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Gems of War Beginners Guide (Tips & Tricks)

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Beginners Guide (Tips & Tricks)

Some basic tips to get the most out of your Gems of War Experience. Includes getting the most out of guild membership.

Introduction

This is a guide to getting started in Gems of War. There is a lot of information I had to learn the hard way. Hopefully it helps some get the most out of the game.
Updated for version 4.2.5

Kingdoms

Kingdoms offer many benefit to you and taking advantage of them should be one of your primary goals.

Step One: Unlock
Each Kingdom on the world map except the starting kingdom requires gold to unlock. Once unlocked you gain access to that kingdom’s quest line and you can gain tribute passively (up to once per hour). Unlock each kingdom as you earn the money to do so.

Step Two: Quests
Each kingdom has a set of about 30 quests or missions. Completing them rewards you with new activities, increased income. Completing quest lines in many kingdoms reward you with cards and or new player classes. Zhul’Kari, Broken Spire, Blighted Lands and Drifting Sands unlock special minigames after completing their quests (and you should prioritize unocking them ASAP).

Home:
You can set any kingdom as your home kingdom from that kingdom’s “Levels & Power” tab. Since you get double tribute from your home kingdom people often choose the kingdom that gives the currency they are most in need of. Khaziel earns you the most gold, making it a good choice until you level up all of your kingdoms. Whitehelm earns the most glory, making it good for unlocking glory rewards. Khetar earns you the most souls.

Levels:
You can level up kingdoms up to level 10 by spending gold. Each level adds a percent chance they will reward you with tribute up to once an hour. Once you hit rank 10 each kingdom offers a bonus to either health, armor, magic or attack to all of your troops. This stacks with bonuses from all kingdoms, so getting all kingdoms to level 10 will make your teams significantly stronger.

kingdom level prices go from 0-10: 500, 1000, 2000, 4000, 8000,15000, 22000, 30000, 40000. This adds up to 122500 gold to max a kingdom. I would recommend getting all kingdoms to level 7 or 8 first and then saving up to hit level 10 as the first levels will unlock quickly and offer rewards from tributes. Once you unlock all kingdoms it might be worth keeping 122500 gold in your account so you are ready to unlock a kingdom if it is added.

Power:
Each kingdom can have it’s power raised. Noted by stars on the kingdom icon. There are quests to unlock each power level. Typically leveling up or unlocking traits for troops of that kingdom. Powering up kingdoms to level five adds a stat bonus to all troops you own (not just that kingdom). It is a worthwhile long term goal.

Player Classes and Weapons

As you complete quest lines of kingdoms you will unlock various classes for your player character. Classes and weapons allow you to use your player character as a highly customizable troop in any team. I’ll try to break down all of the features and mechanics here.

Class Level:
You can level up a class with souls the same way you level a normal troop, however you don’t need to ascend that class, so you can level it to 20 at any point. At level 10 you unlock a bonus in the “class info” tab which makes your character count as a troop of a specific kingdom and race. This helps gain team bonuses.

Class Traits:
These function and are unlocked the same as normal troops.

Talent Trees:
When you use your character in a team they gain points that level up their Champion Level. Every few levels you get to choose one of three bonuses (which stack). This takes an incredibly long time but offers a lot of power and customization. Thankfully this will happen naturally as the class or classes you like the most will be used the most. It’s just important to remember to check your class talent tree once in a while to make sure all unlocked talents (as well as the ones best suited for you) are selected.

Weapons:
Class primarily affects your character’s stats and passive abilities. Weapons affect your character’s active ability. It determines the role your card plays and what colored gems it requires. Weapons can also be upgraded with ingots (obtained through events and PvP).
An important note that all weapons have a class and kingdom affinity. Some Character class talent tree bonuses only work if you are using a specific weapon class (like a sword). Some kingdom power levels require leveling up a weapon of that kingdom. Because of this it is worth collecting any weapons when they are available.

Class Weapons:
Each class has a weapon that unlocks after wining 250 matches with that class. They are powerful and require the rarest ingots to upgrade. Once unlocked they can be used with any class.

Kingdom Weapons:
Completing kingdom quests often unlocks a weapon. These are of varying quality and usefulness.

Event Weapons:
Almost every event in game has a shop where you can unlock rewards with gems. A few tiers in there is usually a weapon. I recommend unlocking every one you can, even if it doesn’t seem useful at that moment. Not just for leveling up kingdoms, but because the more weapons you have the more you can finely tune your character for specific builds later on. This is pretty much the only thing I spend gems on in the game and I earn enough from guild tasks to always buy them.

Traits and Traitstones

Traitsones are used to unlock triats for troops. I highly recommend not spending any traitstones for as long as possible. At least not until level 50, maybe even level 100. The goal is to wait until you have a solid grasp of which troops you like and use often and to get all of their traits unlocked first, rather than spread traits accross many troops.

Traitstones, especially the rare types, can be a real pain to collect. And the rarer troops need a lot of them.

The easiest way to get traitstones is to explore the kingdoms that have the ones you need. You can also craft them in a pinch using the Soulforge, but it is better to be patient and use that for crafting troops.

Guild Participation

Finding a good guild will add a lot to your Gems of War experience. Finding one that fits your level of play and has an active membership will offer great benefits. Learn the benefits and learn how best to help your guild grow.

Trophies:
Trophies are earned through winning PvP, Guild War and Arena battles. The total number of trophies earned by your guild helps determine your guild’s leaderboard rank. Ranking up increases daily login rewards for all members.

Seals:
Seals are earned by completing battles in the game. Play the game regularly and after each play session go to the seals section of the guild tab and “claim all”. Doing this regularly is good practice as it helps your guild know you are actively playing.

Earned seals can be exchanged for guild chest keys in the chest tab on the main screen. The more active the guild and the more members, the better the rewards from said chests. Ask your guild if they have any tactics to optimize this. Seals earned carry over indefinitely so you should hold onto them until your guild reaches 20-40k seals in a week.

Gold:
Each week there are a set of tasks. These are essentially group purchases. You put gold into tasks and once one is completed a predetermined reward is given to all members. Typically keys or currencies. All members should put all gold earned into these tasks as the reward is higher than if you spent that gold on something for yourself.
A good guild practice is to encourage members to spend their gold on leveling up all of their kingdoms prior to donating to the guild.

Incursion Event
Rewards are unlocked depending on the total number of “tower” troops your guild defeats. This event makes very good use of the third trait on event troops (increasing melee damage to tower troops) since you have a full 4 towers in later stages. I also find having a troop that does damage to all enemies (especially passively when matching 4+ gems) a big help since towers gain barrier when they cast spells.

Raid Boss Event
Rewards are unlocked depending on the total amount of damage your guild does to “boss” troops. There is only ever one boss per team, so focus on taking them out first, then worry about the rest. I like to have the event troop first, then the player with a weapon that will “eliminate” all armor (mang, Trickster’s Shot, Rope Dart). Fill both troops’ mana, cast player weapon on boss to remove armor, then cast event troop’s spell to finish them off. If you have the final trait of your event troop filled you can rope dart the boss to the front and melee them. 3rd and 4th Troops can be anything that works well for you to finish the rest of the enemy team off. I like to have a summoning troop to replace the event troop in case they die (as they tend to be weak against anyone other than the boss.

Tower of Doom
Rewards are unlocked depending on the number of floors cleared (boss room is the only requirement per floor. Floor layout is identical for all members of your guild and there are bonuses unlocked in each room of each floor which benefit yourself and sometimes the guild. There are 3 ways to tackle this event:

1. Defeat every room in every floor. If you do this you have the sub-option to record all rewards and the boss unlock location to share with your guild.

2. Play through rooms randomly until you unlock the boss room and skip directly to that fight to clear the floor.

3. Use the recorded information of a guild member who played style #1 to go to boss unlock rooms directly (and perhaps a few choice bonuses).

If you are a lower level player I recommend approach 1, as you will benefit your guild the most (even if you don’t record and share room data). The reason for this is floors get progressively harder, so if you can only defeat the boss on the first X floors, you can clear rooms which improve stats of players who can get further. Also, it is sometimes worth waiting until later in the week when upgrades are unlocked which will make your team stronger.

Guild Wars:
Guild Wars is a ranked PvP system against other guilds. Six days a week, five opponents each day per member. The guild with the highest score wins. Winning each day earns everyone in the guild 50 seals. Winning for the week earns other rewards.

You don’t need to be a high level player to be a big help to your guild in Guild Wars and it is a simple tactic very few players utilize. At the begining of each week in the defense tab of Guild Wars you can select which team will defend each day of that week. You get a bonus for each unique troop defending for the week totalling 12,000 points for 24 unique troops. The trick is you only get those points if you play though the first battle each day (regardless if you win or lose). So what you do is make 6 teams of all unique cards (it doesn’t matter how good they are) and set each team to a different day. Fight at least one match a day and gain that 2,000 point daily bonus.

If a guild can get every member to do that minimum amount of work it would earn a total bonus of 60,000 Guild War Points a day. Even if no one won a match, that would be enough to win against a great number of guilds.

That’s six battles a week. If you are in a guild that participates in Guild Wars, this is an incredibly simple task to help your guild grow with minimal effort. As you level up and gain better cards you will find that you can play and win more and more Guild War batles each week, but until then, this is where you should start.

Delves / Underworld

The Underworld is a parallel world with matching kingdoms. Each kingdom has a new quest line, 4 kingdom troops (which also count as troops for their Overworld counterpart) and a new Delve game mode.

Delves
Involve clearing rooms to reach a boss fight room which clears the floor (similar to Tower of Doom events only you need to clear a path rather than find a hidden key on the floor). You get a certain number of Delves each day to play normally and special “Faction Assault” events which are available every few weeks during a 24 hour window.
Normal delves can typically be ignored and I will explain why. Once you clear a floor, you can only attack the next floor higher. So you clear floor 40 and you can never fight floor 10-40 again, only try floor 50.

Faction Assault
Every time one of these events starts you start from the first floor. You can also take advantage of shop bonuses like enchant during the event, which makes these fights a lot easier than a regular delve. This means you will likely get to a high enough level in the event with bonuses that you are effectively locked out of playing normal Delves (unless maybe you are a very high level player).

Hoard
Each Underworld Kingdom has a Hoard, which is essentially a money sink in the game, but it does unlock better rewards when completing floors for that kingdom. It also increases Faction Renown.

Faction Renown
In the Faction Info tab of each kingdom you will see stats for your current kingdom and combined. Getting these up is worthwhile as Total Renown offers some nice bonuses like free gold and ingots every day you log in. Also stat buffs for all troops (not just during delves).

Chaos Shards
these are the delve currency and are used to unlock portals. At the start I’d only use them to unlock 1 of each of the 4 troops for each kingdom (some are very good). Once you’ve done that save them to unlock troops in future kingdoms and ascend troops in kingdoms you like. As you earn more you can use them more freely.

Team Building

I will share a few basic concepts and tips to get you started making teams. This is just going to cover a few basics, and the game is designed well enough that there are a lot of options and almost always exceptions to what I say here.

Search Filter:
Search filter is your friend. Learn to use it and use it often when building teams. Most of the features are self explanatory but I will go into detail with the text search.

The text search allows you to search any keyword or string of text on all of your cards. Most spell descriptions are written in such a way that you can quickly find troops with specific effects. Also, you can look up triats by name such as “necromancy”.

Troop colors:
When forming a team consider which gem colors each card uses and how many gems are needed to cast each card’s spell. Since gems collected are distributed top down, having a card at the top that requires a lot of gems can block the rest of the team from being able to cast spells.

Diversify troop colors when possible. This way you can take advantage of more gem matches on the board. As opposed to a team of all red/purple cards, where you might not be able to match gems of those colors every move and your 2nd and 3rd troop would likely never be able to attack).

Traits:
As I’ve said, traits can make or break a team in some circumstances. Many troops have traits that have offensive or defensive bonuses that activate on 4 or 5 gem matches, meaning you don’t even need to cast that troops spell to take advantage of them.

Traits each have a name and most are not unique to one troop, so if you find a trait that compliments your playstyle it is worth looking into which cards have them.

Complimentary/Support Troops:
There are many ways troops can compliment each other. Building a team where these overlap can create a strong team. Troops can add gems of a color to the board which another troop in your team needs. Troops can buff stats of other troops to make them stronger or defend them. Some troops can summon other cards if a troop in your team dies.

Banners:
Unlocking a kingdom unlocks a banner. Each banner offers a bonus to gems collected of specific colors. I recommend building a team first, then choosing the most beneficial banner that compliments your team.

Team Bonuses:
Team bonuses can buff stats or gem matching abilities for teams and there are multiple ways of doing this.

  • Having multiple cards of the same race and or kingdom can offer bonuses.
  • Pets can offer bonuses (and just need to be captured, not equiped).
  • Leveling up Kingdoms on the world map with gold to level 10 gives a stat bonus to all troops.
  • Powering up Kingdoms by leveling and traiting cards can increase that bonus further.
  • Guild tasks can also offer bonuses.

Often times it is much better to sacrifice a bonus in order to have a more effective troop. However if you can take advantage of these bonuses you should.

Defensive Teams:
Defensive teams are teams you build for PvP and Guild War defense. You don’t control these teams when they are in play, so it can help to consider a few things when building them. There are many troop spells which are only usefull if cast at a specific time or where they affect specific areas of the board that you select. When the game controls that team, it will most likely not use that type of card correctly.

Build Types:
You can build teams around specific themes and select troops that compliment each other. This can involve troops that all do the same type of damage (like true damage). Troops that change the board in ways that fill another troop quickly. There are a ridiculous amount of options. The best thing to do is experiment and see what types of troops compliment your play style and build teams around that.

Character Class:
Now that we have more flexibility to use different character classes, it’s worth considering adding your character to any build you can, just to level them up.

Games and Game Currencies

A few kingdoms reward special games once you have finished the quests and it is a good idea to unlock them as early as possible.

Treasure Hunt:
You can gain treasure maps from battles and use them to play the treasure hunt minigame. It’s a good source of income early in the game and there are often events related to playing it. The troop Tyri is your best source for earning treasure maps (and is a good troop to have regardless).

Arena:
Pay 1000 gold to fight increasingly difficult battles with troops you don’t really get to pick. I don’t play this mode as it’s not really my style, but if you are good at it you can earn decent gold.

Dungeon:
Daily boss fights that reward you with soul forge materials.

Soulforge:
A whole slew of materials to collect specific to this. Allows crafting of all sorts of stuff. You need to level it up with kills in battle, so unlocking it early is wise even if you can’t use it until later. You can also earn materials for the soulforge from guild tasks.

Other Events:
There are several other events that pop up in the Games tab. Usually one or two a week. Events that help level a class or an underworld kingdom. Bounty events which can earn you decent rewards. It’s worth keeping an eye on the games tab to see what is available.

Pet Rescue:
Unlock pets for even more team bonuses. These can sometimes be a pain to acquire. Especially at lower levels. You pretty much need to be lucky and get the pet as a random drop on one of the early battles.

Currencies and Keys

Gems of War is a free to play game so optimizing the currencies is critical if you don’t plan on spending money.

Gold:
Gold is the most common currency. There are only two things you should spend gold on. Kingdoms and guild tasks (see guild section). Once all kingdoms are unlocked all money should go to your guild. The traits “greedy” and “merchant” increase gold aquired in matches. Gold can be earned quickly in PvP if you have a good team.

Souls:
Souls allow you to level up cards. You are going to want to focus on getting a few cards to max available level rather than spreading this around. The trait “Necromancy” increases souls gained from matches.

Glory:
Glory should be saved up for weekly troops in the “glory rewards” section of the store. Don’t bother with any item other than the troop offered that week and if you save up enough glory you may want to purchase multiple copies to level up that troop. These troops are usually connected to a weekly event so consider using them to participate for bonus rewards. You also get a fair amount of gold from the weekly troop package in the glory shop.

Gems:
Gems are the primary F2P currency. They are used to open chests, buy armors, speed up some processes. You are going to want to save these up for a few focused functions. Easiest wa to get these is from guild tasks.

1. Armor: the first item to spend gems on is armor (I recommend dragon armor for the 100% gold bonus).

2. Gold: for 300 gems you can get 75,000 gold, which will speed up kingdom unlocks (don’t buy the smaller gold packs).

3. Event Shops (Incursion and Raid Boss, possibly Pet Rescue).

Event Keys
Unlock troops related to the current week’s event(s). If you don’t care about troops from that event you can hold onto them for a future event. Easiest way to get these is from guild tasks.

When to Spend Keys
You can open keys at any time and any amount at once (opening 1 at a time doesn’t change your chance of getting something good compared to 50 at once). If you already have a lot of cards unlocked it might be worth holding onto all of your keys until the first week of each month as the devs often release a new mythic troop with a higher chance to drop for that week.

Guild Chests and Seals
Doing tasks while in a guild earns you seals. The combined seals earned from all members of your guild ranks up the value of guild chests and the seals you have personally earned can be spent to unlock those chests. Best to open guild chests at the very end of the week. See guild section for more info. It is worth noting that seals do not expire (even if you leave a guild and join another they will carry over).

Ingots:
Ingots are mostly obtained through PvP. They are used to upgrade weapons and come in several types. The rarer types will take some time to collect, so be selective when upgrading weapons.

VIP Keys:
I don’t have these unlocked, but I’ve read into them and they don’t sound that great. They cost twice as many gems to buy as gem keys and are only slightly better. And the amount of money you need to spend to unlock them is quite a bit.

PvP Meta

PvP is pretty straight forward. This is going to be kind of a meta rant so you can ignore this if you aren’t interested.

This is going to sound counter intuitive, but hear me out and look at the big picture. What I recommend people do is use their strongest teams for attacking, but intentionally use weaker/ more random teams for defense. And here are my reasons.

First, most people don’t want to play against teams that are theory crafted min-maxed to perfection. Even worse when every team is one of 4 builds. It’s not fun and it turns people off from playing the game. By catering to more casual players we keep the player base high, which ultimately increases money going in to the developers, which means the game continues to be supported. Regardless if you yourself spend money on it.

I’m not even saying use weak teams. Just not “perfect” teams. Though sometimes I’m generous and set easy defense teams. Sometimes I make teams that are all the color of a weekly event. And sometimes those teams work surprisingly better than I expected them to. But at least it was probably an interesting fight.

I’d rather lose to an interesting team than one I know will destroy me in three moves. And I know lots of other players have far less patience than I do.

Spending Real Money

You can totally play without spending money and not be locked out of anything. But perhaps you are thinking of buying something for whatever reason. Maybe you are like me and just want to support the game, even just a little bit.

So here are my thoughts:
Don’t buy gems or keys with real money. Join a guild and you will get tons of them all the time. Everything else is personal taste.

The one item I would personally recommend would be Path to Glory II in the Offers section. It’s expensive, but it gives you a ton of traitstones and a guaranteed mythic. If you are lower level, don’t have any mythic cards and are confident you will play the game enough to justify the $50 U.S. it is probably the best purchase you can make in game. It’s a good “one and done” purchase option where I felt I got a lot out of it and don’t feel like I want to spend more. It’s value decreases as you level and collect more troops, but so does the value of everything else the game sells.

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