Last Stand: Dead Zone Strategy

Last Stand Dead Zone

Last Stand: Dead Zone by Con Artist Games has been a recent addiction of mine, so I’d like to provide some advice for those that are trying to maximize their performance as they level up.  Of course, most of this post is going to assume manual control of missions as in order to get XP for a mission, you need to do it manually.

For PvE missions, I’ve found the best team structure so far is the following:

  • Healer: Medic + Melee weapon + %Health armor
    • The healing ability is key to pushing the highest level missions and recovering after hordes.  Having healing means that any encounter need to drop a survivor from full health, rather than just take down an already injured survivor.
    • Melee weapons are used because medic’s ranged specializations have poor options early on (smg and pistol) and generally their damage is needed against hordes, where an smg/pistol is a poor choice.  As you pass level 20, switch to smg/pistols as their damage has caught up enough to be viable, while being in melee is much more threatening.
    • %Health armor is really the only option that helps the medic after the choice of melee weapon is made.  I never found the %Healing Rate necessary.
  • Looter: Scavenger + Melee weapon + %Search gloves
    • Bonus scavenging gives better loot faster.  Critical for early economy growth.
    • Melee weapons are used because shotguns are rather mediocre, and melee weapons are the superior choice when the scavenger’s DPS help would be necessary (i.e. hordes).  It also allows for more dodges while searching.
    • +%Search is to reduce time in missions and thus reduce injury risk.  Larger mission areas are a challenge to complete without these, but you could switch to another item if you don’t need the time.
  • DPS: Fighter + Melee weapon, Recon + Ranged weapon, etc
    • Fill in whatever combination of items gets you the most dps at whatever range you feel comfortable.  I find that the Fighter performs this role best with its weapon options and stats. If you have to use a Recon here, don’t use a melee weapon on it.
I try to cut the DPS slot if it means I get another mission completed (i.e. if I have 7 survivors, I go 3 2 2 instead of 3 3).  You should have no real issues with this setup, even pushing the highest level missions you can do.  Your setup doesn’t really matter as much if you run missions automatically – only your level and gear matter, which in turn determine your success chance.
Note on the below.  I have significant PvP experience, but mostly in performing raids (I rarely get raided in return).
A – Top notch.  If you’re not using this Role for this task, you better have a good reason.
B – Good choice.  May not be the best choice, but you won’t notice much of a difference.
C – Does the job, but either has limited scope or too limited of options.
D – Generally outclassed.
F – Worthless.  This should be your last choice for this task..
  • PvE Missions: D – Improvised weapons are only crafted, which means your options are very, very narrow.  Traps are never seen in PvE and their stats are mediocre to boot, making the Engineer a Role to leave at home.  Some people may argue that one can use them for melee characters and let your Fighters use other weapon options.  But the correct answer there is “get more Fighters” if you want melee characters, as they have higher health and better weapon options for no real drawback.
  • PvP Raid Offense: B – Grab a melee weapon and go to town.  This is the Engineer’s only real role I can find.  However, it is an important one – they tie up trap find, trap disarm and barricade destruction all in one neat package.  You should limit 1 per raid, however.
  • PvP Raid Defense: F – See PvE Missions, but now add that melee is worthless.
  • PvE Missions: B – Can only fill the DPS slot but doesn’t quite do it well enough to reach A rank.  As a melee survivor the lack of speed is noticeable, and as a ranged survivor its damage output is less than that of the Recon.
  • PvP Raid Offense: B – A solid filler if you don’t have enough Recons, or you want to bring someone to suppress with a LMG.  Can act as a trap springer in a pinch if equipped with a %Health vest.  But the speed, lower ranged combat and lack of long rifle specialization hurts, and the lack of trap disarm/speed stop it from taking over the Engineer’s melee niche.
  • PvP Raid Defense: B – Solid weapon options and its speed is no longer a problem, while its health is still useful.  No long rifle specialization and lower ranged combat makes it a weaker choice compared to the Recon, unfortunately.
  • PvE Missions: B – Having a jack of all trades is nice, but often times you’d rather just have the specialist.  Your Leader is your second-best option to fill each slot, but the loss is noticeable.
  • PvP Raid Offense: A – Second highest range combat combined with solid stats and healing make the Leader an auto-include.  No specialization hurts, though.
  • PvP Raid Defense: B – See PvP Raid Offense, except now the Leader can’t heal nor take advantage of their speed and trap disarm.
  • PvE Missions: A – Fast healing allows you to really push the envelope as far as mission level and number of survivors, as Medics can even melee, rotate out / heal and then melee again in tough fights, adding a lot of durability.  It also means that previous damage doesn’t matter (nearly as much) so one wave/horde has to to bring you down by itself.
  • PvP Raid Offense: D – If the Leader didn’t exist, the Medic would be near-mandatory.  But it does, so the Medic should be passed over unless your Leader is unavailable.
  • PvP Raid Defense: F – Low health, poor weapon options and low ranged combat.  Not a good choice.
  • PvE Missions: C – Generally speaking, you’d rather have a Fighter.  Even in the ranged capacity, sometimes your shooters will get swarmed, and recons tend to go down before you can save them.  Sure, you can kite, but having a ranged survivor that can take more hits than tissue paper allows your melee survivors to heal/deal with other targets in the meantime.
  • PvP Raid Offense: A – Good weapon options and the highest ranged combat make them the best at killing survivors.  Increased trap detection radius and awesome speed are just icing on the cake.
  • PvP Raid Defense: A – Your best weapon option and highest ranged combat packed into one Role.
  • PvE Missions: A – Better loot and gets you through missions quicker, all while having strong melee options.
  • PvP Raid Offense: F – No good weapon options, and doesn’t fill any other niche.
  • PvP Raid Defense: D – Barely above the medic because it has a better weapon option (shotgun vs pistol) and better health.  Barely.

That about wraps it up for my advice on last stand: dead zone strategy. If you need more than this, you’ve probably already been eaten.

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