GemCraft Labyrinth - Strategy Guide Guide
Dual gems are superior to pure gems, they get bonuses to their damage, range, and firing speed. Triple gems get even higher bonuses. These bonuses can be further increased with the Dual gem and Triple gem mastery skills.
Pure gems have the strongest special abilities. If you combine two gems of different types, you get both specials but with a decreased power. So if you want to use the special ability of a gem, combine it only with gems of the same type.
If you want a gem to have a strong special ability, but also benefit from the triple (or dual) bonuses, create 2 or 3 grade 1 gems, each of a different type, combine them together, and then build onward using only pure gems of the type you want to boost.
Try to avoid making gems containing more than three base types.
Place your towers in positions where they can cover the longest path possible, but also look out for beacons, shards, nests, and tombs. If you want to shoot them, they should be in the gem's range you want to place in the tower.
It might be worth placing a tower at one square distance from the path instead of right next to it.
Look at the range indicator (yellow circle) of the inserted gem to see how far it can shoot, and place it in a tower that can give it the longest path to cover.
It's better to have more towers with somewhat weaker gems in them, than a few towers with stronger gems. If a monster with a high armor level approached however, a strong gem might be very useful - the monster's armor will absorb most of the damage weaker gems can inflict.
Click on a monster to view info about it, but also to highlight it for your towers to shoot. If an apparition flies by, and your towers are busy killing monsters, click on the apparition to have the towers target it.
When a monster is just about to crush your orb, the orb will banish it back to its spawning location. This costs you soma mana; tougher monsters take more mana to banish. Each time a monster gets to your orb, its banishment cost increases. Watch our for fast monsters that run by your towers and can reach your orb more than once before being killed.
Swarm monsters are easy to kill (usually one shot), and cheap to banish, but they come in very large numbers, and run very fast. They can take the fire of your towers while the tougher and slower monsters pass by, so they can act like a living shield, but if you don't shoot them, they will quickly reach your orb again and again, resulting in a very high mana toll for the repeated banishments. Have multiple towers firing at them and try to get rid of them quickly.
Giant monsters have high armor and lots of hit points, but they move slowly. If they are along, try to lure them into paths that you can later close and force them to crawl back from the dead end you made. If they are surrounded with lots of other monsters though, they can be very dangerous. A giant monster approaching your orb the second time will take a huge mana toll.
The wave stones on the left side of the screen show you what kind of monsters will appear. Look out for the small icons above the wave numbers on the stones.
Place a trap near a group of towers and place a slowing gem in it, this way the monsters will have to crawl by the towers for a longer time, taking more shots.
Place a trap right next to an other one, place a slowing gem in the first trap and a mana gain/armor reduce/shocking gem in the second one. You can leech more mana from the slowed monster or have a greater chance of shocking it or tearing down its armor.
Sometimes it's worth destroying the monster nests, other times it's not. (The same is true for beacons too.) You might want to get rid of a monster nest if it's too near to your orb, or if it's connected to your orb with a path otherwise not used, and so you would have to build additional towers and gems to protect your flank. On the other hand, if the nest is located at the end of a very long path, longer than what the monsters approaching from adjacent labyrinth fields would have to go, it's good to keep it and have the monsters coming less crowded.
Look out for the "timing" of the different paths, or try to adjust them to your favor with walls. It's not good if monsters arrive all together at your towers. Try to adjust the length of the different paths so that they arrive with some delays, this way your towers can focus on one bunch of monsters at a time.
Don't destroy a beacon unless necessary, especially at the beginning of the battle. Use your mana to build up your defenses first. Use gem bombs only if necessary, in most cases a tower placed near the beacon and a low grade gem will cost you much less.
Watch out for shield beacons. Invulnerable monsters will run through your defenses unharmed. If you can't destroy a shield beacon, leave enough path between it and your towers, so that the invulnerability will wear off by the time the monsters get to your defenses.
If you plan to use the Extend mana pool spell, use it early if you can, this way you get more total mana in the long run, thanks to the increased mana gain multiplier.
Keep an eye on the mana bar. if it's filled, all additional mana you would gain from slain monsters is lost. Use the Extend mana pool spell to increase your mana capacity.
Adjust your gem type mastery skills to match the gem types you will initially get in the field, or which you plan to unlock. Skills linked to the initially available gem types are marked with a dot on the skills panel.
If you can't beat a level and tried multiple times:
• Reassign your skill points. It can make a great difference. Different fields and battle settings may require very different skill configurations.
Poisonous gems' poison damage can be greatly increased by combining grade x green gems with a bunch of grade x-1 gems, one after another.
Bloodbound (red) gems are very sensitive to be combined with other gem types. You will lose a large part of the bloodbound ability if you pollute the gem. If you're going for a power gem with a high kills to damage ratio, stick to combining with pure red gems.
Place traps at a distance from each other so that the poison effect from the first trap lasts until the monster gets to the next trap.
Poison ignores armor, but cannot be stacked. (A poisoned monster hit by another poisonous shot will go on with the poison effect that is the more harmful over time, but not the sum of the two dosages.)
• Place pure orange gems in traps where the monsters appear.
Combine a row of mana gain traps with a slowing gem in the first trap. This will make some of the monsters spend much more time crawling through your mana traps, making the traps shoot more and give you more mana.
If you have to defeat an enemy with lots of hit points and armor, like tough giant monsters, an apparition, or a shadow making its deadly aviation towards your orb, place towers at different key positions and place your most powerful gem to always have the tough target within range.
Sometimes it's better not to bother with apparitions. If you direct all your firepower at it, you might bring it down, but in the mean time the monster will take your mana away.
Each of the hidden labyrinth fields are tied to a journey or challenge amulet. Achieve the amulet and the field will appear.
Build a strong point: use amplifiers in combination with towers and traps. Use the traps to slow and shock the monsters, and have 3-4 powerful gems, supported by amplifiers, as your main firepower.
Experiment with towers and amplifiers to find what works the best.
Switch to normal speed or freeze the time if you need to do some micromanagement.
It's not worth combining a high grade and a low grade gem. For the best results, combine gems of the same grade, or maybe gems with a grade difference of 1.
If the game lags too much, you can decrease the rendering quality and particle effects in the options screen.
Some of the gem types (like chain hit) are more suitable for power gems, other types (like slowing) are a better fit for supporting.
Watch out for the quickly increasing armor level when you drop multiple gems on a wave stone for summoning more monsters. The formula of the summon multiplier is based on the number of the monsters you summon, so it's better to use higher grade gems for summoning (they summon more monsters for the same armor level and hp penalty), and to use summoning on swarm waves.
Shrines are very powerful if used properly. Their initial strike takes away a portion of the current hit points of all targets in range. This means, if you have a monster approaching with a million hit points, a shrine strike with 20% damage will instantly reap down a whopping 200,000 hit points.
Keep some reserve mana for the final waves. If you spend all your mana of upgrading your gems and no mana is left for banishment, some monsters still reaching your orb will bring you defeat. As a last option, you can refund mana by destroying your gems on the gem anvil.
In gem bombing mode, gems are loaded from your inventory going from the top to the bottom. So if you have some gems that you definitely don't want to throw, put them at the bottom of your inventory before entering the gem bombing mode.
If you are at the last wave, and you have a gem which cannot reach the monsters any more, throw it at the remaining monsters. Don't do this though if the monsters are likely to reach your tower alive (even after the gem bomb damaging them) and coming back for one more round.
Choose pure gems to place into traps. Pure gems have the highest special values. Dual gems have superior damage, but their specials are weaker.
If monsters can reach your orb even at the early waves, you are either doing something wrong (wrong tower placement, started multiple waves early without proper defenses), have a wrong skill configuration, or don't have a level high enough to have a chance on that level. Losing that few dozens of mana by letting monsters reaching your orb at the beginning of the battle can be fatal in the long run.
Shrines are great for achieving overkill damage amulets.
Explore a wide area of the labyrinth and try to get to fields giving more XP as soon as you can, this way you can level up much faster, and will have more options to level up even further. There are some fields with a very long path for the monsters, find them and gather lots of XP.
Don't listen to the temptation, beat the fields with the easiest battle settings first. This helps exploring the labyrinth and giving you some extra XP before trying the fields with tougher settings.
To get the builder marathon amulets (like "build 1,000") as early as possible, at the end of a battle, when you see you're surely about to win, spend your mana on buildings to raise your stats.
It's not worth calling in early waves at the beginning of the battle. Later waves give much more mana.
If there are beacons in the field, don't start waves early until you have removed the beacons.
If you see a giant or armored wave, and a swarm wave coming after that, and your towers are not busy with monsters already, start the swarm wave instantly after the tough wave. The swarm will run up to your towers, and you can finish them before the tough but slow foes get near.
If you can't beat a field with its original waves, try it with random waves. If you don't want to meet giants, select swarm only or armored only modes.
Don't underestimate the power of amplifiers. A tower with a powergem and two amps with weaker gems can do miracles, just like a powergem placed in an amp, surrounded by towers with weak gems.
You can build over depleted mana shards.
Look at a mana shard and see how much mana you can extract from it. If it contains a low mana amount, it's not always worth placing a tower near it.
Epic stages have unlimited waves, but you get xp multiplier for summoning, not for surviving, and you can only win if you charge up the pylon(s).
If you earn a journey amulets during a battle, you still have to win the battle to finally get it. But you also can't lose if you play with unlimited waves. Use this to your advantage if you're going for a tricky journey amulet.
For swarm only and armored only, choose fields that give the gem types that are strong against the selected monster type. Bloodbound gems can stack up a lot of damage by killing lots of swarms, armor tearing gems are a must have against the armored, but poison gems are useful too (poison ignores armor).
Amplifiers, unlike towers and traps, activate instantly, so you can combine or swap gems into them any time without any delay in your firestorm.
To prevent accidentally tearing tombs open, your towers will fire at tombs only if they have structures set as target priority.
Gems can have target priorities set (by shift-clicking on them). Use "random monster" to spread special damage from a tower. Use "structures" to keep firing at shards, nests, tombs or beacons even if there are monsters in range. Use "highest banishment cost" to ignore cheaply banishable monsters and fire at the greatest threat.
Think twice before you open tombs. And if you still want to open them, wait until you're finished with all the monsters but a few last ones. Also, prepare your defenses and build a long path. Watch out for the armor level of a tomb. If it's so high you can hardly damage the tomb, you are probably not powerful enough to face what lurks inside.
In longer battles, when you get to the final waves and still don't have the bloodbound gem component unlocked, unlock it and mix your pure or dual (but not triple) gems with red ones. Your gems will get an instant damage boost - all their former kills count for the bloodbound bonus.
If you don't like the gem you got from the Wild gem skill, smash it on the anvil for an instant mana boost, or set its priority to "structures" and use it to tear down the beacons and nests.
Juggling can save your life. Build walls in key positions, or build a maze for the monsters with two easily swappable entrances towards the orb. When the monsters have almost reached the orb, freeze the time, open the other entrance to your orb and close the one the monsters wanted to use. It will force the monsters to turn around and crawl all the way to the other entrance, while you can keep firing at them. You have only 3 demolitions per battle, which you can increase up to 13 with the Demolition skill.
If you see some paranormal precognition effects, it can mean that either an apparition, a shadow, or the Forgotten is nearby.
How to deal with an apparition: Apparitions don't attack you. They are shattered spirits of wizards like yourself, slain in the labyrinth a long ago. You can destroy them and gain some of their knowledge (as skill points). They appear rarely and randomly, and each time you kill one, the next one will be harder to kill. They move slowly along a curved path across the field. When an apparition appears and starts moving along its path, try to place towers where it will pass through, and follow it with a gem or more gems, optionally clicking on it too to make it a primary target. You will earn the skill points bonus for killing it only if you win the battle afterwards.
How to deal with a shadow: To have a chance, you will need three things: Lots of armor tearing gems in towers all across the field, a few towers around your orb to repel the projectiles flying towards the orb (they can be shot down with one hit), and a very strong defense that can stop the dozens of tough monsters the shadow will spawn. Don't hesitate too much, the shadow's attacks will get more powerful over time, and in the end it will crush you if you don't act. And the most important thing: if the shadow's hit points fall below a level, it will start flying slowly at your orb. It can't be banished, you only have one chance to destroy it before it reaches the orb.