Epic Card Game Combat

Epic Box

Foreword

Epic implements combat in a TCG/CCG-like game better than all of the other games of that genre I have played. Attacking is a fluid part of your turn because both you and your opponent have a lot of decisions to make.

You must decide:

  • When to attack on your turn (if at all)
  • How many champions to attack with at once
  • When to “chump block” to prevent damage
  • When to play “combat tricks” that enhance your champions
  • Which of a plethora of other possibilities you need to consider

In this article, I will discuss first the generically correct answers to these questions. At the end of each discussion, I will link to an article that goes into more detail about that specific aspect of Epic combat.

Combat Overview

I have included my Epic Turn chart below to provide context for how attacking/combat works in Epic.

Epic Turn FlowV2.1

When You may Attack Overview

After you perform all of the Start of Turn actions, you can initiate an Attack Phase at any point on your turn. You can attack, then play a champion, then attack again, then attempt to end your turn, then, since your opponent played a card, you can attack again, etc. As long as you have prepared champions that aren’t deploying (similar to “summoning sickness” for Magic player or non-charge minions for Hearthstone players), you can initiate an Attack Phase on your turn.

When Each Player may Play Cards in Combat Overview

During an Attack Phase, there are 2 windows where both players may play Fast Actions: After attackers are declared and After blockers are declared.

An Attack Phase starts when the current player declares 1 or more champions as attackers. Then the current player may play any Fast Actions (events, champions with ambush, or activating a champion’s power). After the current player performs any number of these actions that they would like, the defending player gets that same chance. So, the defending player can play events, champions with ambush, or activate champions’ powers.

If the defending player plays at least 1 Fast Action, this process repeats. The current player may play any Fast Actions then the defending player may play any Fast Actions. This continues to repeat until the defender chooses to not play any Fast Actions. The defender always has the last chance to play Fast Actions, so if the defender plays a Fast Action and then passes, the defender will still get another chance to play more Fast Actions even if the current player does not play a Fast Action.

Once both players have passed, the defender assigns 0 or more champions to block the entire group of attacking champions. If at least 1 champion is assigned as a blocker, than none of the champions will deal damage to the defending player. (This is complicated by airborne, unblockable, and breakthrough.)

Once blockers are declared, repeat the same process that occurred after attackers were declared: current player may play Fast Actions, defending player may play Fast Actions, etc.

Once both players have passed, damage is assigned. The controller of the champions assign the damage. So, the current player would determine how much of the attacking champions’ offense is dealt to each defending champion, and the defending player would determine how much of the defending champions’ offense is dealt to each attacking champion.

When to Attack

You (almost) always want to attack with your champions before spending your gold.

At the start of the turn, you know all of the champions you have in play, and all of the champions your opponent has in play. If you see an attack you can make that is advantageous to you currently, make it. Your opponent will either have to play something to stop you or take the damage.

Examples:

Example 1 (Lone Attacker)

The most simple example is if you have a champion in play and they do not. If you have a Medusa in play and they have nothing in play, attacking guarantees that you will either do 6 damage to them, or they will need to do something to prevent it.

SoloMedusa

They could either remove Medusa by breaking/banishing/bouncing (returning it to hand) it or ambush a champion in to block it. Once they have committed to something, you can then potentially have an answer for it.

Scenario 1 (Opponent Ambushes in a Champion)

 

Scenario 2 (Opponent Uses Removal)

 

Example 2 (Multiple Attackers)

Attacking before spending your gold is even more important when you have more champions in play than your opponent. The greater your advantage on board, the better it is for your opponent to play a board clear. If you attack with your small champions first, you are almost guaranteed to do at least some damage to your opponent.

Say you have 2 demon tokens, Infernal Gatekeeper, and Triceratops in play. Your opponent has Sea Titan in play.

WhenToAttack

If you attack before spending your gold, your opponent can only block 1 of the champions, or they can board clear early.

Scenario 1 (Opponent Board Clears Early)

 

Scenario 2 (Opponent Holds onto Gold)

 

Relevant Supplementary Articles

When to Spend Your Gold Before Attacking (Coming Soon)

How Many to Attack with Simultaneously

You (almost) always want to attack with 1 champion at a time.

There a few major disadvantages when attacking as a group:

  • If any attacker doesn’t have airborne or unblockable, the entire group is treated as if they don’t have it
  • If even 1 champion blocks the group, all of the champions in the group are blocked
  • Cards like Spike Trap affect all attacking champions

If you attack with 1 champion at a time, you are more likely to deal damage to your opponent.

Examples:

Example 1 (Chump Block)

You have Thundarus, Knight of Shadows, Kong, and 3 human tokens in play. Your opponent has a Thrasher Demon in play with 2 +1/+1 counters on it.

SimultaneousAttack

Scenario 1 (Attack with Everything at Once)

 

Scenario 2 (Attack One at a Time)

 

Example 2 (Pack Attack)

You have 5 wolf tokens in play. Your opponent has Triceratops in play. You can either attack as a group for 10 damage, which would break Triceratops (and all of your wolves), or you can attack one at a time.

PackAttack

Scenario 1 (Attack with Everything at Once)

 

Scenario 2 (Attack One at a Time)

 

Relevant Supplementary Articles

When to Attack in Groups (Coming Soon)

When to Chump Block

“Chump Blocking” is when you block an attacking champion with a smaller one. The attacking champion won’t break, the defending champion will break, but you won’t take any damage.

You (almost) never want to chump block with a 1-cost champion. If you can’t break an attacking 1-cost champion and you have a token, you (almost) always want to chump block.

If you chump block with a 1-cost champion, you can fall behind in champions on the board. If you chump block with tokens, you protect your health and don’t lose much.

Examples:

Example 1 (Emergency Chump Block)

You just spent your gold playing Inheritance of the Meek on your opponent’s turn, clearing the board. They then spend their gold on Rampaging Wurm and attack for 14. You play Plentiful Dead to get a zombie token.

EmergencyChump

Since your opponent doesn’t play anything before blockers are declared, you declare it as (chump) blocker. Neither player plays anything so your zombie breaks to Rampaging Wurm‘s 14 damage, Rampaging Wurm gets tickled by the zombie, and you take no damage.

Example 2 (Airborne Lethal)

You have Ice Drake in play, Inner Peace in hand, spent your gold, and are at 16 health. Your opponent has no champions in play, 4 cards in hand, 3 health, and spent their gold. They play Draka, Dragon Tryant, revealing Flame Strike and Flash Fire for loyalty 2->blitz, and attack with it.

AirborneLethal

You could either chump block with Ice Drake, causing only Ice Drake to break, or not chump block.

Scenario 1 (1-cost Chump Block)

 

Scenario 2 (Don’t Chump Block)

 

Relevant Supplementary Articles

When to Chump Block with 1-cost Champions (Coming Soon)

When not to Chump Block with tokens (Coming Soon)

When to Play Combat Tricks

A combat trick is generally a buff (like Rage and Brave Squire), but the term can be broadened out into any Fast effect that can be used to modify combat (fast removal for instance).

You (almost) always want to play your Combat Tricks after blockers have been declared. The obvious exception to this is playing an ambush champion that you want to declare as a blocker before blockers are declared.

As the attacker you want to wait because how your opponent blocks can determine which combat tricks you want to play, if any. In addition, if you play a buff on an unblocked attacker after blockers are declared, the defender cannot change their mind and block the now buffed attacker.

As the defender you want to wait because your opponent might buff their attacker, and then you can use 1 card to answer 2 or more cards, the champion and the buff(s).

Examples:

Example 1 (Token Buff)

My favorite example is when you have Mighty Blow in hand, you have at least a token and 1 more champion in play, and your opponent has at least a token in play.

BuffOrder

You could either play your Mighty Blow before or after attackers.

Scenario 1 (Play Mighty Blow Before Blockers are Declared)

 

Scenario 2 (Play Mighty Blow after blockers are declared)

 

Example 2 (Lying in Wait)

You are at 22 health. Your opponent attacks you with Raging T-Rex. You have no champions in play so you declare no blockers. After blockers are declared, your opponent plays 2 Brave Squires on Raging T-Rex. Now, you play Lying in Wait and remove 3 cards for the price of 1.

Relevant Supplementary Articles

When to Play Combat Tricks Before the Declare Blockers Step (Coming Soon)

When to Play Burn Removal in Conjunction with Combat Damage (Coming Soon)

Additional Articles

Included above are the main considerations for Epic combat. Below you can find articles that cover in smaller and/or rarer situations. Articles denoted as Coming Soon have not yet been written. So, if a particular one catches you eye, let me know in the comments, and I will prioritize it.

Bluffing (Coming Soon)

Breakthrough (Coming Soon)

Chump Attacking (Coming Soon)

Interesting Combat Cards

4 thoughts on “Epic Card Game Combat”

  1. Fascinating and informative, as always. That was quite a read, but I’m looking forward to seeing what will be coming soon. Thank you, Tom!

  2. Great article, really helped me see the finer nuances to combat.

    One question, in scenario “When To Chump Block – Airborne Leathal – 1 cost Chump Block”, in the final turn, it is eluding me why you couldn’t block Draka with the White Dragon you drew. Does Ceasefire also prevent you from blocking? If you have the time, let me know the rule I’m missing.

    1. Thank you, glad to hear you enjoyed the article.

      White Dragon can’t block in this scenario because it doesn’t have ambush, and therefore it cannot be played on your opponent’s turn. If I had drawn a Watchful Gargoyle instead, I could have played that and tried to block with it.

      A quick way to remember if a card can be played on your opponent’s turn is to check to see if there are dots at the top of the card. All events and champions with ambush have dots at the top of the card. All champions have wings at the top of the card. A champion with ambush has both dots and wings.

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