Ederon is a free-to-play, fantasy-themed trading card game with a classical fantasy art style and traditional TCG/CCG gameplay. Without the need for elaborate fanfare or fancy gimmicks, this game appeals to the hardcore strategy card game demographic. Ederon benefits from having a large number of classes to choose from, with each one having its own unique play-style. Take on other players as a Monk, Sorcerer, Rogue, Paladin, and many others, or mix classes together for lethal combinations that can deal large amounts of damage.
Ederon was released over 8 years ago and is still very popular to this day. Regular users from around the world play, trade, buy, and sell cards within its open marketplaces and auction house. Familiar gameplay mechanics and fantasy artwork have undoubtedly paved the way for such popularity. Ederon does have a slight variation on the traditional TCG/CCG gameplay style that makes it a little more unique than others.
Is Ederon too old to compete against modern day rivals? Read on to find out…
Ederon features a large number of playable classes right from the start, though you can only choose one starter deck from these after testing them out. Don’t worry though, as you can unlock all of the decks through other means within the game.
Playing the game is fun and the battles are what you would come to expect from a fantasy TCG, especially a slightly older one. You must protect your life points and reduce the opponent’s to zero. To do this you equip your class hero with weapons, armor, shields, and trinkets. You also may have a supply of Action and Spell cards. These can do additional damage or even prevent it. They are all very useful and timing is everything when playing these, though some are phase sensitive.
Both players start with an opening hand of cards and will need to play their class card before any others. The turn immediately ends and passes on. I didn’t see why this was a necessary step until I saw cards that would allow you to play a class card and another one in the same turn.
The game flows over several phases: Draw, Equip, Attack, Action, and Discard. At the start of each turn you draw one card from the deck during the Draw Phase. All other phases allow you to perform their named action once a turn, with few exceptions. You can only equip one item a turn, attack once a turn, and play Action and Spell cards once a turn. Some Action cards allow you to play another straight after them and some can be played during the Equip Phase in addition to playing an Equip card.
The limitations imposed were often frustrating. I would often spot a combo between two cards, but was never able to capitalize on it due to not being able to play more than one card per phase. I also didn’t like how my opponent could destroy a piece of my equipment in the turn I played it and having no way to protect myself in their turn. This often led to many tries at the campaign mode battles. This would happen far too often to keep casual players interested. Campaign modes are supposed to be a little easier for the sake of captivation, so unfortunately this was a minor let down to an otherwise very good system.
MODES AND FEATURES
Ederon has a limited number of different modes, but has a fair few distinguished features. I found it near impossible to find an online game with players of the same rating as me. Clearly there hasn’t been an influx of new players recently, so the game relies heavily on its experienced players to make up the numbers. When I did get an online game going (against someone over 100 levels above me) it was over quickly because I just could not compete at that level. So be warned, you’ve got a bit of a steep curve here, but I’m sure it’s great for higher level players once you invest in the game.
There is a story mode built into the game where you can use each of the class decks. I found this to be a great way of understanding how each deck and class functions. This mode is not an easy one though and the difficulty gets increasingly harder the more chapters you complete. I began to lose patience when my opponent would counter every move I ever made which lead to many replays of that level until I finally broke through.
You can unlock all of the starter decks for each class by visiting the Specializations icon at the top of the window (all of these icons are tiny!). From here you can select the Unlock Starters option and if you beat that class in battle, you earn the class deck. You can then combine these cards with others you already own to create a multi-class deck. These often are more powerful than a single-class deck, as they’ll have far more tricks available.
Other features are: Shop, Achievements, Guide Book, Clans, and Profiles. You can also buy and sell cards through the online client. I wasn’t able to test this feature because I didn’t get enough Gold in order to do so and was unable to sell any of the starter deck cards. The in-game shop contains boosters and other purchasable items such as Avatars and Gems, but again I didn’t have the Gold to buy anything. I’m just a poor boy, from a poor family, spare me!
You can buy, trade, and sell cards through auctions and other means as a way to earn the funds needed to better your decks, though how you go about obtaining Gold or Gems without buying them, or completing surveys and offers is a little unclear. I played for many hours and only amassed 15 Gold the entire time. The minimum purchase of a single card is in the hundreds. The push toward premium purchases is painfully obvious in Ederon and that’s going to be a huge problem for those who want a truly free-to-play title.
DECKBUILDING AND STRATEGY
Luck and strategies are the two things that rule Ederon’s gameplay. All of my careful planning and deckbuilding are nothing compared to the random luck of drawing cards from a deck of 40-60 cards. It’s the same model that’s been used for all of the bigger TCGs. Consistency is improved by having multiple copies of a card in the deck and having higher rarity (and thus more powerful) cards in the deck helps too. Those common Weapons and Armors won’t stick around for very long.
I found it hard to make any form of combo plays because of the ‘one card per phase’ rule. When I was able to, it was because a Weapon had stuck around for more than one turn, which isn’t that often. Attacking with a weapon lowers (taps) it and this means you’re open to a counterattack on the opponent’s turn. You can defend with a raised (untapped) weapon, but it will lose durability and possibly face destruction this way.
Armor is the only true way to protect yourself from attacks. Many of the Action and Spell cards contain effects that deal direct damage. Armor will instantly block these too. I would have preferred the option to block direct damage with armor because some of the counter spells are best used when they can absorb all of the damage from these.
Ederon‘s age is showing. It lacks the high polish and addictive nature that other games in this genre possess. I feel it needs dragging into this new era rather quickly. Sure, there are a decent number of players who still play and love the game. This is evident with a semi-active Reddit group and forum hosted by the developers.
However, with more and more games offering players instant gratification in a free to play model, Ederon will struggle to keep up unless you’re specifically looking for a more traditional-style TCG (and trust me, I have a hankering for those fairly regularly and this game certainly scratches that itch!).
The artwork feels a bit dated, but the soundtrack is actually rather amazing. I could sit and listen to all of the orchestral and inspiring tracks on a loop all day. The game plays well and isn’t too hard to understand. Limitations on the number of cards played per phase will put off a lot of players who prefer more freedom and lots of combo plays, but it does serve as a means to stop any snowballing gameplay.
If you’re looking for a slower, “thinkier”, traditional CCG, this is a good one to try out.
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