Masteries: everything you need to know!
Masteries are something each champion has. They are obtained by spending skill scrolls which can be farmed from the minotaur dungeon. After each run of minotaur, one champion will be randomly chosen to receive mastery scrolls.
Each Champion can obtain 100 basic scrolls, 600 advanced scrolls, and 950 divine scrolls. You will not receive divine scrolls until you have received all of your advanced scrolls, and won’t receive any of those until you have received all your basic scrolls.
You cannot obtain more than the maximum number of scrolls required to buy all of your masteries, once a champion has received all their mastery scrolls (and it doesn’t matter if you’ve spent them or stored them, the total is the max you can receive), they will no longer receive scrolls, and the other champions in your team will receive them.
This makes your first trek to get masteries a long one, since your 5 champions will receive them at roughly an equal pace, but once you have 4 of them maxed, the 5th will receive every mastery scroll that drops, making training up new champions much faster.
You can have masteries from two of the three trees: Offense, Defense, and Support. Once you’ve taken a mastery in two different trees, the third tree becomes locked. You can have two-tier 1 masteries, 3 of tiers 2-5, and only a single tier 6 mastery.
The minotaur dungeon is where you will obtain mastery scrolls for your champions. Mastery scrolls are used to buy masteries. Basic masteries can be farmed at any time. You can get them relatively quickly, even at low levels of the minotaur dungeon. Tier 1 and 2 masteries should be obtained at any time you feel like getting them as they provide a modest power boost without much difficulty.
However, masteries become exponentially more difficult as you progress. The minotaur drops fewer advanced scrolls than basic, and fewer divine than advanced, while each level requires more of those scrolls to advance.
The cost of each tier of mastery is as follows:
- Tier 1: 5 basic scrolls
- Tier 2: 30 basic scrolls
- Tier 3: 80 advanced scrolls
- Tier 4: 120 advanced scrolls
- Tier 5: 200 divine scrolls
- Tier 6: 350 divine scrolls
Minotaur level 15 (you will often see dungeons referred to by an abbreviation and a number indicating what stage, so for example, this might be referred to in chat as “mino 15”) can give 24-32 basic scrolls, 11-16 advanced scrolls, or 6-12 divine scrolls per run. As you can imagine, accumulating 950 divine scrolls 6-12 at a time is quite a challenge!
Mastering Your First Team
It is obviously impossible to complete your masteries before you can run stage 11, since this is the first stage that can drop divine scrolls. However, these are the time and energy requirements, assuming a 3-minute completion run, to fully master your first five champions, there will be a range on energy and number of runs, based on how lucky/unlucky you are on how many scrolls drop:
- Stage 11: 2060-5545 runs, 24720 – 66540 energy, 103-277.25 hours.
- Stage 12: 1550-3010 runs, 21700 – 42140 energy, 77.5 – 150.5 hours.
- Stage 13: 1225 – 1990 runs, 17150 -27860 energy, 61.25 – 99.5 hours.
- Stage 14: 765 – 1310 runs, 10710 – 18340 energy, 38.25 – 65.5 hours.
- Stage 15: 610 – 1095 runs, 8540 – 15330 energy, 30.5 – 54.75 hours.
With the new numbers, farming at stage 13 is slightly faster than the previous 14, and should be doable, though obviously, later stages are even faster. Even farming at stage 12 is feasible for someone determined to spend a ton of time and energy, being barely slower than previous stage 14.
But, assuming you’re willing to do so, these are the masteries you can get, and my thoughts on them. Masteries unlock in a particular order. Purchasing a mastery will then allow you to get the mastery directly beside it (if you can get more masteries of that tier) and the mastery directly below it, or on either side of that one. For example, if you choose Keen Strike in tier 2 offense masteries, you can purchase Single Out, Life Drinker, and Whirlwind of Death in tier 3, but not Ruthless Ambush. If you want Ruthless Ambush, you would need to either ALSO take Shieldbreaker or Grim Resolve in tier 2, or take Whirlwind of Death in tier 3, and then go sideways to get Ruthless Ambush. Sometimes you make take a suboptimal mastery in a higher tier, to ensure you have a pathway to a better one in a lower tier.
You can reset your masteries for free once, but after that it will cost you 150 gems to reset. So try to get it right the first (or at least second) time.
Blade Disciple: +75 Attack. This mastery is generally outclassed by its counterpart, and will only be taken on champs with either guaranteed criticals, or who need pure attack value for some reason (a bomb placing champion, for example). Generally only a niche use.
Deadly Precision: +5% Critical Rate. This mastery will be used on 99% of champions using the offense tree. Anyone who doesn’t use the attack stat will get it automatically, and most of the ones who do will get it anyway. The reason is simple, even if you don’t have a single piece of other critical rate or critical damage gear, this mastery when paired with Keen Strike in tier 2, is a 3% damage boost, on average. That generally means it will be better than Blade Disciple if the champion has more than 2500 attack power, which almost every attack-focused champion will, in the end.
Heart of Glory: +5% damage when attacking with full health. This mastery is generally only useful on arena champions to increase their initial burst and increase their chances of landing a one-shot. In prolonged battles, it’s much less useful, unless the champion can consistently be at full health due to healing, or whatever other method.
Keen Strike: +10% critical damage. The best tier 2 mastery in offense for any build, paired with a decent crit rate, it is a sizable damage boost.
Shield Breaker: +25% damage to targets with a [Shield] buff. Mostly an arena-based mastery, as shields are very common there. Most arena teams at high tier will have one person in the Shield set. This is a very strong mastery in those situations, but less useful outside the arena, where shields are less common. Useful against the Magic Keep dungeon, however.
Grim Resolve: +5% damage when attacking with 50% hp or less. This mastery is better in prolonged battles, and synergizes well with life steal, increasing your damage when you get to low HP, which increases your healing!
Single Out: Increases damage inflicted to targets with less than 40% hp by 8%. Great mastery for clan boss, since he will spend lots of time below 40%.
Life Drinker: Heals by 5% of damage inflicted when attacking with 50% HP or less. Before you get Giant Slayer, this mastery is nothing very special, just a small amount of extra hp for most champions (though a coldheart A3 hitting clan boss can easily heal her for 8-10k just off this mastery), but afterward, it becomes a very useful regen tool on clan boss. Strongly recommended.
The whirlwind of Death: Increases speed by 6 for each enemy you have killed, stacks across rounds in a battle, to a maximum of 18 speed. Good in arena, good on solo farmers in campaign, and decent in dungeons. Useless on clan boss. Use accordingly.
Ruthless Ambush: Increases damage inflicted by 8% for the first hit on each enemy. Just like Heart of Glory, this mastery is best used for arena to amplify your starting burst.
Bring It Down: Increases damage inflicted by 6% when attacking targets with higher max hp. Absolutely essential for clan boss and dungeons, where the bosses will always have more HP than you, so it’s just a free 6% damage boost. Also good on most squishy damage dealers to help break through tanky champions in arena.
Wrath of the Slain: increases damage by 5% for each dead ally, up to 10%. Necessity on solo campaign farmers, and good on tanky champions that will outlast the rest of your team on clan boss.
Cycle of Violence: Has a 30% chance of decreasing the cooldown of a random skill by 1 turn if the damage inflicted by a skill exceeds 30% of the target’s max HP. Occurs once per turn. This skill is good in arena and for farming campaign, where you can use it to speed up cooldowns on AoE abilities to help farm faster. Not very useful on bosses.
Opportunist: Increases damage inflicted to targets with [Stun], [Sleep], or [Freeze] debuffs by 12%. This one is arena-only. All bosses are immune to those effects. Even in arena, only take this if you have someone on the team who can easily inflict some of these status effects.
Methodical: Increases the damage inflicted by this Champion’s default Skill by 2% each time it is used during battle. Stacks across each round in a battle, up to 10%. A great skill for anyone who uses their default skill a lot. Great in clan boss, since the fights last long enough to max out the damage on it, great for solo farmers like relickeeper who will just keep increasing it and making their farming easier. Less useful in arena where you will rarely get the ability to use a basic attack that many times.
Kill Streak: Increases damage inflicted by 6% in arena and 3% in all other locations for each enemy killed by this Champion in Battle. Stacks across each round, up to 12%. Mostly only good for arena and campaign farming, but quite good at both of those. Put it on your solo farmers to help them farm, and in arena, put them on your champion that is most likely to land the killing blow to help them carry.
Blood Shield: Places a [Shield] buff on this Champion for 1 turn when this Champion kills an enemy. The value of the [Shield] is equal to 15% of this Champion’s MAX HP. Occurs once per turn. Just like Kill Streak this is mainly for arena and farming.
Stoked to Fury: Increases damage inflicted by 4% for each debuff on this Champion. Stacks up to 12%. Mostly used in arena, but commonly used in clan boss builds, mainly because it can lead into Giant Slayer, and Blood Shield and Kill Streak are useless on Clan Boss. The Clan boss in every form always has a debuff that he can apply to you, so at least it’s a 4% increase to damage if one of those affects you.
Warmaster: Has a 60% chance of inflicting bonus damage when attacking. Bonus damage is equal to 10% of the target Champion’s MAX HP or 4% of the target’s MAX HP when attacking Bosses. Bonus damage can only occur once per Skill and does not count as an extra hit. Damage based on: [Enemy MAX HP]. This is now the equivalent of Giant Slayer but is aimed at champions who don’t hit multiple times per skill. I’ll discuss more on this at the end of the guide.
Helmsmasher: Has a 50% chance to ignore 25% of your targets DEF. For skills that ignore DEF, this 15% is in addition to the amount ignored by the Skill. Limited use for tank-breaking in arena. Not commonly chosen, due to its inconsistency, and the fact that for most tanks in arena, even a 25% drop still leaves them very tanky. EDIT: Slightly buffed in the 1.7 patch, may be worth tanking on a tank buster, but still inconsistent for my tastes.
Giant Slayer: Has a 30% chance of inflicting bonus damage when attacking. Bonus Damage is equal to 5% of the target’s MAX HP or 2% of the Boss’ MAX HP. Bonus damage can occur on each hit of a Skill, but does not counter as an extra hit. Damage based on: [Enemy Max HP]. I’ll be covering this mastery more in my upcoming Clan Boss Guide, and I’m also going to have a section at the end of this guide exclusively about it. if you want to know more, scroll down to it.
Flawless Execution: Critical Damage +20%. Generally the mastery you take on anyone not getting Giant Slayer.
A note on the defense tree: With offense having Giant Slayer and support having accuracy help, as well as buff and debuff extending masteries that are incredibly useful, the Defense tree is generally considered fairly underpowered and not used on many champions, even the defensive ones. Typically you will only take it on champions who do not have a buff or debuff, and do not require accuracy. Even defense champs usually take offense and support to increase their damage and improve their debuffs!
Tough Skin: Defense + 75. Generally a good choice for defense champs taking this tree.
Defiant: Resistance + 10. If you’re not a defense champion and you’re taking this tree, definitely take this one.
Blastproof: Decreases damage from AoE attacks by 5%. Good for Arena to prevent being bursted out, but good for most PvE as well, since most bosses deal AoE damage.
Rejuvenation: Increases the amount of healing and the value of [Shield] buffs this Champion receives by 5%. Good if you have a healer or shield champion on your team. This also applies to self heals and self shield too, so worth considering. I’m unsure at this time if it improves healing from lifesteal or not. If you happen to know for sure, let me know!
Mighty Endurance: Decreases the damage received by 10% if this Champion has [Stun], [Sleep], or [Freeze] debuffs. Very situational mastery, so it’s usually eclipsed by Blastproof, Improved Parry, and Rejuvenation.
Improved Parry: Decreases damage received by this Champion by 8% when this Champion is hit with a critical hit. Pretty much arena only, but pretty good there, since crits are so common.
Shadow Heal: Heals this Champion by 6% of their MAX HP each time an enemy is healed. Occurs once per turn. Decent on tanky champions facing down a heal team, but still quite situational. Not much use in PvE.
Resurgent: Has a 50% chance to remove 1 random debuff from this Champion when they lose 25% of their MAX HP or more from a single enemy skill. Really only useful in PvP, and even then, rather inconsistent.
Bloodthirst: Heals this Champion by 10% of their max HP when they kill an enemy target. Cooldown: 1 turn. Good ability for solo farmers, and in arena for some sustain.
Wisdom of Battle: Has a 30% chance of placing a [Block Debuffs] buff on this Champion for 1 turn when [Stun], [Sleep] or [Freeze] debuffs expire on this Champion. Extremely inconsistent and extremely situational, not generally recommended.
Solidarity: Increases Ally Resist by 5 for each buff placed on them by this Champion. Not a bad mastery if your champion has several buffs to cast.
Delay Death: Reduces the damage this Champion receives from a specific enemy by 0.75% with each hit taken from that enemy, Damage reduction stacks up to 6% for each enemy. Best on tanky champions who can survive long battles. It takes 8 hits to max it out, and squishier champions will be dead long before they get the most out of this mastery.
Harvest Despair: Has a 60% chance of placing a [Leech] debuff for 1 turn when placing [Stun], [Sleep], or [Freeze] debuffs. For those unaware, a [Leech] debuff means that any champion attacking the champion that has the leech debuff will heal for 10% of the damage they deal. It’s like a team lifesteal buff, but only against a specific target. Very good mastery… if you can place one of those 3 buffs. And once again, since those buffs can’t apply on bosses, this mastery is arena only.
Stubbornness: Increases RESIST by 10 for each debuff on this champion, Stacks up to 30.Decent at resisting debuff spam, but that’s not all that common. Situationally useful for arena.
Selfless Defender: Decreases the damage an ally received from the first enemy hit in each round by 20%. This Champion will receive that damage instead. Good for a tanky champion to mitigate some damage to your squishier targets. Don’t put it on squishy champions or they’ll just explode faster.
Cycle of Revenge: Has a 50% chance of increasing the Turn Meter by 15% when an ally is attacked with a critical hit. Will only increase the Turn Meter once if an ally receives multiple critical hits from a single skill. Good for arena, to speed up a slower champion, but limited use outside of the arena where critical hits are rarer.
Retribution: Has a 50% chance to counterattack when this Champion loses 25% of their MAX HP or more from a single enemy skill. Best skill in the Defense tree, has great use in both arena and PvE, particularly if paired with life steal. Get hit, counter-attack, heal back up.
**_Deterrence: _**Has a 20% chance to counterattack an enemy when they apply a [Stun], [Sleep], or [Freeze] debuff on an ally. Very situational, probably not worth taking over the other 3 masteries in this tier.
Iron Skin: Def + 200. Good on a defense champ who isn’t taking Giant Slayer.
Bulwark: Decreases the damage all allies receive by 5%. This Champion will receive that damage instead. Pairs well with Selfless Defender at mitigating some damage to squishy targets.
Fearsome Presence: Increases the chance of placing a [Stun], [Sleep], [Freeze] or [Provoke] debuff from Skills or Artifacts by 5%. Great in Arena if you have any of those. They typically have a low chance to be placed, so getting a boost is great. As always, those don’t apply to bosses, so this is Arena-only.
Unshakeable: Resist + 50. You don’t need this much resist. Pass.
Steadfast: Max HP + 810. A solid mastery, but if you need to place debuffs, Pinpoint Accuracy is more useful. But for those without debuffs, this is the choice.
Pinpoint Accuracy: Acc + 10. Pretty much the automatic choice if you have debuffs to place.
Lay on Hands: Increases the value of heals this Champion casts by 5%. Do you have heals? Get this mastery. Please note: Continuous Heal buffs do not count as “healing” for the purpose of this mastery. They place the buff, then the BUFF heals them based on their max HP, not the champion directly. Sir Nick, for example, will not heal for more with this mastery.
Shieldbearer: Increases the value of [Shield] buffs this Champion casts by 5%. Do you have shields? Get this mastery.
Exalt in Death: Heals this Champion by 10% of their Max HP the first time an enemy is killed in each round. Oh look, it’s the Tier 3 defense mastery, but better, because you don’t even need to land the killing blow. You only get it once per round, but still great for solo farmers, and in arena.
Charged Focus: Increases ACC by 20 when this Champion has no skills on Cooldown. Great for getting your opening debuff applied, and is generally worth taking.
Healing Savior: Increases the amount of healing and the value of [Shield] buffs placed by this Champion by 10% if the target ally has 40% HP or less. Do you have shield OR heals? Get this mastery.
Rapid Response: Has a 30% chance of increasing the Turn Meter by 10% when a buff cast by this Champion is removed or expires. Free turn meter increase for buff-based champions. A great choice.
Swarm Smiter: Increases Acc by 4 for each enemy alive. Stacks up to 16. Great for arena, decent elsewhere. Even on clan boss, this is a free 4 accuracy. Good if you have debuffs.
Arcane Celerity: Has a 30% chance of increasing the Turn Meter by 10% when a debuff cast by this Champion is removed or expires. This is just Rapid Response for debuffers, and is worth getting if you’re more about debuffs than buffs.
Merciful Aid: Increases the amount of healing and the value of [Shield] buffs placed by this Champion by 15% if the target ally has [Stun], [Sleep], or [Freeze] debuffs. Much more limited, since those debuffs are relatively rare in PvE. Limited use in PvP.
Cycle of Magic: Has a 5% chance of decreasing the cooldown of a random skill by 1 turn at the start of every turn. It’s a pretty small chance, but it can be pretty useful. If you have a champion with a long cooldown on a skill and you’re using him or her in long fights like clan boss, this can be helpful!
Lore of Steel: Increases the Set Bonuses of Basic Artifact Sets by 15%. This increase is multiplicative, not additive. Only issue with this one is the game never defines a “Basic Artifact Set”, but it appears to be the sets that increase your main stats, and don’t do extra effects. So: Offense, Life, Defense, Crit Rate, Crit Damage, Speed, Resist, Accuracy. This is a multiplicative bonus, so for example, it will increase an Offense set’s bonus from 15% to 17.25%. But still, it’s free stats. A pretty good mastery.
Evil Eye: Decreases the target’s Turn Meter when this Champion hits target for the first time with the default skill. Decreases the Turn Meter by 20% with single-target Skills and by 5% with AoE Skills. Kind of not great, since you generally don’t want to open with your default skill, and it’s a one-time effect. Generally this mastery is outclassed by Lore of Steel and Cycle of Magic. May have some use with specific strategies in arena, or to prevent a specific champion from getting a turn.EDIT: This mastery was buffed in 1.7 and now applies the turn meter reduction on the default skill regardless of whether it is used first or not. As such, it is much more viable in the arena. For PvE, however, it remains outclassed by Lore of Steel and Cycle of Magic.
Lasting Gifts: has a 30% chance to extend the duration of any buff cast by this Champion by 1 turn. It will not extend [Block Damage], [Unkillable] or [Revive on Death] buffs. Fantastic mastery and an absolute must-have for any buff-based champion. It massively increases efficiency and up-time of team buffs. Note the three buffs that cannot be extended, however!
Spirit Haste: Increases SPD by 8 for each dead ally. Stacks up to 24. Sort of like Wrath of the Slain in offense, but for speed. Good on tanky champions that will outlast the rest of your team, but also good on someone like Gorgorab to get a speed boost to get his AoE revive off quickly!.
Sniper: Increases the chances of placing any debuff from Skills or Artifacts by 5%. It will not increase the chances of placing [Stun], [Sleep], [Freeze] or [Provoke] debuffs. Great mastery for debuffers. But please take note of which debuffs don’t get improved, and also note your champion’s accuracy. If they have a 100% chance, this mastery will not help them!
Master Hexer: Has a 30% chance to extend the duration of any debuff cast by this Champion by 1 turn. It will not extend [Stun], [Sleep], [Freeze] or [Provoke] debuffs. Just like Lasting Giftsfor buffs, this mastery is essential to debuffers! Note the limitations, as alwys.
Elixir of Life: Max HP + 3000. Decent buff for HP champions, but there are better masteries.
Timely Intervention: Increases this Champions’ Turn Meter by 20% whenever an ally hero drops below 25% HP. Great for speeding up a healer to save a weakened ally.
Oppressor: Increases the Turn Meter fill rate by 2.5% for each active debuff cast by the Champion. Stacks up to 10%. Essentially a 10% speed buff at maximum, which isn’t bad if you can spread a lot of debuffs consistently.
Eagle Eye: Acc + 50. Probably the better mastery for debuff-focused champions, to ensure you’re applying them.
Giant Slayer and Warmaster
We already covered Giant Slayer and Warmaster, and how, why you choose one instead of the other: Warmaster or Giant Slayer?
Guide originally posted by /u/Xentago on Reddit.