Hot Tips: Defense & Trapping 1.0

Our new Hot Tips article series provides some of the best tips and tricks for players in Final Fantasy XV: A New Empire.
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Without further ado, here are some Hot Tips for Defense and Trapping that can help you tremendously when you're trying to win against an attacker.
For those of you who are already subscribers to our newsletter, we have added quite a few more tips and Q&A to this article, so we recommend that you keep on reading.

TIP: Don't create wall traps when defending against T4 or T5

While wall traps can be very effective when fighting against T1, T2, and T3 troops, against T4 or T5, wall traps often contribute to a higher casualty rate, which can mean the difference between burning and losing the battle, or winning against a solo attack or rally.
Unless you have unlocked Wards, traps are easily destroyed by T4 and T5 troops, and do not mitigate damage taken by your troops. Instead, they only increase damage taken by you.

Q. What if I have Pits and T2 Troops?

If you have pits and T2 Troops, while your pits will not necessarily be destroyed as easily, due to the fact that your T2 Troops will largely serve as a meat shield to protect your traps, T2 Troops will more likely cause you to burn. Unless you are a trap player specifically set up with a massive amount of T2s to counteract the solo or rally, the chances of you winning will decrease with traps vs without them.
Don't believe us? Try taking a few hits from a friendly T4 player with a high level Noctis or Prompto and compare your before and after reports.

Q. What if I have Guardians? Won't they take the hit first?

Yes, Guardians do take the hit first and will be hospitalized before your traps are destroyed. However, the cost of making traps can be prohibitive; and it also adds a lot of unnecessary power if you are a trap player who is trying to keep your power low. In the tests we performed with Guardians and traps, we did not see a noticeable difference in attacker troops killed, so it is our opinion that running without traps may be a better solution.

You can read more about Guardians here.


Q. What if I have Ignis? He has a ton of trap power. Wouldn't he be great to use?

The Hub performed tests with Ignis with trap players in mind. If you would like to use Ignis, please be advised that he adds a ton of power. For trap players, that is the opposite of ideal. At Level 25, with only 140,000 traps built out, Ignis adds a whopping 2 million power to your empire. At Level 50, when Ignis would be most effective, he adds even more power. As such, it is our opinion that Ignis is not a great defense hero to use for trap players.

Read the tests we performed with Ignis for Trap Players here

However, Ignis can be amazing to use for defense for players who are not traps. If you are an offensive T4 player trying to survive in a realm dominated by roaming T5s who can burn even 100M power players, having a maxed out Ignis with max traps hidden behind a wall of Frost or Crownsguard Guardians can potentially really turn the tides against your enemy attacker. At Level 50, Ignis also can add significant Troop Attack, which can help you kill incoming marches.

With the right setup, Ignis and traps could potentially be a great defense hero — but only if you are an offensive player who already has a ton of T4 troops and a high volume of defense and combat research performed. 

More testing has to be done before we can determine if Ignis can outperform Luna at the same level, so take our advice above as theoretical, based on our understanding of game mechanics.


TIP: When defending against an attack, always use an Attack Boost instead of an HP Boost

While it might not be intuitive to most players to use a 50% Troop Attack Boost instead of a 50% Troop HP Boost when you are defending against an attack, the best thing you can do when your screen is flashing red with an attack warning is to pop as many Attack boosts as you can. You can also pop HP boosts as well, as some items are stackable with the base Troop Attack/Troop HP boosts.

However, you always want to prioritize attack over HP when using a boost.


Q. Why do I want to prioritize attack? Shouldn't I use HP instead so my troops don't die?

The reason why you want to prioritize Attack over HP is simply because of the game's mechanics: the winner or loser of an attack is largely dependent on whoever manages to kill or injure more of the other's troops.

While it might seem that the best thing you can do when trying to defend is pop an HP boost to prevent your troops from dying, you are not doing anything to increase the amount of kills you are performing. So, your goal is not to prevent more of your troops from dying — rather, your goal is, instead, to kill more of the incoming march. By killing incoming troops, you will then be able to prevent more of your own troops from dying.

This is why we suggest that you skill your hero for higher attack than HP. Not only does an Attack boost raise the potential for winning against a march, but it also decreases the amount of troops you might lose in a battle.

In tests that compare Attack Boosts vs HP Boosts, Attack Boosts always outperform HP Boosts. While more of your own troops will be injured than if you were to use an HP boost, more of the incoming march is killed, which is always going to be your ultimate goal as a defender.


Q. What is the HP Boost good for, if I don't use it for Defense?

HP Boost is best used when attacking, surprisingly enough. The reason why you may want to apply an HP Boost to an attack is because it increases your troops' survivability and lowers the amount of losses you will receive when you attack an empire. If you feel you are losing too many troops when attacking an empire, sometimes applying an HP Boost will actually help you win more battles.

That being said, there are often HP Boosts included in other items that can stack on top of basic boosts. Boosts such as Cactuar's Defense Needle, which do increase Troop HP and Troop Attack, can be used on top of an Attack Boost when defending against an enemy. By combining items that increase Troop HP, Troop Attack, and Troop Armor, you will see better defense results.


TIP: When choosing defense gear, you want to have high attack and high HP

There is a reason why the Undertaker's Gear Set is touted as the best defense gear in the game by all trap players: it performs better than just about every other type of gear set out there when defending against strong attackers.

Its secret? Undertaker increases City Defense HP astronomically. If you manage to craft an entire legendary version of the gear set and also have the Mythic Forge, you will also receive an additional +300% Troop HP bonus stat. 

You may wonder why HP performs better than Armor, and the reason is quite simple: 1 point of HP = 3 points of Armor. So, that 300% Troop HP boost actually translates to 900% Armor. And unlike Armor, which can be pierced by Prompto, armor piercing gems, and armor piercing gear and boosts, HP cannot be pierced. What that means is that HP is the stat that you want to increase when you are defending.

But, because defense is not just about increasing the survivability of your troops, you also need to make sure to increase your Troop Attack as high as possible, as well. What that means is that you will want to focus on getting the best possible weapon which can increase your Troop Attack stats.

The most experienced traps in the game generally like to run with a mix of HP and Attack gear, as HP increases troop casualties on your end and Attack increases how many troops you kill of the incoming march. You can check out this article to see the best Defense gear setup that we recommend


Q. What about Guardian Gear? Isn't it better than Undertaker?

Guardian Gear adds the following stats:

  • +1928% Troop Armor
  • +123% Troop HP
  • +659% Mercenary Guardian Armor x 3
  • +40% Attack Resistance x 3

A full set can add an additional +150% Attack Resistance and +800% City Defense Armor through the Mythic Forge.

Undertaker, on the other hand, adds the following stats:

  • +648% City Defense HP
  • Empire Intimidation (which is not useful for the purpose of this discussion)

The Mythic Forge adds an additional +300%  Troop HP and more Empire Intimidation.

Essentially, Undertaker translates to a whopping 2844% Troop Armor which cannot be pierced, versus 3097% Troop Armor, of which 2728% can be pierced. When considering the fact that right now, Guardian Gear is pretty much impossible to get, without spending an astronomical amount of money on Elixir Packs when the Guardian Gear Dungeon event shows up in the Proving Grounds, Undertaker is clearly the better option at the time of this article's writing.

At present, there is not a single experienced trap player who has the full Guardian's Gear Set (or even any gold Guardian Gear pieces for that matter). As a result, none of us have been able to test this gear extensively. Until we are able to actually make this gear and test it in the field, we will continue to recommend what we know, with absolute certainty, performs best at this point in the game: continue using Undertaker's Gear Set with Glacian Weapons and one Glacian Accessory. (Or Arbiter. Take your pick. Just make sure to also increase your Troop Attack.)



There are many advanced strategies that you can use to defend your empire. These are just some intermediate strategies that we think can help any player who wants to defend well against powerful troops, or any up-and-coming trap players who want to improve their trap builds and increase their chances of success when defending against stronger empires.

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  1. subtextually says

    In general, if you do not have Mercenary Pits, you’ll have to build a huge amount of troops to try and defend yourself. However, without Guardians to defend you, the chances of getting burned will be much higher — so this is just something you should be aware of. Have you had a chance to check out our Intro to Trapping article?

  2. Panjoel says

    Its great article and helpful…
    My question is…
    How when we are traps city, but not have mercenary pits building, which mean we cant use guardian as defender…
    Just depend on troops we have and gears…

    1. Tyler Hebert says

      If your guild uses the Adventure Hall correctly someone is bound to acquire the Fighting Pits Unlock Gift To A Friend and have them gift it to you. Guardians are available to train with level 1 Fighting Pits. Plus you can also get blueprints to upgrade your buildings, including Fighting Pits, through the Forgotten Archives dungeon in the Adventure Hall.

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