A guide covering all achievements you can, um, achieve in the base game alone (includes tips for dealing with the base villains as well).
How to Obtain All Base Game Achievements
There doesn’t seem to be an achievement guide for Sentinels yet, so I decided to throw one together. I will exclude anything that requires DLC, because (judging by achievement stats) most players don’t have it (Also because I don’t, and I probably shouldn’t give advice on how to fight villains I haven’t).
- Win a Battle.
If you need help with this achievement, you probably shouldn’t bother with achievements yet. No offense.
- Restore 200 HP to heroes across all battles.
You don’t need to do anything special to achieve this one. Absolute Zero is the easiest-to-heal character, but Tempest’s Refreshing Rain, Legacy’s Motivational Charge, and a few other cards can heal the whole team at once.
- Deal 20 damage or more in a single attack.
You certainly can do this with Haka (specifically using the Haka of Battle), but it might be easier with other heroes. As the achievement icon hints, you can use Bunker, put seven or more cards under Omni-Cannon, and fire it. Alternatively, Fanatic’s Wrathful Retribution works if her hit points are 10 or less (8-11 for her variants).
The Hero We Need
- Defeat all core game Villains.
There are four—Baron Blade, Citizen Dawn, Grand Warlord Voss, and Omnitron. This is a pretty straightforward achievement, but I’ve written some tips for handling each core villain at the end of the guide.
The Super Scientific Tachyon
- Complete The Super Scientific Tachyon’s story challenge to unlock the variant.
You need to trash five or more Burst cards in a single turn. This is pretty easy with a little setup (basically HD goggles and some cards that let you play extra cards).
Protector of Worlds
- Win a battle in each core game Environment
You don’t need to change your strategy that much to win a game in different environments. If you still need advice, check my section on Environments.
- Complete G.I. Bunker’s story challenge to unlock the variant.
You need to play Recharge Mode, Upgrade Mode, and Turret Mode in the same battle. This requires drawing a lot of cards, which is something Bunker is (thankfully) good at.
Rook City Wraith
- Complete Rook City Wraith’s story challenge to unlock the variant.
You need to activate Infrared Eyepiece twice in one turn. This simply requires realizing that it isn’t a Limited card, playing two alongside a utility belt, and looking at a bunch of villain cards.
- Play a multiplayer game with Handelabra Games, Greater Than Games, or someone who has.
I don’t think I’ve ever seen anyone available to play an online game with...but the people with this achievement presumably play online more often than the average Sentinels purchaser, so your odds of getting this achievement are better than 7% if you play an online game.
America’s Newest Legacy
- Complete America’s Newest Legacy’s story challenge to unlock the variant.
Play a game in Wagner Mars Base against Baron Blade, with Legacy on your team. Have Baron Blade himself deal damage which incapacitates Legacy. This may require some villain card management so that some random mook doesn’t off him first, but otherwise you mostly need to know to do this.
I might as well explain “villain card management” (which I do not have a standard name for, and I apologize if this confuses anyone). An important factor for many achievements (and villains) is controlling what cards come out of the villain deck. Wraith is arguably the best at this; Precognition lets her look at the top cards of the villain deck, decide which one will be played next, and put everything else on the bottom of the villain deck, never to be seen for a while. There’s also Suggestion, which lets you recycle a benign card from the trash or get a dangerous one out before the villain resurrects it. Dark Visionary can do the look-and-decide routine for any deck. And so on.
Wraith deserves an honorable mention for her Infrared Eyepiece, possibly her strongest piece of equipment (rivaled only by the utility belt). It’s a bit less potent than Precognition, but it can be used every turn and lets her draw a card.
Compounded Ether Fist
- Deal 100 damage of each type across all battles.
There are a bunch of obscure damage types that make this tricky. Infernal and Toxic are the toughest, since AFAIK no core Heroes deal those damage types. Visionary’s Twist the Ether and Tempest’s Elemental Subwave Inducer might be the only ways to deal Infernal or Toxic damage with core heroes; put those on damage-heavy heroes, turn it all to Infernal or Toxic, and repeat. Good luck.
Mad Bomber Blade
- Complete Mad Bomber Blade’s story challenge to unlock the variant.
After beating Baron Blade, fight Citizen Dawn and defeat Citizens Blood, Sweat, and Tears in a single round. The former is simple, so I’ll focus on the latter.
This relies on two things—villain card management and not accidentally murdering Citizen Sweat while waiting for Blood to show up (or vise versa). Dark Visionary is a good choice for villain card management; not only does her power let her improve the odds of the Citizens you want showing up quickly, Suggestion lets you return Tears from the trash when you have Blood and Sweat out. You’ll want to do this because Tears is the one that makes you discard cards every round. Once you have all three in play, unleash a barrage of damage on the three citizens.
- Complete Cosmic Omnitron’s story challenge to unlock the variant.
After beating Omnitron, destroy both of Voss’s spaceships in the same round.
The advice above applies, except that accidentally destroying a spaceship is less of a concern and you need a lot more damage to destroy them.
- Achieve victory without a scratch. Win a battle with all Heroes at full HP.
That Was Close!
- Win a battle by the skin of your teeth - a single hero standing, with only 1 HP remaining.
These are both tricky, and I haven’t figured out a good strategy for either either. A team with lots of healing is obviously helpful for Flawless Victory. As for That Was Close! I guess Visionary reduced to 1 HP playing Telekinetic Cocoon, combined with a team of Heroes with sufficiently useful incapacitated powers, could do the trick?
The Hero We Deserve
- Defeat all core game Villains on Advanced.
If you can consistently beat any villain, you can probably defeat any villain on Advanced with a little more forethought and caution. Be sure to read each Villain carefully and bring the best heroes for the job.
More information on defeating Advanced villains below. In general, it's like defeating the original villains, but...a bit more.
Mobbed by Paparazzi
- Defeat any Villain without using powers the entire battle (minimum 1 hero turn).
You need heroes with very good decks—critically, decks that don’t focus on giving the hero new powers. (For instance, most of Wraith’s kit becomes mere Inventory Barrage fodder.) Once you have a good feel for each of the heroes, you’ll probably be able to pick a pretty good team for this; choose whichever you’re most comfortable with (aside from the power-reliant heroes, obviously) and send them against the villain you’re most confident against (I went against Mad Bomber Blade for his simplicity, but you fight whatever you think you can beat).
Settle the Scores
- Defeat 10 Nemeses with the nemesis dealing the final blow.
This just requires planning, forethought, and remembering that this achievement exists. The only core game nemesis pairs are Legacy/Baron Blade and Tempest/Grand Warlord Voss. Blade has a healing card and Legacy doesn’t have as many damage cards as Tempest, so the latter is probably a bit easier...but it shouldn’t matter much, so you should switch between the two.
Environmental kill-steals are a killjoy if you’re going for this achievement. Avoid Insula Primalis and Atlantis; if a kraken or raptor pack drops in on the turn before you finally get a nemesis KO, you’ll have wasted all your time.
Extreme Hostage Situation
- Defeat any Villain without a hero card entering play the entire battle (minimum 1 hero turn).
You need to defeat the Villain entirely with hero powers, and not in the “The only cards that were played were played by a hero power” sense. Obviously, you need to pick your heroes wisely, and also your villain.
I’d suggest using normal Legacy, normal Fanatic, two heroes with “deal 2 damage to a target” powers, and Dark Visionary against Mad Bomber Blade. (You can unlock Dark Visionary by clicking on “Variants” on her character card until you reach Dark Visionary, clicking on the lock, and then clicking the Unlock button.) The Mad Bomber is by far the simplest and most predictable villain, and all the more so with Dark Visionary filtering out the nastier villain cards. He does damage, and maybe throws up some kind of shield if you were given bad picks. Still, with three galvanized heroes hitting Blade every turn for a total of ten damage, Blade should go down before your team does.
- Defeat all core game Villains on Challenge Mode.
The Ultimate Hero
- Defeat all core game Villains on Ultimate Mode.
I’ve barely started with Challenge and Ultimate modes, but it seems like “Learn how to play well, then do” is a good bit of advice, alongside “Read my stuff below to see what you’re in for”.
Note that Ultimate Mode is Advanced Mode combined with Challenge Mode. And that undoing actions does not invalidate achievements.
- Redirect a single instance of damage at least 5 times.
This requires exceptional planning, and a good understanding of how redirection cards interact. The best I’ve gotten so far is Lead from the Front, Smoke Bombs, Synaptic Interruption, and Elemental Redistributor, in that order; if I can get that set up when Visionary has the highest HP and a Decoy Projection, I should earn this achievement. But that’s a lot of details to get right…
Insula Primalis is all about damage. The only cards that do anything except damage are Obsidian Field (which increases damage done by everything else) and Pterodactyl Thief (which removes Equipment...and deals damage based on hos much it stole). But even the pterodactyl isn’t that big of a problem for equipment-heavy heroes—it only steals stuff at the start of the environment turn, meaning you usually have a whole turn to destroy the little varmint before it nicks any of Absolute Zero’s gear.
Megalopolis is pretty generic; it has some of everything. A few of its cards are actually good for the heroes, most obviously Police Backup, but it also has Hostage Situation and Paparazzi on the Scene, which can throw a big wrench into your plans.
Ruins of Atlantis is an odd one. It has a few typical damage cards, but also a bunch of cards that increase everyone’s power—though usually unequally or at a cost. Pillars of Hercules basically giving everyone an extra turn sounds good, but it also gives the Villain a few quasi-turns. If you can destroy an Environment card, you probably should.
Beyond that, keep an eye on Kraken Tentacles—they will wipe out most of the villain’s minions for you (which may or may not be good, depending on the villain), but then they’ll start attacking you, and it takes some significant firepower to take down quickly.
Wagner Mars Base is perhaps the oddest Environment Deck of them all. It has some of the most frustrating environment cards in the game (like Self-Destruct Sequence and Pervasive Red Dust), but also some of the most inconsequential (Oxygen Leak might as well read “One player discards a card” most of the time).
Pervasive Red Dust is killer to Equipment-based heroes, but not quite so bad if you have a team composed entirely of heroes with some incidental equipment (like Ra, Haka, and Legacy). In that case, you just temporarily lose one equipment each and get it back once you destroy the dust. Try to make sure every hero has at least one Equipment card in the trash when you destroy Red Dust, if possible. (If some of your heroes didn’t have equipment in play, and discarded equipment to destroy the Red Dust, you can even get free equipment card plays!)
Self-Destruct Sequence is easy to handle, but costly. As in any other game, turns are your most valuable resource. Consider your situation before proceeding. If you can win in a turn or two, you can probably ignore the sequence; if not, disabling it more quickly means fewer turns overall spent on it. If there aren’t any immediate threats, consider skipping everyone’s turn and getting it over with...unless, of course, you have some way to simply destroy Environment cards with a single card or power. Lots of heroes have those, and they’re worth keeping around for things like this.
I wouldn't say any of these environments are inherently easier or harder than the others. Some heroes and villains do better in some environments than others; for instance, Absolute Zero can make good use of all the fire damage Insula Primalis dishes out, but in Wagner Mars Base he's constantly in danger of red dust setting him back to square 1. Know your environment, know what works well there, and don't go against the grain unless you want a challenge.
Villains: Baron Blade and Citizen Dawn
The Baron is pretty simple, all things considered. Perhaps pack some Ongoing removal for if Living Force Field and Backlash Field come up—either one can ruin your damage-dealing day. Most importantly, keep an eye on his trash—he always does something with it, and it’s never good.
If you can’t just beat him quickly enough to stop the moon from hitting the Earth, bring Visionary and consider a Decoy Projection/Brain Burn combo—you’ll reset the villain trash, and all the damage Visionary would normally take will be dealt to the projection.
Advanced and Challenge Modes just turn up the heat on the Terralunar Impulsion Beam. Advanced does so by adding more cards to the villain trash each turn, meaning that you can probably get through this with just one or two big villain-trash-destroying cards (Brain Burn being the obvious suggestion); after this, Baron Blade just deals slightly more damage but otherwise plays normally.
Challenge Mode instead keeps the TIB going through Blade’s second phase, meaning that more frequent and sustainable trash management is needed. Ultimate does both; TIB progress is accelerated in the first stage, but continues in the second. In short, trash management is more important is important for these Blades.
Mad Bomber Blade is drastically different. First off, all of his devices, minions, and so on are just fuel for his bombs, which deal ever-increasing damage to all heroes every turn (It’s Fire damage—Absolute Zero and Ra can exploit this). Lots of Targets and Hasten Dooms in a row can make the damage skyrocket very quickly. He destroys a bunch of Ongoing and Equipment cards when he flips, and more the longer the game went on; after that, though, he breaks out his relatively wimpy Death Ray. It charges more slowly and only damages one hero at a time.
Single-target damage is all you’ll ever need. Heroes who specialize in crowd control (e.g. Tempest) should stay at home. Ones who control the villain trash will be useless for the first portion of the fight, but might help a bit in the death ray phase.
Advanced Mode greatly reduces the damage Blade takes; bring your buff cards and big blasts. Challenge Mode accelerates the bombs’ escalation, and when he switches to the death ray he starts playing more villain cards (which also charges the ray).
A useful trick: Take Visionary, and save Brain Burn for when Blade is close to victory. Play Decoy Projection one turn, and then drop Brain Burn the next. The ~14 damage will be deflected to the projection, saving Visionary herself for other psychic tricks.
Dawn is all about Citizens. On one hand, many of them can be devastating, so you might want to remove them all; on the other, killing a bunch of Citizens makes her immune to damage, and the only way to make her mune to damage again is to let a substantial Citizen population build up.
Broadly speaking, there are two Citizen Dawn strategies—ignore any Citizens you can and blast Dawn herself into oblivion before she can merge with the Sun, or let the near-harmless Citizens build up so that she doesn’t stay merged long. (The former strategy benefits greatly from Villain trash management, in case you get close to the five-corpse limit.) Either way, indiscriminate damage-every-nonhero-target cards are a liability (though less so if Citizen Spring is on the board).
An aside: If you keep a healthy enough Citizen population but still end up with five Citizens in the trash, Dawn may merge and un-merge with the sun immediately. This is easiest with three heroes, since you only need one Citizen besides Dawn in play. This still counts as Dawn's one merge with the sun. You should try to pull this off, both because it's hilarious when you succeed and because failing puts you close to where you need to be anyways.
Ongoing removal is also key; while Channel the Eclipse and Rise with the Dawn have some positive effects (a bit of damage to Dawn and delaying her merge with the sun), the cost of this (Dawn gets an extra Citizen or other card each turn) is serious, and the upsides are useless once she’s merged.
But she has some significant One-Shot cards, too, most notably Devastating Aurora, and the wrong Citizens coming out at the wrong time can ruin everything. Some control over the villain deck, whether Visionary’s Precognition or Wraith’s Infrared Eyepiece, will make beating Dawn so much easier.
Do note that Citizen Dawn can be very swingy in the early turns, especially with lots of heroes. Those initial Citizens drawn make a big difference; Citizens Sweat and Tears will wipe out half of your starting hands (and keep whittling away at whatever cards you have left), and if you get hit with a turn 1 Blinding Blast you might as well just restart. (Unless you want to try going for Extreme Hostage Situation.)
Challenge Mode deals fire damage to a Hero whenever a Citizen is destroyed, encouraging the just-smash-Dawn strategy. (Ra and Absolute Zero are good hero picks, for obvious reasons. Keep them at high HP so that Dawn doesn't accidentally attack someone who might get hurt.)
Advanced Mode increases damage dealt by Citizens before and after the solar merge...and also requires more Citizens to be in play to un-merge. This arguably encourages the controlled-merge strategy (and definitely encourages you to take out damaging Citizens).
Citizens to watch out for:
- Anvil makes it harder to hurt Citizens, which is a mixed bag. It's bad if you're trying to clear the board, but can be good if you're trying to keep Dawn from merging with the sun (or get her to un-merge). If Citizen Hammer enters play, this changes—Hammer deals ridiculous damage, and if you kill him, Anvil brings him back in time for another round of fire.
- Assault doesn't deal much damage, but he deals it to everyone, making it all the easier to add up over time. He gets even worse if Battery's around.
- Dare is okay on his own, but can be dangerous when other damaging citizens are around (especially Assault, Hammer, and Winter). Also keep in mind that Dare increases self-inflicted and environmental damage as well.
- Hammer is the biggest damage-dealer in Dawn's city, but he's fairly fragile. You will want to get rid of him in most circumstances. Don't bother if Anvil is in play, and don't worry if Flesh of the Sun God is warding everyone against fire.
- Summer isn't as bad as Citizen Hammer, but she's not a lot better.
- Tears makes you discard cards. You discard even more cards if Sweat is around. Tears may be the most dangerous Citizen in the game, rivaling Dawn herself.
- Truth isn't bad on his own, but making all other Citizens immune to damage restricts your options if they come out. It doesn't help that Citizen Truth is as beefy as Citizen Anvil. Focus fire on Truth when he comes out, because there's little else you can do.
- Winter is Assault, but worse. I once kept her around for a bit because she healed Absolute Zero. Turns out, two points of healing for one hero isn't worth two points of damage for the others.
Spring is the best Citizen. She does Citizens a bit more staying power, but aside from Dawn and Truth, it shouldn't be hard to wipe out dangerous Citizens before she gets a chance to save them. Spring's biggest value is keeping incidental damage from wiping out citizens you want to keep around, whether because you're trying to beat Dawn before she goes Super Solar or because you need her to stop doing that. Whether it's that indiscriminate attack you needed to play to get rid of Anvil before he brought Hammer back or a raptor pack that jumped out of nowhere and started munching on Sweat, she's here to make sure everyone recovers in time for the next incidental damage that might wipe them out. Citizen is the only Citizen you should protect without a second thought.
Villains: Grand Warlord Voss and Omnitron
Grand Warlord Voss
Voss is kind of like Dawn, if she didn’t care how many of her Citizens you killed and nobody did anything except damage. Mind, Voss reacts to his minions being killed, but only if you kill them faster than he can replenish them—in other words, he reacts to their absence on the board, not their presence in the trash. Also, this reaction is nothing like Citizen Dawn’s—it just makes Voss start attacking heroes personally, but his Minions would be attacking anyways, so it's still better to kill them. The basic strategy is simple—kill Minions early, kill them often, smack Voss when you can. Because oh yeah, Minions greatly reduce the damage Voss takes.
Most of his Minions just deal 2-3 damage per turn, sometimes to one player, sometimes to all. The exception is Gene-Bound Soldier, who reduces damage taken by all Villains (including himself). They’re not too tough (they only have 3 hit points each), but there are a lot of them.
Voss also has two Thorathians, one of whom increases damage dealt to Heroes and one of whom reduces damage dealt to Thorathians and minions (but not ships or Voss)—both are priority targets. The same goes for the Quark-Drive Translocator, which plays additional cards most turns; and for Voss’s spaceships, which are immune to melee damage, deal damage to all heroes every turn, and have additional effects.
Don’t destroy Forced Deployment—that’s what activates it. Instead, try manipulating the villain trash. Visionary has some good tools for that.
Voss’s Challenge Mode plays an extra villain card whenever he flips. Either don’t wipe out all of his Minions, don’t let 2+ Minions build up after that, or be ready to deal with a ton of extra cards. Which you’ll need to do once you wipe out Advanced Voss’s minions, since his special ability plays an extra card each turn. The warlord side just reduces all hero damage by 1, which nerfs most crowd control abilities pretty substantially.
Omnitron is a pain. It’s hard to summarize why, but fighting it can be a frustrating experience.
Let’s start with a simple fact: Omnitron effectively plays two cards every turn. It switches between rampaging robot and self-aware factory. While rampaging, it literally just plays an extra card. While self-aware, it reflects on its successes and pulls something out of the garbage that you just worked so hard to destroy.
Omnitron's One-Shots are nasty. It has three, each designed to destroy one type of lingering card. Technological Singularity can literally murder Equipment-heavy heroes, heroes who need Ongoing cards will be set back by Sedative Flechettes, and even the environment isn’t safe with Terraforming...and if that one sounds good, keep in mind that Omnitron plays even more cards when it destroys the environment.
It also has Components, which can deal serious damage to the heroes if you don't put enough damage on Omnitron, and Electro-Pulse Explosive, which deals even worse damage if you don’t put even more damage on the explosive (Though there is a trick with EPE—if Visionary Wrests the Mind of something like an EPE and makes it destroy itself, Wrest the Mind leaves play before damaging Visionary).
So you want some heavy single-target damage-dealers on the team. But there are also Drones, little targets who can ruin your day by either wearing you down or fixing damage to Omnitron. Two of the three get stronger the more drones there are in play, so letting them build up is suicidal. So you also need crowd control for dealing with them.
And then there’s perhaps the most frustrating card in the game. Not the strongest or the most dangerous, and sometimes barely effective, but definitely the most frustrating in terms of player irritation per unit effectiveness. I'm talking about Adaptive Plating Subroutine.
With this card, whenever something deals damage to Omnitron, it becomes immune to that damage type until it’s dealt a different kind of damage. If you plan well, and in particular don’t put heroes who usually deal the same kind of damage next to each other, it’s usually not too bad to work around. (Well, for most heroes; heroes who deal one type of damage several times in a turn, like Ra and to a lesser extent Absolute Zero and Visionary, are screwed.) But if you don’t plan well, you’ll be hindering your own attempts at damaging Omnitron—and even if you do, you might still end up giving Omnitron a free pass on environment damage, depending on how things turn out!
Ongoing removal is helpful, both for this and for if you can’t remove a Component through damage.
So let’s summarize. You definitely need heroes who can deal lots of damage to one target and heroes who can control a crowd. Managing the villain trash, redirecting damage, and destroying ongoing cards are also important. But relying on equipment can be lethal, ongoing cards can be wiped out at any time, and heroes without enough variety in damage types can be hamstrung when the time comes to beat up Omnitron. Oh, and everyone takes tons of damage if you don’t deal with the wrong cards quickly enough, and Omnitron plays two cards per turn.
I wouldn’t say Omnitron is much harder than the other Villains, but it’s certainly much harder to explain how to deal with it.
Oh, and you need to finish off Omnitron’s drones once you beat Omnitron, but if you beat Omnitron then its toys shouldn't be much of an issue.
Advanced Omnitron switches between increasing damage its Devices deal by 1 and reducing damage they take by 1. (Omnitron counts as one of its Devices.) Pay attention to which is in play. Challenge Mode prevents you from destroying multiple Components at once—if it has both a railgun and interpolation beam, you need to deal 14 points of damage to destroy both.
Cosmic Omnitron switches between robot and dropship rather than robot and factory, and does so less often (based on whether any Components are in play—hopefully, it’ll spend most of its time as a Dropship). Its robot form plays extra cards (and activates components), while the dropship form sometimes plays extra cards and always deals damage to all heroes.
Advanced Cosmic Omnitron switches between taking less damage and dealing more, with the dropship increasing damage done. Challenge Cosmic Omnitron pretends you brought twice as many Heroes as you did, which means more initial components, more dropship damage, and a bunch of miscellaneous numerical increases across the game.