Sunday, June 16, 2013

Mojang's Scrolls Strategy Guide, Killer Decks, Tips and Tricks

Scrolls ($20.00) is Mojang's second game after the "little-known" Minecraft. It is a collectible card/scroll game that liberally borrows mechanics from other well known and established CCG games like Magic the Gathering while incorporating hex based movement and a novel way for managing resources.

Scrolls Strategy

The board is broken-up into three regions: two outer staging wings on either side consisting of a single lane of hexes each and a central area that should see most of the aggressive plays from either player. Your ultimate goal is to control the center-most lane of hexes:

The concepts at work her are simple enough - when your units become active, with a few exceptions, they can attack the lane they are in, the lane above their position of the lane below their position. The middle 3 lanes therefore provide the most options for attack, while the middle lane is the one most exposed to attack by units in aggressive positions. If you can eliminate the enemy's idol in the middle lane before they can eliminate yours, you can then concentrate on attacking / defending areas that your opponent has fewer active options in while being down an idol.

You can contest the center obviously by playing units into it, or by dropping units into the outer wings - where they cannot be attacked by centrally placed units - as a feint maneuver, or by dropping artillery units into the lanes just above or just below the center where they can control central space while your opponent cannot directly threaten them with units sitting right in moneyville.

If I'm the first player to drop a unit onto the field, I almost always drop it right on the money. If it's an aggressive unit like a Kinfolk Brave, it gives me the initiative & allows me to threaten the 3 most active lanes; if it's a passive unit like this memorial, I'm set to protect anything I want to drop in the center.

The wings of the board are where you want to go if you feel like the center has been lost to you; they aren't active spaces, but are difficult to mount effective attacks against because they're effectively bottle-necked (there's only one lane with access to either wing). It is a much, much better idea to concede middle ground for a while and just play units into these safe areas if you feel that you've lost out in tempo / aggression to your opponent - attacking ineffectually into a superior position will just guarantee a loss most of the time.


The Anatomy of a Scroll {source}

Scrolls Tips and Tricks {source}

  • Keep board control! If you’ve a choice between damaging your opponent’s idol or creature, it’s probably better to hit the creature. Prioritise units that will attack next turn.
  • It’s OK to let your idols take a few hits. Don’t give up a unit unless it’s completely necessary or part of your strategy.
  • Always check your unit’s countdowns and those of your opponent’s units.
  • Remember to take advantage of your units’ mobility: pull them out of harm’s way, move them in to strike, or block an opponent’s attack with shrewd planning.
  • Sacrifice for resources early on, then move towards a mix of resources and scrolls later.
  • If you’re down to your last scroll, it’s almost always worth sacrificing it for two more.
  • The more lean your deck is, the more control you have over your forces. There’s a minimum of 50 scrolls per deck. You probably don’t want to include more than that.
  • Stick to single resource decks when starting. It’s easier to learn basic strategy that way.
  • Make sure your deck has good resource balance. You want some scrolls to play early-on as well as some hard-hitting finishers for the late game.
  • Scrolls can be common, uncommon, or rare. You can tell the rarity of a scroll by its border, and weathered edges.
  • You can spend your hard-earned gold on new scrolls. You can also sell any you don’t need back to the store at a reduced price. You’ll probably get a better deal by trading with other humans though. Check out the Trading room and make some friends!
  • Watch out for the cheeky notifications in the top right corner. Click them to join games.
  • Press “Ctrl” to show stats (Attack, Countdown and Health) for all units and idols on the board.
  • Press Enter to chat with your opponent during a game.
  • You can join any room by typing its name into the “join or create custom room box.” You can also create your own rooms for friends/enemies this way.
List of Scrolls
Online Deck Builder
Killer Decks 

Scrolls Price Guide 
Scrolls FAQs 

Where do destroyed/sacrificed cards go?
When your draw deck runs out, destroyed/sacrificed cards are shuffled to create a new draw pile. There is no visual indication, but it has been confirmed that it works this way.

Should I buy 10 random/ 1 random/ 1 faction-specific scroll(s)?
Disclaimer, this is somewhat subjective and should probably include multiple bullets
  • Math in this comment indicates if you buy 10-randoms and sell everything that's not from your faction, you come out slightly ahead. However it's also noted that keeping out-of-faction rares eliminates this economic advantage.
  • If you're new and don't want to spend time trading, in-faction scrolls can help you build of sets of 3 for the commons and uncommons you want in your deck.
What is the attack order?
Front column top row to bottom, middle column top to bottom, back column top to bottom.

How many scrolls should I have in my deck?
Generally for any deck-building game the recommendation is to have the minimum number of cards required in your deck (50 in the case of Scrolls) to make your deck behave as consistently as possible. For this same reason, you should generally have the maximum number allowed of each scroll in your deck (3 in the case of Scrolls). Of course these are both guidelines and may vary with your individual deck.

How do i tell the rarity of a scroll?
There are 3 types of rarity: common, uncommon and rare. When you buy random scrolls 70% will be common, 20% will be uncommon and 10% will be rare. Rare scrolls are darker and more torn around the edge, uncommon a little less dark and torn and common even less dark and torn.


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