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Orcs Must Die: Finale Tips
***UPDATED - with strategy videos below***
So you've slaughtered tens of thousands of orcs, slaying them in a dozen rift fortresses, using a wide array of nefarious traps and magical spells. Feeling pretty cocky aren't you?
Well apprentice, when you see that finale round, that smirk is going to be knocked right off your face by the orcish hordes!
A whopping eight gates, each with its own path to the rift gate by itself is quite a challenge, but to survive 12 rounds of the game's toughest orc waves is nigh impossible.
But never fear, other war mages have held the high ground of this fortress before you, and survived long enough to pass on some valuable information!
The first four waves each come from only one direction, north, south, east and west. Use these first four (easier) waves as time to establish your first lines of trap defense. One cheap trap configuration to start with is to place a Coinforge on the ground, with a Decoy Trap in the center, right in front of each door. Add a wall trap or two, and the traps will be sufficient to stop 'most' of an orc wave, and give you a little extra coin to build additional traps as the level continues.
Barricades can be used to route the hordes to a limited degree. Forcing orcs into the narrow second floor connecting halls (perfect for traps), will work to a limited degree, but be aware that the large amount of Sappers on this level means you'll likely have rebuild some of your walls at least once.
Other trap notes: Push traps will work on the acid causeways right in front of the eight entrances. All eight stairway approaches have a log trap ready and waiting, triggerable from the rift room. The east and west entryways have additional log traps that roll to the left and right of the causeways. There is ample space for ceiling traps along the very top of the stairs around the rift. And lastly, the balconies surrounding the rift make a handy place to put archers if you want to go that route.
A flame or frost ring is highly suggested here, for their group-killing capabilities. Also, you face frost and fire ogres, so unless you pick both, you'll be stuck with just your crossbow/bladestaff versus a big baddie at some point. Many players pick the mind control mushrooms for this level to help handle all those ogres.
It's highly recommended to set up at least one swinging mace around the top room. Then, when being attacked by ogres or Gnoll Hunters, just kite them over to the mace killing zone, and stun/freeze them in place. Even the Armor Ogres will go down in only a few hits.
A cheat sheet to the 'what' and the 'where' of the horde's assault. Note: this is for War Mage mode. On Nightmare mode, sappers and crossbow orcs appear much sooner.
Wave 1 - North: An orc wave, with a fire ogre coming out of the right door.
Wave 2 - East: An orc wave, accompanied by an ogre.
Wave 3 - South: Same as the first two waves.
Wave 4 - West: Same as the first three.
Break - Now would be a good time to visit the weavers if you haven't already. You'll need some help to survive what's coming.
Wave 5 - South: A Frost Ogre and Fire Ogre attack.
Wave 6 - All sides: Gnoll Hunters and a whole lot of sappers will swarm you from multiple directions (north first). The sappers will blow up the nearest barricade they come to, unless they target you first. Try to blow a big bunch of sappers, just as the hunters are standing close by for a twofer.
Wave 7 - All sides: Lots and lots of orcs. One or two Gnoll Hunters complicate matters.
Wave 8 - All sides: The same as wave 7.
Break - Don't spend too much time/money on barricades during this break. There's too many ogres, and sappers in the last four rounds to get too much use out of them. If you're at a loss for what to do with any leftover coins, you can always coat the inner courtyard's upper ledges with archers.
Wave 9 - North: Lots of orcs and crossbow orcs, accompanied by two armored orcs
Wave 10 - All sides: Sappers come at you from all directions, followed by a flame ogre.
Wave 11 - All sides: Big waves of crossbow orcs come out of the right doors from each of the cardinal directions. They're followed by at least two frost giants.
Wave 12 - All sides: OGRES! An ogre comes out of each door ... that's eight ogres at once. It's a mix of frost, fire and armor types, so good luck with that.