- EXTREMELY durable against auto-attacks.
- Versatile: The Elven lineup has two Druids, Assassins, and Hunters, which makes all three tribals easy to get secondary synergies.
is a strat that you should definitely have in your arsenal. They are one of the
most versatile tribes in Dota Auto Chess, which makes them a strategy that you
can implement quite often with good results.
The goal of the strategy is to get the (6) Elves tribal bonus in the mid-late game. Remember that for almost all lineups most damage comes from auto-attacks, so the evasion that the Elves receive makes them very, very tanky. The evasion stacks multiplicatively, so with (3) Elves you get 25% chance, with (6) – 43%, and with (9) – 57%.
Keep in mind that if enemies don’t hit you because of evasion, they don’t generate mana. This means you have a slight advantage in terms of casting your abilities first on your crowd control units in the late game.
Low utility – no Elves with AoE control.
Anti-Mage: A strong and versatile early-game unit. If he manages to stick to an enemy unit with an important ability, he fully prevents it from using the spell. In the late game (in 1v1 situations), try to place him in front of the enemy Disruptor, Tidehunter, or Medusa.
Treant: One of the best tanks. Being a Druid means he is easy to upgrade. He also provides some early-game utility from his ult’s heal. His DPS shouldn’t be underestimated. Even though he hits slowly, on three stars he hits for up to 360 damage without any bonuses.
Puck: Puck is great if you want to go for the (3) Dragons or even possibly (3) Mages because of his tribals. You usually want to ignore him if you don’t intend to go for either.
Furion: the 2nd Elf Druid. Easy to get to three stars. His summons are powerful early-mid game but fall-off in the late game. They are also great for punishing your opponents if you are on a heavy win streak because they cost them lives.
Luna: One of the main damage dealers in an Elf strat. Prioritize upgrading her – three-star Luna with a couple of damage items is extremely strong. Bear in mind that the Bouncing Glaives fill the mana of multiple units, which makes it even more important to increase her damage. She is a Knight, which is also very useful. The combination of the Knights and Elves synergy will make her extremely tanky for a backline damage dealer, which means she will be able to stand her ground even when your main tanks die.
Mirana: a ranged hunter with a decent ability. One of two hunters in the Elven lineup (the other one is Windranger), which makes it easy to go for the (3) Hunters synergy in the mid-late game. This is a good way to increase the DPS of your lineup.
Phantom Assassin: Elf Assassin with a crit. One of two Elf Assassins (the other one being TA), which makes it easy to get the (3) Assassins bonus mid-late game for a boost in DPS.
Windranger: the second Elf Hunter. Windranger has a powerful AOE ability. Make sure to put her in a corner – if she fires Powershot diagonally, she has the greatest chance to hit multiple units. Items like Voidstone are very valuable on her to help her charge Powershot faster.
Templar Assassin: the second Elf Assassin, but also a very powerful standalone unit. Refraction makes her extremely durable on the frontline. The evasion from the Elves synergy makes it much harder for enemy units to burn through her defensive refraction charges (when she evades an attack and doesn’t take damage, a defensive charge is not spent). Give her a Crown to make sure she triggers her ability quicker.
As mentioned, Elves are quite flexible so there are different scenarios in which they are a viable option. Generally speaking, a two-star Anti-Mage in the very early game is a good sign that you should keep your eyes wide open for Elves in the shop.
It is possible to try to get to six Elves right away, but usually, you would get a couple of other units together with Elves to make the lineup work in the early-mid game. You will, consequently, get to (6) Elves in the mid-late game.
The (6) Elves bonus is very strong in the mid game, but trying to force it could damage you. Strong two-start units dictate the early-mid game rounds, and forcing too many one-star units in your lineup in order to get the (6) Elves bonus ASAP could actually damage you more than it helps you.
In practice, you will get to (6) Elves most often on lvl7 or 8, but sometimes even on lvl9.
What opening are you going for? You can build an Elven army out of a Druid opening because of Treant and Furion and out of a Knight opening because of Luna. Other openings are certainly possible, but they would require more selling of units to fit six Elves.
How do you imagine your end-game lineup based on the units you already have? How can you reach (6) Elves without abandoning your current synergies and strong units?
For example, if you have a two-star Queen of Pain in addition to a (3) Elves frontline, this should make you think of Assassins – getting Phantom and Templar Assassin will help you reach your (6) Elves bonus while also providing you with decent DPS because of the (3) Assassins bonus.
Frontline: Anti-Mage, Treant Protector, Lone Druid, Medusa, Tidehunter
Backline: Enchantress, Furion, Luna, Mirana, Windranger
Synergy: (6) Elves, (3) Hunters, (2) Beasts, (2) Nagas
Going for (6) Elves fast is done the easiest with a Druid Opening. The reason is that you can get a high-level Treant and Natures Prophet very fast. Combined with your starting Anti-Mage, this gives you a durable frontline of three Elves right from the early game.
Keeping Enchantress behind them is also a great option early. Her heal combined with the evasion of your elves will make them very hard to kill in the early game.
You can always bench Enchantress in the mid game to reach the (6) Elves faster, or alternatively, if you get a Lone Druid fast enough it might be a good idea to put her back in for the (2) Beasts bonus. Her heal falls off in the late game, but with a few damage items, she provides decent DPS if enemies can’t reach her.
What secondary synergy you go for depends on what Elves you are getting. In this example, we go for the (3) Hunters synergy because you have Mirana and Windranger. This means you need only Medusa or Tide in the late game to get it.
Having both Medusa and Tide as your last units will give you the (2) Nagas bonus, which is very valuable in the late game when enemy lineups are starting to deal more AoE magic damage. If you don’t need the bonus magic resistance, you can e.g. substitute Tide with Enigma for more damage.
Finally, if you are facing an auto-attack lineup (e.g. Trolls) it is possible to get rid of Enchantress and to go for a (9) Elves late game strategy.
You can swap out Lone for Medusa or Tide to get the (3) Hunter bonus and to provide some control.
Frontline: Anti-Mage, Chaos Knight, Templar Assassin
Backline: Luna, Puck, Dragon Knight, Viper, Phantom Assassin, Windranger
Synergy: (6) Elves, (3) Dragons, (3) Assassins, (2) Knights, (1) Demon
If you are getting Anti-Mages and Lunas in your early shop draws, you should think about an Elves + Knights opening strat. Chaos Knight is a great unit to grab because he will make your lineup tankier while providing very good DPS because he will be your only Demon.
Grab Puck as fast as possible – this will give you your third Elf for the synergy and will set you up for the (3) Dragons synergy for later on. Give DPS items on your Luna and prioritize upgrading her. She will carry you in the mid game until you get your Dragons and Assassins.
Keep DK on the frontline until you get the (3) Dragons. Once you do, try to get a two-star DK and put him on the backlines.
In this example, we don’t go for a 4th knight in order to get the (6) Elves bonus as well as the (3) Assassins bonus faster and more reliably. You already have three non-elven units: DK, CK, and Viper, which means you will get to (6) Elves either on lvl8 or even lvl9. Getting another Knight will delay the 6th Elf to lvl10, and it is always a good idea to have a “complete” strategy on lvl9 because in some games you wouldn’t have the luxury to get to lvl10.
It is absolutely viable, however, to stay on (3) Elves and to get one more Knight to make the strategy stronger in the mid game. We’ll discuss such strategies in the upcoming Knights guide.