This game never ceases to amaze me with the amount of new content the developers come up with, or rather borrow from other game genres. One of the latest permanent modes in the game is the Vergeway; a “tower defense” inspired mode that only marginally connects to the main game.
It’s safe to say that the Vergeway is another of IGG’s endeavors to get the game closer to a wider audience by using more broad gameplay and different tactics. This mode is primarily against the AI, so there’s really no rush in trying to complete it all.
- What Is the Vergeway?
- How It Works?
- Vergeway Objectives
- How the Cards Work
- Verge Chests
- Vergeway Turf Boosts
- Hacks and Tips to Win
- Chapter Walkthrough and Cheats
What Is the Vergeway?
The Vergeway can be accessed through your turf by tapping on the new portal building (shiny new buildings to click, yay). In there, the game pretty much delivers the tutorial by itself with minimal player interactions, and getting a hold of the basics is fairly easy even for the younger Lords Mobile players (which I certainly don’t cater to).
Overall, the Vergeway is a blend of wildly popular tower defense and card-based mobile games that continuously pop up in the game stores. There’s probably a reason why IGG decided it would be a good idea to bring that to Lords Mobile, but I digress.
The entire game mode is completely PvE (that’s player vs. environment for the uninitiated), meaning you can’t truly fail any part of it. Better yet, the game doesn’t penalize you for losing a stage with stuff like energy loss, so you’re pretty much free to repeat them for as long as you need to clear it.
That doesn’t mean you don’t have to at least try to be efficient at beating the provided stages. After all, you should strive to be better at the game. Especially in something as time intensive as Lords Mobile. I haven’t calculated how many days I’ve used on this game alone, and I don’t play to start soon.
The “campaign,” which really isn’t much of a one, is separated into chapters, each having 15 stages (or levels) total. With nine chapters currently available, that’s 135 stages’ worth of content to go through and enemies to beat. Vergeway also receives new chapters every month or so, so it’s going to be fun to see what they come up with in the future and if it’s going to break the game or not.
How the Vergeway Works?
At its core, Vergeway revolves around collecting various cards for you to deploy during a stage. There are a few card types, each with its benefits and drawbacks, and you’re only allowed a set number of them each game. Sounds simple enough, and it really is. The game basics are pretty… well, basic…
In the main Vergeway screen, you can select the next encounter with the “Challenge” button on the right. The game does a pretty good job of handholding the newbies (aka anyone who isn’t me) and providing a decent chunk of information to start with, including all the enemies and buildings encountered in the stage and the rewards you get from completing it.
After you’ve selected the cards you want to use for that stage (typically highest level or grade ones), just select “Deploy” to start the stage. Remember, there’s no recourse to getting blown out, so take all the time you need to develop a strategy that works, even if it means repeating a stage a few times.
Once you’re in the game, you get to deploy the cards you selected to the game field and see their effects immediately. All cards cost aether to deploy. Luckily, you get a solid amount to start with, and it recharges over time, giving you enough resources to play with throughout the match and keep you on your toes. Since you can’t deploy everything at once and watch it go, you need to observe what’s happening in the game and react accordingly.
Winning the Level
Each stage is timed, meaning you get only a few minutes to complete the objective (typically, destroying enemy towers). This effectively makes durdling strategies useless, although you can still devote a significant chunk of your resources to defense in the early game. Finishing the stage grants you some resources and cards, usually unlocking the more powerful version of a card you own. The resources are not really a great incentive towards finishing the stages, but they can maybe help if you’re starting out and need all the help you can get. I wouldn’t know much about that.
The early Vergeway levels are a bit tuned down to get you hooked on the premise of the tower-defense-meets-card game mode. Later stages can get pretty complex and challenging to complete. This game requires some level of knowledge and competency to finish, and mashing buttons won’t get you far. OK, it might, but not because you earned it!
To try and differentiate itself from the vast number of tower defense and card-based games on the mobile and PC markets, Lords Mobile has three different types of Vergeway objectives. Ultimately, the end goal remains much the same and doesn’t provide much variability and versatility, but you really can’t expect greatness from cookie-cutter game mode ports.
Destroy the Stronghold
This objective aims to eradicate the AI opponent’s base, one step at a time. Typically, the AI’s stronghold is guarded by a small number of towers and some units. It readily reinforces its defenses with more units along the way.
Although the game mode might suggest defending towers, this is one of the more offensive options available. Generally, units and officers are in high demand here since you need to have some way to push through enemy defenses. I wouldn’t worry too much about enemy units since they’re typically less powerful than yours and more of a meat shield for the structures.
Destroy All Towers
This objective is an entirely offensive game mode.
There are about a dozen towers, scattered in groups, on the enemy’s side, with a defensive force of units to make their destruction more challenging. Since you’ll be the one attacking, there’s really no reason to get any towers for this mode.
The few units you encounter are typically ranged and stay on the enemy side, making towers pretty useless. This can change at later levels and when using advanced strategies, which I’ll probably outline someday when I’m bored enough. Tower-destroying units like the ballista squad and its upgrades make short work out of towers but need a strong melee force to supply the meat shield. Overall, this mode might be most frustrating due to tower setups and persistent area of effect damage they can dish out.
Kill All Units
In this mainly defensive game mode, the AI starts with only a few towers and a score of units. To complete the objective, you have to kill all enemy units AND towers. The distinction is important here since you can’t just create the best base defense and let the enemy units suicide into them for a win.
The name of the objective is vague like that, which is annoying. Luckily, a good defensive setup works well for about 80% of the stage game time. Towers and smart skill use mean you might not even need regular units or officers to get most of them gone. After all moving units are removed, all you have to do is deploy your best tower destroyers and pick up the pieces. Some stages require a bit more thought, so don’t go in planning to use the same thing over and over again. That would be madness.
Overall, between a mix of defense and offense-based objectives, Vergeway is a good example of a tower defense mode that provides separation from Lords Mobile’s gameplay.
Unfortunately, I’m still asking myself why we got this mode in the first place. We also don’t get any boss modes or something that forces a complete strategy change. But you know for sure that I’ve crawled through the entirety of it regardless.
How the Cards Work
The Vergeway uses the card system to provide players with their deployable units and spells and the way to progress through the game mode naturally.
It’s also – surprise, surprise – the way IGG has monetized this mode (even if indirectly). Since you’ll need more powerful cards to finish the game, it might take a bit of waiting around to get the cards you want for necessary upgrades.
While some cards bear similarities with other Lords Mobile troops and abilities, neither affects the other. Vergeway is entirely self-sufficient in that regard and can be considered a separate card-based game. Although, it would lack a lot of content if it were separate like that.
Overall, there are four types of cards:
- Soldiers are your run-of-the-mill units. You’ll use them every game because they’re relatively cheap early on (although that changes at higher tier cards), they have minimal cooldowns, and they’re the ones pressuring enemy towers and the stronghold.
- Officers are a special type of unit, very similar to Heroes in Lords Mobile. You have to wait for an officer’s cooldown period after it dies before deploying one on the field.
- Towers are your basic defensive option. The towers you get are just straight-up upgrades over previous versions, perhaps with minor differences as the game progresses. Overall, they’re excellent when you need to set up to defend against waves of enemies.
- Skills are go-to damage-dealing options when you need immediate impact. All skills basically deal damage in an area with perhaps one added effect like stunning or slowing. The variations include type advantages (some skills are better at clearing towers than others, for example) and how many units the skill can affect at once.
Higher Ranking Cards
When you start Vergeway, you’ll get access to a few basic cards of all types. More cards will get unlocked by clearing stages and finishing chapters.
Typically, cards from the next tier cost more, have a longer cooldown, and usually impact the battle with beneficial abilities. I won’t provide details on what each card does since that’s boring, and you’ll literally get the same information in the game by tapping on the card. Just know that each card has an advantage against certain opponent cards (officers, soldiers, towers, Stronghold). Read what they do carefully, and survey the stage enemies to get the best strategy. Easy peasy, moving on.
Cards also have levels. Each level upgrades a card’s base power by 10%, and there are 15 levels in total. That means a fully upgraded card has 2.4 times its base power (100 + 14 * 10%, math is easy). You upgrade cards by obtaining enough duplicates and pressing the shiny “Upgrade” button in the card’s menu.
If you can even get a card to a high level (lucky you!) since it takes progressively more cards to level them up. Overall, it will take 1401 copies of a card to get it to level 15 (current maximum). Since the primary way to get more cards is essentially a lottery, time to start rubbing those rabbit feet.
Players get cards by finishing levels. However, this method is not really worth that much since you’ll usually get a few pity cards or unlock a new type that you’ll need for the next stage.
Additionally, since you can’t replay past stages, it makes it impossible to grind them for cards. The primary way to get a swath of cards is to open chests, i.e., Vergeway’s monetization and lottery system.
We come to the reason Vergeway was made – to charge people for stuff they don’t need, of course!
Verge chests are the primary way you obtain cards (and more importantly, duplicates) in Vergeway. Chests are essentially loot boxes. You open them up and out pop some cards. That’s it.
The chests only contain cards and nothing else. There are three types of chests in total. They get unlocked once you beat Chapter 1 Stage 3, which is pretty much still the tutorial levels where the nice lady is explaining everything you need to know painstakingly slow.
The most common type of chest you can open is the brave chest. At the start (Chapters 1 and 2), this chest contains a paltry three cards. However, this number increases with later Chapters, up to seven at Chapter 9 (the latest one).
This chest is time-locked, and you have to wait out a cooldown between chest openings. The time lock for brave chests is 5 minutes.
Additionally, you only get to open five of these in a day before you run out and have to wait for the daily reset. If you only log on occasionally, this may be right up your alley since a few shorter sessions throughout the day should be more than enough to get you all the brave chests.
Because each stage lasts for a few minutes, you can start by opening a chest then attempting a stage, which usually gets you more than halfway through the cooldown timer for the next chest. Or just do whatever else you plan to do for the next few minutes. You spent hours grinding on other parts, what’s a bit more time to get some free cards for a meaningless mode?
Chivalrous chests are the second free chests that players can spend endless hours waiting on. You only get three of these per day and have to wait three hours between openings, further cementing the need to separate game sessions across the day. A chivalrous chest starts with nine cards for Chapters 1 and 2 but progresses to a much more notable 21 cards.
These chests are where things get interesting (and possibly expensive).
Power chests come in infinite quantities, but you need a Power Key to open them. Of course, the primary way of getting these keys is to spend Gems (2000 Gems per key) or real money (3 keys for $0.99).
Before you check your bank account, IGG is generous enough to give you a Power key every time you complete a chapter entirely. Still, that’s only nine total keys (if we don’t count future chapters).
Each power chest contains 30 cards, regardless of how much you’ve progressed through the game. If you’re looking to get cards upgraded fast, it’s going to cost you a pretty penny.
When you finish a chapter, Power keys go on special discount for three hours, where 15 keys will cost only $2.99, effectively a 40% discount. If you plan to buy a lot of them, at least use that discount properly and save some cash for other Lords Mobile items. Or, you know … food. Provided you actually need it to survive. As someone who lives on the internet, my only sustenance is the tears of my enemies and trolls.
Overall Chest Economy
Opening chests will be the primary way you obtain cards, and oh boy, there are a lot of cards. With only free chests, you get between 42 and 108 cards daily (depending on the chapter completed). That can be a sizeable amount but will still require days to level up even one card.
Now consider that your odds of getting cards are essentially random, and it’s easy to see why buying a few keys is an attractive option. Do I suggest buying chests? I don’t think they’re really needed to finish the mode. However, higher-level cards’ turf boosts can be worth splurging a buck or two (or twenty).
I’ve spent so much time and energy writing about what Vergeway is that I’ve almost forgotten to put the most important thing – why do all of this in the first place. The answer is, of course, turf bonuses! That’s right, even though there is a complete disconnect between Vergeway gameplay and cards from the rest of Lords Mobile, cards still influence your turf.
Each card gives you small bonuses when leveled to levels 5, 7, 9, and every level afterward. That’s a total of nine bonuses spread over levels. Each one is typically a single percentile increase in some statistic or a few towards research generation and whatnot.
Rundown of Turf Boosts
However, since so many cards are available, these small bonuses can add up quickly if you get them all to level 15. Here’s everything you get once all cards are maxed out:
- Infantry ATK: 10%
- Ranged ATK: 11%
- Cavalry ATK: 11%
- Siege Engine ATK: 10%
- Trap ATK: 10%
- Infantry Max HP: 21%
- Ranged Max HP: 20%
- Cavalry Max HP: 21%
- Siege Engine Max HP: 20%
- Trap Max HP: 21%
- Wall HP Boost: 17%
- Infantry DEF: 21%
- Ranged DEF: 21%
- Cavalry DEF: 20%
- Siege Engine DEF: 22%
- Trap DEF: 21%
- Wall DEF Boost: 19%
- Food Production Rate: 56%
- Stone Production Rate: 52%
- Timber Production Rate: 48%
- Ore Production Rate: 52%
- Max Food Storage Boost: 14%
- The Max Timber Storage Boost: 12%
- Max Stone Storage Boost: 13%
- Max Ore Storage Boost: 13%
- Army Capacity: 16%
- Gathering Troops Travel Speed: 19%
- Supply Troops Travel Speed: 17%
- Monster Hunt Travel Speed: 16%
As you might tell, there are mostly 10-20% bonuses, but pretty much everything imaginable gets a boost one way or another. These bonuses make Vergeway a uniquely potent way to get a head start on the economy and incremental bonuses. It’s primarily why I suggest at least giving the mode a try.
If you don’t play Vergeway at all, you’re essentially missing out on free turf bonuses. Everyone else will probably have them, so you should too!
Hacks and Tips to Win
Unfortunately, there’s not much advanced wisdom involved in playing the game. Your best bet is to assemble a card selection from your most powerful cards. Usually, these will be higher-level cards since they have more attack and influence on the battle.
Apart from that, I highly suggest putting regular units down as soon as possible and frequently. They make up the bulk of your attack forces, are easily replaceable, and melee fighters can protect officers from taking unnecessary damage.
The first few stages should be a breeze since all you have to do is follow the directions to clear the game. The ones afterward, though, can be a challenge if you are not prepared.
The best tip that I can give you is to carefully read what the enemy structure will be in the stage menu. It will allow you to prepare offensive and defensive units accordingly. A unit that does double damage to the most prevalent enemy will always be a valuable part of the strategy.
Generally speaking, skills are your best friend, especially in the early stages. A barrage of Fireballs every time it’s off cooldown can quickly mow down units and even remove buildings due to its lack of building disadvantages. A few defensive towers to keep the enemy mobs busy can give you enough time to clear the enemy stronghold in those types of objectives.
For “Destroy the towers” objectives, a similar strategy can work on early levels. If you want to clear towers faster, make sure you put a Balista squad (or its alternative/upgrade) in the card selection. They wreck towers but are squishy, taking only a few shots to destroy. That’s why it’s important to keep a tanky officer or melee squads around to bear the brunt of the damage.
Cheats and Walkthrough
I’m in the process of publishing a detailed guide on beating levels shortly. That way, you don’t even have to think about how to beat these levels. All you have to do is follow what I wrote, and you should be able to win without many troubles.
Here’s what I’ve completed so far:
- Vergeway Chapter 1
- Vergeway Chapter 2
I’m not sure if I like the Vergeway too much. On the one hand, it requires only a bit of time each day, and its benefits are minimal compared to playing the proper Lords Mobile. However, players who want to min-max can’t go without leveling up all the cards since their bonuses stack up decently quickly. The stages require some thought later in the game, and you might get some strategizing out of it…
At the end of the day, you’re spending copious amounts of time (or money) on getting bonuses that aren’t really the best. You do the math and figure out if that’s something you like.
If you think that Vergeway is the best thing ever, good for you. At least someone is satisfied with mediocre content to fill out their time.