Jump to content

Search the Community

Showing results for tags 'pvp'.

  • Search By Tags

    Type tags separated by commas.
  • Search By Author

Content Type


  • Skylords Reborn
    • Announcements
    • Updates
    • Events and Tournaments
    • Contribute to the project
  • Support
    • Technical Support
    • Report A Bug
    • Ban Appeals
  • Community
    • Suggestions
    • General Talk
    • Media
    • Off-Topic
    • Development
  • Gameplay
    • Cards
    • New Player Help and Guides
    • Deck Building and Colour Strategies
    • PvE
    • PvP
    • Maps
    • Campaign Maps
  • Recruitment
    • Art
    • Game Design
    • Map Making
    • Community
    • Development

Find results in...

Find results that contain...

Date Created

  • Start


Last Updated

  • Start


Filter by number of...


  • Start











Website URL




  1. I love to play with my friends in PVP but the timer always cuts us short. Can we have a slider or something like that, so we can adjust how long a round last? Not talking about ranked or tournaments. Just a little fun slider, so that you can play with your friends at your own pace.
  2. Jaymy

    2 VS 2

    Hello peoples, since official release an issue emerges, more clearly every week. 2v2 appears to be almost unplayable. Not because of any issues with the game itself... No, its just not enough teams, searching for matchups at the same time. If you're lucky, there are 1-2 other Teams, which results in maybe 3-5 games. But that's it basically, like I said, if you're lucky. Since 2v2 is my favourite gamemode, maybe even the reason why I play Skylords Reborn at all, I'm quite frustrated about this issue. So, I have a proposal! All people who like to play 2v2 ranked come together on maybe 1-2 days a week, at certain timeframes, so that there are at least enough teams for consecutive matchups. My first suggestion would be: Every Saturday 16:00 - 20:00 (UTC +1/ MEZ) What do you think? Kind regards! LordJay
  3. Hello fellow Skylords, Im a new player who first heard about this game 3 weeks ago and been hooked ever since. Im lookin to get into PvP and decided to start with pure fire as first Deck to learn because I like to play proactive. I have played around 20 ranked PvP matches by now, my last opponment recommended farrockbfs youtube channel to me to get a general feel for tactics and the rock/papee/scissor system. I feel like I have the right ideas what to do most of the time (other times i think its safe to take a well only to get rushed into oblivion but thats a different story :-p) but my execution is flat out terrible. Im lookin for PvP newbies like me who want to train on a regular basis or more experienced players that are willing to drop a gem or two. I struggle the most against frost sorceress, nasty surprise spam and nature cc spam. I dont mind loosing at all, so even if you are a skilled player already feel free to hit me up. To me: my native language is german, but my english should be good enough. Im online almost everyday after work, around 19-20 pm european time. Looking forward to join your PvP community and compete for top 100 in the future! :-D
  4. Hi zusammen, folgend eine Übersicht von PVP Decks, die ich gut finde (weitere folgen, wenn ich dazu komme): Below is an overview of PVP decks that I like (more will follow when I get to):
  5. How to play Frost T1 a PvP Guide by RadicalX - General talk - Hey everyone, apparently I didn't plan on releasing this guide so early, but since I have this finished guide lying around for such a long time I'll just post it now. This time I will talk about Frost T1. I'll try to do pretty much the same I did with my shadow guide: I'll try to provide some basic informations for new players combined with some deeper analysis of matchups and tips for more experienced players too. The stuff I wrote refers only to 1v1, because 2v2 is different in many ways (I said the same stuff in the other guide). General question: Why should I play Frost T1? Let's start with an essential question here. Why would somebody consider playing Frost T1? Because Frost T1 isn't as reliable as Shadow or Fire T1, since Frost has got 2 major weaknesses: 1. no access to a T1 swift unit 2. Frost does very poorly in open fights without a near power well Those two weaknesses combined make Frost very inconsistent in a way, because the difficulty of your game depends primary on the map you are playing on and not the opponents deck-color like in other matchups. Alot of people consider Frost T1 as too risky and that is a big reason why next to no high ranked players used it (only nature T1 was actually even less common). But lets take a look at the upsides of Frost T1. First of all Frost Units are the strongest T1 units in the game in terms of combat stats. Their cost efficency is amazing and they have such an incredible amount of hp which makes aoe damage useless unless your opponent is already T2. Frost may be weak if you can't get a close well situation, but when you manage to take a favourable power well you can smash your opponent from that point on. Frost T1 is unbeatable in a close well fight as long as your opponents doesn't build turrets or is T2 and even then it's possible to win due to the incredible stat efficency of Ice Guardians next to buildings. In addition to that Frost T1 offers a very strong late T1. There is pretty much no colour that stands a chance against you at the late-T1 stage (not even nature as some people may think). Your units already have got an incredible amount of health and homesoil adds another scaling effect in terms of damage which lets you outscale your opponent easily. I guess you can describe Frost T1 like this: "High risk, high reward" - the Deck - This list is going to be short like the one for my Shadow Guide. It just gives a slight overview about the cards to show what was essential/viable/trash. Group 1 - The "must have" Units (You would suffer alot if you decide to play without them): Master Archers Frost Mage Ice Guardian Ice Barrier Home soil Glacier Shell Group 2 - Very strong additional cards, which provide safety for some matchups: Lightblade (purple) Frost Bite (purple) Ice Shield tower Glyph of Frost Group 3 - Cards that are only useful for higher Tier combinations: Frost Bite (red) Frost Sorceress Group 4 - Cards that are only useful in a single certain scenario (usually not viable): Imperials Lightblade (red) Wardens Sigil (both affinities) Northern Keep (blue) Glaciation (blue) Wintertide (both affinities) Group 5 - Trash Northern Keep (red) Northguards Glaciation (red) Construction Hut Defense Tower Some of you may noticed the surprising fact, that I included Wintertide in group 4 despite the fact that the card used to be pretty popular. I want to talk about it a little bit more in detail, because alot of players rated it pretty highly even tho it was a very unnecessary card and pretty much a wasted deckslot. And this is the reason for it: The only unit, that has any kind of synergy with Wintertide are the Master Archers. The other M Units, don't get anything from the knockback immunity and even if you can give your units insane amount of effective hp for a good amount of time, it wont make a difference due to its self-root. Wintertide + Masterarcher spam is not useful against any deck and there is always a better option for Frost T1. -> Master Archer spam + Wintertide loses against Dreadcharger spam if the shadow-player stops every movement command so he doesn't kill his own units with the reflect damage through stomp and it is not really hard to execute that. Motivate makes it even worse in this matchup. -> Master Archer spam + Wintertide is useless against nature, because you wont have enough burst to kill units effectively. Hurricane will at least do a single knockback before you can react unless you are a master at predicting the enemies actions and even tho it seems like hurricane does no damage at all it can deal up to 500 damage in total against a massive unit spam (10 damage that gets applied 5 times against up to 10 units). That is at least a respective amount for 50 power. -> If you try Master Archer spam against Frostmagespam you are going to have a bad time. A very bad time. Frostmages will just demolish you, because it's an S-counter and has a constant knockback. This means you have 0 damage without the use of wintertide and still less damage when you decide to use it and this is just bad. -> In the matchup against Fire Scavenger is just a better version of Dreadcharger, because there is no stomp-effect, which makes it even more reliable (Therefore the blue affinity of Wintertide would be actually better in this matchup). Apart from Firesworn there is no real knockback (Sunderer doesn't count) that makes Wintertide useful in any way. You may think Wintertide helps you to scale better into the late T1 stages since you get a higher efficency the more units you affect with a buff, but honestly ... you already outscale every deck in the late T1 stage due to homesoil, which is the superior buff in every perspective. Wintertide just doesn't have any kind of synergy that makes it worth a slot for a 1v1 deck. I consider Wintertide a 2v2-only card and this is why I would recommend to take this card out of your Frost deck. - The maps - I want to mention the maps right away, because they are super important as a Frost player. I want to give you a little overview about the strength of Frost T1 on each map, because in case your opponent plays shadow or fire as his T1 (which happens probably around 80% of the time) he will try to prevent you from getting map control and close wells. Against nature things are much different, but I'll talk about that a little bit later. Haladur: It alawys felt a little bit weird to play on this map. The middle of the map was pretty much perfect for you, because the power wells were pretty close to each other and it was not possible to get zoned from the first power well. Sounds great at the first look, but there was a massive downside. The main base was super far away from the middle position. This allows swift unit spam for the shadow/fire player and this is pretty nasty to deal with. Your opponent attacks your power well in the middle, but if you try to play units to defend he can just run down to your main base and leave your slow units on the other part of the map. You have to spend your power very carefully on this map, otherwise you'll end up with a massive amount of bound power, that does litereally nothing for you. Uro: This Map is your worst enemy. If your opponent starts immediatly with his swift unit he can block every spot on the map. You are pretty much forced into a dazed fight, which isn't favourable for you at all. Many Frost-players tried to start with 2 units immediatly and sent them to different positions to aquire at least some sort of mapcontrol, but that only works as long as your enemy doesn't pay attention. If you are in a tournament and your opponent picks this map you should consider playing something apart from Frost T1. Lajesh (standard version): You had a wellcluster next to your main base which is easy to defend. But on the other hand it's very hard to apply pressure due to the walls. Your T3 spot could get blocked pretty fast, but if your opponent takes the position himself it opened up opportunities for you to launch a strong attack. Lajesh (without walls): If both player agree to play without walls this map got just so much more interesting. When the power rises you can take an aggressive power well and force your opponent into a close well situation. Even though you had to spend 100 power into the power well you will come out on top. But take care of mortar & phasetower! Yrmia: I loved playing Frost T1 on Yrmia. The well distance is very short and the map in general is very small, which helps you alot to defend yourself against early aggression. If you get yourself into a safe position you will be able to launch super powerful attacks in no time. In my opinion this is the best map you can get as a Frost T1 player. Simai: A very passive map. It is very easy to defend yourself against aggression and you can take alot of power wells on your side of the map without losing to much map control. On the other hand it was very difficult to attack your enemy if he decides to stay on his side of the map. Pretty much an antifun map, but pretty favourable because it allows you to scale. Elyon: This map causes alot of problems, because it's small and mid centered. Since you wont be able to win dazed fights against fire or shadow you would lose the control about the mid position which means you would lose the entire map control. You have next to no available power wells & no T3 spot which causes serious issues. At least your T2 spot was very save, so it's not as bad as Uro. Whazai: It always felt a little bit weird to play on this map. You have no control about the middle of the map in the early stage of the game and your opponent has the pressure advantage. That said, Whazai isn't that bad for you. The map is small and that increases the power of your Ice Guardians (you can spawn dazed IG's with active shield over the cliff at your starting wells). If your opponent gets a little bit too greedy and takes a power well in the middle you can punish him for that. By way of conclusion I want to remark that Phasetower is broken on Whazai. Generated maps (small): The small maps were very threatening, because they are super mid-centered. The player who controls the mid position (usually 1 orb + 4 wells) controls the entire game, sometimes you could even deny T3 spots. In most cases you had at least a save well spot with a T2 orb, but you lost so much map control and you had to fight really well if you try to reclaim it. Generated maps (big): These maps are just bad designed. You need 2 entire minutes to walk up to the enemy. At least the maps were favourable for you, because no early aggression means you can take safe wells and scale into a T3 which should be not too bad for you since Frost T1 allows you to play a timeless one T3 regardless of your T2 colour. Still not the most enjoyable type of maps ... Frost may be very map dependend which makes the T1 a little bit unreliable for your casual ladder games, but just imagine how strong it can get in tournaments. There were a good amount of players, who used to play only pure fire. In a best of 5 you would get at least 2 free wins by picking a good map for Frost T1, because Pure Frost naturally beats Fire in T2. Mastering frost T1 can help you alot in these situations and can make yourself a way more threatening player even for opponents with superior micromanagement and decisionmaking when they aren't flexible in their deck choice. - Matchups - Frost vs Shadow Time to take a look at the specific matchups. I'll just start again with a short look at the core cards in this matchup: Frost: 1. Master Archers 2. Ice Guardian 3. Ice Barrier 4. Homesoil Shadow: 1. Dreadcharger 2. Nox Trooper 3. Motivate Core Strategy: There are 3 possible scenarios that can happen in this matchup and I'll descirbe all of them. First scenario: You don't get a powerwell If your opponent get's the opportunity to deny you a powerwell and forces you to go into a dazed fight you will just lose. Master archer spam is the best thing you can do here, but you need at least 10-11 units with homesoil to stand a chance, because the Dreadcharger just demolishes Master Archers due to its bonus damage against S units. Ice guardians on an open field won't help you, because they have no iceshield and that leaves them as super squishy units. Lighblade costs too much & even a well placed Glyph of Frost won't save you, because there is just not enough dps early into the game to make good use of it. The shadow player motivates the focussed Dreadcharger and destroys you when he gets out of the cc. This is why you want to avoid this situation at every cost! Even if you have to give up alot of mapcontrol, getting a power well is the first very important step to keep yourself in the game. Second scenario: You get a powerwell and your opponent attacks you immediatly. This is the most common situation in high ranked. The shadow player has a 100 power advantage and alot of strong players will attack immediatly at this point because this is a very micro intensive fight. The Shadow player tries to pick off your units immediatly, because your units are more cost efficient and if he waits to long or doesn't get his picks you outscale him, defend the well with glacier shell and get a massive advantage. This is why you have to micro your units as well as possible to survive up to the point where you can fight back. The units you need to play are Master Archers and Ice-Guardians. How much of each kind is decided by the units your opponent plays. If he plays many Dreadchargers, Ice Guardians are your way to go, Master Archers perform better against Nox Troopers on the other hand. Be careful with the use of spells at that point.Only use Glacier shell if your well drops really low. Otherwise your enemy can just switch his focus back onto your units immediatly and you wasted 50 power which could be invested into another unit. Only use Frost bite if you are 100% sure to finish off the unit & don't use home soil on just 2-3 units. It's better to get more units into the battle and micro them to build up a huge army. If you defend this attack successfully, the game is nearly won. Third scenario: You get a powerwell and your opponent takes one too Unless you are a really high ranked player this will be the most common scenario. And luckily this one favours you. If both players just take a well you are pretty much save due to the high cost efficiency of your units around your power wells. Just don't let your units die for free and wait a little bit up to a point where alot of power is in the game. Because at that point you can take another power well without any risk. Your opponent lost his momentum and can't attack you at a high power level even with his advantage due to the strong stats of your Frost units. This often results in a situation where your opponent decides to take a power well himself. And this is how you can take advantage of this: Try to take your wells in a way to close the gap between yourself and your opponent. If you reach a point where you just have to build 2-3 Ice barriers for your Ice Guardians so they can walk up to the enemies well without losing their shield to crush your opponent. Your unit composition should consist of 2-3 Ice Guardians + Master Archer spam. The Ice Guardians are a big threat to the Dreadcharger and Master Archers naturally outscale a nox trooper spam espcially since Nox Trooper needs so many extra hits to take down an entire Master Archer squad. The last missing piece is the homesoil that gives you the needed boost to wipe out the entire shadow army. In smaller skirmishes it's important to use Frostbite to pick off units and prevent yourself from getting outmicroed by swiftunits. Tips & cards to watch out for: Starting unit: Always start with Master Archers and don't get baited into the Lightblade start. Yes, the card allows you to skirmish well due to the taunt ability if both players take a well, but if the shadow player attacks immediatly, the card is useless, because it gets demolished by nox troopers while binding more power than other units, that would be more useful in combat. This will make a rush much easier for your opponent. Phasetower: This card can stop your aggression entirely, so try to figure out if your opponent plays it or not. Phasetower is strong enough to allow Shadow fighting in close well positions, therefore even at a mid/late T1 stage it can be risky going too aggressive against it, especially when the Shadow-player can make good use of terrain to protect the turrets from your Ice Guardians. But as long as you make sure to avoid being overaggressive there is not too much to worry about, because your units are strong enough to deal with Phastowers when the port ability gets used. Motivate: Not every Shadow player uses it, because Nature & Frost were sort of underplayed! If your opponent doesn't use it you will reach your power spike earlier to punish your opponent harder. So always be aware if your opponent uses motivate in the first skirmishes or not. Replays: - coming soon - Frost vs Nature Core cards: Frost: 1. Frostmage 2. Ice Barrier 3. Home Soil Nature: 1. Swiftclaw 2. Surge of Light 3. Dryad Core Strategy: This matchup is pretty easy to describe. Spam Frostmages ... and win. Honestly, that's pretty much everything about this matchup. Frost mages negate Windweavers & Spearmen entirely, outdamage Shamans & Dryads by a wide margin and outrange Swiftclaws, who are the only real threat to you. In the early game Swiftclaws do a massive amount of damage to M units and therefore you need to keep Distance from your opponent up to the point where you get enough Mages to oneshot the Swiftclaws in one attackrotation (you need around 8 Frostmages with homesoil support to do so -> 930 damage per rotation, which is enough to kill a swiftclaw even with the dryad damagereduction). The most dangerous thing for you is an early T2 from your opponent. Therefore you always have to be in a good position, where you can threaten a T2 rush while being in a safe distance to be not caught out by an early swiftclaw spam. The most popular decks with nature T1 were pure nature & stonekin (nobody played shadow nature or fire nature with nature T1). Executing a rush against pure Nature is pretty easy, because it lacks an M/M counter in T2 and as long as you split up your Frostmages against Curse of Oink there is nothing that can stop you (kiting Deep One with Frostbite is an easy task). Against Stonekin it gets a little bit more difficult, dependend on the cards you are playing against. Stonetempest for example can perma cc 3-4 mages, but Lightblade hard counters him, so try to play one if you see your opponent switching into T2. Razorshard got nerfed, which makes it easier to outmicro them, Stormsinger doesn't have enough dps to stop you and the other cards are also S units, so as long as your micro is on point you can rush against stonekin aswell even with alle the cc & building protects. Tips and cards to watch out for: Treespirit: The honorable nature players wont use him, but you will still encounter this card due its ridiculous strength. But the good thing for you is the fact, that your Frostmagespam can't get caught out by treespirit, because you can build up Ice Barriers pretty fast to block their entire damage. It's a little bit more difficult to build them in an offensive position, but if you manage to do so it isn't a big deal to win a fight against them. Primal Defender: Never underistimate the influence turrets can have on the game in this particular matchup. While bound power is usually a really bad thing, Primal defender can create a huge zoning are & on some maps (Haladur for an instance) your main base is super far away which allows to to stop any type of aggression. Your opponent can switch into T2 safely, which allows him to stay in the game. Primal Defender & Mark of the Keeper map have a big influence on this matchup, so keep that in mind. You probably won't play against Mark of the Keeper, because it's useless against Shadow (outranged by Phasetower), but people definitely used Primal Defender! But if your opponent doesn't use any buildings be confident try to finish your games in T1! Pure Nature does pretty well against frost splashes in T2 and you really want to avoid that unfavourable gamestage. Tip: Keep your Frostmages at one spot in T1 and don't split them up! You want all of them shooting at the same time at the same target (The damage can be bodyblocked by other units otherwise & having delays between the attacks allows your opponent to time more efficient heals betweeen the attacks) Replays: -coming soon- Frost vs Fire Core cards: Frost: 1. Ice Guardian 2. Master Archers 3. Lightblade 4. Ice Barrier 5. Home Soil Fire: 1. Scavenger 2. Sunstriders 3. Mortar Core strategy: To play against Fire T1 you need to follow one golden rule, that will bring you alot of success: Don't get Greedy! It sounds a little bit silly, but it's really important to handle a pure Fire player and I will explain this in detail now. Like in every other matchup you will be in an defensive position right from the start. If you survive the first attacks against fire you will gain a massive advantage and be able to apply alot of pressure or force your opponent into an early T2. So let's take a look at the different type of attacks a fire player may launch at you and how to defend them properly. How to defend a scavenger rush? I mentioned this scenario already a little bit earlier. It is a really dangerous strategy to play against when the distance between your power wells is really high. So I will choose Haladur to explain how to play in this situation, this map is a prime example due to the high distance between the main base & the middle. What's my starting unit? You have 2 viable starting units: Master Archers & Lightblade. Theses units will be needed in the defense. Lightblade allows you to make easy picks & is super tanky against the Scavengers. But I personally prefer to use master archers as my starting unit, because they are more reliable in the other scenarios against fire and if you see your opponent goes for the scavenger spam anyway you can still play the lightblade (pretty much as a surpise spawn to get a free taunt). - Do I even take a power well in the middle? - Yes, definitely. You stand no chance winning a dazed fight and you have to get access to at least 1 spot in the middle. Take the closest well next to your base (don't worry to much about map control, if your opponent takes the aggressive well on Haladur he puts himself into a close well situation which forces him to either bind power into a defensive mortar or he will just straight up lose the game from that point on). - My opponent started spamming scavenger, what shall I do? - Don't panic! You got less power, but way more efficient units, try to taunt one scavenger with your Lightblade! If your opponent runs away you got a very efficient trade, if he tries to attack, play maybe one additional Ice Guardian. Don't play more than 3 units immediatly! And DON'T use homesoil. If your opponent goes for the powerwell and it drops to 66% health start playing more units, only use glacier shell if it drops below 600hp! Your power management is the most important thing here. While it's usually good to play at your power limit it is important to keep some energy in you backpocket, so you will be able to react when the scavengers start moving down to your main base. Don't get too greedy and spend all your power at one spot, your other base will be left entirely helpless. Keep this in mind: If you play your defense perfectly you can ALWAYS defend a Scavenger spam, so stay calm! Second possible scenario: While the scavengerspam is just one possible scenario there is also one big threat, that is really dangerous to you, when you decide to take an overaggressive powerwell. I'm talking about the mortarrush. The threat of an offensive mortar is really big and forces you to make bad trades, which allows the fire player to snowball. Scavengers will rip Masterarchers apart while Sunstriders are a big threat to Ice Guardians. I finally found a great replay to showcase why this is the most dangerous thing you can encounter in this matchup: How to play this scenario properly: Sometimes you need to give up map control as a Frost T1 player due to bad map conditions. Even though you put yourself at a small disadvantage by taking a defensive power well, beeing too greedy may cost you the game against a top tier player and this just isn't worth the risk. Third possible scenario: You can also be lucky and get into a close well position, where your opponent has next to no chance of winning. But be careful at some positions. If the position is protected by terrain your opponent may try to build up a mortar, which can be really annoying to deal with. It's usually wise to have a well distance around 70-80m, which allows you to spam Ice-Guardians & Master Archers (their stats are faaaaar superior to Scavenger & Sunstrider) from a save distance. In later T1 stages you don't even have to worry about that. It is possible to beat out Fire even with a Mortar, your units have a great health pool and don't die immediatly, and with homesoil you can destroy the Mortar in about 3 seconds. Afterwards feel free to kill every unit around you. Tips & cards to watch out for Wrecker: This card is also used from time to time in a rush due to high dps & the rallying ability. But your Ice Guardian are stronger in theory, so keep in mind that you can take a well against a wrecker spam, but if you lose 1 or 2 units in addition for that things may snowball really damn fast. Firesworn: I didn't mention the card at all so far, but the S knockback can be a problem for your Master archers, so don't rely too much on them! Mine: Some people may try to protect their offensive mortar turrets with some sneaky mines for zone control. It's usually not worth it, because it's easily dodgeable (for the majority of people atleast) but always try to think about it so you don't get caught off guard! Replays: -> another mortar rush by Obesity vs freemka - coming soon- Frost vs Frost Core cards: 1. Ice Guardian 2.Frost Mage 3. Homesoil 4. Ice Barrier This matchup is pretty simple in terms of explanation, but pretty difficult when it comes to execution. First of all I recommend starting with frost mage (I know it's pretty uncommon, but that is pretty much because there were next to no experienced frost players around the high ranked ladder, since everyone played shadow & fire due to the high reliabilty). Master Archers don't have any particular use (there are no unitsquads to finish off and also no S units in general) and they get permacc'd by Frost mage. Lightblade isn't too bad, but it's just really useful against careless opponents who let their units get to close to their opponent before the true fight starts. Otherwise the Lightblade is just too expensive (with the taunt ability nearly as expensive as 2 Iceguardians, who have far superior combat stats). Apart from that there are 2 types of possible fights. 1. Ice Guardians vs Ice Guardians This occurs on small maps with close well positions. The winner of this matchup is going to be the player who has better micro management. So make sure to always keep track on your Ice Shields and move your units properly. In addition to that it's important to play at your absolute power limit, otherwise you will ultimately lose out due to lower dps. Try to have homesoil constantly active in combat (An Ice Guardian spam usually involves more than enough units to make it worth is), but don't get baited into using it too early at the start of the fight, otherwise your opponent may be able to retreat without losing any units and that would be a pretty huge loss for you. 2. Magespam This is why starting with Frostmage is so damn important and valuable. On maps without proper wellpositions to fight at, the Frostmagespam outscales Ice Guardians pretty fast. The amount of mages you need is higher than against nature so don't even think about attacking too early, but after 10+ Frostmages you will be able to oneshot Ice Guardians with a single attack rotation (75*10*1,55= 1163 single target burst damage). If you face a magespam with your magespam make sure to get off the first damage rotation. That's enough to win fight, because at some point your opponents counterattack won't deal enough burst damage to kill mages and your additonal splash damage also adds up over time. So make sure to get a clean & fast damage rotation at the start. Tips & cards to watch out for: Glyph of Frost: Just make sure to respect its threat and you should be able to dodge it. But if you walk into it with your entire army, it can be pretty dangerous, because the enemies dps is really high in such a big spam and getting hit by a good Frost-Glyph can possibly cost you the game. Also be careful when playing a magespam, because you will have all of them pretty close to each other since you need to do this for better focusfire. This may lead to a full 7 unit freeze, which is pretty dangerous. So just dodge it & take the free 50 power advantage. T2 timings: Dependend on your T2 colour you should chose your T2 timing wisely. As a pure Frost player you can negate even a big disadvantage by just going T2, if there is at least some void power in your pool. War Eagles demolishe entire M unit armies. Replays: -coming soon- Frost T1 vs T2 This section will be added for Frost T1 specificly, because it's one Frosts biggest advantages over every other T1. It has enough power to even beat some T2's in a close well situation and I'm not talking about just defending with an extra well, I'm talking about straight up aggression. Here are the decks Frost beats in a T1 vs T2 scenario. 1. Pure Nature: I mentioned this already, Magespam can't be stopped by a pure Nature player. Ghost Spears & Spirit Hunter are useless against the S knockback, Deep one will end up getting kited with Frost bite, and pure Nature doesn't have any other swift units. You don't need a close well to do this, but Ice Guardians will also do the job pretty well combined with the additional mages. Careful: Dependend on your opponents deck you may have to play a lightblade to counter a potential Spikeroot. This is especially important against people who used Tresspirit, because it's often an indicator for root decks. 2. Stonekin: Pretty similar scenario. The Frost Mages will do a great job against stonekin and Ice Guardians are almost impossible to kill (Stonekin lacks high dps units, which leaves the deck with no option to kill any units, while beeing forced to spend more and more power for cc and building protects). Having a Lightblade as a hard counter for Stonetempest can be valuable too (even though Stonetempest isn't too popular anymore). Just make sure to split your units as well as possible against cc and aoe knockups (razorshard). 3. Pure Fire: If the pure Fire player goes T2 early into the game you can punish him by taking a close well. Your Ice Guardians have a great hp pool to survive initial Enforcer charges. Pure Fire has no cc and therefore has to rely on a combination out of units & wildfire to defend attacks properly. On a low power level you can just play either units or spells and that lets the efficency decrease by alot. In later game stages you shouldn't rush Pur Fire players because their defense gets much stronger and you don't want to allow the fire player to scale into the late game (Especially when you are playing pure Frost, T2 is such a great opportunity for you to win the game). 4. Fire Nature: This also works really well, because Lavafield doesn't do enough damage to deal with the hp pool of Ice Guardians. Try to split your Master Archers against Hurricane and focus single Skyfire drakes with Frost bite. The lack of cheap & spammable T2 units will allow you to apply alot of pressure in the close well situation. 5. Bandits: Well Bandits has no cc, the aoe spells don't do enough damage and this makes it alot easier for you. But Bandits has spammable high dps units (Nightcrawler & Darkelf assassins), who can punish you really hard if you micro poorly, so try to kite nightcrawlers with Frost bite and play a Frostmage to deal with the Darkelf assassins. 6. Fire Frost: The success against Fire Frost was really dependend on the situation. Most of the time you should look for a close well against a wellcluster to reduce the efficency of Glacier Shell. Otherwise Coldsnap & Building protects may stall the game up to a point with enough room for Skyfiredrakes and Scythe Fiends. Fire Frost has pretty expensive units though, which means you got a big advantage in the early fights. The other decks had some cards that were to strong to allow a favourable close well situation unless you've got a tremendous lead. -> Shadow Nature has the cheapest cc and the cheapest high dps units -> Pure Frost has War Eagle (The Ability is too damn powerful) -> pure Shadow has Shadow Mages -> Shadow Frost has Lyrish Nasty, cheap high dps units & building protects Overall playing pure Frost was always a great experience for me and I hope we see at least some Frost T1 players in the game, when everyone is able to play again. So I hope you like the guide and I hope it will be useful for some of you in the future. I'll update it with replays, when I found some good ones, currently there are sadly no impressive Frost matches on youtube. If you are interested in more content about playing T1 check out my Shadow T1 guide aswell! I guess that's about it, thanks for reading and have a nice day! Best regards, RadicalX
  6. How to Build a (PvP) Deck A Battleforge Guide by Eirias Last update: 6/3/16 This guide is primarily for players new to Player vs Player (PvP) matches. Perhaps an experienced player could gain some information playing an unfamiliar faction, although I would assume he knows the basics already. I will attempt to explain the reasons behind why certain cards are included and why certain cards are not included. In addition, I will provide examples from my own deck illustrating my rise from noobdom to pro (perhaps that was an exaggeration. I was roughly in the top 30 at my best and my PvP rank was usually around Hero. I could complain about my handicaps, but that is neither here nor there). I am totally new to this game. Should I start PvP or will I get stomped and ragequit? Most people will advise you to start PvE (these are the storyline maps, or the random maps that generate enemies). I will do no such thing! Although people love this game for a myriad of reasons, I think it’s the PvP aspect that is the best. Yes, you will get stomped immediately. I’d recommend reading Circadia’s guide before you start, as that is the most prominent one up at the time of writing. Of course, if I write my own, I’ll direct you there instead. J If you don’t know any of the following terms, go read a guide explaining basic gameplay: orb, well, void pool, unit size, unit counters, power pool, bound power, siege, PPD (permanent power disadvantage), t1, t2, t3, BFP, cc. Elendil and Kaldra wrote a pretty good one explaining the basic mechanics of Battleforge. Now answer the following question: What wins matches? If your answer is “skill,” keep reading. If you think cards win matches, correct your misconception and read this anyway. Cards do not win matches—they are the medium from which matches are won, but they don’t do it themselves. Many players hold that one can make Legend with only the tutorial deck. I think that’s hogwash, but you can certainly get somewhere between destroyer and annihilator (14 and 20) with it. Also, you will almost definitely get stomped your first few matches. I shall do my best to prevent that, but if you have a tendency to ragequit, start in the sparring grounds or start with PvE. Why do you keep mentioning these really technical aspects of cards like I’m not a beginner who has no idea what half the cards are? Simply put, I’m lazy and this guide is long enough. I’m doing my best to be beginner-friendly and I’m barely using any abbreviations (and when I do, I make sure they’re clear), but this is a guide to explain the usefulness and synergy of each card in a particular deck, not an explanation of the card itself. I’d highly recommend using this site as your companion: http://allcards.bfreborn.com/. If you don’t know a card, look it up there. This is much better than having to sit through another 50 pages of me explaining that a particular card cost 70 power and requires 1 nature and 1 neutral orb and has swift and can do an acid spit that attacks walls. Just look it up. If there’s still something that’s not clear, comment on it and I’ll add a clarification note on the guide. I’m playing with the F2P deck (starter cards) and Nomads/Frost mage/ Firesworn/other lame card is an insta-win. If I save up to get that card, will I make it to the top 20? Not a chance. You will jump a bunch of ranks, but then you will get shut down. When I was a noob I always got stomped by nomads (get it J). Nomads were the first card I bought when I had money. I just rushed everyone and won a bunch of games. Then I was paired with someone half-decent (maybe rank 11 or so) and I got shut down hard. I’ll discuss lamer counters later in the guide. Suffice it to say for now that no cards are broken, especially in t1. T1 is very well balanced. As long as you do the balancing yourself. So sit tight and pay careful attention to my section on t1. I have no BFP. Does that mean your advice doesn’t apply to me? Actually, no. My advice should be especially helpful to you. Unlike other guides, I won’t just hand you a grocery list of cards you need (I’ll actually do my best to avoid that). I’ll be illustrating guiding principles. Obviously some techniques will be better than others, and better techniques usually arise from better cards, but most decks work just fine with about 15 “free” cards. I’m also a particularly good person to be writing a guide for those with little BFP, because I was completely P4F in the old game. I got no handouts from other players and spent no money in the game. In BFReborn, there will never be another player as destitute as I was. However, I can imagine that many of you will not have earned enough BFP for a list of “ideal” cards yet, so I’ll provide what advice I can so you can keep playing until you can come back and revise your deck with the more expensive, optimal options. So I heard that nobody plays t4 in PvP. T4 is awesome and I’m going to play it anyway! Power to you! Just please don’t rage when you lose. I’m all for people ignoring my advice and doing whatever the really want to do! I’m not here to force you to do anything, only to offer my advice and experience so you can accelerate your learning process. Not using t4 is probably something you would have figured out at some point (even I figured that one out on my own), because it’s really, really obvious when it comes down to it. T4 requires 300 power, and a waiting period. Do you have any idea how fast I can murder someone with 300 power laying around in t3? Your monument that’s about to get built won’t stand a chance if we’re even, and if you’re winning so much that you can safely go t4, why don’t you just finish the game already? Even worse, that 300 power is not eco-friendly. It’s bound, which means it doesn’t get recycled. If it drops that’s a huge chunk of power gone, although it’s still permanently gone even if it doesn’t drop. Additionally, many maps don’t have enough orbs to allow you to t4 safely. Spending 300 power just invites such a massive counterattack that you have no hope of defending it—even if you bring Amii Ritual. And somehow have the power to play it. In fact, you’ll probably lose merely because you’re holding on to 300 power in your pool. Imagine you are building up power for t4 and I cast 2 soulshatters, or a sandstorm, or I just summon a Grigori and nasty it. If that doesn’t kill you (which it totally will, but maybe I was being dumb), I will still get more power than you. That sudden loss of 300 power will bring back somewhere between 100 and 200 by the time your monument gets up. Even then, I’ll be getting power faster than you because my void will have 300 power more than yours. So if you think you have what it takes to play t4 in PvP, go for it. Just don’t hold me responsible for sending you out into the world uneducated. About now I scrolled down to see when the actual guide starts. Then I realized this thing is borderline superlatively HUGE! What’s up with this? Fear not! An actual guide does exist in here, I’m just trying to get the preliminary questions that I anticipate noobs asking out of the way. This guide is so long because I am trying to be thorough and show you guys how to build a deck. I want to give you tools to do it yourself so you can custom-make your own decks and be original. Please don’t take anything I say as absolute law (although you will probably come around eventually, if you disagree with me). I also include a lot of personal comments and stories, because I’d like you guys to learn from my mistakes. I also feel they illustrate points better. If you don’t have time to read this whole thing, here is what I suggest: Take a look at my section on the metagame and figure out which deck fits your play style. Read my fire-nature section for an in-depth analysis of how to build a deck from scratch, then go to the section you want to actually play. You will learn more about all the decks—and especially get a better idea of what to expect when you play against them—if you read the entire thing, but I understand that is too large of a time commitment for some people. Do you have any biases? Absolutely! Due to only being a P4F player, I only played one deck seriously: Fire-Nature. That said, I did have some other “fun” decks that I messed around in the sparring grounds. I played t1 fire almost exclusively, although I also tried my hand at frost. I never bothered to acquire the necessary t1 for nature or shadow, although I’ve played with lots of players who had. So my comments regarding other factions will be from my perspective as a fire-nature player. I also played 2v2 extensively with several very good shadow-frost players, so all together I have strong personal experience with all of the factions. That said, if any other veterans want to chime in with advice or things I missed in this guide, I’ll happily add them in and credit you. Now, on to the meat of the guide. How does the metagame work? · Pure Fire o Your biggest advantage is fire dancers. You are the most aggressive faction, and your primary goal is to set up fire dancer camps; even better if you can do so from behind a wall or cliff. Your strategy is very simple and one dimensional, but highly effective. Rally banner to fire dancers. Enforcers and skyfire drake to defend the dancers. This faction is the most map-dependent faction. Additionally pure fire has an excellent t3 in juggernaut, which is probably the best t3 unit in the game. You will typically struggle more in t2 than t1 or t3 because of your inability to defend: you have no heals, repairs, or cc’s. You live by the adage that the best defense is a good offense, but that is the extent of your defense. If your attack fails, it is often not recoverable. Pure fire is notably bad at preventing its opponent from converting temporary advantages into permanent ones—although it is quite good at the conversion itself. Fire is often fun to play because of its simplicity and sheer power, but many players feel the “cliffdancing” is lame and avoid pure fire because of it. Pure fire has very good matchups against pure nature and pure shadow, but very poor matchups against pure frost and stonekin. · Fire-Nature o Your biggest advantage is the synergy of fire spells and nature spells. Another quite popular deck, fire-nature is known for its hard hitters. This deck has slightly worse offense than pure fire, but better defense. This deck is the best at “brute force” attacks. With enough power, you can spam heals and cc tank through to the well. A massed fire-nature army is particularly dangerous, although it only occurs rarely because of how much power the units cost. Cc can be used for defense as well as offense, and while most player prefer to use it offensively, you need to be careful about expending too much power in an attack. It is often possible to spend an immense amount of power to guarantee a well drops, but the backlash from the defending army will often overwhelm you completely. This deck is fairly good at preventing temporary advantages from converting to permanent ones through judicious use of cc and mortar camping. This deck is too volatile to try accumulating small advantages—just rush. Defending requires a good deal of proactivity, and the most successful defense is usually to counterattack instead of defending. This deck is probably the best deck to have a lot of power at t2, but it is one of the worst to have lots of power at t3. Since the nerf of sun reaver, fire-nature has easily the worst t3 of any faction. Because of the nature of fire-nature t3, it’s often impossible to prevent an orb from dropping in t3. For this reason, it is highly recommended to play the t3 orb the same color as your starting orb. Often the best outcome of a t3 fight is for both of you to lose your orb—if your t3 and t1 are the same color, you will only drop to t2 when this happens, instead of t0. This deck has perfected the strategy of attacking multiple places at once, but is ironically highly susceptible to the same tactic: with equal power, fire nature can defend any t2 attack in one place, but it often requires just a little more power to defend than the attacker needs to attack. The deficit piles up very quickly when many small attacks are initiated. Fire nature is especially good for you if you like long, creative, perilous t2 battles. There are no t2 matchups that are particularly terrible for fire-nature, but the drawback is that it has no particular advantages over any other faction. Stonekin, and fire-frost will probably give you the most trouble, especially stonekin. · Fire-Shadow o You are aggressive and depend on buffs. You’re particularly good at turning an insignificant threat into a serious one. Cc’s are the bane of your existence, but you also possess the tools to strike in many areas at once, mitigating the effect of cc. You can just as easily spam 4 nightcrawlers to 4 different bases buffed 4 different ways as you can put all your energy into one attack with a rallying banner and darkelf assasins, nightcrawlers, rageclaws, or shadow phoenixes. Matches tend to be one-sided: either you dominate, or you get dominated. T1 control is often critical to play a good bandits deck. Your t3 is one of the best, with nigh unstoppable options such as giant slayers, ashbone pyros, sandstorm, soulhunter, and cultist master. Having lots of power in t3 benefits you more than almost any faction. Most players consider bandits to be the weakest faction, but you ignore the opinions of the unenlightened because they don’t understand the meaning of “style.” · Fire-Frost o You are the deck of contradictions. You have the high attack of fire combined with the defense of frost. You abuse ice shields even more than pure frost, because your normally squishy fire units can do absurd damage when they’re not worried about dying. You are the deck of building shenanigans—if anyone is going to pull some mischief with termite hill, it will be you, with your building repairs, cc, and warden sigil. There are quite a lot of interesting building combos at your disposal, but most are just too impractical. Nonetheless, you consider yourself to be the most creative faction, testing ideas that everyone else has written off. You need to be attentive and demonstrate excellent micro to play this deck. Additionally, your t3 is not the strongest because you must pick between giant slayers and tremors. Fire-frost has no particularly good or weak matchups, and is a good deck for preventing random losses. It is probably the most difficult deck to master, as well as being extremely expensive—mountaineer is fairly essential for fire-frost. @Hirrooo disagrees with me here; he states that fire-frost can get almost as much mileage out of rageclaws and that fire-frost is quite viable on a budget. He’s better than me, so you should believe himJ. @YaBro0 mentions that this deck can be played very creatively, or not at all (mountaineer and stormsinger spam). · Pure Shadow o Oh, the combos! You love being needlessly complicated. You have an interesting dichotomy—on one hand you have sheer shadow mage aggression; on the other, you have the tactic of building up power for a harvester. You can choose to take the initiative with cheap units, or you can play passively, conserving power for a harvester. This deck is very good at punishing mistakes, and if you like slowly accruing a power advantage, the harvester allows an easily convertible reward for having all that power. This is the ultimate risk/reward deck, and has many options for combos based on corpse collecting. Your t3 is phenomenal, especially if you go frost t3. Pure shadow is very strong against non-frost splashes, but struggles against frost splashes and pure fire. · Shadow-Frost o You want to win at any cost. Let them call you a lamer! At the end of the day you’ll have the higher ELO. This deck is notorious for its laming ability, but it’s a strong deck even when played like a gentleman. Frost and shadow combo well together, with the high health of frost boosting sacrificial damage from shadow. You have all the bases covered with cc and building repairs. Lost souls has the largest variety of viable t2 units—there are so many good options, it’s hard to choose! You have one of the best t3, and it’s definitely possible to get away with a light t2 to carry a large t3 army. This is the deck that can spare slots for curse well or church of negation. This deck is the best for camping t3, but you can just as viably go aggressive t2 instead of saving those spots for the long t3. Lost souls has the best average matchups of any deck. It has a slight edge against many decks, and a large edge over a few. Stonekin or pure nature is probably its hardest matchup, but this deck has so many strong options that you can easily change it to accommodate if you have trouble against a particular deck. Pure fire is also pretty good against shadow-frost (one of the reasons many top players played pure fire). · Shadow-Nature o This deck is all about those M units. Burrower and nightcrawler are your right and left hands. You are the evil twin to fire-nature, lagging slightly in defense but making up for it in offense. You must rely on a multitude of units because you have no strong solo unit. You excel at keeping your units alive during an attack because of your buffs, heals, and cc. You are great at getting a unit advantage and then keeping it. This is one of the most balanced decks. Stonekin is your worst nightmare because your 2 main attack units (nightcrawler and burrower) get countered by stoneshards and knockback, while hurricane takes out your darkelf assassins. Pure fire will also give you a lot of trouble because you lean heavily on burrowers and nightcrawlers, which are both M units that die to enforcers. You also don’t have building defense. @Hirrooo considers shadow-nature to be the strongest against frost because ghostspears and nightguard are difficult for the frost player to deal with. · Pure Frost o Your biggest advantage is war eagle. Arguably the best t2 unit in the game, your entire strategy hinges on it. This deck epitomizes the “one-hit wonder.” Your goal is to keep your war eagles alive and support it while it kills everything else. The deck is very defensive, but doesn’t launch quick attacks very well. While the war eagle can solo, especially against t1, it moves slowly. You can defend one attack very well because war eagle kills everything and your building repairs take care of the rest, but multiple attacks are hard to fend off because of the cost of war eagle. Often the pure frost battles are determined by who controls the sky. As such you have very good matchups against pure fire and very poor ones against pure nature. Overall it’s a fairly balanced deck with no outstanding weaknesses. · Frost-Nature o This deck is all about standing army control. Attacks are slow, but you definitely have the option to do some t2 rushing with burrowers. They probably won’t succeed because you don’t have offensive spells to assist, but you definitely have the means to add pressure. In general though, you will win by passively accumulating a standing army and then strangling your opponent to death. You have both heals and building repairs, your units take less damage, and many of your units are knockback based. These factors combine to make you the ultimate survivor. Add in the fact that you have OP S/M beast counters and razorshards, and it’s easy to see why nobody likes to play against this deck. Many feel that it takes the fun out of Battleforge because of how long stonekin matches take. Andre Philidor revolutionized chess to show that slow, positional play beats fast-paced tactical aggression, and stonekin player seek to do the same in Battleforge. As far as I’m aware, this deck has no bad matchups (although it does have some unfavorable ones that depend on individual decks—for instance, some players pack mauler explicitly for stonekin matchups), and it does have some very good ones against pure fire, pure shadow, and bandits. Pure nature is probably stonekin’s hardest matchup. · Pure Nature o This deck is all about power manipulation. You have energy parasites and shrine of memory. Deep ones are also quite powerful, but the truth is that you just use them as a distraction to set up your power manipulation. You have Deep Ones and Burrowers to go strong on the offensive, but with no attack spells you are unlikely to make a successful offensive without a power advantage. Your parasite swarms are also a tad overpowered, but they’re difficult to use because they cost a lot (this is a theme with pure nature). Pure nature is unique in that it can be played in two completely different ways—it’s almost as if root decks are a separate faction. Root decks rely on cards comboing with a root nexus to build a large standing army and maintain it. This style of playing is most similar to stonekin. Pure nature has a particularly easy time against pure frost because of energy parasite, but a very hard time against pure fire because of its lack of building repairs or unit damaging options. What do I need for t1? The t1 metagame is pretty advanced, but it’s very balanced. Note that it’s only balanced when the optimal cards are employed. If you need a cheap deck, shadow and frost have the cheapest t1. (For those interested, shadow used to be crazy expensive because dreadcharger was very pricy. Then witchclaws were introduced as a common and now shadow t1 can theoretically be played with only commons). For every t1, you need a SWIFT unit to get as much map control as possible. Note that frost has no swift units in t1—it compensates for this with just being generally OP J. You also need a RANGED unit. Kiting is important, and ranged units spam easier than melee units because melee units sometimes get in each other’s way. Ranged units can also be spread out to minimize the danger of an eruption or nasty surprise. Additionally, you must use each faction’s core spell. That would be surge of light, eruption, glacier shell, and nasty surprise. These are the most important four cards in the game. The entire metagame is based off of them. Furthermore, you must have S and M counters, and units which are not countered by S or M counters. Fire t1: Your essential cards are: Eruption, Scavenger, and Sun Strider. For fun, I’ve played matches only carrying those 3 cards. It’s really not optimal, however, and it forces t2 rushing (which is a terrible habit). With one notable exception, all the pros I am aware of play an extended t1. They try to build a t1 power advantage, and it’s simply not possible to do so with only these cards. Nonetheless, if you play defensively and concede to a map-control disadvantage, you can play with only this. Note that sometimes you will lose to a t1 rush that you just can’t handle. I’m looking at you, MA spam with homesoil and wintertide. The next most important card is Thugs. It’s really hard to fight shadow forsaken spam without thugs. Following these, the usefulness of t1 cards are as follows: Firesworn = Mortar > Sunderer > Mine > Scorched Earth > Wrecker > Nomad. Please don’t use nomads. See below for why. As a general rule of thumb, take the cards in this order. Decide which cards you want in t2 and figure out how much space you need. Allot your t1 cards according to your empty deck slots. For instance, in my most successful deck, I had five spots for t1. I brought eruption, scavenger, sun strider, thugs, and mortar. I think mortar is more essential than firesworn, but I think most players disagree with me. Regardless, I played without firesworn for most of my matches, and I never used sunderer except in some 2v2s and 1v1s when I messed around with pure fire. Commentary on the pros and cons of each card: Eruption: This card. It does 300 damage (U3—assume everything I say is U3) to 3 targets, including air. This card is a primary anti-air defense, as well as generator nuke. If a nature player has an expensive unit <300 health, instantly erupt it. If a frost player has a well <300 health, instantly erupt it. If there are multiple units clumped together, erupt them and finish off with sunstriders. Scavenger: This is a great swift card. It’s cheap, a great S counter, and has crippling bite. Scavengers work great with sunstriders because between the two, you have both S and M counters, and you can slow enemies with the scav and kite with sunstriders. Sunstriders: Not a particularly great t1 ranged unit, but ranged units are essential, and the sunstriders have to be weak because scavenger pairs so well with ranged attack. Despite their low health, they have great attack. If you face a Fire Drake with ravage, make two sunstriders and erupt the drake as soon as it’s HP <300. Other factions have a much harder time defending Fire Drakes in t1. Thugs are a terrific card. They are S/S, so forsaken don’t eat them—this tends to be a problem with scavengers: although scavenger are M/S and forsaken are S/M, the forsaken are cheaper, have longer range, and can frenzy or motivate. Spamming scavengers and spamming forsaken will lead to an easy shadow win. If you don’t have thugs, forsaken spams are very hard to deal with. They also help vs windweavers, but the real reason you need them in your deck is to combat forsaken. Thugs also have a looter ability, which gives you power for attacking units (proportional to the unit’s power, I believe). I don’t really know how it works, but sometimes I send thugs out against grigoris or juggernauts just in case. Firesworn have multiple uses. They knock back small units, which really helps against frost Master Archer and windweaver spam. Unfortunately they cost a lot and have low health, so I generally don’t recommend their use for knockback. They die very quickly to frostbite, and a roots with well-placed windweavers can kill Firesworn without them getting a shot off. If you use them versus forsaken, you need to be able to make one for every forsaken, which is quite difficult. It has more use if you can make it so your firesworn is not dazed while the forsaken are, which makes them good for defending forsaken spams at wells as long as the forsaken have not been pre-summoned. Of course, if you see your opponent making 3-4 forsaken at once, that’s a good cue to make a mortar tower. Generally the red affinity is better. Some prefer the blue (especially fire-nature, to knock back a large unit and root it), but most like red better. Mortar Tower has saved me so many times. It works well in my deck, because I play a defensive t1 with the goal of saving card spots. It’s also useful for punishing laziness. Some maps have areas with wells that really shouldn’t be taken because of mortar tower pressure, but if your opponent takes them anyway, punish. The #1 reason I play this card is to stop frost rushes. I also like welling up more than my opponent, and when he builds a bunch of units to rush me, I build a mortar. The relatively quick build time on this card also helps saves. I even use it in t3 (!) to defend against things like juggernauts. I have a few more secrets with my precious mortar, but I won’t share them because as far as I know, I’m the only one who does this. Sunderer: The only t1 L unit, this card really helps against shadow. Against nature’s amazons or roots + windweaver it’s pretty pointless, and the combination of lightblade and glacier shell makes it practically useless against frost. Fire can generally deal with sunderers easily through eruptions and scavenger bites with kiting sunstriders, or a simple firesworn. It’s still more useful against fire than frost or nature, however. Shadow struggles the most with Sunderers because of its lack of t1 L counters. Simply put, nightguard does very little damage, and the shadow player has usually lost the well by the time nightguard’s swapping ability is ready. For this reason, many shadow players don’t even carry nightguard. For shadow to defend a sunderer, it must usually nasty a dreadcharger while the sunderer is dazed. Alternatively, you can walk the dreadcharger into the sunderer to slow it and kite with frenzied forsaken. In general, the shadow response to a sunderer is to let it get the well down, kill it, and then launch a responding offensive with all the defending units. Mine: Honestly, I think this has more use in t2. The mine does such a ridiculous amount of damage that it basically one-shots anything in t1. The downside is that the opponent must walk into it, and it has a smallish blast range. It’s basically a shot from a mortar tower except you don’t need to wait for the tower to build. It combos nicely with fire-nature’s hurricane or ensnaring roots, and it can be a semi-useful cc (crowd control) for pure fire or bandits. Scorched Earth: It has its uses. I saw it used quite effectively in a match between SchokoPeace and xAragornx linked here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XcFRUgSda7A. Nonetheless, it is a nicety and is useful only situationally. Pure fire is pretty much the only deck that can spend a slot on this card. If you use this, make sure to use the red affinity. Wreckers: I have a deep love for wreckers. They were my go-to unit as a noob. They’re great cards. But they’re not that useful. Not with fire. The thing is just that melee non-swift units are very vulnerable, and wreckers have it even worse because of their low health. They can be quite useful vs frost mages and dryads, but roots or ice guardians usually beats them. Their rally skill is useful, especially for surprise sunderers, but they’re hardly worth the deck slot. I used to carry them instead of thugs to deal with frost rushes, but I learned to just get better at using mortar and scavenger micro. Nomads: The green ones are better, and these cards are notorious for noob-stomping. I remember when I was new, all I wanted was a nomad (or frost mage) because they are great against small units. Right? Wrong. Nomads are M/M units, same as wreckers, and have the same utility. Except worse. Nomads reward spamming the same unit, but spamming is punished harder than Nomads reward it. Eruption takes out a group of Nomads because they are grouped. 6 sunstriders can be made with the same power as 4 nomads (which is pretty much the minimum number needed to rush), and the nomads will drop to 2 sunstriders. Additionally, you can erupt every spawned nomad because they cost the same as an eruption, and the eruption will also hurt the nearby units. If I see someone make a bunch of nomads, I just take a well with the knowledge that my defense will be very easy. Nature can simply root all the nomads and shoot them with windweavers. Shadow can nasty surprise, or just spam forsaken back (forsaken win). Frost probably has the hardest time, but ice guardians are good against them, as well as lightblade and frostbite. Remember that as soon as the number of nomads drops below three, they lose their buff. The switch from nomads to scavenger is the best decision you can make in a fire deck. Two days after I did that, I jumped several rankings (something like 10). Nomads are just not very good as swift units. They cost too much, and they are M/M so they are useless with sunstriders (If fire had Master Archers instead of sunstriders, nomads would be much more useful. But that’s not the case). Makeshift Tower: This can be useful for noobs against noobs, but it’s not useful otherwise. It helps against windweaver or master archer spam, but the tower really isn’t worth the deck slot. Although the tower does great knockback, it does very little damage. Basically thugs and scavengers are better at doing damage to small units than makeshift tower is at knocking them back. If you need the knockback super badly, there is always firesworn, which has utility elsewhere as well. Banner of Glory: I never see this played, but it does have its uses. I once won a bunch of tome matches with this card, but that’s because neither player had the optimal t1. It’s about as useful as makeshift tower. Strikers: Nope. They have the same issue as nomads, but they’re even worse. I have nothing more to say except a warning not to bring them. Suppression, Blaster Cannon, and Other Nonsense: Completely useless. There are no other fire t1 cards even worth considering. Additional thoughts: The order I listed above is actually pretty strict, comparatively. Fire cards don’t have a ton of redundancy or options. Pretty much each card is better than all the cards listed after it. However, there are cases when it is better to bring one card over another. For instance, fire-nature players may take mine instead of firesworn, sunderer, or mortar tower because the card combos really well with roots in t2. You’re more likely to see mortar tower in a fire-nature deck than a fire-shadow deck for the same reason. In theory, you could take all of these cards with you (except nomad, please) and have basically no t2 or t3. I have seen good players take that route—they straight up rush t1 every time. Of course, if your t1 rush fails you don’t stand a chance, so I don’t think these players ever made it into the top 20 this way. Despite my animosity towards nomads, if you ABSOLUTELY cannot afford a scavenger, there are ways to make it work. See one of my noob decks below for an example, but you need thugs 100% (and probably makeshift tower) if you don’t take scavenger. And your best bet is to avoid t1 confrontation as much as possible. @SunWu II commented that he’d rather leave out eruption than sunderer or firesworn. If he has a full t1 I can see where he is coming from. Eruption is sort of the jack-of-all trades; it does a lot of things pretty well (like helping against L counters, knocking back small units, or helping drop a well). If you can do all the other things without eruption, then perhaps I wouldn’t list it as completely essential. But if you’re trying to skimp on t1 slots, eruption is the most versatile for replacing the other options (mortar as well). Eruption also punishes beginner mistakes. It’s not that essential when playing high-ranked players because they rarely allow great eruptions, but it can end games very quickly against noobs. Like my target audience. @Dexirian commented that he played without thugs all the time. I suspect he used firesworn and sunderer though, and would respond to forsaken with a sunderer rush to drop a well. @Hirooo, in response to Dexirian, said, “Thugs give a huge edge vs fire and are even stronger against shadow since both were pretty much 1 swift s counter + s unit m counter spam. Also made welldefense way easier and enabled you to take one well up earlier than without. Not a must have no but I would strongly advise using them at least in every firesplash that isnt fire/nature since that one stretches the cardlimit a bit harder.” All of these are respectable players (otherwise I wouldn’t be quoting them), but Hirooo is especially high ranked. Take what you will from the discussion. Shadow t1: I can’t speak for lower level play, but this faction is the most-played t1 in the upper ranks. FarRock once claimed that 60% of top players played it—I’m pretty sure he just made that number up, but it seems about right. This might also be due to the prominence of shad-frost players, which I’d estimate to make up about 2/5 to 3/5 of the top 200 players (like FarRock, I’m making this up). Shadow t1 rewards good micro, while at the same time it’s a relatively easy faction to play well, even if your micro isn’t that good. You can play with a variety of t1 luxuries, most notably: lifeweaving > motivate > phase tower. @YaBro0 notes that lifeweaving is essential for bandits or pure shadow, while motivate is essential for shadow nature. Your essential cards are Dreadcharger/Witchclaws, Forsaken, Nasty Surprise, and Nox Trooper. I suppose in theory you could get by without nox trooper, but I really don’t recommend it. Lifeweaving and Motivate are also a staple in most decks, but you can manage without them. In general, the only other unit you should consider t1 is Nightguard. Dreadcharger: The most common t1 starting card. It has a smidgen less health than witchclaws, but it has a better ability, tramples small units, and cost 5 less power. Witchclaws: Playable as your 1st unit, but the general consensus is that dreadcharger is better. The reason to take witchclaws over dreadcharger is that it has more health for a better nasty (witchclaws can kill a skyfire drake, but dreadcharger can’t), but it’s not that much of a difference. Witchclaws are much cheaper by rarity, and TBPeti feels they are an acceptable substitute if you can’t afford dreadchargers. @Hiroo feels witchclaws are a “really bad idea” if you can afford the dreadcharger. Windweavers can do double damage to them, their attack halves when one dies (squad probs), they have a longer spawn animation and they cost 5 more power. In return, they get a mere 30 hp bonus and a terrible ability. @YaBro0 said that witchclaws are better in shadow mirrors because when they nasty, they exactly kill a full health squad of forsaken. Nightguard: Although I’ve seen some people play this as their starter unit, I don’t recommend it. They are very weak, and you’ll almost definitely lose a t1 fight without witchclaws or dreadcharger. And if you have those, why would you start with nightguard? Nightguard does have use against L units though. The swap is very nice, but not so useful in t1 because sunderer is the only card worth swapping, and the nightguard’s ability has a large cooldown. Your well will probably be gone if you’re waiting to swap. This card is much more useful in t2 against cards like Deep One, Lost Reaver, War eagle, etc. The choice of affinities is personal preference—swift helps you catch the unit you want to swap with, but it also helps your swapped nightguard get away. I’d recommend the green affinity, but TBPeti preferred the blue in his shadow-nature deck—he would cc the unit he wanted to swap with, and then catch the normal speed nightguard. Forsaken: These guys are amazing, and a necessary addition to every shadow deck. Their frenzy does great damage, and forsaken spams are reliable ways of dropping wells against fire. They have a harder time against frost and nature because of S knockback, but if you drop a well in t1 it will be by spamming these guys or nox troopers. Nox Trooper: I would consider these to be essential for t1. When playing against nature, you will probably need to spam these. (@TBPeti feels spamming isn’t the best idea because S units have better stats, but they’re still needed in judicious quantities.) Nox helps against hit-and-run tactics. They are essential to stay t1 against things like burrower rush. You’ll also need them to take out frost mages so your forsaken can do work. Nasty Surprise: An absolute must. Many of the shadow threats hinge upon a well-placed nasty. Although it is definitely the least used core spell (eruption, surge of light, glacier shell, and nasty), it is completely necessary for t1. Lifeweaving: I thought this card was essential for shadow, but @Hirooo reminded me that its usefulness actually increases as tiers increase. It’s often not used much in t1, but becomes more prominent in t2. As such, if you don’t plan to use it much in t2, it’s often a wasted deck slot for t1. It’s almost always bad to use lifeweaving in t1. The only exceptions I can think of are when a well is about to drop or you need to maintain ground presence. Motivate: This, nightguard, lifeweaving, and phase towers are the four cards that change between shadow players. Almost everyone uses dreadcharger, forsaken, nasty, and nox; these 4 cards switch around, and it’s very rare to see anything else. Most players value motivate more than phase tower, and phase tower more than nightguard. Lifeweaving is different; you’ll do best to treat it like a t2 card when deciding whether to bring it. Phase Tower: This leads to very campy t1 fights, and there are some places where it gets quite lame (certain cliffing maps, for instance). It’s especially strong against nature and frost. Fire tends to do better against it because of eruption. If you struggle against frost or nature t1, this is a good addition to your deck. Skeleton Warriors: I, like most people, thought these guys were trash, but Matos once used them against me when he was ranked #2. They’re basically forsaken, except worse because they don’t have range. On the plus side, they’re super hard to kill with their ability and have great health for nasty surprise, so they can be good at getting wells down, especially against fire. @TBPeti and @RadicalX feel these are the most underrated t1 cards. They can tank 1650 damage over 30 seconds with their ability—TBPeti attributed making it into the top 5 to his use of them. With their ability, they even beat wrathblades. TBPeti suggests using them instead of phase tower. Wrathblades: These can be an answer to fire’s thugs, and can help you in shadow matchups. However, S units are notoriously weak against frost and nature. I don’t recommend them. However, there was player in the top 20 who used them once upon a time, so they’re not useless. Executor: This is shadow’s equivalent of a wrecker, except it doesn’t even have the rally. Don’t bother with him. If you know you’re going to play someone with a frost t1, they add some nice aggressive options (credit @Hirooo) but they are useless otherwise. Decomposer: This can have some use, but not in any sort of classical t1 fight. Don’t bother with it. Embalmer’s Shrine: This has more uses than the decomposer. It works well with some pure shadow techniques, but doesn’t combo well with anything t1 except soul splicer. Rumor has it there’s an interesting combo with this card, soul splicer, and furnace of flesh, but I wouldn’t trust everything you hear. . . . Soul Splicer: The green is much better. It heals quite a bit, and can make a good offensive post to attack from. It’s rare that your opponent lets you get one of these up away from a well though. A more common technique is to pull it up near your well when you and your opponent have wells in close proximity. Then you can attack and constantly pull back for the building’s healing. It’s still an unusual card, although most pure shadow players use it (OP with shadow mages). Snapjaws: I’ve seen good players take these. They’re interesting, and much more useful in higher tiers. The problem is that they’re expensive, and do little to nothing in t1. @Hirooo said they have some use in defending sunderer in high power t1 fights. @TBPeti feels the damage-decreasing ones can have some use against L/XL units, but the defense-decreasing ones are just a worse frostbite. Neither affinity is worth the power or deck slot, however. Offering: It’s rare to lose all of your charges in PvP. This card is not worth wasting a slot on for the rare occurrence. If you have low upgrades, however, this might be useful. Still, it seems like a lot of power to get your charges back. Lifestealer: Don’t bother. If you want a building, take phase tower. Shadow is one of the most common t1s for a reason: it’s good. It’s also easy to play, and doesn’t require a ton of cards. Taking less than 5 cards for t1 is possible with every faction (except frost), but you will really have to avoid t1 encounters away from wells. Shadow can go light and still be fully competitive without phase tower or lifeweaving (motivate is pretty essential if you want to go toe-to-toe with fire or nature, however). The three optional cards are luxuries that give you more options, but good micro can get you through without them. Nature t1: Arguably, this is the “best” t1, although it requires insane micro and a lot of cards. It’s the most efficient faction at high power levels, but it becomes quite difficult to play when you’re desperate for power. I’d generally recommend starting t1 fire or shadow if you’re using those splashes, because you’ll probably save deck space that way. Alternatively, you can join the minimalist movement pioneered by xAragornx. Nature has a lot more options than other decks: there is no unit that you can’t play without. I won’t go into too much detail but rather list the pros and cons of each card. You’ll need a swift unit, a ranged unit, and a medium unit that can stand against hurricane or frost mages. If you really wanted to, you can accomplish that with just 2 units: treespirit and amazon. Your spells are not optional. You must have surge of light and ensnaring roots. I’ve heard of decks that neglected hurricane, but that’s like neglecting thugs for fire. Theoretically possible, but you should really keep it in. Since I can’t really list nature cards by order of usefulness like I can fire, I’ll just give an overview of each card and let you decide what you need. Dyrad: The blue affinity is much better than the green. The primary use of this card is doing damage prevention against eruptions. If this card is not in your deck, you cannot get in an aggressive t1 fight with fire, except in certain specific situations. The dryad is nice because it also puts units to sleep, but my suggestion is not even to bother with the green affinity if you don’t have the blue. Some players have commented that they bring both affinities for fun, because the green has certain highly situational uses in t2. Shaman: Very useful, but not as much as the dryad. I’ve seen good players that prefer not to take him, but he’s a mainstay in an extended t1 fight. If he’s not dazed, he can be very annoying to deal with. Amazon: A swift unit. Blue affinity is better. She is better than a swiftclaw alone, but if you have a large army, the swiftclaw is more useful. She’s a great counter to sunderer, and as a fire player, I like to see swiftclaws more than amazons. Actually, the t1 swift unit that strikes the most fear into my heart is werebeast. Amazons are annoying to deal with as fire because you can’t spam sun striders against her, otherwise your scavenger will kill them. I think the other factions have an easier time with amazon than swiftclaw, however. Swiftclaw: Another swift unit. This one does insane damage (almost 1500), especially against M. The animation to deal extra damage takes a bit of time. 1 scavenger and 1 sun strider typically beat 1 swiftclaw and 1 windweaver because the fire player can also erupt, ending it all. Same with nasty surprise and shadow. Swiftclaws are also fairly susceptible to kiting because of the time it takes to animate. @RadicalX pointed out that swiftclaws are fairly essential to combat nature doubles or frost mage spam. @YaBro0 said that swiftclaw should be the main damage dealer in a nature deck. Werebeast: These cards are often perceived as underpowered, although they can be quite useful in the hands of a good player. They require good micro to use, so that’s probably not you. Maybe in the futureJ. Don’t use them unless they are U3. Their heal ability becomes quite handy then, and you can annoy your opponent with all sorts of hit-and-run tactics. If you use this card, you need to be taking a very large t1. @YaBro0 said that if you have a deck slot for werebeasts, you should probably use spearmen instead. Windweavers: Probably the most important t1 unit for nature, although xAragornx has shown that you can get by on treespirits instead. Their multishot is very powerful, and they combo well with roots. You will probably spam them, especially against shadow. Mana Wing: In short, it’s super cool but not worth it. Spearmen: This is a very nice luxury, but not necessary. They are particularly good against shadow, and it’s not uncommon to start with them (instead of a swift) against shadow on a small map. Recommended if you’re having trouble against shadow. @RadicalX also lists them as quasi-essential against nature. Treespirits: Most people argue that these guys are overpowered. I do too. Spamming them works, which is just wrong. The green ones do especially high damage, but the purple ones are quite good to stay t1 and defend against frost. @RadicalX noted that the purple are also good against Nature dittos because it ignores the dryad damage reduction. You can also kill an Avatar of Frost with one purple treespirit and a root. Purple treespirit also goes through glacier shell. xAragornx plays this card and Amazon as the only two units in his t1. If you play a large t1, this card is probably not necessary. Envenom: I don’t see it much, but I hear that some of the great pure nature players used this to use this to help stay t1 vs t2. There is probably not room in your deck for it, otherwise a good option. I sometimes used it in my fire-nature deck as a counter to L units and especially war eagle or skyfire drake. Fountain of Rebirth is not actually as good as it seems. The reason is because you rarely have large standing armies that would benefit from a slow mass heal, and it’s pretty slow. Your opponent will not give you much opportunity to benefit from this. Mark of the Keeper: I hate this card. It’s not common, but it really helps in defending against factions that use a lot of spells (like fire-nature). I suspect it also shuts down pure frost, because pure frost doesn’t really have good melee units. But this is more of a t2 defense card, and it’s a luxury with a high price. It works really well against noobs, but if you want to get better you’re better off just learning how to defend properly. Mumbo Jumbo seems useful in theory, but it’s not so good. Very rarely do enemies only spawn one unit for a t1 encounter. It’s also 40 power, which is a lot. That said, I have seen it used on occasion. I don’t think I’ve ever lost to someone who employed it against me, though. Primal Defender is actually not bad. It’s a hard counter to phase tower. I don’t think it has much besides that, but phase towers can be very annoying for nature to deal with. If you can’t handle them (especially difficult on Wazhai), put this card in your deck. I don’t play nature much, but my opinion is that you want to avoid needing hard counters to certain cards. But ultimately do what helps you win, and if this card prevents you from being rushed, go for it. Stranglehold: Nah, you probably shouldn’t use this. It can help defend in t2, but if you’re permanently on the defensive, you’re going to have problems. Tunnel: Tunnel is the only nature card I’ve never seen used at some point in PvP (and I have seen it, but only from complete noobs—don’t be like them!). While they are probably the least useful nature t1 card, @RadicalX pointed out that some players like Kyllbuster did use them in t2 to whisk his units away from dying or avoiding coldsnaps. In summary, nature has great spells in t1. If you want to follow in xAragornx’s minimalist footsteps, you can get away with just Amazon, Treespirit, and spells. If you don’t want to avoid t1 conflict, go for a medium-sized t1 (I would recommend this). If you absolutely want to rush t1, I think Nature is the best option because it has so many good cards with many options. The problem is that all those cards are often useful only in certain situations, and the slots are often better used for t2. You can watch any of beijinguy’s replays for full-on nature t1 assault (I don’t even know if he played t2 in some decks). Against frost t1, hurricane is going to be very important against MA. Roots and windweavers can do a good job against ice guardians or frost mages, and treespirits are good as well. Against fire, micro is important, as well as judicious use of roots and hurricane. As long as you keep scavengers or thugs at a distance, you should be fine. Mortar tower makes this matchup much harder for you. Shadow fights often boil down to you spamming windweavers and him spamming nox troopers. Spearmen can help tip the tide in your favor. Frost t1: You have no swift units. Waa, waa. To make up for this, your units generally have the best stats/power cost ratio of any faction. Frost spams are nothing to laugh at because of the sheer power—even if they do arrive late to the fight. Frost is not an especially popular t1 choice, however, because most players dislike the lack of a swift unit. You need to play frost differently than fire and shadow, and most players that are accustomed to the more popular t1’s don’t want to put in the effort to learn frost. As far as I know, MaranV is the best frost t1 player. Because of frost’s great stats, it should win against any faction in an even power situation where both players have a well. For instance, a common frost tactic on Haladur is to try to take a well right next to their opponent’s (if fire or shadow) and then spam units. Frost also has a problem with harassment. Scavengers in particular can hit and run faster than frost can defend. This is defendable, but you really need to be on your toes. You’ll need to use a combination of lightblade and frostbite to make sure the swift units don’t get away, and it requires precise power balancing that you don’t spend too much power in one defense, just for the swift unit to run away to attack somewhere else. To play frost, you must take Master Archers, Ice Guardians, and Lightblade. In theory lightblade is optional, but frost’s lack of swift unit hampers some options and lightblade is really necessary to prevent lameness from your opponent. Ice barrier is an incredibly useful card especially with Homesoil. Glacier Shell is your core spell, but homesoil is probably more useful in practice. Usually it’s the threat of glacier shell that you need, so you would theoretically be fine as long people only assumed you have it. Frost mage is an incredibly useful card, as the second-best S counter in t1. Unfortunately, Master Archers are the best S counters in t1, so frost mages are slightly redundant. Imperials, Frost Sorceress, and Ice Shield Tower are your most-likely-to-use nonessential cards. Master Archers: Stat for power, I’ve heard it claimed that these guys are the best t1 units. That doesn’t mean everything, but MA are certainly good. They have 600 health and they’re a squad, so you can’t be erupted when they’re dazed (each unit survives with about 1 health, runs away, and gets the health back after daze). They’re incredible S/S, combining the best qualities of a spammer—high health, ranged attack, and low cost. Their attack is a bit low, but they still pack a punch when paired with homesoil. Being S units has its pros and cons. They are knocked back quite a bit, but they also do very well against the other spammed units (windweavers, sunstriders, thugs, and forsaken). Most player will start the match with master archers because they are cheap and don’t lose effectiveness over time like ice guardians do. Ice Guardians: These are your melee units. Their attack isn’t so good, but they still do well against M units. With their ice shields, they have over 1000 health—for only 50 power. This health isn’t overpowered (although it certainly is good) because ice guardians are rarely attacked. Typically they are used to defend, when the enemy is trying to drop a well. They do have some use in an offensive, although transporting them without losing their ice shield is a pain. Although they only cost 50 power and have even better stats than the master archers because of the shield, they are a poor choice to start a match with because they will lose their shield by the time they arrive anywhere. Lightblade: One of the best t1 units. He is essential to dealing with sunderer, but he’s so overpowered that he’s still a very viable t2 L counter. His ability is also necessary for making sure units don’t get away and combos well with frostbite. There are just so many terrible things lightblade can do. Both affinities are good, and it depends on your use for which one is better in your deck. The red one is better when you are using the lightblade to kill t1swift units. The purple is better when you are using it as a cc on L or XL units in t2 or t3. MaranV often starts with a lightblade because it has good stats and wins any 1v1 fight. Frost Mage: This is the frost equivalent to thugs. Very useful, but you can get by without it. Frost mages are amazing against unspreaded archers, or things like thugs or skeleton warriors. They are very strong against fire because they take away fire’s M counter. They are good against frost dittos to take out MA, and they are strong against nature because nature’s hurricane takes out MA. They are not necessary against any of these, however, because Master Archers are better—they just don’t have the knockback. MaranV didn’t use them in his deck because the FM’s redundancy as an S counter. Glacier Shell: Similarly to nasty surprise, this card isn’t spammed. It’s more the threat that you can defend a well that manipulates your opponent’s playstyle around it. Still, I’d say it’s fairly essential since the main reason you are playing frost is for your ability to defend your structures, and having this in addition to kobold trick (the spammed spell) increases your defensive options. That said, it is probably the core spell which you can most get away with not using, as it has a better version in t2. You have to know exactly what you’re doing to get away with not using this card, however, so I’m going to consider it essential for you. Frostbite: This card is pretty essential to play frost t1. A lot of players use it for t2 as well, because it makes it much easier to kill strong enemies (especially fliers). The purple is much better than the red. This card and lightblade are all that stand between your wells and a scavenger guerrilla attack. Ice Barrier: For 20 power you get ground presence. If it sounds underpowered, that’s only because you haven’t played enough yet. This card is great for preventing walls from going up, for gaining and maintaining map control (difficult with slow frost units), for giving structure bonuses (homesoil, lyrish knight, ice guardians), and for absorbing splash damage. An essential card, not because it defends against anything in particular but because it is so useful—to skip this card would be like skipping eruption. Homesoil is pretty necessary for frost because frost does such little base damage. Pairing it with splashes such as lost souls (or, heaven forbid, fire dancers in 2v2) greatly increases its effectiveness. You would be remiss in skipping this card—while it is an “optional” card, it’s so much more useful than any other optional card that it may as well be mandatory. Imperials help in certain matchups, but they are not the most useful in t1. S/M units w/o range just don’t have a ton of use because most of the t1 M units are swift. Nonetheless they do have great stats and can be quite useful in a rush because they take so little damage. They also perform well in a scenario where you stay t1 against t2, because of the prominence of M/M t2 units. This is not an uncommon frost t1 card, but not a particularly common one either. Northguards are literally the most useless t1 units in the game. Not because they are especially bad—because their stats are okay—but because they are so redundant it hurts. Frost already has the best S/S and M/S t1 in the game. Why on earth would you need a mediocre melee S/S? Frost Sorceress: This unit is more useful in t2, and is a staple for fire-frost decks. It can still be good in t1, especially with frost mage or lightblade, but the real reason to use her is to get those ice shields onto hard hitters. Ice Shield Tower: This card is better than the frost sorceress for giving out shields, but the problem is that you need to get a tower up. I see this in fire-frost or pure frost decks occasionally, but you will probably not use it for t1, but rather t2. Only use this if you derive sick pleasure from lame camping J. Warden’s Sigil: Another t1 card that is really more useful in t2. You’ll want to use the blue affinity so you can shield buildings under construction. This pairs well with ice shield tower or termite hill in fire-frost decks, and is useful for protecting power wells should the need arise. Again, it’s really only a specialty card. Wintertide is one of the lamest cards. It allows you to get away with MA spams much easier, since they take less damage and can’t be knocked back. It’s really only useful if you’re trying to rush, and that only works against some decks on some maps, so it’s a fairly situational card. Most good players dislike risking a wasted deck slot to get a potentially cheap win, so it isn’t the most common card. Both affinities are good, but the red one works well with lightblade for killing L or XL units quickly (it also insta-kills dreadchargers). All in all though, I think this card just builds bad habits that won’t work on good players that are expecting the rush. Glyph of Frost: I’ve seen some good players take this, but not very many. It’s hard to use against a very good opponent, because perfect micro can trigger the glyph and get out without any units being frozen. I would not recommend spending a deck slot on it, but @Morathyls mentioned that he considered it a core frost card to deal with scavenger spams. @YaBro0 mentioned that Freemka and DragonDave used glyph of frost often because it can catch an unsuspecting opponent off-guard. You can use something like a lightblade to activate it as well (and this combo is even useful against t3 XL units). It can also be used as a way to prevent your opponent from retreating, if you lay the glyph behind them. Glaciation: Pretty much useless. If your opponent makes a mistake and you get a wall up, 1) Do you really want to win like that? 2) Do you really want to make it even more impossible for him to recover? Construction Hut, Defense Tower, Northern Keep: Nope. If you want a building, you can take Warden’s Sigil or Ice Shield Tower. Buildings are inherently suspect because they bind void power, take a while to go up, and your opponent can maneuver around them, so it’s rarely a good idea to make a building without a specific purpose. Frost t1 has some really great cards, and it’s quite tempting to want to take them all. You need to conserve room for your t2 and t3, however, so restrain yourself in your t1. Frost is very strong and has cards that continue to be useful in t2 (frost sorceress, lightblade, frostbite, ice barrier, homesoil…), but most player still dislike the lack of swift t1. Frost t1 is most dependent on the map for what kind of advantage is possible to get. T1 on a Budget: This should not be a large concern in BFReborn, because bfp should be easier to get, but I’d still like to explain some economical considerations for which t1 is the cheapest. Note that approximate bfp values I give are when I was searching for a picky deal, and they may no longer be accurate in BFR. Bfp values I give are also for a single unit, and you’ll need to consider charges. If I don’t list a price, that means it was common (aka: free). Price should really not be your primary concern, but here are the cheapest options. Fire: When I started playing, this was by far the cheapest t1 to play. You can get by with scavenger (~15 bfp), eruption, sunstrider, thugs, and supplementary cards to deal with frost or nature. Mortar tower (~50 bfp) is the best single card to add, although a combination of makeshift tower (~15 bfp) and wrecker does a fair job as well. If you’re really strapped for bfp, you can take nomad, but makeshift tower becomes essential, and it’s really a subpar setup. The only reason I even mention it is because you need a minimum of 2 charges of scavenger to survive, but only one makeshift tower. Verdict: 45 (playable)-100 (slightly more playable)-200 (fully playable) Shadow: Since witchclaws are available, this faction is probably the cheapest to play. You’ll need witchclaws, forsaken, and nasty surprise. Nox trooper is also pretty essential, although I suppose it’s possible to play without them, maybe if you use skeleton warriors. I’m not super sure about the prices, but I believe nox trooper was about 20-50 bfp, and lifeweaving and motivate were in the 50-75 bfp range. It’s quite possible to play without lifeweaving and motivate, although it will limit your aggressive options. Nox trooper needs a minimum of 2-3 charges. Verdict: 0 (barely playable)-100 (mostly playable)-200 (highly playable) Nature: You’ll have to go minimalist for sure. Amazon (~50 bfp), treespirit, hurricane (~50 bfp), surge of light, and ensnaring roots (~40 bfp). No choice. Verdict: 180 (playable)-260 (playable with more charges) Frost: There are ways to play this for cheap, but more than any other faction, it really suffers. Ice guardians are much better than imperials because frost struggles with knockback. You can’t really use wintertide to make up for it because that’s also a few hundred bfp. You might be able to get by with Master Archers, Imperials, Lightblade, Frost Sorceress (~10 bfp), ice barrier, and frostbite. There’s not really any other alternative if you want to keep a pretense of being economical: frost mage, ice guardians, and homesoil are all quite expensive. Verdict: 20 bfp (barely playable)-600 (almost fully playable) What about t2 cards? I’m glad I asked myself this. If I wasn’t, I’d edit it. With t2, it’s important to keep in mind other things. There are more options in t2, so you need to be able to defend more things. For instance, t1 L counters are not essential because you don’t have to deal with all L units, only sunderer (which has low health). In t2, there are many great L units: Lost Reaver, Deep One, Vileblood, Stone Tempest, Mountaineer; as well as flying ones like Fire Drake, War Eagle, and Windhunter. In general, you want to fulfil 3 large categories—a way to drop wells, a way to prevent wells from dropping, and a way to clear enemy units. For some factions (lookin’ at you, pure fire), the way to prevent wells from dropping really turns into “drop more wells faster than my opponent can.” In t2, you need to following: · Counters for S, M, L, and XL units (XL counters are important because of harvester and people that get to t3 earlier than you.) · A way to slow your opponent. Usually cc, but this can also include things like mine or wildfire which force your opponent to leave your wells alone. · Siege units. They don’t actually have to be siege, but you need something whose primary purpose is dropping wells. War Eagle is a good example of this. · Cheap, spammable units · Defensive units · Anti-air. Self-explanatory; War Eagles and Skyfire drakes are common and powerful. · (Optional nicety): Sick combos · Additionally, each faction has inherent advantages that it should take advantage of. I’ll spend the most detail outlining fire-nature and the cards that fit these categories and possible ways of comboing them. I’ll be briefer in the other factions that I don’t know as well, trusting you to take the tools I’ve given you to sort out the basics for yourself. Fire-Nature: T2 Cards Overview: Let’s go through the deck building process. First, I’ll look for the basics—counters and ways to kill units. Note that I’ll only be mentioning cards which are still useful in t2. So thugs aren’t very useful S/S because ghostspears are just better. Also keep in mind that M units are generally worse in t2. That’s because there are a lot of cards that do great damage to M units (like skyfire drake, enforcer, ghostspears, war eagle, and nightcrawler), and those great M/M units are typically spammable. · Small o Deathglider—only the blue affinity is worth anything. They’re flying units that deal extra damage to small and they knock them back as a nice bonus. Plus they’re cheap. Looks good! The immediate downside I see is the low health, but I have cc’s and heals to mitigate that. o Firestalker—listed here because of the knockback. The knockback is not bad actually. o Ghostspears—they have great stats, and they can change to deal extra damage to S or M units. The downside is that they cost a lot (80 power to deal extra vs small) and 90% of the small units you encounter will be Darkelf Assassins, which tear through small units. o Scythe fiends—tremendous stats, and swift to boot! They are a bit expensive for M units though, and stonekin will destroy them for a variety of reasons. o Viridya—she seems good. She definitely has her uses. Pretty low attack, so not that useful as a S counter, but maybe her special powers will help? Except one of them is a slow healing, which is sort of redundant because of surge of light. Also a bit pricy, and has low health. She does knock back small units, but something like a fire drake or a nightcrawler would destroy her. · Medium o Ghostspears—see above. The extra advantage here is that they only cost 70 power to fight M units, and there are few M/S units to counter them. Scythe fiends are really the only M units that ghostspears won’t do well against. o Rageclaws—similar to ghostspears, except they are sturdier and do more damage. Unfortunately they take a long time to build up rage and are extremely susceptible to knockback or cc. They also don’t have the option to counter S. o Rogan Kayle—these are great stats! Much better than Moon or Viridya. Unfortunately, most M/M units have great stats. He will lose to nightcrawler or enforcer in a heartbeat, and he cost much more than them. On the upside, he makes units deal more damage (a plus with an aggressive faction like fire-nat). He also has a cc, although it’s not that good. Fire-nat doesn’t benefit as much from the cc as something like pure shadow or pure frost, because we already have roots and oink, which are quite useful. o Skyfire drake—a flying unit! Wonderful! This will help against things like enforcer or nightcrawler which tend to go berserk and deal tons of damage. Also look at the damage on that thing! Note that it doesn’t have much health though. o Twilight Brute—good stats, like Rogan Kayle but much cheaper. Unfortunately, as we’ve discussed, it loses to other M/M’s like nightcrawler and enforcer. o Twilight Minions—these are ghostspears that cost 10 power less and don’t have the option to counter S units. If you pack hurricane, that should help tip the tide in favor of twilight minions. Commandos will be the only S units you can’t deal with easily, but they aren’t that good and they aren’t used much. You can also oink them if they get buffed too much. Mauler also shuts down commandos, if you’re super worried. · Large o Fire Stalker—they do extra damage vs. large units. They have mediocre-to-poor stats, but they can work. o Firesworn—even though it’s a t1 card, it still does great damage vs L units. Especially with the ability. Note that they can’t hit air though. Also, they die easily and can be cc’ed without much difficulty. They are t1, after all. o Gladiatrix—a ranged L counter that does tons of damage. The green one is swift, which is nice also. The purple has a better disenchant, but both work. It’s not efficient to use the gladiatrix for its disenchant (cost 150 power) but it’s very nice to have if you have a gladiatrix already out. Which you should, because most of the buffed cards will be L anyway. As a general rule of thumb I prefer the green because you’ll usually have 2 gladiatrix to counter a L unit anyway, so if he buffs twice you can disenchant twice. If you pack the purple disenchant, the green gladiatrix is definitely the way to go. o Mauler—very good stats, although the gladiatrix is a better L counter because she can attack from range; it’s even better if you get a root off. If the mauler is attacking a melee L unit, he will probably die because L units just have good stats. HOWEVER, the mauler has a great ability that shuts down ranged attacks and prevents special abilities from being used. This makes him a great counter to ashbone pyros and mountaineers. He’s pretty great all around vs stonekin, because stonekin thrives on ranged attacks with knockback. I make this comment because fire-nature usually has a very hard time with stonekin. He’s also good against defenders or commandos (remember the problem with twilight minions?) because they can camp all they want, but he will prevent them from shooting. There’s nothing better than a frost player who saves up power for a defender spam and then camps outside your base, knowing you can’t do anything about it, until you send one mauler to each defender and waste it all. o Moon—terrible stats. Well, actually, they’re not bad. But she costs a lot and dies pretty easily to M counters. Her necroshade can be good, especially if you paired with a ranged attack like gladiatrix or spirit hunters. Her dark arts can be a situationally useful heal, but fire-nature doesn’t really need it because of surge of light. o Slaver—very expensive, its stats aren’t that good, and because it’s a medium unit, it’s extra squishy. Its ability isn’t useful. While I’m on the subject, none of the twilight transformations are very useful. This card might be in the running for the worst t2 L counter in the game. o Skyfire drake—it has high dps and can’t be hit by most L units. If you’re using it to counter L units it’s basically a glady, but more useful after the L unit has died. · X-Large o Gladiatrix—actually, fire-nat has 0 (!) XL counters at t2. That makes us especially susceptible to harvester or t3 rushes. Gladiatrix is the best thing we have. It’s useful because it can attack at range, and so stay out of the XL’s amazing damage. You need to pair this with cc, preferably roots, so the glady can still attack. o Mortar Tower—Believe it or not, this building has the highest dps of any card at your disposal. Build a mortar tower and try to send a scavenger to slow down the harvester while the building comes up. Then root the XL, bombard it, and hit it with gladies. o Skyfire drake—has good dps and can fly away. Use it for similar reasons as the glady o Rogan Kayle—great because of his cc. It doesn’t prevent the XL from stomping on people, but that doesn’t do near as much damage as the alternative. Credit to @RadicalX for pointing out that his cc is particularly useful because it stacks with cc spells. Your defensive gladies will also benefit from Rogan’s buff because of their high dps, but they will probably be spread too far to do much benefit. · Siege o Burrower—these guys are fairly cheap (read: spammable) and have good stats. They die quickly to M counters. They also have an ability to knock units off walls. This is useful if you don’t have hurricane, not so much if you do. The swift is also nice. o Fire Stalker—Wow! This is the third time he has appeared. He’s been mediocre the other two times, and he is here as well. He just doesn’t do much damage. The upshot is that he stays far enough from your other units that a lavafield or cc won’t do too much to him. The shots are also delayed, so it continues to do about 200-300 (I think?) damage to wells after it has died. This is particularly useful against non-frost factions, but even worse than if it did all the damage upfront when the frost player has time to kobold or glacier shell. Also, in regards to it being good at everything, did I mention it has swift? o Vileblood—a good card, but expensive. It’s not spammable, but it does do a great amount of damage. But if you look at the stats, it seems much better to just make 2 burrowers than a vileblood. That’s not necessarily the case, however. For one, heals work better on VB. If the enemy focuses your burrowers one at a time, you have to heal roughly every 700 health. With a vileblood, you can get away with every 1300 health. Also, ravage is nice on him because it’s one unit vs 2. AoE spells don’t spread to do double damage. Furthermore, if you have a VB already up, it basically takes 80 power to summon each new one (surge of light), which is practically the cost of a burrower. Additionally, L counters are typically much worse than M counters. The downside of VB is that he’s completely useless vs frost (Lightblade). Also, if you were to make 2 burrowers it’s often a good idea to send them different places (unless the opponent has nightcrawlers). VBs can’t go to 2 places. So in short VB is better against non-frost factions and burrower is better against frost factions. o Rageclaws—they don’t technically have siege, but the thing about wells is that you attack them for a long time. This means rageclaws will have rage built up, in which case they’ll deal as much damage as burrowers (I think?) while being hardier and useful M counters. The downside is that you can’t rush wells with them because they take so long to rage up, and they’re very susceptible to cc or knockback. o Termite hill—does great damage against wells and orbs, but the card is hard to use. Fire-nat has an easier time than bandits or pure fire because of cc, but it’s still tough and situational. · Specialty o Spirit hunters—these guys are great at doing damage to many places at once. They’re like a slower lavafield. Take the green ones. The purple do much less damage, but you can use them if you don’t have a disenchant. The problem is that they attack so slowly, and they only do 5 damage per second more than green spirit hunters on a creature with lifeweaving, while doing 10 damage per second less on normal creatures—which will be the majority of what you use spirit hunters for. o Skyfire drake—it’s very useful because it flies. I’ll not go into specific tactics here, but flying counts as a random plus. o Deathgliders—also flies, same as skyfire drake. Note that having 2 fliers can have aspects of redundancy. o Mauler—slam ability. Check out its usefulness above. o Rogan Kayle and Viridya—also useful for more than their ability to deal and take damage. For this deck, Rogan’s abilities are more useful. Check out usefulness above. Now let’s take a look at buildings. In general, buildings are bad because they bind power and are immobile. · Rallying banner—a building, extremely necessary in bandits and pure fire. However, it’s not so necessary for fire-nat because we can usually spawn dazed units without repercussions. A lot of our units have high health, and we can support them until they get out of daze with cc or heals. The card is nice to have, but even if it was in my deck, I wouldn’t use it much. · Breeding grounds—this card is probably more useful than rallying banner, but not a ton. The building binds power and it’s most useful for spamming large amounts of units at once. Usually if you have enough power to make a breeding grounds and spam burrowers, it’s better just to spam them immediately. · Willzapper—sounds great in theory, but I have never successfully used it, nor seen anyone use it. · Mortar Tower—Yep, still useful here. I listed it more above. And most importantly, spells. Unlike units, spells rarely decline in usefulness as you go up tiers. Each spell is different, so it’s rare to see a t2 spell that is just a better version of a t1 spell. · Curse of Oink—a cc, and a great one. It’s more useful for offense than defense, because units will transform back if they are attacked after 5 seconds. It’s still a good way to counteract spam, because you can attack each unit individually while the others are incapacitated. Note that oink combos very poorly with spirit hunters, because the poison wakes the units up. · Disenchant—removes buffs. Generally the buffs you want to remove will be on enemies, so the purple one is better. Note that oink can serve like a disenchant in a pinch by incapacitating the buffed unit. Occasionally this card has use on your own units to get out of cc, but that is only useful in rare occasions and usually on giant slayer. Typically it’s better to make another giant slayer than to disenchant the one you have. It can also be used to get VB out of cc, although it’s generally a better idea to just heal it and wait for the cc to run out. · Ensnaring roots—a great cc. It doesn’t work on ranged units, but it does a great job on melee units. There is no damage reduction and the units will not come out of it when attacked. Combos well with mine, mortar, skyfire drake, spirit hunters, and gladiatrix. This spell is critical for defense, but it’s also useful for offense if your opponent has spammed melee units that haven’t encountered your offense yet. · Envenom—does a lot of damage, but pricy. It’s also easy to ward off. This is the rare case of a t1 spell just being a worse t2 spell (parasite) · Eruption—great for taking down anything that has less than 300 health. Can be used for defense to kill a unit before it does more damage, as anti-air, as a preventative measure against a heal, and as offense to take down a well. It takes 7 eruptions to drop a well, and 10 to drop a monument. · Hurricane—very useful against small units. Sometimes it can be used to prevent a well from healing, although if that’s a concern it’s generally better to simply erupt it. · Lavafield—good AoE damage, especially against spammed units. This is more defensive than anything. It has a few nice combos, however, because of its knockback. This tends to be a card I either find really useful or not at all, depending on the match. · Mine—believe it or not, this does more damage than lavafield. But it’s less useful because it has a smaller AoE and requires the enemy to make a mistake to trigger it. On one hand it’s less useful for fire-nat than other factions because we don’t need its meager cc abilities, but we can also combo it very well with hurricane or roots. · Parasite—does damage to lots of targets. Useless when facing nature splashes. Pretty much spirit hunters in spell form. · Ravage—I’ve heard this claimed as the best healing spell in the game. It’s especially useful because it heals gradually, allowing for heals greater than the max HP of the unit. It’s also super cheap to cast. · Scorched earth—same use as in t1. It helps prevent t3. · Surge of light—a fantastic spell. You are playing fire-nature for this single card. Maybe oink and roots as well, but pretty much for this single card. I’m not going to explain why it’s so useful, because if it’s not in your deck switch factions. I have literally seen people t3 nature for this 1 card. · Ray of Light—when I first started playing, I assumed that Ray of Light was better than Surge of Light because Ray is t2. That’s not true. Surge is instant, while Ray takes a long time, which makes it almost useless in PvP. · Twilight Curse—this can be used like an L counter or anti-air. The only use I can think of for it would be war eagles or windhunters. But fire-nat tends to do a fairly good job at those anyway. The problem is that twilight bugs are actually pretty good. It might actually be better to use on one of your own units, but it’s pricy—just make a vileblood if you want one unit with good stats. It is quite good against mountaineer, which fire-nat can struggle with. So if you want a counter to one specific card, this is the deal. You could use it on harvester as well. (allbfcards claims this does not have a unit with max power cost that it can be used on, but I recall it couldn’t be used on anything that cost more than 150?) · Wallbreaker, Girl Power, and other Shenanigans—Please no. Please. T3 Cards Overview: I’m going to lump t3 with the t2 section, since you shouldn’t have many t3 cards. In t3, your goals are simple: End your opponent without being ended yourself. Cards are chosen which have high offense, especially for fire-nature. In general, you can use your t2 cc for defense. My rule of thumb for t3 is as follows: 3 cards—one for killing wells, one for killing enemy units, and one to be swift and spawn well-killers all over the place. Typically fire-nature takes a light t3, in favor of larger t2. I knew a great player who only carried giant slayers in his deck, and another that doesn’t take t3 at all! · Offensive cards o Backlash—deals a lot of damage, but it’s rarely used because it only does half damage against structures. o Brannoc—extremely powerful. The best XL unit this faction can support. The biggest problem with him is what happens when you rely on him but your opponent pulls him first. Most people think he’s lame. o Curse well—very slow. If you use this card, you need to play a mostly defensive t3 and bleed your opponent dry. Using this card immediately awards you the title “lamer.” Additionally, get out of fire-nature because we don’t have time for that nonsense. o Deepcoil worm—an XL unit, but a bit weak. Fire-nature thrives on its aggressiveness, and it has more options that do faster damage. That said, you have six XL units to choose from as fire-nature, and I’m not going to bother explaining why Santa, Mo, Lordy Cyrian, and Razorleaf aren’t worth playing. o Drones—great stats, and swift to boot! A bit pricy though. o Enlightenment—wreaks havoc with earthshaker. Very pricey though. Fire-nat generally has a more efficient way to dish out the damage, and one 50 power card (shield building) can completely negate all 370 power spent on this combo. This especially stings because the only scenario where you need such massive overkill as earthshaker is against campy lost souls Church of Negation spammers, and they typically pack shield building. o Giantslayer—when raged up, they deal a ton of damage (1000 per charge). They are especially susceptible to cc’s though. In one of the great ironies of the game, it is better to defend giantslayers with t2 cards than t3 cards. Don’t use this card if you rush t3 while your opponent stays t2, unless you also have a power advantage. The biggest plus of this card is that it’s difficult to cost-effectively defend against, making it very spammable. o Inferno—sure, it does a lot of damage. But you’re probably better off just using enlightenment and earthshaker for that much power. o Mutating Maniac—a worse Fathom Lord, that costs more and can’t paralyze. The upshot is that you can use them with giant slayers. Unfortunately, that isn’t such a big plus because both are XL counters. o Shrine of War—a great card, but I doubt you’ll be able to make much use of it. That’s a lot of power to bind and the cooldown is long. The match will probably be over before it’s ready. o Sun Reaver—used to be the fire equivalent of the ashbone pyro. Then it got nerfed to oblivion. It’s hardly worth using now. It takes so long to build up its flame that a giant slayer will kill the well faster. I would like to see this card get buffed so it deals regular damage against structures and slower damage against units. But until this happens, you have a large, slow giant slayer that can’t charge or hamstring. I’d also put the unnerfed one as defensive, but this is useless at killing units. o Swamp drake—useful for attacking, not because it has good stats, but because it’s an air unit. Many people don’t bring anti-air to t3, and this card is difficult to counter. It can also do hit-and-runs, and general annoyance. However, such techniques require a lot of micro, and are generally too slow to be worth it. The cc sleep is also much better for offense than defense. o Twilight warfare—I don’t even know what this does. o Virtuoso—fairly good stats. The ability does a lot of damage to structures. Also a good L/L, although it can’t take advantage of roots. o Vulcan—great attack, but low health. It can be supported with heals, but I’ve generally found there to be better attack options. I would have brought him anyway for shooting air, except he can’t. · Defensive cards o Backlash, to kill attacking enemies. The problem is that backlash is expensive and has a large cooldown, making it inefficient against spammy t3 units. o Fathom Lord—great stats for the price. And their paralyze is good. They’re also great at defending vs XL units. They’re slow though, which limits their offensive capabilities. o Giantslayer—I told you these cards were ironic, right? Despite their name, they’re not the best XL counters. They can do a good job, but you’d think that 240 power of giantslayers would beat 220 worth of a juggernaut, right? Especially since giantslayers counter XL, and juggers don’t? But giantslayers suffer from very low health, so most XL’s 2-shot them before they can get rage built up. If the gs is raged, a single one can take out an XL unit (if you support it with cc and heals and get the 1500 damage charge). But if they aren’t raged, they don’t do so well. I believe it takes 4 giant slayers to kill 1 juggernaut if they start from rest. Nasty surprises, lifeweaving, or wildfires defeat them easily. However, giantslayers are still very useful because of their hamstring effect. It slows enemies down to give you more time to prepare your defenses. It’s also good for defending spammy units, because giantslayers are just as cheap as them. o Magma Hurler—not great stats, but it’s ranged and knocks back M units. They’re pretty good at defending if you play roots. They’re also nice anti-air. Air units are typically bad in t3, but every now and then you have that one guy who uses them and if you don’t have an answer, you start to rage and call him a lamer in the chatbox. Pointed out by @RadicalX: their biggest downside is that they take 4 seconds between shots, allowing your opponent to micro around them and kill the magma hurler without taking any damage. This isn’t that bad an issue, however, because nobody has time to micro one unit obsessively in t3 and 2 de-synced magma hurlers or a cc can prevent the dodging. Also, a magma hurler does not want to attack anything that also wants to attack it. o Magma Spore—good anti-air defenders. Not good at defending much else (actually, they can do a lot of damage to L units with their ability). Also good at spamming. o Swamp Drake—probably the quintessential defensive card for fire-nature. XL counter, especially good with root. It’s ranged, so it can brute force as anti-air with heals and cc. It can also cc sleep, which isn’t that useful for defense unless you’re proactive. o Thornbark—M counter, which has its uses in a large t3, but generally not that useful if you’re going light on t3. Hits air, so good defense there. Gets stronger with root network. Unfortunately, they have very little health and can only really go offensive en masse. Which is not good in t3, because mass concentration in one spot is a good way to lose your entire army. o Thunderstorm—Does lots of damage to units, none to structures. Works well with roots, but really only useful if your opponent spams a lot to one place. He should be smarter than that. o Treefiend—honestly, I’ve never used this or seen it used. Its stats are terrible and they cost an arm and a leg. 150 power for 1200 health? I don’t even know what its upgraded health is, but I wouldn’t pay 150 power for something with twice that health. o Twilight creeper—allbfcards doesn’t have the difference between their affinities. Nonetheless, they have bad stats, and don’t have any real knockback. Just take magma hurler if you want an L/L ranged. o Twilight Hag—also never seen her used, so I can’t comment on her usefulness. Doesn’t seem very useful though, with low attack and health. Her ability seems more like a joke from the developers than anything. o Vulcan—can do massive damage with his ability and roots. Unfortunately, he cost a lot, so it doesn’t defend against cheap spammy cards well. · Spammy cards o Drones—good stats, and swift, but a bit expensive to spam. o Giantslayer—cheap, does a TON of damage, and swift. Also can’t be knocked back. They are very susceptible to cc, however. And they lost to most t3 units 1on1. However, giantslayers should primarily be used to spam 1 to every base, forcing the enemy to waste at least 120 power at each one. This gives you a power advantage, and you push harder at the weakest one with your offensive unit. Spamming 1 to each base also negates the efficiency of cc. o Magma Spore—cheap, and their ability is good. They’re also air units, which makes them especially good against any non-shadow faction (that has no ashbone pyro). The biggest problem with them is trying to micro them. They’re easy to forget about. If memory serves me, it takes 6 to drop a base of 2 wells and 1 orb. And obviously you can branch out even more with t3 than this. The first deck I played, I went t3 shadow for ashbone pyro. That solved problems of anti-air and siege. xAragornx still uses that strategy. However, going three different orbs is very risky because you can’t let your t2 or t1 drop. If you play t3 the same color as one of your first two orbs (far and away the most common choice), you have added tactical options. For instance, I am willing to trade my first orb against xAragornx (fire-nat-fire vs nat-frost-shad) because I’ll be t2 and he’ll be t0. So he can’t attack with reckless abandon for his orb, while I can. Building the Deck: So now let’s build this deck! Let’s start with the easy choices, in t2. Take a look at which cards show up under a lot of categories. We have: Rogan, deathglider, Skyfire drake, rageclaws, mauler, mortar tower, gladiatrix, firestalker, and ghostspears. Notably, 2 cards are weaker than the rest. Deathglider and Fire Stalker serve so many roles that they don’t do a great job at any of them. Rogan Kayle also suffers from a similar problem. The others are good, but some are redundant. Ghostspears and Rageclaws serve the same main purpose. Skyfire drake is also an M counter, but it’s good to have 2 M counters that have different sizes, because M units are the most common in t2. Skyfire is unique in that it can’t be hit by melee, and gladiatrix is similarly unique in our list of multi-functioners. I will add Skyfire Drake and Gladiatrix to my deck as the first 2 cards. Eh, let’s throw in Rogan Kayle, Fire Stalker, and Deathglider as well. I may take them out later. Using Mortar Tower will probably depend on what I do t1, as well as how comfortable I feel my t2 defenses are. Let’s hold on that one. But what about rageclaws and ghostspears? We already have 1 M counter (Skyfire Drake), so 1 more should suffice. It should be cheap, and primarily used for defense. I want to be able to defend against someone spamming 1 nightcrawler/burrower to every base, and I can’t do that with skyfire drake because I won’t be able to sustain it. The cheaper the M counter, the better. So as my M counter, I want to pick one from rageclaws, ghostspears, twilight minions, and twilight brute. I want to shy away from M/Ms, so let’s get rid of twilight brute. Remember, M units are typically the squishiest in t2, and if we keep rogan it will make the M/M redundant. So we have the choice of three S/M units. Which to take? Rageclaws and ghostspears are about equal, except rageclaws do worse at defending and much better at attacking. If we take good siege units (I plan to), this will make the rageclaws ability to drop well unnecessary. So ghostspears or twilight minions? They’re basically the same card except twilight minions cost 10 power less and can’t hurt S units. So my choice of whether to take ghostspears or twilight minion depends on how good the rest of my deck is against S units. For now I’ll take ghostspears and substitute twilight minions in if I feel my S counters are a bit overkill. The deck is now: Skyfire Drake, gladiatrix, (Rogan Kayle, Fire Stalker, Deathglider), and ghostspears. Let’s choose our well-droppers next. We can choose from fire stalker, burrower, vileblood, and rageclaws. Actually, let’s not consider rageclaws. They work in a tight spot, but burrower and vileblood do such massive siege damage that rageclaws won’t be very useful for it. I also didn’t consider termite hill, because it’s a real pain to set up. If I have extra deck slots after I’ve hit the essentials, I might stick it in. So which siege unit is the best? We already have fire stalker tentatively in. If we’re only taking 1 siege unit, burrowers is definitely the way to go. I like vileblood better, but certain cards like lightblade make him useless. There’s no way I’ll have room for all three. If I take 2, however, it’s a bit of a tossup between vileblood and firestalker or vileblood and burrower (note that I’m not considering firestalker and burrower, because then my offense will be particularly weak against decks with good M counters, which is every deck). I decided to take Vileblood and Fire stalker, and if I need more deck slots I can replace both of them with burrower. Also, I decided to make Rogan Kayle a more permanent addition because he works well with vileblood (it forces the enemy to make a L counter and M counter, and the cc is great for attacking). Deck: Skyfire Drake, Gladiatrix, Rogan Kayle, Fire Stalker, (Deathglider), Ghostspears, and Vileblood. Let’s get to S counters. The only card (besides Viridya) we don’t have in our deck is Scythe Fiends. Deathgliders and Fires Stalker do good knockback, but our deck currently depends on ghostspears for doing actual damage to S. If we have Scythe Fiends, we should probably pare down our “semi-S” counters. Or we could leave them . . . I think I’ll leave out scythe fiends for now because I don’t have enough charges (the card is expensive!). In the future, the combination of Scythe Fiends, hurricane, and twilight minions can probably replace fire stalker, deathglider, and ghostspears. If we drop fire stalker, we may as well get rid of Vileblood and/or Rogan Kayle and replace them with burrowers. So much of this is interdependent! But for now, nothing changes except making Deathgliders a more permanent fixture. Our last group of counters are the L counters. We’ve already included 2 L counters, the gladiatrix and fire stalker. We probably don’t need another, especially if we take firesworn in t1. Mauler catches my eye, but he’s so much more useful for his slam ability than for his L counter. If we decide to bring him later it will be because of that, completely ignoring the fact that he is an L counter. Now let’s talk about spells and special cards! Surge of Light goes in, no questions asked. Curse of Oink should be another easy choice. Ensnaring Roots is another great card, but let’s not use it by default yet. If I had 50 slots in my deck, which cards would I take and which wouldn’t I bother with? Then we can sort through the useful ones to fit our 20-slot deck. Reality Check: Let’s rate how good our t2 deck is against certain common enemy tactics! This will help us see if we need to change anything, and maybe influence our t1 or t3. 1. Defending walls 2. Defending t3 rushes (or harvester) 3. Defending cheap spams for spread-out agro 4. Performing cheap spams for spread-out agro 5. Defending a full-on attack at one place 6. Performing a full-on attack at one place 7. Preventing a large standing army 8. Building a large standing army Currently our deck has Skyfire Drake, Gladiatrix, Rogan Kayle, Fire Stalker, (Deathglider), Ghostspears, Vileblood, Surge of Light, and Curse of Oink. 1. We can’t defend walling at all. Hurricane or burrower can solve this, but we’ve already decided not to use the burrower. This may be a large selling point for hurricane, but the truth is that walls are easy to prevent. We already have enough ways for S knockback, and it’s not worth spending a deck slot to bail you out when your opponent builds a wall. Just get better so you don’t give him those opportunities. 2. How about defending t3 rushes? This can be when the enemy builds t3 just a bit faster than you, or when he does it too early hoping that one ashbone will wipe you out. In the second case, you will probably see an ashbone pyro or tremor. Maybe a giant slayer. Giant slayers are easy to deal with. Oink stops their rage, and ghostspears or skyfire drake do a lot of damage. Even in t3, the best way to defend against giant slayer spams is to root + skyfire drake. Tremors are harder, but roots and 2-3 gladiatrix does the job. If he buffs it, the gladiatrix has a ready disenchant. Ashbone pyros are the hardest to deal with. They do so much damage, and they’re ranged so you can’t get them with gladiatrix. Mauler would be a great way to stop it. Otherwise you just have to spam gladiatrix and fire stalkers. Mortar Tower is also a good way to defend against early ashbones, because the opponent doesn’t have enough power for more than one. (That’s why it’s a t3 rush. If he can go t3 and has the same power as you, that’s when it’s time to YOLO it and spam random stuff. You’ve already lost, but sometimes you can save it if you just ignore defending and go full offensive). In response to a t3 rush, this deck also has the ability to send 2 Vilebloods out, which will generally end the game, especially if one is paired with Rogan for that damage buff. VB spam is not as effective as burrower spam, however, because you are limited on the number of bases you can hit at once. What can this deck do about harvesters, or what happens if you’re both going t3 and that pure fire player gets it first and pulls out a juggernaut? Both should be defended with gladiatrix, skyfire drake, and roots. Mortar towers are necessary if you want to kill a juggernaut, but you should really be stalling it. Either way, I’m giving points to mortar tower, and I’m going to say Ensnaring Roots probably just needs to get in here already. 3. A common tactic for attack is so send cheap units to every base, forcing you to spend a bit of power at each one. Then, when you’re out of power, the enemy puts larger pressure on one area. How well does this deck defend that? Typically, the spammed unit will be a nightcrawler or burrower. Skyfire drake will eat both of those units, but if you have 5 different bases, 5 nightcrawlers are much more affordable than 5 skyfire drakes. Their even more affordable than ghostspears, which means that we don’t do too well against multiple small attacks. Even twilight minions, which cost the same as a nightcrawler, is not effective because the nightcrawler can run away. We can, however, be proactive. A roots allows us to bottleneck the road and kill the nighcrawler or burrower before they spawn more. Aren’t you glad we added roots? Nonetheless, I’m going to say this deck scores below average for defending spammed units. On a 1-10, let’s go with 3.5. There’s really not a way to improve it, though. For an additional way to defend this with this deck, see point (6). 4. Can we do the annoying tactic back? Eh, not really. Most of our units cost too much. We could improve our ability to do so with rageclaws (which would involve rebalancing to improve our S counters), as well as burrowers. We can, however, attack TWO places at once very reliably. When facing frost splashes (or shadow, actually, because of Aura of Corruption—actually, this is a fairly valid technique against any faction), it is critical to attack multiple places. Sometimes it’s better to spam lightly everywhere at once, but usually it will suffice to attack in just 2 places. This can be done with Rogan + ghostspears +fire stalker at one front, and VB at another front. You can also vary combinations. If you assist with cc and heals, and support them evenly until you decide which one is more likely to fall and put extra pressure there, you will probably down a well. The added benefit of the cards is that rogan and firestalker, in particular, are very underestimated. I did this type of attack against MaranV (a candidate for the best Battleforge player) when I was a noob, and the attack succeeded! I obviously didn’t win the game, but I did win his respect and he provided me with advice that helped bring me out of noobdom. I’d say this gets a 7.5. If we used burrowers, however, it’s a solid 10 for hitting everywhere at once. There is no deck that can do this more than burrowers assisted with fire and nature. Sometimes that’s not the best tactic though, so it’s a tossup between many weak attacks and 2 fairly strong attacks. For this deck, I’ve gone with the 2 medium attacks, but it’s more a matter of preference (and cost). 5. So we have a bit of trouble defending multiple places at once. Do we do better defending one place? Oh yeah! Err, maybe. If we bring mortar tower, that will improve our score here a lot. That tower keeps getting so many pluses… Seriously though, with roots a mortar tower does fantastic damage. If you play fire t1, but this in. If you go nature t1, it’s a little iffy one whether you want to spend the deck slot on mortar tower, because you can usually get by without it. All that said, I probably used mortar more in t2 than t1. All of our defense comes from having good attack and good cc and killing the enemy before it reaches our wells. Once the enemy is at the wells, we have a much harder time, especially with buffs. We can always cc a buff, but that’s often a waste of a cc. Gladiatrix works will for the disenchant ability, although we will always have trouble with things like lifeweaved nightcrawler. In t3, the threat of buffs are even worse, so Disenchant may be useful to combat that. However, I think we can get along with just the gladiatrix sobering for this deck. We have all the counters except XL, and that can be fairly easily dealt with through roots and ranged attack. How do we do against a massive amount of units, like pure fire or stonekin attacks? That one’s harder, because we don’t have great AoE damage. Although there is a particular spell that helps with that. To improve our defenses, let’s add Lavafield. We could also add spirit hunters, but they’re much slower than lavafield. I’ll say our defense at one place is a 6, or a 7 with mortar tower. 6. Now we get to our true method of defense: attack! As far as dps goes, I think fire-nat is 2nd, right after pure fire. But we have cc and heals. If you realize you can’t defend an attack, compensate for your loss of wells by taking some of your opponent’s! Along with Rogan (not counting his damage), a vileblood can drop a well in 16 seconds (!). If you see cards that are good counters to the VB, use a cc. Additionally, any fire stalkers in the back can do splash damage to different wells, making frost repairs more difficult. Along with surge of light and ravage, makes the vileblood very hard to kill. Let’s add ravage because of its usefulness. Furthermore, eruptions are GREAT for offense. When a unit spawns near a well, you can erupt it dealing 300 damage to the well, and the unit will die faster. If there are a lot of units attacking your offensive, cc or lavafield them. 7. Preventing a large standing army is only a concern versus a few decks. Stonekin, most notably. This is one of the best decks for doing so, because eruption or lavafield can finsh off enemies before they escape or heal. Standing armies are also very important for establishing air dominance. Eruptions are especially good for this since air creature have comparatively low health. An essential combo against fire drakes is to get one shot from a gladiatrix and erupt. Instead of a gladiatrix, you can also do it with your own skyfire drake, but be aware that he will be erupted as well. Time for Eruption to enter the deck. 8. Actually, you can build a large standing army with this deck. It’s more often a bad thing than a good thing, but you have heals and cc to save your units. With good saves, you can field multiple VBs, which gets very hard to defend. Now that we’ve fleshed out the deck, we have: Skyfire Drake, Gladiatrix, Rogan Kayle, Fire Stalker, Deathglider, Ghostspears, Vileblood, Surge of Light, Curse of Oink, Eruption, Ravage, Lavafield, and Ensnaring Roots. I’d like to add Mauler, Hurricane, and Disenchant, but none of them seem necessary. Mauler is probably the most useful of the three, but let’s see. It’s looking like we’ll be low on deck slots. For t3, I’m going to be a bit brief because there are so many possibilities. As long as you have hit all the bases, you should be fine. Let’s bring Giantslayer for all the nice reasons I listed above. I will take Swamp Drake for an additional benefit against XLs, and its anti-air possibilities. Lastly, let’s round it out with Virtuoso for its L counter and good damage against structures. If I have only room for 2 units (like if I put that mauler in), I’d go with giant slayer and magma hurler—magma hurler serving as a sort of compromise between virtuosos and swamp drake. Matchups Check: Now a quick rundown of how we can use this deck against all other factions. · Pure fire o Necessitates defending against one spot. The oink will do you good. Skyfire drakes and ghostspears will also be spammed. To attack, VB is the best option because gladies or firesworn can be cc’d or lavafielded. Pure fire has trouble defending against L units, especially with heal and cc support. Bringing VB tips this match in your favor—if you have burrowers, not so much. · Fire-frost o This is a fairly weird deck. You’ll need to deal with mountaineer, as well as good defenses and fire drakes. Mountaineers are very troublesome without mauler or a large power advantage. Shielded fire drakes and scythe fiends are another huge nuisance. Your best bet is to go offensive on exactly 2 fronts. This is probably one of the worst matchups for the deck we picked, although if it’s a big worry, we can tip the scales in our favor. Mauler makes this matchup much easier. Some top players have also included twilight curse solely for mountaineer. · Fire-shadow o This deck is fairly rare because it has a hard time against frost splashes. We don’t have a frost splash. They will rely on a lot of buffs and single strong units to take you down. Lavafield is essential for dealing with darkelf spams. Gladiatrix is also needed for disenchants, and save your oinks to use on buffed fire drakes. They are surprisingly hard to deal with if your cc is in cooldown. Luckily, if push comes to shove, you can spawn Rogan and use his cc in a pinch. A normal fire-nat deck will have difficulty attacking because nightcrawler will destroy burrowers, but we have vileblood and fire stalker which do much better. This matchup is pretty fair, although in my experience one side tends to demolish the other. Twilight vs bandits don’t tend to have long trench-warfare. · Fire-nature o This deck actually has an advantage against the standard fire-nature deck. You may have figured out by now that I’m using some fairly interesting cards. This deck has a harder time against frost splashes (especially shadow-frost) than the typical fire-nature deck, with some advantages in that it does better against non-frost splashes. VB is a double edged sword, because you both have roots and cc and damaging spells. Generally speaking, however, fire-nature has an easier time countering burrower spams than VB, especially when Rogan gets involved. Fire-nat also has an infuriating time trying to deal with fire stalkers: a well-placed oink or roots will ensure that a well drops. You have all the tools you need to stop a burrower spam. · Pure Shadow o Shadow tends to have difficulty with L units like VB. You need to be careful about spending too much power in one place, because Aura of Corruption kills everything. Shadow mages shred M units. Cc works marvels on shadow mages, and fire-drake is your best friend in this matchup. Ravage is a must. Lava field punishes any large offensives. Try to apply so much pressure that the harvester can’t come. If it does appear, make 2 gladiatrix and a skyfire drake. Mortar as well, if you have it, but make sure the mortar is in a place that the harvy must go through—you’ve wasted 50 power if he just walks around to attack another base. Green gladiatrix is better here, because you can harass the harvy all the way to your base without your unit dying. As long as you keep 2 gladies, you don’t need to worry about lifeweaving + unholy power because you have 2 disenchants. For offensives, fire stalkers work much better than burrowers (!). Shadow mages murder burrowers, but have a much harder time with fire stalkers. Once a very good player (Warchief or Patriarch, I think) who played pure shadow tried to convince me that fire stalkers aren’t as good as burrowers. He made this comment after I beat him with my firestalkers, so we did another match and I still won. (In the end I switched to burrowers because I didn’t need any more advantages against pure shadow, preferring to have them against shadow-frost.) · Shadow-Nature o This is another deck you’ll struggle with. Buffed nightcrawlers or burrowers are a nightmare, and the cost to spawn a glady and unbuff is rarely worth it. This deck is supreme at spamming a little bit to every base. Try to be proactive and use roots often to be on the safe side. Fire drake and ghostspears are immensely useful. Note that shad-nat struggles against Vileblood because their L counter is mauler, which has low range. You can root him. Also be aware that you will be getting cc’d and the enemy units can heal, so apply lavafield and erupt judiciously to take out the last bit of health. Shadow-nature probably has a slight edge, but VB helps. Disenchant might also help. · Shadow-Frost o Most people would argue that this is the best deck in the game. I’m not sure if I agree, but it is very strong. There are also a lot of different tactics shad-frost players can use, making it one of the hardest decks to prepare against. At the very least, be prepared for nightcrawler spams and Reaver-runs. Both of these need to be rooted and sniped with glady/skyfire. Ghostspears are good vs nightcrawlers, but terrible against reavers. If he decides to attack hard at one place, expect darkelf assassins and homesoil. Lavafield works well, and you can use deathgliders against darkelf assasins. VB has a 50/50 chance of working. Lightblades tend to render them useless. However, if you can oink one and get him to spawn 2, he’s wasted a lot of power. If you really want to push, bring a drake to deal with lightblades, but fire drakes die easily to nightcrawler nasty or darkelf assasins. Spamming to multiple places doesn’t really work because nightcrawlers with frenzy are a cheaper counter to whatever you spam. Hitting one well doesn’t work so well because of frost repairs. If you invest too much power in one place, you’ll get an aura of corruption. Also be wary of the cc, although yours are better. This will be a tough fight. In t3, Lost Souls has the advantage against every deck, with the possible exception of pure fire. Giant slayers are a must to combat silverwind lancers. · Pure Frost o Frost splashes are hard. They have great defense, and your deck is built around offense. Pure frost relies almost entirely on war eagles. Whoever controls the skies wins. Glady is good against them, but war eagles are even better against gladies. Cc is critical, as well as eruptions. Lava field has less use. If you can prevent frost mages with rogan or skyfire drake, frost doesn’t really have an answer to small units. · Frost-Nature o Stonekin, the bane of our existence. This will be a slow strangulation to death. You can deal with burrower spams, but a true stonekin player will slowly make engagements with you and keep his units alive until he has a huge army that he can rush you with. Neither of your offensives are likely to be successful unless one of you makes a large mistake. Your best bet is weather out the storm in t2 and go t3 when you have enough power to avoid being burrower spammed to death. Skyfire and ghostspears are a must. Mauler is the easiest way to make this matchup better for you. Scythe fiends and burrowers die very quickly to razorshards, but while you might think this is good for you because of VB, lightblades or aggressors will nullify the VB without an assisting mauler. · Pure Nature o Skyfire drakes are essential to combat burrowers and energy parasite. You have to be super careful of your VB because of parasite swarm. Fire stalker works especially well against pure nature. If the pure nature player goes for a roots-themed deck, mauler secures an easy advantage. If not, deep ones are hard to deal with but spamming gladiatrix and skyfire drakes usually works. Roots are nice, and mortar is a good way to kill them. Side note: When building t2, it’s generally a bad idea to think “Look at this sick combo!” Often that combo will work really well against some factions, but it will be a wasted 2-3 slots against other factions. Look at all the factors I’ve laid out to see if your “sick combo” is worth it. Final Touches: Finally, a note about t1. Ultimately, you should play the t1 you’re best at. That said, let’s try to figure out if a particular t1 works best with this deck. So far we have 16 cards: Skyfire Drake, Gladiatrix, Rogan Kayle, Fire Stalker, Deathglider, Ghostspears, Vileblood, Surge of Light, Curse of Oink, Eruption, Ravage, Lavafield, Ensnaring Roots, Giant Slayer, Swamp Drake, and Virtuoso. If you notice, 1 of the fire cards you use in t2 (2 if you count mortar), is actually a t1. 2 of the nature cards (3 if you have hurricane) are t1. This means we have room to add 4 more t1 cards. If you want more, you can pare back the t2 and rebalance it. Experienced players usually value t1 more than t2. However, most of the fighting happens in t2. So my philosophy is to go bigger t2, and just try to stay alive for t1. For beginners, t2 is much more important, although it is good to learn how to fight t1. T1 is much more technical, however. At any rate, you can do what you want with your deck. In my experience teaching chess, I’ve found that beginners often get hung up trying to memorize openings and miss out on the middlegame experience—where most of the game is played. My advice to them is to stay away from technical openings; learn general principles enough to survive the opening and reach an even middlegame. From there, the better player will win. I think the same advice holds true in Battleforge. Yes, at top play the slightest inaccuracy in t1 can make you suffer all game—if you don’t outright lose (this is also applicable to grandmasters in chess). But if you’re anywhere in the middle ranks, a t1 inaccuracy will not cost you the game. Yes you should know general ideas, but knowing that whether to spawn 2 sunstriders and 2 thugs or 3 sunstriders and 1 thugs when you meet shadow in the center of Simai is not relevant yet: your time is better spent elsewhere. Things like winning a skyfire drake ditto with one shot and erupting are much more useful. Basically, don’t overextend yourself trying for a t1 advantage; just try to “survive” it and learn to play t2. You’ll pick up t1 along the way. I’ve run into countless Legend/Supreme ranked players that play a better t1 than me. Sure they get that small advantage, but they count on winning all their games from that t1 advantage and they just fumble it in t2. Learn your basics first—I’ll improve every game I play with getting slightly better at t1, but these guys need to rework their fundamentals. Here is an excellent example of MaranV being outplayed in t1 but coming back to win in t2: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MLvl_hWIvns For the purposes of making this guide easier to follow, I’m going to be stubborn and say that this is all the room I have for t1. If I play fire, the choice is easy: Scavenger, Sun Striders, Thugs, and Mortar. If I play nature, the choice is more difficult. If I wanted to be truly minimalist, I could play just Treespirit and Amazon. You would also need to add Hurricane, and maybe adjust the t2 balancing around S counters. And I could still add mortar tower. However, I would not recommend trying to work with such minimalism as a beginner. If you play nature and want to actually engage in a t1 fight, you need a swift unit (probably swiftclaw), hurricane, dryad, windweavers, and shaman. Treespirits are also nice. Unfortunately, that’s a lot of cards. For this reason, most fire-nat will start fire t1, especially because it gives them an excuse to use the mortar tower. My final demo deck is: T1: Scavenger, Eruption, Sun Strider, Thugs, Mortar Tower, T2: Surge of Light, Ravage, Ensnaring Roots, Curse of Oink, Lavafield, Rogan Kayle, Ghostspears, Skyfire Drake, Deathgliders, Fire Stalker, Vileblood, Gladiatrix, T3: Giant Slayer, Virtuoso, and Swamp Drake. @SilenceKiller99 asked: Could you say some more about nature-fire (with a nature T1) and how it is different from fire-nature? Yes, of course I can! . . . Oh, I suppose you wanted me to actually make those comments. Very well. Fire-nature and nature-fire really don’t have any fundamental differences past t1. There are some t2 strategies that are more likely because of t1 cards, but overall the gameplay is the same. In general, nature has t1 cards that are more useful in t2, but is easier to play and slightly more flexible. I’ve also found that people who start nature t1 (GreatKudi is a good example of this) tend to play more unconventional t2 choices, such as spirit hunters. The biggest concrete difference past t1 is that having dryad can be very useful for t2 offense, while having mortar can be very useful in t2 defense. Also, I prefer the safety of having my 3rd and 1st orbs be the same color, and nature-fire-nature is probably a stronger t3 than fire-nature-fire, so that is another consideration. Evolution of the Deck: This next section of the tutorial will outline how my decks evolved, and why that was better. This section will not be present in my discussion of the 9 other factions, or it will be written by someone else. Despite the negativity that I rain down on nomads, my first complete deck had them. That deck was: Nomad_nature,Sunstriders,Eruption,Wrecker,Makeshift-Tower,Surge-of-Light,Ravage,Lava-Field,Curse-of-Oink,Spirit-Hunters_nature,Twilight-Minions_fire,Deathglider_frost,Rogan-Kayle,Vileblood_nature,Skyfire-Drake,Fire-Stalker,Mauler,Sun-Reaver_nature,Drones,Ashbone-Pyro T1: Nomad, Sun Strider, Eruption, Wrecker, Makeshift Tower, T2: Surge of light, Ravage, Lavafield, Curse of Oink, Spirit Hunters, Twilight Minions, Deathglider, Rogan Kayle, Vileblood, Skyfire Drake, Fire Stalker, Mauler, T3: Sun Reaver, Drones, Ashbone Pryo It’s interesting to note that, while this deck cannot be considered competitive at top play, it’s still remarkably balanced. I could probably achieve Ruler level with it. As it was, I was an archfiend because I didn’t even understand what counters were. @TBPeti told me about that and void power and it changed my life. I jumped to Grandmaster the next day, after changing my t1. As I’m sure you’ve noticed, I have no S counters in there. This is why nomads are bad. I generally avoided large t1 confrontations, and if I needed to defend S, the makeshift tower worked pretty well. Not the best, but it halfway worked. The second thing you should notice, after my ranting about the wonders of gladiatrix, is that she’s missing. That’s because I was completely P4F, and they hadn’t even started giving out daily rewards. I could afford maybe 2 gladies, but I wanted to have the BFP in my pocket so I could continue to make more BFP. My anti-air was fairly coordinated as well. Not ideal, but it worked. Spirit hunters were good. They couldn’t even damage a ravaged drake though, so I would use the nomad spear for that. If I had known better, I would have spawned a drake and shot+erupted, or just double erupted. Admittedly, the nomad spear was pretty good against war eagles and windhunters. I’m not condoning them, I’m just saying that they did a bit to fill in the gladiatrix void. I used deathgliders and fire stalkers against S units. As soon as I learned about unit counters, I subbed in ghostspears for twilight minions. I was using the minions because I thought having stricter orb requirements (1 fire 1 nature, rather than 1 nature 1 neutral) would mean a better unit. That’s not the case. For t3, I went shadow for ashbone pyro. That’s just a great card, and it solved problems of siege and anti-air. I played around with my t3 a lot (staying shadow the whole time), sometimes doing things like soulshatter or sandstorm or unholy power. I didn’t like my drones very much. It’s pretty risky to take a different t3 orb just for one card, even a card as great as ashbone pyro. I had that conversation with TBPeti, and wizened up. I changed my nomad to scavenger immediately, which sort of forced me to get a gladiatrix and drop spirit hunters, but I held off the rest of the changes until I could do them more gradually. The next time I thought my deck was finished, it had Scavenger,Sunstriders,Eruption,Thugs,Mortar-Tower,Surge-of-Light,Ensnaring-Roots,Ravage,Lava-Field,Curse-of-Oink,Rogan-Kayle,Ghostspears,Skyfire-Drake,Fire-Stalker,Vileblood_nature,Gladiatrix_nature,Mauler,Giant-Slayer,Magma-Hurler,Sun-Reaver_nature T1: Scavenger, Eruption, Sun Strider, Thugs, Mortar Tower, T2: Surge of Light, Ensnaring Roots, Ravage, Lavafield, Curse of Oink, Rogan Kayle, Ghostspears, Skyfire Drake, Fire Stalker, Vileblood, Gladiatrix, Mauler, T3: Giant Slayer, Magma Hurler, Sun Reaver Much improved! Pro fire-nature players will disagree with this a lot, but I prided myself on the deck’s A). Originality, and B). Low price. I was ranked about Legend with this deck, and I kept it until I heard the announcement that Battleforge was shutting down. The comments for VB vs burrowers are still valid. I dropped deathgliders, and I relied on ghostspears and fire stalker for my S counter. I did get in the occasional trouble with darkelf spamming or stone shard spamming, but overall it was okay. If the enemy spammed too much S units, lavafield was generally okay. It was a fine line to tread to overwhelm me, but at around Legend level people could do it fairly reliably. I also realized that most of the time I wasn’t using the VB, but rather just charging in with Rogan and a Ghostspear, with Fire Stalker in the back. I used the mauler because I had a lot of trouble dealing with ashbone pyros and stonekin. Sun Reavers were also not nerfed yet. When I heard the game was shutting down, I finally gave up my pride and decided to just try to improve my rank. My deck was: Scavenger,Sunstriders,Eruption,Thugs,Mortar-Tower,Surge-of-Light,Ensnaring-Roots,Ravage,Lava-Field,Curse-of-Oink,Rogan-Kayle-promo,Ghostspears,Skyfire-Drake,Scythe-Fiends,Gladiatrix_nature,Burrower,Mauler,Giant-Slayer,Magma-Hurler,Sun-Reaver_nature T1: Scavenger, Eruption, Sun Strider, Thugs, Mortar Tower, T2: Surge of Light, Ensnaring Roots, Ravage, Lavafield, Curse of Oink, Rogan Kayle, Ghostspears, Skyfire Drake, Burrower, Scythe Fiends, Gladiatrix, Mauler, T3: Giant Slayer, Magma Hurler, Sun Reaver You’ll notice there are only 2 changes. Burrowers and Scythe fiends. The harmony of the rest of the deck still holds, with a bit better of an S counter. Occasionally I would remove Rogan and use an extra t1 card. My deck was becoming more and more the standard fire-nature deck. Ultimately, at the very top levels, it always comes down to the same cards. I will now present to you the “Pro-Player’s Fire-Nature Deck.” I don’t agree with everything in them, but I do know that my results tended to get better the more I conformed to them. Don’t just take this list and copy it, because the reasons for why cards are in your deck are more important than the cards themselves. The following deck differs from the deck I just presented for very small, tactical reasons. It’s not guided by principles, so explaining those reasons will not be of much use to you. I mostly include it so I don’t have pro players pulling out their hair and saying “firestalker? Rogan Kayle? How could you??” If you wanted just the grocery list below, you can ask any player and he could give you one. Really, the only reason I have this is to establish my credibility. Pro decks: T1: Scavenger, Eruption, Sun Striders, Thugs, Firesworn, Sunderer, Mortar, T2: Surge of Light, Ensnaring Roots, Hurricane, Ravage, Lavafield, Curse of Oink, Ghostspears, Skyfire Drake, Burrower, Scythe Fiends, Gladiatrix, T3: Giantslayers, Brannoc Mine also works well, although a lot of players don’t have room for it. Similarly with disenchant. I’ve known some players to even forgo t3 entirely to make room for those cards. Some also drop Mortar/Sunderer.
  7. A large portion of the fun in this game for me previously was building my PvP decks from scratch U1 and upgrading overtime. Having edit-able top tier 120 PvP decks simply removes the enjoyment of having your own developed deck. Obviously the premade 120 decks make sense in Rated to keep the playing field level, but I would like to suggest removing them from Unrated for the sake of being able to have more diverse matchups and still build a deck that you saw from the start. I think major changes like this are bad for long-term longevity of the game when there's no time spent upgrading cards of your choice for a PvP player. Obviously you can technically still build full decks from U1 scratch, but handicapping yourself by not using the available U3 cards that you can swap out doesn't make much sense.
  8. 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
  9. Hey, just a little Bug: Played Sparring PvP with my friend Ultrakool to rip his ass, I Started the Game but he was still in the forge So I got instand win what means I ripped his ass Doesn't really matter to fix it cuz its Just sparring..there are more often little bugs that the Game Crashes but its ok Cya Pat ?@Ultrakool
  10. Since the April Fool's video I made, I've been playing with the idea of having a Troll 2v2 tournament where teammates start on opposite teams. Let's imagine 4 players: P1 and P2 are on a team against P3 and P4. P1 and P3 will be the "leaders" of their team. The game would start with P1 and P4 on (map) team 1; P3 and P2 would be on team 2. So actual teammates start on the opposite teams as each other. If team 1 (aka P1) sees the victory screen, P1 and P2 win the game. I team 2 (aka P3) sees the victory screen, P3 and P4 win. So basically, P2 and P4 are trying so sabotage their temporary teammates. Shadow is of course the obvious choice for trolling, so I am thinking the "sabotage" player should not be allowed to play any shadow orbs. We can see how creative people can be. I have thought of some interesting strategies to troll your partner even without shadow I am also wondering if the "lead" player should also be penalized from using shadow. For example, cards like corpse explosion or shadow phoenix would still be very strong in this scenario. Here is the current ruleset I'm thinking about: Each team is composed of a "lead" and "sabotage" player. The sabotage player starts on the enemy team and is not allowed to play any shadow orbs. Victory is determined by the winning "lead" player. Pairings: Swiss system with a random seeding Points: 7 points for victory, 3 points for loss, -3 points per shadow orb played Teams will play 2 games back-to-back. Maps: Fyre, Danduil, Gorgash, Zahadune, Turan. Any other map (including Generated) is allowed if BOTH teams agree to it. One team will ban 2 maps. The other team chooses any of the 3 remaining maps. The team that banned chooses the starting position of both players. After game 1, the map picking roles reverse. I don't know if it's feasible to stream the games live, especially since I would want to hide troll strategies from the competitors. But I'd like all the games to happen on the same day, so there is less chance for cheating (i.e. sharing replays with someone so they know someone else's strat). Anyone interested in playing (or watching) this?
  11. Eirias

    PvP t4 fight

    Over the years, I've heard lots of people say they want to have t4 fights in pvp. Well, I made a map to test something else, but the result is a map where you can have a huge t4 fight. So go ahead and try it if you want, and then you will see that there is not really a point You can play this map by going to the Sparring grounds, then clicking community maps and selecting Paint Block Test. My map gives you t4 immediately, and there is an open fight. The other map where you can have a PvP t4 fight is called Maze of the Survivors. This map forces you to beat some PvE enemies first, so you will be t4 when you get to the other player. Either map will let you see that t4 fights are silly in PvP
  12. This is a card near and dear to my heart. I used it as a crutch to get 12th on the ranked ladder at a time where everyone said it was useless. Before I go farther let's remember what it does: Shrine of Greed: Tier 2, Shadow/Shadow, 100 Power Building Transfer half of the void pool to the power pool instantly. For the next 30 seconds, no void power flows into the power pool and any power that would normally flow into the void pool is instead permanently lost. This debuff means that for 30 seconds if you use a spell, lose a building, or let a unit die you permanently lose the 90% power that would normally be refunded. The debuff is so crippling it makes the upside, gaining half of your void pool instantly, not worth it. The lose of a single nightcrawler means permanently losing 54 energy. Lose two nightcrawlers and it is worse for you than building a power well and instantly destroying it. The issue is, the debuff is so bad that you will lose far more than 100 power in the 30 seconds it is active. But, did you know Shrine of Greed's (SoG) debuff is tied to the building itself? If you destroy the building immediately after activating it, you lose the 90 power bound into the building but instead get half your void power instantly. This is clearly a bug but it makes the card incredibly interesting to play and gives Pure Shadow a way to run an incredibly long t2. Rediscovering the bug from another Pure Shadow player Eljyn(?) is what vaulted me into the top 20. It lets you turn a match you are losing into a game where you have 2 buffed harvesters on the field. If you have ever played me and wondered why my micro is below every other top player's, reading this should give you a hint. For 1v1 PvP In my opinion the card is balanced. If given the chance I'd redesign it to bring back Pure Shadow's old school t2 turtle into Harvester or 5-card T3 without requiring the player to abuse a bug every game. Once someone knows you have this in your deck(or is given the impression), they can punish you hard when you build it. I typically had to go one Power-well down when I built it and if I didn't get major value the game was essentially over. It is a true high-risk high-reward card and fits well in the Shadow faction. For 2v2 PvP This is the important part of this post. The widespread use of this bug had a detrimental effect on 2v2 in the later years of BattleForge. The issue is that both you and your ally get back half of your void power instantly and only one of you suffers a -100 power penalty. In 2v2 where there is more power already in the game, this gives a team with a Pure Shadow member an unfair advantage in the mid-to-late game. Assume all four players in a 2v2 match have 1500 power in their void pool. One team is capped at +20 void power per second with 1500 in their void pool while the team using SoG pulls out 750 power instantly and still gets 15-16 per second. This isn't healthy for the 2v2 scene and as time went on and knowledge of the bug grew, more and more teams started incorporating a Pure Shadow member. And that's why I'm making this post. I've seen talk of balancing and if we are going to be making balance changes it is very important for us to look first at cards that hurt the overall playing experience of the PvP communities and this is a card we need to focus on first. Discuss.
  13. Hello, First, for those who don't know what i mean by "wall attack", i'll introduce it to you very quickly. You're in a PVP map, and there is a wall very closed to your opponent's monument or power wells. A common strategy here is to take the wall and put some archers on it. They will attack your opponent's monument or power well. He'll be in a hard position because it's hard to kill units on a wall. I admit i use it when i can because it's part of the game. But i think it shouldn't because it's way too much punitive in an off-guard moment. Often, it results by the victory of the wall attacker. I think the map designers didnt thought that the main PVP strategies would be: destroy wall already built because you get more energy into the void + make wall attacks. So they put walls everywhere. Including near start position thinking "it will help to defend the base, LOL". Well... its the total opposite... xD Solutions i see here: - (If its possible) If the wall is built at the beginning of the game (near base), make it free in energy, and even a definitive wall that can't be rebuilt. So players will keep it as a defensive structure and wouldn't be able to use it offensively. - Increase / decrease the wall cost depending on if it's closed to a monument/power well, - Put the wall a little bit closer so player can't take it to wall attack (red area) - Remove wall and maybe create some new walls if the map is designed to play with it. If i have the time in September, i'll be happy to edit the default maps and apply those changes, maybe publish them as "Wall attack removed" community maps and publish it to server :). And the final objective would be to submit it to devs so they can replace it by the current maps. Does someone is interested in this project? I would be happy to work with one of you people! Thank you!
  14. first i love BF and sry for my bad english... but for me the biggest problem atm is you get to fast to easy all you want thats why pvp and normal pve is dead. Rly i play this game a month? and have all what i want.. stonekin pure shadow twillight etc. pvp and pve fully upgrade... okay to be fair my loot luck on booster was good. Promo Mo for example. But you must only play rPVE maps thats all. For me personally they can increase gold and lvl requirement extremly. 3 or 4 times more. Then boost the lvl exp and gold on normal pve maps. And boost it extreamly for pvp. Nerf rpve. An then maybe people play pvp and normal pve maps more. Above all pvp. It sucks you have a pvp deck but you cant rly use it because only the top 10 players are in ranked and waiting for noobs. thats why 2 of my friends stop playing this game. Fully ups their cards for pvp and then you wait 30 min in ranked to get a top player. And only playing rpve is for them to boring. especially if you dont need more gold.. I know its a beta but maybe they can take it as idea or something. I hope you guys understand what i mean...
  15. Hello, I just wanted to report this bug: Me and other players can't see my pvp rank anymore. Actually I am lvl 18 and rank 40 - but even the golden badge is away. Maybe you guys can take a look at it, ty! :-)
  16. There is a huge problem with spectator maps since the auto kick was implemented that leads to the kick of player who are inactive for 3 minutes. This new change has killed the function of spectator maps because people who want to watch a match and take a place in one of the inactive positions to watch other player compete against each other are now kicked out of the match after 3 minutes and they cannot do anything against it. I understand the point to not reward people for beeing afk in pve or pvp and this change may be good for pve because this way no player can just stay inactive in a map for 30 minutes just to get a booster. But it totally kills not only regular spectating but the option for tournament leaders or commentators to stream and comment matches. Tournaments and tournament streams like the ones done by @Toggy cannot be done with this auto kick feature. Also all buildings and units are obliterated if a player leaves a match. This is a huge problem if a 2vs2 match is nearly won and one player of the winning team gets kicked. This may be game changing. It is a hard punishment if the mate in a pvp-match is afk but it is even harder to still win if also all buildings and units just disappear. I suggest that this change should be excluded from the sparring grounds or at least for the community maps. Would be nice if there is a way to just make the match and all quest progression done through a match not count if a player at one time was 3 minutes or longer afk. This would prevent the problematic of this auto kick.
  17. MrDanilov

    Pure shadow pvp

    I was thinking if I should put a third unit in my pure shadow pvp deck (not shadow-shadow-frost) along with Ashbone Pyro, Cultist Master and was not sure what unit exactly out of these options: Brannoc and Unstable Demon are excluded for now. At the moment I have 5 cards on my tier 3, 2 units plus Evocator's Woe, Voidstorm and questionable Soulshatter. Thank you for the insight.
  18. Hello Skylords of Lyn! I dont have anywhere to go look for fun decks (except for old Youtube videos, which is in 240p), I was hoping some of you would post your decks so both I and other people could get inspiration. My deck is 100% self-made so dont look at my deck as if it is a viable one, i just play with cards i feel like are cool. Please post yours and what type of deck it is for (PvE, PvP) Current deck - PvE (With cost - as of 09th October 2018 on the Beta): Treespirit (Green): 100 Windweavers: 139 Shaman: 900 Surge of light: 100 Aggressor (Green): 75 Crystal Fiend (g): 70 Curse of Oink: 50 Coldsnap: 525 Stonehurler (Red): 40 Stone Warrior: 35 Fathom Lord: 180 Rageflame (Blue): 400 Deepcoil Worm: 650 Brannoc: 300 Hammerfall: 10 Grimvine: 350 Grinder (Red): 400 Giant Wyrm: 90 Construct: 130 Deepgorge: 11 Total cost is about 4550 BFP (Prices change a lot, some times some cards are cheap and other times they are expensive)* Also attached screenshot of the deck:
  19. I want to make a shadow frost pvp deck, I Want to use lost cards. Anyone got samples?
  20. Saim25

    NEW 1on1 PVP MAP!

    Hello everyone, here you can download my new Map HIGHGROUND. Its a fast and intense 1on1 Map, inspired by one of my favourite Maps "Haladur". Orbs: 6 (Maybe Ill add one more) Wells: 16 1. DOWNLOAD : https://www.dropbox.com/s/zzlscd35ic4wler/Highground new version.pak?dl=0 2. Put the PAK file in Documents/Battleforge/"Map" (if there is no Map folder, create one)
  21. Hello bois and girls, As we know Open Beta is coming to us. That's why i would like to show you my pure fire deck (before the close). There is a full deck. At start we summon Nomad to get asap first powerwall. We can used 3 Nomad to rush enemies (they getting dmg buff). We can use Sunderer or makeshift tower to destroy small monsters. At tier 2 we got some combos - for example firedancers, raylling banner + girl power. This way you can easly take down power wells or orbs outlocated on map. 0 Second one is Scythe Fiends/Skyfire Drake with ravage. To quick down strong opponents you can summons enforcer. Two card T3 to long games. We got here also control spells (offensiv) to doing dmg before heal up and etc. What do you think about my special deck :)? Waiting for feedback! Really sorry for my english (it's my biggest flaw)
  22. Elemantary PvP Knowledge This Guide is mainly for beginners and less experienced players of PvP. I want to share basic knowledge more experienced players have over starters, so that they can try to have fun playing PvP even if they get stomped. Then they can look at this, helping them to analyze their games. So obviously, this is not a guide beginners just read and suddenly be strong, it just should give them ways to think how to get better. There are a lot of guides out there already, written down or recorded as videos. This guide here will be my personal opinion on what is basic, and if one wants to improve further I recommend watching game commentaries of top players or guides like from Cicada etc. Anyone who likes to add thoughts or critics to this, I would like to encourage to do so! So what do experienced players usually know? It is knowledge about: 0) How do I get started and better? 1) Energy 2) Summoned cards do different special damage. 3) Do I summon units dazed or better not? 4) Moving and placing units more efficiently 5) Focus Fire 6) When do I focus my damage on a well, when on an orb and when on a unit? 7) Split attacks 8) Don’t forget about your units 9) Watching the animations caused by the opponent player 10) Keep an eye on the mini map. 11) Estimation of a fights outcome 12) How powerful are additional orbs, when should I grab one? 13) Wide knowledge of existing cards, often played in PvP 0) How do I get started and better? Honestly speaking: Put some cards into a deck and play. Be brave to lose a LOT! But you’ll definitely need: Ground units (I use the plural here and mean it. It’s possible to play with only 1 T1 unit, but you want to learn how to play right?) in T1 of ONE color (better T2, too) Everything else is optional, you will find out quickly enough what works well and what not so. Lose your first 100 games as quickly as possible and try to understand your mistakes and maybe those of your opponents. 1) Energy So, I would like to spare you from the very details. But what is important to know right away? There are generally 2 ways of energy income. a) from wells from void When you start a map you get 2 wells, and a base of 400 void energy. Beside that you get 100 energy for free at the start of a game. Every second you constantly gain about half of the amount of what the 2 arrows show you in the top right into the power you can actually use. The top arrow shows income from void, the second one the number of wells you have up. Whenever a unit dies, a spell is casted or an activated ability is used 90% of the used energy will recycle into the void power. So you only lose 10% of its energy in the long run completely (mainly over about 2:30 minutes, I know this is very gross: there are much more detailed lectures about this topic), but be careful that you have a temporary loss of power. However! If you lose a well or an orb you won’t get your energy back. So try to not lose those without getting clear compensation (getting a temporary advantage that you can use to counter attack: e.g. a larger army on the field and or more temporary energy available to use). Repairing is refunded 100%, but is temporary very costly. When to repair a well etc. or not is not an easy decision even for very good players, so I recommend to get your own experience (it’s very situational). Being able to grab wells earlier is a big deal because you will also be able to take the 2nd earlier if nothing happens. But does that mean you should take one as quickly as possible? If you think you can do so without losing it to a rush being 100 (decreasing on time) down, yes. Here also: Get experience! Usually being bold and greedy might look dumb at first, but that’s a way to learn. At last if you cannot figure out how to hold, it was probably unreasonable to be greedy. This is then valuable information you can use when your opponent goes well first in the same situation next time. Lot of times you can keep fighting, even if you lose a well before you gained its 100 power, there are a lot of things important other than just being ahead or behind in energy. Also: Be careful not to cast anything not clearly helping you to win or stall a battle, your opponent might be able to ignore or run from (e.g.: a Life Weaving-75 energy-, spells and buffs are good but you need to get its value played out) and put you into a temporary power disadvantage, so your opponent could take a well etc. for same or similar cost. And of course if you kill a unit with more costs then your own unit or spell, you get a power advantage. Whenever you end up with having less energy, that’s mainly due to decisions in game. You can always improve with any new knowledge. 2) Summoned cards do different special damage. Units casted have 4 different sizes: Small, Medium, Large and Extra large referred to as S, M, L, XL Units. If on the bottom left of a card there is a sword (melee attacker) or a bow (ranged attacker) then right of that symbol is S, M, L or XL written. That means that it does an additional 50%! damage against that size of unit. For example: We call a unit that does 50% more damage against S-Units an S-Counter (M-Counter etc. likewise). Obviously often (of course you have to find out the exceptions by experience) it is efficient to attack an S-Unit with an S-Counter etc. If the symbol is a star the text on the card will explain what special damage it does (e.g. multishot, siege damage etc.) Letting the right units fight the opponents ones is one part of what is called micromanagement (like unit movements such as spreading, kiting, body blocking or focus fire, explained later on) 3) Do I summon units dazed or better not? Dazed units do less damage and have only half health. But when you are attacking far away from a spawning point, where your units are cast undazed you don’t have much of an option. But be careful with low health units which might die before they even get out of daze (especially against fire or shadow). So if you run an offense spawn some units before you reach the opponents units. Often in higher level play you see a T1 fight with some units “pre”spawned, so that they are able to fight with full force. 4) Moving and placing units more efficiently Micromanagement is fairly important, and because movements are quite slow in this game it is in my opinion not as hard to get ok-ish at as in faster games like starcraft etc. Let me explain some techniques you should be aware of and maybe try for yourself. Spread your units! That avoids splash damage to hit all your units at once. But try to spread them only as far as needed (yes you need to gain experience here again: vs. nasty surprise, lava field etc.), so that they still fight efficiently. Often it is good to spread units in a circle or to attack from different angles. When you cast new units also try to place them so they are spread efficiently. Kite! Hit and run if you have faster against slower units. (scavenger, frost bite and so on are also very helpful) If you have a slower unit or your attack is “muted” by some special abilities. You can run with that unit and attack the attacker with another unit. Block! Many units get slowed down when enemy units are in the way. You might use that to your advantage! Stampede! Some units can trample others down and hinder their attack. 5) Focus Fire Especially with ranged units focus fire is important. Means: Attacking the same target with a bunch of your attackers or with all of your attackers. Let’s explain it with an overly simplified model(the units are not as simple, but it still applies often enough): Two armies A and B are fighting each others. All of A’s and B’s units do one damage per attack and have 4 hitpoints. Round 0: A(4) B(4) A(4) B(4) A(4) B(4) A(4) B(4) A uses focus fire and B not. Round 1: A(3) A(3) B(4) A(3) B(4) A(3) B(4) Round 2: A(3) A(2) A(2) B(4) A(2) B(4) Round 3: A(3) A(2) A(1) A(1) B(4) Round 3: A(3) A(2) A(1) Well, I hope you got the point. Similar models you can make for pincer attacks (sandwiching) etc. 6) When do I focus my damage on a well, when on an orb and when on a unit? You do want to get down something which is not getting recycled into the void (wells, orbs), but we aware! When you shoot on a building you are not doing damage to something which may attack you back. Wells and orbs can serve as static tanks. So I cannot answer this question in a simple fashion. But the higher your DPS (damage output per second) is the likelier is an lesser punished focus on a well or orb. Also with siege units you might prefer targeting structures. As for targeting wells and orbs: Wells have more function in the earlier stages of the game (in later stages why would you want to invest 100 energy when the game almost ends and the void income is huge) and lesser health than orbs. So you usually you want to target down wells over orbs early and the other way round in the late game. 7) Split attacks Often it is easier to defend one place than two. For example: Try sending 2 siege units to attack a well on one point of the map and if possible at the same time with the rest of your army somewhere else, your opponent will have a tough time trying to handle this problem. 8) Don’t forget about your units Use your units you have cast. Try not to forget about any of them. They are bound power (not even void income) if they do nothing. If they are too far away to do anything helpful, consider sacrificing them. Same goes for towers if they have lost their strategic value. 9) Watching the animations caused by the opponent player There is no fog of war. You need to collect all information you can get. So carefully observe what your opponent is casting. 10) Keep an eye on the mini map. Well same as point 9) 11) Estimation of a fights outcome That needs a lot of experience and/or good judgment, but… At least: Do not sentence your units to death walking into obviously lost battles. I have seen beginners run with one t1 unit into an army of t1/t2 units without a special idea to handle that (at least I couldn’t come up with one). You might do that if your one unit is much stronger and/or you have the energy and supporting spells prepared (e.g. nasty surprise, lava field, corpse explosion, life weaving) 12) How powerful are additional orbs, when should I grab one? I personally like to stay lower tier and grab a well or the map presence instead, if I think I can defend. But an additional orb, especially t3 is a huge power (not in the meaning of energy besides void manipulation cards) boost. Here also, I do not really have THE beginner tip. But the more defensive your deck is build the more you might want to stay lower tier and collect more energy etc. instead. 13) Wide knowledge of existing cards, often played in PvP The more cards you know in detail the better your judgment will become and the more likely you are to make the right decisions. Usually (also depending on buffs and nerfs of cards) there will be a so called meta game (cards you find in most top players decks). Work on knowing those cards and how their animations look like in the game. Ok, I hope I did tell as less nonsense as possible, and I know this is not even half of what one can learn and many of you might have diffrent opinions about what is important or basic. But I hope it will help especially those, who find themselves at a huge loss at what to do and think about in PvP, HiyaMC
  23. a PvP Guide by RadicalX -General talk- Since some people asked me to do this I decided to make a small guide regarding Shadow T1. This guide provides information for every type of player (from new to experienced). I will try to explain every single matchup and I hope this is going to be helpful for some of you, who want to improve their gameplay when we get to play again. Note: Every statement refers to 1v1-PvP since 2v2 doesn't always works in the same way. First of all: What makes Shadow T1 so attractive? Shadow T1 & Fire T1 were the most played T1's in the game for a simple reason: Both of them haven't got any major weaknesses. Frost T1 often loses Map control due to the lack of swift units and Nature struggles seriously against towers or can get entirely ruined by an instant T2. Meanwhile Shadow doesn't have these issues and it doesn't lack in strenghts either. The early T1 is the strongest out of all colours. - the Deck - (This is just a short list without in depth explanation. For some more detailed information take a look at Eirias' Deck building guide: [http://forum.bfreborn.com/index.php?/topic/917-how-to-build-a-pvp-deck-guide/]) Group 1 - The "must have" Units (you won't be able to compete on a high level without them): Dreadcharger Forsaken Nox Trooper Nasty Group 2 - Strong additional cards, which provide safety for some matchups: Motivate Skeleton Warriors Phasetower Nightguard Group 3 - Cards, that are only useful for higher Tier combinations: Embalmers Shrine Life Weaving Group 4 - Cards that are only useful in a single certain scenario (usually not viable): Snapjaws Witchclaws (both affinities) Wrathblades Soulsplicer (green) Decomposer Lifestealer (For specific information ask @Hirooo) Executor Group 5 - Trash Offering (both affinites) Soulsplicer (red) You should make sure that your T1 has a good synergy with the rest of your Deck. Some examples: - If you play Shadow Nature, Life Weaving would be a trash card, but in a Bandits-T2 Life Weaving is essential to support your skyfire drakes. - Phasetower gets even stronger in a shadow/frost deck, because you can support them in T2 with Kobold Trick & Glacier Shell. - Shadow Nature has a nice synergy with nightguard because the cheap cc allows you easily to catch the enemies units / you can prevent the nightguard from escaping after she used her ability. The average Shadow T1 includes 6-7 cards (I usually played Dreadcharger, Forsaken, Nox-Trooper, Skeleton Warriors, Nasty & Motivate (+ Life Weaving in Bandits & Pure Shadow). In theory Phasetower has to be included since this card is a little bit OP (especially against nature), but Phasetowerspam doesn't require any micro and these dirty wins weren't really satisfying. - Matchups - Shadow vs Fire Lets start with this matchup since it's the most popular one. Most important cards in this matchup: Shadow: 1. Dreadcharger - 2. Forsaken - 3. Nasty - 4. Motivate Fire: 1. Scavenger - 2. Sunstriders - 3. Thugs- 4. Sunderer - 5. Eruption Core strategy: Your first unit is Dreadcharger. Apparently this should be your starting unit in every single matchup, because the Dreadcharger is fast and has the shortest spawn animation out of every T1 swift unit (werebeasts are equal, but they weren't really popular). This means you will always reach important positions like middle orbs on random maps before your opponent. The first thing you have to notice is your map. As long as you play on a large map you are allowed to take a power well without any concern, but on smaller maps like Elyon for example you shouldn't take anything, otherwise you are going to lose immediately against a Sunderer rush. On smaller maps you have to go for a dazed fight. So lets take a look at "How to play dazed fights": 1. Spawn a dreadcharger, walk towards the position you intend to capture. 2. Spam mass forsaken and split your units (as long as your units are dazed you shouldn't have multiple ones at the same position, otherwise the can get erupted. If your Units reach full hp it's okay to have 2 Forsaken-squads close to each other). If you got multiple units in position you are ready to fight! 3. Your opponent will use Scavenger, Thugs & Sunstrider. Your first focus should be the scavenger, Sunstriders may have next to no health and are very vulnerable, but the scavy can slow your unit -> your opponent will kite you to death. The Fire player on the other hand has to focus your dreadcharger, because he won't reach your forsaken with his 540hp Scavenger, who has got inferior stats compared to dreadcharger, but a superior ability and aslong as they focus each other they are even in terms of strength. 4. If your units are close to death try to get them out of combat and heal them up later. Save as many units as you can and always try to have a good focus to catch out your opponent's Sunstriders as long as the scavy is out of the fight. If one of your Forsaken squads is out of position close to your enemies units just frenzy them to force your opponent back to get a positional advantage or - in the case where your opponent doesn't retreat - deal tons of damage (Frenzy Forsaken are devastating for Fire) and motivate them afterwards to get an even bigger damage boost. 5. Many people play thugs since their micro isn't good enough to win a dazed fight against frenzy Forsaken. The most important thing to notice is that Thugs are more expensive than Forsaken, which means the focussed forsaken squad can just run away, the thugs have to chase them, but your opponent has 10 additional bound power which creates an advantage for you. But be careful! Don't get lazy with your micro against thugs, because otherwise they can delete your forsaken and their passive will give your opponent even more power. Your micro has to be on point in this situation. EDIT: Since there was some discussion about thugs I want to expand this paragraph. It's very important to note that 2 Forsaken can kill Thugs, that are played in your backline before they get out of daze. So a very important tip against Thugs is to avoid early engagements and get up a decent amount of Forsaken (at least 4-5). This allows you to burst down dazed squads & full hp thugs from the other side will be easier to kite. Thugs are powerful, but onedimensional cards, so this strategy works with a high consistency to prevent them from destroying and zoning your backline and ensures you to win the early dazed fight. 6. If you get an advantage take a super aggressive power well to gain map control. If you lose the dazed fight try to take a safe position and buy time to recover your temporary disadvantage (but be careful, if your opponent tries to abuse this and starts spamming power wells. Pure Fire benefits heavily from this.). If you get a good amount of practice with this, you should win at least 90% out of your dazed fights against Fire T1. Important notes: Even if Nasty and Eruption can be game changing in the perfect moment they are usually not efficient in dazed fights! They are only good to punish mistakes, aside from that spawning additional units is the better choice. Sometimes you can spawn a single squad Skeleton Warriors with their tank ability they can easily reach good nasty positions, but you still shouldn't rely on the use of Nasty to win the fight. NEVER use lifeweaving on your Dreadcharger. It's just not good to spend 70 power to support a unit without substantial damage. Your opponent can just run away or change his focus and would always win the trade. If you think you really need a tank in your fight choose skeleton warriors. They do have got even more effective hp (1.5k) with their ability and you have to spend only 50 power which is fine. Fake Frenzy is pretty funny ^-^ You have to wait a split second until Frenzy gets activated which means you can easily cancel the animation by walking around -> sometimes your opponent thinks you really activated your Forsaken and retreats immediately. Always try to play at your power limit. It's pointless to hold anything back since the only useful spell in your Deck is Motivate which costs next to nothing. Here is a replay that shows how a dazed fight between two good players looks like: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Cm1gRHwA0U Hirooo made some small mistakes but that was an overall well executed T1. Sadly the commentating isn't always on point since Farrock doesn't have the same game knowledge as the top players (No offense against him, I respect his work & effort alot). The dazed fight is pretty much the most important thing to master in this matchup, because even on alot of the bigger maps you will fight under the same conditions after taking a power well. But lets take a look at another very common scenario: The close well fights This fights are way more aggressive, because Forsaken & Thugs are way more efficient in these situations. The reason for that is very simple: As a fire player you can't just run away from Frenzy Forsaken because otherwise they will just focus your well and delete it in no time. Thugs are super strong to support the fire players' defence. But keep in mind you got the early advantage in this matchup, so play as aggressive as you can. The power of fire scales proportionate with gametime as long as no wells go down, because Sundererspam can get really dangerous in the later stages of your T1. If you have to defend a Sunderer just use a Dreadcharger to block its walkpath as fast as you can (this slows the unit down severely) and focus it as much as you can before it's able to reach your power well (Use Nox Trooper + overload if you need a little bit more burst to finish it of when your opponent retreats). You have to keep calm in these situations, because if you panic and go for something like "mass frenzy" your opponent just walks away, waits 20 seconds and returns with a second Sunderer and this is ... lets say it's not good ... I also found a replay that shows how to abuse the early power of Shadow in a close well fight. Very nice decisionmaking by killroy in this game (he didn't waste any units). He does a really good job in terms of snowballing the game by attacking 2 spots at the same time, it's worth it to watch this game: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XD_n3CbbbMk This is a pretty rare scenario, but some maps do have big well distances and promote passive play (Simai does this because the Shadow player doesn't take the middle since he's scared of cliffdancer, meanwhile the Fire player prefers high well distances). Nox Trooper gets more valuable on maps like this. Usually they are inferior compared to forsaken in this matchup but they can create a high amount of burst and on this maps you don't have to deal with such a high amount of Sunstriders. The Overload-ability does 487,5 damage -> 1 hit + overload kills a scavenger in 6 seconds for sure and creates a little temporary power advantage for you. Just abuse this and take another power well, your opponents' attacks will be predictable since the map is big which allows you to defend well against sunderer. You can create a small, but reliable lead like this and this allows you a safe transition into your T2. [I didn't find a good replay for this, but I'm going to add one as soon as I got one] - Map Advantages - This matchup is the least map dependend one (Shadow mirror doesn't count ^^), but there are still some maps that give you advantages or disadvantges. Elyon: Small map, fast and early T1 fight -> it's easy to secure map control and sometimes you will be able to prevent your opponent from his T3. Yrmia: This is a very small map aswell with close wells next to each other, but the map isn't as fancy for you as it looks. The passages on this map are really really small, you won't be able to split your units unless you attack from multiple areas! Keep that in mind, otherwise Eruptions can be a threat at this map. Haladur: This matchup is pretty balanced on this map and very entertaining aswell. Pretty much one of the main reasons why Haladur was such a popular map in the community. Simai: As explained this map promotes a slow & passive T1. It's usually a solid map for you, but be careful against these nasty pure fire player, who abuses this to get into a high powerlevel T2. Lajesh: Weird map for casual ranked games, since you always have to pay attentions at your walls + it gets really easy to turtle with wallspamming. In tournament maps this can be one of the greatest maps in the game as long as both players agree to play without walls. Whazai: This map is fine for T1 action, but has some risks for you. It has a very small passage before you reach the middle which is a dangerous eruption spot and the small area gives you a hard time microing against thugs at the same time. But if both players take a well in the middle you are at a clear advantage. It's very easy to let your Forsaken attack the well & the main base at the same time and since there is a cliff next to the main base thugs & scavenger can't reach the Forsaken in time. But careful! This map gets really nasty against pure fire, especially if you decide to take that well in the middle. Uro: The most dangerous map for you. Wells are so far away from each other, it's even hard to move your units between your own wells to defend properly against Sunderer without a disadvantage. Sometimes you get forced to trade wells - you can't just sit back and play passive. Calm decisionmaking is even more important on this map. Generated maps: Small maps usually favour you a little bit since they are mid centered and you will most likely win the dazed fight, big maps are really shitty to be honest. T1 doesn't really matter, the better T3 usually wins. Shadow vs Frost The second matchup will be against Frost. I think a very important thing to notice is that this matchup is very map dependend. Most important cards in this matchup: Shadow: 1. Dreadcharger 2. Nox Trooper 3. Motivate Frost: 1.Master Archers 2. Ice Guardian 3. Ice Barrier 4. Home Soil Core strategy: Playing against Frost is always a little bit tricky. You will start with your Dreadcharger as fast as you can! Don't waste time, you have to reach your opponent as fast as possible to force a dazed fight, because Shadow will win that dazed fight against Frost every single time. Dreadchargerspam will always beat Masterarcherspam, just be careful with wintertide. If your opponent plays it just stop any move command and micro your units very carefully. Aslong as you don't suicide your Dreadcharger, Wintertide won't have any impact on the game. If you catch your opponent before he takes a power well, you can deny him access to the entire map, which is litereally game over. But lets get over to the interesting part where you can't deny the power well: 1. Your opponent has to take a well: You get a 100 power advantage and now it's your turn to use that to attack (unless you play on a super big random map). Your core units in this situation are Dreadcharger & Nox Trooper. That's everything you need since Forsaken are very weak against Master Archer (sometimes you can play a single squad, but be careful with the use of Forsaken against Frost). 2. It is very important to notice which starting unit your opponent got. If it's a Lightblade just go for 2 Dreadcharger + Nox Trooper spam. If he got only Master Archers you should think about more Dreadcharger. 3. After that you have to react to your opponents' unit composition. If he chooses to play ice Guardians, play more Nox Trooper - against Master Archers you have to get more Dreadcharger. In the perfect scenario the Dreadcharger take out the Master-Archers without beeing hit by the Ice Guardians, who get smashed by your Nox Trooper in the meantime. But this doesn't always work out perfectly. https://youtu.be/F-uawwk6hRg?t=23m5s At this game it worked out pretty well, even if it's a 2v2 match. That would've worked on a small 1v1 map aswell. 4. If one of your units starts to get very low just pull it out of the fight. It's easy to micro the fast Shadow units. Sometimes you won't be able to kick the power well, but you can take out so many units without losing a single one. 5. If you get around 4-5 low hp units just take your own power well, heal your units and continue to pressure. Your temporary advantage is still massive and even if your opponent got a good amount of power thorugh his extra well he doesn't have that much extra power, because he lost many units already and only 90% of the power returns back into the void. 5 power lost per unit and this adds up pretty fast in this matchup. Especially if you continue your attacked with your healed units. Now it's your time to get a massive advantage. 6. If you think you can take your opponents' power well you can use motivate to give your units some extra punch, but be careful. Frost has already access to Glacier Shell, you have to deal around 3,8k damage in a very short time. It's usually wise to go for the units first & take the well down later when you got an overwhelming amount of units. Important notes: Nasty is usually not very useful against Frost units, because they have just too many hp. In addition to that Ice barrier can be used to block alot of the damage in dangerous Situations. You need at least T2 units like Lyrish Knight for example to make some effective nasties. If you have to wait for some units to heal up or something like that, try to tease a little bit with your Dreadcharger to force a early home soil or maybe even a frost glyph. You need godly reaction to entirely dodge a well placed Frost Glyph, but keep in mind that it's not that bad when you get hit unless your opponent has already 5+ units, which shouldn't be the case as long as you are aggressive. Otherwise just use the focussed unit as motivate-food ^-^ Many people don't consider attacking as the best choice, but that's just a huge mistake. If you just take your own well against frost, the power level will rise and your opponent benefits from that since Frost T1 Units are very cheap and have very good stats. Back in 2011 I lost so many games, because I wasn't aggressive enough in this matchup. Double Ice Guardian + MA spam + homesoil will be way to efficient at some point, there is not alot you can do against then after you played a passive early T1. -Again I would love to add a replay at that point, but I didn't find a decent one. If anyone knows some good Shadow vs X replays on youtube send me a pm please.- Ok lets get through the Map part. Frost is super map dependend due to the lack of a swift unit, so it's really important to abuse your map-advantages. Haladur: The more common "Scavy-spam" works on Haladur aswell with Dreadchargers. Your opponent takes a well in the middle, but the distance between the well & main base are incredible high. So you just have to spam Dreadcharger and run down to the main base, attack there and if your opponent spawns alot of units just walk back to the well in the middle. The Frost units will be to slow to follow and you can overwhelm your opponent. Motivate is essential to this strategy! Aside from that Frost even has an advantage on Haladur if your opponent gets his position in the middle since the power wells are very close to each other and Frost T1 excels at that scenario. So try to zone him from the main entrance to the center of the map. Elyon: One of the easier maps for you. You can get control over the middle wells & orbs, which denies your opponent a T3 spot. You don't even have to take anything there. Just use your units to prevent the Frost player from reaching the area. Later on you just need to stall for T3 and win basically without taking any risks. Yrmia: Very difficult map. Power wells are really close to each other, there is no way to get superior map control or something like that. At least it is a really small map which allows you to attack very early with a strong rush. But if you fail to control the early game you may end up beeing at a bad spot because Frost T1 results nearly every time in a Timeless One based T3 which is very powerful. Simai: Slow Map, you can make an aggressive push to deny your opponent control over the wells at the top of the map. Aside from that the well distances are very high unless you take any stupid power wells which makes it a low pressure map. But if your opponent takes a well at the start you actually get to zone him from his T2, which gives you control over the early game though. Whazai: Great Map for you, you can get immediate control over the mid spot and in addition to that nox trooper can attack 2 of the power wells in the base over cliffs, which makes it sooo difficult to defend against this with Ice Guardians. Keep in mind that Frost can spawn dazed Iceguardian with an active (!) Shield behind the cliff at their main base, so don't rely on a simple Dreadchargerspam. Uro: The best map for you. It's important to do a quick start, because you have to walk very far. This map is litereally an autoloose for Frost because you can deny your opponent every position on the entire map. You will be able to force a dazed fight, that shadow is going to win without any Problems. Lajesh: With walls again very weird to play. Very slow and passive gameplay. If both players agree to play without walls the game gets really great. Small map with alot of potential for aggression, but potential close wells on the other hand. Generated Maps: small maps are nearly a freewin since they are usually mid-centered (as I said before) and you will be able to control the mid-wells. Large maps will be boring & usually end up in a T3 fight, which is not so good against Timeless One decks. Shadow vs Nature The matchup with the potential to be the greatest out of all, but 2 cards influence the balancing in a negative way (Phasetower & Treespirit). Most important cards in this matchup: Shadow without Phasetower: 1. Dreadcharger 2. Nox Trooper 3. Nasty Surprise 4. Motivate 5.Forsaken (!) Nature without Treespirit: 1.Spearman 2. Windweavers 3. Ensnaring Roots 4. Surge of Light Core strategy: There are 2 ways of playing the matchup Shadow vs Nature and I'll start with the easy one. It includes the use of Phasetower, a card that is ridicilously broken in this matchup for multiple reasons: 1. Phasetower has insane stats (900/1200) and is even with his teleport debuff stronger than any unit nature can offer (Primal defender can match him in terms of strength, but Phasetower has his insane teleport ability which makes him way more versitile). His strength is so overwhelming that his transition into T2 is still amazing (especially for shadow frost that can protect the turrets with kobold trick and glacier shell). 2. Phasetower has splash damage which allows him to finish off windweavers squads very quickly (The Nox Trooper for example has to shot at every single unit at the end to kill the entire squad) 3. Buildings are uneffected by crowd control which is a huge advantage against nature, that usually relies on Ensnaring roots in this matchup. 4. Nature doesn't have a counter unit against phasetower (apparently Sunderer is the only unit with Siege damage in the entire T1 -> no nature Unit, that can threaten buildings.). 5. I do consider Treespirit as a ridicilous card, that needs a rework and destroys the beauty of nature T1. But Phasetower is the perfect counter against them, because of superior stats and the fact, that they are unaffected by the poison. 6. Since nature is forced to play slow units against shadow it is possible to take a well on mid centered maps and defend it successfully with a Phasetower to gain map control for free, which is devestating on maps like Elyon. Just overall: Phasetower is op and I will just show a short replay that demonstrates the power of Phasetower without any micro-effort. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i1x8GEMpyAI (Game 3 of a showmatch series between Elendil & Sarlesch - german cast by JMCW) Sarlesch wanted to go instant T2, that's why he started with amazon. He changed his mind after 30 seconds and played 2 Windweaver squads (I guess the reasoning behind this was the fact, that elendil was able to rush his instant T2 in the previous game). And after that his chance of winning went down to litereally 0%. Elendil realized immediatly Sarlesch couldn't go T2 anymore, built up some phasetowers and won the game with no effort. The matchup gets way more interesting without Phasetower or Treespirits (btw. I recommend instant T2 against Treespirit as long as you play without Phasetower) included. The start is pretty interesting against nature because nature has different starting units against different colours. Swiftclaw, which is usually the best choice, is just awful against Nox Trooper and against shadow in general. So as long as your opponent doesn't know you play Shadow T1, you can try to play some mindgames. Just don't play a single unit in the first 10 seconds and see how your opponent reacts. Some people will get impatient and start with the swiftclaw which gives you a massive advantage. Nature needs 4+ units (Spearmen + Windweaver spam) and around 100 extra power to be able to use crowd control and surge of light. If he plays an aditional useless 80 power unit it takes such a long time for him to reach a state where he is able to fight you. A time window that can get abused heavily. At that point you can just go ahead and beat your opponent with a nox trooper spam. If he retreats you can use your temporary advantage to secure map control with an aggressive T2, which is litereally "gg" beacuse nature struggles really hard against T2 since its units are super expensive with low dps. If your opponent doesn't fall for the bait just go ahead with your Dreadcharger and look for an immediate fight because at late T1 stages Ensnaring roots & Surge of light provide way to much power. On the other hand Shadow has the early fight advantage beacuse you've got cheap high dps units, that can overwhelm the nature player easily. Dreadcharger and Nox Trooper are your core units at this stage. How to play a dazed fight against nature: If you get to fight your opponent before he gets a critical amount of units you have to play around 2 things: 1. Ensnaring roots This is why you need at least 2 dreadcharger to run around your opponents' slow units and attack from multiple positions with them and multiple nox trooper. Otherwise your entire army gets rooted and 3+ windweaver squads can easiliy take out 2-3 units in those 15 seconds with a 45 power spell. If your opponent tries to kill the rooted units the other army can attack without interference (maybe even with a motivate boost). 2. Surge of light It is very important to notice, that nox troopers don't finish 6 unit squads immediatly. They have to shoot at every single unit once to kill it. It is really important to finish off the windweaver/spearmen squads immediatly to prevent efficient heals. There are many ways to do this: - Dreadcharger can use his "stomp" to finish them off since it does a small amount of damage when you knock back units - If your opponent plays with Spearmen it's fine to have a single forsaken squad added to your unit composition. They can finish off squads very fast, but be careful with your positioning, Forsaken are really squishy in this matchup - Windweavers can take them out really fast. And don't play 2 squads at the same position otherwise hurricane is going to hurt you - Nasty surprise can outclass heal in this matchup. If your Dreadcharger is in a good position and you can finish a single unit + damage other ones, just go for it. Your opponent can't make an efficient heal against that (150 vs 110 power). In addition to that the power of nature decreases tremendously with every unit loss since this just lowers the efficency of crowd control. How to play if your opponent takes a power well: Just attack at 2 positions at once with the compositions of 1 dreadcharger, 1 nox trooper & 1 forsaken squad. There is no way nature can match this even if you built up your own power well. Just spawn additional Dreadcharger/Nox Trooper over time and apply as much pressure as possible. If one of your attacks seems to go down, just use motivate to start the big push on the other side. You can kick a power well for sure. After that just go immediatly T2 to negate your opponents temporary advantage due to a superior amount of left units. Nature can't use cc at multiple positions, playing around this is your main win condition. Important notes: - This doesn't work against Treespirit! So be careful if you don't know your opponents' playstyle. - You can force your opponent to take a well as long as you play with phasetower, because shadow can just take a power well and defend it without any problems due to phasetower. If your opponent then decides to take his own well you have 2 places to attack, even if he is a smart player who tries to avoid unfavourable early fights. Map specific information: Haladur: Great Map for you! You can split your army really well and threaten the main base & the middle position at the same time. Haladur is really troublesome for nature, your opponnent may think about an instant T2. Elyon: With phasetower an absolute freewin. Without Phasetower it can get a little troublesome because the main base it protected through the wall. Your main approach is winning an early fight in the middle since there is alot of space to play around ensnaring roots. Afterwards you can secure map control with an early T2 Yrmia: Great map to attack from multiple positions, but can get sometimes a little bit tricky because there isn't that much room to split your units that well. But since the map is really small you can apply an insane amount of early pressure. With phasetower it's nearly a freewin. Simai: Very slow map that doesn't really promote early fights unless both players try to go for the middle immediatly. At that point you have a good shot at beating the nature player with a good nasty if you play well around ensnaring roots. Whazai: Ridiculous phasetower map. You need 2 ports from your base to be able to attack your opponents power wells. Without Phasetower it's important to use the side ways to surround your opponent. If you are only focussed on the middle you will get serious trouble against roots. Uro: You can run around your opponent due to the fast Dreadcharger. But keep in mind, Uro is a really big map and it takes time to reach the enemies base which favours the nature player. Your advantage: An early T2 at a good position can be devastating for your opponent. Lajesh: Favours Nature heavily. The Walls just block every kind of early aggression. On lajesh without walls you have a better shot since the map is really small and you can play more aggressive. But there is a wellcluster pretty close to the main base which is easy to defend for the nature player. Pretty balanced map aslong as both players agree to play without walls. Generated Maps: Small maps favour Shadow with Phasetower heavily, because you can just take the middle, build a turret and ... it's gg (okay to be honest Phasetower-Shadow T1 has an advantage on every map). Without Phasetower you can get problems on mid centered maps, but atleast there is alot of space to play around Ensnaring Roots. Large generated maps favour you a little bit, because you can just play super aggressive without anything to worry about. Even if you mess up, your opponent won't be able to reach you in time, because it sometimes takes around 50-60 seconds for remaining windweavers & spearmen to reach their destination. Enough time for your void to come back to you. Shadow vs Shadow The mirror matchup is pretty interesting since small mistakes can get punished super hard (especially with high dps units like Forsaken). The Most important cards for the mirror matchup: 1.Dreadcharger 2.Forsaken 3.Skeleton Warriors 4.Motivate 5.Nasty Surprise Core strategy: In theory this matchup consists mainly of Dreadcharger + Forsaken spam vs Dreadcharger + Forsaken spam and the guy with better micro (or the one who hits the clutch-nasty) wins the game since both players use the same cards. If you want to reach the highest ranks you should practise the mirror match opening, because the first skirmish is super important since you can't avoid it unless you go instant T2. You can't just take an additional power well unless the distance between you and your enemy is incredible big. If your opponent gets greedy and takes a well you can just attack, destroy it and the game is pretty much over. And this is how the rush works: Spawn 2 Dreadchargers to prepare an attack from 2 spots. Your opponent loses his opportunity to defend with a huge nasty. Spawn additional units and focus the power well. There is nothing your opponent can do against this since he just spent 100 power more which is massive in the early game (you can play 2 additional Forsaken squads, which adds more than 2.000 dp20s). https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u965vcN2cug Here is an example of a T1 rush against the strongest defence shadow can offer (Phasetower + wrathblades). I made some horrible mistakes in the early T2 stage, but if you can destroy a power well that early in the game you get such a massive advantage. The game was just over. My opponent was more than prepared for an attack (I used the same strategy to beat him in the first game in this bo5 series) but there is nothing you can do to stop the rush. If your opponent doesn't go for a power well things will get a little bit harder. Micro management gets super important, but also the decisionmaking. The way you use the Frenzy ability of your Forsaken often decides who wins the fight. You can increase your dps in the skirmish, but if you activate to many Forsaken your opponent can just retreat and wait for them to die for nothing. More important notes: - Always be aware of nasties. Dreadcharger is very fast and if you leave it at full hp you can get in trouble if your units aren't well positioned - Motivate can be massive. The amount of additional damage you can deal for literally no power is very good for any kind of skirmishes. Use it on the first Forsaken squad that is close to die. - Phasetower can be super useful on maps like Whazai, but usually isn't the best choice, because Shadow has got high dps Units to deal with it. But lets go ahead and talk about one of the most important cards in this matchup. Skeleton Warriors are monsters against Shadow. 50 power and 1,65k effective hp with their ability is huge. Shadow just hasn't got anything to deal with them. They can tank against Forsaken forever, they beat Dreadcharger with their ability and the most dangerous thing: You can't just ignore them and kite because they are a massive nasty threat aswell. Many players would just think of Wrathblades as a solution. But here is the problem: Wrathblades have got only 600hp and can get killed super fast by Forsaken and even if you don't focus them Wrathblades get a dp20s of 1512 against S units with their ability. If you compare the stats (1512dmg/600health vs 600dmg/1650health) you will realise, that Skeleton Warriors win the 1v1 against the Wrathblades. This is why Wrathblades are pretty useless, at least for dazed fights. If you managed to win the first skirmish you can use your temporary advantage to take a power well at a position that gives you map control. Try to make a gameplan from that point, maybe you can use your position to deny a T3 spot, or maybe try to get close to your opponent to push your advantage. If you are even after the first small fights you can also try to take a power well, but maybe at a safe spot. If the power level gets higher it is unlikely to get rushed that easily, because you can spam more units to intercept your opponent. In addition to that nasty gets way more effective at that point since it's harder to split the high amount of units well enough to prevent nasties from beeing power efficient. How to play when both players aquired a power well: Try to play as aggressive as possible. Never be passive, that will lose you the game for a simple reason. If the enemies Forsaken manage to reach your base you'll get a problem. At that point your opponent can just activate frenzy and you can't get rid of them, because it's super bad to frenzy your Forsaken in a defensive position. Even if you kill the enemies units, your own Forsaken will die aswell and you will just sit there with a low power well. You can play more units, but the next attack will finish the well most likely and if you decide to repair your well you won't have enough power to play any units. This is why you have to force skirmishes on an open ground and if you get an advantage due to superior micro just play as aggressive as you can. If you get pressured at some point just don't lose your nerves and activate your Forsaken. You will lose your chance to use a temporary advantage for a counterattack. Attacking at multiple positions is always a good choice. It is just way more difficult to react properly if you apply pressure everywhere even if your opponent has got enough power in theory. If you manage to control and micro your units well you can gain massive advantages because so many players struggle with multitasking especially when they have to react fast and have to prevent you from reaching their power wells. A common strategy: If you get an overwhelming amount of units just go ahead, and frenzy all of them. Just go for the wellfocus, but go T2 at the same time. This will allow you to deal with the counterattack (Darkelf Assassins, Shadow Phoenix, CC vs Frenzy, AoE damage spells like lavafield or lyrish nasty). There aren't many map specific advantages because both players have got access to the same cards so i won't make a map list for this matchup. Just keep this in mind: - Phasetower is super effective on Whazai (I mentioned this earlier aswell) - Big generated maps are just awful, you can't be aggressive on these maps, because if your opponent takes a well you just have to take one aswell. You need atleast an entire minute to reach him, which means your opponent can build up a good defense and even gets around 30-40 power back even before you applied any sort of pressure. But this is just an exception. So keep in mind: Good micro and the ability to be proactive are the most important things you need to master the shadow mirror. Okay, this is the end of my Shadow T1 guide. I hope this will help some of you in the upcoming future. Since I've got some requests I will write something about different colors at some point too, you can find my Frost T1 guide in the new player section and I almost finished Nature T1 too which will be released soon. So thank you for reading this, enjoy your day and stay hyped. Best regards, RadicalX
  24. Hey everyone, RadicalX here! Some of you may already know, that I try to provide as much Battleforge gameplay content as possible and since I'd like to know what you'd like to see I decided to make this thread here. So this is the stuff I wanted to upload on YouTube anyways: -> Some of my best PvP matches (either the closest or clean ones, depends) -> Recent streams with actual gameplay (PvP & maybe some PvE too) -> Replay Reviews from 2013-games (Analyzing either old top level PvP matches or some crazy games in general as long as I have enough replays) -> Random videos about some stuff like specific interactions, that are useful to know to spice up your gameplay (or something like "how to oneshot powerwells with an Easter Egg" ) -> Short deck building videos with short analysis about the 10 different factions Here's the last video I've uploaded recently: Generally speaking I'll try to make a channel with entertaining content, but also educational aspects for those, who want to play the game on a high level in PvP. So let's get to the actual point. What kind of content would you like to see? A specific PvE map (solo runs)? A specific PvP matchup or a special deck in action? Or maybe something like challenges (I think @Eirias made a thread about this once)? I'd appreciate every comment & idea on this!
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue. Terms of Use