May 31, 2014 by KonanTheBarbarian
Updated September 2 with Set 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 four kinds of rewards that you can get on a daily basis and all of them are fairly easy to get. The first three daily rewards will give you about 2000-2500 silver on average and a single common card. The single card reward has a good chance to upgrade into a higher rarity card or a booster pack and it’s a very easy way to grow your collection. The fourth reward will get you a tournament ticket that you need for entering drafts and constructed tournaments.
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 against the computer or a human opponent.
3. Third Win: Similar to the first win reward, but you have to win three games to get this reward.
4. First Online Win: This is also similar to the first win reward, but you can only get this reward when playing against a human opponent.
Did I say there are only four rewards? There is actually another kind of grindable reward,
but it’s rather a nice-to-have, since that reward is only very small compared to the others which can gain you up too 2000 extra silver per day.
5. Online Win: For up to twenty games that you win online you’ll get 100 silver
Also check out this promo code to get 5x basic boosters.
Are there any achievements?
With the release of set 3 SBE also introduced a 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 games (offline and online games). If 1000 wins will give you another chest is still unknown.
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 regularly on the different difficulties. 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.
Why am I getting bashed when playing against online opponents?
The starter decks can be improved quite fast (Making the Most of Starter Decks), but against more streamlined decks they are not really that competitive.
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’s gonna be an uphill battle.
The matchmaker will initially place you in the middle of the behind the scenes matchmaking system. So you typically start off with a quite high ranking and will probably lose your first games in the random online queue. 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.”
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, there are a couple of good articles about cheap decks (Silver Lining Decks, I Like My Creatures Rare, Rise of the Freeborn).
In this case 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, but you will also get them fairly fast just by buying boosters and doing your dailies.
If you want to have a good deck to start with I would probably start with one of the silver lining decks and forge the rares and commons. The silver from the first 2-3 days of daily rewards should be enough to get the core of the deck.
You don’t need every heroic in the mentioned decks and could try to improve 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 is also the constructed tournament queue and a reasonable cheap competitive deck built around Yetis (The Abominable Snowmen), but it takes some time to learn how to play against the other top tier decks and you need to be a good player to be successful there, so that should wait until later. If you are into grinding and can build a good deck, constructed tournaments pay off quite well if you can win two out of four games or better, but that is pretty much impossible with decks close to the starter decks.
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 seven tickets, but you will get tickets back dependent on your results and get to keep all the cards that you drafted and win a booster pack. For example, if you win three of your four games you will get back all seven of your tickets, keep the drafted cards, and win a gold booster pack. 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, which means you will only get three tickets back. With more drafts your play and draft picks will improve and you can expect better results. With a 2:2 result you can draft every four days and every result above will let you draft more often. At the moment there is no real way to practice draft and here your second account helps a lot, since you can draft twice as often for free with a second account.
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).
I’m willing to spend some money – what should I buy?
If you want to spend some money to have a better start and want to support the game there is a quite good $20/$30 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). If you are only using Mac/iOS there is no way around logging in once on a PC with Solforge, because the DLC has to be transferred from the Steam server to SBE servers. You could also gift the Steam DLC to a friend with a PC who could use his Solforge account to claim the DLC and write firstname.lastname@example.org to get the contents transferred to your SolForge account. You can have multiple DLC on your Solforge account, but Steam will only allow you to buy one (you will need multiple Steam accounts if you want to buy more than one).
If you like draft it is also definitely better to buy tickets than boosters. Especially if you go 3:1 from time to time (or even 4:0) buying tickets is a great option to build up your collection and it will help to get trade-able cards.
There are also a bunch of new quite cheap ($10) preconstructed decks available in the in-game store as part of SBE’s new release process (New preconstructed decks). I actually quite like “Ironmind Intuition”- deck, since if you buy three of them you have a great basis for a top-tier tournament deck in the current meta. Just three Ghox Metamind Paragon and three with gives you a great shell to try out different decks.
Will all my cards be tradable?
The bad news is that trading is not live yet and that you will only be able to trade cards bought by real money. The good news is that as soon as you buy a single ticket with the in-game gold currency all your cards won from tournaments are also tradable as long as you don’t completely run out of tickets (that should only happen if you lose all four games in a tournament). So with a minimal investment you will be able to trade your cards later. Right now your only option to get rid of excess cards (cards where you own more than three copies of) is forging them for silver.
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. Be aware that Kaelari banned the card in the unheroic/peasant format, because he has been very dominant and it’s counter is a heroic card.
If you are interested in lower rarity tournaments, definitely check out his homepage, since Kaelari is hosting more and more of those tournaments.
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. Any new cards that you can’t forge so far can be bought by buying he new preconstructed decks.
Where can I find decklists?
The community page Solforgeladder.com publishes the decklists after it’s tournaments (Past Solforgeladder results and decklists). I like this source since it includes rarity limited tournaments an is a great source for new deck ideas.
If you are looking for cutting edge decks – so called tier 1 decks – you will find them under the Championship decklists.