Lore: TO BE ADDED
Wulven, though not “wolves”, behave very similar to them in that they do have a pack mentality, and this is represented through various card designs requiring only Wulven or effects happen with another Wulven ally. Generally in a wolf pack, many of the members are young (2-3 years old) represented by the lower cost of all the existing allies, with 2 Alphas (Male/Female) which are currently absent from the alignment (outside of Wulven Class). The Wulven alignment has been my favorite to investigate because of its uniqueness of existing within and outside of the Class. For this articles purposes, currently I will not be discussing the Wulven Class, though I may decide to include this at a later time.
This guide is an evolving article which will change periodically, depending on balancing card changes or a change in my though process after playing more with the cards. Special thanks, as always, to Gondorian and TJ Starval for input!
Hello everyone, by popular demand here is my new take on Monster Garth for LL. It’s huge and full of homunculi, get it? The premise is similar to other Monster Garth decks – lots of generally useful stuff. To understand why one would try to make a deck like this, take a look at my other recent article.
In order to have a competitive deck – your deck needs to have the minimum number of cards possible and the maximum number of key cards. So, if you want to draw fireball consistently, you should have 4 copies of fireball in a 40 card deck. This is the prevailing wisdom in most trading card games and generally holds true for Shadow Era. But it’s not always true, and to understand those exceptions (like 80 card Garth decks) you need to first understand the rule.
Probability of drawing a single card
The math behind figuring out the probability of drawing a single card in a deck is complex (you can read about it here). The most important thing to know about it is that it is tied to deck size, number of matching cards within the deck, and number of cards drawn.
Smaller Deck = better chance of getting target card
If I have 1 Jack of Spades shuffled in a deck of 4 cards, and I draw one, then I’ll have a probability of 1/4 to draw that Jack of Spades. If I increase the deck size to 10, my probability will drop to 1/10. For this reason, if drawing a Jack of Spades will make me win, I want to minimize the size of my deck.
With the release of 2.89 Shadow Era has added several class decks. Here are some tips on how to get the most of them if you’re a new player.
Tips for New Players:
Zhanna has been my favorite hero since I started playing in the early days of Call Of The Crystals (COTC). In Dark Prophecies (DP) and especially in COTC, Zhanna had no autoloss conditions using a standard deck – featuring The King’s Pride (TKP), Retreat, Healing Touch (HT), and Focused Prayer (FP) while mixing in Tainted Oracle (TO), Elizabeth Winterborn (EW), and Wizent’s Staff (WS) for draw. She had no consistent way of dealing high damage (like a Mage’s Fireball) or instant death (like a Rogue’s Assassinate) to an opposing ally but the constant knowledge of Tidal Wave kept opponents at bay. The opponent had two routes – play into Tidal Wave or play single allies that get bounced by a Retreat/Banish or get locked by Jasmine Rosecult. It was a golden age for Zhanna.
Shattered Fates (SF) introduced new heroes and new cards across the board for all classes. Already difficult matches for Zhanna became even more difficult. Discard Zaladar, Wulven Moonstalker, Serena, and Homunculus Aramia are all vastly difficult for a standard Zhanna deck to compete with. The slow and steady pace of the old style of Zhanna became no longer good enough.
Victor has always been a favorite hero of mine. In Dark Prophecies and before he was often underrated. Although he was capable of being strong in certain matchups, he used to have great difficulty with others, potentially having several decks and heroes that would be auto-losses. The problem with Victor was his draw. He could recycle cards, which was pseudo-draw, but had few cards that offered any kind of good consistent draw. On top of that, his strongest ally killing cards were Death Traps, which had the disadvantage of triggering Ill-Gotten Gains, making Rogues a near auto-loss matchup. At the same time, his ability requires opposing allies in play, which made him very weak against solo decks (decks without allies) which used to be much more common.
Shattered Fates, and specifically Hunter’s Gambit and Deepwood Bobcat have greatly changed this. Now Victor has few bad matchups and no auto-losses. Even when facing a solo deck and denied of their shadow energy abilities, most Victor decks can still present with decent draw and consistent threats. This is because solo decks gain advantage by completely nullifying opposing cards devoted to ally removal (making 1/3 of an opponent’s deck irrelevant); Victor doesn’t need a lot of cards devoted to ally removal and so solo decks only nullify a small number of his cards and his SE ability, still leaving him free to mount a strong offense. Victor is generally considered a tier 1 hero (if not, tier 1.5 or 2).
Sorry for the lack of new content lately. Haven’t had many ideas on what to write about and was also distracted with real life matters too. Without further ado:
Hunter Ability – Attachment
Attach to target opposing ally. That ally has -1 health. When Hunter’s Gambit is destroyed, draw 2 cards.
Hunter’s Gambit was (And possibly still is) one of the most debated cards, and in my opinion, game changing from the Shattered Fates expansion. This card provides the Hunter class with something they did not have back in Call of the Crystals and Dark Prophecies, a solid draw card.
Garth Ravensoul is ‘King of the Board’. I mean this both in terms of his strengths and his limitations. His strength is that any ally or weapon on the board can easily be made a threat to opposing allies. This translates to Garth being able to establish and keep board control relatively well throughout matches. King of the Board is also a reference to the game, ‘King of the Hill’, in which one person tries to stay on top and shove everyone else down. Indeed, this is the game that Garth plays. He does it well, but he needs to win at this game to be effective. Allowing the opponent to dominate the board for too long (and become ‘King of the Board’) is a sure way to lose as Garth.
What should the Design Team strive for in terms of balance? Do you want each archetype to have the same overall winrate (RPS) or that each archetype has a 50ish winrate against every other archetype (RTS)?
The first case is akin to Rock-Paper-Scissors. You could argue that it is a perfectly balanced game since each move has a theoretically equal chance to win – they all have one auto-win and one auto-loss. The outcome of a match is decided solely by your pregame choice.
The most successful players will be those that read the metagame better.
In Shadow Era terms, that would be like a Rush Eladawen beats Allied Moonstalker beats Solo Gwen beats Rush Eladwen metagame.
It’s getting late in a tight game. You’ve been trading blow for blow, countering each other’s allies, weapons and draw engines. You have an Aeon in your hand and draw a Book of Curses. You sacrifice the Book to get to eight resources since you already have one in play and grace your empty board with Aeon Stormcaller. Right? Wrong!
There is a world of difference between holding one (however useless) card and passing the turn empty handed. Continue reading