A quick guide to all characters in the game, and general strategies on how to win.
I’m at curse 8, played all the characters, I can win pretty easily unless I play a dumb expedition.
Overall: The hardest thing about this game is that the enemies feel like they do too much damage. They do in fact do a lot, but you have a lot of HP to sponge stray hits, and there are very strong defensive options. Prioritize big Defends. You might think you can’t win with just defense, and that’s true, but basically every single character scales in some way, and enemies do have gaps in their attacks, so hold out and you’ll come out on top. Also, hit every elite fight. You get an antiquarium from the fight, and also don’t have to pick up a card.
- Prioritize defense early
- Prioritize upgrades in stage one
- Remove your basics
- Remove your base attacks and defends in about a 2:1 ratio
- Fight every elite
- Avoid attacks that cost 2, as they’re usually not doing more damage than two 1 costs
- Trust the process, you’ll be able to outscale your enemies
Also, most final bosses are straightforward, but the one with Two Giant Fists is a bit tricky. It works like this: turn 1, like 30 damage. Turn 2, 60. Turn 3, 100. That turn 3 is pretty crazy, which is why on every third turn you need to destroy one of it’s fists. That’ll give you 90 block. There are only two fists and they don’t spawn more, so you need to save them.
Starting character. Very solid character, but probably the weakest of the virus faction. Her ability is something that’s difficult to aim for consistently, and you’ll probably only see it against bosses. Typically I used it only for the burst of damage, but the other options seem good too.
- Very fair character
- Good thing virus faction has amazing cards
- Hero cards are good but only Kill them All is worth upgrading
Very possibly the best character. Automatically scaling on any attack is nuts, and there are so many synergy cards for him. Just make sure you have cards to keep you from killing yourself with all those viruses, like emergency override, misty step, etc. Upgrade emergency decompression ASAP as well.
- Free attack scaling is silly
- Upgrade emergency decompression to Anchor so you don’t kill yourself
- Save your cobalt surges if you don’t need to use them that turn
- Surge 2 is very useful for getting rid of a massive hand of viruses from all the onslaughts you’ll probably play
- All his hero cards are good to great too, truly the favorite child
Basically Sora but better. You can control your inflow of viruses to get a free energy every turn, instead of an upgrade you’ll only do against bosses. Almost nothing to say. Literally just playing with +1 energy.
- Free mana is crazy
- Great hero cards
- Definitely upgrade immaterial blows to do 24 damage early on, that’ll carry you through stage 1
Block, counter, dump cards, repeat. Gaining 2 energy after you counter is nice, and lets you solve most problems the turn after you counter. The only issue is it takes you about 2-3 turns to pop off, so you’re really hoping for solid defends.
- Reliant on good defends, which is very easy until you level up more and unlock a bunch of jank cards in the faction
- I seriously don’t know if hand size is good at all, I almost never can afford to play awaken deliverance
- Definitely upgrade wield deliverance to 22 damage
Weird character. He has this RNG toolbox that’s pretty ok for getting lucky and fixing immediate problems, but the real money is the other two cards. Wield Tyr-Nihl scales like crazy off smites. Other than that though, pretty average character.
- Burn smites and scale Tyr-Nihl
- Get lucky drafts
- Counter is just a cherry on top for Doltar, though with all the smites it’ll be a very big cherry
Basically the same as Nereide honestly. Faster average counters, likely countering every two turns, but no free mana. I would say he’s on the weaker side, BUT he can get away with slightly more attacks because he’s theoretically blocking every 2 turns.
Rating: B because consistent, but C+ in power ceiling
- Draft Defends as much as possible, as he can cycle attacks with Against Adversity
- Same issue: Gets worse as you unlock more stuff, good defend becomes hard to find
- Patriarch’s duty is incredibly bad, like debatable first remove bad
My personal favorite gunner and possibly favorite character. She’s all about mobility and movement. She can take the biggest advantage of the game’s unique systems.
Rating: B (B+ in my heart)
- Excellent mobility, just draft a few evasion cards (AFTER DEFENSE) for the complete package
- Holographic Echo is her best friend
- Make sure to use the damage reduction cards on multi hitters
- Good cards, but not really worth upgrading (which is good, save them for other stuff)
- Almost no scaling, so you gotta build an efficient defensive deck to stay healthy and chip opponents down.
- Great synergy with antiquorums that scale with number of attacks.
Flynn and Zakaan:
These guys have unique mechanics and cards that generate almost no value. I would go into detail, but it’s not even about them, it’s about the faction itself. It feels like 30% of the gunner cards are built with Sohoma in mind: defense based on mobility, in exchange for raw numbers on defend cards. The problem is, these two guys CAN’T MOVE AT ALL. On offense, they deal good damage but need to manage ammo. On defense, they must rely on like 3 cards to actually have decent defense. If you don’t draft them? You’re screwed. Sohoma suffers from the same issue, but has 2 more options and can also dodge range specific attacks consistently. Feel free to play them, but I don’t think they work nearly as well.
Healbot: I never chose healbot again. Maybe it’s secretly broken, I couldn’t tell you.
Sora: Fenzy companion. She’s best with characters who defend well, as she can bring the entire offense by herself. Unfortunately, she’s pretty weak early on, and both cards she adds are situational at best, and worse than the average card at worst. If you take her, max her out. Pretty bad with gunners, as they can’t afford the number of attacks she brings.
C (Can be better if you manage to hit a nutty combo deck. Probably goes well with Jokan)
jokan: Virus faction only. Hot Piston is nuts, but he leaves a lot to be desired until you get late in his levels. Either level him to 2 and forget, or go all the way to the end, where the number of onslaughts he gives you will make cleaning up mobs super easy.
Issandre: Stupid good first level, as long as you have strong blocks to support it. Viper’s bite is hard to quantify, but if you have knockback cards it does the 35 damage FIRST, so you can kill enemies with that combo. The rest of her tree is amazing, as you can give your basic cards consume and get them out of your deck, and upgrades are of course generically good. Definitely level her to 3, and everything after that is bonus. Does not become crazy strong at the end, but is solid from the beginning.
Doltar: Really bad. Good against elites, but not even that amazing, and totally pointless outside of those battles. You get 30 block the first turn, and then you’re on your own. Channel Tyr-Nil is pretty bad outside of the 80 damage 3 cost healing card. Healing is hard to come by in general, so it can be quite nice. Tyr-Nihl’s hunger isn’t bad but it’s just raw damage.
Nereide: Shockingly good. The trick with her is that only her first 3 or 4 levels are good, so you can focus on taking other beneficial options instead of leveling her- or you can save up to get that big 200HP heal at a crucial time. The wolf within is best for other counter class users of course, but it’s very solid as a free attack every turn even outside the counter class. For the family is super solid as well, and her healing is some of the only healing in the game, so it’s quite worthwhile.
Hectos: Amazing stuff for the counter class. Level 1 sucks but after that it’s all great. You can stay on level 2 or 3 for a while, but in the later stages being able to rush your first counter and get bonuses too is amazing. Level a little early, and then commit mid stage 2.
Wolf: I have not played this setup, but just reading the abilities, it doesn’t look like it’s better than Hectos even when you ARE bloody. The numbers on the last two abilities look too small to be worthwhile.
Sohoma: Good early and late, weak in the middle. Mine! min…ours is an amazingly efficient card that’ll automatically scale to the endgame. better card rewards… is probably decent, although I seriously don’t think rarer cards are better than common cards on average. The rest of her worth is getting Antiquorums. Her unique ones are… fine. The best one is probably the one that gives you a big block when you shuffle your deck. Merry looting isn’t bad for finding the last bit of damage or block.
Zakann: fantastic. Zakann’s specials are all amazing and basically fix the gunslinger faction by themselves, fixing the complete lack of defense. Gaining block on (diamond) play is great as well. The best part is, all of his good levels are the first 5. You don’t need to invest much in him at all.
S (for gunslingers, since you can draft other (diamond) synergy) A(for everyone else)
Flynn: Hard to understand. The cards he adds are really good, but the rest feels too luck based. I personally did not enjoy him. His later levels are powerful, though.
I was considering going over all of them, but honestly that’s too much work. I’ll just go over my logic in picking these.
Energy is king. Try to get energy improving ones always, 3 is not enough. 5 is usually where I’m happy.
Hazard prevention is perhaps the best antiqorum in the game because it’s the only healing you’re ever gunna get, and has a max heal of 5+4+3+2+1 = 15 per battle.
Peacemaker is perhaps the second best one, as rage scaling on enemies gets pretty intense in later curses.
Hand size is pretty good, and should be a priority after energy demands are met.
Tenets are great and you should definitely try to get as many as possible as they scale together.
Predictive Assembly is fantastic, but means you’ll typically want only one main (Eye symbol) card. There are several of them that are complete game changers, and consistently activating them one turn 1 is amazing.
Controlled Deja Vu is super easy to forget, but it can be very powerful especially at higher curses, as there are a lot of cards you can use to filter your deck twice.
The ones that give you a bit of block are usually pretty meh, but every little bit counts.
The ones that do damage every turn suck. They do not scale with the amount of HP enemies have.
However, White Spike triggers on every attack, so it can have very high damage potential in the right deck.
Rage increasing ones are surprisingly irrelevant past the first stage, unless you’re playing Sohoma or a smite heavy counter class.
- Hazard Prevention
- Card Draw
- Defense Stacking
- Attack Stacking