This guide was originally written by Somar on the Community Forum . Special thanks to him and the rest of the awesome Deck Heroes community!
Explorer's Gate (Dungeon Battles, Shard Exploring and Mazes)Edit
After finishing the tutorial, keep fighting dungeons. The cards you get at the beginning should be enough to allow you to complete at least the first two maps and most probably reach the later dungeons on map 3. You should try to unlock as much dungeons as possible early on, specially the hidden dungeons that usually give you the chance to get some good unique cards.
To unlock the hidden dungeon in each map, you'll need to win a specific dungeon on hard difficulty and clear all other dungeons in that map on easy. The list of the dungeon you have to beat on hard to unlock the hidden one can be found here: Hidden Dungeons.
If you get to a dungeon that is "too difficult" and you can't progress any further, be patient, don't waste your energy fighting when you can't win. Instead use your energy to farm shards, do mazes and get some extra stars in previous dungeons.
You can also spend a small amount of gems to buy a 'special offer help package' in the map guide starting from map 3 to 6. These special offer gives out 2 units that has skills that are useful in helping you complete the map. They also give out 16 exp essences and a large chunk of gold.
Don't explore shards for 2 star creatures, they are a waste of energy and not worth it. The only exception is the Zombie King which is required to unseal a 5 star creature (Thalassa). Other than that only explore dungeons that will give 3 or 4 star creatures.
Frost Rager deserves a special mention, this is the only card you can farm at the beginning that will still be very useful later, specially after you're able to evolve and meld creatures. If you have some extra energy to spend, farming shards for Frost Ragers is never a bad thing.
Also very important and useful creatures you can farm at the beginning and later (after few maps), are Horned Beast and Oracle. As you unlock their shards try to get a couple of both (it requires just few days). They are very good healers with Immunity and they can heal your Hero too.
Do as many mazes as possible early on. Even later in game, most players still do a fair amount of mazes every day. Mazes are your best source of essences to level your creatures and you can also get lots of coins and useful creatures in mazes. Don't spend gems to reset, you get a free reset every day, if you have completed a maze already, try another from previous maps instead.
Daily Tasks and Monthly Sign-InEdit
Completing daily tasks will give you coupons, which allows you to draw creatures at the altar. With the low availability of gems, coupons will be your main source of good 4 and 5 star creature cards. Every new player should complete all daily tasks whenever possible.
The Monthly Sign-In feature will give you coins, gems, glory, and most important, a special 4 star creature on day 7 and sometimes on day 31. It's important that you collect all rewards as this will boost your account greatly. Even if you don't have the time available to play on a given day, logging in just to pick the rewards is advised. If you don't feel like you have the patience or time to collect all the rewards, just log in 'till the 14th day to claim the 300 gem gift.
Don't underestimate the daily tasks, cause you can complete around 30 coupons per week (120 per month) with some good draws every time!
One big mistake I did early on when playing was leveling my creatures every time I had essences and coins to do it. Don't do it. Level your creatures according to your needs and only do it from "skill to skill".
Creatures only get new skills at levels 5 and 10. Having creatures at levels 3 or 7 does absolutely nothing for you. The gain in HP and ATK is not enough to make any difference. Instead, collect essences and coins, and when you feel like you need leveling a specific creature, select only enough EXP sources to get that creature to level 5 and leave at that until you get enough to give it another go and reach level 10. (If you can reach level 10 in one go better, just don't leave it in between)
Also, be careful when reaching level 10, don't use a 4 star essence if you only need another 100 EXP to finish, choose a 1 or 2 star creature instead.
Important: when selecting material cards to evolve a creature, don't use 'Select all' function at the bottom of the window. It'll select every card not locked you have and more cards than you need to complete the enhancement. Use manual selection at the beginning and always lock good cards.
Some 2-3 star creatures are used in melding process in further stages, so try to maintain a couple of every creature when possible until you know what you want to lock for reuse.
Colosseum (Arena and Raids)Edit
Arena is a good source of gems early on. Every time you reach a new high ranking bonus gems are awarded. You should use every of the 5 attempts you get daily in the best way possible. In the very early stages you probably only have a handful of cards that are usable, so not much deck building is required, just choose whatever you have and give it a go. Later on it's advised to look at the decks you have in front of you, choose the opponent you think best suits your deck and even tweak your deck a little to give you that extra edge. Choosing the right opponent with the right cards in your deck is the most important part for success in arena, and if you take a little time to do it, you'll be able to reach much higher ranks faster.
Arena matches also rewards you about 100~150 glory points per victory. You can easily get ~500-750 glory per day by purposely setting up a weak deck to drop in rank.
Arena also has a one minute cool-down effect after each attempt. It cost 1 gem to reset this cool-down. It is a waste of gem to reset the cool-down timer and it is easy to mis-click when running arena matches. Double check your arena timer and any popup message!!
Raids give glory points to upgrade your Heroes. When choosing your opponent take a look at his deck, but also at his glory points. No point in wasting attempts on targets that are to difficult or don't have enough glory points to make it worth to raid. Personally, i consider anything lesser than 2000 glory points not worth it, and later in game even less than 5000 might not be worth your time.
But that also depends on the opponent deck. Try to balance the risk/reward the best you can so you can take the most out of raiding.
When defending in Arena and Raids it's important to keep in mind that the AI will do the fight for you. So before leaving the game always remember to put your best deck active in order to make it harder for other players to beat you.
It's also important to consider that some decks require more strategy to win than others, for defense purposes you should always use decks that require the minimum amount of strategy to be effective.
There is also a feature called Tournament in the Colosseum but that requires more advanced playing and since that isn't the purpose of this thread I won't be addressing that.
The Tournament lets you challenge high rank players with strong decks, so you can get a look at their creatures and abilities at the beginning. Also every time you attempt a challenge, you'll get a little amount of Glory Points (~150 each attempt) in the end, that you can use to complete the quantity you need (ex. to refresh the hero's ability if you have only 900 gp) or you can use to draw some runes at the Altar.
Unsealing 5-Star CreaturesEdit
Usually you should unseal 5 star creatures as soon as possible but there are a few things to consider.
The first unseal is a must do for every player as it gives a recycle creature, big chances are this will be your only recycle creature for a long time.
After that it can get tricky.
Look at what you need on your deck before making a decision. Sometimes might be better to use a required 4 star creature in fights and wait a bit longer to get that 5 star. Eventually you should get all of them sooner or later, for different purposes, but at first it might not be the best choice.
A quick example: Oracle is one of the best cards when it comes to healing, specially in Human decks and guild battles, it might be a good idea to use your first Oracles to boost your decks and unseal Moon Guardian later.
Unsealing suggested order for new players stuck in exploration maps:
- Thalassa 1st (for recycle ability)
- Spider Queen 1st (tank creature very useful in the starter deck)
- Thalassa 2nd (with few 5* creatures in your deck this will be a great boost, 10 days to farm all shards, also a turnover for Gauntlet)
- Moon Guardian (tank/assassin creature, she works great with Flame Brave)
- Spider Queen 2nd (you will use for melding in advanced stage, turnover for Gauntlet)
Spending and Saving GemsEdit
Save all the gems you get at the beginning. It might sound stupid to say it, but you'll be tempted to spend them almost every time. Don't. I advise every new player to not spend any gems until they have used the alchemy feature with 1500 gems minimum. And even so, i strongly suggest that you be a little more patient and get to 5000. After that the alchemy will require 20000 gems, and that is a little beyond f2p reach unless you really want to be patient.
Spending your gems is tricky, the only real must do is the 5x altar draw that will give you a guaranteed 5 star creature. After that things get a little more complex.
I suggest that you save your gems for faction boosters and later on use them on ultima chests as well.
I advise against spending gems for refreshing malls, mazes, fight attempts and shard exploring if you're purely f2p. If you have a STAR membership than you can be a little more flexible with your gem spending.
I also advise that you draw a Hero once in the Altar after you complete the alchemy levels. The 1 star Heroes you get at the beginning are useless and since the minimum you'll get here is a 2 star Hero, it's a small price to pay. With a bit of luck you'll get a 3 star Hero that will boost your deck greatly, or in some cases you might just get a 4 star Hero. Since most players play for at least a month until acquiring their first 4 star Hero, it can makes a huge difference.
Starting from map 2-6, there is an icon above call map guide. The guide also has a special offer up top in which 2 units cards and 100~200k gold and 16 4* essences are sold for only 100 gems. Only map 4-6 has two 4* units cards that can be a great addition to your deck. While map 4 only has one 4* and one 3* unit, it may not be very ideal to buy unless those 16 4* essences are useful. Map 3 only has two 3* units and I advise not to waste gem buying this special offer package.
The Alice Bond event is by far the best event in the game for obtaining 4-5* creatures. This event guarantees at least two 4-5* creatures and also reward you with more gems for continuous logins. By investing a certain amount of gems into a 'bond' you can get gems back as rebates. It takes 8 phases to obtain all your gems and also takes an additional 7 day to claim each phase. This takes a total of 49 days to complete as the first phase happens on the first day you buy the bond. Keep in mind that this event happens does not happen often.
In the end, remember that spending gems only increase the chance to have 4-5* creatures. No guaranty, no refund. So no need to spend everything the first week. You could also draw nothing you need. Try instead to increase your attempts with mazes and coupons, and join a good Guild. Most of the creatures you need are in the guild maps!
After you draw a 2 star Hero in the Altar, choose one 3 star Hero and one 4 star and buy their shards only (when you can). 3 star Heroes shards can be purchased in the Bazaar for 125 gems (5 shards), if you want to boost a little (you'll need 25 shards to complete them).
Very good Heroes at the beginning are the Mortii faction ones, cause they have the Undying ability (they have a chance to recover some creatures after the death) that you can refresh to have better chances. Also Chaos Witch (3 stars) has a direct damage on the enemy Hero and she can be reused in further stage of the game (hero killer decks are very effective in Explorer's maps). Then Wight (4 stars hero) has efficient applications in almost every situation.
Anyway try focusing on one Hero per time and you'll have your first 4 stars hero in less than a month, your second one after 10 days (remember to complete the mine every day to get additional hero shards!) and your third after the same time.
In the end, choose the Hero you like most or you think he has better synergy with your creatures and focus on that only.
Also you'll need to level up your heroes to increase their abilities power (both with shards and glory points to refresh their talents), so focusing one hero per time is the key.
When you will be level 20, you can join Guilds. There are 6 special maps for them that the Guild Master (or the two Capitans) can unlock or reset. To do that they spend the member's contributions. Your contribution is simply the energy you spend (in mazes, explorers maps, some secret regions you will unlock later). When you use energy, you help automatically your Guild.
The Guild maps are special maps anyway. The enemies are overpowered, and only some high level players can clear them in 'one shot'. Normally all members use their daily attempts to damage the enemy and in the end, when you finally succeed, there are some 4* stars creatures, Essence and dozen of 5* stars creature shards that every member can apply to get.
So helping to clear the guild maps is a sure way to get powerful and useful creatures week after week.
The Guild Battles, then, are special events where Guilds can battle each other. If you join the event you get a 'treasure' to defend, and you can attack others Guild to get their. The creature in defence can't be used for attack for a while, and when a creature die (in defence or in attack) there is a cooldown to regenerate. The enemy you will fight is randomly choosen, so start with little delivery with less treasure if your deck isn't strong. At the end of the event, all partecipants get rewards (some gems and a lot of Glory Points, around 10k, so try to partecipate when you can!).
Choose wisely your Guild because they need active members to unlock/reset maps and some high players to clean them quickly. Also there is a cooldown if you leave a Guild (7 days) before you can join the next one.
Enhancing your deck Edit
At the beginning you'll have no good creatures. So this is a way to quickly fill your deck with good creatures (as you unlock the slots leveling your Hero) unlocking the exploration maps:
- Flame Brave (you'll get her just at the start and you can use her with runes forward to map 10 dungeons!)
- Ursa Major (you'll get it quickly and it works good for first maps)
- 2 x Frost Rager (she is a tank, fill your slot with them if you have nothing stronger, later you can reuse them)
- your guaranteed 5* stars creature draw from the Altar (save gems for this first!)
- Treant Elder (4* stars creature, in Map 4 Guide booster pack)
- Thalassa (5* stars creature, in map 5 the last creatures shards you need to unseal it)
- 2 x Horned Beast (4* stars creature, you can farm its shards in map 5, to replace Frost Rager)
- Pegasus Lord (4* stars creature, completing Hidden Dungeons in map 5)
- Spider Queen (5* creature, in map 6 the last creatures shards you need to unseal it)
- Oracle (4* creature, you can farm it in map 6)
This is an easy to build and very balanced full deck to start (tank, magic, healer, board control). Just remember to enhance your creatures to level 5 or 10 as fast as you can to unlock their abilities (you'll get Essence in new explorer's maps, mazes, Bazaar [for gold, avoid gems], Map Guide booster pack for gems).
The maps booster packs are optional, cause they cost gems and give you just a fast way to collect a lot of Essence. Also the creatures aren't really interesting (except Treant Elder and Oracle for your starter deck) or that you can easily farm with shards (Oracle).
In all cases, you can always draw different and stronger creature from the Altar or mazes meantime!
Adding creatures, evolving them, or choosing stronger ones increases your deck power naturally.
Note that the opponent level in Gauntlet is based on your maximum deck power. And that level never goes down if you remove or change creatures, it can only go up. Also the opponents power increases going forward in the Gauntlet stages. So if you are planning to exceed 8000 points in any of your decks, or if you don't save the deck, be careful, because then you could encounter some really strong decks in the last stage with particular creatures in certain combinations that make it impossible for your deck to overcome. The problem is how the game evaluates the deck power.
So if you're going for the 8000+, be sure your deck is really consistent, enough to beat a 9000+ (in the last stages). As you'll discover playing, the real power of a deck is not simply the number of high level creature.
Otherwise, be patient. The right creatures for your deck will arrive sooner or later.
Bazaar and other MallsEdit
Don't waste gems here. Only buy stuff that costs coins or some 2 star Hero shards with glory if you need them.
For 3 star Heroes and above you're better off going to the other malls available in trials and gauntlet. Just be patient and aim for one target at a time. Choose a Hero you think will be best for you and buy shards as they become available. If you don't find a hero you like, save your currency for when the desired Hero shards are on sale.
If you've drawn a 3 or 4 star Hero at the Altar as mentioned above, buy shards for that Hero and upgrade him a bit before farming new Heroes.
As you unlock the runes system after a couple of weeks, you'll have the possibility to draw runes from the Altar. So if you have powered your Hero enough, you can use Glory Points to get runes. There are a lot of runes you can equip on your creatures and some are really capable to boost your deck power. Also you can level up a low run to increase its power (it consumes other low power runes) and change them with more powerful when you find them. Finally you can reuse your upgraded runes for your new creatures or as a 'fuel' for stronger runes (you'll get a great bonus consuming the upgraded ones).
Just remember that your creature get special bonus with specific runes only (a specific type with a specific level, no matter if upgraded or not).
Evolving and MeldingEdit
Once you are able to Evolve your creatures you should aim to do it if you have the resources, but be careful and choose which creatures to evolve wisely. Evolving is expensive and if you don't have the resources you're better of just leveling some good 4 and 5 star creatures instead.
Melding is even more expensive, but it can result in cards that can completely change your deck and give you a huge boost. Before deciding on melding a card be careful and get as much information as possible. There are lots of threads in this forum that can help you with that, just do a little search and you'll probably find the best ideas for your cards. If not you can also create a new thread and ask more experienced players for some help. Just don't waste your resources in something that's not helpful or you will regret it a lot.
Secret Code GiveawaysEdit
Codes have been released over the course of time that give free benefits to the player that uses them. Unlike referral codes, you can enter multiple codes. To enter a code, select Notice on the right of the Deck Heroes main screen. In the window that opens, scroll down through the list on the left and select Secret Code Giveaway. Then go to http://deckheroes.freeforums.net/thread/4246/all-available-codes, and enter each of the codes from that forum post, one at at time. You will also need your IGG ID number which can be found in your profile (touch your hero's picture at the the top left of the main screen). These codes may not work forever, but while they're available, they provide a TON of free benefits for any player, but especially new players.