Before even launching Paragon, understand that the game is a MOBA and has to be played like a MOBA. Although the view is in third-person, do not treat the game as a deathmatch shooter. Do that and you will die a lot and your team will lose the match.
Also note, this is not a strategy guide, this article will help new players familiarise themselves with the game mechanics.
Hero selection is one of the most important parts of preparing for Paragon and selecting a hero that suits your play is essential. Choose a hero that you think will appeal to you.
Heroes are split into types like other MOBAS. Casters with powerful ranged attacks, Support to help your teammates, Tanks to soak up damage, Rangers with powerful basic attacks, Assassin’s to inflict quick deadly damage, and Fighters with melee and high durability.
There is some cross-over with the Paragon’s heroes, some can fit two roles. This is why the roles are classed as Primary and Secondary. With the help of careful card selection, heroes can fit more than one role.
In Paragon the heroes have the following Primary roles.
It’s not quite as clear cut as the categorisation might suggest because players also have to think about which character can perform specific tasks in a match. For example, some characters are more suited to playing in the jungle area outside of the three lanes. Others are essential to pushing minions down the lane or taking out towers. Some are much better at supporting the rest of the team in combat. All these factors need to be taken into account too.
It’s a complex system, so when selecting a hero, you need to think about how you prefer to play a hero in a game such as this. Do you want to help the team with healing (Muriel)? Do you want to disrupt fights (The Fey)?. Do you want to be powerful in the late game (Grim.exe / Murdock, Sparrow, Twinblast)?
It will take some experimentation on your part to find a hero that fits.
It’s extremely tempting to jump straight into a live game but resist the tempation, play the bots before playing live games. Become familiar with your hero and experiment with multiple heroes. When I first started playing I did the wrong thing by experimenting in live games. I ended up with stacks of losses and just helped the opposition by continually dying (feeding). I was a MOBA newb and it was the worst thing I could have done. Do not make this mistake!
In Paragon players slot individual cards into a deck of cards that are taken into a game. These cards and decks are just as important as the hero you select. Take the wrong cards into a game and you will be ineffective.
Each Hero has a card affinity and can only use certain types if cards. For example Steel can only use cards that belong to the Intellect or Order affinities. The starter decks suggested by Epic are fine when starting out but as you collect more cards from rewards, the starter decks become woefully inadequate as you start to climb in level.
It is just as valuable to spend time inside the deck builder as it is practicing with a hero. Experiment a LOT with cards and do it in bot matches before taking a deck into a live game. Once a deck is selected at the start of game you are stuck with it for the duration of that game.
Each card has a certain card point value which is indicated by the number in the top left of the card. During a game there is a cap of 60 card points that can be earned and this is where careful planning comes in.
Each primary card can be augmented by three additional Upgrade cards. Even though there are only six primary card slots to place a card, each of these primary cards can be augmented with Upgrade cards. All these cards combined must fit into that 60 point cap.
It’s also important to note that once you place a card into a slot during a match, when you remove it to replace it with a different card, the card you removed can not be placed back in any slot. Once you take it out, that’s it for that game.
With only one specific hero allowed per team, if you have a preferred hero select it as soon as the draft starts so other players can see what you want to play.
It’s always advisable to be reasonably skilful with at least two different heroes in case someone picks the same hero as you during the draft. If you back out of a draft (because someone picked the hero you wanted) you will be penalised by Epic with increasingly longer queue times to find a game.
In Paragon, CXP points need to be earned / collected as you play. These points allow you to activate more cards in your deck. These points are collected from Amber, the orange orbs you see lying around. They can can also be collected from Harvesters which are dotted around the map.
Amber orbs are dropped by the minions that move down the lanes. When they are killed they drop the orbs and if you manage to land a “last hit” on a minion, the amber orbs will be automatically collected and you also receive more CXP for doing that. It’s worth timing your attacks on minions carefully.
Killing an enemy hero is also a great source CXP but is obviously harder to pull off on your own.
Harvesters are special places on the map that need to be activated with a Harvester Key which is a card that can be slotted in at the start of a match.
These Harvesters come out the ground and harvest Amber and when a player stands on a pad by the Harvester the amber orbs can be collected from it. Think of this as free CXP which is why it’s important to activate these as soon as possible. Every player in your team gets the same CXP regardless of who collects the orbs.
Harvesters charge up over time, so you need to keep checking if there are any CXP to collect from them. If you are moving down a lane, have a quick check to see if you can empty it and gain precious CXP for you and your team. It’s easy to spot when they are full as there will be a full pink circle to indicate this. You also don’t need to go right up to it, you can see how full it is by being close by.
Players can destroy each other’s harvesters so they do need to be protected. However, late in the game when everyone is maxed-out on CXP, it’s a bit pointless wasting time on taking these out.
Also note that you gain a small amount of XP and CXP by collecting from harvesters so it’s worth doing it.
Levelling up happens throughout the duration of match and XP is what boosts four of your five skills.
Your main attack (left mouse) is referred to the auto attack and this does not require any input from the player to level it up. It scales as you level.
The other four skills need so be levelled up by the player and each time you level up streaking lines will appear on top of each skill that can be levelled.
The player decides in what order to level these skills and as some skills are more useful than others, this allows the player to decide which one to level up first and faster than the other three.
By the time you reach a max XP level of 15 which is the cap for a match, all your skills should be levelled up to max.
It’s a good idea to decide which skills to focus on first, it can really help in the early to mid game when trying to surive and at the same time help push minions down the lanes.
The Jungle can be a frustrating place, especially for heroes that are not suited to jungling. There’s also all kinds of buffs inside the jungle that can help your team.
I have a separate guide to the jungle which you should read as there’s a lot to consider.
Assuming you have read that, and you should as it covers buffs and harvester locations, you need to also remember the following:
If you are a jungle hero, do not spend ALL your time in the jungle. Do this and your team will lose. Make sure you support the team, help protect your team’s towers. Don’t attack a buff camp and ignore the fact that the tower right next to you is falling. If you do this you are not a team player and you will really piss off other members of your team.
Be careful in the jungle! Around every corner there is danger. Being caught on your own by a couple of enemies usually means death. Especially if caught by a hero like Khaimera who will hack you to pieces.
Use the jungle as a way to attack other players in lanes. Jump out of the jungle to catch the enemy unaware. Use the shadow pools to hide or even confuse the enemy if trying to escape.
Sometimes a game doesn’t go your way. There is an option to surrender that can be initiated after 20 minutes. The majority of the team have to agree to surrender and abort the match,
It’s worth noting that sometimes your team can make a comeback with some clever teamwork and using features such as the Orb Prime (see jungle guide). On the other hand, sometimes its obvious your team will never turn the game around. Perhaps a player on your team has been dieing a lot or perhaps one of your team has abandoned the game.
Think about how your team has been playing and then decide whether to surrender or not. Sometimes it’s better to take a loss than waste another 30 minutes trying to win.
The most important thing to remember is to have fun. Do not spam chat and remember that not all players can respond to chat because they might be on a PS4. They are not necessarily ignoring you.
Communicate with your team as much as possible. Great communication can win a game, and although there’s no voice system in the game yet, use the keyboard to type messages or use the inbuilt commands by hitting the C key.
Do not worry about how many kills you have in a match. Start doing that and you are playing the game all wrong. Worry about how many deaths you have and how many towers you have taken down or have left.
Paragon can be extremely rewarding if you think carefully and work as a team. It can also feel extremely frustrating if someone isn’t a team player but stick with it because as you improve so will your matches.