5 Tips for Playing Paragon

Five basic tips for getting started in Epic’s new MOBA, Paragon. 

Over the past year, Epic Games has been working hard on their upcoming third-person MOBA, Paragon. Paragon utilizes a blend of unique heroes, deck building strategy, and a stylized sci-fi aesthetic to stand out from traditional contenders in the MOBA genre. Since the launch of its open beta in August, Paragon has opened up to a much larger audience of seasoned MOBA players and newcomers alike.

Even those who are familiar with MOBAs may need some assistance navigating the interesting mechanics that Paragon uses. This guide offers several basic tips for playing Paragon that may help uninitiated players improve at the game and enjoy their time in Agora. 

Understand the Cards

Cards provide you with strength and abilities during each match.

In Paragon, cards provide essential stat bonuses, perks, consumables, and passive effects for your hero during each match. Players must build their card decks ahead of time and select cards that apply best to a given hero. The game features three types of cards: Upgrade cards, Equipment cards, and Prime cards. 

Cards and Heroes are classified by colored Affinities: Order (white), Intellect (blue), Corruption (purple), Fury (red), and Growth (green). Affinities indicate the general play style of a particular Hero, and cards must match the Affinity of the Hero in order to be used. Some Heroes may be classified by more than one Affinity and thus can use cards from either of its Affinity colors. Universal cards can be used by any Hero. 

Upgrades are your primary source of power and stat boosts during a match. These cards offer a variety of different stat bonuses, such as increases to health, damage, armor, or attack speed, among others. Equipment cards mainly offer an active or passive bonus, but can also provide you with consumable items like wards, potions, and harvester keys. Prime cards determine the buff you receive from taking the Prime Orb to the designated location, which usually occurs later on in a round. 

The progression of your hero during a match depends on the cards you choose to play throughout the round, and the order in which you play them. You initially have a limited number of card points to spend, meaning you can only afford to equip certain cards at the start of a match. You can gain more card points by collecting Amber, so get out to the lanes and start killing enemies to rack up CXP! 

Collect Orange Balls (Amber)

Pick up as much Amber as you can get!

While playing a match in Paragon, you’ll notice a pile of little orange balls that fall from slain opponents. These orange balls are called Amber, and it is a crucial part of your progression. Amber is awarded for killing enemies, destroying towers, and defeating jungle minion camps. Amber increases your Card XP (CXP), which gets converted into Card Points that allow you to purchase cards from the Card Shop. Cards are what give you power and perk benefits during a match, so you’ll want to accumulate as much Amber as possible so that you can unlock better cards and have a variety of cards to choose from. 

Amber CXP is mostly shared between nearby allies. However, to gain the most Amber, you’ll need to achieve the last-hit on an enemy, which simply means dealing the killing blow. Last-hitting an enemy rewards a higher amount of CXP, and the Amber will also flow directly towards you instead of falling to the ground. Keep in mind that while last-hitting is important to all players, there are some roles that should prioritize last-hitting over others, such as carries and other high-damage heroes. 

Don’t Forget About Harvesters

Stop by your team's Harvester for free Amber.

Speaking of Amber, harvesters are found in various spots within the jungle to provide you with a steady means to gain Amber, provided you unlock them for your team. Harvesters appear as small keyholes on the map, and they become available a few minutes into the match. Activating a harvester requires the use of a Harvester Key card. When the harvester is available, you can approach the harvester with your equipped harvester key and stand in the circle to activate it. 

Once a harvester has been activated, all you have to do is wait. The harvester will passively accumulate Amber, which converts to CXP and experience that gets evenly distributed to your entire team. You can collect Amber from the harvester by standing near them again, emptying the device and allowing it to fill up once more. Enemies can destroy your harvester, and vice versa. Keep an eye on the jungle to protect your harvester at all costs, and eliminate enemy harvesters to gain additional CXP and thwart their efforts.  Don’t forget to take advantage of these farming machines to accelerate your progression during each game. 

Ward Often

Place Wards in jungle intersections for extended vision.

The jungle can be a dangerous place when skilled junglers are lurking about. As with most MOBAs, Wards are essential for map awareness and can prevent unwanted sneak attacks. Wards are consumable items that are placed throughout the map to alert you of nearby enemies. Enemies that pass by the ward within a certain range will be revealed on the map. 

Paragon features a variety of different wards, including Shadow Wards that offer additional bonus effects. Take advantage of the map’s verticality by placing wards on high ledges or tucking them in corners to prevent opponents from finding and destroying them.  Vision and map awareness are important in Paragon, and wards play a vital role in your team’s defensive strategy. 

Never Underestimate Super Minions

Super Minions to the rescue!

Destroying an Inhibitor in Paragon causes beefier minions to spawn in that lane for the team that took down the structure. They’re called Super Minions, and they are a force to be reckoned with. These enhanced minions only use melee attacks, but they have increased health and inflict more damage than regular minions. Typically, you won’t have to worry too much about regular minions taking down a tower or structure on their own without help from Heroes. This isn’t really the case with Super Minions, as they can collectively melt a core on their own, not to mention with help from allied Heroes. 

If your team loses an Inhibitor, you must immediately devote one or two players to defending the core and keep the incoming Super Minions at bay. If your team is the one to take down an enemy Inhibitor, try to go for another Inhibitor in a separate lane to divide your opponent’s attention and secure a final end-game push. While the enemy core can be taken with only one Inhibitor down, the enemy team will likely divert their focus entirely to that one lane, making it harder for your team to break their defenses. The more Super Minions your team has, the better.

Paragon is free-to-play and is currently in open beta, with new heroes and updates rolling out every few weeks. Hopefully these tips will help you make the most of your time in Agora!

Larryn Bell

At my last save point, I left off in a massive open world where I write about video games and make content for the interwebs. For me, video games are all about the strength of the experience. Give me good narratives, unique mechanics, competitive strategy, or at the very least, distract me with cats.

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