MMDOC Key Cards for Base Set II Guide by Tippani
I’m writing this with the intent to help any newer players to help break down the game. I’m seeing more posts on what cards people need and when to buy the new expansion packs. So this guide was designed for the newbie in mind.
Important thing to know, this game is essentially divided between Open and Standard formats. Newer players are pretty much forced into playing Standard, while older players have the luxury option of both.
- Open format encompasses all the previous expansions (Base Set I (BS1), Void Rising, Herald of the Void, Forgotten Wars & 5 Towers). You can’t purchase these cards with Gold, only Seals a.k.a. real money. There are some quests which give you seals, but it’ll be a waste trying to spend it on these legacy series cards.
- Standard format has cards from all the previous expansions, but not all of them. They gutted a lot of cards out of each faction to create a new baseline standard, or the Base Set II (BS2) series.
We’ll focus on the BS2 series here (Standard) and the key/core cards that I think will help you progress with your early stages of the game.
First off, you have 6 factions (Academy / Haven / Inferno / Necropolis / Stronghold / Sanctuary) available. There’s a seventh faction (Neutral), but it’s a faction that exists for the other 6 to use it’s cards. There’s also 7 spell schools (Fire, Air, Water, Earth, Dark, Light, Prime). So let’s start with the latter and then move into individual factions.
Fire Bolt is really just a strong spell. It’s just a cheap, strong, efficient card. Strong early game to pick off 1 drops in shot, and has enough presence later on to chunk enemy creatures into kill range for mass removal spells or your other creatures to kill things off. I don’t see Fire Blast too often, but in the early stages I can still see this card being decent enough to get some snowballing in. The price and level requirement is a bit of a turn off.
Air has some rather expensive spells on them. These are the two more common ones, but truthfully I wouldn’t tunnel on these too hard. Lightning Bolt will save you more than you’d think with more 6-health creatures coming out. I’m half-and-half on Chain Lightning since most people avoid stacking creatures next to each other. But you can get good value with it in a good position.
Geyser is a fantastic spell. It’s cheap for the amount of potential damage available. Overall, great card. Ice Spikes is just like Fire Blast imo, has the potential to help snowballing in the earlier levels but loses attraction as you build your library.
Earth: Insect Swarm
Fantastic mass removal spell. Newer players will probably look at this and be discouraged at the 3 damage to your own creatures, but trust me. This will be your crutch to fend off the inevitable swarm of creatures you’ll run into.
This spell school will have your cursing under your breathe. Probably one of the most annoying set of spells out there. Honestly most of the spells here are strong anyways.
Cripple is a strong mechanic at all stages of the game. Soulreaver is easy creature removal. Enthrall got nerfed to 6 resources, but it’s still a strong card to have. Overall, lots of goodies in here to have.
Light: Word of Light
2 Damage isn’t that impressive, but it doesn’t hit your side like Insect Swarm does. It’s still pretty strong if you’re lacking board clear.
I don’t see Teleport as much as I did back then, but it still serves as a good tool to control the board. Throwing pesky creatures back to the opponents hand is good too for board control with Town Portal.
Why isn’t X listed here?! I’ve purposely left out cards like Time Jump, Immolation+Mass Rage, etc. I’ll go into it a bit more towards the end. Just know that there’s more viable cards then what’s listed. These are more newbie-friendly ezmode cards that are just straightforward and don’t require much set up. Use your discretion on what you deem useful.
Onto the actual factions. Again I won’t list every card in the faction. We’ll start with Neutral and onwards:
Both of these are rare cards, but they’re also really good. Cosmic Balance may not be great early on, but higher up it can make or break your games. There’s tons of stall decks looking to one-shot you, so if you can break the momentum before it’s too late then great. Week of Mercenaries is a simple yet effective event that can snowball your board quite easily. Remember to use it before you draw a card otherwise you might have a non-creature on top of your deck making it useless.
You need actual unique cards to make use of Wandering Bard obviously. Void Wraith is weak, but four of these in a deck is quite annoying. Lesser Light Elemental is probably the more decent neutral creatures out there with preemptive strike, but just be mindful with the magic level cost. As with most neutral creatures, they generally become weaker versions of your actual faction’s creatures.
Revised Tactics is good. You can throw away useless 1-drops or just other cards in general to get a better draw. It’s cheap, but requires 2 destiny points. Broken Bridge is a powerful card and a must. You’re not targeting any creatures so it can’t be blocked unless a creature has fortune ward or anchor. Also if you have any key creatures close to dying, you can reset it essentially by putting it back in your hand.
Fireplace is just a free resource and card draw. Straightforward card.
Haven: There’s room for a lot of offensive spells to be thrown in here. Haven creatures don’t generally have incredibly high attack stats as they’re designed to turtle with the various guards (melee/ranged/flyer/combat) and heal up. Personally I find this a difficult play style to use with the amount of spell removal/debuffs and fortunes out there to ruin creature positioning.
Tithe Collector is a must here as your other 1 drop resource creatures is garbage anyways compared to this, which has a fantastic effect. Same concept applies to Crusader Treasurer, except he’s pretty tanky and more income is always welcome.
Watchmen delivers good damage early, is cheap and has good health. You can always block them with a melee when needed. They eventually either bait out enemy spells, or turn into meatshields once they’re finally poked. But still, useful card.
Vanguard is pretty good, being a reliable and tanky 3-drop with fair damage on the side. Commander is an annoying 5-drop as the high HP lets it soak in a lot of ranged attacks while killing most melee minions with retaliation (Or chunking them hard enough to kill them on the followup attack.)
Anael is the unique (You can only put one of these per card, in your deck), thus it’s natural for it to be really strong. Griffin is more deck specific, but you’ll have interesting options open for stall decks later on down the road if you unlock these in packs. Not a must though.
Fortunes/Buildings: Not much here unfortunately for newbies.
Sanctuary: Snowbally faction which uses positioning to buff allied creatures (Honor), and has the ability to control the positioning of enemy creatures (Outmaneuvre). My personal favorite, but this faction is not newbie friendly. A lot of the must-have cards are rares/epics in BS2 since they gutted a lot of cards from BS1, so no individual Rares/Epics section for this faction.
Coral Priestess & Tidemaster are your outmaneuvre cards. The former is the cheapest relocation creature available, so use it wisely. Shinje Warrior is used to stop aggression with it’s passive killing off whatever hits it. Sayama Champion is your beefy tank early on and the only thing that can get 3 attack at 3 resources. Wanizame is one of the few honor creatures available that’s pretty efficient with good attack and health. If your hero is Takana, Wanizame turns into a beast with 4 attack + honor. Mizu-Kami is the only response Sanctuary has to spell decks since you’re really dependent on positioning and mass spells can ruin you. Not an essential must-have, but it’s strong enough to mention.
Must have, more than the other factions and their uniques imo. You really need to snowball well, and Raya does just that. Keep this thing alive as it can win you the game disabling creatures each turn.
Battle Trance is a great deck searching card. Combined with Alter of Wishes, you can play Raya pretty easily this way. Otherwise, you can always use it to pull out creature removal like Broken Bridge, or your clutch outmanouvre for the win.
Honor Binds Us is fantastic, although you only need one or two in a deck. Snowballs your entire board, as long as you have a board to work with.
Hidden Dojo’s pretty okay, and it’s an uncommon so it has that going for it. Quick snowballing tool.
Academy: Has creatures with Magic Channel which raise their magic levels. They also have quite a few creatures with higher magic level requirements. As you can tell, heavy spell decks are actually encouraged as you kill two birds with one stone here.
There’s actually quite a few creatures for Academy that aren’t rares/epics and you can probably get by pretty decently early on. They lack the raw attack however.
Scholar and Wizard Tutor are your bread and butter magic channelers. Guardian Golem is rather annoying to play against, and Rakshasa is a great 3 drop that does a good job and blocking due to evade. From this point, how you play your academy deck is up to you. There’s enough creatures in here to play with, and with the fast magic levels that you certainly have options available
These are two uniques available for Academy in BS2. There’s quite a few rares in here that you can probably work with that are more newb friendly. I wouldn’t go around spending wildcards on anything other than the two unique creatures here though.
Fortunes/Buildings: Favorite Spell Good deck searching tool for emergency board clear.
Necropolis: Contains creatures with a lot of passive effects, like poison, cripple and life drain. Generally are dark aligned in the spell schools, so expect a lot of annoying effects on top of whatever creatures they have to offer.
There’s a lot of good solid creatures to work with in general for Necropolis. A good set of two drops in the first 2, with Neophyte Lich being a shooter so it’s immune to retaliation. Moonsilk Skeleton’s cripple is annoying, with it also having 3 hp so it doesn’t instadie to 1 drops.
Vampire Knight and Untamed Wraith are both tanky creatures. Life drain on the former keeps it alive, and incorporeal on the latter lets it soak in front line damage.
Archlich is even tankier with lifesteal, and is a shooter so no retaliation amage.
Atropos + The Banshee is quite old school, but this combo is still annoying. Very rage inducing as the Banshee is essentially another set of Soulreavers.
Fortunes/Buildings: A good portion of the fortunes for Necropolis focus around discarding creatures into the graveyard and bringing them back from the dead. Essentially combo-specific, and requires a good deck construction to consistently and effectively pull off. So I wouldn’t worry too much about this in BS2.
Inferno: Has a good set of creatures that can be tanky, or have high attack. Overall a solid faction that can just outmuscle their way through sometimes.
Succubus is another safe 2 drop shooter. Juggernaut is cheap and hits really hard. Sometimes the opponent just won’t have an answer to such high raw attack early on.
Lashing Lilim is one of the beefy creatures to tank things with, and even gets a Sweep Attack added. Hellfite Maniac is a great defensive creature that punishes opponents creature positioning with his effect.
Overall, there’s quite a few nice creatures to work with here, and you have the option to mix it up. You can go hard with a rush if you’re really bored given how high some creature’s attack can get.
Caller of the Void is more annoying if anything else. But theres not much an opponent can do when you just run away with it while your other creatures are serving a more immediate threat. Doom Bringer is your giant reset button.
Inferno can run discard based decks and these are a start. Easy to grab in packs so shouldn’t be an issue.
Stronghold: Solid faction. Good attack and health stats, along with bloodthirst/engrage to buff attack. Good fortune and spell synergy to continue snowballing.
Strong 4 cards that do their job well. Harpy is the typical 2 drop, 4 health creature. 3 attack early on Centaur Archer is great especially with no retaliation, and Oliphant can block like champ for cheap with 7 health. Blackskull Shredder can pull off unexpected creature snipes or hero poke with quick atack.
Zelfiria’s swift ability combined with some of the insane attack some Stronghold creatures have is difficult to deal with. The newer expansions contain creatures that encourage high might levels, which Blackskull Clan Warlord can benefit from. So there’s future value as you build your library.
There’s a lot of rare high-drops with some absurd attack stat or attack stat effect to buff them up. Generally I ignore them due to their cost being so high for what it’s worth.
Very strong tools that help control the board. Powerful creature removal with the first two, and War Tent can serve for the surprise creature snipe.
No not really. Anyways, as I said I’ve purposely ignored listing certain cards that are obviously strong. The cards I’ve suggested were mainly commons/uncommons that help build the core of a deck. If you’ve picked up enough copies of the ones I suggested, chances are you own a lot of the other cards of the faction and you’re probably good to go buying the expansion set. The only exception is Sanctuary, which I think relies heavier on the rares/epics to bring it to at least a fair playing field with the other factions.
So anyways, feel free to agree/disagree/suggest.Other Might & Magic Duel of Champions (MMDOC) Articles
MMDOC Key Cards for Base Set II Guide
MMDOC Raising Elo for Beginner’s Guide
MMDOC Tempo, Card Advantage and Deck Types Guide
MMDOC Probabilities and Combinations Guide
MMDOC Control Deck Guide
MMDOC Gold, Exp and Elo Guide
MMDOC Starter Packs Card List
MMDOC Achievements List
MMDOC Infernal Pit Guide
MMDOC New Player’s Guide
MMDOC Necro Sample Deck Build Guide
MMDOC Inferno Rush Deck Build Guide