The Staircase style base shown here is a deathtrap type base that solely aims to kill the enemy hero by concentrating all of the defending forces' firepower into a small region on the map. It relies on the recklessness of the enemy hero. When successful, the invading forces are forced to spend gems on scrolls or resurrections to make it through your base, bringing you in a tidy income. You can click on the pictures to get a larger image.
1. Wave Composition
If you are only interested in killing the enemy hero then you are less interested in putting the tankier units like the paladin and pyromancer in your waves, and are more interested in having loads and loads of arblasters. Arblasters have a much higher DPS than paladins and pyomancers, and their long range makes it much more difficult for the enemy hero to escape from their clutches to regenerate. If you want to kill the enemy hero, you probably want to have at least two arblasters in every wave but the first; the first wave consisting of a traditional mortar/pyromancer and paladins combination.
Don't forget to add some frosters. Frosters slow down the enemy hero and limit the amount of damage he can spread with his spells and decrease the frequency of his normal attacks. Frosters are especially effective in this typeof base as they also make it harder for the enemy hero to escape from the clutches of the arblasters to recover. It's a good idea to have a froster in every wave except for possibly the first.
Cannons target mortars over buildings so by having two mortars in the first wave arriving at the choke point, you can prolong the life of the firebolt tower standing guard over it and give your arblasters some additional time to take those cannons down.
2. Fire and Poison - A Deadly Combination
By setting up snake and firebolt towers as shown on the right, you can do massive amount of damage to the enemy hero. Snake towers are seriously underutilized, and just eat away at the health at the enemy hero. By combining one of these with a firebolt tower cleverly placed behind it, out of range of the enemy hero, you can deal a devastating amount of damage. The lingering poison effect left by the snake tower and the burning effect left by the firebolt tower are often lethal as they further eat away at the hero's health over time, preventing the hero from recovering.
3. Distractions, Distractions, Distractions
What if you don't have any troops guarding the choke point and the invading forces try to sneak some cannons through? That's what the orange-circled barricade is there fore. Unless they are coerced by a hero scream, the cannons will target this barricade, rather moving passed the choke point to safety. Meanwhile, the arblasters and pyromancers in your reinforcing waves steadily advance to deal with the cannons...
4. Cleverly placed firebolt tower.
The yellow-circle firebolt tower sitting on the three-tile island can target the region in front of the skull tower, while lying outside the range of the enemy hero. The ensuring burn damage to the enemy hero makes taking down the skull tower a far more perilous task.
Traps are nowhere near as good as barricades, but that doesn't mean that they don't ever have their uses. If you don't have enough spaces to be able to effectively place all of your barricades, as in this scenario, it is worth considering the placement of a high level trap. The reason being that in this base design, we are not focusing on just delaying the enemy hero so that they can't make it all the way around our base. We are just trying to deal as much damage as possible, as quickly as possible. Traps do damage and this damage can make the difference between the enemy hero living or dying.
6. How would I beat this type of base?
Be careful. Don't rush when you're dealing with this type of base. Deal as much damage as possible to the towers on the staircase and then retreat to a safe spot to regenerate if your hero is in peril. The most important thing is to keep your hero alive. Once you've made it up the staircase, the rest of the base isn't very difficult and should be relatively easy to beat by going solo with your king. You'll want your troops to catch up to you as soon as possible so it is a good idea to use the hero scream as much as possible while advancing up the staircase, as this will pull your troops past the choke point. It's a good idea to bring the heal spell if you want to heal these troops.
The sonic blast and bladestorm are both good choices. The sonic blast to destroy the buildings. and the bladestorm to cut through the barricades. The third spell really depends on the hero. If you feel that your hero has a lot of health, then the swordrain would be a good choice as it would deal with all the ranged troops. If you don't feel that you have that much health, then the heal spell would be a really good choice as it would help keep you alive as you advance up the staircase and if you need to solo part of the base.
There isn't really a single combination of troops that would be particularly effective against this base. One good combination that you could use is mortars, cannons and frosters. There are a lot of arblasters in the defensive waves so the mortar is a good choice as arblasters are weak to poison. By mixing the odd froster into you waves, you can slow the defending waves at the choke point, keeping your mortars alive for longer and allowing them to be more effective. Cannons are more or less always a good choice and will be important for dealing with the firebolt tower guarding the choke point. They can also be used to "clean up" towers that have already been damaged by the hero so that you can keep advancing forward and not have to worry about dealing with them.
I hope this article sheds some light on the staircase base design. If you have any questions or comments about the article, please leave them below.