Dota Auto Chess Twitch Rivals #2 Overview, Meta & Game Analysis

The second edition of the Dota Auto Chess Twitch Rivals is over and I thought it would be interesting to try to get a couple of lessons out of it for those of us who want to improve in DAC!

Tournament Overview

A total of 16 streamers for each region (of various skill-level) play 4 games each. The top 4 from each game move to a winners lobby, while the bottom 4 – to a losers lobby. Each game brings the streamer a cash prize – the higher you place, the more money you earn.

After all 4 rounds, the Dota 2 Auto Chess Showdown #2 for NA finished like this:

Twitch Rivals 2 NA Standing

It’s no secret that Auto Chess involves a considerable amount of luck and even though being good at the game allows you to get the most out of your circumstances, it’s hard to be consistent over such a small number of games. This makes Tides’ two 1st place and two 2nd place finishes truly a commendable achievement – he proved without a doubt that he is extremely good at the game!

Meta Overview

Although we saw different builds with varying degrees of success, the winning strategies were quite clear-cut.

Early Game: Goblins
Bounty Hunter

You open up with Goblins in an attempt to get a winning streak going. They are simply the best early game units and if you chose another opening you will almost certainly lose rounds to the Goblin players, which will make the game a bit harder.

If you’re very unlucky and don’t see Goblins, Orcs/Warriors or Knights seem to be your second best option, but an early-game winning streak is unlikely.

Mid Game: Mages/Knights/Lone Druid
Crystal Maiden
Shadow Fiend Portrait
Lone Druid
Abaddon Portrait

You hold onto your higher-level Goblins for the early-mid game, but start selling them off once you see better pieces. You start building towards your (3) Mages bonus, which usually means finding Razor and Crystal Maiden + one.

If you intend to go Dragons in the late game, you also start building towards those three pieces. It’s possible to use Knights as your frontline in the mid-late game. The reason why they are better than the other tanky frontline synergies (Warriors, Elves), is that Mages are the predominant late-game strat. The Knights shield gives magic resistance, while the Warriors and Elves synergies are good only against attacks. By doing this, you can save Abaddon + Necro in the late game to provide your DK with the (2) Undead armor reduction bonus.

That said, Warriors like Kunkka, Jugg, and Doom are still great because they are great with and against the Mages bonus.

Late Game: Dragons/Mages/Crowd Control
Tidehunter Portrait
Dragon knight
Puck Portrait
Disruptor Portrait
Keeper of the Light

Big synergies (9, 6, or sometimes even 4 units) seem to fall off in the late game (with the exception of 6 Mages), so it’s quite common to see people breaking them apart in favor of high-value crowd control or legendary units.

Usually, the final lineup will be a combination of Dragons and Mages with the usual crowd-control heroes in the frontline (Disruptor, Kunkka, Tide, Medusa, possibly Doom).

Needless to say, since you’re facing a lot of mages, two Nagas (usually from Medusa + Tide) is quite powerful. Combined with big tanky units like Lone Druid + his Bear, the magic resistance could give your opponents’ mages trouble.

Rivals Game 1 Lineups

Above you can see the final lineups of Game 1:

  1. Tides with (6) Mages, (4) Humans
  2. LastGreyWolf with a creative (4) Beasts, (2) Nagas, (2) Elements lienup. Worth mentioning - three 3-star units, compared to Tides' zero
  3. Hafu with a very standard (3) Dragons, (3) Mages, (2) Undead, (2) Knights, (2) Nagas
  4. Amaz with (3) Mages + two Shadow Fiends and Kunkka, but failing to generate a good enough economy to build a true late game lineup

Game Analysis

I chose Hafu’s 4th game in the losers lobby because it shows a very interesting victory after a weak start on a losing streak after which she had the lowest HP out of all players for the majority of the early and mid game.

ChocoBars had a more flashy victory in which she stayed on 2% for a big portion of the match, but it could be argued that:

  1. item RNG helped her a lot
  2. stabilizing on 2% HP will 9 out of 10 times lose you the game even to a random creep wave, so Hafu’s victory seemed more deliberate and a better one to learn from if you want to get a grasp of how to turn a bad start into a win
You can watch the game from Hafu's perspective here.

Early Game: Losing Streak

She attempted to open up with the standard Goblins (picked up Bounty Hunter), but due to not receiving other Goblins in the next shop roll she decided to transition to Orcs/Warriors. Unfortunately, she wasn’t able to finish a 3 Warriors synergy quick enough or upgrade any of her starting units to two stars, which meant she wouldn’t be able to win the early-game player rounds.

Economy and long-term lineup preparation:

She understood that she is not in a position for a winning streak, but commented that going for the “open fort” strat (no units, only economy) is too risky and she prefers to still buy units to try to build towards a decent mid-game lineup and to make her losses less costly in terms of HP. She kept her (3) Warriors (2) Orcs frontline and started buying towards (3) Mages, but she didn’t overspend and tried to keep her economy healthy to earn more interest gold than her opponents.

Twitch Rivals Hafu Round 12

This allowed her to reach 50 Gold by round 12 (courier lvl5) while having lvl2 Jugg, Axe, and Bounty as well as two lvl1 Razors.

(It’s important to note that this will be harder to do in pubs because a random leaver can break your losing streak and damage your economy.)

Mid Game: Stabilizing

At this point, she starts playing normally – leveling up and buying upgrades for her army while staying above 50 gold at all times.

When she hits around 40 HP she mentions that she needs to get stronger and that she can’t afford to lose much more. The reason is that if you stabilize on too-low HP, one or two bad rounds in the late game could easily cost you the game. 40 HP is a healthy threshold under which you wouldn’t want to fall.

Because of this, she starts rerolling a bit more heavily to upgrade her army and allows herself to drop to 40 gold.

Immediately after that (on round 16) she hit her first win. The game plan would be to stay on a winning streak from this point on.

Twitch Rivals Hafu Round 16

She drops to 30 gold in round 21 to make sure she keeps winning – not only because of the winning streak (it got broken once before that) but because losses are costly and she needs to preserve her HP.

It’s also interesting to mention that she is not afraid to break her (3) Warriors synergy in order to put a two-star Necro in – the armor is not that valuable at that point because of magic damage and Necro is a great unit that both provides sustain and damage in a mage lineup because of the magic resistance reduction and CM. It also preps her for the (2) Undead bonus with Lich or Death Prophet in the late game.

Twitch Rivals Hafu Round 22
Late Game: Securing the Victory

Once she hits lvl9 and loses a round, she starts spending even more heavily to upgrade her lineup. She allows herself to drop below 10 gold in search for key units like a two-star Kunkka, two-star KotL, etc.

Notice that out of all starting Warriors she values Jugg the most – he synergizes well with the (3) Mage bonus and his magic immunity makes him a strong late-game unit. Her final (3) Warriors are Jugg, Doom, and Kunkka – all working great with and against mages.

Twitch Rivals Hafu Round 33

A great trick she does in the very last round is to put her two humans (Kunkka + CM) directly in front of the enemy LD. This makes it very likely that he gets silenced before he casts his Bear.

Twitch Rivals Game 4 Final Lineup

Thank you for reading! I hope you enjoyed the event as well as the analysis in this article!

We have a Dota Auto Chess Guide Collection you can check out if interested!