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  1. #1
    Senior Member Conquestadore's Avatar
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    Step-by-Step: Anatomy of a Standard Deck

    Step-by-Step : Anatomy of a Standard Deck


    Introduction
    *Takes a seat*
    Good day, sir Conquest here. I’m here to share with all my fellow sirs the anatomy and components of a standard SE deck. Now, what does it mean by standard? In this case, standard would be defined as used or accepted normally or on average. A brief overview would show us that a standard deck would be composed of various components available in Shadow Era: A Hero and its allies, abilities, weapons and armors. Aside from reviewing deck components, we will also take a look at the ratios of the components, assuming the build of a consistent 40-42 card deck.


    Deck Components
    *Pours some tea*
    As mentioned in the introduction, we assume that a standard deck would be commonly composed of a hero and its allies, abilities, weapons and armors. Note that different archetypes of decks or heroes would be composed of different amounts of each component, but on a general overview, this is how a mapped out deck would look like:



    1) Allies
    *Sips some tea*
    There are various allies in the game, and each ally from each faction can play a different role in decks. Allies are generally divided into the weenies, and the fatties, as well as some for utility.

    Weenies
    In the game, weenies are generally referred to your 1cc–3cc allies.

    1cc allies are fragile, and have a maximum of 2hp. These allies are usually to weigh in a slight bit of early damage, and are weak in board pressure throughout the game. However, some may still be useful for certain combos like playing Kristoffer Wyld with his Haste to wittle durability. A more balanced deck would often exclude 1cc allies in turn for more space of better allies, or abilities. However, decks that are catered for fast damage may include 2-4 1cc allies, such as Rush decks.

    2cc allies are often played as a stepping stone to increase board pressure. Opponents have to deal with them, which makes them use up either card disables or damage resources. This gives players a better chance to fight for board presence and control, as well as deal damage of course. General inclusions of 2cc allies would be around 4-6 copies.

    3cc allies are vital in a deck, as Turn 3 in a game is often the first of the few points in a game. It marks a transition into mid-game, and most heroes may be able to use their hero abilities during Turn 3 or the next turn. These allies have an average amount of HP and damage, allowing them to be an effective play on turn 3. Due to these reasons, many decks contain 8-10 copies of 3cc allies to ensure a draw of one of them for a turn 3 play.

    To sum up the above, we can average a number of 12-14 weenie allies in a deck.

    Fatties
    Fatties are normally referred to 5cc and 6cc allies. These allies have a higher amount of HP, and a significant potential to deal damage.

    4cc allies are few in this game, and most come as utility. However, some like Rider of Ellos and Lightning Hunter can be a potential mid-cost damage dealer, suitable for several deck builds.

    5cc allies in the game range from 4hp to 6hp allies, showing good survivability. They also come with good damage and utility in some, such as the Plasma Behemoth and its infamous 4dmg ability, or Raven Wildheart (not a fatty from a physical perspective) from the human faction, with her useful passive. With great stats come great costs, and 5 resources are not little in a match. To maintain balance in the deck, 5cc allies are normally included 4-8 copies depending on the deck theme.

    6cc allies are few in this game, but are formidable, including the 2 new legendary allies included in the Dark Prophecies expansion. These cards are unique, which only allows one to be on board at the time.

    Rush decks might not include any at all, but heavy-oriented decks such as Majiyas and Moonstalkers might run a good amount of fatties. To maintain balance in the deck, fatty allies are normally included 6-8 copies depending on the deck theme.

    Utility
    Utility commonly comes in 4cc allies such as Lily Rosecult, Braxnoxian Veteran, Elizabeth Winterborn and Disciple of Aldmor. They have moderate stats, but serve for certain purposes that a deck need. Sometimes amazing additions, these cards may be situational, and if present, only up to 3-4 copies at a time.

    Review
    A general overview would show us that a deck would normally have 16-20 allies on average, taking up almost half the space available in a deck.


    2) Abilities
    *Crosses legs*
    Abilities come in forms such as support ability, attachment, artifacts and items. Abilities usually help the deck exert control on the opponent, which makes it a vital component to include in a deck.

    Draw
    Abilities are usually the most common method for draws. Cards such as Blood Frenzy and Ill-Gotten Gains are ability cards that are the key for draw in Warrior and Rogue decks respectively. Draws are very very IMPORTANT in a deck, and without draw, no deck can work optimally. This fact marks draw mechs as key cards in most decks, and optimally a deck should have 6-8 numbers of draw cards.

    Disables
    Disables usually refer to ally disables, although hero disables are present in the game such as Urgent Business or Sanctuary. Ally disables play its part in the game by delaying opponent tempo, or regaining board control. From cheap 2cc disables such as Crippling Blow, Retreat and Now You’re Mine, to expensive but critical ones such as Mind Control and Tidal Wave, ally disables are versatile and useful. A deck would normally consist of 4-8 ally disables.

    Item Destruction
    Item destruction abilities are a debate in the new meta. Item destruction is situational to an extent. Some players like a least amount to include other more useful and less situational cards, some players still maintain a reasonable amount to be ready to take on anything that comes. Item destruction cards are not limited to cards like Shriek of Vengeance or Ley Line Nexus, but also attachment removals such as Sever Ties. Due to the situational nature of these abilities, 2-4 copies are usually enough in a standard deck.

    Utility
    Utility ability items refer to certain cards such as Portal, which is a special inclusion in Portal Majiya decks, or Soul Reaper/Infinity Core and Enrage, forms of healing factors for heroes. These cards depend on the theme of the deck.

    Review
    Looking at abilities, we can conclude that a standard deck would contain 14-16 ability cards.


    3) Weapons
    *Adjusts monocle*
    Weapons are included in decks for various reasons. They can act as sources of direct damage, or as utility.

    Offense
    Weapons act as a source of damage for weapon-based Heroes such as Amber Rain, Gwenneth Truesight, Darkclaw and Baduruu. In a standard deck for weapon-based heroes, weapons coexist in a way with allies to offer a versatile function of dealing damage and controlling the tides of battle. Weapons usually take up 6-8 cards in a deck for weapon-based heroes.

    Utility
    Different weapons offer different decks certain utilities that can be very helpful. For example, Wizent’s Staff act as the main draw engine in priest decks. Spectral Sabres can act as attachment removals and Soul Seekers for healing. Most weapons act as utility in ally-based heroes, and are usually included 2-4 copies.

    Review
    On average, weapon-based hero decks would have around 6-8 weapons. On the other hand, ally-based heroes would bring 2-4 weapons in the deck.


    4) Armors
    *Tweaks bow-tie*
    As with weapons serving their purpose, armors exist to provide defense for your hero, as well as acting as utility.

    Defense
    Armors provide certain damage reductions for heroes, allowing them to survive longer. Spelleater Bands is a good example for defensive armor against mages. However, many armors come with utilities at the same time. The King’s Pride is an infamous inclusion in priest and warrior decks to buff allies while providing defense for your hero.

    Utility
    Other utilities that armors can offer include acting as draw, or exerting crowd control on the field. Wrath of the Forest and Twice-Enchanted Robe are good examples of armors used as draw, and Snow Sapphire is infamous for its annoying freeze effect on enemy allies.

    Review

    Armors are not definite inclusions in every standard deck, however they prove useful for certain heroes such as warriors and priests. The average amount of armors included would be 2-4 copies.
    Psalms 19:1 - The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork.

    _____________________________________________

    A reason to fight. A purpose to defend. A brotherhood to cherish.
    The Warriors of the Blue Phoenix await you right here.


    :: My guide to basic deck-building ::


    ______________________________________________

    Conquestadore
    :: Warden of the Phoenix Causeway ::
    :: Warrior of the Blue Phoenix ::
    :: Greatness Reborn ::

  2. #2
    Senior Member Conquestadore's Avatar
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    The Joint
    *Combs moustache*
    No, not drugs. Now that we know the components a standard deck have, how do we put them together? No, it’s not just as simple as mathematical additions.

    Step-by-Step
    When one tries to build a deck, the first move is to choose the hero. Each hero decides the different amount of cards from each component.

    1) Identifying key cards
    As mentioned earlier, the key cards in a standard deck are the draws. Every class and hero carry their own distinguished draw mech. Warriors would carry Blood Frenzy, Hunters would carry Wrath of the Forest, Mages would carry Tome of Knowledge, and so on. Draws should take up at least 6-8 card slots in your deck, and should be the initial additions in your deck.

    2) Identifying a deck theme
    Every good deck concept comes with a certain theme or focus. By identifying the theme of your deck, you can next include the essential cards that the deck requires. Portal Majiyas focus on spilling out allies from Portal, Banebow runs his healing on Soul Seekers and draws from Wrath of the Forest, and so on.

    3) Planning a resource curve
    A very important part during a deck building process is to plan out a nice resource curve. In simpler terms, a resource curve maps out an overview of your deck's consistency. A resource curve can technically be a bell-curve. A deck achieves consistency by having a normal distribution of cards in terms of resources.

    Here is an example of a resource curve :



    Most decks run on mostly 3-4cc cards (Cards, not referring to just allies), which allows the cards to be consistent in terms of draw, play, resourcing and tempo. Having a bizarre distribution in a deck may lead to players facing poverty mode: too many cheap cards to play, ending up having no cards in hand and using top-deck strategies; Or gaining presence at a very slow pace due to many useful cards centering at 5cc: Without enough resources, players will be helpless.

    4) Perfecting the deck
    It is not the end, not yet! To perfect a deck, a player must go through test games and tweaks to identify the weaknesses and lacks of the base standard deck. Once the best options and combinations of allies, abilities, weapons and armors are included into the deck, you have yourself a deck ready to rumble.

    Conclusion
    *Tips hat*
    I hope my fellow sirs have enjoyed reading this. As a brief outlook, I hope this article can increase your basis on building a deck.
    Last edited by Conquestadore; 06-28-2013 at 02:49 AM.
    Psalms 19:1 - The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork.

    _____________________________________________

    A reason to fight. A purpose to defend. A brotherhood to cherish.
    The Warriors of the Blue Phoenix await you right here.


    :: My guide to basic deck-building ::


    ______________________________________________

    Conquestadore
    :: Warden of the Phoenix Causeway ::
    :: Warrior of the Blue Phoenix ::
    :: Greatness Reborn ::

  3. #3
    Senior Member Zhou86's Avatar
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    Excellent article, well covered. Love the additional visual aids.

    Good job bro.
    Psalm 91:7 A thousand may fall at your side, ten thousand at your right hand, but it will not come near you.

    Zhou - Servant of the Eternal Saviour
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  4. #4
    Senior Member DarkPhoenix's Avatar
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    Greatly Appreciated this helped a lot
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  5. #5
    Senior Member Conquestadore's Avatar
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    Thanks bros , I hope this can help the community.
    Psalms 19:1 - The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork.

    _____________________________________________

    A reason to fight. A purpose to defend. A brotherhood to cherish.
    The Warriors of the Blue Phoenix await you right here.


    :: My guide to basic deck-building ::


    ______________________________________________

    Conquestadore
    :: Warden of the Phoenix Causeway ::
    :: Warrior of the Blue Phoenix ::
    :: Greatness Reborn ::

  6. #6
    Senior Member Jo3yb0i's Avatar
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    This is awesome. Great read. all you people better read the whole thing.

    P.S. TL;DR
    "Try and try until you die...or succeed...whichever comes first"

    Jo3yb0i - Knight of Dark and Light
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    Greatness, Reborn


    Drawing Power - A Brief Analysis of Draw Cards

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  7. #7
    Senior Member Master_Savage's Avatar
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    Good article, good read. +1 to sticky.
    IGN: Master Savage™
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    Warriors of the Blue Phoenix, Greatness Reborn.

  8. #8
    DP Visionary SET Colosal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by whoisSAVAGE View Post
    +1 to sticky.
    Agree, good job Conq

  9. #9
    Senior Member Conquestadore's Avatar
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    Thank you.
    Anybody find themselves unsatisfied with parts of this article, let me know!
    Psalms 19:1 - The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork.

    _____________________________________________

    A reason to fight. A purpose to defend. A brotherhood to cherish.
    The Warriors of the Blue Phoenix await you right here.


    :: My guide to basic deck-building ::


    ______________________________________________

    Conquestadore
    :: Warden of the Phoenix Causeway ::
    :: Warrior of the Blue Phoenix ::
    :: Greatness Reborn ::

  10. #10
    Senior Member Nataku's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DarkPhoenix View Post
    Greatly Appreciated this helped a lot
    side note glad to see one of my signature been used (but at least ask )
    IGN: Nataku Wolf

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