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I'm playing the Apprentice, and I often am unsure how I should invest my mana during the build phase. The cost of creating new towers (40 mana in the case of Magic Missile) seems to be significantly less than the cost of upgrading an existing one (100 for the first level, and 200 for the second, for instance)

Should I focus on building new towers until I've maxed out my total Defense Units? Would 2 towers in close proximity do more damage than one upgraded tower in a single area?

Or will my towers grow significantly more powerful if I upgrade them to the second level at a cost of 100 Mana?

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imo its always better to build first upgrade later since towers block enemies, but it may depend on play style –  z - Mar 31 '12 at 3:45
    
It will always be better to build new because each level of upgrade will only add 20% tower, whereas building a whole tower is usually cheaper and you will gain 100% output. However, towers take up both space (meaning you can only have so many towers doing work in an area), and DU (of which you will always have a limited amount). So you may want to upgrade a tower instead of building a second tower if it means you can defend an extra lane. –  Gwen Apr 1 '12 at 9:24
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up vote 5 down vote accepted

In general you will want to max out your Defense Units. This will actually lead to a pretty good award boosting your XP gains by quite a bit if you can keep the Defense Units maxed out for the entire round with out losing one.

Once that has been taken care of you can start to upgrade. Focus on key choke points and consider upgrading vs repair when appropriate (remember you will suck in any size mana gem around you for being even 1 point below max so that repair can end up being very costly). Also of note, is that while the damage bonus to upgraded turrets is nice you will often find yourself upgrading them more because of their durability. Do not get me wrong, the damage increase is very nice, but knight's defense having more health, the monk auras longer life and the huntress traps more trigger counts are also very key reasons to upgrade them, so they can last with out you being there.

Lastly, as yx. mentions is the blocking of enemies. Some turrets (ie knights) do this better than others (monks/huntress). Controlling the flow of the enemies is also often very key so the quantity of the towers can be more important than the damage they do as well.

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