The following evening, deep in the corrupted forests of Felwood...
- Main Quest - The Skull of Gul'dan
- Destroy the Demon Gate guarding the Skull
- Bring Illidan to the Skull of Gul'dan
- Main Quest - Destroy Tichondrius
- Destroy Tichondrius
This scenario is quite easy, despite the fact that you have to fight large numbers of Demons and other powerful units. The main reason for this is that you in principle have access to an enormous supply of gold. This means that you could simply produce a huge army and smash every obstacle in your path. Of course, you should strive to smash every obstacle in your path in any case, but you can do it by proper deployment of force, even with just a trickle of gold income.
Because the scenario is easy, there are a range of strategies that you can use. One extreme is to concentrate on having a large army, and thereby to crush the opposition. This is the approach of the first strategy presented here. Another extreme is to concentrate on minimizing waste, which implies having a small army. This is the approach of the second strategy presented here.
Illidan controls a decently developed base provided with 2 Huntresses, 2 Archers, and 2 Druids of the Claw.
This section does not provide a lot of detail. If you want more detail, read the other section.
Focus on solidifying a defense at your base, and then taking out your enemies one at a time. In order to maintain your army, you will need to expand fairly early.
First order of business is fending off a Level 8 Satyr and his fellows.
Illidan, level 7, is a powerful tank. He'll finish the first enemies with a little support from your starting units. Mana Burn is essential against enemy spellcasters. Take advantage of its short cooldown. Immolation works well to whittle down your melee foes.
A second gold mine lies just north of your position. The guards can be taken out with your starting force. Still a third mine lies to your left in the swamps, but you'll want to solidify a defense first.
Build up Moon Wells at your base entrance for easy healing. When resources are comfier, build an Altar and upgrade your Tree of Life.
Start researching for your attack force of choice. A healthy Archer-Huntress combination is recommended, bolstered by Dryads and a few Druids of the Claw.
Your main enemies will be the Satyr-Skeleton-Treant force that makes up the Corrupted Ancients. They have two bases, one in the west and one in the east. They attack your base from the bottom two exits. Since they attack in mobs, they're easy to pick off, but casters like the Hellcaller are fond of raising the dead.
Tichondrius's patrolling forces are Doom Guards, slow lugs that fall easily under Archer fire. They're easy to take out, but have annoying spells. Similarly, the Felhounds may terrorize your Druids, but against pure infantry, the Legion is a pushover.
Leave at least a couple of Archers, Druids of the Claw, and clusters of Ancient Protectors behind as base defense. If things get out of hand, call back your attack force with a hasty Scroll of Town Portal. Additional Scrolls are available at the Goblin Merchant in the SW corner of the map.
Taking out half the problem
Tichondrius can be killed without taking out the corrupted Ancients, so attacking the two bases is optional. But highly recommended.
The first Corrupted Ancient base lies nearby,to the NE of your position. Engage cautiously. Using Roar in battle can make a difference. Pull back your units and let Illidan take the brunt of the damage. Cast Rejuvenation when hit points drop around the halfway point.
Kill their Skeleton King and clear the Satyrs out. With an enemy taken out, base defense should be drastically less of a hassle.
The other half
Assemble a strike force similar to your first attack. This base is to the west of the second mine, or west and north from your original base.
You can bait the enemy out by harassing it with Illidan, or edge in, prepared to suffer massive damage. A solid wave of units will come out after you. The Hellcaller will bolster his forces with more raised dead if you let him. It's basically the same affair with the previous base, but busier.
If you crush the Satyrs, you're free to deal with the Skull of Gul'dan.
The Demon Gate
Replenish your army as you see fit, ideally fitting in more than a few Dryads. Head up to the Skull, clearing out minor annoyances like Felhounds, Treants, and Doom Guards. Mana Burn is useful here, considering the Felhounds' own Mana Burn and the Doom Guards' spells.
At this point you shouldn't be worried about losses, if you've taken advantage of the five gold mines available to you. Head up and crush the Gate.
From the Skull of Gul'dan, you can head left to Tichondrius. Shamelessly spam your army into high upkeep and prepare to finish the mission at one fell swoop.
There are two Demon Gates around Tichondrius, focus on taking those out first, to make your life easier.
Tichondrius will summon Infernals, which should occupy the rest of your army. It's no use attacking the Dreadlord; damage types which aren't Chaos deal only 1 damage to Divine armor. Illidan bolstered with Roar is your best option against Tichondrius. When the Dreadlord dies, the mission ends.
Use your starting mine and the mine north of your position to develop a solid fighting force and a defense group of Archers and Ancient Protectors that you can safely leave on autopilot. An ideal force uses Illidan and 5-7 Huntresses/Druids of the Talon, backed up by 6-10 Archers/Dryads, and Ballistae.
Take out the enemy base to your northeast, and fortify your army for a stronger attack on the northwest base. Throw together any other units if you can spare the food, and force your way to the Skull of Gul'dan in the northwest corner.
At this point, take out Tichondrius at your leisure.
This section uses a lot of detail. If you want less detail, read the other section.
Your army may be small, but your force will be extremely large; it is based on having a large number of Ancient Protectors.
Review of Ancient Protectors
Because Ancient Protectors (APs) form the core of this strategy, it is important to review their properties. APs have significant weaknesses compared to the other races' Towers. For example, they are very expensive, and they have a minimum range. However, they also have important advantages. Whereas the other races' Towers are static, so that any resources invested in them are essentially wasted if the fighting takes place outside their range, APs can redeploy. Therefore, APs can form a powerful addition to a Night Elf army anywhere on the map. Of course, they don't require upkeep, so you can have as many of them as you want.
Illidan is a high-level Demon Hunter, which means that he is a very powerful melee Hero. Unfortunately, this means that he cannot fight at range, and he cannot fight air units, although there are no enemy air units in this scenario. Normally, he would have his Ultimate spell by now, which would give him those abilities, but he doesn't, and he won't get it until the very end of the scenario.
A Demon Hunter is a mana hog. In order to be effective, he needs to burn a lot of mana in each major combat. Accordingly, he will need to be restored after each major combat.
You should be quite familiar with the attributes of the four major races by now. There are many varieties of creeps, but you don't encounter them often enough to bother studying them. (Oh look, there's this weird thing! Oh, look, it's dead!) This scenario is unusual in the sense that Satyrs function as a player faction. This means that you will be facing a lot of Satyrs in this scenario, but you won't know much about them and how best to fight them.
Mana Burn is a critical spell in this scenario. You will be fighting a lot of Felhounds, which have Mana Burn, Satyrs, which have Mana Burn and other nasty spells, and Demons, which have nasty spells. If you can see your enemies coming, you want to Mana Burn them before they do it to you. At 2-300 per pop, a Mana Burn will drain a Felhound completely, drain a Demon by half, and may even kill some units outright. This is one reason why this scenario is very much about Illidan alone.
Important: b. Mana Burn is b on the keyboard. Memorize it: b.
You will be fighting a lot of Demons in this scenario, as well as many other powerful units. Illidan is the only one of your fast units who can reliably stand up in such a combat environment. This scenario is very much about Illidan, and Illidan alone: get him into combat, fight, get him restored, rinse and repeat.
Interestingly, Illidan starts with two items. He has a Potion of Greater Mana. This is a nice item to have. However, because it is single-use, you will save it for a rainy day, and that rainy day will never come, so the potion is basically useless. He also has a Scroll of Town Portal. Again, it is a nice item to have, and it allows a special function, but it is single-use, etc., etc., so it is basically useless. Eventually, you will be able to get more, but by then, you won't care.
Your other units
Due to the nature of this scenario, you may find that you control only Illidan in tactical situations. Nevertheless, the other Night Elf units also have a lot of important features. A Night Elf force has more special features than the other races' armies.
Archers fire at range, and they fight air units. Because they are so fragile, you will want to keep them out of direct combat. However, there will be a few situations where you will want to focus on your Archers. Huntresses are pretty generic. They are slightly more durable than Archers, but they need to close with the enemy, which means that they will have more difficulty running away from bad situations. They have one special ability - the Sentinel. However, because a Huntress only has one Sentinel, you may find that you always save it for a rainy day and never use it. You will need one Ballista. In this scenario, you will only need it for special situations, and you will be able to use it completely separate from the rest of your army.
Dryads are too fragile to be used in direct combat in this scenario. Keep a few of them nearby for their anti-magic function. Bears are quite powerful, although, paradoxically, they tend to be the first units to die. You may think of them as big, tough melee units, which they are, but don't forget that they are also the Night Elf mobile healers. Crows have some important special functions. However, they are really the only units you have in this scenario that can scout effectively, so you should reserve them for that role.
Overall, the nature of this scenario is such that you may focus almost exclusively on Illidan, ignoring the rest of your units. That turns out to be sufficient, at least on normal mode. Just be aware that there is a lot more power available if you need it.
Summary: You can play this scenario with a macro approach, where you concentrate on getting a huge economy and a huge army. This will work in this scenario, because you will find enough gold to support this approach. However, it is a risky strategy, because if gold is in short supply, then you can't afford to waste it paying taxes. Accordingly, this walkthrough concentrates on avoiding waste.
Because Illidan is basically your entire army, especially at the beginning, and because he is such a mana hog, you will need a lot of Moon Wells, even more than normal. Produce one more Wisp and build two Moon Wells. Build them on the left side of your base. Note: Do NOT put them on auto-cast at this time. Build more Moon Wells later as the situation develops.
Produce one Archer and two Dryads. You are now at 36 food. Upgrade. Don't build any new buildings yet. This would be a mistake in principle, and it is a mistake here.
Explore carefully. Keep Illidan on the left side of your base (front towards enemy). Allocate one Archer to explore east and south, as it is the least important of your combat units. You will find that there is a bit of space to the south, but there are spiders almost in your base to the SE.
Build an Ancient of Wind in the south. You will be able to move it later if necessary. For this reason, don't build an Altar yet. Replace your Wisp. Produce two Druids of the Talon. You are now at 40 food.
Fight off the early attacks with Illidan. Mana Burn the big guys. Immolate the little guys. Maybe commit some bears as well, although you may have your hands full just controlling Illidan. Restore him, and return him to his ready position.
Because Illidan wants all the experience he can get, use him to kill the spiders SE of your base. However, don't just run him into contact, because this may pull in a lot more hostile units. Commit your archers to this fight. Draw some spiders towards your base, and kill them where there are no hostile witnesses. Return your troops to the left side of your base.
Now build an Altar in the newly sanitized area. This will allow you to get all your upgrades.
As resources become available, build two Ancient Protectors on the left side of your base. Don't build them on the very fringes, because if an enemy attack should arrive while they are in production, you will lose those resources. Fill the population roster with another Archer. This is your entire early-game army.
When your Druids of the Talon can fly, commit one to be a permanent scout. The SE map corner is a priority. You will find that it is literally crawling with spiders. Kill some more of them. However, avoid the group in the very corner. With 4 big units, 3 of which have a poison ranged attack, this is a very dangerous group, and who knows what's in all those eggs. You will find that there is an enemy base close by to the NE. You will find that you can only explore about a quarter of the map before running into hostile units that will take down your scout. You will find a mine with 17,500 gold to the west, so in principle, all your gold needs are taken care of.
By this time, you will have experienced quite a few heavy attacks from the NW. It looks like Illidan can hold them off, with some support, but you do not want to try to do so without him. This means that your expansion possibilities look rather limited. Fortunately, you are only being attacked from one direction. So far - keep your fingers crossed!
It is time to build some heavy base defenses. You want 6 Ancient Protectors on the left side of your base. When they are all ready, advance them to the perimeter of your base to cover the two approaches. You also want 4 APs in the SE. The main purpose of these is to give you some heavy support when you kill the spiders in the SE map corner.
When your heavy base defenses are finished, you can think about creeping. Of course, you always want to try to time the enemy attacks when creeping. The main target now is the skeletons near the second mine. They drop a Potion of Mana.
Because the enemy attacks include so many Demons and other powerful magic users, you really do want to have advanced warning of the attacks. This is a situation where you really do need to commit one of your two Sentinels. Emplace it NW of your base; this is where the biggest Demons always seem to come from.
About this time, you will face your first attack from the SE. Fortunately, you did fortify this area somewhat. If you didn't, things could get messy. Upgrade the defenses in this area with 2 APs. With all of your upgrades, etc. completed by this time, resources are starting to pile up, and you can start dialing down your Wisps.
Now you should kill the spiders in the SE corner. Drag some of them into your base defenses first, and then send Illidan and your Archers to eliminate the rest, including the eggs. You get a Mana Stone, and Boots of Elvenkind from an egg.
One attack from the NW drops a Potion of Healing.
With the SE corner cleared and your base secure, it is time for a round of creeping and exploring. The map is literally crawling with hostile units that will shoot down your scout, and you are not prepared to move your army far from your base yet, so you will only be able to explore a second quarter of the map at this time.
You will find a third gold mine (23,500) in the middle of the map. The creeps guarding it drop Claws of Attack +6. The Murlocs NW of your base drop a Ring of Protection +3.
The only remaining target within striking distance of your base is the enemy base NE of yours. In preparation for an extended expedition with your army, increase your heavy base defenses to 8 APs on each side. Cash in enough Wisps to give space for one Ballista.
Take your entire army, and all 8 APs from the east side of your base. Send them all to just south of the enemy base. Emplace your APs. Now lure the mobile enemy forces out and kill them. You can now send your army back to your base, because your 8 Ancient Protectors plus one Ballista (plus one Wisp) are all you need to finish the job. This is no joke. Without artillery, even a full control group has no chance at all of defeating this force, and your enemies have no artillery in this scenario.
At some point, a Skeleton King comes out to fight. He can do some damage if your mobile units have left, but he cannot win. He drops a Scroll of Restoration. This is an excellent single-use item, not that you will ever use it. You acquire another gold mine (19,500) here. (Your enemies don't seem to actually use gold in this scenario.)
When the enemy base is eliminated, withdraw all units and emplace your 8 APs at the choke point NE of your base. Now clear out the SW quadrant of the map. There is a Goblin Merchant in the very SW corner of the map. You can now purchase Scrolls of Town Portal and all the usual wares, but none of these items has any value any more. The spiders nearby have a Scroll of the Beast, and there is a Manual of Health in an egg. A Sludge Monstrosity NE of here has Gloves of Haste. You will now have explored 3/4 of the map, but no more, for the same reason as before.
You will now have found some major choke points. One of them is between your two northern mines. Move 8 APs here to seal off this area. A second one is just west of the middle mine. Move your army here and build 8 more Ancient Protectors to seal off this area. Because this area is so important that you will hold it permanently, build 4 Moon Wells nearby.
From this secure position, you can creep some more, and explore some more. The Murlocs north of the middle mine drop a Potion of Greater Mana.
The second Satyr base
The next target is the Satyr base in the west. Time it properly, and then send your entire army plus the 8 APs from your main base to the area south of the Satyr base. This completely seals off the southern part of the map.
This assault will be more difficult than the previous one. The terrain south of this Satyr base is all rock, water, and trees, so you have to in effect perform a beachhead assault. Nevertheless, you have an enormous force, so you should succeed.
Eliminate this enemy base, capture a fourth mine, move the 8 APs to the choke point east of here, build some more Moon Wells, get your forces back to maximum power, and keep advancing. Explore and creep and so forth. The scenario is almost over.
All you have to do now is eliminate the demons in the NW and NE map corners, and there are still a few creeps to keep you from getting bored. Since there simply can't be many more surprises, you could finish the scenario with a couple of big rushes, but this walkthrough continues with a deliberate assault approach.
Advance your 8 Ancient Protectors in the west right up to the demon spawning area in the NW corner by bounding overwatch, eliminating all resistance as you do. Kill the Satyrs in the NW corner and take the Medallion of Courage. Next, destroy the Demon Gate and all remaining demonic presence in this area and seize the Skull of Gul'dan. Illidan becomes a level 10 demon.
Illidan: "Yes! I am invincible!"
Finally, walk your 8 APs from the NW corner to the NE corner and begin the assault there. Unfortunately, Tichondrius is not cooperative. At some point, he comes out to play, and he brings a bunch of big friends with him. When this happens, you have two choices. Only Illidan can hurt Tichondrius. You could certainly kill Tichondrius now and end the scenario. However, if you want to eliminate all demonic presence in this area first and kill Tichondrius last of all, then you must run away from this battle, and that means that you will lose at least some of your APs.
It may be that there are special items or other effects that can be obtained by taking the second approach. Even if this were true, it wouldn't matter, because Illidan is shortly going to leave this area, nevermore to return. In this case, you might need to access a second gold mine. If you just end the scenario now, you won't need to use more than your first mine.
- Among the Skeletons at Gold Mine #3, there is a Potion of Mana.
- The Brood Mother to the east of your base drops a Mana Stone. One of the egg sacs here drops Boots of Elvenkind +6.
- One of the Satyr Tricksters at Gold Mine #2 drops Claws of Attack +6.
- A Murloc Mutant west of your base drops a Ring of Protection +3.
- A Skeleton Warrior at the eastern Ancients drops a Potion of Healing. The Skeleton King himself drops a Scroll of Restoration.
- A Spitting Spider midway between Gold Mine #3 and the Goblin Merchant drops a Scroll of the Beast.
- At the Goblin Merchant in the southwest corner, one of the eggs sacs drops a Manual of Health.
- A Sludge Monstrosity south of the western Ancients drops Gloves of Haste.
- A Murloc Mutant north of Gold Mine #2 drops a Potion of Greater Mana.
- The Satyr Hellcaller in an alcove east of the Skull of Guldan drops a Medallion of Courage.
Points of Interest
- Gold Mine #2 is north of your initial position, guarded by Satyrs and Treants.
- Gold Mine #3 is west of your initial position, with a few Skeletons.
- A Goblin Merchant is in the southwest corner of the map, past some Spiders and a Brood Mother.
- The Skull of Gul'dan is in the northwest corner, guarded by a Demon Gate and 2 Infernals.
- Tichondrius is in the NE corner of the map. He is guarded by 2 Doom Guards and plenty of Demons that spam from 2 Demon Gates, plus Infernals that he spawns.