In Depth Beginner’s Guide to Everything SolForge!

Welcome to my guide to everything SolForge.  Here we will discuss just about everything there is about this great game!  Let’s jump right into it!

SolForge

What is SolForge?

SolForge is a digital card game created by Stone Blade Entertainment in which you build a thirty card deck using cards from your collection and battle other players from all around the world.  While SolForge shows similarities to other great trading card games out there (we will be referencing two of the more popular ones, Magic the Gathering and Pokemon the Trading Card Game), its online exclusivity allows it to be a very unique game.  There is no resource system in SolForge; every turn you are able to play at least two spells (except the first turn, but we’ll cover that in a bit).  One of the most annoying things about Magic or Pokemon was when you couldn’t even play the game due to a lack of land or energy.  In SolForge you will be able to play cards each turn, so no more wasting time stalling in games in which that third land never comes.  The main uniqueness of SolForge, however, is the leveling system of the cards.  Every card in your deck starts at level 1.  As you play, your cards level up become stronger and more efficient.  This leveling system is made possible only because of the online platform, and it brings a new dimension to card games as we know them.

SolForgeGame

The object of SolForge is to take your opponent from 100 life points down to 0 life points by playing creatures and spells.  Creatures can be played into one of five different lanes, and those creatures will attack the opponent down that lane every attack phase (both on your turn or your opponent’s turn as long as they do not have “summoning sickness”) until they are destroyed.  If there are two creatures in the same lane, those creatures will trade permanent damage to each other.  For example, if you have a 5 attack, 4 health (denoted 5/4) creature and your opponent has a 2/2 creature, your creature will deal 5 damage and kill your opponent’s creature while your opponent’s creature will deal 2 damage to your creature.  This leaves your creature in lane as a 5/2 creature.  But be careful; many creatures have “on death” effects that could be hazardous to your health!

Unlike Magic, you cannot play any cards during your opponent’s turn, just as he/she cannot play spells during your turn.  However, as noted before, every creature that does not have defender or “summoning sickness” will attack its opponent every attack phase.  This means you will have to be a bit careful not to leave a lane undefended because that creature will attack you every chance it gets!

Finally, one of the greatest things about SolForge is that it is 100% free.  There are no cards that you can acquire only by paying real money (so it is not pay-to-win), meaning that if you play the game enough and claim your daily rewards, you can get every card in the game for free!  There are three ways to acquire daily rewards.  First, you get a reward just for logging into the game for the first time during the day!  Second, you get another reward for beating an opponent for the first time each day.  This opponent can either be an online opponent or a computer bot.  The third and final reward you can acquire each day is earned after you beat three opponents.  Again, these opponents can be either online competitors or computer bots.  If you want to build your collection faster, you always have the option of buying packs with real money, or you can follow my guide to free packs that also appears on this website (View Guide Here)!

SolForgeCollection

The Cards

Let’s start taking a look at the cards in your collection.  Cards fall into one of two types: creatures or spells.  Creatures are summoned in lanes and stay there until removed either by an effect or death.  Spells offer game changing effects and are played directly onto the battlefield (not in a specific lane).  Some spells offer permanent effects (for example, target creature gains +3 attack and +3 health) while other spells offer temporary effects (for example, target creature gets -health equal to its attack this turn).

Each card of SolForge (both creatures and spells) has three levels; each level is more powerful and provides you more benefits than the previous level. Every card in your 30 card deck starts at level 1. Once you play a card, it levels up and moves to your discard pile. Once your discard pile is shuffled back into your deck, you have a chance to draw it again and play it with its level 2 abilities. Playing the level 2 card levels it up one more time. Playing cards isn’t the only way to level them up, however. Some cards have effects that allow you to level up extra cards per turn. This is a great way of ensuring you the best chances at drawing the most powerful creatures and spells during the course of a game.

Factions

Each of the two types of cards can be found in the four factions of SolForge.  Factions in SolForge are like colors in Magic, and each faction has its own play style.  Alloyin tactfully levels cards up and aims at lowering your opponent’s chances at dealing big damage.  Tempys plays fast and loose and tries to use battle gimmicks to burn your life total away as quickly as possible.  Nekrium brings dismay to the battlefield by lowering your opponent’s creature’s attack and health while causing mayhem when your own creatures die.  Uterra punishes your opponent with big, powerful creatures, and they can fill lanes instantly to overwhelm your opponent.

Rarities

Each card of SolForge also has a rarity.  The rarity is how hard it will be to collect a certain card.  There are four different rarities.

rarity_2_icon Common cards are the easiest of the cards to find.  Most commons aren’t the best cards, but don’t overlook these cards when building your deck.  Some commons can be very good in the right deck!  You will most likely be able to find many copies of common cards in your card collecting career.

rarity_3_icon Rare cards are slightly harder to find.  Rare cards will make many decks better.  You are guaranteed one rare card or better in every Basic Pack.

rarity_4_icon Heroic cards will be much harder to find and collect.  Heroic cards are often very good, and they will probably be used to make up the back bone of your deck.  You are guaranteed one heroic card or better in every Normal Pack.

rarity_5_icon Legendary cards will be the most difficult to find and collect.  These cards are often (but not always) the best cards in the game.  You are guaranteed one legendary card in every Legendary pack.

Card Abilities

There are many different card abilities in SolForge.  Each ability can change the game, so it is probably best that you know what each one does!

aggressive Aggressive: This ability allows a creature to attack and use abilities/activations on the turn it comes into play.  This is like haste in Magic.  Aggressive is a great way to catch your opponent off guard by getting some damage through to his life total or by taking out a creature that you want off the board.

armor Armor: This ability gives creatures an initial health bonus each turn.  Any damage points (not loss of health) will be soaked up by armor before lowering your creature’s health points.  The armor bonus a creature has resets every turn.  Therefore, if it soaks up 3 damage on your turn, then it will have a chance to soak up 3 damage again on your opponent’s turn.  A key thing to note about armor is that cards that drain a creature’s health (such as Ghastly Touch: target creature gets -3 attack and -3 health) are unaffected by armor.  In our recent example, armor would not soak up the -3 health of Ghastly Touch because subtracting health of a creature is different from dealing damage to a creature.

breakthrough Breakthrough: This ability allows a creature’s excess damage to continue through a creature and hurt the opponent.  This is like trample in Magic.  Breakthrough will help your big creatures inflict damage to an opponent’s life total after destroying one of his/her creatures.  For example, say you have 7/7 Deepbranch Prowler with Breakthrough in lane 2 and your opponent tries to stop the damage with his 2/2 Technosmith.  When your Deepbranch Prowler attacks, it will deal lethal damage (damage equaling the amount of the opposing creature’s health) to the Technosmith first and then carry over any excess damage to the opponent.  In our example, the Deepbranch Prowler would kill the Technosmith with 2 damage and deal its remaining 5 damage directly to the opponent!

defender Defender: This ability keeps a creature from attacking during the attack phase.  A creature with defender will still deal damage to any creature attacking it, however, so be careful!

mobility Mobility: This ability allows a creature to move from one lane into another lane once per turn.  If a creature has Mobility 1, it can move 1 adjacent lane per turn.  Likewise, if a creature has Mobility 2, it can move up to 2 adjacent lanes per turn.  Mobility is a great way to keep an opponent on his/her toes.  It gives you the option of moving your creatures around the board to optimize your lanes and battlefield positions.

poison Poison: This ability deals damage to a creature at the start of each turn, and it acts very similar to poison in Pokemon.  Poison is a great way of slowly killing an opponent’s creature.  A creature affected by Poison 1 will take 1 damage at the start of each turn while a creature affected by Poison 3 will take 3 damage at the start of each turn.

regenerate Regenerate: This ability allows a creature to heal damage from itself at the start of each turn.  Regenerate is quite useful because it keeps your creatures alive longer by healing them every turn.  A creature with Regenerate 1 will heal 1 damage at the start of each turn while a creature with Regenerate 3 will heal 3 damage at the start of each turn.  Note, however, that a creature cannot heal itself for more than its maximum life.  For example, if you have a 6/6 Scavenger Scorpion with Regenerate 1 that takes 1 point of damage that puts him to 6/5, that Scavenger Scorpion will heal 1 damage and become a 6/6 at the beginning of the next turn.  If he takes no damage on that turn, he does not become a 6/7 at the start of the next turn because his maximum health is 6.  To take our example one step further, let’s pretend we played Enrage on our Scavenger Scorpion.  Now he is a 9/9, so he will heal 1 damage point every turn until he is at a maximum health of 9.

changed Changed: This symbol can mean many different things during the course of a game.  It is used to call out a change to a creature that you might otherwise not have known about during the run of play.  For example, if you play Rite of the Grimgaunt on a creature, that creature gains a new ability.  To show this the game places this changed icon on the creature.

defensive Defensive: This symbol will appear on creatures entering play that do not have the aggressive ability.  This is like summoning sickness in Magic.  This symbol is used to let you know that the creature can’t attack or use activations until the beginning of your next turn.  The creature can still deal damage, though, if attacked.

Deck Building

Deck building in SolForge allows you to take cards from your collection and battle with opponents.  Much like all other card games, SolForge has restrictions to how decks can be built.  First, a deck must have exactly 30 cards, no more, no less.  Second, a deck cannot have more than 3 copies of the same card.  That means no building a deck with 30 Echowisps!  Third, and finally, a deck can only be made up of two factions at most.  You can create a single faction deck if you want, but you cannot create a deck with cards from more than two different factions.  You can save up to 6 different decks at one time in SolForge.

So you want to build a deck?  Where do you start?  First, you should decide what kind of strategy you want to use with the deck.  Do you want a deck that will control the game more and level up your cards, or do you want a deck that will be aggressive and try to defeat your opponent as quick as possible?  Once you have decided your strategy, then you pick your faction(s).  Aggressive creature decks could be just Tempys or just Uterra, but they could also contain some combination of the two factions.  Mono-faction decks can be quite good, but duo-faction decks could give you more synergies in the cards and help strengthen your weaknesses.  Once you’ve decided the basics, it is time to start going over some good deck building strategies.

Deck Building Strategies

As you gain experience in SolForge, you will see for yourself which cards work well with each other.  When deck building, you want build a deck containing cards that synergize well with each other.  For example, Spring Dryad gains attack and health whenever a creature enters your side of the battlefield.  To get the most out of her, you can add cards like Hunting Pack, Ether Hounds, and Echowisp to your deck to make the most out of her ability.  Just don’t try to do too much in one deck.  If your deck has too many plans, there is a good chance it will do poorly at all of them.  One of the most important things in SolForge is the leveling system.  Cards get exceedingly better with every level.  At the same time, there are some cards that become almost useless if not leveled up appropriately.  For example, if you don’t level up an Enrage early in the game, it isn’t too bad because you can still play it as a level 1 card later to give your guy a little boost in attack and health.  On the flip side, Dreadbolt is a card you really need to level up to be useful late game.  At level 1 it says “Target level 1 creature gets -health equal to its attack this turn.”  If you do not level Dreadbolt up early and draw it later in the game, chances are it will be a dead card in your hand because it has no level 1 creatures to target.  With this in mind, you want to build a deck that doesn’t contain too many of those “need-to-level” cards.  Cards in a deck should be placed in three somewhat separate groups: the must-level group, the nice-to-level group, and the don’t-need-to-level group.

Must-Level: Cards in the must-level group should be cards that you will play almost every time (if not every time) you draw them.  This is because they either become useless late game if you don’t level them, or it is because they become game changers late game.  A popular card that is a must-level card is the Savant.  Each faction has a Savant, and each Savant does a lot of work during the course of a game if he is leveled early.  If you draw a Savant late game that is level 1, you won’t be taking advantage of the useful ability that card has at levels 2 and 3.  Each deck can contain must-level cards, but be careful not to put in too many.  Otherwise you will have a lot of dead draws late game.  Since most decks revolve around playing and leveling the must-level cards, you will probably be running 3 copies of each must-level card in your deck.

Nice-to-Level: Cards in the nice-to-level group should be cards that you will play if there is an opportunity to play them without losing tempo in the game.  These cards might fall off late game, but they don’t fall off as hard as the must-level cards do.  For example, a nice-to-level card in a Uterra deck might be Spring Dryad.  The card’s ability can still make it a big creature late game if you play it as a level 1.  That being said, if you get a chance to play it early because you don’t have any must-level cards to play, then you can benefit from its ability even more later in the game.  Nice-to-level cards are often situational cards, and therefore there might only be 1 or 2 copies of a single nice-to-level card in your deck.

Don’t-Need-to-Level: Cards in the don’t-need-to-level group should contain cards that are usable at any point in a game.  Again, take Enrage for example.  It might be useful to level up an Enrage early to keep one of your creatures on the board, but its ability is still useful at level 1 if you don’t get a chance to level it.  Don’t-Need-to-Level cards don’t have to just be spells either.  Seismic Adept says “Activate to move target creature an opponent controls to another one of that player’s available spaces.”  Because this card’s ability doesn’t have a level requirement on which creature it can move, you can still benefit from the ability late game without leveling it early.  Like nice-to-level cards, don’t-need-to-level cards may be situational cards.  They can also be fillers and spells that can help turn a game around at any time.  Because of this, you may only want to add 1 or 2 copies of each don’t-need-to-level card in your deck.

One final strategy when deck building is to give yourself many different options.  Having 3 copies of 10 different cards means you will increase the probability of seeing each card, but it also doesn’t give you a lot of options during the course of a game.  Having 1 copy of a card here and 2 copies of a card there will give you some variance in each hand you draw.  Having many different options may be the difference in a match!

Playing the Game

Now that you have your deck ready, it is time to play the game!  You can jump right into a match against a computer by clicking the Quick Play button.  SolForge will randomly give you a deck from your list of decks and will randomly give the bot a deck from your list of decks.  If you want to choose which deck you play or what bot level you want to go up against, you can create a game and select your desired options by clicking the Create Game button.  If you want to play against a friend in a hot seat game (two people playing a game using the same device/computer), select your deck and choose either the Offline Friend option.  If you want to play against a friend online, click the Online Friend option and choose between a timed game or an untimed game.  A timed game is a live game where each player has 30 minutes to make all his moves.  An untimed game is an asynchronous game where time is not a factor.  You will be notified every time it is your turn to play.  Once you’ve selected a game type, you can choose a friend from your list or search for a friend using the search option.  Finally, if you want to try your deck against a random online opponent, be sure to select the Random Online Match option.

Once the game starts, a player is chosen at random to go first.  The person who goes first has the advantage of getting creatures out before the opponent.  However, he/she only gets to play 1 card that first turn unlike the normal 2 cards per turn.  Once a player has been chosen to go first, the first turn begins.  Each turn has multiple phases.

SolForge Turn Phases

Beginning of Turn Phase: During the beginning of turn phase, creatures lose the defensive de-buff and go on the offensive.   This means that you can use a creature’s activations and abilities, and the creature will now attack the opponent during every attack phase.  After this, any effects that trigger at the start of a turn occur.  This includes (but is not limited to) poison and regeneration.

Main Phase 1: During main phase 1, you have the option to activate abilities or play cards.  You are not required to play any cards during main phase 1.  At the same time, it may be most beneficial for you to play both cards during this phase, and that is perfectly okay too.

Battle Phase: The battle phase begins as soon as the Battle button is pressed.  All offensive creatures will attack and deal damage.  Creatures that die will be removed from the battlefield unless otherwise stated.

Main Phase 2: During main phase 2, you have the option to activate abilities that you have not already activated.  You can also play cards if you have not used up both your plays for the turn.

End of Turn Phase: The end of turn phase begins as soon as the End Turn button is pressed.  First, effects that last until the end of turn expire.  For example, Dreadbolt makes a creature lose health equal to its attack until the end of turn.  If that create wasn’t destroyed, it would regain its health during this part of the end of turn phase.  Next, you discard all unplayed cards from your hand.  You do not get to save any cards in your hand.  Next, you level up if your meter has filled.  If you do level up, all cards that have been put to the discard pile are then shuffled back into your deck.  The cards you leveled up will now be drawable from your deck.  Finally, you draw a new hand of five cards.  This will be your hand at the beginning of your next turn.

Each turn will bring changes to the battlefield.  The battlefield has five different lanes.  Creatures will battle each other and deal player damage.  Spells will be cast to alter the path of the game.  Play continues between the two players until a player’s life has been reduced to zero or below.  In the event of a tie (both players have zero or less life after damage is dealt), the person whose health is closest to zero will be declared the winner.  Winning will require a combination of how well built your deck is, how good your strategies and plays are, and how lucky you are when you draw cards from your deck.  This is a card game after all, so the luck element will always be a hurdle every player has to overcome.  During the course of a game, think about some of these strategies.

Game Play Strategies

Have a game plan…with room for change.  Remember, we spent a lot of time determining what cards in our deck are must-level cards.  If you draw those cards, stick with the game plan!  Level those cards up as soon as possible!  However, don’t be so tied down to your game plan that you don’t even make it to your late game.  If you need to change the game plan slightly because of your opponent’s deck, don’t be afraid to do it.  Of course, knowing when to do this comes with experience, just like any game.  Another key strategy is keeping your core creatures alive.  You have 100 health at the beginning of the game.  You don’t need to trade every creature off.  Some of your creatures will be better if they stay alive longer.  Don’t be afraid to take some early damage by not blocking an opponent’s creature.  Place the creatures you want to keep alive in empty lanes and plan on the creature staying alive for at least one turn!  Taking a couple attacks of a 3 attack creature isn’t too harmful in the grand scheme of things if you are building up and winning all the other lanes.  Keep this in mind!

Inventory/Store

You inventory contains all the product that you currently own.  This doesn’t include cards, which are in the deck builder.  Instead, your inventory will contain any packs you have yet to open.  It will also hold any battlefield skins you own.  If you have enough silver or gold, you can go to the store to buy more product.  Once bought, the product will move to your inventory.

Questions/Answers

This section is to help keep this post organic, fresh, and up to date.  If you have any questions about anything, please ask.  I will put the questions that I feel need to be called out the most in this section.

What is the Pauper/Unheroic game format?  Unheroic (also known as Pauper) is the format where you can only build a deck using common and rare cards.  You may not include any heroic or legendary cards.  This game format is a great way for newer players to play competitively with their limited card pools.

Selfless Plug

I hope this document has been quite helpful to you!  If you have any questions, please post them and I will be happy to answer them for you!  Do you want more content?  You can follow me on twitter (@dehboyTV)  and twitch (dehboy333) to find out when I stream SolForge!  I’m currently streaming daily.  I will be happy to answer any and all questions regarding SolForge, especially questions about deck building and theory crafting.  Please stop by and check me out some time!  Also, you can bookmark this page for easy access to all updates that happen.  Deck tech articles will be up weekly!  Thanks for reading, and good luck SolForging your way to greatness!

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