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Beginners Guide to Maximizing Your Money by bittersteel

Being in Beginner ladder for a full week, mostly ranked number 1, has at least allowed me to understand the game a bit better. I decided to share some of what I learned in the hopes it helps new players. This will focus mostly on the type of player who is willing to spend some money but does not have a unlimited bank account to buy boxes and expensive auction house cards right off the bat. I am not the most knowledgeable or experienced player in Warstorm and these comments come only from my observations.

First, contrary to what some in chat seem to think, I did not achieve my rating with all the strong achievement and high tier cards I now have. I did not use alts to pump up my card collection and I did not spend as much money as some think.
When I started I bought 1 box of 20 Core packs and the Undead Campaign pack.
To any new player willing to spend a little money I would advise buying the Elf, Undead and Orc Campaigns to start. This is only about $40 and will give you 30 Core packs, 30 Basic packs and the now soulbound but very powerful artifacts Diadem of Light, Conquerer’s Axe, and Lich King Crown. Additionally the starter Orc and Undead squads contain very desirable t3 green cards for beginners. With just the cards of the 20 Core packs and Campaign, I was able to hit Top 5 on the Beginner ladder using only 1 or 2 t5+ cards to start with. Anyone that gets those Campaign packs or even just one of them would have the card pool necessary to compete at top of beginner ladder and in tier 1-4 tournaments and earn achievement cards much faster than players using only basic packs. With the new expansion apparently in beta and to be released soon, purchasing the Campaign packs is most definitely the wisest investment.

Second, do not make any trades until you are fully aware of what each card is worth. I see countless trades in the Beginner chat that are not even value, some not even close to even value. Some are two beginners neither of whom knows what either card is worth. I made the mistake in thinking that like real life CCG’s, the Tier color rarity was a direct indication of value. This is not the case. Some t3 Green cards (such as Yeti or Snow Troll) are worth more than some t5 cards. Beyond this, value is a bit subjective and some people value certain cards more than other people. But no one should be trading away t5+ cards or powerful t3 orc/undead greens before knowing the value of their cards. One way to make good trades in your favor is if you focus on one faction and find someone who is focused on another faction. I obtained some good undead cards by trading to Orc players who were not using them.

Building squads for beginner ladder is not all that difficult even with limited card pool. Most beginners will only play 1 or 2 squads. Some, who come from real life CCG’s like to go for 6 squads right away. Deciding whether to focus on starting small squad or full 6 squads can be important in trades you make. If you are playing one squad matches, a rush strategy will usually not overhwelm the opponent before his big cards come out. Tier1 Chalice of Healing is good in beginner bracket matches for small squads. I used Chalice of Healing on regen or animated Undead and even just t2 and t3 become very strong. Putting the Chalice of Healing on the t4 undead hero with berserk is like having a mini Yeti with Diadem and can win many matches in beginner. A Chalice and t3 Undead would likely be pulled in packs from the Campaign packs and are not all that expensive cards.

For 2 and 4 squads I used a simple fast elf deck for a while. I used warden before I got stalwarts and mostly just elf range such as stormcallers and loremasters. This build was weak to archer heavy builds but when I started most were not running archers. A few people caught on and challenged me with archer squads. If you are using a simple strategy that has a weakness, you can switch around squads when you start getting higher rating and challenges. If are using mostly infantry and see people using archers against you, take out some infantry and throw cavalry in. Also, throwing a few archers in multi squad matches usually always pays off as almost everyone has a lot infantry in builds.
Anyone with basic orc cards can use the ever effective mass Battle Wagon strategy. With the low health units most beginners use, battle wagons can be devastating to anyone unprepared.

Watch your matches. I have seen people say they do not watch the matches. This confuses me as without watching the matches, I would not be able to determine what went wrong with builds. Sometimes a loss can be from an inefficient build or sometimes it can just be your opponents deck player perfectly that match while you got some bad draws. Knowing the difference can be crucial in tweaking decks to maximum efficiency.

To anyone who has played an MMORPG, some simple concepts will make balanced squads. Tank, range damage, heals and unit control are basic concepts in any rpg.
This translates to Warstorm quite well. Balanced decks should have at least one card with high health than can absorb damage (sometimes a high drop or hero but sometimes a low drop with 5 health and regen or animated), units that can do damage at range (Zap, Blast) and healing (either from units or from Artifacts like Chalice of Healing or Diadem of Light or spells). ‘Crowd control’ usually takes the form of units with Trap or using the Sabotage spell to prevent the opponents high drop units from hitting the board. Some strategies are currently more effective than others but with the introduction of new abilities and units with the expansion, it is undecided at this point which specific units will be most effective at accomplishing each basic role.

In general each faction has a theme.
Elves focus on fast, ranged units with some heals and trap but not a lot of health.
Humans focus on retaliate, block and have several healing characters but do not have a lot of direct damage.
Undead come back from the grave with Animated, regenerate health but are a bit low on direct damage having a lot of units use poison and disease for extra damage.
Orcs are strong with good damage and high health but slow with high drop numbers.
There are of course exceptions and finding good synergy between cards is important.

Stats to look for. as a general rule
3+ Damage is good. (either direct damage stat or through abilities like Poison and Blast)
4+ Health is good
Having two abilities is good.
Low drop number is good.
Cards that hit these basic limits tend to be better cards.

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