Duel of Champions: Review
Hello everyone, this is Geek Generation.
Duel of Champions is an online collectible card game that occupies a really neat niche at this point of time. With the advent of Blizzard’s Hearthstone in closed beta, people in forums have been suggesting to others who did not get a key to play Duel of Champions while waiting for Hearthstone’s release. Which is exactly how i came to know about Duel of Champions.
After playing awhile, i found that Duel of Champions is interesting enough to play as more than just a passing fancy, with the potential of serving as a core game for players who like this kind of games. Though the marketing department seems to be a little lacking. Even the website is outdated as there are now six factions instead of four. But the later two factions are more for advanced players as they’re not given as one of the choices for a beginner’s deck.
My choice of beginner’s deck was Inferno. The description of Inferno’s play style was, “Inferno is the ideal faction for players who enjoy an offensive gameplay. This faction relies heavily on destruction, discarding abilities and high damage at the cost of defense.“, which sounded pretty aggressive to me. My suggestion to players new to collectible card games is to pick an aggressive deck. I find that aggressive decks are generally more forgiving to mistakes that you make, which make them a good beginner’s choice, be it you’re new to CCG or familiar with CCG but just new to the game.
Aggressive decks are usually also Also aggressive decks make for fast games, which usually means you get to play more games for the same amount of time, which could be an important factor if you earn rewards for playing games. That is not to say that non-Inferno factions cannot be built to be aggressive. It’s just that with Inferno, the elements required for an aggressive deck is readily available in the beginner’s deck. There is a lesser need for key cards in rare or higher rarity as efficient cards are readily available in the common and uncommon rarities. Or at least until your ELO rating raises to a higher level where you are consistently paired with better players and better decks. By then you would’ve earned a substantial amount of currency to retrofit and improve your deck to handle the more difficult opponents.
Anyway.. when i first played the game, the first thing i noticed was that there was a huge number of play zones, zones where cards go to. More play zones means more complexity, which may be daunting to new players, though i find that the complexity is by no means a barrier. It’s not too difficult to identify the common components. Five lanes, traps in the middle, hero card, enchantments on top of hero card, library, graveyard, events, which together with mana, stats and life, sums up the entire board of the game.
Deck construction is a minimum of 1 hero card + 8 event cards + 50 playing cards. Event cards are the most peculiar aspect of the game which is the first i’ve encountered. Event cards are not shuffled into the library. They’re shuffled together with the opponent’s event cards forming a pool of 16 cards. At the beginning of the game, 2 event cards are drawn and every turn, a new event card is drawn and the oldest event card goes away and disappears. Both players can play any of the event cards if they chose to. Some event cards are ongoing effects that affect game play without needing to be played.
On his turn, a player increases the maximum mana production by 1 and draws a card. All playing cards come with required stats, which the player must build up over the course of the playing turns, in order to play the cards. Each turn, a player can choose to increase power/magic/fate by 1 or draw 1 additional card at the cost of 1 mana or play the hero ability if it has one. Hence a card like Frenzied Maniac, a 3/3/3 creature which costs 2 mana cannot be played on turn 2 (for most heroes) because it has a 3 power requirement, unless your hero begins the game with 2 power.
Which incidentally means that cards that provide additional mana is not as useful when compared to other CCGs. But that’s not to say that we can overlook such cards. An early Campfire -> Crusader Treasurer could easily seal the game if the opponent doesn’t draw any good cards.
– Crusader Treasurer, 2/2/6, costs 4 mana, requires 3 power, 1 fate, Income 2 (As long as this creature is in play, your resource production is increased by 2) (resource being the game’s mana).
– Campfire, costs 3 mana, requires 3 fate, Draw a card, gain 4 resource.
The stats takes some explaining. Radiant Glory is a 3/2/5 creature. Which means it has 5 health, deals 3 damage when it attacks, and deals 2 damage when attacked by an enemy melee/flying creature. Creatures are classed into melee, ranged and flying. Melee creatures can only be played into front column, ranged back column, and flying offers the flexibility of being able to be played into either columns. Rows as defined in the game is any of the horizontal lanes.
All in all, i’ll rate Duel of Champions as follows: