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Subject: Managing The Board rss

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Marc Aranha
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Managing The Board

In any Dragon Clash match there is inherently an element of luck. However, experienced players learn to mitigate luck through the various strategic choices of the game. Let’s talk a little bit about managing your board, specifically the play area and hand, and how that can contribute to controlling the luck-factor over the course of a match.

Every Dragon Clash card is assigned a Battle Value from 1 to 6. Battle Values are used to help determine combat results and to resolve some effects. Since you draw Battle Value from your deck, this means any high Battle Value card you have in play or in your hand removes those as potential draws. Ever wonder why you just can't seem to recover those high cards or seem to draw nothing but 1's and 2's? Take a look at your board. If you stashed all your high value cards in your hand for the mid to late game, you're not drawing them now, when you might need them. If you've trained a ton of attacks, those are cards that will never make it back into your deck to possibly be drawn later.

A high Battle Value card does you no good in your hand or hoard. Worse, it may actually hurt you to keep it tucked away by stacking your deck with nothing but low value cards. When you’re deciding what cards to discard and what to keep, it’s certainly advisable to keep some cards for late game, but make sure it’s a strategic choice. Otherwise, it's generally advisable to play or discard high Battle Value cards as soon as possible.

By discarding high Battle Value cards you may have the opportunity to cycle them back into your deck, and those cards may very well be what saves you later during a crucial attack. Just make sure you give yourself that opportunity to cycle them! You may not be able to prevent burying a treasured card if you take damage, but make sure it’s not self-inflicted! Don’t bury those treasured 6’s by needlessly attacking before you can regenerate them naturally or via cards like Heal.

What do I mean by "burying"? You only naturally cycle the cards at the top of your discard pile. If you regenerate 2 cards a turn, and the card you want to cycle is 5th down, it's effectively buried. You may still be able to get to it over the course of several turns, by playing defensively or via certain cards, but it's just as likely that you'll be hit by an attack, may be forced to change range, may burn essence for an effect, etc. This effectively buries the card further and further until the chances you'll be able to cycle it become much more remote.

Continuing, let's take a look specifically at training. It’s no mistake that most of the powerful attacks and Gifts have Battle Values of 4 to 6. If you over train, you’ll end up pulling the majority of your best cards out of your deck. What's over training? I define it as spreading yourself thin needlessly or training an attack beyond what's needed to be effective. You can only attack once a turn. While variety is great, it is usually best to focus on one or two attacks per match, and make those as potent as possible.

If you draw multiple copies of a specific attack, and that attack is effective on your opponent, it’s a no brainer to get that trained to Rank 3. However you decide what attack to concentrate on, pick your attacks and focus on those select few. Just as importantly, train only as high as you need to. Although you could train Inferno Breath up to Rank 3, a Rank 2 can be just as effective. Sometimes you can even get to the Rank 2 or 3 you need by using a single Gift card, which allows you to keep the extra attack cards in your deck for Battle Value draws.

Finally, let's not forget about the flip-side of board management. If your goal is to keep the high value cards in your deck, by the same account you want to get those 1's and 2's out! There are some effects where 1's and 2's are valuable, but unless you're counting on those to win, it's often best to keep the 1's and 2's out of the mix. You can keep them out of play in a variety of ways. If they're attacks, you can train them. If they're counters you can store them in your hand, use them when needed, and then bury them so you don't recover them during the Regain Essence phase. Certainly don't intentionally "Heal" them if you can help it!

Managing your board is one of the most overlooked strategic elements of the game, but its a critical aspect to building a successful battle plan and, more importantly, executing it over the course of a match. Happy gaming!

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