A Spellfire deck can be constructed in any number of ways. Listed below are the most popular theme decks. If you are constructing a deck to match a specific theme, consider these guidelines.
Decks based on a Spellfire world, such as the Frozen Fire or Blood Birth, tend to be the most popular because it simplifies many decisions during deck-building. The optional World Bonus rule makes choosing champions, realms, holdings, and artifacts much easier with this type of deck. As long as all the cards in a deck are from the same world, you'll never have trouble attaching a holding to a realm in your formation or putting an artifact into play with the appropriate champion.
Champion selection for a theme deck is really a matter of personal preference. Any champion type can be used as a theme deck (heroes, wizards, clerics, monsters, psionicists, regents, or thieves). Another factor to consider is the cards a player has to work with when building the champion theme deck. The number of Powers and Blood Birth cards you own may limit you if you are using psionicist or regent themes. The shortage of unarmed combat cards is also a hindrance to hero decks.
Champions decks are often combined with other themes or a sub-theme. It is more common for the best champion theme decks to center around a specific style of play, such as a hero attack deck or a wizard spell deck since the special powers of these champions closely reflect the specific style of play. Below you will find information on champion types and how to build themed decks based on them.
Heroes have the greatest variety of powers and are the most common type of champion. Heroes typically possess spellcasting powers of both wizards and clerics as well as the ability to use unarmed combat cards.
Heroes often focus on attacking, so allies and magical items become important in-hero theme decks. Heroes can benefit from allies with high-level bonuses as well as magical items with potent special powers. In general, hero decks are more susceptible to spells. A popular choice for this type of deck theme is a hero who is immune to offensive spells.
Monsters are the most prevalent champions in Spellfire, followed by heroes. In addition to their special powers, monsters have the ability to cast spells, fly, and swim, as well as earthwalk. Most undead champions are monsters, which makes undead-monster decks very popular. There is also a predominance of monster champions among dragons, making monster decks seem richer with yet another subtheme.
These decks also tend toward attacks, though many monsters are capable of casting spells, which allow them to be used in such decks. These champions work well with combat spells (phase 4), particularly ones with high-level bonuses, or those with special powers that would provide an edge during battle. Due to the fact that many monsters have the ability to fly, earthwalk, or swim, it is very easy to reach an opponent's rear realms. It is also beneficial to use items that grant immunities or provide a large level bonus to a monster's attacking abilities.
Wizard theme decks are extremely popular in Spellfire because of the potency of spells. In addition to clerics, wizards are also popular because they can use allies, magical items, and artifacts as well as spells.
The most versatile theme decks are those based on wizards. During a player's third turn, it is easy to construct a wizard deck that does not attack but is devastating nonetheless. In addition, you can build a wizard deck that uses powerful phase 4 spells, powerful items, and artifacts to attack your opponent. A wall or other defensive spell that prevents an opponent from attacking back can lead to a quick win if the player can get out, and keep out, one realm per turn.
Wizard theme decks must have spells, but having all possible spells might not be the best idea. Several rules cards and events can severely cripple a deck consisting only of spells in Hero theme decks, which have already been described.
Due to the inclusion of avatars, clerics have no longer been the wizard wannabes, but can be excellent theme deck builders. Most of the spells available to champions of this type are defensive, though a powerful offensive avatar can make it possible. This theme is also popular when it comes to bringing avatars into the game because clerics can use spells to return champions from the discard pile.
Due to the potency of their spells, the cleric theme deck is often overlooked compared to other champion themes. Spells and clerics alone aren't enough to build a powerful deck. Build a cleric deck's sub-theme by considering several magical items, artifacts, and allies.
Other Champion Themes
There are fewer psionicist, thief, and regent champions than the others, so limiting decks like these can be common. It is extremely difficult to determine the type of deck that you may face when playing against a deck of just psionicist champions. Even though there are a number of cards that hinder psionicists, that doesn't mean everyone has them.
The Regents, on the other hand, have fewer instant defeat cards and are able to use blood ability cards. Due to the relative rarity of blood ability cards and Blood Birth artifacts, regents require a strong sub-theme to back up their decks - such as attacking or defending. In addition, many regents can cast spells, giving players considering a regent theme yet another avenue for expansion.
Special Power Themes
A fair range of deck themes can also be derived from Champions' special powers and designations. A number of Spellfire cards support flyers, swimmers, earthwalkers, and undead decks. Most of these decks are a mix of worlds and champion types, supported heavily by the special abilities of rule cards, events, realms, holdings, and artifacts. Alternatively, you might design a deck around immunity cards or instant defeat cards. Considering the number of cards in the Spellfire game, the possibilities are endless.
It is common for undead decks to be popular since there are several cards that contribute to its strength. This type of theme is not solely based on champions, though most or all of them should be undead or lend power to the undead. There are a number of cards that confer special powers to undead, such as increasing their level or conferring immunity.
The decks with the Undead theme tend to be combat or multipurpose, though they can also have other sub-themes. A deck with an offensive sub-theme also needs undead allies. In many cases, cards enhancing undead champions also increase undead allies' levels. It can become extremely challenging to defeat an undead champion and their allies in a one-on-one battle due to the high levels of attacking the undead.
Flyer, Swimmer, & Earthwalker Themes
With this theme, decks tend to focus heavily on attacking because these special powers allow players to attack realms regardless of their position - unless the realm's special power says otherwise. There is no need to limit the uses of these special powers to one deck; they can be combined into one. The latter of the two is better because it does not limit a player too harshly or expose him to a particular instant defeat.
A crucial aspect of this theme is the type of allies used, as they must also be capable of reaching realms that are behind the front line of an opponent's formation. There are more flying allies to choose from among the three, and many have excellent special abilities. There are many magical items that can grant these abilities to attached allies.
These decks have the disadvantage of having a lot of instant defeat cards, especially in the form of flying champions and allies. The player can counter this effect by inserting magical items, spells, and artifacts that can protect them from these instant defeats.
Miscellaneous Special Power Themes
Additionally, other themes are available to players of SPELLFIRE who have the right cards. Themes such as dwarves, giants, elves, dragons, etc. are popular. These themes are not without disadvantages, mainly due to the lack of supporting cards. You can combine it with another subtheme or have dwarves, elves, and dragons stand alone. There are several champions from each category, so it might be possible to do that.
If spellcasters are present, magical items and events can best support each of these types of themes. Giants and dragons are both durable themes, but a great number of instant defeat cards are designed to destroy champions with these designations. In contrast, Dwarves have relatively few supporting cards, but a fair number of champions. Nevertheless, dwarf champions are nice to have because they often possess the special ability to earthwalk, which makes them a great choice for attack champions.
A popular theme in Spellfire is the use of spells, whether it is the main theme, a sub-theme, or an element of the deck of a wizard, cleric, or other types. Considering both cleric and wizard spells are available on this theme, there are more cards to choose from than any other type of theme deck. In Spellfire, spells can be incredibly powerful, but their power is also vulnerable to the power of another card. To counter this theme, you can build an anti-spell deck quite easily, but it rarely happens unless your opponent knows what you're going to play.
This theme has several issues, as do other themes. When a player bulks up on phase 3 spells, he may be left defenseless when his opponent attacks in phase 4. The possibility of spells being dispelled or returned against you is also present, and in many cases, this can prove to be fatal. Several champions in the Spellfire game are immune to both types of offensive spells. For these reasons, a spell deck should contain several items, artifacts, or allies that can be used in an emergency.
Combat vs Noncombat Themes
Each Spellfire deck theme falls into one of three categories: combat, non-combat, or both. A deck that focuses only on one of the two themes has a better chance of success. Combining the two themes will enable you to accomplish more during the game. If you have cards combining these two themes in your deck, there is a higher chance that you won't have the right cards available when someone attacks you or an attack has to be made. Regardless, the choice simply depends on what you prefer.
If you want to keep your opponent from winning, it is a good idea to raze at least one or two of his realms. Most Spellfire decks representing combat are sub-themes of other deck types. However, it is possible to build a deck solely for the battle, which can sometimes be more effective than other theme amalgamations. Taking down your opponent's champions in combat will eventually wear them down to the point where penetrating their defenses won't pose a problem, even if your combat deck doesn't raze a realm every turn.
When playing a combat-themed deck, playing the numbers is a simple strategy. Using high-level champions, spells, and allies with high bonuses will help you win. The problem with this strategy is that it leaves you vulnerable to your opponent's special powers. Many battles aren't long enough to add up combat totals due to instant defeat, magical items and allies, and cards that instantly end a round of combat.
Players often prefer to play the powers rather than the numbers due to the wide range of special powers in this game. Similarly, it works well in a combat deck, but more cards are needed to support it - like magical items, artifacts, events, and rules cards. It is a deck that produces a great deal of "nasty tricks." A deck should be constructed around the special powers of the cards with the greatest chance of success.
Generally, you should try to use cards with both good numerical bonuses and powerful special powers. These may include cards that have devastating special powers but may fall short on level bonuses. You should focus less on lower-level champions because their low level may prevent you from winning a battle.
The non-combat style of play should also be taken into consideration, particularly cards that may be played in phases other than phase 4. Some realms come with special powers that prevent attacking champions, and some cards that defeat opponents immediately.
Getting six realms out quickly is crucial to a noncombat deck - either in six turns or less. The requirements for achieving this are: 1) having the maximum number (or near the maximum) of realms, 2) having cards that stop or pause combat, 3) having additional cards every turn, and 4) having cards that negate harmful events and offensive spells. Additionally, it is helpful if you are able to go first at the beginning of the game, but this is based more on luck than anything else. The holdings may also be important in this kind of deck.
If a breach occurs in a deck with this theme, it must also be prepared to defend its realm. Walls are particularly useful here since they end a battle round. Even so, selective attackers will still be able to attack since this will not stop all of them. The best defenders are champions with powerful immune systems.
A theme deck has its own weaknesses. In this deck, if your opponent gets out of the realms sooner, it can be difficult to catch up since attacking is a no-no. Choosing the right cards to defend yourself is difficult too, and it's especially hard when you're playing with a group of other players.