Beginner's Guide to Time Travel: How to "beat" the Bonus Round (record 3746sec)
First of all, i would like to thank joemama1512 for his/her Newbie Guide which has helped me a lot when getting started.
However, after playing for a while, i have refined my strategy and therefore, i feel like it's time to write my own guide.
About this build:
The setup i am going to present here makes extensive use of the Withered set, combined with Mr. Iron's ability to consume items for their bonuses, resulting in a lot of very strong support towers that basically prevent creeps from ever reaching the exit (to a certain degree anyways.)
My current record with this build is 3746 seconds in hard mode.
In my personal opinion, the third map (with reduced tower range on 3 spots) is the easiest one because the creeps there have the longest route in range of my main tower spot. (I will add a picture later.)
You will need darkness, nature and metropolis.
As your hero, i recommend either Sir Littlefinger if you don't have many points to spend and play in easy or normal mode or Prince Lycaon when you already have some points and are doing hard mode.
I spend my points with the following priority:
Protector > Wave Master, Time Master > Ninja > Elder > Trickster > Berserk > Collector
As a first tower, i reccomend Miss Jilly for her range and attack speed, Dandelion and Baby Rabbit may also be good to deal with Mass and Air waves. Try to keep a few of those, so you can switch them if needed.
As soon as you manage to get the shadow, switch to that one and stick with it.
Your first tower will be your main tower and therefore should be placed at a spot where the creeps are in its range for as long as possible (important: also think about Air waves!) and there should be as many free spots for support towers within 3 range.
Don't build any additional towers until your main tower is at least lvl 10 or else they will steal its kills and prevent it from leveling fast enough. /Don't worry if from time to time, a creep gets by, that's what you have health for and eventually, you reach a point where it doesn't matter anymore whether you have 1% or 200% left because nothing gets by anymore.)
Equip your main tower with the best items you find, trade the rest in, except for Keys of Wisdom and parts of the Withered set.
Trade in all small and normal potions in and use only Water of Life and all Great potions. (You don't lose anything when trading potions except for the great ones that only give 1 new great potion for the price of two.)
Once your main tower is strong enough to get most of the kills, even if there are others around), start building supports:
Herb Witches close to the main power can help with getting some more attack speed. Irish Pubs are ok too for some dmg and can be used for a short time boost in difficult waves or Challenge waves.
Also start filling empty spots with Scientists, starting with the ones that you will use for your support towers.
Beavers are useful too if you need to slow down creeps a bit.
By now, in addition to the aforementioned items, you should also start to collect Magic Mushrooms (best speed item once a tower hits a certain level), Seaven-League Boots (best speed item for low level towers and second best for high level ones), Lucky Pants (luck), Viking Helmet, Fistful of Steel, Herb Witch's Cauldron and Irish Pub's Barrel (all three support items).
Moving on to mid game:
By now you should have your main tower surrounded with a few supports. Those in 1 range will hold your support items for now.
As sson as you can afford it, you should build at least one Money Bin. Place it within 3 range of your main tower but also as far as possible, preferably behind your main tower.
Money Bins are perfect to hold your Keys of Wisdom.
Once your 1 range supports start to get a full inventory, replace one of them with Mr. Iron. This will be your main support.
Feed Mr. Iron with all your support items (no more than one Key of Wisdom though, they don't stack once consumed), spare Speed items and Luck items. The more attack speed it gets, the faster it can eat your cards and return back to work. (Also worth mentioning: the cards are consumed once the tower is done building, so you can just start the building with only one item and add additional ones while it is still busy building.)
Once you find a Rotten Toadstool and a Dried Cactus, equip your main support with those. (Don't worry, as those are set items, they will not be consumed.)
Because your Mr. Iron is getting more and more attack speed and luck (= increased chance of whatever might happen with a certain chance), he will become more and more effective at setting back in time the creeps he attacks. (important: Since building makes him unable to attack, don't build during waves that you will need to slow down like this.)
(Once Mr. Iron hits 0.1 attack delay, you can consider him "finished" and only need to feed him support items you want your main tower to profit from. The rest goes to your next Mr. Iron.)
Additional Support towers:
Set up additional supports on strategical positions and equip them with the aforementioned 2 Withered parts and 2 speed items.
For the beginning, go with Scientists (-> gain some levels) or Beavers for stun. Later, you will want to replace them with Shadows for the increased range and fast attack speed.
Also build additional support Mr. Irons once you're done with the first one. Remember that they have a shorter range than shadows when deciding where to place them.
If you want to go for the satellite in the end (i recommend doing this), you should also start builing more Money Bins in range of your main tower, so you will have a few hundred millions in gold when entering the bonus round.
For your main tower, you will want to eventually end up with Seelenreisser, Excalibur, Blade of Darkness and Messerschmidt's Reaver. However, until you enter the bonus round, you have to drop one of them in favour of a Wedding Band (doesn't matter which one). Give the other one to one of your support Shadows and move it to the next once it has reached a 0.1 attack delay from the shared potions.
Help of Hades is a good item too if you have a free slot and want some additional range. Eventually though, you might want to give this to one of your support towers to make room for a better alternative.
Dungeon Door is both useful and very dangerous: Treasure goblins drop great loot but they are also rather strong and especially if one spawns during a challenge wave, it might get through and possibly take away your last health. -> Use it only with great caution.
Another great item is Mummy Bandages: This is the third part of the Withered set and while in my opinion the 3 part set bonus is not really worth it, this item gives an insane amuunt of attack speed. You should absolutely put this on your main tower as soon as you get it and keep it there until you manage to get a 0.1 attack delay without it. Eventually, you can put this on one of your support towers that can still use the attack speed.
Always trade in towers you don't need as 4 rare towers eventually give a rare item, which especially at the beginning can make a huge difference.
However, you should keep every Acolyte of Greed you find in order to spawn a lot of treasure goblins before entering the bonus round.
Ganesha - big experience boost and (if well placed) your first lvl 99 tower that you can later replace with something else (once you don't need it anymore) -> must have (equip with a dark item as soon as possible)
Balu the Bear - strong AoE tower, however not needed for this build
Manitou - major dmg boost for your main tower (+2 multicrit) -> must have
Muli the Evil Twin - (in my opinion) completely useless
Blofeld Laser Satellite - by far the strongest tower in game, assuming you have LOTS of gold -> recommended for the bonus round, not to be built too soon though as every attack costs gold!
Black Widow - more items and gold from creeps killed in 3 range -> very helpful, especially when your main tower's item chance is still low
Knusperhexe - eats mass creeps and lowers armour of all creeps in range -> nice to have, place carefully and equip with speed items
The Dark Forge - only way to obtain Blade of Darkness -> must have! equip with luck items, put a dark item on Ganesha and replaceit once you have your Blade (i usually level this one until wave 500 and replace it with my Acolytes before the bonus round)
Abyss King - "recruits" creeps and gives a bonus for each one in his army to all darkness tower -> nice boost while your playing with a shadow, can be replaced once you transition to Blowfeld
Gib the Frozen Daemon - only obtainable with the Frozen set, slows creeps by a lot with a downside that can be nullified with Knusperhexe -> not really needed for this build as our Withered supports are doing the job already
Before entering the bonus round, build the satellite and temporarily equip it with Messerschmidt's. Pause the game and build all your Acolytes of Greed on a high lvl tower you don't need anymore. (replace the same tower over and over again until they're all gone and maybe replace the last one with a more useful tower)
Put the ring back on your main tower (remember to wait) and feed some more supports with your potions.
Trade in all unneeded items and towers, feed the useful items to your Mr. Irons. (don't trade in all of those until you're sure you don't want to build another one, also feel free to remove the Withered set temporarily to free up all four slots and feed twice as fast)
Since you have to resume the game to construct and remarry towers, you will probably be doing this for a short while into the bonus round. Once you're done and your inventories are all empty, replace the rings with something more useful (Messerschmidt's for your main, Key of Wisdom or a luck item for the support).
And finally: Watch your towers massacre the bonus round creeps and laugh at them when they barely manage to get within kill range before being set back in time... ;)
Very nice! I am glad my guide helped you get started.
I too discovered how good Jilly is as a starting Main tower. As an added bonus, shes the only real usable carry that can use the Handbag! When you transform items early on, thats the item you almost always wind up with.
I would tell you to try one other approach. Instead of using Shadows for all your other slots with Withered set, try using all Jillies! With 500 rounds and lots of keys, they will all be pretty high level. Giving them a good 5-9% of a kill for every shot. With 0.1 Attack speed, they fire a LOT! You can use the shared pots strategy OR equip with the Haste set which adds huge attack speed boost easily.
This basically shreds everything on the bonus round EXCEPT for primary boss types. As such you don't really need area of effect stuff anymore. A Knusper up front kills a lot of the mass creeps already and provides huge armor debuff.
So your Biofield doesnt have to shoot near as often and doesn't fall off as fast. An Iron with the Withered main set debuffs the bosses and knocks them back.
I managed to get 6700 seconds and Chuck Norris rating on Medium with this approach.