How To Play Illuvium Guide: Tips and Tricks to Reach Top 20

Polkastarter Gaming gives you the tips and tricks you need on how to play Illuvium and consistently reach the top 20 daily leaderboard.

Mostafa Salem author picture}

Mostafa Salem

Head of Gaming Research


Illuvium is one of the most anticipated web3 games, with its incredible mixture of the open-world RPG and auto-battlers genre. The Public Beta 1 of the game allowed players to experience the basic features of the Survival mode, allowing the development studio to collect tons of feedback and continue polishing the experience even further. The Public Beta 2 started on September 28th, adding tons of new features, characters, and synergies for you to find the perfect team composition to dominate the opposition.

With these new elements, it is very easy to feel overwhelmed but the amount of depth Illuvium offers as an auto battler at the moment is almost unparalleled. That’s why you need to go into every game with a very clear plan, a composition you prefer, and forcing it. Unlike Teamfight Tactics for example, where you have to adapt to the heroes that appear in your shop, Illuvium offers you their entire catalog of units to choose from off the bat.

We are here today to teach you how to play Illuvium and help you formulate your plan with tips and tricks on how to consistently hit high waves to rank on the daily Illuvium Public Beta 2 leaderboard. Let’s dive straight into it.

Identify Your Carry

First thing you have to do with any auto-battler is identify your main carry unit. It doesn’t necessarily have to be a backline character. You can choose to go with a bulky frontline, as long as they can do consistent damage and they are easy to pair up with strong synergy. Your number one criteria is to judge characters based on their damage per second, or DPS for short.

Check the unit’s abilities and try to choose a character that have short Omega ability casting animations. For example, Adorius can do tons of healing but its casting animation is too long to the point it sometimes costs you the game. Their ability’s area of effect has to be considered as well. Single target abilities will hinder you greatly in later rounds to take down multiple enemies at once. AoE abilities are always preferable but if the single target ability is strong enough to eliminate your enemy’s frontline quickly then it is worth considering.

Not all characters have high DPS from the get go. In fact, most units will have moderate DPS but you should try to train your eyes to spot characters with potential to have high DPS if you power them up with the correct synergies and augments. 

The latter is very similar to items in Teamfight Tactics, allowing your units to deal more damage, generate Energy faster, or get a shield whenever they cast their ability. The most important priority for you is to assign an offensive and defensive augment to your carry. 

The three tiers of Rhamphy and Atlas Illuvials

One that ramps up their damage greatly or gives them sustained healing and another that keeps them alive in case of any sudden burst damage. You will find yourself very rarely needing to choose anything outside of increased attack speed and Omega ability increase when applying your augments.

This brings us to another criteria when selecting your carry unit. You might find an extremely powerful unit but they are very difficult to complete their primary synergy. It is worth mentioning that the pool of units changes every 24 hours, at least for the ongoing Public Beta 2. 

This is enough to keep you trying to be creative since what works today might not work tomorrow. The price of units within your carry’s primary synergy are definitely another factor to consider prior to committing to go down that route as it might be expensive and time consuming to reach your composition’s power spike. Not only that, always check the related units that can complete the secondary synergies as well.

To summarize, you need to consider the following factors when identifying your carry:

  • Base damage per second and its potential to scale
  • Ability nature (AoE or single target)
  • Affordable path to completing primary synergy
  • Strong secondary synergy potential
  • Offensive augment to provide sustainability and healing or increased damage
  • Defensive augment to avoid sudden burst damage taking out your main DPS

Illuvium Team Composition

You are allowed to have no more than 8 units on your board. This is where it gets back to the basics and common sense. You need to build your team in a way that has a healthy tanky frontline that can soak incoming damage while your backline carries dish out damage. 

In Illuvium, a mixture of Bulwarks and/or Earth Illuvials gives your units extra health, additional physical and energy resistance, and grit and resolve. The latter two allow for your frontline to recover from crowd control effects, like stuns, much faster than normal.

The most reliable backline carries I have personally tried so far with proven success are Dualeph and Scoriox. The latter specifically is extremely powerful when paired with a beefy frontline and the right augments.

To give you an example of a team composition I was able to reach the top 20 leaderboard with the thought process behind it. I relied heavily on Scoriox, with the Exalted Vampiric Price and Lesser Saccarine Escape. The former gives Scoriox up to 30% healing if it drops below 50% while the latter augment grants you instantly an additional 40% attack speed on top of the two attack speed buffs you selected when adding the augments.

The Lesser Saccarine Escape protecting Scoriox, or your carry in general, once it drops below 60% and making it practically invisible allows it to freely damage enemy units that aren’t even focusing on it. Add to all this the natural attack speed increase Scoriox receives when it activates its omega ability and the Fighter primary synergy granting physical piercing and you get yourself a winning formula.

Luckily, most Fighters have Bulwark and there are Fire units within the Fighter category as well. This emphasizes the advice given in the first segment to consider not only the primary synergy but also the secondary synergies and the cost of the units to easily reach that power spike early on.

The final note is to not shy away from slotting in one-star units, or level 1 units rather, in your comp as long as they complete your synergy and unlock the rest of your composition. Yes, they will die very early and you won’t even get to see how cool they look when doing their ability but their main job is to unlock the full potential of the rest of your composition. Rest in peace Lesser Earth Fliish, your Earth Prism attributes were needed.

This was just a simple demonstration of where to look for a reliable hyper carry unit and how to enable them to shine once you recognize the opportunity to scale up their stand out attributes. The following notes are all you need to know when considering your Illuvium team composition:

  • Strong frontline (Earth and Bulwarks are reliable damage sponges)
  • Frontline defensive augments (Exalted Retributions Call and/or Greater Inevitable Ruin)
  • Choose your carry unit early on and build around it
  • Always look for a healthy team balance between sustain and high DPS
  • Don’t shy away from slotting in level 1 units to reach your synergy power spikes


Positioning might not sound that important to most players but it is undoubtedly the reason high ranked players in Teamfight Tactics for example are where they are in comparison to casual players. Although Illuvium is a web3 game, it has the same core mechanics. You can have the most overpowered Illuvials the game has to offer and still lose the round because of poor positioning.

There are several aspects to consider when positioning your team in Illuvium. Since the Survival mode is against the AI, you are luckily able to see where your opponent’s units are and which units have their stats boosted with augments. This should instantly push you towards rethinking your carry’s position.

The questions you need to instantly ask yourself before the beginning of each round are:

  1. Is my carry safe or will they be able to reach it and take it down?
  2. If I let his units reach my carry, do I have enough damage and sustain to win a handicapped fight?
  3. Am I able to easily reach and take out my opponent’s main damage dealer?

The answer to question number one depends on what you are coming up against. If all the units you are coming up against are frontline units and you are confident yours will be able to hold them off till your carry melts them down then you are good to go.

The second scenario is when your enemy has a mixture of front and backline units. If your carry will be able to kill the opponent’s frontline faster than their carry can take down yours, you are good to go. If not, you need to position your frontline and carry in a way that focuses down the easiest path to their carry to eliminate it as fast as possible so you can freely take down whatever remains after that.

This is also applicable to when your opponent has the likes of Adorius or plays with multiple Nature units. Prioritize Adorius instantly as it can flip the game with one ability cast when you reach higher waves considering the significant number of units receiving the heal. It essentially cancels all the damage you did and realistically it is very hard to kill your opponent’s whole composition two times over.

Be careful of Rogue units though. Rogue units are assassins with high damage that instantly jump to your backline, and if you have your carry in the backline, it can get deleted without taking down anyone with it. Whenever you see Rogue units in the opposition team, try to move at least one or two of your more tanky units to be on the receiving end of that Rogue once it jumps to your side.

The final note to be aware of when positioning your units is your opponent’s units’ abilities. Once again, this comes with playing the game repeatedly and getting used to each Illuvial ability and its expected damage. For example, Dualeph targets the farthest enemy with a high pressure water beam dealing tons of damage. If the way is clear for its beam to go through without hitting any units in its path, it will usually reach your carry. This is why you need to be aware of what your enemy has on their field and what to expect if each of them get their Omega ability off.

The answer to question number two is difficult to give a clear answer to as it comes with experience. When you have enough games under your belt playing the same composition over and over again and experimenting with different augments and synergies, you start understanding your limits and the expected damage you can soak in and dish out. This is what differentiates high ranked players from casuals.

An easy summary for you to refer to when judging your positioning prior to each round:

  • Usually position your carry in the middle of your comp unless it is a frontline carry
  • Be aware of your opponent’s carry unit
  • Try to take down your opponent’s carry as fast as possible
  • Recognize any sustainability units and eliminate them first (Adorius and Nature units)
  • Protect your carry from Rogue units
  • Protect your carry from the likes of Dualeph and targeted abilities.
  • Test your limits and know how many units your carry can take down by itself
  • Get familiar with the damage and abilities from the opposition units

The Illuvium Public Beta 2 kicked off on September 28th, and will be available until the public open beta goes live. Hopefully you can put these tips to good use and get some practice in to hone your skills before the blockchain and earning aspect of Illuvium goes live. Make sure to tag us and share your ranking on the leaderboard on any of our social channels once you make it there.

In the meantime, make sure to check out what other web3 games are up to with Blankos Block Party exploding since its addition to the Epic Games Launcher and Superior giving us an Alpha playtest we couldn’t get enough of before it went away.

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September 6th 2023


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