The Art of Surrendering

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Most of what I present as facts about surrendering in this guide are just guidelines. If you don’t want to follow them, don’t do it.


In Faeria, knowing when to surrender can save you a lot of time. This guide teaches you when you should surrender, and when you should not surrender.

Why surrender?

There’s a fact that a majority of Faeria games end by either player surrendering. Faeria being a two player game means this is nothing to worry about, surrenders are common in nearly all two player games out there. In chess, the world’s most popular two player game, you’re even expected to surrender when you think you have lost.

There are basicly two reasons why surrenders are so common in two player games:

  1. Your decision only affects yourself and your opponent which means your decision isn’t bad for anyone.
  2. The nature of two player games means they often have a clear winner long before the game actually ends. When the outcome is already certain, what’s the meaning of playing.

The two reasons above probably means you wont question whether there are reasons to surrender any more, if you even did so in the first place.

When to surrender?

The art of surrendering is all about answering one question, “When to surrender?”. The most straightforward answer to this question is “You should surrender when defeat is certain, and only then”. Unfortunately deciding whether defeat is certain or not isn’t at all an easy task, especially not in Faeria.

In Faeria, defeat is certain when either of the statements below are true:

  • Your opponent will reduce your life total to zero on his next turn and you can’t stop him
  • All the statements below are true:
    • Your opponent has board control
    • Your opponent has the faeria advantage
    • You can’t successfully race your opponent
    • You can’t sneak in an unexpected victory

Finding out whether the first statement is true is actually quite simple. Just calculate how much damage your opponent can do to you on his next turn, and if that exceeds your life total then defeat is certain. The second statement is a bit more complicated so we’ll break it down into its four parts.

At first, we have to find out who has board control. The ability to determine who has board control will come with experience but there is a very practical rule of thumb that you can use if you’re unsure: The player who harvests from the most faeria wells has board control.

Then we need to calculate who has the faeria advantage. To calculate who has the faeria advantage you just have to compare the amount of faeria you currently have plus the total faeria value of your creatures and structures on the board with the amount of faeria your opponent currently has plus the total faeria value of their creatures and structures on the board.

After calculating who has the faeria advantage you have consider whether you can successfully race your opponent. There is no general rule of when you can successfully race your opponent, there are though two easily identifiable situations in which you can’t successfully race your opponent.

  • When you don’t have any aggresive lands
  • When your opponent has creatures and lands in good defensive positions

Last but not least you have to find out whether it’s possible to sneak in an unexpected victory. Sneaking in an unexpected victory can be done in two different ways, either by attacking with a creature or by using a damage spell. Sneaking in an unexpected victory by attacking with a creature is only possible when both of the statements below are true:

  • You have an aggresive land where you can summon a creature that your opponent can’t immediately kill nor block
  • Your opponent’s life total is lower than or equal to the creatures attack

Sneaking in an unexpected victory with damage spells is instead only possible when you can possibly draw and play enough damage spells to kill your opponent before he kills you.


After reading this article you should have a decent understanding of when to surrender. Make use of this understanding when playing and you’ll save time, trust me.

Would you suggest a penalty for premature surrendering?
I mean sometimes I want to play out my full combo but sometimes my opponents realize whats going on before and they prematurely surrender.

I, personally, never surrender. Games aren’t always about winning, they are often about learning from your mistakes and having fun - some wins look spectacular!.
If you wish to save time, then Do surrender, but only in situations where you know you have lost. Just my opinion, of course.

You can’t expect people to needlessly sit through all the animations of your combo if they know they’ve lost.
A surrender is only premature if the match is still winnable. In that instance, the process of surrendering is already a penalty because you strip yourself of the opportunity to turn the game around.

I understand the sentiment of wanting to go through the entirety of your combo but at the end of the day, your opponent just saves both of you some time by surrendering.

It’s a matter of perspective. I can understand the wish to show off your hand, and it would be interesting if some game FINALLY made you do just that when you surrender… yet I still consider playing out a killer combo while you have one-swing-kill as BM. Good manners dictate to go for the kill that’s there as the game is already over, and you don’t know if your opponent wants to sit through your flair. Honestly, it can be seen as you trying to humiliate opponent - “not only I have that 3 creatures of which each could kill you in one, I could do THIS to you, and THIS and THIS!”. Don’t.

Only situation where I consider playing out non-optimal hand on my last turn is when I can make it funny or intricate. Mostly that goes for me surrendering - I could play suicidal cards or try to find interesting goldberg machines that will kill me off. I don’t think I’ve had a win where I was showing off with flair. If I would, again, that would be if I could find an interesting goldberg style finisher. Strainght buffing something to 100/100 is not that - and I consider it rude to do so.

Most of all, I wish there was more emotes, maybe even post-match messages. Something like Nier:A did - a dark-souls like messaging system that allows you to congratulate, cheer, laugh (with) and so on. I would love to say “haha” or “congrats, you deserved that win!” sometimes. But I don’t think you can do that with cards plays and be understood correctly. Even if you want to say “I had nothing, well done!”, it won’t go through.

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That is actually a really cool idea!

All great commentary. I believe it is a matter of perspective. Though, as a player, my mindset changes with each aspect of the game. Casual is best for learning the game. Much as to why, when Ranked Players are in ranked mode, they know at what level their opponent is playing.

The badge level is visibly present during ranked game play. Unfortunately, Casual Players won’t know at what level their opponent is playing at.

As for Pandora, your opponent is making a Pandora Run too.

You forgot one thing. When the game is competitive and the opponent wins at the expense of his skills: out of respect and courage, finish the game!
Early surrender often a sign of weakness and unwillingness to play against a strong opponent…

You forgot one thing. When the game is competitive and the opponent wins at the expense of his skills: out of respect and courage, stop the game!
Early surrender often a sign of bravery and willingness to admit ones defeat…

Sorry, I get cranky when I see demagoguery.

Good article! But please don’t surrender against me. Im recording my games and hoping to make video’s out of them. Surrendering makes it difficult to get good footage.

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I for one prefer to take games to the end rather than have any surrenders. Especially early surrenders when the outcome isn’t yet certain, when I have just a minor disadvantage, I really see it as unwillingness to stand up to challenge. Even if defeat seems certain - it’s not. The game ends only when it ends, anything can happen before that. You don’t stop watching a movie just because you can predict the ending. It’s not demagoguery. For me, bravery is when you see defeat but still fight to the end for that small chance, not when you see a hint of defeat and take it for granted.