Hey, I'm back with another guide, this time about PVP. Following these tips and occasionally using my brain has got me to legendary rank as a f2p player and I know it can do the same thing for you.

Right now there isn’t any perfect „x of that, y of that“ recipe for deckbuilding out there as the meta decks usually consist of a combination of the cards oft he 2 strongest themes and one or two cards that counter commonly used cards, but there are some general guidelines that I think should be followed when you build a deck.

  • Do not go over 3.5 average energy, it is just to expensive. Something around 2.9-3.3 is recommended.

  • 1-3 ranged. Its generally always good to be able to place a ranged unit behind your other cards which can deal consistent damage while staying mostly untouched until all your other cards die, especially when you can place it behind your new kid while the enemy is attacking. Also it is very hard to deal with the occasional flying unit if only your new kids zap can damage it. I would not recommend more than 3 ranged however as they have weak stats (low hp and attack) and this can really backfire on you when you are in a troublesome position and your hand is filled with weak ranged cards.

  • 0-1 tank. You don't necessarily need a tank in your deck if you can compensate it with other cards but for starters I would recommend taking one. More than 1 tank however really slows down your game and can often make it hard to deal enough damage to the enemy kid.

  • AoE damage/clear spell or cards with abilities to clear the field if your enemy swarms it with many low health units. (arrowstorm is the best for the start, Fireball, Terrance Mephesto, Program Stan are also good)

Other than that you have pretty free choice in what cards you want to use and can play what is the most fun for you. There are obviously good cards and bad cards and the game does have a defined meta, but in the lower ranks it mostly comes down to who is using his cards better rather than who has the better/higher levelled cards.

PVP Basics

Energy trading

I assume most people will already know that, or at least understand the concept of it so I’ll only touch this shortly. For those who don’t, you basically want to deal with whatever units the enemy plays. Example: You use Fireball (5 energy) on an enemy Gunslinger Kyle (3 energy) and Captain Wendy (3 energy). They both die and now you have a 1 energy advantage over your opponent. Or if you send a 2-cost fighter against a 2-cost assassin, the assassin will die while your fighter will remain with ~half his HP, so while you’re both equal on energy you now have a field advantage The key to win games is to build up an energy/field advantage and use it to deal damage to the enemy new kid.

Fight on your side of the field to get an advantage

I see so many people pick fights in the middle of the field and I don’t exactly understand why. You are basically giving up a lot of advantages for no reason. Unless you are attacking, always fight on your side of the field, because:

  • New Kid Zap. It makes a HUGE difference, especially in drawn out battles
  • Unit placement. You can place units whereever you want on your side of the field. If you force the enemy frontline (tank/fighter) to fight right before your kid, his ranged units supporting them will be vulnerable to assassins as you can just place them behind the enemy frontline. In attack you need to rely on spells/abilities to take out enemy ranged units.
  • In case you lose the battle you can instantly play another unit to stall for more time, the enemy needs to place cards in his side of the field and wait them it to reach your side making it impossible to push through if he doesn’t win decisively.

Basically, turn a strong defense into a powerful counter attack.

Know about all cards and game mechanics

Alot of this comes from pure experience and simply paying attention but the more you know about the game the better your plays will be. It helps you realize when and how much energy you have to spend to deal with certain cards and allow for a calculated and optimal usage of your energy and cards.

Example: A Pidgeon Swarm coming to your new kid (with no other targets who take the aggro) will never make it to your new Kid to deal damage as they are extremly slow and squishy and will all die to the zap, no need to waste energy on reinforcements.

Know the meta

If you know what cards are currently strong and what the majority of people will play you will know the majority of cards in the enemy deck after only seeing 1 or 2 and thus can prepare for those cards in advance and reduce the risk of getting caught by surprise. Example If the enemy plays Angel Wendy, you can be 99% that he will also have Zen Cartman and Purify in his deck. Here is a constantly updated tierlist with short explanations what cards are currently strong/weak and why. Read it.

Only attack when you have an advantage

Goes without saying I guess, but you can’t simply bruteforce your way through when you are even on energy with your enemy unless you have a significant card level advantage. No half-assed attacks period. You will accomplish nothing and allow your enemy to build up a field/energy advantage on his side

Never waste energy

You’re better of playing any unit behind your new kid rather than sitting at max energy playing nothing and wasting it.

Never use all of your energy immediatly in an attack

You always want to have some energy available to deal with whatever the enemy is responding with. Using up all your energy too early can really nullify you entire attack if the enemy plays a key card that you can’t anwser to because you’re out of energy. Only spend all energy on an attack when you are 100% sure that he is weak on defense (no units/low energy)

The start of a game

  • Wait until your energy reaches 10 before you play any unit. You both start with the same amount of energy so there is no point of launching an attack when you’re at equal energy.
  • Once you’re at 10 energy, play the slowest unit you have right behind your new kid (longest path)
  • Let your enemy attack first to gain the advantage of fighting in your side. Also, if your enemy attacks first, you can determine the best cards and strategy to use against him. (against good players you will most likely meet each other in the middle oft he map as they will do the same, but it works really well against lesser experiences players).

The enemy

Keep track of the enemy energy

You can see your energy and how long it takes to gain energy, so you can do the same for your opponent. Once you know how much energy every card costs you should try to always have a fairly educated guess how much energy the enemy currently has at his disposal and use this knowledge to your advantage. Of course this is easier said than done as keeping track of all the plus/minuses for a 3-4 minute match is very hard while you need to react to opponents play and plan your own at the same time, but things like that separates top players from good players.

Adapt to your enemy

Easily one of the if not the most important thing in this game and very situational, so it’s hard to give you much advice on that. Every enemy is different. Different deck, different playstyle, or different strategy or all 3 of those. Once you have seen what cards he uses do not give him the opportunity to make easy trades in his favor anymore. E.g:

  • Marine Craig? You place your units in the top/bottom left corner and not behind your new kid
  • Arrowstorm? You wait with your assassin/swarm cards until he used it, maybe use 1 to bait it out
  • Fireball? No more grouping too many units.
  • Enemy uses multiple poison cards? Stay cool and keep your Purify/Shaman Token ability for the most crucial poison
  • Enemy uses Dougie? Always keep one assassin or spell and enough energy ready to deal with it at all times.

Know his strategy, identify his key cards and prepare a counter

Everybody has his own strategy(s) to attack you, many people will even try to do the same thing over and over when it hasn't worked the first time, some switch up their strategy. Some might rely on pure card strength while others use combos. Your job is to identify the cards that are integral to your enemies strategy and to cripple it before it comes into full effect.

Some very common basic combos can be:

  • Gunslinger Kyle attack buff + swarm/assassins: If you can't disable/kill Kyle before he charges his ability you should have some AoE damage (e.g Arrowstorm) or status effect (Freeze) ready to nullify the massive damage potential of this combo
  • Paladin Butters + (Barrel) Dougie: Use the deathwish shield from Butters to get 1 massive guaranteed hit to the enemy new kid. Something like Arrowstorm also works really good against it, other than that you need smart card placement that your cards focus the Dougie first so he dies before he can get the shield.

Advanced Tips

Attack fast when you know you’re at a energy advantage. Dont give the enemy time to recover.

Recognize when you’re at a big advantage and act fast, if you wait too long the enemy will have enough energy to stall in his side of the field with tanks/fighters or wipe your field with a powerful spell.

Attack from both sides

This is also something I only see a handful of people do which so far has worked exceptionally well for me. You need a unit that can tank the enemy New kid zap for a while (tank/fighter) walking tot he enemy kid through the middle. Then you place one assassins/rat swarm at the top oft he middle line and one at the bottom. This forces the enemy to defend from both sides which he might not have the energy or suitable cards for. It also spreads out your units in case of AoE attacks without losing any overall damage.

Sometimes negative energy trades are the best choice

In certain scenarios taking bad trade ist he way to go, like order to break through the last line of defense of the enemy or if the disadvantage would be bigger if you didn’t take the unfavourable trade in the first place.

Example1: You have 3 melee units in the enemy field walking towards the enemy new kid and you know he is low on energy because you kept track of his energy. In that case it is beneficial to use single target spells (Lightning Bolt, Unholy Combustion, Transmogrify) on lesser valuable units because it allows your units to target the enemy new kid instead of being stalled by the enemy units until he recovers.

Example2: The enemy has a Catapult Timmy (3 energy) and you have no way of reaching him or dealing with him another way, only a Lightning Bolt (4 energy). In this case it can be the best move to use Lightning Bolt on him because his ability is very powerful and if he gets to use it multiple times you might find yourself at an even bigger disadvantage when you don’t.

Keep in mind that these scenarios are all heavily depending on the situation you’re in and your judgement is key

Punish the enemy for playing high cost (6 or more energy) units

This puts you at a temporal huge energy advantage and you can use that time window to launch a fast all-out attack on the opposite side of the field (if he played it right behind his new kid observe if it is walking towards top/bot). High cost units are all very slow, so you don’t need to bother with defending for a bit. This move very often allows me to take down an entire enemy healthbar without losing one of my own as the enemy will use his remaining energy to fend off your attack, which is close to impossible with a 6+ energy disadvantage as long as the attack is done right, and he will have no/low energy to support his big unit once it enters your field and you should not have too much trouble dealing with it.

Intelligent Spell usage

Spells (especially AoE damage) are a really good way to make easy favourable energy trades. As long as they kill units who cost more energy than the spell itself you already made a great trade and they also can be an extremly powerful tool that completely turn the tide of a battle. They are a double-edged sword however as they can brick your hand or put you at a great disadvantage if you use them incorrectly so be careful. Also keep in mind that not all of them are instant casts (e.g Fireball) so if your targets are currently moving you have to take that into account.

Use the shockwave for a fast counter attack

Somes times you just missplay and you find yourself at a big disadvantage, happens to everybody. If you ever are at an disadvantage and think that you can't stop the enemy from taking a healthbar, stop spending any energy and wait for your shockwave to wipe out the enemy units *(it kills anything that are not tanks/full hp fighters). If you enemy did not pick up on the fact that you saved energy and spent all of his, you might have a chance for a quick counterattack to deal tremendous damage to the enemy.

Don't intentionally drop ranks because the games are too hard

Whether it is because the opponents are much higher levelled or simply better doesn't matter. Not only do you throttle your own progress but you don't grow as a player or person in general by taking a temporarily easier solution that harms you more than it helps in the longterm.

Questions or Feedback?

Comment here or join the discord. Don't be shy to ask, theres no stupid questions.

Written by Yvraine