Author: Joseph Melendez

STRATEGY: CARD ADVANTAGE

STRATEGY: CARD ADVANTAGE

What is card advantage?

Today I’ll be covering the important strategy topic of card advantage. In FourCuatro, “card advantage” refers to the number of cards you have in your hand compared to the number of cards in your opponent’s hand.

If you have 6 cards in your hand and your opponent has 3, you are ahead on card advantage. When you play ORACLE, you lose one card from your hand (the ORACLE) and replace it with two cards, so you are gaining card advantage.

Spell: ORACLE – Draw two cards.

Cards like EMBER, however, do not provide any benefit in terms of card advantage, because you have the same number of cards in your hand after you play the EMBER as you did before.

Spell: EMBER – Draw a card. Your opponent burns a card.

 

Why is card advantage important?

Card advantage is the most important strategic concept to be aware of when you’re trying to succeed in FourCuatro, because the player with card advantage receives enormous strategic benefits over their opponent.

The core benefit of card advantage is that the player with card advantage has more options. When you decide what card to play on your turn, you look at the cards in your hand and decide which one you think will help you the most.

Since you are making decisions with the goal of helping yourself win the game, having more ability to influence the outcome of the game directly increases your chances of winning.

As another way to think about this concept, if you make the best play that you can out of 6 cards in hand, that’s going to be better on average than if you make the best play that you can out of 3 cards in hand.

Arguably the most important aspect of card advantage is that it has a snowball effect.

Because you have more cards in your hand, you have a higher probability of having cards that will give you even more card advantage, creating a self-perpetuating spiral of advantage for you.

 

What are some ways to get card advantage?

The main card advantage tools in FourCuatro are spells that draw you more than one card. ORACLE and SPARK OF GENIUS, for example, leave you with one more card in hand than before you played them.

HARMONY and PAINFUL AWARENESS leave you with 2 more cards than you had previously.

Spell: HARMONY – Draw three cards. Refresh up to two of your exhausted mana sources.

You can also achieve card advantage more offensively by removing cards from your opponent’s hand with MENTAL ASSAULT, which leaves you with one fewer card (because you used the MENTAL ASSAULT) but leaves your opponent with 2 fewer cards in hand.

Another interactive way to gain card advantage is to focus your trap cards on your opponent’s strong card advantage tools.

For example, if your opponent plays HARMONY and you stop it with OUTPLAY, then instead of your opponent turning one card into 3, you each lose one card – instead of falling behind by 2 cards, you maintain the same advantage or disadvantage you had previously.  Similarly, If you use DRAG DOWN to make your opponent discard their HARMONY, then you remove their ability to use that HARMONY to gain card advantage.

Spell: DRAG DOWN – Your opponent reveals their hand. You choose a card from it and your opponent discards it.

 

When is card advantage NOT important?

While card advantage is a very important concept in FourCuatro strategy and you almost always keep it in mind, there are some situations where card advantage should not be your primary focus.

Near the end of a game of FourCuatro, when many cards have been burnt, burning cards becomes more important than drawing, because that’s how games are actually won or lost.

In FourCuatro, there is an inherent drawback to having lots of cards in your hand, because each additional card in your hand is one fewer card your opponent has to burn to win the game (cards in your deck and discard pile combined, or your “health” as a colloquial term).

Because of this, players are forced to cinder many of the cards that they draw during the late game anyway, in order to ensure that they have enough health to survive the opponent’s next turn.

However, until the game comes down to that, skilled players tend to arm themselves with card advantage.

Introduction

Introduction

Howdy! I’m Joseph Melendez, FourCuatro’s designer/developer. I was born in Texas, and I now study mathematics at the University of Texas at Dallas. I’ve been a passionate gamer for as long as I can remember. My favorite games to play when I’m not playing or working on FourCuatro include Hearthstone, Magic: The Gathering, Ascension, Overwatch, and Path of Exile.
My group of friends is mostly composed of serious, competitive gamers. I wanted a game that we could enjoy, but that I could also play with less-experienced, more casual gamers, like my younger sister or my cousins. I decided to make my own game, which had been my dream for as long as I could remember. I didn’t originally intend to sell the game; I created FourCuatro because I wanted to play it.
The purpose of this blog will be to connect with FourCuatro players. I look forward to discussing strategy in FourCuatro ranging from broad topics like card advantage to the tiniest, most detailed decisions. When I can, I hope to share information about new cards and upcoming expansions! I’ll also touch on other games that I play, what I like about them, and game design concepts that I find interesting.