Earth-Wind Hybrid (patch 2.4)
This guide is part of my article series on earth builds. If this build is not to your likeing, have a look at the rest of my builds on the earth build page. I have multiple builds for any taste available, IB, PvE, arena/ToS builds and F2P/cheap builds.
This build does well against everything. Yes. Everything. It is solid versus shadow and does very well versus holy. Moreover, it will win 1:1 against almost anything due to the combination of wounds, high sustain and extreem damage pressure.
It wins 1v1 versus the earth Khan holy killing march, though I must admit earth-khan performs slightly better vs holy than this hybrid (so keep your Charles and Khan on a second march so you can quickly swap formations).
The build overview
This article is on wind-earth hyrbid. The build looks like something that would never work, but trust me IT WORKS! My god does it work. We are running a wind-earth hybrid where we take advantage of the high physical damage output of Alex and Hannibal. Moreover, we run this with the wind dragon and Zeno which makes our sustainability very strong, keeping our frontline damage dealers high on troop count for a very long time = a lot of damage. In addition, we rely on attack speed (which both Alex and Hannibal Barca scales VERY well from) from Emperor Qin who also provides us amazing debuff Wounds making this team exceptionally dangerous for any enemy setup!
In fact, only a few combinations of immortals and passives are able to truely counter this setup. And for that you need to be a huge whale with access to atleast three of the pay-walled Tower of Knowledge skills. Oh, and even against those giant whales with all the new ToK skills, we can still kill most of them or atleast hurt them so bad anything in a rally will kill it off!
In essence, in this build we are abusing the fact that both Alex and Hannibal deal surreal amounts of physical damage. Moreover, they are both quick attackers reliant on normal attack damage output, why Zeno and wind dragon are very strong combo and hugely important.
In terms of dragons: Since this is a hybrid, you might wonder if you should do earth or wind dragon? Well, used to be wind dragon provided better stat yields, but with the introduction of dragon talents in patch 2.4 the Wind dragon was made uniquely wind. This means that it’s effect does not work on other elemental immortals, and as such you MUST run it with the earth dragon.
How does it work
This setup is built around Alex and Hannibal. With the high stacked attack speed, Zeno Unique and Berserk will provide high amounts of sustaining power and with Master on Hannibal both our frontlines are immune to control. There are a few different options you need to evaluate yourself as to what fits in your server / SvS battlegroup meta. Fighting against different setups will always have a big effect on which passives are best, but this build as a default will always perform well – adding to that a few modifications to counter your enemy and it is nearly unstopable.
However, I must mention that it is not a cheap setup. Though far from holy and shadow levels of expensive, you do need to have Unique Artifacts on all four Immortals for this team to work well. Especially Zeno and Alex Artifacts are must haves for this team to really perform well. If you have that, then this is a VERY strong build. It is one of my absolute favorites and the team I have had a main for a very long time.
One last thing I want to mention about this setup, is that the ability to swap into earth-khan at will makes it extreemly strong. In my experiance over the last seasons it seems that anything that can actually kill earth-wind hybrid looses to earth-khan and vice versa.
Alex: Cleave + Duel Master + X
Alexander is our main damage dealer. Therefore, we want him to be able to sustain troop count even against enemies with wounds debuff. As such, you need to run with Duel Master on Alex. Since Alex has the greatest attack speed of any immortal in the game, you want to run cleave here as well for massive aoe pressure.
The last spot on Alex is a bit more tricky. You have a few options here depending on your enemies. (1) As a default I like to run Combo. Combo will ALWAYS provide high damage and will make your Alex win his 1:1 almost always in record time. However, (2) against other teams capable of nuking down Alex too quickly I find that Absorb sometimes provide greater value through pure retention of troop count. Against mirror line-ups, you want to test out Absorb. (3) Lastly, if you are against teams like fire Seon-Wu, you want to run Heavenly Thunder in this spot. You want to do that, because even the seconds it takes Alex to eat his front line enemy is more than enough for a Seon with few good crits to turn the fight. But if you run Heavenly Thunder you can maintain pressure on the enemy backline.
Barca: Anger + Death Breath + X
On Hannibal Barca, you want to run Anger to boost his damage output, plain and simple. You want to combine that with Death Breath adding more damage to his already insane cleave. In the last spot, you have a few different options as well. (1) As a default Shelter will always do you well. Against holy it performs extreemly well in particular! But will always provide a fair bit of value. (2) However, if you are up against a big nuke team like Seon-Wu fire you want to run Malice instead to reduce the amount of crits taken. (3) Moreover, against an enemy team with access to control effects (such as other Earth dragons or even lightning) you want to run Fighting Master in this spot to ensure that both your fronliners are Immune to enemy control effects.
Zeno: Coercion + Blessing of Defense + Blessing of War
For Zeno we want to run Coercion to use an aura slot. Coercion is a must have for this setup, since we are running purely physical dps we need our accuracy as close to hit cap as possible. If you have completed the dragon talent tree 100% and NEVER fight vs Missleading or holy (Manco) then and only then can you swap this out for another aura (preferably Malice or Missleading depending on your enemies being magical/crit based or physical). The other two slots you want the graces Blessing of Defense and Blessing of War. We are boosting our damage and survive as much as we possibly can for the beginning of the fight, in essence we are boost Barca and Alex to melt the enemy front liners before the battle even begins!
Qin: Berserk + Oaken Guard + Blessing of Speed
Emperor Qin also gets an Aura, this team needs Berserk Aura to boost attack speed. We scale exceptionally well with attack speed. You want to max attack speed as much as you possibly can! This means Berserk Aura in combination with Qin’s Ultimate ability plus Zenobia Unique Artifact and Blessing of Speed (here on Qin). In the last spot, you want Oaken Guard, our favorite mandatory passive for the physical damage meta.