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Shadow Era TCG  »  Articles  »  Beginner's Guide to Shadow Era - Part Two
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The aim of this three-part guide is to help you get started with the game, become a decent player and have lots of fun in the process.

NOTE: Since the time of writing, v1.28 of Shadow Era has been released, and the minimum deck size for player vs player matches has been increased to 40 cards (including Hero). Some Hero abilities have also changed.

Part One focused on getting started. If you've not read it already, I encourage you to do so before continuing.


Now you've got started, it's time to start building a better collection and becoming a better player.

1. Earn Some Crystals

There are two main ways to earn crystals:

1) Win some games to earn experience points (EXP). When you gain a certain amount of EXP, you level up, earning 25 Shadow Crystals. If you've already won at least one game against the AI, you will be at level 2, with 25 Shadow Crystals earned already.

2) Visit the Buy Crystals page and enter the email address for the account you created. You can then check out the current offers that enable you to get extra crystals for free.

So far, with the new account I created to write this guide, I have earned 25 crystals for levelling up, 58 for playing the first level of an online game and 4 for watching a video.

Dependent on the platform you are using, there might also be ways to earn crystals from within the Shadow Era client.

Whatever you choose to do, I recommend you try to win 3 more games against the AI, since this is a quick and risk-free way to improve at the game and get some quick crystals. The easiest opponent to beat is Ter Adun, so pick him if you want to increase your chance of winning.

2. Get Some More Cards

I'll assume now that you have enough crystals to buy a Starter Deck, so let's do that.

If you compare the starter decks for Eladwen Frostmire (Human Mage) and Majiya (Shadow Mage), you will see that the Mage-specific cards are common to both. This is a nice way of getting some alternative Heroes and also finishing off key cards for a deck.

For example, if you started with Eladwen and buy the Shadow Mage starter deck now, you will end up with 4 Fireballs, 4 Lightning Strikes (because we bought two earlier) and several other cards, that we may wish to keep or sell.

If you took Boris Skullcrusher as your starting Hero then you might want to buy the Shadow Warrior starter deck instead.

For the purposes of this guide, I will assume you've bought the Shadow Mage starter deck with your 100 Crystals.

Now we've got the Shadow Mage Starter deck, I can go to DECK and make a Majiya deck.

Have a go at making an improved deck (versus the Majiya starter deck) and then take on the AI again.

3. Learn The Fundamentals

Now that you've played more AI games, it's time for some reading:

4. Join The Community

If you read the first three links above, you'll have visited the Shadow Era Forum. Now it's time to register there and say hello.

The benefits of being active on the forums are huge: you can get help with your decks; find out about forthcoming cards and updates; sign up for tournaments and other competitions; and, most importantly, get very good and quick answers to any questions you might have.

When you register with the forum, it's recommended that you use the same name as your Player Name, but any name is actually fine. The Forum and Game are completely independent.

As mentioned above, there is a New Players subforum, which is a great place to introduce yourself, so why not post there now? If you mention that this article told you to do so, you can probably also get extra help with the next step, which is ...

5. Build A Tuned Deck

After experimenting with deck changes against the AI and reading the information above, you should be in good shape now to turn your current deck into a really good one.

Here are two I made earlier, by selling some spare cards for Gold and buying some others with that Gold. No real money has been spent on the game at this point!



But how do you know the deck is good if you are only playing against the AI?

Now it's time to ...

6. Play Against A Real Person

At this point, it's worth talking a bit about how the in-game rating is calculated. It's rather complicated, but the one key thing you need to remember is that all the games you ever play influence your overall rating. If you care about getting a high rating, you will want to try to avoid lots of early losses when you barely know how to play, because they will drag you down later, when you are an expert.

Thankfully, there is an easy way to play against other people without risking your future rating: Custom Games. These do not count towards your rating.

And this is where being on the Forum is really handy, because you can probably find someone willing to play against you in an unranked Custom Game quite easily. More importantly, if you've introduced yourself as a new player who is keen to learn, you might even get some deckbuilding and playing tips during the game.

That's all for part two. Good luck with your games.

Don't forget to come back for Part Three.

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