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TKG ARENA: The Elemental Kings» Forums » Strategy

Subject: The Annoying Poke rss

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KJ Ong
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Introduction - A quick overview

The Elemental Kings is a simple yet complex game that requires you to deplete your opponents health from 20 to 0 faster than he can deplete yours. The only way to deal damage to your opponent is to use cards combinations similar to that of poker or cards with similar elements. Different combinations deal different damage to your opponent, and the only way to defend against an enemy attack is to use the exact or higher value type of combination, which will be elaborated further.

There are terms used below that may require some clarifications, so a quick index is provided.

ATTACK HAND: Cards on an attacking player's turn. Can range from 0 cards to 5 cards. Attacking players DO NOT replenish cards till 5 until he ends his turn.
DEFENCE HAND: Cards on a defending player's turn. Will always remain at 5 for each attack by the attacking player. Defending players will replenish to 5 cards after every attack by the opponent (not at the end of the attacking player's turn)
DISCARD PILE: Cards that have been used either on attack or defence are placed here.
DRAW PILE: Hidden cards that have not been drawn or used.
Pseudo Defence: The act of using weaker or unwanted cards to defend against an opponent's stronger ATTACK HAND, resulting in damage dealt to oneself but allowing the weaker card to be replaced.
Once cards are used for attack or defence, they will be discarded to the discard pile. If a player runs out of cards to draw, they will reshuffle the discard pile and continue drawing.

Note: An attacking player can only use up to 5 cards (in his hand)

A table with a list of the possible combinations are listed below.

TYPE........................ATTACK HAND............................................DAMAGE

SOLO...............Single Card.................................................................1
TWINS.............2 Cards with the same face value...............................2
TRIPLETS........3 Cards with the same face value................................3
DOUBLE...........2 Sets of TWINS in same hand...................................4
COMBO............TWINS and TRIPLETS in same hand............................5
FLASH.............All cards in hand are from the same element...............5
SERIES............All cards in hand have numbers in running order.........5
POWER............4 Cards with the same face value...............................8
SUPER.............FLASH and SERIES in the same hand.........................10

NOTE: All types of attacks do not consider ELEMENT TYPE other than FLASH or SUPER.

To defend against an attack, you are required to present the same TYPE with an equal or higher face value. For example, a SOLO attack by the opponent with a face value of 8 can only be defended with a card of a face value 8 or 9. A TWINS attack can only be defended by a TWINS with a face value that is equal or higher than the opponent's face value. An example:

This is a successful defence for BOTH cases.

Another common question is whether your opponent can defend against your TWINS with a type that is stronger in damage. For example, using TRIPLETS(that has a smaller face value) than an opponent's TWINS. The answer is NO. An example is shown below.

In this case, even though the opponent has a TRIPLETS, he is unable to defend against a TWINS with a face value of 6 because you can only defend with the same TYPE, regardless of how powerful your defense is.

Lastly, for types that require all 5 cards in hand, defense is determine by the card with the highest face value regardless of high the other cards are. An example:

In this case, even though i have generally higher face value cards than my opponent, his defence of FLASH is successful simply because his highest face value is a 9 compared to mine of 8. All the other cards do not matter.

In the unlikely scenario shown above with both of us having SUPER, my defence is successful because both our highest face value card is the same, 6.

For COMBO, the order is determined by the face value of the TRIPLETS, followed by the face value of the TWINS. If both are equal, the defender successfully defends against the attack.

Strategy: The Annoying Poke

In a game like this, most beginners will feel that luck plays a significant role in getting good or powerful combinations to take down the enemy. However, in many cases, players end up having to either lose too much health attempting to get that perfect FLASH, SERIES or POWER because they refuse to use the cards to defend against Poke or simply feel that 1 or 2 damage is too insignificant compared to their health. This strategy employs a bit of luck, but relies more on probability to get TWINS and beyond for attacking.

Poke: The act of using weaker or unwanted cards in your hand to deal 1 or 2 damage in order to get the stronger or wanted cards next turn.

The strategy assumes that both players DO NOT hold any spell cards and requires the player to do the following:

Arrange discarded cards in the DISCARD PILE numerically.
Keeps a rough mental note of the number of cards left in the DRAW PILE using 1.
Completely ignores ELEMENTS and focus only on face values.
The strategy employs the following order by priority:

1. Use all cards with a face value of 1 to 4 during attack and defence. Use Pseudo-Defence if needed.

2. Keep cards with a face value of 5 to 9 up to TWINS (If the hand instantly draws to TRIPLETS, keep it.)

3. Continuously Poke during attack and defend whenever possible using TWINS or TRIPLETS with face value 5 to 9 and Poke using SOLO(and beyond) with face value 1 to 4.

4. Once a TWINS or TRIPLETS belonging to 5 to 9 face value has been used, use that specific face value as a SOLO. In this case, Poke using the highest face value card and continue downwards.

This would either force them to take the damage, or pseudo-defence by throwing out weaker cards, allowing your lower face value cards to have a chance of getting it through or forcing them to use a higher face value card to defend.

Another thing to note is that waiting for the other TWINS to appear after one has been used (i.e. one TWINS 8 used, but draws another 8 the next turn) is extremely unlikely with the probability being 3% to 10%. Unless the DRAW PILE has less than 5 cards left, the probability of drawing the same number is extremely low and never worth it.

5. Never wait for a POWER or a 5 card combo unless it is pure luck.

With this strategy, you will likely shuffle your DISCARD PILE up to two times because of the continuous usage of cards. It also employs the strategy of taking damage from your opponent worth 3 damage or higher (and defending whenever possible), but note that the chances of attaining a DOUBLE and beyond is very unlikely compared to attaining TWINS using the method above.

I will explain further below.

Assume we start on attack with a possible set up as below. The scenarios below are shown to elaborate and explain on the Rules set above to allow the reader to better understand diffephoto_2017-03-13_22-12-07rent situations according to context.


Use all cards with a face value of 1-4 to Poke. In this case, I would use the card with the face value of 2 first attacking SOLO. The opponent is likely to defend against such a low card with a 3,4 or 5 to discard his relatively weak card.
Then I would throw out my TWINS with a face value of 3 to Poke him if possible. In the best situation, the opponent chooses to keep his cards and take the damage.
I end my attack phase and draw cards for defence.

Now assume we draw these cards and end up using only the card with a face value of 1 to defend assuming the opponent only Pokes using one SOLO and decides to keep the rest of his cards in order to wait for a high damage combination, a strategy a lot of people use.


Now we end up with these cards after drawing one card.

I will instantly throw down a DOUBLE, keep the 8, and end my attack phase.
Note that even though waiting for a COMBO is very juicy, the possibility of attaining another 7 or 9 card is roughly 14.81% (keeping an eye on the DISCARD PILE)
Waiting for a few turns for that low possibility just to deal 5 damage instead of 4 in DOUBLE is never worth it, because that 1 damage can easily be replaced by a Poke or another TWINS.
Now by the stroke of luck we end up with these cards for the defence phase.

With this combination, note that two cards with a face value of 9 are in the DISCARD PILE. I will either use the 9 to defend against a SOLO or keep it for a Poke for my next attack phase with regards to Rule 4, because waiting for that final face value 9 card hold a tiny probability of 4.35%

Assuming I use none of the cards and take all damage, I will proceed to Poke with my face value 2 card, and following Rule 4 above, I will SOLO the face value 9 card, and then throw down the TRIPLETS 8.

TURN 3 and beyond.

Simply follow the rules given above and continue to Poke and attack with TWINS or TRIPLETS whenever possible. It is unlikely for a combination of cards to appear that can deal more than 2 damage at once but you can happily throw out a strong combo whenever the stroke of luck comes.

NEVER hold 3 or 4 cards in an attempt to wait for that tiny possibility of that magical card to complete that high damage TYPE.

Note that sometimes you may have to consider situations where you hold a TRIPLETS with a higher face value than the opponents TWINS. Weigh the situation according to your health difference and decide whether or not to take the damage or defend against it.

Conclusion and Evaluations

This strategy may not always be viable as the opponent may employ a similar tactic against you and may be able to defend as quickly as you are able to dish out damage.

Few things to note:

1. This strategy is very basic and does not consider several other factors such as spell cards and difference in health between the two players.
2. Health difference can affect the flow of the game as it may be easier to attack an opponent with 5 health left with a TYPE that cannot defend against rather than using Poke as the he may go full-on defence by throwing out any card he can defend against (and in a lot of cases, he would be able to defend)
3. Because of its simplicity, this strategy can be combined with other strategies to form a highly advanced one combating different stages of the game.


1. Relies more on probability than luck.
2. Mathematically-stable strategy that will result in more wins than losses over a large number of games.
3. Forces opponents to break possibly incoming strong hands in order to defend against Poke.
4. Always holds a relatively stable defence and able to attack almost every turn.
5. Strong hands rely on luck, but will never hold a weak hand.


1. Forces player to take high damage combinations due to the lack of possible defence
2. Does not consider spell cards at all
3. May not be able to Poke faster than the opponent high damage combinations.
4.Relies a little on the unluckiness of the opponent's hand.
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