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here's my really awful Ascension strategy: who can tell me why it doesn't work...?

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greetings and salutations --

 

okay, so i am very new to Ascension, just got the Android app, which is my first exposure to the game, about two weeks ago...  but i've played a lot of CCGs, some of them competitively and well, and i've developed a little strategy that goes something like this:

 

-  limit myself to 10-12 Mystics & Heavy Infantry total [purchased in an order dictated by the vagaries of the center row]...

-  avoid buying 1 rune cards that do not replace themselves [draw a card]...

-  prioritize the buying of cards that either draw a card or banish a card in your discard pile or hand or both...

-  as soon as possible, start banishing the "red shirts" out of my deck...

-  trying to keep my deck size between 20 & 25 cards until the late-game honor grab gets underway...

-  i generally try to gain my honor through the game in the form of Monsters, so as to not dilute my deck...

-  i generally eschew Constructs when possible, until the late-game honor grab commences, at which point i start prioritizing them for

   their high rune-to-honor value...

-  if there is no play that truly benefits me, i try to remember to simply pass the turn and waste the runes, rather than weaken my deck...

-  i pay close attention to the order in which i play out my hand, avoiding the "Play All" button as much as possible, to optimize my tactical

   play:  my mantra is "draw, draw, draw, banish & draw some more..."

 

i gleaned these various ideas from reading pretty much everything i could find on the web on the subject of best play practices, trying to make sure that i am not pursuing any goals that are at opposition with any of my other goals...  oh, and i suppose i ought to mention that when i create games, i use the CotG & RotF sets & all 4 Promo packs...  i own all of the expansions, but i play with what i like to think is a bit more of a "beginners' set" so as to minimize the number of balls i'm trying to keep in the air...  when i join games already created by others, i try to stay just CotG or as close to just the base set as possible...  every once in a while i do get all crazy with it and just play with everything, but that's just for funzies and i don't really try to be as strategic with that sort of game, i just play the board and my hand as best i can...

 

now, when i read that back, it sounds just great, to me...  all good ideas...  but, here's the thing:

 

i lose about 2/3rds of my games against human opponents...

 

so, my question is, "why...?!"

 

what is the flaw in my thinking, what am i doing wrong...?

 

feel free to be brutally honest, give it to me with both barrels, as i'd like to get better at this game, and flowery talk and assuaging my bruised ego isn't going to help me accomplish that...

 

thanks, in advance, and, anyone interested in *showing* me, rather than telling me, feel free to add me [scribner] to your friends list and challenge away...

 

peace --

 

-- khs

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I'm not an Ascension expert by no means, so take this with a grain of salt.

 

Couple of things that came to mind when reviewing your strategy (Note: will not commenting runes as I haven't played enough of that expansion yet).

 

First and foremost, Ascension is a very "fluid" game, one which favors those players who seem to be most adaptable to I) the board ii) what their rivals play. You however, play to what seems to me a very "fixed" strategy. I will comment on some (not all) examples I see as to rigid in your approach.

 

I) Gaining honor through monsters. This isn't right or wrong per se. But I'll tell you one thing, if this is the approach you'll follow you will generally need a fast game to win. The longer the game, the more chances a deck built around constructs and mana will kick in.

 

II) Avoiding constructs. Again, neither right nor wrong. BUT as a general observation, most players don't leave Mechana constructs on the board given their 1:1 cost/honor ratio. Plus the fact that Mechana constructs as a family are formidable (more on families below).

 

III) Families: All card families have advantages and disadvantages. But In your strategy you avoid any mentions to the notion of building families. Eg. green cards combine together typically in a formidable way. Void cards are a must if you aim to beat monsters.

 

IV) Deck velocity: You seem familiar with this concept, but it is fundamental here. Blue cards are really good allies for this. Constructs in a way are also powerful allies.

 

V) Deck knowledge: Going back to the overall point, I like to think there's no dominant strategy in Ascension. Every approach has its weakness. If you learn which cards can kill your tactics, you should be ready to deactivate these no matter what the cost - even at the expense of deck dilution or other.

 

Anyway, hope this helps. Good luck!

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The one other thing I forgot is that first turns are key. Typically (but not always) you will see a prioritization for buying Mystics in order to access stronger cards fast. Pay close attention to your first turn picks, as well as those of your rival(s).

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hey there --

 

thanks for taking the time to offer up some ideas, Zentao, much appreciated...  i'll try to rework my strategy with your suggestions in mind and let you know how it works out for me...

 

right now i'm at 19 wins, 31 losses, so, 38% win ratio...  my goal is to break a 50% win ratio by the time i hit 100 games...  so i need to win 32 of my next 50 games to make that goal...  it seems maybe a bit unrealistic, but i'm still gonna take a shot at it...

 

i suppose that i should have mentioned that while what i described is, indeed my strategy going into my games [figuring it's better to have one than not to have one], i have learned, through military service and a lot of gaming, that the adage about no strategy surviving first contact with the enemy is a true one...  so, while my strategy might seem too rigid, i find that i am forced to adjust my tactical play to accommodate the actual game i'm playing...  i try to steer back toward the starting strategy when possible, but sometimes it doesn't work out that way...

 

anyway, thanks again, Zentao, i appreciate the insights, and your time and effort in sharing them with me...

 

peace --

 

- khs

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I never win against human opponents either, so take this with a grain of salt, but the two points that I disagree with are getting your honor through monsters rather than acquiring cards and largely ignoring constructs.

 

First, there are roughly the same number of monsters as there are each of the factions. Therefore over the course of the game only 20% of the cards you see will be monsters, and there's no guarantee that there will be any monster in the center row at all when you draw a good monster-hunting hand. Of course things can go the other way as well, but because 80% of the portal deck is made of cards you buy rather than cards you kill, it's much less likely. And while monsters don't clutter your deck, rune cards give you value every time you draw them so long as you buy the right one.

 

Second, constructs are better than you think because they also don't clutter your deck after you draw them the first time.

 

I hope this is helpful.

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heya --

 

thanks, Cliffy -- i appreciate the advice, even if you're in much the same boat as i am...

 

to clarify my position on the Constructs:  i should have mentioned in my initial post, that when i have an opportunity to banish cards from the center row, my first priority is Mechana Constructs [my thought process being, i don't want them, but i also don't want my opponent to get them, as, at least among the cards i have seen enough times to be familiar with, they seem to have the highest rune-to-honor value of any cards in the game, often 1:1], followed by Constructs of other factions with the highest honor values...

 

and then, in the late-game, which i generally mark at the point where there is only 20 honor left in the pool, i try to snatch the same stuff i just mentioned up to push my total honor score...  the hope being that since i've been banishing and ignoring them, my opponent won't expect me to start taking them in all of a sudden, and i'll get a couple without much opposition before i have to start racing for them...

 

i understand and agree that once you play a Construct out, it no longer clutters up your deck, but one thing i've noticed, though, perhaps, given too much weight to, is the fact that there seem to be an awful lot of monsters with destroy-Constructs effects [maybe that's just in the first two sets, i'm not sure], at which point your deck is a mess until you get them back into play again...  should such happen in the late game, it seems to me like the effects could be catastrophic, keeping you from accessing good cards to enable honor-grabbing when it is most crucial...

 

so, thanks again for chiming in, i'll add your advice to my little collection of sticky-notes that i consult while i'm getting my butt kicked...

 

at some point, i ought to give the Construct-gathering "Infernal Machine" strategy a try, see if i haven't been looking at the whole thing bass-ackwards this whole time...

 

peace --

 

-- khs

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Zantao is correct about being fluid.  Your strategy should fit the opening spread and turn order.  If your opponent goes first, what did they take and why.  Are they racing you to get a good card?  Are they playing for a strong power deck?  Did they draft a card that could be used in a set?  You have to adjust your behavior to suit the game at hand. 

 

That said, I have found that I lose most games to having low power decks (inability to kill monsters).  To Cliffy's point about the Monster to non-monster card ratio, you should remember that starting decks cannot deal with the monsters so they tend to aggregate until someone kills them.    Monsters have decent point to cost ratios and can be worthwhile focusing on.  Strategy should dictate your choices but there is value snagging cards with high power values when you can.

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I don't "like" playing mechana construct decks.. But if in the first few turns, that opportunity presents itself, there's no way I would pass it up. It will win 9 times out of 10. Just be sure to banish any monsters that will hinder it ;) As others have alluded to, fluidity is key. In Ascension, adapting to the luck of the cards is far more important than in other CCGs.

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hiya --

 

i think you hit it on the head there, aaronachnid, as to why i stay away from the Mechana Construct lines of play:  i just don't much like them, conceptually...  high rune cards that don't really do much at all, then all of a sudden go off and start doing all kinds of crazy stuff...  it just doesn't jibe too well with how i feel like i want to play...

 

on the other hand, when i am unable to stop my opponent from grabbing them up, i just start getting this sinking feeling...  and i don't really care for the thought of being on the other end of that, inspiring that sinking feeling in my opponent...  not that i'm averse to winning, i just wouldn't much care to win *that* way...  while, i'm sure, other players may feel the same about Void or Enlightened or Lifebound...

 

i wonder if i ought to be trying to stay more "in-faction" than i currently do...  i don't really base my buys on faction so much as card effects, and i've developed some favorites that seem to accomplish my stated goals:  i'll almost always grab Spike Vixen, Wolf Shaman, Runic Lycanthrope, Arbiter of the Precipice, Void Initiate, Arha Initiate, Flytrap Witch, Askara of Fate [i'm actually on the fence about that one, lately, wondering if it's worth giving my opponent the extra card], Arha Sensei if i'm able to do so, even if i know i need Mystics or Heavy Infantry...

 

i'm beginning to get what you had to add, smyrin, i think i need to be more flexible and responsive to the board state, rather than trying to pursue an agenda going into the game...  one thing i've noticed, though is, it's hard to shift gears in a way that meaningfully adds to my chances of winning...  if i've been buying Mystic because there aren't many monsters on the board, and then the center row changes up to where there are monsters in plenitude, by the time i've managed to change over to Heavy Infantry and find myself in a position to start killing stuff up, my opponent has usually beaten me to the punch and the board is heroes and Constructs again, and i'm sitting on a mitt full of not-so-useful power cards...

 

in any case, thanks for piping in and shedding a little light on things, guys, i appreciate all the input i can get...

 

peace --

 

-- khs

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I couldn't read each answer to this Topic because of lack of time, so, if some of my advices have already been given, I'm really sorry, and forgive me. :unsure:

So, about strategy, you say... I and my girlfriend, Lilith played Ascension for a long time, and we often clashed each other or just played against (of course MAXed) AIs (we played it very much xD), so we can tell we're pretty expert of the game already. We're helping you out as much as we can! :3 (Please trust what I'm saying :P I know what I'm writing)

 

 

-  limit myself to 10-12 Mystics & Heavy Infantry total [purchased in an order dictated by the vagaries of the center row]...

 

Ok, here's the first, sightly problem : Lilith usually gets 2 or 3 of them per play, while I instead get 1 or 2 of both of them when Center Row Cards sucked.

Reasons behind this suggestion : There are many Main Deck cards that cost as much (or, sometimes, they even are more convenient than) as Heavy Infantries and Mystics, and do their same effects (often boosted, though), aside from giving you the same amount or often more than their Honor Points. Cards like these are a must for all kind of decks you're building. Some of them are Deathseeker, Runic Lycanthrope, Kor, the Ferromancer, Spike Vixen, Scrap Scrabbler and so on. I hope you can see the pattern between them. If you didn't, I can explain better what I meant. I know them by heart because I always purchase them during my plays!

 

 

-  avoid buying 1 rune cards that do not replace themselves [draw a card]...

 

Hmm... this is a hard point to explain... What I can say for sure is : don't turn your back on them that easly. They mostly are situational (except for Arha Initiate and Wolf Acolyte, two must-have cards (Wolf Acolyte, at least. You could have left Arha Initiate in the Center Row as well, just to let it fill a Center Row space for next player(s), but I'd suggest you to buy it), but they're the most suitable cards to acquire instead of overloading your deck with Mystics and Heavy Infantries.

 

Reasons behind this suggestion : Aiyana's Messenger, Grease Monk and Skyrocket Drone are good substitutions to Mystic, since they all virtually give you 2 Runes (I said "virtually", because there's a remote chance that they would only be worth 1 Rune instead than 2), while Void Militia is the only, worthy substitution to Heavy Infantry, since they "virtually" both give you 2 Power (same as above). When the Center Row is filled with high-costing cards like Samæl the Fallen, Repurposer, Ender of Days, Assimilation Plant, and no low-costing ones, they're your only cheap lifenet.

You used Arha Initiate as a bad card, but I'm telling you what : no card with the "Draw X card(s)" rule is bad. It virtually tells "transform this card into another one you have in your deck at random unless you know what you have on the top of your deck". It doesn't sound bad, to me. ;)

 

 

-  prioritize the buying of cards that either draw a card or banish a card in your discard pile or hand or both...

 

This is just fine! That's what everyone aims for in the very beginning. As long as banishing Void cards like Voidfeeder, Abolisher, Azerax of the Black Watch and similar don't pop up, game goes veeeeeery slow...

I wouldn't suggest you Arha Sensei and Arha Mentor, though, since they only fills your deck with long-term useless Mystics, while I instead reccomend Journeyman Sage for turns 20-. Raj, Psionic Master is instead a must-have. Only a deck with Center Row banishing cards like Seeker of the Forked Path and Wandering Askara can effectively contrast him.

 

 

-  as soon as possible, start banishing the "red shirts" out of my deck...

 

Hhmmm....? I suppose you meant Apprentices?  :P  In that case, yup!

 

 

-  trying to keep my deck size between 20 & 25 cards until the late-game honor grab gets underway...

 

That mostly depends by your deck's drawing efficency. Since Rise of Vigil Expansion came out, I often played with decks composed by 70+ cards in the very end and they all just worked greatly! :P

Before Energy Shards appeared, my decks often were composed by 15 (!) to 40 cards, according to many variables like Center Row cards acquired during the game, banished cards, opponents' strategies and so on.

Don't limit your deck construction too much, though. ;) Just try to figure out how many cards you potentially can draw each turn, then decide whether to not buy any Heroes anymore or just go all out (I often had problems with my little deck's size sometimes : due to Events and acquired cards, I found myself having 6 cards in the deck, being 1/2 Apprentice(s), (or) a Militia and other banishing cards like Arbiter of the Precipice, Arbiter of Fate and so on at turn 4... definitely the worst situation ever, since I couldn't buy anything but Aiyana's Messenger, Wolf Acolyte & co, but they often came out during other players' turns or just don't pop out when I really need them). It might take some time, at the beginning, to figure it out, but you'll soon find your own limit. ^^

 

-  i generally try to gain my honor through the game in the form of Monsters, so as to not dilute my deck...

 

The game actually provides players two ways of winning : by defeating Monsters, or by gaining Honor Points by indirect ways (Beacon Shaman, Dandellion Witch, Atrolabe TRX, Beast Staff...) and having many or/and high-valued cards (Assimilation Plant, Adayu, the Chosen, Black Hole...) in the deck. It seems like you belong to the first category, while I instead belong to the second. xD

Not that I don't kill Monsters, to be clear! I just don't focalize my attention on defeating them, rather than getting better cards for the deck.

 

  • Never go for a full-attack deck! Runes can buy anything (75% Center Deck's composed by Artifacts and Heroes), but what if no Monster popped out in the Center Row or they did during opponents' turns and they killed them before you could? Only gaining Honor Points from Cultists during a turn is a dead turn!

 

-  i generally eschew Constructs when possible, until the late-game honor grab commences, at which point i start prioritizing them for

   their high rune-to-honor value...

 

I did, too, during my first plays. I'll never do that anymore!

 

  • Always grab Constructs whenever you can! Don't always prefer them over Heroes, though. It'll depends by compared cards!

 

Reasons behind this suggestion : Not only Mechana Constructs are the most efficient way of gaining high-valued cards during a game, Constructs also serve you well! You play them, and they stay there forever (until pests like Acidic Crawler, Polaris Demon, Sea Tyrant & co pop out), activating their effects each turn! And many of them really are powerful, too (Black Hole, Beast Staff, Dreamer's Glass...).

 

 

-  if there is no play that truly benefits me, i try to remember to simply pass the turn and waste the runes, rather than weaken my deck...

 

That's just right. :)

 

 

-  i pay close attention to the order in which i play out my hand, avoiding the "Play All" button as much as possible, to optimize my tactical

   play:  my mantra is "draw, draw, draw, banish & draw some more..."

 

This is right, too. Pressing "Play All" during first turns isn't a big deal, but when your deck starts getting sinergy, pressing it would mean a dead turn, under certain circumstances!

 

I hope I've been of any help! ;) If you have any other question, anything, just ask or send a PM! :3 I'm always glad to help others whenever and however I can! :D

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I don't think being loyal to one faction or another is that useful in the Chronicles block (unless you're going for Mechana constructs). It's more useful (specifically going Lifebound) in the Storm of Souls block because of the Unite mechanic. Faction loyalty is more important, as I understand it, in the Realms Unraveled set which is only out in cardboard so far.

 

Scribner, you should try a few games where you go all in on Mechana constructs just to see how it works. Maybe try it against the AI. Mechana constructs all have the one for one cost:honor ratio, which means that a lot of them are underpriced for their value even when they're expensive. That's because there are two knobs for balancing a card with a given effect -- cost and honor reward. With Mechana constructs that's one knob. If an effect is good, then it can only balanced by making the card expensive, which automatically means you also get a huge honor reward for buying it.

 

As to your objection, yes, there are monsters that throw away all your constructs, and it is frustrating, which is why something that banishes center row cards is a useful adjunct to a constructs strategy. However, it doesn't disrupt your future hands as much as you think because at least in Chronicles block, you get an effect when you play the construct next time you draw it, not unlike any hero card. (That is less true in Storm of Souls and Rise of Vigil blocks.)

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[...] That's because there are two knobs for balancing a card with a given effect -- cost and honor reward. With Mechana constructs that's one knob. If an effect is good, then it can only balanced by making the card expensive, which automatically means you also get a huge honor reward for buying it.

 

That's not always like that. Notice how cards like Landtalker, Loamspeaker Druid and Syril, Runic Alpha do pretty the same effect, but has different amount of Honor Points value according to their cost-efficence ratio. Usually, overpowered cards for their Rune costs have a reduced Honor Points value, like Abolisher compared to Nihilmancer, Illiya the Demonborn compared to Emri, Soulslayer and so on. The game balances power-cost ratio with Honor points value-cost one.

This doesn't apply to Mechana Construct, still, because they're the only highly faction-dependant ones, while others (Canopic Jar, Yggdrasil Staff, Dreamer's Glass...) aren't, and that's why they usually have a cost-Honor points value of 2:1, like mostly Heroes.

 

I instead agree all your above points you've enlightned. The only highly-dependant Faction Heroes out there are Lifebounds, so far, and, let's face this : Unite is just OP. As soon as Storm of Souls have been released, my deck changed from a mixture of many, different factioned heroes to 50% (or often more than this) Lifebound ones and a 50% of other cards. Wolf Acolyte, Sabre, the Moonlit, Runic Lycanthrope and Syril, Runic Alpha are just overpowered for their Rune costs.

I can't tell if bringing the Multi-Unite effect into Realms Unraveled has been a wise choice or not (I didn't play that expansion, yet :(), but it surely will change many game mechanics, in my opinion.

And yes, I didn't mean you automatically lose the game if you're pretty full of Constructs and your opponents just destroy them due to Sea Tyrant, Acidic Crawler etc, but it surely is nuts. :P Not that catastrophical, still, fortunately, since you can still draw and play them again and again, gaining their turn-effects when you play them, too.

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I unfortunatly have about the same loosing percentage as OP. So I just want to thank for all the tips. *thumbs up*

 

Also thanks noloic for linking to the card pics, I can't ever seem to remember the names. :-p

 

It seems different strategies should be used for different sets. I'm pretty sure most of my wins are cotg. And most of my recent loses are rov/du.

 

I do think luck is a big part of it as I have often won big and then lost big with the same opponent.

 

But some pointers for rov/du would be verymuch appriciated. I really love these two new expansions with the energy shards. :-D

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I unfortunatly have about the same loosing percentage as OP. So I just want to thank for all the tips. *thumbs up*

 

Also thanks noloic for linking to the card pics, I can't ever seem to remember the names. :-p

 

It seems different strategies should be used for different sets. I'm pretty sure most of my wins are cotg. And most of my recent loses are rov/du.

 

I do think luck is a big part of it as I have often won big and then lost big with the same opponent.

 

But some pointers for rov/du would be verymuch appriciated. I really love these two new expansions with the energy shards. :-D

 

No problem at all! :) I love giving advices wherever I can. ;)

You just asked about Rise of Vigil and Darkness Unleashed expansions strategies changes, did you? In my previous post containing advices, I implied the reader(s) had all the expansions and played each. In fact, many strategies change each Expansion, so I forgot to mention previous ones as well. Strategies used when playing with Treasures are definitely different from only playing with Chronicles of the Godslayer. :unsure:

 

I'm trying to explain better my previous strategies used once I didn't have expansions (so when I only had basic game), so I can tell you how strategies changed as new ones came out, if you wished to! ^_^ Just wait until my worktime ended. :P

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hi there --

 

wow, Noloic...  that's a lot to take in -- you've obviously been at this a while...

 

i do have all of the expansions & promo packs, at this point [all of the ones available for the Android implementation, anyway, i assume that they're the same as the iOS expansions, or else we'd have great difficulty playing cross-platform]...

 

since i'm not really "getting" this game [although, i do enjoy it -- except in cases of total blowouts, it's fun, even when i'm getting my butt kicked], rather than overwhelm myself with all of the sets, i've been limiting myself to Cotg, RotF & Promo Packs 1 & 2...  pretty arbitrary, i guess, but that's what i've been playing...

 

so, if you were to try and define some of the key strategies that apply to *those* parameters of play, what would you suggest...?

 

i'm going to try posting a thread about completed deck lists, see if that helps shed any light on things...

 

i hope it doesn't sound like i'm obsessed with winning...  i'm not...  it just seems to me that i ought to be able to understand what this whole hot, crazy mess is about, and for some reason the whole thing manages to elude my mental grasp...  once i have a full understanding of it, i'll take my wins and losses as they come, but until i acquire that, i'm just playing random stuff, which can't be the the right way to go about it...

 

thanks again to everyone who weighed in on all of this, i do appreciate your input and assistance...

 

peace --

 

-- khs

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hi there --

 

wow, Noloic...  that's a lot to take in -- you've obviously been at this a while...

 

i do have all of the expansions & promo packs, at this point [all of the ones available for the Android implementation, anyway, i assume that they're the same as the iOS expansions, or else we'd have great difficulty playing cross-platform]...

 

since i'm not really "getting" this game [although, i do enjoy it -- except in cases of total blowouts, it's fun, even when i'm getting my butt kicked], rather than overwhelm myself with all of the sets, i've been limiting myself to Cotg, RotF & Promo Packs 1 & 2...  pretty arbitrary, i guess, but that's what i've been playing...

 

so, if you were to try and define some of the key strategies that apply to *those* parameters of play, what would you suggest...?

 

i'm going to try posting a thread about completed deck lists, see if that helps shed any light on things...

 

i hope it doesn't sound like i'm obsessed with winning...  i'm not...  it just seems to me that i ought to be able to understand what this whole hot, crazy mess is about, and for some reason the whole thing manages to elude my mental grasp...  once i have a full understanding of it, i'll take my wins and losses as they come, but until i acquire that, i'm just playing random stuff, which can't be the the right way to go about it...

 

thanks again to everyone who weighed in on all of this, i do appreciate your input and assistance...

 

peace --

 

-- khs

 

Thanks in advancefor the trust, I hope I can be useful in some way. ;)

 

First of all, even if you say you don't get the game right now, worry not : I've taken quite a lot to learn strategies for games I play, too. Everyone starts as a newbie, then grows until (s)he knows each aspects of the game (s)he likes. It's just a matter of time and dedication! ;)

 

So, about expansions! I totally agree with your starting strategy : the fewer expansions, the better. It makes you understand the dynamics of the game itself and the changes each expansion brought to it. What I generally can say about how expansions changed strategies, is :

 

 

  • Chronicles of the Godslayer (CotG) : Game basics. Playing this expansion alone makes you understand the very basilar rules of the game, which are :
    • Banish as soon as possible : Banishing useless cards for the deck like Apprentices and Militias, that definitely are below the average on any card of the game, makes your deck work better, allowing it to make you only draw the cards you mostly want to use, that will usually be Mystics and Heavy Infantries during the first turns of play (approximately by turn 3 to turn 10) and other cards you've acquired from the Center Row (if you acquired any) (like Runic Lycanthrope, Emri, One with the Void, Avatar Golem and so on) during advanced turns. To do so, you'll need to acquire as many banishing Void cards as possible during the very first turns of the game. What you should focus your Rune expenditure on turns 1~10 are Arbiter of the Precipice, Shade of the Black Watch and Void Initiate. But be careful : remember to banish Arbiter of the Precipice and Void Initiate as well, as soon as you don't have any more Apprentices and Militias in your deck, since their power is really limited, without that feature (drawing two cards is fine, but forcing the player to banish one from the hand becomes pretty nasty, on the advanced turns of the game, since you only could lose Honor Points and power doing so, while gaining 1 Rune is exactly the same of an Apprentice, and that's not what we should aim to, since we aimed for their banish in first place). Shade of the Black Watch is instead still fine, since it works (and is worth) exactly like a Heavy Infantry with the extra feature that grants you to banish a card from your hand or discard pile just in case you didn't need it anymore (like a Heavy Infantry if you had many Power-gaining sources like Avatar Golem, Muramasa, Demon Slayer and so on, or a Mystic if you had many Rune-gaining sources like Landtalker, Snapdragon, Reactor Monk and so on);

    • High-costing cards aren't always the best choice : Many player usually prefer a high-costing card to a low-costing one, but that's not always the case : if a card like Burrower Mark II is in the Center Row, but you have the necessary Runes to acquire Oziah the Peerless, it would be a wiser choice to acquire Burrower Mark II instead of him, since anyone can ramp to 3 Runes, anytime, meaning that if you don't take it immediately, the player after you will. Instead, 6 Runes are quite difficult to reach, especially on the first turns, meaning Oziah the Peerless will stay in the Center Row for a while, and you'll have another chance on getting it in the future thanks to the other low-costing cards you've acquired before him. This isn't always like this, though : according to your kind of deck, to which cards you need more at the time, to the Center Row cards and many other variables, it's sometimes better to acquire a high-costing card as soon as you can. For example, if Cetra, Weaver of Stars and Master Dhartha are in the Center Row, acquiring her could mean you'll be the most probable player that will get Master Dhartha for free (since drawing three cards doesn't always mean you can actually make all the combos you thought to, even though it's often like that). Unfortunately, cases like these depends by many variables, and can't be teached. Each player should find his/her own strategy in that, seeing the links and understanding other players' powers and intenctions as well. Practice makes perfect!

    • Always acquire card-drawing cards, no matter what : Cards that allow you to draw cards virtually are translated into "exchange this card into another card you have in your deck at random, unless you know which card in on the top of it", since playing them don't decrease your hand size, meaning you drill through your deck, finding more and more cards that you actually may need in that moment. Cards that also allow you to do additional effects beside drawing (a) card(s) are a must-have (Seer of the Forked Path, Flytrap Witch, Kor, the Ferromancer and so on). In first turns, Temple Librarian is a decent substitute to Void banishing cards listed above, if none of them popped up or you couldn't get them, since she makes you discarding a useless card (let's say an Apprentice) to get two additional cards that might serve you better. Banishing her afterwards, when Apprentices and Militias are banished, though, depends by the player : if you think she can still serves you well, you actually might keep her for her Honor Point value; otherwise, you should banish her as well, since you actually will draw better cards than her, in the future;

    • Get as many Constructs as possible, and as soon as you see them : Constructs are the best cards you can get and use in the game : you acquire them, you play them, and they stay on the playtable forever (unless pests like Sea Tyrant and Corrosive Widow are defeated, but, even in that case, nothing severe occurs, since you still can draw and play them again in the future), activating their effects each turn! It's like you have them in your hand each turn, but without occupying hand's spots! Mechana Constructs are the most Faction-dependant ones, but this handicap is compensated with the perfect Rune cost-Honor Points values ratio of 1:1. Furthermore, if you get enough of them, you also will gain many Power from Hedron Cannon, making yourself a Monster-killer, and getting Hedron Link Device allows you many, different combos with Burrower Mark II, Rocket Courier X-99, The Grand Design and so on;

    • Prefer Power-gaining cards to Power-costing-limited killers : I explain better : having an Arha Templar is surely good, because of his feature of killing a Monster having a Power cost of 4 or less. But what if no Monster are on the Center Row? The only one he could kill is Cultist, meaning you only gain 1 Honor Point. Pretty disappointing, isn't it? If you instead had something like Demon Slayer, you could had higher chances of getting a Monster in the Center Row (no matter its cost) by doing any other kind of combos before spending those Powers. It usually depends by decks, but Power-gaining cards are usually better than Power-costing-limited killer, since you can actually "dilute" your Powers as you like the most, while cards like Arha Templar and Oziah the Peerless have net effects (you play them, you use them, they stop there) and don't allow you later strategies (this is even more felt in the next expansions, while it still can actually work on CotG);

    • Be careful on the Honor Points Pool : As soon as the Honor Points Pool reaches ~20% of the initial value, you should focus your Runes expenditure on high-valued cards like Arha Templar, Arha Initiate, Void Initiate and so on, even if you feel they're useless : you still won't play long, and you probably won't draw them either, depending on how the match's going. Your judgment should be based on the Rune cost-Honor Points value ratio : a 50%+ rate is what you should seek for. That's why you always should acquire cards that cost 1 Runes : they always have a 1:1 Rune cost-Honor Points value ratio, just like Mechana Constructs.

  • Return of the Fallen (RotF) : The new Fate effect brings new strategies to your gameplay, especially related to your played cards' order and underlines the importance of not playing hastly. This means :

    • Only play the cards you actually need in a certain situation : Fate cards activate their effects as soon as they enter the Center Row. This means you probably will see them in action when a player defeats or acquires a card from the Center Row itself. Return of the Fallen's Fate cards have powerful effects, and you always should take advantage of them as many times as possible. Don't waste a chance of exploiting one of them just because you played all the cards in your hand before acquiring or defeating a card that left its spot to a Fate one! For example, if you need 3 Runes to buy Dimension Diver, just play the cards that give you 3 (more or less) Runes (let's say two Mystics), then see if a Fate card enters the Center Row. If it does (let's say Arbiter of Fate), you still have cards in hand to take advantage of their effects (for example, banishing an Apprentice or a Militia you have in it).

    • Be careful when deciding to acquire and use promoting cards : Those are like Arha Sensei. They let you acquire a Mystic or a Heavy Infantry, but they usually only fill your deck with them, in the long-term. You should try avoiding them as much as you can, but, if no banishing Void cards pop up in the first turns, cards that substitute a card from your hand (assume they're Apprentices and/or Militias only) with a Mystic or a Heavy Infantry are fine, too. Just remember to banish them as soon as you have too many of those two in your deck, according to previous strategies I've exposed;

    • Keep an eye on the Void : Return of the Fallen expansion also introduce Void-dependant cards like Serpentcall and Reclamax : they let you acquire or defeat cards in the Void itself, meaning you can defeat the same Monster twice or just acquire something you missed before. Knowing this, you also can use the Void as your personal, safe warehouse : if you acquired a Reclamax, for example, you'll likely banish Mechana Constructs from the Center Row as soon as they enter it (unless you can acquire them immediately or unless you have different plans about them), so you'll be the only one that'll acquire them from there when you mostly need them. Same for Heroes and Serpentcall. What instead concerns Sadranis, Dark Emissary, depends by your playstyle and your opponents' : since Monsters automatically go into the Void when defeated, Sadranis, Dark Emissary can both allows you to defeat a Monster from the Center Row twice, or just letting you kill the one you've missed or you're in need of at the time. Use him wisely, since 3 Powers are pretty limited, for a 7-Rune-costing Hero.

    • Did you ever dream about becoming the evil? When Samæl the Fallen is defeated, you can acquire Monsters like they were Heroes! And they give you crazy Power values as well! If you ever defeated it on turns 5~13, absolutely remember this : banish all your Heavy Infantries. The weakest Monsters give you 3 Powers when played, meaning they'll surely be better than them. If you instead defeated it later, you probably won't see as many Monsters as you would, meaning its feature is quite missed. Still, for each Monster acquired, banish a Heavy Infantry (unless the Honor Points Pool's running empty, of course).

  • Storm of Souls (SoS) : This expansion brings Events and related new standard Monsters, the Fanatics. Event cards are Center Deck cards as well, but, when draw, they globally stay active unless another one occurs, overwriting them. There are some new strategies as well :

    • Take advantage of the current Event effect, but don't force your playstyle to fit it : Event cards like Arha Rising have a really strong Event Trophy effect, and their normal ones usually benefit same Faction cards (except some of them). As soon as an Event pops up, try to take advantage of its effects, but don't acquire specific cards for that Event nor use their effects unproperly : they'll soon disappear, anyway, and your gameplay would be greatly disvantaged afterwards. Defeat a Fanatic as soon as you can, and keep him in your Thropy Room until an Event pops up, then consider to banish him to take advantage of it, if needed.

    • This is for keeps : Storm of Souls also brings Trophy Monsters as new Monster types. When you defeat them, they are placed in your Trophy Room and they stay there until you decided to use their effects, sending them back to the Void they belong to. Be wise, and use them only when you really need them!

    • Unite we stand : Lifebound Faction became overpowered in this expansion : because of the Unite Skill, the game now involves players to acquire as many Lifebound Heroes as possible, promoting a Faction-dependence beside Mechana Constructs one. Unite effects are usually very strong, and even low-costing Heroes can become very strong, when paired to other Lifebound ones. Definitely keep an eye on Lifebound heroes!

    • Destruction is only a mere step forward for the final project : This expansion also overpowers Mechana Constructs by giving them the chance to auto-destroy themselves. That means, you'll activate "Whenever you play a Mechana Construct" effects many more times than usual. And you also decide which you want to destroy! Definitely keep an eye on Mechana Constructs!

  • Immortal Heroes (IH) : This expansion includes Soul Gems, a new, common deck composed by Heroes of the previous expansions, like Arbiter of Fate, Master Dhartha and some others. Their powers swing between mediocre and overpowered, and you get them totally at random. Fortunately, not many strategies changes occured, this time :

    • Don't overestimate Soul Gems, but don't understimate them, either : Soul Gems are draw at random from the Soul Gem deck, meaning you'll never know which one you'll draw. Voids are the most valuable source of Soul Gems, followed by Driller Mark IV for Mechanas (combined with Hedron Pyromaniac, too). This means, don't play cards like Void Avenger, Spider Witch etc. starting with the assumption of getting something like Master Dhartha. Don't base your strategies on the Soul Gem you hope to get.

  • Rise of Vigil (RoV) : This expansion brings Treasures (Energy Shard), Center Deck cards (I think their number depends by how many cards are in the Center Deck, but I'm not sure about this) that aren't normally revealed as soon as they hit the Center Row, but they get covered by another card. When you acquire or defeat a card with (a) Treasure(s) beneath it, you also acquire all the Treasures under it. The Energize feature, altogheter with the Treasures' powers, bring many changes to the gameplay :

    • What do I really need of, right now...? Many Treasures will lay under some sucky cards like Monastic Tutor, Spirit Merchant and so on, but you might want them anyway, maybe because you've got something like Cognition Courier, Righteous Templar and so on, and that's better for you to have as many Energy Shards as possible. In this case, acquire them anyway. If you've got banishing Void cards already, don't even esitate and take them, since you can banish them whenever you want (as usual, unless Honor Points Pool's running out). If you instead don't have anything that can benefit of Energize, yet, it may be better for you to think twice about getting them. Strategies vary from players to players, so there isn't a right and a wrong one : just find your own one. Practice makes perfect, and players learn from their mistakes, too! I don't even need to tell you the more Treasures, the better, do I?

  • Darkness Unleashed (DU) : This expansion introduce the Transformation feature, that allows some cards to change their values and aspects according to (currently) the Energy value required. When transformed, they are worth more Honor Points, they have far better effects and, especially, they stay transformed until end of the game! Not many changes occurred in this expansion, though, fortunately :

    • What sucks now, will shine later : Cards that can transform themselves usually have normal/under-the-average effects, based on their Runes/Powers cost. When they're transformed, though, they have overpowered statistics for their costs! Cards like these are Honiskrot Tribesman, that transforms into Honiskrot Chieftan, Azerax of the Black Watch that transforms into Azerax, Nyx's Chosen and so on. Always get as many of these cards as possible, althogheter with as many Energy Shards as possible.

I unfortunately don't know anything about Realms Unraveled (RU) yet, since I didn't play it yet. I still know some of its basics, like the new Multi-Unite feature (oh God, that must be a blast), but I prefer to test it out first, before speaking.

 

I hope this could be of any help for anyone of you, guys! ^_^

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heya --

 

well, no matter what i do, i can't seem to break through the 40% win ratio ceiling that i've been dashing my brains out against...

 

it would appear that my claim to Ascension fame may very well end up being that i started the first "Hot Topic" thread on this forum...

 

go, me...!!!

 

;-)

 

peace --

 

-- khs

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hey --

 

i just wanted to post a quick "thank you" to everyone who has offered up their experience an insights on Ascension strategy & tactics in the forums here...  as a result, my game has come quite a ways toward being better, although i'm still just not really very good at Ascension, despite putting a lot of work into it...  the fault there lies with me, given the treasure trove of information you have all been so forthcoming with...  just because i stink at it doesn't mean i don't enjoy it, though...  really, thanks, all...

 

peace --

 

-- khs

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