There's a free demo/trial available from the battleforge website for those who want to try. It's limited to a few single-player maps, a few coops, and unranked pvp. You'll be unable to trade obviously.
I've attached an .xls file that lists the locations of every card upgrade. Smart players plan their upgrades so as to only use pvp tokens towards ones that are hard to get. They've unlinked charge upgrades (if you have multiple cards) with upgrade cards, so you no longer need another upgrade just to charge upgrade.
Tomedeck matches are the way to go since they give you the best shot at PvP domination UNLESS you get a bad draw like I did. Regardless, they give you more bang for the buck.... however, they tend to be overly balanced between colors, so be prepared to trade heavily (once you disband the deck) if you're focusing on a few colors only; but obviously this is less risky. Regardless, you end up with 8 xtra commons if you build and register one, and then disband or play it out over 4 weeks.
As you can see, 1 tome/month averages out to be like $12.50.
It's moot for the release because of everything that's included with retail purchase. They give you MORE than enough to be competitive. 3000BP PLUS all the starters, not including exclusive cards is a lot. If you trade down to a few colors you'll be set for a while.
Some people just have a knack for trading and dont spend a dime.
Anyways, enjoy. I'm in-game as "Ghambit"; on xfire, steam, and/or TS in a temporary BF channel.
Need good groups badly for this game since it's an MMORTSTCG. PvE is very prominent, but PvP is also. Has every flavor for every type of player.
To put it into perspective, I've put down Empire: Total War and a host of other MMO/RTSs to play this game. It's just that good imo.
You may wish to check your database again as there may have been a change or error. I have every card in the game except 9.(all the REALLY expensive ones.) I have acquired all the upgrades on the standard level and your database is correct on those. I am now working my way through advanced.
On advanced in the map "Soultree", I have received the upgrades: "Shield Building I" and "Sunstriders One", however I have not received the card listed in the database which are listed as "Werebeasts I" and "Soulshatter I". I have played the map only twice and the same cards came up. I can keep playing the map if you wish, however the cards that I did receive are not listed in the database at all. Let me know if I can help you out.
EDIT TO ADD: Also the following that are not in the database:
Treasure Fleet - Advanced - Emberstrike I
Titans - Advanced - Magma Fiend I - Battleship I - Aura of Corruoption I - Grove Spirit I.