PvP: Mistakes Made and Lessons Learned
I started seriously PvPing (well, as serious as one gets in Practice) recently. It started with reading every guide on Central so I'd know how wizards of certain schools attacked. Then I took my new knowlege into the Arena and tried it for myself.
Within the first half hour, I lost three out of four matches. All the strategies in the world couldn't help me because I didn't know how to *apply* it.
I always used my Theurgist for matches because I figured, "Hey, everyone loves a heal right?" Wrong. I was constantly bombarded with dispels, infections, and attacks. I didn't like how all of the agro was trained on me so I switched over to my Sorcerer.
And then there was the problem with my deck. I used to just throw in any and every card I had, with the philosophy, "It might come in handy." But when will you need seven Hydras, or five Reshuffles? I rearranged my deck with more advice from the guides on Central. I noticed all of them trained Tower Shield and they rarely had more than 4 copies of a card in their deck. I made adjustments accordingly.
It worked. I won more and found the cards I needed faster. And learned some important lessons along the way:
1. Don't talk.
It's a sure way for people to check your school, stats, gear and that gives your opponent important info. Some people will try to provoke or purposely taunt you into chatting. Don't give in. Meanwhile, you can check *their* info. Also, responding to taunts will just make matches more unfriendly and stressful to you. We're all here to have fun right?
2 Reshuffles will be enough for any duel. They will keep reshuffling each other in so you'll have an unlimited supply of cards. But be careful not to discard one of them. Only pack more if you're in team matches.
3. Minions are evil.
"What? That cute little Cyclops?" Yeah. They're the evilest things ever. Especially in 1v1, it's crucial to keep your opponent's minion out of play. I usually pack a few emergency Sandstorms in treasure for these cases. Each minion reflects their school's abilities and strength. The fire minion will keep up an endless stream of Fire Elves and the Myth minions rid shields. The Life minion, the Sprite, is a little healing factory. The Helpful Mander minion from Balance is indeed helpful, donating pips, buffing and shielding you, and trapping the opponent. If you're lucky, he may even use Sandstorm or Locust Swarm.
See? Minions are like evil in 4 pips.
4. As for shielding....
You've got a Tower Shield in the first round. Now what? Unless you're up against Storm (Bolt Alert!) you're not going to want to cast it. The opposing team can just wand it right off.
Now say you're up against a Balance. They've got blades around their heads and traps around your feet. They're at full pips. That is the perfect time to Tower Shield/Weakness because you can bet your jellybeans, they're gonna use Judgement next turn.
It's all about timing against your opponent's attacks. However, some people are like mind-readers. They don't attack when you think they will and catch you off guard. A lot of PvP is mental- analyzing, keeping track of cards, math. Be careful and consider wisely before clicking your cards.
5. Which wand?
Depends on your school. I used to run around with a Balance wand on my Sorcerer. Now it's either a storm or Fire wand. Why?
Storm is a strong part of Balance's spectral attacks (Hydra, Spectral Blast) so it could be helpful shieldbreaking for you. Before enchanted-treasure-cards were un-tradeable, people would carry Storm wands also to trick opponents to think they were bolters.
I only carry the Fire wand against Fire people because of Immolate. It's a deadly 4-pip spell that does about 700 to you and 250 to themselves. A lot of Fire wizards will put up a fire shield right before a huge Immolate to reduce damage to themselves. Carrying a Fire wand lets you get get rid of those shields.
Unless you're Life or Storm (both have no damage over time spells), you probably don't want to carry a wand of your own school. Why not? What if you've got blades and traps on them and they put a weakness or Tower shield on? Having a different-school wand lets you rid of that without destroying your own buffs in the process.
6. And lastly:
Beware of these 3 types of Arena-goers:
-Bolters: Mostly Storm people. They carry a deck packed with Wild Bolts and stuns, a deadly combo. I suggest wearing the amulet that gives you the 3 Storm shields.
-Chain stunning teams: Usually made up of Myth/Fire wizards who stun, then Earthquake to destroy Stun Blocks, and repeat.
-The Meanie-Beanies: Rude people who don't take a loss without a few choice words. Best solution: turn off chat bubbles.