The Formation Series

Defikingdoms: An instructive guide about PVE/PVP formations

Theorycrafting by “El Profesor”



About El Profesor

Like in the series, I will connect my passion for gaming with my affinity for data analytics & strategy. I have been changing the centralized world through big tech & now sharing my knowledge in the decentralized community.

You can reach “El Profesor” on Twitter @0xProfesor or Email

1. Taking Formation Theory from other disciplines such as: Sports (Football/Rugby), eSports, Military Strategy.

2. Assigning Heroes distinct combat roles from other titles. Ranging from the Witcher all the way to Diablo 2!

3. Putting it all together, theorycrafting possible 1.0 metagames.


Hey reader! This is a start of a series of Theorycrafting where-in we dive into a couple of disciplines, thoughts, and ideas that would get you excited in the upcoming PvE and PvP environments Defi Kingdoms want to create.

Despite limited direct information, I still want to share how I would approach the coming period when it comes to these two battle types. Since profession quests will surely be a minor part of the game, focusing most of the time on what is coming, how to prepare for it and plan accordingly are only the few things we can currently do.

Finally, I highly recommend pre-reading Hero Base Stats — DeFi Kingdoms and Petrify’s Medium article on Combat & Stats to get the basic mechanics.

Alright done? Here we go!

DFK Combat: 3 vs 3

There are a couple of exciting things to consider here;

  • In the beginning, I would also anticipate PvE being with groups of 3 heroes.
  • Given the player base, I would anticipate minor variations kicking-in much later as it provides less strategic depth if it is 1v1 but also creates a more convoluted environment in a 5v5 environment.
  • Only 9 reactions? Really?

Why Formation matters.

Have a look at your Heroes right now, which three of them would you choose? Imagine that for a second. Now I tell you, the ordering might also have an impact on combat and suddenly a lot more thoughts come to your head!

Formation, I define as:

An arrangement of people or things acting as a unit;
defensive formation”; “a formation of planes”

The arrangement matters because if every % win equity counts, then getting a headstart by simply out-planning the opponent already yields you many wins.

Now before I dive into Defi Kingdom specifics, let me illustrate from a couple of disciplines, why formation matters;

Insights from other disciplines


With 11 players on the pitch, one was forced to make formation expressed as [Goalkeeper]-[Defense]-[Midfield]-[Attack] so 1–4–3–3 means, 1 Goalie, 4 defenders, 3 midfielders and 3 attackers.

Back in the days, the formation was very offensive-focused as in 1–2–0–7. Why? There was absolutely little to no incentive to play defense as long as you scored one goal extra. Thus the defenders played a long ball to the 7 attackers all the time.

However with the 1925 “two-player offside rule” the Football Association essentially “nerfed” these formations and forced more depth in the strategic aspect. From there on, the formations changed due to “new metagames” ranging from 1–3–2–2–3 in the early 40s all the way to the now modern 1–4–2–3–1 (Tika Taka Barca) or 1–3–5–2 (Fluid Wingbacks a la Chelsea).

Formation Punchline: New metagames are forced because of 1) Intervention or 2) New formations completely counter the old ones.

First-Person Shooters ( Call of Duty 1/2)

I played competitive Call of Duty 2 (The World War shooter), playing at Premier League level as well as representing my country. Not surprisingly I was the planner of the team, drilling new tactics, strategies and formations with the squad. Similar to Counter Strike, the main game type was Search & Destroy whereby in a 5 vs 5 match, we have one attacking team and one defending team. Goal is to eliminate the opposing team within 2 minutes or plant the bomb & defend it.

Usually one plays a best of 21 amongst 2 maps (one chosen by each team).

One particular map I hate and love was Mp_Carentan. Hate because the map almost always ended up in a 10–10 or 1 point difference. Love because formation matters and thus discipline matters.

Let me show you why visually:

As an attacking-side, you essentially have 5 entry points (Marked by the blue X ) that are all choke points. If the defending team is organized well highlighted in green, no innovation is required to win all ten defending rounds.

On the highest level, we would celebrate as an attacking squad if we could win 2 rounds because both rushing nor playing slow would be creating a significant advantage.

Formation Punchline: Preparing the formation is the key to success.

MOBA ( League of Legends )

Similar to DOTA, this 5 vs 5 game is traditionally played in a formation of 1 Top Lane, 1 Mid Lane, 1 Jungle and 2 Botlane. Also in the earlier seasons, I was playing this game competitively and first questioned a lot why it was played in this formation.

If you evaluate this game from a resource gathering perspective; three characters (one in each lane) will gather 100% of the gold resources, then the one character in Bottom Lane will “support” and get starved of gold resources. Finally the Jungle provides another source of income but % this is in the range of 50–60%.

From a gold per minute metric; this yields the optimal amounts that would scale the heroes in buying more powerful items quicker than the opponents.

Formation Punchline: Being aware of the game mechanics (income), optimizes your game formation.

Military (Blitzkrieg)

I could have chosen various military strategies involving formations but this one stood out the most. First let me explain the concepts of the German Blitzkrieg during WW2;

The art of executing this strategy requires:

  • Hyperfast movement of the main force.
  • Quick decision making.
  • Overall flexibility of ground and air units.

By doing this, you surround the enemy before he/she can respond and ask for reinforcements despite having the superior army troop.

This strategy requires the optimal formation of fast ground troops, flexible air support and reliable rear support.

Formation Punchline: Being organized and concentrated is much better than simply being the strongest.

Back to 3 vs 3

Looking at the stats of heroes as well as its classes, one can naturally think of a few standard formations & its strategies. Hopefully with the above, you will even get more inspired to theorycraft with me!

So with 3 heroes, using football analogy — one can position them as follows:

Ten combinations of formations, we can design in our next articles.

So what do I cover next? Well, I will cover the classes and how they could play a role similar to previous games (& more) I have played.

Then in the last article, I will cover some theorycrafted formation of 3 heroes with their pros and cons.

For now, I’m looking forward to hearing from you and big thanks for reading!