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Subject: Aeon's End Strategy Basics rss

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Pasquale Cirone
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I was hoping to use the hivemind that is the BGG forum to get some pointers as to how to play this game.

I understand the Rageborn should be easy (really?). Having only sparingly played Dominion and other deckbuilders, I've never did the math on these games so I've been learning AE by mostly trial and error for now.

Strategically, I've been able to win (twice) with Brama+Jian with a healing/spell-heavy/culling strategy and with Adelheim/Phaedraxa using their charged powers to nullify the Rageborn's cards.

The game still remains difficult as I feel I'm not executing well tactically. I'm drawing too much junk late in the game and I feel I'm not purchasing gems and spells effectively. I feel that there's some overarching method that veteran Dominion players would do here but I'm not clear on what that is.

Any tips?
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Will Swannack
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I'm no expert, but I can post some basic tips:

In deckbuilders, deck cycling speed is really important. Deck cycling speed is how quickly you can get through your deck. This is important because typically the cards in your discard are better than the cards in your deck since you recently purchased them. So going through your deck quickly gets better cards acting quicker.

There are a variety of ways to speed your cycling up. Drawing cards is one way (I believe Adelheim has a card that lets your ally draw and discard a card, which you should almost always do for this reason). Another huge one is destroying cards in your deck. If you can get a card that destroys cards early in the game, you can get rid of your starter gems and sparks to drastically speed up the rate you get to your better cards.

Another perhaps not obvious one that I think is key to Aeon's End is not purchasing cards. There's a bunch of good places to spend money other than new cards (opening breaches and charging being the two primary ways). Usually, you want to focus on building a strong deck for the first half of the game, rarely charging and only opening breaches when you need them. The trick is to learn when the right time is to switch off deck building and focus your economy exclusively on charging and perhaps breaches. There's a point where the cards you're buying will activate rarely enough (because there are few enough turns left in the game) that they're no longer worth the cost. Because of this, over time the value of cards decreases but the value of charges increases, and you want to find the point where they switch in value. As far as I'm aware, this point is pretty dynamic based on a bunch of factors. I would say on average I hit it at some point in the Nemesis 2 deck (with 2 players), but there's a bunch of variance to it.

Perhaps the least obvious trick is choosing not to cast spells. You can prep some sparks in your breaches and just let them sit there rather than casting them. This has a few benefits: it lets you hold on to them until there's minion actually worth hitting them with and it keeps them out of your deck. While your sparks are in your breaches, your econ will speed up because you'll be getting more money each turn. If you have cards that make it easier to open breaches, you can use extra breaches to let spells cook for a bit while you're deck building. Again, the trick is to know when you can safely ignore casting spells and when you need to switch to casting as much as possible.

One final rules point: When I first played, we accidentally activated the ability on the nemesis power cards every nemesis turn they were out, instead of only when their timer finished, which made the game significantly harder. Just checking you're not accidentally missing that rule like we did?
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Pasquale Cirone
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Excellent Will! That's precisely the kind of insight I was looking for.

I've played with veteran Dominion players that regardless of the market, they know how to build around them. It's a skill that has impressed me and it wasn't until Aeon's End that I've been keen enough to figure this out.

I never thought of using the breaches to park sparks in there. Interesting idea! There's a 3-point culling spell that I might park in the same way and only cast it when I get a starter gem/spark to cull away.
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Kevin 'qxc' Riley
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Don't be afraid to manually select the market if you're having trouble. Looking through the cards & mages and picking a strategy ahead of time can help quite a bit.
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Abel Kim
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qxc0 wrote:
Don't be afraid to manually select the market if you're having trouble. Looking through the cards & mages and picking a strategy ahead of time can help quite a bit.


Yeah, building your market to counter the nemesis is also part of the fun of the game.

If I remember right, I posted a thread a while back about cards and mages that are good against certain nemesis. Unfortunately, I stopped doing it as I got stuck on Prince of Gluttons and I only did the normal difficulty, not the hard diffoculty.

I would much appreciate it if someone more capable than me could restart it up.
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Kevin Tang
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Here's a really important tip that I've learned: Learn to modify your hand and deck such that cards that go really well with each other do. Here's a really simple combo that demonstrates this concept.

This strategy is something that you can pull off with the beginning deck against any boss. The strategy is to get 2 diamond clusters, and an arcane nexus. Your first goal is to purchase 1 diamond cluster. When you get to your diamond cluster back for the first time, use it to purchase another diamond cluster. Then when you get your diamond clusters back, you will have two next to each other. Use this + one more crystal to buy Arcane nexus. Then you want to try to split up your diamond clusters, such that you do not get them on the same hand. Keep Arcane Nexus prepped, and because of this, you will be able to get 6 aether from 1 card basically every turn. This gives you plenty of aether to basically do whatever you want, and a pretty good damaging spell to use on emergencies.

A key thing here is having big aether turns. If you keep on buying gems, then you'll have a lot of aether, but not on the same turn. You will constantly find yourself unable to hit that 6 or 7 aether mark to buy the big stuff. Because of this, the game will be very hard. This strategy focuses on teaching the concept to have big aetehr turns to buy basically anything in the market. In the later game, this will allow you to pull 7 aether out on a turn to deal with a power card, or get emergency charges.
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Boo da
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One trick that my MtG playing friends used was to splay your discard pile vertically instead of keeping it in a pile. Also, while you're not allowed to look through your deck, you can count the cards left in your deck as far as I can tell from the rules.

These two moves combined allow you to maximize how to build your deck and how to take advantage of positional discarding since you know exactly what hands you'll get from looking at the discard. The obvious example would be to keep diamond clusters from splitting up. Other plays would be shifting crystals to end up in your hand with Unstable Prism to destroy them (another tip btw is to discard the prism sandwiched between two crystals so you're guaranteed to always have a crystal in hand), shifting crystals upward in your deck to loop around and end up in the next hand after consuming void is prepped, and organizing spells so that you don't end up with too many spells in a single hand.
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Comboteur "Crazed 'Beastface' Survivor" Fou
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The deckbuilding elements of Aeon's End are deceptive.

The thing is, you don't want to buy a lot of cards. You want to buy maybe 4-5 very good cards, and play them every other turn.

Say, you start by purchasing two gems, a relic that lets you destroy cards, and then proceeed into buying 2-3 huge spells. From then on, spend aether only to focus breaches, buy charges and discard Nemesis cards.

Now you can focus on comboing your spells and benefiting from your relics (free charges, free focus, and so on.) while controlling the Nemesis if allowed to (healing, discarding their cards, etc.) and triggering charged abilities as much as you want.

I often end up with decks containing 5 to 10 cards only, charging and triggering mages ability every two turns.
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Kevin 'qxc' Riley
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Razoupaf wrote:
The deckbuilding elements of Aeon's End are deceptive.

The thing is, you don't want to buy a lot of cards. You want to buy maybe 4-5 very good cards, and play them every other turn.

Say, you start by purchasing two gems, a relic that lets you destroy cards, and then proceeed into buying 2-3 huge spells. From then on, spend aether only to focus breaches, buy charges and discard Nemesis cards.

Now you can focus on comboing your spells and benefiting from your relics (free charges, free focus, and so on.) while controlling the Nemesis if allowed to (healing, discarding their cards, etc.) and triggering charged abilities as much as you want.

I often end up with decks containing 5 to 10 cards only, charging and triggering mages ability every two turns.


For a deck builder, Aeon's End contains surprisingly little deck building. Many deck builders ask you to just 'buy all the things'. While you tend to gain less cards in this game, your choices are all extremely important.
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Pasquale Cirone
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Holy crow a few changes made the Rageborne SO EASY!

I played Kadir and Adelheim with a gem and a relic swapped out to allow for faster culling. That and realizing that I can park spells within breaches allow for lightning fast turnover of the decks. Kadir indeed never had more than 15 cards the whole game.

I know this is well known among Dominion players, but some minor tweaks changed this Nemesis from crazy hard to understandably easy.

Well done BGG Hive Mind!
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Kevin 'qxc' Riley
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malakim0 wrote:
Holy crow a few changes made the Rageborne SO EASY!

I played Kadir and Adelheim with a gem and a relic swapped out to allow for faster culling. That and realizing that I can park spells within breaches allow for lightning fast turnover of the decks. Kadir indeed never had more than 15 cards the whole game.

I know this is well known among Dominion players, but some minor tweaks changed this Nemesis from crazy hard to understandably easy.

Well done BGG Hive Mind!


Now to play someone harder. GL!
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Pasquale Cirone
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Thanks!
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