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Guest GipFace

Power Rankings III: Super-abridged!

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Guest GipFace

Since jolin012 asked for it...

I can't be bothered to write a paragraph worth of text for each tower anymore, so I'll let someone else do that. If you think a ranking of a tower is way off, then you probably need more experience, or maybe I just suck at the game. In any case, I'll explain any questions you may have.

For the controversial picks, I've included a one-liner justifying the ranking. The rankings have been changed around from the first two iterations. I'm still learning the intricacies of some of the towers, but hopefully I am getting more accurate at this!

Power rankings are based on VH random. Instant kill towers are obviously a lot worse if you're not on random. Generally, if you are comparing two towers you haven't built and can build either, you should build the tower that's rated better unless there is a type disadvantage.


1. Money

2. Steam

3. Death

4. Poison

5. Ice

6. Well

7. Magic

8. Tech

9. Lava

10. Electricity

11. Clay

12. Life

13. Sun

14. Moon (Three light arrows do more damage)

15. Roots

Quick take: Two-element towers are terrible for the most part because most of them aren't as efficient as element arrows. Towers 7-15 are only used in very specific circumstances, such as life gain (Tech/Life), AOE setup (Lava/Sun), or element kill (Magic/Electricity)


1. Gold

2. Spring

3. Freezing

4. Doom

5. Sorcery

6. Venom

7. Solar (Goes down without AOE slow)

8. Robot

9. Magma

10. Lightning

11. Vapor

12. Golem

13. Lunar

14. Eternal

15. Brambles

Quick take: Everyone knows Gold is overpowered, but the other MVP is Spring, which has incredible synergy with all WNx towers. The top six towers are the ones worth building, but towers 7-11 do have their uses from time to time.


1. Waterfall (#4 tower overall)

2. Subzero

3. Temple of Ra (By the time you have this, you should have AOE slow)

4. Energy

5. Wizard

6. Goldmine

7. Volcano

8. Virus

9. Entangling

10. Living Statue (You can make Refined Earth, so why bother?)

11. Temple of Elune

12. Cyborg (Build Refined Earth instead!)

13. Immortal

14. Damnation

15. Immolation

Quick take: What a dismal set of towers. Most are only used in one-dimensional strategies (Wizard+interest/Goldmine+interest) and are very difficult to obtain on random. After the top three, the quality goes way down. Towers 14-15 are the two worst towers in the game.


1. Storm

2. Gemstone

3. Undead

4. Nova

5. Drowning (Better than Crypt because of Well)

6. Crypt

7. Metal

8. Acid (I'd love to rate this higher but the towers above it can solo better)

9. Sludge

10. Tidal

11. Rainbow

12. Flamethrower

13. Enchantment (The support isn't that good until the endgame)

14. Hail

15. Infernal

16. Laser

17. Glacial (Build Ice instead!)

18. Dinosaur (You'll never build it again once it Pulverizes once out of ten tries)

19. Summoning (You cannot milk interest with this tower! No synergy with Enchantment!)

20. Flesh Golem

Quick take: 3ET1 is solid for the most part. The top 13 towers are all playable, while 14-16 are only built if there is nothing better. Towers 10-13 are very close, but I ordered them that way due to the interest potential.


1. Monsoon

2. Hydrochloric

3. Incantation

4. Supernova (If you have this, you also have Solar)

5. Ice Age

6. Mire

7. Crystal

8. Flamespewing

9. Davey Jones

10. Alloy

11. Spectrum

12. Comet

13. Lich

14. Tsunami

15. Tomb

16. Chaos

17. Phazor

18. Living Flesh (At least Spring takes it out of the cellar...)

19. Conjuring

20. Fossil (Ew.)

Quick take: The late game has more of a bias toward towers which can damage multiple enemies, and so there's a major shakeup. The top three towers are the three best towers in the game overall and you can't go wrong with any of them. The order I chose is the build order in the speedrun. WNx towers are higher because of Spring.

Pure Elements

1. Earth

2. Fire

3. Water

4. Periodic

5. Nature

6. Darkness

7. Light

Quick take: In terms of damage efficiency, Amped Earth beats all element arrows and element cannons. If you have that tower available, always use it over the rest unless you are attacking a Lv2 element or facing Nature.

And we're done!

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I would be very interested in seeing something like this (but unabridged) for 4.0, since the game will be changing so much.

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Guest Warcryptic

Very good work, maybe an idea to keep this sticky for beginners so that they know whats usefull ect. Or maybe put on site idk. But this is very good stuff, but like karawasa said, wont be all to usefull for long, just untill 4.0 comes out.

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I agree, a great list.

Maybe one small correction: Acid can't solo? On two pass acid can solo just as good as storm: >> Acid solo <<

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Guest GipFace

It's not that Acid is bad, but the other towers are so much more efficient that I feel it deserves #8 and nothing higher. Heck, Rainbow is a great tower and can solo as well, but I have it at #12 because it loses its punch by Lv39. Metal and Undead are the only armor affected damage towers higher than Acid. Metal is worth every penny and more in extreme mode where damage is at a premium (-3 armor doesn't do much when there is 30 to start), while Undead ends levels very quickly and messes up everyone else. The instant kill towers allow someone to have $4000+ in unspent cash in the midgame because they only care about HP.

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Guest MasterTenor

Gip, I think you underestimate Dinosaur -- it scales with Well Towers extremely well, and works great right in the middle of the map in a one-pass placement.

Not saying it's better than the likes of Storm and Acid, but for me the damage triggers enough to make it worth the money invested. It's definitely better than 14-16 (Laser and Hail, as I recall).

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@GipFace - I understand and respect your reasoning, and I was only reffering to the line "acid can't solo", not the ranking. Acid can solo. :D

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Guest GipFace

Hail: WNL automatically gives access to Ice and Well. With three well-placed Ice towers, creeps can be slowed for the entire track. I submitted a replay that showed this. Dinosaur is better with AOE slows factored in, but guess what? Virtually every tower is better with Storm.

Laser: If you look at the creep waves, you'll notice that the midgame darkness levels all have some quirk to them. 26 is fast, 33 is mechanical, and 44 is undead. If you are using Crypt for instant kill and want to survive those levels, Laser fills the role nicely (although Crypt can still handle 26).

Dinosaur on the other hand, does not take advantage of type too much, even against Earth. Oh, and your Dinosaur+Well suggestion does not work because Pulverize requires 10 mana for each attempt.

Cisz: Fine. I changed the message. :wink:

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So you would say that first leak (a single badly damaged creep that is) on 24 is worse than nova? Maybe i should check nova again..

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Guest Sancdar

Slow %s, tower rankings...it's all the same, right?

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Guest AlienFromBeyond
Dinosaur on the other hand, does not take advantage of type too much, even against Earth. Oh, and your Dinosaur+Well suggestion does not work because Pulverize requires 10 mana for each attempt.

Wait, what? Since when?

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Guest GipFace

Look at the tower itself. When the mana hits 10/10, it will attempt Pulverize. Well towers don't affect this in any way.

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Guest Sancdar

That's not strictly true - when the tower attacks, it takes 10 mana to attempt to pulverize, but the mana regen is quite a lot faster than the attack - the cost is just there to prevent stop spamming. Well Towers still work on it.

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Guest GipFace

Okay, let's attack this from another perspective. Why would you waste your time with Dinosaur+Well when you have a much better alternative? FNE plus any fourth element gives you a superior choice.

FNE + L = Gemstone, Nova, Metal

FNE + W = Rainbow+Well, Infernal+Well

FNE + D = Crypt, Flamethrower

The only time I'd build Dinosaur is if I had FNE (all level 1) and a bunch of interests, or if I had a level 2 in one of them but can't use Focused Element due to type disadvantage. If that's the case, I'd probably have enough cash to build one or two extra dinosaurs using the interest money to offset any bad luck.

Dinosaur isn't 20th because it can be easily switched in at the last moment, unlike Flesh Golem and Summoning. 3ET2 towers can't exactly be milked for interest, so Fossil gets the basement.

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Guest Sancdar

Because it's neat and it lets you be a total beast on VHX.

Ignoring Gemstone (permabash = no thx):

FNEW-L gives you five towers with decent armor-ignoring damage (Steam, Sun, Storm, Nova, Dino), as well as three level 1 or 2 AoE slows (Ice, Nova, Storm) to pack the creeps in. Mass Novas isn't a serious damage option compared to Dino. Metal and Infernal don't gain anything when you pack all the creeps in, while Dino gets better and better. Flamethrower is subject to elemental and armor reductions. Crypt is an instakill tower, so it's not always viable. On the other hand, 4-6 dinos + 1 well + a bunch of AoE slowing + a few roots placed to keep faster creeps in the AoE longer + Rainbows to catch escapees = lots of dead creeps with 30 armor that didn't really help them out.

I must admit though, Dinos are just as bad as Sun without the required setup. You need several of them and a well to make sure the chances of game-ending luck are small enough you'll win. One dinosaur is probably never a good idea to build. On the plus side, if you get a bit of good luck on one level everybody else is suddenly rushed to hell. Their damage output is potentially amazing.

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Guest Sancdar

I just did a VHX game with dinos. Ironically, I have too much AoE slow, and it slows me down significantly. I'm also no longer sure that dino damage ignores armor type, although I know it does ignore armor amount. It could just be that I forgot how much water damage I'd had the last time I did this. I stupidly decided to go Pure Earth instead of Pure Water at the end, which also was a bad decision. So, not a no-leak replay, but if I hadn't been dumb it would have been easily, and fast too. Give me a break, it's 6 in the morning :) I built at 7, which is a little weaker technically for dinos than 5, but if you don't over-slow like I did I bet it's still faster. Also I built the roots a little bit wrong and forgot to put in rainbows until it was too late.


It's no speed run, but you should still fear the lizards :)

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Even w/o watching the replay (I'm in a hurry), I can say that dino belongs on long pass. Play them at 7, much better than 4. I'll check the rep when I'm home again.

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Guest Sancdar

Whoops, I accidentally said I built at 1 instead of 7. See, that's what being tired does to you, folks. You think about phone keypads instead.

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Guest Ubernuber

Have to agree here... Dinos/Fossils with AoE slow are some of my favorite towers. Not because I'm a weirdo, but because they do AoE damage like hell. Infernal towers, on the other hand, that's what I really don't touch because they're just underpowered.

I think it's hard to judge single towers, because how would you measure it? Build one of the tower to be evaluated and see how far it gets you?

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Acid deserves a better place :P

It got a great poison and with the flame tower its a great AoT combo.

The poison and the flaming. (Maybe it aint god but i love doing it in random mode.(and you often get storm to have a even bigger AoT 8) ))

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Guest GipFace

I think it's hard to judge single towers, because how would you measure it? Build one of the tower to be evaluated and see how far it gets you?

2ET1, 2ET2, and 3ET1 are judged on early and midgame efficiency. This is based on four factors, with the more important factors at the top:

1) Ability to hoard cash and make the endgame easier

2) Ability to speed up levels and threaten other players

3) Ability to simplify the defense, since fewer towers allows better interest milking

4) Ease of use

Let's take Death as an example. If you milked interest, you can get $1000 as early as level 17 (although if you build at position IV, 18 is more likely). You can make one Death and have your entire D cost $500 (factor 1 and 3), or you can build two Death at the spawn for 17-20 (factor 2). Everyone else will either die (especially in XVH) or lose over half their life if they don't figure out what's going on. I have done this multiple times and hey, I've even gotten kicked because of it. Instant kill towers are harder to use than others, and so it doesn't get too many brownie points for factor 4. However, factors 1-3 are so strong that it deserves #3. Storm is #1 because it rates very highly in all four factors. Dinosaur is #18 because you can't hoard cash with it, you can't speed up levels with it by itself, you need enough AOE slow to compensate for bad luck (which means more towers), and you have to position it in the correct spot. But hey, as least you can build it on the spot, unlike Summoning and Flesh Golem which are ill-suited for emergencies.

You might not like factor two, but factor two is precisely the reason why Hyperprimate pwned everyone in the EleTD tournament. I don't know about you, but I play EleTD with the intention to kill everyone else before Ronald, since I suck at Ronald.

2ET3 towers are rarely seen in random, and if you do have access to one, you'll most likely have only one. They are based on general-purpose efficiency for the endgame. The top four are so much better than the others that I probably wouldn't even bother with the rest. Rankings 5-15 are based on my educated guesses, but I think we can all agree that 14-15 are definitely trash.

3ET2 towers are based on the ability to deal with multiple targets, since most single tower targets are far too inefficient to deal with levels 57 and 60. The single-target exception, Crystal, is up there because stunning is stupid broken. Fossil is #20 because there is absolutely no reason to build them. Even if you have AOE slow, you have Solar available, so use that instead. Solar cuts through armor as well, so it's just as good on XVH. I saw the GKJ-Mo replay, but he still leaked like a newborn baby on 44 and 45, so it only reinforces my point. Chaos could have dealt with those levels.

Acid deserves a better place

The top seven towers are better, although Metal is only used after level 30 (you'd rather use Money until then) unless you are in XVH or attempting to kill everyone else. Metal can finish a key level (31 Healing) very quickly, causing other players to lose their lives and die.

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Guest GipFace

Update: The entire Electricity tier tree has been downgraded due to their inability to race. Undead is now above Nova; Lich is above Tsunami. Sludge is above Enchantment and Tidal. Enchantment has been moved to #13 because I find that I never build it until after level 40.

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