Paragon is a third person MOBA that utilises free aiming and many of the systems you would associate with the likes of League of Legends or DOTA 2. Set on a map known as Agora, the objective of the game is for the players on each team to fight their way to the other side of the map in order to destroy their opponents’ Core. Blocking their path to the core are a series of towers that prevent you and your minions reaching it. Destroying these towers not only opens up the lane to minion pressure, but also places the enemy team at greater risk from attack knowing that they cannot retreat to their tower for safety.
Like any MOBA, Paragon has a selection of Heroes on offer. At present there are 20, making up typical roles such as support, carry, or pusher. Each plays very differently and it’s important that you understand what each role is and how to utilise that in lane. While roles do blur (all Heroes are more than capable of swapping lanes to outnumber an enemy, in order to “gank” them). Some obviously do this better and more efficiently than others and with that in mind, it’s paramount you learn the strengths and weaknesses of your respective Hero. For example, Grux is a very strong melee Hero but he’s weaker than Feng Mao 1 on 1 due to his ability to shield himself. This puts him at a disadvantage. In contrast, Grux can often kill Gideon despite his ability to teleport thanks to his Smash and Grab that pulls enemies towards him. This rock, paper, scissors approach is a cornerstone of any MOBA so picking your Hero battles is often key to winning.
There’s two forms of experience in Paragon: level and card. Level experience is obtained from all sources that you kill - minions, camps and enemy Heroes. Card experience or CE is obtained directly from the same sources, but it will either fly to you if you land the killing blow or if you don’t, is a collectable left behind after death. Collecting these Amber orbs is key to unlocking your cards, which then grant you access to improved attributes. Without collecting card experience you’re going to find it very difficult to not only improve the strength of your Hero but compete against others who are. Arguably and because card experience is so easily earned in the jungle, it makes fighters particularly quick at leveling up. That isn’t to say laning can’t yield high amounts of amber and experience (we’ll talk about that below) but you need to ensure you constantly last hit.
Where leveling your Hero is concerned experience allows you to directly improve your skills. Your Q and E can be upgraded 5 times, while R and RMB only three times. Upgrading skills in this way directly increases their potency, providing more damage or utility depending on the skill type. I would recommend you always unlock all your skills first and then concentrate on upgrade your most used skill. In the screenshot above, I upgraded Sticky Mine to 5/5 as soon as possible so that it would deal high amounts of area damage.
Laning is incredibly important in Paragon as it not only provides you with experience and Amber, but eventually grants you access to the enemies core. Laning itself involves a lot of tooing and froing between you and your enemy and often requires equal lane splitting. For example, your team might send one person on the left lane, two to the middle and two the right. Your opposing team will usually mirror this to ensure they don’t get bullied out and eventually pushed back. With each lane consisting of 2 towers and an Inhibitor (a more powerful version of the tower) it’s imperative that you push your lane in order to destroy a tower, but assist in pushing other lanes when appropriate.
Towers are denoted by a yellow circles on the map and will automatically fire at anyone who walks into their radius. The exception to this is that they’ll always attack minions over you, unless you stepped into their range before your minion wave. To kill a Tower you should aim to not only kill your the enemy Hero defending in lane, but also clear their minion waves so yours can march right up to the tower. Once they have, using them as a distraction so you can attack the Tower is a must.
Where Inhibitors are concerned, these are stronger versions of Towers and the final defence against oncoming minion waves. If these are destroyed, they will respawn after a period of time. However, if you do kill an enemy teams Inhibitor, you will begin to summon super soldiers down that lane. These are fast, tough and can quickly overwhelm any enemy team. Once your super soldiers begin to charge down lane, use this time to kill other towers or inhibitors - the enemy team will be forced to defend that lane.
Understanding the intricacies of laning is both complex and deep and requires a great deal of time and investment to fully understand its nuisances. Although we’ll be covering this in a separate guide, some key questions you should ask yourself while in lane include:
- Am I safe to go back?
- If I push this lane now, will I leave myself open to be ganked?
- Can I leave my lane to help gank another?
- How long should I stay in my lane for before going back to base?
- If I go back to base, will my lane be too exposed and will it risk our tower?
Jungle and Camps
The jungle in Agora is made up of a series of camps and bosses as well as experience Harvesters. All camps offer experience but some also provide buffs that you can collect. Each buff is represented by a color, with red signifying a damage and blue mana. White camps are experience only (providing no buffs on death) and purple detonates a team wide buff that dramatically increases your damage when turned in. The white, red and blue camps can all be killed on your own (though some Heroes are better than this than others) while the purple - known as the Prime Guardian - is particularly tough and often needs a group to bring it down. It should also be noted that buffs can be dropped upon death and collected by a team mate or enemy.
It’s in your team's best interests to always have one player jungling. Their role should be to clear all camps, secure all buffs (with the exception of the purple) and to cut into a lane to provide a gank or support to a team-mate. Khaimera, Rampage and Grux are particularly effective at this. Read more about jungling here.
Building on the above, in the Jungle there are five for Harvesters indicated by blue circles (with a total of 7 across the map, with one on the west and east side). These are extraction points that literally pull Amber from the ground once you’ve built the Harvester. Simply stand on a Harvester control pad and it will begin to build. Once complete, you visit the Harvester when it’s full (or filling) and you’ll gain a dose of card experience. The Harvester will then begin to fill again. Maintaining as many Harvesters as possible is really important both for the jungler and for the team. Effective management of them allows your jungler to secure lots of Amber for the team. It should also be noted that you can attack and destroy enemy Harvesters and for a jungler it’s imperative that they do this to not only reduce the Amber gain of the opposing team, but to also reduce the risk that your teammates will be ganked by a particularly well equipped Hero. Simply travel to the enemy Harvester and attack it and during the attack, you'll harvester what the enemy team should have gained.
At the central exit/entrance to the jungle on each lane (at the mid point down the lane) is a shadow pool. These will hide you and your team mates as well as any enemies exiting or entering a lane. The primary purpose of them is to not only mask the vision of the enemy, but to also prepare for a gank on a player who might have extended too far down a lane. Stealthing before you engage allows you to time your attack or wait for cooldowns but remember that if you are using them for escape, being hit or attacking will reveal you.
Cards replace items in Paragon and provide attributes and bonuses to your Hero. Earning Card Experience provides you with levels that you can spend on Cards. Typically a Card will cost 3 levels to purchase and there are 6 Card slots available. Some Cards, such as Health or Mana Potion, you can activate for a specific effect while others can provide a Ward that allows you to gain vision in an area. There are also additional bonuses you can get from cards such as reduced cooldowns - these can be particularly useful on Heroes that rely on skills over basic attacks to deal their damage.
As for what Cards to choose and when, in all honesty it largely depends on how you want to play and what Hero you are. The starter decks are absolutely fine and can quite comfortably provide you with versatile builds but you still need to determine what you’re aiming for. As one example, Grux is a high damage melee Hero and so it’s sensible to stack power first to increase your damage. Mid game, you can take attack speed and if you find you’re a little too squishy, take health. Steel in contrast works well with early health to allow him to bully and stay in lane longer. How you choose to build is entirely up to you but if you find your attacks are dealing too little damage, always go for power.
Finally, once you’ve purchased a primary card, you can then socket this with three upgrades that cost further card experience. The choice of upgrade is down to you and you can socket three of the same type if you wish.
Think I've missed out something important? Let me know and I'll add it to the guide!
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