There are 4 unwritten rules that are very important for new players to know, and they need to be kept in mind when playing every game of Scrolls. Each of these are crucial to playing Scrolls in a more skillful, focused, and intelligent manner. These rules will be covered in the video above, but the brief explanations are:
The only way to win Scroll is by destroying your opponents idols, and in many ways this is first stumbling for a new player.
As scrolls has 5 idols, it’s common for new players to spread their attacking and defensive strategies too widely. This limits the effectiveness of both and, if your opponent positions his or her units more effectively, it will be difficult to gain board advantage. Which means that...
Unless some specific spell or ability is applied, creatures can only move 1 hex at a time so positioning is vital to winning the game.
The optimal row to be able to attack and defend the board is the middle one (row 3) and, therefore, losing this will be a blow to any game plan you have. If you are strongly defending the middle row then your opponent can only focus on destroying 2 of the 3 required idols and will need to split his or her attack, noted as bad in point 1), to get the 3rd. With board positional advantage in mind, the next important point to remember is...
The basic mistake every player makes, which spreading units out too thinly is often a symptom of, is to ignore creatures and focus on idols; as Blinky says “Creatures can hurt you, idols can’t”.
Not only can creatures attack and destroy your creatures and idols, but also they can block your creatures attacks too. Allowing your opponent to build up creatures on the board can quickly turn into losing board advantage, followed by the game.
Before you do anything on your turn you should give yourself as many choices as you can, and sacrificing a scroll for 2 more scrolls, or a resource point, does just that.
Top players analyse the board, their hand, and the potential plays of their opponent during their opponents turn, but the first thing they always do on their turn is to expand their options by sacrificing. The only decision that needs to be made iis whether another resource point would be the best play (given you can then play scrolls that gain you advantage or more options) or whether you need to increase your hand of scrolls (which then keeps your resource pool at a set level but increases your choices of scroll that can be used)..
Build up your knowledge of the game through playing against the AI opponents in Quick Matches and Trials, these have no time limit for turns so there is no pressure to make your move.
Spectate games being played by the top players (a small eye icon should be visible next to the players name), play against friends or ask people in chat whether anybody fancies a game. All of these will give you more experience (and gold) that will help you for when you finally decide to jump into ranked. You can even watch our for players streaming their games via Twitch or videos on YouTube.
But the key point is that you should just enjoy yourself, don't get stressed about playing games as each game will give you more experience, win or loss. Welcome to Scrolls :)
Sysp explains some of the nuances behind card sacrificing.
How to deal with the hard trials in Scrolls when you have a small library.