Dwarves - How to Play - Hero Academy

Dwarf Menu Art
Dwarf Menu Art | Source

Dwarves are a great race to play if you're a fan of long distance explosives! Harness the power of the little man and use AoE grenades, rockets and rifles to victory!

The key to winning as Dwarves lie in the following tactics:

  1. Use Dwarf-Specific items to their full effect!
  2. Use the Annihilator's (Super Unit) abilities to their full effect.
  3. Use the Grenadier to whittle down the enemy in stalemates.
  4. Group up the Paladins and Engineers for Defense
  5. Use Gunner's as high damage sacrifices

Screenshots all taken from games I played!

Click thumbnail to view full-size
(Start of turn) Dark Elves revive Wraith with Life Leech.Wraith kills Grenadier (end turn)Now Dwarves can move in the Paladin to revive Grenadier.Revive him,And then use Dwarven Ale to bring him back to full health. This way the Wraith will not be able to kill the Paladin next turn!Use a tower to deal 300 damage and finish off the Wraith!
(Start of turn) Dark Elves revive Wraith with Life Leech.
(Start of turn) Dark Elves revive Wraith with Life Leech.
Wraith kills Grenadier (end turn)
Wraith kills Grenadier (end turn)
Now Dwarves can move in the Paladin to revive Grenadier.
Now Dwarves can move in the Paladin to revive Grenadier.
Revive him,
Revive him,
And then use Dwarven Ale to bring him back to full health. This way the Wraith will not be able to kill the Paladin next turn!
And then use Dwarven Ale to bring him back to full health. This way the Wraith will not be able to kill the Paladin next turn!
Use a tower to deal 300 damage and finish off the Wraith!
Use a tower to deal 300 damage and finish off the Wraith!

1. Dwarf-Specific Items

The Dwarves are lucky enough to have two unique items which are so useful that you can use them during the early, mid, or even late stages of your games.

Dwarven Brew (x2)
The dwarven brew heals a unit for 1,000 health as well as reduces the next hit inflicted by 50%.

  • An excellent time to use this item, then, is on a KO'd unit which has just been revived, maximising the amount of HP recovered.
  • This is particularly useful when the enemy unit which knocked out your unit didn't retreat and is still is 1 or 2 squares away.
  • See in the thumbnail for a visual explanation in a real game I played!

The Pulveriser (x2)
The Pulveriser is a powerful drill-type spell that the Dwarves can use to deal 600 base damage to any enemy unit. You can also use it on a Crystal in order to deal 600 damage to it but also a large amount amount of splash damage to surrounding units. It also destroys the shield if a unit is wearing one.

The best ways to use a Pulveriser then is:

  • Knocking out a unit with 2-3 upgrades on it when you know you can safely stomp it later.
  • Finishing off or dealing serious damage to a Crystal.
  • Dealing huge splash damage to units clumped around a Crystal - the more damage you do to the crystal the more splash damage is dealt, so make sure to have at least one of the Crystal tiles activated.

2. The Annihilator

Click thumbnail to view full-size
In this position, the Impaler could kill and stomp my Paladin next turn. Instead of moving it to safey and wasting a turn though, I can just use my Annihilator!I move him forward and attack the central Crystal.This displaces the Impaler onto the square above.So I've dealt damage to the Crystal and moved the Impaler so he can't stomp my Paladin next turn. Go me!
In this position, the Impaler could kill and stomp my Paladin next turn. Instead of moving it to safey and wasting a turn though, I can just use my Annihilator!
In this position, the Impaler could kill and stomp my Paladin next turn. Instead of moving it to safey and wasting a turn though, I can just use my Annihilator!
I move him forward and attack the central Crystal.
I move him forward and attack the central Crystal.
This displaces the Impaler onto the square above.
This displaces the Impaler onto the square above.
So I've dealt damage to the Crystal and moved the Impaler so he can't stomp my Paladin next turn. Go me!
So I've dealt damage to the Crystal and moved the Impaler so he can't stomp my Paladin next turn. Go me!

2. Using the Annihilator Well

Displacing Units with Knock-Back

  • Super Units usually have a subtle way of using them in order to get an advantage and the Annihilator is no exception! Use his knock-back effect (similar to that of Knights but much better) in order to displace the enemy and put them out of their position.
  • You might think that this is a lame ability because your opponent can just move their units back into position next turn, but it can be the deciding factor on many things.
  • For example, you can knock back a unit that leaves that unit unable to knock out and stomp one of your units on his turn.
  • This is also a great way of gaining momentum on your opponent since for every one of your useful attack moves they need to waste action points to move displaced units.
  • See thumbnail!

Dealing High Damage with Runemetal

  • If you're going to play as Dwarves, make sure not to waste your Runemetal (swords) on your Engineers or Paladins. Instead, use two on your Grenadiers or Gunners and save one for your Annihilator.
  • It is absolutely vital that you do this because the Annihilator can then do 450 damage with a range of 3 - making it as strong as the Council's Mighty Archer but with the ability to Knock back enemies on mass (and reduce armor to -50%!).

Annihilator + Gunner

  • Another quick tip is to couple the Annihilator's amor reduce with a nearby Gunner.
  • The ability reduces the armor to 50% so this cannot be coupled with the Grenadier or Annihilator's own attack and must use the attack of the Engineer, Paladin (both have ranges of only 1) or the Gunner, which at least has a range of 2.
  • You can run your Gunner into battle after using your Annihilator to provide cover and deal damage, without losing too much momentum.

Annihilator + Pulverizer (Drill)

  • Even better than using a Gunner, using a Pulverizer after reducing the armor of a unit by 50% with the Annihilator's attack allows you to KO almost any unit.
  • Quite importantly, since this only takes 3 AP (one for moving the Annihilator into position) you are left with 2 AP to stomp the body (which is usually enough)!

The grenadier can do devastating damage to large groups of units.
The grenadier can do devastating damage to large groups of units.
In this situation, the Grenadier is doing a whopping 900 damage per hit. If one of my units were on the  damage crystal, it would have done 1500!
In this situation, the Grenadier is doing a whopping 900 damage per hit. If one of my units were on the damage crystal, it would have done 1500!

3. Breaking Stalemate's with the Grenadier

  • The Grenadier is very good at breaking stalemates, which happen very often in games of Hero Academy.
  • Because of its long range (3) and high splash damage (3x3 around the unit damaged), it usually takes just moving 2 squares, firing 3 times, and then retreating to break a stalemate.
  • This tactic only really works well in a stalemate where there are a lot of units on the field but nobody wants to make the bold leap of breaking out into an all out war.
  • It works best against any Team except for The Tribe because of its ability to heal after AoE damage - the Shaman's ability to heal 3 units at one time makes splash damage pretty ineffective.
  • Every other team must heal units individually making them prone to AoE.

Paladin & Engineer Positioning

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Keep your Paladins together and your Engineers at the back of your army so that you can constantly use Shields without endangering them.Standing next to the other Paladins and wearing armor, this Paladin has a total  physical damage resistance of 40%!
Keep your Paladins together and your Engineers at the back of your army so that you can constantly use Shields without endangering them.
Keep your Paladins together and your Engineers at the back of your army so that you can constantly use Shields without endangering them.
Standing next to the other Paladins and wearing armor, this Paladin has a total  physical damage resistance of 40%!
Standing next to the other Paladins and wearing armor, this Paladin has a total physical damage resistance of 40%!

4. Grouping the Paladins & Engineers

  • The Paladin has a really neat ability to add +5% resistance to both physical and magical damage to all units within one square range.
  • This means a potential of 15% extra armor to a single unit.
  • Whilst this may seem small, one ought to keep in mind that the Dwarves have no tank units.
  • This means that they have to really on Engineers, Dwarven Ale, Defense Tiles AND Paladins to collectively make a unit reasonably good at taking damage.
  • Throughout the game, deploy and keep your Engineers at the back of your army (the corners are good spots) so that you can easily cast and re-cast Shields onto your army.
  • Remember, although the Engineer has only a range of 1 and 800 health, they can cast their Shield ability from 3 tiles away.

Even without any upgrades the Gunner can do a decent 600 damage per hit through splash damage
Even without any upgrades the Gunner can do a decent 600 damage per hit through splash damage

5. Sacrifice Your Gunners

Every Team has its own unit that needs to be sacrificed for better ones. You can think of it as a game of Chess, where trading a pawn for a Bishop or Knight is always a good idea.

  • A good trick is to damage an 800hp unit by 200+ one turn (in the hope that your opponent will not bother healing it) and then next turn using a gunner to run in from 4 squares away, attack twice (KO'ing a 600hp unit) and then stomping it.
  • Most healers have only 800 HP and 0% resistance against physical damage so are excellent targets.
  • Trading your Gunners early game is a generally good idea because trade-offs become harder and harder as the game progresses and players start shielding off their units with whatever they can.

Important Note

  • Unlike chess, in Hero Academy you can use upgrades, and a fully upgraded Gunner with an Engineer's Shield can actually be a very powerful unit.
  • As a result, it may not always be favourable to trade off all of your Gunners.
  • It is necessary to judge for yourself whether you think his splash damage (dealing up to 900 damage per hit) will be effective in a match or not.

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toptengamer profile image

toptengamer 3 years ago from The Game

Great tips - this helped me get just a little farther for sure!

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