Managing your economy in Auto Chess, the level curve and the math behind rolldowns.
If you’ve been trying to climb and improve your game, the first thing people are likely to mention is your economy. I aim to provide a basic and in-depth explanation of how to strengthen and (more importantly) weaponize your economy.
This will include explaining what people mean when they talk about economy, the safest and most reliable ways to earn more, what the “level curve” is and how that works, and lastly, I’ll explain how to determine if you should “rolldown” (damage your economy by rolling).
First, of course, are the basics. Resources, Gold, Levels and Rolling.
There are five resources in this game:
- $ (which I will call “G” or “Gold”)
- Units available in the pool (ie, the ones your opponents haven’t purchased)
- Items you’ve acquired
- Prep time before the next round
Three of these resources (Units available, Items, and Prep time) are outside of your control, and the other two resources are more or less linked (Exp rises at a steady rate, and you can spend gold on it to increase it by a fixed amount).
Therefore, when people refer to “managing your economy” they generally just mean to manage your Gold and your Experience.
At the beginning of each preparation phase you’ll receive a set income of 5 gold (on rounds 1-4 you’ll only receive income equal to the number of the upcoming round).
You’ll also receive Interest (1 additional gold per every 10 you have banked up to a maximum of +5 at 50 or higher) as well as a bonus for having a win streak or lose streak of 3 or more.
Neutral rounds still grant the win/lose streak gold, but won’t count towards a streak or break a streak
Additionally, at the beginning of each preparation phase, the shop refreshes with brand new units (and according to our latest patch notes, these units won’t include any of the units you left in the shop before it refreshed).
The Level Curve is what we call the average round numbers that people will pay Gold to increase their level early. This is something you will need to do to stay competitive.
Every round gives you 1 experience, win or lose. If you want to get to level 10, you’ll need to build up 128 experience. If you even want to get to level 8 (where many builds are finally filling out), that’s 56 exp. Luckily, we can purchase 4 experience for the price of 5 gold.
By staying on (or ahead) of the level curve, you’ll not only be able to field more units onto the board, but you’ll also be able to purchase rarer units sooner than you’d otherwise be able to.
The last basic concept we’ve got here is the “rolldown”. It doesn’t matter how much gold you’ve got saved up if you’re going to be knocked out the next time you lose a round.
Rolldown refers to damaging your economy, your banked gold, to either go ahead of the level curve, or reroll the shop until you’ve found a key unit (usually a 5-cost unit, or trying to rank one of your build’s core units to 2-star).
When To Level (In-Depth)
With the basics out of the way, let’s go into some more depth. Starting with the Level Curve.
Up until level 8, the level curve is pretty standard, though there are strategies surrounding deviating from it – primarily deciding to lose streak, or trying to maintain a win streak. Here is the standard level curve (all of these are considered to be the preparation phase before the listed round):
|Round 5 or 6||Pay 5 Gold to reach Level 5||Top level players debate which round is better, but ultimately this is usually decided based on the shop at round 5.|
(At 4/8 EXP)
|Pay 5 Gold to reach Level 6||Unless it would put you below 10 gold (and you would lose interest). If you would lose interest, instead do it on round 11, as it's normally a bad idea to pay for experience on Neutral creep rounds.|
(At 8/16 EXP)
|Pay 10 gold to reach Level 7||Ideally, you will have enough to do this without dipping below 50 gold.|
(At 4/24 EXP)
|Pay 25 gold to reach Level 8||Ideally, you will have enough to do this without dipping below 50 gold.|
After round 21, there is no standard level curve. Leveling to level 9 and 10 will increase your chances to find 4-cost and 5-cost units, but it will decrease your chances to find any 3-cost core units you still haven’t acquired or gotten to 2 star.
Note: Your 2-cost pieces retain the same chance to find them, so leveling to 9 will not reduce the chance to find,
Eg. Lightblade Knight or The Sauce – but it will reduce the chance to find a Thunder Spirit or a Dwarven Sniper)
After round 5, all levels have a required xp that is a multiple of 4 (4, 8, 16, and so on). We also buy experience in chunks of 4. Therefore, the most efficient leveling is done when your current experience is also a multiple of four.
4 More Tips
There are really only three (four) economy “tips” I feel need to be shared. The first is investing in Unicorns. By now, most people know this, but I’d like to cover it in case people don’t.
# Tip One
A three star Unicorn sells for 3 gold, but can ranked with just two 1-cost unicorns (and another druid on the bench). It doesn’t feel like much, but every bit helps, especially early game.
It’s important to note that this only is true with the Unicorn, and not the other Druids.
# Tip Two
Next is that Neutral Creep rounds maintain your current streak, regardless of the outcome of the creep round – therefore, spend as little as possible on these rounds, and try your best to not go under your current interest level.
# Tip Three
Finally, when a combat round has finished, but other combats are going on before the next prep round, determine if you can sell any pieces on your bench to get over the next interest level, then determine how much you would lose by doing that.
These decisions can be incredibly difficult to make (after all, there’s a reason you bought those pieces in the first place), but keeping your economy strong and healthy is strong in the long-term.
# Tip (Four)
Finally, the last thing, which I almost didn’t mention, is don’t roll. Do your best to resist the temptation to roll if it will put you below 50 gold (and yes, that includes rolling before you get to 50 gold in the first place). Economy wins games.
If you’d like something to benchmark your progress against, try the following:
- Have 10 banked gold before round 8 ends.
- Have 50 banked gold before round 15 (the Wolf Pack/Worth Pack) ends.
- This will allow you to stay with the level curve I listed above.
- If you are lose streaking, keep in mind how many xp purchases you are behind the level curve. When you decide the lose streak is over, you’ll need to make up for that difference (and then some, perhaps).
Last thing to talk about are rolldowns.
The most important thing when using rolldowns efficiently is to understand two things:
- What your build NEEDS to work
- What you’re looking for when rolling down
So understanding the build is vital! Dragons/Knights absolutely requires a 2-star Dragon Knight to win. If you’re playing against a 6-knight comp in the late game, it might be time to look for that dark spirit. Going against gods? Start hoarding Storm Shamans.
Now, rolldowns are more than just mindlessly hitting the reroll button until you find what you need. Rolldowns damage your economy, and it requires difficult decision making to determine how much to hurt your economy to try to find what you’re looking for.
The Refresh Mechanic
First of all, the new refresh mechanic should be at the front of you mind. When your shop refreshes (for free) at the beginning of the preparation phase, none of the units that appear will be the same as units that were just in the shop unpurchased at the end of the combat round.
So if you’re looking for (hypothetically) a Dragon Knight, by leaving the shop with unpurchased 4-cost units, the free refresh at the beginning of the preparation round has a mathematically increased chance of showing the one you’re looking for.
The chance of seeing 4-cost units has stayed the same, but the free refresh won’t show any of the units you left in the shop at the end of the last round
With that in mind, it may be worth it to end your rolldown earlier if you can stack the next free refresh (note, this mechanic only exists after round 5).
The next thing in your mind is how badly you are willing to damage your economy to get what you need.
If you’ve got 50 gold (lets assume no win streak, to keep the math easier) and you’ll be knocked out of the match if you don’t find your Devastator in the next two rounds.
You can roll 25 times now, plus the free refresh, plus a maximum of 2-3 more times (if you get the 1 victory gold) for a total of 28-29 rolls,
Or you can roll down to 30 gold (10 rolls), then you’ll have 38-39 gold, allowing you to roll 19 more times, plus the free refresh, earning you one more reroll than you would have otherwise had. Plus more time to position units and scout.
I don’t know if you’ve ever tried to spend ~50 gold on the turn you’re going to die to keep from getting knocked out, but there’s just not enough time to do everything you usually need to do
Another angle to think of this issue is to look at your competitors’ economy, and to use that as your judgement.