Artist: 澈水
Auto Chess Patch Analysis: Lich & Sven

The design of Auto Chess faces one fundamental problem: with each new unit the game developers introduce, they make it a little bit harder to find specific units in the shop (i.e. to upgrade your army). The reason is that the shop has a preset percentage chance to roll a certain cost unit for each courier level. Once you roll the unit cost, all units of that cost get an equal chance to appear in that spot.

E.G. if you roll a 5 Gold unit in the shop, and there are 5 legendary units in the game, each one has 20% chance to appear. If there are 6 legendary units in the game, however, their individual chance falls to 16.6%.

This rule is true for all units, but it has the strongest effect for 5-cost units because they are fewest, and each additional unit (in the case of this patch - Sven) changes the chances significantly.

Drodo Studio already made one big change to combat this problem: the introduction of Io as a “wildcard” unit.

In this patch, they made a less obvious change that has a very similar effect:

New Recruitment mechanism: When manually rerolling the recruitment list, you will no longer find pieces from your last recruitment which you did not purchase.

This makes it a bit more likely to find the pieces you are looking for when rolling-down to upgrade your army. It also makes it not-worthwhile to temporarily buy units from the same cost of the unit you are looking for.

For those not familiar what we’re talking about, the trick used to work like this:

E.g. you are looking for a Troll Warlord (a 4 gold unit). While rolling down trying to find him, you buy all other 4 cost units temporarily in order to remove them from the 4 gold unit pool and slightly improve your chances to find Troll. (Before the round starts, you sell them off again to recover your gold and free up space.)

With the new recruitment mechanic, however, by buying e.g. one 4g Necro (who in this example you don’t want), you remove one unit from the shared 4g pool but allow the game to give you Necro again in the next roll. If you don’t buy him, the game effectively removes 15 units (all available Necros, provided other players haven't bought him) from the pool for one roll, which on average should be more effective.

Our expectation: searching for early 3-star upgrades will become more common

At the beginning of Auto Chess, the standard way to play was to focus on economy (to reach 50 gold ASAP) and to search for 3-star upgrades only on specific units as a late game luxury.

Right now, however, the emphasis on economy is more balanced. Greedy play could get you killed prematurely in more competitive lobbies. In that sense, most players are forced to roll earlier in the mid game to keep their army strong enough and preserve their health, with a bank balance around 30g being more common. This trend combined with the new recruitment mechanic and Io might make it standard to try to upgrade the 1g and 2g units which you intend to keep in your final lineup to three stars in the mid game. For example, getting a three-star AM in an Elves strat or a three-star Tiny in an Elemetal/Mage strat might become something that’s quite realistic to do in the mid rather than the late game. The advantage is that you'd give yourself a mid-game boost in power, while at the same time freeing up bench space in the late game.



Lich: 2 Gold, Undead, Mage
Frist Shield: He casts a Shield around an ally hero that grants 10/15/20 bonus armor and slows the attack speed of units attacking it by 30/45/60 for 6 seconds. It also pulses for minor magic damage (20/30/40) within 4 squares every 1 second.

The rework of Lich is very interesting for a few reasons:

  • It makes it easier to build (2) or even (4) Undead in your strategy – with him, we have 4 non-legendary undead heroes in the game (Drow, Lich, Abaddon, Necro).
  • His skill is defensive, which means he fits non-mage lineups well - he doesn’t benefit a great deal from the magic resistance reduction (ofc., you can still use him to get to the (3) or (6) Mages threshold), but rather makes your frontline a bit tankier. It might even be worthwhile to put Lich in a position where he takes some Damage to help him trigger his shield faster.

Having another cheap undead is very impactful for the overall strategy in Auto Chess. For example, the following lineup is now much stronger than it was before:

Undead, Knight, Hunter:
Chaos Knight
Abaddon Portrait
Omniknight portrait
Drow Ranger
Units: Chaos Knights, Omni Knight, Abaddon, Drow Ranger, Sniper, Medusa, Lich, Necro
Synergies: (4) Undead, (3) Knights, (3) Hunters, (1) Demon

After the Knights rework, Knights-Hunters-Undead fell off because it doesn’t allow you to go for (6) Knights realistically, while (3) Knights as a frontline is weaker then (4) Knights used to be. Moreover, getting (4) Undead required a specific legendary unit (Death Prophet), which was not something you can rely on in every game.

Right now, however, getting the mature 8-unit lineup from above is something that’s quite realistic to achieve thanks to Lich. The (3) Hunters + (4) Undead would provide great physical damage. The (3) Knights are still not the best frontline, but the Shield of Lich, the heal of Necro, and ideally the CC of Medusa help out a great deal.

If you manage to get to lvl9 or 10, you can aim to improve the lineup further. Get Tide as your 9th unit if possible for the (2) Nagas bonus in addition to more CC. Replace the Lich with Death Prophet and add another Warlock as your 10th (e.g. Enigma) to get the (3) Warlocks Bonus.



Sven: 5 Gold, Demon, Warrior
Great Cleave (passive):
Sven’s attacks deal 50% damage to enemy pieces within 2 squares of his original attack target.
God’s Strength (active): Sven and all allied Demon pieces gain 100%/200%/300% bonus damage for 60 seconds.

Sven in Demons:

Sven is a legendary Demon Warrior optimized for a Demon Hunters lineup – he’s active is insanely strong when combined with heroes like Terror and Doom. In that sense, Sven is a key late-game piece in a Demons strat, almost comparable to Techies in Goblins and Zeus in Gods.

Demons with Demon Hunters is currently not a top tier strat partially because it struggles in the late game. In fact, Terrorblade (the key unit in the strat) is arguably more successful as a standalone unit in other lineups. One of the main problems of Demons is mainly that they are too squishy for the late game. Sven doesn’t address this problem directly, but he makes their potential damage output ridiculous. Combined with possible secondary synergies like (3) Warlocks & (2) Undead for sustain and (2) Nagas & (3) Warriors for tankiness, the current late-game potential of Demons is quite good.

That said, the fact that Sven is a legendary unit gives Demons a similar problem like Goblins and Gods – their key late-game piece is hard to find, which makes the strat unreliable.

Sven outside Demons:

Demon strategies aside, Sven is good enough to include in other lineups, particularly Warrior strategies. He is a serious damage dealer, so e.g. including him in a Trolls-Warriors lineup makes a lot of sense.

On first glance, he is a replacement of Doom. This, however, is not necessarily the case. If you have a two-star Doom and you still want to get Sven, his Gods Strength active will compensate for the loss of Hellfire. (If you have only a one-star Doom, it might be better to sell him in order to provide Sven with the Hellfire bonus damage.)

Other Unit Changes:

Removed from the game:
Ogre Magi Portrait

Ogre Magi: 1 Gold, Ogre, Mage

Ogre was removed from the game which pretty much makes the quick (6) Mages strategy unrealistic. The reason is that he was the only frontline Mage and at the same time the cheapest one. Arguably, it was always better to invest in (3) Mages early on and to transition to (6) Mages in the super late game only if you get the opportunity, but now it is almost mandatory to take this route. That said, we’ll see if Winter Wyvern will change this in the upcoming patch.


Kunkka and Medusa received another nerf, making their crowd control a bit shorter. They are very unlikely to become unpopular because of it, though. Two Nagas + Crowd Control are key in the late game for a lot of lineups, so Medusa + 1 Naga (Slardar or ideally Tide) just make too much sense. Kunkka is arguably a bit worse on his own right now, but he is still one of the best Warriors and Humans and also works great with Mages, which means he fits a lot of top-tier lineups quite naturally.

Thanks for reading! Make sure to follow our social media (below) to get notified when we release new content. We expect a new patch to hit soon with new exciting units – three more Dragons as well as a new class - Wizards. This would break up the meta a great deal, so another patch analysis will be in order!

If you are an Auto Chess content creator, make sure to check out our recent announcement and get in touch! We are partnering up with content creators in an innovative way to help them grow and get an additional source of income!