Wrath is different from the other sets, so to be successful you’re going to have to throw out some of your old ways of thinking.
You’ll want to stack skill feats on your primary combat stat as soon as possible. The combat checks are just too high and intense to do anything else. You cannot afford to “spread out your stats”. Combat is prevalent and intense in Wrath.
Spell immunities weren’t really an issue in the games I played. I saw immunity to electricity and poison a little, but even that wasn’t common. If you were careful with your spell selection (and exploration), you should be fine (our sorceress never lost her hand).
You will need armor. Armor is something you didn’t want in your hand in other sets, in Wrath you want it. If your hand size is 6 or more, you need 2+ cards that will absorb a hand wipe for you. The first card feat most of us got was armor. This includes my ranger, bard, cleric, and even a sorceress. Yes, it was surprising. With a hand size of 6, I don’t feel comfortable playing without armor. Without armor, the reality of death becomes very real.
When I say armor, I’m talking about the kind of armor that can reduce all damage to 0, not just a few points. I include Mirror Image in that list as well, which can be your “second armor” card.
Weapons. You’ll be surprised to note that casters who had a decent Str or Dex often got a backup weapon (card feat) or had something traded to them during the game. Just in case. With a few blessings, this actually worked out well for us. Yes it’s non-optimal (and eats a spot in your hand), but it can help prevent hand wipes.
Healers… you need them, or you need some (good) form of healing. You take more “before and after combat” damage in Wrath and you need something to keep pace with that and the cards you burn from fast exploration. To support a party of 4 you need a minimum of 3 cure spells (collectively on characters), more is desirable. Clerics are very good for this since they start with 3. My bard, who started with 1, could barely support himself.
I feel some of the basic monsters (Carrion Golem) and barriers (Demonic Horde, Arboreal Blight), are very tough. Once you add in AD1 and AD2, you will see these cards much less and the monsters might have higher difficulties, but are more reasonable (you need to make an Arcane/Divine check to use spells).
Especially with AD1, the temptation barriers are more like loot piñatas and you actually look forward to “facing” them. :) It’s not until AD2 that you will fear barriers again.
So the sooner you can start playing AD1 the better. Also the rewards in AD1 are substantial and will make things easier. Mythic charges make everything even easier.
First of all, I really liked it. The forums had me a little scared of Wrath but all in all I found it really balanced, fun, and challenging. I played 13 sessions and was successful in all 13 (although 2-3 matches did come down to the final 1-2 turns, 1 match down to the last die roll). No deaths. My close matches were caused because of extreme bad luck or non-optimal play.
I played 1-1A successfully with Valeros and no healer, and the other player had barely played PFCG before, so it’s not like you need to be expert.
I saw a guy complete Adventure 1 with Wu Shen, one of the last characters I’d expect to see, yet it was possible. He told me it wasn’t too bad at all (when I asked him about poison immunity).
I thought Adventures 1 and 2 were fair, not too hard, and I felt like we had plenty of boons to keep pace with the AP itself.
I know some class decks have lots of items in their deck and the items in general aren’t very good. The loot cards in Wrath will help in that regard and are desirable.
Most of my experience was with a party size of 3, which I believe was optimal. I believe that party sizes of 6 will have a lot of problems, especially with threats that require everyone to make a check (and all checks need to be successful). Part of the fun is that extra challenge, but just be aware of it.
I can see the scenario challenge level beginning to increase in AD2. It was still reasonable.
I’m very interested in continuing play in AD3+.
All in all, Wrath has been a great experience and I’ll be purchasing it in the near future. The concerns about my character dying or it being too hard were greatly exaggerated. Finally we have something that is challenging.