oEtG Forum

FAQ/Guide to oEtG for veterans of original Elements and New Account Walkthrough

cg · 2 · 15113


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You can think of this as a tutorial of sorts written for people who are quite familiar with original Elements and looking to make the transition to oetg. This is not about how to play the game, and if you aren't coming from original Elements, this probably isn't for you (though it may still be helpful). Later on (much later on), I will probably transition this into a general FAQ or advanced rulebook.

For now, this will assume a relatively advanced knowledge of original Elements (on the level of a basic grasp of the existence of things like QI and UEI). If you're coming to oetg while not that deeply familiar with original Elements, please ask about anything you aren't comfortable with in the discord or in-game chat.

It isn't feasible to detail every single change from original to oetg. The game has been in development for six years and there have been dozens of rounds of nerfs and buffs. Please remember those changes are made in the context of oetg's meta, not original's, so changes that make sense for original might not here, and vice versa. This guide will focus more on the larger changes in game rules and economy. For the moment, this is mostly going to be a list of fairly scattered, loosely organized bullet points as I think of them, though I'll add a walkthrough for building a new account as well.

This should be considered a work in progress for the foreseeable future. I will add things to it when I think of them, probably without warning. I am also keeping this thread locked right now to make sure I can curate what goes in here, since there's a lot of misunderstandings about the game out there. Feel free to send me suggestions in discord, or we can also get a "guide improvement suggestions" thread going that I can pull from.

Spoiler for Decks and Deck Editor:
Spoiler for Deckbuilding:
  • Basic deckbuilding rules are the same as in original.
  • Just about everything from original still works even though we've buffed and nerfed everything and doubled the cards. We've been careful not to destroy any decks unless absolutely necessary. You can probably still grind with your decks straight from original without major problems. You can also probably improve them with new cards.
  • Will talk about this a whole lot more below, but the economy is totally different. Upgrades are much cheaper, since they are made by combining six unupped copies. Rarity is a much larger determinant of cost than upgraded status. You may have enough cards to upgrade a common just from your starter packs.
  • You can build a deck with cards you don't own. It can't be used in the normal game (though it can be used for custom games, discussed below). However, this means you can import decks you don't own all the cards for and see/save the whole deck, or plan ahead for what cards you need for the deck you want to build. Cards you don't own will be faded in the deck editor.
  • There is a lot of unexplored deckbuilding space. Unlike original, there is a lot of creativity and innovation still in front of us. New, meta-shattering deck combos are relatively frequently discovered using cards that have been in place for years.
Spoiler for Saving Decks:
  • The numbers 1-10 in the upper right of the main menu are quick deck slots. You can store different decks in each. Most starter options come with decks saved in slots 1-3.
  • You can delete a saved deck by saving it while there are no cards in it.
  • Save a deck by exiting the editor or switching to another saved deck.
  • "Revert" button will discard changes for your saved deck since it was last saved. Remember that switching to another deck saves the one you switched away from.
  • You can store a functionally infinite number of decks. In the deck editor, you can hit the "decks" button to bring up a list of your saved decks, which will initially only be your numbered quickslot decks.
  • You can add more decks by typing a name and hitting create.
  • You can save decks to quickslots using the "Bind to #" button and then picking a quickslot.
  • The quickslot is a link to the deck, not actually a slot itself. It starts out linked to a deck named "1", "2", etc.
  • This means if you don't want your slots named 1,2,3, you can bind a deck saved with the deck's name to the quickslot.
Spoiler for Deck Editor:
  • See the "Saving Decks" section for the Decks button, Revert button, and Bind to # button.
  • The row of element icons between the deck and your collection is mark selection. The box next to mark selection is import/export.
  • Deck codes are shorter here. There should be a code converter to convert original deck codes into oetg deck codes somewhere. If we're lucky, oetg may even start supporting importing original deck codes again like it used to.
  • The row of element icons in the lower left are filters. The symbols next to the element filters are rarity filters.
  • The rarity filters, from top to bottom:
    • Pillar rarity - this filter is used for "show all rarities"
    • Common
    • Uncommon
    • Rare
    • Shard - this filter includes nymph/mark, which is actually a separate rarity above shard
  • Show All/Auto Hide will toggle between showing only the cards you own and showing all of the cards (with a 0 next to ones you don't own). Defaults to only showing what you own. This lets you build decks with (or just read through) cards you don't own yet. This, combined with custom battles, more or less takes the place of original's sandbox.
  • Toggle Shiny will allow you to choose not to use your shiny cards first when building a deck. Defaults to using as many shiny cards as you have before using non-shiny versions.

Spoiler for Major in-game rules changes:
  • Don't really know where else to put this, but there are keyboard shortcuts. 1-8 will play the card from that slot in your hand. w is target opponent. s is target yourself. Between matches, w will pick "rematch". Space still passes turn.
  • Just about everything can target just about everything. Within reason (usually). Things that obviously only target a certain type of thing still only target that type of thing (e.g. deflag still only deflags permanents). But you can cast heal on your opponent. You can cast plague on your side of the field.
  • Lots of things that could only target creatures or players can now target both creatures and players.
  • Lots of things that could only target creatures can also target weapons.
  • You can cancel active abilities before you select a target and you'll get the quanta back and everything.
  • Lots of things that may have been loboable aren't, or vice versa. A lot more things lobo (or replace actives)
  • Quanta pool cap is 99 per element.
  • Quanta draining/scrambling randomly selects quanta weighted by how many of each type you have
  • Nocturnal and aquatic are now attributes like airborne/ranged. Things like nightfall buff nocturnal creatures instead of only death/darkness creatures.
  • Mulligan is now manual and repeatable. You draw one less card per redraw.

Spoiler for PvE:
Spoiler for The AI Itself:
  • The AI is way smarter than in original. It's creative. Quite a few decks and combos have been discovered because a champion AI thought to combine them before a player did.
  • Instead of having a set of rules for how to play each card, the AI considers every move it has available and looks for what combinations of moves produce the best end state, and then selects that one.
  • Original-style AI abuse is much less functional, though still possible at some level. It can figure out how to work around most things you throw at it.
  • It cheats. Because of how it works, it currently will know the outcome of random events that occur on its turn when selecting its move. It will therefore appear a lot luckier than a player, and random cards are more effective when used by the AI.
  • To balance that, it doesn't think ahead. It looks at how it can end its turn with a better board state than it started with, but doesn't pay much attention to how the turns affect each other.
Spoiler for Regular AI Modes:
  • Every AI mode (besides custom and quests) is a viable grinding target. Using bonuses and streaks (see Economy section), we aim to keep all the various AI targets approximately equally profitable. They are usually within a handful of percent of each other, though balance ebbs and flows as new things are found and balance changes occur. What AI you fight against is more of a matter of preference than grinding efficiency.
  • Commoner is roughly equivalent to AI2, though the decks are better. It is unupped and random. Easiest AI mode. A smart player can easily defeat this even with starter cards. Becomes profitable when played with a very fast deck that can maintain a high win streak (95+%). High 20+ game win streaks are possible with starter decks, and pay well.
  • Mage is closest to AI3. The decks are again better, there are more of them, and they have 125 hp, though they're still fully unupped. The decks are handmade and have coherent strategies, and the AI is smart enough to play them well. Accessible from the beginning, though you'll lose some games. With very strong decks, they can also be rushed with a high win streak (though most decks won't go above 85%, sometimes 90%). Also profitable early on without worrying about streaks.
  • Champion is similar to AI4. Like commoner, the random decks are better built. It is a mix of upped and unupped. Between the higher quality deckbuilding and the much stronger AI, it is a fairly challenging target. It's possible from the beginning but you are likely to lose more than you win. Late game, it's possible to beat it relatively fast or relatively reliably, but it's very hard to do both. With bonuses, both fast, low win rate decks and slower, more sturdy decks are effective grinding paths.
  • Demigod is false god, except the decks are overall meaner and the AI is smarter. The gold profit is a lot higher because the value of upped cards is much lower. It is no longer the best AI target by a wide margin, though it is consistently still a top earner. At the time of this writing, it is slightly unbalanced in its content, and we will be adding quite a few new DGs in the near future.
Spoiler for Arena:
  • Instead of basing arena level and powers on score, there are just two arenas. Every account can submit to both arenas simultaneously.
  • Arena 1 is roughly silver. Submitted decks are unupped only. Decks are typically either (a) 110 hp and double draw, or (b) 200 hp and 2x mark, though other builds are possible.
  • Arena 2 is roughly platinum. Submitted decks may use both unupped and upped. Decks are typically 200 hp and double draw, though other builds are again possible.
  • Submitted decks get a number of "stat points" (A2 gets more than A1). One point buys 55 HP or +1x mark. Three points buys double draw.
  • Submitting a new deck pays you some gold. You will get an amount based on how long you left the deck in there, up to 7 days, linearly. Submitting a new deck when your old one is 6 days old is the same amount of profit as submitting a new deck each day for 6 days. You also get money when your deck is played by anyone else.
  • Each arena currently holds 20 submissions. This will go up as there are more active submissions.
  • Decks lose maxhp as they age like in original. Here, things cap at 50% loss, so no 1hp decks.
  • As decks age, they also have an "age tax", which is a negative profit modifier, to reflect the faster battles. It is still a viable grinding target even with the tax.
Spoiler for Colosseum:
  • I'm going to go back and forth between saying "colosseum" and "coliseum" because I don't feel like putting the effort in to going through this guide and making them consistent. Please don't worry about pointing out the inconsistency to me. The game calls it "colosseum". The english word is "coliseum". The "Colosseum" is the particular falling-over one in Italy. The generic word that is roughly a synonym for "stadium" is "coliseum". End etymology lesson.
  • Coliseum is basically an expanded version of original's oracle false god prediction.
  • Speaking of oracle, this seems like a good place to mention you get a free card every day like you do from oracle. It just happens the first time you log on each day (server rollover is 0 GMT) and shows you what card you got on the main menu. You can get a shiny nymph at around the same rate as original's oracle nymphs. While regular nymphs are obtainable through packs, shiny nymphs are only available through the daily card and through reward codes, like in original.
  • Coliseum has four events. If you complete at least one of them, you will also get a bonus that grows substantially if you continue completing at least one event every day. Since some events are repeatable until you beat them, it's always possible to continue a streak of daily bonuses.
  • All four colosseum events are free to attempt. All four reset daily.
  • Novice endurance is three commoner battles in a row. You don't heal between the battles. You can repeat this until you win. Rewards 150 gold.
  • Expert endurance is two champion battles in a row. You do heal between the battles. Even still, this is the hardest event. Fortunately, you can also repeat this one until you win. Rewards 500 gold.
  • Novice and expert duels are predictions of mage decks and demigod decks respectively. Expert duel is functionally exactly the oracle FG prediction, except with a separate button to access it. We have demigod prediction decks listed on this forum. Duels can only be attempted once per day. They reward the standard rewards for that target plus a significant premium. Novice averages about 125 or so, and demigod closer to 500, plus the card you spin.
  • If you successfully complete all four events in a single day, in addition to the individual event rewards, you will also receive a (non-shiny) nymph as a bonus. It doesn't matter how many tries the endurance battles take you to complete, but you will be unable to get the bonus nymph if you fail either of the one-try duels.
Spoiler for Quests:
  • Quests are pre-built pve battles against static (usually) opponents, often with stories. These can be created by the community with relatively low effort and can be added more or less indefinitely.
  • Many more will be coming.
  • They are generally repeatable, though you will only get a prize the first time. Prizes for the battles vary.
  • The really-actually-new-to-this-game tutorial is in here.
  • There's a "Proving Grounds" questline that has medium difficulty battles that reward you a choice of cards of various types (e.g. pick a shard, pick a nymph, pick two upped towers, etc.)
Spoiler for Custom AI:
  • You can play free games whenever you want against AIs or against any deck you specify.
  • You can use decks containing cards you don't own. You can use decks that break deckbuilding rules (e.g. a 20 card deck with 15 lightning bolts.)
  • Basically sandbox.
  • Things like 1v1v1 and 2v2 are possible. Not very tested right now.
  • You can change stats (HP, mark, draw power, deck multiplier). Deck multiplier is the deck doubling that comes with double draw in original. In custom you can separate the two, so you can play 5x deck 1x draw, or 5x draw 1x deck.
« Last Edit: September 06, 2019, 03:18:37 pm by serprex »


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Spoiler for PvP:
Spoiler for General comments on PvP:
  • Like in PvE, most original decks still work just fine. Classic original pvp decks with absolutely no modifications have been top performers in most leagues.
  • Most of the time PvP is still unupped, though there's no reason that needs to continue to be the case.
  • PvP meta is a lot less explored here due to the smaller pbase. However, the much stronger AI means PvP quality is a lot easier to determine from AI battles.
Spoiler for Events and Tournaments:
  • They happen sometimes.
  • At the moment they basically happen whenever there's 4-6 people who say they want to be in one. If you want to be in one, say so.
  • Prizes similar to original, including nymphs/marks. While we have a low player base, I have lately been bumping up the lower prizes to ensure everyone that participates walks away with a healthy reward even if they don't do well.
  • The most common event has been league, which functions similar to on original, though with lower requirements to enter. These tend to run monthly any time there are enough people expressing an interest.
  • Real time tournaments (with prizes) can be organized on the fly at any time there's enough participants, so speak up.
Spoiler for Custom PvP:
  • Custom AI, but with another person.
  • Or 2v2. Or 1v1v1.
  • Can still break the rules. So you can PvP as a demigod. Or with 15 card decks. Have fun.

Spoiler for Cards, Economy, Collecting, and Trading:
Spoiler for Upgrades and Shinies:
  • Six unupped copies makes an upped copy. There is no gold cost.
  • Except pillars/pends. You have unlimited unupped pillars pends. Upgraded towers/pendulums cost 50 gold.
  • You can downgrade an upped card into six unupped cards. There is also no gold cost. So you can swap them back and forth.
  • In fact, there are buttons on the upgrade screen to do this for you quickly. "Autoconvert" will go through your collection and make sure you have six unupped copies of every card and otherwise make as many upgraded cards as you can. "Full convert" makes as many upgraded copies as you are able with your collection without reserving any. So if you want to play upped, full convert. When you want to pvp, autoconvert and you'll have an unupped playset available. If you don't mind swapping back and forth, there's no longer a need to own both upped and unupped playsets.
  • A functional playset requires 36 unupped copies of each card (six upped copies that you can autoconvert to an unupped set).
  • A full playset requires 42 unupped copies of each card.
  • Remember that you can build and store decks with cards you don't currently have so your saved decks won't be ruined if you autoconvert or fullconvert some cards in them. You can build unupped pvp decks and then fullconvert to go grind the AI.
  • Shinies are a thing.
  • Six unupped cards make an unupped shiny. Six upped cards or six unupped shinies make an upped shiny. So a full set of upped shinies requires 216 unupped copies of each card.
  • Shinies are purely aesthetic. They are price-wise a second tier of upgrade, but they do not change the card in any way.
  • Except they invert its color and make it shimmer. Some of them also have alternate art.
  • This is the current long-term grindable collectible. Comments about why in "economy".
Spoiler for Rarities:
  • Instead of all unupgraded cards costing basically the same and all upgraded cards costing basically the same, card cost now varies with card rarity.
  • Rarities don't particularly correlate with power. In fact, I would personally say commons contain the most "powerful" cards. Rarity roughly correlates to how complicated or weird a card is, or to whether you'll typically want a lot of copies of them in your deck.
  • Commons are worth 1.375g each unupped, and 8.25g upped. They are easiest to get from bronze packs. They are typically very basic, straightforward staple cards. Many 6-ofs are common.
  • Uncommons are worth 5g each unupped, and 30g upped. They are easiest to get from silver packs. They are typically more complex cards and support cards.
  • Rares are worth 30g each unupped, and 180g upped. They are easiest to get from gold packs. They are often niche cards, in-element weapons, and things like miracle that are often used with lower copies.
  • Shards are their own rarity, worth 35g each unupped, and 210g upped. They mostly come from platinum packs.
  • Nymphs are also a separate rarity. Nymph packs cost 250g and have a 100% chance to give you the nymph you want, so you can functionally purchase nymphs straight across for gold. Upped ones are made by combining six unupped, just like most other cards. Nymphs were made purchaseable to ensure that pvp was available at an equal footing. Shiny nymphs have the same rarity and means of acquisition as nymphs in original for the collectors.
  • When I talk about card cost or card value (and when the game talks about it), it's derived from a bronze pack. Packs are discussed more below, but a bronze pack costs 15g and contains 10 commons which each have a chance to become an uncommon. So, the price of a common would be 1.5g, but after factoring in the value of the chance to become an uncommon, it becomes 1.375g per common. Then, knowing the value of a common, you can look at a silver pack, subtract the value of the commons, and determine the value of the remaining uncommons (factoring in the chance to upgrade rarity). Repeat for gold and platinum.
  • Pillars/pendulums are their own rarity. You have unlimited unupped pillars and pendulums for free. Upped towers/pends cost 50g each. They are one of the best places to put your first handful of gold.
  • Note that an unupped rare costs 30g while an upped common only costs a bit over 8. One of the biggest things you can do for yourself is force yourself to stop thinking an upped card costs an entire unupped deck. You could have two unupped arsenics or you could have six upped giant frogs plus two upped long swords for about the same price.
Spoiler for Card Packs:
  • There is essentially one pack quality for each rarity, and it is easiest to get each rarity from their corresponding quality. Meaning the highest proportion of your money will go to cards of that rarity.
  • Bronze=common, silver=uncommon, gold=rare, platinum=shard, nymph=nymph.
  • You can also select an element focus. Or, you can select "chroma" (upper left), which will mean chroma (e.g. short sword) focus. Or, you can select random (lower right), which will mean no focus. Besides random, the focus you choose will be approximately 50% of the cards in any pack you buy. The others will be random elements.
  • Cards in a pack have a chance to upgrade (once) to the next level of rarity. Each pack has about the same chance of having a rarity upgrade in it, regardless of how many cards are in the pack.
  • You can bulk buy packs. Beyond a certain number of cards, it won't show anything when you clicked buy (because you bought too many cards to render on the screen). Watch your gold go down. You bought it and can look at what you bought in editor.
  • Your starter account came with some free packs which you should redeem if you haven't already. You should have gotten at least one each of bronze/silver/gold.
  • This seems like a fine place to mention that every starter element's starting cards value is within three seconds of grinding time of any other starter, so you don't have to worry about any choice starting with more money.
Spoiler for Trading and Bazaar:
  • You can trade with people.
  • You can also trade gold (i.e. buy/sell) directly.
  • Bazaar is also a thing, which is a public buy/sell market for cards.
  • In bazaar, you can sell cards at any price you want, and other players can browse the offers and buy what they want if they like the price.
  • You can also put up "buy" orders for cards that aren't for sale, and people can see they are wanted and have the option of selling you the card at the price you requested.
  • Bazaar will also allow you to sell cards back "to the bank" straight for gold without waiting for another player. Bazaar lists an auto-sell price for each card. Anything you put up for sale for that price or lower will be automatically purchased by the bazaar.
  • Some, but very few, cards are bound to your account. You cannot trade or sell bound cards. Most notably, your starter cards are bound, so you can't just farm starter cards and trade them to your main. I think daily cards are also bound? Shiny nymphs are I'm pretty sure. That's probably about it. (edit: serp reminds me daily cards rarer than common are account-bound.) Maybe some quest rewards? I don't remember. But basically almost nothing. But if you are trying to sell/trade your last copy of something and you can't, that's probably why.
Spoiler for The Economy and Money:
  • First, just note that any time I'm talking about original's economy, I'm talking about original's economy after the most recent content patch back in like 2012 or whenever. With fully functional, lively, and frequently shifting arenas. I am not talking about the current free-money-button in arena that exists in original.
  • The oetg economy is built to make pvp very accessible. If you like having a pvp advantage from luck or grinding, this will annoy you. Sorry.
  • It is quite possible to have a full unupped pvp playset (including nymphs and shards) the day you create your account. It doesn't even take all day. If you focus on building the like 20 pvp decks you want most, you can be done in a couple hours.
  • Upped takes quite a bit longer, but it's still much faster than original (pre-broken arena remember). A full upped playset could probably still be done in a week but it might be pretty grueling. Two weeks is certainly an option.
  • Shinies exist as the long term grinding goal currently. It takes a very long time (similar to, possibly longer than, full TE in original with functioning arena).
  • We hope to add additional long term collection goals, including alternate art.
  • However, anything that affects in-game performance will remain easy to get. This won't be either pay-to-win or grind-to-win. Grind-to-show-off. That's all.
  • If you don't like to grind and just like pvp, you'll be done grinding about when you figure out what 1/3 of the cards you don't recognize do. If you do like to grind, you have a lot of collecting to do and can show off what you collect.
  • The goal is for every AI target to be a viable grinding target. Every archetype should be a viable grinding archetype (within reason). This isn't perfectly completed, but it's pretty close. You can make good money grinding commoners. You can make good money playing stalls.
  • A lot of that is win streaks. Your reward will go up for win streaks within a target. The rate and the cap depend on the target. Your streak saves with the specific target and will remain even if you go do something else or log out.
  • There are also a lot of bonuses for performance in a battle. Think EM except for a lot more things than having full health. There's a full list of them somewhere in here. Bonuses are also where your ending hp is calculated.
  • After-game bonuses (including coliseum bonus for the two duel battles, and age tax in arena) are additive. So if you have a +50% lots-of-hp bonus, +400% coliseum bonus, and +30% for decking them out, you get +480%. If you have a +100% lots-of-hp bonus and a -50% arena age tax, you have a +50% bonus. Overall bonus is applied to the target's base reward to calculate your final gold reward. Win streak bonus, unlike everything else, is multiplicative with the other bonuses.
  • You automatically successfully spin exactly one card from every opponent you defeat. Shards and nymphs can't be spun (no relics - it'll just spin something else). Pillars/pends/towers can't either.
  • Original has UEI. Oetg has OUEI. It stands for openEtG UEI. OUEI is very different from UEI in one exceptionally important manner. UEI is gold per hour. OUEI is gold per second. Yes. It's not a joke. It may have once been a joke.
  • But it isn't a joke. It's actually an extremely handy way of looking at gold gain. You can also convert OUEI into gold/hour (multiply by 3600). 2.8 OUEI is about 10k gold/hour.
  • I said it's handy because in practice, an OUEI between 0 and 1 is not a good grinding deck. 1 and 2 is early game profitable or late game untuned decks. Anything between 2 and 3 is good. If it's between 3 and 4, we are probably going to look at it closely to see if it's OP. If it's steadily above 4, it's almost definitely OP.
  • OUEI is very personal at the moment, since it's based on your actual time. There's a large amount of YMMV.
  • On that note, though, the game will take stats (including full OUEI) for you, in the stats tab. You can copy that output into a spreadsheet linked on the forum and it will spit out all the stats of your run for you automatically, no effort required.
  • There's also AOUEI (abstracted OUEI) which I haven't released yet, which depersonalizes the very personal OUEI in basically the same manner that UEI is abstracted across players.
  • Whole bunch of decks tested in the forums if you're looking for ideas. Lots of stuff changes though so tests are not necessarily still accurate.
  • oEtG doesn't have score. oEtG has wealth, which is roughly similar. Wealth is the total value of all cards on your account plus the total value of unspent gold on your account. As I mentioned, the value of cards is set to the amount of gold you pay to get them out of packs, so your total wealth is basically equal to the net total gold you have won from the game.
  • The game refers to "ZE" or "SZE" (and tracks your progress towards these goals automatically). These stand for, respectively, "Zero Edition" and "Shiny Zero Edition". "Zero" is in contrast to original's "basic edition" and "trainer edition" nuances - ZE is six of every card (upped and unupped) but doesn't automatically count your towers/pends. SZE is the same thing but for shinies.
  • If you use the "library" button on the main menu (without anyone's name in the "player" text box), it will show you your collection and add some extra stats breaking down your current collection progress. You can also add a players name to the "player" text box and hit library to see any other player's collection.

Spoiler for Walkthrough for building a new account:
This is definitely not the only way to start an account. This is in my experience the fastest way, but considerable effort has been put in to making it possible to play oetg however you want to play it. If you prefer a different playstyle or prefer to find your own way, you absolutely should. You won't lose very much efficiency by doing so. This guide is for people who don't want to figure out how to start in an entirely new game and just want to get back to having a full collection ASAP. Also for people who don't want to play against the AI and just want to start playing PvP. Also for people trying to make alts efficiently for whatever reason.

Spoiler for First Hour:
  • This stage may take more than an hour if you're unlucky or if you're spending a lot of time reading what cards do (which you should if you're not used to them), but it really isn't going to take long even if you really take your time.
  • It really doesn't matter which starter you choose. They are all effectively the same wealth value. They can all make an effective (even in late game terms) grinder very quickly. "Build your own" is also an option, which will just give you more free packs instead of starter decks. Every element will start with three prebuilt decks saved (a mono, a duo, and a quad) and a handful of free bronze/silver/gold packs. The starter decks are good enough that you can jump right in if you just want to play some games, but there's definitely a lot of room for improvement.
  • First thing you should do after opening your free packs is build your own 30 card mono starter. Focus on damage, it isn't really worth worrying about actives or control at this stage. If you have a good shield, feel free to add it, but it doesn't matter a lot. You want to focus on creatures that have at least as much strength as their quanta cost. If you have enough creatures to build out a deck with a reasonable QI, great, you're done with step one. If not, fill it out with whatever you have.
  • For the moment, your AI target is commoner. Even from your very first battle, you can probably maintain a 90+% win rate in there if you're familiar with original. It will be surprisingly profitable once you have a win streak going.
  • Until you have a deck with enough creatures that are at least 1:1 strength:quanta, all your money goes to bronze (common) packs. It is not likely to take more than a few until you have a good enough spread of creatures. Remember that six bad unupped creatures probably combine into one good (at this stage) upped creature. Conversely, remember that six good unupped creatures (e.g. mummies) are probably better than one slightly better upped creature for the moment.
  • Besides your free packs, you should completely ignore any packs past bronze until you have a solid grinding deck. Bronze packs give you 10 cards for 15g. Silver packs give you 6 cards for 25g. Upgrades come from combining extra copies of cards. Higher rarity cards aren't more powerful, they're more niche. So your power base for effective grinding comes from commons. It will be very quick to get your solid grinding deck, so this isn't going to prevent you from getting in to higher rarity cards in the very near future. Ignoring the higher rarities right now actually gets you into the higher rarities sooner.
  • Once you have a bare minimum of unupped common creatures to make a decent unupped deck, switch to buying upgraded towers/pendulums. It would be best to know how many you need for your budget grinding deck and buy that many, but if you don't know yet, 6 of each (or 12 total however you want to break it down) is just fine. That costs 600g, which is probably 10-20 minutes in commoner at this stage.
  • Whenever you break your commoner win streak or whenever you get bored with commoner, you can try dipping your toes into mage or arena1. Both of them are within reach even with very early decks. These targets will involve a lot more losses but the higher base profit can balance that out. Win streaking in commoner is also still very effective (even moreso as your speed improves with more upgrades), so this comes down to your preference.
  • Once you have your towers/pends upgraded, switch back to bronze packs until you complete your all-common fully-upped budget grinding deck. The total wealth value of the upped commons in your deck is probably only around 150g (much less than the towers you already bought), but since you get the copies randomly from packs, you're probably going to end up spending 500g or so on bronze packs before you get there.
Spoiler for Next Steps:
  • At this point, you should have a fully upgraded budget grinding deck made out of commons. Your budget grinding deck is likely at least tier 2 or 1.5 as an endgame grinder, just so you know. There is definitely room to improve it with higher rarity cards (particularly if you want to play against harder targets), but you're able to make good profit right now.
  • From here, your options open up a lot. Since you have a grinding deck, you can just start working on grinding out more decks that you want to try or cards that you want to experiment with. If you're looking for efficient next steps, you have two paths:
  • If you're a PvP player, you don't need to build anything else for PvE basically ever again. Your budget grinding deck is good enough to grind out a full pvp playset in the next few hours. If you want to do this, fire up commoner/mage/A1 and play for a while. A full unupped playset (besides nymphs) is probably going to cost around 20k, and a full set of unupped nymphs is another 18k. Since nymphs can be purchased straight for cash from the store, there's no randomness in getting them so you can easily only buy them as you need them if you don't feel like grinding that second block of cash.
  • If you want to continue to improve your PvE efficiency, the next thing you should aim for is a solid set of coliseum decks so you can complete more events every day.
  • Your budget grinder is a perfectly fine Novice Duel (mage prediction) deck, though if you have some good shields or a bit of control, it's a good idea to trade away some speed for higher win rate. Expert Duel (demigod prediction) varies per demigod. About a third of them have fully unupped budget prediction decks listed in the thread, but all of them have more expensive counters available you can work towards and may be able to afford now. It isn't really worth beelining to owning all the demigod predictions, but you should always take a swing at them with what you have available.
  • Novice endurance (three commoners) can be done with your budget deck, but you will have a much better time if you splash a little bit of healing (2-4 cards) because you don't heal between battles. If you have enough luciferins or upped holy lights, these can be played without modifying your quanta base. If not, the best thing to do is splash 2-3 heals off your mark and switch to 100% towers/pillars. If you have any in-element heal for your grinder, add a bit of that. You're fighting commoners so unbalancing your deck isn't going to cost you many wins, but the extra bit of heal will help a lot.
  • Expert Endurance is rough. It's worth building yourself a deck but no deck is going to be perfect for this. Good starting choices are wolfbond (Alpha Wolf, Empathic Bond, and Giant Frog), USEMitosis, or upped monoaether.
  • Besides building a set of coliseum decks, this is also a good time to start building out more decks to play against tougher AI targets. See the decks board for ideas or the stats board for performance metrics.
  • If you're building a PvP playset or going for fully upped trainer edition, remember that packs both have a chance to upgrade the cards in them to a higher rarity, and that packs contain cards of lower rarities. Don't buy all the commons first and then start on uncommons, or you'll end up with three full sets of commons. It's overall best to start at shards and work your way down. There's a bit of an argument for buying starting with shards and moving down to rares when you're around 75% done with shards, hoping that some of your rare packs will upgrade the rares to the missing shards. Remember that rarity can only upgrade once, so you aren't going to get any shards out of bronze or silver packs.
Spoiler for Budget decks for every element:
These are all 100% common. They all have a total wealth value of around 800 (less than 10 minutes of grinding), though it will typically cost several hundred more to buy them from scratch with packs due to randomness. They can all be improved substantially with higher rarity cards (generally 1-2 weapons/shields if nothing else), but that's your preference and based on what cards you get from packs. In addition to the basic 12 monos, I'll also include budget Material, Spiritual, and Cardinal decks using the quad towers, and a budget rainbow for those of you who don't want to play a mono.
Spoiler for Decks: