Underrated Strategies: Naga Tower Rush

06.01.18 | RehcraM 874

Doing an immediate tower rush against Night Elf players is rarely seen, but it is a great strategy that can take out an unprepared opponent in a quick fashion!

Read the article below to learn more about the strategy, where we will use a match between TH000 and Moon as an example!

The Basics

When playing this tower rush you want to put maximum pressure on your opponent from the very beginning of the game. The strategy works very well against Night Elf as they have no effective way of defending in the early game compared to the other races (Ghouls/Skeletons, Burrows/Grunts, Militia), and due to Footmen being a great unit versus Archers.

There are other tavern heroes that work well with early tower rushes, like the Goblin Tinker and Fire Lord, but they suffer from an issue that Naga Sea Witch does not face, at least not in the same magnitude. The Night Elf player is most likely to pick a Demon Hunter first, which means he has the possibility of playing Mana Burn, emptying your hero's mana reserves quickly. Goblin Tinker and Fire Lord are both good due to their summons (Pocket Factory and Lava Spawn), but once their mana has been depleted they do not offer much to keep the preassure up. The Naga on the other hand uses Frost Arrows which are much less vulnerable to mana depletion. If you know for a fact that your opponent starts with Warden you have more room to play other heroes.

A First-Class Example

I could show you one of my replays, where I play the strategy against someone who probably never played against the strategy. That would probably make the strategy look impeccable, since unexperienced opponents usually make a lot of mistakes when facing an unknown strategy - especially when it is one that puts them under such high pressure. The replay I will show you instead is between Moon, who is the player who has earned the most money playing Warcraft 3 tournaments, with $476,743.05 earned and TH000, who arguably is the current best player in the world, having just won both NSL 4 and GCS Winter 2017.

The game they play here is the deciding game in their match to determine who advance to the winner's finale and to moves to the loser's bracket of Group C during the group stage of GCS Winter 2017, so you can be sure neither of them are taking the game lightly! Thanks to Back2Warcraft for doing the phenomenal casting.

What a game, huh? Although it is often very tough to recover from a failed tower rush, TH000 managed to pull it off here. That is, however, not the part of the game we will be looking at, as we will focus on the first push instead. The game shows both how a great Human player performs the rush, but also shows how Moon - who has played against this strategy countless of times throughout his career - defends it.

Tips and Tricks For When Playing the Strategy

When building the towers, you should aim to place your towers towards one side of the enemy base. That prevents the opponent from flanking your structures, thereby reducing the area you have to protect drastically when waiting for the towers to complete. Also make sure to build the towers with small spaces between them. This allows your peasants to hide between the towers so the Demon Hunter cannot reach them.

When your Guard Towers start to come up you can build an Arcane Vault so you can heal up your Footmen when they inevitably get damaged. When you have a decently sized army of Footmen (~6), you can look into the worth of researching Defend. If your opponent has managed to save a lot of his Archers with hide, and thus still has many of them left, it can be great to have Defend. Defend not only reduces the Archers' damage against Footmen by 50%, but also gives a 30% chance of reflecting their attack,, making them near impossible for Archers to kill.

Your opponent will most likely try to focus your hero heavily. Purchasing Boots of Speed is a great help in that scenario, as it will let you kite the Demon Hunter very easily, making it hard for him to kill your hero.

To defend against your rush, the opponent will most likely get a second Ancient of War (AoW) as soon as he realizes what is coming to him. You want to keep your units out of the AoW's attack-range, as it hits hard. Thankfully, it moves very slowly, so you can easily navigate around it. If it starts attacking your towers be sure to repair with your peasants.

The typical build-order for the strategy goes as follows:

  • 4 peasants mine gold, 1 peasant starts Barracks (Once finished the Barracsk will continuously produce Footmen/Defend)
  • 1st peasant produced goes to mine gold (5 peasants are now mining)
  • 2nd peasant starts building a farm (queue to lumber)
  • 3rd peasant starts building the Altar of Kings (queue to lumber)
  • 4th peasant start building a farm (queue to lumber)
  • When the 2nd peasant returns with his first bundle of wood start building the third farm with it
  • From here on your following peasants should harvest lumber.
  • The first Footman produced can go scout what the opponent is up to
  • The second Footman should move towards the Tavern, picking up your hero
  • Convert 3-4 peasants into militia and start running towards the opponents base
  • Start constructing a Lumber Mill
  • Let the tower rush commence!

Conclusion

Playing these kind of hyper aggressive strategies is not only refreshing, but also very effective. Especially on Battle.net ladder or <60% winrate on Warcraft3Arena, where opponents are not as experienced, they are very likely to make fatal mistakes due to the enormous amount of pressure.

I can highly recommend trying out this strategy both if you want to play a short micro-intensive game or just want to gain fast efficient victories!

I will leave you guys with a game, also between TH000 and Moon, where the Tower Rush worked as intended:

 

Comments

Great article RehcraM! Very well thought-out. Haha, too bad I play Night Elf way more than human. Guess I have to prepare for this on ladder now!
Fortunately you can still learn a ton by watching the game, since Moon almost played the early stages to perfection in my opinion. That way you can learn to protect your MMR when players like me try to do 'cheesy' strategies against you, hehe.
Love the strategy. Happy did this strategy with UNDEAD against NE playing naga first as well (Map was Turtle Rock on closed positions) As I see, once th000 militia arrives to the enemy base he keeps training footmen and building towers. Both having the same priority. I don't see a perfect timing to learn Defend for footmen. After elf trains +5 archers maybe?
If Elf has +5 archers I definitely think you should be getting Defend, but it is very much about looking at the game, because it depends on how many footmen you have left (i.e. should you rather spam more footmen) and how many archers you have killed (If you have killed all but 2 archers defend is probably not worth it).
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