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Making a strategy guide/tutorial for beginners

Blue can also do this with Lawful Search :wink:

You are correct, forgot that one. I think blue might even have the best play trying to do this. Drawing into Tech 1 on turn 2 to grab an early Overeager Cadet seems pretty good.


I would love a strategy guide for beginners. One thing I wouldn’t mind seeing, and I am not sure that I have seen it anywhere, is a list of considerations when going with a non-monocolor set of heroes. (Or is this already beyond beginner and onto intermediate?)

Something like, when selecting a set of three heroes, ask yourself how your deck is prepared to handle:

  • assaults on your buildings and base
  • assaults on your heroes
  • assaults on your workers, gold, cards
  • lots of flying units, lots of invisible/stealth/unstoppable units, etc.
  • a multitude of weak units
  • a few massive units
  • effects from building cards, ongoing spells, upgrades

For example, I am curious to try out [growth]/fire/strength, but at present I have no heuristic to help me determine whether or not this is a viable deck. I would love such a heuristic.

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My impression so far is that even “bad” decks can be surprisingly effective, so I suspect that any guide discussing the method for choosing a multicolor deck would definitely be intermediate level.

Really, the question to ask about multicolor decks is what particular shenanigans does that deck allow that would not be available with monocolor? Two-Step Birds? Discord Terras Q? Hasty units to activate Might of Leaf and Claw? Those things are a bit harder to see without some games under your belt.


I remember playing the Starter Set PnP against myself the night that I printed it out.

  • I got a headache just trying to decide which card to worker one my first turn.
  • Then I had to play something, and was really torn on which card it would be.
  • Then I had to tech cards, and I was like, “How in the world I am supposed to know which ones to pick?”

And this is coming from someone that loves reading rule books and played a ton of MtG back in the day. So, yeah, a beginner’s guide would be very useful.


@Shax Writing a Starting Player’s Guide for a game with so many hard decisions is difficult, because most games don’t have many hard decisions. Compare this to MtG, where much of the gameplay is “obvious” if you understand your deck.

So, you really need to start by explaining the decisions you have to make every turn in a game of Codex. To simplify this, start with defining “normal” gameplay:

  1. Build a Worker every turn until you have 10 Workers
  2. Play as many Cards as possible, but ensure you always discard enough Cards so you draw you maximum Hand size.
  3. Build Tech I building on Turn 2, Tech 2 & 3 ASAP (basically, the Turn you build your 8th and 10th Worker)

With this gameplay framework, we can define the decisions to make every Turn:

  1. Which Card do I turn into a Worker?
  2. Which Card(s) should I play?
  3. When I Attack, what is my Objective?
  4. Should I damage a Tech Building or Base?
  5. Which Patrol Slot should I use?
  6. Hardest Question: What 2 Cards should I Tech from 5 Categories?

A. Hero Spells
B. Hero Ultimate Spells
C. Tech I Cards
D. Tech II Cards
E. Tech III Cards

I suggest this breakdown, because each has a different requirement during gameplay.


Also remember that most decisions in Codex are matchup dependent as well. So you can’t memorize your answer to each question without considering your opponent’s answer to the same question.

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First of all, this post is fantastic! Very well thought-out and clear, and really helps to clear up the murky waters of being a Codex/strategy game noob :smiley:

Second, you didn’t mention Add-ons (either accidentally or intentionally). Where do those fit, exactly? Should they go with #2, or should they have their own number? Or should #2 be reworded to say something like, “What should I spend gold on?”

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When I taught my friends to play, for their first game, I told them to tech 2 units the first turn, and 1 unit and 1 spell the second. This let both of them have the chance to create a board presence before reaching tech 2, which is when things get crazy.


I like @Ryjak’s way of breaking things down. I think it might make sense to do a guide on each component. I just drafted a beginner’s guide to workers, feedback is appreciated!


For Beginners, Add Ons are pretty simple: Build a Tower when you have enough Gold at the end of the Turn. It’s a good all-around option that generally causes problems. I would mention the Surplus as a more advanced option for when you find you can’t afford to only play two cards each turn to discard to five, putting you behind on card drawing, AND you find yourself floating 5 gold.

The other Add-ons are generally for very specific plans for mixed color Codex
Builds, and thus not appropriate for a Beginner’s Guide.

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That makes sense. I tend to build surpluses more often than not, but maybe that’s why I keep losing my games :stuck_out_tongue:. I’ll think twice before I skip out on making a tower next time.

In my experience, the one thing that has made the biggest difference in my play and the play of people I’ve taught is becoming better at tracking where my key cards and the effect that has on the way you tech. (@EricF is really really good at this, and reading some of his games is extremely helpful in developing the way you think about teching and cycling cards).

I’ve seen a couple of people in this thread advise building tech 2 as early as possible, but I think this can be a huge mistake. You should build tech 2 the turn before your tech 2 units arrive. If you read a lot of the PbF games (even among players who are not novices), it’s extremely common for players to build tech 2, and then not play any tech 2 units the following turn. Obviously, you can’t predict your draw, so this may happen occasionally, but it seems to happen a lot. If you watch what people tech, it’s not unusual to see players building tech 2 when they have 0 probability of drawing a tech 2 unit in their next hand. I guess you could be bluffing, but it seems generally to be a bad idea.

Another thing I’m finding recently is that I’m moving out of a mindset of spending all my gold every turn. I tend to advise new players not to be scared of floating gold - sometimes you don’t have any good plays to make, and it’s better to hold your resources until next turn. I also find that when my opponent floats gold, it’s scary, so it seems like it’s a better strategy than novices usually imagine.


Tech 2 doesn’t just get you tech 2 units, it gets you an additional hero. If you teched mixed spells during the first few turns, this could be important so you can bring out the second hero and cast their spells, instead of being locked in with the first hero.

Floating gold leads to explosive turns, and is not something to be ignored. By paying attention to my opponents gold count, I can determine whether a maxband hero effect is possible, or Rewind, or Judgment Day, or Drakk + Kidnapping, or any number of effects that I might be worried about.


That’s true, but I think games where you build Tech 2 for a second hero (rather than building a hero’s hall) are fairly rare. My point about players building tech 2 and then doing nothing with it the following turn still stands though.

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Where can I find this guide?

in this thread, above:


Also in Collected Codex Resources pinned thread.


Since people are bringing up my reference sheets, I’d appreciate some help getting them updated and/or making some for multicolor builds (especially since I’m still waiting on my new computer). Let me know if you’d like to contribute!

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I’d be willing to write the Demon/Necro/Finesse one sometime next week, I could try PPA as well I spose since I’ve played that a fair bit.