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With the possible exception of Nemesis, this is a team that demonstrates they didn’t have much experience playing Mazzarin’s Demise III before being the first to beating it on Legendary. However, what they do demonstrate is that they have a lot of experience as skilled players, using basic maneuvering and tactics to near perfection. Many of the special abilities and powers, vulnerabilities and strengths, went unexploited by the team, but that only makes the degree to which they had to make up for it with strong playing even more impressive.
In particular, everyone handled his melee to maximum effect. I’ve seen many well-played games of Mazz since that rely heavily on good Archer use, but this game was the best example of good Heron playing I’ve ever seen on this map. How skillfully the Dwarf units were played is also worth special note.
While everyone on the team deserves special credit for their contributions, two players stand out the most.
Apollo played magnificently with the Heron hero and a single Strider Dwarf. Not only did he stay alive while separated from the main force for the entire game, he achieved amazing kills and damage. Typically, it’s very difficult for the Dwarf players to gain super vet status, but if you watch Apollo’s Dwarf during the second half of the game, you can see how great the benefit of killing scores of enemies can be. By the finale of the game, his Dwarf is easily tossing a second bottle while the first one is still in the air. Apollo’s Heron hero also gets credit for the killing blow against the Watcher in an amazing ending that has to be seen to be believed.
As far as individual contributions go, most of the credit for the win has to go to Nemesis and the bold way he handled Mazzarin. Fearlessly, he pushed Mazzarin to the edge again and again, pile-driving him against huge numbers of enemy melee. Nemesis was lucky enough to find several silver crystals and that helped a lot, but where luck played no part is that Nemesis had to carefully concentrate for most of the game to not unleash the crystal’s powers offensively. Instead Nemesis watched every click so that he could preserve the crystal’s defensive powers, allowing him to use Mazzarin as a near invulnerable melee unit.
Listing of team members and initial unit distribution:
|Nemesis (captain)||Mazzarin (17%)|
|Tainted Bliss||5 Archers (8%)|
|Gatsu||3 Archers, 1 Heron (8%)|
|toecutter||6 Archers (10%)|
|JJM543||1 Strider Dwarf, 3 Herons (7%) |
|Dante’s Peak||Pathfinder, 3 Herons (7%) |
|Apollo||Heron Hero, 1 Strider Dwarf (5%) |
|Gekko||Demolitionist Dwarf, 3 Herons, 1 Archer (8%)|
|SiN||3 Archers, 1 Heron (7%)|
|Ducky||Elecromancer, 2 Herons (5%) |
|Cyclops||Mortar Dwarf, 3 Herons (8%) |
|Hyperion||Pyromancer, 2 Herons (5%)|
Blow by Blow
After passing units out to Apollo and Cyclops, Nemesis moves the rest of the army southeast. Apollo and Cyclops head in the opposite direction. Cyclops’s Mortar smartly starts destroying bushes for roots.
Apollo, racing northwest with his Heron Hero and Strider, make initial contact with the enemy - the first of the seven waves of Thrall. Toecutter receives 6 Arcs and picks up all 4 bows on the West side. Cuddly gets 5 Archers and picks up the Hellfire and Para bows, but leaves the Lightning and Slaying behind.
Nemesis takes Mazzarin to the SW and encounters the first wave of Maul. Apollo’s Strider begins working on slowing down the Thrall. Ghost Dwarves and Barrow Wights begin approaching the rest of the group before everyone is completely ready.
The rest of the units are finally distributed and most of the army moves into the SE region. Two bows and both Warlock staves are left behind. Did Gatsu, SiN, Ducky and Hyperion not know to pick up the artifacts?
Nemesis, taking on most of the first wave of Maul with only an unvetted Mazz, nearly gets hammered. Apollo is pushed back towards the center by the thrall and then rushed by Ghols. Luckily his Heron Hero can handle them as his Strider begins to accumulate kills. The rest of the group starts to battle the Ghost Dwarves, Wights and remaining Mauls.
Dante, toecutter and Cuddly are still near the center as the first wave of Ghost Arcs makes an attack. Toecutter gets two of his Arcs wighted. Nemesis retreats an injured Mazzarin to the main group for a heal.
A group of Ghols rush from the SE, but SiN and Gekko send Herons to intercept. The players still in the center struggle to get the 1st wave of Thrall under control. Gatsu finally decides to pick up the remaining bows but the Warlock staves never get used.
The first of the Electro Locks appear and gives JJM543’s Strider a zap. The first wave of Thrall is finally all but destroyed. Hyperion’s Pyromancer begins to take good advantage of his long-range fireballs, helping to keep the enemy at bay. Cyclops does the same with the Mortar.
Nemesis just charges Mazz into every enemy that gets close, tolerating multiple wightings. The second wave of Thrall appears in the SE, nice and close to Gekko’s Demolitionist. The first wave of evil Pyromancer’s appear.
Toecutter fires off a Hellfire shot at the Thrall, scoring over 20 kills and giving his Archer a nice head start with vetting. Gekko and SiN chastise him for wasting the charge, but this will be the only real successful Hellfire shot all game. Meanwhile, Apollo is busy vetting up both his Heron Hero and Strider in the NW against Ghost Archers and miscellaneous artillery enemies.
Still near the center, Dante and Cuddly get rushed by the first wave of Forgotten but dispatch them while almost losing a Heron. Another wave of Forgotten soon appear from the SE, but Hyperion’s Pyromancer takes most of them out.
With the rest of the army finally all in the SE region, Nemesis and Apollo fight one group of maul in the center, deftly using enemy Ghost Dorfs to inflict friendly fire on the Mauls, but not without the cost of taking a lot damage.
Three more groups of Maul attack the main force, but are weakened by the party’s long-range archers and Ducky’s Electromancer. Mazzarin has found a silver crystal, and Nemesis uses it brilliantly. Rather then use its charges on offensive spells he opts to play defensively. Carefully microing Mazzarin so as not to accidentally drain charges, he holds onto the orb, using it to effectively double Mazz’s health, which allows him to charge into the largest melee battles with little worry. This strategy took concentration (though Nemesis only had to worry about controlling one unit) and as mentioned earlier, this is one of the key elements in the team’s success.
For a while the party stays busy fighting off various enemies with a nice mix of artillery softening and then melee. While costly in terms of health, this allows the Heron to vet up nicely.
The third group of Thrall approach from the NE. Cyclops uses the first of his Mortar’s splash shells, scoring a direct hit that makes it easier for the rest of the party to handle them quickly. This is probably a good thing since a wave of Ghols and a Myrk Giant rush from the West immediately after. toecutter uses two Para arrows to stop the Myrk Giant, hitting a Heron with the first arrow by accident.
It appears Gatsu starts to lag out just as the first Trow rushes his Archers. This costs the team 3 Archers and a Heron, dropping the team down to 92%.
Lots of non-stop hectic fighting in the SE continues while in the North West Apollo’s pair of units encounter the fourth wave of thrall. The Strider tries to slow down the Thrall before they reach the opposite side of the map and the main party, but before long, a wave of Maul appear behind the Thrall and give Apollo a work out. Nemesis brings Mazzarin over to help slow down the Thrall and Maul.
In the South East, the Maul waves start to get much stronger and are backed up by a Myrk Giant. The Pathfinder, Demolitionist and Warlocks do what they can, but some of the Maul break through and overrun the Archers. Heron and toecutter’s para-bow archer save the day just as the fourth wave of thrall flank the party.
Nemesis appears to have Mazz in trouble in the center as Maul and Thrall surround him. Enemy Ghost Archers helps thin out the ranks with friendly fire however and Mazz eventually pulls out. The rest of the party has to fight hard to avoid being routed by the Thrall, once again heavily relying on melee.
While Mazzarin is killing some Ghost Archers near the center, one of them drops a bow, while yet another drops a Dream orb. Another Warlock staff was dropped in this area at some point too, not far from where the original two still sit. Despite some nice melee microing, Gekko loses a Heron to a Trow and the party is now at 91%.
The fifth wave of Thrall appear from the SW, and one again, Apollo and his Heron Hero and Strider are there to meet them first. At this point, Apollo’s Strider has forty kills under his belt, making him a mean little Dwarf. As he accumulates even more kills, he’ll become meaner still.
Ducky loses a Heron to a group of flanking Forgotten , which break through before the Dwarves can weaken them.
The Blood Thrall push through the party’s front line defenses. Not a major problem for them unless they get heavily flanked as well. This almost happens when a Myrk Giant appears, but once again toecutter’s trusty para-bow saves the day.
SiN is up North all alone and vulnerable with only 3 Archers and a Heron when a Myrk Giant bears down on him. He deftly uses the Heron to lead the Myrk Giant while his Archers slowly wear it down and kill it.
The party is overrun again, this time by a group of gigantic Maul. These are some of the hardest creatures to stop on the map, and they take their toll on the players as Gekko loses an Archer.
Mithril Thrall appear just as scattered Ghost Mortars bombard the party from a distance. Nemesis uses one of Mazz’s four dispersal dreams on the Thrall before they’re all grouped tightly, and though he still wipes out over half of them, it’s not enough to prevent the party from having to retreat towards the center.
Bad news as a group of Maul flank the party and nearly pin them against the white Mithril Thrall. The party manages to make a fighting retreat to the center of the map, but as it turns out, they only escape the frying pan to enter the fire.
More Maul along with a large group of Myrms flank from out of the NW. All hell breaks loose and vulnerable artillery units start dying so rapidly it’s hard to keep track. Hyperion’s Pyromancer is killed. Dante’s Pathfinder is slain. Toecutter, SiN and Cuddly lose multiple Archers.
By the time the situation is back under control, the party is now down to 71% from 87%. Further scattered waves continue to assault the party and drops them to 66% before they can fully regroup in the center.
The final big wave of Maul approach the party in the center. Still wielding a white crystal, Mazz distracts half of them while the remaining party fight the rest. Apollo’s Strider demonstrates the fruits of his kills as his super vetted Dwarf pummels the Mauls surrounding Mazzarin. Scattered Ghols make matters worse for the others and suddenly our heroes are down to only 60%.
The finale begins. JJM543 and Ducky make some hilarious jokes about being too scared to play anymore.
Nemesis uses one of Mazz’s dispersal dreams and then Apollo’s Strider, Cyclops’s Mortar and Gekko’s Demolitionist blast a group Black Thrall, carving an escape route from the tightening noose at the center of the map. Nemesis keeps Mazzarin behind, in a well-laid trap as the party flees north.
Ducky’s Electromancer doesn’t make it to the North with his allies, but at least he finally picks up the staff artifact and gets one shot off before a Myrk Giant swipes him. Mazz unleashes a powerful dispersal dream, disintegrating nearly all the black thrall surrounding him.
Nemesis moves Mazzarin North and into the center of the group of Thrall pursuing the party to unleash one last powerful dispersal.
Though the Black Thrall are significantly reduced, scattered Trow keep the party very busy. The Watcher finally appears out of the SE and with his first attack, Apollo’s super-vetted Strider vanishes in a puff of smoke.
Still protected by the white crystal, Mazzarin duals it out with the Watcher in a one on one battle. Despite numerous protests by Nemesis to run north and leave the Watcher to him, JJM543 rushes in his last three Heron to help Mazzarin and gets vaporized as a result.
Scattered Maul groups appear and really make things difficult. Cyclops’s Mortar still has 9 out of his 12 splash shells, which he will soon bring to the grave with him. I have to wonder if the game wouldn’t have been won much easier had the Mortar started using all his remaining splash shells on the Black Thrall and Mauls instead of letting them go to waste.
The last archer is killed by a Maul. With all artillery dead, an overwhelming horde spawns to finish off the few remaining heroes just as the Watcher is finally turned to stone.
Nemesis keeps hammering away at the stoned Watcher as more and more melee surround him. Mazzarin is kept alive by the crystal which Nemesis was so careful not to waste, along with occasional heals from nearby Heron who circle the battle like vultures.
So many enemies flood the area that Heron can no longer get close enough to Mazz to heal him. Besides, the Heron have their own problems as Myrk Giants, Trow, Archers and Maul slowly start to pick them off.
Mazzarin is slain and the Watcher still stands.
All that is left is Apollo’s Heron hero and Cyclops’s three Herons. They have no choice but to rush in and attempt one last suicide attempt to kill the Watcher. At this point I thought I had been tricked, and this film wasn’t of a victorious game at all.
Cyclops’s Heron perish but just when it seems all is lost, the last standing unit - Apollo’s Heron hero - delivers the killing blow that turns the Watcher to dust!
The battle is won and the game over, but before the screen fades to black, Apollo’s Heron hero is also slain, leaving none of the team’s units alive to celebrate their victory.
|Tainted Bliss cuddly||75||1484||5|
|Bk the tart grower||45||464||2|
|Hunter Dark Knight||0||1||0|
Download the film of the second team to win on legendary
Note: As far as we know, Mazzarin's Demise III still hasn't been won on heroic difficulty, which means the contest is still open. Keep trying and send us the film if you ever succeed.
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