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I know there are probably many articles around that talk about strategies and what creatures you should keep and which ones are best to meld and all of that.  In the interest of keeping this blog friendly to all players, I'll do a short overview of what has made the mid-game or farming portion easier, however, the main thing I'd like to address is how to completely destroy later in the game.  What creatures should you be focusing on?  How should you spend those gems you've saved for the last 4 months?  Should you really spend all of your energy on exploring for shards every day, or is the maze a much better investment?  These are all questions I had at one time or another and hopefully my experience will help shed some light on things.

The Mid-Game

The first thing that you should do as a new Deck Heroes user is try your best to save up all of your gems.  I did it and I've heard the same thing from many other people.  Alchemy is amazing and has several tiers.  The next one I have to unlock will cost 100,000 gems if that gives you an idea of how high it might go.  You will always get somewhere around 5-15% more gems back than you spend.  The longer you save, the better your rewards.  Kinda like having a retirement fund.  The next thing you'll want to do is to get a ton of 5-star creatures.  Doesn't matter which ones at first.  Just know that each star you see on a creature is a basic indicator of what their level 10--or level 15 if you evolve--attack and health stats will be.  The easiest way to do this is by hoarding creatures you will need for the Remove Seal area in the game--there's no such thing as too many since every time you unlock a creature, it just re-seals itself and doubles the price allowing you to unlock these guys over and over.  The first one is Thalassa who comes with Recycle.  Normally I'd tell you to hang on to any 5-star you get right away, but with Thalassa the best thing to do is leave her at level 0 and farm up a bunch of Horned Beasts (found in 5-3, 5-6, and 5-9).  When you get about 5 or 6 Horned Beasts, evolve one of them to level 15 and Meld the Recycle ability onto it and equip it with a leveled up Healer Rune II.  For the farming phase of this game you will find that this creature by itself will carry you forever and ever.  Make 2 if you'd like.  Thalassa is cheap.   You'll learn why Immunity, Frost Armor, Dodge, Torment, Revive, and Recycle are such desireable skills sooner rather than later.  Some people might try and tell you to meld recycle onto creatures with Rebirth, and it might seem like a good idea for awhile, but later in the game you'll see more Paragons than you can count, many of them eventually sporting Immunity 10 (Sorry if you were counting on Instakill to save you).

The End-Game

Eventually you'll hit a wall and realize how much better everyone else is than you at this game.  Either through Arena, Trials, or Tournament you will see people with decks that are just outside of your power range.  There are certain creatures that are insanely overpowered in this game, but rather than listing them all I'll just explain to you why so you can look for these traits and make your own Hardcore Army of Death.

  • Rage
You know that little bar by your hero?  The one that lets you cast that really cool Death Curse on your Wight that makes you win every single match because it's so overpowered?  That's Rage, it goes from 0 to 100 and when you start your turn if it's at 100 you get a cool ability.  They are even more ridiculous once you get 5-star heroes, trust me.  Creatures that increase your rage and decrease the rage of your opponents are the end-all-be-all of Deck Heroes.  Check out these for ideas and don't forget to use runes: Bless, Voodoo, Osmose, Siphon Soul, and Freezing Field.
  • Immunity
Immunity is better than Unbound, it is better than Stoneskin, it is probably even better than Spellbinder.  If you have played this game for longer than a couple months you will know what I mean.  Immunity really doesn't start to pick up until at least 5.  At a 50% chance you begin to see enough activations to make it a valuable skill (creatures like Colossus are nice for this reason).  But believe me when I say immunity 7 is even better, and immunity 9 is amazing (which you can get from another Remove Seal creature, how conveinient!)  The thing that makes higher levels of immunity great is the ability to resist multiple spells in a row.  Say your opponent has 2 creatures with Delay and one creature with Frostbite.  If any of these land on your creature, it won't be able to use any abilities or attack.  Immunity 5 will only have a 12.5% chance to resist all 3, while Immunity 9 will have a 73% chance.  That's almost 6 times stronger!
  • Direct Damage
The one and only.  This isn't an attack (sorry Block, Dodge, and Frost Armor) and it isn't magic damage (too bad Reflect, Maji Shield, and Immunity)!  We are talking about something completely unstoppable in the current build of Deck Heroes.  And I'm not just talking about Counter and Retaliate.  If you can find a creature that doubles up on Assassinate type skills, that's not bad, but we're really looking for the nuclear warhead here.  That Holy Grail, if you will.  Here is a brief list of key Direct DMG skills that will make your deck stronger:

The only other thing I can say about the endgame is this: People with equipment that has abilities beat those whose don't.  It sucks that it's completely random when they will show up, but good abilities like Muddle will save you when you think you're already sunk in a hard fight.  Save those sparks until you can get a decent amount.  15 sparks to get an extra 1.5% chance at an ability isn't using your resources well.  Hoard them just like your gems for a rainy day...

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