Akerson's Guide To All Questions He Answers On A Regular Basis

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akerson
Akerson's Guide To All Questions He Answers On A Regular Basis

Or AGTAQHAOARB for short.

This is an FAQ of sorts, except it's filled with my own views and not necessarily the most sane advice -- just the best advice ever, because it's mine. I will answer ALL questions posted in this thread, and if they are first post worthy, they will be added. Feel free to link this thread to any new player who is asking in chat about things we all see on a daily basis.

What should I spend my gems on?
There's two trains of thought on this at the moment. One train of thought thinks that you should ONLY spend your gems on things you simply cannot get with coins for. The big two would be rise singles and energy upgrades. At the moment energy is only really useful for arena matches, but with next patch there will be a revitalized campaign where energy will be crucial. Personally, I think improving your deck is the best bet. Do NOT spend gems on buying heroes, as the gold prices are quite low now and the gem prices were never updated to reflect this. If you don't know what singles to buy, don't buy anything! There's no rush (:

What packs should I get?
Card list of all the sets here: http://wiki.kingdomsccg.com/?q=wiki_cards

If you're asking this question, 99% of the time it's Core Gold packs. SOMETIMES it's EVE or Rise packs. Do realize though, that EVE/Rise are not really 'better' -- just different and more expensive. There is a natural progression in place, but not a power progression. Ideally, you're going to go Core Gold -> Basic EVE -> Basic Rise. I'd PERSONALLY ignore all kingdom/epic packs at this time, and instead if you're going to chase choice cards in gold go for the singles gold market.

With the pack changes, I'd say stick with core until you're fairly satisfied with what you have in the rares department. Then I'd switch to EVE Basic for the choice uncommons (Generally being Spell Bridge, Zombie Priestess, Gravedigger, Noxious Golem, and Pacify). From there, I'd go to Rise and try and bulk up there on some of the uncommons. Do realize though, that I've bought almost 200 packs and it's still worth it for me to buy Core Gold. In other words, it's never a bad purchase.

I personally would NEVER buy packs with gems, because they are way too expensive. I'd just buy singles over buying packs.

How do I quickly get money?
My response is always "quickest way is to play games. To maximize it, win those games.". Ideally, you're getting your 25 wins a day (to maximize your bonuses) in standard (or limited) arena. Guild wars, from a money perspective, are no longer as lucrative as it once was. If you have energy to burn but cannot/don't want to PVP, you can always burn in the campaign, which will be much more worth it soon. You just need to play!

How do I get more gems?
The 'easiest' way to just buy some more -- gems help feed the developers, and we don't want underfed developers, do we? But if you can't afford to/don't want to, make sure you log in on a daily basis for 5 free gems every 5 days, and sometimes a random shot at some more. There's also "earn gems free" option under the buy gems, however there is a lot of fraud and uncertainty in this method so I do not recommend it. Don't forget there are a bunch of achievements that give you gems as well.

Who's the best T2 hero?
See GregarFalzar's excellent guide on limited for a great breakdown: http://wiki.kingdomsccg.com/?q=node/2126

Who's the best T3 hero?
Again this depends on your cards, but since I can write paragraphs (and I'm much more familiar with T3's) I'm going to break down playstyles and deck goals. But the TLDR version is if you're really new, play Akatril.

Bahamut - Baha is probably the second best "overall" hero at the moment. He's a bit slow (no access to alchemy means you can't use Rejuvenation Potions or Mana Flasks) but he comes with a board wipe and a free summon that's quite easily abuseable. He really is completely one-dimensional in how you build the deck though. If you have managed to get a Skybreaker, he's a great choice. In a more competitive scene, he usually runs all Dark Alliance creatures besides his few abusable summons (usually Skybreaker and Blessed Champions, sometimes Deathless Wyrms). And generally, I find they're the super annoying undead reassemble packages. He also comes packed with a boatload of life.

Jorma - Jorma's top dog right now, usually played in a hyper-aggressive type deck. Maelstrom Phoenix and other hasters rule her deck. She's on the easier side to build, partially because her abilities are always quite potent, and then partially some more because the AI does a great job of playing her on Guild Wars Defense. Playing Jorma is all about quick hits and killing your opponent before they stabilize. Generally this is through a good dark alliance haste package (swift ghouls and lightning elementals and thunder cats) and hard hitting three drops like Gatling gnome and hell hound to never let the opponent be the aggressor. If you can snag some Maelstrom Phoenix's and Rejuvenation potions to help her maintain board presence and increase her measly life she'll do loads better. She's tough for new players because you really do need a strong card base to make her effective. Baha/Aka do not have that problem.

Akatril - Akatril's abilities are quite steller. Three active abilities, one for damage, one for doing damage, and one for creating units. A well made hero, and because of that she really can handle most deck types. As such, she's usually recommended for beginners. She's probably the "control"-iest of the heroes. I PERSONALLY am playing Akatril right now, and I love to run her with some hasters to make sure her abilities get in, as well as some DBR's for larger bodies. Her real issue is that she doesn't have access to the Undead kingdom, where some of the best creatures are waiting.

Abaddon - Speaking of Undead, Ab's great if you do have those undead creatures waiting. Ab's passive "Hellfire Revival" works amazing with reassemble creatures, and Soul Conversion+Necrotic Infusion on your opponent's best creatures after a wipe can often be the nail in the coffin. His biggest issue you really do need to play around Hellfire Revival the whole game (as does your opponent). I personally do not like his playstyle, however Ab has quite the cult following. He's strong too, I'd personally rank him at #4/6.

Dravkas - Dravkas with his recent buffs has become a beast. He requires a lot of 4-cost equipment, and as many good alchemy creatures as you can shove in a deck (noxious golems, dwarven battle rigs, etc). He's not a bad buy at all anymore!

Noran - Noran sounds great on paper and is often "hero bait" for new players. If you had access to every card, he'd probably be tied for Jorma as best hero, but realistically most players will never have 20 epics in their deck, and as such he falls short. For one, he's locked out of elemental which essentially has all the great removal options in it. You'll often hear people (or just me) saying how 2HP/3HP units are fireball/fire bolt fodder, but against noran you can breath a sigh of relief. None of his abilities affect the board either. As such, you're entirely dependent on your units to really affect the board state, which when your opponent is actively working on turning them into corpses is not an easy accomplishment. I PERSONALLY haven't seen a successful Noran deck that didn't revolve around Quick Draw Cannon (which was practically made for Noran), but I'm told they exist. I won't hold my breath. If you're asking which hero to play, I doubt you're ready for Noran.

I can't beat Ravinova in Campaign mode! What should I do?

Skip ahead to the next chapter (or chapter 5, the easiest) and do the fights there. Her chapter is the hardest of all six, so don't be discouraged too much.

Why won't a Guild accept me // What are Guilds // How do I fight in Guild wars // etc
Guilds are a fairly new implementation in the game. Players who start a guild can assemble a team of up to 15 people, and battle other guilds to try and increase their guild rating and rise to the top. There's bonuses to fighting in guild wars like the normal arenas (although less) -- however guild war matches are against an AI controlling the enemy guild's decks, instead of a live player.

A guild can declare war on any other guild. When this happens, both guilds will see the war and have 6 hours to fight in it. Any wins you accumulate playing against the other guild will count towards your total wins, losses in guild wars will not affect the current war (and thus any wins the AI gets against the opponent will not count too). At the end of the 6 hours, the guild with the top 5 players' wins will win the war.

Because of:
1. Limited guild space
2. The cost to make a guild
3. The fact that the worse your deck is the more wins your opponent will receive in a war

It's unlikely you'll find a guild when you're relatively new to the game. I really advise players to beat campaign, open like 30-40 boosters, and try and raise their arena standard rating up a bunch. To get into most of the higher guilds, you'll also realistically need a T3 hero. If you can't find a guild: don't sweat it. I know everyone's first instinct is to try and get in a guild, but you're really not missing out if you're not going to pull high win %'s in a guild anyway. Especially now with gold earnings nerfed. Work on improving your cardpool, and make a guild WANT you, not the other way around.

What does foiling a card do?

It STRICTLY makes it shiney. Every card gets the same overlay, so some look better than others. There's currently no way to see what a card will look like before you foil it. It currently takes a certain amount of gems to do it. This is a one time cost and will foil all present and future copies of this card. This used to be the only thing to do with cards once you reach a playset, however crafting has replaced this. Old foils were also ugly, but I actually really like the new foils. Do it if you have extra gems (or cracked that legendary!)

Crafting!

Refer to mes's excellent guide for this:
http://wiki.kingdomsccg.com/?q=node/1633

Can Kingdoms Packs/Epic Packs give RISE cards?

At the moment, Kingdoms Packs (which are the featured packs daily, minus sunday) only will give you Core/EVE cards. Epic packs will only give you Core cards.

Can you get Rise singles for gold?

At the moment, only Core/EVE cards are available for gold in the singles market. Once a new set is released, Rise will be added to that rotation as well.

THATS ALL FOR NOW FOLKS. If you have any other good ones, reply and I'll put them in the list. Thanks for reading!

DesertStar27
DesertStar27's picture

This is quite useful since Iv'e been asked this stuff a thousand times as well although I doubt newer players will bother to look this up on the forum.

akerson

I plan on linking it to anyone who asks the same exact questions in chat.

Polarius

Good summary, although I would rank Dark Pact way above Doomsayer.

Yubar09
Yubar09's picture

People say this but Doomsayer is a tough mofo that is anti healing, oh wait and reassemble...dark pact is a finisher and thats bout it cept for with Jorma.

akerson

Dark Pact is a great card if you've got the deck -- Doomsayer is better IMO if you're still looking to build a deck. Solid body, with reanimate, and anti-healing to combat all the rejuvs/blessed champs you'll inevitably run into. Definitely underestimated sometimes.

BlindFalcon

Maybe you could add that the holy starter pack could also help a new Akatril player well. (And the undead has the Doomsayer so it's not bad either.)

akerson

I still wouldn't buy it if you're being selective. Undead's the only one I'd consider, unless you're specifically looking for angelic captains.

Grrwaaa
Grrwaaa's picture

How about this one:
I can't beat Ravinova in Campaign mode! What should I do? Save for a T2? Buy packs?

Neither. Skip ahead to the next chapter (or chapter 5, the easiest) and do the fights there. Save your gold until you get stuck again, then decide what to buy.

akerson

Good call. Added.

tridon777
tridon777's picture

Truthfully I would rank Jorma above Akatril as the frist t3 to buy. Jorma can easily be built with some hasties and golems to be quite effective all around. As for you epic ranking maelstrom phoenix seems to be overhyped and rejuve underhyped. I would put it as maelstrom>rejuve>blessed champion>maelstrom phoenix>skyscrapper

akerson

Again it's preference. And it's my post ;P

I PERSONALLY bought 3 blessed champs and 0 phoenix's yet. But that's because at the time my deck wasn't constructed for it.

The way i see it: If I drop a blessed champ, I USUALLY expect it to die. The real utility is giving me the health, and them having to find answers. But he can be dealt with (Lightning bolt, sylph assassin, fire bolt + a 2 attacker, etc). The moment phoenix hits the board, your gameplan changes entirely. He's a persistent threat that is basically only countered in decks by ancient burial. "Sure I can firebolt him, but he'll come back next turn, so why bother?" That kind of persistence isn't on any other card in the game. But at the same time, you need to be running the elemental spell package to make those gears work. Blessed champ runs on an independent machine of her own, so I can see the argument -- hence why I recommend buying blessed champs first, but I rank phoenix as a better card.

Jeffo
Jeffo's picture

Stickied.

akerson

I love you and your beard.

DesertStar27
DesertStar27's picture

lol. . .I love it aswell. . . although his smile is quite creepy. . .

whade
whade's picture

Since I tend to send all newbies here anyway (this being one of the best FAQs for them) I thought I'll just add some of my own frequently answered here rather than making my own thread.

How can I get more gems?

Click your Profile in the lower left corner. Under it there are a bunch of achievements that you can complete for 1-2, sometimes more gems.

Logging in every day for 5 consequtive days also nets you 5 gems under the current Daily Reward rules.

FInally, you can get more gems by supporting the developers with real money, and by winning forum contests, or from refunds (occassionally when a change is made in the game, such as a tweak to an important card, those who own it can opt to return the card and receive gems instead - this is technically another way to receive gems).

Who's the best T2 hero?

Willoryn -

Not the strongest, not the most popular, but still tons of fun. Do not be discouraged if you like her.

With her your hand will be constantly overflowing with cards and mana, and so Willoryin is one of the best heroes to learn the ropes when it comes to deckbuilding and individual cards in the game - you can include any card you want in your deck, worst case scenario is that you will discard it for mana. You'll be discarding a lot anyway so this will not become a big setback.

Willoryin is a "slow" hero, and so you have to set yourself up for a defensive game. You will hear the complaint that "she's not that good at removal", but 1. she can be, as not only Elemental has such cards; 2. removal is more advanatgeousin an offensive game - I place my attacker, you place your blocker, I remove your blocker and hit you instantly. It is not as good if you just kill a creature but do not do follow up. Think about how you can make a defensive work in other ways.

Pack up on gears, as these take time to work, especially the one known as Quickdraw Cannon. QDC deals damage based on the number of times you draw a card, and so it was practically made for Mystical heroes.

Look for ways to improve your direct hero damage output - I personally enjoy Torture, Dark Missile, Berserk (from EVE), Dimensional Rip and many other cards. If you find a spell combo that can do damage without creatures, do not hesitate to put it in.

Another good way to boost the offensive power of the Mysticals is to borrow the power of Undead. Baleful Mist and Dark Missile, rounded up with Fear from Ancient, can give you removal of a similar level as the other packs that use Elemental.

Your primary weapon will be combos - watch out for cards that you can combine with other cards, ones like Faithful Worshipper from the Campaign.
Gift Of The Mystics is compulsory, this will increase your already considerable mana advantage even more.

Some decks use the Slow spell in addition to her Time Rift ability, I have not used it so I can not really comment. Wiloryn used to be good with Fliers, as these could attack over the Slowed enemies' heads, but this strategy is probably isn't as good now either. Still, some Spirit Sprites and Relentless Bones can likely improve your performance.

Uunys -

Uunys can revive corpses. This makes her (yes, her) a lot more suited for weaker cards than the other heroes, for whom the corpses their blockers leave are a REALLY important drawback. For example, few of the 1 mana Reward cards are useful for most heroes, but Uunys can play with them all.

While Uunys has been weakened a bit compared to her versions in the past, one removal, one creature-making and one self-healing ability is still a powerful set. Of all the heroes, Uunys' abilities are perhaps the most comboable: killing your own creature that had Volatile (ability that deals damage on death) with a Frost Nova, raising the corpse with Raise Dead, then eating with Consume Soul (leaving an empty creature slot, as Skeletons leave no corpse) - combinations like this are everyday for a Uunys player.

Arcanos -

Arcanos is tons of fun, but he needs a specialized deck so make sure you have one before you buy him.

Primarily, you are going to need lots of Elemental spells, to make use of his Visceral Flames ability. Fortunately for you most of these are Commons so you will eventually get them just by opening packs diligently. Fire Bolt, Shatter, Spark, Brain Freeze, Fireball - get as many of these as you can. (Note that you can cast some spells like Shatter or Hailstorm even without a target, only for the Visceral Flames damage bonus.)

Arcanos is not a creature based hero but a spell based one, so do not buy him only because you have a lot of Elemental creatures. He benefits most from a smaller number of low-health, high-attack creatures. If you can afford it, Juggernaut, from the Reward shop, is perfect for him. Fire Spawn/Gatling Gnome, Headless Horseman or Great Fire Elemental are also possibilities. If you add more creatures on top of that, it's best if they are very cheap blockers like Relentless Bones, or have Haste. (Rabid Wolf, Lightning Elemental, Boltling/Lightning Blitz, Thunder Cat)

Belnir - Not much to say here, reliable but slow. Most Belnirs I see these days prefer Resist creatures like Chronomancer or Illusionist to overcome his inherent weakness against spells (Armor only protects against other creatures, so even with 2+ Armor, a Fire Bolt can still remove Belnir's blockers.)

Ravinova / Grovenhold - skip (I haven't played much with these heroes; I hear both can be pretty good, Grovenhold perhaps being a bit stronger at the moment)

Shadow -
The hero you probably won't be getting for a LONG time, unless you decide to spend your gems on him rather than a T3. Shadow's speciality is the suppression of his enemy - he removes creatures and creature abilities, drains your hero abilities and even removes the cards from your hand. Being able to halt the enemy's strategy even allows him to face Tier 3s to a limited extent. His weakness is that he has no big offensive advantage from only his abilities, so you should make sure that you're not only forcing your opponent to stall, but you have cards that can deal good damage for you, too! As an Unaligned hero, Shadow has no opposed Kingdom and can access every card, so you can benefit from combos that other heroes wouldn't be able to use due to their Kingdom restrictions.

How can I change my deck?/I want to use my Campaign deck as my Standard/Limited deck! How can I do that?

There is a "Swap Deck" option but as far as I can tell it does nothing.
However if you click on the black row that shows your deck (NOT the Edit button in the corner!) it will bring up the list of your avaliable decks. Just substitute the deck currently assigned to the arena or Campaign for another that you are not using, and your regular deck will be freed up and you can assign it to somewhere else.

You can also remove all the cards from a deck and click Save, to get back the "Make a new deck" option.

Are the Reward cards worth it?

You probably got little "X card unlocked!" messages while you were playing the Campaign. These cards become avaliable for buying under Cards > Rewards in the shop after you unlocked them, and they have the price of a Gold pack or more, so you should consider carefully if you buy them. Some of them though are good enough that they are worth it even for the hefty price.

I always try to tell players to get some decent 1 mana cards. It's vital that you save up as much mana as you can in order to be able to put higher-cost cards into your deck, see, and if you are able to spend only 1 from your 2 on a turn, you're that much closer to that.

For most players, the only real card of interest is Relentless Bones, which blocks any attacker twice, can not be killed by most spells in just one go, and has Dust (=does not leave a corpse). As such, it is your ideal blocker card.

Boltling is recommended if you want some quick damage, or if you already have cards that can boost a card's Attack value.

I personally love Spirit Sprite - it is my Relentless Bones against fliers. See also my notes on Flying, below.

Jester is a great card once you can afford it, just make sure you drop it to a safe spot so that it can grow into a beast on your next turn.

Ancient Ritual is an excellent corpse removal and mana gaining ability card once you get ahead in the game.

Juggernaut and Elementals Boon are Arcanos cards (and good ones), buy them if you have him but do not waste your money on them otherwise.

---
All else you can put off until you've bought plenty of Gold packs, Some cards of note:

1-mana Kingdom cards: Currently a bit suppressed by effective removal spells. Uunys can use them still as she's not bothered by corpses all over the place.

Fairy Matron: Doesn't seem like such a good card until you realize a few things:
- With the "draw a card ability, this is essentially a 2 mana card for 1 mana.
- Resist + 2 health can withstand a Fire Bolt, and so it actually makes this a pretty decent blocker.
- The Matron is a Fairy card herself, so if you own a Quickdraw Cannon, you can exploit her for a double or triple combo.
- There ARE some dangerous Fairy cards out there that this can be used to draw, such as Mana Sprite or Syplh Assassin.

Frost Bark Ent: A beast but it is unlikely that you can afford its mana cost until you have a T3 and a lot of other cards.

Tower Of Gnomes: Combined with Consume Soul it becomes a giant health package for Uunys. Not much benefit elsewhere, probably not even in stall/gear decks.

Seraph Warrior: Supposed to be a good card for Belnir, I haven't really seen many of them run it.

Corrode: A really bad card currently, maybe if Resist becomes more commonplace it will be more useful. Against Belnir maybe?

Purifying Light: Not enough negative effects in the game usually to benefit from it. Against Ravinova maybe?

Ghostly Empowerment: I haven't tried this much - a conditional max +3 for 2 mana, maybe useful if you play an all-Mystical creature deck. (Given that a row of Mystical Resist blockers - 2x Ward Mage, 3x Fairy Matron, Illusionist etc. - is the standard answer against Elemental heroes, perhaps it could be an interesting tool to turn a defensive into an offensive game.)

Weaken: Can be handy. I'll leave it to you to decide if you want it. Nothing more beautiful than reducing an enemy to 0 attack, or weakening a creature that was equally matched with yours a moment before, but the cost is still too much in most cases. Try for Disarm from EVE instead.

Grizzle Beast: Since it dies if ANY creature enters (whether you or the enemy plays it), it is really only useful if A. your enemy already has a full row of creatures on their side, B. you can Haste it, C. you have access to a spell called Dark pact from EVE (Epic, just saying).

Tenacious Demon: Fliers are always costly, which makes them look bad to most players. However, a 3/3 FLier is a bigger benefit than you may realize, and this bad boy can win you games if you drop it wisely. Note that the card has hidden Dust: it is returned to your deck, ergo it also doesn't leave a corpse. It will likely be too costly to play in your initial decks though, and it's player specific if you want to use it even later.

A word on Flying:

Most players seem confused whether this ability has any real utility, so I'll clarify how it is supposed to played.

Always drop your Flier into an unopposed slot. Then, when the enemy drops a counter creature, you can first attack over their head, and then on their turn your creature will still act as a blocker.

Spirit Sprite is excellent at this as it does not leave a corpse after it blocks, so you do not have to move it even if the opposing creature is so big that it will stay alive. Tenacious Demon is similarly good, it is very rarely that the enemy can conjure up a creature big enough to kill this and stay standing, and so you won't usually need to move it either (and remember, it leaves no corpse either).

The best of your early Fliers is going to be Steel Beak. In early games, usually I'm OK with the counter creature staying standing after it blocked: Armoya's Shot ability or a Fire Bolt can round up the damage dealt by the Beak, and so you will not survive a drawback because of its corpse. Never move a Flier unless it is too small to kill on block and you have no removal, and never drop it as a simple blocker in front of an enemy unless you have no other creature as these waste its ability.

akerson

Whade -- are you a forum moderator? I'll mix both our posts together if you are (i agree with everything you say) so you can edit whenever and we stay concise. Otherwise when i update mine for 0.9 I'll just say refer to this post for the questions.

whade
whade's picture

Sure, just do whichever! If you or someone wants to add Belnir/Grovenhold/Ravinova in more detail, that would be cool too.

markmistr
markmistr's picture

Few Comments/Fixes:

1) Getting Gems - Some of the achievements are worth much more than 1 or 2. The first 6 just have to do with playing/winning battles and can net a total of 47 gems. There are free surveys or offers you can do on Kongregate for gems - unfortunately there is no access to them if you signed up to play through the main website.

2) Ghostly Empowerment is a bit better than you think because it gives you +1 for each ally mystical creature - so for a max of +3. I tested it to make sure :-)

whade
whade's picture

Thanks, I added the corrections!

Not sure about whether I should be recommending the surveys - admittadly I have not tried these, but those I heard thought whether they were legit were a bit ambigous.

If someone has tried them, we should definitely add that info to the topic as well!

whade
whade's picture

Awesome update!

Now I don't have to worry about people reading the old hero gem prices. :)

Grrwaaa
Grrwaaa's picture

Mattias' Guide for New Players
Mattias Grendelson’s Newbies Guide to Kingdoms CCG

Introduction:

Hi there, and welcome to one of the coolest CCGs around, my name is Mattias Grendelson and I’ve been playing now over 80 days in a row. Before Kingdoms I dabbled in other online CCGs such as the late, lamented Warstorm (Challenge/Zynga), Elements, Tyrant, Mystic Warlords of Ka’a and many more. In terms of IRL card games, the first one I ever played was the Star Trek CCG from Decipher (which many would consider the second big hit in CCGs after Magic). I collected or played UDE Versus, Harry Potter, WCW Nitro and Pirates of the Caribbean Quickstrike. In miniatures I played Heroclix and Pirates of the Spanish Main. For over five years I moderated at Pojo.com under the name “WildWill” and I was a featured writer on the main site. I’ve proofread one of Pojo’s Guides to Yugioh and also published my own “WildWill’s Guide to WizKids Pirates of the Spanish Main”.

So, having established that I am no newbie when it comes to CCGs and TCGs, I feel like I can share some insight to our newer players and perhaps help them along a bit.

First let’s establish some basics with a FAQ:

1. What is Kingdoms CCG?
Simply put, it’s an online Collectible Card Game produced by Antic entertainment available on three different platforms. You can play on Kongregate Games, Armor Games or the Antic Games website. Each platform is linked to the others, and while it’s possible to own multiple accounts, it’s highly discouraged. However, if you start on one platform and wish to move to another (I myself started on Kongregate and then created my own profile on Antic) that is fine, but you can't convert your account to another platform.

2. What is a CCG?
Ah COLLECTIBLE CARD GAME. There is no trading currently, and while Antic has said publically that they are looking at adding a trading portion, it’s not happening any time soon. A CCG is, according to Wikipedia: “is a game played using specially designed sets of playing cards. While trading cards have been around for longer, CCGs combine the appeal of collecting with strategic gameplay.”

3. What’s the basic game-play?
You control a Hero who has access to a number of creatures, spells and gear that you control in order to defeat your enemy heroes. Each player constructs a deck out of cards representing characters in the world. Each card has a mana cost, each turn a hero generates a certain number of mana (typically 2) with which they can cast creatures, spells, gear or rune words. Winning the game is a combination of mana-usage and strategy, with a bit of luck added in.

4. How do I get more cards?
You buy them in packs of 6 typically. The two in-game currencies are Gold and Gems. Gold is awarded for winning matches and getting bonuses. A veteran player can earn upwards of 25,000 gold per day, so don’t worry that you’re spending too much. Gems can be purchased for real-world cash, or are awarded for in-game achievements or bonuses. There are very few items in the game that can’t be purchased for both Gold or Gems, so it’s important to save your gems for the really BIG purchases.

5. How do I know what pack to buy?
There are several different formats of packs to buy currently. There are two major sets (140+ cards) as of now, CORE, the original set, and EVE the first expansion. Additionally there are Promo Cards which are unlocked by completing the Campaign, and also Guild Cards that are unlocked by winning Guild Battles.

In the beginning you’re going to want to stick to CORE GOLD packs or silver/bronze if you so desire. GOLD CORE packs are 5000 gold, which is fairly easy to come up with, and guarantee you 1 Rare, 2 Uncommon and 3 Common. 1 in 20 packs will have an Epic card instead of a Rare. Silver packs are 2 uncommon and 4 common, Bronze are all commons. In your early stages you can certainly bulk up your deck with the cheaper packs, but in the long run you will end up with multiple copies of every non-Rare/non-Epic. SO it’s really up to you whether or not you want to spend money on non-Rares.

As to whether or not to buy EVE packs, WAIT. Or at least wait until you have a few Core Rares first. The 5,000 Gold EVE pack doesn’t guarantee a Rare, and uncommon and common EVE cards tend to be more situational than their counterparts in Core, so it’s not wise to purchase EVE packs too quickly. Get a feel for the game first.

The latest set released a few weeks ago and is called "Rise of the DemiGods". While there are some great cards in this set, it's not for new players, and I'd recommend that you collect at least 130 Core and 50 EVE before you start with Rise.

6. What are the rarities?
Common, Uncommon, Rare, Epic, Legendary. Bronze Borders are Common Cards, now while they are common that doesn’t mean there aren’t decent cards, there are some staple cards that virtually every deck can use in the common set (Mana Flask for one). Uncommons can also be excellent and are typically better in play than commons. Rares are gold bordered, and typically represent very strong cards, however, they can also be very situational and as such you might not have any use for a specific rare in your deck. Same with Epics. Legendary cards are extremely powerful, but so far are only available as either a guild reward (Archmage) or in the latest pack RISE of the DemiGods.

7. What about these Kingdoms?
There are six kingdoms (or colors) in this game, Holy, Ancient, Mystical, Alchemy, Undead, Elemental and an additional Unaligned kingdom. The cards in each kingdom tend to follow a specific pattern of play, which is one of the fun things to discover about this game. Each Kingdom has an opposing Kingdom which is the only Kingdom that a Hero cannot play. For example, the opposing kingdom for Holy is Undead; A Holy Hero cannot have any Undead cards in their deck.

8. What are Heroes?
Think of them as your squad leader, your deck commander, your, well, HERO. This is YOUR personification on the field. When you begin you will have the Tier 1 Hero Unaligned Amorya. As you progress through the Story campaign you will unlock and be given the other 6 T1 Heroes, so that by the end of the Story mode you have all the Tier 1 Heroes. Once you finish the Story campaign you will be allowed to purchase a Tier 2 or Tier 3 Hero.

8a. So which Hero should I choose?
This is a question that gets asked every single day, and is the one question that I decided to write this guide to answer.

The simplest answer is - use whichever hero fits best with the cards that you’ve obtained. I know that’s kind of a cop-out, but it’s really the truth. As you go through Story mode, what I recommend that you do is try out all the different kingdoms as you get their heroes. Chapter 1 in Story Mode is against the Undead, and you are rewarded with the T1 Undead Hero Armarus once you finish it. For Chapter 2 I recommend that you switch to your new Hero and continue the same way until you finish Story mode. Story mode can be finished in relatively short time, usually less than a few hours.

You may want to build your deck around whatever Epic cards you pull first as well, and there are good resources, such as the “Is this Epic Good” thread in the forums that will help you choose a hero based on the Epics that you own.

8b. What are these Hero Stars?
Hero stars are earned by you as you achieve certain goals while playing with that hero. For example, for your T1 Unaligned Hero Amorya you get your first star after your first 3 wins with her. T1 Heroes can earn 6 stars apiece. T2 and T3 can earn 12 stars. Stars give your heroes ability points in their special powers. Once you've earned a star, on your hero page you can assign that point to whichever power you like. T1 heroes have two powers and a stat boost, T2 and T3 have 3 powers and a stat boost. Since several of the stars are based on using your powers, I suggest you power up first and then assign points towards stats.

It is also important to note that if you purchase your T2 or T3 heroes with Gems you receive a fully powered up Hero, and don't have to earn the stars. Stars are also important because they unlock certain functions in the game. The T2 Unaligned Hero Shadow can only be purchased once you've earned 75 stars with other heroes. Stars also unlock extra Energy Upgrades and Extra Deck Slots.

9. Energy Upgrades and Extra Deck Slots
In the store under the upgrade tab you have the option of purchasing additional energy upgrades and extra deck slots, some can be purchased with gold, though all but the first upgrades will cost gems. Whether or not you should purchase those upgrades are up to you, but I definitely recommend that at some point you max out your energy upgrades, which means you have a maximum energy of 125. Energy is NOT used during your initial run throughs of the campaign, all the way through Insane mode, so it is unlikely that you will need more than the initial 50 energy for quite a while. Once you finish Insane mode you may wish to purchase some energy upgrades, however, be careful that you only purchase them with a depleted energy counter, because they immediately fill you up as well.
Currently the only use for Energy is for Arena PVP as Antic has removed the energy cost from Guild Wars. Any player with a maxed energy can tell you that they virtually never go through their energy anymore. Well, unless they play hardcore PVP all day. Energy will become important again with the upcoming change in the campaign

10. What should I spend my Gems on?
Another FREQUENTLY Asked Question here, and the simple answer is T3 Heroes and other Singles that you can’t get with Gold. When you purchase a T2 or T3 hero with Gems rather than Gold you get maxed abilities and a free pack of cards. This is a huge bonus and should not be overlooked. By the time you are finished with all three modes of the campaign you should have more than enough Gems for your first T3 hero. Spend it on that. DO NOT buy packs of cards with gems and try not to buy singles with Gems until you’ve gotten your T3.

11. When should I buy a T3?
After you buy and play with a T2 for awhile.
There is a definite learning curve and strength creep built into this game. The game is not designed for you to jump around it's really designed for you to follow the pre-designed power creep (the cards gain in strength from common to epic, and the heroes from T1 to T3).

12. What other play options are there besides the Campaign?
There’s several different “Arenas” for Player Vs. Player live combat, which is the best thing this game has to offer. The “Beginner” arena pits your deck against an opponnent’s deck controlled by the game’s Artificial Intelligence or AI. The AI, while it has been recently upgraded, still is nowhere near as good as a human player and doesn’t offer the same challenge. However, Beginner is a good place to get the feel for PVP and to earn some money.

After Beginner there is Limited, Standard and Rotating Rules. Each has their own plusses and minusses. I usually recommend that you play in Beginner enough to get the feel and then graduate to Limited since the playing field is somewhat more even. In Standard there are no restrictions on decks, other than 40-60 card. In Rotation the rules change every 50 hours or so, and there are bonuses for where you are on the ladder at the end of the rotation.

Besides the fun of playing PVP the other reason to join a PVP arena is the win bonus. Every day you get a bonus for the first 25 PVP battles that you win. So not only do you get a reward for winning the battle, but you get a bonus as well (it’s 150 for non-beginner arenas, I forget what the Beginner Arena bonus is). Once you’ve been playing awhile you want to make sure you get your 25 bonuses each day.

13. What about Guilds?
Guilds are groups of players who form a “team” and fight other “teams” in Guild Wars. This isn’t for a beginner players, and I would recommend that you don’t even bother with guilds until you’ve been playing for at least a month.

14. Tournaments?
Not yet, coming soon.

15. Trading?
Not yet, maybe never.

16. Halloween Pack?
There was a promotional pack of cards available over the Halloween Holiday week containing four Unaligned Cards, The Rare Bloodsire, Epic Erratic Werewolf, and the uncommon spells Trick and Treat. If bought with cash these cards are “limited editions”. They are no longer available in the store, however, they may return next Halloween.

17. Limited Editions?
When the Expansions EVE and RISE were released those who purchase a “box” of 10 packs with Gems were given “Limited Edition” versions of the cards. It’s cosmetic.

18. Foiling?
If you obtain a certain number of the same card you can “foil” them by spending some gems. THIS IS STRICTLY A COSMETIC ENHANCEMENT and doesn’t affect the cards’ game-play at all.

19. Chat Room?
There is a chat room attached to the game which is fairly active and enjoyable to participate in. You will get good game tips if you ask nicely. In the chat room each player will have an Icon next to their name indiciating what platform they are playing on. A silver sword means Kongregate or Armor Games. Gold sword is main site. A colored Crown indicates that the player belongs to one of the top 3 guilds. A Red M is a moderator, and a Blue/Orange Antic logo is one of the 5 developers of the game. The chat room is moderated and any bad behavior will result in a loss of chat privileges.

20. Forum?
Antic-Games has a fairly robust forum on which contests and other communication is located. The link is on the bottom bar of every page. I recommend that you create and account and read/post often.

21. Wiki?
Yup, there’s a full Wikipedia like encyclopedia as well, listing every card, every set and so on. Again the link is at the bottom of every page.

22. Crafting?
This just came into being today, and hasn't even gone into effect yet, why are you asking? There's a whole guide on crafting stickied above. Read it.

23. Featured Packs then?
Every day when the game server resets (which is currently at 4:00 PM PST), the featured singles and packs change on the front page of the store. Each day the featured pack will be one of the 6 Kingdoms for 25,000 gold. You will get 1 rare, 2 uncommon and 3 common all from the same Kingdom, from either EVE or CORE. You also have a 10% chance of getting an epic. Personally I'm not all that fond of these packs, as you are pay 5x the cost of a Core Gold, and you could actually receive nothing that you couldn't get out of a cheaper pack.

24. What about the Epic Pack then?
Now the Epic Pack I'm a big fan of, and have purchased more than a couple. This is the ONLY way you can guarantee an epic card that you can purchase for gold. For that reason alone I will save up all week to buy a couple on Sunday. Oh right, they only appear on Sunday afternoons after the server reset.
A current calendar can be found here: http://wiki.kingdomsccg.com/?q=node/1042

25. Promo Cards?
Kind of a misnomer to call them Promo Cards, they're more like "reward" cards. You unlock the ability to purchase reward cards by completing the Campaign. Currently 21 of the 23 rewards are unlocked by the time you finish Insane Mode. The other two, Realm-Sworn Bard and Abysmal Dragon are unlocked after purchasing their specific bundle with cash. Once you purchase the bundle you can buy them with gems or gold (though you already have one that came with the bundle).

The playability of the rewards cards varies from not at all to staple in certain deck types. The more playable promos include Relentless Bones, Ancient Ritual, Boltling and Frost Bark Ent. Remember once you unlock the promo you still have to buy it with gems or gold.

26. Daily Chance/Bonus?
Every day you log in you will get a chance to pick one in six chests which will have various prizes inside. The prizes range from gold to Epic Cards! YES, every once in awhile your chest might be an Epic Card! Additionally if you continue to log in daily without a break you will start to earn a TON of free gold and gems. After a certain number of days (I'm not sure what the number is, I'll find out and edit later) you will start getting 5 gems every 5 days! In between you get 250 gold just for logging in. Personally I choose the bottom right chest every day, that's where my Epic was a few weeks ago. But the chests and prizes are completely random, so your mileage will vary.

Getting Started Step-by-Step

Tutorial
1. Create a User Name, you get one shot at this so make it good. No spaces.
2. Do the tutorial. Antic has improved their tutorial lately, and now you get “Nomad” as your trainer.
3. After your first fight you get three commons: Fire Bolt, Long Sword and Rabid Wolf. These join your existing deck of 2 Black Bears, 2 Ravenous Gulls and 1 Armored Dillo. Your initial hero is the Unaligned T1 Amorya.
4. Battle #2 explains Gear and Spell cards. After this battle you are given a free pack of Silver Core Cards (4 commons, 2 uncommons).
5. Your final training fight will teach you how to move cards and defend instead of attacking. You will also be shown how to remove a corpse and how to banish a card from your hand. At the end of this fight you will earn the Holy Rare “Slayer of the Damned”

What to do now?
Here is the path that I recommend that you take in order to become a great player on Kingdoms

1. Finish the Campaign on Story Mode. It’s 60 challenges split up over the 10 different Kingdoms. You will earn quite a few gems.

2. Study your collection of cards and figure out which of the Kingdoms play-style you like best. Each of them HAS a different play-style as well, for example, Alchemy tends to be more Gear oriented with their T3 Hero Dravkas being the king of Gear Decks.

3. Go through the Hard Mode of Campaign with your T2 Hero. Again you’ll earn a ton of Gold on the way and you’ll be able to purchase a ton of packs. Hard mode shouldn’t take more than a day or game-play to finish.

4. If you have enough Gems by the end of Hard mode, buy a T3 Hero, if not don’t sweat it. Go through Insane mode, which can take awhile. It took me three weeks to finish Insane mode, back in August of this year. I was stuck on Chapter III forever.

5. Once you’ve finished Insane Campaign, start PVPing, if you haven’t already. Choose whichever arena suits your fancy, there are more than a few fans of each of them, and each offers a different style of play.

6. After you’ve been playing regularly for a few weeks or a month, join or found a guild. Sometimes it’s easier to found your own guild, because then you can be the KING and tell people what to do! The top guilds will not recruit newbies for the most part, but there are plenty of guilds out there. When you’re ready make an announcement in the chat room, or simply look for a guild with open slots.

7. Finally, just play! Play as much as you can, as often as you can, that’s the only way to get better. Sure you can spend lots of cash (and I hope you do) on the game and buy virtually every card, but being a “wallet warrior” doesn’t mean you’re a good player. Being a good player can simply be knowing what you have and making it work for you. You don’t HAVE to spend any money on this game to get good, but it will take time and effort on your part. Spending a few bucks on the starter packs (which I don’t really recommend) or the Dragon/Bard bundles can jump-start your playing career for only a few dollars.