Seeing as how Culdcept Saga is a card game, the #1 thing you can do to improve your chances in the game is to draw more cards than the other player(s). Makes sense, no? Having cards - or not having them - affects everything you do, from using an essential item in battle to being prevented from invading in the first place. You gotta have cards to win a card game. Otherwise, you're just walking around the map, doing very little and looking kinda silly.
And yet, many players just kick back and let the game feed them one card per turn. Maybe it's a habit leftover from other card games or maybe it's just an oversight. I'm not sure, but I'm gonna help you take control of your game, because you can in Culdcept and you really should.
The Basics and an Example
Drawing more than one card per turn is known as deck compression - or more informally, as lube. The idea is to "grease" your deck, to have what you need, when you need it. Drawing only one card per turn in Culdcept just plain isn't enough and here's an example of why you really, really want to lube your deck:
At some point in a game, you have Fat Body, Manna, Woodfolk and Weretiger in your hand. You cast Fat Body on one of your high-level lands, hit up Manna for some quick G (because Fat Body is Doublecast), then roll onto an opponent's land and invade with Woodfolk using Weretiger as a supporting creature. You win the battle - congratulations! But, you now have no cards in hand. On your opponent's next turn, he uses Chariot to take away the high-level land you just Fat Bodied the creature on, because you have nothing to defend it with, and he knows this.
If you had Wind of Hope in your hand instead of Manna, you could have drawn two more cards and probably kept your high-level land. Also, he might not have chosen to invade at all, and you'd have three cards in hand next turn instead of just one.
Which brings me to the other half of my point. When you're only drawing one card per turn and using at least two during most turns, that means you typically have one or two useful turns to one utterly useless turn (and possibly defenseless too). Why do nothing for a big chunk of the game? Draw more cards and do more!
Of course, lube ain't free (well, except Tombstone, but you gotta die to use that!). This means it's a good idea to include more G-producing cards than you might normally. Drawing a whole bunch of cards doesn't matter if you can't afford to use them! This is why Gift is so popular. It's a lube card and G card all in one. Spiffy!
A Lube Card Overview
Culdcept Saga has four Creature cards, just one Item card and ten Spell cards you can use to draw (or steal) more cards. That doesn't sound like much in a game with nearly 500 cards, but these 15 cards might be the most important ones in the game. Here's what each one does and a reason or two why you'd want to include it in a deck.
ST:0 HP:20 MHP:20 G:40
Defensive / Global Ability: All Cepters draw two cards when drawing instead of one.
Note that Brass Idol's global effect makes everyone draw two cards per turn. This is generally a very bad idea in three and four-player matches, but you can really wreck a one-versus-one opponent by using Brass Idol. The idol means your hand - and your opponent's will almost always be very full, which makes Fairy Light worth a whole lot more. It also makes Grass Strider (the creature you turn into with Metamorphose Belt) usually 90 or 100 ST in battle. Then there's the ability to cast Doublecast shenanigans like Crusher + Pain much more often than normal. Ouch.
ST:30 HP:40 MHP:40 G:60
Territory (40G): User draws a card. / Upon Defeat: User draws a card.
Her Territory Ability is the same as Find and she gives you a card if she dies. She's handy to have in most Water decks, or in any deck where you're lacking the room to include spell lube cards. She also makes a nice backup plan if somebody decides to do something silly like casting Suppression on Find.
ST:30 HP:40 MHP:40 G:60
Battle End: User draws a card if an item was equipped on Triton during battle.
Unsurprisingly, you'll usually see Triton in the same deck as Fate. He works well in aggressive decks where you're battling often. Dirk Dorkelson has a crazy deck he calls Cardmania that uses these two in a Fire+Water setup for some amusing results.
ST:30 HP:40 MHP:40 G:80
Attacks First / Battle End: Items equipped recycle to user's book.
This creature's value doesn't become apparent until usually 20 or so turns into a match. You start drawing more and more items, which is extremely useful on small maps where battles occur almost every turn. Centaur + Living Claw is awesome. The downside of this is you'll draw only items after awhile if you use Centaur too much. Also, Centaur's recycle-to-book ability overrides the recycle-to-hand abilities of Boomerang and Soul Ray, so be careful not to screw yourself out of an item you need soon!
Upon Defeat: User draws cards until their hand contains 6 cards.
This free item is really nice to have in a deck where you anticipate your creatures dying in battle often. Mummy and Wraith are both terrific with Tombstone, and even better when you include Necro Scarab in the deck. Drawing up to six cards with each use is pretty powerful.
User chooses an item card from target enemy Cepter's hand and steals it.
The strength of Capture lies in the fact that you're drawing an Item card from your opponent. This can be devastating when done right before a battle you've setup. I wish it could steal Item Creatures too, but it can't.
User draws 1 card. / Adds Find to hand.
Easily the most commonly-used lube card in Culdcept Saga. It's only 20G and you can use it over and over again. Most players include one or two of these in their deck at most. The main thing to watch out for with Find is that it occupies a slot in your hand and you only have six. Plan accordingly.
User views the top 6 cards in their book, then selects 1 to place in their hand.
It's like a self-inflicted reverse Poison Mind. It's great, but remember that you're showing your opponent(s) your upcoming cards too!
Target Cepter gains 100G magic and draws a card.
What's not to love about a one-time-use Find that pays you for drawing a card? Pretty much nothing, that's what. IVIad IVIaxx likes to cast Gift on others in casual matches. He's like Santa Claus.
User draws 6 cards if user owns a combined total of 5 or more and territories.
Two problems with Iksear: 1) You need 5 Water and/or Air lands to use her. 2) She's an E-rarity card, so you only can have one in your deck. Of course, Reincarnation and Revival help you use E cards more often! ;-)
User draws 1 card of specified type from their book.
The prophet is outstanding in a Powder Eater-only deck. Presto! Instant fuzzy creature in your hand! He's also really useful when you need an item now - any item, just gimme one!
User discards all cards from current hand and draws an equal number of new cards from their book. / Doublecast
Dump your current hand and replace it with cards from your deck. It goes really well with Wind of Hope (swap out your hand, then draw two more cards). Two things to watch with Reincarnation: 1) You're only swapping the other cards in your hand, not Reincarnation itself. So, if you have five cards counting Reincarnation, you'll end up with four in your hand. 2) Be very careful when using this near the "end" of your deck. If you have no cards left to draw (before your deck recycles), you'll accidentally give yourself an empty hand!
Target Cepter's book is reverted to the state it was in when the game began.
You don't actually draw any cards with Revival. It resets your deck to the state it was in when the game began. Say you drew all your go-to cards early - awesome! Cast Revival and draw those cards over and over. It's like Groundhog Day: The Spell!
User chooses a spell card from target enemy Cepter's hand and steals it.
Same as Capture, but you're stealing Spell cards with Theft. Players love to snatch E-rarity cards and "hold" spells like Find, Refuge and Goblin's Lair. I wish Theft was Doublecast. That would be epic (and probably break the game, but hey).
|Wind of Hope
User draws 2 cards from their book.
Spend 40G and get two cards. I like to put four Winds of Hope with four Gifts in decks where I really want to zip through my cards, but don't want to be forced to discard my hand to do it.
Don't Use All The Lube
One last word of caution: It can be tempting to pile in a whole bunch of lube cards, but you'll quickly discover that few things are more frustrating and disappointing than spending G on lube cards... only to draw more lube cards. In a 50-card deck, ten lube cards is probably going to be the absolute limit unless you really, really need to draw something insanely fast. Even then, there's probably a better way to do what you're trying to do.
You ought to be the lube-frickin'-master if you've read this far. If you're not, you soon will be! Go forth, use lube, and conquer!
Last Updated on Saturday, 19 April 2014 19:57