Hello everyone, today I finished Faction Wars after roughly a year of playing Raid and I wanted to share what I have learned through this journey with others who are attempting to complete it. For reference, I started playing in March 2020 (took a 2 month break over the summer) and have spent roughly 300 USD over the course of that time, mainly on monthly gem packs and the occasional energy offer + good shard deals such as the anniversary pack. To give an idea of what the level of gear is on my account, my Arbiter is at 317 speed with my fastest gear on her, and with the lion’s share of my dungeon runs being on Dragon. I don’t have a single champion in Savage or Immunity, I have a single useable Regeneration set and 3 useable Stun sets. Below are screenshots of my proof of completion as well as my full roster.
I will rank the factions in terms of difficulty and provide a short write-up for each one including screenshots of my teams. For each faction I will name the most important champions and suggest alternate ways of beating the crypt in the absence of these champions. I will also outline some general strategy and tips for resource management that I found apply well to all the factions. Hopefully some will find this information useful – I know I learned a lot from similar posts on my journey and hope to pay back what I learned from the community.
In my experience, there are two general approaches to tackling Faction Wars. The first approach is ‘I want to get Lydia ASAP’, which is the approach I took. This approach involves using the least amount of resources in terms of chickens, books and masteries. However, this approach is not conducive to being able to farm Stage 21 consistently as it involves swapping gear around from faction to faction as each one is completed. The second approach is the slow and steady approach, working up the champions necessary to build consistent Stage 21 teams that can be used to farm the boss stage consistently.
With my roster and my need to get Lydia for DT progression as well as stage 25 dungeons, I opted for the fastest approach to get to her with minimal resource investment which allowed me to complete fusions/fragment events while at the same time progress in FW. It is up to each individual to choose which approach is best for their account. The ultimate goal for any account should be to be able to farm Stage 21 in a timely manner in all the crypts since Stage 21 drops the most crafting materials and yields significantly more CvC points than 21. I decided that I would rather get Lydia ASAP and delay being able to farm Stage 21’s. I will now outline the approach I took to getting there, starting with general resource management strategy and proceeding to write about each faction individually.
Resource Management (chickens, books, masteries, gear)
Gear and Chickens
My general strategy for almost all the crypts involved using a single or at most two damage dealers and surrounding them with good support champions. Ideally revivers, healers, team shield generators and debuff blockers where needed. The only champions I found that needed to be 6 star are the damage dealers. Supports can do their job perfectly fine at level 50 if you can get them tanky enough to survive. The magic formula for building support champions is as follows:
If you can get the above stats using a Regeneration set then Regen set is situationally the best for supports. Relentless and Reflex are also very good on supports that want to cycle through their main ability as quickly as possible or simply take as many turns as possible and can sometimes circumvent the need for books. However, you still need to maintain the necessary stats when building champions in these sets. Perception sets can be especially useful if you are having trouble hitting the speed and accuracy requirements.
Your damage dealer(s) can mostly be used in their current sets for the content you are using them in. Depending on the rest of your team, they can either be glass cannon builds if the support around them is adequate or a mix between immortal set and damage dealer stats if they need some self-sustain to stay alive, especially in the absence of a reviver.
The best way to complete the crypts as quickly as possible is to simply transfer the gear from one team to the next, focusing on one or two factions at a time. For instance, a Doompriest needs a very similar build to a Vrask, so once you have completed Kinght Revs you can take the gear from Doompriest and give it to Vrask. The same goes for most support champions. Put together a good Regen set, some good Immortal and Perception sets, a Stun set and move them around depending on which faction you are focusing on at the time.
Masteries and Books
I didn’t have to get masteries for any champion that didn’t already have them. Getting the first couple of rows helps any champion and is very light on resources so I would recommend doing so. Generally, my philosophy was always ‘try with the least amount of resources possible and if you can’t get by, incrementally invest some more’. This meant trying each stage with unbooked champions (sometimes even unascended) and only investing more if I couldn’t RNG my way past a particular wave after many attempts. If I still couldn’t manage, I would keep investing more until I finally got the point where I could do it. This approach is relatively tedious, as one or two or even five failed runs doesn’t mean that you need to invest more. Usually, booking champions just broadens the conditions under which you win, and leaving them unbooked just means you need better RNG to get past whatever wave or stage you are stuck on. If you are patient and try to get the right RNG, you can save a signficant amount of resources in exchange for the time you invest to get that run with the right RNG.
Ranking the Factions in terms of Difficulty
These rankings can be very subjective since they depend heavily on each account’s individual roster. However, there are some similarities across rosters given that everyone eventually gets Arbiter, Scyl, Ghrush, Tainix etc. These are my rankings from hardest to easiest (hardest first).
I would recommend most people start with High Elves and Barbarians. For High Elves, Arbiter + Apothecary + 3 others will carry almost anyone through provided they are geared decently. For Barbarians, Scyl + a block debuffs champion (Skytouched Shaman or Marked) along with High Khatun + 2 others will again win just because of how strong of a carry Scyl is. After that, just go by your roster in terms of where your strongest champions are. Funnily enough, Dwarves was the first faction I completed simply because I had very good champions for it, most of which were already leveled and geared. It’s a good idea to leave your weakest factions until last to give yourself the opportunity to pull better champions and avoid investing into a subpar option who will simply be replaced down the line with a better pull.
I will now provide a write-up and screenshot for each individual faction in chronological order starting with the one I completed first.
Completed 01/23/2021 – Rearguard Sergeant 1 (A2 booked, 2 rows), Rearguard Sergeant 2 (fully booked, 2 rows), Tormin (fully booked, full masteries), Mountain King (fully booked, full masteries), Rugnor (no books, 2 rows)
Dwarves has historically been the hardest faction to complete. However, due to some recent champions added to the game as well as the Brogni fusion, it has become quite manageable. Melga, Brogni, Samar, Rugnor, Runekeeper Dazdurk are all very good champions for the faction. Double Rearguard Sergeant (like I used) is a very strong win condition in the absence of good supports. If you have plenty of support you can get by using a single damage dealer such as Gala, Rugnor, MK, Trunda, Samar. A good mix of block debuffs (Brogni or Grizzled Jarl), shields, healing and revive can sustain your team while your damage dealer brings down the boss. If you have plenty of damage dealers but little support, there is a cheese strategy that involves using a Hatchet Slinger (ideally in a Swift Parry set) to tank the boss while the rest of your team nukes it down over 2 or 3 turns if SP procs.
For more information on the boss mechanics and individual champions, I can recommend Manibal’s FW series on YouTube.
2) Sacred Order
Completed 02/11/2021 – Cupidus (No books, 2 rows masteries), Martyr (A2 booked, full masteries), Fenax (fully booked, 2 rows masteries), Cardinal (no books, 2 rows masteries), Armiger (fully booked, 2 rows masteries)
Sacred Order has some very good legendaries and also some very good epics, as well as Armiger who is important on the boss and almost mandatory in the absence of Fenax. It is very important to keep the add on the right controlled and to block its revive since if it takes a single turn it can one-shot your champions. Cardinal is amazing here due to her AoE revive and also offers a small heal. Cupidus is in a stun set since his A1 is AoE and he is also built with accuracy to land his HP burn. Fenax is also built with accuracy and damage stats in a lifesteal set since his AoE block buffs is very valuable on the second wave of Stage 21. Martyr is obviously a great champion all-around, and this is especially true for Faction Wars. Astralon is very strong for this faction offering AoE stun and good damage output. In the absence of Cardinal, Mistress of Hymns is an alternative reviver. In terms of other champions, basically any Legendary is good here (maybe with the exception of Errol) and many of the epics such as Deacon, Godseeker, Lodric, Shamael can be very good.
Overall, an easy faction given the quality of the champions and one of the easier bosses as long as you can keep the right add in check (ideally stunned into block revive). Here is Manibal’s video featuring Sacred Order
3) High Elves
Completed 02/23/2021 – Tayrel (A2 booked, 2 rows), Apothecary (full booked, full masteries), Arbiter (fully booked, full masteries), Reliquary Tender (fully booked, 2 rows), Vergis (A2 booked, 2 rows)
Like I mentioned earlier, High Elves is probably the easiest faction thanks to the ubiquity of Apothecary and Arbiter. Tayrel is also very good. Reliquary is kind of overkill on the support here and as you can see she is only level 40 – she is basically just filler to complete the stage with 5 champions for the 3 stars. Vergis is in a destroy set built to solo the Scarab King but he was already built so I just threw him in as is. Very easy faction as long as you have Arbiter and Apothecary. This is the only Stage 21 I completed on full auto. The High Elf Legendaries are very strong, the epics are mostly quite good and Apothecary + Reliquary are very good supports for rare champions. Manibal’s video on High Elves.
(4) Dark Elves
Completed 03/02/2021 – Painkeeper (fully booked, full masteries), Foli (half booked, full masteries), Madame Serris (fully booked, 2 rows), Coldheart (fully booked, full masteries), Kaiden (A3 booked, 2 rows)
I lost the screenshot for this one unfortunately. Dark Elves is another faction with an abundance of good Legendaries and Epics and some very good rares (namely Coldheart). Painkeeper is also decent but there are much better supports, I just already had her fully built since I use her in CB. Kaiden is amazing for FW since he is a strong reviver with a good cooldown, especially when booked. Madame is great as ad debuffer and especially vs the Valk waves since she can strip buffs and debuff at the same time. In the absence of Madame, Spider can be a good alternative with his AoE decrease defense/weaken. Coldheart is great in this faction because she has an AoE ability for the waves, amazing single target TM control with her Heartseeker as well as great damage for the boss. Double Coldheart is also very strong for this faction. Foli is just there for damage. Visix after her buff is actually a very strong carry and most of the legendaries if you have them can help out or straight up carry the faction (Queen Eva being the useless one of the lot). Psylar is exceptional for this faction, definitely use her if you have her.
Again, one of the easier factions given the quality of the champions and the ease of access to Coldhearts and eventually Visix. Manibal’s video on Dark Elves.
This faction is a contender for the easiest faction due to how powerful Scyl is. She is your damage, your CC, your healer and your reviver all in one. Just build her well (ideally in Relentless but mine was just in Perception, Speed and Immortal) and surround her with 4 other champions and she will drag anyone up to 21. On 21 a block debuffs champion is very useful for the boss so Skytouched or Marked are good to have. But depending on your roster you might not even need that and might just be able to brute force your way through it especially if you have some of the other legendaries. Of the epics, HK is good, Armina is very good (but can be replaced with Warmaiden), Alika is a good damage dealer but ultimately as long as your Scyl is well geared the rest of the team doesn’t matter very much other than having a block debuffs champion and brining the time down. Manibal’s video on Barbarians.
6) Ogryn Tribes
For Ogryn Tribe I changed my Maneater’s build to relentless DPS and used him as the sole damage dealer all the way through 21. If you have 2 Maneaters this boss becomes trivial but even with one the block debuffs + TM steal he offers is very valuable. Ghrush is amazing for this crypt with his leech and decrease attack and he can even be geared in a stun set since 2 of his abilities are AoE. Bellower is also great in a stun set and offers many useful debuffs including the small version of AoE defense down. Skullcrusher is good if you can keep him alive and his self cleanse is valuable on the boss since he is basically immune to the HP burn. Shatterbones in a stun set can also be a very good champion to get you to 21, however, I had to replace him with Skullcrusher for the boss fight since ally protect and self-cleanse were more important to me than the TM control that Shatterbones provides. Prundar can be a good option for team heals and strengthen and also has a chance to provoke and stun.
On the boss I would only attack him if block debuffs was up, otherwise I would target the adds and wait for block debuffs to come up again. This particular faction has a wave of 3 Aturs and 2 Kallias at the end of Stage 19 which can be a real pain to deal with. Uugo is amazing for this stage for his block buffs since the Aturs will apply counterattack on themselves whenever they are attacked. Otherwise you can simply RNG it with enough sustain to take the hits and slowly whittle them down since they are also quite tanky. Another faction with lots of good legendaries and epics, as well as a very good rare in Bellower. StewGaming has a video where he 2-mans the entirety of Stage 21 with just Bellower and Ghrush, so this can give you an idea of how strong these champions are. Manibal’s video on Ogryn Tribes.
(7) Banner Lords
When I first pulled Minaya and Black Knight I was kind of disappointed but they have proven their value to me both in FW and DT. Minaya is an excellent support for FW and Black Knight is also a good support with his continuous heals, increase defense and single target provoke on his A1. This faction was a solo carry job by Stag Knight who I hope most people have because he is such an excellent champion. I geared him with high damage stats + some HP and he basically did the entirety of the damage while I relied on Hellmut and Azure for CC and Minaya and Black Knight for support. This faction has the same boss as Sacred Order (the one with the nasty right add) so it’s very important to have a way of dealing with that add, ideally by keeping it stunned. On my run I didn’t even end up killing it, I just kept it controlled the whole time with decrease speed from SK and stuns from Hellmut and Azure. Azure is actually a very good champion for this faction because of the CC he provides (stun and TM reduction). Oathbound is also an excellent epic for this job. Hellmut I will probably eventually take to 60 given how strong he is but for the purposes of my team he worked just fine at 50.
This team is a good example of minimal resource investment – 3/5 aren’t even ascended, 4/5 are only level 50 and only 1 has any books or significant levels of mastery (SK). Most of the Legendaries and epics for this faction are good (try to avoid the epics like Knight Errant or Gerhard the Stone for progression) and there are even rares and uncommons (Valerie and Commander respectively) that can be used in the absence of better options for the support roles. Manibal’s video on Banner Lords.
(8) Knight Revenant
Knight Revs is a notoriously difficult faction which is made a lot easier if you manage to pull some of the key champions. Tomb Lord is absolutely amazing for this faction, Rector is also amazing as a support and Faceless is probably the best damage dealer for this faction. MM is a good damage + CC option for the waves. This is one of the harder stages in all of faction wars since not only is the boss quite tricky to deal with (he steals the buffs from your team and transfers the debuffs on himself to all your champions every 3 turns and puts you on a 12 turn damage clock to kill him after he exchanges HP with one of your champions) but to get to the boss you also have to deal with a triple Valk wave. This means you need good CC (a stun set Sinesha can be great for this, to a lesser extent Skullcrown too) for the Valks, enough damage to burst them down, good support to heal and ressurect your fallen champions and good buff management to avoid triggering the Valks’ passive. Other than the champions I used, Sinesha is a great carry since she can CC with a stun set, heal and deal some damage all at the same time, Bergoth can be used if you are lacking control for the Valk waves, and from the rares Executioner in a stun set can be a viable option for CC, TM control and damage. The legendaries are of course helpful, but none are quite as good as Tomb Lord (who I really should 6-star to farm 21 and for the Stage 25 dungeons). Manibal’s video with information on Knight Revs and boss mechanics.
This faction can either be very difficult or very easy depending on if you have a few select champions. These are Vrask, Warlord and to a lesser extent Tuhak and Seer. The reason being that with no proper healer on the team you would have to 6 star most of your champions and use immortal/regen sets to keep everyone alive and be able to withstand unlucky crits. Decrease speed and general TM manipulation is very strrong on this boss (hence the Bloodfeather), healing is very important (Vrask is in Relentless to maximize healing output. And damage is also important since this is again the boss that exchanges buffs and debuffs and does an HP exchange when he drops low with a 12 turn CD. I used Sandlashed to great effect up until 21 but on 21 she is actually quite bad since the boss can often steal her block damage buff and ally protect from your team. Seer is great for dealing with the waves and also the boss, Jorg is a decent reviver and TM booster, Kreela and Zargala are great for damage (just make sure if you are using Kreela to only use her A3 after the boss has done his buff steal skill since you really don’t want him stealing increase attack and increase crit rate). Tuhak is very good for TM control, damage and keeping himself alive, Dhukk is very good as well as a debuffer and a sturdy defense based damage dealer. Brago is useful for his buffs, passive and CC with his stun and AoE provoke for the waves. Grohak is actually very good on this boss and is worth using at level 50 if you have him. Honestly though, without Vrask or Warlord this faction is quite difficult and I would recommend waiting to pull Vrask before attmepting to complete it. If it’s one of the few remaining factions between you are Lydia you can consider brute forcing it with level 60s and no healer, but this is a very resource intensive endeavor and I would only go this route if all other avenues have been exhausted. Manibal’s video on Orcs.
(10) Undead Hordes
Undead was by far the hardest crypt for me to complete, mostly due to my lack of strong damage dealers. Up until 21 I used Harvest Jack in place of Frozen Banshee, Maus Mage instead of Elegaius and had Seeker geared for damage as my damage dealer. Eventually I hit a wall on stage 19 I believe and was forced to 6 star Seeker since his damage output was not enough at level 50 to get past the Sethalia/Thenasil wave. Once I got to 21, I tried to get it done with no books on Gorgorab and having him in a Relentless set but after several tries I decided to book him to increase my odds of success since each failed run was roughly 15 minutes just to get to the boss. After probably 15 tries I finally got the right RNG and revived just in time before the boss took his turn and died to poisons. In terms of champions Vogoth in an excellent support, provoker, healer and overall tank, Gorgorab is also an amazing healer and reviver, Seeker is great for his TM boost, increase attack, single target provoke and passive increase defense and Elegaius was key to locking down the Valks on the second wave of Stage 21. Undead have an abundance of great Legendaries and some good support epics but really lack damage dealers outside of the legendaries (Husk can also work, possibly Hexia too but I didn’t have either of them) so Frozen Banshee can actually come in clutch depending on your roster. I built her with a ton of speed, accuracy and high HP (defnese is irrelevant on this boss since he ignores defense). All in all, a really difficult faction, especially if you are missing Gorgorab and the great legendaries. Although I did have to 6-star 2 champions for this faction (Seeker and Vogoth) I am planning to use them elsewhere so I can justify the investment. The books in Gorgorab I realized were a necessary evil through trial and error as I am not planning on using him anywhere outside of FW. Manibal’s video on Undead Horde.
Another difficult faction, especially if you are missing at least 1 Alure. Tainix + 2 Alures make the boss relatively easy (you still need to kill both adds before either they or the boss gets a turn) so you still need RNG on your side, but once you get to the boss it’s definitely manageable. I ended up booking Drexthar for this crypt for the increased chance to provoke and since I also use him in DT and plan to 6 star him that was an investment I was willing to make. Umbral Enchantress is better than Drex in that provoker role since she also offers block buffs for the Valk wave. Tyrant was basically my damage dealer for the boss since he has WM and since the boss is never allowed a turn HP burn is useless there. Tainix is a very good champion for this faction who are sorely lacking healers and revivers, and she also offers AoE decrease speed which is huge on the waves and on the boss. I did have to book her A2 for the 100% chance to apply. Finally, the Alures offer insane amounts of TM control allowing your team to cycle through their abilities while the waves barely get a turn in. On the boss they are amazing since the boss never gets a turn even if they both get frozen. I had 1 Alure at 240ish speed and the other around 200 so they are kind of staggered and not using their A1 at the same time. In case either or both get frozen, along with the decrease speed from Tainix they are still fast enough to recover and drop the boss’ TM down again. I had a lot of trouble on stage 17 with this faction on the Skullcrusher/Angar wave and I had to build up a level 50 Abyssal for his block buffs and AoE A1 which justified running a stun set for extra control. I had to run that stage many times with double Alure, Tainix, Abyssal, Diabolist and Drexthar to eventually 3-star it. Overal a difficult faction in the absence of Alures, however, it can be brute forced by invesing into 6-stars and key champions such as Umbral and the Achak/Drexthar combo. Manibal’s video on Demonspawn.
Although this faction shares the same boss as Dwavres and Undead and is overall a difficult boss, I found Lizardmen easier than I thought it would be. Rhazin at 60 built for speed, accuracy and damage along with 4 good supports at 50 is enough to be this stage (even on the first try in my case). Double revive is very strong here in Haruspex and Broadmaw (double Broadmaw also viable) and Broadmaw is actually quite powerful after her (his?) recent buff. Quargan is also very good for his heals, shields, block debuffs and increase defense. Jareg’s ally protect + healing is a good complement to the rest of the team, and Haruspex’s TM boost combined with Broadmaw’s are enough to keep pace with boss who gains TM when he takes damage. Rhazin is the damage dealer, debuffer and also offer TM control on his A3. Overall, a really solid team with good all-around support and damage. There are alternative methods to beating this one that involve Skull-Lord Vargall and Skullsworn but since most people will eventually have Rhazin there is not much more to this faction than building up your Rhazin and surrounding him with a good supporting cast. Basilisk in a stun set can also be used and of course any of the insane Lizardmen legendaries make this one so much easier. Manibal’s video on Lizardmen.
Skinwalkers is one of those factions that just lack champions. Fortunately, Gnarlhorn is amazing for progression here as 2 of them can keep the waves locked down indefinitely and allow the rest of your team to safely deal with the waves on all the stages up to 21. As you can see, I even used one on 21 again to control the waves. A single Gnarlhorn at 260+ speed can cycle around to his provoke in time to keep everyone permanently provoked. My team up until 21 was double Gnarlhorn, double Steelskull and Taurus with Taurus melting down the waves with his poisons, Gnarlhorns keeping everyone provoked and the Steelskulls keeping the Gnarlhorns alive. Steelskull is another MVP of this faction. She offers AoE healing and increase defense, single target 40% max HP heal and debuff cleanse and also has poison on her A1. Fleshtearer is also a very viable healer, and Reinbeast can also kind of fill that role since he also offers shields and continuous heals every time he A1s. Fayne is very good for the boss but also for dealing with the waves (albeit slowly). I used her in my CB build and believe it or not she only has 23k HP and 2k defense, yet the healing, decrease attack and sustain on my team was enough to keep her alive on the boss. Ursine Ironhide is a great FW champion but unfortunately needs a significant amount of books to really shine. His TM control is very valuable on the boss as is his decrease attack and his passive allows him to TM control the waves as well on his AoE. The legendaries in this faction are all helpful, with Khoronar probably being the best and Hakhorn and Norog being the next best. I do have a Longbeard but he doesn’t really synergize with my team all that well so I didn’t feel like he would help me very much. Overall I was really happy that I managed to get through this one with only 1 60 who had the least HP of any champion I have used in FW.
Overall, completing Faction Wars is a sometimes difficult, time consuming and resource intensive endeavor. However, with the right team compositions and good team synergy, a lack of quality champions can be overcome and the crypts can be completed with no legendaries and minimal book and chicken investment. I have outlined the approach I took to completing FW and obtaining Lydia as fast as possible. Given the imminent announcement of the arrival of the Shadowkin crypt and the probable effect this will have on the stars required to obtain Lydia, I felt incentivized to commit to this approach and figure out my stage 21 teams as I progress in the game. Admittedly, to achieve this goal I left many of my teams without gear and this left me unable to farm even stage 20 for some time on some on some of the factions. However, now that my journey to Lydia is complete I can reshuffle my gear and set-up consistent and relatively fast stage 20 (and in some cases, stage 21) farming teams.
The most important take-aways for anyone reading who is hoping to complete the crypts as quickly as possible is to keep in mind the magic formula for building non-damage dealer champions: as close to 50k HP as you can get, at least 1 Immortal set, 200 speed or more and 240 accuracy if they need to land debuffs. If you can build your champions like this then you will have no problems completing the crypts as long as you can build a team with proper synergy. At the end of the day, like everything in this game, Faction Wars is more a matter of gear than it is a matter of champions. As evidenced in my Banner Lords run, a couple of legendaries can signifcantly reduce the amount of resources required to complete a faction. However, even in the absence of such legendaries, well-geared epics and rares can get the job done, oftentimes at level 50 and with low book investment.
Another important thing to remember is that a champion that might be amazing for Stage 21 might not be so good for the stages leading up to 21, and vice versa. Some of the later stages feature waves like triple Sethalia double Thenasil which act as a damage check and you will need to adapt your teams to be able to deal with these waves. The triple Valk waves are another example where you have to tailor your team to be able to control the Valks while at the same time dealing with the other champions and dealing enough damage to kill them in a timely manner while sustaining your team through the hits. There were a few times where I had to bring up a certain champion to level 50 just to deal with a single wave and then never used them again. In the grand scheme of things, if your roster is lacking the super powerful legendaries or key epics and you need some extra healing/CC/support to get past a particular wave, an investment like this is more than worth it.
In closing, I hope someone has learned something from this guide that they can use to progress their own FW and get closer to reaching the goal of acquiring Lydia. Hopefully I have shown that even with a relatively modest roster (my account is really lacking in some areas like good damage dealer options) FW can be completed with mostly level 50 epics that are geared decently and synergize well together.
Feel free to ask any questions you might have or leave any feedback on how this post could have been made better. And thank you for reading if you got this far 🙂