Advanced Strategies [Part: 1]

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As most of you know, I posted a thread and blog a while back detailing deck archetypes of TCG's. It had detailed explanations of what each one was, and how they're used. I got some very good feedback, but also a few comments about it being geared mostly towards players with little to no experience with card games. I took that to heart, and figured I'd post something for the intermediate to advanced players. New players are encouraged to read as well, and ask questions as you go.

All of that being said, here's my Advanced Strategies post:

Part 1: Deck Building

A Control Based Meta:
Well, most of use call rush tactics noob strategy, and label it with not requiring any sill to play. While that might have been more true in past versions (1.28-1.29 to be specific), those tactics nearly no longer apply. Since 1.5 was released, the game has shifted to a more control focused strategy in order to reach your kill condition. This requires more thought when it comes to deck building.

It all starts with Deck Design:
What you carry in your deck is half of the battle. Most people think that throwing 4 of 5 or 6 different cards in their deck is "good deck building", but in fact, that is far from the case. While it virtually guarantees getting some/most of those cards throughout the game, it does nothing to help your deck be versatile. There are 20 different heroes in the game, and they all play differently. having essentially 7 different cards in your deck does not help you win against 20 different hero abilities.

Versatility Vs Focus:
To be honest, this is a matter of preference. Some players prefer to go for focus, and write off the "auto-loss situations", or learn how to play against them through in-game strategies. Other players prefer to go the route of having counters to their weakest matchups build in their decks, and being more versatile. The reason why it is such a tough choice, is because you will have to sacrifice one for the other. There is no perfect balance. some heroes have an easier time with this due to their native card pool. The Wolven Class, Priest Class, and Hunter Class are among the most versatile.

Versatility - Accounting for many opposing strategies and play-styles. This means including a variety of cards that will not be useful in all situations. Examples of this are: Sever Ties, Lay Line Nexus, Healing cards (Healing Touch, Lone Wolf, Rampage, and more), Poor Quality, and Spelleater Bands.

Focus - Playing to the strength of your deck, and your main win strategy. This means playing cards that have their main purpose align with getting you the win in the way your deck is designed to achieve it, but are not helpful outside of that. Some examples of this are: Night Prowler, Mind Control, Ill Gotten Gains, Speedstrike, and Freeze.

Deciding the quantities of cards in decks seems to be a sticking point for most people. Including 4 of a card instead of including 3 of that card can mean the difference between a solid win streak, or a string of frustrating matches.

How To Decide Between Quantities:
The simplest way to decide, is to see which cards are the most versatile in their nature by design. An example, is Priest of the Light over Aldon. Priest of the Light is a much more verstile card because it effects 3 different aspects of the game upon being cast. It increases your heroes health by +1, reduces your opponents Shadow Energy count by -1, and gives you board presence to the tune of a 3/3 ally. Aldon only gives you a card that helps you if you already have the board.

The name of the game is board control. The first 3 turns of any game usually decide the outcome, so that means that you should plan for it. Knowing the percentages is what will help you ensure that you minimize luck when it comes to getting that optimal starting hand. Including 6 t2 allies in your deck instead of 4, increases their presence in your deck by around 15%, and increases the chance that you will have them by turn 2 by about 7%. That may not sound like much, but trust me when I say that in games, it makes a world of difference. The same can be said for t1 allies, and t3 allies. Some players actually prefer to play 7+ 3cc allies, as they are useful in late game situations as well. Weapons fall into this category as well. While including only 4 Soul Seekers in a Gwenneth Truesight deck may sound fun, but you will often lose to the percentages. 7% will matter a whole ton in those situations.

The Most Versatile Allies In The Game:
Priest of the Light - effects the board in 3 different ways, and can mess up opposing players strategies if played in tandem.
Jasmine Rosecult - nowhere near as versatile as Priest of the Light, but can win a game on her own, if left unchecked.
Death Mage, Thaddeus - his ping damage, plus being able to do damage without risking an attack, is very versatile in the right situations.

The Most Versatile Non-Allies In The Game:
Battle Plans - a draw engine of sorts, but has the side effect of allowing you to play for your next turn with certainty. knowing what is coming next can be invaluable in your decision-making during your turns. The fact that you can cycle through your deck, is just icing on the cake when you're looking for a specific card to help you win a game.
Retreat! - One of the few cards in the game that can target both you or your opponents cards. Can help you either save an ally that is about to die, or to regain the effect of an ally that impacts the board when cast (think Priest of the Light), or more powerfully, it can force your opponent to have to recast a high casting cost ally that they played last turn. Crucial to buying time in the late game.
Full Moon - another card that has more than one effect. Either one of the effects here are extremely powerful. preventing damage to your hero can turn the game around. Stalling for that 1 extra turn when you need to save up for your heroes ability, or need a chance to increase your resources by +1 in order to cast the card(s) that you want can be pivotal. Do not forget that it also boosts the attakc of ALL allies that you have on the board. This can help you keep the board when you would otherwise have lost it to a strong ally, or several allies that are staring you down. Also note that it lasts until your next turn, so the attack bonus lasts as well. A great and complete card.

The rest of the quantity deciding will have to be done after you've done some testing with your deck, and have gotten more comfortable with the style of play that it provides. Tweaking will start out with changing a lot of cards, sometimes, removing whole sets of the same card altogether. Knowing when to start from scratch will take practice and diligence.

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  1. Kip thorp's Avatar
    Just wanted to let ya know I enjoyed the read and it is most useful to a poor player such as myself!
    Thanks bro!
  2. Bazzel's Avatar
    Wow this was pretty usefull, now that shattered fates is out , this article open my eyes and showed what was that was missing in my deck. Thanks a ton