Queen of Shields (Guide)
This is probably the least played build of the least played Demigod that you will encounter, as it was at the time of this writing. That's why I tried it out and to my own surprise found it to be one of best builds there are.
First off, this is not a build which everyone will like. The playstyle is very micromanagment intensive and thus demands a lot of actions from the player. For the casual player it will probably not be the most fun, because
- you will not be a Demigod killer
- thus you will earn much less money
- the Queen herself will not do a lot of damage
- you will be one of the hardest-to-kill Demigods
- you will level faster than most other Demigods
- you will save a lot of your teammates' lives
- most Demigods won't be able to beat you in one-on-one battles
This is all done by playing the Queen of Thorns almost exclusively in closed mode. This mode is usually descibed as being the defensive mode, but actually this build will allow you to continously fight at the front without having to retreat as much as other Demigods. A lot of people don't know that when in closed mode, the Queen has increased health and mana regeneration rates, an armor bonus and her attacks will have a tiny area-of-effect. All this helps a lot in the beginning, and will thus give you and your teammates the leading edge throughout the rest of the game.
This build can be best described as generating a "tank" with a great team support skill. Counterintuitively, you will not have a lot of health and neither boast strong armor. Nevertheless, you will be able survive attacks of (multiple) enemy Demigods that would kill other Demigods in seconds.
Your main skill will be your Bramble Shield.Edit
This is one of the (sadly) few team-oriented skills in the game, the others being of course Sedna's Heal and Oak's Shield. Altough those two skills seem to be better on the first glance I'll claim here that, if played properly, this skill will make you a very good support Demigod nevertheless.
This is because the Queen's Bramble Shield has many unexpected advantages:
- The cast time of your Shield is non-existant. Therfore, no stun will be able to interrupt you.
- This also means that the cooldown of the skill is really only 7 seconds, and not longer due to the additional cast time. Therefore you will be able to cast Shields more often than Sedna can Heal.
- You can put Shields on yourself and your teammates before entering a battle. When fully skilled, this will give your team a 1450 damage reduction per teammate. The psychological factor of a fully Shielded team will make an otherwise equal team of opponents retreat or become indecisive as who to attack.
- As soon as one of these Shields goes down, you can instantly recast that Shield. The constant "ABSORB" damage notifier that the enemy sees will be quite a thorn in the flesh (pun very much intended) of your enemies. Make sure you're not playing against rage-quitters. ;)
- When you Shield a damaged teammate, he is able to regenerate his own health or get healed by a priest, as opposed to a full Heal of Sedna.
- The extra damage reduction will allow you or your teammates to keep pursuing a retreating enemy Demigod, possibly killing him way inside the enemy defenses.
- You will be able to take flags which are defended by towers by being able to stay inside the the tower's range while constantly recasting the Shield.
- You will be able to support your team even when you are under attack because you can cast Shields on you teammates while simultaneously healing yourself by Mulching Shamblers.
- You can Shield teammates which then go to fight at another lane. When you have enough mana, Shield everyone you can, even minions.
- If you skilled Goddess of Thorns, your Shield will also do light area-of-effect damage.
Being able to summon and command up to 4 Shamblers is a great skill which is not recognized by many players. All minions except Erebus' Nightwalkers are generally not considered as an important fighting force, but the Queen's Shamblers are also quite nice. That is mostly because players don't know about "creep tagging". Creep tagging means that if you or your minions deal at least 25% of damage to enemy reinforcements, you will get gold when the reinforcement is killed near you. This can be enormously advantegous if you know how to exploit that mechanism and skill properly. Your Shamblers do not have a strong or fast attack, but their attacks have an area-of-effect, so that they can damage multiple enemies and that's the point. They will damage a lot of enemies, earning you extra gold.
Shamblers are also great "meat shields". For example, a group of 4 Shamblers has a combined health of up to 6000 without any "+minion health" items. You can also use single Shamblers to clear an enemy Regulus' mines. It's also important to note that killed Shamblers do not give experience or gold to the enemy.
This skill can be applied in two ways: as a means to heal yourself as well as a fairly potent area-of-effect damage skill.
- Firstly, eating a Shambler will give you quite a lot of health for a really low mana cost. It does not matter how damaged that Shambler is, in fact, the more damaged it is the better, because it would have died soon anyway. This skill has a cooldown of 7 seconds and a cast time of only 0.1 seconds. This means that in combination with your Shield skill you can soak up enormous amounts of damage, more than most other Demigods, and you can do that as long as you have enough mana. The skill has a range of 5000 yards (i.e. unlimited), which means that you can be far away from your Shamblers when eating them.
- This is also very important for the second way of using that skill: to deal quite a lot of damage. Approximately a second after you Mulched your Shambler, it will deal damage to all units and towers inside an area that is a bit smaller than the coverage of the Rain of Ice of the Torchbearer. This skill can be used for "farming" at two lanes at once! This is because with this skill you can creep-tag the enemy reinforcements at one lane, while you fight at the other. The initial damage of Mulching a Shambler is enough to tag all the reinforcements, if the Shambler was placed exactly between the archers and the soldiers. In the beginning I recommend to use it approximately 3 seconds after the reinforcement waves clash, because then you'll kill most of them. If you properly micro-manage your Shamblers, this will allow you to outlevel every other Demigod. Because of its unlimited range, you can also use this skill while returning to your base. When the skill is maxed out you will deal 750 damage to the enemies inside that area, which is almost as much as the aforementioned Rain of Ice skill. It's usually enough to kill all reinforcements but giants and can also be used to damage densely packed minions like Nightwalkers or Spirits.
Your fourth skill will be your Ground Spikes.Edit
I usually played the Queen exclusively in closed mode and chose the passive skills Compost and Morale for the remaining skill points, but it's far better to skill Ground Spikes because in the endgame (level 15 upwards) there can be quite large aggregations of reinforcements where another area-of-effect skill is worth a lot. Moreover both aforementioned passive skills are not very effective.
This is the skill which I use the least, because it means that you have to go to open mode, which is time consuming and can be quite dangerous for your low health Queen. I usually only use the skill when first entering a battle, afterwards immediately switching to closed mode. The damage is not as much as your Shambler Mulching area-of-effect damage, but it also decreases the enemies' armors for 5 seconds quite a lot (up to 1500 armor reduction), which then increases all damage significantly. For example, it approximately triples the amount of damage that enemy giants take. It also damages towers and lowers their armor, thus it's also useful for taking down towers.
I also recommend that you take the passive skill Entourage, because it will let your Shamblers deal enough damage to "tag" the reinforcements or kill them and also they will survive longer, especially against enemy area-of-effect attacks. It is also a requisite for the passive skill Tribute, which will give you and your allies an additional 4 gold per second bonus. Altough Tribute is not very useful at that stage it can help in bigger teams.
You'll also be able to skill Goddess of Thorns, which is less advantegous than expected, nevertheless it's worth taking.
Proposed Build OrderEdit
- Bramble Shield
- Summon Shambler
- Summon Shambler
- Mulch Shambler
- Bramble Shield
- Summon Shambler
- Bramble Shield
- Mulch Shambler
- Bramble Shield
- Ground Spikes
- Ground Spikes
- Mulch Shambler
- Ground Spikes
- Ground Spikes
- Goddess of Thorns
- Summon Shambler
If you do not face enemy Demigods with strong area-of-effect skills like Regulus with Mines or Torchbearer with Circle of Fire, you can also skill Ground Spikes earlier and Entourage afterwards.
As you can clearly see, this build is heavily mana dependent. That's why you will need as much mana regeneration as possible. For this you'll need the proper items.
This item (the most expensive, and also only for generals) has many advantages. The additional 280 mana and 4 mana per second regeneration (+6 in closed mode) will allow you to cast your Shield a few more times which can be the decisive factor in the first battles. If you can chase off the enemy Demigods because they can't damage you, you can take the flags.
The other advantage is the jump skill. With this item you'll be able to jump 15 yards (which is the same range as the Queen's attack) to either chase a retreating enemy Demigod or to retreat yourself. This is especially useful against fast and/or slowing Demigods like the Unclean Beast. If you jump away at least 10 yards out of its attack range, it will most of the time stop following you. This will also let you get time if your skills are not yet ready.
With this item you can also do a special trick in the map Crucible. If you go behind your own portal in this map, you can jump across the abyss to quickly take the gold mine / artifact flag. You can also use this path to retreat or go home to buy stuff. Lastly, and most unexpected for the enemy, you can also use the item to jump to the enemy portal flag. This is very dangerous because of the towers and the near enemy fountain, but if you can take the flag, lock it, and teleport home, you clearly disturbed your enemies a lot. You can also take a short cut to or from the shop in the map Exile.
Because of your mana dependance, you'll mostly have to buy mana items. As a general with minions you should preferably buy items which also improve your minions.
The proposed buy order is as follows:
For the first item I usually buy a 50g Totem of Revelation to increase my vision radius and 900g monk minions because they will heal you or your teammates and also do considerable damage.
Next I usually buy the a helm that will give you a high mana regeneration which you will need to keep up your Shield.
Whenever you get to war rank 3, I really advise that you'll get the gold income upgrade as soon as possible, especially in games with at least 3 players per side. For merely 1800 gold you and all your teammates will get additional 4 gold per second. For 3 players in your team, this upgrade will amortize in only 150 seconds. Yeah, I did the math.
After that it's the best to get additional mana and health to better survive the stronger damage skills of you opponents.
Next, you can get basically whatever you want. Your mana regeneration should be high enough to sustain a constant Shield and an army of 2 monks and 4 Shamblers, which you should use to farm the other lanes by Mulching them as often as you can. I usually buy another armor to better survive or the speed boots because they are cheap and give you an important advantage when chasing a fleeing Demigod. Since the Queen continues shooting while chasing down enemy Demigods, this may even earn you some Demigod kills.
Now your inventory is full and because you usually don't need more, you can be a real team player and buy various upgrades in the citadel since your teammates most likely will have to buy more expensive stuff to survive (without you at their side). Actually, you could even buy an item for a teammate.
You should also buy Teleportation Scrolls and Lock Scrolls.
Later I usually sell my Totem of Revelation and buy a Sigil which increases minion health and can be consumed to temporarily double your maximum health. Using this item in a hard fight can be very decisive.
I recommend that you arrange with your teammates that you all have the right amout of money (1800 + 3600 + 4800 gold) to upgrade to catapultasauri when they get availabe at war rank 8. Then upgrade the reinforcement attack and armor and watch the enemy towers go down. Against more skilled opponents with a lot of area-of-effect damage I recommend to wait for giants (war rank 10, 6000 gold), to avoid feeding your enemies with lots of experience and gold.
First 20 secondsEdit
- As soon as the game starts go into closed mode and skill Bramble Shield.
- Go into the crystal range and put a Shield on everyone of your teammates.
- Shield those who will most likey teleport away (mostly Rooks) first.
- During the first Shield cooldown, buy the first 2 items (Totem and Monks) and summon the Monks.
- Send both Monks after one of your allies.
- Lastly, go to the front edge of the crystal range and Shield yourself, wait until your mana is 90% full and go towards the middle flag.
These important 20 seconds will give your team quite an advantage for the first fight and you'll most likely hold most of the flags soon.
First few minutesEdit
- Always send 1 Monk to one of your assassin Demigod allies (Monk damage can gain you an assist kill).
- Stay in flag range as much as possible and tag the reinforcements with your small area-of-effect autoattack.
- Whenever an enemy Demigod gets inside your atack range, attack him instead.
- Do not go into enemy tower range unless the tower already shoots on your reinforcements.
- Try damaging the tower as much as possible but do not let it attack you or your minions.
- On Cataract, the first tower can sometimes go down pretty fast and you can then take the enemy gold flag (outside the tower range). Lock it when an enemy comes.
- Do not summon Shamblers until skill level 2, this saves you a lot of mana.
- Shield your allies only when they get attacked or when you have full mana.
- Buy equipment only when the time is good (enemy Demigod just died or is retreating).
- Try adapting to the opponent on your lane.
- Let your minions attack while you stay safe further back.
- When your mana is full, play aggressively.
- Stay in place and hold your flag.
- Try farming at other lanes with Shamblers and Mulching.
- Use Ground Spikes on aggregations of reinforcements or towers.
- Stay in front and Shield as many allies as possible. PUSH.
- Take and Lock Portal flags.
- Get Catapults and Giants.
- Watch Portal flags and teleport there if an enemy tries to take them. Make him retreat or lock the flag.
As in any good game, there is no ultimative hero or unit. There are always counters, and Demigod makes no exception.
Since this build is quite slow and does not have high burst damage, experienced opponents can always survive if they retreat early enough. You also have no stuns or interrupts so that your opponents can use their skills and potions or scrolls without fear of failure. Especially using big potions and teleport scrolls will help them a lot.
Next, I'll briefely list my most feared opponents.
If he skills the usual minion build, you will not be able to defeat him. Bite and Nightwalkers damage will almost instantly destroy your Shield. Shambler and Mulching damage is not enough to kill his Nightwalkers. Even if he is losing health faster than you he can also always Batswarm away. Actually he's unbeatable in 1vs1 against any Demigod.
This Demigod is only dangerous if he skilled Explosive Mines and Mark of the Betrayer. Throwing the mines under your beetles' feet results in wicked damage. If your minions are around you they will most likely not survive and not having any Shamblers to Mulch can be deadly. I recommend taking other lanes and avoiding battles.
There is not much that the Queen of Shields can do against a Tower Spammer hiding behind multiple towers. Simply avoid.
Your ability to stay alive depends on a lot of mana and constantly casting your Shield and Mulching Shamblers. Beast builds with Venom Spit and Ooze can deal out more damage than you can heal. I recommend retreating early enough.
You will have to retreat against a Spirit Oak. Later on, your Shield will not last more than 3 hits and your Shambler area-of-effect damage is not enough to kill the Spirits by just a few health points. May be easier once the Sludge Slinger trinket works properly.
I found this build to be exceptionally strong at levels 5 to 15, from the moment on that you have the Vlemish Faceguard item and the Mulch Shambler skill. From my experience the Queen of Shields gets weaker the longer the game takes after this point. However, if the teams are equally skilled, your early advantage will be enough to end a game soon after the giants enter the battle.
Important Stuff (Bugs etc.)Edit
- There is a serious bug with "+minion health" items, see .
- As of now, the minion path planning is quite annoying.
- Due to lags your Shield or Mulch can be too late, even when already used.
- Some players intentionally desync the game when losing.
- You can place a minimap signal for your teammates by pressing the "p" key.
- If the way home is long, always buy 2 teleportation scrolls so that you can also teleport home again.
- You can also buy items for your teammates and drop them on the ground.
- You get 300 gold for killing a tower.
- If there is health potion from a kill on the ground at the front, position youself in between it and the enemy Demigod.
- Some enemy flags can be taken outside the defensive tower range (e.g. gold mine flags at Cataract).
- Your team should focus-attack one Demigod, if possible the one with the lowest health. The only exception to that should be made when there's also a healer in the enemy team. To prevent healing spam, attack also the healer so that he will rather heal himself than the other low health Demigod.
- Don't whine about imbalance. It makes you look like an unskilled loser.
- Everytime you rage-quit, god kills a kitten.