A Guide to Spiders

Discussion in 'Underdepths' started by Authyrtyr, Mar 16, 2014.

  1. Authyrtyr

    Authyrtyr The King of Potatoes

    When I started playing PoxNora UD Spiders was the first good BG I built and having played it for a few years I feel like I can speak intelligently on it and give some recommendations on how to build a good spider deck.

    What's so great about Spiders?
    Spiders can attack the opponent for great damage like any good Underdepths BG but they stand out in their ability to deftly climb over any terrain (by round 3 or so), global multiattack, and their ability to swarm the enemy. Spiders swarm so well that I consistently see surge units hit play at 30-40 damage. In addition spiders have the good fortune of being very cheap to build, the critical champs are mostly non legendary. The legendary for spiders, unlike some thematic legendaries, isn't at all necessary for a fully functioning thematic build (unlike say Lonx Chieftain or Snaptooth Chilan). This makes it a great deck for new players to try and build.

    What's the catch?
    If the enemy deploys something with sever summons things can get sketchy and Spiders are certainly susceptible to AoE Spells, X Blast abilities, Cone Attack Abilities, or anything with good Crowd Control (looking at you Draksar Ravenspeaker). To fight these you need to understand how to properly position yourself to mitigate the damage caused by these counters. If your opponent plays something with Sever Summons you'll have to rely on your quality real champs to get a kill on it and start rebuilding your spider empire from the ground up again. Although, if you know you're opponent is using a sever summons champ you can choose to leave your spiderlings near your shrine (which is where most of them will start anyways).

    In addition you may be concerned with the lack of detection. None of the spiders themselves have detection. For these elements you will need to include some other champions from within UD.

    Finally, Spiders are weak to Zombies. That's a fact. They can swarm the spiderlings to make more festering corpses. Against Zombies you need to avoid playing Protect the Nest and that makes Spiders so much less effective.

    What might a Spider BG look like?
    Generally you need to be running 2x Broodmothers, 1x Kl'zik, 2x Protect the Nest, and probably some other good spiders which I'll cover in detail in the next section. My current list looks like this, or you could try a slightly more budgeted deck. My build makes a point of just running spiders so that it can play superiority (because I don't have to worry about hitting my own spiderlings). However, if you remove the superiority for something like Fire Blast you can run some other runes from UD that fill some of the BG's gaps like adding another ranged unit with Grimlic for example. Additionally, I like to run Retribution but Sacrifice is also a good choice for that slot. Many people far prefer sacrifice but I definitely think that Retribution is better. I'm certainly the minority, I may just be bad at this game, but that's my personal choice. Pick whichever works for you, but I strongly recommend one or the other.

    How do I play them?
    Most games I play with spiders involves opening with a decent fontrunner, Phase Spider is easily the best at it but just about anyone can suffice except for Broodmother. Broodmother makes an excellent turn 2 deploy because then you're almost guaranteed to trigger Creep and Crawl on turn 3 which is usually the earliest you'll ever actually engage the enemy in a fight. Once you've got a basic army set up cast your protect the nests. It may not immediately appear to be the case but Protect the Nest is the best rune in any spider bg. Too many times I've heard people say that the only real threat in a Spider BG is Kl'zik but they are horribly mistaken. She's the biggest single threat with life siphon and surge and propagate forming a mean combo but the real threat in this deck is the hyper efficient generation of meat through Protect the Nest. If you have the warbanner out it becomes 30 nora for 15x6=90 HP of meat. That's a jaw dropping 3:1 ratio. Now this is over several turns which brings up my last point about playing spiders. Although you have the ability to just win out by steamrolling with a Kl'zik+Demon Shield sometimes or can shrine rush with Kl'zik stealthed by Nightfall, 9 times out of 10 Spiders play a game of attrition and win through constantly recasting Protect the Nest for the efficient and consistent meat coming out of the shrine.

    An additional note. The Spider's early game is like most UD decks, you deploy high damage units that get in the enemy's face and apply some early game pressure. Unlike most UD decks Spiders have the option of retreating if the enemy pushes back too much and letting the spiderling army catch up. Now your front line has at least doubled in size and you can start pushing back again. In most of my games if the opponent forces me to retreat into this strategy although it may take a while I will usually be pushing towards my opponent enough to slowly gain ground until I'm at their shrine.
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2016
    Woffleet, Gnomes and Sokolov like this.
  2. Authyrtyr

    Authyrtyr The King of Potatoes

    Here I will give a detailed description and application and build and 5 star rating for each Arthropod available to the Underdepths.


    Albino Katipo.jpg
    Albino Katipo
    Rating: 2/5
    Recommended Build: Weave Web, Confuse Attacker or Hit and Run
    Description: The Katipo is an interesting new addition to the ranks of spiders. Although he has a potentially threatening signature ability and decent kit of abilities (particularly Inhibiting Feedback) he isn't overwhelmingly tanky and his damage is depressingly low. I'd recommend against running this guy unless you really want to run a strong web theme and want him for Weave Web.

    Flameweb Spider
    Rating: 3.5/5
    Recommended Build: Any
    Description: One of the few Demons in the spider theme meaning he is a valid target for Demon Shield (great anti-ranged tech). And although his damage rating isn't sky high he's one of the best melee tanks the spiders got with 3 DEF and Damage Shield.

    Rating: 3/5
    Recommended Build: Creep and Crawl, Any rank of Rend
    Description: Bloodletter has very solid damge and can serve as situational pseudo-detection because of Bloodtracker and Bleed. Another Demon which is a big plus.

    Rating: 5/5
    Recommended Build: Surge:Arthropod and Life Siphon
    Description: Absolute auto-include at 2 copies for any Spider BG. Not only does she spit out a spiderling every couple rounds, she has access to Surge 2 and Life Siphon to go with a very high amount of HP at a very low nora cost. After she summons a spiderling with a banner out she ends up being 68 nora for 78 HP.

    Rating: 1/5
    Recommended Build: Don't run it
    Description: Cinderpede used to be a decent include for this BG but nowadays he doesn't bring much to the table that's interesting for a Spider BG. Unfortunately the lava that he spreads and relies somewhat on is great for Fire BGs but a real problem for Spider BGs.

    Demonbarb Spider.jpg
    Demonbarb Spider
    Rating: 3.5/5
    Recommended Build: Damage Shield 3, Reflexes 3
    Description: Very solid unit. It has 3 range, solid attack, and a very good anti-melee kit in its upgrade lines. Feel free to run less ranks of either as it suits you but I feel that even with both maxed out he's still very efficient. Another great thing this guy brings to the table is his ability to force enemies into melee range of your other spiders with dragging attack as well as being able to keep them from retreating with Assault and Weave Web. A great strategy with this guy is to run max ranks of Reflexes and Damage Shield for best anti-melee kit and then equip him with a Demon Shield. Very hard to deal with.

    Ember Wasp.jpg
    Ember Wasp
    Rating: 1/5
    Description: Ok, don't get me wrong, Ember Wasp is terrifying. But this isn't the deck for him. If you want to run Ember Wasp may I recommend Summon Borghas also be in your deck. He's really squishy and although he has stealth Nightfall is far better at it towards the end of supporting a complete deck. Ember Wasp is a combo piece, like Cinderpede, this isn't his place.

    Hell Tick.jpg
    Hell Tick
    Rating: 4/5
    Recommended Build: Leap 1 or 3 (minimum cost or better font runner), Absorb or Life Siphon
    Description: Decent all around melee beater and good at annoying ranged units with Latch On. Very cheap, very solid. He is designed for the cheap beater champion role and he fits it well. Pick Leap 3 so he can rush fonts better. Absorb is good if you're really concerned about countering ranged units but Life Siphon is better for staying alive against a combination of attackers when contesting a font.

    Rating: 5/5
    Recommended Build: Entangle or Poison 2, Surge: Arthropod
    Description: It's the Spider Queen. She's a monster, regularly dropping anywhere between 40 damage at midgame and as high as 60-70 damage at endgame. Because she's a demon she's great with a demon shield (which is the reason you'll never run Spinner's Greaves on her) and can single handedly (unless you count all those spiderlings giving her surge) decimate an entire deck. As I mentioned she's often perceived as the only real threat posed by Spider BGs so I encourage to laugh as your opponent expends substantial resources trying to kill a well played Kl'zik giving you 3-6 spiderlings in the process before you go on to win the game.

    Lavaflow Devourer.jpg
    Lavaflow Devourer
    Rating: 3/5
    Recommended Build: Fire Feed, Entangle
    Description: Another example of a unit designed for another strategy (it's fire again) who happens to be a spider. He's a decent harasser and has an attack ability that deals fire damage which is nice. But realistically you have a lot of better options.
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2015
  3. Authyrtyr

    Authyrtyr The King of Potatoes

    Nightfall Spider.jpg
    Nightfall Spider
    Rating: 4/5
    Recommended Upgrades: Cloak 1 or 2 and either Shadow Shift or Impair Vision
    Description: At first I didn't like this guy but after thinking about it some I must admit that he's amazing. He has elusive which is an amazing anti-range ability (I really think that only Arrow Eater is better because it bypasses precision). It deals magic damage, can stealth Kl'zik for amusing shrine rushing capabilities, can teleport around once stealthed. Take Shadow Shift if you want mobility or take Impair Vision if you're worried about ranged units. The only reason he's not a 5/5 is because I'm reserving that rating for runes that are absolutely necessary for the BG's central strategy (ie Surge and summoning spiders).

    Phase Spider.jpg
    Phase Spider
    Rating: 3/5
    Recommended Upgrades: Teleport and Soften or Phase Cleansing
    Description: Phase Spider is an okay low cost champion who's a solid font harasser, one problem with this guy nowadays is that it can be difficult to get attacks off with him now that Corporeal Form costs AP. At best you'll probably get one attack off a round but the ideal way to use him is to camp out and support your other units with Soften. The extra 3 damage per attack on your spiderlings can be catastrophic. Another great use for Phase Spider is that if you equip him with the Spinner's Greaves he can be a good hard to hit support unit that can control the enemy's movements with Pull and Weave Web.

    Rust Demon.jpg
    Rust Demon
    Rating: 3/5
    Recommended Upgrades: Acidic Aura 1 and Scour 1 or 3
    Description: A cheap melee beater with the ability to kill equips and deal non-physical damage. A useful thing that you can do with him is camp two rust demons next to Kl'zik and start making 2 spiderlings every turn off of the Acid Aura 1. Then have Kl'zik poke something and full heal.

    Rating: 3/5
    Recommended Upgrades: Tough and Sting 1
    Description: Scorpic's damage isn't great but he has a little range and Multiattack 2 (CnC + 1 rank). Poison is useful as an anti-perseverance ability like all DoT ablities.

    Rating: 4/5
    Recommended Upgrades: Massive Leap 1 and Soul Channeling or Soul Vitality
    Description: Very solid ranged attacker. You can also take Psychic Jab for pseudo-detection if stealth really bothers you but Superiority is usually pretty good at finding anyone that's hiding (unless it's Nightfall Spider of course). Massive Leap isn't particularly useful but he's a ranged unit with Multiattack (courtesy of CnC) and Frightful Blows. This allows you to keep tabs on any enemy beaters that might be causing you grief. On top of all that he generates you a little bit of nora over time through the soul tap mechanic.

    Trap Spider.jpg
    Trap Spider
    Rating: 3.5/5
    Recommended Upgrades: Poison 1 and either Vulnerable or Paralyze
    Description: Cheap beater that can keep on surprise attacking the enemy while staying mobile and stealthed. Take Vulnerable for the nora drop or Paralyze for the Champ Control.

    Void Spider.jpg
    Void Spider
    Rating: 4/5
    Recommended Upgrades: Reflection 1 and Void Strike or Multiattack
    Description: Solid beater/tank. It brings alt damage and ranged which is nice and can be a pain for decks with a focus on one damage type to bring down. Major down side to this rune is that it is the only Spider that is genuinely hard to get ahold of since it's their only legendary rune.

    Rating: 4/5
    Recommended Upgrades: Multiattack and Weave Web
    Description: A powerful single copy include because of his Spider Frenzy and Pull: Arthropod. Pull is useful for enabling power turn kills and is a generically good ability as any good player can attest. Spider Frenzy is the ultimate power turn ability for spiders and can make a Weaver deploy function like a power turn spell. What you do with him is deploy him then have spiderlings engage enemy champion, get one attack in, and then disengage to allow another spiderling to occupy that space. The amount of damage that this strategy can put out in a single turn is quite impressive. In addition to those things he's one of the few spiders who has Weave Web which is useful.

    Demonic Sandclaw.jpg
    Demonic Sandclaw
    Rating: 4/5
    Recommended Upgrades: Creep and Crawl and Clamp
    Description: He's a very powerful aggressive champion that can deal alot of damage quickly and you can protect him from ranged champs using Demon Shield since he's also a demon. This is just a high quality attacker and should be included if you can get one.

    Ruby Crawler.jpg
    Ruby Crawler
    Rating: 3.5/5
    Recommended Upgrades: Fire Aura and Creep and Crawl
    Description: A solid tank (unless your opponent's BG is all physical) due to the power of Mirrored and the combination of Fire Aura and Fire Acolyte.
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2015
  4. Authyrtyr

    Authyrtyr The King of Potatoes

    Other Runes
    Rating: 5/5
    Description: If you don't run one of these you need to seriously re-evaluate your life decisions. This thing is amazing. For 35 nora you can generate a truly shocking amount of meat in a single turn. I recommend putting it on something that will be able to attack twice that turn, especially if it has greater range. Also remember, you can put it on your enemy's units and you get units off of their attacks, really fun for messing with your opponent's head or for trapping a large unit in place. Read it, learn it, run it, love it.

    Arthropod Frenzy.jpg
    Arthropod Frenzy
    Rating: 3/5
    Description: A powerturn spell for spiders but one which has fallen short many times for me. It can serve the function of Weaver's Spider Frenzy with the combination of Pounce and Retreat I've found Weaver to be a better choice. If you find the need to power turn for less nora then I'd choose to run one copy of this one for sure but usually Weaver is better because of how the global mobility can persist after the turn of deployment not to mention everything else that he does.

    Rating: 4/5
    Description: A great thematic damage spell. Well costed, large range, and only effects the enemy if you run a straight spider build. On that note it's a subpar include if you don't run a pure spider build. In fact, if you run more than 1 or 2 non-spiders in your deck steer clear of this rune. Run Fire Blast instead. Remember when playing this rune that a number of the real spiders in the deck have secondary races and that you should check those before you target and accidentally waste your nora.

    Mass Web.jpg
    Mass Web
    Rating: 3/5
    Description: The Spider support damage spell. It deals good damage and can really effectively disrupt the movement of key enemy champs but is only truly effective in the late game and so I feel nervous about rating it too highly. I switch between running and not running it all the time.

    Protect the Nest.jpg
    Protect the Nest
    Rating: 5/5
    Description: This is the best rune in your deck hands down. 30 nora for 90-120 points of meat each little spider having 10-11 damage. This is the reason you'll win most of your games. If I felt I could do it in all seriousness I'd give it a 6/5.

    Summon Trap Spider.jpg
    Summon Trap Spider
    Rating: 2/5
    Description: If you like Trap Spider you might like this rune. I've never run it because of how many runes there in the game that can prevent spells from going off considering the 80 nora price tag on this guy it's too much of a risk unless you can preempt it with a cheaper spell to test the waters. If it goes off the effect is powerful and can prove effective at stopping an enemy from being able to approach a font to contest.

    Spinner's Greaves.jpg
    Spinner's Greaves
    Rating: 4/5
    Description: Very solid include. +2 DEF and Weave Web give you alot of survivability as well as the ability to keep enemy ranged units from being able to effectively disengage. Pull is also particularly good at helping secure kills by forcing the enemy into your web where they can't escape.

    Rating: 3.5/5
    Description: It might seem weird to put this here but it needs addressing. If you're a far better or luckier player than I then you'll find that this rune will single handedly win games with spiders. Two great targets for it; Broodmother and Spiderling. Broodmother becuase it has enough health to sometimes survive and make for a good retribution/sacrifice target. Spiderling because they are extremely expendable. If you can anticipate your opponents powerturn you can seriously throw off their calculations and trick them into overextending. If their powerturn involves AoE spells you can win the game on the spot. I've won games before because my opponent auto-cast 2x firestorm on a group of my champions only to find that he only had managed to kill my broodmother. I would play this as a single copy if at all, if you run this rune be confident that you can use it properly.

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Jul 28, 2016
  5. Authyrtyr

    Authyrtyr The King of Potatoes

    Price of Victory.jpg
    Price of Victory
    Rating: 3/5
    Description: The effect is powerful but tread carefully. If you play it right and successfully push across the board this could allow you to powerturn into a winning board state. That said, I've lost my fair share of games to the downside. All I'll say is tread carefully when running this rune, it takes a little bit of skill and foresight to use properly.

    Retribution.jpg Sacrifice.jpg
    Rating: 5/5
    Description: You best be running at least one of these. Personally I recommend allocating 2+ slots in your deck for Retribution/Sacrifice. The spirit of Underdepths is going all in and then before you die... kill yourself. You extend your champs into the opponent, real aggressive like, and then if the opponent fails to one turn something (leaving it with like 5 HP or something) you can kill it off (after it attacks of course) for even more advantage. Taking them seperately: Retribution allows you to expend nora to try and push across the board by ensuring that you can finish off an opponent's champion. You don't want your enemy's stuff living. Sacrifice allows you to recoup your losses on expensive champs. After your opponent has spent like 90% of the effort required to kill you high value champion you recoup most of your cost of playing the champion giving you a head start. Pox Nora is a lot about efficiency and that's a very efficient way to play the game. Personally I run either 2x Retribution, or one of each in my builds. I almost never run anything besides 2 total copies.

    Mandate from Sheoul.jpg
    Mandate from Sheoul
    Rating: 4/5
    Description: I always run 1 in my UD decks. It serves two primary purposes.
    1. Power Turning: Quickly increase damage on a specific champion to enable an otherwise impossible kill
    2. Spot Healing: Underdepths isn't known for healing. Mandate grants Quest: Kill which heals you for 25 by doing what Underdepths does best; killing stuff.
    It also serves a third purpose which comes up less often, trolling obnoxious heroes. It's not uncommon to build a deck around buffing the hell out of one champion and a lot of times you buff a hero (called a Superchamp BG). Mandate gives Hunter: Hero thusly trolling the hero.

    Demolish.jpg Shatter.jpg
    Rating: 4/5
    Description: Pox Nora features some wonderful non-Champion rune types, sometimes these can single handedly wreck your face. Meet Shatter and Demolish. These are spells that tell Relics and Equipment respectively to buzz off. You never know what you'll face so having one of each in your deck isn't the worst of ideas.

    Demon Shield.jpg
    Demon Shield
    Rating: 5/5
    Description: Demon Shield only works on demons but the effect is OP as hell. I know what you're thinking, "But this is a spider deck right?". True, but many spiders have secondary races and a common one is demon. Notable Demon Spiders? Try Kl'zik. I run 1x because a Kl'zik hooked up to a Demon Shield can single handedly win a game if the enemy is unprepared.

    Mindslicer Obelisk.jpg
    Mindslicer Obelisk
    Rating: 5/5
    Description: Ok, there isn't a single spider that is affected by this thing. On the other hand almost every BG ever will be running at least something with range, it's a basic fact of deck building in PoxNora. For only 30 nora you can really slow down your opponent. It's great. This is of course assuming that you, like me, run a straight Spider BG. If you run any important ranged units forget this thing.

    Nefari Siphon.jpg
    Nefari Siphon
    Rating: 4/5
    Description: If you feel like straying from a pure spider build this guy is a great demon to include. Primarily for 1 of 2 gameplans.
    1. Ping spiderlings for tons of extra nora. Super efficient if you can afford the tempo hit
    2. Ping Kl'zik for nora AND more spiders. Also tempo hit.

    -Added Mindslicer Boomerang to initial guide
    -Noted weakness to Zombies
    -Edited "How to Play"
    -Hell Tick "Under Review" Revised
    -Expanded "Other Runes" section and "Non-Champion Runes" section
    -Updated with post-Revamp runes
    -Removed Purefire from list with removal of damage and Cleanse from its effect (8/18/2014)
    -Added Nefari Siphon for fun attrition gameplan.

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Feb 4, 2015
  6. RedScarlet

    RedScarlet I need me some PIE!

    Imo, Rust Demon is like 6/5... 62 Nora for 12DMG + Acidic Aura 3 (6DMG) + Sunder 3, (e.g can only attack once hypothetically) = 12 + 6 = 18DMG (-3DEF).

    Okay, maybe u take the +2DMG instead of Sunder. 20 DMG/turn for 62 Nora...

    with WB:

    62 Nora for
    53 HP
    20DMG (DMG2, Acidicaura3)
    6 SPD, 1-2RNG (should be 1-1)
    Shatter (utility)
    and a kamikaze unit (Sac/Ret + Death Nova)
    and can proc Multiattack.
    Not sure if he's 5/5 or 6/5.... I hate Rust Demon so much

    Albino Katipo is worth mentioning in SL/UD split with Quicken/Quickening and Dunewalker for mobility
  7. Authyrtyr

    Authyrtyr The King of Potatoes

    Personally I wouldn't take Aura 3 with Rust Demon because of the synergy with Kl'zik, that setup is incredibly powerful. +2 DMG gives him enough damage to be a serious threat. The reality is though that UD always deals alot of damage, 20DMG/turn isn't particularly out of place. Even spiderlings can attack twice/turn for 10*2=20 DMG per turn. My rating system here is based on how well they support the deck's strategy. Rust demon does support it via that aforementioned combo and provides shatter which makes him a 4/5. Kl'zik, Broodmother, and Protect the Nest are 5/5 because they're the centerpieces of the deck.
  8. GabrielQ

    GabrielQ I need me some PIE!

  9. Authyrtyr

    Authyrtyr The King of Potatoes

    So... mesmerizing...
  10. Faust

    Faust Devotee of the Blood Owl

    Can you rate champs from other factions also ?

    SL and KF champs i mean
  11. TeaNinja

    TeaNinja I need me some PIE!

    Did you mention the Demonbarb Spider + Trap Spider combo?
  12. Authyrtyr

    Authyrtyr The King of Potatoes

    Well this is specifically a UD Spiders guide, I cannot claim any experience with arthropods in those factions.

    I haven't played with Trap Spider that much, do you mean so far as using Dragging Attack to force the trigger of Tunnel Ambush?
  13. TeaNinja

    TeaNinja I need me some PIE!

  14. Authyrtyr

    Authyrtyr The King of Potatoes

    Personally I wouldn't want to do that anyways because I value the shock factor of forcing the attack on the opponent's turn. If you do it during your turn you break stealth. Unless the opponent has a detection unit within range of the relevant part of the map I wouldn't want to use Trap Spider like that.
  15. mario75

    mario75 The King of Potatoes

  16. Authyrtyr

    Authyrtyr The King of Potatoes

    Personally I'd take out the Hell Ticks and I always run 2 Protect the Nest. I'd recommend running one more sac/ret slot. If you're running straight spiders in your bg i'd run superiority over fire blast since it'll deal damage over a far larger range and has no risk of damaging your own units.
  17. OriginalG1

    OriginalG1 I need me some PIE!

    i love hell tick: perseverance counter, good mobility, sufficient anti range, fire feed keeps him alive with life siphon. i think he is a fine spider.
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2014
  18. Authyrtyr

    Authyrtyr The King of Potatoes

    Entirely possible, he's just never been very effective for me.
  19. Thonskie

    Thonskie Member

    Worth Reading Guide.
    A substitute for font contesting - Eye for an Eye + hell tick combo. This works well for opponents who don't have cleansing.
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2014
  20. Authyrtyr

    Authyrtyr The King of Potatoes

    I generally assume that the opponent has cleansing. If I had access to DMZ this be a better approach but in general you should assume that the enemy has cleansing. Every Protectorate faction definitely has cleansing options and most Wrath factions have gained cleansing in the last couple years (UD: Purefire, SL: Purge, FW: Soul Reaver, SP: Cleansing Emerald) all of which are totally runnable.

Share This Page