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  1. #1
    Senior Member MistahBoweh's Avatar
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    What's The Plan(tm), Stan?

    This article provides a basic place to start for deck construction, meant more for people new to TCGs or those accustomed to tweaking other people's lists as opposed to building one from scratch. You have been warned.

    So you want to build a deck, eh? The very first step, and the most important of all, is The Plan(tm). Every deck has one, every strategy. Figure that out, and the rest falls into place.

    What is The Plan(tm)?

    Each deck in SE has an optimal line of play. Their best-case scenario for turns 1-4. After the fourth turn, games become very different based on the matchup, what cards were played, who has board control, and the use of shadow abilities. Up until then, however, you want to try and stick to The Plan(tm).

    As en example, when I play Boris, I have one Plan(tm) for the play and another for the draw.

    Play:
    T1 Kristoffer Wyld
    T2 Bad Santa
    T3 Jasmine Rosecult
    T4 Jeweler's Dream, then Crippling Blow or Blood Frenzy, depending on if I need CB or not.

    This is simply the strongest play for my deck. I get an early threat from Kris, card advantage from BS, Jasmine to force the opponent to focus on my allies and put him in a defensive position, and then JD to enable all my shenanigans over the next couple turns. This is an aggressive start, like Kris/Puwen/Aldon, but unlike KPA it's much harder for my opponent to stop me from doing my thing.

    When I go second:
    T1 Kristoffer Wyld
    T2 Puwen Bloodhelm
    T3 Aldon the Brave
    T4 Jeweler's Dream into CB or Blood Frenzy, same as before.

    On the draw, I can't gain advantage from BS like I can when I go first, and my opponent can get threats on the board a turn faster than me so I need to put the pressure on with my own team. The advantage here with going second is that I can go all-in aggressively and need to worry less about sweepers ruining my day, since the opponent will be trying to run out threats and maintain their board position (they can't against Boris). Either way, JD is still the best drop on t4, as a hasty 1 point of damage on top of letting me play something else.

    Right there, this tells you a lot about the deck. And by a lot, it tells you I want four copies of each of these cards, at least to start.

    Why?

    Because now I have The Plan(tm).

    The rest of the deck should be full of cards that will help you based on what the opponent played or what they might be playing that could hurt you. Smashing Blow for troublesome equipment, Enrage to tank Eladwen, Dual Wield to quadruple your damage output and bounce back from weapon destruction, etc. etc.

    At this point, you can start looking at your resource curve. It's awesome if you get your ideal play, but you also need to make sure you can play something every turn of the game. Otherwise, you'll be handing the extra turn (and possibly the win) to your opponent.

    So if I have 4 Kris, 4 Puwen, 4 Bad Santa, and 4 Blood Frenzy in my deck, I find it rather likely to have plays on the first couple turns. I might add a Birgitte or three to get that 1-drop count up and enable my Santa Bomb(tm), even if she isn't much value elsewhere in the deck.

    You don't always have to stick to The Plan(tm), of course. There's no guarantee that you'll even have draws of acceptable quality most games. But it's never a bad thing to have one, and it's also not a bad thing to try and capitalize on it. Starting with a Plan(tm) doesn't even mean ending with one, but it's as good a place to start as any.

    It's a framework that comes with a balanced curve, a basic strategy, and even a feel of how the deck will play out. That's a lot of output for a very small amount of work.

    What's my Plan(tm)?

    When discerning your own, try looking at the card pool available for your hero and picking out the best cards you can play on each of those turns. Note that not all decks need to play 1cc allies, and not every play has to specifically be a card. For example, when playing a mage deck my turn 2 play might be Research. My optimal t3 might just be to use that Research to draw a card. In that same vein, remember to look for the future instead of just picking the fastest start. Preparing for later turns is just as important as early damage in some decks, if not most of them.

    I hope you're already planning(tm) your next Plan(tm), Stan.

    My thanks for Jet for his concerns in the TJ forum and the great game he gave me in the semis of the world's first 1.29 event. Congrats again, broski!
    MistahBoweh - Paragon of Paragons
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    My Strategy Site: The Boweh
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  2. #2
    Senior Member Mojumbo's Avatar
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    dndfreak the man with the plan. Good article!

  3. #3
    Senior Member Bluejet24's Avatar
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    Interesting read... Can't wait for part 2.. Well thought out..
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    Founder of Team Juggernauts

  4. #4
    1.27 Tournament Champion Raphael Majere's Avatar
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    Good read, recommended.

    About me: An Interview
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  5. #5
    Senior Member Dima's Avatar
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    yes, it must help new players not to make decks with 1-2 copies of everything. Should be mentioned some decks are build around combo of 2-3 cards like Gwen Rapid fire-SS-Night prowler-forest. Personally i devide decks that play their "own" game those are the strongest one like Eladwen Logan etc. and those that are built to conter other decks. So my advice is to build decks that have their own strategy( and i do not mean it must be top tier heroes). Just try to make your opponent to counter you and confuse him with your strategy to make him mistakes than find yourself always like trying to counter your opponents.

  6. #6
    DP Visionary Atomzed's Avatar
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    Good read! (bluejet say there's a part 2, is that right?)

    The Plan (tm) is the key to creating a good deck. I call it the winning condition (s). Each deck must have at least 1 winning condition.

    In fact, I will suggest that beginners read this article b4 reading racrux Rule of 6 article.

    The Plan (tm) is much more impt than Rule of 6.
    A1's Mustard-Seed Knight of Hope (IGN:A1 atomzed)
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  7. #7
    Senior Member MistahBoweh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Atomzed View Post
    Good read! (bluejet say there's a part 2, is that right?)
    I never said there was >.>
    MistahBoweh - Paragon of Paragons
    Warrior of the Blue Phoenix
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    My Strategy Site: The Boweh
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  8. #8
    Senior Member MistahBoweh's Avatar
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    The Plan(tm) isn't about your win condition, just your first few turns, looking at the best way you have in the card pool to spend your time and then using that as a foundation. Like my Boris example, none of the cards listed are win conditions. There are good cards, sure, but none will singlehandedly win me the game.

    Take Logan, for example. His win condition is usually Plasma Behemoth. But is that part of the plan(tm)? Not really. At the point where you would get to 5 resources, the board will either be won, lost or empty. If the board has been won, there's usually little need to play pb. If the board has been lost, you'll need a weapon on board, some form of removal like cb, and then a cheap creature to drop in since you will (probably) have less resources available. Only after the board is empty, like say an opponent went first and played tidal wave or nova, will PB be your best drop. This is what I meant by- "Each deck in SE has an optimal line of play. Their best-case scenario for turns 1-4. After the fourth turn, games become very different based on the matchup, what cards were played, who has board control, and the use of shadow abilities." PB may be a strong win condition, but isn't always the optimal t5 play. So he's part of the deck, part of your win condition, but not part of The Plan(tm).
    MistahBoweh - Paragon of Paragons
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  9. #9
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    The Plan(tm).
    you planning to fill out a trademark application on this article?

  10. #10
    Senior Member MistahBoweh's Avatar
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    No, I'm planning to use a form of repetition as a method to increase memorization and recognition for myself and the article. It's a subtle trick with a powerful effect. But I'm sure you think you're funny, so carry on.
    MistahBoweh - Paragon of Paragons
    Warrior of the Blue Phoenix
    Greatness, Reborn

    My Strategy Site: The Boweh
    Latest Article: USED: MistahBoweh VS SamuelJ

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