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PvP

From Mabinogi Duel Wiki

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PvP (Player versus Player) arena is considered as the most skillful and most diverse arena in Mabinogi Duel. Here you can duel other players live around the globe.

So far there are three different PvP arenas in the game. The most common one is the PvP Arena itself. But occassionally there are certain Event Arenas, that also follow the PvP format - sometimes with somewhat altered rules. The latest PvP arena addition is the Master Class Duel.


Facts
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Starting Days: Monday, Wednesday, Friday

Duration: 2 days

Max. no. of matches per day: unlimited

Full streak limit: 15

Number of decks: up to 3

You can register up to three decks in this arena. In contrast to PvE arenas, these three deck have joined points, a joined rank and therefore joined rewards, once the arena is over. A PvP arena usually lasts over the course of 2 days. Since the matches against other players are live duels, there is also a time limit for each turn. Another difference to PvE Arenas is, that a deck will lose points if the players loses a match with it.

Optimum streak length to reach platinum: 11

Top 10 decks: PvP Arena link (replace '147' with the number of the season you are looking for)


Rank tiers
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Rank range Points needed rewards per deck
Boosters Tickets Gems Gold
Champion individual 4x Latest Set 2x Daily Mutant Draft

2x Daily Mutant Mission

1x 20% discount on any booster

3x prerelease

1x Veteran arena entry

150 15.239
Top 10 individual 3x Latest Set 2x Daily Mutant Draft

2x Daily Mutant Mission

1x 20% discount on any booster

3x prerelease

1x Veteran arena entry

90 7.619
Platinum 1800 3x Latest Set 2x Daily Mutant Draft

2x Daily Mutant Mission

1x 20% discount on any booster

2x prerelease

1x Veteran arena entry

60 7.619
Gold 600 1x Latest Set 1x Daily Mutant Draft

1x Daily Mutant Mission

1x 10% discount on any booster

2x prerelease

1x Veteran arena entry

20 952
Silver 300 1x Latest Set 1x 10% discount on any booster

1x prerelease

10 476
Bronze 0 none 1x 10% discount on any booster 0 0


Popular Archetypes
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tbd

go to this forum thread for classic pvp archetypes

or check the Top 10 decks


Key Differences to PvE
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[The following is mostly taken from Lexar's forum PvP guide and just updated with nerfed and new cards]

Transitioning from AI (PvE) matches to live PvP can be an intimidating process. The following tries to cover the major differences you'll find with these formats and explain the key points of strategy you'll have to understand in order to succeed.


Time Limit

While there's not a set timer for each turn, you'll quickly notice that the game forces a constant pace by punishing slow or inactive play. If you take too long, then the AI will choose a move for you at random, and since one wrong move most often will cost you the match, it's important to stay on top of this. Always make sure to plan you responses out in advance to keep this from happening.


The Meta is Different

Because the AI is very efficient with certain cards (Alby Stone Golem, Goblin Bomb Squad, Skeleton Knight, etc.) and clumsy at best with others (Cocoon of Evolution, Counter Spell, Book of Knowledge), you'll notice that decks in the AI format tend to be very low risk and defensive in nature. Live players however will use decks that punish passive play. A perfect example is when a deck is based around the card Ultimate: Gates of Hell

This card will resurrect all creatures from all graveyards and put them into play onto your opponent's battlefield. Since this card costs 14-16 dark resources, you have a few turns to rush in a win, but if they get the spell off before then then it's likely game over. Develop an understanding of when decks rely on cards like this for their win condition. You can usually tell by their deck name, such as Double Persona Nao or Doom Machine: Core.


Mind Games

At high level play you'll start to see that this game requires a great understanding of psychological warfare. Be aware of the mind games your opponent is playing. Did they discard a card for apparently no reason? Check to see what type of resource they gained; if it was a mana, they likely just prepped a Counter Spell. You can trigger it out with a low cost spell (even against illogical targets, such as using Magic Missile on a friendly creature), and then follow up with the spell you really wanted to cast.

Maybe your opponent is playing very passively. Well that can be an indication of what kind of cards they have in their deck. They may be saving their resources for a big finisher, or they may only have defensive creatures and they're waiting to counterplay you. The opposite also holds true, if they are playing a lot of creatures at level 1, or a Phantom of the Wolf, they likely have a very aggressive deck, and you need to keep up in tempo or you risk being rushed down. 

Taking things a step further, players will at times play counter intuitive to the design of their deck to bait you into a trap. For example, some aggressive decks will play passive, punish you with Ambush after you play your creatures, and then rush you down afterwards. I'll detail a number of these mind games below as I explain the finer strategic points of live PvP.


Strategy
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Gaining Advantage
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There are five main resources in this game for you to keep track of: Cards, Resources, Turns, Health and Experience. Gaining advantage over your opponent with any of these resources starts with deck building. Deciding what type of deck you want to build is based on the type of resource you'd like to maintain advantage of. The best way I can think to explain this is to list an example of a card that provides each.


Cards

Card Thief. A low stat creature that forces your opponent to dicard a card when it dies. While, on average, you'll gain card advantage when you play this (your opponent will likely use one card to remove it, and lose another card after it dies), you'll still fall behind in resources because this creature is inefficient for its low stats. For 3 - 5 resources, you could instead have a creature with enough defense + health to survive a 2 resource spell. The loss on these stats is called opportunity cost.

All well balanced cards will have an opportunity cost. As a counter example, I'll list a few cards that are currently overtuned at the end of this section.


Resources

Great Harvest. Grants both players 2 resources (scales with level). The downside is immediately apparent, since you spend a resource to cast the spell, you have a net gain in resource less than what your opponent gains. You also fall behind in card and turn advantage, because you spend one of each in playing this.

You therefore have to expect that the advantage of your small resource gain will outweigh all those collective losses. You can only justify including this card in your deck then if you have other cards which would help you make up for those losses, such as Gates of Hell (mentioned above) or Holy Spear. As a result, this card is prototypical of a mind game card, as your opponent may feel tempted to quickly spend their newfound resources, when in reality they'd only be playing into your trap.


Turns

Hidden Spider. Discarding this card gives you one nature resource, and summons a creature with low stats automatically whenever your opponent casts a spell. Essentially, you're using a turn in the present that has low strategic value, to gain a free turn later on that has high strategic value. Unlike the other card examples, I feel this requires a little further explanation to fully appreciate.

The best use of this is to discard this card on a turn where you don't have an ideal play and would've rolled a charge otherwise, and then follow up by baiting out a board wipe (like Firewall) from your opponent. Play a card like Elf Hero Tris, and your opponent will have spent one more resource than you, and you now have a creature come onto you board that can immediatly attack your next turn. An added bonus, is that Hidden Spider continues to summon itself indefinitrly as long as you have sufficient resources, and your opponent continues to use spells to remove it. Infinite free turns!

The downside (cost) is that your opponent can use this mechanic against you to drain your nature resource by repeatably killing it. Also, the card may trigger unexpectedly if it's not properly planned.


Health

Arrow of Revenge. Very simple example, you spend a card and resources to deal direct damage to your opponent's health. This is a well designed card as it rewards an aggressive playstyle by doing more damage when you have a lot of cards in your graveyard. Since the intended use is to burn through your opponent's health pool as fast aa possible, it makes sense that you'd want to put it in a deck with cards that give immediate results, with an opportunity cost of being weak in the late game.


Experience

Book of Knowledge. Another easy example, you spend a turn to gain experience instead. Since the card gives back resource as well, it's really just paying for itself (with diminishing returns if you're already level 2, since it nets a loss of one resource then).


After understanding those examples it should become apparent that since there's almost always an opportunity cost, you're best off focusing your deck around maintaining advantage over just one or two specific resources. Tempo decks favor cards and resources, aggro decks favor health, control decks favor turns, and combo or trigger decks favor experience (the faster they can execute their combo or pull their trigger the better).


Here are some cards that provide advantage, with relatively zero downside.

  • Wild Boar - Health gain, net resource gain (your opponent will usually spend more resources trying to remove it than what it cost you). No real downside. -> nerfed
  • Goblin Bomb Squad - Net resource gain. This card will almost always kill something more expense than itself, it's health also outscales most damage spells.
  • Holy Missile - Net resource gain. This will one shot most dark creatures at any level, even expensive ones, and it does more damage than Magic Missile at level 3.


Hopefully it makes more sense now why these cards are in almost every AI deck.

[Add from sicut: Actually, Holy Missile is not that good in the hands of the AI, because it doesn't differentiate between a Light creature and a Dark one. This results in the AI firing a Holy Missile on Light creatures, too.]


Deck Building
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Once you've decided what type of deck you want to build, you now need to take two things into consideration, your resource curve and your answer cards. Since this is an advanced guide I'll only explain these briefly, and then dive into how they specifically relate to Mabinogi Duel (MD).


Think of your resource curve as your deck's ability to reliably play cards at every stage of the game. If you can't play any cards early on you'll lose to aggro decks. If you have no good options late game then you'll lose to everything else. Your answer cards are your solutions to crisis situations, some of which are more common than others. To explain how these concepts relate within MD, I'll detail the average card survivability values by level.


Level 1

Since you start the game with 2 of one resource, and gain 1 of each resource every turn, you can only reliably play cards that cost 1-2 resource during the first phase of the game. 1 resource creatures generally will have at most 4-5 durability (health + defense total). Likewise, 1 resource spells like Magic Missile and Holy Missile will deal 4-5 damage. 2 resource creatures usually have 5-9 durability, while 2 resource spells do between 8-14 damage, scaling faster.


As a result, winning the early game becomes a dance of how efficiently you can kill or play creatures according to their resource cost, but regardless of their stats, all cards come with their advantages and disadvantages. Even the likes of Goblin Bomb Squad can give you a net loss if it's removed with a level 1 Magic Missile. To detail how this all works, I'll compare the creatures Mercenary and Elf, Light +1.


They both cost two light resource, both have 4 attack, but Elf, Light +1 has literally twice the durability. The reason it's not flatout superior however is that it can't be played on turn 1, and since both cards survive a Magic Missile, yet both die to cards like Hunt, it becomes clear that they both have their situational uses. Mercenary tends to be used offensively since it can come out right away, and Elf, Light +1 tends to be used defensively since it's a great play if you start second.


Level 2

The doors swing wide open here. Some combo decks such as the Magician Juhr + Dragon Lapark combo deck are able to reliably play cards with dramatically increased durability and attack earlier than most people could expect. This is where answer cards come into play. Since fast played Finisher cards will be too much for your Magic Missiles or your Hunts to handle, you may need to include a card that can neutralize a creature regardless of that creature's strength.


Drag to Death for example will kill one creature on both sides of the board. Cocoon of Evolution will turn even the fiercest dragon into a 5 durability cocoon, easy to slay. Due to these interactions and more, gameplay really starts to open up at level 2. Your deck needs to be tailored around pressing a specific win condition, while nullifying your opponent's by including a proper range of answer cards.


Level 3

The outcome of the endgame is usually decided by the defining cards of your deck. If your opponent's deck is called Firewall, it's likely they expect to beat you by gaining resource advantage over you by landing the clutch board clear. Don't fall into their gameplan, avoid putting more creatures into play at a time than you have to. If you see them start to accumulate a lot of mana then start playing more conservatively, or discard a Counter Spell.


Which brings us full circle. If you haven't been playing constant threats throughout the game then your opponent is likely holding onto the same Holy Missile from level one. For three light resource they can then bait out your Counter Spell, and follow up with their Firewall, likely killing everything you have in play. That is of course unless you're using creatures that can survive the 19 damage a level 3 Firewall delivers, then back into the dance of gaining resource advantage we go, which brings us to our next point.


Outmaneuvering [tbd]
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tbd


Reading Opponents [tbd]
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tbd

deck choices, discarded grave spells, amassing resources in certain colors


Setting Traps [tbd]
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tbd

keyword: Misteltein

discarded grave spells

General Tips [tbd][edit | edit source]

2 days, 15 streak maximum (?), no limits on match count

it is random, which player gets the first turn