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
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
Legendary options to deal with spiderlings
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.
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).
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).