1) The mana values in Auto Chess have been a mystery for a very long time. There’s barely any information in-game and even the tooltips for mana enhancing items like Void Stone and Crown are completely vague. I am going to give you a complete description of how mana works in Dota Auto Chess.
The most basic information that every player should already know is that every unit receives mana by dealing damage to other units, and by receiving damage from other units.
Mana gained by dealing damage:
- The formula for amount of mana gained by dealing damage is as follows:
Mana gained = damage dealt/ 5
This value is capped at 10, meaning you cannot get more than 10 mana by dealing damage to a single unit.
- However, Warlocks, Shamans and Mages get more mana than all the other units in the game (Only through dealing damage. Mana gained through receiving damage is the same for all units). These units have a different formula:
Mana gained = damage dealt/ 2.5
This value is capped at 20
- The value of damage dealt used in these formulas is: the damage taken by the enemy unit after reductions. This means that your units will get less mana if they attack units with high armor.
- Units gain mana not just through their auto-attacks, but also from the damage dealt through their spells. This is relevant for units with low CD spells and also if you have a Refresher Orb on any unit.\
- The Fel Power buff on Demons counts as a separate damage instance. Hence, they get mana from 2 sources when they auto-attack. One from the physical damage and one from the pure damage.
- Similarly, Bat Rider gets mana from two sources when he attacks units who are affected by the Sticky Napalm debuff. One from the physical damage and one from the Magical damage through the ability.
- Mana gained by dealing damage can be amplified by equipping the following items:
- Equipping a Crown or Dagon increases the mana gained by 50%
- Equipping a Void Stone, Perseverance, Battle Fury, Mystic Staff or Scythe of Vyse increases the mana gained by 100%
- Equipping a Refresher Orb increases the mana gained by 200%
- Some of the items stack with each other and some do not:
- 2 Items of the same type do not stack. This means that 2 void stones, 2 crowns etc. do not stack.
- Crown and Dagon do not stack.
- Void Stone, Mystic Staff and Scythe of Vyse do not stack.
- Crown/Dagon, Void stone, Perseverance and Refresher stack with each other.
- Battle Fury stacks with every other item except perseverance.
- Mana gain bonuses from items, stack multiplicatively. For example, a Crown increases mana gained by 50% (unit get 1.5x times the mana) and a Void Stone increases mana gained by 100% (unit get 2x times the mana). So, if a unit has both of them, mana gained is increased by:
1.5 x 2 = 3 i.e. 300%.
Mana gained by receiving damage
- The formula for amount of mana gained by receiving damage is as follows:
Mana (x) = damage received/ 5
This value is capped at 50
However, the actual amount of mana gained by your unit is set to a random value between x and x/2.
To make it clear, if a unit takes 200 damage (after reductions), the value of x is 200/5 = 40. Mana gained by the unit is a random value between x and x/2 i.e. a random value between 40 mana and 20 mana.
- Mana gained by receiving damage can be amplified by equipping the following items:
- Equipping an Ultimate Orb increases mana gained by 25%
- Equipping a Scythe of Vyse increases mana gained by 50%.
- Ultimate Orb and Scythe of Vyse stack multiplicatively.
Takeaways from these facts
- The maximum amount of mana that a unit can receive while not having any mana bonus items is:
- 10 mana while attacking a unit (if the damage is more than or equal to 50)
- 25-50 mana while taking damage (if the damage is more than or equal to 250)
- Since all the damage values are considered after reductions, you may not want to put armor items on initiators likes Kunkka or Tide, because they will gain mana very slowly and use their spell after an extended duration.
- A side note from the Fel Power fact: Since Fel Power is pure damage and is considered as a separate instance, Demons don’t lifesteal off of their bonus damage. Hence it is generally better to give your Morbid Mask to a unit with high base damage or attack speed like Tiny or Troll, unless you have given a lot of DPS boosting items to your Demon.
2) The final creep round is against Roshan on round 50. After round 50, all the remaining players start taking ‘Fatigue damage’ onto their courier. It starts with 1% damage right after round 50 ends, and it increases by 1% per round. So, on round 51 you take 2% damage, on round 52 you take 3% damage and so on. This acts as a sudden death mechanic in the late-game, to avoid unending stalemates.
3) Melee units’ movement and attack patterns are coded in such a way that they prioritize going as close to the enemy units as possible before they start attacking. This means that they very rarely attack at a diagonal angle. Due to this, you will notice that most of the time, only 4 melee units are able to attack a single enemy unit at one point of time.
4) Items automatically combine if you pick them up with your courier. If you don’t want to combine certain items, you can right click on them and click on “lock combining”. Be careful however, since items don’t stay locked if you pass them onto your units.
For example, if you have a Morbid Mask on your Terrorblade and you give him a Quarterstaff, the items will combine into a Mask of Madness in the next round, even if you applied “lock combining” on the Quarterstaff.
5) After losing a round, the damage taken by your courier from each of the remaining enemy units is calculated by this formula:
Damage = 1 + roundDown (Unit Level/ 3)
Here, ‘roundDown’ is a programming term, which basically means that the value of (Unit Level/ 3) will be rounded down to the previous integer value.
For example, damage done by a level 5 unit is calculated as follows:
Damage = 1 + roundDown (5/3)
= 1 + roundDown (1.67)
= 1 + 1
Here’s a table showing the damage dealt by all the different cost units at different levels.
Note: Here, Unit Level is not the same as the gold cost of a unit. Unit level is a different stat, which is described below.
6) Apart from gold cost, each unit has a different stat called ‘Unit Level’. The level of a particular unit can be checked the same way you check the level of your courier. It is located in the same spot for every unit. Unit level is used to calculate the amount of gold you get when you sell the unit and to calculate the damage dealt by the unit to the enemy courier if you win the round (as described in the previous point).
Unit Level for different units is calculated as follows:
Unit Level of a 1-star unit = Base cost of the unit
Unit Level of a 2-star unit = Base cost of the unit + 2
Unit Level of a 3-star Druid unit = Base cost of the unit + 3
Unit Level of a 3-star non-druid unit = Base cost of the unit + 4
7) Apart from the different values of base armor and damage among all the units, some units have special bonuses. I have listed all these units and their special bonuses below:
Viper has base magic resistance of 20 on all levels.
Medusa has base magic resistance of 10 on all levels.
Lone Druid has base magic resistance of 20 on all levels, and his summon has a magic resistance of 10 on all levels.
Death Prophet has base magic resistance of 30 on all levels.
Enigma has base magic resistance of 40 on all levels.
Anti-Mage has magic resistance of 10/20/30.
Terrorblade has base magic resistance of 10/20/30.
Lich has base magic resistance of 20 on all levels and has base HP regen of 5.
Tidehunter has base HP regen of 5 Hp/sec.
Sand King has base HP regen of 5 Hp/sec.
Techies has base HP regen of 5 Hp/sec.
8) Venomancer’s Plague ward is immune to magic damage, but it can take damage from non-magic spells like Beastmaster’s Wild Axes, Techies Explosive Bomb (Physical) and Timbersaw’s Whirling Death (Pure).
9) Doom targets his ability using two different algorithms which is chosen randomly every time he casts Doom.
- Highest Level Targeting (70% chance): Doom targets the unit with the highest level that was played last.
- Random Targeting (30% chance): Doom targets a unit randomly.
Here’s a good tip on how to play around Doom by u/ Ellstrom44 from the Auto Chess subreddit:
10) Dota Auto Chess was inspired from a Warcraft 3 custom map called Pokémon Defense. In this game, you could upgrade units by spending gold, instead of combing units. Also, there was no concept of chess in this game.