What should I do first?
This is largely a matter of opinion, but you have a few options.
Your first option is to play against the bot. You’ll find neophyte almost laughably easy after just a few matches, just pick either Listrata or Liet and go to town. You’ll earn just 50 silver per win but you’re almost guaranteed to win. After a few matches you’ll unlock higher bots, and then multiplayer. Feel free to dip your toes into either option, but be warned that they might be a bit more than you can handle right now.
The second option, which I think is the superior one for this early in the game, is to play through the campaign. You’ll be facing neophyte still, but here you get better rewards, and the first chapter is almost a second tutorial that explains what some of the cards do. Just go as far as you can and you’ll be sitting pretty.
Not really a third option, but something that merits mention: quests! Quests are going to be your best friend while you’re a newbie and probably throughout your entire career with this game. Not only do they give you lots of silver, but they also give you tickets (important later) and free gold packs. Do not ignore your quests!
A tip for speeding up your matches is to open up the options and crank up the AI speed. It’s good to leave it nice and slow until you get the gist of how things work though.
Once you’ve built up a nice bit of silver from your chosen method of advancement and quests, it’s time to hit the shop. Unless you’ve already made a purchase or completed all your quests, you’re going to only have one option here: oak packs.
Now, don’t panic. Common cards are your workhorses. Many of them are very, very good, and all of your decks will be built on the backs of them. And Oak packs are bar none the best way to max those out.
Anyway, go ahead and pop open your gold pack if you’ve earned one, and then as many oaks as you can afford. Go ahead and pick whatever appeals to you most, you’ll get everything sooner or later, but keep these things in mind:
- Always, always, always, always take the hero first if there’s one in your pack. This applies no matter what rarity or pack you’ve opened. If you get an epic and Gretta is in there, take Gretta, I don’t care what coins you pulled. The more heroes you have, the sooner you get all the hero cards, and the more silver you get by leveling your heroes up including through card pick exp. And besides, it broadens your horizons way more than any single cards or coin can, I cannot stress this enough.
- Early on, you’ll probably want to focus on Vespitole (green) cards. Especially true if loan, ballista, usury, corruption, sybilline scrolls, malediction or synod drops. These are all very good cards and some decks revolve entirely around them. Loan in particular is what makes Vespitole work anywhere outside of low tier bots.
- Generally you’ll want to pick whichever card has the least ticks towards being fully upgraded. Cards have three upgrade levels, the first by unlocking the card, the second by picking it 4 more times, and the third by picking it another 20. You can speed this up with ingots, see below.
Now, you’ll get two things out of all this pack opening: A bigger collection, and a pile of ingots. Picking a card you already own gives you some ingots and exp to all heroes of that faction you own in addition to the tick, and picking a maxed one doubles both the EXP and ingot gain. Additionally, all matches other than neophyte ones will also award ingots, ingots are super important. Each upgrade tick a card has is basically worth an amount of ingots based on rarity, and you can spend the difference in ingots to jump a card to its next upgrade level.
Common: 2.5 on pick, each tick worth 20
Uncommon: 10 on pick, each tick worth 80
Scarce: 50 on pick, each tick worth 300
Rare: 200 on pick, each tick worth 1000
There are no epic cards other than coins or heroes.
So, essentially, when you pick a card you haven’t maxed yet, you get both the raw ingots they award and the value of the tick itself. This is why oak packs are best for upgrading common cards, it has the best effective ingot value/silver ratio of all the packs except for gem packs if you have all your rares maxed. You probably don’t have all your rares maxed.
But, as far as what to spend your ingots on: Don’t. Not yet. You’ll want to save every ingot you get for now, and max out all your commons through oak packs alone. It will go quicker than it sounds, trust me. If you absolutely must, you can upgrade one or two commons to finish out a deck and move on to a better bot for faster packs.
Once all commons are maxed, you’re at a crossroads: You can get all your uncommons done too through oak packs with a little more effort, or you can spend some money and unlock the better packs. Silver packs will get your uncommons done about as fast as oaks did for your commons, ditto with golds and scarces. If you choose to remain free to play, you’ll struggle to upgrade scarces and rares quickly.
That said, I managed to get all my scarces and rares upgraded once, and many scarces maxed before I finally opened up golds, so it’s not all doom and gloom. It’ll just take you a bit longer, and you may end up spending those ingots on scarces instead of rares.
Once you spend the money, the packs are open permanently. You will not have to make a 10 dollar purchase for every gold pack.
Beyond the Bots
Once you’ve got a nice little collection going, and maybe branched out into the other factions, by now you should have a bit better of an understanding of the game. In depth strategy is beyond the scope of this guide, but see the section on good decks for newbies to get you started. This section is about what to do with them.
Once you’ve won at least one match using all four of the factions, tourney will be unlocked for you. Tourney will probably be where you want to be if you want to experience the pvp for now, as it puts everyone on equal footing in terms of coins and card upgrades. Wins here will get you 400 silver, and if you do well enough you’ll get some extra rewards. I can’t offer much in the way of strategy, but I can explain the basics:
You have 11 packs to open, one will give you the option of 3 heroes, 3 will give the option of 6 cards, 3 will give 5 cards, and 4 will give 4 cards to choose from. You are not locked into any one faction, and in fact this mode has special heroes you won’t see elsewhere, you can stumble upon some unique combos not possible anywhere else in the game.
You will play matches until you either win 8 times or lose 3 times overall, receiving rewards based on how many wins you got.
0-2 Wins: Free Oak pack
3-4 Wins: Free Silver pack
5 Wins: Free Gold pack
6 Wins: Free gold pack and you get to pick one of the cards from your draft deck to keep
7 Wins: Free gold pack and you get to pick one of the cards from your draft deck to keep, and a ticket
8 Wins: Free gold pack and you get to pick two of the cards from your draft deck to keep, and a ticket
After losing, if it is not your third loss, you can pick one card in your deck to reroll via a 4 pack.
You can try normal matchmaking too, and there are some cheap decks you can put together that will do well there. MP has the best rewards for both wins and losses on the weekends when they double (tourney rewards do not) so it’s worth getting yourself acquainted with it if you can get a deck together.
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