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Your initial allotment of cards is just enough to start playing. But take the time to get familiar with what you have - this will shape what you buy as you collect coins. Select the Collection tab at the bottom of the screen, which will take you to your starter deck. From there, use the sorting pull-down menus to see what you have.

Under Type, select Creatures. Each of the creatures you own belongs to a Faction, and many cards enhance other cards in the same Faction. See what Faction you have the most of - this might be the path to pursue as you collect cards to build your deck. As you look at your creatures, you can select the Faction pull-down to show only creatures belonging to one faction. What do you have the most of? What are the strongest creatures you have (based on their stats)?

Also look at each of your creatures and see what kinds of abilities they have: Flying, Shadow and Haste are all great abilities to build decks around. Frenzy, Parry and Tactical are also potentially strong abilities to base a deck on. We'll get back to this later.

Now, take a look at your other cards. On the Type pull-down, select Scenario. Scenarios provide you with basic resources, but they can also enhance creatures and provide you with other benefits. See if any of your resources benefit your creatures, especially the Faction you have the most creatures in. Again, this might provide you with a roadmap for the further development of your deck.

On the Type pull-down, select Events. Events provide you with temporary benefits or affect your opponent and his or her creatures. The most essential events are events that harm your opponent's creatures - Lightning Strike, Firestorm, Withdraw, etc. - or affect your opponent's resources.

Lastly, select Attachments in the pull-down Type menu. Most attachments are meant to be played on your creatures; some, however, are played on your opponent's creatures in order to make them worse. Attachments are very contingent - they require creatures to be in play, either yours or your opponent's. As such, they can be tricky to play, and, in your starter deck, you might think about getting rid of a couple in exchange for more scenarios.

Here's your first tip: Take the coins you received when you registered and spend them on two basic scenarios in the Market. Select Market on the top row of tabs and then select Scenarios on the Type pull-down menu. You should be able to find two scenarios for 5 coins each. Buy two, but make sure the cost to deploy the card is zero - these are basic scenarios and every deck needs them. Now, select Decks on the bottom row of tabs, and your card list will be displayed. Add the two cards you just bought to your deck. And take out two attachments - say the two most expensive ones you have.

Select Lobby on the top row of tabs. When you get to the Lobby, try out your deck against the Training Bot - click the icon on the middle right of the screen. When you feel confident, move on to the Battle Bot and start earning some coins.

Now that you've got some coins...

First of all, you should help support Fallen Worlds by buying coins - for $12 you can get 150 cards, which can make a huge difference for you and your ability to build decks. It also helps buy art for the cards and support the site. But, assuming that you're going the free way and earning coins versus the Battle Bot and in PvP, here are your priorities:

For the time being, the ratio that you're working towards is (roughly) 15 scenarios, 15 creatures, and 10 events and attachments.

1) In a 40-card deck, you need to play with about 14-17 scenarios, 10 of which should be basic (and cost nothing to play). As you earn coins, spend them on basic scenarios in the Market. Running 14-17 scenarios in your starter deck will ensure that you're able to play your cards, and your victory ratio will most likely increase. As you add scenarios to your deck, remove Events and Attachments that you've found limited uses for. As you remove cards from your deck, you might consider selling them in the Market - it can be a quick way to make more coins.

2) Once you have your scenarios settled, start concentrating on your creatures. Make sure that the resource cost of your creatures is diverse - some low casting cost (2-3), some medium range creatures (4-6), and a couple large creatures (7+). A good starting ratio is 6 in the 2-3 range, 6 in the 4-6 range, and 2-3 in the 7+ range. Buy and trade to flesh out your collection of creatures, bearing in mind that you either want to concentrate on a Faction or on abilities like Shadow and Flying.

3) Now that you have your creatures and scenarios in place, it's time to tune your events and attachments. Focus on cards that damage your opponent's creatures (Lightning Strike, Pit Trap, Withdraw, Nightmare, Decay, etc.), control your opponent's resources (Betrayal, Kakamora Tunnels, Seize Control, etc.) or allow you to draw extra cards (Emergency Supplies, Rebuild, Reinforcements, etc.). There are a lot of other Events, but they have specialized uses - many can be useful and it has everything to do with how you like to play and how your deck is shaping up.

As you tune your deck and play against other players and the Battle Bot, you'll come to realize what you like and what tactics suit your play style. The next step in your deck building is to help you realize a more robust strategy, which may take some time and investment...

So now you have a bunch of cards and you're trying to figure out what to do with them. Here are some orientating questions, which might seem simple, but you'd be surprised how often people don't think them through.

First, how do you want to win the game? At this point, the only way to win a game of Fallen Worlds is by reducing your opponent's capital to zero. So it boils down to either winning through creature damage or direct damage. Or, if you want to try a more tedious route, you could run your opponent out of cards - every card they can't draw does a point of damage.

Secondly, how do you plan on defending yourself? Creatures are one route, but creature control cards - Nightmare, Lightning Strike, Withdraw, Fatal Blow, Betrayal, etc. - are equally important. Creatures with a high defence rating, and high health, are more likely to survive combat and creature control that deals damage.

Third, how will you protect your creatures? Creatures are vital to a strong defence, and keeping them alive is critical. Healing Potion, Foresight, and creatures with Healing and Regenerate can help to ensure that you creatures survive combat and creature control cards.

Finally, how do you plan on maintaining an advantage? Being able to draw more cards, deal more damage, force your opponent to discard cards, and play more powerful cards are all critical to winning a game. Cards that have Insight - Rebuild, Emergency Supplies, Hyterian Influence, etc. - are great to draw more cards and thin your deck, as are Attachments with Craftsmanship. Other card drawing can be done with Priests of Khan and Libraries of Khan, both of which are very useful. Creatures with abilities that make them difficult to block are vital too - Terror, Shadow and Flying are all great ways to ensure your creature will be able to deal damage. And, with cards that have the Raider ability - Human Outriders, Kjen Mercenaries and Ratmen Pack - you can establish a card advantage over your opponent.

So, as you tinker with your cards in building a more advanced deck, try working with a ratio like this:

0-4 Attachments

9-12 Creatures - make sure to choose creatures that have a range of casting cost; too many expensive creatures will be trapped in your hand

12-14 Scenarios - 8-10 should be basic (costing zero), another couple might cost 1-2, with the last costing 3 or more

15-20 Events - of which 8-10 should be creature control, the others either helping with card drawing or ensuring your advantage

Here are the principle elements of some basic decks - they can always be tweaked. I break the rules I outlined in terms of ratio in the last installment with an eye towards encouraging you to alter them according to your collection and game play.

Direct Damage - 4 Anarchy, 4 Espionage, 4 Deceptions, 4 Earthquakes, 4 Rebuilds, 4 Emergency Supplies, 4 Defenders of Keb, 12 scenarios including 1-2 Libraries of Khan. Maybe some Atomic Strikes can help. One of the problems with Direct Damage decks in Fallen Worlds is that they have a hard time dealing enough damage fast enough, especially with people playing with a lot of Emergency Supplies and Rebuilds. Defenders of Keb are tough to kill and might deal some extra damage when they aren't blocking for you. Throwing in 1 or 2 really large creatures might tip the balance.

Discard - 4 Vanishing Fogs, 4 Human Outriders, 4 Ratmen Packs, 4 Kjen Mercenaries, 2 Field Medics, 2 Wasteland Traders, 2 Gargoyle Suits, 2 Nightmares, 2 Ports of Call, 10 scenarios, creature control and card drawing events. Without the Achievement cards, discard is a hard deck to run - the Raider function is too rare. But a solid discard deck can outstrip a lot of competitors.

Scenario Destruction - 4 Kakamora Tunnels, 4 Evacuates, 4 Seize Controls + creatures who are resilient. In my version of this deck, I use Fighters of Khan and Defenders of Keb - they're difficult to hit in combat, have a lot of health, and usually survive for a while. You could replace them with Fire Mercs, Great Worms, or other Regenerators. But regeneration requires resources, and you'll be Evacuating scenarios to keep an advantage. Card drawing is also vital for a deck like this - 4 Emergency Supplies, 4 Rebuilds and 4 Hyterian Influences can ensure that you destroy any advantage your opponent might have.

Sleigh Deck - 4 Cub Warriors, 4 Dedicated Cadets, 4 Dark Fanatics, 4 Conquest Spears, 4 Daemonic Strengths, 4 Warp Vortexes, 4 Daemonic Callings, 2 Spirit Bracelets. The trick with decks like these are to get small creatures out early, and supplement them with Attachments. You can turn a quick advantage - a Dark Fanatic with a Conquest Spear - into a fast win with a well played Daemonic Calling or Warp Vortex.

Experimentation/Metamorphosis - 2 Mass Experimentations, 2 Slaves of Demod, 4 Metamorphoses, 4 Dark Fanatics, 4 Nominoids, a few Ultra-Rare creatures (Warp Spawn, etc.), 4 Infiltrates, 4 Foresights. The key to decks like these are getting the scenarios into play, which requires some serious card drawing: Rebuilds & Emergency Supplies are vital to get it going. Once it's set up you can sacrifice Slaves to get Warp Spawns into play, or experiment on Slaves and then give them Shadow with Infiltrates.

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