I wrote this a few hours into the game while the noob-ness was still fresh.
Arcanium Beginner’s Tips
- Play your first game on easy mode. All your characters start at level 0 or 1, no special cards have been unlocked, and you don’t know what you’re doing.
- You can look at your character’s Ability colors (green, purple, blue, yellow, red) and then look at the world map and decide which of those areas might match up.
In your first game, if you go to the Green area, you don’t have a character using Green/Nature abilities, which might backfire if you get artifacts that synergize with nature. [There’s a lot of cool poison effects in that area–don’t get me wrong, it’s a great area. ]
If you go to the Purple/Void area, you don’t have anyone using that, either.
But it’s pure RNG what artifacts you get. And you will have 3 choices so you can always ignore the ones that don’t apply and hope that 1 of the 3 is good.
- VERY IMPORTANT! For your first game after you pick your starting area the game will offer you 3 World Map quests.
Reroll to get them all 3 in whatever starting area you picked! (For your first game or two.)
If you DON’T get all 3 to match like a slot machine, then just start over and do it again; it only takes a few seconds to retry.
- Look for gray battles (crossed swords) to start, and hit a few of them to get gold and a few new Abilities and gold and learn how the game works.
- After a while you may notice that one character needs 3 cards to fill out their deck and get the Ult- at the bottom; meanwhile the rest of the team is ready to go. At this point it’s okay to go to one of the Cards hexes to pick up 3 cards. But try to get them from gray fights (you will get some Essence and gold.)
- The first ult slot just enhances the effect. The second ult spot reduces the cost, so it is a very important slot to fill.
- Don’t attempt an Elite (gold shield) battle until all your characters have full decks (improved Ults).
At a minimum.
You will likely want/need more than just 14 “basic” cards, such as a Shrine or Artifact or Allies or a couple Items. (Or good team comp, but you’re not selecting that.)
- Avoid going to most other map locations until you have a good amount of gold, say 4-500. This will allow you to do more when you are there at the location.
Also don’t go to “Upgrade Cards” until you have better cards that are worth upgrading (preferably blue or yellow but maybe green if it’s important to the deck).
- Definitely always go to pick up Chests if you see one. (No gold necessary.)
- Always go to Shrines. (No gold necessary.)
- I personally find the Word Balloon Event hexes to not be worth it–better to Fight and get Essence, gold, and ability cards (or possibly artifacts if it’s an Elite fight–the gold shield). But for your first couple games it’s fine, you will want to check them out for curiosity’s sake.
- The “Items” you get (usually a potion) are infinite, but can be used only once per combat. Always use them each combat.
- Allies are amazing when you are learning the game, save up at least 400 gold before going to the location so you can get 1 free Ally and consider buying a couple more.
- The locations all give you 1 thing for free, but then you have to pay for additional uses at that location. This is why you want some gold reserve before you go.
Even though it says “Buy” new Abilities or Artifacts the 1st one will be free.
- Don’t attempt a Shard on your first playthrough until Turn 30+–Or don’t attempt it at all, just go straight to the sub-boss. (If you’re on Easy difficulty, then sure.) They are very hard your first time around with new characters and not knowing the game.
- Around Turn 15 you need to make sure you are going to accomplish your missions. I mention this because “killing 30 enemies” can be very difficult in your first playthrough or two.
(Especially if you are doing a lot of Event/Balloon hexes and not fighting enemies.)
Or if the mission is to explore 15 hexes in a second territory (because you didn’t make the slot machine match).
- The barrel fights.
When you finally knock someone out, the barrel will appear. The fight will never end until you kill that barrel–it doesn’t matter how many times you knock out the other enemies.
If you are in a position to save a damage Ult before the barrel appears (after KO’ing an enemy) you should do so.
There is only ONE barrel the whole mission and if you happen to knock out 2 enemies at the same time, it will appear in both lanes and it shares HP.
If you can do area damage to “two” barrels it will take the damage twice.
It does NOT share status effects/debuffs, those only accumulate in each lane until it goes away.
- “Last 4 rounds” fights:
Exactly what it says. If you are defensive-minded you don’t ever need to do a single point of damage, the mission will end as soon as that turn ends.
- Campsites will heal your whole party for 20 HP…or you can do other things there
- The Capital can heal your whole party for 20 HP or one person for 40. Sometimes you might do this with Leon.
- I mention this because there is effectively NO HEALING when you start this game, you have to manage all damage through Shield.
So you kind of want everyone to be at -20 or one character at -40 before you go to the Camp or Capital.
- When the Cataclysm comes, if your team is healthy, go ahead and do more cool stuff until you are forced to fight the sub-boss.
If they are in trouble then you need to heal them, obviously.
- When it’s time to do the sub-boss, click on the World info at the top of the screen.
You can look at each “Province” and the boss in each Province (click until you can see their abilities) to see which boss you think your team will match up with the best.
- If you are reliant on things like Burn and Poison, be sure to look at major fights or major enemies before it starts to see which ones have Cleanse.
- Another common thing is enemies which penalize small direct damage attacks (i.e., multi-shot).
- So in some cases you may have to change your deck (if you have enough cards) or just plan on swapping places to get the right personnel in the right lane to counter the ongoing abilities of the enemies (or whatever is in their deck).
- When you do go to a Shard someday, be aware that after the fight you will get 20 HP back for free.
If you are offered a Campsite in exchange for losing 30% HP (on Turn 3) that’s up to you.
But if you are offered a Shrine, and you have a good team/good team comp/good Artifacts (or good shield/healing/defense where you know you can mitigate other damage losses besides the 30%), then you should do it. You don’t earn the Shrine until after the fight, but shrine powers are very powerful and synergistic–the more the merrier.
- If a boss is going to Stun you, try to get Leon to suck it up; possibly in a side lane with Taunt, or else use his Ult (to activate multiple Immunes for the 2 turns).
When a character is stunned, you can still move them out of the way using someone else’s Action Points.
When a character is rooted, you cannot.
So when the Stun comes, Leon sucks it up.
Then you move him out of the way to do your DPS.
Then someone moves him back, like dusting a shelf with a statue.