Before you head out on this amazing journey, it’s good to know how the combat in this game works. We would recommend playing the Battle Tutorial first to gather knowledge about the many unique combat mechanics that are in the game. If you’re feeling confident enough, you can skip it. Nonetheless, this article will provide you with a nice summary to get you started. So without further ado, let’s get into it.
Combat in Trials of Fire is simple on the surface, but has many layers of complexity behind it. In combat, each Hero has their own deck of cards, which they can use to move and attack enemies, or aid your fellow Heroes. Cards in your initial deck are based on the Skill Cards of your Hero, which are quite basic. Unlike other card games, Trials of Fire builds its cards into the equipment you wear, acting both as a buff to your Hero’s health while also improving the deck. As you collect new gear, your deck will vastly improve.
To win a battle, you simply have to defeat all the enemies on the battlefield by reducing their health to zero. Ideally, you want to do this without losing any of your Heroes, which is tricky in higher difficulties. If a Hero falls, they will remain injured until they are healed. With that being said, let’s go more in-depth regarding the combat mechanics.
As previously mentioned, your Heroes have each their own versatile Skill Cards. To either move around with on the battlefield, defeat your foes with or defend yourself when needed. And you are the chosen one that is pulling the strings, how cool is that? Skill Cards serve as your available actions and also the resources you will need to pay for those actions. To recognize which Skill Cards your Heroes have, colors have been given to match the Skill Cards with the counter of your Hero on the battlefield. Using them is easy, you can hover them to find out what they do and then click and drag from the card within your hand to an appropriate target (unless the card is a Block card, targets a wide area, or affects all Heroes or enemies). Once you have played your cards out, you can end your turn. Then its up to your enemies to take their turn to fight back and vice versa.
Remember when I mentioned cards being built into gear? Well, by equipping good quality weapons and items, your Heroes can gain a number of Redraws, or mulligans, which can be used in each battle. Redraws can be used to replace cards in your hand during a single turn by swapping those cards for an equal number from your deck. Redraws have many uses. Sometimes, you’re looking for a card to synergise with your fellow Heroes or finish off an enemy. Perhaps you need to move out of danger. Or, you can use them to replace Weakness cards in your hand with useful Skill Cards. Similar to other card games, redraws of this kind are used to give you more options during a single turn.
During your turn, you will be given at least 3 fresh cards from your deck, but this can vary depending on various factors.
So, what now? To act in combat, you require Willpower (let’s think of it as Mana). This can be obtained by recycling the cards you have using the Recycle Shrine, or with various other Hero abilities. You can recycle cards by either dragging them to the Shrine or by right-clicking on them. Recycling a card will add one Willpower to the Shrine, which any Hero can use. Be aware, though, that this can also be used to move Heroes two spaces, so you must choose wisely. A card’s current Willpower cost is displayed at the top right, while your available Willpower is displayed in the Recycle Shrine.
Because your Willpower has multiple purposes, the trick to playing Trials of Fire effectively is optimising the Willpower you use each turn to deal the most damage to your enemy while moving or protecting your Heroes. If you decide to not use the Willpower points for more powerful Action Cards or movement, then your Hero can gain 2 Defence. This blocks 2 of your opponents damage during their turn.
Melee, Ranged and Magic Attacks
Combat in Trials of Fire takes place on a grid of hexagonal spaces, which Heroes and enemies can interact with for attacks and movement. Depending on your Hero, your focus will be on Melee attacks, which you can execute from within one space of an enemy, or Ranged attacks, which you can use from farther away – as long as the enemy is within line of sight. You can see this by hovering over your Hero and looking at the eye symbols that display above your enemies. Magic attacks, lastly, are quite varied, but they can be quite devastating. They can be used from many different locations, so our best advice here is to try them out for yourself.
While you can be very self-centered and use your Heroes apart from each other, sometimes teamwork is the right call because this allows you to use Combo Strikes for extra damage. In order to do this, you need to position multiple Heroes adjacent to the same enemy for melee attacks. Once executed, Heroes other than the attacker will deal 1 point of additional damage per Combo Strike (up to two). Because enemies can move around quite efficiently, setting up Combo Strikes can be tricky. Friendly Heroes that can execute a Combo Strike will be highlighted with a yellow glow. However, a Friendly Hero cannot perform a Combo Strike if they are adjacent to more than a single enemy. In that case, your attack is highlighted with a red glow.
Just like Superman and Spider-Man, our Heroes also have their own Powers. Think of the Powers as on-going bonuses. And while the Powers of Superman are always active, such as incredible strength and impervious skin, each Power in Trials of Fire has its own health (or Resilience) that is reduced whenever that Hero takes damage. Thus, when the card’s Resilience is depleted, the Power will be discarded.
While our Heroes have their Skill Cards and Powers to assist them against the enemy, they also have their own natural talents. These Talents are once-per-turn abilities that will trigger automatically under certain circumstances. You can mouse over your Hero to check their Talent and try to make the most use of your Talents during your turn. The gem underneath a Hero’s portrait indicates whether their talent can still be triggered during that turn.
Named Effects are on-going effects that can help or hinder characters in battles. They are shown in card descriptions in bold, such as Burning and Exposed. While all Named Effects have a unique disadvantage or benefit, they all follow the same basic rules. The first rule is that a Named Effect will last until the end of the affected character’s turn. The second rule is that applying the same Named Effect more than once will not double up the effect, but will increase the duration so it may last longer than a single turn. While active, named effects are displayed as icons on the top-right of the affected character.
Elite Enemies and Bosses
Yes indeed, you heard it correctly. In this game you can encounter aside of the standard enemies, also Elite Enemies and Bosses. While the Elite Enemies are generally tougher and more dangerous than standard enemies, Boss enemies are the toughest enemies you will face. A single Boss will be a match for your entire party! Important here is that, Elite Enemies and Bosses have a unique and dangerous ability that you should look out for when fighting them. There is a lot more when it comes to your enemies, but you will have to play the game yourself in order to find out. And while you fight your way to victory in these battles, you can level your Heroes by doing so. When you level up, you get the chance to switch a card from your Hero’s deck with a new card. If you don’t want to change a card from your deck then you don’t have to. Simple as that.
Lastly, by successfully completing a battle, your Heroes will level up, allowing them one of two benefits:
- You can upgrade one of the current Skill Cards in your deck.
- You can add a new card to your deck from a choice of four.
Your Heroes will also become stronger as a result of this.