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Subject: Where to put advancement cards? A first approach. rss

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Martin Larouche
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Many seem to wonder on which cards advancements should be inserted?
Should we focus on filling up single cards or spread the upgrades amongst several?

I'll try to provide a small overview of where advancements should theoretically be put in this post, from my small analysis of the game. Bear in mind this may drastically change as expansions are released...

------------------

For the most part, there is little to zero differences between putting many advancements in a single card or spreading them amongst several cards. That's because in Mystic Vale, contrary to other deckbuilders, your hand size isn't fixed. You simply draw until you have 3 decay symbols up. So whether you get 4 empty cards and 2 full ones or 6 cards with only one advancement on each, there's no difference there.

However, many advancements do interact with other ones. Which makes things more complex.
So here how a deck "should" (theoretically) be optimized (according to my own observations):

- Advancements that cancel decay symbols should, obviously, be put on cursed lands. They are pointless on their own cards by themselves.
The advancements that cancel "all but one" decay should still be put on cursed lands. Initially, they won't cancel it, but if you can find that high point-giving advancement later on that have a decay symbol on it and fits nicely in the third slot of that card, you'll be set.

- Early advancements that have a green tree and gives you -1 mana for your turn are effectively a way to get rid of unwanted cards seen in other deckbuilders... Mystic Vale style. If you put them on a cursed land card, it effectively cancel the cursed land. Cancelling both the effect of the decay symbol and it's mana symbol. Having a bunch of these makes it much easier later on to turn up hands of 10+ cards...

- of course, never put more than one decay symbol on a single card unless you have a "cancel decay" ability somewhere on there (or a green tree, which for all intent and purposes is a cancel decay thing). They even warn you of this in the rulebook, with good reasons.

- If you don't cancel a cursed land, leave them alone. Don't put anything else on them. Because later effects can make you discard unwanted cards. Make sure a cursed land card is easy to select. A cursed land card with good advancements is not necesarilly something you want to get rid of. Better have those advancements on other cards and get rid of that lone cursed land that has no positive to give you over any other cards.

- Advancements with helmet symbols on them, or with effect related to helmet symbols should obviously be put together. If you don't have another such card in your field, then put them on blank cards. Don't merge them with fertile or cursed lands. This way, they'll still have two more possible advancements slots to put on them later on.

- Advancements with Vale symbols (those tree, bear paw and sun symbol things). Those are better put as much as possible together on the same cards. Because it's better to draw a card with say, 4 symbols on them so you can buy and choose a good Vale card every time your card come up than have those symbols on different cards that may not show up on the same hand, giving you only 1 symbol each time, never allowing you to buy anything.

- Mana-giving cards are a different beast to judge however. If you want to buy those expansive level 3 advancements, it's better to have a bunch of mana given with a single card than have only half your mana turn up in two separate hands. However doing this too much may provide you in the late game with turns where you simply have WAY too many mana (i had a turn where i got 31 mana once). Remember you can only buy 2 advancements, so the extra mana will be effectively wasted. And then the next few turns are going to be wasted as your mana will all be gone from your deck, leaving you with only a few mana you can't use to buy anything, resulting in pointless turns.

-------------------------------

This is the general approach i'm using while playing Mystic Vale. So far, i'm doing well in games.
Feel free to contribute to this thing...

[edit: added a point]
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Chad Egbert
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deedob wrote:
Many seem to wonder on which cards advancements should be inserted?
Should we focus on filling up single cards or spread the upgrades amongst several?

I'll try to provide a small overview of where advancements should theoretically be put in this post, from my small analysis of the game. Bear in mind this may drastically change as expansions are released...

------------------

For the most part, there is little to zero differences between putting many advancements in a single card or spreading them amongst several cards. That's because in Mystic Vale, contrary to other deckbuilders, your hand size isn't fixed. You simply draw until you have 3 decay symbols up. So whether you get 4 empty cards and 2 full ones or 6 cards with only one advancement on each, there's no difference there.

However, many advancements do interact with other ones. Which makes things more complex.
So here how a deck "should" (theoretically) be optimized (according to my own observations):

- Advancements that cancel decay symbols should, obviously, be put on cursed lands. They are pointless on their own cards by themselves.
The advancements that cancel "all but one" decay should still be put on cursed lands. Initially, they won't cancel it, but if you can find that high point-giving advancement later on that have a decay symbol on it and fits nicely in the third slot of that card, you'll be set.

- Early advancements that have a green tree and gives you -1 mana for your turn are effectively a way to get rid of unwanted cards seen in other deckbuilders... Mystic Vale style. If you put them on a cursed land card, it effectively cancel the cursed land. Cancelling both the effect of the decay symbol and it's mana symbol. Having a bunch of these makes it much easier later on to turn up hands of 10+ cards...

- If you don't cancel a cursed land, leave them alone. Don't put anything else on them. Because later effects can make you discard unwanted cards. Make sure a cursed land card is easy to select. A cursed land card with good advancements is not necesarilly something you want to get rid of. Better have those advancements on other cards and get rid of that lone cursed land that has no positive to give you over any other cards.

- Advancements with helmet symbols on them, or with effect related to helmet symbols should obviously be put together. If you don't have another such card in your field, then put them on blank cards. Don't merge them with fertile or cursed lands. This way, they'll still have two more possible advancements slots to put on them later on.

- Advancements with Vale symbols (those tree, bear paw and sun symbol things). Those are better put as much as possible together on the same cards. Because it's better to draw a card with say, 4 symbols on them so you can buy and choose a good Vale card every time your card come up than have those symbols on different cards that may not show up on the same hand, giving you only 1 symbol each time, never allowing you to buy anything.

- Mana-giving cards are a different beast to judge however. If you want to buy those expansive level 3 advancements, it's better to have a bunch of mana given with a single card than have only half your mana turn up in two separate hands. However doing this too much may provide you in the late game with turns where you simply have WAY too many mana (i had a turn where i got 31 mana once). Remember you can only buy 2 advancements, so the extra mana will be effectively wasted. And then the next few turns are going to be wasted as your mana will all be gone from your deck, leaving you with only a few mana you can't use to buy anything, resulting in pointless turns.

-------------------------------

This is the general approach i'm using while playing Mystic Vale. So far, i'm doing well in games.
Feel free to contribute to this thing...


I've played the game 5 times now and have tried different approaches when buying/inserting advancements.

I like to occasionally put advancements on blank cards, my reasoning is you can easily draw, for example, a cursed land, 2 or 3 blanks, and 2 more cursed lands and be done with your turn. If the cursed lands aren't upgraded, you only have 2 mana to spend. So, if some of the blanks have some advancements on them you have more to spend.

I also like to put a few non-growth (spoil cancelling) on decay cards. For me it's kind of the same as the blank cards, if I only get a few cards out at least the decay are giving me something.

Bunching advancements together with spirit symbols is a good idea, so as you say you have a better chance at buying a vale card.
 
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Martin Larouche
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pekin2121 wrote:
deedob wrote:
Many seem to wonder on which cards advancements should be inserted?
Should we focus on filling up single cards or spread the upgrades amongst several?

I'll try to provide a small overview of where advancements should theoretically be put in this post, from my small analysis of the game. Bear in mind this may drastically change as expansions are released...

------------------

For the most part, there is little to zero differences between putting many advancements in a single card or spreading them amongst several cards. That's because in Mystic Vale, contrary to other deckbuilders, your hand size isn't fixed. You simply draw until you have 3 decay symbols up. So whether you get 4 empty cards and 2 full ones or 6 cards with only one advancement on each, there's no difference there.

However, many advancements do interact with other ones. Which makes things more complex.
So here how a deck "should" (theoretically) be optimized (according to my own observations):

- Advancements that cancel decay symbols should, obviously, be put on cursed lands. They are pointless on their own cards by themselves.
The advancements that cancel "all but one" decay should still be put on cursed lands. Initially, they won't cancel it, but if you can find that high point-giving advancement later on that have a decay symbol on it and fits nicely in the third slot of that card, you'll be set.

- Early advancements that have a green tree and gives you -1 mana for your turn are effectively a way to get rid of unwanted cards seen in other deckbuilders... Mystic Vale style. If you put them on a cursed land card, it effectively cancel the cursed land. Cancelling both the effect of the decay symbol and it's mana symbol. Having a bunch of these makes it much easier later on to turn up hands of 10+ cards...

- If you don't cancel a cursed land, leave them alone. Don't put anything else on them. Because later effects can make you discard unwanted cards. Make sure a cursed land card is easy to select. A cursed land card with good advancements is not necesarilly something you want to get rid of. Better have those advancements on other cards and get rid of that lone cursed land that has no positive to give you over any other cards.

- Advancements with helmet symbols on them, or with effect related to helmet symbols should obviously be put together. If you don't have another such card in your field, then put them on blank cards. Don't merge them with fertile or cursed lands. This way, they'll still have two more possible advancements slots to put on them later on.

- Advancements with Vale symbols (those tree, bear paw and sun symbol things). Those are better put as much as possible together on the same cards. Because it's better to draw a card with say, 4 symbols on them so you can buy and choose a good Vale card every time your card come up than have those symbols on different cards that may not show up on the same hand, giving you only 1 symbol each time, never allowing you to buy anything.

- Mana-giving cards are a different beast to judge however. If you want to buy those expansive level 3 advancements, it's better to have a bunch of mana given with a single card than have only half your mana turn up in two separate hands. However doing this too much may provide you in the late game with turns where you simply have WAY too many mana (i had a turn where i got 31 mana once). Remember you can only buy 2 advancements, so the extra mana will be effectively wasted. And then the next few turns are going to be wasted as your mana will all be gone from your deck, leaving you with only a few mana you can't use to buy anything, resulting in pointless turns.

-------------------------------

This is the general approach i'm using while playing Mystic Vale. So far, i'm doing well in games.
Feel free to contribute to this thing...


I've played the game 5 times now and have tried different approaches when buying/inserting advancements.

I like to occasionally put advancements on blank cards, my reasoning is you can easily draw, for example, a cursed land, 2 or 3 blanks, and 2 more cursed lands and be done with your turn. If the cursed lands aren't upgraded, you only have 2 mana to spend. So, if some of the blanks have some advancements on them you have more to spend.

I also like to put a few non-growth (spoil cancelling) on decay cards. For me it's kind of the same as the blank cards, if I only get a few cards out at least the decay are giving me something.

Bunching advancements together with spirit symbols is a good idea, so as you say you have a better chance at buying a vale card.


I wouldn't put ANY advancements on cursed lands that are not specifically related to decay as i can't see any benefit to doing so and i see downsides.

Whether you put your advancements on cursed lands or on blank cards makes no difference when you draw. You'll keep drawing and putting your advancements into play until you get to 3 decay symbols.

However if you added advancements to your cursed land cards, then it simply means that if you ever get an ability to discard a harmful cursed land, you'll get rid of the advancement you put on it at the same time. Better to keep it on that blank card... If you draw it, you'll still continue drawing until you get that cursed land and both the cursed land AND the advancement will be in play.

In short, there's zero difference between putting advancements (not related to decay) on cursed lands or on blank cards. However you will also lose the advancement if you use an ability to discard the card with the cursed land that also has an advancement on it.

... just my thoughts...
 
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Jeff Thornsen
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I actually like putting advancements onto Cursed Lands. Because you will (almost) always have 2 Cursed Lands in your hand, you might as well make some of them good.

Drawing a Cursed Land that's worth 3 Mana makes it more likely you can always afford something to buy each turn. If all of your Cursed Land cards have just 1 mana on them, you'll end up with turns where you can't afford to buy anything good.

I think a lot will depend on whether you buy early upgrades that discard cards from your hand, or simply cancel decay. If you have a lot of discard abilities, it makes sense to keep your Cursed Lands blank to avoid wasting the discard ability.
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Sean Growley
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I am also of the school of thought of not putting advancements on cursed lands unless you are forced to. IMO peace symbol cards, I believe, should NOT be placed on cursed lands. IMO putting the peace symbol cards on blanks is better than putting them on cursed lands. This is because of the deadwood harvester and other discard a card in your field cards. You want to use those cards on cursed lands , so if more cursed lands have peace on them, those discard a card in your field cards are less effective and could give you an unlucky situation where you don't have a cursed land to discard when you play it. If you don't have the discard cards in your deck it doesn't matter too much I guess, but it's just better to not place them on cursed lands in case you do buy those cards.
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Having seen many turns end with two Cursed Lands in play and a third on top of the deck, I have started putting fertile soil with these, allowing me to reach 6 mana with only two cards. Works pretty well. It's of course useless in that case, but it helps if you have no control over your decay symbols.

Overall, this is the kind of game where general advice is useful, but where you have to adapt to what's available, what you drew, and how other people play (sorry but this is not as solitaire multiplayer as others imply, you still have to pay close attention to what others are doing). In that respect, there is no never do this or that, only doing this works in that kind of situation, but not in this kind of situation.

I had a lot of decay symbols last time and no way to cancel them, meaning I could not generate a lot of mana. But it netted me a lot of VP and I won with 11 more points than my opponent. I would not recommand playing that way. But still, it worked. It just depends on the meta, and that's how you can figure out a good player
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