Hi guys, Radar here!
Since I began to play Faeria, I’ve seen a lot of guides on different deck archetypes and how to play them which is great for someone looking to jump right into the game. It’s also similar to other DCCGs where the focus is on the best cards to tech in and which card counters another. But Faeria is so much more unique than that - it has its living board!
Inherent in the complex nature of a board with two dimensional space come situations that occur no matter what deck you’re playing. With this guide, I’ve briefly ventured to define those common situations which might give new players a push in the right direction of what themes to look out for and how to approach the game. I have reached God rank #15 at my peak and feel qualified to speak to themes. With this post I discuss Strategy, which is the second and final piece of my defining Faeria principals series after Tactics.
This guide assumes that you have a basic knowledge of the game itself and have played through at least the first 5 solo missions to familiarize yourself with cards, minions, land, faeria, and gods. As always I am open to feedback so I am eager to hear comments or suggested changes! I hope you enjoy.
Strategy in Faeria covers a wide variety of subjects such as your orb’s safety, land placement, minion placement, card draw, and control of goals that should be considered in every game at the top level. Where tactics guide your decisions with each individual piece, strategy is your long-term game plan. If you are familiar with your deck, you will know that at a certain point in the game you should control three wells, have a highway of lands between your opponent’s Faeria well and orb, or played a certain number of minions and events.
Faeria can be used as a point of reference to evaluate everything from your trading decisions to your placement of minions and the choice of cards in your deck. When evaluating trades, we use Faeria to determine if the trade is beneficial for you or the opponent. If you have used less Faeria in the exchange, it is favorable to you in most cases. When I talk about value in this guide, I’m speaking to the relative amount of Faeria and cards spent by each player to accomplish their move or strategy.
Having a Faeria advantage is important because it gives you greater flexibility on playing both an offensive and defensive minion or spell, playing combos, and allows you a greater chance to answer your opponent’s tactics.
Card advantage is your total cards in hand and in deck relative to your opponent. If you have more cards in both your hand and your deck, you have a huge card advantage. Card advantage gives you more options and allows you to better assess an order-of-play, or “line”. Holding cards could result in a huge board disadvantage as well – but you’d have a huge card advantage. If your opponent is rush they may simply swarm your orb for a quick victory.
Ideally, you should always aim to use the topics we discussed in tactics such as trading appropriately or using AOE on a large board to get the most value out of your cards. This means your opponent will need to use more than one card against your threats. If you find yourself with 4-5 cards in hand against your opponent’s 0-1, you’ve done well. They have limited options and have no cards so you can accurately evaluate the board and attempt to predict a worst outcome topdeck.
Red or Red splash decks seem to most commonly use this strategy because they can control the board with AoE even if they lose it initially. This can often be combined with Faeria advantage.
Health is straightforward in that if you lose all of it, you lose. If you take all of your opponent’s health, you’ve defeated them. But it has implications in decision-making as well. If you are able to attack your opponent’s orb with a 10 damage minion to set up a 2 turn lethal, that will almost always be better than using that minion to collect Faeria or trading a weak contender minion. By contrast, if you have a 2 damage minion on the board and your opponent is at 20 HP , it would almost always be better to use the Faeria to play a 6 drop minion the next turn so you would prioritize that over 2 health to increase your board advantage.
Health needs to be calculated carefully in rush mirrors where you are racing your opponent. Count out the attacks and turns. If you would be defeated before you can drain your opponent’s health, you most likely need to make a defensive play to have a chance at winning.
Well control is a strategic advantage because you are, in theory, gaining more Faeria than your opponent by using them. The simple strategy for slower decks with wells would be to place land between their orb and the wells to the left and right. Then both players are gaining 5 Faeria per turn and the game should play out fairly balanced. Your opponents will rarely let you do this as you climb the ladder, however, and there are many different approaches. You can build lands directly up the side of the board to take control of the right half or left half of the playing field and challenge your opponent’s control of their wells. Rush decks will build straight down the middle and try to use your own wells against you.
With control decks, it is often a goal to start double farming minions between the four wells on the sides of the board. This usually requires central control or a large space advantage if you would like to continue to do this unhindered because your opponent will try to kill your gatherers at all costs – if they don’t they will fall hopelessly behind your immense resources. Try to play a game with well control in mind. Make it a goal to control 1 more well than your opponent at all times and you will reap the rewards of your efforts.
Usually initiative is not simply referred to alone, but one player either has the initiative or they do not. Many mid range decks will try to gain an early initiative with 3/8’s and sac minions. When your opponent is playing more minions than you and they are advancing on you, they are said to have the initiative. This is because your opponent is playing proactively while you are playing reactively. This is determined by a difference in play style.
For example, I am a defensive and reactive player. I like to starve out my opponent’s resources and then put the squeeze on them with large minions which is why I like green. A player like BOLIVAAR is well known in the god ranks to be aggressive – he usually takes an early initiative with rush decks. The best players master both, able to shift between decks that prefer the initiative and decks that react to the initiative based on the current meta.
Try to recognize when you have lost the initiative as an aggro player. If you’ve ever played yellow rush against mono red lately, you might know this feeling. When your opponent has three Devouring Plants around their orb you can no longer Oradrim Monk or Khalim’s Prayer to keep up your advantage and you eventually fizzle out. This is because you have lost the initiative and your deck is not made to play reactively.
Board Advantage (Committal/Overcommitting):
Board Advantage is the relative number of minions you have on the field vs. your opponent. If you have more or larger minions then you most likely have a board advantage. Committal is defined as how many minions you have played from your hand onto the board at any given time. If you are always at a very low Faeria and card count but have 5-6 minions on the board you have a heavy committal or possibly you have over commit to the board. What is on the board needs to survive or you don’t really have a backup plan.
Like trading, the tactical counter to over committal is AOE, but you can sometimes be punished by over-committal for advancing your mid-range minions into an opponent who is saving up Faeria. If they then play a large number of strong minions all at once you may incur heavy losses in the form of unfavorable trades to swing the game against you.
There are two factors regarding Space in Faeria. Space gained from land, and Space gained from minions. If your opponent is selecting the +1 Faeria or +1 card power early in the game you might have an opening to take a spacial advantage with land placement. Early in the game owning land beyond the halfway point of the board can be fantastic, and I’ve seen games that ended with one player literally having the 5 land around their orb and wells with nothing further – the rest of the board is owned by enemy land. That enemy has a huge spatial advantage because you are cramped and have limited places to summon minions.
A spatial advantage gained from minions usually occurs in flying decks, twin souls decks, and generally mid-range decks such as GYSac where you want to advance with 3-6 Faeria cost minions early. In these cases your opponent is usually so pressured that they cannot play minions near your orb to attempt victory. Again they are cramped and need to play defensively. Having a minion spacial advantage usually corresponds with having the initiative.
Central Advantage: Central advantage is a unique aspect of a spacial advantage in that if you have a strong minion or multiple minions in the central 7 hexes you have more options when deciding to move forward or back. This greater flexibility usually translates into a quick win if you can rush your opponent, or more favorable trades since you can decide where and when to engage in combat.
I’ve discussed this on my stream a few times, but when placing minions you always want to recognize the patterns on the board. What are their lines of attack? Are they under threat? What is their next move/where are they planning to go? Is this minion being played as a defending minion to another that is under threat for a favorable trade? These questions can help you determine the best hex to summon a minion and usually require a good understanding of tactics and the cards in the game or what is most likely to be in your opponent’s deck.
Creatures with 2 charge are often best in the center hex, having access to all 4 wells and both orbs. Next turn they can influence almost any part of the board – something your opponent has to consider. 5 charge minions can move across the whole board from any part of the map. Taunt minions are best placed on the hex directly in front of your face in many cases because they then protect against any potential threats – compared to playing a taunt to the side of your orb which exposes the other side.
This aspect of strategy often starts to touch upon deck building, but I’d like to talk about synergy in reference to the importance of minions on the board. Bone Collector is a great example of how minion placement synergizes with the card’s effect. If you play the bone collector so they are next to your minion and and opponent’s minion that will both trade off the board, it gets +2/+2 which will almost always be better than placing it behind your minion alone to gain +1/+1.
Synergy can determine when you play cards as well. As a hypothetical situation, (though now I’m thinking this is an idea!) you could play 3 Ancient Heralds to the board and then play Orosai which has a 3% probability (33% chance for each minion) to give you 3 Ruunin’s on the board. That would be some really great synergy!
Outposts are “lone islands” (1 or 2 hexes) deep within enemy territory that you control. They are often used when your opponent has a spatial advantage but their land formations are not yet complete or have gaps in them. It is very often valuable to step a minion up to this open hex and place a land of your favored deck in that spot. Why? Because it can act as a staging point for future operations or summons. It is usually even stronger to then play a minion on this hex which prevents your opponent from stepping on it to block your progress. Sometimes your opponent will disregard it, but in certain situations an outpost close to the opponent’s orb could spell their defeat if left unchecked.
The same is true for you. If your opponent manages to get an outpost near your orb you most often want to step on that land as soon as possible to completely neutralize the threat – if you can spare the minion. Gatherers are great for this and if you have an extra one near the outpost you can sometimes collect and have complete coverage of the hex by rotating which gatherer stands on it.
Thanks for reading! If you like this content and you like learning about Faeria I also stream and discuss these topics here: https://www.twitch.tv/radar6590