Beginner’s Guide to Warhammer Champions

Welcome, aspiring Champions, to the Beginner’s Guide! Are you a brand new player looking to get into the game? Someone just starting out and feeling a little lost? Or maybe just curious if there’s anything you’ve missed in this great game? Then this is the page for you! We’re going to cover a lot of information and, hopefully, give you the tools you need to become a true Champion in your own right.

Table of Contents

Legend
[P] = Intended for players interested in the Physical game
[D] = Intended for players interested in the Digital game


Getting Started

Downloading the App [P][D]

The app is available to download on Android and iOS devices using their respective stores, listed as “Warhammer Champions“. Starting February 19th, Champions is also coming to PC & Mac on Steam and the Switch version is being released in March. You can download the Steam version here after it goes live. Even as a purely physical player, you might be interested in downloading the app as a way to catalogue your collection and keep up with Champions news and updates.

Campaign Decks [P]

Campaign decks are a collection of decks intended to get new players started playing the game with a particular Grand Alliance (Chaos, Death, Destruction and Order). Each deck contains 30 Actions (a mix of Units, Abilities and Spells), 4 Champions and 4 Blessings (including 1 Campaign Deck exclusive Blessing per deck!), along with a Booster pack (more on those later) and a Play Mat (which isn’t strictly necessary, but is invaluable for learning and playing the game in my opinion). The decks are relatively balanced against each other and are a good starting point, but not as refined as a custom-built deck would be. 

You can find the decklists for each of the Campaign decks below to see what looks right for you:

Starter Decks [D]

Starter decks are essentially the Digital equivalent of Campaign decks and come with the standard 30 Actions, 4 Champions and 4 Blessings setup for a legal deck. You win these decks by playing against AI opponents using those decks, after choosing one to start with. This is almost identical to how Lightseekers, PlayFusion’s other game, works.

These decks have similar cards to the physical Campaign Decks, without the physical-exclusive Blessings and some other small card changes, primarily the free Starters lack any rares whatsoever. Just like the Campaign decks, these are decently balanced against each other, but not as powerful or refined as a custom-built deck.

You can find the decklists for each of the Starter decks below to see what looks right for you:


Learning How To Play

Now that you’ve got your Campaign deck, or are just starting out trying to earn your digital Starter Decks, you’re going to need to know how to play! While we aren’t going to go over the nitty-gritty rules here, thankfully there are plenty of resources to help you get into your first few games. To start with, I’d definitely take a look at the Tutorial videos put out by PlayFusion themselves as they do a great job introducing the game’s various aspects, then dive into the Comprehensive Rules as you have questions (or before attending a physical tournament!)

Tutorial Videos

  1. Introduction
  2. Deckbuilding
  3. Placement Phase
  4. Action Phase
  5. Tips

Comprehensive Rules

https://www.warhammerchampions.com/rules/

NOTE: Another great way to learn is to watch others playing the game! Check out the Warhammer Champions page on Twitch or search Warhammer Champions on YouTube to watch other players and see how they play!

General Tips

  1. ABQ – Always Be Questing: One of the main keys to winning games is to advance your Quests (completing the corners of your Champions) as efficiently as possible so you can “flip” (reveal and play) as many of your powerful Blessings as possible. Ideally, you want to try and complete 1 or more Quests on at least 1 Champion per turn if possible.

    Some ways to do this can include: positioning Champions that need that have Remove corners across from Champions that require multiple Units, making sure you have a good ratio of Units, Spells and Abilities to complete the Quests of your Champions and identifying which Champions you are most likely to Quest and focusing on them during the game.

  2. Read All of the Card: A common mistake when you first play is not knowing what gets effected by what on a card. Cards like Reckless Juggernaut say they “Remove a highlighted Unit.” The thing to pay attention to is that in this case, the highlighted Units are your own Units, as indicated by the symbols in the bottom-middle of the card’s rules text. This is especially true in Chaos as they have a theme of Removing their own Units.

    Other cards, like Ancient Skeleton have an effect that triggers upon being Removed. However, a card on a “X” corner are considered “inactive,” essentially having no text (outside of “Enters Play” effects). This means that an Ancient Skeleton Removed on it’s first corner (an X) will be Removed as normal.

    Always read every new card you come across, and make sure to look at each part of the card (corners, text and highlights) so you’ll know what to expect and plan for. Speaking of which….

  3. Think Ahead: Due to the Rotation system the game employs, you should always be trying to look ahead at least 1-2 turns from now when deciding what to play. Cards with 3-4 corners will occupy a Lane for a long time compared to a 1-2 corner card, or a Unit with Stacking (which allows other Stacking Units to be played on top of them).

    This ties into #1 (Always Be Questing) as you can time out when Damage or Healing or Removal is being done on a future turn, playing out Abilities or new Units/Spells to propel you along. Being aware of what your opponent’s cards will do in 1-3 turn’s time means you can plan and react, so read each new card that comes up so you’ll know what’s coming your way. 

  4. Don’t Be Afraid To Pass The Turn: Unlike in many other card games, in Champions you do NOT get a free Draw at the beginning of your turn. In order to Draw new cards, you need to pass the turn with Actions available to you. Cards represent options, and an empty hand, or a hand with only a single card, has very few options indeed.

    By Thinking Ahead (#2) you can setup Units and Spells and have their natural rotations each turn complete Quests (#1) or otherwise advance your game plan (killing the opponent), leaving you with a chance to draw cards so you can react to your opponent’s play. When starting out, try to keep at least a few cards in hand (unless dumping your hand will help seal you the win, of course!)

    Knowing when to apply pressure, and knowing when to sit back and draw up some more cards, and thus options, is a skill you’ll get better at with experience.

  5. Ask Questions: The most important lesson of all is, when all else fails, don’t be afraid to ask questions. Whether that be some IRL who plays the game, asking on Reddit, or joining the Discord, sometimes the best way to learn is by asking someone else. Heraldors (judges & advocates for the game) and Vexillors (content creators, such as streamers) are there to help support the community and teach new people the ropes. 

Building Your Collection

So, now you have your Campaign or Starter deck, but you want to grow your collection and build out your own deck (or perhaps build an already-established deck). So what do you do?

Buying Booster Packs & Singles [P]

The simplest way to get new cards is to buy Booster Packs. Physical Booster Packs are sold at your Friendly Local Game Store (FLGS), either individually or as a Booster Box of 24. Each pack contains 13 cards broken down thusly:

  • 1 Guaranteed Foil (any rarity)
  • 1 Guaranteed Rare
  • 2 Champions/Blessings (mix of Champions and Blessings, any Rarity)
  • 3 Uncommons
  • 6 Commons

You can get anywhere between 1 and 4 Rares in any given pack, just depends on your luck! Physical Booster Packs are probably the best value in terms of purchases outside of the initial purchase of the Campaign decks.

As for Singles (individually purchasable cards on the secondary market), your best bet is to find a reputable site such as Queen City Gaming or a local equivalent as they can ensure that cards are Unclaimed (see below) and in good condition.

[D] Digital players, you still might want to purchase physical cards because of the next point….

Scanning Game Cards [P][D]

The most interesting part of Champion’s business model compared to other TCGs is the integration of Digital and Physical. Each card has a unique border on it (based on the black divots) that makes it scannable using the Scan Cards button on homepage of the official app. These cards, once scanned, become “Claimed.” Claimed cards automatically are added to your digital collection and are able to be “leveled.” 

Leveling a card is as simple as playing a digital game with a copy of that card in your deck and all your physical copies will accumulate experience and eventually level up. Upon level up, you gain bonus yellow currency (or ‘Gold’) that you can use to buy digital Booster Packs.

This gives Digital players an incentive to buy Physical cards and Boosters, and provides extra value for Physical players who might want to play digitally as well. Physical Booster Packs are generally superior value to digital Booster Packs, meaning buying and scanning cards is a better bang for your buck.

(For those interested in trading and selling cards, you can also Unclaim cards in order to trade cards to other players. To do this, simply Scan the card again and click the Unclaim button. You can also scan cards to ensure they aren’t already claimed before a trade.)

Scanning Special Boosters [D]

Probably one of the best things you can do as a new Digital player for building your collection is to take advantage of the Booster Card initiative. These special “Booster” cards are scannable in the app and after a certain number have been scanned, you receive either (FREE!) digital Booster Packs, eventually becoming digital War Chests (which contain a mix of cards and Collectables like Avatars, Card Backs and Play Mats for the app).

This is easy to do using the same Scan Cards button on the app homepage that you use to scan your play cards. Once you scan enough cards, you’ll receive your Loot that you can open in-app! This is a great way to build up your initial collection. 

The best part? You can do all this through pictures taken on the internet. Visit the following sites that have collections of Booster Cards and scan away!

Digital Currencies [D]

On the digital side of things, you can purchase, craft or otherwise acquire cards or Collectables (aesthetic items made up of Avatars, Card Backs and Play Mats) using a variety of currencies. The currencies are broken up into 3 different types:

  1. Gold– Basic in-app currency used to buy Booster Packs and a limited number of Collectables. Booster Packs typically cost 1000 Gold to purchase. Generally speaking, you cannot purchase Limited-Time “special” boosters with Gold, but you can purchase Alliance-specific Boosters for 1500 (up to 5 Boosters for each Alliance) to help build your collection.

    Completing in-game Missions (you can see the Mission button on the Home screen the app) typically reward 400-500 Gold, with Weekly Quests (unlocked by purchasing and scanning at least 1 card) rewarding 1200. You also receive Gold by winning matches (50 per win), or when cards level up (10 per card level).

  2. Gems – The premium currency. Gems can be used to purchase Booster Packs like Gold (typically 100 Gems per Booster Pack), but you’re also able to purchase Limited-Time Boosters and Glorious War Chests that appear on the store. You are also able to purchase Gem-only Play Mats that are unavailable otherwise.

    NOTE: Outside of seasonal Collectables, Limited-Time Boosters do not contain cards or cosmetics you can’t acquire elsewhere; they merely have different payouts (a No-Commons Booster has only Uncommons and Rares for instance). 

    You can acquire Gems either by purchasing them directly for cash (through your app store), or a small amount from completing Daily and Weekly Missions. You are also rewarded a scaling amount of Gems at the end of a Ranked season.

  3. Souls – The crafting currency. Souls are used to Create cards from scratch. You can view your Card collection by going to the Collection section of your app. From there, you can see all the cards you have or don’t have, how many you have (both physically and digitally) and how much they cost to Create (making another copy of) or Recycle (get a refund of Souls and destroying the card.)

    NOTE: You can only Recycle your Digital cards! Physical cards can only be Claimed/Unclaimed.

    Each card costs a certain amount based on the type of card and it’s rarity:
    – 2500: Campaign Deck Exclusive Blessings (150 Recycled)
    – 750: Rare Champions and Blessings (150 Recycled)
    – 500: Rare Units, Spells and Abilities (100 Recycled)
    – 375: Uncommon Champions and Blessings (40 Recycled)
    – 200: Uncommon Units, Spells and Abilities (25 Recycled)
    – 150: Common Champions and Blessings (15 Recycled)
    – 100: Common Units, Spells and Abilities (10 Recycled)
    – Collectables vary wildly depending on the type and rarity.

    Souls are acquired either by Recycling unneeded cards or receiving a duplicate Digital copy of a card or Collectable over the maximum (3 Units/Spells/Abilities, 2 non-Unique Champions, 1 Unique Champion/Blessing/Collectables), automatically receiving Souls equal to the amount you’d receive if it were recycled.

    You are also rewarded a scaling amount of Souls at the end of a Ranked season.


Extra Reading

Interested in learning more about the various Grand Alliances? Take a look at The Breakdown series of articles. There, we go over each Grand Alliance, their Major and Minor mechanics, their Tribes and general tips for playing them!


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Q: Can you mix Alliances when building a deck?
A: No. In all currently available formats, you choose to build your deck with a single Grand Alliance (Chaos, Death, Destruction or Order). You can also include “Unaligned” cards such as Tactical Formation or Mystic Shield, and Realm cards such as Fireball. Realm Spells and Blessings have an added restriction where each deck can only contain up to one (1) Realm’s cards. Example: You cannot play Flesh to Stone (a Ghyran card) in the same deck as Trials of Fire (an Aqshy card).

Q: Which way do cards rotate to go “Forward”? Backwards?
A: Cards always rotate counter-clockwise going Forwards and go clockwise when going Backwards.

Q: Do you trigger corners when you Restart a card?
A: No. A Restarted card rotates back to its first corner and triggers no corners except the corner it ends on.

Q: I just gained life but didn’t trigger my Life Gain quest! Why not?
A: If you are at 35 Life, you are unable to gain more Life and thus won’t trigger Life Gain quests.

Q: I just played Reckless Abandon in a lane with my Transmogrifying Flamer on it. It triggered his Last Stand and replaced him with a new unit, but Reckless Abandon didn’t do damage. Is this a bug?
A: You can’t trigger abilities that require a Remove (“Remove X to do Y”) if the card being Removed gets Replaced before the effect is completed. In this case, the Last Stand triggers before the card is Removed. Since the Last Stand replaced the card, the Remove is invalid and thus the damage condition is no longer met.

Q: A Unit was Deployed using War Chant and it triggered an extra time! Is this a bug?
A: When you deploy a Unit from War Chant to the RIGHT of the War Chant, it gets deployed (triggering any effects on the first corner), rotates forward, and then checks for instant effects (checking the second corner).

Once that is resolved, the game continues to check things in Standard Order (Left -> Right). It will check each other Spell/Unit between the War Chant and the deployed Unit, and then when it comes upon the Unit (since it was to the right of the War Chant, and thus after it in terms of Standard Order), it applies its instant effects again.

If you deploy the Unit the to the LEFT of the War Chant, it will have already passed over that spot in the Standard Rotation and thus won’t trigger a second time.