The following explains how to play the core game of Deckstorm:
Choosing A Stage Edit
The Ravian lands are full of diverse Guardians, testing your strategy across different regions, each containing several stages of enemies for you to battle. For this explanation, we’ll be referring to the Campaign Mode Regions.
From the HOME screen, TAP the “WORLD” button then navigate to the “CAMPAIGN” to play the PVE Story Mode. From here, select a region and stage. You can view various information about the stage before entering a battle, such as the number of enemy waves, their relative difficulty, and any possible rewards.
Once you TAP the “FIGHT” button, stamina will be spent and the battle will begin. Be sure to edit your Deck as needed before committing to battle. Each Card duel is comprised of multiple battle phases.
TIP: Be sure to assess a stage’s enemies before entering battle by tapping the “?” button. That way, you can optimize your Deck to combat their strengths and exploit their weaknesses.
Battle: Draw Phase Edit
When the battle begins, your deck is randomly shuffled. The, five Cards are then drawn off the top to form your starting hand.
Following this initial draw, you have an opportunity to optimize your hand by discarding and redrawing an equal number of Cards from your remaining deck, known as a mulligan. Assess the enemy wave of Cards along the top of the screen (which display face up), then select any Cards from your initial draw you want to replace. Tapping “CONFIRM” redraws new Cards then reshuffles the discarded ones back into your deck, which can be used later.
Strategically, a player chooses to discard and replace Cards based on two main factors:
Every Card has a SPEED stat, depicted by the boot icon above it. The side with the fastest total SPEED gets to attack first when battle starts, which can be a huge advantage! Certain Card classes, like THIEVES, are innately faster than others, but might not have as much HP or ATK. Decisions, decisions!
- ELEMENTAL AFFINITY
Every Card has an elemental AFFINITY (FIRE, WATER, EARTH and in rare cases, NEUTRAL), depicted by the colored border and gem at the top of each Card. The player should attempt to redraw to form hands of Cards that are elementally strongest against the current wave of enemies.
- FIRE is stronger than EARTH is stronger than WATER is stronger than FIRE.
Creating a strong affinity match up grants a substantial attack bonus during battle!
TIP: NEUTRAL Cards serve a separate purpose since they aren’t strong or weak to any elemental affinity. They can be used to block potential “Upper Hand” moments from your opponent by preventing all match ups aligning in their favor.
Battle: Initiative Phase Edit
Following any potential discarding and redrawing of Cards during the Draw Phase, both sides sum the SPEED stats of their current hand and the highest combined total earns attacking initiative. Sword and Shield icons are then printed to the three battle lanes, denoting the attacking order for the round. A Sword icon means your side will attack first where a Shield icon means your side will defend. For each subsequent round, the attacking order switches back and forth for each battle lane.
There are pros and cons to attacking first. The situation is context sensitive, taking into account several factors such as current Card HP, Spell charge status, and potential affinity match ups. Choosing which Cards will battle in which lanes at what time will be where more advanced players really shine.
Additionally, you may have noticed that the player attacking second in the first battle lane gets to attack first in the second battle lane. Attacking initiative proceeds in a “snake-like” pattern, weaving privilege from left to right. Each battle lane is treated as its own separate duel, contributing to the outcome of the overall battle.
TIP: Certain Spells can alter the default attacking order. BLITZ Spells jump the queue of the default battle order to go first! INITIATIVE Spells can increase or decrease a Card’s attacking order. Note, UPPER HAND attacks will always go first.
Battle: Selection Phase Edit
Deckstorm is played in simultaneous battles, where both player and opponent choose and throw down Cards at the same time! The Selection Phase is where players anticipate and outthink their competition to create the best possible match ups in their favor.
For each battle round, the player secretly chooses 3 Cards from their hand to participate in separate duels. Try to guess which Cards your opponent will choose and act accordingly. Once both sides have made a selection, the match ups are revealed to each other, one at a time across the 3 battle lanes. Your goal should be to maximize the match ups of each duel based on all previously mentioned factors (Affinity, Class, Stats, and Spells). Ideally, you want to create an “UPPER HAND” moment, which means ALL 3 of your Cards have strong affinity relationships against ALL 3 of your enemy’s Card selections. Doing so will lead to a significant advantage in the Duel Phase, where your entire side of Cards attacks first, ignoring the default attacking order!
During the Selection Phase, you must always select 3 Cards for battle, if possible. If either you or your opponent has less than 3 Cards remaining, unmatched Cards will instead team up on enemies in adjacent battle lanes. Use the tactic of playing Cards into empty battle lanes to evade damage while still delivering an attack on remaining enemies!
Keep in mind that you have two options when selecting a Card for battle. You can simply TAP the Card to use it’s normal attack (based on its ATK stat) or you can cast the Card’s Spell (based on various Stats, depending on the Spell). To have the option to cast a Spell, it must first be charged. Spells charge at the end of each battle round, denoted by the meter that encircles the Card’s Class icon. Once fully charged, the Card’s Class icon will transform into a glowing Spell icon button.
Casting a Spell is a two step process. First, TAP its Spell icon button to arm it. You’ll notice that the Spell icon moves onto the Card and glows more intensely. Then, TAP your Card to select it for battle, as normal. On the Card’s turn, it will cast its Spell in place of performing its normal attack.
Spells only charge when they are in play, face up. Cards remaining in your deck will not start charging their Spells until they are drawn to your hand. Spell charging progress carries over from wave to wave, including any Cards that were discarded back into your deck. Don’t forget to prep your Spells before entering battle to boost their charging progress.
TIP: It’s important to consider the best timing when casting Spells. For example, casting a healing Spell when defending first (Shield icon side) is often a bad move because your Card might get killed before it has a chance to heal itself or its teammates.
Battle: Duel Phase Edit
After the Card match ups have been revealed, the duels play out automatically across the 3 battle lanes, adhering to the defined attacking order. The side with the Sword icon attacks first and then the side with the Shield icon has an opportunity to attack back, assuming it wasn’t already defeated. Remember that Cards casting BLITZ or INITIATIVE Spells can alter this default attacking order.
A Card is defeated if it’s HP is reduced to 0. When all enemies of a wave are defeated, the player moves on to the next wave, eventually culminating at the “Boss Wave.” Remember, the goal of Deckstorm is to defeat all enemy cards of a stage before your entire deck is defeated. If a player’s Card is defeated, a new one is drawn from their deck to replace it in their hand, assuming Cards remain. If the player loses all of their Cards then it’s game over. Managing your deck as a resource across multiple battle rounds and enemy waves is the key to victory.
TIP: A player can tap their deck pile at any time during battle to see how many Cards remain.
Battle Results Edit
After completing a stage, the player’s victory is rated and rewarded. Based on the number of battle rounds it took to defeat the stage, the player receives a star ranking from 1 to 3, which affects their rewards multiplier. The player then earns Gold and XP based on this multiplier. Every Card in the player’s current deck absorbs the XP, with a potential to level up. Additionally, stages have a chance to drop loot upon completion, such as Runes. Complete an entire Region for the first time to earn Soulgem bonus rewards.
Bind And Capture Edit
Instead of dying during battle, some Cards become magically bound from the Sacred Spire’s beckoning. Bound Cards are set aside so you can attempt to capture them after the battle has been completed. The capture chance for each Card varies, based on its rarity.
Following the battle RESULTS screen, TAP the “CAPTURE” button to make an attempt. The wheel will spin and if it comes to rest within a green zone, the Card will be captured successfully. Captured Cards join the player’s collection immediately, available to add to your deck(s).
If the capture fails, the chances increase for the next attempt. Every attempt you make will increase the odds of success, all the way up to 100% (if you’re unlucky enough to keep failing that far). Once a Card has been captured, its chances reset to their base value.