ladybug is okay Early if you plan on keeping another actual good unit and investing food into it.
Mammoth is another Noob trap, even with a 1-UP it still is not worth it but still it isn’t terrible I guess.
Peacock needs to be heavily scaled to last even into Mid-Game, which it then proceeds to fall off pretty hard Late
Flamingo is alright for a round then pill it.
Giraffe is good if you get it early but even then it should not last more than 3 or 4 rounds at most.
Horse is probably better than this rank, but I will keep it this low as long as I see people trying to make it work into the Late Game. Replace with Turkey as soon as possible.
Cricket is pretty much only good with Horse.
Badger is pretty much exclusively used as a cheese unit at the back with Honey, but I will admit can come in clutch sometimes.
Squirrel is just barely out of the lowest tier because of it’s rework, but only just barely as it can discount Pills or Cans that you would not want with a theoretical build where Squirrel is good.
Elephant is only here because it can be bought early either purely for its stats or as a decent Hurt trigger.
D Tier units are bad in almost every scenario or are huge memes.
Pizza comes too late and is only good in food builds.
1-UP is good tech on a scorpion, besides that I would rather but a Steak on any of my weaker units.
Shrimp is a big meme, really fun to use but bad, especially if you commit to it.
Llama is not good because four squad Martys will never be good. Period.
Eagle can make for some cool pill RNG moments, and that’s literally it.
Crocodile is a meme snipe unit held down by its weird stats, 8/4 is pretty wack.
Sauropod I don’t even think I have used, but I don’t really think anyone else has either.
Rat is good stats but not good enough to justify the amount of times you will lose because of the Dirty Rat.
Lobster is unknowable. I’m gonna be honest I’m not even sure I know what it does actually, but that’s okay.
Tabby Cat is terrible. Having to invest food into it for a temporary effect will often be a waste of gold in the long run.
Duck has fallen all the way to the bottom, +1 HP only is terrible especially seeing as you will often lose early when you take this because of it’s awful stats.