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  1. #1
    Senior Member qaz92zaq's Avatar
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    Converting from one advantage to another.

    Just a few notes before I start. I only briefly describe how the various advantages below are achieved because there are already articles written on how to do that. I will be focusing on what you should be thinking about when you see that either you or your opponent have achieved or is trying to achieve one of these advantages.
    So for more on card advantage see this article by Mojumbo
    For more on card and field advantage see this article by Raphael
    Finally I give a brief definition of tempo for more on how it works I would recommend (the second half of) this
    article by Wreon

    Now for my actual article hope you enjoy it.

    Knowing your advantages and how to use them,

    There are 3 main advantages you will often see mentioned in Shadow Era.

    These are:
    Field control
    Card and Resource Advantage
    Hit Point Advantage.

    Field Control.

    This is when your allies have a grip on the field which when combined with the first strike mechanic means that most things your opponent plays can be killed instantly with no loss on your end. This makes you the dominate player and your opponent is forced to play in a reactionary manner. This advantage is listed first because it is the most basic and usually the most important. Until the game has already been decided field control is important! (Note solo heroes make this a bit more complex I am not dealing with them in this article)

    So what do you do if you have field control?

    Ideally you want to play really aggressively to make sure you never lose this advantage until you win the game this means that other advantages become secondary be willing to forego additional draw and damage dealing to seal the game also absorb damage with your hero to keep your allies alive if you can. Unfortunately for the dominate player the ideal situation cannot occur most of the time because of the many ways to get the field back. Therefore you must know your opponent to figure out how they will try to get the field back and whether or not you can stop them.

    Depending on their class they can use board wipes (Priests Mages and Elementals with either high resources or any sort of ally on the field) try swarming the board themselves with more than you can handle (any class really but they either need a real high card and resource count or a way of helping their allies survive Moonstalker is a good example here) or use weapons and other cards that immediately effect the field (Warriors, Wulven, Rogues and Mages are good examples of this.). If they are forced to resort to options 2 or 3 the dominate player might be in luck as committing all resources to hold the field has a chance of putting the opponent in a hopeless position and if you have the ability to do so, go for it and it is game over right there (even if the actual game drags on a half dozen turns past this point). However if they can resort to option 1, or as often happens you are not in a strong enough position to prevent options 2 or 3 you want to convert your field advantage into some combination of the other 2 main advantages. To do this use the time it takes them to react to your field presence to set up your draw engine. If you know opponent is about to wipe the board feel free to ignore some of the weaker allies and put some damage on the hero (most common set up is against a priest that has only a TO out and you have a strong enough board that it cannot combine with other common tricks (like retreat Jasmine combo) to retake the board outright.

    What should you do when your opponent has field control?

    You do not want the game to get to the point of hopeless! However do not simply throw allies on the field to absorb hits because you are scared of leaving the field unopposed. You need to stay calm you and think of how you plan to take the field back and work towards this goal. That could mean letting yourself take a beating until you have enough cards and resources to effectively oppose the field particularly if you combine these efforts with your SE ability. It could mean trying to hold out for your board wipe or it could be using instantaneous effects like Retreat direct damage or weapons to challenge the board in a way that first strike does not hurt you but make sure you have a plan. Throwing away cards to stall their damage will put you into a helpless position very quickly unless you are stalling for your board wipe or something along those lines. Bottom line come up with a plan and do not do anything that will make yourself worse off.

    Card and Resource advantage

    Although there are differences between card and resource advantages there is a lot of over lap and for much of the game they are practically the same thing. The idea here is that with more cards and resources you can do more things than your opponent can and do them faster than your opponent can. However accomplishing this means you are playing for the long term. Its takes a lot of tempo (turns/resources which could be used to play threats in order to gain or keep the initiative especially important in Shadow Era do to first strike. Essentially if one player is active forcing the other player to be reactive the active player has a tempo advantage over the reactive player first turn advantage is simply a tempo advantage. ) to ensure late game card and resource advantage this means if you are not careful your early game will suffer. Also having more cards than your opponent is not a win condition it is only once you use these cards to get other advantages that you will ultimately win the game.

    How do you set up and use card advantage?

    There are a two main ways to set up late game card advantage. The first way more typical of priests is to stall to set up your draw engine and mainly use cards meant to be card efficient (one card will trade for more than one of your opponent’s or do the work of multiple cards Lightning Strike is often used as an example of this) as opposed to cards that are tempo efficient (cards that give your opponent card advantage in exchange for a cheap cost allowing you to more effectively use your turn, things like SoV, Retreat and potentially Bad Santa). As mentioned above this method could cause your early game to suffer making you vulnerable to rush however you will have a very strong late game if you do not lose before that. On the opposite extreme you can try achieving late game card advantage by having a strong enough early game you can get your draw engine up and running while your opponent is still dealing with your early game advantage (This can be seen with Banebow using his ability and early allies to get control then setting up WotF to draw lots of cards while his opponent is using many cards to counter his early game another example of this is using HBM once you have the field so that by the time they can start to get it back they needed to use a lot of extra cards while you effectively saved a card every turn). Obviously no matter which method you use it helps to make sure that you have a draw engine in play and that they do not.

    Once you obtained card advantage you should have a plan on how to take the field back (see above section). Once you’ve obtained the dominate position at this point your opponent will likely be in trouble as he cannot keep up with your extra cards and resources especially once he is put into the reactionary position.

    So what do you do when your opponent is trying to obtain late game card advantage?

    Their earlier game often suffers do to the tempo loss of setting up for late game try to cripple them before their card advantage kicks in. Make sure you know what they can do if they have board wipes do not overextend, but if they do not having any way of clearing the field throw as much stuff onto the board as you can make them lose before they start playing. Try to keep their draw engine off the table and get your own set up if they do not out draw you their late game advantage will be hard to come by. Using resource destruction to delay their late game can also help quite a lot if applicable.
    * continued below
    Last edited by qaz92zaq; 07-05-2016 at 04:59 PM.

  2. #2
    Senior Member qaz92zaq's Avatar
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    Hit Point Advantage

    This is simply have more health than the opposing hero meaning they are closer to dying. The reason this is mentioned last is because it is ironically often least important despite being the only actual win condition. Using this advantage is also the most complex at times.

    When do you have hit point advantage and what should you do about it?

    You have it when you are either decently ahead in life total or have the ability to be and your opponent cannot stop you. What to do with it is a bit more tricky simply put if your opponent is almost dead you might be able to drop all other aspects of the game and simply win by killing the hero even if the end result is having no allies left on the field and no cards left in hand you already won so it is fine. The most simple case of this is when you see that you can win on your turn or kill your opponents allies obviously you should win.

    It gets a bit more complicated when you cannot win on your turn but you can clearly clinch victory. The most simple case on this is if you have a lot of allies on the board and maybe a weapon to boot and you can bring the opponent down to about 2. Now this does not win immediately but simply put your opponent cannot kill all your allies and destroy your weapon on the same turn, so he will die next turn. (I should also note that you need to pay attention to your own life total as well. If he can kill you on his turn he does not need to remove every damage source you have he wins) Another simple case is if you have a good amount of burn in your hand or a weapon or something so that it is impossible for them to avoid taking the finishing blow even if they completely regain the field. With enough experience you learn when your deck can put each of the other various classes into “kill range” the point at which you probably won the game even if it is unclear exactly when you will do the finishing blow you are pretty sure ultimately there is nothing that can stop you from doing it. For more on this look into death racing.

    Fine so there are times that hit point advantage decides the game but there are also times it is completely irrelevant. Most players probably had the experience of either coming back from like 3 health and killing their opponent and or the reverse happening to them. This is because hit point advantage can often be close to meaningless. This mainly occurs when the side with the hit point advantage has no way to deal instant damage and gets completely locked out of board control. It can also happen when the player is capable of dealing instant damage but has limited card draw or just not enough luck as unopposed allies deal a lot of damage very quickly he may simply be brought from 24 to 0 in 2 turns and never draw that finishing card although this is somewhat rare. More importantly hit point advantage is mainly useful towards the end game when it is ultimately the deciding factor of games but somewhat meaningless in the beginning game where one would be quite willing to trade some health for extra cards or field presence. For example Blood Frenzy is probably the best draw engine in the game when cast early as for the moment hit points are unimportant since neither hero is in remote danger of dying but extra cards means having more opportunities to win the early board control battle which leads to major advantages, but if cast when one is almost dead the damage might hurt more than the extra cards help. Using weapons you weaken allies before finishing them off with one of your own allies is another simple example. Early in the game your hero’s hit points are far more expendable than your ally’s hit points if it means that you are more likely to hold your field position, but once the game starts to reach a close the opposite could become true as tanking with your hero might put it in kill range.

    What should you do if your opponent has hit point advantage over you?

    Know that this is only an issue if it puts you in a clear and present danger. If you are in danger watch your hit points carefully and heal if you can if not concentrate on winning in the longterm (special note against mages if you are in huge danger of being killed by burn do not play conservatively and fear nova, if they cast it you lose anyway your best bet is go all out and try to kill them before they draw the 1 or two burn cards they still need).

    To sum everything up:

    Field dominance is a long term advantage that also has clear short term benefits and should be one of your main goals when playing. It can also be converted into card and hit point advantages if need be or is beneficial.

    Card and resource advantages. These are almost exclusively long term advantages as they take a lot of setting up. However, once you achieve them your game becomes far more comfortable and other advantages should be semi easily obtained from there.

    Hit Point advantage is almost exclusively short term if it does not give you huge immediate benefit it is worth very little however if it does it is the only advantage that wins you the game outright. It also does not transfer well into other advantages so be very careful when choosing to forgo field and card advantages for a hit point advantage.

    Thanks for reading any feed back (positive or negative) would be appreciated.
    Last edited by qaz92zaq; 07-05-2016 at 05:07 PM.

  3. #3
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    +1

    Very nice article!

  4. #4
    Senior Member qaz92zaq's Avatar
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    Thank you glad you like it.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Pat Jay's Avatar
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    Thanks for the excellent article! i really enjoyed it. Just adding into your theory...

    It is good to note that certain heroes convert certain advantages to another other advantages more efficiently.

    For example:

    Zhanna converts card and resource advantage to field dominance efficiently because of tidal wave and banish.

    Serena converts field dominance to card and resource advantage because of her ability and ill-gotten-gains

    So by knowing these efficiencies, it can help you a) take advantage of these efficiencies with your deck design or b) help you counter your opponent in your meta game.

    Thanks again for the article! Cheers!

  6. #6
    Senior Member qaz92zaq's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pat Jay View Post
    Thanks for the excellent article! i really enjoyed it. Just adding into your theory...

    It is good to note that certain heroes convert certain advantages to another other advantages more efficiently.

    For example:

    Zhanna converts card and resource advantage to field dominance efficiently because of tidal wave and banish.

    Serena converts field dominance to card and resource advantage because of her ability and ill-gotten-gains

    So by knowing these efficiencies, it can help you a) take advantage of these efficiencies with your deck design or b) help you counter your opponent in your meta game.

    Thanks again for the article! Cheers!
    Good points thanks for the feedback.

  7. #7
    Senior Member qaz92zaq's Avatar
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    Wow you know noone reads this when you see that one of the links on the top was to the completely wrong page and that it has gone unnoticed for four months.

  8. #8
    Devoted Fan Gondorian's Avatar
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    People don't tend to read long things on a forum or they see them when they are busy and then forget to come back.

    I think a compilation of these kinds of articles, in a PDF download called "Shadow Era Player's Guide" or something like that, would be a much better medium for quality written stuff. People can read it when they have the time and inclination to get the value from it.

    What do you think?

  9. #9
    DP Visionary Preybird's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by qaz92zaq View Post
    Wow you know noone reads this when you see that one of the links on the top was to the completely wrong page and that it has gone unnoticed for four months.
    Well it has had over 2500 views! I'd say people have read it.

    Good article by the way, I had read it when you first posted it but neglected to post.

    Also, I agree with that article idea Gondorian.
    Extra Tough Claws - Proud Member of ETC

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  10. #10
    DP Visionary Rayzie's Avatar
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    I would have read something like that.
    Elder TJ

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