I have reached the mid levels of Card Hunter, where “more brute force” is no longer always the right answer. Maybe. I am not grinding, so I am far from “best in slot,” so I am likely having some trouble because my characters are twice the level of some of my equipment.
I am undecided on how I feel about the fights that call for changing your build. They are usually because of setups like fighting opponents with multiple times your hit points, fighting enemies who are immune to a damage type, or being on a map with victory point tiles, where the enemy gets them unless you are built for that race (say, you are outnumbered and on movement-impeding terrain while your opponent can just walk a few steps forward).
On the one hand, thinking, woohoo! On the other, this is only a challenge because you do not know what you will need to build before you go into the fight. Once you see the opponents and learn what sorts of cards they have, you can counter. It is like in adventure games where you open a door, a trap kills you, and you learn to open the other door. This fight has skeletons, so equip blunt weapons; this fight has zombies, so are these the ones that are immune to elemental attacks or is that the other group of very similar zombies?
If your characters could switch weapons mid-fight, that would be one thing. You cannot. The adventures now usually have four fights, so you do not have the option of going in, losing to see what cards the opponent has, then choosing equipment now that you have adequate information. That is an exaggeration, because you get a few losses before they kick you out and you can probably beat half-ish the fights with your default deck. But then you can also lose any fight due to bad luck, and it may take several fights before you see enough of their cards to know what new and one-off opponents do. It is starting to feel like Guild Wars 1, where the appropriate answer is to check the wiki before going in and potentially to change your build before every map. You do not need to look up a build, because thinking, but in-game does not provide enough information in advance to plan without intentionally wiping on some fights to see what the mechanics of the fight are.
I am enjoying it less because my options seem to be “waste time” or “read spoilers.” Most of the fights can reasonably be done with any reasonable build. a fair number require something special, and you don’t really know that in advance, and you also don’t know until you try it a couple of times whether you have the wrong build, wrong tactics, mistakes in execution, or bad luck. Or if you are just supposed to grind for a while, which is never a good answer either, even though it is the right answer in almost any game with RPG elements.