We start our new TFEW Guides section of the Website with the Building A War Team series of articles. Today we will specifically start to look at Team Composition as James “Emrakul Tat” Hogan of Alpha Cartel guides us through the main areas of focus that you need to take a look at when building your war team in Transformers: Earth Wars.
Building A War Team – Team Composition
This is the meat and potatoes of the Building A War Team guide. If nothing else, this should be the section you pay the most attention to as team composition can make or break a war team at almost any level of strength in the game. I have seen many times a team of high level 5-star bots attempt to raid my base and utterly fall apart because of an ineffective team composition, bad strategy and/or poor ability execution. As much as I would like to say it’s my masterful defense plan – it’s not. Your team needs to have many tools within to succeed, much like a craftsman. To keep this tool analogy going, just like there are tools you use more than others, but no bad tools, there are no bad bots for a war team. You can bring the wrong tool to the job, but that’s not the tool’s fault! In order to build an all-around multi-purpose war team that can take down a majority of bases you are going to need to find a healthy mix of health and damage. Let’s take a closer look.
When reviewing health and damage, I would argue that health is more important than DPS (Damage Per Second). You can’t deal damage if you’re dead! For example, my 4-star Hot Spot at level 54 (one level higher than my 4-star Silverbolt) has about 200 DPS and about 19,000 health without a core. My Silverbolt, 4-star at 53, with a G1 core (6% increase in DPS) and 3-star, Level 6 Firedrive (8% increase to DPS) has about 480 DPS with about 8,000 health. I’ve rounded Hotspot down and Silverbolt up with these numbers to show my argument favorably, Silverbolt has about 2.5 times the damage (2.33 to be more exact) and Hotspot has 2.5 times the amount of health (2.51 to be exact). You are getting more out of Hotspot than you are out of silverbolt (not including abilities). Again, you can’t deal damage if you’re dead!
Now a mix of health and damage is important, but you should have a healthy bias towards health. So what does that mean towards team composition? Ideally, you should have 3 bots with high health, 2 bots with moderate health and 2-3 with low health. When I say moderate, I’m thinking along the lines of Sky Lynx, Sandstorm, Drift, Arcee, etc. Past level 50 at a 4-star level, they should be above the 9k. Your gunners, your flyers (except tracks because for whatever reason Space Ape decided to make Tracks a freak of nature), some special bots like Cheetor, Perceptor, etc., and your medics make up low health bots.
So we have some numbers: 3 high health, 2 moderate health, 2-3 low health. Here is the most basic back bone of team building. But we aren’t done yet! Let’s go over things we NEED, things we WANT, and things we SACRIFICE in team composition for our war team in Transformers: Earth Wars.
Things We NEED When Building a War Team
Things we NEED is a simple section so I will cover this first. You NEED 2 bots that can shoot over walls and a medic. If those two bots shooting over walls are gunners, one of them should depend on a volatile mixture core and the other one should not. Volatile mixture gunners are gunners that can 1 shot key, high threat structures (beam lasers, missile launchers and mortars) or at the very least, do tons of damage to them. Jazz, Sunstreaker, Prowl, and Alpha Bravo are great examples on the Autobot side, Mixmaster, Swindle, Brawl and Longhaul if you play the Decepticon side. Skyburst/Onslaught, Seaspray/Octopunch, Cliffjumper/Kickback, Mirage/Breakdown, and Hound/Dragstrip are examples of gunners who do not need and should not have the Volatile Mixture core. Right now, we only have 3 medics in the game so this is simple to go over. First Aid/Reflector is the best choice, Wheeljack/Shockwave is the second best choice, and Ratchet/Hook is the 3rd best choice. First Aid/Reflector’s heal beam is like a heal grenade that heals in a small area. If your team is grouped up, these bots can heal the most of all the others despite his stats reading his beam is the worst. His ability is also the best of the medics. Those medibots reduce a ton of damage and are incredibly valuable. Wheeljack/Shockwave’s ability allows your team to do more damage and his heal beam can heal one bot at a time for a healthy amount. Ratchet/Hook’s ability is the worst medic ability, which is shooting a heal grenade that heals for an “okay” amount of health. His heal beam is more or less as good as Wheeljack’s.
Now let’s take a look at the things we WANT when building a war team in TFEW. Click on any of the links to learn more about this specific topic of what we WANT when building a strong war team.
Things We SACRIFICE When Building a War Team
Now it’s time to go over things we Sacrifice when building our war team. This section is to highlight bots that can cause headaches that may not be obvious and have significant shortcomings that you need to weigh and think about before adding them to your team.
I am going to start with my two personal migraines that meet the eye – Grimlock/Razorclaw and Optimus Primal/Beast Wars Megatron. These two stat out very well, I must say. Their ratio of health to DPS are impressive. Their abilities even read very well. In practice however these bots are going to do everything in their power to find an early grave. The special ability for Optimus Primal & BW Meagatron can take bots out of position and split them up, even taking bots off the HQ. They do get a shield to help with this, but sometimes it’s not enough. The biggest issue with Optimus Primal/Beast Wars Megatron, however, is they starts the battle jumping a massive distance away from your team and into trouble.
Grimlock/Razorclaw’s ability seems useful but ultimately is not going to kill anything. He is going to rush to a target and deal some good damage, but then he is going to sit there for a long time to finish it off. Once he does, he’s stuck there, out of position, ready to die and his G1 core shield isn’t going to save him either. This applies to Grimlock and Razorclaw, but covers every bot that runs away from the team that doesn’t have a way to attract defenses and includes Windblade/Divebomb, Drift/Barricade, Ironhide/Bludgeon, Star Saber/Deathsaurus, Elita-1/Lugnit, etc. These bots specifically cause your medic(s) to die. Your bot is running way out of position making their health pool drop. Medics are programmed to go to the bot that needs them most. This causes your medic to wander into a bad spot and get wiped out and now you’re 2 bots down. If you’re smart, you can send them out, let them do their thing and then send them back to safety. Don’t get me wrong, with an appropriate team composition some of these bots can be useful, but that choice has to be worth it.
High ability bots are also an issue – do you keep the high ability cost in your lineup and sacrifice the special ability use of other bots. Star Saber/Deathsaurus, Elita-1/Lugnut and Swoop/Scourge come to mind. Star Saber/Deathsaurus starts at 12 Ability Points which is crazy, and increases by 3 with each use. To send them out to a target and send them back to your team is 27 Ability Points – a MASSIVE investment. Elita-1/Lugnut starts at 8 and increases by 3 each time. Swoop/Scourge starts at 5, but increases by 5 each time and also takes a long time to apply the damage he can deal. They may be powerful, and it can be tempting to put them all on one team, but you have to consider how expensive a team is to run. Your Ability Points are going to disappear really fast using just one of these bots. More than one and you are going to die halfway through a fight because your bank is empty and your back will be up against a wall. Know that when you are selecting bots like these what you are sacrificing when putting them on your team.
You should also think about this with every bot as a mental exercise. When you add a bot, what cost comes with it? Low health? No damage? Taking a spot another bot could fill better? Building and using a general purpose war team successfully means being aware of your strengths and weaknesses.