Carte Online TCG Resources Guide
Carte Online TCG Resources Guide by gmler
The goal of this guide is to introduce players new to TCGs in general and Carte specifically to some key concepts about how the game is played. The guide does not teach you how to mechanically play the game or provide specific strategies. Rather, it will show which factors you should consider when deciding on what play to make.
Ultimately all TCG are resource management games. Resources can be divided in to two main groups, primary resources and secondary resources. Primary resources are resources that once depleted will result in a loss. Secondary resources are resources that are used to protect your primary resources and deplete the resources of your enemies.
There are two primary resources in Carte. Your hero’s life points (from here on referred to as “life”) and the number of cards in your deck. Reducing opponent’s life to 0 is the standard path to victory in Carte. The other way to win a game is to make a player try to draw a card from an empty deck (from here on referred to as “Decking”). The key point to remember about primary resources, is that only the last point of life or card in deck matters. You do not gain bonus points for winning with more primary resources. This means that you should be willing to use primary resources to generate secondary resources. The most obvious use of a primary resource to generate a secondary resource is drawing cards from your deck, as each card you draw out of the deck brings you one card closer to decking yourself. Less obvious is that life should be used in a similar manner as well. Understanding when to loose life to advance your game plan (usually by being willing to take damage from opponents attackers) is one of the keys to succeeding at this game.
Secondary resources are not as clearly defined as primary, there are multiple different ways to break down secondary resources in to different groups. I’m going to use a system that breaks them down in to three groups. The three secondary resources I’m going to be dealing with are initiative, cards in hand, and mana.
Now, as most of you probably realized, initiative is not defined within the game. Before I define it for you, lets look at a scenario. Imagine you are playing the basic Sierron (green) deck against the basic Aspire (red) deck.
On a clear board you play a Faerie (1/1), a Dire Wolf (2/1) and an Elvish Scout (1/2) in the attack zone. On his turn, your opponent responds by playing a Militia (1/1), a Flamefist Fighter (3/1) and a Hunter (5/2). Assuming neither player has any relevant plays left, who is currently winning on the board?
Now, your initial reaction might be that red has the better board position. Militia and Faerie have identical stats, Flamefist Fighter has strictly better stats then Dire Wolf, and Hunter has strictly better stats then Elvish scout. But lets play out this scenario. Red has no relevant plays and finishes his turn. On your turn, you still have no relevant plays so you start to attack. Your Faerie fights and trades with the Flamefist Fighter, your Dire Wolf fights and trades with the Hunter, and your Elvish Scout kills the Militia leaving you with an Elvish Scout (1/1) in play to his empty board.
What just happened? How did the empirically superior board end up being weaker? The answer is that you had initiative and your opponent did not. So what is initiative? Simply put initiative is the number and power of your active attackers. Lets look at our scenario with respect to initiative. First turn you play your creatures and no one has any active attackers so the initiative for both players is 0. Next comes your opponents turn, he plays his creatures, neither player can attack so the initiative is still 0 for both players. Now comes your second turn. Suddenly you have 3 attackers so your initiative goes up. Your opponent still can’t attack so his initiative is at 0. You use your initiative to not only kill his superior creatures but also come out ahead a 1/1.
Now that we understand what initiative is, lets look at what we can convert initiative in to. Initiative can be converted in to three primary forms. First is card advantage, just like we saw in our example. Second is using initiative to deny your opponent future initiative or stop him from denying you future initiative, usually this goes hand in hand with the first point . Finally you can convert initiative in to direct damage to the opponent.
A key point to remember about initiative is that any time you don’t use it it is gone. This is where creatures in the defense zone come in. These creatures attempt to stop your opponent from using his initiative every turn, but you must remember that they don’t produce initiative them self. As a general rule of thumb, defense zone creatures should only be used as a last resort to help your attackers survive long enough to generate initiative. It is often advantageous to take damage but play your creatures in the attack zone so you can try to maximize the initiative you generate.
Cards in Hand
As the name implies, this is simply looking at the cards you have in your hand.The basic concept is simple, the more and the better the cards you have in your hand the better off you are. There are however some interesting concept that one should keep in mind. Carte has an interesting system of mulligans, you get 1 mulligan on the play and 2 mulligans on the draw. You can take a mulligan at the start of your turn by paying 1 life. This gets you a brand new hand of cards. Choosing when to use your mulligan can be rather difficult. Sometimes you are in a do or die situation so mulliganing to get the card you need is obvious. Outside of that scenario most mulligans can be divided in to two groups.
First is the mulligan to get cards you can play, this usually happens early game and can include a search for low cost plays or shards. Since initiative is so important in this game, having a hand that does not build initiative or stop your opponent from building his initiative for multiple turns is suicidal. Even if your opponent does not build initiative in the early turns of the game you can get a decisive advantage by building your own. Shards work out similarly, while they don’t provide initiative advantage directly, if you do not make mana every turn for the first X turns (depending on your deck), your opponent will be able to gain initiative by playing stronger or more creatures.
Second is to upgrade your cards. This usually happens towards the late game. If you find yourself with a lot of cheap but low impact cards late game, it can be a good idea to mulligan them to get higher impact cards.
The dilemma of course arises from the fact that we can’t mulligan as many times as we want. To make a proper mulligan decision you must understand what your and your opponent’s game plan is. Against aggressive decks, you usually want to mulligan early to make sure that you don’t fall too far behind. If the game goes long enough you will win it with your higher cost and power plays. Mulliganing early to make sure you can keep up with their build up of initiative is a good idea. Against control decks on the other hand, you are more worried keeping up with their powerful end game plays. Control decks usually can not build up initiative well, and are more focused on stopping you from building up initiative. So making sure that you have enough powerful plays end game to keep up with them can be more important then gaining more initiative.
Mana is a growing resource. Each turn you can increase your maximum mana by 1. If you miss a turn you can’t get a chance to make up that mana later. Carte creates an interesting tension as you try to build up your mana. You can get the mana immediately or get it next turn but get an extra effect (usually draw a card). The choice depends on a number of factors. If you have a high impact creature, for its cost, it can be a good idea to give up a card in order for the creature to gain initiative a turn earlier. Gaining a mana immediately is also usually a good idea if it lets you maximize the mana each turn. If you have a 2 mana creature and two 4 mana creatures it can be a good idea to gain your fourth mana immediately as it gives you a play on every turn. If on the other hand you have a solid curve, and are able to maximize your mana every turn getting the extra card(s) can set you up for a better late game. Of course, the decision is also heavily impacted by your opponents actions. If you see that your normal curve can not keep up with your opponents build up of initiative sacrificing cards might be the right choice. On the flip side, if you have a very aggressive start, sacrificing cards to make it even faster will force your opponent to do the same.
Carte is a very complex and interesting game, the key to winning most games is maintaining a balance of resources.
If you have any comments questions or recommendations feel free to respond