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Just noticed that you can get away with maximum battle settings (including Shadow Clash) on the Pylon levels and still get the full experience multiplier without ever facing a Shadow. If you charge the pylon before the shadow gets there, the battle still ends. Obviously doesn’t apply to the 4th Pylon level where you get a shadow no matter what. But I just did it on both the 1st and 2nd, and it should be possible on the 3rd and 5th as well.
(Actually makes me curious – if you do Shadow Clash on the 4th Pylon level, can you get TWO shadows? One from Shadow Clash and another after you charge the pylon? Or if it’s just one, does it come after you charge the pylon like it normally does on this level, or earlier like on any other Shadow Clash level? Another question: Can you play Pylon levels to the last wave like you can with Endurance mode? I.e. win the battle without charging the pylon? I don’t have the patience or the technology to test this on my own – my one successful 1337 battle took 5 hours…)
I have tried the Shadow Clash option on the 4th Pylon, only one Shadow appeared (though it had come before I charged the Pylon). Interestingly enough, I charged the Pylon while the Shadow was still alive, and the level ended (any monsters the Shadow attempted to summon during the Pylon animation were instantly removed from the field).
It is certainly possible to complete all 1337 waves without charging the Pylon – you just need to make sure that either there are always monsters for your kill gem to shoot at, or place your kill gem in a trap. Premium users will have an easier time with the latter with Deadly Traps (changes the trap modifiers from -80% damage, +80% specials to -50% damage, +110% specials). A gem with a yellow component placed in a trap will have it’s yellow special increased to 210% power with DT, which means the gem will end up gaining 5% more damage (210%\*50% = 105%) simply by being in a trap.
Hmm. I wonder if it would’ve been a different story had you killed the Shadow before charging the pylon. Like, it won’t create a Shadow at the end if there’s already one out there, but if it’s dead, maybe it will? Needs to be tested.
It is easier to beat all 1337 Pylon waves with premium, but it’s still very possible without; I don’t think just trying to keep monsters available will work, because believe me, somehow the tower ALWAYS finds some time to shoot the pylon, but even without Deadly Traps, putting the gems in traps is a viable option; the -80% damage is pretty harsh, but you can make up for it with a high enough grade gem, which isn’t too hard considering no MGTF.
Highest I ever went to on a Pylon level was wave 300 before getting bored and finishing it (was going for max multiplier – 1110.7X).