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    Senior Member Faolind's Avatar
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    Post Faolind's Game Map (Phases of play)

    This guide's purpose is to educate the newer players about the stages of the game, as well as serving as a refresher or mental focusing tool for the more experienced.

    There are 3 main stages of a game in Shadow Era, Titled here as: Startup, Attrition/Buildup (The War), and Endgame. In each phase there are different goals that one should be aiming for, as well as scenarios that should be avoided. It is important to note that while your opponent may be in his Endgame, you may still be in your Startup, though this is a rare occurrence. Most often both players will be playing similar-paced decks, and phase overlap will be minimal.

    On to the phases!

    Startup:
    In the startup phase, your main goal is to build your resources, sacrificing each turn until you have your optimal setup. However, there are a few other goals that you may decide to go for:

    1. Board Control. This is the most common secondary goal in the Startup phase. Basically, what you are trying to do is put yourself in an excellent position for your Attrition phase.

    2. Damage (to hero). This is a goal usually found in rush decks, as well as some deathrace decks. The entire point is to bring the Attrition goal closer to being completed by focusing on it in the Startup phase as well.

    Your Startup Phase ends the moment you stop saccing cards.

    Attrition/Buildup: These are actually two separate goals, and your deck may use either one or both.

    Attrition: This goal is basically damaging your opponent over the course of the game, bringing the ultimate goal of the opposing hero's death closer to fruition. As the most basic midgame goal, most decks tend to use this philosophy.

    Buildup: The goal in this case is basically to provide you with an epic combo (Shadow Knight Wheel, Double Fireball, Aeon+ Earthen Protector, etc.) or otherwise a very powerful Endgame. In either case, the focus is on providing you with the means to a powerful finish, rather than keeping up with your opponent's attrition.

    There are several side goals that support either one or both of these main goals nicely:

    1. Board Control: This is probably the most important side goal of the game, as it is useful for any one of the main goals, and is absolutely essential for foiling the opponents plans. The one place where establishing board control is not required is when you are, or are fighting against- a solo deck. The simple fact is that if the opponent has no allies, then board control becomes a non-issue. However, if you are playing a solo deck yourself, then make sure you deny your opponent the board presence he needs to accomplish his goals.

    2. Buildup (as a secondary goal): You can make it a goal to build up your equipment and allies so that, while damaging your opponent in this phase, you also have a sizeable force ready for the endgame. This is dramatically different from Buildup as a main goal.

    3. Hand Advantage: Attempting to either draw more cards than your opponent overall, or to be more conservative in what you play from your hand. This can aid you in that it prepares you for the endgame, aiding Buildup especially well. It provides you with greater options, especially in the late game.

    4. Resource Advantage: One of the rarest goals to be used in the mid to late game, it is nevertheless useful sometimes to build up your resources a little more, or to bring your opponent's resources down.

    5. Attrition (as a secondary goal): Attrition is technically always useful, as damaging the opponent's hero is the only directly game-winning goal. One of the most effective means of accomplishing secondary attrition is the use of damage-over-time (poison, flame, etc.) that you can fire at the opponent and watch as it whittles away at their health. This is basically a less emphasized version of Attrtion as a main goal.

    Your "War" phase ends when either you or your opponent is close to dying.

    Endgame: This is the most important phase in the game, and definitely the most exciting. It's the phase where victory can be snatched from the jaws of defeat, and opponents crushed beneath your feet. Your goal in the endgame will change depending on what position you are in when the endgame begins. There is no room here for secondary objectives, all focus is on the final victory.

    Scenario 1: You are losing. Your health is low, and your opponent has victory in his grasp. Here you have two options: heal yourself, or pull an epic combo. In this situation, you can't afford to take much more damage, so the goal must be to either provide yourself with more time to even the odds, or to one-shot your opponent. Otherwise, you are doomed to defeat. This scenario is more complex than it looks, and there are multiple ways to accomplish either task (board wipe, direct damage, heal, stall card, etc.) so don't give up hope! Keep fighting!

    Scenario 2: You are winning. Your opponent is on his knees, ready to fall. Defeat him! The problem here is that many players will sometimes grow too confident and will make mistakes, allowing the opponent to bounce back from defeat. You have no room for error in this scenario. If you want victory, you must take it, as quickly as possible, and without mistakes. Right now, your opponent is looking for any chink in your armor to provide him with an opportunity. Do not give him that chance!

    Scenario 3: Both you and your opponent are near-equally close to both victory and defeat. In this scenario, you aren't going to have much room for doing anything other than killing your opponent or preventing him from killing you. In this case, it is often best to combine strategies, healing yourself while damaging your opponent. If used effectively, this will cause you to move into scenario 2, giving you a much greater chance of victory.

    Please note that this guide is in all cases a generalization, and does not cover every permutation of competitive play. This guide is meant as an overview and is by no means exhaustive. Please comment below with anything that you think should be added or removed.

    I hope you enjoyed this guide and found it to be helpful. Best of luck!

    -Faolind
    Last edited by Faolind; 07-26-2012 at 05:36 AM.
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  2. #2
    Senior Member Mojumbo's Avatar
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    Interesting write up! Good stuff
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  3. #3
    DP Visionary Preybird's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mojumbo View Post
    Interesting write up! Good stuff
    +1. Also, I love your natural artistic flair with words Faolind
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    Senior Member ahmet476's Avatar
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    Good read.

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    Senior Member Ramirez Delgado's Avatar
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    +1
    I often refer to "Start phase, Middle phase, Final phase", but "Start up, The War, Endgame" is a nicer wording

  6. #6
    Senior Member Faolind's Avatar
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    Thanks for the feedback everyone!
    Preybird: I often try to establish a nice flow to my writing. Thanks for noticing!
    Ramirez: yeah, I didn't want to sound mundane, so I renamed them based on what I thought was the most basic action going on in each phase. I agree, I think it sounds better.
    (former)Armored Space Fleet Member
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  7. #7
    Senior Member Bayushi's Avatar
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    I like the literary aspect of this article. Very good read, too.

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    Senior Member Queen of Asgard's Avatar
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    That was more like tcg.. Nice reading
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