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  1. #1
    Senior Member Mew Two's Avatar
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    Mewtwo's 10 step guide to deck building

    Hello everyone! This is a 10 step guide to deckbuilding aimed at new players who want to learn how to build competitive decks. It may also be an interesting read for more experienced players who want to hear my tips. Allright, let's begin!

    Step 1 How do you want to win? This is the most basic question to start with when building a deck. Do you want to win through a slow and steady reliable path to victory (control deck)? An ultra-fast storm of destruction (rush deck)? A combination of the two, winning board control, and burning your opponent down quickly at the same tim (burn deck)? Do you want to use weapons for damage? Allies? or just defend yourself until your opponent runs out of cards? I would highly suggest beginning with one of the first three deck types, Control, Rush, or Burn. Those three are both the most common and the strongest deck archetypes at the moment. For more information on the subject, try looking at Soothslyr's article http://www.shadowera.com/entry.php?742-Ways-to-Play. Once you have decided how you want to play, move on to step 2.

    Step 2 Choose your hero! Your decision is very important at this point. Will you choose the hunters, the mages, the warriors, the wulven, the elementals, the priests, or the rogues? Initially, your decision can be slightly narrowed by the amount of gold/crystals you have. Human heros are, in general, much more expensive to build decks for than shadow heros. If money is an issue, I suggest shadow. If not, your options are wide open. Take a looks at this chart made by Keaven http://www.shadowera.com/showthread....Rankings-1-603. If you chose to play a rush deck, look under the column that says rush, and choose a hero that is rated 1 or 1.5. Do likewise in the burn column if you chose burn. For control decks, look under the column that say "balanced". Although hero's that are not 1 or 1.5 can still win games, they are not as easy to play or as consistent (tier 2 hero's can really compete just fine although they are harder to use... for example monomax's nishaven deck just won one of the regional qualifiers for the world championship). After seeing which heros of your chosen type are ranked 1 or 1.5, it's up to you to choose. If you need more help deciding which hero to use, try looking at this comprehensive hero guide made by Wtzky http://www.shadowera.com/showthread....erence-Thread). Now that you've made your choice, move on to step 3.

    Step 3 Open up the deck builder. This is the easiest step... just upen up this link in a tab or new page http://shadowera.gondorian.com/deck1.5/edit.html on thata page, you can design your deck before you make the deck in-game. Time for step 4

    Step 4 Establish card draw. The ability to draw extra cards is essential for every deck. Since you only draw once card per turn, and you will usually be sacrificing one card as well as playing another, you will run out very fast. Most classes have a specific "draw engine" that only their hero type can use. You will want to include 4 copies of that card in your deck (go to your deck builder page, select your hero, find their draw card, and click on that card 4 times). The class draw engines are
    -blood frenzy for warriors
    -tome of knowledge for mages
    -wrath of the forest for hunters (surprise attack is also a class specific draw card, but is not very powerful)
    -ill gotten gains for rogues
    -wizent's staff for priests
    -wrath of the forest for wulven
    -nothing for elementals
    After adding those 4 cards, look at your other options. All classes have access to bad santa and bazar. Bad santa is a good choice for rush decks, bazar is almost never used. Humans have access to both tainted oracle and honored dead. I would recommend tainted oracle for burn or control decks. Shadow has sacrificial lamb, which is good in burn and control decks. For elementals, as they have no class draw engine, I suggest including both bad santa and sac lamb. Dimension ripper can also draw cards (although they come from the other player's deck). Your deck should include 6-8 (8 is optimal in my opinion) draw cards, chosen from the options above. Add those cards to your deck, then proceed to step 5.

    Step 5 Add "power cards"! "Power cards" are the cards that some people claim are overpowered or "broken". This is not the case. All classes have one or more of cards that are very strong, and should be included in almost all of their decks. you will want 4 copies of your hero's power card(s) in you deck. Here is a list (some other cards could be added to this list, but are not as definite as these).
    -Boris-Jeweler's dream, Crippling blow
    -Amber-Jeweler's dream, Crippling blow
    -Victor-Soulseeker, Poison arrow
    -Gwen-Soulseeker, Rapid fire
    -Nishaven-Fireball, Lightning Strike, sometimes portal
    -Eladwen-Fireball, lightning strike
    -Jericho-Tidal Wave, Focused Prayer
    -Zhanna-Tidal Wave, Focused Prayer
    -Lance-Anklebreaker, Stop Thief
    -Serena-Anklebreaker, Stop Thief
    -Ter adun-Jeweler's dream, Crippling Blow
    -Logan-Berserker's Edge, Jeweler's Dream (no not add 4 copies of both weapons), Crippling blow
    -Banebow-Soulseeker, Poison arrow
    -Baduruu-Soulseeker, rapid fire
    -Majiya-Fireball, Lightning Strike, sometimes portal
    -Gravebone-Fireball, Lightning strike
    -Darkclaw-What Big Teeth (although some decks use JD and fangs of the predator), Speedstrike, Captured prey
    -Moonstalker-Shadow Font, Captured Prey
    -Elementalis-Mind control
    -Zaladar-Mind control, shadow font
    After adding your power cards to the deck, proceed to step 6.
    Last edited by Mew Two; 01-07-2013 at 06:08 AM.
    I see now that the circumstances of one's birth are irrelevant; it is what you do with the gift of life that determines who you are.
    Enlightened Technological Creature
    A Proud Member of ETC
    My 10 step guide to deck building
    My published 1.6 decks

  2. #2
    Senior Member Mew Two's Avatar
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    Step 6 Add allies This step will be different depending on the deck type you chose at the beginning. For rush decks, you will want lots of small allies, for control you will lot wants of "fatties" (big allies), and for burn you will want a smooth mix. There is not an extreme difference, different deck will just be slightly more focused on different types of allies. You will want to have the option of playing an ally every turn starting from turn 1-2 for rush decks, turn 2 for most burn decks and control decks, or even turn 3 for the slowest control decks. To have a good chance of having an ally to play on turn 2, I recommend having 5-6 2cc (two casting cost) allies. Having more than seven or less than 4 is generally not a good idea if you want to be able to play one on turn 2. If you want to have 1cc allies in your deck, try using 4, as they are near useless in the late game. Popular 1cc allies are firenake for shadow and Kristoffer Wyld. Popular 2 cost cards are puwen bloodhelm and sometimes dirk sabre for humans (nightshade is used for rogues). Brutalis and sometimes dark flayer are used for shadow (Pack wolf for wulven). To be sure of having a 3cc ally on turn three, it is good to have 8-10. Th turn three play is very important for board control, and can be game over if you don't have you turn 3 ally. For humans, Aldon the Brave, Jasmine rosecult, and Priest of the Light are all good choices. Shadow uses Infernal gargoyle and Death mage thaddeus (along with bad wolf or medusil occasionally). The vast majority of competative decks do not use 4cc allies (other than tainted oracle). This is because 3cc allies are just as good as the currently available 4cc allies. Also, turn 4 is a good time to play your draw engine. turn 5 allies are important in some burn decks and all control decks. You never really will need more than 7 or 8, and for burn decks, 4-5 is generally a good number. For shadow, plasma behemoth, molten destroyer, and shadow knight are all good options. Humans usually use raven wildheart and/or armored sandworm (Aeon stormcaller also fits into this slot, although he is 6cc). To reiterate, here are the numbers of allies you will want for each of the three deck types.
    Rush
    1cc 4-6
    2cc 5-7
    3cc 8-10
    4cc you may include tainted oracle as a draw engine
    5cc usually none
    Burn
    1cc usually none
    2cc 4-5
    3cc 8-10
    4cc you may include tainted oracle as a draw engine
    5cc 4-5
    Control
    1cc usually none
    2cc 4 (priests can sometimes get away with none though)
    3cc 8-9
    4cc you may include tainted oracle as a draw engine
    5cc (including aeon) 6-8
    Alright, pick your allies, add them to your deck, and move on to the next step!

    Step 7 Add in abilities, weapons, and armor Now that you have your draw, power cards, and allies, the foundation of your deck is solid. Many of the best weapons have already been added from the power cards step. If you are not a weapon using hero like gwen or serena, you probably will not need anymore weapons (although 2 daggers of unmaking for mages or 4 dimension rippers for elementals can be nice. For weapon users you need to have at least 6, usually 7-8, weapons in your deck. Now for the abilities. Your deck should have most of its cards by this point. Pick out any abilities that seem particularly useful or powerful to you. You should have about 4 item destruction cards in your deck (although a deck used only for quick matches can get away with not having any to make room for other cards). Item destruction cards include shriek of vengeance, Ley Line Nexus, acid jet, and poor quality. You may also include 2 or three copies of an armor card, if your class have access to strong armors like the King's pride or Snow Sapphire. It's easy to get carries away with abilities, weapons, and armors. Include whatever strikes your fancy, but don't go far over the suggested quantities for each type of card.

    Step 8 Trim your deck If your deck is over 40 cards, try to reduce it as close to 40 as you can. 41 and 42 card decks can still be good, but try your best to keep your deck as small as possible. This step sounds simple, but can include some very difficult choices. Now on to step 9!

    Step 9 Tech to the meta Look around the forum to see what decks are popular at the moment. You can remove small numbers of your ability cards to add others that are good against popular decks. For example if Amber decks are popular, try adding more item destruction. Once you have adjusted to the current popular decks, trim down again, and make sure that your deck is still small.

    Step 10 HAVE FUN This is by far the most important step! Go out into quick match, enter a tournament, show your deck to your friends, or post it on the forums. Just enjoy shadow era

    Allright, that's all folks, I hope you enjoyed it!
    -Mewtwo
    I see now that the circumstances of one's birth are irrelevant; it is what you do with the gift of life that determines who you are.
    Enlightened Technological Creature
    A Proud Member of ETC
    My 10 step guide to deck building
    My published 1.6 decks

  3. #3
    DP Visionary Index's Avatar
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    Wonderful article!

  4. #4
    Senior Member Mew Two's Avatar
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    Thanks Index I'm hoping the wall of text isn't scaring people away from reading it...
    I see now that the circumstances of one's birth are irrelevant; it is what you do with the gift of life that determines who you are.
    Enlightened Technological Creature
    A Proud Member of ETC
    My 10 step guide to deck building
    My published 1.6 decks

  5. #5
    League Season 3 Undisputed Champion chanson311's Avatar
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    Good fast easy and effective!
    TJ "Old-Timer"

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    Senior Member Vitality's Avatar
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    Very nice article! Nice Job!
    A1 Vitality
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  7. #7
    DP Visionary Index's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mew Two View Post
    Thanks Index I'm hoping the wall of text isn't scaring people away from reading it...
    Since you divide your article into several steps, I don't think it hard to read!

  8. #8
    Senior Member dady's Avatar
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    Please make it sticky

    Great job ... Thnx
    IGN: d4dy

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  9. #9
    Senior Member Mew Two's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dady View Post
    Please make it sticky

    Great job ... Thnx
    Is there a way for me to make it a sticky, or does a mod have to do it?
    I see now that the circumstances of one's birth are irrelevant; it is what you do with the gift of life that determines who you are.
    Enlightened Technological Creature
    A Proud Member of ETC
    My 10 step guide to deck building
    My published 1.6 decks

  10. #10
    DP Visionary Mongoosey's Avatar
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    Great stuff. I'm going to apply your rules more closely and see what results I get.
    "I'll have you know I have the reflexes of a cat, and the speed of a mongoose"

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