A guide to maximizing gear efficiency
When you first start to work on your heroes’ gear instead of relying on the Optimize button, you may have a lot of questions about how to actually go about doing that. There are so many choices for each equipment slot, and how do I know what Quality to use? Do I need to enchant them too? Spirits too!?!
It can definitely be overwhelming. Thankfully, there are a few things you can do to provide a lot of additional strength to your squad without too much effort. This is a concept known as “min-maxing” – getting the highest value with least effort. For Shop Titans, this means that with a couple of smart gear choices and proper enchantments, you can give a surprising amount of extra oomph to your heroes. No skill rerolling required!
First things first, I want to stress that you don’t need to burn all your gems / gold on Legend quality gear. Flawless (aka blue) quality stuff is fine for the vast majority of content as long as it’s the RIGHT stuff.
There are two extra notes before we get started. The first one may be a bit obvious, but you don’t need to craft this gear for your heroes. If you happen to have it laying around, definitely use that, but otherwise it’s way more efficient to grab it off the Marketplace and start using it immediately.
Second, you may be worried about the idea of buying high tier and Quality equipment for your heroes if you aren’t
donating your allowance to King Reinhold subscribed to Royal Merchant. This is understandable – your gear will need to periodically be replaced after all, so it’s important to use stuff that’s not going to be too difficult to buy again. Don’t worry, we’ll touch on how to adapt this info for the F2P playstyle (the answer does not necessarily revolve around Rudo’s mighty thews, as much as he would like it to).
High vs Low Impact Items
There’s one key principle to keep in mind here – and it’s what this guide is built around. If you take one piece of information away from this guide, let it be this. Some pieces have high impact on the hero’s performance and some have lower impact. These pieces are:
The weapon is the single most important piece of equipment for a Fighter or Rogue’s damage output and is a significant part of a Spellcaster’s. If you can only afford to upgrade one piece of gear, it should be the weapon.
Spellcasters get a huge chunk of Attack from their Spell slot items – far more than their weapon if they’re not packing a weapon skill.
Additionally, any class with an innate skill that boosts a specific item type should consider those items to be high impact. Three classes like this have bonuses to item slots that have already been mentioned (Thief – Weapon, Mage – Staff, Sorcerer – Spell). The others are:
Monks – Rings
Knights – Shield, All Armor slots
Druids – Herbal Medicine, Meals, Amulets
Any other item should be considered low impact. You can potentially call the weapon slot for defensive Fighters a low impact item as well – these classes can do zero damage and still fill their role after all.
Now that we know what pieces are the most important, how do you use this? Simple – high impact pieces should always be Flawless (blue) quality and the highest tier you can give them.
“But Archon, why Flawless?” you may be wonder.
This particular Quality rating has a lot going for it. For one, you can almost always buy the piece you need and the enchantments for it with gold. If you can’t then, it’s not a heavy lift to buy five Superiors and simply fuse them together. Second, the Quality of your gear affects the base stats. Flawless in particular boosts the natural stats (Att / Def / HP – CHC and Eva are unaffected) of the item by 1.5x. These are both pretty great attributes and I personally gear all my heroes with mostly Flawless stuff.
For low impact pieces, Normal or Superior quality is fine. These slots matter of course, but they have far less weight than the high impact ones. As for tier, you can get away with dipping down a bit as well. Don’t reduce this by too much – no piece of equipment should be more than two tiers below the maximum you can put on a hero.
As previously mentioned, the weapon is arguably the most important piece of gear on a hero (or tied for it at least). We’ve touched on what Quality and Tier to use, but what about the type? Each class can use several different kinds after all.
- If the hero has a weapon skill for a particular weapon type, use that!
- If they have two weapon skills of different types (Adept and Crossbow Master), then roll off the Common one, you goof. It’s a rare instance of a skill doing literally nothing. Use one of the weapons supported by the Epic one.
- If they do not have a weapon skill at all (or they’re packing an Epic skill that allows you to use multiple types) then you’ll need to use your grey matter a bit. The best weapon types in the game are typically Wands, Guns, and Crossbows. If a hero can use any of these, they should be. Bows, Daggers, and Staves tend to be on the weaker side – plus any class that can use any of these also has access to a better weapon type anyway.
Let’s put this together with an example – Say you’re gearing up a Sorcerer. You are Merchant level 54 and your Sorcerer is 34. They have no weapon skill. This means that they can use T11 items, but you can only purchase T9s on the Marketplace. For this hero, their gear should be:
- Weapon: T9 Flawless Wand (highest tier you can buy, best weapon type available)
- Clothes: T7-T9, Normal or Superior quality (low impact piece)
- Gloves / Dessert: T7-T9, Normal or Superior quality (low impact piece)
- Shoes: T7-T9, Normal or Superior quality (low impact piece)
- Spells: T9, Flawless quality (high impact piece – Spell plus an item boosted by an innate skill)
Next up, how do you know what actual items to use? This one is thankfully a lot easier. There is always a best item available for each slot (aka “Best in Slot” or “BiS”).
- If your heroes are level 35 or higher and you can purchase T13 gear from the Marketplace, then refer to the TL,DR Heroes page to get the current best in slot pieces for each class.
- If they are below level 35 and / or you can’t buy T13 stuff, then you’ll instead want to refer to the Best in Slot guide for lower tier stuff.
Now we get to the other most important aspect of gearing up a hero – their enchantments. Having the proper gear makes a difference, but enchantments add a massive amount of extra oomph. Do not neglect these!
First up, Elements. Every item should be enchanted with their class’ respective Element. This is how their skills level up & become stronger. Ideally, you’re going to want to use at least T9 elements on all six items. This gets you to 90 Element power and will get you to rank 3 with all Rare, Common, and Innate skills. If your hero has any Epic skills, then you’ll usually need two Affinity items to hit rank 3 with those. This can be a great investment because T3 skills make a big difference.
If you can’t afford / buy T9, then T7 are still pretty good. Most Rare skills can still hit rank 3 with a full set of these, although eight skills require a bit more than the 60 Element you get from packing six. For those skills, you’ll need between one and three Affinity items to push you over.
If you’re able to use T12, then absolutely do that. Using these is the only way you can hit rank 4 skills. Note that only promoted classes can hit rank 4 (more detail here) and that you’ll need two Affinity items to get that on Epic skills.
Spirits give you a lot more flexibility. Refer to the Spiritual Guidance page if you would like more detail on any of these.
If you want to go absolute dirt cheap, then the T4 spirits have a lot to offer. You realistically won’t see huge returns due to their comparatively low power, but they’re a good way to get a little extra muscle on a budget.
- For Spellcasters, go Wolf. No-nonsense bonus to their primary stat. Eagle is a good option as well since that 12% extra CHC provides a lot of additional damage when they crit.
- Rogues will want either Eagle for offense or Cat for defense. Generally, go Cat if you have less than 50% Evasion. The extra 12% crit chance from Eagle won’t help the Rogue deal damage if they can’t live long enough to actually use it.
- Fighters can go Ox or Ram.
T7 Spirits are generally pretty underwhelming with the exception of Lizard. Lizard is excellent for Rogues who already have solid Evasion and can work well on Fighters who have their toes dipped into that stat as well.
T9 Spirits are where things really open up.
- Bear is great on all classes. The combination of HP and Attack is great – everybody can use at least one side of this. Spellcasters in particular love it. The HP helps mitigate one of their biggest weaknesses and the Attack lets them do their job much better.
- Fighters can make good use out of Walrus, Mammoth, or even Tiger if they have some Evasion.
- Rogues greatly enjoy Lion for its great combo of Evasion and Attack.
If you’re able to use T12 Spirits (note that the hero doesn’t need to have the ability to wear T12 / T13 stuff to use T12 enchantments!), then you’ll want to refer to the TL,DR page for the best choices.
F2P / No Royal Merchant
Finally, we get to the F2P route. If you’re not running Royal Merchant, then you have to deal with the constant annoyance of replacing gear. This means that each piece needs to be a bit more disposable because you’re going to be buying it several times.
The good news is that most of this information still applies. You’ll may want to consider downgrading gear quality across the board since gear breaks are more impactful = gear needs to be more disposable. An example of this would be to drop the high impact items to Superior (green) quality and everything else to Normal (white) quality. You’ll still want to double enchant everything, but consider looking into the more budget-friendly lower tier options for enchantment.
Lower quality items gives you a second bonus as well – break bait. Higher quality gear has a lower chance to break, so a hero with five Legend quality pieces and one Normal one will have the Normal item break far more frequently than the Legend items. This means that a hero with one Flawless or Epic quality item and five Normals will typically get to keep the Flawless or Epic item for far longer. You can replace the Normals pretty easily by buying new ones and use your Repair Kits on the stuff you want to keep.
Lower TIER items can be used to good effect as well. A good example is the Evasion armor items. If you need some Evasion on your Gloves, the best option is currently Gants d’Artagnan (T12). However, they’re not the ONLY option. Raptor Wings (T11), Mountain Man Mitts (T9) and Patchleather Bracers (T3) all offer Evasion as well and are viable options. These will be much cheaper than Gants and thus far easier to replace if they break. You can do this with Affinity items too! Barbarians use Vermillion Guard items (T12) for the Fire affinity at the moment, but you can drop that to Juggernaut (T10) and get similar results.
I joked about Rudo and his burly physique earlier, but a crit-based team built around his leaderskill can prove to be surprisingly strong (if niche). If a squad led by Rudo can clear the quest in four rounds, you are guaranteed to never have a piece of gear break. This requires some pretty specific moving parts (and is outside the scope of this page), but it’s something to keep in mind. If you do go this route, be advised that it’s going to need a lot of tuning and some heavy use of the Simulator to ensure that the team can actually clear stuff in that four turns. It’s also only ONE team, so it’s not a simple catch-all solution.
2 replies on “Min-Maxing Gear”
Ah yes, pretty specific moving parts for using Rudo as F2P to win within 4 rounds, such as picking your 3 best damage heroes and putting good gear on them. Much complicated. Such wow.
Hmm, sure, that’s one way to put it.
But you could also tune your roster and skills so that you don’t waste skill slots by exceeding 100% CR and rather maximize +ATK or CD, etc. That would mean they *could be much worse* without Rudo. It’s a quick example but see how much more complicated it could go if you are a min-maxer F2P?