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The Fates - Hero Guide by PV

PV gives you the definitive tier list of what Characters to start with while playing The Fates

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Fates was considered a relatively weak hero until her rework, at which point she became one of the strongest heroes in the game. Since she’s still quite new, there’s a lot of uncertainty as to which level 2 units are good first picks, as well as to how her ability even works. In this article, I’ll give you my Tier List of Fates units as well as what I think your strategy should be depending on which one you pick first.

Before we go on to the most common Fates strategies, let’s make sure we understand how she works. The core of it is that the first unit you buy will get a modifier that says it will be “Destined” to upgrade. What this means is that the unit is going to keep appearing in your shop as a bonus unit until it triples. Here are some nuances of the ability that you might not be aware of:

The “destined” modifier is something that goes on that particular unit, just like a buff. So, if you buy a Polywoggle, then the “Destined” unit isn’t “Polywoggles”, but that “card” in particular. If that Polywoggle turns into something else, then that “something else” is going to be destined. For example, if Polywoggle turns into The White Stag, you’re going to start seeing The White Stags on the shop until that one triples. The same is true if you play Shard of the Ice Queen on your original character (you’ll start seeing the Evil character after that).

If you buy Cinderella first, the buff is not going to apply (the next unit you buy will then get the modifier) because Cinderella can’t naturally triple.

If you cast Roll the Dice on Turn 1, the unit you get will not be Destined, you have to purchase it for the buff to apply.

If you lock your shop with the Destined unit, you will get another copy of it next turn. This can lead to a scenario where you have more than three copies of the card available for purchase. Some people like a strategy of waiting until you can triple two copies of the unit, but I would not recommend this as I think you sacrifice too much early game.

Overall, Fates is a very flexible hero; most of the time, you’re going to use the Destined unit for an early power spike and then from there you will be able to go in whichever direction you want, whether it includes the upgraded unit or not. Some characters will funnel you into certain comps more than others (such as Fanny wanting you to be Dwarves, or Labyrinth Minotaur wanting you to be Evil), but as a general rule Fates does not demand a particular comp the way a hero like Gepetto does. You should also keep in mind that her +3/+3 ability applies to every Gold unit, not just the Destined one, so prioritize getting triples on Fates a little more than you normally would.

That said, here’s my Fates tier list:


S Tier - The ones you always want


Blind Mouse

Three Blind Mice is the best unit to start the game with on Fates, because it guarantees a level 4 Treasure very early in the game. If that’s what you have, I recommend you to triple them as soon as possible, as some of the level four Treasures (such as Fool’s Gold) are more effective the earlier you have them.

When people have Three Blind Mice, it’s common to get greedy and try to lock the shop until you get six of them, so you get two level 4 Treasures. I would strongly recommend you don’t do that. Not only does it cost a lot to lock these pieces early in the game, but the level 4 Treasures are simply not that strong, especially if they come later in the game. In my opinion, it’s much better to get one Level 4 Treasure early than two Level 4 Treasures later.

Polywoggle

Polywoggle is also very strong on Fates. When you have Polywoggle, there are usually two courses of action that you’re hoping to achieve:

You immediately Slay. This will turn Polywoggle into a level 3 unit, which will then be destined to upgrade. This means your 2.2 shop will have a level 3 unit in it, which is very convenient in a level you’re at 3 gold. A board of two level-3 units will be stronger than almost any other board and you can then snowball that advantage.

You fail to slay (this is the most common scenario). Then, your goal is to make sure that the original Polywoggle does not slay until you can triple it on 3.1. If it Slays, you’re going to have to be playing “off-curve” - having a three-cost character to buy when you have four gold is not actually good, you’d often rather buy two two-cost characters instead. In fact, I’d go as far as say that you should not even field your original Polywoggle. You will likely lose the fight, and you might take a lot of damage in the early game (presumably you lost the first round as well), but I think this is a sacrifice you must make. In the meantime, I would also try to pick up Mad Mim if you can.

Note that, if the second Polywoggle you bought ends up slaying something, this is not a disaster; it will delay your tripling, but only the original Polywoggle is Destined, and as long as that one does not transform you will see more Polywoggles.

Then, on 3.1, you triple the Polywoggle. This will give you a 5/5 Polywoggle (because of the Fates bonus) that is very likely to immediately Slay (especially if you picked up an early Mim), and will then turn into an upgraded four cost unit, which is huge. At that point, you will get back in the game and make up for the life you lost during the set-up.

There’s always a chance you will triple into a bad unit, of course (for example Time Flies). If that’s the case, you will probably bleed for a while longer, but you can still get back in it by finding a True Love’s Kiss.


A Tier - I’m very happy to pick those. I’ll pick them instead of picking Cinderella or casting Roll the Dice.

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Wizard's Familiar

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Wizard’s Familiar offers a slow start, but it scales well in the middle of the game and it offers a character that you might want to keep until the game is over. The normal play pattern with it is to buy a Familiar on 2.1 and then another Familiar plus a spell on 2.2, though sometimes this is not doable because the spell isn’t castable. If you have one of the spells that needs to target a good or an evil unit, I’d recommend you buy an unit of that type and cast that while locking the Familiar; if you have no available units, then you can either buy the Familiar and roll or buy another unit, but in this case locking isn’t great because you’re left with an uncastable spell.

With Wizard’s Familiar, I will sometimes delay tripling by one or two turns so I can buy more familiars - once I’m incentivized to cast as many spells as I can every turn, extra Familiars get a little better. I will still not hold to triple two of them because that takes way too long, but getting an extra Familiar or two can be a cool bonus.

Happy Little Tree

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Happy Little Tree is a strong Fates unit for two reasons. First, it’s a scaling character, so getting it online early is good, and Fates makes sure you can golden the Tree early. Second, it’s a character that benefits a lot from the +3/+3 bonus once it is golden, because it has a lot of health and the +3 attack will end up hitting several characters. A 2/15 Tree might deal 6 damage to enemy units over the course of an early game fight, but a 5/18 tree will deal 15 or 20 and might be able to solo the entire fight.


B Tier - Acceptable. I would lean towards picking Cinderella over them, or casting Roll the Dice in most shops (or Free Roll), but I’m not unhappy to have to pick them.

If I’m playing a tournament and have to spike, then I will try my chances with a new shop, but if all I need is a middle finish or to just avoid getting last place then I will pick one of these units.

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Fanny

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I believe I like Fanny a little more than others in Fates. This is partially because of Fanny herself, and partially because I seem to like Dwarves more than most people. Right now I admit that Dwarves is not among the strongest end-game comps, but it can be a very strong early-game comp and sometimes you just steamroll the lobby and you never get to the late-game.

I have Fanny in B tier, but whether I will pick her over Cinderella will depend on whether there are other Dwarves in the shop. If my shop is, for example, Fanny, Crafty, Cinderella, I will pick Fanny and lock the shop, because there’s already a Dwarf in there and the biggest issue with Fanny is that you might see no early Dwarves. If I have Cinderella, Fanny and Black Cat, then I will just pick Cinderella.

As a Destined unit, Fanny has a couple of things going for her that make her more appealing than you might think at first glance:

Fanny is an early unit that can end up making your late-game comp (you usually only replace her in Dwarves once you get to level six). She can be very useful throughout the game, as opposed to a “stat-bot” that you will end up replacing relatively quickly.

A comp that wants one Fanny is likely to want multiple of them. This makes Fanny a prime unit to “accumulate” in the shop before you golden - in fact, she’s the one I am most likely to do this with. You don’t need to wait until you triple two Fannies (this takes a long time), but it is often good to not triple her immediately. Two regular Fannies offer a lot of stats if you have other dwarves, so you’re not desperate to triple them and stem the bleeding, and I will often wait until I have at least another one available. Once you do, then you can double-support your Doubly with one golden and one regular fanny, which gives you a very big board early on.

Of course, taking Fanny is a bit like putting the blinders on and “forcing” Dwarves, so you lose out on flexibility. Sometimes you see no other Dwarves and then you have to abandon her, and that sucks. Still, I personally think it’s worth it to speculate on her. If you are the kind of person who just hates Dwarves, then you should not pick her because she really funnels you into that comp.

Humpy Dumpty

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Humpty Dumpty’s placement might be the most controversial thing in this article - I think a lot of players don’t like him because when he doesn’t work out, the experience is really miserable. However, I’ve found that most of the time he does work out with Fates.

For those who don’t know, if you triple Humpty Dumpty, you can choose a Treasure called Easter Egg.

Easter Egg

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This scales with your Fates ability, giving upgraded units +6/+6. This is a huge bonus in the early-mid game - it’s enough to make it hard for your upgraded Egg to die this early and enough to carry you a long way if you have any other upgraded unit. The +1/+1 bonus at the end of each turn is good as well, of course.

When you select the Egg, I think your first priority should be making sure they don’t pop on your second combat. The best way to do this is to buy a different unit on 2.2 and lock the Egg so that you can buy two Eggs on 2.3, but if your shop is bad and you don’t think you will win the fight with just one Egg, then I’d consider buying the Egg but just conceding the 2.2 fight.

To evaluate this, you need to pay attention to who you’re playing against. Imagine, for example, that your possible board is Tiny + Humpty Dumpty. A hero like Locki can easily kill both these units on 2.2, so at that point I don’t think you want to take this risk and it’s better to just buy two Eggs and put both on the bench for this fight. A hero like Skip is never going to be able to kill an Egg, so fielding both Eggs on 2.2 is fine.

After you triple your Egg, that should be enough to win you a couple of combats even you don’t triple anything else. If your Egg dies very early, then that will be a disaster, but it rarely does, and if it dies in the middle of the game then that’s fine, you should have other stuff to replace it with.

Overall, taking Humpty Dumpty on Fates is a risky choice, but I believe it to be better than taking a bad unit.

Kitty Cutpurse

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Kitty Cutpurse is a unit that is not going to carry you very far; instead, what it does is facilitate the rest of your comp. As a 5/5 unit on 2.3, it is very likely to slay at least once and potentially more than that (put it in Slot 5 for the highest chance of multiple slays, but early game if your board is strong then that’s risky, because the game could end without it ever attacking, so I’d put it on Slot 1). Overall, the Cutpurse should grant you an extra 4-10 gold over the course of the early-mid game, at which point you should feel free to sell it and replace it with a better unit. Holding onto your upgraded Kitty Cutpurse for too long is one of the most common mistakes with this unit, so make sure you do not do that.


C Tier - Also acceptable, but worse than the other units. I will definitely pick Cinderella over those regardless of what the shop looks like or what place I need to finish, and I will always cast a Free Roll.

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Sherwood Sureshot

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Some people like Sherwood Sureshot as a Fates target a bit more than I do. A 7/5 Ranged unit is very strong in the early game and will be able to solo some fights, but it still doesn’t scale well enough by itself for me to be super happy to pick it. That said, I’m not upset either, so it’s the first unit in C tier for me. If you manage to find an early King Arthur, you will probably keep this unit in your board for a long time, because then it will actually scale into the later stages of the game.

Crafty

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Crafty is also a dwarf, but he does not funnel you into Dwarves the way Fanny does - it’s entirely possible to pick Crafty, triple it, never buy another Dwarf and just go on your merry way. So, even if you are a person who will never build a Dwarves comp, you can happily pick him.

A tripled Crafty with Fates will give you an 11/11 early on, and as soon as you find another treasure it will become a 15/15. You should already be incentivized to triple characters on Fates, and having a golden Crafty should make it even more so.

Lonely Prince

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Lonely Prince will be a 13/13 when transformed, which is similar to Crafty, but it lacks any scaling so you usually end up selling it sooner. Basically, if it’s enough early in the game that you have no extra treasure, an 11/11 is likely to be similar to a 13/13, so the two cards are equal, but if it’s late enough that you have found another treasure then you will be in a stage of the game where a 15/15 might be meaningfully bigger than 13/13, so I think Crafty is usually a better choice. On top of that, a 1/1 is much more likely to lose the first fight than a 2/2.

This is not even mentioning the fact that you could end up not transforming this early on, which is a disaster. If you find a Princess in the first shop you can lock it to guarantee transforming your frogs, but if there’s a Princess in my first shop I’d rather just take the Princess.

Mad Mim

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Mad Mim is a 3/9 with the Fates buff, which is respectable, and the +6/+0 support means it’s an unit you will keep for a relatively large portion of the game, as it works very well with Black Cat and can easily enable Slays.

Rainbow Unicorn

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Rainbow Unicorn is not a bad Fates unit because, much like Happy Little Tree, the +3/+3 scales very well with large health characters. You will get a 5/13, which can solo a lot of fights early in the game, and giving all the good units 2 health isn’t negligible either.


D Tier - Last resort. You’re not happy but you’ll still buy those rather than paying a gold to roll your first shop.

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Baby Dragon

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Baby Dragon’s upgraded statline is reasonable (9/7), and it should be enough to kill anything in your opponent’s backline and survive to also kill an attacker. Depending on the composition of the people you’re up against, this can be a huge asset and you’ll be very happy to have picked it, but there’s a lot of variance in it - if they don’t have Supports or don’t particularly care about their backline units, then all you’re getting is a 9/7 body, which is much worse than the 11/11 or 13/13 body you could be getting with a different unit. I am not a fan of this particular uncertainty so I tend to shy away from the Baby Dragon.

Baby Root

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A 3/9 that gives +0/+6 is actually quite decent early on (just buy some high attacking characters to place in front of it, like Tiny), but the shelf life on upgraded Baby Root is much smaller than on upgraded Mad Mim. It doesn’t work as well with summons and doesn’t enable Slaying, so you’ll end up replacing it very quickly.

Golden Chicken

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I am not sure which unit is better, Golden Chicken or Billy Gruff. Billy is a 7/9, which is meaningfully better than a 7/7, and it’s also Evil and an Animal, which are two bonuses, but Chicken sells for 4 gold, which is much better than selling for 1. I’m not entirely sure picking either is ever correct (it might be better to roll your first shop and skip your first turn), but right now I think I’d pick Chicken over Billy.

B-a-a-d Billy Gruff

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Billy is just another “stat-bot”, except the stats are much smaller. It’ll be a 7/9 when upgraded, which is meaningfully better than a 7/7 but still not even close to the other units you can get with Fates. As the tier says, only pick as a last resort.


E Tier - I will literally pay one gold to roll before picking this unit.

When your shop is truly awful, you can simply roll. If you are lucky you will hit Forbidden Fruit and a good unit, but if you are unlucky you just roll again and lock if you find something great. This basically means you skip a turn, which is suboptimal, but I think it’s actually better than buying one of these units.

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Labyrinth Minotaur

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Labyrinth Minotaur has a big problem in that the stat bonus is not good enough to justify it. When you have a 4/4 character that becomes an 8/8 character, then you expect it to perform better than it was performing before. When you turn a 5/1 character into a 10/2 character, then you don’t actually increase its effectiveness very much, especially in the early game; it’s still going to kill things in one hit and it will still die in one hit. The Fate bonus makes it a 13/5, which is better, but you’d much rather have something like a 9/9 and honestly even a 7/7 early on, because 7 attack might as well be 13 attack but 7 health is a lot more than 5 health. As a general rule, the +3/+3 bonus goes a much longer way on a unit that is defense-heavy than attack-heavy.

Minotaur is not dreadful to triple because its ability can be quite strong in the right evil board, but I’d still rather try my chances with something else.

Black Cat

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Black Cat is one of the rare units that gets worse when you triple it, because the ability doesn’t scale linearly. When you play Black Cat, you’re not playing it for the body, you’re playing it because it gives you an extra unit to buff (with Mad Mim for example). If you turn your two Cats into one Cat, then you will have fewer units to buff overall, and your board will be worse even if your Cat is slightly bigger.

Tiny

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Tiny is like Minotaur, except much worse, because it does not have an ability that scales and because a 6/1 body originally is even more likely to be the same as a 15/5 body early on.

So, this covers every Tier 2 unit you can get with Fates and the order I’d pick them in. Of course a lot of this is due to personal preference, and liable to change if the game changes (for example if Dwarves becomes better you will want to pick Crafty and Fanny higher; if Arthur still cost 3, Sureshot and Lonely Prince would be higher, and so on), but hopefully I’ve managed to give you enough of a direction so you know how to proceed regardless of the unit you end up picking.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this article, and see you soon!

-PV