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Hi folks! New player here, sorta. I played BattleForge a little back in its original beta but couldn't really get any of my friends into it at the time. 
I barely remember anything from that time, though so I consider my experience level to be more or less fresh, but I jumped on this as soon as I found out about Skylords Reborn.

Now... having just played the tutorial and first singleplayer level... I'm realising the game is most likely at this point where there's a clearly established PvP meta and everyone else playing naturally knows a lot more about the game than I do. 
I've found just looking at the cards available to build decks with at the start, I'm a little overwhelmed by options and numbers and not really knowing what's good (and I only have the cards my account starts with!).

I absolutely adore the concept of this game, but it feels at this stage like I'm a little overwhelmed by the amount of information to take in and I don't really know where to start. What cards should I be looking at? What do the numbers on them mean? What do I need to know to play properly? What are the differences in playstyles between the factions and which ones should I combine? Why do some cards have their costs outlined in another faction's colour?

Someone help a newcomer out please?

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Hey there, and welcome back! 

There is quite a lot to dive into, so ill try to touch on a few subjects shortly, before this too becomes an info dump. 
Before I start, here is the link to the Wiki, which also contains tons of information. 

PvP 
It is true that the PvP scene is currently quite small and thus has a established meta and most players know what they are doing. I would advice to get a bit more comfortable with the game in general before diving into PvP, but there are a few resources I would like to point out:

- You can get free, fully upgraded, level 120 decks for playing PvP. Those can only be used in the PvP mode, but it prevents you from having to grind or playing an uneven match. You can find them by clicking the sword on the top right, and you can grab 2 and change them every week if you feel they dont fit your playstyle. 

- Here is a (slightly outdated but still helpfull) pvp guide. I already requested this one to get updated in the future, but it should still help you get started.

- There is a PvP tournament this Sunday that gets streamed live. Feel free to drop in the Twitch chat, watch a few matches and ask questions. Everyone is always willing to help out new players. Also, there was a Rookie tournament not that long ago, where the best players were not allowed to join. There are definitly more people like you who are interested in PvP but fear the entry barrier. You can rewatch the tournament here on our official Twitch. Lastly, every wednesday Toggy hosts the BattleForge fightclub, where you can watch or play some matches with commentary and support. By watching these for a couple of weeks, I quickly improved myself, and its always fun to hang out. 

PvE
The best advice I can give here is: just go with whatever you enjoy. By playing each day, completing maps and daily quests/archievements, you will quickly find yourself gathering a nice collection. If you have no clue what to play, just pick a card or unit you like or thinks looks cool, and build arround it. Nothing is set in stone, and you can always trade or sell your cards if you change your mind. For playing the game on standard or advanced, you can mostly get arround with basic decks anyway. Otherwise you can quickly find yourself spending hours reading up on the hundreds of cards, and I can imagine that can be quite tedious. 


General Questions
Some of the specific questions you have are a bit unclear (there are quite a bit of numbers on a card, which one are you referring? :P) but ill try to explain it with a mockup;

image.png

Affinity
The outline of another color you are referring to is an affinity.

Affinity was added to cards from the expansions of the game, essentially making two card types out of each card design and ingame graphics. Each affinity type has separate Abilities, and consequently the utility and value of each affinity of the same card can vary considerably (or not matter at all).

For example:

image.png

Nether Warp comes in two versions, a green affinity and a frost affinity. This has nothing to do with the actual orbs needed to cast it, its just a flavor thing. 
Both spells create a teleport zone from A to B, but the Green affinity heals the units that pass through, while the blue affinity slows the units that pass through. This results in the blue version being used more defensively, while the green one gets played more aggresively. 

Some cards have affinities that drasticly change the use of a card, while others are completely neglectable because they change something about the card that wasnt used anyway. Regardless, it can explain why some versions of cards are way more expansive on the market than their other affinity. 

What are the differences in playstyles between the factions and which ones should I combine?

This is very personal, but here are some general tips and descriptions of the factions:

Frost - Defensive, less micro intensive, units dont have a lot of abilities, easy to understand for newer players
Nature -
Control, healing, great archers, good spells and healing can prevent you from being punished for being out of position. Shaman is a very important card though, and he is quite expensive.
Fire - Aggresive, more attack than defence, damage spells, decent for starters (just blow stuff up) but you lack defensive spells. I know a lot of new players do enjoy fire, and it can still work quite well.
Shadow -
High Risk, High Reward. Most shadow units use more complicated game mechanics, like sacrificing units, or using corpses. Also, most shadow cards need upgrades (see info below) to be effective. Hence, I would not advice to start with shadow (even though its my favourite faction). 

The unit combinations mostly lean into what you could expect of combining two of the above. The factions that are the least supported are Fire/Frost (dont have unique cards) and Nature/Shadow (only one unique card), but even they can work very well together (I completed the campaign with Nature/Shadow myself back in the day). 

 

Upgrades
Each card can be upgraded 3 times. Sometimes this can be a simple stat buff, but sometimes they gain completely new abilities (mostly Shadow cards). Because of this they are crucial for PvP, and helpfull for PvE. The idea is you slowly upgrade your deck once you reach the harder campaign maps and get more cards. You get upgrades by beating maps, or buying them with gold. 

 

Well, I guess that still ended up being a lot of info, but I hope it answered most of your questions. Lastly, every day you can buy a booster with a discount if you played for 45 minutes. Be sure to do so! If you have no clue what to play yet, Id advice to not bother too much with the market yet, and just see what you get from boosters: play what you like, sell what you dont. 

Let me know if you have any other questions 🙂 

 

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