Unlike chess and some other games of complete information, Prismata does not require rote memorization or opening book study to be competitive. However, it can still be helpful to be aware of some common build orders.
Delayed Tia Thurnax
Rather than an all-out rush to land Tia on turn 4, this opening gets an extra 3 drones and 2 tarsiers that attack the same turn as Tia, at the cost of only one additional turn.
The delayed Tia Thurnax build is available to player two.
- DDT + Tia Thurnax
This build order was shared by Pseudoradius on the Prismata subreddit, where he stated:
"This gives you 9 Attack on turn 6 and leaves you with 9 Drones. Enough to go double Tarsier or Tarsier + Rhino every turn afterwards.
This build severely punishes opponents that opt for a high economy strategy. If Thurnax is available, going for triple Drones probably is suicidal."
Pseudoradius vs. ChoKosoku: http://play.prismata.net/?r=H4T0j-4Nqdf
Pseudoradius vs. DrTasslehoff: http://play.prismata.net/?r=6EY+P-zADjr
Turn 3 Shadowfang
This is an extremely aggressive opening and is telegraphed by cutting a drone on turn 1. It is available to Player 2:
Astute opponents can easily counter this if they recognize it on Turn 1. A common counter is to cut a drone themselves on turn 2 to rush out a Blastforge, then follow up with a Steelsplitter, and later a Wall. Applying minimal but immediate pressure to the Shadowfang rusher will crush the strategy. This counter was even effective prior to the Shadowfang nerf on September 2014.
However, Player 2 is not obligated to follow through with the rush on Turn 2. As Prismata developer Elyot notes, the Turn 1 play can actually be an effective gambit:
"The true power of this opening isn't just that you can double animus. It's that you can completely switch away and do DDB or DDA if your opponent tries too hard to stop you. If your opponent overcompensates and does something really defensive, you can just NOT go AA and then be ahead."
On the other hand, if the opponent does not recognize the Shadowfang rush on Turn 1 and fails to adjust, the rush can still be extremely effective.
Wild Drone Mass Economy
When Wild Drones are available, it is possible to go for a super economy more efficiently than with regular drones.
Either player can spam Wild Drones, but the build order is more elegant for Player 1:
The unit Wild Drone is denoted by 1
Will vs. Timex: http://play.prismata.net/?r=aGUHg-txnf7
Tatsu Nullifier Rush
The Tatsu rush is extremely effective against Blue and Red strategies. However, it is easily countered by Gauss Cannons, which are naturally resistant to breaches.
This build order is available to player two.
iminaBearSuit demonstrates the Tatsu rush: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iWkW-AuJIS4