Storybook Brawl is a fun and addictive new strategy game that is currently free to play on Steam. Having played the game for hundreds of hours so far I thought I would share how to play Storybook Brawl with you all…
Storybook Brawl can best be described as a deck building auto battler strategy game. It is similar in style to DOTA Auto Chess and Teamfight Tactics. It stands out from those games in that your characters are cards, rather than live action units.
The easiest way to learn how to play Storybook Brawl is through the “Practice” option in the game where you will be matched against bots. Let’s start with the basics.
Choose a Hero
When you are matched with 7 other players and the lobby begins, the first thing you have to do is choose a hero. Your hero is important and it will dictate your playstyle for this match to a large degree. Read the attributes of each hero and choose one that sounds interesting to you.
A few of the strongest heroes currently are:
Merlin is a solid hero choice that you really can’t fail with. He always contributes to your power early on, and in some instances can be quite impactful all the way through the late game. Merlin is definitely a top tier hero choice and one that should be prioritized.
Loki is a good hero, but he does introduce more variance into your game. Much of the early game is determined by spell luck, and he does fall off in the late game when you would prefer to have control over your spells. I consider him to be a strong hero for newer players that loses power in higher level games.
Evella is super strong in the early and mid game. She is one of the easier heros to get a top 4 with, and for this reason should be prioritized highly. I do find that she falls off in the late game, and you may have trouble sealing a win with her.
Charon is great because his attribute does not dictate the comp you play. This leaves you open to whatever the game presents you with, while gaining a passive boost to your characters stats throughout the game. Charon allows you to have a strong early game presence which you can use to snowball into an effective late game comp.
Skip might just be the best hero in the game in the current patch. With it being harder to gain XP throughout the game, Skip’s one level advantage to start the game is a huge deal. The major pain point with Skip is stabilizing early on in the game. Once you stabilize and start winning some brawls it is fairly easy to place in the top 4.
Fallen Angel is a strong early and mid game hero. She opens you up to all kinds of different builds and rewards you for splitting between good and evil. As soon as you get both of her bonuses active you should be able to coast for a few rounds while you figure out your late game strategy.
It’s important to shape your playstyle to the strengths of your hero. If you have a hero that awards you bonus stats for using evil characters, you may want to focus on filling your board with evil characters.
Read my Storybook Brawl tier list post for rankings of every hero.
Heroes Need to Be Unlocked
While you do not own any of the heroes yet (assuming you haven’t bought any), you will be given the choice of 2 heroes for free each game. If you have all of the heroes unlocked you will have a selection of up to 4 heroes per game.
You can pay to unlock heroes, or you can unlock them with gems which are earned for each game you play. For reference, I’ve played about 200 games and have unlocked half of the heroes without spending any money.
Select Your Characters
As the game loads you can begin selecting characters to build out your deck. The first round you have 2 gold and each character will cost 2 gold.
Every round you will gain an additional gold per round until level 12 where you plateau at 12 gold per round for the rest of the game.
Characters cost between 2-6 gold each. The gold cost of each character is also the level of the character. Characters will show up in your shop up to the level of your hero, who gains one level every three rounds.
For example, if your hero is level 5 you will see characters priced between 2 gold and 5 gold in your shop.
Characters are what makes up your army which will do battle against the other players.
You can have 7 characters on your board, and 4 characters in your hand at any given time. You can freely swap between your board and your hand between rounds. All cards sell for 1 gold with 1 exception.
You will see 3 numbers on each character card.
- Top left – Gold cost / level
- Bottom left – Attack damage
- Bottom right – Health
Special attributes are listed in text on each card. There are a variety of unique attributes but a good portion of them fall into 3 categories.
- Slay – Triggers when your character deals a finishing blow on an enemy character.
- Last Breath – Triggers when your character dies.
- Support – A passive ability that gives the 2 characters in front of it bonus stats.
Fill Your Board as Fast as Possible
Rather than focusing on a single strategy, it is often best to just get cards on your board. Many of the level 2 and level 3 cards will not be useful in the end game, so you shouldn’t waste you gold on rolling for the perfect characters.
You Can Roll for a New Shop
For 1 gold you can reroll your shop and get a new selection of characters. This is generally not a good strategy early on, but very useful later into the game.
Triple a Character
Similar to most auto battlers, when you get three of the same character you are given an upgraded version of the character. Unique to Storybook Brawl, you are also given a treasure. A treasure has unique influence on the game and will be discussed below.
Important to note is that the upgraded characters in Storybook Brawl are not dramatically stronger than the non-upgraded characters (most of the time). The power is added through the treasures as opposed to the character itself.
Buy Some Spells
Spells show up in each shop on the right hand side, next to the characters for sale. Spells cost between 0-12 gold and can do a lot of different things. Spells can buff your characters, damage the enemy, give you extra gold, change a character from good to evil, upgrade a card, and much more.
Spells can either be the focus of your whole strategy, or a complete afterthought depending on which hero you are playing as and what sort of build you are going for.
As a general rule, the closer you are to elimination the more you may want to focus on offensive spells that damage your opponent. If you are feeling comfortable and you’re one of the lobby leaders it could be smart to focus on spells that will help you later in the game like adding stats to your characters or extra hero experience.
Treasures are found when you get an upgraded character. There are two main ways to upgrade a character in Storybook Brawl.
- Get 3 of the same characters.
- Complete a quest.
The standard way of upgrading characters in auto battlers is through getting 3 of the same characters. In addition to that, there are certain characters that can only be upgraded by completing a quest. Some example of these quests are…
- Cast 4 spells
- Deal 100 damage
- Buy 7 Dwarves
- Slay 3 enemies
This is a fun twist to the game because you have a bit more control over getting upgrades. If you really need an upgrade it is a good idea to go for one of these quests instead of relying on the RNG of the game.
The level of the treasure you get is equal to the level of the character that you upgrade. If you upgrade a level 2 character you will get a level 2 treasure.
You can have 3 active treasures at a time. If you have 3 treasures and you get an additional one, you will have the choice of replacing one of you currently active treasures, or skipping it and earning 2 gold.
Treasures go from level 2 to level 7. You can get a level 7 treasure a few different ways. You need a modifier active in addition to unlocking a high level treasure.
For example, one of the heroes in the game makes all of your treasures 1 level higher. So if you get an upgraded level 6 character you will be given a level 7 treasure.
Treasures are highly impactful on the game and are essential to winning. Don’t put all your focus on your characters and forget about treasures.
Treasures Are a Big Deal
Especially if you are down to the last 2-3 players. If you’re nearing the end of the game and you only have a couple of level 3 treasures you will find it very hard to compete against the other players with level 5 and 6 treasures.
It can often make sense to collect some cards that you have no intention of playing just to try getting a high level treasure.
Your Board – Positioning
Position on your board grows in importance as the game progresses. Your characters will attack in order, starting with the top left character and go across the front row. After the entire front row attacks, your characters in the back row will attack in order, starting with the leftmost one.
Your characters attack a random character in your opponents front row (except for special circumstances.)
A few general rules of positioning are as follows.
1-2-5: These are the positions for the characters you most want to get off an attack in the brawl. They have the highest likelihood of getting off an attack before they are attacked by the opponent.
3-4: Generally characters you do not expect/need to get off an attack OR characters you want to get attacked the most.
6-7: These spaces are good for supports, or units that you want to live for a long time in the fight. Some units power up over the course of a brawl and do well in these spots.
Time to Brawl
Every round you will be matched against one of the other 7 players in the game. A battle ensues and the loser takes damage based on how much they lose by.
Your characters attack one by one. They do damage equal to their attack number, and take damage equal to the enemies attack number.
Ranged units are an exception to this rule. They do not take damage when they attack.
How to Win
It’s pretty simple, you win when you are the last remaining person with health. You start with 40 health and lose health based on the damage you take in losing brawls.
The top 4 players in the lobby “win” and the bottom 4 “lose”. The higher place you get the more reward you are given for winning. Same goes for losing, but in reverse.
Sounds easy right? Well it’s actually pretty difficult. Here are some advanced techniques to get you some wins!
Viable Team Comps
While there are a number of paths to go down, team comps are very flexible. You really want to take what the game is giving you and not be single minded in your strategy. Here are the best team comps at the moment.
- Good Boy + Good
- Summons / Animals
These are some of the best team comps in the game at the moment. Many of these are strong at different points in the game. While Good Boy + Good characters is a very strong late game comp, it can be treacherous lasting long enough to really get the full comp.
Other comps, like Dwarves are very easy to play and tend to coast in the early/mid game, but fall off quite hard in the very late game.
It’s really a matter of being open to adjust your strategy to what your shop gives you. Sometimes it makes sense to play a strategy that has no chance of getting 1st place, but will have an easy time of placing top 4.
Good Boy + Good
This is definitely one of the top comps in the game at the moment. Good Boy is a character that gives all of the good characters on your team his stats when he dies. The obvious strategy is to power him up with very high stats and let him die at the start of your brawl.
Using a team comp based around massive slay abilities is fun and also quite strong. I like this comp because it is quite stable in the early game and is easy to transition to a strong late game team. With other comps it can feel like you are just trying to survive until you finally get the pieces you need.
Treants are fun and very strong late game if you get the pieces you need. They really do not come fully online until you get two level 6 treants that pull the whole comp together. For this reason I find this strategy to end up with a lot of 5-6 places as well as a good amount of wins.
Royals are a very linear playstyle, in that you start early on and get locked into the strategy for the rest of the game. If you get enough upgraded princes and princesses early enough this strategy is quite strong. It often falls off and can’t compete with the three previous comps in the late game.
Mages are my personal favorite strategy, but they are definitely not the strongest. It’s fun to power up low level units and continue using them late on into the game. Unfortunately, the way the game is best played is to focus on higher level units and get rid of the level 2 and 3 units as soon as you have the chance.
Dwarves are probably the most boring and linear strategy in the game. You can shut your brain off and just keep rolling for dwarves all game. They are very strong early and mid game, but will not be able to compete with the top 3 comps at all in the late game.
Summons / Animals
While extremely fun, it can be hard to make this comp work towards the end of games. With the right hero and units this strategy can get you pretty far, but the real downfall is that you are countered pretty badly by many of the popular comps in the game.
Scaling is Futile
If you’ve played other auto battler games in the past then you know that scaling low level units into the late game is quite viable. In Storybook Brawl it is almost always a bad idea.
Don’t waste too much time and gold on getting the perfect early game team comp. You will be selling every one of those units for level 5 and 6 units later on in the game.
Some of my favorite strategies involve scaling low level units, but I’ve given up on then recently because it just doesn’t work.
Get Out There and Play!
This game is one of the best auto battlers out there. If you are a fan of the genre then do yourself a favor and get in on this early access game that provides deep strategy and plenty of replay-ability.
You can be in your first epic brawl in a matter of minutes. Check out Storybook Brawl today!
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