Building a Spider Team

Building a Spider Team

What follows is a breakdown of the strategy I’ve found to be effective in consistently (over 50% win rate) defeating Spider 20 on auto. It relies on two principles:

  • Using turn meter and speed reduction to reduce or eliminate spider turns.
  • Managing spiderlings using debuffs and a devoted tank.

Advantages of this approach:

  • No legendaries are required.
  • Other than a single lifesteal set, no specific gear sets are required.
  • No specific champions are required (though the team roles are pretty strict; we’ll discuss options below).
  • This strategy applies to all lower stages of spider as well. If your team can beat 20, it can beat anything.

This guide assumes that you’re familiar with Brutal/Nightmare CB and the core gearing and strategic principles of Raid, and have a decent base of endgame-viable champions (or the resources to bring champs from your locker up to 60 with full masteries when needed).

The Spider problem

Spider is a mean motherfucker. He will outheal and subsequently kill your team if given the turns to do so. On earlier stages, massive single target damage can be enough to down him before that happens. This may be possible on 20, but our strategy here instead relies on the idea that he can’t heal or put us to sleep if he never gets a turn.

The Spider Solution

You want at least three members of your team that can reliably hinder spider. To qualify for this role, a champion should have:

  • A turn meter reduction or speed down debuff on a relatively short cooldown (4 turns or less, ideally) that will consistently target spider on auto.
  • The ability should have a 100% proc chance. No misses allowed.
  • It can be single target or AoE; random targeting (such as Alure’s A1) is less effective unless you have enough damage to keep the spiderling population down.
  • 200+ Accuracy is required to beat spider’s resistance.

The goal is to have enough control on the team to prevent spider from taking a turn. Finding the right mix to complement your team’s strengths and shore up weaknesses will take some experimentation.

Good candidates for the Spider
  • Coldheart
    Her A3 is more important for its turn meter reduction than its damage here (though the damage is great too). It’s possible that stacking really well-geared Coldhearts is a strategy that can beat 20 on its own, but here we rely on her as a piece of a larger puzzle.
  • Tayrel
    His A3 fits neatly into the spider hindrance role alongside his other great utility for the fight.
  • Alure
    Great in a team with massive AoE damage to keep the spidering population down. If her A1 consistently targets spider she can keep him from acting almost singlehandedly; she’s less appealing here since we plan to tank the spiderlings instead.
  • Lich
    A potentially top tier candidate for the fight, where he can serve both as tank and spider hindrance. I’d recommend against bringing another Force champ alongside him due to spiderling targeting shenanigans.
  • Psylar
    Her A3 is one of the best skills in the game for this fight, slowing the entire enemy force at once. This helps make the spiderlings a lot more manageable as well.
  • Lyssandra
    Legendary, but has a great kit for this fight. Her A2 and A3 make a potent package on a champion you’ll also want as your team leader for the speed aura she provides.

This is just scratching the surface of the possible options for this role; a look through your champion collection may well find others who work great.

The Spiderling Problem

Spiderlings are assholes. There can be ten of them and they will kill you if given the chance. One strategy is to deploy enough AoE damage to kill them before they kill you. This is not our strategy. Instead, we aim to manage the spiderlings with debuffs and by funneling their rage all at a single target.

The Spiderling Solution

Put simply: a Force affinity tank in a lifesteal set. You could also build a Void or Spirit tank if the rest of your team is Magic, but the restrictions that puts on team composition put that outside the scope for this guide.

The goal of a spider tank is to stay alive at all costs through a constant barrage of spiderling hits. As such, an ideal tank will have:

  • A1, A2, and A3 abilities that all actively contribute to the champion’s survival. They can deal damage for lifesteal, or can be a mix of damage and healing; any pure utility abilities should contribute directly to the other goal of the fight (slowing down the enemy team).
  • 200+ Resistance. Incoming damage from poison stacks can overwhelm even the best-geared defensive champion; best to resist as many as possible.
  • 2000-2500+ Defense (beware diminishing returns).
  • 60-70k+ HP.

The more a tank contributes to their own survival, the less other champion turns and abilities need to be devoted to keeping them alive.

Side note: the role of the tank here requires a much higher gear threshold than other Spider 20 approaches that take advantage of specific legendaries (cough Martyr cough); if you have access to them the fight is considerably more trivial, but this strategy doesn’t rely on any specific buffs or debuffs to tank the fight effectively.

Good candidates for the spiderlings
  • Sinesha
    AoE A1 plus two strong heals and decent defensive stats make her a great choice for the role.
  • Lich
    Weaker lifesteal potential is more than offset by his low CD turn meter reduction. Bringing him as tank opens up a spot for a dedicated healer/support to help keep him up.
  • Shatterbones
    As strong choice for his turn meter manipulation on A2 and A3; relatively weak defensive stats mean his gearing requirements will be higher than some others.
  • Thenasil
    A weak A1 means he’s not perfect here, but his heal and AoE A3 help shore things up.
  • Missionary
    A weaker choice, but His A3 brings a 30% Decrease SPD debuff that makes him worth considering.
  • Nazana
    A strong choice, similar to Sinesha with a bit more utility.
Legendary options to deal with spiderlings
  • Fu-Shan
    Speed aura plus AoE stun on a short cooldown makes him a strong choice for both tank and team leader.
  • Rhazin Scarhide
    Natural defenses plus AoE turn meter reduction (albeit on a long CD) make him a good option, likely paired with a support/healer.
  • Shirimani
    Strong heals plus AoE freeze make her a great choice for containing spiderlings.
  • Warchief
    He’s a brick with damage reflection. Not a bad option.
  • Robar
    Low CD AoE A2 and A3 (with DEF down on the A2) offer a decent kit for the fight. Weak base defenses require good gearing.
  • Drexthar Bloodtwin
    Like Venus, makes the fight a joke.
  • Skartorsis
    Decent, but not ideal choice (speaking from experience). His A2 is more a liability than a strength since he doesn’t spend it healing; if he is your tank expect to bring a pocket healer. Best-in-game speed aura for the fight, though.
  • Bad-el-Kazar
    Built-in lifesteal, debuff removal, and AoE poison give him an amazing kit for the fight. A top choice.
  • Zavia
    A decent option, but better if your plan is to kill the spiderlings rather than tank them.

The Rest of the Puzzle

Once you’ve filled roles to face the two main challenges of the fight, the rest of your team becomes the glue that holds the whole thing together long enough to get spider dead.

This typically amounts to 1 to 2 flex slots that you can fill with support champions as needed to round out the team. Additional requirements will vary based on composition, but some factors to consider:

  • Speed: Whether through gear, a speed aura, or speed buffs, if your champions don’t each have at least around 200 speed the spiderlings will overwhelm you. If you don’t have AoE speed debuffs, this number is even higher.
  • Healing: While the rest of your squad should remain untouched (though enough HP to survive one spider AoE is wise), only the tankiest tanks can hold up through the spiderling assault without a few clutch heals. Most teams will probably want at least one additional healing-capable champion.
  • Spiderling Management: When choosing debuffers and support, consider champions that will make the spiderlings less lethal. AoE freezes and stuns, Attack Down and Accuracy Down, Speed Down, etc. are all great.
  • Damage, Damage, Damage: Even a strong team may fall prey to RNG if the fight goes on long enough. Doing enough damage to kill spider before it gets a turn is the goal, so if damage is a knob you can tweak without sacrificing other team needs, by all means bring another nuke.

My Team

With all that out of the way, here’s how it came together for me after a crapload of trial and error with various team compositions and gear loadouts (see the screenshot at the top for a full stat breakdown).

  • Sinesha
    Tank. Sinesha’s kit is everything a tank needs in this fight: massive damage A1 for the lifesteal, a powerful A2 heal, and a powerful A3 heal. She brings the fringe benefit of topping off the team if a spider attack gets through.
  • Tayrel
    Debuffer, Damage. AoE DEF down on a permanently slowed spider greatly speeds up the fight, and the turn meter reduction on his A3 has never been more relevant. Also acts as team leader, bringing a welcome +25% DEF for Sinesha.
  • Coldheart
    Debuffer, Damage. Her A3 every four turns is the reason she’s here. Be sure she has over 200 ACC to land the turn meter reduction.
  • Psylar
    Debuffer, Damage. Her A3 every four turns is the reason she’s here. ACC down on her A2 isn’t shabby either, making spiderling poison land a bit less often.
  • Apothecary
    Speedster, Healer. He brings the extra speed the team needs to get over that 200 threshold, and brings clutch heals for Sinesha. He’s good at what he does and is a valuable role player here.

Honorable Mentions:

  • Skartorsis
    Tank candidate. I was trying to fit Skartorsis in here for awhile before realizing that his A2 was too much of a liability for a full-time tank; he would take a turn off to buff the team and get killed by spiderlings before he had the chance to attack again. Lifesteal plus Skartorsis equals A Bad Idea. I tried him for awhile in Apothecary’s spot (speed aura plus heals) and he was okay, but fought with Sinesha for Force damage magnet and that ultimately got him kicked off the team.
  • Alure
    Debuff/Damage candidate. I tried her in a bunch of configurations but she never quite fit in; her turn reduction wasn’t as reliable, and her overall damage wasn’t as high. I’m open to the idea that I’ve built her wrong and I think she’ll shine in the right team, but this isn’t it.

You’ll note that my team isn’t geared optimally for the fight; Tayrel and Apothecary are both in the lifesteal sets they use for CB. It turned out that other than hitting the speed/ACC thresholds and having enough HP that the spiderlings don’t see them as low-hanging fruit, gearing the team was relatively straightforward and even a bit lenient—other than Sinesha.

Getting enough stats on the tank to keep her from dying continues to be the biggest gearing challenge of the fight for me; I stopped where I did because I finished the progress mission, but would like to continue to refine the formula with better gear to raise my win rate even higher (Psylar still needs a tome for the final CD reduction on her A3, too).

Guide originally written by /u/Dierin


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