Cyclops Theme Review, sample BG, tips and tricks

Discussion in 'Shattered Peaks' started by sidmouth, Apr 9, 2015.

  1. sidmouth

    sidmouth The King of Potatoes

    I don't think one of these has been done in a while so without futher ado...

    This guide has three parts. First I list some pros and cons of the Clops theme. I give a sample BG for the way I play Clops and briefly address other ways of playing Clops. Finally, I do a rune-by-rune review of the theme.

    Overall Clops playstyle
    You can play Cyclops pretty agressively, especially with the addition of Symbiot. As I explain in my BG example below, Clops are relatively strong in every phase of the game. The biggest risk is an opposing powerturn that blows a couple of your champs to heck using abilities that are strong against grouped champs (see cons below). Get your font bonus whenever possible so you don't get chewed up by AOEs.

    Memorize your knockback chart - you can greatly increase the damage you deal with strategic use of slam and rock bomb.


    Clops Pros
    - Boost 3
    - Absurd indirect damage via bombs and other abilities
    - Some terrifying melee beaters if you can keep them alive
    - Fantastic theme equips
    - Some interesting globals via Alpine Cyclops and Sacred Peaks Amulet
    - Strong tanks
    - So many ways to deal with problem champs
    - Tons of shatter
    - Tons of detect
    - Great Knockback.

    Clops Cons
    - Too fat. Serious positioning problems mean Borghas/Sixul, Gale, Geomancer, and others will absolutely wreck you if you are not careful.
    - Smart opponents will position such that bombs/AOEs can't hit more than one champ unless you damage your own fatties.
    - Weird tension between playing fatties to boost Chief and avoiding them because of their positioning problems.
    - Need to run about half 1x1 champs but 1x1 Clops are a bit weak at the moment with the exception of Artificer and Stonecaller.
    - Sometimes wonky synergy. Instead of improve speed you get vitalize. Instead of improve range you get tactician. Instead of Surge: Cyclops you get Surge: Behemoth. You're not really paying much for these things so this isn't a big deal but they're not as straight-forward as other theme synergies.
    - No anti-summon. Pretty big in the current meta.
    - Did you draw this map?
    Good luck! (update: This map is still in rotation :( )
    - Mostly weak healing, although Piez can be pretty great for Clops since the aoe is more predictable when a couple of fatties are in it, and they can pick up many adjacent piez without having to move around a lot. Solstice Staff used to be a good choice but Clops Shamans are not all that great now.
    - Range is only moderate. Hurlers are very strong ranged champs, but that's about it. Some BGs will badly outrange you and cause problems. KF is often a bad matchup.
    - Only so-so damage type variety.

    BG Example: "Learn to love the bomb"
    This is a bomb-heavy BG that relies on boost and indirect damage. Here's my BG:


    Bombs aren't as necessary as they used to be, but they sure are nice to have - circumvent evasive/reflexes, arrow eater, HA, block/dodge, NKD, elusive, defense, one with nora, and etc. etc. This BG has 6 bombs, Stonecallers, and Symbiots. You will be crapping out indirect damage like mad - a problem for your opponent's tanks.

    The keys are Hurler, Symbiot, and Stonecaller. If you draw Symbiot, Stonecaller, or Klub + Spike that's your first turn deploy. Artificer will do in a pinch. Back them up with Hurler (again, artificer will do). Use your Hurlers to trigger Symbiot's menace and pile on the passive damage. Speckled Feshes are there to grab sidefonts and are always excellent first-turn deploys.

    The midgame is when you work on getting Chief out. I run Surge 1 on mine; behemoth is a pretty bad surge and in your best case scenario you only have a couple of fatties out. Your Chief is not a tank - use him to boost the frontline and throw bombs when necessary. Also in the midgame you can drop Wardrummer to help out your hurlers and to get ready for powerturns. I rarely drop Alpine these days because this BG is full of indirect detect methods (bombs, stonecaller, and symbiot all work here) but he is occasionally useful for surprising your enemy by running over an impassable space to capture/contest fonts.

    If you can possibly avoid it, don't play Warwizards until the late game. Warwiz is a terrrrrrrible early game champ who has brain-breaking positioning problems. I run stall so that if I have to deploy him he can buy me time early, but he is really late-game support. If a stalemate has developed in the late game Wizard can dramatically increase your threat range with Cast: Alacrity.

    The spell and relic loadout is pretty self explanatory. Don't underestimate Cyclops Eye Belt, which is yet another counter for elusive/NKD/etc, can do brutal damage with slam, and is your anti-IS def stacking rune too. Mammoth Club can be thrown on a melee Clops to lock down a sidefont or can get your hurlers out of jams by giving them a melee attack. In a pinch you can throw it on an opposing champ for the -2 speed. Spike is not a bad Chief equip if you are unable to get Klub out.

    Build notes
    - Stonecaller: Run domain on U2. You have 2 shatter champs already and rock is a common terrain type that makes him even tankier.
    - Symbiot: I prefer regen 3 to tough 2 but I can see a case for both.
    - Speckled Fesh: Punish/Miner. I have no idea why people run other builds.
    - Artificer: Fire Eater is a great eater but... in most matches fire trap will be more useful.

    Symbiots are hard to get right now so if you have to substitute something in for the Symbiots, I suggest Cyclops Hauler - a slightly cheaper but still tanky champ who has some decent utility in relocate relic. Cyclops Youth could be a fun one too. He will usually be 7 speed and sometime 8, and you can use Guarded: Clops to set up power turns for your hurlers and other Clops.

    It's a lot harder to reccomend substitutes for the stonecallers. You really want those two slots to be 1x1 and the other available 1x1 Clops... not so much. Try Runt and hope for the best?

    Other BGs
    Clops have a lot of champs, so there are obviously other ways you can go with a clops BG. It seems that the recent sibling change has taken a lot of wind out of hut BGs but if you are ok with making the positioning game 3x harder for yourself, hut + tribewar is probably still viable. Having a larger construct module is also viable - both Warcart and Firecase are strong runes. There used to be some fun split options for Cyclops, using Zeventrech and the ST spell seal for example, but since you're unlikely to ever get Zeven out these days, those BGs are mostly extinct.

    If you play a different variety of Clops BG, post it in this thread! Although it may be a little outdated now (it's from before the sibling change), here is Redscarlet's advice on hut BGs: Help with cyclops bg
    Last edited: May 12, 2015
    soulmilk, Capricis and Gnomes like this.
  2. sidmouth

    sidmouth The King of Potatoes

    Rune Review (1-4 stars)

    Alpine Cyclops ***
    Still 1x. A great global that occasionally saves your ass, and not a bad beater if he has to be. If there's any chance he might die, don't leave another Clops on impassable terrain - they will be stuck there. He doesn't give himself mountaineer anymore but I don't think this is a big deal.

    Chaos Brave *
    Poor Brave. Doesn't do any damage, doesn't have a ton of utility. A decent tank but not for 82 nora. Can't even heal back the damage he incurs via exertion anymore.

    Cyclopalypse Cannon ***
    He does kinda solve the Clops range problem but I'm not a huge fan... yet. I don't want to beat the comparison to moga-cannon to death. Leap + Lumbering is clearly a bit better than Weighty, especially for a 2x2. So I kinda doubt he will make meta SP. Right now he is only race: Construct but I assume this is a mistake and he will be made Clops so he can be boosted in theme. That will make him pretty solid but right now he's just ok for me. Probably better in hut clops bgs where he can provide some long range support to your fat melees. Aim vs Preparation is a tough call. I favor prep but definitely an argument for aim.

    Cyclopean Warcart ***
    Pretty terrifying with charge and heavy charger. Can be healed and given ranks of tough by warsmith. If you like the idea of a construct module he's a given.

    Cyclop Artificer ****
    Great champ regardless of whether you have a construct module. Good utility with shatter and nora gen, great at harassing the enemy with chuck.

    Cyclops Battlefiend **
    This gimmick is still here if you want it. He's kind of expensive now though.

    Cyclops Chieftain ****
    As a Cyclops partisan, it annoys me that he's a better beast champ than a Clops champ now but he's pretty essential regardless.

    Cyclops Earthshaker **
    Pretty interesting tank actually! Super cheap, super hard to hurt if you take resist 3 and resilient (and your opponent is thin on magic). But he's a 1 range beater, and you have to be super careful about having too many champs like this in a 2x2 heavy BG. My preference is to have no champs like this honestly. But he could be interesting in a BG that relies on Wardrummer. Vuln: Magic is a pretty bad vuln right now.

    Cyclops Hauler **
    Hey look another phys tank. This one can do a bit more damage and... yeah. She does have 1-2 range and 6 speed, so she has potential as a frontline tank but you can get Symbiot for 8 more nora. Probably the best Symbiot substitute if you can't afford Symbiot.

    Cyclops Hurler ****
    Such a well constructed champ. From a distance, he pushes other champs around with slam and bomb. If he starts to get crowded he can control the situation with hurl boulder. High damage. Of course, he pays for these things with 5 speed, poor def, vulnerable, and so-so HP. But used right he's a menace.

    Cyclops Lurker **
    A hut Clops. Did you know that Chasm Walker costs only 1 nora less than Flight? So that's a thing. It's fun to harass people with hinder movement and like any hut Clops he can be a beast when sibling is in effect.

    Cyclops Mauler ***
    The original terrifying beater. Absolutely absurd damage potential and the possibility of sibling. Makes your opponent pull back. Another 1 range beater though. I've never really mastered BGs built around hut because positioning all these melee champs is murder.

    Cyclops Nemesis *
    This guy is kinda fun in theory but your opponent gets a champ that's just as good or better.

    Cyclops Primal **
    Some people seem to like this guy. I don't know why - he benefits from attacks around him but in a 2x2 heavy theme you will not get that many attacks off in a turn and he will have trouble maneuvering to the frontlines even if you can gen a ton of AP for him. Probably a lot better out of Clops honestly (and still probably not very good).

    Cyclops Ritualist **
    I like this guy in theory. Fester is useful, as is defile. At the time I am writing this guide, however, Defile does not work. Even if it did, it's kinda silly that he has both defile and grant: defile. This is an ability you only need in occasional circumstances, and only on one hit. Grant is just a silly sandbag. Guarded is usually a waste on a ranged champ. Speaking of which, his range is awkward and his damage just average. Clops could use the magic damage but this guy is not the answer.

    Cyclops Runt **
    Shed a tear for the Cyclops Runt. He was the cyclops tank, and had good burst damage potential. He still has a lot of hp, and 2 def, but for 69 nora he's just a so-so tank. 5 speed + lethargic means this is a 1x1 Clops that doesn't position that much better than 2x2s. Ready helps but he's still pretty underwhelming right now.

    Cyclops Seer ***
    Totally viable champ. Another detect option but beyond that also just a really obnoxious cheap meat champ who poisons and can hang out in side fonts using afflict. I've stopped using him recently but I think he's very viable.

    Cyclops Shaman ***
    I have not used him in years but on paper I kinda like him. I would run him at 73 nora because range 4-6 entangle is beastly. Backlash interferes with Speckled Feshes, which I really like to run, but in pure Clops that's not a problem and backlash is super valuable right now as a Tomb counter. Temp won't generate you that much AP but it's better than nothing. Again I can see potential in some of these 5 speed champs in more Wardrummer-centric BGs.

    Cyclops Stonecaller ****
    An overlooked gem. I take domain on him and this makes his damage potential quite strong in addition to making him even tankier. End your turn on stone so you have mobility if you are engaged. Don't overuse barrage - you need the tankiness on this guy - but if you have a shot to kill with it, pull the trigger. Remember that if only one champ is in range of barrage, it deals 20 damage to that one champ or 16 vs SL. Barrage is also a great detect ability. Just be careful with it - he's an expensive champ and once you barrage he's squishy too.

    Cyclops Stormcaller ***
    The new, no-sandbag Stormcaller is pretty good on paper, but hard to find space for in practice. He has to get up in the enemy's face to proc aid but he isn't durable, so this usually nets you a dead stormcaller. His bomb is better now, and with jolt 1 or 2 his damage potential is decent, so he's in a decent place now but I ran him for a little while and just couldn't justify the space.

    Cyclops Symbiot ****
    A strong tank and the king of CC. Make sure you use your deploys to get the 5 indirect damage and keep your opponent locked down with binding and roar. This guy is pretty straight-forward, just don't be too bold with him as he is not Klub/Spike.

    Cyclops Wardrummer ***
    If a champ has battle drum, it is a viable champ. I run him with KB1 and BH2.

    Cyclops Warsmith *
    If you are thinking about including this champ in your BG, ask yourself if you should just be running IS/SP constructs instead and including a much, much better IS tinkerer.

    Cyclops Warwizard **
    Really more like 2.5 stars. It's kind of a cruel dev joke that a couple of the 1x1 Clops (this guy and runt) position more like 2x2s. Teleport 2 is great but ready 2 would honestly be better as you are forced to move in large chunks to get the most out of teleport and that does not suit this guy. He frequently wants to move in small chunks to manage dissipate. Still, he is great at breaking lategame stalemates with alacrity. I run stall on him because if you have to play him early you need stall to buy time. Without it he can't hang out at a font against... like any champ in the game.

    Cyclops Youth **
    This guy is really interesting now. Habitation means he's usually 7 speed and sometimes 8 speed with a pile of defense. In addition, you can use him as a frontline champ who sets up your ranged champs with guarded. He's usually gonna be pretty squishy, and distract will ruin him, but still, pretty interesting champ. I was playing 1x until recently.

    Drudge Cyclops **
    Another viable tank. MA helps alleviate his 5 speed disadvantage and he's quite tanky with 58 HP and Warrior Foe. Drudgery is still super useful in any theme. I don't run him but I think he's viable, and he's a hut Clops so obviously he has a place in that bg.

    Eager Cyclops **
    I love this guy. Great art and a fun set of abilities. Another viable tank although one with a very different playstyle. Thirst is one of those abilities like skewers that is just better on 2x2 champs. If you can make his first entry to the fray an engagement with 2 champs, he has some instant tankiness. Unfortunately he'll probably be arriving on the scene with less than 50hp. I don't really like berserk attack and blood frenzy on him. If you use these you'll just make it easier to focus him down so I kinda like him with rank 1 in both. Again, if you get that 1st 2-champ engage, he'll do plenty of damage. Sok has talked about giving warwizard grant: teleport back and if that comes to pass I think this guy could be even more intriguing.

    Klub ***
    Here's the thing about the new Klub. The BG I posted above already has great crowd control. It already has good damage. It already has pretty good tanks. And he is a short-range 2x2 champ. I don't need them in my BG - got plenty of ways to kill Pincushions or whatever. Without a basically free Spike, Klub is a tougher sell for me. I have taken him out for now, might be an over-reaction but we will see.

    Vengeful Cyclops **
    Gimmicky but fun in theory. If you're gonna run a ton of cheap meat Clops I think this guy could be a blast. Probably goes well in hut bgs.

    Zeventrech **?

    Nublin's Surprise Piez ****
    Not a Clops spell but merits mention. One of the few times where 2x2 champs work in your favor. Fewer places to place the piez means more piez within reach and 2x2 bases mean you are adjacent to more piez. Your best healing option.

    Tribe War **
    I've never mastered using this spell. Some people like it. YMMV but obviously if you run this you want to run hut.

    Tribal Hut ***
    It's a deck gimmick. Pretty decent one.

    Cyclops Eye Belt ****
    Probably the best theme equip in the game unless I'm not thinking of something (I guess demon shield is probably better). Counters a ton of stuff and can massively increase your damage potential in some circumstances. Run it. Think about running 2.

    Mammoth Club ***
    A deadly close combat attack for you ranged units, CC for your melee units (or range), and a -2 speed negative equip if you need it. Pretty versatile.

    Sacred Peaks Amulet **
    Cyclops are the only theme in SP that this amulet really makes sense for. Mobility for all your champs. That's pretty solid.

    Spike **
    Just ok now I think. If you are running a hut BG then you probably want this, for tactician, but if you are running something more like my example in this thread, tactician is pretty bad, and spot tough 2 is just ok.
    Last edited: May 13, 2015
    Gnomes likes this.
  3. Bonice90

    Bonice90 I need me some PIE!

    About primal I think that he's used cos he's a cheap meat beater aditionally with a rare combination of magical Atk despite being melee unit
  4. sidmouth

    sidmouth The King of Potatoes

    Updated with some early thoughts on the new Cannon and Klub/Spike.
  5. Xuvali

    Xuvali Devotee of the Blood Owl

    The new Cannon is very good. Prep is defo the way to go i feel.
    @Sokolov Wheres the race Cyclops!!
  6. sidmouth

    sidmouth The King of Potatoes

    If current ranking hold there would be 3 Clops players in the top 10 tomorrow. Everyone hope no one notices and there are no nerfs.
  7. Xuvali

    Xuvali Devotee of the Blood Owl

    Haha. I know at least 2 of us play very different setups. I foresee a boost nerf
  8. sidmouth

    sidmouth The King of Potatoes

    Boost nerf affects so many other themes. I think more likely we are in for a symbiot nerf. Menace is real strong and a likely candidate but they just gave it to a ST champ so I wonder if they will wait and see how that plays out. A more straightforward nerf is to just take sonic roar from him. That + chains + absorb means ranged has trouble killing him and he has melee locked down all the time. Losing roar would make a pretty big diff.

    Losing chains is another possible, more dramatic nerf. His ability to run in, lock champs down, then leave is pretty ridic.
  9. sidmouth

    sidmouth The King of Potatoes

    BTW if any of the clops players around right now have a BG that is significantly different than mine, please consider posting it. It'd be nice to have an example of a more melee dominant/hut bg.
  10. Gnomes

    Gnomes Forum Royalty

  11. Gnomes

    Gnomes Forum Royalty

    Last edited: Nov 24, 2015
  12. Agirgis1

    Agirgis1 Forum Royalty

    I don't play anymore , but i'm pretty sure they're fat.
    Gnomes likes this.
  13. Gnomes

    Gnomes Forum Royalty

    May i borrow your cyclops runes while you do not intend on using them? I can give you collateral to insure their saftey?!
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2015
  14. Gnomes

    Gnomes Forum Royalty

  15. Xuvali

    Xuvali Devotee of the Blood Owl

    I'm still getting back into things after my months away from Pox. Will give Clops a test once I finish my nightshifts.
  16. RedScarlet

    RedScarlet I need me some PIE!

    For the records, while I think the Hut BG was a bit outdated (advised upgrades, etc), but the overall strategy is still relevant, albeit all the new champs are crazy good compared to the old ones.

    In my opinion, some of the older Cyclopses needs to be reviewed. Some of their kits tends to be very limited.

    Seer. Detection 1 is useless. Afflict is useless. Consume is useless. She really needs an overhaul that really focuses her as a healing + detection utility. Even transfer life 2 without consume is acceptable.

    Hauler and Lurker. Most of these units really need better upgrade choices, or better variety. The fact that you're forced to deploy 2 identical champs is already an off-balance sheet kinda flaw. Its not shown, but a simple hard counter say an Unstoppable champ (after we deploy 2 Drudges) would already reduce the value of our newly deployed 2 Drudges. Or simply, deploying 2 Lurkers, only to find an opponent popping up a Greeting champ. I'd say give them more room for different functions, so that playing 2 of the same champ isn't redundant. Possible ideas:

    a) Hauler - U1: Seism, Raider, Relocate: Relic (moved to upgrades)
    U2: Ransack Relic, Tunnel: Earth X, Relocate: Ally?
    While Res: Phy 3 can be moved to base.

    One can be supportive via Relocating thunderhead totems, while the other destroys via Ransack Relic, or Seism + Raider = basically giving 5 nora discount by deploying both Clops

    b) Lurker - U1: Ambush, Constriction (keep), Grappling Hook
    U2: Tunnel Trap, Shadowspawn, Still Life

    and yes... Chasmwalker+Domain:Chasm+Hidden:Chasm is pretty much useless. 10 nora worth of abilities which is only suitable for a specific number of maps on specific number of tiles.

    Wardrummer. Knockback is useful, but not for this guy. A 2x2 that doesn't deal much damage with 1-2RNG is best suited as a backline guy who drums and thats it, or as a wall to block movement. I'd rather have my Mauler take the 2x2 space to hit an opponent once, rather than this guy moving up (blocking my other champs), and dealing subpar 8-10 DMG. Battle Harden is similar in a sense it feels like cosmetics. It does have its purpose, but serves no impact. I propose giving him more weight....He truly belongs in the backline where he supports the other clopses.

    U1: Rallying Cries, Ready, Reinforcement 1 (Battle Drum on the get go)
    U2: Invigorate 1, Enduring Aura 3, Shroud

    Even if he gets like a +5-10 nora, at least his upgrades would serve something.

    This might be a crazy idea, but if Build'em Tough works for Cyclops, it'd do wonders given that 1) It gives Warsmith a real synergy with Cyclops rather than becoming a forced split rune for construct splits, pretty much expands rune variety in diff themes, 2) Offsets the problem with the amassing number of ranged DoT plucking clumped up Clopses.
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