Hello and welcome to Eternal! This guide is aimed at players who have just finished the tutorial. If you're looking for the next steps to take or are looking for a cheap first deck, you've come to the right place. So let's get started!
If you haven't used a referral code to register and only did the tutorial, I strongly recommend making a new account through this referral code. This will get you a starter deck with some really useful rares, and 3 packs for free. Aside from that, if you haven't already, I recommend joining the Official Eternal Discord, the best place to get answers to any questions and hang out with a large part of the community.
First Steps After The Tutorial
"Never buy packs." - H.P. Pokpok
So, you just finished the 16 tutorial fights with the mono-faction decks, and did the Caiphus fight, too. (If you haven't, you probably missed a part of the campaign, and I recommend going back to do those.) Now you are wondering what to do next.
Firstly, it's useful to know that it's never worth it to buy packs. Drafting will always give you more value for your gold, even at 0 wins, as long as you rare draft ("rare drafting" is what we call picking only the highest rarity cards, without regard for an actually-good Draft deck), since you get to keep the cards you draft.
However, as a new player, your first station should be Gauntlet, a free-to-enter mode where you choose a deck and play vs. the A.I. to gain gold rewards. Every time you reach 7 wins you will gain a rank (bronze, silver, gold, diamond, master) and you will get a rank-up chest. This makes Gauntlet excellent value whenever you rank up. Many people chose to rank up in Gauntlet until reaching the master rank, after which they usually change to a different play mode since they can no longer gain the rank-up chest.
For completing a Gauntlet run, you will receive a free Forge ticket. Forge is similar to Gauntlet, but instead of choosing a pre-constructed deck, you have to pick 1 of 3 cards to put in your deck. You will repeat that process until you have picked 25 cards (tip: As soon as you pick your first 2 factions (for example, Justice and Primal) you will only be offered cards of those factions). Just like in Draft, you keep the cards you pick. Ranking up works the same as it does in Gauntlet mode, and once you reach the master rank, the amount of resources Forge gives you will decrease, too.
By now you will likely have enough gold to purchase a Draft ticket, as well as a one-time quest to complete a Draft run. The quest will give you a diamond chest, which contains a guaranteed pack, as well as a premium card and 2000 gold. (If you don't feel comfortable doing a Draft or Forge run on your own, you can head over to the Eternal Discord and ask in the #draft channel for help.)
Here is a deck you should be able to build after completing the tutorial if you started with a referral link: Day 1 Rakano
When you hit the master rank in Gauntlet, you might be wondering what your options for obtaining gold are. You have three choices for getting your shiny currency. Your first option is to further grind Gauntlet. However, this is about as efficient as your second option: Ranked mode. This is a mode where you will play versus other players with the decks you build. Any versus mode (modes that let you face real players) will reward a pack of the latest set for your first win of the day. Additionally, winning in Ranked will grant you a bronze chest, with every third win granting you a silver chest instead. Once you reach nine ranked wins in a day, you will only obtain 2 bronze chests in place of the silver chest. Playing Ranked will also place you on the ladder, which is divided into the same ranks as Gauntlet (bronze, silver, gold, diamond, master). However, each rank has 3 sub-divisions (silver 3, silver 2, etc.). At the end of the month, you will gain additional rewards based on your ranks in Ranked mode and Draft mode. You can find the exact rewards in-game, under 'Profile'. Your final option is Casual mode. Casual is exactly the same as Ranked, but it won't place you on a ladder, and it has a looser matchmaking system. It also grants fewer rewards than Ranked, as you get two bronze chests for every third win and a bronze chest for all other wins.
Spending Your Gold
Once you have reached the master rank in Forge and you have done your first Draft, you are probably wondering what to spend your gold on. There are 3 good options. Firstly, you can play Draft, which will give you cards and shiftstones for your collection. Second, you can pay 12,500 gold to enter the current monthly League event, which guarantees 18 packs and an exclusive card-back cosmetic, plus additional leaderboard prizes and a whole month of evolving gameplay. Your last option is buying one or all of the campaigns (if you ever consider spending money on this game, the campaigns are the best place to do so since they have a discounted gold-to-gems ratio). If you decided to do a couple of Drafts first, or to enter the League, I wish you good luck and I recommend to check out our Draft content, as I'm not that good at drafting. However, should you decide to go for one of the campaigns, you might want to read the next part.
Choosing Which Campaign To Buy
Right now we have 4 different campaigns: Jekk's Bounty, The Tale of Horus Traver, Dead Reckoning and Into Shadows. Each campaign includes new fights vs A.I. opponents, all with special rules and unique rewards you can't get anywhere else. You can preview the cards you will receive under 'Cards' > 'My Collection' by using the filter to view each campaign. This method will show you every card in a given campaign, some of which may spoil that campaign's story.
So let me summarize the key cards in every campaign from a more competitive point-of-view. There are far more fun, decent cards than I will list here:
Jekk's Bounty is the least valuable campaign, as the only card seeing competitive play is Quarry. I recommend getting this campaign last, and only after you already have done some drafts.
The Tale of Horus Traver rewards a lot of very useful cards, namely Cinder Yeti, Firemaw, Tavrod, Auric Interrogator, and Power Stone. All of these cards have seen competitive play.
Dead Reckoning includes the following competitive cards: Hailstorm, Inquisitor's Blade, Ripknife Assassin, Hooru Pacifier, Equivocate, and In Cold Blood.
Into Shadows includes the following competitive cards: Vara Vengeance Seeker, Cauldron Cookbook, Telut Queens Hand, Poaching Drake and Azindel Revealed.
Homecoming includes these strong cards: Casualties of the Cause, Gunrunner, Glasshopper, Silverwing Courier, Stormhalt Knife, Bear Guard Bayonet, Honor of Claws, Desecrate, Korovyat Palace, Vargo Redclaw and Severin, the Mad Mage.
Spending Your Shiftstones
Eternal is very generous, but everyone needs a starter deck to begin getting those sweet rewards. I recommend only crafting cards once you have set out for a specific deck, and otherwise hold back on crafting, in case you open up more good cards. It's also worth noting that you get 5 free dual-faction decks as a beginner. You will get a special quest every 3 days, which rewards you with one of the following decks:
If you are looking for more advanced decks, I've got you covered. The cheapest decks are aggressive ones, and here is a list of decks I built containing only cards of common or uncommon rarity:
Budget Rakano Aggro
Budget Stonescar Grenadin Rally
Budget Combrei Aggro
Budget Feln Scream
And if you happen to have a bit bigger budget I recommend checking out Sunyveils Budget Deck Guide.
I hope this article helped you that and you are able to enjoy Eternal as much as I do. If you have any more questions, feel free to ask me or anybody else in the #beginner-question channel of the Eternal Discord. Have fun and may the heart of the cards be with you!