Advanced Strategies [Parts: 2 & 3]

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Part 2: In-Game Resourcing

Early Game Decision Making:
This is the make-or-break part of the game, and where most players make their largest mistakes. Do not discount the added effect of luck here, and how massively your deck designing will come into play.

Knowing What To Resource:
This comes from a few things:

1 - What hero are you matched up against?
Knowing your matchups and how you play them, is what separates the pro players from everyone else. This can only come from experience, and a sense of intuition. Take the time to study the market place, and all of the cards for each class, and the neutral cards. This will help you know which cards to account for in which situations, and to know the scope of their abilities. It may sound silly, but I have personally won so many matches because i knew what to account for from the second that I saw the opposing hero, that I is silly. Homework helps, as well as practice. An example, is knowing that 6 of the 10 human heroes have no card at their disposal to remove 4cc or less non-weapon/armor items/support cards. If you can call that from the beginning, it helps you be on your way to victory.

2 - What is your route to your win condition?
Knowing how you plan on winning the game also plays a huge part in resourcing in the early game. This will dictate which cards are pivotal to you winning that particular matchup, and which cards are not. Also, another thing to take into account, is that you will need to decide upon seeing your initial hand what you are going to play in your first 2 turns (possibly 3 turns, if you have the cards for it). One more thing to think of in this situation, is because you have 0 resources at the beginning of your first turn, you will need to decide which cards are immediately helpful to you, and which cards are possibly helpful to you later. This goes hand-in-hand with knowing the route to your win-condition. A note of advice, never resource a draw engine early. you don't have the board presence to last until you draw another, and there's no telling if your opponent has theirs in hand already, and are waiting to cast. Shooting yourself in the foot is not a smart idea.

3 - Beware lady luck
Despite what anyone says, luck plays a part in early game decision making. By nature of this being a card game, percentages and luck are factors, there's no two ways about it. You can only play the cards dealt to you, and make the best out of them. Deck building helps immensely here too. Having a deck with only 3 or 4 2cc allies will have a relatively low chance of having them in hand at the beginning of the game, and that could spell early doom. Know your deck! This will come after practice with the deck, and with more experience in general. If you get a terrible hand, know that the cards that you want are still in your deck, they're just not in hand now, play your match knowing that they're going to come up, and be ready to stall until they do. This can be particularly difficult some times, and WILL lead to defeats. There's no shame in losing to unfortunate luck, it happens to the best of us. Good deck building mitigates luck, but nothing can remove it from being a factor.

Mid-Game Resourcing:
This is easier than early game resourcing, as you already have a few resources, and there are cards on the board already. Here, your deck designing skills are tested again, and so is your memory. You will need to keep track of the cards that you have already played, as well as the cards that you have already resourced. Losing because you end up waiting for a card that you have already resourced is an embarrassing way to lose.

Design Your Turns:
Along with knowing the matchup with the opposing hero, you will need to be able to design your turns. This essentially means playing your turns with your next 2-3 turns already planned out. In order to win games, you will need to account for what your opponent can play, and plan your turn accordingly. Play your turns with a plan for what you wanna do. This is one of the most situational parts of the game, as what it entails you doing changes from game to game. Only experience can teach you what decisions to make, and which decisions were mistakes.

As another note, sometimes, NOT RESOURCING is the right call. If you need all of the cards in your hand, and can see yourself playing most of them in the next 2 turns, this may be the situation.

Part 3: Playing Your Opponent, Not The Cards

Poker Strategies:
While it is obvious that Shadow Era is not poker, there are elements that are similar. In poker, you play the opponent, not their cards. This is one that is lost on many people. I have found it to be a bit of an art form, rather than a science. Experience, confidence, and skill all play a part of it. The most important thing that you need to remember, is that there is another person on the other end of each of your Player vs Player matches. This means that they are human, and are susceptible to all of the same things as you, bad luck, misclicks, and more.

How To Play The Opponent:
Having played poker helps with this a little bit. Although playing an online game makes this a bit more difficult, as you can't read the other person outright, you will need to be able to read their decisions. An extensive knowledge of the game is required for this, as well as a massive amount of experience with Shadow Era or similar TCG's.

You will need to know what the possible strategies are for the hero that your opponent is using, and how those strategies reach their win conditions. Knowing that, you will be able to read what they are trying to play, or how they are structuring their turns. There is an element of luck to this as well. Also note that human error plays a role in this, as you can overcompensate as well, as they can make mistakes that throw you off.

The easiest way to play your opponent, is to be forceful with your plays. Force them into situations where you know their best possible plays. This is a lot simpler to do when you're in a dominant position in games, right after a board wipe, or when you destroy their draw engine. Playing cards that force their hand is a great way to do this. Here is an example:

you t7 - playing as boris, you play The King's Pride, but have no allies on the board.
they t7 - they are forced to either load up on allies to account for all super-buffed allies that you are about to cast, or to play Lay Line Nexus to kill your King's pride.

you t8 - you play your super-buffed allies and go from there, or having forced their hand now have another shot at the board through playing your allies now non-buffed but knowing that they used one of their precious Lay Line Nexus' to kill your armor.

What happened here, is you essentially forced their hand. You forced them to play a card that they may not have in their deck at all. This messes with their mind, as they know that if it lasts that one turn, they are in for a world of hurt. This leads to them making mistakes, and clouding their judgement. I have seen it happen time and time again. This is especially true of new players. They rattle very easily. Note that the effectiveness of this tactic against top tier players, as they will have adjusted to it, and will be trying to do the same to you. They don't rattle easy.

Order of Operations Within A Turn:
This can be a factor as well. Scattering out your attacks on their allies/hero will diminish the feeling of impending damage on their part. Your best bet is to cast all of your new plays at the beginning, and then attacking with all of your attacks in sequence. This creates the feeling of being swarmed, and also leads to them watching their heroes life, thus increasing the likelihood of them making rash decisions that will come back to bite them later.


I know that this has been a massive read for players who are accustomed to only reading 3-5 lines per post, but I wanted this to be a quality post, and spared no expense with the information and advice given. I hope that at least some of you out there find some value in this, or broadened your horizons through my words.

That being said, go forth and apply these tactics, and go PWN some noobs

most sincerely,

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  1. HigherPrimate's Avatar
    great read. some good advice in there. loved the poker part. thats how Ive always looked at this game as well.
  2. soothslyr's Avatar
    thanks for the love. i find that it is an underestimated art
  3. ivoeusebio's Avatar

    dont fear the WORDS... write and write

    Good advices here... keep on
  4. Vincenzo749's Avatar
    Loved this article
  5. Morettos's Avatar
    There are some great articles around in Shadow Era, but yours is one of the best Iīve read so far, itīs well redacted, it has great pro tips, and itīs great to keep discovering good articles when you think you have read them all. Thanks for sharing your knowledge, and keep on with the good work for SE