Mystic Vale is a deck-building / card-building game with a truly innovative mechanic and a lot of set up variability. Push your luck, gather your mana and buy more upgrades. Will you push for points per turn or for a big end game score!
Not sure where to start – here’s a few thoughts for new players.
During The Game:
Green trees; I would say that these are the single most important upgrades in the whole game. Green trees cancel red trees (even if they are not on the same card). In general this means that you can play more of the deck in a single turn. My rule of thumb is that any card that can get you to play more of your deck each turn is materially better than all other cards you can buy. If you get three or even four of these in a game you can draw most of your deck most times and suddenly you are cycling through your deck quicker and buying better upgrades each time!
Horns; One other good set of cards though are the horned helmet cards – these should be placed on the cards that start blank. Later upgrades will allow you to gain more mana or score more points for horned helmets on the same card. Building these carefully can payoff late game!
Points per turn; If you can get many turns in then even small points build up – especially if it ends the game earlier than your opponent can build to counter. Generally, I would say players either build points quickly and rush to finish or they build mana and buy high value / high scoring cards. That’s not the whole story but that characterization does demonstrate why a 1-2 point per turn card built into your deck early can make a modest early game push towards victory. If you do this, watch out not to lose momentum and let your mana focused opponent back in!
Vale cards; These are powerful cards but watch out for the different effects. Those ones that will help you score more at the end of the game can wait. Grab the trees, mana, or the ones that stop you “spoiling” a field and missing a turn. These help you build for the finish and I lean to this strategy every time!
Spoiling; This felt counter-intuitive at first, but in my early games players who won were often the ones who “spoiled” their fields. Why? Because when you do push your luck too far you get an extra mana for the future! Of course I then tried to push my luck lots and that doesn’t work either! Push your luck when a small mana score won’t buy you any meaningful progress and then save that bonus mana for the time you need 8 and not 7 to get the ideal card. That’s the trick here – take risk when the downside is limited, and avoid it when there is too much on the table!