May 31, 2014 by KonanTheBarbarian
Updated Feb 09th with Set 6.3 rewards and achievements
Welcome to Solis my friend! My Name is KonanTheBarbarian and I’m known in the community for my drafting skill and was the first one to write a beginner’s guide to SolForge drafting. I’m also a member of Ghox’s Socks and today I want to show you how to get started with SolForge. There are a couple of things that you should know if you are new to the game and want to avoid the most common mistakes.
If you haven’t seen SolForge at all before, there is a short introduction from Stone Blade Entertainment (SBE) which explains the basic concepts and rules in three minutes.
SolForge has a unique mechanic, is different from other card games and there are quite a lot of things that I really like about SolForge:
Easy to learn, hard to master: There are always ways to improve and the game has an incredible depth once you get to know it better.
Great community: If you go to the Steam chat or write in the SolForge Forum you will almost certainly find helpful assistance and nearly no flamers unlike in other games. Also the in depth discussions are great.
Free: SolForge is free to play and quite generous in its rewards.
Here are some of the most frequently asked questions seen in the forum, on Twitch, and in Steam chat from new players.
SolForge is free to play – what can I expect to get for free?
SolForge is very different from other games since the daily rewards are easy to get and don’t require grinding. The only “drawback” with this system is that in the beginning you can’t really grind and it might take a few days until you have collected enough rewards to be able to draft and get more cards. So you have to be a little bit patient.
There are three kinds of rewards that you can get on a daily basis and all of them are fairly easy to get. The daily login and the third win reward will grant you 2000-2500 silver on average and a booster pack. There is also a small chance (~0.5%) to get an upgrade to a legendary chest. Your first win reward will give you a tournament ticket that you need for entering drafts and constructed tournaments. The tournament ticket is probably also the most valuable reward, so make sure to log in and get the first win reward each day! What is really nice about the Solforge reward system that it’s very easy to get most rewards relatively easy (compared to Hearthstone).
1. Daily Login: You only have to log in to get this reward.
2. First Win: You will get this from winning your first game.
3. Third Win: Similar to the first win reward, but you have to win three games to get this reward.
Did I say there are only three rewards? There is actually another kind of grindable reward, which can gain you up too 5000 extra silver per day.
4. Online Win: For up to twenty games that you win online you’ll get 250 silver
Also check out this promo code to get 5x basic boosters. Update: Get an additional 5x basic boosters for the code: asc_free_packs
Get an additional 5x basic boosters for the code: asc_free_packs
Are there any achievements?
With the release of set 3 SBE also introduced a very basic achievement system. For your first 10 offline and online wins you will each get a free legendary chest once (online wins also count as offline wins, similar to the daily rewards). So if you win 10 online games on your first day you will actually get at least 2 legendaries and 6 heroics, which can enable you to build more competitive decks from the beginning on.
You will also get another legendary chest each if you win 100/1000 games (offline and online games).
When you use that link to sign up to Solforge you will get:
– a legendary chest for your first 15 online wins of the day (after 15 days)
– 10% discount on gold purchases within the first month
To give you another incentive to use that link I decided that I will reward everyone using this link by sharing some of my cards.
– 3 (single) heroics of your choice from set 1.0-3.0 if you spend money on Solforge 🙂
Of course I can only share cards that I own so it’s kind of first come first serve. If you used my referral link you can send me a PM on the offical Solforge Forum containing the cards that you want to have. My username on the forums is konanTheBarbar.
How do I get started?
It might sound strange, but the first thing you should do when beginning SolForge is to create a second account. Multiple accounts are allowed and often also top players have a main account and a free to play account that they use. So why do you need that second account? The best thing about having a second account is that you can get your daily rewards – especially the first online win reward very easily. You can just send a challenge from one account to the other and you will get your online win reward if you concede. You could actually do this for all the three rewards and it will only take about 5-10 minutes to get the rewards for both accounts. Of course it is very important to keep practicing to improve your play, but if time is short or you find it hard to get the first online win reward it is the fastest way to get them. Another good thing is that you can practice draft more often on multiple accounts – I’ll explain that later.
After finishing the short tutorial you should first try to beat the computer on the different difficulties or check out the first missions of the campaign. Usually the computer is more concerned about having a strong board position, than to play cards that are great for the late game, so if you level the right cards without getting crushed, you will soon find that you can win against the computer fairly often. I don’t want to get too much into detail about tactics here, but the most basic rule is to get positive trades (e.g. blocking a 4/4 creature with a 5/5 or a 4/6 creature that survives) or at least even trades (both full health creatures die) with creatures that are good when they are leveled. The same rule also applies to spells. Only cast them on one of your creatures if you are confident that your opponent has to spend two cards to kill that creature.
Just be aware that the first four basic missions of the campaign are fairly easy and the next ones a bit more challenging. For the mission beyond the first four you will need to bring your own deck – I have tested them using unheroic deck lists from Konan’s Guide to Beginner Decks and it’s definitely possible to beat the computer with that decks. The best and cheap deck to beat them all is probably the UT deck which you can find below.
You will get 1 heroic for each of the first four missions and one legendary for each of the last 2 missions. Pretty good, huh?
There is also a really great Video by Zwaxor – one of the best constructed players we have in the Solforge community – that covers the first two missions and explains a lot of Solforge basics very well. Make sure to have a look at it.
After you’ve mastered the basics you may find these in-depth articles helpful to improve your game, just be aware the articles are quite old already: Introduction to Blocking, Care and Feeding of Underdrops, Fundamentals of Lane Placement.
Is there a good cheap deck for the campaign missions?
Yes there actually is an UT Variant which is pretty good at beating the campaign mission. It’s basically a deck with only big cheap creatures and some hate cards that are good in most of the missions (they are also the only rares that you need for that mission).works great against all decks that summon creatures which are not played from hand and Oxidon Spitter simply negates Armor effects that are used in some missions. The whole deck costs only 5 x 1400 = 7000 Gold for the rares and 25 x 150 = 3750 Gold for the commons. Edit: Please note was nerfed and doesn’t deal damage to the creatures already.
2 Oxidon Spitter (Rare)
3 Deepranch Prowler
2 Cinderbound Invoker
Why am I getting bashed when playing against online opponents?
The starter decks can be improved quite fast – especially if you get some good heroics/legendaries from your achievements, but against more streamlined decks they are not really that competitive. I can definitely recommend to forge a tournament winning unheroic deck. You will find more information about forging and deckbuilding at the end of the article.
Don’t worry you are not a bad player when you lose a couple of games in the beginning and at the moment there isn’t a visible ranking anyways, so you don’t have to worry about that in the beginning. You might take it as a challenge, but be aware it might be an uphill battle in the beginning (with the starter decks).
According to an SBE representative, “We actually put you at the lowest possible ELO rating to start, and you cannot drop any further from there. We did make a small tweak to our system with the release of 2.0 that ensures newer players do not jump up in ELO rating quite as fast.”
I like the game, but why does my opponent always draw more lvl3 creatures than I do?
What you just experienced is called level screw in Solforge. It’s similar to mana flood in Magic (or having a bad opening hand in other card games). The biggest reason why you mind find it frustrating is that in Solforge it’s not straightforward what you can do about it. Someone actually did the math and showed it’s only around 10% of the games (that go to rank3) that are determined by level screw (twice as many where it has a big influence on the game). So yes it exists and can be frustrating, but at higher levels of play it actually doesn’t play a big role, since decks can be build to mitigate level screw.
The easiest way to deal with it are so called underdrops – cards that can be used to great effect in higher levels even if you didn’t level them. In the beginning lots of players tend to include way to many cards that level well, but suck if you draw their lvl1 versions later. As a rough guideline you should include ~40% (12/30 cards) underdrops! Yes that many…
A great example of underdrops are so called “Bound” creatures like theabove. In addition soft level gated cards (cards that affect lvl2 creatures with their lvl1, e.g. ) and creatures with more than 6 attack are also good underdrops.
Of course there are also (Alloyin) control decks that level additional cards, but they usually lack a good early game. For those decks you need comeback cards like Ambriels Edict – in the beginning playing those usually makes level screw only worse since you are very reliant on hitting your bombs earlier than your opponent 🙂
What is the best way to grow my collection?
First of all – the best way is to simply do your dailies every day. As I said before it before you can get them fairly easily even if you can only spend 5 minutes for SolForge that day. You will get two currencies for free in SolForge – silver and tickets. Let me explain what to do with your silver first.
There are two ways to spend your silver in the beginning, buy cards for silver or use the silver to buy boosters. If you want to get specific cards for your deck or want to build a specific deck forging is your best option (go to the deck builder and click on a card – under advanced search options you will find an option to show un-owned cards if you want to forge them). Especially rare and common cards are very cheap to acquire, so you don’t loose a lot of you forge them (and open them in boosters later).
If you want to have a good deck to start with I can definitely recommend to forge a tournament winning unheroic deck. You will find more information about forging and deckbuilding at the end of the article. The silver from the first 2-3 days of daily rewards should be enough to get the core of the deck.
Try to improve that decks by putting in some good heroics and also add legendaries if you get lucky and catch some early on. Someone did the math and showed that if you have less than 40% of a full (legendary) collection (and don’t want to get specific cards) buying boosters is the best value for silver option. It’s also definitely the best way to get most of the heroics.
With the tickets that you get from your first online win reward you should only enter draft tournaments in the beginning. There are some cheap competitive decks to play in the constructed tournament queue, but in order to be successful there you have to be a good player and will also need to know how to play against the best decks in the current meta. Before you start with the competitive queue, try to play on solforgeladder.com to test your deck against good players – this is definitely the best place to see if you are ready for constructed play.
SBE introduced a (casual) draft queue and I can highly recommend this queue (over the expert draft queue). In the casual draft queue you only have to pay 3 tickets to enter and you get to keep all the cards that you have drafted! If you are interested in building a collection this is definitely the way to go. If you are more interested in the draft format itself and want to draft more often (and you get 3:1 draft finishes or better) you can switch to the expert draft queue.
In the expert draft queue you don’t get to keep your cards, but you will get back tickets according to your record. The sweet spot is going 3:1 since you will get all your tickets back, earn a gold price back and you can draft right away again.
Also the Weekend Warrior format is usually quite cheap to enter and you can earn good prices. There are various WW formats with new ones popping out now and then. You can check out http://solforgegame.com/calendar/ for having a look at the coming formats and events.
Update (13th Feb ): There is a really nice guide written by James Benett that shows you how to grow your collection and is aimed specifically at more competitive players, but there are also tons of useful information for everyone. http://battlebranded.blogspot.sg/2015/02/a-beginners-guide-to-building.html
What are draft tournaments?
There is a short three minute introduction to draft (Introduction to Draft Video by SBE), which explains the very basics about draft. To enter a draft you need three tickets, but you get to keep all the cards that you drafted and can win various booster packs. For example, if you win three of your four games you will be able to keep the drafted cards and win a silver booster pack along with 3 basic boosters. It takes some practice to be able to build a good draft deck and win more than you lose. In the beginning you shouldn’t expect to win more than two of four games. With more drafts your play and draft picks will improve and you can expect better results. Also your second account helps a lot, since you can draft twice as often for free with a second account. If you are willing to pay money for drafting always enter the draft queue with 560 gold directly (don’t buy tickets with gold, enter the draft directly). This way the cards you drafted and the rewards will all be shareable.
As mentioned above I have written an article about draft which explains a lot of the basics that are important to be successful in draft
(Konan’s Guide to Draft). This article is sadly outdated, but recently I wrote an article about draft deck building, which could also really help for your first drafts (Introduction to draft deck building). You will also find some helpful draft tier lists in that article.
What are weekend warrior tournaments?
If you ever played Hearthstone you will be familiar with their Tavern Brawl events – they actually copied this game mode from Solforge and it’s more or less the same. Weekend Warriors run from Wednesday till Sunday and vary between constructed and draft events. They are cheap to enter and the payouts are pretty good. On top of that you only need a winrate of 60% in order to go infinite in those tournaments – so it’s a pretty good mode to grind rewards (in Expert draft you need a winrate of 70% to go infinite and the players there are much better on average).
I’m willing to spend some money – what should I buy?
First of all I can definitely recommend spending $5 (Solforge Shop or via Steam/Play Store/Apple), because for $5 you can:
1. Buy the one-time 10-ticket bundle for 200 gold(this lets you draft 3 times right away).
2. Buy the one-time legendary chest (for deck-building fun) for 200 gold.
3. Buy the entry to a draft tournament for 560 gold (all the cards that you get from the draft will be shareable).
If you want to spend some more money to have a better start and want to support the game there is a quite good $20/$30 (they are often on 50% sale) deal on Steam right now (Preconstructed Deck Deal on Steam). You will get in two or three nice decks with two good legendaries and some in-game currency that you can use to buy one time deals in the in-game store. Be aware that the decks will be given to the account that is logged into Solforge in Steam (make sure it is your main account).
There are also a bunch of quite cheap ($10) preconstructed decks available in the Solforgame Shop and in the in-game shop and in my oppinion they are the best value for money. There is a nice overview which heroics/legendaries are in which preconstructed deck. My recommendation is to only buy boosters/legendary chests when a new set comes out, since new cards are usually in high demand for trading. You can check out my article Konan’s Guide to Beginner Decks for a few deck lists. Right now there is a really good AU Growbots list that you can build relatively easy ( isn’t a must in that list).
Similar to buying boosters/chests when a new set comes out you should probably always buy the latest preconstructed decks – especially shortly after they are released when you can often get great trades for the new heroics and legendaries they contain.
How long will it take to catch up with all the new cards?
That’s of course not easy to say, but overall the dailies and draft tournaments are generous enough that after some time you will have a nearly complete collection of all heroic, rare and common cards. There is a pretty nice blog about the attempt to go 4:0 in a constructed tournament on a free to play account https://f2psolforge.wordpress.com/. The run ended after 64 days to give you a good baseline. It might not be realistic to get all the legendaries without spending any money, but there is only a subset of playable ones, that you need to build most of the tier 1 decks.
Why is there no ladder/ game mode with only lower rarity cards?
SBE is working hard right now to get the next major improvements like the campaign mode and an UI overhaul done. So at the moment ladder results are only published on a weekly basis, but they are not visible in the client.
Kaelari, a community member, created an unofficial easy to use ladder (http://www.solforgeladder.com), which supports the unlegendary and the unheroic formats, which might be more appealing if you only have a limited collection. You will not only find a leaderboard there, but also nice prices for winning the ladder and some limited rarity tournaments.
If you are interested in lower rarity tournaments, definitely check out his homepage, since Kaelari is hosting more and more of those tournaments and you can actually win some in game currency for just participating in the tournament (and playing all games).
What is also pretty nice is that there is also support for cube-draft where different boosters are passed around and you can do a little a more traditional draft as you might now from other card games.
Can I trade my cards?
SBE introduced the concept of sharing with the release of set 4. It is a little different from traditional trading concepts and the main idea behind sharing is that you can gift a shareable card to your friend once while keeping an un-shareable copy for yourself. One shareable cards is therefore kind of worth 2 un-shareable cards – one for yourself and one for a friend of yours.
Only cards that you bought with the gold currency (e.g. boosters/starter decks bought with gold) and rewards that you gain from entering a tournament with gold will be shareable.
There is also a simple trading platform in Kaelari’s Ladder where you can enter the shareable cards that you have and the ones that you want. The website can search for matches from other player and you can start trading with them.
Don’t be afraid to ask other players for commons/rares if you start with Solforge. Pretty much all set 1-3 commons and rares aren’t woth anything for players who have been playing Solforge for a long time.
– as a free to play player your only way to get shareable cards is to compete in the elite tournaments that are held once a month
– before set 4 is was much easier to get shareable cards, since all tournament rewards from players that spend money on the game were shareable
What can I do against people who just let the timer run out?
The best thing is to simply ignore that game and start a new one (could also be a game against the computer). If you have different games running at the same time, a “Next Game” button will appear if one of your opponents has finished his turn. If you don’t know which cards they have played you can check the game- log that you’ll find in the menu.
SBE recently introduced an option to buy specific cards, besides the card of the day sale. Just be aware that this can be quite costly, since you have to convert the ingame currency gold into silver in the ingame store. With the converted silver you are able to forge the specific cards you want to have in the deck builder. Cards that were released within the last month cost at least twice as much as older cards.
How can I build a good deck for beginners?
I have written a whole article – Konan’s Guide to Beginner Decks – about good decks to start with. Check it out, even if you just want to copy a decklist.
Another great resource to look up staple decks is the community page Solforgeladder.com, which publishes the decklists after it’s tournaments (Past Solforgeladder results and decklists). I like this source since it includes rarity limited tournaments and is a great source for new deck ideas.
I can definitely recommend to forge one of the unheroic decklists from that page (or from my article) and add your own spice to the deck by using some of the heroics and legendaries from your collection. I think it should be possible to forge a good unheroic list within a week if you save up some silver. Especially the commons are very cheap and you can forge them without any regrets (even if you will open them with boosters later).
The Solforge card interactions are confusing, where can I find the rules?
Another Ghox’s Socks Member Ximane wrote the most up to date Ximanes advanced-solforge rulebook that should hopefully cover all confusing cases and let you better understand what is going on. Most interactioins are pretty clear, but some interactions are random where others are completely deterministic.