Level 7 – The Wall

Difficulty: Normal
Waves: 25

A nice breather level, this will introduce you to the first Assassins of the level pack. Assassins have been toned down from the original Cursed Treasure, and now have only a random chance to take reduced damage as opposed to having a random chance to avoid damage altogether. It doesn’t really affect your strategy at all, but it’s nice to know you don’t just have a random chance of losing anymore.

The eponymous Wall separates the northern and southern halves of the map, and it’s a great place to set up Towers. First, though, you’re going to want to secure the gem cave against future ninjas. Your first tower should be a Crypt on the snowy island with the mana well, since that’s about as good a tile as you can possibly get, but apart from that you should focus on building defenses near the gem cave – a Den to the left, and a Crypt to the right when you can cut out the trees.

The southwestern High Ground is a good spot for a Temple, while the central High Ground should have a Crypt. You should also place Temples on the two ash tiles north of the Wall proper when ninjas start showing up.

Level 8 – The Home Front

Difficulty: Normal
Waves: 30

A second breather level, presumably so that you can get warmed up for the pain about to come. Like the Wall, the key to victory is to use the early waves to train your towers protecting the gem cave proper. The three southeastern High Grounds should have Crypts. They can be supported by Towers on the ash tiles north and west of the cave. Once those defenses start slipping, cap the two free mana wells.

The northwestern High Ground is the perfect place for an anti-Ninja Temple, while the second High Ground behind it can support virtually any kind of tower. There are also two spurs of ash on the central block which can allow a strategically-placed Burning Temple to hit a large swath of enemies at once.

Level 9 – Compact Planning

Difficulty: Very Hard
Waves: 30

I... what... from what tortured nightmare’s fetid, withered hellscape was this abomination dragged?

The gem cave proper is surrounded by trees. There are only four open spaces on the entire level, and only one High Ground. Covering the gem cave will be nearly impossible. Ninjas will be coming as early as the sixth wave. Have fun!

Your first priority needs to be anti-Ninja protection, and that means the trees need to go. Fast. You’re working on an extremely tight time scale. Build a Temple and Den on the free mana wells, plus another Temple on the High Ground – the road is too wide for anything on the sides to hit, so this is mandatory.

Armed with that mana, wreak havoc on the snowy trees surrounding the gem cave. If you haven’t been putting skill ranks in Cut Out Mastery and Cut Out Study, by the way, quit now and save yourself the trouble, because unless you can take on those trees, this level is hopeless. Set up Crypts in the freed spaces. Work fast, time is short. If you can spare the mana, cut out the third mana well and build a Crypt there to speed up the process.

Once you have a battery of Crypts around the gem cave, you should be free to set up elsewhere. A second Crypt on the free snow tile south of the Temple can provide some helpful fire support. Apart from the gem cave Crypt battery, you can ignore the outer edge of the road – the enemies will hug the inner edge, so build all your towers there.

The High Ground Temple, incidentally, becomes incredibly powerful if you upgrade it to a Burning Temple, but you run the risk of letting Ninjas in through the gaps in its firing rate. Only do this if you can afford to lose a handful of gems or if you can reliable cast Frenzy twice in a row.