Jump to content

CHEAP and powerful BEGINNER Deck

Recommended Posts



  1. Cost
  2. Tier progression
  3. Alternative cards to use
  4. Upgrade priorities
  5. Replays
  6. My other Guides

Reading time is maybe 15 to 20 minutes.

For some people the first thing they ask in the game is "can sb show me a good beginner deck?"
Unfortunately some of the answers they receive won't consider the cost. Both when it comes to the cards themselves but also for the upgrades, which cost gold.

This deck here is meant as a baseline to get going. Present some various, different concepts to give pointers and grant access to gold flow. But Skylords is all about experimenting! Don't like something? Change it!
Want to give something a try? Just slot it in!
Pulled an interesting card that you want to see in action? Build a deck around it, make it work!
Struggle with a specific map? Try different cards, there might be more suitable ones for different situations.
Create something else entirely from the ground up? The card pool is your oyster.

With that being said my goals here are:

  • Use almost exclusively common cards to keep upgrading costs to a minimum
  • Use cheap cards
  • Introduce cards (in the deck itself or as alternatives) that have at least some interesting synergies and are more involved
  • Be forgiving
  • Be flexible, so many cards can be changed
  • Be rPvE 9 ready right out of the box, so it also packs a punch


Since the introduction of the Card Reforging, the prices have changed drastically. Generally, this means that the cost for this deck is lower. But it's still wild out there, so consider this section outdated. I will adjust it once I feel like the economy has settled in and prices are more stable again.

The total to put this deck together is much less than 400 BFP! That means you can literally have this whole deck up and running within a single hour after first starting the game. Buy your discounted daily booster, resell it to someone for more and there you go.

I played a few rounds of rPvE 9 without any upgrades myself. I'd advise you to stick to solo until you got a good feeling for the deck. Play one round of 6 or 7 at first. Then try an 8, then 9.

This deck contains almost exclusively super cheap cards with a 3 BFP price tag or ones that are even included as starter cards. You can also ask around in trade, people might be willing to sell in bulk for 1 or 2 BFP per card. The exceptions are:

  • Giant Wyrm - under 10 (start card)
  • Breeding Grounds - under 10 (start card)
  • Curse of Oink - under 10 (start card)
  • Equilibrium G - under 10
  • Surge of Light - 5 to 20 (start card)
  • Stone Shell - 10 to 20
  • Healing Gardens - 10 to 20
  • Lost Horror G - 30 to 40
  • Razorshard G - 30 to 50
  • Grimvine - 170 to 220

Alternatives to Grimvine (note the comments under "Alternative cards to use"):

  • Gemeye P - 90 to 130
  • Gemeye G - 130 to 200

AH (Auction House) prices seem to be pretty consistent, if big outliers appear they usually settle again after a few days. You could get away without using Grimvine or Gemeye, significantly reducing the total cost of the deck, but a T4 with only Lost Horror G and Giant Wyrm lacks a beefy frontline. You could also spam Emberstrike and Boom Brothers, as presented as alternatives below.

You will notice my use of singular letters next to card names, which are referring to the cards affinity. G = Green, P = Purple, B = Blue, R = Red. Cards with affinities have two different versions and they vary in effect, depending on their affinity. Affinities are represented by a small dot on the card in their respective color. They have nothing to do with what Orbs you need to play that card though.

Here is the deck:


Windweavers - Burrower - Razorshard G - Swamp Drake - Lost Horror G - Grimvine - Giant Wyrm - Primal Defender - Fountain of Rebirth - Breeding Grounds - Healing Gardens - Necroblaster - Surge of Light - Curse of Oink - Stone Shell G - Equilibrium G - Regrowth - Unholy Hero - Rifle Cultists - Offering G

Tier progression

Tier 1 - Nature :natureorb:

Build two Fountains of Rebirth so you can have their buff permanently running. They even affect allies, which is a massive boon for all other factions that usually have no or little sustain on T1. In the long run, it will also reduce how often you have to use Surge of Light. What is more, it will make you accustomed to managing timed, global buffs. A mechanic that many decks utilize (Shrine of War being the most prominent example). To make things easier, assign the two fountains to one group each as a shortcut, just as you do with your units.

Spam WWs (Windweavers). Because of their ability they can hit two targets at once. Which means, as long as there is more than one target, their effective DP20 (Damage Per 20 Seconds, which is the average damage value that is printed on cards) is actually 960. As soon as a squad of WWs goes down to about 50% HP, pull them back a bit, then re-engage. Enemies will switch to attacking one of the closer squads. This distribution of damage will make the Fountains more effective and also make it more likely you don't overheal with Surge.

If you want a tower at T1, the Primal Defender is your building. Two of them can be a big help to defend your initial base on solo rPvE 9 so you can go on the offensive with your WWs.

Tier 2 - Nature :natureorb: -> Frost :frostorb:

Razorshard G is the backbone of this T2. The main reason for this is its healing aura, which does not require card upgrades to be powerful. Spawn two of them so they can heal one another. It might feel a bit clunky to play at first but its worth it. You will get accustomed to active abilities, positioning and effective use of units which have immobility. Also, while WWs have no preferred target (see the star next to their damage value), Razorshard G will deal 1.5x damage against S size enemies (if the target has an S next to their life value). So have your Razorshard focus on those targets to take them off the field earlier. Very important to note though, that this damage bonus only applies to their melee attacks. Their Bombing Raid ability does not benefit.

Keep using your Fountains and you will have very nice passive healing.

Burrowers are meant to do one thing only: Charge at the enemy (spawn) buildings and destroy them asap. Support them with Curse of Oink and heals. Curse of Oink is temporarily CC (crowd control, so hindering enemy units in some form). Careful though, if they take damage, the spell ends much sooner.

Keep using Surge of Light if needed.

Breeding Grounds is an exceptionally powerful building that reduces the power cost of all own and allied units spawned within its AoE (area of effect). You still need to have the default amount of energy available though, you simply spend less on spawn. This is a building that you can keep using for your T3 and your T4 units. However, do remember that the building itself costs 70 energy. So just to break even on the investment you have to then spawn units for a total of just about 470 energy next to it! This gets more generous once Breeding Grounds are upgraded.

Tier 3 - Nature :natureorb: -> Frost :frostorb: -> Shadow :shadoworb:

If you still have WWs at this point, kill them.

Lost Horror G is the main star here. Just like WWs he has no damage bonus against any particular unit size. But he shoots THREE attacks at once. This means that his damage potential is 5610, which is comparable to a T4 unit, Absolutely devastating as long as there are at least three targets to aim at.

Unfortunately, against big single targets Lost Horror G doesn't pack a good punch. Swamp Drake does though! Not only is it very mobile, being airborne, but it has an XL damage bonus, which are usually the tankiest foes. Their ability is CC like Curse of Oink, disabling enemy units for some time but it ends sooner if they take damage.

Stone Shell G is a damage reduction that becomes more effective if more allied units are within its AoE. In case of emergency, use Equilibrium G for a heal that becomes more potent, the more allied max HP is within its AoE.

You only need one Lost Horror G card to start! Use Offering G on one of your Swamp Drakes. This kills it but returns 90% of its energy cost to void and refreshes one charge for all T3 cards in your deck.

After you have your T3 army going build two Healing Gardens somewhere safe. Their active effect will increase any healing effects on your units by 85%, making them much more efficient. It's not the most powerful regeneration at this point because your units will start having much more HP but you can even continue using your Fountains together with Gardens. It's not much passive healing but it's something. Otherwise you can destroy your Fountains at this point or on T4.

The Necroblaster G is an exceedingly powerful tower. But it requires HP gathered from any corpses to fire its shot. If you use them, build maybe two of them together and either protect them until they have a bit of HP stored or kill your own units near them if necessary. Affinity doesn't matter that much, but feel free to experiment with it.

Tier 4 - Nature :natureorb: -> Frost :frostorb: -> Shadow :shadoworb: -> any :neutralorb:

If you still have any T2 units at this point, kill them. Lost Horror G can stay because its AoE damage is phenomenal. Swamp Drakes will probably naturally start dying in battle.

Since not a single card in the deck requires two identical Orbs, it doesn't really matter what you build as your last one. I'd go with Nature, because should you somehow lose your one Nature Orb, it's going to be far more devastating than losing the Shadow or Frost one. But you can also change cards in the deck so that your last orb has to be something specific.

Giant Wyrm is a go-to powerhouse. It's just a very mobile, huge ball of stats.

Grimvine is a tanky frontliner that destroys buildings and soaks damage. The ability is just alright but luckily also very cheap. It also serves as ground presence, which is important to spawn more units or use spells that are not Arcane (which can be used anywhere).

When you hit your unit cap of 120 you can start replacing any remaining Lost Horrors G with T4 units. This becomes even better once your Giant Wyrms are upgraded a bit.

You can continue using Equilibrium G here while on the move. But in more stationary battles Regrowth is superior. Make sure that you currently have the effect from Healing Gardens running when you cast a healing spell. The increase in effectiveness is huge. Unholy Hero makes the buffed unit really deadly. But beware the drawback. To be safe, use it on a unit, like a Giant Wyrm, that is out of reach for enemies.

Once again, charge upgrades for Grimvine, Giant Wyrm and even Regrowth aren't necessary because you also have Rifle Cultists. If you Offer them, you get one charge for each T4 card back. However this also means that once your big T4 cards are upgraded with sufficient charges, you can take out both Offering G and Rifle Cultists, which frees up two valuable slots in your deck.

But don't think they are just there to recharge your XL T4 units. Their ability is very powerful. Especially once you upgrade them to charge it quicker and use Unholy Hero on them. Use it carefully, since it also damages your own units, and it can severely cripple enemy forces before the fight even begins.

Alternative Cards to use

With each Tier explained, let's look at some alternatives, upgrades or additions. I am not trying to mess with the Orb sequence though as that can require extensive remodelling of the deck.

Rough price chart:
Very cheap - <10
Cheap - <80
Moderate - <150
Expensive - <250
Very expensive - <600

Tier 1 Options

Dryad B - Her aura makes your units (even past T1) sturdier and therefore also makes every heal on them more effective. Moderate to expensive.

Shaman - You can replace Fountain of Rebirth with it. Don't get slowed down too much though. Each Shaman healing is equivalent to one WW not dealing damage. Very expensive.

Ensnaring Roots/Hurricane - Great with WWs. The former lets you kill melee units before they reach you and the latter knocks around S units for a long time. Moderate.

Tunnel - Get around the map quickly. Very cheap.

Tier 2 Options

Stormsinger G - Good, mobile ranged unit with strong AA (anti-air). Cheap.

Defenders - Extremely powerful unit once upgraded. 2025 EHP (effective health points) when they hunker down, which makes any healing effect very potent. Notice their ability has two circling arrows. Usually, when you use abilities and spells or units/buildings get destroyed 90% of the invested power will return to your void pool to slowly trickle back into your usable power. However, a switch-ability puts 100% of its power cost into the void pool! So use it liberally. Very cheap.

Stone Tempest - Lots of damage and knockback. Very cheap.

Ghostspears - If you want to add some melee prowess. Very cheap.

Crystal Fiend B - Has good healing that also makes affected units take less damage. Very good with Defenders. Moderate.

Aggressors - Support unit that knocks back even L units. Damage is low for their cost so they need something else to actually kill stuff. Especially S squads can sometimes become impervious against Aggressor attacks if they are spread out too much from the knockback. Cheap.

Ray of Light - If you feel like, even with Razorshard G, Surge of Light and Fountain of Rebirth, you need more heal.

Coldsnap - Very powerful CC to disable troublesome foes. Consider that frozen enemies only take 50% damage, so you'll kill them much slower. Be mindful with freezes so you don't mess up your allies' plan. Moderate to Expensive.

Northern Keep/Cannon Tower - Cannon Tower is a very strong building against ground units. Northern Keep R has an extremely powerful ability that makes friendly S and M units invulnerable in its AoE. Especially with Defenders this is a defensive barrier that can withstand almost anything. Very cheap.

Juice Tanks - If you are uncertain how long a map will take or if you are sure it might drag on a bit. For a small power investment your wells will run dry much, much slower. This will net you a safety net for drawn out maps so you can spend power liberally. Don't build them in rPvE though since the time limit will end the match before Juice Tanks really benefit you. Cheap.

Tier 3 Options

Ashbone Pyro - Destructive unit and potent synergy with heals. Expensive.

Deepcoil Worm - Good ranged unit and you can combine it with Tunnel. Very expensive.

Silverwind Lancers - Disposable, cheap and mobile fighters. Another unit to Offer if you want to spawn a different T3 unit more frequently. Very cheap.

Revenge - Both an offensive and defensive spell. It even splashes the self-damage from Ashbone Pyro onto enemies! Expensive.

Thunderstorm - Purely offensive spell to make quick work of big packs of weaker enemies. Not necessary when your Lost Horror is nearby but good to clean up a sudden surprise attack. Cheap.

Tier 4 Options

Gemeye P/G - Artillery range and powerful passive abilities, P dealing more damage overall because of the DoT (damage over time) and G paralyzing units, which disables them for a set time, even if you keep attacking them. However, if you use them instead of Grimvine, their long range will make them stay behind your Giant Wyrms, which makes those take the brunt of enemy fire. Not ideal at all, so you should specifically manage them to stay in front and serve as your tanks. The 15% damage reduction from Adamant Skin makes them very resilient. Could even use both affinity variants simultaneously. Moderate to expensive.

LSS (Lost Spirit Ship) - Instead of Giant Wyrm or even in addition. Deals damage on the move, hits a lot of targets simultaneously and become a tide of destruction once you have multiple of them. Very expensive.

Boom Brothers/Emberstrike - A more active playstyle as you have a lot of powerful abilities to spam. Boom Brothers annihilate ground presence, units and buildings alike, and their XL bonus damage even applies to their ability. Their knockback keeps everything that survives at bay. Emberstrikes ability can also hit airborne targets and they can be summoned on the fly (they don't suffer temporarily reduced max HP and damage if summoned away from Power Wells/Orbs) but their damage bonus is M, which generally isn't very good on T4. Spamming their abilities can become an issue if you don't have a way to quickly regain void energy. Very cheap.

Bloodhorn - Once upgraded its Stampede ability tears down multiple buildings. Has XL counter. A very powerful card and one of the best T4 alternatives you could go for. Its ability varies: R makes it immune to debuffs and CC, which makes it very reliable. P makes it deal much more damage, which makes it incredibly destructive. Very expensive.

Earthshaker - Destroys enemy buildings quickly. Very expensive.

Maelstrom - Huge AoE and good damage while eventually freezing enemy units. Again, frozen units only take 50% damage. Cheap.

Ice Tornado - High damage. Doesn't need to travel, you can cast it on a single spot for high single-target damage. Moderate.

Noxious Cloud - Slow burn which deals massively high damage overall but has to ramp up. Cheap.

Other upgrades

Quickly recovering your void energy into actually usable energy pool is very powerful as it speeds up your game a lot. To enable this, you can pick from a few good options. They all affect your Orb choices.

Cultist Master + Furnace of Flesh - Spawn crawlers near the Furnace and kill them. Only becomes good once those cards are upgraded. It's fine if you only get your second shadow orb on T4. Very expensive.

Shrine of War - Requires enemies to die. But if they do, you get your void back very quickly. Very expensive.

Shrine of Martyrs - Bit tricky to use. You will need to add some ways to freeze enemies. Cheap.

Shrine of Memory - Just makes you regain void energy faster. No bursts of power regained but it's consistent. Cheap.

Upgrade priorities

Some advice on what to invest in once you start gathering Gold for card upgrades and BFP for more charges:

Vital upgrades AND charges
WWs - Your T1 start needs to pack a punch
Surge of Light - See above
Regrowth - More usage and more energy efficient
Necroblaster G - Higher damage means more opportunity to recharge HP from corpses. Only vital if you find yourself using these a lot

Vital upgrades
Fountain of Rebirth - More expensive to upgrade but you will notice the increase in regen
Breeding Grounds - Even cheaper units
Curse of Oink - More CC and cheaper
Giant Wyrm - Much more damage for this power expensive unit
Primal Defender - If you use them frequently
(Gemeye G/P - More bang for your buck on those as well, if you use them)

Important upgrades
Equilibrium G - Better heal
Burrower - More life is useful since it has to run past enemies
Grimvine - Even tankier
Swamp Drake - Increased HP makes them more forgiving and more CC
Unholy Hero - A risky spell, so it has to be worth it if you use it, right?
Offering G - Cheaper and more frequent use

Decent upgrades
Stone Shell - Cheaper and longer duration
Lost Horror - More life
Razorshard G - More life
Healing Gardens - Even more heal effectiveness
Rifle Cultists - If you find yourself enjoying their ability, upgrade them as soon as you like


Some replays with this deck on rPvE. To watch them you have to download the file and add it to: C:\Users\<user name>\Documents\BattleForge\replays

None of the cards are upgraded, this is as bare bones as it gets. Difficulty 7 and 8 are very easy and already net a big payout in gold that lets you upgrade a lot of cards. Difficulty 9 can get a bit messy at times but is also consistently doable.

Beginner Deck - Solo rPvE 7.pmv 2200 gold payout.

Very easy with this deck.

Beginner Deck - Solo rPvE 8.pmv 3250 gold payout.

While defending my T2 I was too greedy and spawned one too many WWs. Which lead to me not having enough energy to heal my army and losing 5 squads. Would've probably lost only 2 had I healed instead. Not the cleanest T4 finish either but good enough.

Beginner Deck - Solo rPvE 9 (T2 skip).pmv 4200 gold payout.

Here I skipped T2 because the opportunity to attack T3 presented itself after the entire camp got pulled. I knew the camp was empty now and charged in. Not the most representative replay because of that but it happens. After getting T3 I suicide rushed a base with my remaining WWs just to take out a spawn and ease the pressure. By the way, every time a Swamp Drake just randomly dies, it's because I Offered it to get a charge back for a Lost Horror G. Notice how I destroy the enemy spawn buildings asap, because if another batch of enemies spawns mid fight it just draws things out.

My other Guides

HOW TO: PvE Deckbuilding Guide - If you are unsure how to start building your own decks and what to consider.
CHEAP Pure-Fire Deck - If you are rather interested in a cheap and flexible fire deck.
CHEAP Pure-Shadow Deck - If you are rather interested in a cheap and flexible shadow deck.

Link to post
Share on other sites

After some more runs with an U0 version, I decided to remove Ray of Light and replace it with Healing Gardens.

My reasoning for that is that Ray of Light is not necessary on T2 because Razorshard G and Fountain of Rebirth stack nicely. Meanwhile Healing Gardens contribute a lot with 85% healing effectiveness for T3 and T4. Because you are working with minimum charges and un-upgraded healing spells every cast has to count big time. Also, the less healing you have to cast, the less void energy you will accumulate. No way of void recovery is a major constraint, so that aims to compensate for this in other ways.

It increases the price and upgrade cost for the deck ever so slightly but it's worth it.

The limited cardpool as well as U0 can make runs turn messy, even on T4, Healing Gardens smooth them out. Luckily, only a single successful rPvE 9 run is needed to get almost the entire deck to U1.

Link to post
Share on other sites
On 4/3/2021 at 1:34 AM, Cocofang said:


a nice deck

here is a other combination also very cheap and powerfull 


from left to right t1-t4 starting with Nature t1 with heals and croud controll followed by t2 Frost with longrange and croudcontoll of small units, then t3 Fire with the cheap and powerfull magma hurler and suppression to silence towers, as defence + Heal the Hammerfall (nature) then the other cards as in the main post. 

a good and worth addition to the deck is a Shaman it can replace ether Ray of light or stone tempest 

with this deck its possible to run RPvE 9 alldo some upgrades and additional charges will help alot

Edited by Asraiel
Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Cocofang changed the title to CHEAP and powerful BEGINNER Deck
  • 4 weeks later...

Thanks! I tried my twist on this (mostly covered by alternatives) and did rPvE 9 with literally seconds left although I think is more my lack of skills (and/or possibly sub-optimal modifications but I don't think is this). I must say this deck is a lot more forgiving than my typical Grinder deck (part of reason why it took me so long is I messed up a few times and pulling in camp next to T3 orb).


I like using both version of Offering because you can use Offering B on Lost Horror to recharge your T4 units which is typically XL units (I used it with Furnace of Flesh). I didn't go with Rifle Cultists because if I figured if I had to, I could use Offering G on T3 unit to recharge Lost Horror and once again Offering B on Lost Horror to recharge T4 (XL) units.


I went both affinity of Gemeye because I got them from focusing on daily Stonekin boosters but also a general note is card prices have changed since original post.


I think for rPvE, Juice Tank hurts more than help (I haven't seen power wells run dry except if Resource Booster was used). For campaign PvE, I think Juice Tanks generally makes things a little easier if you got some patience (giving up a larger power pool to work with).

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • 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