Due to Jim’s death, Yuel and John were put in a 2v3 situation and had to retreat. Thankfully, JIm respawned in blue team’s base after a couple of seconds and arrived at the lane alongside the blue minions. It was a positive development for a change... or so Yuel thought.
“Yo! I’mma show ‘em! Watch me go!” Jim charged forward. He got to the frontline, as expected of the Warrior class, but he didn’t stop there. He dashed all the way to the enemy Archer and smacked that bot in the face. He did all of that, right in front of the red minions. Dear lord.
Is he for real!? Yuel barely stopped himself from shouting. The teacher clearly explained what happened in these scenarios, but Jim just... ugh!
The red minions immediately reacted to the assault. Instead of clashing with the blue minions, the red minions focused all their attention on Jim. This situation was even worse than last time! Jim was attacked not only by bowman minions, but also by swordsman minions!
“Jim, pull back!” Yuel called out.
“Pft, the heck are you doing!?” John was torn between laughter and anger.
“Yo! I’mma take out this guy!” Jim didn’t listen. His Warrior was slashed by swords and pierced by arrows, but he kept hitting the Archer bot. Once the enemy Archer started retaliating, Jim’s HP plummeted at the speed of light.
“Ugh.” Yuel gritted his teeth. He didn’t know how to rescue Jim. Taking out the enemy minion wave would help a lot, but Yuel’s Pyromancer didn’t have any convenient long-ranged spells with burst damage.
Yuel cast Pillar of Fire around the red swordsmen, but it sapped their HP very slowly. He had to hit the minions with Flame Wave to finish them off, but that required throwing his squishy Pyromancer into the frontline. That’s too risky. Once Jim fell, Yuel would be the next on the list.
John didn’t have any tools to deal with this situation either. Through combined effort, Yuel and John quickly shot down the enemy swordsmen. But, they weren't fast enough.
『An ally has been killed!』
“Gah! Yo! I almost had him!” Jim waved his fists. He had just returned to lane and he was already dead. Now, Yuel and John were forced into a 2v3 situation. Again. Sigh.
The only good news were that Jim soaked a lot of minion damage, which meant the blue minions were largely uninjured compared to the red minions. The healthy blue minions helped balancing out the 2v3 situation. At the very least, Yuel and John had a decent chance to hold the lane this round.
Still, we’re lagging behind. Yuel frowned at the Lv.3 enemy Archer. Even though the red minions dealt the most damage to Jim, the one rewarded for the kill was the enemy Archer. The Archer gained lots of exp and gold from Jim’s death, reaching Lv.3 before everybody else. Jim was feeding the enemy with a spoon. This had to stop.
There must be a way to exploit this situation. Yuel analyzed the state of the battlefield. Blue team had the advantage in term of minion numbers. Thanks to Jim’s foolish efforts, the squishy enemy Archer was down to 30% HP. If Yuel could get closer and hit the Archer with Flame Wave, he could shave off at least 15% of that HP. But, who would remove the remaining 15% HP?
One option was to charge forward, Jim-style, and assault the Archer with both Flame Wave and basic attacks. A terrible idea. If Jim’s beefy Warrior died so quickly, then Yuel’s squishy Pyromancer would be crushed in an instant. The same applied to John’s Archer. They wouldn’t last even two seconds on the frontline.
The only remaining source of damage was the blue minion wave. Sadly, unlike in strategy games, Yuel couldn’t order the blue minions to attack the Archer. In Classmancers, Minions automatically attacked enemy minions. They’d only attack enemy players once no enemy minions were in range, or when an enemy player was attacking an allied player.
If only their Archer was a goof like Jim and attacked me... wait. Yuel was hit with by a sudden realization. The enemy Archer wasn’t as reckless as Jim, so he wouldn’t attack Yuel on purpose. But, what if it happened by accident!?
I got this! Yuel ran toward the frontline. It looked like a Jim-style suicidal play, but this one was properly calculated.
Instead of going all the way to the front, Yuel hid behind a blue swordsman and waited for the enemy Archer to take aim. When the next arrow was about to be released, Yuel stepped in front of the targeted swordsman. The Archer’s arrow was a projectile which flew in a straight line. By standing in the arrow's way - the arrow had no choice but to hit Yuel! The Archer “attacked” him!
Yes! Get him! The blue minions went to lynch the offender. The Archer took his sweet time to retreat, realizing he was in danger only after dropping to 20% HP. At that point, it was already too late. Yuel came close enough to cast Flame Wave. The enemy Archer was consumed by the flames.
『You have killed an enemy!』
Taking advantage of the spell’s width, Yuel made sure to also hit the enemy Warrior and minions. Surprisingly, Flame Wave erased a sizeable chunk of the Warrior’s HP. Apparently, the Warrior’s magical defense was considerably lower than his physical defense. With all the red minions gone, there was a chance to defeat the Warrior as well!
“John, shoot the Warrior.” Yuel instructed as he started hitting the Warrior with basic attacks. Both of his spells were on cooldown, but a mage’s basic attacks also dealt magical damage. They were weak, but proved effective against the Warrior.
In addition, now that Yuel hit Lv.3, he unlocked his last skill: Burning Spirit. It was steroid ability which temporarily buffed the Pyromancer’s attack speed and movement speed. For a mage, that kind of powerup seemed odd and inefficient. But, since both Flame Wave and Pillar of Fire were on cooldown, Burning Spirit was the only way Yuel could boost his damage right now.
Through combined effort, Yuel and John barraged the enemy Warrior to death.
『An enemy has been killed!』
This time, John landed the last hit and scored the kill. Nonetheless, Yuel received a decent amount of exp and gold for assisting. They completely turned the tables around, going from a 2v3 to a 2v1!
They focused on the enemy Wizard next, but he was already in the middle of fleeing. They chased him down, but were forced to give up. The Wizard safely reached the red team’s Turret.
The Turret was the first defensive structure on the lane, which prevented enemies from pushing forward. Once a player got close to an enemy Turret, they’d be bombarded by arrows. According to the teacher, low level characters would be killed in two hits. The Turret sounded dreadful.
To keep chasing the Wizard, Yuel and John would have to step into the Turret’s fire range. That was out of question. They’d both be eliminated before they’d get to do anything.
Their only choice was to wait for the next minion wave. The teacher explained that minions were crucial for demolishing Turrets, since Turrets prioritized shooting minions over players. In other words, minions should be used as a meat shield against the Turret.
To do so, minions first had to survive long enough to reach the enemy Turret. Yuel and John focused their attacks on the incoming enemy wave and cleared the path for the blue minions. Once the blue minions invaded the Turret, Yuel and John would be able to demolish it.
However, things didn’t go that smoothly. Once the blue minions came close enough, the Wizard created a quicksand on the lane. It was a damage-over-time spell, similar to the Pyromancer’s Pillar of Fire. All the minions which entered the quicksand had their HP gradually sapped.
But, that wasn’t all. The quicksand also slowed down the minions’ movement, delaying their progress and forcing them to stay longer within the damaging area. While Yuel had to carefully plan where to place Pillar of Fire so that enemies stayed within its range, the Wizard’s hax spell just forced enemies to stay in range by slowing them. That seemed fair.
After the minions finally passed the quicksand, what awaited them next was the Wizard’s ultra beginner-friendly wind spell. Not only did it hit the whole minion wave, but it also knocked back the swordsmen, further delaying their arrival at the Turret. Great! Amazing! Much skill!
By the time the blue wave reached the Turret, only two swordsmen were left standing. Yuel and John hurried after them and started shooting the Turret as soon as the minions got its attention. However, that offense didn’t last long. The Turret ravaged the blue minions with arrows and blue team had to retreat. John was a bit too slow and got hit by one Turret shot. That instantly deleted 60% of his HP.
In the end, they barely got to graze the Turret. The damage they dealt was almost unnoticeable on the Turret’s HP bar. The enemy Warrior and Archer soon returned to the lane, forcing Yuel and John to retreat to the center. Jim also returned from the dead, turning the situation into a 3v3. It felt like they were back to square one.
“John, go back to base.” Yuel suggested. “I’ll hold the lane until then.”
“Yeah, that’s a good idea.” John nodded. His Archer was missing over 60% HP thanks to the Turret shot. Healing up at the base sounded like a very appealing idea. “You sure you can hold the lane against them?”
“Yes, no problem. In the worst case, we can turtle at our Turret like the Wizard did.”
“Got it.” John turned around and began running back to base.
“You can press ‘B’ to teleport back.”
“Oh, right! My bad.” John stopped running and pressed ‘B’ on his keyboard. Magical aura formed around his Archer. After channeling for three seconds, the Archer vanished from the lane and spawned back at the base.
“Jim, be ready to retreat to the Turret if our minions lose.” Yuel gave a warning long before the minions even began clashing. By now, it was obvious Jim had to be warned five minutes ahead of time, or else it’d be too late.
“Don’t worry, yo. I’m not dying again this game!”
Yes, I’m 100% sure that’s true. Yuel mentally retorted.
Despite the situation being a 2v3, he defended the lane well with his Pyromancer. Even with all the peculiar traits the Pyromancer possessed, he was still a mage with burst. With fully charged heat, the AoE damage of Flame Wave was nothing to sneeze at. Thanks to that, the clash of the two minion waves nearly ended in a tie.
Only two red bowmen survived, but that still meant red team held the upper hand in the lane. With red team The enemy bots saw this as a cue to turn aggressive.
“Jim, we’re retreating.”
Yuel and Jim returned to their Turret. Even in a 2v3, the enemy bots were wary the Turret. Instead of hitting the players, red team attacked the Turret and retreated once all red minions were gone.
Yet again, the lane was back to square one. The only difference was the slightly lower health of both Turrets.
After John returned to the lane with full HP, it was now Yuel’s turn to back. His Pyromancer was running low on MP. A mage who couldn’t cast spells was as good as useless.
“Make sure to use the Turret if you’re pushed back.” Yuel repeated the advice and teleported back to base. Standing at the spawning spot quickly restored him to full HP and full MP.
In addition, he could now buy new items from the shop. He had accumulated a fine sum of gold by taking out all these minion waves.
So, now what? Yuel frowned as he examined the shop’s selection. He could go for many different options with the amount of gold he had: buy two new items, buy three cheaper items or upgrade Demonic Arm. He had never thought being rich could make life so difficult.
His teammates were definitely struggling to hold the lane without him right now, so he didn’t have the time to think. He opted for what seemed most reasonable and upgraded Demonic Arm to Lv.3. He confirmed that the Auto-Buy function also upgraded John’s starting item to Lv.3, which made Yuel confident in his decision.
The deal-sealer was the passive effect which Demonic Arm gained at Lv.3,. On top of providing more magical power and attack speed, Lv.3 Demonic Arm also made Yuel’s basic attacks shred the target’s protections. Each hit would lower the target’s magical defense by 10% for 3 seconds, stacking up to 4 times on one target.
This adds even more utility to my basic attacks. Interesting. Yuel had grown accustomed to the Pyromancer by now, so this new layer of complexity was a welcome addition. His basic attacks were no longer just a last resort for when all his spells were on cooldown. Now, the best tactic was to hit an enemy with 4 basic attacks in order to lower their defense, then finish them off with spells.
This will be useful, but is it enough? Yuel pondered while running back to lane. Taking out the enemy Wizard and Archer was the top priority. As long as either of them survived, the status quo at the lane wouldn’t be broken. The tricky part was how these two always stayed at the rear and ran away as soon as things went south.
If only I could flank them somehow. Maybe I can use this “jungle”? He scanned the mini-map. The “jungle” consisted of two unexplored paths, which sandwiched the lane. Tall walls separated the lane from the jungle, so It was impossible to freely walk back and forth between these areas.
There were three passages between the jungle and the lane. One of them was deep inside enemy territory, but the other two were very accessible. The first passage was close to blue team’s base, whereas the second passage was near the center of the map.
Instead of going along the lane, Yuel could venture into the jungle from the first passage and arrive at the center of the lane via the second passage. That’d take longer than running straight along the lane, but Yuel would stay hidden inside the jungle. The enemies wouldn’t see him coming until he appears right behind them.
“I want to flank them by going around.” Yuel drew his planned route on the mini-map and the information was transmitted to his teammates’ maps as well. “If it works, we can kill both the Wizard and Archer. Think you can hold the lane until then?”
“Sounds like a plan.” John nodded. “We should be okay for a while as long as we keep hugging this Turret.”
“Alright.” Yuel ventured into the jungle. He activated Burning Spirit, which granted him a temporary movement speed buff.
Along the way, he came across camps inhabited by monsters: hyenas, wraiths and ogres. These monsters weren’t marked as either blue or red on the mini-map, which meant they were “neutral”. They most likely existed to let players farm additional exp and gold, beyond what minions provided on the lane.
Reaching Lv.5 will really help my flanking. Yuel was already halfway to Lv.5, so clearing one of the neutral camps would hopefully get him there.
The Hyenas Camp was the closest to the lane, but hyenas looked like generic mobs which only granted exp and gold. They were displayed on the mini-map as simple white dots.
The Ogre Camp was different. It had a large sword icon on the mini-map, which suggested that defeating the ogres would grant some special benefit. The Wraith Camp also had an icon, that of a potion, but it was too far from the lane to be considered.
Thus, Yuel headed toward the Ogre Camp. It consisted of only three ogres: two small ones and one big boss guy. He stepped into the camp and shot each of the ogres multiple times to lower their defenses with Demonic Arm.
Once the ogres got close to hit him, he cast Pillar of Fire in front of himself. The circle of flames continuously damaged the ogres, but they just kept standing there and smacking Yuel in the face.
Oh, this also gives me power? Not bad. Yuel realized he got buffed while standing on the flame generated by Pillar of Fire. There were so many fine details to learn about the Pyromancer. It was amazing.
After he shredded enough protections from the ocs and his heat gauge reached 70%, Yuel unleashed Flame Wave and wiped them out. The ogre leader dropped a sword, which was coated in a magical aura. Once Yuel touched it, the sword fused into the Pyromancer and vanished.
I see. It’s a power buff. Yuel confirmed that his power value increased on the stat screen. The buff granted +20% power and lasted for 3 minutes. Not the longest buff ever, but long enough to be put to good use.
Clearing the camp also brought him to Lv.5. He gained access to the Pyromancer’s ultimate ability: Blaze of Inferno. It was a damaging spell, with a... peculiar hit range. He wasn’t entirely sure what to make of its potential yet, but it should be prove useful in the upcoming flanking attack.
With all these tools in hand, he headed toward the lane. While he was busy with the Ogre Camp, red team had pushed blue team all the way to the Turret. A red swordsman and three red bowmen invaded the blue Turret’s area.
While the red minions tanked the Turret’s shots, the red bot players barraged the Turret with basic attacks. All enemy players extended so far into blue team’s territory. They were so far from their own Turret. This was the perfect opportunity to flank them!
They will react as soon as they notice me, so I better move fast. Yuel activated Burning Spirit to boost his movement speed and swiftly approached the enemies from behind. As he drew closer, the enemy bots... didn’t react. Huh? Why?
The intermediate bots had done a great job playing safe until now, so what changed? A player sneaking up from behind should had rung some alarms. Yet, the bots didn’t even turn around to acknowledge Yuel’s presence... wait.
Oh! They can’t see me!? It finally hit him. Classmancers was a third-person game, which meant players couldn’t know what was happening behind them until they turned around. Even bots had to follow that rule to feel like real players.
With the enemies’ backs turned to Yuel right now, he could leisurely optimize his positioning for the flanking. He snuck up behind the enemy Wizard, cast Pillar of Fire in front of himself to boost his power and fired basic attacks at the Wizard.
After getting hit, the Wizard finally realized the danger. But, it was too late. The Pyromancer's fast attacks shredded the Wizard’s protections within moments. While the Wizard had just started the casting for his spell, Yuel had already finished unleashing his Flame Wave.
『You have killed an enemy!』
“Ha... haha...” Yuel couldn’t believe his eyes. The Wizard was deleted. Completely wiped out. Eliminated. Just like that, with one hit from Flame Wave. All the preparations Yuel had made paid off big time with this one play!
Realizing the danger, the enemies fled toward their Turret. But Yuel wasn’t going to let that happen. After the Wizard, his next target was the Archer. He hit the Archer with four basic attacks, then unleashed his ultimate ability.
Ugh, this is such a weird skill! Yuel messed up the process. Blaze of Inferno required him to draw an area on the ground. Fire erupted along the path he drew, damaging all enemies in range.
It was his first time casting such an odd spell, so the path he drew was far from optimal. Part of the attack hit the enemy Archer, but it wasn’t enough. The Archer was about to get away.
“I’ll try to finish him off.” John said. His Archer crouched and took aim at a distant target. Was this the Archer’s ultimate? Yuel hadn’t seen this move yet.
After a second, John released his arrow. It flew all the way from the center of the map up to the enemy Turret. Even though the fleeing Archer changed his running direction at some point, the arrow pursued him without fail.
What is this? A guided missile? These easy classes... While Yuel had to draw his ultimate’s hit area like some Picasso, the Archer’s ultimate simply locked onto a specific target and pursued them to the ends of the earth. So fair.
『An enemy has been killed!』
The broken ultimate made it feel like a cheap kill, but it warranted celebration all the same. With this successful flanking, Yuel had finally punished his enemies for a misplay. The thought of repeating this against human players made him giddy.
With both enemy damage dealers gone, it was the perfect chance to push forward!
“John, focus on the Turret. Ignore the minions.” Yuel ordered as they invaded the enemy Turret. He took care of incoming minion waves with spells, while John barraged the Turret with swift basic attacks. This was the optimal arrangement, as Turrets were immune to damaging abilities. All of Yuel’s spells were useless against it.
After wiping out the minions, Yuel also attacked the Turret. His basic attacks were way weaker than John’s, but they were about as fast. This allowed him to deal sizable damage to the Turret, despite being a mage.
Try to top that, Wizard. Yuel smirked. Pyromancer lost to Wizard in many ways as a mage, but the high attack speed allowed Pyromancer to fulfil additional roles, which the Wizard could never dream of. Yuel was convinced that, with the right handling, the Pyromancer was superior to the Wizard.
『An enemy Turret has been destroyed!』
After that, blue team became unstoppable. They won every team fight by luring red team away from safety and flanking them. Respawn times for players became longer and longer as the match progressed, so every won team fight gave blue team a lot of time to push forward.
Before long, they defeated the enemy Golem, the second objective on the lane. This temporarily empowered blue minions, making them trample all over red minions. Together with these powerful minions, blue team invaded the enemy base and destroyed the enemy Colossus.
This match was just a little taste of what Classmancers had to offer. The enemies were mere bots and this was just a small 3v3 practice map. Nonetheless, Yuel was already sold. The map, abilities, items, strategies and team fights. He was totally hooked by the complex combination of all these factors.
It was decided that day: Classmancers was the team sport he wanted to play!