Monster Train is a Rogue-type deck-building game, where the player has dozens of choices in each race. Which Champion upgrade is the best? Will this artifact ruin my best unit? Will this ordeal overwhelm me or lead to a worthy reward?
If that sounds like a lot to you, don’t worry. This Tips and tricks The page is here to get you started in Monster Train and help you rekindle the pyre in The Frozen Heart of Hell.
But don’t worry if you make any mistakes along the way, because losing your ride on the Monster Train is part of the process – pull over and get back on that train!
Beginner’s Guide: Tips and tricks to get started in Monster Train
Whether it’s building your deck or deciding which path you should choose to reach your next battle, here are 13 tips and tricks for starting Monster Train.
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- Specialize your race – Many aspects of each round are hit and miss, so it’s important to recognize the strengths and weaknesses of your starting deck and try to adapt them. For example, if you are offered an artifact that increases the power of Prick cards, and we gave you Prick during your start toss, you can then begin to customize your race with that in mind. If you take instead artifacts, units, upgrades, etc, which do not relate to each other, you may end up with a fuzzy deck less capable of reaching the final fight.
- Observe Seraph – At the very start of your run, you see which bosses you will face, including which version of Seraph, the final boss you will meet. Seraph will have one of many very powerful abilities that can directly counter your entire deck depending on what it is. For example, if you have a Rage Targeted run which relies on temporarily improving the strength of your units, you will be directly countered when facing Seraphim, the Chaste, which halves your unit’s buffs. By taking note of Seraph’s powers at the start of the race, you can tailor your build to avoid or counter them, putting yourself in a strong position for the final battle. Discover our Patterns page for more information on Seraph shapes.
- Don’t be afraid to purge – You’ll notice as you go through the first two or three battles that your deck begins to fill up with new units and spells, in addition to your starting deck. The training and starting spells will not only be ineffective in the final battle, but will begin to lose their effectiveness from the third battle. You can upgrade these starting spells / units, but be aware that your hard earned money may be better spent on stronger cards. By purging these starting cards to a Unstable vortex or inside stores you can remove clutter, allowing you to more consistently draw your strongest cards from a thinner deck.
- Tank in front, Damage to the rear – There are many different unit combinations you can work with in Monster Train. However, it takes some familiarity with the boards and their capabilities to know how to effectively install each floor. When starting out, try to have tank units (or throwaway units) in front of your more powerful damage dealers. This will keep your damage dealers alive, while also ensuring that fewer enemies get to your Pyre room.
- You don’t need to take every try – The trials offered to you in each non-boss battle are the definition of risk versus. Reward. “Can I handle standard units that attack twice per attack for an additional 150 gold?” The decision to opt for these trials should be carefully considered. A few tries, a bit like the final boss Seraph, can completely counter your run, leaving you with a compromised or destroyed Pyre. For example, you can choose an event that gives your enemies Tips 4. If you deal most of your damage via powerful Unit cards that have low health, your low health units will be directly countered by taking damage from each enemy. You should probably skip this try unless you also have Tankier damage dealers. However, you might be aware that the extra gold or artifact could be something that will take you all the way to the end. Discover our Testing page to learn more.
- Watch out for your enemies – Some enemies will enter your train with combat abilities that trigger after a certain action. For example, an enemy can have a delicious triggers, allowing them to gain armor or damage each time you cast a spell on that floor. It can be easy to forget about these abilities and take actions that accidentally go right into the hands of your enemies. Discover our Enemy abilities to learn more about your enemies’ tricks up their sleeve.
- Know which upgrade stones to take – After defeating the bosses in Battles 3 and 6, you will always be offered an Upgrade Stone. Each of these will increase your Pyre base attack health and damage, as well as a unique buff. You have to choose between increasing your Human (how much energy you have), your Draw (how many cards you draw per turn), or your Capacity (how much space you have on each floor for the units). At this point in the race, you may have noticed what you would rather have more, but here is a rough guide. More Human this is good if you have expensive cards or if you plan to play multiple cards per turn. More Draw is useful if you frequently end your turns with too much Ember. More Capacity is good if your deck relies on several large units (or several smaller units) to be in play at a time.
- Prioritize each fork in the road based on what you need most – As the Boneshaker progresses through each Ring of Hell, you have to choose which direction he should go before the next battle. It basically boils down to “What do you need most right now?” For example, you might want to upgrade your units to be super strong at a merchant, but if your pyre is badly damaged, you may need to prioritize receiving health from the pyre at the expense of those upgrades. , if they are on different paths. The paths are different each time, so think critically about what your run needs most at that time.
- Go well – You earn money after winning each battle, by visiting Forgotten bones locations and winning events that you choose to include in the battle. Knowing when to spend and what to spend on is essential. If you have a Unit it could be a large tank, or an attacker with Multistrike, spending money on unit upgrades is probably a good choice. If all you have in your deck right now is Train Stewards though, you might be better off spending your money on purging some cards. Head to our Best card combos page to learn more about some solid upgrade paths for your maps.
- Try not to rush – It can be easy to start making decisions in a split second after playing the game for longer; choose upgrades that have worked well for you in the past, buy upgrades as soon as possible, choose upgrade stones based only on your clan. However, each race will be different from the last, and sometimes those split-second decisions can end up restricting your race, rather than freeing it up. For example, if you gain an artifact that stuns enemy units so that they don’t attack you, but you Spikes Concentrated race that relies on taking damage, all of a sudden your units and spells will become ineffective, and you might be out of time to rotate your stroke to be stronger in another area. Likewise, if you immediately spend your money on upgrading units between battles, but before you unlock another unit that is available to you at the same time, you might have wished you had saved your money for your new unit instead.
- Check your deck and your path – In the upper left corner, under your money amount, is a deck button that shows you all of your current cards. You can press this button almost any time, allowing you to make informed decisions about your deck. If you are offered an artifact that is based on Use spells, you can check your deck how many you have if you are not sure. Likewise, on the Overworld screen, you can scroll forward and backward, allowing you to see the path ahead and behind you. This is especially useful if you know you’ll want a certain upgrade store, or if you’re wondering what will be available to you if you take each path with some extra gold to use.
- Try to duplicate your cards after upgrade them – There are generally several possibilities per run to duplicate your cards. Sometimes getting another card can be a good choice to start with, but it can be an incredibly powerful perk if you’ve already upgraded some of your spells or units. This allows you to have more upgraded cards in your deck without paying for them. However, as with any duplication, make sure your deck doesn’t get so full that you run the risk of never seeing some of your critical cards.
- You might want to save for final shops – You might go to a store and run out of things you want to spend your money on. While you can still purge the cards, you might want to start saving your money for the final Ring of Hell, where you’re guaranteed to have two merchants to give your money to. This includes the more expensive Trinket Merchant, which sells artifacts that on their own can improve your run. As with everything in Monster Train, knowing when to save and when to spend your money is a balancing act that will need to be decided at this point.