Wildfrost is a new tactical deckbuilder and card game developed by Deadpan Games and published by Chucklefish. With roguelike elements, this challenging title is not easy, especially for those just picking up the game for the first time. With a vast array of different kinds of cards, three distinct clans, and a Charm system, it’s understandable if you’re having trouble wrapping your head around it all, which is why we’ve developed this Wildfrost starter guide that will explain everything you need to know.
Wildfrost Starter Guide
In Wildfrost, players enter a campaign, otherwise known as a “Run,” and try to make it as far as possible. It’s up to the player to find card and ability synergies to get as far as they can. Players start with a combination of attacking cards, companion cards, and buff cards that they can use in combination to defeat enemy cards.
In Wildfrost, players will start a run by selecting the Leader Select icon in town. Once you’ve selected a leader, you’ll need to select a pet and face your first Battle by clicking the Battle icons on the map. The gameplay loop entails Battle, Loot, Battle. During the loot portion of the game, you can unlock new card companions, buffs, and attacks. Your ultimate goal is to get as far as you can without having your Leader die.
This guide will walk you through the following concepts:
- Wildfrost Interface
- Wildfrost Card Overview
- Choose Your Leader
- Selecting Your Pet
- How to Play
- What Items Should I Get in Wildfrost?
When you first hop into the game, it will take you through a short tutorial which is also your first run. Upon completing the journey, you’ll gain access to your town, which you’ll use to discover new cards, view quests, or complete daily missions.
Each building is locked behind missions you need to complete to use. Click the building to view your missions. Buildings unlock unique cards that will be added to your deck.
The buildings in your village in Wildfrost include:
- Icebreaker Cabin: Adds new events on your map.
- The Inventor’s Hut: Unlocks new inventor cards you can find on each run.
- Hot Springs: Unlocks new Companion cards that you can find in your run.
- The Tribe Hall: Enables you to view your unlocked Tribes and see missions to unlock new tribes. There are 3 tribes in total.
- Leader Select: Select your Leader and start your run.
- The Pet House: A collection of Pet Companions you’ve unlocked.
- Daily Voyage: A daily challenge where players aim for a high score using a pre-set deck.
Wildfrost Card Overview
Each card in Wildfrost can be broken down into 5 total components that include:
- Card Name: Every card has a unique name.
- Health Points (HP)
- Attack Power: The amount of damage the card does when it attacks.
- Buff: A passive that alters the card’s attack.
- Attack Cooldown: Indicates how many turns it takes for the card to attack.
The Attack Cooldown number at the bottom of the card indicates how many turns it takes for that card to attack. When the number reaches 1, the attack will occur in the next turn, and the Attack Power will indicate the damage done. Cards will automatically attack the front card in the same row unless a buff or ability alters it.
If your companions reach 0 HP in a fight, they will be injured and will start the next Battle with diminished HP. This can be remedied by keeping them alive in a subsequent battle.
Choose Your Leader
Players are given the choice of 3 Leaders they can use. Your Leader card will always be the first card played, and if your Leader HP gets reduced to 0, you lose and have to restart your run.
At first, you’ll only have Leaders from the Snowdwellers clan, but as you play the game and complete missions, you’ll also unlock Shademancers and Clunkmasters, which all come with their own unique card types.
Players should select a leader if they prefer certain Clan cards or choose a leader that best suits their playstyle. If you’re having trouble deciding on who to choose at first, select leaders with high HP and durability buffs to improve your survivability. Eventually, you’ll better understand the buffs and debuffs on each card and can pick a Leader around your intended playstyle.
Select Your Pet
Players start with the Snoof card from the Snowdwellers, which is actually quite a powerful card that comes with 3 HP and 3 Attack, as well as applying Snow x1 to enemies it attacks. With a 3-turn cooldown, you can place this card at the back of your row for consistent damage and crowd control. The Snow ability freezes the card another turn and can stack — delaying the number of turns it will take for that card to attack.
Later, you’ll also unlock Booshu, Loki, Sneezle, and more pets as you complete the missions at The Pet House. Each card has its positives and negatives, and selection will, again, come down to what kind of card synergies you are looking for.
How to Play
The first card you’ll play every run is your Leader Card. Eventually, you can obtain a Crown to play 2 cards at the start of each Battle. Here are a few steps you can use to keep your cards alive and go far in Wildfrost:
- Each Clan has a different basic attack card, which you can play to inflict direct damage to enemy cards.
- Play Companion Cards first unless you have a reason not to. The faster you get Companions on the board, the quicker their attack cooldown hits 0.
- Hit the Redraw bell when it’s fully charged to get a free Redraw. Avoid using it otherwise unless the cards you dealt are unplayable, so you don’t lose a turn for redrawing.
- Keep an eye out on the enemy card Attack Cooldown. Look at the Attack Power, and you can calculate how much damage the next turn will do to the front card in the row.
- When a row is empty, cards will attack the first card in the other row.
- Keep an eye out for enemy cards with a damage multiplier effect. For instance, some cards can gain 1 Attack Power each time they are hit — making targeting them with low-level attacks ineffective.
- Click and drag damaged companion cards to your Played Card deck to prevent them from dying and to heal them without losing a turn. It would be best if you do this most of the time unless you’re intentionally using them to defend a card behind it.
- Take your time and calculate how much damage you will do and how much damage you will take. There are no bonuses for completing battles faster, so it’s best to think things through.
- Look for card synergies. Some cards will enhance the usefulness of other cards, and these are the combinations you should be looking for. For instance, you can find a card that gains Attack Power via Junk, then find a card that automatically produces Junk. These two cards will work together for exponentially better results.
Wildfrost is not an easy game, and as you die and keep playing runs, you’ll unlock new cards that will make each run just a little easier. Don’t get discouraged if you die often — it’s in the design of the game. Also, make sure to take heed of Card buffs, as these will be critical to you the further you get on each run.
Best Items in Wildfrost
In Wildfrost, players will get a looting period after each Battle to upgrade and add new cards to their deck. Players are given 2 paths and can decide which one to take.
The icons on the map include:
- Treasure: These chests provide non-companion cards for your deck.
- Blingsnail Cave: These provide you with gold, which can be used later at a vendor for new cards and upgrades.
- Frozen Travellers: These crystals will provide you with more companion cards.
- Charm: These give you Charms, which are used to enhance a specific card in your deck.
- Vendors: Places where you can use your gold.
Later, players will also gain access to locations to remove or add cards to their deck — as well as other locations via the Icebreaker Cabin. Check out the structure in town if you want to unlock more locations on your map.
As far as the question of, “what path should I take in Wildfrost?” the answer is — early on, you will want to fill your companion card roster. We suggest going down paths that include Treasure or Frozen Companions in the beginning, then targeting Charms and Blingsnail caves to enhance your cards once you have a build you like.
At first, you’ll be capped at 3 companions, including your Pet, so you should avoid Frozen Travellers if you are filled up and like your build. Eventually, you’ll be able to unlock Trinkets that give you more Companion Card slots, but that will come later.
Ultimately, Wildfrost is a pretty hard roguelike card game that will continue to challenge you, regardless of how OP you think your card setup is. Some of the game, like others in the genre, feel a bit RNG, but those times when you get the exact cards you want feels satisfying. If you follow the tenants of this guide, you should be able to get past at least the third battle in the game.
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