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Subject: Struggling with Guardians (& Gear?) rss

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Daily Grind
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Hi there, I recently managed to pick of a copy of this game and of course my first game got trounced, as I would expect in any new co-op. But several plays later, I'm still struggling with the Guardians.

There is another thread here (How to enjoy this game?) with some great tips for new players. So I played my games with 4 characters, 2 bands of 2 for much of the time as we take on the monster lairs, but then joining into a band of 4 for the guardians. I was playing 2 boards + shadows to keep it manageable and I did lots of healthy retreating when an encounter got a lucky roll. (all good advice).

I exhausted every monster lair and got as much treasure as I could (I know you can go back, but the odds of finding treasure get pretty low) but my party had lots of plus damage, movement, and protection but very little in the way of CR buffs. Many of the treasure pulls had to be discarded because I was already carrying an item of that type. I had 2 potions on each avatar and a pile of shards.

And yet, when I hit the Guardians, I found myself in an brutal encounter. They pulled abilities which gave plus CR for themselves and minus CR to me such that it was highly improbable that even with 4 dice I would manage to beat their CR even with spending a shard. I retreated and regrouped, and managed to roll an even worse creature.

Guardians are supposed to be tough, but with the lairs exhausted, what else should I be doing to prep? Maybe I just had an unlucky game. I'm enjoying the play but I feel like I'm missing some fundamental approach.

So I guess my question is: Am I missing a strategy for gearing up? Is it normal to exhaust the lairs? Unless you manage to get the City of Merchants, it seems like you might have a hard time of it if you don't get the right gear.
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Jim Felli
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Thanks for adding this thread! I think that you raise an important question. Most games complete with several lairs untapped.

The first thing I'll ask is whether you attacked the Guardian as a band (it sounds like you did from your description). If so, did you use your soulshards to their maximum potential? Since each avatar may invoke 1 soulshard per combat phase (more if there are revealed Light Wells in the game), a band of X-many avatars would be able to invoke up to X-many soulshards per phase for a +X CR each phase. If a shard color matches at least one of the Guardian's ability colors, that shard is worth +2 rather than +1. I'm wondering whether you gave yourself all the shard bonuses you could when you attacked the Guardian?
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Daily Grind
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Hi Jim, I was a band of 4 but it sounds like I might not have been using the shards well. I was under the impression that each avatar was able to add +1 CR to their individual die roll, but it sounds like you're saying I take the highest roll from the band and add the cumulative shard bonus?

If so that would certainly be my mistake.
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Jim Felli
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Yes. That will make things much easier!
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Chris Alton
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Yes, I can attest to this, too. Soulshards are immensely powerful and it's not unusual for me to burn through them in order to make my next CR an automatic win. Choosing the time to do this is a key skill.

One of my favourite Masteries is the Light Bender. His ability can ensure that your coloured shards will always match whatever beast you are fighting and gain that +2 CR bonus that Jim mentioned.
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Daily Grind
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Thanks guys. Once more into the breach then.
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Greg
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cafin8d wrote:
Thanks guys. Once more into the breach then.

I also suggest going to the file's section and printing out the ones I did for easy access to info that is often missed in the game. Once I created those info cards, it opened my eyes to the entire system because I understood it better so as to make the best choices possible.

One time I had 2 shadows coming at me towards the same Well. In order deal with them I disbanded 1 avatar with a nasty scroll and took the other two to attack the second together.

Also once you get the shadows to 1 or 2 health, I normally just retreat. Chances are in your favor that the Guardians will kill them for you.
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