Basic Human Guide
Humans have 2 very distinct strengths:
1- the first is their ability to addapt: they do not posses an overwhelmingly powerfull strategy such as necrowagon or chippo, yet they posses increadible versatility. Human armies can addapt to whatever their oponnets can challenge them with.
2- Mass teleport: If you get an archmage and level him up until you aquire his ultimate you will be rewarded with an increadibly mobile army. You can easilly cross across the entire map in a matter of seconds. This is amazingly useful in large maps such as Twilight Ruins, where u can control the map completely. Furthermore in ffa games you are likely to be teames upon (doesnt have to be intentional chat teaming, can also be through scouting, weakers always unite against the strong)
Advice and Psicology:
Avoid conflict at the start of games as much as possible, creeps will run out quick (look at rule 7) and if you dont creep quick enough youll have lower level heros. Do not hero harass, this is not useful (i mean at the start of games) and will only get you more trouble. PLayers who get hero rushed tend to change their focus from winning the game to just making you loose, same goes for early attacks. Unless you have a strong tier 2 and feel its time to take players out, specially neighbours who continue to hastle your main or expansions.
Try to aviod attention as much as possible, if players realize you are the strongest they will (either naturally through scouting, or intentionally through chat) team you. Even if you win a battle try to minimize your success, if you lost 2 priests let the other players know how strong your attacker is. You have to be careful here, if you overdo it can have negative consequences.
When u defeat your first opponent be ready to have your strategy become public for the rest. It is a common practice that those who are defeated cry out: Player 1: player 2 is real strong, he has gryph, knights tanks.
Many good solo players are use to controlling the entire map. Many solo games come down to either you controlling the map or the other guy controlling the map (same is true for team games). Many solo players try to apply the same tactics to FFA games and end up losing almost every game.
It's very difficult to “control” 3 players (you might be able to do it if you are a top player and you are smurfing but that will only get you a few games).
FFAs are about understanding what you CAN control, and learning how to deal with multiple players at once
Useful general rules:
1) Scout all players before selecting a target. Picking the right target to attack is perhaps the most important part of winning the game. Picking the right target will always be better than randomly attacking whoever you bump into. Generally look for the stronger players, or those who are gathering the most resources (even look for the other players who actively scout the map). Scouting will also let you know what units to build in order to kill your target. I tend to scout the entire map every few minutes, the player who represents your largest threat will change from time to time
2) Look for players who are likely to attack you. This might be because they don’t do their own scouting. They might be new to FFAs and they do not understand rule #1. This means once the player sees you, they will focus on you until one of you is dead. Take care of players who target you directly and try to stay away from “aggravating” more players. Sometimes you need to weigh one player who is targeting you vs. another player who has 6 gold mines and is kicking ass (rule #1). Sometimes, you should ignore the player attacking you and go for the stronger guy. Guessing how players will attack you will help you decide on what your next move should be.
3) Watch your upkeep. In solo, it’s a good idea to go to into high upkeep and win due to the number of units. Be very careful in FFA’s with high upkeep. While going to 100 units and killing all the other players tends to work on the low end of the FFA ladder, it doesn’t work vs good FFA players. If you stay in high upkeep you will run out of gold. FFA games can last an hour or longer, and you need to plan on having resources for the length of the game. Usually if a player stays in high upkeep and if they lose their army and expansion they will not come back from the game. Spending time at 80 food + multiple expansions will give you more gold, which will give you more options during those times where you get attacked by multiple players at the same time (it happens to us all, so its just a matter of being ready for it). Go to 100 food when you need to, but the second you find yourself just standing around, kill off your own units and drop to 80
4) Always have a TP scroll handy, buy a few of them. This allows you to react easier. If you get attacked by player 3 player while you are attacking player 2 a TP scroll can help you fight both armies. TP will scrolls allow you to port around a large map and defend if you need to. (U should get some even if you have an archmage, remember that mass teleport can disrupted by hex, sleep...)
5) Put a few towers at your expansions / main. Building towers tends to be associated with new player who ONLY build towers. This doesn’t mean towers are bad, just learn where they can help. In Solo its better to have map control which means you should spend money on units instead of static base defenses. Towers will do two things for ya in FFA games, first they will buy you a some time. Time helps in cases where you have to fight multiple players at once, or when you need to fight a 100 food army when you only have an 80 food army. Second, towers kind of work as a “stay away from here, private property” sign. Most FFA players (at least not the top players), will go find another target after seeing your towers and they will leave your expansion alone. Most players don’t want to deal with the hassle of making siege, so they run off and find another player to attack. If players are killing each other instead of you, you will win more games.
6) It’s important to adapt. One of the most useful items in FFA games is the tome of retraining, for some reason very few players ever buy this item. Human players who go AM first can switch from water elementals to Blizzard around level 5. You can even switch back and forth based on the army you need to fight. water elementals are great for creeping and against players who go all air (or hunts), but blizzard is generally a much better spell later in the game when you are dealing with 100 food armies
7) Creep aggressively, but stay out of sight. Creeps tend to run out pretty quickly in FFAs, so get what you can quickly. Sometimes its better to stay away from the center as there will be 3 or 4 armies all trying to creep jack each other. If you spend time getting the creeps around the edges you should end up with MORE creeps than the other players. Sometimes you just need to watch how each map is creeped by players
Now into more specific human ffa:
The archmage is a very versatile hero who will be a great addition to your army. When this guy gets to level 6 he has one of the best ultimates. There are 2 main options when using the archmage; blizzard or water elemental. Blizzard is by far a more usefull late game skill, yet you can choose to go WE at the start and then retrain to blizzard.
One of the best melee heros for FFA, he can be a true beast if permitted to level up. Once he reaches level 8 he is truly unstopable, even more if aided by a palladin. If you get this jaugernaught with an archmage then its best to go bolt and clap.
This is a must get hero in ffa, he is in charge of keeping all other alive. He is a great support hero, and is often acquired as a third hero. His aura is nice, but not really that useful.
Reasoning: Hes there to heal and remain alive, not for his aura.
He is rarely seen in ffa, as his skills are not that useful. However flamestrike is good versus casters, and banish can be the nightmare of an undead. He is hardly ever chosen as first, he can be seen more often as a second or third hero. Fenix is real good.
FS/SM/FS/SM/FS/fenix/SM/banish/banish/banish unless there is an undead in which case change either flame strike or syphon mana for banish.
This guy isnt really ffa material in my opinion, but I have used a couple of times and he can be relatively effective. yet i wouldnt change neither paladin, mk, nor archmage for him, but some players pick him. The bear at lvl 3 is real strong, and has bash and blink, plus the invisible hawk does amazing scouting.
Reasoning: I dont really think that quillbeasts are ffa material.
An amazing tavern hero, he can turn complete armies useless. He is specially good versus clustered units such as gargs, hyppos ...
The panda is one amazing hero, and if u combine him with your archmage he will almost have unlimited mana. Plus the ultimate keeps him from dying and has a very decent damage output
Haze/BoF/Haze/BoF/Haze/ultimate/drunken brawler till lvl 10
Seeing how she is an undead she doesnt blend that well with other human heros, how ever her spells are extremely useful. Silence is always very powerful and charm is great to get over 100 food armies. The only problem is that the pally cant heal her, so she can die pretty quick if focused. Always get her invulnerability pot.
Arrow/Silence/Silence/Arrow/Silence/charm/lifedrain till lvl 10
Naga Sea Witch
This is really not a ffa hero, I never use her, and find her abilities and possible adittions to a Human ffa army very limited. I would say that she should not be used in ffa.
This hero has a very large collision size and is easilly surrounded, however he has powerful skills. Howl is always great, and rain of fire really deals heavy aoe damage. Splash damage i would say leave for last. Just like the darkranger being an undead has its counters, as the paladin will not heal him.
Just like the Naga this guy is never seen in FFA, his uses are very limited from start to end. You can use him if you feel you are being pushed at the start and need lots of summons, otherwise he isnt great.
The tinker is not often seen in FFA, but some players pick him up because of his ultimate which allows the to kill buildings easilly. His other skills arent very useful against 100 food armies. He is also used to try to eliminate nearby oponents early.
This guy can be real powerful when used properly, chemical rage and acid bombs are great, and the aoe heal is relatively useful. His ultimate is a great in small maps with not sufficient gold.
Note: Didnt have time to get into strategies and counters, ill try to post that soon enough