Puzzle Quest: Challenge of the Warlords


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                                                          Version 1.2



-----Table of Contents------

1 Introduction
2 Spell List
3 Strategy Guide
4 Legal
5 Contact Info




--------Introduction--------


The purpose of this guide is to demonstrate how to create a Druid that can
kill on the first turn. I know of only one way to do this, and that is by
focusing on Air Mastery and utilizing a combo to fill your Mana so you can cast
Death Gaze. If this strategy doesn't appeal to you, or you just want to have
fun figuring the game out yourself, wait until after you finish the game to
read this. The real fun of this game comes from raising a character capable of
defeating the game's boss, and maybe a few of your friends too.
This guide also gives you a formula to follow as you play the game. Use it
when you get stuck, but don't feel obligated to follow it step by step. Play
the game and try to figure it out yourself. It is more rewarding and fun that
way. You can achieve the same end result many ways. There are only a few
guidelines that you should follow:

- Your level up points should only go into Air Mastery and Earth Mastery, with
Earth Mastery ending up no higher than around 65.
- When given the chance to keep an item or return it in a quest, keep in mind
that your final equipment set will be all forged (made by you).
- when you get the chance, go ahead and be an Elenian Knight for the Earth
Mastery bonus.


---------Spell List----------


      -Gemberry-
Adds +5 to Life Points plus an additional +1 for every 4 Blue Mana (you have). 
cost: 4 yellow + 6 blue
uses: This is good, cheap healing. Good for passing the turn. This spell is
      best used to stall the opponent's offense, especially in combination with
      mirroring equipment.


      -Channel Air-
Adds +5 to Yellow Mana; your turn does not end.
cost: 3 green + 3 red + 3 blue
uses: Useful Mana generation. Since Air Mana is needed in most of your better
      spells; this can come in handy in desperate situations.


      -Entangle-
Enemy loses 1 turn plus an additional turn for every 20 of your Green Mana.
cost: 12 green + 12 yellow
uses: Causes the enemy to lose turns. It's useful with at least 20 green, but
      best with over 40. This spell is an excellent combo starter.


      -Calm-
Removes all status effects on both players; your turn does not end if Blue Mana
is 10+.
cost: 2 yellow + 3 blue
uses: This removes status effects from you and the opponent. It's a good
      defensive tool.


      -Forest Fire-
Does 6 points of damage to enemy plus an additional +1 for every 4 Red Mana.
cost: 6 red + 8 yellow
uses: This is a consistant tool for dealing direct damage. It's your best
      offensive spell for most of the game.


      -Call Lightning-
Destroys a selected column of gems and you gain the full effects for all gems
destroyed.
cost: 6 green + 9 yellow + 6 blue
uses: This spell is good for blowing up +5 skulls.


      -Evaporate-
Turns all blue gems into yellow gems; after that your turn ends.
cost: 5 red + 3 blue
uses: This spell is useful for getting matches, adding more yellows and messing
      up those reliant on blue.


      -Gust of Wind-
Turns 5 random gems into yellow gems plus an additional 1 for every 8 Yellow
Mana you have.
cost: 6 yellow + 5 blue
uses: Gust of Wind gets matches based on how much yellow you have. It is an
      integral part of most of the Druid's powerful combos.


      -Sanctuary-
Adds +5 resistance to a random Mana type; lasts until the end of combat.
cost: 8 green + 8 yellow + 4 blue
uses: If you find yourself in a super long fight, use this a lot and gain the
      advantage.


      -Wall of Thorns-
Applies damage to Green Mana instead of life points; lasts until green is 0;
reduces green by 2 each turn.
cost: 6 green + 9 blue
uses: This supplements your Life Points and keeps you alive as long as you keep
      getting Green Mana.


      -Earthpower-
Destroys all green gems; you gain the full effects for gems destroyed.
cost: 7 red + 7 yellow + 7 blue
uses: This spell gets you some Green Mana, might make a 4 of a kind and often 
      messes up guys reliant on Green Mana.


      -Whirlwind-
Destroys all yellow gems; you gain the full effects for gems destroyed.
cost: 7 green + 7 red + 7 blue
uses: This gets you some Yellow Mana, might make a 4 of a kind and messes up
      guys reliant on yellow.


      -Lightning Storm-
Destroys a selected column and the 2 adjacent columns, you gain full effects.
cost: 12 green + 18 yellow + 12 blue
uses: This can be good for blowing up skulls.


      -Reincarnation-
Turns all non-Mana gems into random Mana gems.
cost: 9 green + 9 red + 9 yellow + 9 blue
uses: This spell can sometimes score an Heroic Effort or at least clear some
      skulls.


      -Cleansing-
Clears the board and ends your turn.
cost: 9 yellow + 9 blue
uses: This spell stalls Mana Drain and prevents a bad board setup, like too 
      many skulls.


      -Nature's Wrath-
Turns all greens gems into wildcards, then ends your turn.
cost: 25 green + 10 blue
uses: Depending on green positions, it can get you lots of Mana. It also messes
      up those reliant on Green Mana.


And here are a few you should consider learning from monsters:


      -Sneak Attack-
Learned from: Thief
Does 3 damage and your turn does not end.
cost: 7 green + 7 red
uses: It can be used over and over and makes for a good finisher.


      -Archery-
Learned from: Centaur
Does damage equal to the enemy's Yellow Mana; you turn does not end if yellow
is 15+.
cost: 6 red + 10 yellow
uses: It can be used over and over. It's good after using Gust of Wind and 
      the enemy collects lots of Yellow on its turn.


      -Eat Skulls-
Learned from: Zombie
Destroys all skulls, doing no damage; adds +1 to battle for every skull
destroyed.
cost: 12 green + 7 blue
uses: It's good against Liche and Arkliche, or anyone who is reliant on skulls.


      -Charm-
Learned from: Medusa
All skulls in play are destroyed; adds +1 to life points for each skull.
cost: 10 yellow + 9 blue
uses: It has the same benefits as Eat Skulls, but it's more defensive.


      -Trample-
Learned from: Centaur
Does damage equal to half your Green Mana to enemy.
cost: 10 green + 10 Red
uses: It's a good finisher.


      -Death Gaze-
Learned from: Liche
Does damage equal to half of enemy's current life points; randomly creates a
skull for every 5 damage done.
cost: 45 green + 30 red
uses: Use it when the enemy has full life. It kills enemies dead.



--------Strategy Guide--------



Opening Strategy:

The first thing you should do in a fight is to look carefully at the board.
Look for 4 of a kind or 5 of a kind matches that you can make. Some are simple
like the ones you see the AI do, others are a little tougher to spot.


-----OO-----      -----O-------
-------OO---      -------------
------------      -----G-------
------------      ----O-OO-----
----GG------      -----G-------
------G-----      -----G-------


Try to look for patterns like these to get 4/5 of a kinds when there aren't
any simple ones. Do you best to get the most out of every turn. But don't focus
all of your attention on the board. Your spells are where the real strategy
comes in.
Use Gemberry or Forest Fire to pass the turn when the only moves give the
advantage to the opponent (such as setting up 4 of a kind or skulls matches).
The AI will never make an illegal move, even if it costs the game. Otherwise
take all 4/5 of a kinds, then take skull matches. Try casting Calm to keep
annoying status ailments from hurting you and buffs from helping the opponent.
Don't get discouraged when you lose, just keep at it and you'll continue
getting experience.



Next: Build a Dungeon and a Temple

Pay 1250 gold at your citadel to build a Dungeon and a Temple. After defeating
a specific enemy 3 times, you will be able to capture monsters which will add
spells and mounts to your arsenal. As an added bonus, monsters you capture are
instantly defeated, making powered up quest monsters a snap to beat. The Temple
will let you pay gold to improve your attributes. Buy these two only to stay on
the fast track. 



Mounts:

Which mount you choose isn't really that important, but having one can give you
more options and something else to fool around with. I like the Giant Rat early
on simply because Rabid Bite does 4 damage using the colors that Forest Fire
doesn't, which helps against resistances. And it causes Plague, which can be
stacked 4 times reducing the opponents Mana by 1 every turn, adding to the 
strategy of weakening the opponent before attacking.
Wolf is the mount I suggest for later as Howl is very good in some of your
toughest match-ups. Howl causes Fear, which cuts your opponent's skill levels
in half for several turns. This is critical against Mana Nodes and resistances
stemming from high Morale, as with a Knight (human) opponent.
Either way, try to find one that raises your Air or Earth Mastery and level
them when you can.



Early Strategies:

Begin familiarizing yourself with your spells and how they work. You are going
to come across enemies like Trolls and Orcs that use only one particular type
of Mana. Focus on keeping that type from them to maintain control of the game.
Prevent enemies with high battle level from getting skull matches. Start your
turn looking for 4/5 of a kind matches, then look for skulls and Mana the enemy
needs. The key is to take away the opponent's weapons, then switch to offense
via Forest Fire.



2nd goal: Get Mirror Gear and Troll Ring

You start with a weak offense, and you won't come across any great offensive 
weapons for a while, so you have to hurt enemies with your defense. First you
need to build a temple and raise your battle to 4. Then buy and equip a Troll
Ring, Mirror Armor and Mirror Helm as you come across them. Keep an eye out for
the Greater Troll Ring as well. Remember to check the shop after every battle
and save all your money for these items.



New Strategy: 

Tougher enemies are going to try to take advantage of your uneven development.
This will test you patience and perseverance. Actively work to avoid Mana
Drain by taking matches near the top first and using Gust of Wind. Try to use
Entangle as effectively as possible, like setting up 4/5 of a kind and skulls
matches. Also, don't let the enemy match skulls. Pay attention to what color
you need and go for that first. Primarily, you will be keeping weapons from the
enemy while building your Mana base. Take any good moves that show up, then
cast Gemberry or Forest Fire to avoid giving them any. Your health will go up
while their's goes down. 



Next: Dugog

This boss will be your most difficult obstacle in the entire game. Your
character is extremely weak and he will have no mercy. You may have to grind
out a few levels to win. Fight him as you would an Orc or Ogre; play
defensively and keep Fire and skulls away from him. He gets an extra turn when
he matches gold as well, so there's another concern. Finally, he has a Troll
Ring equipped and lots of health, meaning a long fight. You'll probably lose
this fight several times. Don't fret, just go back to your citadel and check
the shop. If you get bored, go ahead and battle the random monsters that show
up for experience. 



Post-Dugog Strategies:

With Dugog out of the way, you just completed this game's rite of passage. You
are understanding how the game works and learning to improvise. You should
by now have the Mirror Helm, Mirror Armor and Greater Troll Ring. With your
high levels in Air and Earth Masteries the spell Entangle should be becoming
more useful. Have you noticed that the Troll Ring activates after every lost
turn? Utilizing these items will be the key to getting through the rough parts
of Druid development. 



Next: Wightblade

I highly recommend this weapon for the fights ahead. It drains Red Mana from
the enemy and gives it to you as Blue, supporting the Troll Ring while
stalling the opponent.  Wightblade requires Water Mastery level 6 to equip so
spend your money (not your points) leveling that up. There are other good
options like Erik's Bow that can give you more power in exchange for control.
Try both and work on your own angle. Note that the Wightblade will become
obsolete around level 20, so hang on to Erik's Bow.



Next: Forge

Whether or not you chose to go with the Wightblade as your weapon, your next
goal is to buy all the stuff in your citadel. The Forge won't be important
until a little later, but you need to buy this in order to get the Siege
Workshop. But since you got it, you might as well take advantage of it. Those
points on the map that look like little huts now have runes you can get to
make great equipment. You'll have to fight for them, though. A Runekeeper
guards every rune, and they are tougher than normal enemies.



Next: Capturing Cities

Time for the Siege Workshop. This will allow you to capture cities, with two
great benefits. You can access your citadel and every so often get money from
these cities. This is the most efficient way of making money, so capture all
you can. Focus especially on cities you walk over often. If you find yourself
at a particular city several times or one with lots of side quests, capture it
early and start making money.
For those cities that have a Mana Node in their accessory slot, you will need
a special strategy to capture them. For now just avoid those and focus on
advancing the story and filling out the map.



Guidelines Reminder:

- No skill points should go into anything but Air and Earth Mastery.
- Earth Mastery should go no higher than 65.
- Quest items that can be kept are almost always more beneficial to return.



Next: Entangle and Forest Fire

Stop putting points in Earth Mastery after you get it to about level 35. Air
will be most important from this point up until you learn Death Gaze. A solid
strategy is to Entangle and then use Forest Fire over and over. Once you feel
you can take a punch from an enemy, store up your Mana and try to burn them out
fast.



Next: Dragonhorn of Stone

This forged accessory is next up on our list. You'll need the Rune of Dragons,
Rune of Music, and Rune of Earth. The Rune of Dragons is at Dragon Valley
north of Dhun-Kor. The Rune of Music is at Hornburg, the site of the Mechataur
quest. If you haven't gotten that far yet, you'll be there soon, so watch for
them. This item will supply you with huge amounts of Mana, so you can finally
take off that Troll Ring. Don't throw it away just yet, some battles may be
easier with it, so hang on to it in case you need it again.



Tips on Forging:

The Dragonhorn and some of the other gear you will be forging later might be a
little tough at first, but there are a few things that might help.
- The best thing you can do is to match 3 anvils. This gets rid of 3 at a time
and reduces your chances of a bad restart.
- Using +5 skulls to blow up an anvil is next best, especially if you can
manage to get more than one.
- Lining up 4/5 of a kind is the last way, and the toughest. Just make sure you
don't run out of matches.



Next: Entangle and Gust of Wind

These two spells are critical in the later part of the game. They are only
really effective after you have a certain amount of Mana, which is why Earth
and Air need to be so high. You get the most out of Entangle when it makes the
enemy miss 3 or more turns, meaning you need at least 40 green when you cast
it. To get your max that high, you should have leveled up Earth to about level
35 by now. It can be higher than that, but it doesn't need to be. Gust of Wind
needs lots and lots of yellow, so raise Air Mastery to as high as you can. It
begins to show promise at around level 65. Even at this early stage, you can
start experimenting with this combo by using Entangle, then Gust of Wind 2 or 3
times. You'll get some matches, maybe skulls, and an occasional Heroic Effort.
It's pretty strong but stalls out quickly without the Dragonhorn.



Dealing with Resistances:

Many of the later enemies have resistances. They cancel your spell and you lose
your turn. From 1% to 15% will be an annoyance, but there will be some with
around 16% to 30%. For this reason you need to balance your spells so that
you have some sort of recourse if there is one Mana type that you can't use
consistently. Look down your list of spells and see if one Mana type shows up
in more than half, not including the mount spell. If so, you have a weakness
and you should correct it. Try substituting something that has a similar effect
but uses different colors of Mana. For instance, if you have too much yellow,
take out Archery in favor of Sneak Attack. Archery is usually better, but
Sneak Attack will come in much handier against 30% Air resist.
Entangle can often help overwhelm an opponent by allowing you to keep recasting
the same spell until it lands, but watch out for Entangle itself getting
resisted. 



Strategy: Entangle and Gust of Wind with Dragonhorn

Finally it's time for the combo. Build up your Mana, cast Entangle, then Gust
of Wind over and over. The 4/5 of a kind matches from Gust of Wind will fill
your Mana to the max, Then switch to Forest Fire. Keep an eye on how many extra
turns you have and on your Yellow Mana. When you have one extra turn left, use
Gust of Wind and then Entangle. If done right, they should never get another
turn.



Next: Death Gaze

This is the source of your offensive might, the killing blow. This spell is
absolutely essential to learn. It will help overcome many of the remaining
weaknesses in your game, especially resistances. We just need to capture a
Liche and research. They pop up right before Hornburg, so once you unlock the
Mechataur quest just wait for him to show up and keep fighting him.



Researching:

You will be using the Rune of Gods to make you other equipment, and that means
you have to get a lot of matches. This minigame is partly based on luck so
there is no perfect way to go about it. Here are a few things I do to make this
easier:

- Try to get your scrolls early. Look for 4/5 of a kinds and try to set them
up. If you can, keep them together, though. Too many stray scrolls will make it
harder to keep your game running.
- Start from the top and work your way down. This will maximize the number of
matches you can make. Anytime you're forced to make a match at the bottom, go
back to the top and see if there are any new matches. It pays to be methodical
here. Save matches at the very bottom for last, even if they're scrolls.
- Focus on vertical matches. These tend to create more possibilities and can
mix up a stale board.
- Save matches that would finish out a color. When you finish a color or scroll
category, it clears the board of that color. Look to finish that when a lot of
that color is present to create the biggest effect.




Other words:

You may have been wondering why EVERY piece of equipment must be forged. The 
answer is simple: starting Mana. You can't rely on the board to help you, it's
very important that you are able to cast all you spells you need to without
making a single match on the board. You might think this makes the board
obsolete, but what we are really doing is making the board our plaything. With
almost nothing left to chance, the only things that the gems ever do are what
we tell them to do.
Your extra money should be going towards stat improvement. High Cunning will
help most, and Battle can make a difference now and then. Here's an example of
how you should end up looking like in the stat department:

Earth: 65
Fire: 15
Air: 125
Water: 25
Battle: 15+
Cunning: 50+
Morale: 20+



Final Equip Set:

-Helm: Rune of Jewels + Rune of Gods + Rune of Water

-Armor: Rune of Flight + Rune of Gods + Rune of Wind

-Weapon: Rune of Staves + Rune of Gods + Rune of Earth

-Accessory: Rune of Music + Rune of Dragons + Rune of Earth


The Power Runes can be mixed or matched here as long as your starting Mana is
over the numbers listed in the section above. The only base Rune
that is required is Music but I think you'll find what I have listed is ideal.
Also I believe that the Rune of Dragons in the accessory gives the highest
chances for success in getting your combo started.



Your Main Strategy:

-Cunning should be high so you can get the first turn.
-starting Mana should be at least 40 green, 50 yellow, and 20 blue.
-Fire Mastery should be at least 10 so that your max Red is at least 30.

Cast Entangle.
Cast Gust of Wind until your Mana is full.
Cast Death Gaze.

If they're not dead, they should be close.
Finish up with skull matches, Forest Fire, Sneak Attack, etc.



You now have a Druid capable of beating a Warrior in PvP. Just keep working on
that Cunning and mind the resistances.
Now go kill the boss.

The end.










Thanks to:

Zaraf for providing excellent reference material on this game.

Eggers for helping me get this stupid thing fixed.

Puzzle Quest creators and producers

ign.com







------------Legal-------------


Puzzle Quest: Challenge of the Warlords and all int. properties contained in
this FAQ are copyrights or trademarks of D3 and Infinite Interactive.

This may be not be reproduced under any circumstances except for personal,
private use. It may not be placed on any web site or otherwise distributed
publicly without advance written permission. Use of this guide on any other web
site or as a part of any public display is strictly prohibited, and a violation
of copyright.

Copyright 2007 Joe Fain


--------Contact Info----------

j03fain@gmail.com

Please post on the boards before you email me.