Watcher of Samsara Guide for Beginners

Watcher of Samsara is a new tower defense developed as a custom game for Dota 2 by a Chinese studio. It is growing in popularity very fast (going over 300k downloads right now) and with a good reason – it takes what we love from classic TDs and puts a modern twist on it very successfully.

Gameplay Basics:

  • Create a lineup of up to 3 Heroes and 8 Soldiers (creeps). Units synergize with each other and can be upgraded.
  • Equip your army with powerful items.
  • Team-up with up to three other players. You can share items and units with your teammates to help each other build a more powerful lineup.
  • Defend against creep waves (rounds) until you die or until you beat the game. You lose the game if you get more than a certain amount of creeps alive on the map, and you win by killing the last wave (Roshan).


UI and Game Samsara

Above you can see a typical screenshot of the game. In the center, you can see your lineup fighting the current creep wave. The stars signify the upgrade level of the unit. All abilities are set on auto-cast by default, but you can also use them manually if you wish to.

  • Top left you have some menu buttons (Settings, Heroes wiki, etc.) as well as some information about the other players. If a player is struggling, it’s a good idea to take a look at what he needs and help him out with units or items.
  • Top center is the round as well as the number of alive creeps (if you go over the limit you lose the game).
  • Top right is your hero (3/3) and soldier (8/8) limit.
  • Bottom left is the minimap.
  • Bottom center is the info of the selected unit. Currently, we have the courier selected and you can see the ability to buy scrolls (unit packs) as well as to demolish (sell) a unit you already have.
  • Bottom right is the shop button (for items) and the damage graphs.

Game Start:

At the beginning of the game, you have two choices to make.

First, you have to choose the difficulty level – obviously, the lower levels are intended for beginners, while the high levels for experienced players looking for a challenge. Having difficulty levels is essential for a PvE game, so the devs made a good job in this regard.

Difficulty Watcher Samsara

Second, you have to choose your starting hero. This is an important choice for experienced players because obviously different heroes are good in different situations (and in combination with different units), but for beginners, most heroes can do a good-enough job. One important thing to keep in mind is that your starting hero will to a large degree determine your early-mid game build.

Samsara Hero Selection

Building your Lineup:

Since this is a tower defense game, you can build “towers” and place them on the map to kill the incoming waves of creeps. In fact, these towers are Dota 2 Heroes and Creeps (the so-called Soldiers), which you use to complete your lineup.

You get soldiers and heroes by opening common (500g), rare (1500g), and legendary (5000g) scrolls (essentially card packs) that have a chance to give you units of certain rarity.

Upgrade Pack Samsara

Above you see we’ve opened a rare pack. It gave use two Rare ( R ) Soldiers and one Super Rare (SR) Hero (Maiden). The Upgrade (star) sign on the Centaur indicates that we have Centaur in our active lineup and we can use this card to upgrade him. Similar signs appear if the unit activates creep or hero synergies (bonds).


They are your most powerful units and the backbone of your strategy. Your heroes will predetermine to a big degree what soldiers and items you will go for.

  • Heroes have three skills that you can level-up (they receive experience from killing creep waves).
  • They have a special synergy with one type of Soldier (creep). Having this unit in your build upgrades your hero, allowing it to equip higher-tier items, and increasing its higher level greatly.
  • They have an inventory, allowing you to equip items. Of course, certain heroes synergize with certain items better than others.

SSR Heroes Samsara

Above you can see some of the super-super-rare and theoretically most powerful heroes in the game. Power is not all about rarity, however. Outworld Devour is arguably the most powerful hero in the game according to the community, and he is not an SSR. Below you can see some SR heroes.

SR Heroes Samsara

Soldiers can be upgraded (you increase the level of a unit by buying multiple copies of it and using them on the initial unit). Moreover, they synergize with additional heroes and soldiers to unlock more abilities and higher item-tiers for heroes, which is pretty important.

Because of this, the synergies of your heroes and other soldiers will predetermine to a big degree which particular units you’re looking for.

Samsara Soldiers

Above you can see a couple of Rare soldiers. They have one basic ability which is always available, and two more that need to be unlocked through synergies. For example, the Wildwing Ripper needs a Satyr Tormenter to unlock its second spell (Cyclone), while the Satyr needs a Wildwing to unlock its third spell.


Items are essentially the Dota 2 items with certain additions and changes. You can acquire them in two ways.

First, they could be bought in the shop regularly as in Dota.

Second, item chests, as well as item keys, drop from creeps (keys can also be bought at the shop) that have a chance to give you random items.

Bear in mind that there are different items tiers. The strongest items can be equipped only by upgraded heroes. Low-tier items can be equipped by everyone.

Items Samsara

Above: the shop on the far right and some new item examples. 

Creep Rounds:

Creep rounds are pretty standard for tower defenses. The only important thing you need to keep in mind is Box Hound (boss) rounds in which you gain the majority of your gold depending on how much damage you’re able to deal. Because of these creep waves (as well as Roshan), Bloodthorn is one of the most important items in the game.


There is a shared area in the middle of the map. You can put items there (as well as unit cards) that other players can pick up. It’s a great idea to keep in mind what heroes and soldiers your allies are searching for. If you get them from a pack, it’s much more efficient to give them to your allies rather than sell or discard them for gold – all four of you need to be strong to win the game.

Watcher of Samsara Strategy:

I’m way too inexperienced to tell you the best possible strategies in the game, but I can give you some good tips:

In the early rounds buying items for your hero seems to be the better strategy than buying packs for random Soldiers and hopefully Heroes. This is because you are looking for specific Soldiers to buff your strat, and you have a pretty slim chance of getting them. The others (especially the common ones) aren’t too useful and even if you deploy them, later on, you’ll have to sell them for 25% of the initial price, which is pretty inefficient. You can keep your items for pretty long, however.

Boots of Speed

In the early rounds buying items for your hero seems to be the better strategy than buying packs for random Soldiers and hopefully Heroes. This is because you are looking for specific Soldiers to buff your strat, and you have a pretty slim chance of getting them. The others (especially the common ones) aren’t too useful and even if you deploy them, later on, you’ll have to sell them for 25% of the initial price, which is pretty inefficient. You can keep your items for pretty long, however.

Drow Ranger Marksmanship

Ranged Heroes seem to be better than melee heroes because of the higher range. They end up dealing higher damage overall.

Outworld Devourer

OD seems to be the top tier hero right now – great sources of ranged AoE damage.

Hand of Midas

Hand of Midas is a good early-game item to increase your income. Also, attack speed is always useful.

Moon Shard

Moonshard is a universally useful item – it gives the most attack speed, and combined with some damage items and skills it buffs your hero’s DPS a great deal.


Bloodthorn is the most-important late game item and you usually want to get at least two or three copies of it. Use it manually – don’t overlap the duration, just make sure the debuff is always on the unit you’re trying to kill.


Look for a source of control: you can’t rely only on damage. You need some Soldiers/Heroes/Items that slow and stun the incoming creep waves. This is extremely important for the boss rounds, as they determine your income, and income is the most important part of beating the game.


You can reposition your units with a TP scroll or Boots of Travel. This is very useful in the late game, especially during the Roshan round. You can TP a powerful hero to help out a struggling player.


In our opinion, Watcher of Samsara is the best TD out there right now (at least that we’ve played). We believe it achieves this high praise because of three main factors:

  • It has replayability: it integrates RNG mechanics very well for a TD - you buy and open hero packs in order to upgrade your army.
  • It has strategic depth: a good number of hero + soldier + item combinations are possible.
  • It is super fun to play with friends: teamwork is essential, which makes this a very fun mod to play together with friends.

(It’s worth saying that it also looks good due to utilizing very well a certain card game’s card art.)

That said, it must be pointed out that there is definitely room for improvement in the game: there is a lot of visual clutter and some performance issues in later rounds when a lot of units and spells start firing away (some game lobbies lag hard). Moreover, the game is far from perfectly balanced (some heroes are way better than others, and some items way more valuable). That said, considering its rising popularity it’s a fair bet that the devs will work hard to make it better.

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