Skyweaver — 1UP Cartel Operator Report (WEEK 2)
Welcome to the #oneup Cartel's weekly Skyweaver report featuring an update on my collection progress, ranked mode strategies, and ongoing learning process. Despite some technical issues over the weekend (my PC took a couple sick days ;P), I was able to break into Scholar in Discovery mode and identified a few adjustments for my Constructed deck that need to be accounted for before moving forward with Conquest runs. The next goal is solidifying my decklist while pushing Prophet in Constructed mode.
First up, we have the most recent balance patch featuring a slew of new features such as a "Matches" tab on the profile page, bookmarkable Marketplace/Library filters, color-coded preview highlights (green good, red bad!), and using the spacebar to quickly end your turn. Also, the player going first now receives an eighth card to choose from.
The 13 card changes breakdown as follows:
|PRISM||CARD||BUFF or NERF?|
|AGILITY||Disciple of Gust||Nerf|
|WISDOM||Twist & Turn||Buff|
Next, the Open Beta is set to begin February 8th! This transition does not include any kind of reset, but new players will no longer require an access code to join in on the fun. This is further elaborated upon in the most recent State of the Game.
Finally, Community Crystals have been announced as a tradable cosmetic reward for players that joined Skyweaver prior to the launch of the upcoming Open Beta:
Three other crystals were also announced with only Morganite being hinted at as a possible reward for "those who prove their prowess in events recognized by Horizon":
It's probably safe to say that at least one of these other crystals will be a tournament reward, with various other community events likely providing the other two. Be sure to check out the announcement for the nitty-gritty on how they work and what
Last week, I doubled my level, earned 23 cards, and attained Apprentice in both modes before the Season ended. Now that Season 3 is up and running, I have four weeks to push my way up the charts. My goals for this week were to reach Scholar in Discovery, then Constructed (if possible), and begin locking in my decklist for Conquest runs.
Despite losing my weekend, I gained 30 levels/cards (7 more than last week), attained Scholar in Discovery and Recruit in Constructed. I was hoping for a minimum of Apprentice for Constructed, but I'll make up for that this next week.
If you're curious, here's the Prism breakdown for my collection. I've unlocked nearly half of Agility and one-third of Intellect.
As planned, I was able to reach Scholar fairly early in the week once I settled into various opening strategies depending on whether I played first or second. I found my wins to be consistently short minus the odd long game that resulted from mirror match-ups, and my losses often had more to do with poor RNG on my deck's part than mistakes or lack of understanding on my part. In other words, I'm already starting to track all the moving pieces in a Skyweaver match fairly well whereas my first week was pure chaos at times :S
Short and Sweet
I began this week playing Discovery as Samya (Agility) both for the aggressiveness of the Prism and for the base cards I wanted to unlock for my Constructed deck to cut down on purchasing costs.
When going first, I developed a preference for opening hands that could deal immediate damage with the units I deployed. Removal is considerably more widespread in Skyweaver than other TCG's I've played, so I dislike playing units (or attaching spells) that fail to do anything other than use mana.
Playing second shifted my focus from damaging my opponent's hero to countering the unit(s) they had played. My choices ranged from direct damage to denial, with the above being top picks depending on the match-up. Impostor was something I almost always picked for the flexibility of gimping a trait-heavy unit. Swiping Guard plus one other trait makes for excellent board presence that can't be easily removed thanks to Barrier.
Upon reaching Scholar, I noticed an uptick in the number of players using Heart in one form or another. I didn't think anything of it at first until I went back to my match history to realize: I was losing 90% or more of my match-ups with Heart! Now before you run off and join team Heart, it's important to dig into why this was happening. I can already tell you now: I don't have this problem with Heart in Constructed.
Discovery is all about randomness, so playing a Prism that wants to win games efficiently might have been a mistake in terms of choosing something I can reliably climb ranks with. More to the point, there were many times as Agility where I'd inspect my decklist after taking my turn to realize I didn't have anything over 6 mana that could effectively end the game. This meant I had to pull together a win before drowning in the mid-game bulk other Prisms have access to.
Building on the concept of RNG, Heart is uniquely positioned to simply not care about RNG. Take the above chain of events that actually happened to me in the middle of a game I'd reduced my opponent to 5 Health in. Phoenix Plume was played to fish out Casket (died the turn before) and Draw a free unit for the trouble. That unit happened to be Vanessa which went on to summon Opal Golem which went on to reduce the cost of the previously mentioned units while tacking on Guard.
So, for 3 mana, my opponent "drew" 3 cards from their deck/graveyard, summoned a 2-cost unit (Opal Golem), and enhanced all the units in their hand. Agility has nothing that resembles this kind of chaotic synergy which is likely why I was losing to Heart so often. Put differently, Agility typically gets to use each card in their deck only once, and they must craft a win using some random combination thereof.
Heart is capable of using most of their units repeatedly which undermines both the singleton concept of Skyweaver and the RNG nature of Discovery. This recycling theme generates passive card advantage that contributes to the burnout Agility experiences when its unable to secure a decisive win. I'm not saying Heart is broken, outright, but Agility certainly has a lot to overcome when facing Heart in Discovery mode.
Fire and Brimstone
As a quick experiment, I switched to playing Ari (Intelligence) given that it would help in unlocking cards for my Constructed deck. What I found after several games is Intellect is better equipped, on average (thanks RNG), to deal with Heart's shenanigans.
For every mass recycle party Heart throws to fill the board with units, Intellect has an AoE damage spell for cleaning up the mess. While I'll be pausing Discovery this next week to work my way up to my first Conquest run, I'll be using Ari for future Discovery games. After making the decision to switch to Intellect, I started working on my Constructed deck.
For the games I was able to play prior to my weekend troubles, I've been rockin' a solid 70%+ win rate. Granted, I am still working my way up the ranks, and it's too early to tell whether or not Mai is going to come through for me.
After playing several matches with part of my of my deck open or RNG, this is what I pulled together from the cards I currently have access to. You can copy my decklist, directly, if you're curious what I'm working with:
Bad Hat Day
Almost immediately, Mad Hat has become one of my favorite picks when going first. For 3 mana, I get a 3/2 Guard (with Wither!), Banner for 2 hero damage, +1 card advantage, and a discount on whatever spell I can grab from my starting options. Every now and again, my first draw ends up being a 1-cost spell that I can drop for free, if I choose to.
Hail of Arrows is currently my go-to pick for a second spell, as the secondary effect of increasing the cost of up to two units in my opponent's hand is particularly effective at slowing the game's pace. Strige Strike is a solid backup if it's unavailable. Since I have to burn my Mana Potion, a 2-cost unit like Noctourna has been my standard final pick for a Mad Hat opener.
Another potent combo I've developed is the use of Think Twice to grab Illusion. This allows me to clone potent abilities like Timber's on units that I can safely suicide to trade threats off the board. My current decklist dilutes this with other Mind spells like Teleport and Card Sling, but I'll probably keep Illusion and Overmind as my cheapest Mind spells after cutting filler out for my Conquest decklist.
I Got the Zoomies!
Something else that will likely make the cut is Zoomie and this pair of Light spells I frequently use to strip Flames from him. Earlier on, Forcefield can ward against removal (after Zoomie attack an exposed Hero) or enable clean trades with Shield. Later in a match, Dawn Blade allows for dropping 7 damage into whatever Zoomie attacks with Shield and Banner to boot! Even if this combo, in particular, isn't draw during a game, the individual parts are still useful on their own.
One major drawback I've noticed with my current deck is a lack of steam going into the end-game against draw-heavy opponents. Where Heart used to cause problems for me in Discovery as Samya thanks to graveyard abuse, Wisdom actually poses a challenge, now, thanks to spamming card draw. One of the things I'm currently looking at before beginning Conquest is a set of draw-oriented cards that help maintain pressure through the mid-game.
Each of these provides multiple cards for one cast that have built in enhancements aligned with my goal of maintaining a persistent beatdown. In the case of Riptide, I don't mind the idea of my opponent drawing cards, as the main reason I need card draw is to catch up to draw decks that won't gain as much from a hand reset.
This week, I'll be focusing on Constructed mode to iron out the kinks and eliminate the basic filler from my deck. The Cartel has invested ~$60 to fund the purchase of cards and tickets to begin daily Conquest runs, but I want to be smart about how I go about things.
My overall goals for the week are as follows:
Use all of my bonus XP each day to avoid losing out on free basic cards. Those freebies might end up being cards I need for Conquest that I don't have to buy, later.
Push through Scholar to Prophet in Constructed before attempting my first Conquest run.
Attempt 5 Conquest runs and take lots of notes.
Ideally, I want to reach Prophet in both ranked modes, but Discovery is secondary until I've attempted Conquest this coming week. If I find that I'm struggling to string wins together, I'll go back to the drawing board. My hope is that attaining Prophet with my constructed deck will pit me against the kinds of players I'm most likely to encounter in Conquest.
Part of the reason the initial investment is more than just $30-$40 is that some Silver cards (which are earned through Conquest) have a sell value less than 1.5 USDC, the cost of a Conquest Ticket. Those cards will be worth burning to continue chaining Conquest attempts together. Other cards, like Pharonis (currently worth 2.42 USDC) are obviously wasteful to burn. This is where the initial buffer comes into play. Rather than burning every Silver, no matter what, some Silver cards will be worth holding onto.
What Is Skyweaver?
Skyweaver is a fast-paced, cross-platform TCG (Trading Card Game) built on the Polygon (MATIC) sidechain for Ethereum. Closest in nature to Hearthstone, Skyweaver puts you in control of a hero that directly participates in each match. These matches take place in "Sky", an alternative reality existing parallel to Earth, where you'll use mana to battle with your opponent through creatures and spells.
Skyweaver differentiates itself by how decks are constructed. At first, newer players will use randomly generated decks based on which hero they've chosen. The goal is similar to all TCG's: reduce your opponent's health to 0, first; however, the number of cards in your deck changes from mode to mode and hero to hero. This distinction is important because even when you transition to crafting your own decks, additional cards are dynamically added through this RNG mechanic once you've run out of cards to draw.
To learn more, check out our Skyweaver breakdown!
What Is The 1UP Cartel?
The 1UP-Cartel is a mix between a gaming guild like YGG (that invests into gaming assets and creates scholarships for gamers, sharing the gaming revenue), a dividend token (similar to BRO, LBI, INDEX and UTOPIS, paying out regular dividends to token holders from part of the revenue stream) as well as one of the most extensive curation service initiative on the Hive-Engine ecosystem thus far.
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