The following is an attempt to list mistakes new players often make, with explanations and fixes. While the cards aren't the same as they were when this guide was created, the general idea stays the same. It's also a good idea to check out the other guides, too. The page Playing Efficiently is incredibly helpful.
Note that the current version of this guide was created before the addition of the Baseplate to the game. (For more info, see this page.)
- 1 0th? Mistake: Mismanaging their hand.
- 2 1st Mistake: Playing only fighters that are too cheap
- 3 2nd Mistake: Playing too many expensive fighters/dualcolor fighters.
- 4 3rd Mistake: Playing cards as early as possible
- 5 4th Mistake: Not thinking that Information is a resource
- 6 5th Mistake: Defending life over dealing more damage
- 7 6th Mistake: Overextending.
- 8 7th Mistake: Thinking that Soft Removal is bad.
- 9 8th Mistake: Not trusting hardwipe cards.
0th? Mistake: Mismanaging their hand.
The Baseplate is a difficult mechanic to understand, and especially to work with.
For those uninitiated in its abilities, here's the rundown:
- The first coloured card you discard each turn (via right-clicking on it in your hand), that is not inert-when-discarded, goes to your Baseplate.
- Cards in your Baseplate generate at the end of the turn, like your fighters.
This means that, to be added to the baseplate, the card needs to meet two conditions:
- Be non-Colourless. Colourless cards are those cards with a White-coloured border.
- Generate a stud when discarded. When you discard a card, you should get an icon of its type. If you didn't get one, then that means that it didn't go into your Baseplate.
But that's not the main point of this.
It's a bad idea to discard card(s) when you get below 4 cards in your hand. 4 cards seems to be the best balance between choice and stud generation via the Baseplate.
Other than that, there's not much advice we can give, but at least there's something.
It's usually a better idea to discard the copies of cards in your hand. By discarding cards you already have, you'll get more choices on which card to play next turn.
It's usually a better idea to discard expensive cards before inexpensive ones. Of course, if your deck doesn't have any other copies of that card, you might want to keep it anyways.
We really wish we could help you figure out which cards to discard. It seems like an ability you gain during play.
1st Mistake: Playing only fighters that are too cheap
Let's have a look at the card Finland. This card may have been changed over the years, so here's a description of what it once was.
|Rarity: Yellow Common|
|Effect: When this card is cast, if you have no yellow icons, generate a yellow icon.|
Finland could quickly generate icons, due to it being effectively a 1W card with more health than Guest. Thus, a lot of new players played this card to save up on yellow to play something else. This was, and still is, flawed reasoning.
Finland may have generated icons early-game, but late-game, it was useless. As a 300/200, it died to practically everything, killed nothing, and didn't give you any additional icons. Such cards are known as dead draws, and that's what most cheap cards are after the first few turns.
In this game, you want to play fighters early. Hypergeometric Distribution, a mathematical formula you can use to figure out the probability of a card appearing in your hand within a certain number of turns, tells us that if you have 4 of the same card in a deck, you have about a 50% chance of drawing at least one in your opening hand. Considering Finland was only good in the first few turns, this was a very bad deal.
Due to Finland dying in one hit from anything, it's a better idea to play a big card instead, such as TeeVee, a 2W3Y 650/650 without an effect. If you can't cast TeeVee early game, discard it for an icon and you'll get almost the same amount of icons as a Finland would generate before dying. The difference, however, is that TeeVee is most certainly not a dead draw early-game.
Cards such as Happy Clown - cheap cards that can generate icons - only become worth it if they are not dead draws late-game. However, you should also avoid accidentally encountering this next mistake.
For more information about deckbuilding, check out Deckbuilding 101.
2nd Mistake: Playing too many expensive fighters/dualcolor fighters.
While it's alright to play certain cheap fighters, it's also easy for you to accidentally add too many high-cost fighters.
Take the first iteration of Lockspam, for instance.
|Gato Luz x4|
|Lohit x3 (out of 4)|
|CinematicMind x2 (out of 3)|
|Tiny Tank x2|
|Wesker202 x1 (out of 2)|
|Slateskin Potion x2 (out of 4)|
|Brick Bacon x2|
|Vitality Potion x1|
|Detect Imperfection x2 (out of 3)|
|Hallow's Treats x1|
This version of it used tons of high-Colourless cost cards. Brick Bacon, Vitality Potion, Dairingpoophead, the works. Because of this, it was clunky and slow, as it would often run out of Colourless studs to cast the others.
However, that isn't this version's fatal flaw. It's actually the huge number of high Blue cost cards. Fenrier, Gaomon94, Wesker202, and Regular_Show all costed more than 4 Blue icons. Normally, this wouldn't be an issue, but because there were no cards with a 2B or 3B cost, there was a huge gap in the costs between 1B and 4B. Only Tiny Tank and Slateskin Potion were in that range.
Thus, there were several instances where the Lockspam players was barely able to play any fighters, and ended up forced to discard his entire hand in order to stall.
This, of course, would usually lead to a loss.
Let this serve as a lesson to not run too many high-cost cards. The 1-3 icon range is usually fine, though.
For more information about deckbuilding, check out Deckbuilding 101.
3rd Mistake: Playing cards as early as possible
Let's look at the card Divine Favor. This card may have been changed over the years, so here's a description of it.
|Rarity: White Rare|
|Effect: Set the health and power of all fighters to 300. You can't cast actions or summon fighters for the rest of this turn.|
Divine Favor is a very powerful and multifaceted card; it has a lot of uses in different scenarios. However, in all of its uses, it should be played as late as possible.
Assume your opponent has solely Papasmurf and his Drakobloxxers out. You have no fighters; the Drakobloxxers killed them all. You play some fighters, hoping for a chance to use divine favor. This is a perfectly good play, however: When do you play divine favor? The turn you play the creatures, or the turn after?
The correct answer is the turn after, because it gives your opponent no time to react.
Assume you play some fighters, then use divine favor on them. Now it's your opponent's turn; In playing Divine Favor a turn early, you have given your opponent a turn to react and prevent their Drakobloxxers from dying.
The opponent is playing Red. Here is just a short list of cards Red could have played to horribly mess up your plan to use divine favor: Fallen Guardian, DrKig, Nymn the Redrune Leader, Nikilis, Redrune Raider, Sibs, MrDoombringer, and so much more.
By playing divine favor the same turn you're about to ram a creature onto the board, you completely remove their ability to play these cards.
Also, if they do react to your playing of creatures by using some controlling effect to destroy the creatures you summoned, at least you still have your Divine Favor, so you can try again later.
There is a second reason to play cards as late as possible, and that is information. Information will be explained in the next mistake, but if you use a certain card too early, you announce what you're going to do next.
4th Mistake: Not thinking that Information is a resource
There are five big resources in the game: Fighters, Icons, Life, Cards, and Information.
Information is the second-least important of the five resources (Life is the least), but it's still a key aspect of the game. Information is also gained and lost differently through other resources. Whenever you do anything, you give information to your opponent. Information can be used to properly predict what the opponent is going to do, allowing you to react to it. For example:
2. Your opponent plays Sylrath, then SharpTH. You now know that his deck is most likely Monoblue. React accordingly; use your high-power removal only on the big things, play smaller things to bait out the Korblox Archers.
4. Your opponent says "Aw, man, I have a bad hand." Rush your opponent before they can properly recover from their bad hand.
Information is a resource that veterans are more adept at exploiting than new players. We'd be here forever if we went on about properly exploiting information, as it requires an understanding of the game's meta, and cards that certain decks are most likely to have. Instead, here's a really quick tip on how to prevent excess information.
Whenever you talk, do it in a neutral tone, and try not to bring attention to any card that is unnecessary. Instead of saying "Damn, I can't stop that WishNite.", say "Wishnite's good."
And NEVER comment on your opening hand, be it good, bad, mediocre, interesting, or mundane.
And one more thing: Don't lie about what's in your deck or hand unless your opponent is gullible. Misinformation can give your opponent more information than honesty.
(Lying and bluffing in this game is perfectly ethical and acceptable, but it's not a good idea.)
5th Mistake: Defending life over dealing more damage
Your start the game at 4000 life. There are two states as far as life goes: 0 life, and above 0 life. As long as you have above 0 life, you will very rarely be in danger of losing.
Now, that's not to say you should recklessly shred your life, but it means you shouldn't be scared to lose it. If it means drawing cards with Valletta, smashing a creature with ZacAttackk, it's better to prepare those whites in and lose a little life whilst your opponent's still setting up, as opposed to trying to wipe them when they're already set up.
New players often try to protect any shred of life at all costs. This is sometimes good, but not always; It's a better idea to apply context. If you're only losing 200 life a turn, and you have some really big hitter like WishNite in your hand, feel free to take 600 and play it. If you're losing lots of life a turn, it'd be a better idea to defend yourself.
6th Mistake: Overextending.
Over-extension is the idea of playing more cards than is necessary to give you board advantage. This is bad, because it means your opponent can then use a single card to destroy more of your fighters. Some cards, such as Mzh3000, Bobaman1, or Grimclaw The Unholy, are specifically designed to teach people to not overextend.
There are two ways to calculate over-extension:
1) If your deck is more aggro, cheap-cards based, you want to have 1500 power on the board at all times and no more. Also, try to stay under 5 fighters.
2) If your deck is more high-quality, high-power cards based, you want to have 3 or less fighters on the board at all times.
3) No matter what deck type you play, if you can't come back from a boardwipe if the opponent played it on their next turn, then don't extend far enough that they would be able to meet the conditions to cast it.
By this same logic, spamming cards is rarely a good idea because it creates over-extension. This means that you don't need to get angry when your opponent spams cards; it's not a viable technique, and they'll learn to not overextend sooner or later.
Note that you can bait your opponents hard wipes, but doing so needs you to have a lot of weak fighters on the field so your opponent doesn't get value.
7th Mistake: Thinking that Soft Removal is bad.
Let's have a look at the card The Stalker. This card may have been changed over the years, so here's a description of it.
|Rarity: Red Legendary|
|Effect: During your end step: Deal 300
damage to all enemy fighters.
|Bio: A true monster makes lesser monsters hunted instead of hunters.|
The Stalker, at first glance, looks extremely powerful. It costs 10 red, but boardwipes every turn. However, there are thousands of ways to deal with The Stalker, and whilst it's powerful, it's not spine-breaking if your deck is well-built.
The Stalker is a card that demands removal. This means that, in order to kill it without losing card advantage, you need to use removal. Fortunately, removal is everywhere.
Different cards excel at removing different problems. There are two kinds of removal: Soft Removal and Hard Removal. Hard Removal will kill the majority of all cards in the game, whilst Soft Removal won't.
Let's list all the main types of removal, giving at least one example:
- Direct Damage: Cards that deal damage to another when they enter play. Sometimes, these cards have additional effects. Direct damage is good against low-HP fighters, but bad against high-HP ones. Ignis Mage is probably the most commonly seen example of this.
- Haste: An offshoot of cards with direct damage are cards that can attack when summoned. These perform the same task, but in different ways. Korblox Archmage is the best example of such a card.
- Direct Reduction: Cards that reduce the power of a fighter to 0 or at least really close. Korblox Archer excels in this category. These cards can shut down really heavy hitters, like OstrichSized, but don't negate their effects.
- AoE: A subtype of Direct Damage/Reduction, these effects change the stats of multiple fighters at once. Ninja Elite and Zolerus are the typical examples. AoE is good against swarms, bad against single targets.
- Health/Power Swapping: An effect that'll instantly kill fighters with 0 power, and turn giant walls into glass cannons (or vice-versa). Arte71 is well-known for how absurdly good it is at this effect.
- Transforming: An effect that removes any effects from a card, turning them into a vanilla. However, this does not affect stats, so be wary of potential baiting for more effect-reliant fighters and buffing. Cards notorious for transforming fighters are Magic Broom Black Cat and Your_Name.
- Hard Removal: See the next mistake.
Note that locking is NOT removal unless it's Naga the Sea Serpent. And even then, that only prevents the fighter from attacking. Locking a card just delays the problem.
It's good to play a lot of removal. Soft removal is cheaper and more common than hard removal, which is why most pros pack tons of it into their decks.
8th Mistake: Not trusting hardwipe cards.
Look at a card like Thunder Bolt.
|Rarity : Blue Epic|
|Effect: Obliterate all fighters and coloured cards in your baseplate|
Thunder Bolt is one of the many hardwipes; cards that have huge effects on usually every fighter in play. The hardwipes are as follows: Thunder Bolt/Lightning Blast, Luck o' The Lobsters, Meeboid Titano, Mass Epidemic, Divine Favour, and Mzh3000 (Thunder Bolt is not really good as it removes the coloured cards in your baseplate, which leaves you vulnerable later.)
Hardwipes are just a subset of Hard Removal. Hard removal is very rare and very expensive. There are five pure non-wipe hard removal cards: Razuatix, Scripth, Ban Hammer, (Group-locked to Infurnished) Infurnace, and Unspeakable Summoning.
Most pros don't even flinch at The Stalker, because they have so much removal to deal with it.