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Dol Guldur

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#1 FlameoftheWest

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Posted 20 September 2022 - 07:14 PM

Hello guys,

I would like to talk about Dol Guldur in the current patch, its place and popularity in competitive play, its strategies, why I think it is one of the easiest faction to play against and according to the latest balance articles what I expect from the changes in the next version that effects this faction.

Dol Guldur is one of, if not the most unique faction that the mod offers. In the two recent tournaments hold by team members Dol Guldur was one of the least popular faction to play as. Here is what I think could be the reason for that.

In my experience in 7.3.1 Dol Guldur has three opening build orders but only 1 of them is efficient enough to win the game, because it heavily relys on skipping the early game: Forward Gaols (3 Mills +1 Gaol / 2 Mills +2 Gaols), Gaols in base (3 Mills +1 Gaol), Risen Dead rush (2 Mills +1 Gaol) and Feel Brood start (3/2 Mills +1 Spider Lair).

Fell Brood start is not as reliable and/or popular as it was in previous patches, due to their balance changes (cost and formation), as well as it’s very micro heavy. After Broken Rabble received buffs, the forward Gaol became the meta, which by now is very predictable and is relatively easy to counter. The Gaols in base start will lead camping (which is going to be even harder in 8.0 because production buildings won’t provide cp) and teching up to late game units (which again is going to be harder in 8.0 because Slow Decay will also effect them), rushing Necromancer for mobile Dark Presence, or rushing Risen Dead (2 Mills +1 gaolà1 Orc Galoersàthird Millàcreep with the Galoersàsecond unit to defendàShadeàSpire of Sorcery) either way skipping the early game of the faction.

Against Dol Guldur I think the best start is fast barracks because you can find the forward gaol quickly (due to their placement is set the middle of the map or one of the flanks which is risky because the base and eco will be unprotected) and because there is a small chance your opponent went Fell Brood start your second unit is going to be pikes either to defend against them or just to go for the creep.  Harass against Dol Guldur is even more important than against other factions, because all of their resource structures cost one hundred more (unless they built towers to decrease the cost of shades but again that’s more money to spend on other things and no ton units in one of the most important stage of the game). By pressoring Dol Guldur enough, your opponent will have a hard time leaving his base because of Slow Decay, which means your eco will be untouched and will provide a significant lead.

The upcoming changes I saw so far for mostly affect the late game of the faction. The massive change of Unburied Wights, as well as Slow Decay on Ravagers and Tomb Guards which will make the Necromancer an even more key element of the faction. But these changes don’t really seem to affect Dol Guldur’s early game, which worries me a little. Of course I’m not saying it’s impossible to win as Dol Guldur, but for me it seems this faction has the hardest time in the early game, without rushing to higher tier units.

That is all I wanted to share, I also sent some replays on discord. Thank you for reading, and please feel free to disagree and to leave a comment!


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