The game offers a total of 36 different upgrades and skills. You get a couple of these available by default, and everything else is earned by spending your infamy points. To access the upgrades screen, simply head to the castle view, from there, you will see that learning a new skill is simply a matter of clicking the mouse on an icon. Each skill you open up will likely open a new part of the skill tree (and also expands your castle). And naturally, like with many other games, the skills you open and unlock are often related from the pre-requisite ability that you just purchased. The costs of the upgrades are reasonable and easy to earn, so do not worry about the amount of time you will need to spend farming on this game because that is kept to a minimum (you will need to be strategic about doing raids though).
Anyway, before going off and spending all your infamy points on a single thing, you should remember that some upgrades are a lot more useful than one would think. Below is a quick list of all the upgrades available grouped according to use.
Troops and Troop Upgrades
Goblins – these troops do not need to be purchased. They are automatically available at the very start of the game. They are important in your army because they determine how well you did on a stage. As stated, the goal of the game is to get them safely into town, and the game ranks and awards you according to how many time you actually do that. As expected, they do not have other special abilities outside of being very important. They are pretty much the weakest units in the game too, so be sure to keep an eye on their HP when the raids being. Goblins are easy to spot since they are carrying giant white sacks on their backs.
Goblin HP +
Use this upgrade to increase the maximum HP of your goblin. This does not do much for the first three stages, but as you get further in the game, increasing your goblin’s HP is crucial for getting the gold rank in many stages. After all, the longer your goblins are alive and kicking, the more chances they have for raiding a town and earning you those precious raid points.
Raid Infamy +
This is a very interesting upgrade to purchase, while it does nothing for making your troops stronger, it certainly makes your goblins a lot more successful and profitable with each successful raid. If you want to maximize your profits early on, investing in this upgrade is crucial. You can raise this upgrade up to 5 times so try to put aside some infamy points for this. Again, the earlier you get this, the better.
Path Infamy +
This upgrade works a little like raid infamy, except this one is a little reliant on your stage progress for it to be truly effective. What path infamy does is increase the amount of infamy you gain with each successful raid –but the bonus is calculated from what stage you are currently at. The closer you are to stage 20, the higher the bonus you will be getting. Much like raid infamy, this is an important upgrade that you should try to get as soon as you can.
This is your primary tank. For those of you not familiar with the term, a tank is a special unit that is designed to take and withstand damage. This is done through a combination of having high damage resistance (or simply put, high def) and having a lot of hit points. For the mammoth turtle, it is all about having more HP than anything else on the field. Another factor that makes the mammoth turtle so efficient is the fact that it forces enemy towers to aim at it and nothing else. The turtle literally prevents your other troops from getting shot at. To spot your turtles on their field, simply look for the creature with a giant gray shell on its back.
Turtle HP +
This upgrade increases the maximum HP of your turtle and it is the only upgrade that will affect your turtle. As you can imagine, improving the turtle’s maximum HP is an important factor. Since the unit serves as your tank, having more HP to last against enemy attacks will be a game-breaking factor in the later stages when you are being bombarded by a wide range of tower attacks. One thing you should always remember is that turtles benefit a lot from shield, cleanse and healing auras, so try to get these support units help protect your turtle. In return, the turtle will help prevent your support troops from getting hit by enemy attacks.
Shield Golem –
Unlocking this upgrade will allow you to summon Shield Golems for your army. These golems are your second biggest units after the turtle. They may not have the turtle’s super high HP, but these giant golems carry heavy defenses and more importantly, provide an aura of protection to your other troops. Any unit under the aura of the shield golem will benefit from a bonus to resistance damage. It starts out as a small bonus at first, but it becomes significantly important as you get further in the game. Of course, the best strategy is to keep your shield golem behind the turtle if you can. Despite the defensive abilities of the golem, the turtle is still a more effective tank –use the golem for its protection aura instead.
Golem HP +
As the name suggests, this upgrade will increase the maximum HP of your golem. As we mentioned above, the golem is pretty useful for its shield aura, and having them last longer on the field is a big priority. The only reason to not invest in this upgrade is if you have not increased the HP of your Turtle or your Goblins.
Shield Block +
The golem’s shield aura is invaluable when it comes to withstanding many of the attacks in the later stages. And increasing that resistance even further is even more important. With that said, this upgrade should be among the first few that you get for your golem –we would recommend getting this before upgrading the golem’s own HP.
This creature regenerates mana every second it is onscreen. With that said, the elemental does nothing else. In terms of raid effectiveness, the elemental is a bit of a wild card, and it all depends on how you play. In a more general sense, the elemental is the least of your concerns in the initial stages where your magic spells are not upgraded and you need to focus more on your golem, healers, turtle and others. The elemental’s real value appears midway and late in the game. Having plenty of mana for spells is useful once you have powerful spells, and have upgraded the “reduce MP cost” ability. With those and some infamy points in the enhance MP regen skill, you can become a pretty powerful wizard. It is possible to get gold ranks in the last few stages of the game with a contingent of goblins, healers and elementals –if you know how to handle your spells right.
Elemental HP +
As with all classes, increasing the HP means being able to take more damage –and this is a pretty big deal. In the case of an elemental, you will benefit from the bonus mana regeneration every second of in-game time, this means that the longer the elemental is one the field, the more mana you will be regenerating. This may seem overboard for the first couple of waves when you can easily max out the mana pool, but in the later stages, you will be happy to have high HP on your elementals.
Elemental Aura +
This stat will increase the amount of mana that your elementals generate every second. When fully upgraded, they produce up to 10 mana per second –and that value increases for every elemental you have in your army. Add that on top of your standard mana regeneration and you will have enough juice to cast one spell after another. Consider this a late-game investment when you want to aim for the gold rank in more difficult stages and have to prepare your troops.
This unit provides your troops with a healing aura. Any friendly unit inside this aura will regenerate a set amount of HP per second, and this can go a long way for helping your army last more waves. Aside from this, the heal spell is the only for any troop to regenerate hit points. The only drawback to the aura –like all the other aura emitting units, is that the healer itself does not benefit from the healing bonus.
Healer HP +
The healer’s HP is increased, allowing it to last pretty long in combat. They may not seem like much, but priests actually benefit well from the HP add-on. Boost up their hit points and they can serve as temporary tanks when all your other units go down. Of course, their default purpose is still to serve as a support unit.
Heal Aura Pow +
This upgrade will increase effectiveness of priest’s healing aura. The priest will enable your troops to regenerate hit points, but it is still up to an upgrade stat to determine how much HP you actually gain from the aura. The value starts out pretty small, at single digits that are not that much helpful against really powerful enemies. But once you invest a bit of infamy in this upgrade, that healing effect is increased and your troops will be able to withstand the pressure for a whole lot longer.
This unique unit spreads out an aura that protects all units from the effects of fog from bog towers and from holy attacks. That said, do not bring the cleanse warlock in the stages where there are no holy or bog towers. Doing so enables the army to be able to go past these towers relatively unharmed. The big concern here is that when the cleanse warlock finally falls in the battle (they eventually do), the bog and holy towers can easily lay waste on your troops.
Cleanse HP +
Increasing the HP of your cleanse warlock is a crucial thing to do in the later stages where the presence of the warlock becomes indispensible. Expect to run into holy towers and bog towers often, particularly in the last five. At that point, you should have increased the HP of your cleanse warlocks to the maximum.
This is the most basic of all your upgrades and is available right from the very beginning: increasing the maximum size of your army. The army you send is all that you have from the beginning till the end of the stage. With that said, having more troops in your army will certainly help you get that gold rank a lot faster. Invest infamy here as fast as you can in order to boost up the total number of troops to 12. Getting to the maximum means having to pay for all 10 levels of the summon upgrade, but it is certainly worth it.
All HP +
This special upgrade does not appear until you have revealed most of the flags on the lower part of the castle, but once you have it, we highly recommend that you invest in it. As you may have guessed from its name, this upgrade will give all your units a bonus to their maximum HP. That is right, this single upgrade provides an across the board bonus for all units you have, on top of their own individual HP upgrades. Naturally, anything that increases HP is good for you and your troops.
This special troop upgrade appears on the very top of the castle and it is not accessible until you have unlocked the flags for the heal and quake spell boosts. This upgrade provides your army with a very special bonus: auras will affect the caster. As we stated above, the biggest weakness of any caster is that it is not protected by the very aura it is casting. Getting this upgrade changes that and provides your casters with that ever valuable protection.
This upgrade can be found on the extreme left most of the castle view screen and it is connected to the cleanse warlock and heal spell. While expensive, getting this upgrade provides your troops with a very valuable bonus: an increase to the range of the aura. By default, magic auras of your army will cover a space of two units forward and two units back (with the caster in between). Getting the circus upgrade pushes that range up to three units in both directions, allowing you to provide better cover for your army.
Treasure Rooms: Cellar Door and Kongregate
There are a total of two hidden treasure rooms in Villainous among the upgrade flags and they are unlocked quite easily –simply unlock the flags towards the lower left and lower right of the castle. Once both of the rooms have been found, all you need to do is to click on the flag to unlock its rewards. There is no infamy cost for getting these flags, in fact, each of the rooms will award you with 2000 points of infamy to spend as a bonus. Also, unlocking either one of the rooms will reveal a throne room achievement as well.