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Tips for teaching new players?

It looks like I will have the opportunity to hang out with some friends this weekend and teach them the game. I have the deluxe version printed off and ready to go but… I have never actually played it myself. I have watched a handful of matches on youtube and read through the rulebook a couple of times though, so I feel like I have the hang of it.

Just wondering what everyone’s experience has been like teaching over the last month, and if there were any issues that you repeatedly ran into or surprised you.

We are all experienced Magic players from 15-20 years ago, so most of the basic concepts won’t be completely foreign.

I was thinking that I would have two of them play a Bashing vs Finesse practice game while I talked them through it. Afterwards I could explain extra stuff about the 3 hero mode and hopefully they’ll understand enough of it. I know everyone is going to get surprised a lot by what is in other people’s decks and not know how to deal with them because they won’t even really know what is in their deck. As long as they get the core concept though and think it is fun enough to keep playing they’ll gain that knowledge eventually.

Any help is appreciated, I’ll report back and let everyone know how it went.


For the first game, I suggest erring on the side of teaching mechanics over strategy. It’s hard to solidly grasp the strategy without understanding the mechanics first. And my experience has been that trying to explain both at the same time can be overwhelming for people.

Strongly consider looking over shoulders and making worker/tech suggestions in the first game or two, without explaining why beyond the bare bones. That’ll help alleviate losses due to deck composition, which can be hard to identify as a cause of defeat early on.


If you haven’t played the game yourself yet, I’d recommend trying to play a quick game via play by post before the weekend. I imagine things will go a lot more smoothly if you’ve played the game at least once.


I agree that you should teach the rules with the Starter Set, but I think it’s important to have the first “full game” be Red vs Green, since it’s the recommended starting point (and they’d get the Core Set first if they ever bought the game themselves). With that in mind, I went and made some reference sheets for new players specifically for Red and Green, which I posted here. They’re designed so each can be printed double-sided on a single sheet of paper. I’m definitely still a beginner myself, so pretty much everything on them is taken from more experienced players’ posts on the forum (and I gave credit to all of them, so you can see the original posts for more detail/discussion).


I strongly advise this: know all the rules, and help the learner execute all the rules correctly

In my experience, the most challenging part of learning to play codex is knowing all the rules and remembering to apply them to the game.

Examples of rules that are easy for new players to forget:

  • tower dealing damage to attackers
  • teching additional cards every turn
  • needing a hero to cast a spell
  • how flying works
  • certain destroyed buildings damage the base
  • how sparkshot works
  • what happens when heroes die

For experienced Magic players, the rules which are slightly different than Magic can be the hardest to remember. As Master Yoda said, “You must unlearn what you have learned.”

Therefore, I think that you (the teacher) should enforce all the rules, execute all the upkeep steps, and pay attention to rules that your student might be forgetting. This will greatly reduce the stress and challenging of learning the game and allow the student-player to think about what the cards might do, which hero looks the most fun to summon, and so on.

I don’t think a new player will care that much about winning, and will have a good experience as long as they feel like they were able to do what they were supposed to do in order to play the game.

I think an easy way to have a bad experience is to realize you have been playing with cards you shouldn’t have been able to pay for, and so on.


This went well. Everyone enjoyed it and thought the game was pretty good. Probably one we will have in our usual rotation. I just need to not be broke and buy a deluxe version now or at least some sleeves.

Bashing won the first game. Then we did a two headed dragon game since there were four of us. Green & Purple versus Blue & White. Green and Purple won. Both games were played kind of conservatively. I definitely feel like we could have won with Blue and White in the mid game but everyone was kind of scared to press the advantage because it is really hard to tell if you have it or not when you’re new to the game. Or it is hard to tell how much you have and how hard you should push.


I’m teaching Codex to my friends.
I’m planning to print player guide.
Some of them are ccg players, others are board gamers.
Here is my guide:

Codex flow

  1. Tech (2 cards to discard from Codex)
  2. Upkeep (gold production)
  3. Main (in any order, repeatable)
    ****A. defend base = build units/heroes
    ****B. Attack opponents = build units/heroes
    ****C. Increase gold production = build worker(once per turn)
    ****D. Build more powerful units = build tech buildings
    ****E. Cast spell = build required hero
    ****F. play upgrades
    ****G. Detect stealth/invi units = build tower/ detector units
    ****H. Draw more cards =build surplus and save enough cards for discard/draw step
    ****I. Increase number of allowed heroes = build heroes hall
  4. Discard/draw step (draw = discard cards + 2, max 5.
  5. End

In this guide, im teaching them the basic tactics so that they will have some rough guide on their decisions. For example, if I just put build worker, maybe they have no idea what’s it for. So in my guide, if they want to their increase gold production, they can build workers.

Comments are highly welcomed
P.S. there seem to be know indentation in the forum. So the text is not quite easy to read

You don’t need to mention detectors when teaching, as only 2 exist in the whole game, and it’s quick to answer if it comes up.

Also, read over the guides that other people will link to, and maybe have them on hand to help with basic strategy.

Also, don’t mention the Surplus - it’s a trap to build it. If you need more cards, it’s better to either skip a worker (saving the card) or spend gold leveling up a hero rather than summoning a unit.


Here are the guides that EricF referenced:


I don’t like the equal signs in your summary guide. It’s much clearer if you say:

A. Build units/heroes => allows you to defend base and attack opponents
B. Build a worker (once per turn) => allows you to increase gold production
C. Build tech buildings => allows you to build more powerful units and eventually summon more heroes
D. Build a Hero’s Hall => allows you to summon more heroes
E. Summon a hero => allows you to cast starter spells and that hero’s spells
F. Play upgrades => creates passive effects and sometimes grants additional abilities
G. Play non-tech buildings => grants additional abilities and sometimes creates passive effects; can be attacked
H. Play too many cards => draw too few cards next turn and lose the game

This way it’s clear that the different phrases are not the same thing, but rather the noted causes generated the following effects.


Also, to add to what @ARMed_PIrate said, I believe there is indentation on these forums. Let’s see if I get this right…

  • Bullet 1
    • Subpoint 1
    • Subpoint 2
      • Sub-subpoint
  • Bullet 2

The above is written with 4 spaces for the indented lines, like so:

* Bullet 1
    * Subpoint 1
    * Subpoint 2
        * Sub-subpoint
* Bullet 2

Great tip! I recommend cross-posting in this thread.

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Aye you’re a lifesaver! I couldn’t for the life of me figure that out.

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