So you want to get into Skytear, but you are not sure what to buy and in what order?
We’ve got you covered!
This guide will go through these points (that are also a summary of the whole guide):
- Start from the Starter Box
- Continue with one or more faction expansions
- Eventually, add one or more intermediate expansions
- After hundreds of games, get the advanced expansions
- Where to buy
- How to keep up with new releases
- Bonus: the Skytear storage guide (it won’t take up much shelf space!)
Start with the Starter Box
As the name suggests, the Skytear Starter Box is the best product to start with.
It has everything you need to play Skytear on the 2-lane battlefield with up to 4 players.
Let’s walk through the components now.
8 HERO MINIATURES (38mm tall)
You end up with 2 heroes for each of the 4 available factions. Keep in mind that in Skytear you are free to mix factions in a similar way that you are free to mix colors in Magic: the Gathering. And the same can be said for the power cards, you can combine any color while building the hero decks
16 MINION MINIATURES (25mm tall)
Here you get 4 minions for each of the 4 factions. Miniatures are 25mm tall and have a hexagonal base. Four more minions are included in each faction expansion, allowing you to get up to 8 minions per faction.
1 OUTSIDER MINIATURE (90mm tall)
This is the creep, or monster, that dwells inside the central part of the map called “Dome”. Your heroes can tame it to direct it toward your enemies. Four additional outsiders are available in the dedicated Outsiders Expansion. we’ll cover this product later in the guide.
84 CARDS (63x88mm)
To be precise, you get 64 Power Cards, 10 Victory Cards, 1 Outsider Card, 8 Hero Cards, and 1 Skytear Flux (a special power card reserved to the player going first, as a balance mechanism).
Of these 64 power cards, some are in 3 copies while others in just 2 copies. With expansions, you will end up with 3x of all of cards (and 3x of a card is the maximum you are allowed to use while deckbuilding).
To sleeve the cards, you can use any sleeve that works for Magic: the Gathering cards (88×63 mm standard size). The 64 Power Cards are the only cards you are going to mix and shuffle (a lot!). You can also find custom Skytear sleeves here.
I won’t enter into the details here. Just be aware that there are 2 big punchboards because the starter has all the tokens for the remaining 16 heroes available in the faction expansions, as we made this choice optimize the manufacturing process.
Anyway, the majority of the tokens are rounded with a diameter of 30mm. If you want to use coin protectors for them, use at least 31mm wide ones to account for some variance. You’ll need at least 24 coins for the hero tokens. And with 24 more, you’ll be able to cover also many of the secondary tokens.
THE TWO-SIDED BOARD (50x70cm)
On one side, you will find the 2-lane map while on the other the 3-lane battlefield. The 2-lane is designed for 30 to 60 minutes long matches, with organized play in mind.
The 3-lane, instead, has a playtime of 1 to 2 hours and is more focused on accurately recreate the feel of an actual MOBA because the only victory condition is to destroy the enemy Nexus.
To play on the 3-lane, you will need at least 1 faction expansion because it requires 10+ heroes. While not required, the Outsiders expansion will also help enhance the experience on the 3-lane map giving you a second outsider to play with at the same time (and to randomize between all the outsiders in each game!).
RULEBOOK AND QUICK START GUIDE
The 24-page rulebook is also available from our website.
From the second re-print of the starter box, we also added a quick start tutorial booklet. If you don’t have it, just download it from the learn to play section of our website. It’s essentially a fully scripted turn one using the simplified rules. It allows you to get started playing literally a few minutes from opening the box.
And that wraps the list of all the components.
A few final notes on miniatures: they are not painted but are pre-assembled and ready to play with.
Many customers write us that photographs don’t make justice to the amount of details… and they have a surprising amount of details for being pre-assembled.
If you are a video person, here you can also see the unboxing of it made by Watch It Paint It:
The Skytear Starter Box costs USD 70 or EUR 65.
As a player who reviewed us on BoardGameGeeek said: “this is a steal of a price” —and we couldn’t agree more!
It provides so much more re-playability and value than the typical starter box, that we regret naming it like that in hindsight.
Here’s how another player put it in our Discord:
While the starter can be played as a stand-alone board game and offer MANY wildly different and exciting matches, it was designed just as a starting point for a game system. A game that can be played every day for years without getting stale thanks to many expansions and deckbuilding options.
Continue with some Faction Expansions
Faction expansions are the natural next step after the starter box.
They essentially complete the faction of your choice with 4 more heroes, 4 more minions, and a pre-made deck of 32 power cards that you can use to enhance your deck-building options.
To be precise, out of 32 cards, some are in 3x while others are in 1x and complement the ones from the starter box that were present only in double copy (so that you end up with 3x of all of them).
In the deckbuilder, or even in the shop page of that given faction expansion, you can see the exact list of cards contained in each box. Color-wise, a faction expansion has only cards of that faction color except for 2 cards of adjacent colors. For instance, the red expansion has all red cards except 3x of a green card and 3x of a yellow card (the two colors adjacent to red).
What faction is the right for you?
Unfortunately, this is outside the scope of this guide! But you can hear this faction overview from Lead From the Deck, a great fan-made podcast an episode to answer this question (there are also deep dives into single factions).
If you plan to buy more than one faction expansion, we can share a tip on how to choose them:
- Buy 2 opposite factions if you plan to share the product with a friend. This will give you both as little overlap as possible, so you will not compete for the same card pools while deckbuilding. By opposite we mean either pick RED and BLUE or GREEN and YELLOW.
- Buy your favorite faction and 1 or 2 adjacent factions if you plan to play against other players who have their own product. To understand what we mean by adjacent, consider that factions are in a wheel like this: RED, GREEN, BLUE, YELLOW, RED. So, for instance, if you like the red faction you could buy the red, green and yellow factions. This will maximize your deckbuilding and heroes drafting potential.
An important note on cards: unlike trading card games, we do not have to come up with junk cards to fill booster packs. So we are doing our best to make sure all cards are interesting and competitive in their own peculiar way.
I can tell you with confidence that you could take 32 cards at random of the same color and still end up with a more than playable deck.
Eventually, add one or more intermediate expansions
The intermediate expansions are not tied to any specific faction and comes in different forms:
The Breach is a deck of cards all about playing with hero conditions in new ways. It is a great boost to your deckbuilding potential.
Into Ashes is good if you want some new deckbuilding options on a budget. It comes with 10 new power cards, one new victory card, and one new ultimate for Brylvar, a blue hero.
Ashen Pass is a brand new way to play Skytear. It resembles the ARAM map of League of Legends, and is sometimes used in tournaments because it consistently plays in under 50 minutes, meaning almost no games will end with a dreaded tie breaker.
The Outsiders expansion has this name because you will find 4 alternate outsiders that can be used both on the 2-lane and 3-lane battlefield. It’s our recommended purchase after the starter and four faction expansions.
In it, you also find these 48 power cards split across the 4 colors. These cards open up deckbuilding options, but we do not recommend buying it before you get at least 1, if not even 2, faction expansions. That’s because having more heroes is more important (and fun!) than having just more cards and outsiders.
After hundreds of games, get the advanced expansions
These expansions, like Stormsear and Winterdeep, are meant for hardcore players that have played a LOT and want even more out of Skytear. They enable advanced combinations of heroes and you should not worry about them to start with.
Common fears from card gamers that we didn’t know exactly where to put…
“I never bought a miniature… how does it work?”
Having a board and miniatures might seem scary if you are used to having only cards. But it’s nothing to worry about, because miniatures come pre-assembled, so they’re ready to play with out of the box. Furthermore, each box has an insert to carry them around safely.
“I never painted, can I still enjoy the game with grey miniatures?“
Yes, painting is not required to have fun. And if you will ever find yourself interested in experimenting with this part of the hobby, here is a nice guide on the topic from Team Covenant.
I’m sold. Where to buy?
If your local game store is stocking Skytear, that will always be the right place to buy it! Skytear is made for organized play, and local game stores are the backbone of it.
Speaking of this, for retailers, it’s really easy to start stocking us, as we have wholesale distributors in all countries and we can even ship to them directly with very friendly terms. And since they would have you as their first customer, they would risk very little in placing an order with us. That is why many players have brought their local store onboard just by asking the owner to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org —give it a try!
You can also look into the Skytear Store Locator to find nearby stores that might have existing communities to join.
If the retail option is not an option, we suggest you to buy directly from our online shop: https://shop.playskytear.com/
With warehouses in the US, Canada, Europe, Australia, and Asia, we can ship worldwide without annoying VAT charges or import duties.
Keeping up with new releases
It’s no secret that we want to keep a steady release schedule with at least one new exciting thing every 3 months. That’s because our ideal players, the one we’re making this for, are playing or thinking about Skytear every week, if not every day!
So you might be wondering… how can I keep up with all the releases?
Before answering that question, you should know that buying all expansions is NOT a requirement to be competitive. (or to have fun!)
We are well aware that many companies use power creep to make new expansions basically mandatory to be competitive. We believe it’s a short-sighted move, not really sustainable in the long-run.
Since our timeframe with Skytear is decades and not years, we will do our best to avoid that pitfall.
With this said, if you don’t want to miss any new products, we’ve got you covered!
If you are from the US, we’ve partnered with Team Covenant to serve all Skytear expansions through their fantastic subscription service in the United States (we’re working with them to extend to other countries).
Just sign up for free here, and you’ll receive every new release the day they come out.
If you are from outside the US, make sure you are subscribed to our weekly newsletter, and you will be able to pre-order each new release from our online shop as we officially announce it.
Bonus: Skytear Storage Guide
We put together a simple storage guide for Skytear to help you keep everything organized and tidy… without taking much shelf space!
All the miniatures and cards from all the expansions can fit into the original Starter Box that measures 250 x 295 x 85 mm (roughly 10 x 12 x 3.5 inches).