I always say this, but if you haven’t seen my review – check it out. It frames what I thought of the game and why I think the below suggestions make sesne. Plus, and as a reminder, I played this through as a two player so the advice may vary slightly for higher play counts:
Engine Building – The core of the game is engine building, so you will need to get gems first and then attack cards. I flag this because embracing that ladder of higher value cards that just allow you to purchase even higher value cards is worthwhile in this game. You need to get to the more powerful cards especially to defeat some of the bosses.
Each Boss / Reveal is different – At least that’s mostly true and I think you can get drawn into optimizing your character / cards for all weather scenarios. We found this to be a mistake. We learnt the villain in the first few turns and then adjusted the strategy to map to their ability. I prefer this feeling that the villain is a meaningful input to the game, but it means you need to adjust the cards you use and buy each time.
Small Decks – This is a common thing for a deck builder but trashing cards (or equivalent removing them from the deck) is a good strategy here too. You want a reliable draw and huge swings in the cards you can draw might feel like you were really close to winning, but actually the odds tell you that you weren’t. Build a good deck and then thin it down as much as you can using the cards that allow for this.
Swap the Supply – We enjoyed swapping around the cards we took into each round. It really felt like we were optimizing the whole game state to our advantage and not just smaller sub set of cards we carred about. It was interesting to see how ranking the cards by strength didn’t always help us, and sometimes it was the right combination of the cards (including some of the less obvious powers) that worked for certain bosses.
Specialise – Co-op games often benefit from this advise. If you are both trying to heal / attack / mitigate damage or some blend of 5 different strategies then you will be unreliable in your cards drawn and ineffective in your approach. Split the requirements between you and accept that sometimes one of you needs to specialize in defence whislt the other deals the killing blow. Much more reliable on card draws and means you only need to have enough gems to buy the cards for your strategy.#
Killing Efficiently – Linked to the above, you want to spend the damage you have efficiently between multiple opponents. There’s two aspects to this. One, if you are both attacking then the first person should not “overkill” a creature if the other player could hit the exact HP off – player 1 in that scenario can spread damage onto the boss and perhaps make for a more efficient follow up turn. Two – if an enemy minion is about to do damage then concentrate enough fire to take it down. There’s no difference to you between no damage and half damage on an enemy, but there’s a lot of difference if the enemy is stopped altogehter.
Attack the Boss – Some of the bosses send out weaker fighters, don’t get drawn in to just disposing of the body guards. Keep chipping away at the boss because even if that leaves you more exposed, that is the only path to victory.
Spread Damage – Now I am talking about the damage received. Understand the rules of the attacker and make sure that the damage is spread between the players. When we got this wrong the game really punished us for one player being exhausted early in the round – you need to keep everyone in the game and attacking.
Sequence – Watch out for the sequence of turns; when you start it may seem great that an enemy attacks at the start and then the end, but what comes straight after the end of one round? The start of the next. A couple of times we had to shift our play style to avoid the effect of the two attacks back to back – that might mean healing rather than attacking, but it’s definitely one to watch out for.