Jessica has worked in the gaming industry for years and is striving to develop/release a game of her and her husband's design in the future.
So far I have identified 4 main strategies for Mystic Vale and then a 5th being a combination of all of these.
- Acquiring Growth
- Guardian Accumulation
- Acquiring Mana
- Whole Deck In A Single Turn
I will break down each strategy, giving examples of different card combinations and providing feedback for each strategy.
All pictures will be taken from actual games, none will be staged and I will be adding more card combination photo's in time.
In reality strategy is actually very straightforward. You pick a general direction and implement like hell.
— Jack Welch
When it comes to acquiring Growth, the key is to snatch up any card that has Growth on it or undoes Decay. I suggest pushing whenever they are in the commons until you have acquired them. Acquiring mana in the beginning of the game is important as most of these cards cost 3-9 mana. When it comes to Spirit Symbols I've found concentrating on Earth and Sky symbols to be best for this strategy as these will allow you to purchase the Vales Blooming Arbor and most importantly Ancient Liferoots.
I love this strategy. Building growth allows for more decay in your deck and often this leads to a lot more VP's at the end of the game. It also can allow for you to play your whole deck in a single turn along with acquiring Vales at an expedited rate.
Building up guardian cards is the main essence of this strategy. As long as you have a blank card to work with buy any and all Guardian cards as soon as they come up in The Commons. Having as many of these cards in your deck will help you build them up as the game continues. You can't build them if you don't have them. Waiting is not the best option. Building up mana on Cursed Land's and Fertile Soil is a must. Pay attention to the Vales that are available and what spirit symbols you have during each turn. Acquiring Vales with Victory Points for the end of the game is a huge part of this strategy. The Vale "Conclave of Ents" is essential to this strategy as it allows 1 Guardian symbol added to any card for the duration of the turn.
While this isn't my favorite strategy. I do tend to use at least 1 Guardian card in my deck during each game. Usually in combination with a different strategy such as using a Guardian to acquire Growth or VP tokens. However I find it very difficult not to include Growth as higher end Guardian cards tend to have Decay. Keep this in mind and acquire some Growth as well. Using the Grovetender Guardian card is a good way to get around this (shown above).
Strategy requires thought, tactics require observation.
— Max Euwe
This is a basic strategy that every build should use at the beginning of the game. However, in order for it to be a winning strategy the Vale Sunstone Aerie is important. This Vale allows you to trade 2 mana for any spirit symbol. This Vale will allow you to use all your extra mana to purchase Vale's with VP points for the end of the game. Acquiring this Vale as soon as possible and making use of it throughout the game is essential. Stream of Vigor is another Vale you are going to want to acquire as it will allow you to purchase a third advancement during each turn after acquiring it and give's you an extra mana at the beginning of each turn. Getting these two Vales can make this a winning strategy even when going up against someone who concentrates on Growth.
I like this strategy but I also have difficulties winning with this one. The use of Vale's is essential and unless you can build up enough of them to win the game it is difficult to go up against someone using the Growth strategy or even the Guardian strategy. I usually do implement parts of this into my own strategy but often find it difficult to acquire enough VP points before the end of the game to win. That is unless I have managed to acquire the Vales I listed above.
Strategy is a commodity, execution is an art.
— Peter Drucker
Whole Deck In A Single Turn:
This strategy uses Growth and other cards to undo Decay within a deck to use the whole deck or most of the deck during every single turn. This particular strategy is difficult to pull off as you do have to keep in mind the amount of decay you have in your deck at any point in time and acquire enough growth to be able to undo it. I suggest snatching Deadwood Harvesters and Mindful Owls whenever they appear on the board. Both of these cards allow you to take one card that has been played in your field and put it into your discard pile. Lifebringer Seed is another card you want to have in your deck, this undoes all decay listed on a single card. This will allow you to get a Stag card and any other card that lists Decay and undo it without acquiring more Growth. Peace Keeping Druid and Cleansing Rain are two cards that come in use during this strategy as well. Peace Keeping Druid's allow you to discard a card in your field rather than Spoiling and Cleansing Rain allows you to go through your deck and discard any card. Both of these cards can come in handy when trying to play your whole deck during ever turn. Building at least one Guardian card is also important, for this strategy, that being the Grovetender Guardian card with as many Guardians as possible.
In my personal opinion this is the best strategy but also the hardest to pull off in any game. It requires constant thinking ahead and planning to the extreme. Not an easy strategy but fun and challenging to try and perfect to win if you can pull it off.
© 2018 Jessica Jade Robinson