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 tactics, but the series continues with Strategy.
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. I had images for every topic but boards limit you!
As always I am open to feedback so I am eager to hear comments or suggested changes! I hope you enjoy.
In Faeria, Tactics can be defined as a move or play that results in material or resource gain. Tactics often force a specific response. The effect of tactics is often predictable in that you can plan ahead to use them in your plays. A basic understanding of tactical principals is required if you would like to get the most value out of your cards.
When a player is able to remove an opponent’s minion from the board without losing their own, this is called a favorable exchange, gaining value, or a value trade. For example, a 6 attack 5 health minion (6/5) can trade into a 4 attack 4 health (4/4) minion and still live with 1 health. This means that you still have a 6/1 and your opponent has nothing after the trade. This is a huge advantage because the remaining minion can continue to trade further.
Similarly, low cost minions can trade favorably into high cost minions. A 3 Faeria cost 3/2 minion wants to trade into a 6 Faeria cost 6/3 for a gain of 3 Faeria value. The best tactical counter to excessive trading is AOE. There will be more to come on Faeria value in Strategy.
Attacking and Defending Minions
An attacking minion is one that is in range to move next to an opponent’s minion next turn or on that player’s turn. This is usually 1 hex away, but for charge minions this could be up to 5 hexes away. If your minion is in range of an attacking minion and the trade is favorable for your opponent, then your minion is considered to be under threat and either needs to be moved away or reinforced. If it is the attacking players turn, they will want to move forward to proceed with the favorable trade. I.E. The 6/5 into the 4/4.
A defending minion is one that can trade back favorably once an attacking piece has gone through combat. For example, if our 6/5 trades into a 4/4 it becomes a 6/1 as we discussed. It would then be advantageous for the defending player to use a farm boy to trade into the 6/1. The attacking player has then traded 6 Faeria and one card for the defending player’s 5 Faeria and two cards. It is arguable that you will come to a card disadvantage if you are always trading two minions for one, but this rarely occurs.
Taunt minions force other minions to attack them. This is useful in a number of tactical situations. You can use a taunt defensively to prevent the opponent’s minion from hitting your orb. You can also use a taunt positionally to prevent Faeria collection or to protect another minion. You can even use a taunt offensively to protect your attacking forces from the opponent’s defenders. This can often assure a next turn lethal.
Blocking is when you use one or more minions to stop your opponent from moving onto or through hexes. It is not to be confused with Taunting, because a blocking minion does not force the opponent’s forces to attack only it, but simply stands in their way. Like taunting, this can be useful to protect your Orb, your attacking minions, or to stop the opponent’s Faeria collection. The counter to blocking minions is often removal such as Last Nightmare.
Though this will be touched up more in strategy, it is also a tactical decision to move your minion onto an opponent’s land tile to stop them from being able to summon anything at that point. This is very useful vs. aggro but is a good move to keep in consideration against any deck.
Events such as Last Nightmare, Choking Sands, Soul Drain, and Seifer’s wrath are all forms of removal with varying potency. The great aspect of removal is that it can be played from hand and is often difficult to account for and/or forces your opponent to play cautiously so that you are not able to remove their most valuable minions. You want to save removal such as Last Nightmare for large, beefy targets like Thyrian Golem or special targets like Sharra. For damage specific removal like Seifer’s Wrath and Soul drain you want to try to avoid overkill. That is to say it is better to kill a 2 health minion than it is a 1 health minion with those events for the greatest value of the card.
Area of Effect (AOE)
AOE’s in Faeria are some of the strongest cards around. Popular cards used with AOE include Groundshaker, Firestorm, Garudan, and Meteor. Not all AOE cards are in the red spectrum. Plaguebearer and Famine, for example, are Neutral AOE cards. AOE is very powerful in that it often punishes the opponent for making too many Favorable trades and provides an element of swing in Faeria. If your opponent trades off 3 of your 4/4’s with three of their 6/5’s, leaving them with three 6/1’s, you can play Famine to efficiently clear the opponent’s board and gain massive value. This principal applies to all AOE in that the more low HP minions your opponent has on the board the better it is to use these cards.
Haste is an important tactical effect in Faeria because Haste cards are the only way you can play a minion from hand and have it perform an action that turn. The tactical principals of haste cards vary by situation, but you most commonly want to play Haste minions near Faeria wells and then either strike an opposing minion for an efficient trade or to strike your opponent’s orb. This is why having the “Highways” (As Atmaz calls them), or the two hexes between your opponent’s Faeria wells and their orb, is so important for Rush decks that have many haste minions. More to come on this in spatial advantage and initiative under Strategy.
Discovered/Surprise (Ranged) Attack
This category is special in that it applies to ranged minions or minions that you have given the ranged effect (with cannon carrier), jump or charge effects like Triton’s Banquet, as well as land movement like Prophet of the Tides and Shifting Tides. A discovered attack is when your ranged minion is being blocked by its comrades but has a target on the other side. You can then move your minion out of the way and attack. You could also use shifting tides to move the land under the ranged minion, or move an opposing minion out of the way so you can attack.
A surprise attack would apply to Cannon Carrier as well as using land movement to move an active minion in range to trade. For example, if you have a Seifer on one side of the board and use cannon Carrier to give it a ranged attack so that it can kill and absorb an opposing minion on the other side of the board.
A sacrifice is usually played when you want the opponent to choose between two difficult targets. For example, if you have a minion that is collecting two Faeria on the side of the board and your opponent is moving to kill it, you could play a threatening minion near their Orb but in range of the opposition as a sacrifice. The opponent then needs to choose between allowing you to continue to collect Faeria and allowing you to damage their orb. Both choices seem bad to them and they will often misstep where you can take advantage. Any time that you can give your opponent a difficult choice, you want to do it.
Another aspect of sacrifice is in the actual card mechanic. Some minions such as Deathwalker require you to give up a minion in order to summon it.
Transformations in the Blue spectrum such as Frogify, Mirror Phantasm, or Unbound Evolution are important tactical devices. They can be used offensively or defensively. Mirror Phantasm and Frogify are almost always exclusively used in a defensive manner to weaken the opponent’s large creatures, but you can cast Mirror Phantasm on a 1/1 for a 3/3 buff or you could Frogify your own minion for a quick 2 damage burst.
Unbound evolution is probably the most flexible. You can use it to make your minions stronger or transform a discounted heavy minion into a less powerful form. Some key themes to think about are that 7 drops have very few good options with Shaytan and Ogre Battler being the strongest and Magda being the weakest so you usually don’t want to unbound your own 5 drop minions. 6 Drop minions can become Ruunin or Oak Father. Keep tabs on what your options are to unbound into so you can better predict the outcome of a play.
Thanks for reading! If you like this content and you like learning about Faeria I also stream and discuss these topics here: Twitch