Cards are a mechanic in Paragon which allow players to upgrade their heroes in-game by increasing their stats or incorporating active and passive abilities into their hero's build. Players choose a deck to bring into a match and then purchase these cards for use in-game with Card Points gained from Amber.
There are three types of cards that comprise a full deck: the Equipment, the Upgrades, and the Prime Helix. The Equipment cards are further divided into Active and Passive sub-types. Every hero has 6 card slots (2 passive and 4 active slots) to which they can assign Equipment cards or Consumables, such as a Health Potion. While there are currently over 400 cards to choose from, a hero is only able to use a deck that is comprised of Universal and their specific affinity type.
Certain cards have an active ability that must be slotted in one of four "active" slots in order to be used. A card with a passive ability, meaning that it works without the need for a player to activate it, can be slotted in either an "active" or "passive" slot. Upgrade cards are used to upgrade Equipment cards and they can be assigned to the Equipment cards beforehand in the Deck Builder. As players gain CXP they can upgrade their cards. Most cards can only use 3 upgrades. Players may choose to upgrade a card already being used, or use the points to slot a new card. Players can only have one Prime card per deck.
Equipped cards can be discarded during gameplay, which makes card points previously spent on them available for spending on a different card, but also makes the discarded card (and its Upgrades) unusable for the rest of the match. Players can earn up to 60 card points during the match. Each match, players start with 3 card points and earn an additional 3 after certain amounts of Amber are collected.
Adding or Discarding cards can only be done while a Hero is standing in their team's spawn point.
While a full set of 6 Equipment cards with 3 Upgrades each only uses 24 cards, each custom deck you create can hold a total of 40 cards. This allows for flexibility in builds between games, such as having cards you may only want in certain situations, or allowing you to have early game cards that you slot in order to gain an early advantage only to discard later in the game and replace with more powerful cards.
Cards are earned by:
- Buying Card Packs for various amounts of Reputation from the home screen store tab
- Leveling your account and heroes
- Participating in certain community events
- Completing Weekly Quests
There are six card slots in each Hero's loadout, consisting of 4 active and 2 passive. Once the match starts, player's press "G" on PC (touchpad on the PS4) to open a window to the card deck choices. They can select a premade Starter Deck or a deck they have created themselves. Once the choice is confirmed, players can spend 3 initial points on cards and slot them. Players will gain 3 more points to spend with each card level gained during play.
Passive cards are activated automatically. Active cards can be activated using the 1, 2, 3, 4 keys (Up, Right, Down, or Left on the D-pad for PS4). Once a card has been activated, it's effect will remain for a short time, then the card will need to recharge. Cards only recharge at the player's base.
There are 3 types of cards you will see. Prime Helix, Equipment,Potions and Upgrade type cards.
- The Prime Helix card is a special card that is activated when you kill the Prime Helix Guardian. You can find this objective in the jungle. A Prime Helix card is not slotted into a deck by a player; it is automatically activated when the buff obtained from the Prime Guardian has been deposited in the enemy team's drop off point.
- Equipment cards are your items. They fill the 6 cards slots that you have. These cards will give you small bonuses. To get more powerful, you have to upgrade them.
- Most equipment cards will have 3 upgrade slots.
- Some equipment cards will have a bonus passive for fully upgrading your card.
- In addition, most but not all items without actives give statistics equal to 1 more card point (cp) than their cost when fully socketed with upgrades. For example: the starter card Windcarver Blade costs 3 cp and gives 6.5 physical damage and 5.5 attack speed as the base item. These each are worth 1 cp, for a total of 2. When you socket an upgrade into all 3 slots, you gain the "Fully Upgraded Bonus" of another 6.5 physical damage and 5.5 attack speed. Adding these 2 cp worth of stats to the 2 cp from the base item gives a total of 4 cp worth of stats for 3cp. For this reason, it is most efficient to complete your build with 6 items, averaging 10cp per slot, rather than simply running all 3 cost upgrades in 3 cost items which (at 12 per fully upgraded item) would only allow you to have 5 items with the maximum 60 cp.
- Upgrade cards are cards that contain a specific stat. You can only put an upgrade card into an equipment card if they share the same stats. e.g. A physical damage upgrade must can only be put on a equipment card that has physical damage.
- Aside from the above there are two sub equipment card types Active and Passive. Which may or may not be Unique which does not stack with similar of the same effects.
- Active cards are cards that require the user to activate its bonus ability by key press
- Passive cards are always active and do not require a button press for its ability to activate
There are different types of Equipment and Upgrade cards. Each one of these cards has an affinity: Universal, Corruption, Fury, Growth, Intellect, and Order.
- Universal cards can be used by every hero.
- All other types depend on whether or not the hero uses them. Heroes can use up to 2 different types, based on their affinity.
- This does not affect the Prime Helix cards.
There are also different rarities of cards. Rarer cards will be less stat-oriented and will typically have increasingly situational active abilities
- Epic Rare
Equipment cards are split up into Affinity groups. There are 5 Affiniites: Corruption, Fury, Growth, Intellect and Order. Each Hero is assigned one or two Affiniities and can only use cards that correspond with them. See Affinities for more information on how this works.
Each card has symbols representing what they increase or decrease. A list of the symbols and their meanings is below:
Prime Helix Cards
These cards can be equipped on all heroes, regardless of their affinities.
These cards can only be equipped on Heroes with the Corruption Affinity.
These cards can only be equipped on Heroes with the Fury Affinity.