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Monster Train: Beginner Tips

Here's how to get started.

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About Ed Thorn

Ed will not rest until a new Wario Land is announced.

Monster Train is a strategic, deck building roguelike where you’ll fend off waves of enemies on three vertical battlegrounds. On this page we’ve put together a few tips to help those new to the game.

Monster Train sees you build a deck and fend off waves of enemies across three vertical spaces. The further you progress, the stronger your deck will become, but it all comes down to your decision making. Are you improving the right cards? Targeting the right units? Using the right spells? Paying attention to each keyword?

While Monster Train is simple to pick up and play, it’s definitely a game that requires some deep strategy if you want to defeat the final boss and ramp up the difficulty.

Below we’ve put together a few pointers to get you up and running right away.

Monster Train: Beginner Tips

When you first boot up the game, you’ll be thrust into a run without any prior warning. What happens here doesn’t really matter, so take the time to learn the rhythm of combat, and see how things work.

Once you’ve finished your very first run, you’ll get access to the menus, clan selection and more. You’ll only be able to choose two clans at the start, the Hellhorned and the Awoken. There are five clans in total which you’ll unlock as you progress, and you’re able to mix and match two of them for each run.

Your primary clan determines your champion card, a signature, powerful card that’s upgradeable throughout the run, and one which you’ll come to rely on heavily. Your secondary clan is largely supportive, offering you a specific playstyle to complement your primary pool of cards.

Enemies always attack first, unless... Enemies will always attack your right most unit first when combat starts. If this unit dies, then they’ll move onto the next one in line depending on when it fell.

Some cards and buffs you’ll find along the way may allow you to grant a unit “Quick”. This will give them the ability to attack first, before the enemy! We’ve found this to be particularly useful on units with “Sweep” (hits all enemy units on the floor) as it can clear out any pesky backline buffers before the action truly begins.

Position your units carefully. If you’ve got a unit which deals big damage but lacks in the health department, you’ll want to position them behind another unit. This will give them plenty of breathing room to get their attacks off safely, potentially getting stronger as time goes by and even buffing nearby allies if they survive.

Pay close attention to keywords. Sure, it goes without saying that you will want to keep an eye on what buffs and special abilities certain enemies will come equipped with. Still, this is a reminder not to let up on that front. Sometimes enemies will enter the fray with a keyword like “Stealth” or “Haste” which you might gloss over for a second, only to be totally wiped out by them a turn later.

Also, keep a close eye on 'weaker' enemies. Building on the point above, ensure you're not glossing over any enemies with seemingly low health. They might be vulnerable, but they'll almost certainly compensate for it with high damage output, or an infuriating keyword which can ruin your run if you're not careful.

Choose your path carefully. When you win a round in Monster Train, you'll get to choose one of two paths to tread. Along each path you'll find different rewards, like extra money to spend in stores, Artifacts to buff your setup, and shops where you can spend your gold to upgrade your units or spells. Make sure you take the time to consider which path will benefit your deck and overall situation the most.

If you're hoarding a tonne of gold, for example, make sure you're not wasting it by injecting some of those funds into buffing your units - or spells, if you're more of a spellcaster.

Upgrade your Train Stewards. For some advanced strategies this may not count, but for casual players just starting out, we'd highly recommend spending some of your hard earned cash on increasing your Train Stewards' health and damage. While they'll likely never reach the dizzying heights of your other minions, it'll make sure they're not just cannon fodder, but units which can hold their own on a floor.

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