I was seeing some chatter on r/EternalCardGame about how tough it can be, as a new player, to build up a collection. Moreover, which direction to go. Is it worth picking a singular strategy to invest in, destroying all cards that do not fit into that deck? Is it better to keep as much as you can, so that you can play a wider variety of decks in the future? What happens if the deck you want to play gets pushed out of the meta? Let’s explore how cards are acquired, and then we’ll cover how to invest time and money to make the most out of your cards.
First, let’s take a look at the Eternal economy. There are two in-game currencies: gems and gold. Gems cost real world money, and gold is acquired every time you open chests, which you get from daily achievements as well as winning games. You can buy a Booster Pack for 1000 gold or 100 gems, and you can buy a Booster Box for 2,900 gems, which contains a guaranteed three legendaries. Unlike in Hearthstone, there is no “pity system” in Eternal; you are not guaranteed legendaries when opening packs unless those packs come from booster boxes.
Chests are free rewards that are earned when you complete daily quests, get your First Win of the Day, participate in Events, finish a Gauntlet/Forge/Draft, rank up, or win games in casual/ranked. Each chest you open gives you an amount of Gold in addition to its contents, which depend on the type of chest:
- Bronze chests give you ~50 gold + a random common/uncommon
- Silver chests give you ~250 gold + a random common/uncommon/rare
- Gold chests give you ~500 gold + a booster pack
- Diamond chests give you ~2,000 gold + a random premium card + a booster pack
Each chest you open has a chance to upgrade to a chest of higher tier. You may get lucky and have Bronze chests turn into Silver chests turn into Gold chests turn into Diamond!
Similar to Hearthstone, Eternal offers a crafting system that is fueled by a resource called Shiftstone. Cards in your collection can be “dusted” into Shiftstone, and cards you don’t own can be crafted from Shiftstone. It breaks down like this:
- Commons (Grey)
- Create: -50 Shiftstone | Destroy: +1 Shiftstone
- Uncommons (Green)
- Create: -100 Shiftstone | Destroy: +10 Shiftstone
- Rares (Blue)
- Create: -800 Shiftstone | Destroy: +200 Shiftstone
- Legendaries (Yellow)
- Create: -3200 Shiftstone | Destroy: +800 Shiftstone
Premium versions of cards are also “one tier” more expensive for both creation and destruction. For example, a premium Rare is as expensive to craft as a Legendary, but also dusts for 800 Shiftstone. A premium legendary is much more expensive (9600 to craft!) but dusts for 3200 Shiftstone. Be on the lookout for these when doing drafts!
Now that we have a breakdown of costs and benefits, let’s look at some ways to generate value while playing.
There are five ranks in eternal: Bronze, Silver, Gold, Diamond, Master. When you start playing ranked for the first time, you will calibrate at Bronze 3. You get a Bronze chest every time you win a game, and every third, sixth, and ninth wins in a day will get you a Silver chest instead. Each month is a new Ranked Season and at the end of the month, you get rewards based on your final rank:
- Bronze: 1 Pack, 2 Premium Commons
- Silver: 1 Pack, 2 Premium Uncommons
- Gold: 2 Packs, 1 Premium Rare, 1 Premium Uncommon
- Diamond: 3 Packs, 1 Premium Rare, 1 Premium Uncommon
- Master: 3 Packs, 1 Premium Legendary
The biggest incentive for playing ranked is that if you can make it into Masters by the end of the month, you will get a guaranteed premium Legendary along with three packs. Once you get to Masters, you stay in Masters until the season resets; you can also play as much ranked as you want in without ever demoting to Diamond from losing. You will also start in Gold 1 when the season resets, so you have a shorter distance to Masters again the next month. If you’re looking to hit Master rank on a budget, aggro is the quickest and most effective way to get there.
Drafting is a great way to build up a collection, and get experience with cards you might not otherwise play in constructed. There are many cards that are not very playable in constructed, but can be game winning plays in draft. Drafting allows you to pick a single card from a pack, in a simulated rotation with other players. The cool thing about drafting in Eternal, is that you are actually picking cards from someone else’s draft. Once someone finishes their draft, it saves the cards they did not pick, adds a new pack to the cycle, and passes those draft picks along to the next entrant. The system works out very well, and often you are able to pick up cards you are looking for to round out your collection.
If you are looking to do well in the draft, it is good to pick up cards that synergize well with your game plan. If you can pull that off, the rewards system for drafting is pretty generous.
Another option is to simply “rare draft”, which means to pick out the most valuable card indiscriminately, to help bolster your collection. Usually this includes picking out cards later in the pack that you may end up wanting to play in constructed. The sacrifice you make doing this is likely not getting much of a playable deck, but sometimes you can luck out, and get a handful of really good rares, or even legendaries.
There is a great article on drafting posted by RNGEternal here.
The rewards for Drafting are:
- 0 Wins: 2 silver chest
- 1 Wins: 3 silver chest
- 2 Wins: 1 gold chest, 2 silver chest
- 3 Wins: 2 gold chest, 1 silver chest
- 4 Wins: 3 gold chest
- 5 Wins: 1 diamond chest, 2 gold chest
- 6 wins: 2 diamond chest, 1 gold chest
- 7 wins: 3 diamond chest
For those readers who love drafting, getting 5+ wins in Draft can be incredibly valuable, much more than Rare Drafting. However, if you cannot consistently place decently in draft, you may lose gold over time and be unable to continue drafting. If you can average 5-6 wins per draft, you will earn enough money just from chests to draft “infinitely.” It is a High-Risk High-Reward strategy. You can also just spend extra sets of 5000 gold to rare draft when you need roughly 1,000-2,000 dust, and then forfeit the draft without playing matches.
Gauntlet and Forge are both PvE (player versus environment/A.I.) modes that allow you to play all the way up to the “Masters” rank by simply defeating the end boss of each prior rank. You start off rankless, then by defeating the end boss of that level, you move to Bronze, Silver, Gold, Diamond and ultimately Masters. The main advantageous element of Gauntlet is that it costs no gold or gems to buy in. It is a free means of getting practice, rewards and testing your skills with a deck before hitting ladder. It is also a bit more forgiving, so you can try out an unfamiliar strategy and not be punished by the same decks over and over.
Forge offers a similar type of experience, the opportunity to hone your skills versus the A.I. in draft. The cost of entry is 2500 gold, which is half of the cost of a draft. The format is very similar to draft, picking a single card from packs in a simulated rotation. Like with draft, you have the opportunity to rare draft or pick cards from factions you are hoping to build up.
Both game modes offer a variety of decks to play against, so you can gain valuable experience along the way.
The rewards for Gauntlet are:
- 1 Wins: 1 wood chest
- 2 Wins: 2 wood chest
- 3 Wins: 1 bronze chest, 2 wood chest
- 4 Wins: 2 bronze chest, 1 wood chest
- 5 Wins: 3 bronze chest
- 6 Wins: 1 silver chest, 2 bronze chest
- 7 Wins: 3 silver chest or 2 silver chest, and a rank up rewards chest (unless already Masters)
The rewards for Forge are:
- 1 Wins: 1 bronze chest
- 2 Wins: 1 silver chest
- 3 Wins: 1 gold chest
- 4 Wins: 1 gold chest, 1 bronze chest
- 5 Wins: 1 gold chest, 1 silver chest
- 6 wins: 2 gold chest
- 7 wins: 3 gold chest or 2 gold chest and a rank up rewards chest (unless already Masters)
Dust Everything You’re Not Using
Destroying everything not in the deck you want to play is the quickest way to craft an “expensive” deck you want to build, at the expense of reducing the breadth of your collection. While it might not feel good to get rid of cards you might play at some point, the game’s generous reward system will get you a pretty robust collection over time, so finding a deck you enjoy grinding games out with is a great way to go about it. Before deciding, I would advise watching streamers or YouTube videos on the archetypes you are looking into, to see if they will work for you. You wouldn’t want to jump feet first into a strategy you end up not liking!
Here is the “Legendary Scoresheet” compiled by _AlpacaLips_ to help with dusting decision making!
Spending Dust Efficiently
Low to the ground/inexpensive aggressive decks can be a great way to get started, like this Rakano or Skycrag list. These decks aim to curve out before Harsh Rule is played, and can absolutely punish slower decks with depleted power. They also play faster games, so you can get more in per hour, which ultimately means more chests/gold per hour. Another great budget choice, if you like control decks, is Chalice. While the deck had fallen out of favor for sometime, it can be extremely effective at locking up the board, and slowly grinding out advantage. The biggest drawback is that games can be 2-3x as long as a more aggressive strategy, so this can make for some longer laddering experiences.
For most new players, I believe finding a strategy you like playing, then destroying cards to build that deck is the best course of action. You can start with the uncommons and rares you own, making concessions with other cards as needed, then slowly add the legendaries as you aquire the shiftstone to make them.
Growing a Versatile Collection
There is an argument to be made for holding on to as many cards as you can, and slowly growing your collection to be very inclusive of all playables. For someone who may not mind spending some cash to grow their collection, this can be a really good idea. This route allows you some more flexibility with deck building, and if you get bored or stuck on ladder, you can switch it up a bit. I would suggest this for anyone who has some extra cash, and does not mind using it to support the game!
The Eternal meta shifts pretty quickly. In a matter of a few Reddit posts, or an ETS over the weekend, the once mighty might fall, and its combatant could take its place at the top. Be prepared to see meta shifts when you are building your deck, and know that the meta may become more hostile to that strategy. Conversely, Eternal is one of the most diverse card games I have played, and I have seen many posts about people hitting Masters with pure jank. This game allows dreams to be lived, and often climbing past a certain point in the ladder will expose you to a completely different breadth of decks.
Don’t hesitate to commit to a strategy, as the game will provide with means over time. When you can, consider picking up some packs with cash to help the game and your collection grow. For a fraction of a competitive Magic: The Gathering deck, you can get your collection to support several fun or competitive Eternal decks.
– Aphelion and JesterOfJank