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Subject: Year Seven Strategy Guide rss

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David Jones
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I’m going to start off with a couple of small but important notes. First, this being labeled as a year seven post means that nothing is off limits in terms of spoilers. If you’re not at year seven yet and you don’t want to know what’s coming, please consider adding this post to your Quickbar so you don’t forget about it. Then, come back when you’re ready so you can share your input. Second, I’m going to assume that you have read my year four strategy guide. Some of the concepts I talk about there are going to be built upon here. If you didn’t read it, stop now and at read at least the first five bolded points. You can skip the rest since its pretty specific to year 4.

I’m going to lead off with with what, IMHO, is the biggest key to winning, and that come back to the concept of timers.

Timer Control. In the year four strategy guide, I talk about the location timer and the villain deck timer. Year seven changes this dynamic dramatically. The game now has three timers: Location Control, Villain Deck, and the Horcrux Deck. Understanding how these timers work with each other is the key to winning. As you’ve hopefully learned from years 4-6, when you start off a game, you really don’t have any control over either locations or villains, but if you can do something really clever like put Crabbe and Dolores on the board, you most likely have control over the villain deck. That third slot might be a tough villain, but that’s the only villain really giving you a problem. If you get really lucky and drop Tom or Lucius into that third slot, that timer has effectively stopped running. The bad guys are not after you; they are queued up and patiently waiting for you to beat them down. Similarly, if you’ve put enough cards in your decks that you can remove control tokens, you can stop this timer too. If you have enough healing to manage the damage being dealt, the DA deck is probably dropping control slower than you can remove it. So again, that timer has stopped running. In practice, this is actually difficult to do, but it is actually possible to put the game into a state where it is effectively frozen. If you can heal and remove control faster than the villains and the DA can dish it out, you can run the game perpetually. This “frozen” state is effectively the goal you are trying to get to. Why? Because unlike the villain timer and the location timer, you do not have any control over the Horcrux timer. You need to run this down as part of your victory condition, but luck a huge problem here. The die rolls are random. Unless you have Hogwarts, A History in your deck, you have no control over which dice you get to roll. Also, you’ve probably been buying cards with the aim of controlling villains, controlling locations, and healing, but these cards may not have any die rolls in them at all, so you can’t even control the frequency with which you get to roll dice. You need to freeze the game so you can cycle die rolls through your decks until you’ve taken out all six Horcruxes. Once that’s done, you can unfreeze the game and use all of your new found powers to clean the villains out.

Sounds a bit idyllic and unrealistic doesn’t it? It kind of is. Technically, I have achieved a frozen state in a couple of my games, but realistically its very hard to make it happen. Sometimes you have to kill an easy villain you don’t really want to because you need the reward for something else. Sometimes the right duo or trio of villains will never coalesce properly. Sometimes the DA deck will hammer you with three or four cards one a single turn and you have to scramble to contain the damage. What tends to happen in reality is that you just aim for the “frozen” state and, even though you never properly freeze the game, you can often get it slow enough to the point where you can manage all the moving parts just long enough to take the Horcruxes out before the villains break out again. But the really key point to all of this, and there is no overstressing this, is that you really do not have control over when you destroy Horcruxes. The corollary to this is that you have to learn how to leverage the control you do have in order to find the time needed to deal with the control you don’t have. If you don’t get this concept, I don’t see how you can build an effective winning strategy. This is also why it helps me to think of the villain deck and the control tokens as timers. If you don’t learn how to “stop” the location timer from running, the DA deck will eventually take over the game. Similarly, if you end up in a situation where you feel you constantly have to beat up villains to stay ahead, Voldemort will come out before you’ve emptied the Horcrux deck and its really difficult to take him on for an extended period of time. So in this sense, the nature of the villain timer has changed. In previous years you are typically trying to run this timer out as fast as you can, but now you need to go a step further and learn how to slow it down to the pace you want it to be at. If you kill all the villains off too fast, Voldemort can drop control faster than you can remove it. Getting to him too soon can be real a problem. This also means that healing becomes a more important factor than what I stressed in the year 4-6 guide. In previous years, killing villains is a viable means of removing control tokens which is what made attacks more valuable than healing. But now, killing villains too fast is a legitimate problem, so you need to use healing to drop dropping control via stunning. You will run into situations where you have to be able to undo being hit by DA cards, which isn’t something attacks alone can do. So there is an ebb and flow and push and pull between the three timers. It takes a few plays to get used to it. But once you understand it and learn how all the currents flow together, you can actually start scripting out your victories.

Horcrux management. This is another aspect of the game that I had a hard time dealing with for a few games and, to some extent, I’m not still 100% confident I have a good understanding of. So let me start by saying that while I’ve made a big deal about the fact that you can’t control this deck, that is somewhat not true. Its more accurate to say that you can’t control how fast you destroy Horcruxes, but you can control how slow you destroy them. This might sound strange: why wouldn’t you destroy a Horcrux if you can? Because if you’ve wound up your decks with a lot of attacks, the Ring can actually do more damage to you than the Diary. Remember that taking damage ultimately makes it harder to control locations. That Diary can be a pain, but it only hits you once every other turn. That ring, if you’re loaded on attacks, can hit you twice as hard nearly every round. The locket? It may not seem worse since its not actually attacking you, but in year seven every character’s ability has been upgraded to help everyone on the team. The locket shuts down Harry, Hermione, Charms, History of Magic, limits Potions, and makes half your die rolls ineffective. I’m typically happiest with the Cup. The cup doesn’t attack you. If you are having problems managing your villain and location timers, the cup is the only time in the game when Horcrux deck is not attacking you and giving you some breathing space to regroup. I imagine people are going to hate the cup for the same reason they hate Lucius, but I’m going to stand behind my claim that villain healing doesn’t hurt you and when you have a strong attack decks, you can attack villains faster than the game can heals them. But going back to the idea of not destroying a Horcrux, there are times when you may have to judge how the flow of all the timers are moving and if can afford to deal with revealing a more punishing Horcrux. On the other hand, there is value in rushing to destroy the ring. Every time you put it on Sauron can see where you are and send... no, wait… Remember that maintaining control of the first location is always your highest priority and the ring is a guaranteed control removal once per round. If you don’t have cards in your deck that remove location control, you may need that ability more than you need to be able to share attack/influence tokens. While I still stand by my claim that you defend location one at all costs, just bear in mind that the non-sharing penalty of the locket could be the difference between buying or not buying the Deluminator. Everything is situational. Again, there is a flow between all three timers and knowing when push forward and hold back on destroying a Horcrux is part of that flow.

Hero/Proficiency Selection: So this definitely requires a different level of analysis than what was brought up in the year four strategy guide. However, I am inclined to want to put Proficiencies in a separate post so we can dig into them with deeper detail. For now, I’m just going to highlight a couple of cards and combos that are worth noting.
Flying Lessons – Always bring this card. Again, priority one is holding the first location and this gives you options if the right cards don’t come out of the Hogwarts deck. Usually best paired with Hermione.
Charms – Part of being able to maintain any kind of control is the ability to cycle your best cards through your deck. This ability lets everyone cycle their deck more quickly.
Herbology – With Neville, this similarly gives you the ability to cycle decks more frequently.
Transfiguration – This really is an awesome card. Those turns when you really need that one specific thing to happen, you can usually just take it out of your deck.
Divination – Again, a great ability as you can both cycle your deck and also setup your next turn. Good with any hero, but works well with Neville since most healing abilities come from items.
Davy’s Dream Teams:
2 player: Hermione / Flying, Neville / Herbology or Ron / Charms
3 player: Hermione / Flying, Neville / Herbology, Ron / Charms
4 player: Hermione / Flying, Neville / Herbology, Ron / Transfiguration, Harry / Charms
Having said that, part of the fun of replaying the game is playing with different combos and learning how they work. I don’t play this setup every game, its just the setup I would use if I want the highest chance of victory.

Quick stats about the full DA deck: There are 41 cards, 9 that force another pull, so it really only takes 32 turns to cycle the DA deck. The full deck damages the active hero 34 times and all players 22 times, meaning the expected amount of damage per card is 1 + 0.69 per player. The probability of a control drop is 32% per turn and the odds you will discard a card are 15% per turn.

Villain Management: There is really no new concept here different from year four. The only difference, which I’ve already mentioned above, is that there are going to be times when you actually don’t want to be attacking. You need to give yourself some breathing space to take care of other things.

Kill priority:
Bellatrix – per above, her damage drop is 2.4 per turn in a 2 player game and goes up with more players. She also doubles the rate of control drop, not to mention all the other messed up effects that flipping an extra card can do to you. She makes the Dementor look tame.
Dementor
Barty Crouch
Fenrir – His ability is going to result in a lot of control drop due to stunning. You need shut him down fast and the reward is also good enough to warrant him being a high priority target.
Basilisk – this villain gets a higher priority in year seven. It shuts down Charms and Herbology as well as a lot of really good cards and a die roll effect. This is a situational call and could go lower, but it really is a high priority for me.
Quirrel – I have Quirrel ranked this high because that stats say that he does more damage per turn than everyone below. However, because his damage is predictable you can plan around it. Sometimes this actually makes him a nicer villain than a DE or Draco. A predictable damage of one is easier to thwart than an unpredictable damage of two.
Draco – 0.64 damage per turn
Death Eater – 0.125 damage per player per turn
Tom – Dependent upon deck builds, he could go higher.
Dolores
Crabbe/Goyle
Lucius

As in previous years, Pettigrew is dependent upon when he shows up; the larger your deck is, the more control he can drop. Dolores can also be situational. As a start villain she will often hit you almost once per turn while you are trying to build your deck, which means she can actually do more damage than Draco. As a late villain, you often find that you don’t want to buy cards anymore and you’ve got enough healing that her attack is meaningless. Finally, it bears repeating that this is not a hard written script I’m saying you should follow. Situations can change a villain’s relative threat, especially the active Horcrux.

Quirrel is what I would call the “freeze line.” If the three villains on the board are in that bottom eight (there are two Death Eaters), there is at least a chance that you can control the villain attacks well enough to shut the villain timer down completely and get your game into a “frozen” state.

I think that’s really it as far as year seven goes. The real trick comes down to learning how to balance the three decks. As you get better at the game, you will start to learn how to apply the breaks to each timer and also when its safe to ease up on them. Once you start to grok the interactions going on, you will start seeing how you can make things fall into place rather than simply hoping they fall into place.
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Matthew Cordeiro
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Another great strategy article! Thanks for putting this together. I've only played game 7 twice but managed to win both. Very different games, though, and I attribute it to what you said about the randomness of defeating the horcruxes. First, you're reliant on the luck of the draw to get dice-rolling cards. Second, you're reliant on rolling the right symbols at the right time.

In my first game 7, we were definitely beating the odds, and most rolls were going our way. In the second game, it was just the opposite. We were rolling tons of dice and coming up with misses 5 or 6 times in a row. Our dice rolls were so bad, we actually defeated all the villains and still had 2 horcruxes left.

The real conundrum we had was our dice rolling strategy. Often, you need 1 specific symbol, but the die you're rolling only gives you a 1/6 chance to get that symbol. Do you hope for a lucky roll, or do you cut your losses and apply the result to the heroes instead? In both our games, we went with the former - every die goes towards horcruxes. And like I said, it worked in the first game and failed in the second game. It was very frustrating to see die after die get wasted. And this is why "Hogwarts: A History" cards are must buys in game 7. You get to pick the die that gives you a 50/50 chance.
 
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David Jones
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cordeiro wrote:
The real conundrum we had was our dice rolling strategy. Often, you need 1 specific symbol, but the die you're rolling only gives you a 1/6 chance to get that symbol. Do you hope for a lucky roll, or do you cut your losses and apply the result to the heroes instead? In both our games, we went with the former - every die goes towards horcruxes.


Unless I really feel like the Horcrux underneath the active one is something I'm not ready to handle or the die roll is going to make a difference in terms of controlling location one, I usually push towards Horcruxes. A typical example might be that in the very early game, if I don't have the villains under control yet, I don't want to kill the diary because I'm still placing a lot of attack tokens on villains. The two health damage from the ring may be more than I can handle if I haven't got healing moving in my deck yet.

Quote:
It was very frustrating to see die after die get wasted. And this is why "Hogwarts: A History" cards are must buys in game 7. You get to pick the die that gives you a 50/50 chance.


There really is no strategy on this, which is why I have to emphasize the point above that you really don't have control over how quickly you can kill Horcruxes. The best you can do grab every copy of Hogwarts: A History you can find. I also typically give Accio to whichever hero has the most copies so they can repeatedly fish it out of their discard pile. (Notable exception: The player who has the deluminator always gets Accio.) But even then, I remember having a game where five Slytherin die rolls in a row failed to produce an attack token, so I'm just biding time because I can't kill Nagini. The other thing to remember is that Horcruxes 3-5 let you roll a die in exchange for discarding a card. So you discard those Aloharoma spells you don't need and use the earlier Horcruxes to help you defeat later ones.

The only other strategy I typically employ with Horcruxes is that if I'm focused on Horcruxes instead of villains, I typically need healing more than anything else. For Horcurxes that require multiple symbols, I usually fill the healing slot first, so any "unwanted" hearts that are rolled are going towards healing. Again, this might change depending on the situation, but in general this seems to work best for me.
 
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J Emmett
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cordeiro wrote:
Do you hope for a lucky roll, or do you cut your losses and apply the result to the heroes instead? In both our games, we went with the former - every die goes towards horcruxes. And like I said, it worked in the first game and failed in the second game. It was very frustrating to see die after die get wasted.

Are you deciding before you roll if you're going to apply the result to defeating a horcrux or gaining the benefit? The Game 7 rules seem to imply that you get to decide after you roll (when a rule in a co-op game is ambiguous, I always decide in favour of the players). This way no die roll gets wasted: if we need a heart to defeat a horcrux, but roll an attack, the horcrux remains but we all get an attack token.
 
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Matthew Cordeiro
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Gravey wrote:
cordeiro wrote:
Do you hope for a lucky roll, or do you cut your losses and apply the result to the heroes instead? In both our games, we went with the former - every die goes towards horcruxes. And like I said, it worked in the first game and failed in the second game. It was very frustrating to see die after die get wasted.

Are you deciding before you roll if you're going to apply the result to defeating a horcrux or gaining the benefit? The Game 7 rules seem to imply that you get to decide after you roll (when a rule in a co-op game is ambiguous, I always decide in favour of the players). This way no die roll gets wasted: if we need a heart to defeat a horcrux, but roll an attack, the horcrux remains but we all get an attack token.

Yes, we were deciding prior to roll the die. That's how I interpreted the rule. I'll go back and re-read it before our next game to more closely examine the wording.
 
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J Emmett
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cordeiro wrote:
Gravey wrote:
cordeiro wrote:
Do you hope for a lucky roll, or do you cut your losses and apply the result to the heroes instead? In both our games, we went with the former - every die goes towards horcruxes. And like I said, it worked in the first game and failed in the second game. It was very frustrating to see die after die get wasted.

Are you deciding before you roll if you're going to apply the result to defeating a horcrux or gaining the benefit? The Game 7 rules seem to imply that you get to decide after you roll (when a rule in a co-op game is ambiguous, I always decide in favour of the players). This way no die roll gets wasted: if we need a heart to defeat a horcrux, but roll an attack, the horcrux remains but we all get an attack token.

Yes, we were deciding prior to roll the die. That's how I interpreted the rule. I'll go back and re-read it before our next game to more closely examine the wording.

It's not really spelled out in the rules, but it's implied in the example:

Quote:
When you roll the GRYFFINDOR Die you roll a [card] and choose to apply the result to destroy the Horcrux (instead of all Heroes drawing a card)
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Joseph Calungsod
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I have have beat Year 7 multiple times now in 2-player games, and once with 4-player play group. I don't know if it was the luck of the cards or the way we play as a group, but Year 7 seems much easier than Year 6 for us. It may also be that the Year 7 character abilities are exponentially better than Year 3, but nevertheless, my only loss was a crappy starting villain set that included Bellatrix.

Our 4-player game had slightly different proficiencies; Harry had Arithmancy (House Dice cards cost 1 (influence) less and you may reroll dice) and Ron had "Defense Against the Dark Arts" to ensure 3+ lightning bolts per turn when DA events were being annyoing. It seemed as if Harry was the best suited for this as other characters had pretty clear roles, and he is the most versatile to support where ever needed. It also kind of made Ron this powerhouse, while everyone else could barely get 1 or 2 lightning bolts on their turns. One thing that may seem mechanically inefficient, but ironically very thematic was since Harry was getting most of the house dice cards, he was the only one acquiring the destroyed horcruxes. For whatever reason, it worked out in our favor as everyone else could focus their deck/hands on what they character excelled at.

The 'pausing' concept seemed to come in to play a lot more in Year 7, as Ron and Neville's abilities negated a lot of the damage done each turn, especially in 2-player games. The one 4-player game we played and won got to a point where Umbridge, Lucius, and the Basilisk were the active villains and we tuned our decks while the Cup kept Ron from killing the villains too fast.

My favorite moment by far was a turn before Bellatrix came out. I was playing Ron and Tom Riddle was almost dead, and the player before me wanted to kill him. I convinced her not to so I could do my "Protego" and "Defense Against the Dark Arts" shenanigans, so she spread the damage on to someone else, I can't remember right now but wasn't a big threat at the time. But on my turn Bellatrix was revealed and made me pull two DA cards that forced me to discard, giving me 3 extra lightning bolts leaving me with "Sirius Black", "Oliver Wood", "Alohamorra", and "Incendio", (which drew me "Viktor Krum"), and I one shotted a full health Bellatrix on that same turn she came out. At that point, we already felt as if we won the game. It was extremely lucky but it's experiences like those that make the game much more worth playing.
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J Emmett
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We've won Game 7 twice now (two players) after reading this guide (and after losing twice before), and my conclusion, completely in line with davypi's, is that location control is the first priority (with the corollary that good healing is necessary), even before defeating villains.

Our first win was with Hermione/Flying Lessons and Ron/Charms. We did everything we could to stay on the first location, not letting it get beyond three tokens, and got some good use out of Flying early. We bought die-rolling cards early but left the horcruxes for the mid-game (in one loss we neglected buying die-rolling cards before we intended to destroy horcruxes—unwise), destroying the first three quickly, then leaving the not-so-bad Cup up while dealing with some more villains. Now our spells and horcrux were taking care of excess control tokens and Flying was pretty much over. When it was time soon for Voldy, we got all three face-up villains to one attack short of defeat, then wiped them all in one turn, leaving us with two villains including V, a horcrux, and an empty first location. Now I didn't want to count my dragons before they hatched, but it was looking pretty good at that point.

Our second win was with Hermione/Flying and Neville/Herbology. This time we ended up on the second location in the first third, thanks to the game opening with Fenrir. We did get some luck with Crabbe & Goyle also in the starting trio, so we just let them clog the villains for the entire game. It took us a little longer to get our decks up and running, and I bogged my Hermione down with an ill-advised Chocolate Frog item, but Flying saw use throughout the whole game. When our decks started motoring the healing and card draws were coming fast and furious (bless Neville's ability that says "each time" and not "once per turn"), we stayed on the second location, and pulled out a win in a stronger final third.

So yeah, location control! My other main takeaway is the importance of card draws. Charms and Herbology were awesome for that, and it's pretty satisfying to burn through useless cards, buy the Elder Wand, and still have six influence left.
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Joseph Calungsod
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Gravey wrote:
So yeah, location control! My other main takeaway is the importance of card draws. Charms and Herbology were awesome for that, and it's pretty satisfying to burn through useless cards, buy the Elder Wand, and still have six influence left.


So I've been a firm believe of defense against the dark arts for a while now on Ron, welcoming dark arts events and villains forcing me to discard. However, after reading posts from davypi and others about the significance of card draw and experience from other deck building games, I decided to give charms a shot. My wife played hermoine with arithmancy, while I with Ron and charms. I will probably never go back to DAtDA. At one point, my wife had played 12 extra cards AFTER being forced to discard and did twice as much damage than Ron had.

Ive always had a love/hate for card draw in other games as sometimes it can make the game almost too easy, but the way the villains and dark arts event cards put a small limit to this, and even to an extent being stunned, card draw still remains significantly strong but not as overpowered as it is in other games where it takes away from the challenge of the game.
 
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David Jones
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schmoe1 wrote:
So I've been a firm believe of defense against the dark arts for a while now on Ron, ... I will probably never go back to DAtDA. At one point, my wife had played 12 extra cards AFTER being forced to discard and did twice as much damage than Ron had.


I'm hoping to have time on Friday to write up the other two strategy guides I want to make for villains and proficiencies. The short version of my opinion on this is that DADA is too focused on attack, and usually at a time when you don't need it. If you've been stunned, you don't get the healing benefit of DADA, so you've lost half of its ability. Its reactive rather than proactive. The other issue is that, in line with some of the comments in the strategy guide, you will sometimes get to a point in the game where you don't want to attack because you want to keep the easy villains on the board. If you're in this situation, you're gathering up attack tokens you don't want to use, so again you are only getting half of the ability. I will give it some points for being versatile in this respect, but many of the other proficiencies the full effect is almost always useful. I won't say DADA is worthless, but if I rank them, it would be in the lower half.
 
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john walter
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Me and my wife just won year 7 second try. We used Hermione/defense against the dark arts and Harry/ Arithmancy. Arithmancy Is a super strong card with its -1 plus the rerolls. Defeating horcruxes was easy (depending on the roll of the dice we just barely lost are first try because we couldn't roll to take out nangi). But I as harry took all the horcruxes and once they were done I discarded when we needed an extra card,health, or attack. And buying teachers and hogwarts a history cheaper was great. So when knew my wife needed spells ravenclaw dye to the rescue.
 
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davypi wrote:
schmoe1 wrote:
So I've been a firm believe of defense against the dark arts for a while now on Ron, ... I will probably never go back to DAtDA. At one point, my wife had played 12 extra cards AFTER being forced to discard and did twice as much damage than Ron had.


I'm hoping to have time on Friday to write up the other two strategy guides I want to make for villains and proficiencies. The short version of my opinion on this is that DADA is too focused on attack, and usually at a time when you don't need it. If you've been stunned, you don't get the healing benefit of DADA, so you've lost half of its ability. Its reactive rather than proactive. The other issue is that, in line with some of the comments in the strategy guide, you will sometimes get to a point in the game where you don't want to attack because you want to keep the easy villains on the board. If you're in this situation, you're gathering up attack tokens you don't want to use, so again you are only getting half of the ability. I will give it some points for being versatile in this respect, but many of the other proficiencies the full effect is almost always useful. I won't say DADA is worthless, but if I rank them, it would be in the lower half.


I've found Defense Against The Dark Arts to be one of the strongest. I use it with Harry all the time and my daughter and I steamroll the game together. On Game 7 now - so far we haven't been challenged by it. We're trying a different setup of characters for tonight's game. So far we're rolling over it again. I quite like the proficiency, especially when I set it up with a deck that uses "if you discard this" cards.
 
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Eric Phillips
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Thought:

In a 2 player game, if one of the 6 starting Hogwarts cards allows for the removal of control, then you should not bring Flying Lessons.

I played a two player game last night and we had this exact scenario and we finished the game with only 1 or 2 control.

Looking at the math, it also seems to make sense. With just a single control removal in the 2 decks, you're going to be removing .227 (and decreasing) control every turn. By Round 10 (Turn 20) that would drop to half, .119 per turn, but by that time you have likely kicked up the card draw so you're going through your deck faster. At Round 20 (Turn 40) it drops to .08. That's without any card draw. Since you're going to be able to bring a 2nd card-drawing Proficiency, you can jump that number up a little bit.

So, we're looking at the addition of .09 control per turn to start off and then by Round 10 that increases to .21 control per turn and then the decreases start to become less pronounced.

Even at 0.21 control increase per turn, you're still looking at like 30 turns before you lose control of the first location. And that's without killing any villains. Kill Greyback, for instance, and you've just bought yourself another 10 turns.

I think the benefits of being able to bring Charms on Hermione so you can further manipulate influence distribution and have card draw when needed outweighs the limited risk of dropping into the 2nd location sooner.

I'd also recommend this for 3 players and 4 players if there are multiple control removal cards to start out with or the De-Illuminator.

 
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David Jones
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Pinewood74 wrote:
Thought:
In a 2 player game, if one of the 6 starting Hogwarts cards allows for the removal of control, then you should not bring Flying Lessons.


I've not actually paid close enough attention to the setup rules, but I have been playing that heroes have to choose their Proficiency before the villain or Hogwarts decks are revealed, specifically to avoid customizing choices based on the setup.

That said, a couple of thoughts do come to mind. First of all, I've had games where the first 20+ cards in the Hogwarts deck did not have control removal. I would not give up Flying simply based one card that flips during setup. You could just as easily end up with a bad control removal deck for the rest of the game. Secondly, even though I say "always bring this card", I don't really always play with Flying in the game. Its interesting to play with the other proficiencies as they give different play experiences and it is possible to win without it. (For example, give a player Divination and put all of the control removal abilities in their deck. You don't need flying when you can force cycle control removal through your deck.) Some of the items in this strategy guide are geared towards teaching people how to get their first few wins. Once you understand how to win, you can start experimenting with other setups. Having more plays under my belt since writing this, I've come to the thinking that Charms might actually be more important than Flying.

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I think the benefits of being able to bring Charms on Hermione so you can further manipulate influence distribution and have card draw when needed outweighs the limited risk of dropping into the 2nd location sooner.


Something I've mentioned in another thread is that I really dislike giving Charms to Hermione. You are rarely going to have six spells in your hand, so she has to choose between triggering charms or triggering her natural ability. I would rather another player have Charms so she doesn't have to choose. This gives the benefit of players getting a coin from charms and a coin Hermione. It becomes much easier to acquire those 6 & 7 cost cards when you have a two coin income on top of your regular hand.
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Eric Phillips
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I've not actually paid close enough attention to the setup rules, but I have been playing that heroes have to choose their Proficiency before the villain or Hogwarts decks are revealed, specifically to avoid customizing choices based on the setup.


I checked the year 6 rules just to be sure we weren't cheating and found that proficiency and character selection happens last.


Spoiler (click to reveal)
You are rarely going to have six spells in your hand, so she has to choose between triggering charms or triggering her natural ability.


Early game, yes that would be true, but late game that's actually a pretty common occurrence. Card draw starts to get outrageous and you can start seeing 8 or 9 card hands pretty easily even in a 2 player game. Advanced Potion Making is one of my favorite cards as it alone can dole out 2 cards per player with Herbiology.

And early game, you can pretty reliably buy 6 cost cards with just Hermione's natural ability, Beedle the Bard, and the card-draw from Herbology when a non-1 influence card is drawn by Neville. 7 card draws aren't too bad either if you pick up a Reparo or two or get lucky with your Rememberall (or grab something like a Crystal Ball)

Bottom Line is I'm not giving up Herbology for Charms and I think Neville/Hermione is the strongest two person team.

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You could just as easily end up with a bad control removal deck for the rest of the game.


But one early control removal card is enough to keep everything in check for the majority of the game is my point. Even if you get unlucky with cards, defeating enemies/Nagini is enough to keep the deck under control. I think we only got a single more control removal and it was near the end of the game (And I don't think I ever actually got to use it as it) and we were able to win with only 1 control on the 1st location.
 
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Timothy 'Peachy' Devery
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My fiance and I played through and won Year 7 pretty handily as Ron/Arithmancy and Neville/Something. It was fast and easy! Arithmancy cannot be underplayed when talking about this year!

The basic strategy we had was Ron focusing almost exclusively on cards that rolled dice (especially Heads of Houses) as they were 1 coin cheaper and often had a bunch of fantastic riders on top of their die roll. Ron could easily proc his personal skill each turn and defeat a Horcrux (or seven) with little to no assistance every turn. Once the Horcruxes build up, you can now discard Alohamora for even more dice rolling, allowing you to roll possibly a dozen times (including rerolls) in a single turn. If that doesn't beat out the later Horcruxes, I don't know what will.

Once the Horcruxes are out of the picture (which was with only three or so villains defeated), throwing the Arithmancy/Die focused Ron at the villains was laughable...for the villains. In fights, the only result that isn't really useful is the money! Ron is still rolling many, many more dice than he has any right to do, drawing a huge amount of cards, dealing damage everywhere, his special ability heals, all benefiting the other player(s) as well. It was crazy, and Voldemort lasted maybe a round.

Two players might be easier or what have you, but Arithmancy plus a die focus on any character is painful in it's ability to wreck Horcruxes. Simple and effective!
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Well my family is doing things wrong because we have lost at least 6x in a row.

We will try some of the suggestions outlined here and see if we can do better. There are easily times we have pulled 6x DA cards on one turn or gone from 10 heath to stunned.

We have consistently kept some villains on the table but didn't really think of not killing them off until we were ready to.

So basically influence removal is paramount and then you want to be able to cycle your deck as fast as possible while dealing with the incoming damage until you are ready to be able to lay down large amounts of attack and finish off villains and horcuxes?
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David Jones
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Design1stcode2nd wrote:
Well my family is doing things wrong because we have lost at least 6x in a row.


"Family" may be a key term here. We spent some time in another thread really digging into the effects of player count on the game. If you are playing all four heroes, you can expect to have a more difficult time.

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So basically influence removal is paramount and then you want to be able to cycle your deck as fast as possible while dealing with the incoming damage until you are ready to be able to lay down large amounts of attack and finish off villains and horcuxes?


That is a reasonably good one sentence summary.
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Well my wife and I played last night as my children were tired of losing. It took a lot longer than was probably necessary but we wanted to insure a victory (and we still forgot to give all heroes the results of the die rolls until half way through the game). My wife played as Neville with herbology and I with Hermione with flying. We started with some fairly mild heroes, Lucius, Draco and Tom although after a bit Tom had to go as we had a multitude of allies on the Hogwarts board.

We did as you said and gained cards, healed and drew cards with herbolgy and I spent 5 coins to remove influence tokens until we got some cards that did that for us. There were a number of occasions later that we threw away attack tokens just to keep villains in play which while now makes sense, didn’t when we were playing before.

I focused on any card that gave coins or drew cards including allies like Cho or Sybil. There were times I had 18 coins on one turn. The best was the final turn we had Voldemort and Peter which was going to amount to a lot of influence however, I started with 6 cards with 3-4 being draw another card, I ended up drawing at least another 9 cards including the Elder wand. After instantly killing Peter with many attack tokens left over used Accio again (from Peter’s reward) to retrieve the wand again, at this time I had cast 10 spells so 10 more tokens and 10 health (that I did not need). I killed both Voldemort and Peter and still had an attack token left in one turn.

I just wanted to say thanks for the help, I’m sure we will try it again with more than two.
 
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Joffrey N.
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Blossercubbles wrote:
My fiance and I played through and won Year 7 pretty handily as Ron/Arithmancy and Neville/Something. It was fast and easy! Arithmancy cannot be underplayed when talking about this year!
...
Arithmancy plus a die focus on any character is painful in it's ability to wreck Horcruxes. Simple and effective!

This !
Ive not played Game 7 yet, but took a look at it rules and setup, and after reading this interesting article, I cannot figure out why there are not more talking about Arithmancy proficiency card.
From what Ive seen, it looks like the perfect card for quickly detroying Horcruxes.
Do you all think other proficiency (such as Flying or Herbology) are more useful for this year ? Maybe there is something I miss here...
 
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David Jones
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La_Gofr wrote:
Ive not played Game 7 yet, but took a look at it rules and setup, and after reading this interesting article, I cannot figure out why there are not more talking about Arithmancy proficiency card. From what Ive seen, it looks like the perfect card for quickly detroying Horcruxes.
Do you all think other proficiency (such as Flying or Herbology) are more useful for this year ? Maybe there is something I miss here...


Arithmancy is a strong card. The purpose of this guide is to help people get their first couple of wins so they understand how to beat the game, and then let them explore the game from there.

Card draw, I think, is more important that being able to control the die. Card draw helps with every aspect of the game whereas Horcux destruction is only one aspect. (Although Arithmancy does have good uses outside of killing Horcruxes.) So if I'm making the best team I can, Neville gets Herbology and someone else gets Charms. With both of these in play, you are often playing seven card hands. I would put Transfiguration slightly above Arithmancy. Again, Transfigurations can be used for any aspect of the game. For example, maybe you need healing more than you need a die roll. If not, you can use Transfigurations to pull Hogwarts History out of your deck. For Ron, Transfigurations is often the key that gets him from two attack to three attack, triggering his healing. Flying, I admit, is not the strongest proficiency. However, since location control is critical to winning, it is a good Proficiency to take while you are learning. The other issue is that it really depends on which heroes are in the game. I would (ironically) never give Arithmancy to Hermione because there are no spells that give die rolls. Allies and Items that yield die rolls are going to interfere with her ability.

All that said, my "other" four player dream team would probably be:

Harry / Arithmancy
Hermione / Transfigurations
Neville / Herbology
Ron / Charms
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Joffrey N.
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OK got it, thanks for clearing this up

 
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Aaron Cabe
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In addition to knowing when to go after Horcruxes as OP pointed out, I think it is also important to consider on some level who should destroy which Horcrux. Ron always gets the diary as the added healing combined with his own ability can make him almost as effective as Neville in maintaining health for the team. The ring preferably goes to the hero with the least opportunities of control removal at the time it's destroyed, or at least a hero that does not have the Flying Lessons proficiency, in order to balance out the ability to maintain the first location. After this, I'm a little less particular, as the active Horcrux ability becomes gradually more of a hassle to deal with and it's usually best to just get rid of them ASAP.
 
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