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  1. QuickShift liked a post in a topic by RadicalX in Nature T1 PvP Guide by RadicalX   
    How to play Nature T1
    - a PvP Guide by RadicalX -

     
    -General talk-
    Okay I'm almost finished with the entire T1 section. I'll say the the same stuff as I did before, with this guide I want to provide information for newer players (Stuff like: Which cards do I use against which color), but also for the ones who are already dedicated veterans (going for in depth analysis here). Again I want to remark that every statement I make here refers to 1v1-PvP since 2v2 works in a different way (especially for nature because in 2v2 you can cover up most of its weaknesses while benefitting even more from the strengths nature offers).

     
    Let's just start with a short summary of what nature is good or bad at:
    + Nature T1 has a good scaling in extended T1 fights (it outscales Shadow & Fire units by a wide margin and can get really opressive due to free sustain)
    + Many people, even some of the top players, have no clue how to play against nature T1, because they never play against strong nature players. Since nature has a very different playstyle compared to other factions this can be a massive advantage for you.
    + Nature T1 spells scale well into mid/late T2, which opens up for very strong mid game options
    + Nature T1 is simply fun to play and practicing the micromanagement is really rewarding
    - Nature units don't scale into T2 at all with the exception of Dryad (playing T1 vs T2 with nature is also quite hard and requires alot of experience)
    - The deck is hard to play as it requires very crisp decisionmaking (can be good for you if you invest alot of time into practicing)
    - Nature has no clean answer against Phasetower (resulting in a matchup that is really hard to deal with and you need Primal Defender in your deck to survive). But Phasetower is disgustingly strong in any matchup.

     
    Nature has some weak points that can be exposed. The units are expensive, which makes you vulnerable for cross map action and aggressive T2's. You usually just want to avoid playing Nature as Shadow and Fire usually bring up much more stability to your decks. People who mastered their respective T1 could actually abuse nature T1 heavily. That said most high ranked players are very inexperienced when it comes to playing against nature. Even the “average Prime” from the old days would hide himself behind Phasetowers & instant T2's to get throught this early matchup regardless of strategic advantages.

     
    Deck building
    Let's start to take a look the cards, that are available in Nature T1. I'll simply set up groups like in my other guides to give you an overview of what cards I'd consider as strong or ... well not so strong.

     
    S - Tier
    Dryad (blue): Super essential card with an insane ability and passive. Definitely must have in the traditional nature deck. Does synergise well with pretty much everything your T1 offers and as an ranged M unit with splash damage almost perfect. Her damage often gets underestimated as her card description is wrong (should be 660 attack and not 550 since the splash damage is not part of the calculation). The additional crowd control can be used to very high value in micro trades.
    Ensnaring Roots: Super essential spell, one of the main reasons why you want to play a nature splash - it is useful in every stage of the game against almost every type of melee unit. Synergises really well with the wide arsenal of ranged units, that nature can bring on the table.
    Hurricane: Very powerful mid game spell, helps alot against S units in T1 fights and allows you to survive against stronger S units like Darkelf assassins in T2.
    Surge of Light: Grants you extra safety against AoE damage and makes your opponent think twice, if he wants to nasty that Dreadcharger into your full hp units. In addition to that this spell is almost always useful throughout the game, especially on open fights. It empowers very simple attacks (Playing Deep One + perma heal can put your opponent onto a massive amount of pressure in the later stages of the game).
     

     
    A – Tier
    Shaman: Also very important in a good nature T1 deck. The sustain it offers leads to great importance of micro, which gets rewarded heavily (saving these 1 hp units is so damn satisfying). It's super important for nature mirrors and overall useful in many ocasions. Clearly a must have for extended trading.
    Windweavers: The double shot ability makes them super useful in big fights and against squad targets. Windweaverspam beats out Nox spam, which is quite important, when playing against Shadow. Just struggles against knockbacks (Firesworn, Hurricane, Frostmage) so spamming it against anything else than shadow is rarely useful.
    Swiftclaw: Technically the best swift unit, if you're interested in playing an aggressive T1. If you want to avoid fights or save deckslots for stonekin, a different swift may be the better option. Its high dps is very useful against Frost players (Swiftclawspam can punish greedy early well choices) and also good as a front liner in early (!) nature mirror fights. Useless against shadow though, but still worth a deck slot most of the time as the high dps also brings up potential threatening to early T2s by your opponent.
    Spearmen: Very Important in alot of matchups. Their high hp pool makes them easy to micro, which leads to a very high heal efficency. Very good in dazed fights against Shadow and they also make the difference in early nature matchups. Underrated card, which is sort of similar in its function as skeleton warriors are in Shadow T1. In their M-Counter form they also get a little bit of extended range, which allows you to safely attack rooted melee units without taking damage by yourself.
    Primal Defender: Helps you alot to slow down phasetower-players on dangerous maps like Whazai and can slow down the game in general. Provides alot of safety and is a very good addition in your deck. I recommend playing it and at a certain point it is even a must have card. It also allows you to stall out at certain choke points against aggressive Frostmagespam in order to survive the early stage of the game.
    Treespirit: Destroys every type of healthy gameplay (has arguably the highest cost efficency out of your T1 units), but sadly doesn't help you against the real threats nature has to face (Mortar, Phasetower, Frostmage) as you can soak up damage rotations. Treespirits always just hit the closest target, which is an exploitable weekness, so while I see alot of people try that “only Treespirit T1”, it doesn't work out well. The card is insanely good, if you are weak at T1 looking to slow down the game to survive for later gamestages, but is very slow when it comes to transitioning into offense.

     
    B - Tier
    Amazon Blue: Very good, if you look for a fast T2, because its an L counter and its ability is deadly against Nightcrawlers (You can swap and activate them immediatly afterwards). Therefore it simply scales better than Swiftclaw, but is inferior in T1 fights. The beast damage reduction can be useful against some creatures (Swiftclaw, Treespirit, Sunderer).
    Mark of the Keeper: Defensive Building, which can be very strong in certain spots on the map and deadly against some decks, that rely to much on mid range units & spells. But usually you fall to far behind to protect every single base since 70 power is quite a huge price. Aura radius is too small to block Phasetower from attacking so it doesn't work as a replacement for Primal Defender.
    Evenom (red): Very good to support your army in T1 vs T2 fights. Helps alot to bring down skyfire drakes as it is a soft counter to ravage. Can be used to play out and punish instant T2s of fire splashes (don't do this against pure Fire though!).

     
    C – Tier
    Dryad (green): Synergises well with an endless amount of cards, which is very nice to have, but rarely useful enough to justify the 60 power investement. Can be nice to cheese your opponent with some sort of Darkelfassassins burst combos or and also denies small debuffs and anti magic areas.
    Werebeasts: They cost 75 power which is slightly less than the other swift units ... if you want to go instant T2 to safe 5 power this is your choice! Also a potential choice to swift start against Shadow T1 even though their combat ability is still lackluster.
    Mumbo Jumbo (both affinities): Cheese card that has to be used on an isolated unit, otherwise it has pretty much no effect. This card belongs to rPvE bossfights.
    Manawing: Troll card, which is fun to play and microing the teleport ability is super fun. But its hp pool is just too small to make serious use of it outside of the PvE area. All T1 factions do have good anti air units in their basic composition, which makes the air unit stat malus pretty bad for you. That said you can still use it to bring down annoying cliff mortar attemps (I'm looking at you DasToggy).
    Stranglehold: The card has huge damage and provides huge safety, but the cost is too high. Also doesn't hit buildings, which is very bad vs Phasetower/Mortar.

     
    D – Tier
    Amazon Green: The blue version has a damage reduction, which makes it just straight up better than this version, that does almost nothing.
    Evenom (purple): dps is too low to justify its power cost.
    Fountain of Rebirth: PvE card, does litereally nothing for you due to its initial cooldown.

     
    This is my T1 I use most of the time when playing nature T1:
    Swiftclaw
    Dryad (blue)
    Shaman
    Windweavers
    Spearmen
    Ensnaring Roots
    Hurricane
    Surge of Light
    Primal Defender
    Even though 9 slots look like a huge investment you need to keep in mind, that nature has alot of key spells (Root, Hurricane, Surge of Light) that scale very well into later stages and will be strong through the entire game. If you look for higher slot efficency you may consider cutting Spearmen.

     
    Matchup Discussion

     
    1 Nature vs Shadow
    1.1 General matchup discussion
    1.2 How to deal with Nox Spam
    1.3 how to deal with Dreadchargers
    1.4 How to deal with Phasetowerspam
    1.5 How to punish beast Shadow T1 players
    1.6 What to do against instant T2
    1.7 How to rush greedy power wells
    1.8 Map advice
    2 Nature vs Frost
    2.1 General Matchup discussion
    2.2 How to deal with Frostmagespam
    2.3 How to punish early wells
    2.4 How to deal with Ice-Guardians & Master Archers
    2.5 How to deal with early T2
    2.6 Map advice
    3 Nature vs Fire
    3.1 General Matchup discussion
    3.2 Dryad spam dicussion
    3.3 How to play the classic matchup
    3.4 How to survive the early game against Wrecker
    3.5 What to do against Mortar
    3.6 How to deal with early T2
    3.7 Map Advice
    4 Nature Mirror
    4.1 Swift unit starter
    4.2 Swift vs ranged starter
    4.3 Treespirits
    4.4 Playing against early T2
     
    1 Nature vs Shadow
    I want to start with the matchup against Shadow, because I think it's pretty easy to understand the dynamic from the nature perspective for a basic level.
    I want to describe how to beat the average Shadow T1 player:
    There are multiple scenarios you will encounter, when playing against Nature T1. I will go through all of them. First of all I will show you how the average Shadow T1 player plays & how to demolish him with ease. Then I'll go further to discuss what to do against dangerous unit compositions and strategies and how to survive against the overpowered Phasetower.

     
    1.1 General matchup discussion
    Nature has a general strength, when fighting against S Units due to Windweavers double damage bonus & Hurricane. This makes Forsaken less effective, espcially in a spam they are absolutely weak against Hurricane. On the other hand nox troopers make your Swiftclaw/Amazon entirely useless as you want to get off max value out of ensnaring roots. Starting with your swift unit may result into an autolose, which leads me to one of the golden rules, when playing nature T1: Always let your enemy spawn his first unit before you. This gives you the information about his T1 therefore you can react properly. The matchup against Shadow is probably the easist one to learn at the beginning, which is my main reason why I'm starting right here.
    1.2 How to deal with Nox Spam
    This is quite an easy task. All you have to do is spamming Windweavers and pull back that unit in a fight, which gets focussed. Most of the time your Windweavers will survive, because Nox Trooper need extra hits to kill squad units. Therefore you can save multiple units and heal them with surge of light. Even with motivate there is no way you're gonna lose that fight if you micro properly.
    Tip: You can select damaged units on the small screen at the right side. This allows you to pick your targets faster and more precisely.
    1.3 How to deal with mass Dreadchargers
    Some people may try to circle around you with Dreadchargers, which is a little bit harder to defend. Spearmen do a good job though to protect you. Against a massive amount of Dreadchargers it's quite useful playing a second squad of Spearmen. The important part in this scenario is to avoid open areas in the early stage, because you may get crushed from multiple angles. Just hover around choke points and punish overagressive pushes by using ensnaring roots (best case scenario is to catch 2 units, who are close to each other so multishot of windweavers increases your damageoutput during the cc time).
    1.4 How to deal with mixed unit combinations
    Probably the most effective way to play Shadow T1 is a combination of 1 Forsaken squad (to finish of S squads, because Nox struggle with this) and an equal amount of spammed Dreadchargers/Nox Troopers. You need to be careful with your micro and a good amount of Windweavers are necessary to eliminate threads quickly. Always try to kite back up until you have a big army and some additional power to support with your spells effectively. It should be easier to stay safe as Nox & Forsaken aren't that fast. Just be careful and don't fall back too far, otherwise a straight wellfocus into T2/Phasetower defence may put you far behind.
    1.4 How to deal with Phasetowerspam
    This card ist probably your worst enemy when playing nature T1. It destroys windweavers with its absurd splash damage and has an insanely high cost efficency ... pretty much a cc immune long range high dps tank. You will face Phasetowers in 2 possible occasions (Defensive and offensive situations). If you are trying to rush against a phasetower player (because he picked up a greedy power well or something like that), keep in mind that you're still going to lose an engagement. Try to set up your mobility advantage to and walk up to the main base to bait out a Phasetower, then walk back to the extra well. This way you can soak 60 additional power out of your opponent's power pool. Keep in mind it simply doesn't work on large maps like Haladur. Phasetower will always favour the Shadow player unless he makes major mistakes. Maps like Whazai are even worse, because a straight phasetowerspam in the middle can reach your powerwells just after 2 ports. You need to set up a primal defender defence before your enemy gets to port in. Otherwise the game is just lost.
    1.5 How to deal with a Shadow T1 Master
    This will be really tough. Your goal is early survival. The Shadow player has some ways to create massive advantages within the first minutes to build up big advantages. I'll show one of these powerful early attacks, that will end up with a clean 80+ power advantage for the shadow player most of the time.
    I'll give Yrmia as an example (Your opponent starts with a Dreadcharger. You have to respond with Spearmen or Windweavers . The game is over if you make one single missstep. You opponent will just start picking up a power well ...
    1) Now you can decide if you want to rush him. If you decide to rush him he plays a defensive Phasetower, that can port to the main base if you try to switch (even though it takes more damage there, fighting at the enemies main base will be hard, because the Monument will also constantly attack you with its splash damage and finish off squads before you can heal them).
    2) You take the well by yourself. This lowers the early voidlevel and leaves you open for a split attack which favours Shadow. An immediate double attack at your well and your main base will follow soon with 2-3 units per base. Shadow units are more effective without additional support while the expensive nature units need to synergise with each other and their support spells. In addition to that crowd control is nearly useless (1Dreadcharger, 1 Nox, 1Forsakensquad), because you won't be able to cc multiple units, you don't have enough crowd control in your base to make the cost investement worth it & you lack the units to kills cc'd units. If you try to overwhelm your opponent at one spot, he can just spam units at the other spot and get your powerwell over there (especially when he motivates the unit from the weaker side). You lose at least 1 powerwell.
    3) Instant T2. If your opponent mimics your movements early and stays on the same side as you do, there is no way you can reach an orb fast enough with your slow first unit. If you decide to start swiftclaw, your opponent will read your plan in about a second and won't pick up the power well, so he can rush your T2 immediatly if it's needed. You can't go for a dazed fight anymore, because Nox Troopers demolish Swiftclaw/Amazon and winning a fight while being 80 power down this early into the game is just not compensable just by good micro.
    Shadow T1 is very powerful at the start of the game and you definitely need to respect that. But don't worry to much, you won't meet such a strong shadow T1 player on a regular base. Most of the time people do make mistakes, so you can pick off some units with your cc or simple do favourable damage trades that keep you alive until you start to scale up. You will still face turrets and instant T2's alot, but you can survive that by using primal defender or picking up instant T2 by yourself. In the best case scenario you may be able to rush your opponent.

     
    1.6 Rushing an opponent who plays instant T2:
    1.6.1 Pure Shadow
    Pure Shadow: Very hard to deal with. Rushing is only a good decision if you're close to your opponent's orb already and even then it may be close. You need spearmen as tanks and M counters to deal with Shadow Mages, who will destroy your units faster than you may think. If you are not in position there is no way to rush that, you need to be in position with your spearmen, when the T2 is finished already.
    1.6.2 Bandits
    Bandits: Actually easy to rush if you are close. That is a big 'IF' since you can't start swift vs Shadow and this gives Bandits more space. Just split against crowd control, play 1-2 dryads and sleep incoming drakes. Bandits has no crowd control, so you can even rush over a decent distance. If your opponent is to far away, picking up a power well with primal defender (that thing demolishes drakes) is also fine. Just make sure to defend proactively & keep an eye on nightcrawlers aimed for split attacks. you need to catch units before they get close to your power wells (rallying banner attacks are annoying). I recommend practicing this, if you are a pure nature player, because Bandits has the upper hand in this matchup due to cards like windhunter and powerful rallying banner attacks.
    1.6.3 Shadow Nature
    Shadow Nature: Don't overstay your welcome T1 against Shadow Nature. This deck is probably the deadliest out of all against T1 units. Cheapest high dps units + cheapst crowd control. A common strategy with this deck is to sacrifice entire T1 armies just to get a powerwell and then defend counterattacks with Oink + Phoenix (+Nightcrawler-Nasty). Don't fall for this bait
    1.6.4 Shadow Frost
    Shadow Frost: Hard to rush, easy to defend against. You can just pick up a powerwell and defend early attacks with good micro. Just don't push to aggressively, as Shadow Frost does really well at defending power wells and orbs (but that should be well known). From a defensive spot you won't be surprised by any Lyrish Nasties or some stuff like that.
    1.7 How to rush against greedy power wells
    This is a pretty common scenario when facing unexperienced shadow players. Most of them will put up very aggressive extra powerwells without the needed ressources to defend them. If you want to punish that, you still need to keep an eye onto two things. First of all you need to be in range to punish a potential defensive tower. Secondly you still need at leasty 3-4 combat units and some power to make good use of your support spells. Even with a 100 power lead an early engagement may be very bad for you, because Shadow units work much better on a very low power level. So taking like 20-30 seconds to build up your army in the first place might be a wise choice if you don't have enough units in the mix, but as I said you need to be at least somewhat close to

     
    1.8 Maps (Tips and spots to watch out for)

     
    Lajesh: With the walls it's a great map for you as it blocks any early action and you control the only attack areas with your crowd control. Allows you to scale up to critical points, that allow you to take control over the game.
    Elyon: Phasetower or instant T2 by your opponent may lose you mapcontrol right from the start on, you need to fight from an uncomfortable position. At least the wall protects your main base, so you won't be pressured early, which is good for you to scale up safely, especially when playing pure nature.
    Haladur: Your main base is far away from the center of this map. This means you are open to get split attacked. Defending that on equal power level can be very tough, escpially due to the strength of motivate. Centered fights will be in your favour unless Phasetower is played.
    Yrmia: As seen above, this map gives you alot of trouble due to multiple spots to get flanked from, if your opponent mastered his T1. Phasetowers from the center position are very dangerous. Small entries can be covered by ensnaring roots though, which may a possible opening for you.
    Whazai: If you see your opponent starting with Phasetower you need a primal defender at your entrance to the center of the map, otherwise you will be destroyed by phasetowerspam. They just need 2 ports to attack your powerwells. Even T2 isn't enough to stop this. If phasetower isn't played you should be fine though, Windweavers are more valuable than spearmen in this scenario, because they can attack the powerwells at the main base over that cliff.
    Uro: Troublesome map. Gives you some issues due to the high distance between wells since you have to start with a slow starting unit, but it's not as bad as the Frost vs Shadow T1 matchup on this map since you've got a chance to win the dazed fights. Fast T2 is valuable for you on this map unless you win early trades.
    Simai: The is somewhat fine to play, but you may lose entire map control upon playing an extended T1 agianst Phasetower. So early T2 is somewhat necessary if you see your opponent prepare anything at the center of the map. Apart from that you've got 2 power wells next to you main base, that are somewhat safe to take, which is pretty useful. 
    Generated maps (small): Similar problems as on Elyon. You may lose mapcontrol, rushing against instant T2 or phasetower is hard, but not always impossible. You make your decision based on your distance to your opponent if you want to rush or play the game slowly with less mapcontrol
    Generated maps (big): Games most likely shift to the T2 stage before anything dangerous may happen. You should be careful about sacrificial well focus strategies by your opponent as you can't counterattack over such a wide distance.

     
    2 Nature vs Frost

     
    2.1 General Matchup discussion
    Frost is an uncomfortable opponent for you, because Frostmagespam is negating your scaling power, therefore you can't sit back and scale up safely like in other matchups. You either need to be more proactive to get early advantages or try to use defensive buildings to stall out up until later stages of the game. That's easier said than done. The Frost player can fall back and also use its Ice-Guardians, but with strong micro plays you can force good early fights and create very nice advantages for yourself.
    2.2 How to deal with Frostmagespam
    There are 2 options for yourself to deal with a Frostmagespam. You can either go for a Swiftclawspam, that is beating Frostmagespam very early into the game. You can try to force an early fight, if the Frost player oversteps. But you aren't guaranteed to get the fight you want if your opponent stays at his main base up until he scales up. If you play stonekin an aggressive T2 position may be an option due to the high amount of M knockback in, but as a pure nature player I don't recommend doing such things. The Frostmages S-knockback is negating the option of using spirit hunters & ghost spears to full effect. On bigger maps you can take an early well to force a response to create an easier target compared to the main base (keep in mind an orb also does formidable damage). It also lowers the void level which delays the big Frostmage burst breakpoint. A less aggressive strategy would be mass Dryads/Shamans against the magespam and hope, that your opponents splits up his mages a little bit too far. Then you can use ensnaring roots to pick up mages, that are placed too far from the main group to get your advantages. If your opponent picks up to many mages, because he doesn't allow you to outtrade him early, you need to rely on a more defensive strategy. Turrets work quite well in this case, because once the mage army gets to big the turrets will buy you some essential time. Frost units are too slow to run around your bases, therefore you are safe for a while with the option to prepare your next move. If you get to kill some Frostmages early on, you may be able to win this in the late T1, because Frost Mage charges are limited, while you have access to two combat units with the Shaman & Dryad. The mage player is still favoured in this matchup, but the homesoil nerf at the last patch in 2013 was apparently beneficial for the balancing in this matchup (I guess that was the only good thing about that nerf).
    2.3 How to punish early wells
    On maps with big well distances like Haladur I recommend going for an aggressive early game. Swiftclawspam is an option here. You can switch targets once your opponent spent alot of power into Ice Guardians. They are too slow to follow your units when there is a great distance between power wells. You simply run away from the Ice Guardians while destroying the undefended power wells. If your opponent wants to go for a Frostmagespam, you can simply pick up an early powerwell to open up a spot to attack if the Frost player responds by taking a well on its own in the center. On a low void level the Frostmagespam is vulnerable to heavy aggression.
    Tip: Keep an eye onto the Glyph of Frost. Always try to anticipate it and try to bring up less predictable movement patterns on the board. Even though that seems a little random sometimes, it may be harder for your opponent to predict your movements correctly.
    2.4 How to deal with Ice-Guardians & Master Archers
    This is probably an easy task for you. If Frostmage isn't involved you win the scaling game since you ranged advantage over Ice-Guardians and the Hurricane against a potential Master archerspam are simply way to effective. Just keep in mind that you need a good amount of units on the board to make your crowdcontrol worth its use as Frost units are very tanky. In the early game you need to be on point with your micromanagement in order to keep your units alive (Shaman heals, Dryad cc, kiting) before cc starts winning these trades for you in the late game. Frostbite is very dangerous here, you might lose units, that are out of position! Keep in mind to stay in an aggressive stance when commiting to an attack. Your opponnent might tech up and suddenly your poor Shamans are infront of a War Eagle, which is a situation you probably do want to avoid.
    2.5 Playing against instant T2s
    I mostly would recommend picking up T2 by yourself in that case because you should have strong T2 options, when playing pure Nature here. Frost Fire, Frost Shadow & Pure Frost are very good T2 matchups for you and instant T2 give you an optimal position to gain leads over Energy parasites. Stonekin is pretty difficult to rush with nature T1 as Stonetempest is super effective against your M heavy unit composition. You need to be very close to be able to rush this effectively (getting a tempo lead by dealing damage to the orb during its construction time).
    2.6 Map advice
    Lajesh: Again the walls are very valuable to block Frostmages as they can't shoot through them. If you get into a leading position here, you may consider trying to get mapcontrol as this blocks T3 for the late game. You always have the option of playing safe if anything goes wrong.
    Elyon: I usually recommend looking for an early T2 in the corner on this map. Your mainbase is safe, but you can't contest the center in an extended trade against Frostmages. If you're playing pure nature your opponent will be forced to go T2 by himself as he can't defend Energy Parasites with T1 and doesn't reach your T2 orb in time.
    Haladur: The big distance betweeen the main base and the center are always and advantage against Frost. Taking an early power well is your best bet here. Lowers the void and can't be rushed effectively as long as you've got a defensive building as back up. You've got at least a minute to prepare yourself before the Frost player gets into a meaningful range to do something useful.
    Yrmia: Very small map and very dangerous against Frost. It's really hard to safely aquire any position on the map here. The wall segment gives a 75 power boost for both players, which favours the Frostmage spam as your opponent will reach his critical mass earlier into the game.
    Wazhai: Keep in mind that melee units are less effective here due to the cliff. Going aggressive with Dryad + Shaman can work out pretty well, as most people will be nervous and overcommit into an early engagement, that nature wins due to the Shaman sustain. Against experienced Frost players a Primal Defender behind that cliff can block early center aggression.
    Uro: If you play Stonekin, you can go instant T2 against aggressive magespam. You most likely identify your opponent's itention as he either needs to take the long path in oder to get wells or the short path in order to fight. I think playing against this as a pure nature player is dangerous, because Magespam can rush early T2's and it's hard to defend any position apart from your main base.
    Simai: You can take that early well to create a big tempo lead in your advantage. Low void level, big map with walls to intercept Frost players for a good amount of time. Should be fine to play this matchup here.
    Generated maps (small): You most likely lose map control on these maps, which is a little unfavourable for you. But sometimes you can go for a swiftclawspam due to the big distance between center and main base.
    Generated maps (big): Early advantage for you as Swift units are very valuable here. You can try very aggressive Swifclawspam into T2 as there is no option to counterattack in time for non-swift units. The distance between both players is huge. Keep in mind that Frost T1 players usually play super strong late game decks so getting an advantage pre T3 can be very important for you.

     

     
    3 Nature vs Fire
     
    3.1 General Matchup discussion
    The matchup against Fire is very interesting and there are alot of ways this could play out. There are some easy & effective strategies, but also some advanced ones, that are way harder to execute, but more useful in the end. Fire T1 is often played differently dependend on the deck you are facing because there is a big variety in deckslots that are invested in T1 within the Fire deck. Pure Fire can throw 8-9 cards into its T1, while Fire Nature will simply use 4-6 cards, because it requires way more slots in T2. Some cards like Wrecker & Mortar turn around matches heavily and you need to know and respect their specific power once they are used. Before going into specific T1 fight discussion I need to warn you here. Fire players tend to skip T1 against nature quite often and nature units are very weak against T2. So keep in mind to avoid binding power into to many units while being in a passive stance. This frequently leads to frustrating losses and you want to avoid that.
    3.2 Dryad Spam Discussion
    I would say this was a very famous way to play the matchup from the nature perspective. Alot of players would simply spam dryads to scale up to a point where they simply outscale the opponent. I agree with the fact, that Dryad is a very powerful card with good stat cost efficency and especially against Fire T1 the damage reduction is huge because of eruption. A double Eruption doesn't kill units anymore and its damage gets reduced to 225 per target (from 300). Anyways you need to be careful when to use this strategy. You lose alot of mobility and versitility, which makes you weaker against early T2 and Mortar tower. These are strategies you will face quite often and this is why I don't consider spamming Dryads in this matchup unless your opponent tries to go for a Fireswornspam. Dryad has a superior stat cost efficency and Firesworns can't use their ranged advantage or S knockback against such an army.
    3.3 How to play the classic matchup
    The classic unit composition you will face is built around 1-2 scavengers combined with Sunstriderspam and maybe 1 Firesworn. Your opponent will try to fight on an open field or at least attack from multiple spots at once, so you can't use your cc onto all units. On most maps I recommend a Swiftclaw start to match the speed of Scavenger, because especially on mid centered maps Fire can pick up a well + mortar or instant T2 which is very unpleasent to play against. In rare occasions you may consider starting with a Dryad. In order to win this fight you need at least 2 Dryads, because you need the damage reduction against the Eruption on all of your units. Before you manage to do that try to avoid every possible fight.
    Tip: Spawn order is an important here. Your Dryads need to get spawned early on, because they need to be undazed to switch their mode for damage output. Shamans on the other hand are incredibly good dazed as they already heal for full value. This is very important to know to win extended trades.
    3.4 How to play agianst Wrecker
    Wrecker has insane M damage. I think it's the best basic cost stat efficency out of all T1 units if you simply look at its damage output. This is something you need to respect in this situation. Most of the time only pure Fire players will carry Wrecker in their decks, because they do have the slot left to use them. But sometimes Fire Frost also goes for the Wrecker, because it has a weak T2 against pure Nature. They most important part in this case is your use of crowd control. Because Wrecker has the ability to allow undazed summons so your CC can end up being used against you. If you use ensnaring roots onto a wrecker, he can use the ability and spawn undazed melee creatures out of the root range while his sunstriders will be placed inside the root area, because they are immune to knockbacks over there, which is a safe spot against Hurricane. In addition to that Wrecker empowers split attacks by alot. Bringing up an undazed Sunderer or multiple Wreckers right front of your powerwell is a huge threat and you always have to respect that.
    3.5 How to deal with early T2s
    3.5.1 Pure Fire
    Don't rush this. It doesn't work unless you get a big gifted lead. Enforcer and Wildfire are a powerful defense against T1. Pure Fire will completely roll over you, you have to respond with T2 by yourself and avoid having more bound power in your T1 units. The pure Fire matchup is very unforgiving to play, so be on guard!
    3.5.2 Fire Nature
    Fire Nature is a threat for you, but not as bad as pure Fire. As long as you are close to your opponent's orb, you can attempt to rush it down. If you won a trade beforehand it should be even better. Your biggest task is keeping all units splitted against cc, while keeping the dryad buff applied to all units. Make sure to sleep any T2 unit immediatly. Skyfire Drake is especially Dangerous. Envenom can work as a soft counter to Ravage here, as it is unlikely to kill a skyfire Drake without it. Always try to be ready for a lavafield. The Fire Nature options are powerful, but there is only limited power and time available for him and that can be your advantage. Keep in mind that a missed rush onto a fire nature T2 always means game over. So be careful.
    3.5.3 Fire Frost
    Probably the easist deck to rush as Coldsnap is useless against nature. The 50% damage reduction is very good for your shamans. Still don't underestimate the power of Skyfire Drake and a potential Lavafield. You need tempo to force protects or cc to keep down the powerlevel in order to prevent a lethal strike. Think twice if you really want to run into the risk of rushing against Fire Frost when having a favourable T2 matchup anyways.
    3.5.4 Bandits
    Nobody plays Bandits and we talked about that earlier in the guide.
    3.6 What to do against Mortar
    This card is probably the most dangerous one for you in this matchup. Completely blocks any form of aggression. Once you lose map control and a mortar is up, the position is fone forever. In addition to that Mortar eliminates the ability to basetrade effectively as his damage/cost efficency is even above T2 level. Try to avoid mortar in every way. Cliff mortar attacks also can be difficult to defend once you fall behind, that's why I always recommend playing the game on a low risk level when playing nature in its current state. That said you can't get into a super passive stance as aggressive Mortars may force you into a fight.
    3.7 Map advice
    Haladur: Bad map for you. Split attacks from the side paths are very dangerous. Defending a Sunderer in your main base isn't just dangerous and expensive, it also leaves alot of bound power in your main base making any center position very exploitable.
    Elyon: You can take fights if your opponent agrees on going for a T1 Battle. Center position to fight over, you should win extended trades, but lose early circle engagements. Be careful about instant T2 though.
    Lajesh: you can stall, but you won't be able to attack effectively either. Don't lose control over the postion close to your main base. That can end up pretty ugly when playing against pure Fire.
    Yrmia: You either have to be aggressive to pressure against potential instant T2 (with extended void power extremely dangerous!) or try to set up T2 at the other side of the map. T1 trades should be manageable, because you should be able to reach your critical amount of units pretty early.
    Uro: Big map, so keep an eye onto split attacks. Apart from that you should be fine by contesting the center position. Whoever gets it in the end will be at a massive advantage as it is a great setup for both players (split attacks for your opponent and EP management for yourself).
    Wazhai: Cliffmortars everywhere … super tricky to play against it. I would even consider playing manawing in a tournament to prevent this … When Mortar isn't used you should be able to play very aggressively as the wells at the cliff are very vulnerable, even when your opponent picks up early T2.
    Simai: Slow starter. As long as you don't lose map control entirely you should be fine for the early stage of the game. Be careful about welling up too much as this leaves you open for split attacks.
    Generated (small): Center rush + Mortar is disgusting to play against. Fire is clearly favoured on these type of maps due to this and you should try to bait out an early fight even though it may be difficult to win. Center control is key on alot of small generated maps.
    Generated (big): Just make sure you don't bind too much power in T1 units as this makes T2 pickups much more juicy for your opponent. Should be difficult to apply serious pressure here.

     
    4 Nature Mirror
    I still feel like Nature mirrors are one of the most fun matchups in the entire game. Especially since Treespirit got nerfed and doesn't destroy the faction entirely anymore there is alot of room to show of crazy skills in this matchup. There are 3 ways to play out the game and I will explain the basic concepts right here.

     
    4.1 Swift unit start
    Probably the most common way to play this. Swiftclaw or Amazon start into spearmen into dryad into shaman spam. This is the most effective unit composition in the early stage. You will try to use your dryad to keep as many units cc'd as possible while Shamans will switch between attack and healing rotations. Keep in mind, that it's your priority to keep your units alive. Important note: Don't use any spells in the early game! Your Shamans are more than enough to keep your units alive in the early game. Spells are wasted power, because once you use them your opponent can just play another Shaman while keeping his other units alive during the cc duration. At some point it may be useful to add a second Dryad to increase the damage output and protect your other Dryad from burst rotations. Shaman & Dryad micro is key in this matchup. Switching between damage and support modes while maintaining correct unit focus is incredibly hard and really allows you to show off your skill with the deck. Keep in mind that Swiftclaw will me more dangerous than Amazon, because Amazon damage reduction doesn't work against other units even though she can take on the Swiftclaw in a simple 1v1. Her damageoutput isn't sufficient in extended trades. Using the ability onto the Swiftclaw is a NoGo by the way! Dryads could just cc the swifclaw resulting in 65 power being almost wasted. In addition to that the unit ends up getting unbound, which is a huge advantage for the
    4.2 Swift unit vs ranged start
    The second way to play this matchup is the Dryad start. You can't fight your opponent in the early game, because your dps is way to low and Swiftclaw + Spearmen are a huge thread to your units, but once you have 10+ units you can try to burst them down with crowd control. The melee units are somewhat useless, because they don't reach your units anymore while there is no way to heal them against the burst rotations in the late T1 anymore . But as I said if you get into a fight to early you will lose, because the Melee units do way more damage and Shamans will be able to sustain through your damage output, especially with a Dryad in the mix. In addition to that the lack of swifclaw reduces your pressure onto early T2s. EP spam vs Nature T1 can be a huge turning point.
    4.3 Treespirits
    This is the third and probably the easiest version to play out the matchup is Treespirit spam. Beats out the dryad spam due to the high dps, but struggles alot against Spearmen, because they can soak up the damage early and get healed by Shamans later on. I feel like playing them is less effective after the damage nerf, because the sustained dps version beats them now unless you get enough Treespirits to Burst down Spearmen with one rotation (and you need many of them). Keep in mind, that you need to use your Dryad wisely here. Using the sleep animation just after a Treespirit used his attack is useless, because it has up to 10s cooldown between his attack rotations. Treespirit spam is even worse against early T2s though, that has to be considered here.
    Tip: Amazon takes 50% less damage against Green Treespirits and soaks up burst rotations aswell.
     

     
    4.4 Rushing an opponent who picks up instant T2
    4.4.1 vs pure Nature
    This isn't a big deal, because pure Nature doesn't have any high dps units do deal with your natural Sustain. Also you do have good cc tools to deal with Ghost Spears and Spirit Hunters. With many ranged units it should be easy to kite Deep One and apart from that there isn't too much pure Nature can offer in T2. If a pure Nature players goes instant T2 at least somewhat close to you I recommend to attack immediatly. Adding up 1-2 S units into the mix may be valuable as they deal well with the S units pure Nature can bring into the fight. Defensive T1 vs T2 is not recommended as Energie Parasites are impossible to defend with Nature T1. 
    4.4.2 vs Stonekin
    Way more difficult but still possible if you are close to build up a tempo lead by damaging the orb (preferably with a swiftclaw). Razorshard/Stonetempest can be quite annoying, so you need to make sure, that your unit split is perfect, but in the end there is no “burst combo” that can take you out, so there is nothing you need to be afraid of as long as you play your game perfecly. Spearmen can be really useful to support your unit composition in this matchup. 
    4.4.3 vs Nature Shadow
    Nature Shadow has huge potential against your T1 and is pretty big in the early T2 stage. Pretty dangerous to play agianst, but pretty unpopular deck.
    4.4.4 vs Nature Fire
    Rarely played with nature starteres, but somewhat troublesome. At least Natures Swift units are more expensive than scavenger, so your opponent won't be able to use his power as effective as in the Fire T1 version and may be more open to an immediate rush.

     
    So that's it for now. I may be able to add some replays for some matchups later on. Thanks for reading this wall of text and I really hope to see some new nature starters in the future! Feedback's always welcome! 
    Best regards
    RadicalX
  2. QuickShift liked a post in a topic by RadicalX in Skylords Reborn Championship (11.07)   
    Hello Skylords and Skyladies! Today I want to announce the next big Battleforge PvP Tournament!
    Who is going to be the new Master of the Forge to show the world, that he mastered his decks and strategies to beat them all for fame, glory and obviously tons of bfp? Time to find out! 
     
     
    Who can participate?
    Everyone! I will be thankful for every single participant! Even if you're not that confident at reaching grand finals to get a shot for winning the whole thing, there will be lots of opportunities to win prices and I would like to stream and review as many games as possiblle through all skillbrackets! It would be great to see a large variety of decks and playstyles! 
    SIGN UP TO THE TOURNAMENT: https://challonge.com/tournaments/signup/aUNkP0atnG#/signup/205xjl4u7pp
    If you end up having problems with the registration talk to me! 
     
    Format
    It will be a 1vs1 Double Elimination best of 3 tournament, the grand final will be best of 5 (one match, no reset). Winner and losers finals will be all played on stream (the basic Toggy-format).
     
    Prize Pool 
    1st place: 5000 Bfp + Promo Construct
    2nd place: 3000 Bfp + Wheel of Gifts
    3rd place: 2000 Bfp + Juggernaut
    4th place: 1500 Bfp
    Every other participant, that shows up and plays his matches gets 1 Booster!! You don't have to reach top 4 to win something in this tournament!
     
    Awards
    There will be special awards for special and entertaining plays during the tournament. Everyone, who sends me the replays at the end of the tournament gets a shot at winning!! 
     
    -> Best match of the Tournament: By that I mean the closest and most instense games! Perfect mechanical execution isn't necessary to win this award, it just has to be super exciting! The 3 best games will be rewarded with 500bfp for each player who took place in one of the matches. 
    -> Creative Player Award: Make a creative deck or non meta strategy work in this tournament! The 3 most impressive strategies will be rewarded with 500bfp each. 
    -> There will be even more hidden awards like the Toggy Award, so stay tuned! In total I will use up more than 5.000 bfp (I might even increase that number) to reward special plays and matches regardless on how high you placed in the tournament. UPDATE: We got another 10.000bfp donation for awards!
     
    To be considered for the award ceremony you have to send me your replays! You can upload them in this forum thread or send them to me via discord (RadicalX#0952)! Please consider, that I had to change my discord account, so don't send your replays to the old one! I want to upload as many tournament replays on my youtube channel as possible!
     
    When?
    On 11.07.20 starting at 2pm CEST (Berlin time), the stream will start about 30 minutes in advance! 
     
    How to watch?
    There will be a livestream during the tournament: https://www.twitch.tv/radicalx5 
    I also want to cast alot of replays on my youtube channel and also announce the award winners: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC3rZG7pzo3GYO0wR3Jx9F7w
    Will be thankful for every viewer! 
     
    Rules 
    Disconnection during a game results in a default loss. If both sides agree it is possible to have a remake!
    Not showing up to your match within 15 minutes results in a default loss. The plan is to play a round of matches every ~30 mins.
    After your match go to Challonge and insert the result. That is done by clicking on your match and selecting the winner/stats. The brackets will be updated automatically.
    The Map Pool is: Haladur, Simai, Wazhai, Elyon, Lajesh, Yrmia and Uro (same pool as in ranked duel). The first match of the round will be played on Haladur, then it is losers choice. Second round will start with Simai, third one... you get the drill.
    The brackets for the tournament will be shuffled before the tournament starts.
    Please save your replays by renaming them after you game or selecting the safe all replays option and send them to me unless your game were played on stream! 
    Internal rules like "no wall agreements" have to be agreed on in text form to be an official ruling and if any of those internal agreements are violated it counts as a default loss
    No insulting! 
    BANNED CARDS: CURSE WELL; MORTAR TOWER; PHASETOWER - using one of these cards results in a default loss. If both sides agree it is possible to have a remake! 
     
     
     
     
    Reply in this thread, if you have any questions! Big shoutouts to Yuah & MephistoRoss for donating huge amounts of bfp to make this large price pool possible! 
    Quick reminder, that we have a discord tutoring server. If anyone wants to prepare for the tourney, feel free to join here: https://discord.gg/dZzKexQ
    All I can do at this point is quoting Toggy: "I would love to see this community grow again and the competitive scene develop aswell. Because BF is fun!" 
    Looking forward to a great tournament!  
     
    Best regards,
    RadicalX 
  3. QuickShift liked a post in a topic by Treim in Top 50: Underwhelming cards in the game   
    The biggest problem for pure decks i see is that rPvE is way more popular than PvE, with maybe the exception of Bad Harvest.
    In rPvE however you need to have speed which all pure decks lack due to varying reasons:
    Nature is safe due to a lot of heals, but has limited void manipulation and very expensive units and no notable damage spells with maybe the exception of Thunderstorm( and that is still far from great, especially in t4)
    Frost has similar issues, they are relatively safe due to a bunch of protection and damage reduction spells and abilities but lack the damage generally on top of having no void manipulation except for the shrine of martyr which only helps once you amassed a lot of void, so kinda nice but not overly useless. They have damage spells but can only use them sparingly due to that.
    Fire has insane damage with spells and argueablythe best void manipulation in the game units and even tankiness with Moloch, but has no way to support a lot of units due to the limited amount of slots for Unity. No heals so you gotta fall back to Viridya or Moon which kinda sucks as you either have to heal up after a fight or have to waste a Unity slot for them.
    Shadow is probably the most viable faction for rPvE as it is still the best balanced, even though you dont really use the 4th shadow orb at all - so why bother really? It has good support with frenetic assault and infect, heals with Blood Healing and Overlord ability which is generally enough, decent damage with frenetic again and a well placed soulshatter can do a lot. Also Grim Bahir's little underlings adds to the utility as a distraction and a bit of damage. It is overall the most well rounded faction if you consider they also got CM+ FoF void manipulatioin, but you could also play that deck without the 4th shadow orb as Shadow worm can hardly be sustained with just bloodhealing and Overlord. And not using its ability, well then why use it at all...
    I agree with the list overall, even though i doubt it would be hard to find 50 more cards that could need a buff.
  4. QuickShift liked a post in a topic by Smok in Top 50: Underwhelming cards in the game   
    I played some Banditos in PvE and geting full 150% damage boost on them isn't any problem. They are monsters when they get into melee combat, but I still don't think they are worthy of slot, even in PvE. They are expensive S melee with low hp pool. Every even weakes form of knockback/cc turns them into unusable trash. I think reducing they buff requirements from 3, max 9 units to 2, max 6 units would help them perform a bit better in PvP. Adding RadicalXs cost reduction maybe, but MAYBE someone would EVER consider playing them in low elo bracket.
     
    Bandit Launcher would also need massive building time reduction to fit aggressive bandits play style. It could pair well with Bandit Sorceress then making her more viable.
     
    My Northguards buff idea is way more radical than RadicalXs one but maybe will let Nothguards into PvP. So:
    - cost reduction to 45
    - damage upgrades changed into hp upgrades
    - S counter removed (they counter nothing)
    This way they would turn into walking meat walls used to put between Master Archers and enemy melee troops in order to slow them down when they try to reach your MA, or to tank some damage from aoe spells.
  5. Hipiwiki liked a post in a topic by QuickShift in Skylords Reborn - All you need to know!   
    Hopefully someone can answer this:
    Will borderless fullscreen mode be available in the future?
  6. QuickShift liked a post in a topic by Ultrakool in Important: Open Beta Status Announcement   
    Hi all,
    I would like to thank you for all the  and encouragement you have given us, it has been a pleasure seeing the popularity of this open beta. Unfortunately, like Link mentioned, unforeseen bugs prevent us from keeping to the release date, and for that I am personally really sorry and seek your forgiveness. We all, and Fiki especially, have been working countless hours everyday to try to keep to this promise, but unfortunately in development, the Murphy’s Law often applies and in this case it sadly did. I hope you can find it in your hearts to support us through this, and we will come out of this stronger than  ever together as a community.
    Ultrakool
  7. QuickShift liked a post in a topic by InsaneHawk in Important: Open Beta Status Announcement   
    I just want to add, thank you for all the recent support, this really means a lot to us, and even if we're not answering every message (which is kinda impossible now) that doesn't mean we're not reading them! We're reading every message you guys are sending us, so as we already, sorry for that, but we're all humans, and we're and will continue to do the best we can for this project, don't lose faith, the end is close ♥
  8. QuickShift liked a post in a topic by MephistoRoss in Important: Open Beta Status Announcement   
    Yes, we are very sorry, we need just a bit more of your patience until we can see you in the Forge.
  9. QuickShift liked a post in a topic by Kiwi in Important: Open Beta Status Announcement   
    I'm so sorry guys I hope you all understand and aren't too mad!
  10. QuickShift liked a post in a topic by MrXLink in Important: Open Beta Status Announcement   
    Dearest Skylords, Skyladies, Skythings,
    I'm sure most of you have an idea what this announcement is going to be about, given the latest status on Open Beta. As you all have realised, we haven't quite made our promised release goal of week 8. This mainly has to do with PvE breaking way more badly than we expected and fixing taking a lot more time than anticipated. How much time will this take? Well, please allow me a bit more space to explain. 
    The Skylords community has grown bigger and better than ever before, for almost 3 years now. We are growing closer to the public beta release of the game, and we're growing more hyped and enthusiastic with every development update Fiki posts. This is a fantastic thing; the BattleForge community has always been my favourite community around, where everyone is relatively friendly and inviting, has fun together and creates a warm, comforting atmosphere. However, as with most hyped projects, enthusiasm can rapidly take over and make both community and developer overexcited. This is generally a great thing, except when it concerns voluntary development as is the case with Skylords Reborn. Don't get me wrong, it's great that you are all so excited about the game; it's really mostly on our side that causes issues. 
    The programming team is just as excited about this as you are, and they are working tirelessly to make Open Beta a reality as soon as possible. However, with great hype and little experiences with such projects and group communities, comes great positivity. As you may know from the past, we have always been quite generous with our milestone and deadline estimations, striving every single day to make you all as happy and enthusiastic as possible, pushing our limits to satisfy you, the community, as well as we can. In our combined enthusiasm and desire to bring back a great game to you all, we have been blind to the risks of game development, and made completion date estimates very positively; but game development doesn't work like that. Something will always break, and several things have broken and put us back, changed things up, turned our schedule around. Real life has interfered, servers have been crashed, and the programming team has generally just been looking at the development cycle way too positively and have given themselves way too little time to work with in case things wouldn't go as planned. This has created a lot of frustration on the team and we have been rushing while we shouldn't rush.
    Especially in this week of hype, the entire team has experienced the results of massive hype. Tonnes of repeated questions, lots of enthusiasm, but also lots of doubt, lots of impatience, and foremost, intense amounts of pressure on all of our shoulders. The drive and need to meet our target time got so emphasised, and the expectations were unfathomably high. And sadly I have to say that it is taking its toll on some of our team members, even outside of the programming department; we're being hit very hard, but we remain steadfast, for all of you!. We are doing our utmost best to keep you all informed, engaged, and excited about the project, and the last thing we want to do is to disappoint you; and every single time that we may have to, every single time that things go wrong and Open Beta ETA's have proven to be just a little too generous, we disappoint you. And I am certain that I can speak for the entire team if I say that it sometimes genuinely does feel like we fail you all with these hopes we work up for you and end up being forced to shatter. Please be aware that this was never our intention, and unforeseen consequences have resulted in many delays. This has driven the team to a very important and hard decision.
    We are not going to give you any exact Open Beta completion times anymore. We will be more broad in our approach, and development timeframes will be larger.
    I regret to announce that this is something that really must happen; but I truly care about you all as a community and it breaks my heart every single time we awaken hopes in you that turn out to be false, disappoint and fail you with declaring that we haven't met our terms... needless to say it hurts all of us, the SR team. We're done making unrealistic promises to you guys, and we are sick, tired, and exhausted of disappointing this amazing community over and over. You don't deserve that, and so we will broaden our estimations widely. 
    This means that any development estimated times will be longer, but also more uncertain.
    This does by no means imply that we are slowing down development. On the contrary! We are working and progressing harder than ever, as many Closed Beta testers can actively tell you. We understand you may be doubting us at this point, we understand you feel like the project isn't progressing enough, and we truly do understand you all want to play; but just short of a hundred testers can tell you that we are making massive progress every day. This project is happening right now as we speak, and those who doubted we would ever get the game online have been proven wrong, and we strive to keep proving doubters wrong as we progress daily. With this new way of announcing progression, it would mean less stress on the team, hopefully no heavy disappointment to the community, and the more exciting and enjoyable the moment is if we finish way ahead of schedule (which is now also way more likely). Hopefully this will give you all a better impression and allow for more realistic expectations.
    Game development can take a lot of time, and especially for SR, it is extremely unpredictable. Things can suddenly go wrong, or we can suddenly make huge surges of progress. The most important thing remains that we don't want to rush things. When we release Open Beta we want stable servers, and the best experience for every single one of you. Coding under pressure will only create more bugs, flaws, crashes, and mental problems for our programmers, so we are giving them the time they need. We hope that you can understand this.
    That being said, with some of the issues persisting, we will have to give Fiki and his majestic team of programmers some additional time to iron out the remaining bugs, memory leaks, and other annoyances before we allow you all in. Trust us when we say that we don't want you to get hyped, enter the servers, and have an uncomfortable experience or have the servers crash. That would be awful, and we don't want to kill off your enjoyment like that.

    ------TL;DR? Start here-------
    The programming department has stated that they will need some more time to fix these issues. Although we consider this to be able to be completed sooner rather than later, we need to take risks and possible further delays into account. If we do end up knowing when we're releasing Open Beta with absolute certainty, you bet we'll have you know when!  -- Remember, we could be done way sooner or later than expected! Check the devplatform for the most up-to-date status of the game and/or release predictions: http://dev.skylords.eu/

    Another very important note: There has been some false information that has been spread through the community on several different platforms, causing a lot of unnecessary havoc and stress for both community and staff. We would like to remind you that you can find all relevant and correct news and announcements on our official social media, but most importantly forum posts that keep you up to date. Please do not blindly trust any dates or information given to you by community members that you don't know, especially if it sounds groundbreaking or impactful; if you can't find it on the forums, it's probably not true. Remember, content written by any member with a coloured name are staff posts; official announcements made by them are to be considered as true. Confused as to who is part of the team? Follow this link for a list: https://forum.skylords.eu/index.php?/staff/

    But there's some positive news too!
    > The launcher is coming along nicely, and has been worked on separately from the server. That means that once server work is done, we won't also have to start making the launcher from scratch, which will save a lot of time!
    > Many of you have expressed that they missed the original Booster Simulator. Now, the simulator is back in action and better than ever, integrated in our new cardbase, accurately supporting the booster ratios that will be in-game. Find it here: https://allcards.skylords.eu/booster.html
    > Additionally, we have noticed a huge amount of questions for when Open Beta starts. Trust me when I say there will be a giant thread when Open Beta is released that will explain everything to you! Please be patient with your Open Beta questions until it starts; it will all be revealed.
    > Feeling like you may have been too enthusiastic about Closed Beta giveaways? We will assure you that if you have been blacklisted on our Discord server and prevented from entering Closed Beta, your bans will be revoked and you will be given a second chance for Open Beta. Please don't break anything
    > We have upgraded the forums to handle more traffic. You should all have a way smoother experience than before; our server was running at 220% CPU capacity, ouch! We're now running more smoothly, so you should experience faster loading times and a better overall connection to this website.
    > During this upgrade, however, we almost lost the forum database because of all the problems linked to our server. We managed to save it just in time!
    > The next big announcement we will make will be the Open Beta Announcement, which we will stream on our Twitch channel (https://www.twitch.tv/skylordsreborn). In the meantime, it is possible that we will stream some BattleForge on the official channel to give you an idea of how everything runs while we work on getting a good Open Beta working for you.
    We would like to once again apologise for yet another delay and future vagueness on estimated times, and we would like to reassure you that it's healthier for the game's development, safety, stability, and enjoyability, as well as it is better for the health of the team, as we can take things easier on the moderation team, and allow the programmers to prioritise quality over time. We will do our utmost best to bring Open Beta to you as soon as we can, without the pains and frustrations and disappointment of further delays. We hope that you can understand and respect this decision, have the courage and determination to be patient for just a little longer, and that we may stand strong as a community, and that we may remain the most welcoming, friendly and comfortable community out there. Together we will soon reclaim the Forge and protect the lands of Nyn once again!
    Sincerely, and on behalf of the entire Skylords Reborn Team,
    MrXLink, your Community Manager

    "Wasn't there a date in here?" Yes, that is correct, and we removed it for good reason. Refer to this post for details.
  11. QuickShift liked a post in a topic by RadicalX in Battleforge PvP deck overview - by Hirooo & RadicalX    
    The closed beta is here & therefore Hirooo and I made the decision to write a 1vs1 PvP deck overview. This may help you as a new player to find a deck that fits your style and makes PvP more enjoyable from the beginning, but also be informative for you as a veteran since we will give you an overview about all the different matchups with some detailed analysis.
     
    What do these deck descriptions contain?
    1. Basic deck descriptions where we point out major strengths and weaknesses and show a viable deck for the faction. 

    2. Comprehensive matchup discussion. 

    3. Final overall rating about the strength/usefulness for new players and in a competitive environment
     
     
    PURE FROST
     
     
    1. Deck example


    Pure Frost is a very defensive oriented faction, but also very dominant. War Eagles are one of the most powerful T2 units and with proper support they'll ensure air control for you next to every game. Your units are strong and your scaling into late game is fantastic, but your units are slow and expensive, which can give you some trouble in certain matchups. Especially in T1 the lack of a swift unit can get exposed really hard, therefore you may have alot of trouble acquiring map control. The risk of playing Frost is pretty high, but the reward can be great too since there are really easy matchups for you if you manage to survive the early stage of the game. 
    2. Matchup discussion  

    So, how does this rating work?
    This will go from the easiest matchup (1) to the hardest matchup (9) for each faction. In addition to that the matchups are divided in 3 categories: easy, advanced and difficult matchups. The matchup description follows afterwards.
    Easy matchups:
    (1) Pure Frost vs Pure Fire
    This is one of the most onesided matchups in Battleforge! Survive the T1 and the game is yours. Skyelf Templar destroys Skyfire Drakes and War Eagle exterminates every single other Fire T2 unit. There is honestly not alot to say about the T2, since it's so heavily Frost-favoured. But you shouldn't play too hesitant since Pure Fire has a shot to win the game in T3. Juggernaut is still one of the most powerful T3 units overall. 

    (2) Pure Frost vs Fire Frost
    First Frost has a limited amount of playable units and you have a way to counter every single one. Shielddrakes are still not strong enough to give your Skyelf Templars any sort of trouble and if you control the air you can apply so much pressure, it's even possible to turn around games with a big power disadvantage from the early game. Your T3 is superior too, so this is one of the easiest matchups to play. If you have trouble dealing with Rageclaws consider using Icefang Raptor as a counter. 

    (3) Pure Frost vs Fire Nature
    The early T2 is slighty Fire Nature favoured. Your opponent will win trades on an open field with Ghostspears/Skyfire + cc, but if you stay in a defensive position you shouldn't get in trouble at all, because Stormsinger is a really good allround counter. From the mid T2 stage you start to outscale Fire Nature heavily. War Eagle + Defenders is a deadly combo, because Defenders are really strong counters to Skyfire Drakes and they are suuuuper hard to kill with their ability. If you add Area Ice Shield Defenders get up to 3700 effective hp (that's more than a Juggernaut btw). Skyfire Drakes will die to them super fast, because they have low hp and the L bonus damage makes even the low dps Defenders relevant against them. And if there are no Skyfire Drakes left Defenders are still annoying to deal with. You can't use hurricane against them anymore, so there will be constant damageoutput against the powerwells, which prevents them from repairing too. Your opponent dies slowly and he can't do anything to prevent it.
    Skill matchups:
    (4) Pure Frost vs Pure Nature
    Your advantage lies within the T1. Frostmagespam is next to unbeatable against nature if you manage to get a critical amount of units (7+ Mages with Icebarrier & Homesoil). This changes the dynamic of this matchup dramatically. Unless the map is extremly big you should be able to prevent instant T2 aswell, because nature has no M/M counter and as long as the mages are splitted against incoming cc there is no unit left to deal with Frostmages (S Units get knockbacked & Deep can be kited very well due to Frost Bite). Only Treespirits can be a little bit tricky, but if you manage to time it well you can build up Ice Barriers between the shots to block the incoming damage. If your opponent reaches T2 you are at a disadvantage, because Frost has alot of trouble against the pure Nature core cards (Deep One / Energy Parasite / Shrine of Memory). Your core unit (Wareagle) is also pretty inefficient because Parasite Swarm can just take it over and then the Nature player can support the Wareagle with his heals & cc which is really dangerous for you (same stuff applies for skyelf templar). So be careful about the use of T1 towers (Primal Defender, Mark of the Keeper) as they may work as a stalling tool in order to reach the critical T2 stage.  

    (5) Pure Frost vs Bandits
    While most fire splashes tend to struggle against the mighty air control Bandits does surprisingly well against Frost. The reason for this is pretty simple, because Bandits has more tools to remove War Eagles and Skyelf Templar from the map. Windhunter is an excellent unit and combined with well splitted Darkelf Assassins pure Frost starts to struggle a little bit. Your advantage lies within your reliabilty. You have builing protects and cc to withstand big attacks, while Bandits has ... well ... nothing apart from Aura of Corruption as a 40s zoning tool, which is decent against the slow Frost units, but usually still not enough. While this matchup goes still in your favour, it may be tougher than the previous ones.

    (6) Pure Frost vs Shadow Frost
    There are no real advantages for each faction. Shadow Frost has Darkelf Assasins & Stormsinger to remove your units, but on the other hand there is no Shadow Frost unit, that can put you under alot of pressure. In the late T2 stage multiple War Eagles with appropiate support start to be a little bit better, but these games often reach the T3 stage. This is why you should try to secure as much mapcontrol as possible in T1. On some maps your T3 spots may get denied, because Shadow T1 is faster than Frost and superior in dazed fights, which can lead to a big problem in the late game. Curse Well may be insanely powerful in this specific matchup and almost guarantees a T3 win, if you don't bring it into the figh by yourself.  

    (7) Pure Frost vs Stonekin 
    Aggressor is kinda annoying since he knocks back your War Eagle. Stormsinger & Spirit Hunters are really efficient against air units in the early T2 stage. Stonekin has what it takes to prevent you from excecuting succesful attacks, especially because Stonekin has superior cc. Once 2 of the most defensive decks in Battleforge meet each other things are going to be really boring and your win condition as the Frost player usually is either T1 or T3. Most Stonekin Decks are lacking strength once the games reaches T3 as they don't invest too many slots into it.  
    Difficult matchups:
    (8) Pure Frost vs Pure Shadow
    Pure Shadow can give you a little bit more trouble, because it has 2 big powerspikes. The first one is in the early stage of the game, where Shadowmages delete pretty much everything and the second one is the Harvester spike. Against Frost the first spike is actually even more important. Shadowmages & Darkelf Assassins are really hard to remove and can delete single units pretty efficiently. Nether Warp can be used to dodge Cold Snap or War Eagle screams and heal up Shadowmages when they attack and since Shadowmage & Darkelf Assassins are pretty high dps units you may even lose powerwells at this rate. If you survive the early T2 stage Wareagles take control over the game again. Since most Shadow units are pretty cheap it will get harder to split them up later into the game which makes the Wareagle's abillity way more efficient. You can also deal with an incoming Harvester really will due to lyrish knights & frost bite, but never underestimate him. If you are at a disadvantage (doesn't matter if it's temporary or permanent) the Harvester can seal the deal and close out the game by himself. A sweet trick in this matchup is to cancel out War Eagle screams in order to bait out a Nether Warp dodge attempt. 

    (9) Pure Frost vs Shadow Nature
    For some of you maybe a little bit unexpected, but Shadow Nature is the most difficult matchup for Pure Frost. Darkelf Assassins and Nightguard supported with nature cc are really really dangerous and can deal with nearly everything pure Frost has to offer. The Shadow Nature player can pretty much ensure to steal your War Eagle and take out the Nightguard safely afterwards. Shadow Nature has everything it takes to beat Pure Frost in the early T2 stage and is therefore the hardest matchup out of all 9.
     
    3. Ratings

    Competitive Rating:
    Let's start with the competative rating, but first I'll sum up the most important positive and negative aspects of Pure Frost.
    Pros:
    + Very solid deck with many advantageous matchups 
    + One of the strongest Air control decks
    + solid choice against most meta decks
    Cons:
    - Vulnerable in the early stage of the game 
    - No mapcontrol due the lack of a T1 swift unit
    We talk about one of the stronger decks for sure, but since the T1 can get heavily abused on some maps it's sometimes really risky to play pure Frost. You would lose map control, T3 spots or in the worst case scenario you would end up on Uro where you can't even take a single well without a dazed fight, where you are probably going to lose.
    Final comp. rating: 7/10

    New player experience:
    For new players Frost may be a very solid, but also a pretty boring choice. It has great upsides due to the strong scaling (means you don't have to be proactive and take risks to win games), but it's slow and the T1 can get abused pretty easily, especially when you are an unexperienced player. 
    Final NPE rating: 5/10
     
    PURE FIRE
     

    1. Deck example

    If you want a deck with offensive strength, this deck provides it. Insanely high dps units & spells and an immense siege potential with firedancer. In addition to that pure Fire has one of the best T3 units also known as Juggernaut, which leads you to alot of wins against people who may be even superior to you in terms of skill. Your downside is the lack of deck variety. The amount of viable cards is insanely limited and you end up with only M ground units in T2, which is a problem in the pure Frost matchup, where War Eagle exists as a massive M Unit counter. 
    2. Matchup discussion  

    Easy matchups:
    (1) Pure Fire vs Shadow Nature
    This matchup is pretty easy to play. Shadow nature has no L unit and this means they have nothing to apply alot of pressure against you. Only well coordinated early attacks with the cheap nature cc's may give you some trouble, but if you don't lose immediatly you will just outscale your opponent pretty safely and you can set up unstoppable attacks afterwards. Wildfire is a really nasty card against Shadow Nature since it removes the low hp units while protecting your units in offense & it does alot of damage against the power wells over a good amount of time (therefore it's impossible to repair them). And if you are a toxic player you can use cliffdancer in this matchup too. The only way to remove them is aura of corruption, which is hella expensive and not power efficient at all.

    (2) Pure Fire vs pure Nature
    Nature is pretty helpless against your offensive strength. You need SoM + Deep One + permaheal to get anything done as a Nature player and before this happens he's usually already dead. It's so hard to remove the Fire units especially at the mid T2 stage, while your damage output against powerwells is massive. Nature mostly has low dps units and their cheap burrower attacks are easily defended by Enforcer. Skyfire Drake onehits Energy Parasite which leaves you in a really comfortable position in this matchup. 

    (3) Pure Fire vs Shadow Frost
    The praised shadow frost deck at number 3, what a surprise. But pure fire does insanely well against it. Enforcer is superior to Nightcrawler and Firedancer are really hard to remove. This gives you a solid advantage in offense and without a cliffdancer counter in Shadow Frost you can litereally destroy people. It's a really "lame" playstyle, but super efficient. The only thing you need to be worried about are the L Units. Mountaineer is really hard to remove, it sometimes feels even impossible. But keep in mind he costs a huge amount of power and if you manage to dictate the tempo of the game you can take your opponent down before you get into an uncomfortable position. In T3 Juggernaut may be the best tool in the game to break through a Timeless One Defence, so even scaling is on your side. 

    Skill matchups:
    (4) Pure Fire vs Bandits
    Bandits is a little bit tricky for you. Skyfire drake + Life Weaving is pretty nasty against pure Fire and pretty much Bandit's trump card in this matchup. Apart from that both of your decks are super offensive oriented. The difference: pure Fire has the stronger offense. In T3 Juggernaut is still superior to Soulhunter or nerfed Sandstorm, so this matchup still goes in your favour. 

    (5) Pure Fire vs pure Shadow
    Tricky matchup and pretty much 50/50. In the early T2 stage Shadow has the advantage due to the high effiency of shadow mages on a low void level. But in mid T2 pure Fire starts to shine. Lavafield demolishes the Shadow units and you can apply constant pressure with your high dps attacks and destroy alot of power wells. But if you fail to do alot of work at this point you will reach the late T2 stage. And from that point on Harvester takes over. You can't take him out without losing at least a power well or an orb, even if you are ahead. So chose the right moment to attack or you'll lose. Once Harvester is out he will drop at least one well and it won't take long up until the next one is about to appear. 

    (6) Pure Fire vs Fire Nature
    Also a pretty specific matchup, maybe not as complicated as the one against Shadow. At the early T2 stage Ghost Spears + Skyfire Drake is really hard to remove, because your own Skyfire Drakes get oinked and die without dealing damage at all. Ghost Spears are M Counters and stronger on a low void base than scythe fiends. Since Pure Fire has no S or L ground units in T2 it's really hard to play against these kind of attacks early on. Later in the game you'll have an easier time, because you will regain air control on a higher void level, since Skyfire + Oink can be countered by an immediate double Eruption (155power vs 150power) now and you can attack with Ravaged Scythe Fiends and keep Ghostspears away from you with Wildfire support, which leaves you in the game leading position.  

    (7) Pure Fire vs Stonekin 
    Stonekin has really strong and solid units to remove the pure Fire units in the early T2. Stoneshards are insanely strong against you and are pretty much the main reason why Stonekin is ranked here as one of the more difficult matchups. Stormsinger + cc stands a small chance against the Enforcer, but he is still the strongest T2 M unit, so your only problem are still the Stoneshards. Stonetempest does knock back M Units which can be troublesome at some point, but you can remove him with Scythe Fiends + Skyfire + Wildfire (in case he gets permahealed) at the later gamestage. While Stonekin does well in defense, there are no high dps units, that can translate this stability into pressure. And believe me, even the strongest defense doesn't stand a chance if pure Fire reaches late T2.   

    Difficult matchups:
    (8) Pure Fire vs Fire Frost
    Here we are. The First matchup that doesn't go in your favour. Shield drakes are a big threat in the early game, but what really pressures you the most in this matchup is the Mountaineer. Mounty + Skyfire applies huge pressure and also scales very well into mid T2 so you have alot of time to beat the Fire player before he starts to get enough power to set up his own attacks. In the late T2 stage the pure Fire dps just gets to high and you'll roll over your opponent like in every other matchup. If you manage to get up to a 7-8 wellbase during the T1 stage you may consider skipping T2 entirely. Fire Frost has no tools to fight against Juggernauts in T3, which can be very important on big maps, that allow uncontests tech ups. 

    (9) Pure Fire vs Pure Frost
    This is the most difficult matchup for you. I will be honest, you are at a massive massive disadvantage. As already mentioned in the Pure Frost section War Eagle deletes all your ground units, while Skyelf Templar gets rid of your Skyfire Drakes, because of the massive difference in combat stats. You can carry Global Warming in your deck to make this matchup at least a little bit easier, because it hard counters Area Ice Shield, but even then this matchup stays as the hardest one. Mortar Tower is pretty overpowered against Frost T1 though, which may give you a chance to win the game before it gets to T2 on some maps. 

    3. Ratings

    Competitive Rating:
    Pure Fire summary
    Pros:
    + Insane offensive potential with long range, high dps units
    + Best M/M unit in the game (Enforcer)
    + high dps spells who can have a great zoning effect
    + Super solid matchups against most meta decks esp. Shadow Frost
    + One of the strongest T3's in the game
    Cons:
    - Relies on an extended T1, because you need a high void level to be efficient
    - struggles against some underplayed deck like pure Frost and Fire Frost
    - struggles in defense against L units and its counters are next to useless in offense
    Pure Fire does really well against against the meta decks and since some of these matchups are ridicilously easy pure Fire is one of the strongest decks for ranked games. From the moment on where pure Frost & Fire Frost start to get more popular pure Fire will decrease a little bit in popularity, because it really struggles alot against strong air control. But in the current meta pure Fire is in a perfect spot and extremely powerful.
    Final comp. rating: 9/10
    New player experience:
    If you are really new to the game pure Fire is maybe not the best choice. It requires a really extended T1 to make scaling into higher void stages easier and this is difficult to excecute in some situations. In addition to that pure Fire struggles against L-units and as a new player L-Units often seem overpowered and it's really frustrating to lose against this type of playstyle. Therefore I don't think you should play pure Fire to learn the basics of this game. But if you reached a decent level you can play the deck and achieve some wins even against some players who are in theory better than you.
    Final NPE rating: 5/10
     
    PURE NATURE
     

    1. Deck example

    Pure Nature is one of the most interesting decks in the game, but it's also one of the weaker ones. There is some sort of variety in terms of deck building since there is also the Root-deck, but since this is inferior to the classic version I will make my matchup descriptions based on the stronger SoM/DO/EP deck. In fact pure Nature is one of the weakest decks, not because of its T2 matchups, but because your T1 is utter garbage against Phasetower and Magespam (Treespirits can kind of neutralize Mages at best, but they are shitty designed themselves and don't give you a freewin either in T1 since Icebarriers can block their damageoutput). Your late T2 is actually top tier with Deep One + Surge of Light and the huge powergains through the voidmanipulation thanks to Shrine of Memory. But reaching that stage is sort of difficult in most matchups. You have no M/M counter in T2 which causes huge problems. Therefore you mostly try to avoid taking to many powerwells, so there isn't alot of room for your opponent to attack, while you keep yourself relevant through Energy Parasite up to the point where your Shrine of Memory is ready to go and you can take over. 
    2. Matchup discussion 

    Easy matchups:
    (1) Pure Nature vs Fire Frost
    This matchup is pretty easy. Pure Nature is a hardcounter to Fire Frost, since it's able to remove all Fire Frost units in the early stage of the game and in addition to that Parasite Swarm is a huge threat for these big 100+ power cost units. Stormsinger is the only one that can cause you some trouble in the early T2 stage, but you can safely build your SoM and wait for your big Deep One attacks and there is nothing to prevent this as the Fire Frost player. 

    Skill matchups:
    (2) Pure Nature vs Bandits
    Bandits has some tools to give you a run for your money. Rallying Banner attacks are pretty efficent and can overload your cc. Also Windhunter are pretty difficult to remove for you, since they have that S knockback against Spirit Hunters & Parasite Swarm, but since the knockback was pretty unreliable and buggy you still have a good shot against them. Apart from that you have solid units to remove the bandits attacks and good cc to make pressure yourself with Burrowers. That leaves you with a solid advantage in this matchup.

    (3) Pure Nature vs Shadow Frost
    Don't get me wrong here. Pure Nature does really well against Shadow Frost in T2. But there is one big Problem. Phasetower. Like honestly, Phasetower is legitimatly broken against Nature. On maps like Elyon or Whazai you can pretty much sacrifice the T1 immediatly against a strong Shadow player who uses him. It's so frustrating to lose games because of this and you should consider playing Primal Defender because of this. In T2 you have a good shot, since EP/SoM/DO is really really efficient but you need to close out the game in T2, because in T3 you will just lose to Timeless one and Lost Grigori.

    (4) Pure Nature vs Pure Frost
    Pretty similar stuff as the Shadow Frost matchup. Your T2 matches really well against pure Frost, but your T1 and T3 are straight up worse. You can neutralize Frostmagespam with Primal Defender to an extend, but without that you are done. Attacking very quickly is always a good idea, as you may be able to remove some of these Frostmage charges in early skirmishes, to delay the breakpoint, making a Defence slightly easier. But apart from that you are left in a pretty desperate situation. A well splitted Frostmagespam can even take down an early T2 attempt, therefore your possible options are pretty limited.  

    (5) Pure Nature vs Stonekin
    This matchup is kinda funny, because both of you have the tools to smash the other one. Nature can't deal with Burrowerspam due to the lack of an M/M unit (Ghost Spears & Spirit Hunter can be perma cc'd), Stonekin on the other hand can't block Energy Parasites and if your opponent doesn't carry Aggressor in his deck, your Deep Ones will destroy him entirely. Always keep in mind that your T2 scaling is superior, but in T3 you'll have a hard time. Overall this matchup still does go in favour of stonekin since it has the stronger T3 and the possibility to play a superior T1 (Frost T1 > Nature T1).

    (6) Pure Nature vs Fire Nature
    Fire Nature is really aggressive and hard to deal with. Pretty much the same deal as against every nature splash. Your opponent has the tools to defend against Burrower. In the meantime your are screwed against them, because you lack an M/M unit. Fire Nature also has a very good counter to Energy Parasites since Skyfire onehits them as already mentioned, but you can still use your Energy Parasites to force your opponent to play the way more expensive Skyfire Drake at a spot where he is useless for a while. It's a timewindow you can abuse to launch a powerful attack with a temporary advantage on the other side of the map. It's pretty much your only chance to be succesful at the early stage of the game. Apart from that your job is to survive the game up to a point where SoM starts running. Gladiatrix is just an average L Counter, so Deep One + Surge of Light is pretty powerful against Fire Nature, especially when your Shrine of Memory provides so much power. But due to your heavy weakness in the early T2 this matchup is still Fire Nature favoured.

    Difficult matchups:
    (7) Pure Nature vs Pure Shadow
    Pure Shadow is really tricky to play against, because you can't really deal with Shadow Mages properly. Especially Magespam + Nether Warp is really dangerous in the early game due to the lack of an aoe damage spell in pure Nature. In addition to that Shadowmages can deal really well with early Burrower attacks and oneshot Energy Parasites. Your win condition pretty similar to most other matchups, you need to survive the early T2 stage. Harvester is powerful against Nature though, but you can defend against him either with Deep Ones, who pull him away from your orb or with cc chains (oink  -> root -> rogan kayle ability -> oink = 1min cc). But at some point you have a way to launch an own attack. Deep Ones are really powerful in offense since Knight of Chaos is just a mediocre L counter. Therefore you are next to unstoppable in case you survive the early stage of the game and start to pressure by yourself and keep in mind: Even if alot of these matchups look pretty bad in the first place alot of people don't use their powerspikes to close out games which is a great advantage for you as a Nature player, because your powerspike lies within the first activation of your SoM.

    (8) Pure Nature vs Shadow Nature
    Okay, now things get really terrifying. Alot of Shadow Nature players use burrowers and as we already learned pure Nature tends to struggle against them. What makes things even worse is the fact, that Motivate empowers Burrowers by a wide margin. Your wells drop nearly in an instant. On the other hand your Deep One is pretty much useless, because next to every Shadow Nature player uses Nightguard in his deck and she is super efficient against Deep One. The Shadow Nature player has counter cc to make sure he can catch your Deep One and his ability will make it even easier to kill the Nightguard afterwards (in this case the Shadow Nature player can also use the Deep One ability to catch her). Your only shining light is the Energy Parasite. Shadow Nature can't remove him before he gets his ability off and this is really important and the only tool that can keep you in the game. But still this matchup is one of the most difficult ones to play. 

    (9) Pure Nature vs Pure Fire 
    Pure Fire, we meet at last. As I already said: You are just helpless in the mid T2 stage against pure Fire. Your units don't have an outstanding damageoutput, therefore it takes time to remove the high dps pure Fire units. In fact that is too much time to save your powerwells. At least Deep One can deal with cliffdancers to an extend due to his ability and your late T2 scaling is superior, but reaching that stage without dying is quite a challenge. Splitted Skyfire Drakes will put up a very powerful defence against anything you may try to throw against Fire T2
    3. Ratings

    Pure Nature summary
    Competitive Rating:
    Pros:
    + Great scaling into late T2 
    + Can win games through voidmanipulation, even when you're down by multiple wells
    Cons:
    - weakest T1 in the game
    - lack of an M/M counter in T2
    - very DO/EP/SoM reliant 
    - very unreliable 
    Pure Nature has alot of abusable weaknesses in the early game and therefore you often get punished before you manage to reach the point, where you are able to control the game. But Shrine of Memory should never get underestimated, because he gives you so much additional power, that you'll be able to pull of some incredible comebacks. Overall the deck sadly still can't compete with the top tier meta decks and it also struggles against other Nature splashes, because they can set up Burrower attacks with Hurricane support, which is really difficult to play against. 
    Final comp. rating: 3/10
    New player experience:
    Pure Nature may be a very interesting and micro intensive deck. But if you really want to be a successful player please stay away from it at the beginning. Nature T1 is the weakest and also the most complex T1 (unless you choose to play Treespirits zZz). It's way more useful to learn Shadow & Fire T1, because they are way more versitile and also easier to understand. Pure Nature in fact has alot of bad matchups and gets exposed by turrets like phasetower which is honestly really annoying. In addition to that pure Nature is a really specific deck, therefore it's very hard to translate the stuff you learn with Nature when you are playing different decks later on.
    Final NPE rating: 1/10
     
    SHADOW NATURE 
     

    1. Deck example

    Shadow Nature is my personal favourite deck. It's one of the most aggressive ones (at least you have to play it that way if you want to have some sort of success) and in my opinion it's one of the most skill intense decks aswell. You've got no L unit to rely on in offense, neither do you have any building protects or high defensive capabilities. Your strength lies within strong split attacks with spammable high dps units like Nightcrawler, Darkelf Assassins or Burrower. The cheap nature cc spells & Shadow's Motivate are the perfect support for these type of attacks which makes Shadow Nature super dominant in the early/mid T2 stage and fun to play. 
    2. Matchup Discussion 
    Easy matchups
    (1) Shadow Nature vs Pure Frost
    Pure Frost is pretty easy for you. As I mentioned earlier in the Pure Frost section Darkelf Assassins & Nighguards with the superior nature cc are your key to success. Frost dominates due to its strong air control, but you can take deal with it. War Eagles are countered with ease and then there is not alot left for pure Frost to be a serious threat.

    (2) Shadow Nature vs pure Nature
    This matchup was also discussed already. Burrower + Motivate are huge in offense & Deep One is pretty much a nonfactor due to Nightguard, who is amazing in the Shadow Nature deck. Some top level Shadow Nature players decided to exclude Burrower in their decks, which makes this matchup a little bit trickier, because your offense isn't as powerful anymore. Energy Parasite is your biggest enemy and if you don't pressure properly you may get outscaled in the later stages of the game, so don't get lazy. Your units are cheaper, your units are faster! So close out the game as soon as you can.

    (3) Shadow Nature vs Bandits
    You are in a great position in this matchup. Burrower with cc support are really painful for your opponent. Even just Darkelf Assassin spam with proper support is really powerful, because it removes the strong air units from your opponent and his only Darkelf Assassin counter are his own Darkelf Assassins, who are really susceptable to your Hurricane. Big Rallying Banner attacks can be completely removed with a sweet Shadow Phoenix + Nightcrawlernasty (or Burrowernasty) combo. Most of the time your Shadow Phoenix will even come back to life afterwards. Overall a pretty easy matchup to play due to the fact, that Shadow Nature has an efficient way to remove every potential threat from the Bandits deck.  

    Skill matchups:
    (4) Shadow Nature vs Shadow Frost
    This matchup is also pretty easy. You have the same core units (Nightcrawler / Darkelf Assassins / Amii Phantom (she is similar to Stormsinger)), but your cc support is better, therefore you have the distinctive advantage. Your early/mid T2 is way superior and you can set up constant pressure up to a point where your opponent get's overwhelmed by your units and he loses the power to keep his powerwells up. You just have to be proactive and micro your units well and you will win due to the superior support tools, but if you just wait for things to happen Shadow Frost will outscale you and you'll end up in a T3 where the dynamic of the matchup changes dramatically.

    (5) Shadow Nature vs Fire Frost
    Still a favourable matchup for you, but a little bit harder as the previous ones. After Stormsinger got buffed Fire Frost got a really nice increase in terms of deck strength. The other units in this deck are pretty expensive. Accordingly, Shadow Nature has a pretty solid advantage in the early T2 stage due to cheap & strong units with cheap cc support. If the game goes into a higher void level you need to be aware of Mountaineer with Ravage & possible Disenchant support. It's really difficult to remove him, so make sure your Nightguard timings are on point, because if you mess it up you are in big trouble. Getting the Mountaineer can be really useful, because a combination between Stormsinger & Skyfire drake is a really solid counter against your Nightcrawler/Burrower and a Mounty would increase your offensive potential by alot.    

    (6) Shadow Nature vs Stonekin
    There was a period of time where Stonekin was litereally the hardest matchup for Shadow Nature out of all decks. But 2 big things changed, that turned the outcome of this matchup. First of all Razorshard got nerfed. This card used to be able to deal with every S or M unit in the entire game and Shadow Nature doesn't have an L-Unit. The second important thing is the introduction of Amii-Phantom. In it's melee form she's a hard counter against many Stonekin units, because Amii-Phantom is litereally a spammable swift Mauler. In her ranged form she is pretty much as strong as Stormsinger (Amii Phantom has even slighty better stats, but inferior support spells in Shadow Nature). Games would end up in a Stormsinger vs Amii Phantom spam, which is kinda weird, but Frost Bite & Homesoil leave Stonekin with a slight advantage in this matchup.

    (7) Shadow Nature vs Pure Shadow
    Pure Shadow feels kinda unfair to play against. Nighcrawler, Burrower, Darkelf Assassins. All these units lose really hard when they face Shadow Mages. As long as the Shadow Player doesn't run out of charges he will always defend himself against these attacks with great success. He won't be able to attack by himself in the early T2 stage, because Shadow Phoenix offers great AOE damage and Amii Phantom is very strong in this matchup, but honestly the Shadow player doesn't have to launch strong early attacks, because he can just win the game over superior scaling. With his abillity and proper buffs you can't remove Harvester with Aura of Corruption. While Darkelf Assassin spam + cc may be the best way to remove him, you need a big well distance in order to kill the Harvy in time. If you struggle to much with this defence Rogan Kayle is a good addition to create cc chains, that can deal with a Harvester, but apart from that Rogan is an entirely useless card, so decide wisely, if you really want to include him. From a leading position an Amii Phantom spam is able to stop a Shadowmagespam since you can you an oink to set up an engagement. With their melee mode they can disable ranged attacks, which perfectly works against Darkelf Assassins and Shadowmages. Nightcrawlers are a big threat, but for that you can switch some of your units into range mode and kite well due to the slow.  
     
    Difficult matchups:
    (8)  Shadow Nature vs Fire Nature
    While the previous matchups were all decent for you, the upcoming ones are truly difficult. Fire Nature has a really big advantage over Shadow Nature. Skyfire Drake & Scythe Fiends may be availabe in decks like Bandits or Fire Frost too, but in a Fire Nature deck their efficency increases tremendously. I guess this showcases the true power of the nature support spells. Fire Nature often struggles against larger units, while Shadow Nature doesn't have any of them. For your defense: Burrower + Skyfire attacks are really hard to defend at some point and therefore Fire Nature has an easier time in defense and also in offense and is the superior deck in this matchup.

    (9) Shadow Nature vs Pure Fire
    As I already mentioned this matchup favours pure Fire heavily. Enforcer just destroys Nightcrawler, Burrower & Amii Phantom. Your only card with a decent value in this matchup are Darkelf assassins, who can do alot of work with cc support in the early T2 stage. But as the game goes on aoe damage spells will take them out and while you have a really hard time to attack, pure Fire just crushes your defence. Your units get countered by Enforcer & Wildfire, your cc is weak against Rallying banner attacks (btw. wildfire can constantly damage power wells during cc periods so there is no chance to repair them in time) and Firedancer is really hard to remove for you, especially over cliffs.  
     
    3. Ratings

    Competative Rating:
    Shadow Nature summary
    Pros:
    + pretty much the best early T2 in the game
    + has alot of easy matchups aslong as you make proactive decisions
    Cons:
    - does very poorly against pure Fire & Fire Nature, who are pretty popular
    - poor scaling into late T2 stages due to the lack of L units (Shadowphoenix doesn't count btw.)
    Shadow Nature does well in alot of scenarios and if you play the deck well you can crush your opponents in the early stage of the game, which is great, because your aggressive gameplay gets rewarded. Sadly the deck struggles alot against all meta decks apart from Shadow Frost. This kinda prevents Shadow Nature from reaching a top rating here.  
    Final comp. rating: 6/10

    New player experience:
    If you are a new player, Shadow Nature is maybe a little bit too difficult for you. It's definitly one of the harder decks to play, but on the other hand it teaches you how to play aggressive and spending time to learn the deck is kind of rewarding. In addition to that Shadow T1 is really good for a beginner in PvP, beacuse its basics aren't as complex as Nature T1 for example. 
    Final NPE rating: 6/10
     
    FIRE NATURE
     
     
    1. Deck example

    Fire Nature is probably known as one of the most solid decks, because it has pretty much an answer for everything. Strong counterplay in T2 against S & M units and also sort of decent against L & XL units. In addition to that you've got some sweet ways to launch efficient attacks against nearly every deck. Overall the deck is really fun to play with a big variety in T2, which is its big strength. 

    2. Matchup discussion
    Easy matchups:
    (1) Fire Nature vs Bandits
    Bandits struggles alot against Burrower with cc support. You can use this to your advantage and destroy power wells for free. Your deck is better in all aspects at the T2 stage. Stronger units in offense, more counterplay in defence and great air control due to Curse of Oink. Since Bandits tends to spam many units due to the low costs of Darkelf Assassins & Nighcrawler Lavafield has a higher efficency in your deck especially since you've got Surge of Light as a solid counter against these AOE damage spells unless they are perfectly timed. Your T3 is inferior, cards like Sandstorm destroy your orbs & wells in an instant, so make sure to close out the game in T2 to win without any big risks. 

    (2) Fire Nature vs Pure Nature
    Your early T2 is superior due to Burrower attacks and the lack of an M/M counter in the pure Nature deck. Just make sure to use your Skyfire Drakes well to get rid of these annoying Energy Parasites and you are ready to go. I guess I repeat myself a little bit at that point, but pure Nature starts to get rolling, when SoM starts running, so finish your opponent off or try to take out at least as many powerwells as possible before that happens. If you use your huge advantage in the early T2 stage this matchup isn't even remotely close.  

    (3) Fire Nature vs Pure Shadow
    Alot of your strengths comes with Ghostspears / Skyfiredrake + Lavafield / cc support. Pure Shadow tends to struggle against that, especially in the mid T2 stage, because all these low hp units are kinda vulnerable to lavafield, especially Shadowmage. You need to be aware of flanking units to prevent a nasty suprise against your Skyfire Drake. Your defense against Harvester is also pretty nice due to the highly efficient Root & Disenchant combo. Just leave some Skyfiredrakes and a Gladiatrix behind that and they will take the Harvester down before he reaches your powerwell/orb. The shadow player needs superior micro to win this matchup, which implies, that you are in a pretty good position here.    

    (4) Fire Nature vs Shadow Nature
    In this matchup your defense is straight up better, which leaves you in a very comfortable position. You have good ways to counter Nightcrawlers, Darkelfassassins & Burrower and in case your opponent overcommits at some point you can lauch insanely powerful counterattacks, that are way harder to defend for the Shadow Nature player. Fire Nature is just overall solid and Shadow Nature has some distinctive weaknesses (No big unit in offense, unreliable defense since most units are susceptable to cc), that can be abused and this turns the matchup heavily in your favour. 

    Skill matchup(s):
    (5) Fire Nature vs Pure Fire
    You shine in the early T2 stage with Ghostspears + Sykfiredrake, while your opponent will outscale you in late T2, where Scythefiends + Ravage + Wildfire take over and delete your power wells one by one. Since I've described that matchup already in the Pure Fire section here is a short, but important tip for your decisionmaking: Since Pure Fire scales with high void power you should actually try to play your T1 accordingly to avoid this game stage. In other words: Play a short, but aggressive T1. Try to get a small advantage, but then don't hesitate and make your fast transition into T2. Your position here is favourable already and if you've got a small lead in T1 you can use this to snowball and finish the game. If you still struggle in this matchup consider the addition of vileblood in your deck, because pure Fire struggles against L units, especially the ones with high dps against building. 

    (6) Fire Nature vs Fire Frost
    This gets kinda interesting. The tricky matchups for Fire Nature are the 4 Frost splashes. While some of you may think it's because of the building protects, that's actually not the case. Double Burrower attacks used to be really power efficient against Frost splashes, because the cc support was usually cheaper than the amount of power, that had to be invested to keep the power wells alive. What changed the dynamic in alot of these matchups, especially in this one was the Stormsinger buff. She allows you to defend Burrowers way more efficiently in the early T2 stage and is simultaniously strong against skyfire drakes with that gravity surge ability. Stormsinger defense in the early T2 with a transition into shielded scythe fiends & drakes mid T2 and a Ravaged Mounty late T2 is really hard to deal with. 

    Difficult matchups:
    (7) Fire Nature vs Stonekin
    The second ugly matchup. Stonekin can be really nasty when it reaches a critical unit mass and Stormsinger allows you to reach that state. Your Burrower/ Scythe fiends / Skyfire Drake attacks are at least kinda dangerous and Mauler can deal with some Stonekinunits like Stone Tempest, but you are still at a disadvantage. Stonekin has an insanely good defense thanks to cheap cc and building protects and this allows your opponent to either stack up a big T2 army with the powerful stonekin units (especially the Crystal Fiend support is annoying at that point) or scale into a strong Timeless One T3.

    (8) Fire Nature vs Pure Frost
    Pure Frost can give you alot of trouble. You need to use your advantage at the early T2 stage. If your opponent is too greedy and goes aggressive in the early T2 stage you can outtrade him with Skyfire + Oink. Add Ghostspears into the mix and as long as you split them well against Frostmage knockback you can start to attack and apply alot of pressure. You need to get a solid advantage in the early T2, otherwise you'll end up getting outscaled. Defenders are so painful to deal with as a Fire Nature player. If they get mixed up with War Eagle & Skyelftemplar and Area Ice Shield support you have no way to clear these units without losing wells / orbs. The moment you are in a defensive position against Defender the game is over. 820hp + 660hp with 60% damage reduction are more effective hp (3700) than a Juggernaut (3550) can offer. If your War Eagle and your Defenders are well splitted your powerwell will get attacked constantly and you have no opportunity to repair it. Skyelf Templar & Defenders destroy Skyfire Drakes and War Eagle deals with every type of M unit in your deck. Ghostspears don't have enough dps to take out Defenders in time and at some point a Frostmage gets into the mix which will give you even more problems. Since your T3 is also not strong enough to crack the pure Frost defense you need to win the game in the early stage or you'll have a bad time.

    (9) Fire Nature vs Shadow Frost
    This matchup doesn't even feel that bad. You can apply pressure with Burrowers in T2 and as long as you carry Mauler in your deck you can sort of deal with the Shadow Frost attacks, which may give you the impression you are in an even matchup. The thing some people don't realise is the fact, that Shadow Frost is like a ticking time bomb. You may get a favourable trade here and there, but at the end both of you will just well up together and suddenly the game goes into T3. At this moment you are dead. End of the game! You need to kill your opponent in T2, otherwise you will just lose. Due to Stormsinger alot of the early Burrower pressure in T2 is gone and you have only one timewindow in the late T2 stage with splitted double Burrower attacks supported by Skyfire Drake. If your opponent defends your attack successfully you lost the game. Finishing off a good Shadow Frost player is truly painful. Your micro has to be on point, otherwise your Burrower will get sniped by Stormsinger + Frostbite before you can retreat. 
    3. Ratings

    Competitive ranking: 
    Pros:
    + Very balanced deck with no big abusable weakness
    + insane diversity in T2 
    Cons:
    - Very slot instensive in T2, which results in a small T1/T3
    - Bad matchup against Shadow Frost
    Overall Fire Nature is a really good deck for ranked games, beacuse you have an allround T2 to deal with so many different possible scenarios and you have no real "autolose" matchup. Shadow Frost is really tough though, which is a big Problem, beacuse it's also one of the most played decks.
    Final comp. rating: 7/10

    New player experience:
    If you are a new player I would suggest you to play this deck. It teaches you the basics of the game, is really fun to play and due to its versitality you can learn how to use your specific units in specific situations to understand how to counter unittype X. Fire T1 is also really solid and its basics aren't really complex therefore you've got an ideal learing experience with this deck. The only small downside would be the fact, that its defense is a little bit harder to play compared to Frost splashes, but your great, cheap cc makes up for that a little bit. Still I would recommend you to play this deck, if you are a new player (But you should play a bigger T1 than the one in the deck example, because it's really hard for a new player to win without Thugs/Sunderer against T1's like Shadow). 
    NPE rating: 10/10  
     
    PURE SHADOW
     

    1. Deck example

    Pure Shadow is one of the more unique decks, because it has Shadowmage & Harvester in T2, who are vastly different from classic T2 units and give pure Shadow 2 big powerspikes, that can be used to win alot of games. You lack hard-cc in this deck, but you have the highest dps/power Unit & the only XL unit in the entire T2 as a trade off. The deck surprisingly didn't see alot of play in the top ranks, but I guess in the low/mid ranks everyone loved the Harvester and I've seen people in the forums aswell who seem to be addicted to this unit. One of the weaknesses in pure Shadow is the fact that Shadow Mage has got only 12 charges. For this reason you shouldn't waste them otherwise your strongest T2 unit isn't available anymore at some point in the game.
    Note: The voidmanipulation (FoF Balsa) type deck is excluded from our analysis, because I despise this type of gameplay where you just play voidmanipulation into Harvester into voidmanipulation into next Harvester until you either win the game or lose due to the huge permanent power loss if you mess up your attacks.  
    2. Matchup discussion

    Easy matchups:
    (1) Pure Shadow vs Bandits
    Both of you lack cc, but you've got Shadowmage to outtrade all Bandits units at the early T2 stage. The only troublesome attack for you is pretty much Sunderer + lw or buffed Scythe Fiends with Lavafield support at a high void level. But you can play Knight of Chaos to delay these kind of attacks or just use a Nightguard as a threat for these bigger units. If you play your Harvester the game should be won anyway. Just make sure to use nether warp to dodge aura of corruption and then there is nothing left to kill the Harvester in time bevor he takes down wells and maybe even orbs too. 

    (2) Pure Shadow vs Pure Nature
    You have good tools to deal with pure Nature. Shadowmage + Nether Warp (Green) is really hard to deal with as a Nature player, therefore you can apply alot pressure pre SoM to close out the game. Harvester is also a really good tool to snowball a lead and close out the game, but keep in mind that cc chains with Rogan & the Deep One ability exist and therefore there are ways to defend against your Harvester if you are in an even position. Use your superior T1 and early T2 to create leads, pay attention to Energy Parasites and finish your opponent off with Harvester, if he isn't dead already. With that gameplan you should win this matchup unless your opponent is alot better than you or prepared a cheesy counterstrategy.

    (3) Pure Shadow vs Shadow Nature
    Shadowmage works as an allround counter in this matchup and as long as you don't waste your charges you should be able to control your opponent at every stage of the game. Harvester is pretty hard to defend for Shadow Nature and therefore you have perfect conditions. Just make sure you don't spawn your Harvester to aggressive. An instant root aura will make your Harvester disappear in a second. Even with lifeweaving your opponent just needs to invest 175 power into the aura and the Harvester dies immediatly and you can't even use Nether Warp because Ensnaring Roots will keep the Harvester in place.   

    (4) Pure Shadow vs Pure Frost
    Shadowmages + splitted Darkelf Assassins are the key to success in this matchup. You can maybe even add a Nightguard into the mix to deal with War Eagles and you are ready to attack. You have a solid advantage at the early T2 stage and as long as you use it you will end up winning, but always be aware of the fact, that Lyrish Knights can deal with your Harvester and pure Frost has a superior T3, so as long as you aren't too passive you should be fine in this matchup. 

    (5) Pure Shadow vs Fire Frost
    Fire Frost can't do to much against you aswell. Shield drakes / Scythe Fiends are kinda okay against pure Shadow and this is pretty much the main reason why Fire Frost is here in the ranking, but it's not enough to really put you in danger. Fire Frost rarely uses Frostbite, Lyrish Knight or Homesoil, therefore your Harvester will be really damn effective. Gladiatrix & Skyfire drake won't stop the Harvester and especially not without reliable cc. Coldsnap has a cast animation which is more than enough time to dodge it with nether warp and get your Harvester in position to destroy powerwells/orbs and win the game.

    Skill Matchups:
    (6) Pure Shadow vs Stonekin
    The difficulty in the matchup is pretty much card choice depended. Stonetempest & Razorshard can give your Shadowmages some trouble, you won't be able to attack early at least. Removing big Stonekin attacks can be pretty annoying too, because you can't use aura of corruption against stonekin since the stonekin player would just use the Aura for himself as protection to build up offensive Cannon towers. These turrets are also used pretty regularly in stonekin decks and combined with the strong nature cc it's really freaking annoying to play aginst this type of deck. A buffed Harvester is your chance to break the defense. You can add up Corpse Explosion in your deck to push up the damage even further, which helps to overload the building protects. While this matchup is really annoying to play it's still not too hard after the Razorshard nerf.

    (7)  Pure Shadow vs Pure Fire
    As I mentioned earlier, this matchup is all about timings. As long as you hit your right timings to attack there is not alot of counterplay left for your opponent. Pure Fire can't deal with shadow mages in the early T2, pure Shadow can't deal with pure Fire attacks at the mid T2 stage and pure Fire is doomed against Harvester. Since I've talked already about the T2 in the pure Fire section I want to add something about the T3. If the game reaches the T3 stage pure Shadow is in a favourable position, beacuse nether Warp can entirely counter a Juggernaut stampede. In addition to that you have alot of counter play against the Fire units regardless if you go for pure Shadow to play Voidstorm or play Frost in T3 and use Grigori who can disenchant the Juggernaut. Still this matchup is overall 50/50, because it doesn't reach the T3 stage most of the time.  

    (8) Pure Shadow vs Shadow Frost
    Shadow Frost is really annoying to play against. Darkelfassassins with Frostbite & homesoil support are really hard to deal with, even when you play Shadowmages. You could litereally defend a Harvester with that. Pure Shadow gets into a good spot when you get a temporary advantage at some point and translate this into an immediate Harvester attack. Since you can dodge cold snap with Nether Warp there is no time left for the Shadow Frost player to recover. At that point you can close out the game. Be aware of the fact, that Shadow Frost will destroy you in T3 so make things work in T2. The matchup is btw. even harder if you face Lyrish Knight, who can deal with Harvester and blow up mages with Lyrish nasties. 

    Difficult matchups:
    (9) Pure Shadow vs Fire Nature 
    Skyfire Drake in combination with cc is the most difficult thing you have to deal with as a Shadow player. With proper support for them you are under alot of pressure. There is some micro stuff you can do with your Nether Warp to make advantageous trade like warping out of Lavafield or using Nether warp on your Harvester in offense to dodge Ensnaring Roots by prediction (if this works you litearlly win the game off that). Splitting your units against cc & Lavafield is also really important. As long as your Mages are well positioned you can take down the Skyfire Drakes (A motivated Mage onehits a Skyfire Drake btw). This matchup is super difficult for you to play, but you've still got a good chance to win it as long as your micro is on point. 
    3. Rating

    Competitive rating:
    Pure Shadow summary
    Pros:
    + Great dps deck with huge offensive potential
    + Crushes alot of the weaker decks 
    + Shadow Mage is one of the best cards in T2
    + Has no "terrible" matchup (40/60 in the worst case vs Fire Nature)
    Cons:
    - The most difficult matchups are against the most played decks
    - Shadowmage may be really strong, but its charges are limited
    I feel like pure Shadow was sort of underplayed by most top players. The deck has really solid matchups and even tho the meta decks are a little bite more difficult to play against there is still a good chance for you to win it anyway. Shadow Mage is a great allround counter and Harvester is just ideal to snowball your advantages. 
    Final comp. Rating:  8/10 
    New player experience:
    Pure Shadow is a really good deck to start with. Shadow T1 is pretty ideal to start with and the basics of your T2 aren't that hard to learn (Shadow Mage has a great efficiency in lower elos even without insane micro skills). Harvester is also really powerful in low elo games, because alot of people have no clue how to defend against him, while it's pretty easy for you to execute this type of "strategy". You will end up winning alot of games in the lower ranks just because of that, which makes playing this deck even more enjoyable. No cc and the missing building protects are the big downside, which is the only reason why pure Shadow doesn't get 10 points in this rating.
    NPE rating: 9/10
     
    BANDITS 
     
     
    1. Deck example


    *Some stuff in this deck seems to be quite questionable in some situations, but there is no optimal Bandits deck, that can deal with all possible scenarios in the different Tiers. 
    I will be honest at this point. Now we talk about the weakest deck out of all 10. Bandits does really poorly against alot of decks and has many abusable weaknesses. The biggest one is actually the lack of defensive capabilities. You have no cc at all apart from Aura of Corruption as a zoning spell and no building protects either. Simple Burrower attacks with cc support can be insanely dangerous for you if you let them come too close to your power well without any reaction. Your offense is kind of solid, you can do massive Rallying banner attacks in T2 and you have a pretty reliable T3 with Sandstorm. 
    2. Matchup discussion

    Skillmatchups:
    (1) Bandits vs pure Frost
    This is pretty sad, but you don't have a single easy matchup. If you play Bandits expect things to get really difficult at a higher elo. Pure Frost is still the best deck you can play against, because your Drakes combined with Darkelf Assassins offer strong counterplay against Air units and without its War Eagles pure Frost tends to struggle. It's still hard to get through the pure Frost defence, especially with Northstar the deck is such amazing defensive capabilities with a great scaling into T3. So try to get a decent T1 lead, which can be pretty easy on some maps against Frost and try snowball with your strong air control. 

    (2) Bandits vs pure Nature
    Nature has the advantage in this matchup, but it's honestly not that big. You can't defend against Burrower attacks and Energie Parasites are a distraction for you, beacuse it forces you to play Skyfire Drakes at unfavourable positions where they are isolated and bind 100 power for the duration of the attack. But you aren't helpless in this matchup. Nature T1 is weaker than Fire T1 and substantially weaker against Shadow T1 so try to secure an advantage at this stage of the game and translate this into aggressive Rallying Banner attacks in T2. Since you are able to spawn undazed units at any given time it's really easy to overload the cc and take down power wells. I personally prefer a Shadow T1 Bandits deck in this matchup, because Shadow matches well in T1 against nature and you can play Nightguard as an L counter, who is better against Deep One than Firesworn, because you can pull the Nightguard with your DO after the swap.

    (3) Bandits vs pure Fire
    Your ground units are vastly weaker in defence and in offense. Your only chance of surviving against Fire is air control. The crucial spell, that can help you alot in this matchup is life weaving. In combination with skyfire drake it's really good against pure Fire, because there is no real efficient way to beat it as long as you time it well. The easiest way to remove skyfire drakes is usually Gladiatrix or Skyfire Drake + Eruption, because that can burst them down and you technically spend just the 75 power, because your Gladi / Skyfire will remain witch full hp. But if you play the Life Weaving just a split second earlier, your skyfire survives and you can get rid of the counterunit leaving you with a 100 poweradvantage in the best case. But make sure your timing is on point. If you use life weaving to early disenchant  comes into play and using it to late is the worst case scenario. If the Eruptions hits before your lifeweaving you won't even get a good trade out of this because, your drake will be at 75 (62) hp if Lifeweaving just blocks the Skyfire (Gladiatrix) hit. Therefore your Drake will just die with the next hit.  
    Advice: In case you still struggle in this matchup you can add Rageclaws in your deck, they match really well against all these pure Fire M units.
    Difficult matchups:
    (4) Bandits vs Fire Frost 
    Fire Frost is actually the easist out of the 3 remaining frostsplash decks, because you can deal well with its units. Darkelf Assassin spam combined with Nightguard against these 100+ power units is efficient, so you have at least a good shot at winning. Your defensive capabilties are still nonexistent though and a straight wellfocus + cc will put you in danger if you don't react to incoming units in time. So keep in mind that you are still at a big disadvantage. 
    (5) Bandits vs Fire Nature
    Curse of Oink is the card that kind of decides this matchup. It provides superior support for Skyfire drakes compared to pure Fire and helps you alot in every situation. You can delay attacks to save your wells, you can protect your units in offense against every type of unit. You lack cc and this is why you are at such a bad position against alot of decks. Your deck lacks synergy and in the meantime Fire Nature is such a well rounded deck, with no big weakness. That makes it superior to your Bandits deck.

    (6) Bandits vs Shadow Nature
    As I said in the Shadow Nature section, Darkelf Assassins with superior cc support are really hard to deal with and if Burrowers are added into the mix you just run out of time. You need a substantial T1 advantage to survive the early T2 stage and afterwards you need to use you AoE damage (Shadow Phoenix / Lavafield / Aura of Corruption) to reach the T3 stage, where you have an easier time. 

    (7) Bandits vs pure Shadow
    Litereally every single unit in your deck gets destroyed by Shadow Mage. This is pretty much your main problem, because you can't apply any sort of pressure in the early / mid T2. And when you finally reach that point, where your attacks could be potentially successful, you will end up against a Harvester. Your defence against it is sort of mediocre with Darkelf Assassin spam combined with Disenchant against potential buffs. You can clear the Harvester, but usually not without tribute. That will put you at a serious disadvantage against pure Shadow.

    (8) Bandits vs Shadow Frost
    Here comes the good old Shadow Frost deck. Darkelf Assassins, Stormsinger, Cold Snap, building protects. Getting around this defense is really hard, and honestly from an even position it's even impossible against a good Shadow Frost player. But you still need to make your Rallying Banner attacks work with some magic, because otherwise you will just wait for your own death. The classic Shadow Frost T3 is just better and you will just get outscaled if you can't snowball. In case you fall behind at any given point, you will slowly get behind even further up to a point where the game is just over.

    (9) Bandits vs Stonekin
    In T2 you will stand no chance. Stonekin has like everything you want to have. Building protects and the insane nature cc combined are so incredible efficient against a deck, that has none of those. Stonekin has better units to deal with you anyway, so there is not alot you can do at the T2 stage. You actually have to abuse the fact, that Stonekin has to chose between the unreliable Frost T1 or the weak Nature T1 and decide the game there. Either win entirely or play such a long T1 to raise the void level to a point, where you are able to litereally skip the entire T2 stage. Otherwise I don't see a way how a skilled Stonekin player could lose in this matchup. 
    3. Rating 

    Competitive rating:
    Bandits summary
    Pros:
    + Alot of possible deck building options (can even be played with both, Shadow and Fire T1)
    + Strong Air control thanks to the drakes and Darkelf Assassins
    Cons:
    - At a high level you will lose next to every game due to tons of unfavourable matchups
    - Has no defensive capabilities (No proctects, no cc)
    - There is no optimal deck, that covers all possible scenarios and matchups
    - Has no special units or combos who make the deck worth playing
    Bandits does really poorly in 1vs1. As long as you are a really experienced player you can use your skill to cover up the major weaknesses in the deck and reach a high rank in the ladder, but if you're up against really strong players like in tournaments for example you won't get far at all. Bandits is the worst out of all decks and without proper cc support from a teammate in 2vs2 you will end up losing power wells against ridiciously weak attacks. The deck is simply outclassed by the other ones in so many aspects. Just your offense is pretty solid, therefore you need to snowball hard if you want to win. 
    Final comp. Rating: 0/10 

    New player experience:
    If you are new to the game don't start with Bandits. You will regret it at some point. The deck is really hard to play in T2 and if you reach a somewhat decent rank you will lose games against people who are technically speaking worse than you. And if your opponent does well it feels sort of impossible to win which is really frustrating. The only upside I can see with Bandits is the fact, that you've got the choice between Fire T1 & Shadow T1, but this doesn't make up for anything. 
    NPE rating: 0/10 
     
    FIRE FROST
     
     
    1. Deck example


     
    Fire Frost is pretty much the deck, that gets overlooked all the time. The amount of people who played the deck was really small and I feel like many many players didn't recognize the strength this deck gathered due to the Stormsinger buff because of that. Stormsinger as a reliable M/M unit was like the last missing part of a pretty strong PvP deck. Fire Frost has strong, expensive units and good support for them. The most common tactic in this deck is probably Frost Sorceress + Skyfire Drake, which gives you very good air control. The weakness in this deck is the fact, that it doesn't have a reliable offense against certain decks (especially the ones, who can handle the Mountaineer).
    2. Matchup discussion 
     
    Easy matchups:
    (1) Fire Frost vs Bandits
    Bandits has 5 matchups that are harder than Fire Frost, but it's still the easiest one for you (just think about this for a while). As long as you pay attention to incoming Nightguards and respect the strength of Darkelf Assassins in the early game you should be fine in this matchup. Your attacks will be successful anyway later, especially if you apply pressure at multiple positions, beacuse the only defence Bandits offers is Aura of Corruption. Apart from that you can just cc counterunits and destroy the powerwells.

    (2) Fire Frost vs pure Fire
    A really valuable strength in this deck is the good matchup against pure Fire. Shielddrake gives you superior air control and with mountaineer you have a really strong mid T2 power spike and pur Fire doesn't have the units to react properly, which leaves you at a really advantageous position. Stormsinger adds some safety to the matchup, because you can kite Enforcer in the early T2. Your late T2 & T3 in general is weaker, so get a solid lead or close the game out before you reach that stage.   

    Skillmatchups:
    (3) Fire Frost vs Stonekin
    Fire Frost matches well against Stonekin. Scythe Fiends are a really good removal against the S units and stuff like stonetempest couldn't knock them back properly. If you use Frost Sorceress to support them they are a true force against stonekin and since Aggressor wasn't included in alot of Stonekin decks Mountaineer is also a big big threat. Stormsinger would deal with early Burrower attacks and But stonekin does still have some awnsers. Stoneshards are really high dps units to deal with scythe fiends if you don't support them adequately.

    (4) Fire Frost vs Fire Nature
    Due to the Stormsingerbuff this matchup got turned in your favour. Mounty & Shielded Skyfire Drakes are solid ways to attack (supported Scythe Fiends are also sort of hard to remove) and Stormsinger allows you to defend against Burrowers. Things just get a little bit annoying, when Fire Nature gets to attack with alot of units at multiple positions, because Stormsinger can't clear them fast enough. So make sure you are the first one who attacks when the voidlevel starts to rise too high. 

    Difficult matchups:
    (5/6) Fire Frost vs Shadow Nature
    The previous matchups were pretty easy to deal with, but the upcoming ones are really hard. Shadow Nature does pretty well against Fire Frost, because Nightguard is such a big threat for your 100+ power units. Unlike Bandits, Shadow Nature has the tools to make these Nightguard swap succesful with its cheap cc. With all these highly efficient low cost units/spells Shadow Nature gives you a really hard time at the early T2 stage. Stormsinger isn't enough to compensate in this case. 

    (5/6) Fire Frost vs Shadow Frost
    Shadow Frost and Shadow Nature are pretty much tied in terms of difficulty. Shadow Frost isn't as hard to deal with as Shadow Nature in T2, but against Shadow Nature your goal is pretty much to survive, while Shadow Frost tries to survive against you! If you don't make your Mountaineer attacks worthwhile you will end up against a stronger T3 and lose. Stormsinger & Darkelfassassins are really strong in a defensive position, because they defend well against Skyfiredrake. Scythe Fiends get slowed with Frostbite and therefore it will be pretty easy for the Shadow Frost player to kite them. Mountaineer is your only way to success, because alot of Shadow Frost players don't play Nightguard in their decks. But keep in mind, that Shadow Frost can use Mountaineer aswell and stay focussed!

    (7) Fire Frost vs Pure Shadow
    Shield Drakes with Lavafield support are pretty decent against pure Shadow, but this matchup is a ticking time bomb. As I mentioned in the pure Shadow section Lyrish Knights aren't included in the traditional Fire Frost deck. This leaves you with huge problems against Harvester. Since your units are already pretty expensive you will most likely be unable to apply enough pressure to prevent the Harvester from beeing played and without the proper counterunit you will end up losing most likely. 
    Advice: If you play Frost T1 you can include lyrish knight, because you have Homesoil, Ice Barrier and even Frost Bite to support them. This makes the matchup easier, but usually Frost T1 is inferior, because it's just unreliable and you lose matches based on map-rng. 

    (8) Fire Frost vs Pure Frost
    This matchup is horrible. You have next to no options against superior air units, a strong defense and a superior T3. Even distinctive T1 leads won't help you to survive this matchup unless you can close out the game entirely. So all I can tell you here: If you want to win you need to play way better than your opponent.  

    (9) Fire Frost vs Pure Nature
    Pure Nature is also really annoying to deal with. You can stop early Burrower attacks, but you can't really attack yourself. Your expensive units are vulnerable to Parasite swarm and a combination out of Ghostspears and Spirit Hunters will deal with the rest. While this happens the pure Nature player can build up his Shrine of Memory safely and wait until it's ready. If it starts running prepare yourself. The permahealed Deep Ones are coming. 
    3. Rating
    Competitive Rating:

    Pros:
    + Strong air control with Shield Drakes
    + Good matchups against popular decks (Stonekin, pure Fire)
    + Isn't as bad as it used to be, because with Stormsinger a reliable M Counter got added to the deck
    Cons:
    - Does really poorly against some decks (especially pure Frost & pure Nature)
    - really expensive Units (vulnerable to unit swaps)
    - using Frost Sorceress properly at mid/late T2 stages is really difficult and micro intensive
    Fire Frost has alot of difficult matchups, but most of them aren't as bad as they used to be. The Stormsinger buff was really good for this deck and the good matchup against pure Fire makes the Deck attractive for higher ranked players because there were quite alot pure Fire mains up in the ladder. But you can't call this deck reliable, because there are some matchups, that are just awful. You sometimes can't even close games against pure Frost with a massive T1 advantage. 
    Final Comp. Rating: 5/10

    New player experience:
    As a new player Fire Frost might not be ideal for you. Fire T1 is honestly great and Stormsinger and Mountaineer are really easy to play, but the Frost Sorceress micromanagement is really difficult and the deck isn't as strong as the top tier ones. On the other hand playing a frost splash is easier, because they are more forgiving in many situations. If you exclude the Frost Sorceress the deck is easy to play, but because of that it just gets a pretty low rating.
    NPE rating: 4/10
     
    STONEKIN
     
     
    1. Deck example:


    Stonekin is one of the most boring but also most powerful decks. It slowly builds up in strength and overwhelms your opponent at some point in the game. The T2 is honestly one of the strongest ones and the combination of crowd control and building protects leaves you with an insanely strong defence. The card diversity was also pretty good, so some matchups may change a little bit dependend on the cards you use in T2. 
    2. Matchup discussion
    Easy matchups:
    (1) Stonekin vs Bandits
    Massive defensive capabilities vs no defensive capabilities. The T2 in this matchup is incredible onesided and there is no way you can lose this as long as you don't get destroyed in T1. Burrowers with proper support will destroy wells pretty fast, especially with home soil. 

    Skillmatchups:
    (2) Stonekin vs Fire Nature
    The following stonekinmatchups are pretty similar, so there is not alot to talk about. It's mostly about using your strong defense to stall the game into a gamestage, where you end up winning, which is generally speaking the T3. Against Fire Nature it's pretty easy to reach that point because of Stormsinger + cc and that pretty much sums up the entire matchup. 

    (3) Stonekin vs Shadow Frost
    This matchup favours you too. Your Burrower attacks are sort of power efficient, but not a big threat for Stormsinger + Darkelf Assassins. Your advantage lies within the fact, that stonekin can match the big Shadow Frost T3. Therefore you don't get outscaled and there is no pressure for you to be offensive, which makes this matchup much easier. 

    (4) Stonekin vs Shadow Nature
    The Stormsinger vs Amii Phantom matchup. Honestly the one who micros his M/M unit better wins the T2. Apart from that there is not too much Shadow Nature can do to pressure you too hard. In T3 you will win this matchup so there is no reason to be overly aggresive.

    (5) Stonekin vs Fire Frost
    Also a pretty managable matchup. You need to respect shielded Scythe Fiends and Mountaineer. But you have stoneshards to deal with the Scythe Fiends and the Mounty can be perma cc'd by Aggressor. Apart from that you are ready to outscale your opponent. 

    (6) Stonekin vs pure Frost
    Since Aggressor can deal with War Eagles there is not alot Frost can do to attack. But honestly you can't do alot either in T2 so this game will end up in T3 aswell. But pure Frost has a powerful T3, so don't underestimate it. 

    (7) Stonekin vs pure Nature
    This is the first matchup with a different game pattern. Playing against pure Nature is way more aggressive oriented. Nature struggles against Burrowers and you have to use this to your advantage and finish your opponent off before he gets to activate his Shrine of Memory. Energy Parasites are really annoying to deal with for you and keep the Nature player often in the game and therefore this matchup is one of the harder ones for you. 

    (8) Stonekin vs pure Fire
    Your units are more efficient in the early stage of the game while pure Fire scales really well into the late T2 stage. You want to avoid the late T2 or at least go with a solid advantage into this gamestage, because otherwise you will be in trouble. Given the fact that your T3 matches well against Pure Fire, because Timeless One + Stonewarrior is incredible against XL units it's not the worst thing to scale. You can use your early T2 advantage to reach this stage as safely as possible. Stoneshards are really efficient against all these pure Fire M units and as long as there isn't enough power to use wildfire support you will win many T2 skirmishes and that advantage can be used to survive the late t2, where the pure Fire attacks get to powerful. 

    Difficult matchups
    (9) Stonekin vs pure Shadow
    You lack a serious XL counter and therefore Harvester is really hard to counter. Sure you could consider playing with Lyrish Knights, but most of the time you don't have the slot. In case you still want to use him you will be at a disadvantageous position in different matchups, keep that in mind. Shadow Mage + Nether Warp is also a serious threat, because most of your damage is damage over time, which is way less efficient against Shadowmages than burst damage. Razorshard can be useful to make this matchup a little bit easiert, but with the classic stonekin deck you will have some trouble here. 
    3. Ratings

    Competitive Rating:
    Stonekin summary
    Pros:
    + Really strong defence with strong cc and building protects
    + Very good T3 
    + Has the least bad matchups out of all decks
    Cons:
    - Apart from Burrowers + homesoil there aren't many ways to play aggressive at T2
    - You are forced to play either Frost or Nature T1, who are unreliable and risky
    Stonekin is definitely one of the top decks. Especially after the Stormsinger addition there is litereally nothing, that gives you trouble at early T2. You don't have many "freewins", but on the other hand you can pretty much handle every deck and with your strong T3 scaling this is a big advantage. Your T1 is honestly your biggest weakness  and the main reason why Stonekin is not ranked as the strongest deck here. Nature T1 is too weak and Frost T1 way too unreliable due to the lack of swift units.   
    Final competative rating: 8/10

    New player experience:
    Pretty much the same stuff applies for newer players. The T2 is really strong and also really easy to play, but Nature T1 is way to complex to start with and Frost is also not the best T1 to start with. But with the massive CC and the strong defence in general stonekin deserves some credit. 
    Final NPE rating: 5/10 
     
    SHADOW FROST

     
    1. Deck example

     
    Shadow Frost was one of the most played decks in PvP ... for a good reason. The deck is the most solid one with no big weakness and an outstanding defence. You may struggle a little bit in T2 to set up efficient attacks that don't include Mountaineer, but this isn't a serious issue, because your T3 is fantastic and therefore you aren't forced to be aggressive. It's already enough to defend efficiently against your opponents attacks and build another powerwells up to a point where you can afford to switch into the T3 stage, where you'll most likely win.
    2. Matchup Discussion

    Easy matchups:
    (1) Shadow Frost vs Bandits
    Bandits is really easy to play against. Your units in T2 are equally strong if not even a little bit better and you have access to crowd control and building protects. Your T3 is superior and in T1 you always stand a chance with Shadow T1 against any given colour. Just look out for Nightguards if you decide to go for an attack with Mountaineer. 

    (2) Shadow Frost vs Fire Frost 
    Fire Frost is also really easy to play, because you aren't really forced to make proactive decisions. You just need to defend incoming attacks and scale into your superior T3. As long as you stay even in T2 there is nothing you need to fear in T3 (Brannoc is only a dangerous if you are already behind). In T2 you can defend Scythe Fiends & Skyfiredrakes easily with a combination out of Darkelf Assassins and Stormsinger with Frost Bite support. The only card, that is sort of dangerous for you is Mountaineer, you really need to pay attention here and get rid of them (in case you have Nighguard in your deck this is pretty simple). But since you've got Coldsnap and building protects you should be able to save your powerwells in time and go for a counterattack with your own Mountaineer afterwards. 

    (3) Shadow Frost vs Fire Nature
    This matchup got pretty easy after the Stormsinger buff. You can defend Burrower attacks with a very high efficiency in the early game and establish a very solid lead, that can be used to transition into a T3, where Fire Nature doesn't stand a chance. The only gamestage where you are sort of in danger is the late T2, where splitted Burrower attacks with massive nature cc support are powerful enough to overload your building protects, so make sure to reach the T3 as soon as possible, because Timeless one can deal with a massive Burrower push, if the Fire Nature player decides to rush you at that point.  

    Skillmatchups:
    (4) Shadow Frost vs pure Nature
    You are heavily favoured in T1 and T3, but at a disadvantage in T2, therefore it's important to use the right timings to win this matchup. In T1 Nature is really vulnerable and unless the Nature player plays Primal defender (which is pretty rare, but possible) you can solely win games with Phasetower, who is overpowered. He can usually apply his splash damage consistently in a fight against nature units and does more than 1000 dp20s for 60 power. His hp pool is also insane in defense (1200) and even after the port in offense the 600hp are still high if you keep in mind, that nature has no T1 unit with bonus damage against buildings. For more in depth information you can check out my Shadow T1 guide (insert link), because the T1 is really important in this matchup since the T2 is nature favoured. Deep One is really hard to deal with if you don't play Nightguard in your deck and there is no reliable Energy Parasite counter in your deck. In addition to that Nature can deal with your S and M units really with (Ghostspears and Spirit Hunter do a really good job at this point) and Mountaineer gets either destroyed by Deep Ones or taken away by Parasite Swarm, so make sure to establish a solid advantage in T1, that either wins you the game entirely or allows you to scale into T3 before nature manages to get a big voidpool and an activated Shrine of Memory.  

    (5) Shadow Frost vs Pure Frost
    Your advantage is usually the fact, that you can deny alot of mapcontrol against Frost in T1, mostly important T3 spots, because your T2 is sort of equal. Darkelf Assassins and Stormsinger deal fairly well with War Eagles and this is Pure Frosts core unit. On the other side Shadow Frost doesn't have the tools to apply pressure in T2 either which leads to T3 fights, who decide the games. But in case you've got a map like Elyon for example you can block all T3 spots and win the game off that, because War Eagles may be able to deal with T2 units, but if Ashebones & Grigoris come into play they will struggle even with a power advantage. In case the game goes into T3 vs T3, cards without any counterplay are more valuable. Since both Frost Frost Shadow and Shadow Frost Frost have access to some of the strongest T3 units, cards like curse well can make the difference in this matchup.

    (6) Shadow Frost vs Pure Shadow 
    You honestly have the tools to deal with pure Shadow. Darkelf Assassins, are so efficient against this deck and in combination with Stormsinger you can defend every sort of attacks. The only thing that can sort of outsustain this damage for a while is Shadowmagespam + Green Netherwarp, but this tactic is very susceptable against Nightcrawler- or Lyrish Knight-Nasties. Harvester is also usually not successful against you, unless the Shadow player has a lead already, because Frost Bite is really valuable against Harvy. He needs such a long time to reach the Power wells/orbs while Darkelfassassins or Lyrish Knights deal so much damage against him and if the Shadow Player decided to port him forward he loses the chance to dodge coldsnap which slows the Harvester down even more. Your T3 is superior as usual and therefore your winning condition.

    (7) Shadow Frost vs Shadow Nature
    Shadow Nature has a distinctive advantage in the early T2 against you. They have similar units (Nighcrawler + Darkelf Assassins + Amii Phantom vs Night Crawler + Darkelf Assassins + Stormsinger) and superior cc which allows your opponent to set up massive attacks against you. Therefore this matchup is pretty much a survival game, because in the later T2 stages low hp unit spam gets countered by AoE damage like Shadow Phoenix, Aura of Corruption or Nasty, because it's impossible to split all these units and in T3 you will simply win the game of Timeless One beeing able minimize the incoming damage while it's way harder to respond to your attacks.

    (8) Shadow Frost vs Stonekin
    Stonekin can be a really nasty matchup, because its defensive capabilities match your power in T2 and even in T3. Therefore this matchup can be really hard to play and sometimes you have to make sure to win the game based on your score, because you can't finish off your opponent in 30 minutes. On smaller maps you can avoid this by winning the game in T1 which is kinda the most reliable option to beat stonekin, because Shadow has a big advantage over Frost on alot of maps and Phasetower wrecks nature (it's also useful against Frost, don't get me wrong here). 

    Difficult matchup(s):
    (9) Shadow Frost vs Pure Fire
    This is the only matchup with a distinctive disadvantage for Shadow Frost. Enforcer is superior to Nightcrawler and Stormsinger which allows the Fireplayer to protect a Firedancer who shoots constantly at your power well and forces you to spend power into your building protects, which leads to very unfavourable trades. In case the Firedancer is able to abuse a cliff as protection you are pretty much done. And in addition to that Juggernaut is insanely strong, even strong enough to break through a Timeless One T3. Your only shot at winning is a short, aggressive T1 with a transition into an early Mountaineer attack since Pure Fire tends to struggle in defense against L units (No cc and just mediocre L counter).

    3. Rating

    Competitive Rating:
    Shadow Frost summary
    Pros:
    + No weak gamestage 
    + Insane T3
    + Very forgiving since you don't have to be proactive most of the time
    + Alot of easy matchups
    + Very flexible and well rounded defence (cc + ranged high dps units + building protects)
    Cons: 
    - low pressure T2
    - Bad matchup against one of the most popular decks (pure Fire)
    Shadow Frost is next to pure Fire the top deck in PvP. It does great in nearly ever matchup and is strong at any given point in the game. Sadly its only weak matchup is against its biggest rival pure Fire. Otherwise the deck would be in the best spot out of all possible 1v1 decks in Battleforge. 
    Final Comp. rating: 9/10
    New player experience:
    Shadow Frost is the perfect deck to play if you intend to climb in the ladder as a new player and even at the higher ranks it's one of the strongest decks to play with its opressive T3. No major weakness and the possibility to play a viable counter against nearly every incoming attack (with the small exception of cliffdancer) make it really easy to play. The high late game scaling is also really good, because you don't have to be proactive in T2. The high defensive capability makes the deck really forgiving and it's one of the decks to start with.  
    Final NPE rating: 10/10
    At this point the deck overview is finished. I hope you can get some valuable information out of it, we put alot of efford into creating this list (Writing 15.000+ words took some time ^^). In case you have any questions regarding some factions or matchups feel free to ask us.

    Best regards
    Hirooo & RadicalX
     
  12. QuickShift liked a post in a topic by Kiwi in Open Stress Test Information   
    Hello Skylords, Skyladies and Skythings,
    As many of you are aware, the project has entered an Open Stress Testing Phase (NOT OPEN BETA) on Wednesday 5th September 2018.
    NOTE: There will be a wipe at some stage during the open stress testing phase.
    Playing The Open Stress Test
    You do not need to sign up to join the stress testing phase you just need to make an account on our forums and use the same email and password to log into the game.
    Downloads
    Client
    You can download the client using Mediafire or MEGA.nz.
    YOU DO NOT NEED TO RE-DOWNLOAD THE CLIENT AT ANY TIME IN THE FUTURE AS THE UPDATER WILL HELP WITH THIS.
    Skylords Reborn Updater
    You can download the Skylords Reborn Updater using Mediafire.
    Visual C++
    You will need to make sure you have Visual C++ Redistributable for 2015 installed. You can download that here.
    Our Official links
    Our Official links can be found here Facebook, Twitter, Twitch and YouTube. We do not have any other official links.
    Other Medias
    The VK Skylords Reborn page is a fan made page, we will NEVER ask for any payments. Our old domain bfreborn.com has been bought by someone who is pretending to be this project.
    Supporting the project
    You can help support us if you wish on our Patreon page only. The game is 100% FREE. Note: All money from Patreon goes towards server upkeep.
    Advertising
    We are currently talking with streamers and a website in order to let the world know about this project. We however currently have no advertising budget.
    Players can make videos or stream the Open stress test if they wish. All we ask of streamers is that they inform viewers that the game is currently in an Open stress testing stage that will be reset at the end along with it possibly containing bugs and crashes along with other issues and that a link to our Forums is provided so people can find out more about the project along with and possibly joining up themselves if they wish.
    If you wish to help advertise this project you can simply by just telling your family and friends and getting them to play!
    Recruitment
    We're looking for a C++ developer to add to our team, the minimal requirements to apply: 
    Good knowledge how to program (in at least one programming language) Ability to read C++17 code, and later C++20 You should have some experience with at least C++11 Good idea about threads and async operations  Basic idea about how TLS/SSL, DB, Boost. (no need for details, just basics) Have some free time to invest into the project Having some reverse engineering knowledge is always good, but not necessary Being familiar with Linux can be advantage too If you have the minimal requirements above, feel to apply on forum here (otherwise, please refrain)
    Running / System Requirements
    BattleForge is an old game so will run on basically anything. To see full spec details feel free to check out our Wiki page here, or you can check on the CYRI website here.
    Giveaways
    Giveaways are currently closed. We do hope to use them in the futrue for other giveaways and you will be able to take part in these by simply keeping an eye on our #giveaway channel on our Discord server and our giveaway section of the forums. To participate in the giveaway on our Discord you will normally need to react with the right emotion, beware it can change to a new one.
     
    If you have any questions or queries please feel free to ask them below or send me or @MrXLink a PM and we will try our best to answer them as much as we can.
    See you all in the forge! 
    =============================
    Important notes from @fiki574 regarding Open Stress Testing Phase:
    Promo cards - Will be in booster packs, except for the event promos like Santa and Easter Egg which will be related to the seasonal event. Boosters - Boosters will be a mixture of all sets for now. Speed run / map of the month - Will be available at start of Open Stress Test. Starter decks - You will start with 4 different starter decks, one of each color (Fire, Frost, Nature, Shadow). Tomes - Tomes will not be in Skylords Reborn at all. New accounts - All players will have new accounts and will be named the same as their Forum account this is due to us not having access to the data files from EA regarding accounts.
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