Blitz mode in Halo Wars 2 is an intriguing new take on the real-time strategy formula. Taking a page from collectible card games like Hearthstone, Blitz dispenses with complex base-building mechanics in favor of pre-built card decks. The result is a streamlined, fast-paced match, but it also means that RTS vets will need to learn new tactics to succeed.
Here then are Fandom’s top five tips for Blitz mode.
Familiarize Yourself With Decks
Your units in Blitz are represented by cards, and you’ll bring into each match a customized deck that you’ve built yourself or pulled from the game’s pre-built options.
When building your own deck, pay close attention to its energy cost. In a match, you’ll only have four cards in your hand to choose from at a time. A deck filled with expensive cards will not allow you to build units without a surplus of energy, and it’s best to balance your deck during your first matches with both low and high-cost cards.
You can obtain new cards via packs, earned by fulfilling daily and weekly quests or spending real money. Any duplicates you receive from packs will level up your existing cards, making the units stronger.
Don’t hesitate to play around with your deck, starting army, and leader when you first play Blitz mode. It’s the best way to unlock cards and understand the mode.
Defense May Be the Best Offense
Blitz games typically don’t last longer than 15 minutes. The first side to amass 200 points will win the match. In order to achieve this, players will need to secure the capture points on the map.
A good defense is often the best path to victory. Assert your presence in the beginning of the match to secure a capture point and slowly assign ranged units to the high ground or around the perimeter of the capture point.
Once you feel you’ve created enough defensive structures or units, take your remaining units to collect energy or take another capture point from an enemy.
Don’t worry about taking too long to bolster your defenses. Just keep collecting energy on your established side of the map and start taking the fight to the enemy once you have enough units for an assault.
Learn to Micro
Just because Blitz mode is fast doesn’t mean you won’t be micro-managing units. Since the maps on Blitz mode all have multiple control points, you’ll most likely need to split up your units into separate squads at some point to collect energy, backdoor an enemy, or capture a point.
You can assign a group of units to a specific key to quickly assign orders. For example, a good beginner strategy is to assign your melee and ranged units to separate keys so that you can tactfully position your squads in the heat of battle.
Micro-managing your units will also help you gain energy from cores at a more efficient rate. By engaging in a skirmish at a capture point while sending a lesser unit to an untapped energy core across the map, you can help fund your army as the fight ensues.
If you’re unsure of your micro-management skills, try playing practice matches against the AI. You’ll become a keyboard general in no time.
Know Where to Summon Units
One of the biggest twists on the RTS formula in Blitz is that units can be summoned anywhere you have vision. However, any units deployed outside your base are at half health for 8 seconds.
So while you can instantly shore up your forces in any skirmish, you’ll want to make sure those new units are initially protected. If your opponent is skilled and notices that a newly summoned unit of yours has appeared, they may refocus their firepower on it. Spending most of your energy on one of your late-game units only to have it immediately destroyed by opposing forces will surely seal your fate in a match.
Always Strategize in the Moment
The best initial strategy is worthless if you don’t draw the hand to support it. Have your card draws allowed you to play defensively and collect bundles of energy? Can you afford to save up to play that game-changing card that is sitting in your hand? Whatever tactics you’ve learned in this video, remember that you need to stay flexible if you want to win.
Depending on the situation, you may want to pull back on capturing points in favor of gathering energy cores so you can play your more expensive cards. Or you may want to go all-in with a horde of cheap units that will overwhelm your enemy and keep them on the defensive.
Try employing different strategies to see which best fits your playstyle, and don’t be afraid to switch up strategies mid-match depending on your card draws.
Be sure to check out Blitz mode for yourself when Halo Wars 2 launches on Xbox One and Windows 10 on February 21.