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Thread: My 2, 3, 4 Rule

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    DP Visionary Preybird's Avatar
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    My 2, 3, 4 Rule

    Hi all,

    This will be my first article. This article is aimed at the newer players, and is not going to go into the in depth statistical analysis that the high end players use. I use this in my deckbuilding before I start to really tweak, and I call it my 2,3,4 rule.

    Please bear in mind that there are many times where you won't build a deck based entirely on this, this is more of a starting point.

    Basically it goes as follows:

    If it's a mission critical card, it's 4 copies.
    If it's going to be needed against most heroes, it's 3 copies.
    If it's situational, or a fall back, it's 2 copies.


    Mission Critical: 4 Copies

    So say you play Boris, and your Plan (See DnDFreak's article on the Plan) for the first four turns is as follows:

    Turn 1: Birgitte
    Turn 2: Puwen
    Turn 3: Jasmine
    Turn 4: Jeweler's Dream, Jasmine's ability.

    Those become mission critical cards, because they're part of the Plan. So naturally I would start by putting 4 of each in the deck.

    Some examples of other 4 copy cards:

    Fireball & Lightning Strike: No mage should be without them.
    Retreat!: So flexible, an obvious choice.
    Mind Control: The mainstay of an Elemental deck.

    Mostly Needed: 3 Copies

    An example of a three copy card would be Ley Line Nexus. It's useful against most heroes, but by itself, it's not going to win you any games (or very few). Plus there are some heroes it's a dead drop against. So I don't want four, but three is good, and will ensure I have one (most of the time anyway), just for when that nasty Soul Seeker comes out.

    Some other cards that I would generally consider 3 copy cards:

    5 or higher cost cards: As my general rule, most of these only need 3 copies, as getting them early game is a dead drop. (Some exceptions are Plasma Behemoth, Shadow Knight and most certainly Mind Control, but it's very dependent on your deck).
    Non-essential allies: Allies that the Plan is not utterly dependent on.
    Ally control cards: Crippling Blow, Now You're Mine, Captured Prey etc. Most of these saturate your deck too much if you have 4 copies.

    Situational: 2 Copies

    Everything else. For example, cards which you'll only need once, or cards which may only be useful against one or two heroes, but are required to beat said heroes. Some very good examples however are:

    Energy Discharge
    Soul Reaper
    Rusty Longsword
    Jeweler's Dream (for Wulven only. For Warriors this is usually Mission Critical)
    Bad Santa
    Shrine of Negatia

    Single copies

    The only card that I could possibly justify having one of is Eternal Renewal. You will only ever need it once and, while useful, is extremely situational.

    That's it. I hope that this wall of text will mean something to someone out there. My last piece of advice:

    Experiment. Try anything and everything. Don't be afraid to stray from your favourite heroes. Play lots of games. Don't worry about losing, it helps you grow.

    And above all, have fun!

    Oh, DnDFreak has more than just the Plan article. Check out his entire collection:

    DnDFreak's Strategy Compilation

    Also, any new players can't go past Wtzky's guides to the heroes. These are for 1.29, but I'm sure he'll be updating them soon:

    Wtzky's Beginners Guide to SE Heroes
    Last edited by Preybird; 02-22-2012 at 09:15 PM.
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  2. #2
    Senior Member whirlowisp's Avatar
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    Awesome article, easy to understand and brilliant deck-building advise.

    +1

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    Senior Member MistahBoweh's Avatar
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    Thanks for the bumps! Generally speaking, there's some pretty good advice here.

    However, I think you're missing a few things.

    4 Copies: Sometimes, there are decks that absolutely dominate with a card, say What Big Teeth. And the only way to really dominate against a deck like that is to have one copy of hate for each copy of their key card. You do that and entire archetypes will crumble at your feet.

    3 Copies: Cards that are good for you to have and will often win you games, but also things that you can afford to draw late or that you may need to sac early. This can range from expensive cards (such as The King's Pride) to cards that don't give you the same effect if you play them early (Dual Wield, Lily Rosecult)

    2 Copies: You mention here that there are some cards you only need once, and yet group them in 2 and later list Eternal Renewal as such a card.

    However, there are two kinds of cards you only need once.

    1. When you need it, like, REALLY need it, you lose if you don't have it.

    2. When you need it, you can afford to wait a few turns if you don't already have it.

    For the latter, it's often fine to run only a single copy. Yes, this includes Eternal Renewal, resurrection, etc.

    However, there's another category. Cards added for consistency.

    For example, say your -plan- relies heavily on santa bombing. You already have 4 fire snakes in your deck, which is great, but remember that you get one extra draw to find a bad santa than to find your 1 drop, so say you add a lone Hellsteed just for the sake of improving your odds of a t2 bomb. A card that's completely dead other than for one specific situation.

    1 drops also work in a deck that can play the one copy multiple times. Currently, that's only recursion, but in the future there may be search effects, etc that do the same thing.

    For example, in a gravebone deck that already has 3-4 shadow knights in addition to your hero's ability, you may be comfortable playing a single Ogloth, the Glutton. You won't get locked down if one's dead and the other's crippled, you can recast it multiple times in a game if need be, and you only really need for him to stick once to win yet can afford and am easily able to win without him.

    All in all though, well written and very helpful. Your aim was to keep it simple and much of my additions are either niche, circumstantial, or pure personal preference, so I (and no one else) should think any less of the work from what I've said.
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    Member Azbycx's Avatar
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    Personally, I would never recommend putting less than 3 copies of a card into a deck (with exceptions like 2 Poison Gas and 2 Engulfing Flames), so that your deck has more consistency, which I think it's very important.

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    Regionals Runner Up kentuequi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Azbycx View Post
    Personally, I would never recommend putting less than 3 copies of a card into a deck (with exceptions like 2 Poison Gas and 2 Engulfing Flames), so that your deck has more consistency, which I think it's very important.
    I disagree, the OP is right, and lots for card works great x2, Soul Reaper, Energy Disharge, Enrage, some weapons, armor, ect..

    And Poison Gas & Engulfing Flames a terrible cards which will never be in any of my deck (except a fun Nish allyless) :P
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    Senior Member ahmet476's Avatar
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    Well written. I've been doing for some time and I generally keep my late game cards to a maximum of 3. Most of the times 2 of the late game cards are enough to have them in my hand when I need them.

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    DP Visionary Preybird's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dndfreak View Post
    Thanks for the bumps! Generally speaking, there's some pretty good advice here.
    DnDFreak, your articles are fantastic, and deserve every bump they can get!

    Quote Originally Posted by dndfreak View Post
    4 Copies: Sometimes, there are decks that absolutely dominate with a card, say What Big Teeth. And the only way to really dominate against a deck like that is to have one copy of hate for each copy of their key card. You do that and entire archetypes will crumble at your feet.
    This is very true. I remember when 1.28 first hit the live server, and every man, his wife, children, dog and cat was playing Darkclaw. My Boris deck at the time was teched with 4 Misplaced and 4 Smashing Blow. Against any other hero, two thirds of that was autosac, but because the early meta revolved so heavily around the Big Bad Wolf, the deck did well.

    Quote Originally Posted by dndfreak View Post
    2 Copies: You mention here that there are some cards you only need once, and yet group them in 2 and later list Eternal Renewal as such a card.
    Sorry, this was poor formatting on my part. I've put in a new heading entitles Single Cards. And your elaboration on single cards is something I'd never considered. On search cards, I remember Demonic Tutor in Magic, perfect for when you needed that mission critical card to respond to a threat, or to consolidate board position. (Sengir Vampire and Necropolis were two of my usual searches, or Breeding Pit if I had a Lord of the Pit in hand. Yes, I played Magic a looooonnnnnnggggg time ago. Back in the days of Fourth Edition and Ice Age.)
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    Senior Member MistahBoweh's Avatar
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    Well if you played in the early 'tutors for everything' age of Magic then you should know how powerful singleton cards can be :P

    'Oh hello, my name is Turbo Stasis. My wincon is a single Black Vise. Yes, I will kill you with it. No, there's nothing you can do. have funn passing the turn for the next 40 minutes.'
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    DP Visionary Preybird's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dndfreak View Post
    Well if you played in the early 'tutors for everything' age of Magic then you should know how powerful singleton cards can be :P

    'Oh hello, my name is Turbo Stasis. My wincon is a single Black Vise. Yes, I will kill you with it. No, there's nothing you can do. have funn passing the turn for the next 40 minutes.'
    Unfortunately (or fortunately) we don't have deck search in Shadow Era.

    I never played competitively, but I looked up that deck. It makes a Darkclaw Hidden Machine matchup look like an action packed game.

    100 posts!
    Last edited by Preybird; 02-22-2012 at 11:04 PM. Reason: To make more sense :)
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    I do remember reading dnd's article on this ages ago and it is the way I create my decks nowadays from it. Though going first and playing a turn 1 drop. Then turn two playing bad Santa is invaluable!!

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