Urban Rivals is a massively-multiplayer online (MMO) browser-based card game, similar to traditional trading card games such as Magic: The Gathering and Legend of the Five Rings. Your goal in Urban Rivals is to collect as many cards as you can, and use them to defeat your opponents. The following is a guide to help you grasp the finer details of the game, and put you on the way to becoming an Urban Rivals champion!
In Urban Rivals, there are four different game formats to play in. Each of the formats has rules regarding deck construction and gameplay. The Type 1 and Type 2 formats are differentiated by the number of "stars" or character points allowed in your deck. Type 1 decks allow a maximum of 25 stars, while Type 2 decks are for 26 stars and above. The Survivor format is an offshoot of Type 2, and the objective is to have as long a winning streak as possible.
The most popular format is known as ELO, which has a tournament ladder. Its rules are similar to Type 1 but includes a list of cards that have been banned due to being overpowered. The ELO format has weekly prizes depending on how well you place in the tournament ladder. Each game format will have its own deck-building strategies, but this guide provides general deck-building and gameplay strategies that should be applicable for all game formats.
Your deck of 8 cards – a random 4 of which will be used in each battle – is the key to winning battles. No matter how good you are, a bad deck will almost certainly cost you the battle. As such, deck-building strategies are very important, and the majority of your decision-making happens before the battles actually take place.
* Clans – The first thing you have to decide is which clan to choose. Each clan has a bonus that applies to all its members. The Bangers, Junkz, Rescue, Sentinel and Ulu Watu clans have attack power bonuses. The All Stars, Montana, Sakrohm and Uppers give their opponents attack power penalties. The Fang Pi Clang and La Junta clans have damage boosts, while the Pussycats reduce opponents' damage. The Gheist, Nightmare, Pirana and Roots clans cancel opponents' powers, while the Skeelz clan protects their powers from cancellation. The Freaks clan deals poison damage to their opponents, while the Jungo clan gives themselves more life. Which clan you choose will depend on your preference in playstyle.
* Clan Identity – Not only does the clan bonus have to fit your playstyle, you also need to think about which Urban Rivals clan's identity, backstory and ideals resonate with you. If you do not like gangsters and guns, the Montana mafia clan would definitely not sit well with you, no matter how good their clan bonus is. Similarly if you like the idea of military superiority and guerrilla warfare, then the La Junta clan will draw you in.
* Mono vs Dual – There are 2 deck compositions that are most commonly played: Mono-Clan and Dual-Clan. Mono-Clan means your deck of 8 consists of characters from just one clan (plus maybe a Leader). Dual-Clan means your deck contains cards from 2 clans. The choice between the two arises because a card's clan bonus only works if you have at least 2 cards from that clan in play. So using a Mono-Clan deck guarantees that your clan bonus is always active, but suffers due to lack of diversity. A Dual-Clan deck on the other hand will encounter battles where one of the cards will not have its clan bonus. However, this disadvantage is countered by the fact that you are using 2 clans whose bonuses work well together or covers for each other's weaknesses.
* Card Cost – Having decided which clan you want, the next step is to choose which cards go in your deck. When you are starting out, you are unfortunately limited by the cost of the cards. The powerful cards usually cost a lot of in-game Urban Rivals currency, but you will be able to afford them the more you play and the more tournaments you participate in.
* Star Allocation – In Type 1 and ELO games, you are limited to 25 stars or points in the deck. The choice of what combination of star levels goes in your deck is important. Do you want more 5-star powerhouses in your deck, knowing that you will have to put in a lot of weak 2-star cards to balance them? You could get lucky in battle and have all your 5-stars in play, or you might end up having to play with 3 or 4 2-star cards, practically handing the game to your opponent. The other option would be to fill your deck with mostly 4-star and 3-star cards to ensure you field a decent team each battle. Again, the choice will depend on your playstyle.
* Card Abilities – The next step is to figure out which cards work best in your deck. It is best to choose cards whose abilities complement their clan bonus. For example, if your clan bonus gives you a huge attack bonus, then you could use cards whose attack power is not that great but deal a lot of damage, since the clan bonus is boosting your attack already. You should also add cards that are more specialized, such as ones that stop abilities or bonuses, or walls that reduce damage taken. As a whole, you should have an overall goal for your deck, and the majority of your cards should support or work towards that goal.
Now that the deck is ready, the next thing you need to focus on is how to battle well. Both you and your opponent start with 12 life and 12 pillz, and your goal is to end the battle with more life than your opponent. As can be expected, there are many ways to achieve that result.
* Poker – You can treat a game of Urban Rivals just like a game of poker. The person who is able to read his opponent the best and bets wisely usually wins. The pillz that you use to boost your attack or damage are just like poker playing chips. Do you go all in with a powerful card? Or do you save your pillz for a time when you expect your opponent to launch his big attack? Just remember that pillz are actually more important than life, and they should be conserved and used wisely.
* Goal – When the battle starts and the cards are revealed, the first thing you need to do is decide what your goal and attack plan are. Do your cards have enough damage to do a 2-hit KO (ie. Deal 12 damage using just 2 cards)? If so, then you should focus your pillz on those 2 cards. Do you intend to open with a poison card and defend while it does its damage? Then you have to make sure you have enough walls and defensive cards to pull that off. In any case, you also have to be aware of your opponent's attack plan, and be ready to counter them.
* First Turn – The first turn of the battle is arguably the most crucial. The player with more stars / points on the table will start first, giving the weaker player the opportunity to see his opponent play before deciding what to do. It is common to open with a bluff, playing a strong card using very few pillz. If the opponent reacts with using a lot of pillz, they might have won the first round but would be at a pillz disadvantage. If the opponent does not spend pillz to defend, you would have done a fair amount of damage with just a small pillz investment.
* Pillz Advantage – During each round, the player with more pillz available usually has the upper hand and can dictate how the battle will go. The player with less pillz has less options and must usually either go all in or concede a round. It is therefore very beneficial if you are able to spend pillz more efficiently than your opponent (provided you are still winning battles). This follows from the first-turn-bluff strategy: if you successfully bluff, you will have a pillz advantage and can extend that throughout the battle, constantly putting your opponent on the defensive.
Hopefully this guide will clarify some of the less obvious aspects of the game, and make your experience playing Urban Rivals more enjoyable! As is expected, practice makes perfect and you will begin to see how others play and can change your strategies accordingly. And do not forget that there are nearly 20 different clans you can experiment with, so do not be afraid to play with them!