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RadicalX

Frost T1 PvP Guide by RadicalX

11 posts in this topic

7Ep1aGV.png                                                          How to play Frost T1
a PvP Guide by RadicalX

- General talk -


Hey everyone, apparently I didn't plan on releasing this guide so early, but since I have this finished guide lying around for such a long time I'll just post it now. This time I will talk about Frost T1. I'll try to do pretty much the same I did with my shadow guide: I'll try to provide some basic informations for new players combined with some deeper analysis of matchups and tips for more experienced players too.
The stuff I wrote refers only to 1v1, because 2v2 is different in many ways (I said the same stuff in the other guide).

General question: Why should I play Frost T1?
Let's start with an essential question here. Why would somebody consider playing Frost T1? Because Frost T1 isn't as reliable as Shadow or Fire T1, since Frost has got 2 major weaknesses:
1. no access to a T1 swift unit
2. Frost does very poorly in open fights without a near power well
Those two weaknesses combined make Frost very inconsistent in a way, because the difficulty of your game depends primary on the map you are playing on and not the opponents deck-color like in other matchups. Alot of people consider Frost T1 as too risky and that is a big reason why next to no high ranked players used it (only nature T1 was actually even less common). But lets take a look at the upsides of Frost T1. 
First of all Frost Units are the strongest T1 units in the game in terms of combat stats. Their cost efficency is amazing and they have such an incredible amount of hp which makes aoe damage useless unless your opponent is already T2. Frost may be weak if you can't get a close well situation, but when you manage to take a favourable power well you can smash your opponent from that point on. Frost T1 is unbeatable in a close well fight as long as your opponents doesn't build turrets or is T2 and even then it's possible to win due to the incredible stat efficency of Ice Guardians next to buildings. In addition to that Frost T1 offers a very strong late T1. There is pretty much  no colour that stands a chance against you at the late-T1 stage (not even nature as some people may think). Your units already have got an incredible amount of health and homesoil adds another scaling effect in terms of damage which lets you outscale your opponent easily. 
I guess you can describe Frost T1 like this: "High risk, high reward"

 - the Deck -


This list is going to be short like the one for my Shadow Guide. It just gives a slight overview about the cards to show what was essential/viable/trash.

Group 1 - The "must have" Units (You would suffer alot if you decide to play without them):


Master Archers
Frost Mage
Ice Guardian
Ice Barrier
Home soil
Glacier Shell

Group 2 - Very strong additional cards, which provide safety for some matchups:


Lightblade (purple)
Frost Bite (purple)
Ice Shield tower
Glyph of Frost

Group 3 - Cards that are only useful for higher Tier combinations:


Frost Bite (red)
Frost Sorceress

Group 4 - Cards that are only useful in a single certain scenario (usually not viable):


Imperials
Lightblade (red)
Wardens Sigil (both affinities)
Northern Keep (blue)
Glaciation (blue)
Wintertide (both affinities)

Group 5 - Trash


Northern Keep (red)
Northguards
Glaciation (red)
Construction Hut
Defense Tower

 

Some of you may noticed the surprising fact, that I included Wintertide in group 4 despite the fact that the card used to be pretty popular. I want to talk about it a little bit more in detail, because alot of players rated it pretty highly even tho it was a very unnecessary card and pretty much a wasted deckslot. And this is the reason for it:
The only unit, that has any kind of synergy with Wintertide are the Master Archers. The other M Units, don't get anything from the knockback immunity and even if you can give your units insane amount of effective hp for a good amount of time, it wont make a difference due to its self-root. Wintertide + Masterarcher spam is not useful against any deck and there is always a better option for Frost T1. 
-> Master Archer spam + Wintertide loses against Dreadcharger spam if the shadow-player stops every movement command so he doesn't kill his own units with the reflect damage through stomp and it is not really hard to execute that. Motivate makes it even worse in this matchup.
-> Master Archer spam + Wintertide is useless against nature, because you wont have enough burst to kill units effectively. Hurricane will at least do a single knockback before you can react unless you are a master at predicting the enemies actions and even tho it seems like hurricane does no damage at all it can deal up to 500 damage in total against a massive unit spam (10 damage that gets applied 5 times against up to 10 units). That is at least a respective amount for 50 power. 
-> If you try Master Archer spam against Frostmagespam you are going to have a bad time. A very bad time. Frostmages will just demolish you, because it's an S-counter and has a constant knockback. This means you have 0 damage without the use of wintertide and still less damage when you decide to use it and this is just bad.
-> In the matchup against Fire Scavenger is just a better version of Dreadcharger, because there is no stomp-effect, which makes it even more reliable (Therefore the blue affinity of Wintertide would be actually better in this matchup). Apart from Firesworn there is no real knockback (Sunderer doesn't count) that makes Wintertide useful in any way.  
You may think Wintertide helps you to scale better into the late T1 stages since you get a higher efficency the more units you affect with a buff, but honestly ... you already outscale every deck in the late T1 stage due to homesoil, which is the superior buff in every perspective. Wintertide just doesn't have any kind of synergy that makes it worth a slot for a 1v1 deck. I consider Wintertide a 2v2-only card and this is why I would recommend to take this card out of your Frost deck.

- The maps -


I want to mention the maps right away, because they are super important as a Frost player. I want to give you a little overview about the strength of Frost T1 on each map, because  in case your opponent plays shadow or fire as his T1 (which happens probably around 80% of the time) he will try to prevent you from getting map control and close wells. Against nature things are much different, but I'll talk about that a little bit later. 

Haladur: It alawys felt a little bit weird to play on this map. The middle of the map was pretty much perfect for you, because the power wells were pretty close to each other and it was not possible to get zoned from the first power well. Sounds great at the first look, but there was a massive downside. The main base was super far away from the middle position. This allows swift unit spam for the shadow/fire player and this is pretty nasty to deal with. Your opponent attacks your power well in the middle, but if you try to play units to defend he can just run down to your main base and leave your slow units on the other part of the map. You have to spend your power very carefully on this map, otherwise you'll end up with a massive amount of bound power, that does litereally nothing for you.

Uro: This Map is your worst enemy. If your opponent starts immediatly with his swift unit he can block every spot on the map. You are pretty much forced into a dazed fight, which isn't favourable for you at all. Many Frost-players tried to start with 2 units immediatly and sent them to different positions to aquire at least some sort of mapcontrol, but that only works as long as your enemy doesn't pay attention. If you are in a tournament and your opponent picks this map you should consider playing something apart from Frost T1. 

Lajesh (standard version): You had a wellcluster next to your main base which is easy to defend. But on the other hand it's very hard to apply pressure due to the walls. Your T3 spot could get blocked pretty fast, but if your opponent takes the position himself it opened up opportunities for you to launch a strong attack. 

Lajesh (without walls): If both player agree to play without walls this map got just so much more interesting. When the power rises you can take an aggressive power well and force your opponent into a close well situation. Even though you had to spend 100 power into the power well  you will come out on top. But take care of mortar & phasetower!

Yrmia: I loved playing Frost T1 on Yrmia. The well distance is very short and the map in general is very small, which helps you alot to defend yourself against early aggression. If you get yourself into a safe position you will be able to launch super powerful attacks in no time. In my opinion this is the best map you can get as a Frost T1 player.

Simai: A very passive map. It is very easy to defend yourself against aggression and you can take alot of power wells on your side of the map without losing to much map control. On the other hand it was very difficult to attack your enemy if he decides to stay on his side of the map. Pretty much an antifun map, but pretty favourable because it allows you to scale. 

Elyon: This map causes alot of problems, because it's small and mid centered. Since you wont be able to win dazed fights against fire or shadow you would lose the control about the mid position which means you would lose the entire map control. You have next to no available power wells & no T3 spot which causes serious issues. At least your T2 spot was very save, so it's not as bad as Uro.

Whazai: It always felt a little bit weird to play on this map. You have no control about the middle of the map in the early stage of the game and your opponent has the pressure advantage. That said, Whazai isn't that bad for you. The map is small and that increases the power of your Ice Guardians (you can spawn dazed IG's with active shield over the cliff at your starting wells). If your opponent gets a little bit too greedy and takes a power well in the middle you can punish him for that. By way of conclusion I want to remark that Phasetower is broken on Whazai.

Generated maps (small): The small maps were very threatening, because they are super mid-centered. The player who controls the mid position (usually 1 orb + 4 wells) controls the entire game, sometimes you could even deny T3 spots. In most cases you had at least a save well spot with a T2 orb, but you lost so much map control and you had to fight really well if you try to reclaim it.

Generated maps (big): These maps are just bad designed. You need 2 entire minutes to walk up to the enemy. At least the maps were favourable for you, because no early aggression means you can take safe wells and scale into a T3 which should be not too bad for you since Frost T1 allows you to play a timeless one T3 regardless of your T2 colour. Still not the most enjoyable type of maps ...

Frost may be very map dependend which makes the T1 a little bit unreliable for your casual ladder games, but just imagine how strong it can get in tournaments. There were a good amount of players, who used to play only pure fire. In a best of 5 you would get at least 2 free wins by picking a good map for Frost T1, because Pure Frost naturally beats Fire in T2. Mastering frost T1 can help you alot in these situations and can make yourself a way more threatening player even for opponents with superior micromanagement and decisionmaking when they aren't flexible in their deck choice.

 

- Matchups -


Frost  vs Shadow


Time to take a look at the specific matchups. I'll just start again with a short look at the core cards in this matchup:
Frost:
1. Master Archers 2. Ice Guardian 3. Ice Barrier 4. Homesoil
Shadow: 
1. Dreadcharger 2. Nox Trooper 3. Motivate

Core Strategy:
There are 3 possible scenarios that can happen in this matchup and I'll descirbe all of them.


First scenario: You don't get a powerwell
If your opponent get's the opportunity to deny you a powerwell and forces you to go into a dazed fight you will just lose. Master archer spam is the best thing you can do here, but you need at least 10-11 units with homesoil to stand a chance, because the Dreadcharger just demolishes Master Archers due to its bonus damage against S units. Ice guardians on an open field won't help you, because they have no iceshield and that leaves them as super squishy units. Lighblade costs too much & even a well placed Glyph of Frost won't save you, because there is just not enough dps early into the game to make good use of it. The shadow player motivates the focussed Dreadcharger and destroys you when he gets out of the cc.
This is why you want to avoid this situation at every cost! Even if you have to give up alot of mapcontrol, getting a power well is the first very important step to keep yourself in the game.


Second scenario: You get a powerwell and your opponent attacks you immediatly.
This is the most common situation in high ranked. The shadow player has a 100 power advantage and alot of strong players will attack immediatly at this point because this is a very micro intensive fight. The Shadow player tries to pick off your units immediatly, because your units are more cost efficient and if he waits to long or doesn't get his picks you outscale him, defend the well with glacier shell and get a massive advantage. This is why you have to micro your units as well as possible to survive up to the point where you can fight back. 
The units you need to play are Master Archers and Ice-Guardians. How much of each kind is decided by the units your opponent plays. If he plays many Dreadchargers, Ice Guardians are your way to go, Master Archers perform better against Nox Troopers on the other hand. Be careful with the use of spells at that point.Only use Glacier shell if your well drops really low. Otherwise your enemy can just switch his focus back onto your units immediatly and you wasted 50 power which could be invested into another unit. Only use Frost bite if you are 100% sure to finish off the unit & don't use home soil on just 2-3 units. It's better to get more units into the battle and micro them to build up a huge army. If you defend this attack successfully, the game is nearly won.


Third scenario: You get a powerwell and your opponent takes one too
Unless you are a really high ranked player this will be the most common scenario. And luckily this one favours you. If both players just take a well you are pretty much save due to the high cost efficiency of your units around your power wells. Just don't let your units die for free and wait a little bit up to a point where alot of power is in the game. Because at that point you can take another power well without any risk. Your opponent lost his momentum and can't attack you at a high power level even with his advantage due to the strong stats of your Frost units. 
This often results in a situation where your opponent decides to take a power well himself. And this is how you can take advantage of this: Try to take your wells in a way to close the gap  between yourself and your opponent. If you reach a point where you just have to build 2-3 Ice barriers for your Ice Guardians so they can walk up to the enemies well without losing their shield to crush your opponent. Your unit composition should consist of 2-3 Ice Guardians + Master Archer spam. The Ice Guardians are a big threat to the Dreadcharger and Master Archers naturally outscale a nox trooper spam espcially since Nox Trooper needs so many extra hits to take down an entire Master Archer squad. The last missing piece is the homesoil that gives you the needed boost to wipe out the entire shadow army. In smaller skirmishes it's important to use Frostbite to pick off units and prevent yourself from getting outmicroed by swiftunits. 

 

Tips & cards to watch out for:
Starting unit: Always start with Master Archers and don't get baited into the Lightblade start. Yes, the card allows you to skirmish well due to the taunt ability if both players take a well, but if the shadow player attacks immediatly, the card is useless, because it gets demolished by nox troopers while binding more power than other units, that would be more useful in combat. This will make a rush much easier for your opponent. 


Phasetower: This card can stop your aggression entirely, so try to figure out if your opponent plays it or not. Phasetower is strong enough to allow Shadow fighting in close well positions, therefore even at a mid/late T1 stage it can be risky going too aggressive against it, especially when the Shadow-player can make good use of terrain to protect the turrets from your Ice Guardians. But as long as you make sure to avoid being overaggressive there is not too much to worry about, because your units are strong enough to deal with Phastowers when the port ability gets used.


Motivate: Not every Shadow player uses it, because Nature & Frost were sort of underplayed! If your opponent doesn't use it you will reach your power spike earlier to punish your opponent harder. So always be aware if your opponent uses motivate in the first skirmishes or not.  

 

Replays:
- coming soon -

 

Frost vs Nature


Core cards:
Frost:
1. Frostmage 2. Ice Barrier 3. Home Soil
Nature:
1. Swiftclaw 2. Surge of Light 3. Dryad

Core Strategy:
This matchup is pretty easy to describe. Spam Frostmages ... and win. Honestly, that's pretty much everything about this matchup. Frost mages negate Windweavers & Spearmen entirely, outdamage Shamans & Dryads by a wide margin and outrange Swiftclaws, who are the only real threat to you. In the early game Swiftclaws do a massive amount of damage to M units and therefore you need to keep Distance from your opponent up to the point where you get enough Mages to oneshot the Swiftclaws in one attackrotation (you need around 8 Frostmages with homesoil support to do so -> 930 damage per rotation, which is enough to kill a swiftclaw even with the dryad damagereduction). 
The most dangerous thing for you is an early T2 from your opponent. Therefore you always have to be in a good position, where you can threaten a T2 rush while being in a safe distance to be not caught out by an early swiftclaw spam. The most popular decks with nature T1 were pure nature & stonekin (nobody played shadow nature or fire nature with nature T1). Executing a rush against pure Nature is pretty easy, because it lacks an M/M counter in T2 and as long as you split up your Frostmages against Curse of Oink there is nothing that can stop you (kiting Deep One with Frostbite is an easy task). Against Stonekin it gets a little bit more difficult, dependend on the cards you are playing against. Stonetempest for example can perma cc 3-4 mages, but Lightblade hard counters him, so try to play one if you see your opponent switching into T2. Razorshard got nerfed, which makes it easier to outmicro them, Stormsinger doesn't have enough dps to stop you and the other cards are also S units, so as long as your micro is on point you can rush against stonekin aswell even with alle the cc & building protects.

 

Tips and cards to watch out for:
Treespirit: The honorable nature players wont use him, but you will still encounter this card due its ridiculous strength. But the good thing for you is the fact, that your Frostmagespam can't get caught out by treespirit, because you can build up Ice Barriers pretty fast to block their entire damage. It's a little bit more difficult to build them in an offensive position, but if you manage to do so it isn't a big deal to win a fight against them. 


Primal Defender: Never underistimate the influence turrets can have on the game in this particular matchup. While bound power is usually a really bad thing, Primal defender can create a huge zoning are & on some maps (Haladur for an instance) your main base is super far away which allows to to stop any type of aggression. Your opponent can switch into T2 safely, which allows him to stay in the game. Primal Defender & Mark of the Keeper map have a big influence on this matchup, so keep that in mind. You probably won't play against Mark of the Keeper, because it's useless against Shadow (outranged by Phasetower), but people definitely used Primal Defender! But if your opponent doesn't use any buildings be confident try to finish your games in T1! Pure Nature does pretty well against frost splashes in T2 and you really want to avoid that unfavourable gamestage.


Tip: Keep your Frostmages at one spot in T1 and don't split them up! You want all of them shooting at the same time at the same target (The damage can be bodyblocked by other units otherwise & having delays between the attacks allows your opponent to time more efficient heals betweeen the attacks)

Replays:
 -coming soon-


Frost vs Fire


Core cards: 
Frost:
1. Ice Guardian 2. Master Archers 3. Lightblade 4. Ice Barrier 5. Home Soil
Fire:
1. Scavenger 2. Sunstriders 3. Mortar

Core strategy:
To play against Fire T1 you need to follow one golden rule, that will bring you alot of success:
Don't get Greedy!
It sounds a little bit silly, but it's really important to handle a pure Fire player and I will explain this in detail now. Like in every other matchup you will be in an defensive position right from the start. If you survive the first attacks against fire you will gain a massive advantage and be able to apply alot of pressure or force your opponent into an early T2. So let's take a look at the different type of attacks a fire player may launch at you and how to defend them properly. 

How to defend a scavenger rush? 
I mentioned this scenario already a little bit earlier. It is a really dangerous strategy to play against when the distance between your power wells is really high. So I will choose Haladur to explain how to play in this situation, this map is a prime example due to the high distance between the main base & the middle. 
What's my starting unit?
You have 2 viable starting units: Master Archers & Lightblade. Theses units will be needed in the defense. Lightblade allows you to make easy picks & is super tanky against the Scavengers. But I personally prefer to use master archers as my starting unit, because they are more reliable in the other scenarios against fire and if you see your opponent goes for the scavenger spam anyway you can still play the lightblade (pretty much as a surpise spawn to get a free taunt). 


- Do I even take a power well in the middle? -
Yes, definitely. You stand no chance winning a dazed fight and you have to get access to at least 1 spot in the middle. Take the closest well next to your base (don't worry to much about map control, if your opponent takes the aggressive well on Haladur he puts himself into a close well situation which forces him to either bind power into a defensive mortar or he will just straight up lose the game from that point on). 

- My opponent started spamming scavenger, what shall I do? -
Don't panic! You got less power, but way more efficient units, try to taunt one scavenger with your Lightblade! If your opponent runs away you got a very efficient trade, if he tries to attack, play maybe one additional Ice Guardian. Don't play more than 3 units immediatly! And DON'T use homesoil. If your opponent goes for the powerwell and it drops to 66% health start playing more units, only use glacier shell if it drops below 600hp! Your power management is the most important thing here. While it's usually good to play at your power limit it is important to keep some energy in you backpocket, so you will be able to react when the scavengers start moving down to your main base. Don't get too greedy and spend all your power at one spot, your other base will be left entirely helpless. Keep this in mind: If you play your defense perfectly you can ALWAYS defend a Scavenger spam, so stay calm!

Second possible scenario:
While the scavengerspam is just one possible scenario there is also one big threat, that is really dangerous to you, when you decide to take an overaggressive powerwell. I'm talking about the mortarrush. The threat of an offensive mortar is really big and forces you to make bad trades, which allows the fire player to snowball. Scavengers will rip Masterarchers apart while Sunstriders are a big threat to Ice Guardians. I finally found a great replay to showcase why this is the most dangerous thing you can encounter in this matchup:


How to play this scenario properly:
Sometimes you need to give up map control as a Frost T1 player due to bad map conditions. Even though you put yourself at a small disadvantage by taking a defensive power well, beeing too greedy may cost you the game against a top tier player and this just isn't worth the risk. 

Third possible scenario:
You can also be lucky and get into a close well position, where your opponent has next to no chance of winning. But be careful at some positions. If the position is protected by terrain your opponent may try to build up a mortar, which can be really annoying to deal with. It's usually wise to have a well distance around 70-80m, which allows you to spam Ice-Guardians & Master Archers (their stats are faaaaar superior to Scavenger & Sunstrider) from a save distance. In later T1 stages you don't even have to worry about that. It is possible to beat out Fire even with a Mortar, your units have a great health pool and don't die immediatly, and with homesoil you can destroy the Mortar in about 3 seconds. Afterwards feel free to kill every unit around you. 

Tips & cards to watch out for

Wrecker: This card is also used from time to time in a rush due to high dps & the rallying ability. But your Ice Guardian are stronger in theory, so keep in mind that you can take a well against a wrecker spam, but if you lose 1 or 2 units in addition for that things may snowball really damn fast. 
Firesworn: I didn't mention the card at all so far, but the S knockback can be a problem for your Master archers, so don't rely too much on them!  
Mine: Some people may try to protect their offensive mortar turrets with some sneaky mines for zone control. It's usually  not worth it, because it's easily dodgeable (for the majority of people atleast) but always try to think about it so you don't get caught off guard! 

Replays:

-> another mortar rush by Obesity vs freemka
- coming soon-


Frost vs Frost


Core cards:
1. Ice Guardian 2.Frost Mage 3. Homesoil 4. Ice Barrier 

This matchup is pretty simple in terms of explanation, but pretty difficult when it comes to execution. First of all I recommend starting with frost mage (I know it's pretty uncommon, but that is pretty much because there were next to no experienced frost players around the high ranked ladder, since everyone played shadow & fire due to the high reliabilty). Master Archers don't have any particular use (there are no unitsquads to finish off and also no S units in general) and they get permacc'd by Frost mage. Lightblade isn't too bad, but it's just really useful against careless opponents who let their units get to close to their opponent before the true fight starts. Otherwise the Lightblade is just too expensive (with the taunt ability nearly as expensive as 2 Iceguardians, who have far superior combat stats).  Apart from that there are 2 types of possible fights.

1. Ice Guardians vs Ice Guardians
This occurs on small maps with close well positions. The winner of this matchup is going to be the player who has better micro management. So make sure to always keep track on your Ice Shields and move your units properly. In addition to that it's important to play at your absolute power limit, otherwise you will ultimately lose out due to lower dps. Try to have homesoil constantly active in combat (An Ice Guardian spam usually involves more than enough units to make it worth is), but don't get baited into using it too early at the start of the fight, otherwise your opponent may be able to retreat without losing any units and that would be a pretty huge loss for you. 


2. Magespam
This is why starting with Frostmage is so damn important and valuable. On maps without proper wellpositions to fight at, the Frostmagespam outscales Ice Guardians pretty fast. The amount of mages you need is higher than against nature so don't even think about attacking too early, but after 10+ Frostmages you will be able to oneshot Ice Guardians with a single attack rotation (75*10*1,55= 1163 single target burst damage). If you face a magespam with your magespam make sure to get off the first damage rotation. That's enough to win fight, because at some point your opponents counterattack won't deal enough burst damage to kill mages and your additonal splash damage also adds up over time. So make sure to get a clean & fast damage rotation at the start. 

Tips & cards to watch out for:
Glyph of Frost: Just make sure to respect its threat and you should be able to dodge it. But if you walk into it with your entire army, it can be pretty dangerous, because the enemies dps is really high in such a big spam and getting hit by a good Frost-Glyph can possibly cost you the game. Also be careful when playing a magespam, because you will have all of them pretty close to each other since you need to do this for better focusfire. This may lead to a full 7 unit freeze, which is pretty dangerous. So just dodge it & take the free 50 power advantage.
 T2 timings: Dependend on your T2 colour you should chose your T2 timing wisely. As a pure Frost player you can negate even a big disadvantage by just going T2, if there is at least some void power in your pool. War Eagles demolishe entire M unit armies. 

Replays:

-coming soon-
 

Frost T1 vs T2
This section will be added for Frost T1 specificly, because it's one Frosts biggest advantages over every other T1. It has enough power to even beat some T2's in a close well situation and I'm not talking about just defending with an extra well, I'm talking about straight up aggression. Here are the decks Frost beats in a T1 vs T2 scenario.

1. Pure Nature: I mentioned this already, Magespam can't be stopped by a pure Nature player. Ghost Spears & Spirit Hunter are useless against the S knockback, Deep one will end up getting kited with Frost bite, and pure Nature doesn't have any other swift units. You don't need a close well to do this, but Ice Guardians will also do the job pretty well combined with the additional mages. 
Careful: Dependend on your opponents deck you may have to play a lightblade to counter a potential Spikeroot. This is especially important against people who used Tresspirit, because it's often an indicator for root decks. 

2. Stonekin: Pretty similar scenario. The Frost Mages will do a great job against stonekin and Ice Guardians  are almost impossible to kill (Stonekin lacks high dps units, which leaves the deck with no option to kill any units, while beeing forced to spend more and more power for cc and building protects). Having a Lightblade as a hard counter for Stonetempest can be valuable too (even though Stonetempest isn't too popular anymore). Just make sure to split your units as well as possible against cc and aoe knockups (razorshard).

3. Pure Fire: If the pure Fire player goes T2 early into the game you can punish him by taking a close well. Your Ice Guardians have a great hp pool to survive initial Enforcer charges. Pure Fire has no cc and therefore has to rely on a combination out of units & wildfire to defend attacks properly. On a low power level you can just play either units or spells and that lets the efficency decrease by alot. In later game stages you shouldn't rush Pur Fire players because their defense gets much stronger and you don't want to allow the fire player to scale into the late game (Especially when you are playing pure Frost, T2 is such a great opportunity for you to win the game).

4. Fire Nature: This also works really well, because Lavafield doesn't do enough damage to deal with the hp pool of Ice Guardians. Try to split your Master Archers against Hurricane and focus single Skyfire drakes with Frost bite. The lack of cheap & spammable T2 units will allow you to apply alot of pressure in the close well situation. 

5. Bandits: Well Bandits has no cc, the aoe spells don't do enough damage and this makes it alot easier for you. But Bandits has spammable high dps units (Nightcrawler & Darkelf assassins), who can punish you really hard if you micro poorly, so try to kite nightcrawlers with Frost bite and play a Frostmage to deal with the Darkelf assassins. 

6. Fire Frost: The success against Fire Frost was really dependend on the situation. Most of the time you should look for a close well against a wellcluster to reduce the efficency of Glacier Shell. Otherwise Coldsnap & Building protects may stall the game up to a point with enough room for Skyfiredrakes and Scythe Fiends. Fire Frost has pretty expensive units though, which means you got a big advantage in the early fights. 

The other decks had some cards that were to strong to allow a favourable close well situation unless you've got a tremendous lead. 
-> Shadow Nature has the cheapest cc and the cheapest high dps units
-> Pure Frost has War Eagle (The Ability is too damn powerful)
-> pure Shadow has Shadow Mages
-> Shadow Frost has Lyrish Nasty, cheap high dps units & building protects

Overall playing pure Frost was always a great experience for me and I hope we see at least some Frost T1 players in the game, when everyone is able to play again. So I hope you like the guide and I hope it will be useful for some of you in the future. I'll update it with replays, when I found some good ones, currently there are sadly no impressive Frost matches on youtube. If you are interested in more content about playing T1 check out my Shadow T1 guide aswell! :)

 I guess that's about it, thanks for reading and have a nice day!


Best regards,


RadicalX :bf:

Edited by RadicalX

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The effort you put in these guides seems to be bigger than what I put in most of my schoolwork :P Good job as ever!

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Very nice guide, @RadicalX.  You've covered all of the important stuff in detail, but I do have one critique, and that is that I don't think your Frost vs Nature section is accurate at all.  I was ranked 1st with my pure nature deck back when both Freemka and MaranV were very active, so I've played literally dozens of nature T1 vs frost T1 games against them and I can tell you that it's much more nuanced than just nature getting streamrolled by Frost Mage spam.  Nature has one key card that just wrecks frost T1 when used correctly, and that card is roots.

There are actually two things that are very dangerous for Frost: namely, Swiftclaw rush and Shaman spam.  Swiftclaw rush is actually more dangerous than Scavenger rush IMO, because nature can root defending units when they run to attack a different location, which often buys the nature player enough time to kill a well.  The other thing is that Swiftclaw has very high M damage so, on small maps and with proper micro + heals, it can actually just fight Ice Guardians and win if the Frost player grabs a well.  Swiftclaw vs Ice Guardians in one location is a very close fight when the Frost player has just grabbed a well and is down 100 power and it all comes down to micro here.

This makes things more difficult than the Scavenger rush because the frost player has to commit more units to defense or their Ice Guardians will just be overwhelmed and killed.  On smaller maps where Swiftclaw rush is good (easy to run between bases) frost actually shouldn't grab a well, even if it means completely giving up map control.  What you want to do as frost is just hang back and defend while building up a Frost Mage army.  As you noted, once the frost player gets a critical mass of Frost Mages, they will be able to kite and kill the Swiftclaws with ease.  If the nature player grabs a well and tries to zone you out of the map, you just need to be patient and build up that Frost Mage army—you'll still be able to kill their well long before it pays back the 100 power investment (just watch out for defensive towers).  Frost can always defend against Swiftclaw rush, but they have to be very careful about taking wells on certain maps.

Swiftclaw rush is very powerful on some maps, but most high level frost t1 vs nature t1 games come down to Frost Mage spam vs Shaman spam.  You are correct in that Frost Mages completely destroy Shamans in a head to head fight (even with the Dryad damage reduction); but, again, the key card here is roots.  This scenario is actually very high tension and a single mistake can easily cost you the game here.  What nature wants to do is to keep the frost army away from their base, and catch the frost player when they have their Frost Mages in a bad formation—they want to root the frost army in such a way that they can pick off a couple of Mages without losing any Shamans and then heal up and repeat, dwindling down the frost forces until nature can eventually take a head-on engagement.  

First and foremost, frost wants to keep their Mages close together and in a line formation (facing the nature army) in order to prevent the nature player from getting a good root.  After that they want to try and pick off Shamans one by one with Frostbite, and they want to try and force a full-on engagement by threatening to attack the nature player's base.  Often this matchup comes down to the Frost player attacking the nature player's base, while the nature player uses their power wells/orb to absorb damage from the Frost Mages, but in this scenario frost usually wins due to Home Soil.  So nature wants to avoid this by constantly threatening with roots (keeping the frost player from marching straight into their base).  Nature can also build Primal Defender or Mark of the Keeper if they feel their base is being threatened, provided they aren't completely giving up map control by doing so.

I think that nature actually has the advantage in this situation unless the frost player has Glyph of Frost.  Glyph can save the frost player after the nature player gets a good root, and it is also a major threat to the nature player when their root is on cooldown—if nature can't run away or use buildings to absorb damage, they lose.  So what this ultimately comes down to is a war of positioning and trying to catch the other player's army out of position; one good root can end the game, and likewise, one good glyph can end the game.

Frost is generally favored when the numbers get really big (like 20+ mages) because Homesoil just keeps scaling to the point at which nature just can't do anything against it, so nature wants to be taking the initiative in this matchup, and they generally want to end it or go T2 before the numbers get too huge.  Pure frost also has the advantage going into T2, because War Eagle just decimates Shamans and Dryads; whereas Frost Mages are still at least decent against nature T2 (especially combined with War Eagles, because they can knock back Parasite Swarm).

I can't blame even a very experienced player for not knowing this matchup that well, as it is an extremely rare matchup, especially at the higher levels.  Hopefully you can incorporate some of this information into your guide; and if you want me to back up the statements I made here, I'd be glad to do some nature t1 vs frost t1 sparring once I get access to the game.

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Posted (edited)

Wow thats a really good guide! I love your videos! Keep up the good work and if possible make same guide for nature!

Edited by imanewb13

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3 hours ago, synthc said:

Very nice guide, @RadicalX.  You've covered all of the important stuff in detail, but I do have one critique, and that is that I don't think your Frost vs Nature section is accurate at all.  I was ranked 1st with my pure nature deck back when both Freemka and MaranV were very active, so I've played literally dozens of nature T1 vs frost T1 games against them and I can tell you that it's much more nuanced than just nature getting streamrolled by Frost Mage spam.  Nature has one key card that just wrecks frost T1 when used correctly, and that card is roots.

There are actually two things that are very dangerous for Frost: namely, Swiftclaw rush and Shaman spam.  Swiftclaw rush is actually more dangerous than Scavenger rush IMO, because nature can root defending units when they run to attack a different location, which often buys the nature player enough time to kill a well.  The other thing is that Swiftclaw has very high M damage so, on small maps and with proper micro + heals, it can actually just fight Ice Guardians and win if the Frost player grabs a well.  Swiftclaw vs Ice Guardians in one location is a very close fight when the Frost player has just grabbed a well and is down 100 power and it all comes down to micro here.

 

Here comes my first question about this. Why would you even grab a well in this matchup? Frost doesn't need a powerwell when relying on Frostmages only. That would be a huge mistake already, especially on small maps and I agree with you, if your opponent does this massive mistake you can attack him by using your swiftclaws & win that battle by using superior micromanagement. 

3 hours ago, synthc said:

This makes things more difficult than the Scavenger rush because the frost player has to commit more units to defense or their Ice Guardians will just be overwhelmed and killed.  On smaller maps where Swiftclaw rush is good (easy to run between bases) frost actually shouldn't grab a well, even if it means completely giving up map control.  What you want to do as frost is just hang back and defend while building up a Frost Mage army.  As you noted, once the frost player gets a critical mass of Frost Mages, they will be able to kite and kill the Swiftclaws with ease.  If the nature player grabs a well and tries to zone you out of the map, you just need to be patient and build up that Frost Mage army—you'll still be able to kill their well long before it pays back the 100 power investment (just watch out for defensive towers).  Frost can always defend against Swiftclaw rush, but they have to be very careful about taking wells on certain maps.

fully agree with that

 

4 hours ago, synthc said:

Swiftclaw rush is very powerful on some maps, but most high level frost t1 vs nature t1 games come down to Frost Mage spam vs Shaman spam.  You are correct in that Frost Mages completely destroy Shamans in a head to head fight (even with the Dryad damage reduction); but, again, the key card here is roots.  This scenario is actually very high tension and a single mistake can easily cost you the game here.  What nature wants to do is to keep the frost army away from their base, and catch the frost player when they have their Frost Mages in a bad formation—they want to root the frost army in such a way that they can pick off a couple of Mages without losing any Shamans and then heal up and repeat, dwindling down the frost forces until nature can eventually take a head-on engagement.  

So what happens if your opponent doesn't do the mistake to mess up his mage formation and give you the opportunities to pick off mages with roots? I mean, I really get your point & I actually know the Shaman vs Frostmage spam matchup, but if both people excecute their strategy properly Frost ends up winning (I mentioned this type of scenario in my unreleased nature T1 guide, because it focusses more on what nature has to do to find opportunities to win this unfavourable matchup rather then what Frost has to do). I probably should've gone slighty more in depth about the importance of unit positioning and usage of the F-key to keep the mages closer to each other and I can edit this in 4-5 days, when I'm back at home. 

 

4 hours ago, synthc said:

First and foremost, frost wants to keep their Mages close together and in a line formation (facing the nature army) in order to prevent the nature player from getting a good root.  After that they want to try and pick off Shamans one by one with Frostbite, and they want to try and force a full-on engagement by threatening to attack the nature player's base.  Often this matchup comes down to the Frost player attacking the nature player's base, while the nature player uses their power wells/orb to absorb damage from the Frost Mages, but in this scenario frost usually wins due to Home Soil.  So nature wants to avoid this by constantly threatening with roots (keeping the frost player from marching straight into their base).  Nature can also build Primal Defender or Mark of the Keeper if they feel their base is being threatened, provided they aren't completely giving up map control by doing so.

 

Primal defender for sure is one of the most important cards for Nature T1 to stay alive in this matchup (I don't think Mark of the Keeper saw alot of play in the upper ranks, because you still would've been forced to play Primal Defender anyways in order to survive against Phasetower, who outranges the Mark of the Keeper), but that would lead to a slight disadvantage due to mapcontrol issues as you mentioned already.

 

The overall Problem with this matchup I see here:

-> Frost scales better and wins all in fights, so Nature has to initiate and pick off units that are out of position

-> This means frost can play defensively for ever (playing at the edge outside of the root range and moving simultaniously to your opponent -> without swiftclaws there is no way to initiate fight as Shamans are just as slow as Frostmages)

-> Frost can rush a nature T2, especially when many units are on the board already (-> low void pool on a 2 power well base results in less power available for T2 units or spells)

-> even if the nature player manages to reach the T2 stage by setting up something like Primal Defender + T2: As you mentioned Frostmages scale way better into T2 than Shamans, since they remain as pure Frost's major S Counter and deal with stuff like Parasite Swarms while Shamans just get destroyed by War Eagles

 

Maybe I'm a little bit to harsh when I say something like it's an easy win, because mediocre Frost players can end up getting outplayed by making micro mistakes or strategic errors, but I'm still convinced, that an excellent Frost T1 player ends up winning the matchup against nature nearly every time. Would love to play sparrings in this certain matchup anyways!  

 

2 hours ago, imanewb13 said:

Wow thats a really good guide! I love your videos! Keep up the good work and if possible make same guide for nature!

I'm glad to hear that!  I got a finished nature T1 guide on my computer, just wanted to wait until open beta to post it, because it would be more relevant at that time I guess. 

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9 hours ago, RadicalX said:

Here comes my first question about this. Why would you even grab a well in this matchup? Frost doesn't need a powerwell when relying on Frostmages only. That would be a huge mistake already, especially on small maps and I agree with you, if your opponent does this massive mistake you can attack him by using your swiftclaws & win that battle by using superior micromanagement. 

You shouldn't grab a well in this situation.  It's just that a lot of frost players seem to think for some reason that nature can't rush them, when in reality Swiftclaw rush is quite dangerous (even Freemka has grabbed a well vs me and lost to a Swiftclaw rush, so it's not just a new player mentality).  I think it's worth stressing that you really have to watch out for this as frost.

9 hours ago, RadicalX said:

So what happens if your opponent doesn't do the mistake to mess up his mage formation and give you the opportunities to pick off mages with roots? I mean, I really get your point & I actually know the Shaman vs Frostmage spam matchup, but if both people excecute their strategy properly Frost ends up winning.

The thing is that it's nearly impossible to have a perfect formation that doesn't allow your mages to be rooted and picked off.  Since you can't just stack all of your mages directly on top of each other, there's always going to be opportunities for roots, and that's why nature doesn't just get completely destroyed in this matchup.

Quote

The overall Problem with this matchup I see here:

-> Frost scales better and wins all in fights, so Nature has to initiate and pick off units that are out of position

Yes, but this isn't actually that hard to do and it's impossible for frost to avoid getting rooted and having at least 1 or 2 mages picked off.

Quote

This means frost can play defensively for ever (playing at the edge outside of the root range and moving simultaniously to your opponent -> without swiftclaws there is no way to initiate fight as Shamans are just as slow as Frostmages)

Nature should always have their army in a position that allows them to intercept the frost army if it moves towards nature's base.  Since both armies move at the same speed, nature actually has the initiative advantage because root can be cast from a fair distance (due to its sizeable AoE) and takes effect instantly (as opposed to Glyph of Frost).

Quote

Frost can rush a nature T2, especially when many units are on the board already (-> low void pool on a 2 power well base results in less power available for T2 units or spells)

This is true, and one of the tougher aspects of this matchup for nature; though Spikeroot helps a lot for this.  I usually deal with this by making sure I have enough power for Oink + Spikeroot the instant my T2 is up (Oink is needed for the Lightblade).  I guess this is really tough to deal with if you don't have Spikeroot.

Quote

Maybe I'm a little bit to harsh when I say something like it's an easy win, because mediocre Frost players can end up getting outplayed by making micro mistakes or strategic errors, but I'm still convinced, that an excellent Frost T1 player ends up winning the matchup against nature nearly every time.

I still think you're exaggerating frost's advantage in this matchup.  Certainly, frost does have an advantage (especially with Glyph of Frost), but I really don't think it's that big of an advantage.  As I said before, I've played dozens of ranked games vs Freemka and MaranV with nature T1, and as I recall, I had a pretty solid positive win ratio against both of them (more so against Freemka—Burrowers/Cannon Towers are hard for pure nature); I was definitely able to hold my own, if not win, at T1.  That said, these two players are really the only good frost players I knew and regularly played against—maybe your frost T1 is a lot better than theirs.  In any case, I would also love to do some sparring when I get access to the game.

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On 13.5.2017 at 11:45 PM, synthc said:

You shouldn't grab a well in this situation.  It's just that a lot of frost players seem to think for some reason that nature can't rush them, when in reality Swiftclaw rush is quite dangerous (even Freemka has grabbed a well vs me and lost to a Swiftclaw rush, so it's not just a new player mentality).  I think it's worth stressing that you really have to watch out for this as frost.

Fair enough. Alot of people, especially freemka, tend to get greedy with powerwells, because Frost actually wants to get them in the matchups against Fire and Shadow.  

 

On 13.5.2017 at 11:45 PM, synthc said:

The thing is that it's nearly impossible to have a perfect formation that doesn't allow your mages to be rooted and picked off.  Since you can't just stack all of your mages directly on top of each other, there's always going to be opportunities for roots, and that's why nature doesn't just get completely destroyed in this matchup.

Yes, but this isn't actually that hard to do and it's impossible for frost to avoid getting rooted and having at least 1 or 2 mages picked off.

 

bBzSq2H.png

Just something I want to add here: Actually it is possible to stack up mages in a defensive position by using the hold position command. Just keeping that formation to a point where the actual number gets overwhelming is hard to deal with

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6 hours ago, RadicalX said:

bBzSq2H.png

Just something I want to add here: Actually it is possible to stack up mages in a defensive position by using the hold position command. Just keeping that formation to a point where the actual number gets overwhelming is hard to deal with

Yep, the problem is that you can't maintain that formation while moving across the map.  That's why the matchup becomes a battle of positioning, with nature always inhibiting the frost player's movement by threatening with roots.  Maybe with impeccable micro it's possible to not get caught out at all by roots, but I don't really think it's feasible in an actual match—at least when I was last active, the best frost players at the time were not able to do it.  But I guess we could argue back and forth forever over how big the frost advantage is, when it's really something that can only be determined experimentally (though actual matches).

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