Hey, everyone. Glad to have found these forums. I've been playing Magic the Gathering for decades and was really happy when I found a fun, easy to play, inexpensive card game simulation for smart phones. I've beaten all the levels and am now enjoying completing some new decks and playing PvP.
So onto my point. Are there any other MTG players on here? I've found a lot of similarities and some principles which I guess can help with mastering any collectible card game. The most important is card advantage. Finding one card which can take the place of two cards is the ultimate advantage, such as, for example, Aeromancers and Lightning Golems, which are cheap creatures but they have added bonuses.
In the same vein, I've found that card drawing spells also give huge advantage, especially in low casting cost decks like Air Speed decks. Ever since I unlocked Brainstorm I feel like I'm playing with Ancestral Recalls without having to spend a thousand bucks a card. And if you draw a bunch of cards that cost 1 or zero, you can throw them all out right away.
I find that the best ways to win in this game, like in MTG (especially Vintage and the older formats), is to either get card advantage over your opponent, or to get out a killer combo which messes them up, like Fire Prism + Triton Ritual or Pyrohydra + Volcanic Eruption/Rage/Burning World/Giant Volta (I'm convinced that Pyrohyrda is the single best creature since there are so many cards that work well with it and can be killer in the right scenario).
Anyway, I'd love to hear what you all think, whether you've played Magic or not.
My experience with Magic the Gathering is very limited. I played one game building a deck with the cards a friend had left-over after putting together his "best" decks. It actually beat him rather handily, so I can make the comparison that, like MTG, Spellcraft is very playable without the most exotic cards as long as you have the right mix of more common cards.
A couple of years later, I tried to build my own collection for MTG, but I had no opponent to play against. After discovering I just couldn't build even two viable decks (to play against each other) with about $100 worth of cards, I abandoned the attempt.
Without really knowing Magic the Gathering, I can't comment on similarities in strategies. I do believe the most important aspects of Spellcraft games are tempo -- being able to play and maintain more/better cards and effects than your opponent -- and luck -- drawing the right cards at the right times.
The most important factors to maintaining tempo are utilizing power points efficiently (usually supported by deck design) and making good game decisions (facilitated by good card variety).
Luck is usually not something with which one is innately blessed or cursed (though that certainly plays a role), but is also created by appropriate attention to probability (through card redundancy and overlap) and wise use of summoning capabilities.
I do not think I would identify a most mighty minion in the game. Pyrohydras are certainly dangerous, but I do not usually find them hard to handle -- it one avoids feeding them with nicks and bruises, many units match them. And if the hydra grows, it can often be destroyed at much less cost than the hydra itself. And if I cannot destroy/ steal or otherwise exploit a hydra, I can always temporarily block it with any junk force at hand. Personally, I much more fear Giant constrictors. Without investing additional resources or attention, a constrictor will erode almost any opposing minion. But viable cases can be made for bone dragons, ancient ghosts, blood vapours, ruby dragons, pyrosaurs, dragon fish, sea dragons, deepsea things, triton assassins, triton aquamancers, deep wood elm, living essence, darkling assassins, shadow dragons, deep spawn, jungle trolls, savage trappers, sky hydras, archmages, cloud dragons, etc.
But I do believe there is a most over-powered card -- by a wide margin. A triton aquamancer, at cost two power, can hijack the direction and tone of the game. It almost always costs far more to handle than to deploy (a huge tempo advantage for its owner); it requires immediate attention; it strangles one who thinks to ignore it; and it cannot be stopped except by destruction. I have played games against 1000 plus rated players in which we both ignore units like deep sea things, razorsharks, and dragonfish, round after round, because we have to deal with the even more dangerous aquamancer.
I don't think there are right and wrong responses to questions like those you raise -- it definitely depends upon one's playing style. And I guess that's what makes the game so fascinating.
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