Feel free to write any advice or tips you would give to beginners or even veteran players, to improve their gameplay, rank up quicker, and build an effective deck.
Which deck you started out as, which elements are good to play as a beginner, and which decks are cheap and affordable for a player that is just beginning.
NOTE: This isn't meant to take out the fun of learning how to play the game, and learning the ropes by yourself. And to any new player - don't take these tips as be-all end-all and start a new account just because you didn't pick the same starting element as someone. It's simply here for players to help new and coming players, and learn from other's experience and mistakes. Admit it, we've all accidentally clicked a creature ability and pressed cancel, only to find out your quantum doesn't come back. :P
- Specialize: A strong mono deck is more stable and faster than a deck with two elements and much faster than a deck with three.? Mono-Aether and mono-darkness are considered classics for a reason, if you must have a second colour type in your deck consider splashing that element with a mark, (for example; Nightmare in a Ghost of the past deck can be powered by simply swiching to a darkness mark with time pillars.)
- Don't use a wide mix of elements. Usually when you start, you have 2 elements. For example, if you pick gravity, you get earth cards mixed in there. These elements compliment each other. The idea is to limit yourself to two or three quanta in a deck, otherwise you end up with too little pillars of every kind, which can't provide for the few monsters you will never see on the field.
- Don't use the original deck. When you've just started the game, don't play with the original deck. Try to sell the cards that don't fit in with your deck, and buy cards that are according to the elements you want in your deck. For example, if your element is death, sell cards that are non-death and buy new poisons cards with the coins that you get from selling. (Keep in mind, you may find cards useful later on. Don't just throw away cards you think are useless; do a bit of research first.)
- Reduce your deck size to 30 cards! By far the cheapest way to improve your deck is to take the less-effective junk out (costs you nothing!). By reducing your deck to 30, you increase the chances of drawing cards you want. Small decks are less vulnerable to randomness, and perform far more smoothly than a bloated many-colored deck. And if you really want a 60 card deck it's essential that you have some way of drawing more than 1 card a turn,
- Don't sweat about 'choosing the wrong Mark.' Almost every color can field a simple (zero upgraded cards) mono-color deck that can crush Level 3. Most colors can field a simple deck that can take on the bronze and silver arena, once you learn how to play to your strenghs and work out which games are probably best skipped.
- Your deck doesn't have to be complicated to win. Lots of pillars, enough dangerous creatures, and some decent defense/control is all you need. For example, the deck of "18 aether pillars, 6 phase dragons, 6 dimensional shields" gets a lot of flak as a mind-numbingly boring grind vs the AI, you also don't need 'rares' for a good deck build.
- Your electrum reward depends on your final health. If you win a match with a higher health, you get more coins as a reward. If you finish with only 1 health, you get only half the listed reward. If you finish with 100 HP (full health), you get the "Elemental Master bonus" -- twice the amount of electrum and twice the score improvement in rankings. So I started out with a life (green) deck, and since low levels are relatively easy to beat, I could beat them and heal all the damage they inflicted, and got masteries (winning the game with 100HP). However, mono-life deck is a bit outdated when it comes to higher levels/PVP, so keep that in mind.
- One strategy I've seen used a lot that might not be immediately obvious to a new player (it wasn't to me) is to take a primary element (Mark) different from what most of your cards are. For example, say you want to play a primarily Time deck, but you really want to use Earthquake (from Earth element) to help you deny your opponent quantum. You could put a few Earthquake cards in the deck and 2-3 Earth pillars, with all the other cards being Time cards. However, this stuffs your deck with 2-3 extra cards and there's no guarentee you'll draw the Earth pillars in time to use the Earthquake cards. By choosing Earth Mark as your primary, even though your deck is almost all Time, you shave 2-3 cards from your deck, and you guarantee you'll have Earth quantum to allow you to use the Earthquake cards. All your pillars are Time pillars, so unless you're incredibly unlucky you'll still have Time quantum available to use most of your deck. By choosing your Mark in your secondary color, rather than your main color, you do a much better job of controlling randomness and streamlining your deck. (Note that you can go dual-color in two directions. For example: if you started with Time element, you could buy an entire deck in another element, keeping only the Time Mark and some Reverse Times for creature control. Alternatively, you could keep your Time deck, and splash in Earthquakes, by metamorphosing your Mark.)
- If you want to get a lot of money, make a deck-out deck. (That is, if your deck still isn't good enough to beat fake gods) Get a lot of cards that increase MAX hp like stone skin, shard of divinity, etc. and cards like miracle and heal. Why? Because if you get elemental master with, for example, a whopping 500 health, your reward will be around 3x the normal one. Use this to grind T50's because their decks usually have 30 cards, easily decking out, or they have God-killer decks with lots of hourglasses. (The CPU ain't smart. It will keep drawing until it loses.) Some of the T50's don't even try! I find this way a lot quicker to gain money to upgrade the cards in your main deck.
- Do not add any card in your deck if it's not a part of your strategy. I've seen many people on pvp who have random cards in their hands and can't play them. (I don't hack, I just use my nymph's effects XD) For example, if you want a Ghost of the Past + Nightmare deck, do not add in things like one or two air quanta and a sky blitz or some thing, just because that is a good card. Only use cards that you would be able to play easily in your deck.
- Be careful with quantum pillars. Some cards might need other elements for their abilities (e.g., Earth Graboid needs Time element), so use the necessary elemental pillars or quantum pillars (or novas or immolations) to provide the required quantum. However, some pre-fab starter decks are excessively bloated with quantum pillars. Don't try to fund every ability "just because it's there." Against the computer, the Devourer's burrow is largely unnecessary: it will drain mana even unburrowed. Use a few Bone Pillars instead of Quantum Pillars to feed Parasites. Elemental Pillars will give you exactly what you need, whereas Quantum Pillars may or may not provide the element you want.
- Some advice for the new players is to take a strategy listed on this Wiki to make money. This also allows you to see how other players decks are over time. Try to think of your own idea. Someone had to think of these great ideas at some point and eventually they became too good that everyone had to work together to think of a counter. Maybe your idea could be the next craze and have all the greats using it! In the mean time, try starting with either Fire, Aether, or a Poison/Chrysaora deck as they aren't that expensive and can win most of the time. If you win an early rare, try to base your deck around it, especially if it's a very rare card, such as Trident or Scrambler. For example; if you win a Trident, make a drainer deck with devourers and EQs.
- Life and healing for Elder farming: Play through the low (easy) levels and quests until you have enough coin to get Firefly Queen. Then take all your life cards out, except a couple heals, and as many rustlers and empathic bonds as you can get (up to the maximum of 6). Then get as many Firefly Queens as you can, and 8-12 Wind Pillars. Aim for exactly 30 cards. Once you get a druidic staff or owl's eye, pop them in. Play level 3 over and over again and try to end the game with full life to get double the reward.
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(The string of characters above is the code for this deck for the Import/ Export function for saving decks.)
This deck does not work; a mark of life is not enough to supply the green quanta needed to get out the bonds and fireflies. So, the creation of sufficient green quanta depends entirely upon your ability to keep the rustlers alive. There are simply too many counters to them--thunderstorm, plague, parasites, otyughs, rain of fire, fire shield, toadfish, mind flayers... just to name a few cards that are available at the bazaar, any one of which can wipe all of your rustlers out.
~ Add a Hope and Solar Shield card to the deck, it improves the success rate.
- Be willing to try something new. When you start out go through your deck and remove the cards you don't like. Single color decks are easier to play than multiple colors so start with that. As you win matches you will gain coins and even some new cards. Look at what you have, get different cards from the bazaar if you need, and put together your own favorite deck. Remember that you can play AI 1 and 2 whenever you want so test new decks on easier opponents to see how they draw. Move to AI 3 when you're comfortable and keep tweaking it until it's the next great deck that everyone wants to steal.
- Try the trainer. If you are bewildered by the sheer number and variety of cards, go to Zanzarino's Element trainer. You can get infinite money, up to +100 hp, +10 of all quanta and all rare weapons. Its a good way to try out new deck ideas and see if they are feasible. You can also try out the new cards there, which are in development http://elementsthegame.com/trainer.html
- Build an army. If you have Boneyard/Graveyard and Otyugh/Elite Otyugh then Control your enemy. Make sure you can't get lobotomized and eat all of the enemies creatures. Doing so will give you a small army. Then you can use Fallen Elf / Fallen Druid to make an army of 5|5 abominations or mutants. If you're using an un-upgraded form of Fallen Elf then you may kill some skeletons.
- Know the free cards and by that I mean the cards that are from one element, but don't cost any quanta or don't cost any from that element. Examples of this are: Nova (entropy) (not upgraded), Photon (Light) (both upgraded and not), Holy Light (upgraded), Luciferin (Light) (both, but not free, just costs random quanta), Animate Weapon (Air) (Upgraded), Sundial (Time) (upgraded), Spark (Aether) (both upgraded and not). Although some of these cards are useless without other cards of that type (Luciferen for example), some of them are great to have in decks that don't have pillars in that quanta (Animate weapon and purify for example).
- Watch your speed. While having six copies of Golden Hourglasses, Sundials, and Precognitions may seem like a smart idea to get cards out quickly, if you have too few cards or too many expensive cards, you'll deck out way too fast, or find yourself without enough quanta to deploy your creatures. Conversely, if you have no way of getting cards aside from draws, you may find yourself with no way to mount an offensive or defensive attack when you need it the most.
- Fire off creature spells at your own risk. If your ability does not have a target, or you cancel, you do not get the chance to use the ability again that turn, and your quanta are not refunded. You will be refunded the card and quanta if you cancel a direct spell (e.g. Fire Bolt), however.
- No deck is perfect. Every deck has a weakness or flaw in its design, and any deck could be the perfect one for exploiting that. With that said, never assume that you stand no chance, and never ever assume you can't lose. Both beliefs are equally wrong and both are similarly devastating.
- Make use of (1 HP) bronze decks. In the Arena, you will find a lot of 1HP decks, or other aging compositions. Capitalize on that if you want money. You'll get a lot of elemental masteries with a fast or healing deck (vampires, heal, etc.). I find this better than L3 grind. Note: I was given 920 gold for an element mastery victory here o.O
- Visit the forum
The forum is the first place to find help for any kind of problem you have; you can find it here.