[Want to know if it’s worth investing your time in Earthcore? Check out our review]
At first glance, Earthcore: Shattered Elements seems like a rather simple card-battling game. Once you’re introduced to skills that will change quite a bit. Even more so once you start to acquire hero cards. But it’s not so complicated that we couldn’t put together a beginner’s guide for all you Earthcore neophytes.
- Don’t forget your faction - There are three different factions in Earthcore that are functionally the same but give cards that belong to them a discount in terms of cost. In other words, Warrior cards carry less of a risk for Warrior faction members, etc. Try to keep this in mind when you start pulling out and adding cards to your deck.
- Strike a balance - Always try to have a relatively even split of Water, Fire, and Earth cards. Since elements are so important when it comes to whether you win or lose a column, you really can’t afford to only carry one or two.
- Love thy skills - Aside from the simple element system, skills are what can really make or break your strategy. Try to keep some useful skills handy, and fill your deck with complimentary abilities if you can.
- Throw in some low-cost cards - While it’s tempting to stuff your deck full of high-cost cards with tons of skills, don’t underestimate the significance of a “1” or a “0.” While they typically have skills that aren’t very useful, or aren’t useful at all, the extremely low cost can make all the difference when you can’t avoid taking a loss.
- Heroes are powerful, but dangerous - Hero cards are powerful in that they can acquire multiple skills at once. The toss-up is that each skill they absorb will add the donating card’s cost to its own - so you could find yourself with a card that will deal 15+ damage to you if you lose. Using them is fine, but be careful.
- Consider adding a failsafe to your heroes - Some cards have skills that can really get you out of a jam - such as being able to mimic another less costly card or reduce its own cost significantly. Consider adding a skill like this to your heroes so that you can avoid taking that 15+ damage should they end up in front of the wrong element.
- Plan ahead - Some skills play well off of one another, so for example if you want to double-up on a card’s ability and you have Refresh (refreshes all cards’ manual abilities when played) you’ll want to make sure you play it after you’ve placed the other cards.
- ”Where” is just as important as “When” - Knowing when to place a card is key, but so is deciding where you want them. Attacks always happen starting with the left column and moving to the right, so if it’s a close game you very well could come out on top if you just win the fist or second bout.
- Check your opponent’s cards - You can see a card’s skill by tapping on it, and you’ll definitely want to do so with your opponent’s cards. The last thing you want to do is drop an Earth card with a cost of 6 in front of a Water card, thinking you’ve won, only to find that the Water card can nullify the element of any card that costs 6 or less.
- Figure out your plan before you place a card - Once you’ve placed a card you’re committed - there are no takebacks and there’s no Undo button. So try to figure it all out in your head first, before you drag and drop a card.
- Don’t let the nullified cards stack up - Whenever two matching elements face off they cancel each other out, which flips both of them face-down. Problem is, this also means that their cost will be added to whatever card you place on top of them. This can create some rather large stacks if you aren’t careful, so try your best to either clear them out by winning that column or use extremely love-value cards to forfeit them.