New player's guide to Quick Draw

Discussion in 'Adventure Discussion and Strategy' started by Happenstance, Mar 19, 2018.

  1. Happenstance

    Happenstance Thaumaturge

    How Quick Draw works

    There is a Quick Draw league every ten hours, and if you're a new player, winning some QD matches is one of the fastest ways you can get purple league chests and the juicy items inside. QD mechanics are explained here and don't need repeating.

    What does need further explaining is that these cards are ranked by quality, so each character ends up with a deck of the following seven cards: gold, black/handicap, silver, silver, bronze, bronze and paper. For example a dwarf warrior's chosen deck might end up looking like this:


    These cards are drawn from the entire pool of cards available from items in the game, so you will see some cards a lot more than you see others, simply because they appear on more items. For example, on a dwarf warrior, nightling will appear a lot more often than clumsy at the black selection stage. Phoenix's utility below will show you the (rough?) percentages.

    Relevant links:
    Jade's guide to Quick Draw
    Phoenix's Quick Draw card pool utility (also attached here, download, unzip and drag into a browser to use, then thank him at that thread, because it's awesome)
    The Card Hunter wiki (I'm not going to link every card I reference because I'd be here forever, look them up.)
    Pick order for handicap cards (A must read, because the wrong black/handicap card will wreck a character and perhaps the game. If in doubt, just take nightling like everyone else does.)

    Attached Files:

  2. Happenstance

    Happenstance Thaumaturge

    How to win Quick Draw

    (1) Card draw advantage: play more cards than the opponent and you'll have a higher chance of winning. You're looking for cards that both have an effect and draw a new card, like inspiring presence, catch arrow, mimetic armour/crown, cleansing ray and the many traits available. Leadership on a support can cycle paper/bronze into gold/silver if played correctly. Priests have powerful draw cards like demonic power.

    (2) Card quality advantage: you have seven cards in each character's deck, from the powerful gold to the pitiful paper. You draw three cards on your first turn and two each turn after, so you will only see that gold card every third turn. What if you could draw it more often?

    Armour does this. Armour taken in weaker slots (bronze, paper) then removes that card from your draw pool, until the armour card is removed or discarded from your hand, because you can only hold one copy of an armour card at one time. Traits also draw a new card, as mentioned above. So, let's look at the dwarf war above and make some different choices. Instead of weak strike, we take nightling. Instead of lunging bash, we take thick hide armour, and instead of bludgeon, we take mail.


    Once you draw and hold both armours, your draw pool drops to four cards. You're drawing both of those juicy stabs every second turn, instead of every third.

    (3) Move advantage: Move is king in QD. The dwarf above is slow, but can potentially move five squares in a single round. But additional moves are always good. Look for team movement cards, and control cards like force blast and telekinesis on your wizard. Too often, new players take too many attacks and not enough moves, and they never actually get that dangerous warrior into battle before they lose. So let's look at that dwarf war, and replace the mail with dangerous maneuver. Sure, we don't draw those stabs quite as often, but we end up with a much more flexible character, who can advance and retreat quickly.


    Now that is a good looking QD war.

    (4) Movement, control magic, bluffing and poor enemy choices give you the ability to isolate and destroy a single enemy character. Doing so immediately gives you a +2 card advantage per round. Get your opponent to over-commit a character, then swarm it with two or three of your own.

    (5) Flexibility advantage: look for cards, like surging block and dodge, that give you flexibility to attack and retreat. Control cards are great for this as well.

    (6) VP advantage: hold the VP for two turns and you only have to kill two characters to win. Hold it for four turns and you only have to kill one. This is more for when your party closely matches the opponent's, i.e. you'd be foolhardy to bumrush the VP with a team of wizards when you're facing a team of warriors, at least until you know how many moves they have.

    (7) Reactive advantage: this is knowing when to pass to force your opponent to move first, and being prepared to end the turn if they call your bluff. It's also knowing when to pass first in the heat of battle, so you get the first strike next turn and kill a wounded character with a freshly-drawn powerful card before they can act.

    (8) Good anticipation skills: look at the map. Look at the enemy team. What would you pick if you had their team? Maybe you're facing two warriors + one priest vs your two wizards + one priest, so you pack as much cold, control and movement as you can draw. Maybe it's the reverse, and you select a lot of movement, armour and purges so you can leapfrog from cover to cover and box them in. Each game will be different, and each requires you to anticipate what the opponent will do.
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2018
  3. Happenstance

    Happenstance Thaumaturge

    Advanced techniques 1: power cards

    Here's a very incomplete list of cards that I find to be useful in QD, and which I take nearly every time they're offered. This will change from player to player, and I'm sure people will suggest their favourites below.

    move 2 every time you take damage? Yes, please, especially vs wizards, although it often allows you to bypass war blocks as well. Usually does 11 damage because everyone takes nightling.
    Disorientating Block: has recently become my favourite of the gold blocks, especially on tight QD maps with lots of cover. Lets you move enemy wars out of LOS of their support spamming priests, or enemy mages out of LOS of your characters. A great choice when the other gold cards on offer are weak or vanilla.
    Slippery, Quick Run: situational, but can shut down opposing wizards on certain maps, because they know if they move closer into LOS, they're going to get bushwhacked at the start of the next turn. Of course, you need strong silver and below attacks to live up to the threat you pose. Slippery rarely appears, but is wildly superior to quick run, which is pretty useful itself.
    Inquisitor's Strike: as above with vengeance but usually does 15-17 damage because everyone has nightling and usually 1-2 other attachments, which is insane damage for a silver.
    Howl: heal 2, get a decent to great card, and force the opponent to act first? Fantastic value.
    Sprint, Team Sprint (vs wizards): had to be nerfed because it was just too good. A really nasty way to surprise an opponent's wizard, especially if you hold off until they over-commit. Wild Run can work just as well with tweaking.
    Immovable: well worth sacrificing a silver for this vs wizard teams.
    Parry, Catch Arrow, Subtle Parry: blocks that trigger a draw from a small card pool are OP, because you're that much closer to drawing them again. Subtle parry is a real pig at paper, because most players probe with a weak attack first, and trigger it. Even Pushback Parry is more than worthwhile vs melee-heavy teams.
    Scouting Run, Elvish Insight: knowing the opponent's cards is half the battle won.
    Dodge: nerfed, but still works 1/3 of the time and offers the movement flexibility that plants crave. Jump Back is the less flexible but more annoying version.
    Brutal Charge: movement + high damage at bronze? Yes, please. Funnier if you get it on a wizard - even the best players are caught out by a 10 damage coup de grace kill from an elf wiz.
    Purging Strike: mandatory vs priests, and don't forget that you can use it on your own guys in a pinch.
    Lucky Charm, Officer's Harness: card pool shrinkers.

    Inspiring Presence:
    As mentioned, the go-to gold card, especially if you can break your priest deck (see below). Turns the paper quality Demonic Feedback into the silver Inspiration on a true support priest build. Greater Heal can also work as a substitute.
    Traveling Curse: free 5 damage trait attack. Sure, it hits you first, but you took healing/armour to counter that, right? Watch for the late game pause your opponent takes at the start of a round, before they play a TC that kills one of their characters. Sweetness.
    Invigorating Touch and the rest of the drain cards: buff enough of these with wellspring/frenzies/curses on a tanky priest and you will not only go toe-to-toe with warriors, you will wreck them.
    Impenetrable Nimbus: get an opponent's war to commit to a toe-to-toe, then drop this baby on them.
    Martyr's Blessing: somewhat like nimbus, MB often makes a character practically unhittable. Or the opponent may decide take you down, but you'll be swinging all the way.
    Cleansing Ray (vs wizards): auto-take vs wizard teams, who will nearly always have cheap terrain cards.
    Altruism: the gold standard trait for support priests.
    Entangling Roots: horrifically versatile at bronze, from stopping a war from advancing, to preventing a war from playing their step attacks at close range, to trapping a wizard for quick slaughter.
    Heal Weak: the best bang for buck heal card after inspiring presence + no LOS needed = great value.
    Stone Feet: pretty much compulsory if you know your war is going to be chasing wizards around the map, and the minor armour boost is more than handy vs them too.
    Purge, Purging Burst, Destructive Purge: auto-take vs priests and their array of attachments, and well advised vs wizards using cold. Also stops force field shenanigans. Destructive purge is offensively particularly nasty.
    Curse of Fragility: the best paper priest card by a wide margin (aside from the situational purge), and often available. Will quickly wreck an over-committed character who has no place to hide, and often forces aggressive wars to burn step attacks in a sudden retreat.

    Winds of War, Gusts of War, Force everything, Telekinesis:
    control cards offer great flexibility. Move your dudes away from danger, move their dudes into it. Tongue Grab is less useful because of melee blocks.
    Mega Laser: 8-10 damage quickly sees wounded characters having to hide from your wizard. Be prepared for the inevitable malfunctions (which sometimes actually help you).
    Silver Bolt: ignore the 6 damage, it actually does 9 because everyone takes nightling.
    Illusory Barrier: only works on certain maps, but very powerful there. Blocks war movement and lets you fire at will vs wizards. Cheap considering the long duration. Flash Flood is another annoying control method on certain maps.
    Forgetfulness: Ticks the card advantage box - one of yours for two of theirs, although will it remove their fireball and silver bolt, or their maze and long spark? Hint: always the former if they play it, always the latter if you do. Counterspell is an okay substitute, but always seems to be used to block one spell rather than remove two.
    Cold cards: like control, cold cards gives you movement advantage. Cold + control is particularly nightmarish ... for them.
    Path of Knives: an awful, awful card at bronze. Either immobilises a character for two turns or turns them into jelly sandwiches via control/bashes/barges/spins/screaming retreats. Think carefully before using on a war with good armour, and especially vengeance, or you may find that they moonwalk over to your mage and bop him on the head a few times.
    Inquisition Bolt: wrecks nightling, wrecks wolves, vamps and ethereal characters, reveals cards. That's good good good.
    Dissolve Armor, Melt Armor: Boiling Armor is compulsory for regular MP, but can be pricey in QD. Both these cards offer a good substitute, and you'd expect wars to armour-up against your wizards.
    Whirlwind Enemies: cheap card that (1) upsets positioning and (2) triggers blocks. Sometimes it can have little effect (although it's always maddening when you've taken the VPs and get this dropped on you, and sometimes it can push a vulnerable character right where you want them.
    Terrain cards: good damage, cheap, lets you deny the VP on many maps. Often countered by priests.
    Dangerous Maneuver: Wizards need movement and this is great at paper, because they'll rarely take the associated piercing damage.

    Situational race cards
    is always good and can quickly get ridiculous on a war with a lot of step attacks.
    Dwarven Cry vs a non-dwarf team, Elvish Scamper/Insight vs non-elf teams? Oh, yes.
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2018
  4. Happenstance

    Happenstance Thaumaturge

    Advanced techniques 2: old school battle logs

    Quick Draw demands that you memorise 42 cards each time you play (6 characters x 7 cards). Or, you can scribble down the opponent's decks on a piece of paper as they play their cards, and never make the late game mistake of trying to hit the war who has the parry, or not saving enough moves to reach the control wizard.

    Advanced techniques 3: broken Quick Draw decks

    Card Hunter is a game played with items balanced for decks of 33 and 36 cards, so when you reduce this to a deck of 7 randomly drawn cards, you can really mess with the game mechanics.

    Priests are the class most likely to enter draw loops, and the purpose of draw loops is to keep cycling to your powerful gold and/or silver cards. Let's look at this potential deck:


    Looks weak on paper, doesn't it? However, the 7 card deck is reduced to 5 immediately by the two traits (nightling and altruism). Once you draw hardy mail, as long as you don't lose or discard it, you reduce your draw pool to 4.

    The remaining cards can be used to draw cards from that deck of 4, so you are going to end up being able to spam an inspiring presence at least once a turn. Congratulations, your characters have just become incredibly hard to kill.

    Most of the time, you won't be able to draw a broken deck, but you should be on the lookout for one as you choose cards, especially priest decks.
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2018
  5. Happenstance

    Happenstance Thaumaturge

    Advanced techniques 4: bad and potentially bad cards

    Penetrating Stab:
    a pitiful 6 damage, when you can get 8 damage attacks regularly at bronze, albeit non-penetrating. Described by Immortan Joe as "mediocre".
    Enchanted Harness: decent in SP/MP when it can be teamed up with other gold armours, but a potential waste in QD if it's only buffing a mail or something, or nothing.
    Bad traits: already mentioned, but I'm reminding you again because Trip and its friends can wreck your game if you choose poorly.
    Polearm Slash: looks good on paper, until it's boiled, melted, hexed, sundered or dissolved. Definitely usable but can easily put you a gold card down if you're unlucky.
    Advanced Battlefield Training, Battlefield Training: not sure if this can be used to feed multiple copies of your armour cards to your other characters, but even that is one of those cunning plans that gets a bit too complex to actually work. Otherwise, you're down one of your best cards to simply move 1-2 cards around. Can be used to great effect in those rare 1v1 war battles that happen sometimes in QD, but is likely to not work the way you thought it was going to.
    Arcane Aura: shows up in the war card pool because it's on boots. But you're not silly enough to actually equip it on a war, are you?
    Rocket Dash, Reflexive Teleport, Scamper, Warp Run, Fly, Leap, Quick Step: overcosted move cards, some have okay effects but there are better choices.
    Shifting Block: decent on a war 1/4 of the time, okay 1/4 of the time, a trainwreck 1/2 of the time.
    Puncturing Stab: penetrating stab's crappier younger brother.
    Adaptable: better in MP or SP because people/campaign levels tend to focus their builds/mob damage. Because of the random nature of QD, they're going to have more than three types of damage, most of the time.
    Hit the Deck: congratulations, you just Tripped yourself.
    Impetuous Slash: actually quite good, but make sure that you use it on maps where your guys don't start bunched together, and remember to stop bunching them at choke points.

    even if it's played without being purged or bumped by attachments, most of the time the game will be over before it triggers.
    Soothing Darkness: will cripple dwarves, a huge target for purges, won't save a character who is copping all the heat. Nice when it works, but often doesn't.
    Consecrate Ground: hey, it costs the same as Bless but now with 2/3s less value!
    Healing Beacon: it's not often that your party will be able to stay in one place for two turns. Even worse when you get bumrushed and end up healing the opposing wars in the bargain. Okay on certain maps at certain choke points, i.e the VP on Streams, but even then a prime target to be replaced by a cheap enemy terrain card.
    Daylight: situationally strong, often not though. Can be good to catch out experienced players with volcano.
    Unholy Energy: good when used properly, otherwise it's like two free inquisition bolts for the opponent in exchange for a +2 card advantage.

    you might catch an inexperienced player with it -- once -- but very very hard to use to great effect most of the time, especially vs priests. Needs control as well to really shine. Absolutely infuriating if the enemy has control, however.
    Arcane Aura: good vs war/priest teams, a huge target for enemy wizards. Needs lots of area attacks to make use of its potential, otherwise it's costing you damage vs other gold cards you could choose.
    Pathfinding: wizards don't get a lot of move cards or step attacks in QD. Decent on the off-chance that they do, bad if they don't.
    Everlasting Ground: terrible, although I can't even say I've ever seen it appear.
    Tongue Grab: decent card but triggers a greater range of blocks than winds/gusts of war.
    Boo!: good clutch card to give one of your own slow wars a movement boost at the very end of a turn, but usually impossible to use offensively.
    Devastating Spark: except it's not, is it? Needs buffing to work at all.
    Ethereal Form: just okay vs opposing wizard teams, but the ethereal card pool isn't great.
    Jim's Magic Missile: can't be buffed, so needs a very small pool of curse cards to really shine, and a very large group of armour cards to be rendered useless.
    Arcane Spray, Magma Spray, Fire Spray, various Zaps: range 1-2 is just too close for wizards vs priests/wars, unless you have a rock-solid block and exit strategy. Big Zap can be okay, late game, as a cheap kill card.
    Maze: easily in the top three most trollishly-programmed cards in the game, maze is at its 'best' when you need to bump a character off the VP, although usually just turns them around on the same square so they don't have to look at you while they're laughing. If you're relying on this to get out of trouble, then it's guaranteed to plonk a threatening war even closer to your wizard than before you played it. Every goddamn time.
    Ancient Grudge: a late game game-wrecker in regular MP, it's completely broken by the 7 card pool in QD.
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2018

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