Competitive Ivion 101
It’s your first turn. You’re playing an Errant. You’ve drawn a fist full of melee attacks. You spend your three actions and initiative to advance.
You do not live to see turn two.
The situation described above is the classic new player mistake in Ivion. Rushing down the battlefield on the first turn often results in a grim fate for the aggressor, who has suddenly opened themselves up for the onslaught of their foe.
At its core, Ivion is a competition between two (or four) players. And as with any competition, experience is king. There are numerous ways a seasoned player can gain an edge, and there are several pitfalls that can bring a fledgling hero’s journey to a lethal end. In this article, I’m going to cover some tips that can bring you victory on the field of battle.
Players begin the game six tiles apart. The most common new player mistake is to spend all three actions to charge into the fray. This issue is that almost every viable hero a player can make is able to engage and cripple a player three tiles away. Or, if your opponent feels merciful, they have been given a free turn as their opponent has been kind enough to come to them. Instead, you should take the first turn to generate some power. When making your hero, you will have many options for cards that cost actions and generate power that do not require an opponent to be within range. Pay attention to these kinds of cards, and make sure you have a couple in your deck or feats.
Draw Cards Often.
Ivion is a game of cards. In order to win the game, players need to play cards from their hand that deal enough damage to defeat their opponent. The more cards in a player’s hand, the more options that player has available for achieving this goal. One of the simplest ways to ensure a steady stream of cards to play is to try and use your Initiative to draw as often as possible. Your position on the board is very important, but if you don't have cards to take advantage of your superior ground, your ground is not superior at all.
Save Up Resources.
It can be tempting to use all of your actions each turn, but this is often a tactical misstep. As I mention in the previous point, it is beneficial to give yourself as many avenues of attack as possible. The two ways to increase your options each turn are cards and resources. By saving up resources across multiple turns, and hopefully having instant cards at the ready just in case, you expand your choices and enable potentially lethal combos that your foe isn't capable of preventing. Generally, when you can manage your resources better than your opponent, you have control of the game. And control of the game will frequently translate into victory.
Remove Control Efficiently.
Speaking of resources...
It's easy to simply remove Control by spending a resource. However, that's usually not the right call. Often times, there are avenues to escaping the Control without sacrificing too much—saving a card like Tenacity for a tough situation, reserving your Heroic cards for the perfect out, or simply re-structuring in what order you play your cards that turn to slip out unscathed. There are many ways to escape Control effectively, and it's always a unique puzzle based on your hand, the board, and the Control affecting you.
Apply Control Incisively.
Befuddle is a cheap way to put a lot of Control on your opponent. It feels good to spend an action, gain a power, and hit them with three instances. That's super effective, right? Well... not always.
Control is situational. If your melee opponent is right next to you, Slow is far less effective. If your opponent is planning on spending all their actions to run away next turn, Disarm isn't going to do you any good.
It is hard to predict what your opponent will do, but applying a great deal of Control all at once is more likely to disrupt their strategy. Try to hold your Control close to the chest, until it will really hurt.
And that's that! If you can take these five concepts to heart, you'll be poised for victory. Remember to check out our new Kickstarter, coming September 1st!