Decks are important things in Culdcept Revolt. While the game will give you one to start, it is hardly optimal. It is enough to get you through Awakening and The Rebels easily, but you’ll want to create your own decks for the other Quests and online interactions. That’s when you want to experiment and see what works for you. You need to pull 50 cards together, with about 20-30 of them being monsters, 10-15 items, and 10-15 spells. Fortunately, the campaign gives you ample opportunities to build and see what works for you.
Before you start creating a Culdcept Revolt deck, you need to think about what kind of strategy you want to employ. Each element tends to have its own specialty. The air and fire elements are the strong attackers. These tend to be the more offensive cards, attacking first and critical hits. The earth and water cards tend to be more defensive. You’ll find walls here, regenerating creatures, and ones with supportive Secret Arts to help your survivability.
Pairing fire with earth or water or air with earth or water works. Or, you could go ahead and pair earth and water or air and fire. What’s important is to go in with an idea of what you want, because you’re going to want to pick creature, item, and support cards that will help you with your goals. People just starting out should stick with two elements. (There’s a reason your first deck will be either fire/earth or air/water!)
Once you do start getting started with a deck, you may want to have a few failsafe creatures in there. These are monsters that are reliable and work with any sort of situation to build a strong foundation. Let’s start with the more offensive monsters. The fire element’s Chimera is one. If you can keep it alive, it will receive +10 strength for each lap you complete, with 100 as its max. Gladiator deals critical hits to all elements but neutral, while Fire Beak attacks first and both deals critical hits and penetrates defenses of wind and water types. Fire Drake’s strength stat is based on the number of fire creatures in play times five. Plan to always be attacking or invading with fire. Especially since a card like Phoenix will return to your hand after being defeated.
With air decks, Spectres can be rather helpful, as their ST and HP will have a random value each time they fight. Knights always deal critical hits to characters with a maximum health over 50. Pulgasaris get +20 strength if they have an item equipped and +10 strength of enemies have an item equipped. And Witches can be used to help boost your manna, what with a Secret Art that lets you steal an amount equal to the number of spell cards in a specified enemy’s hands times 40. It can feel sometimes like air is a little more supportive than fire, with creatures like Cornfolk, which gives you 200 magic after it is defeated, or Centaur, which recycles any item you equipped to it after the battle is over and attacks first.
As for defensive creatures, you want to make sure you have monsters that will take care of themselves and survive. Water decks may do better with a Giant Eel on hand, as it will neutralize air and earth attacks used against it. The Aquahorn and Mistwing each have secret arts that let them transform into each other, which is helpful since the Aquahorn neutralizes earth and water attacks, while Mistwings neutralize air and fire attacks. An Echinoderm is vigorous, which means it won’t get exhausted after actions, and regenerates health after a fight. And, if you plan to use multiple water creatures, the Undine’s health is the number of water territories you have times 20. And, if you’re in a desperate situation, having a Fate on hand so you can always use a Secret Art to draw a card (or get a card when it is defeated).
When you put together an earth deck, a Cactus Wall is a necessity, due to it regenerating and getting health +50 if the enemy is a air or water type. It can even deal 10 damage, though you are not using it for attacks. Dwarven Miners’ Secret Art let you get free mana (lap number times 30) and have 1.5x tolls. Rock Trolls regenerate. Also, you can’t go wrong with a Healer that is vigorous and has a Secret Art that lets you heal one of your monsters’ health by 30. One of my favorite cards from this line, though it takes time to grow, is the Sproutling. It can evolve into an Old Willow, which can force an enemy to stop and either battle or pay the toll. (Be advised that the Old Willow is a fire type. Though, the earth type Sproutlig also takes a land effect from fire lands.)
You might want to also round out your deck with a few neutral creatures. These don’t get the land bonuses other monsters do. But, it also means no negative effects. The cheap Baldanders (only 20G!) is weak with its 30 health and 0 strength, but it transforms into a random creature in battle, upping its survivability. It is a great placeholder. Migoal is a handy all purpose attacker or defender, as it deals critical hits to earth and water and neutralizes damage dealt by air and fire. (It does require you to sacrifice a card to summon it, though!) Another neutral cards requiring a sacrifice of one card is the Wonder Wall, but it is worth it. It neutralizes damage inflicted by air, earth, fire, and water creatures, meaning only other neutral creatures can damage it. And, if you want to try and generate funds, a Bandit will steal manna equal to twice the damage it dealt to an enemy if it survives and has the added bonus of being able to support any other creature in a fight.
When picking out creatures to call to your aid, be smart. Start small, with perhaps two elements. Have a strategy in mind. Then, rely on cards that will help you earn both land and magic rather easily. Find ways to conserve your efforts. Maybe even pop in a few neutral cards, ones that might be a little less expensive, to act as placeholders. As you get better and gain experience, you’ll find your groove and put together great books of cards that will work for you.
Culdcept Revolt is available for the Nintendo 3DS.