Edited by Sw0rdless at 6-13-2014 07:11 PM
I've been seeing more people asking about farming H lately. As I was in the same boat desperately trying to climb out of HBM G a few weeks back, I thought I'd share my knowledge and strategy in regards to farming H without garrisons.
Before I get into my base design and strategy, I'd like to address a few key points in regards to farming H:
1. You do NOT need lvl 18+ buildings and lvl 10 towers to farm H. As you will see, all my gold vaults are lvl 16, hero bases lvl 16, and towers lvl 9. That being said, higher buildings will further decrease random, unlucky losses.
2. You do NOT need a full team of 8* assuming you have the right team comp and decent talents (which I will get into later).
3. You NEED Immortep. I cannot stress how important he is for consistently farming H. More than 50% of the time, it is Immortep who singlehandedly wipes out all the dragons on wave 5 for me (okay, maybe TG helps a little ). Get him to 7* and 4/9 (8*, 5/9 recommended) ASAP if you want to farm H. While I'm sure you can still farm H without him, your building levels and hero levels will have to be that much higher to offset not having him. #HBMGOD
4. Always use hero traps between waves. With good placement, they are extremely helpful and can even win you a run that you would have lost. Don't be lazy!
Now, on to my strategy...
Base design: Modified deathbox (all credits go to leary93, or whoever first started using the original deathbox design)
A few things to note regarding my base design (refer to SS):
1. As many are aware, only vaults and mines hold aggro. It's important, but not essential, for you to use your highest level vaults/mines. Sure you can probably farm H with Guild Hall, Altar, etc., but I found that vaults/mines reduce those random, unlucky losses. I use the TH simply because it has so much HP, really good for stalling dragons on wave 5.
2. I only use 4 arrow towers in my core defense. Pretty important because the 5th serves no purpose other than taking up precious space inside your base. With 1 tower in each corner, the thopters will never be able to destroy 2 towers in 1 wave.
3. It may be a good idea to spread out all of your random buildings in a big ring around your core defense like I did so they all get destroyed on wave 1. This eliminates those rare, but pesky losses due to a random enemy unit spliting from the main force and wasting your 3mins. Remember to leave at MOST 2 units between each building or else your core decoy buildings may pick up aggro and the ring loses it's purpose. Occasionally, ranged enemy troops (dragons and dwarves) may still split and go for your decoy buildings. But that's actually a good thing because it splits up the wave so you can take them out in chunks, which is much easier. Note that this also means you won't have any outside buildings to buffer wave 2 and beyond. So I only suggest the ring formation if you can alread comfortably farm H (Brought to my attention by Civ3maniac, Thanks bud).
4. Yes, you will need 6 hero bases to really farm H with this set up. With 5 heroes, I would estimate my success rate on H to be around 90%. So if your building levels, hero levels, etc. are better than mine, go for it. If not, I suggest sticking to G until you have your 6th hero base.
5. If you really don't want to experiment and you have similar hero/building levels as I do, you need to literally replicate my base design down to the pixel to achieve a 95%+ success rate. There are a lot of small things (such as the distance between the random buildings and the outter wall) that I accounted for within this design that could greately affect your success on H if not copied correctly.
TH lvl: 18 (Yes, that is the minimum requirement, for my set up anyway)
I have not tried a similar strategy with a lower TH level. But it's possible that TH 17 may be able to do something similar. Refer to D121's comment on pg 2 of this thread for more info on farming H with TH 17.
My Team Comp (minimum requirement in brackets):
158 PD, 8/9 skill, 5/5 Revite (140+, 6/9, most other talents are better than revite. Preferably revive/zerk)
156 Druid, 5/9, 5/5 HB (120+, 5/9, any talent. Preferably revive/zerk/bulwark)
155 TG, 5/9, 4/5 Revive (120+, 4/9, any talent. Preferably revive/zerk/bulwark)
153 SM, 6/9, 5/5 Revite (140+, 5/9, most other talents are better than revite. Preferably revive/zerk/bulwark)
149 Immo, 5/9, 4/5 WG (120+, 4/9, any talent. Preferably revive/wg/bulwark)
139 Cupid, 5/9, 4/5 Revite (120+, 4/9, most other talents are better than revite. Preferably revive/bulwark)
A few things to note regarding my team comp:
1. TG and Immortep are tier 1 (essential). PD and Druid are tier 2 (practically essential). SM, Cupid, Mino, Reaper are tier 3 (very useful). I would strongly recommend the team comp I have if you can. However you can play around with the tier 3 heroes. See who works best for you.
2. Please note that while I did suggest that the min. req. for most heroes are 120+, it does not mean you can farm H with a team of 120s and crappy talents. All I'm trying to say is you can have a few 7* heroes and still be able to farm H. If your heroe's aren't high level, talents will largely determine how successful you are. For example, I'm pretty sure a 7* team can farm H very well if they all have 5/5 revive/bulwark.
3. Hero placement is very important as well. I recommend putting ranged heroes on the outside (so that they won't be outside of the decoy buildings when engaging the enemy's flying units) and PD + Immo or TG on the middle 2 hero bases. For my base, Immo is on one of the outside bases with PD and TG occupying the middle 2.
Just some final thoughts... This is by no means a perfect guide. But I did try my best to give you guys everything I know. However, if there is one thing I want you to take away from this guide, it's this: If you really want to farm H and improve yourself in the game, you need to put in the effort (as with most things in life). Do research, spend some time experimenting, observe each run to see where you go wrong so you can make adjustments. This guide should only serve as a starting point (hopefully a very good one) for your journey to farming H!
Lastly, I just want to thank everyone that has helped me in the past. Just a few weeks ago, I was having trouble on H. But with the help of some friendly forum go-ers and LOT'S of experimenting, I was able to achieve a 121-2 win-loss ratio on H in the past 2 weeks or so. Good luck everyone! Hopefully this thread was helpful. Cheers!
UPDATE (05/27/14): Now 125 - 3 with this base, Q.Q (the 3rd loss was due to a combination of bad wave 5 spawn + I switched out Cupid for Mino for a few runs. Mino may not be a good choice it seems.)
UPDATE (05/30/14): 151 - 3 (won 3 runs without PD, however one was super close, so I put PD back in. Point is, if your heroes are strong enough, it's very possible to farm H without PD for those who were wondering. Please note that I only did 3 runs without PD, not a good sample size at all.)
UPDATE (06/03/14): 186 - 4 (Lost another today. Just all around bad luck, couldn't do anything about it. :/)
UPDATE (06/13/14): Stopped tracking wins, at a total of 5 losses now. I also slightly modified my base to fit the 5th tower back into the base because I found that my heroes are now strong enough to take out the thopters very quickly.
tl;dr: Copy my base to farm H.
Edited by Sw0rdless at 6-13-2014 07:11 PM
I've actually tried H without PD while I was experimenting. Not going to lie, I went 2-1 and put my PD back in. That being said, I didn't have reaper nor mino at the time and my base was not optimized like it is now. Assuming you have reaper, I would suggest the 4 ranged heroes (reaper, sm, druid, cupid) on the 4 outer hero bases and put the Immo/TG combo in the middle. Good luck!