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  1. #1
    Senior Member seedog's Avatar
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    Mar 2011
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    Deck building advice for new players

    Hi guys! This is RS Seadog!

    I have been playing Shadow Era for almost 10 years and would like to share some of my deck building ideas to new players.

    If you look at the Strategy section, you may have probably seen some of my decks. I test a LOT of decks. Some work, some doesn’t. The idea is to keep trying, explore and be creative! I think that’s the fun part of the game that keeps me around for so long.

    Being a new player, you would probably want to start with some existing decks. There are a lot of good decklists on the forum, particularly those from WC players. Most of them are very good lists that’s where you want to start from.

    Another very good way is reverse-engineering. Check out the game of the top players in Quick Match and try to re-work their decks. They might switch cards from game to game but watching 10-20 games will get you the basic idea of their decks, and you can start to draft a list for the cards you want to buy.

    After that, it’s tweaking. Keeping the core cards of the deck and start to add/drop cards to suit the meta. E.g. tech in item destruction if meta is full of weapon based hero or add removal cards if meta is ally-heavy.

    If you play more games, you will start to understand the matchups of different hero too. Try to bring hero that has advantage against meta decks.

    I have also noted down some basic deck building skills below. I will keep updating the list when I can think of something:

    1. Consistency vs Versatility

    This is the basic of every single deck, and the single most important rule of all.

    Quick match: Consistency > Versatility
    Tournament: Versatility > Consistency

    Consistency means the how often you can play the games you planned in every game.

    Versatility means how many solutions you have against every single deck.

    I have seen a lot of new players tend to over-value versatility and add in 1 copy of every card, hoping that they could do everything. They probably affected by Yugioh too much lol.

    In fact, this kind of play style lose more than often. The reason is that the deck has no focus, or core strategy.

    To all new players: build a deck that maximize consistency

    To maximize consistency, it’s very simple. Lower the total number of cards and maximize the number of copies of each card you pick.

    i.e. build a 39 cards deck (4 copies of 9 cards and 3 copies of 1 card)

    This will greatly improve your win rate if you follow this approach, because it helps you to deploy your game plan consistently.

    Some players tend to blame bad luck for not drawing a specific card by X turn without realizing the low consistency of their decks. This is a sign of a bad deck building skill.

    Once you master that, you can start to add tech cards to adjust to the meta. That’s where you bring in versatility.

    You can increase you deck count slightly to 40-41 cards and cut some copies of cards you don’t play too often.

    It is important to understand that consistency and versatility are 2 opposing concepts. When you have more answers to different decks means you are less probable to deploy your own strategy.

    At this point, you should have get a solid decklist to start with.

    2. Core strategy

    When starting to build a deck, you need to plan what you want to build.

    The easy way is to decide a hero with a tribe, e.g. undead banebow, wulven moonstalker etc.

    There are also some popular archetypes, e.g. sticky majiya, wagon praxix etc.

    The main idea is to find a core strategy that has synergy.

    e.g. Praxix has a good synergy with a deck full of allies and meat wagon.

    When planning the core strategy, I always use Gondorian’s deckbuilder. You can search keywords easily and found the cards that have synergy to put in a deck.

    3. Pace

    You also need to decide the pace of the deck at the planning stage.

    The normal 3 paces are:
    - Aggro
    - Mid-range
    - Control

    The general rule of thumb is Aggro> Control > Mid-range > Aggro.

    4. Resource Curve

    The pace will decide your resource curve.

    i.e. what are the resource cost of each card in your deck?

    Generally, the most important card is 3cc cards. You want to have an abundance of 3cc cards to make sure you draw it on Turn 3. Missing your Turn 3 is a sign of bad deck building.

    In aggro decks, you want a lot of 2-3 options. In control decks, you need some 2-3cc tech cards to answer aggro decks and more late game cards to win.

    My normal count for a mid-range deck is:

    2cc: 4-6 copies
    3cc: 12+ copies
    4cc: 4-6 copies

    Sometimes you want 1cc for aggro decks, but usually it’s not needed as it drains your hand quickly.

    5. Planning

    You need to plan your play for the first 5 turns for both going first and second.

    E.g. Eladwen:
    Going first: Knight-Aldon-Tainted Oracle-Bad Santa + Fireball
    Going second: Knight-Seductress-Tainted Oracle-Supernova

    Now you want ALL 4 COPIES of the above cards in your deck to maximize consistency.

    Note: it is important to build your hand when going second. Many players build decks based on the assumption that they have board control (going first) is wrong. You have to plan how to take back the board when you lose it.

    To be continued..

    Remarks: If you want to learn and improve, do not hesitate to apply to Rising Sun (RS).

    To apply to RS, send a message to RS Randomguy (Telegram: @RS_RG) or RS Seadog (Telegram: @Seadog).

    We are a fun guild with a lot of professional players. We welcome players of all levels.
    Last edited by seedog; 02-18-2020 at 08:14 AM.

  2. #2
    Senior Member seedog's Avatar
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    Mar 2011
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    Further to my previous points:

    5. Card Counts

    It seems obviously but there is a meaning for the number of each card in your deck.

    4 copies – Cards in your main game plan. You want to draw it every game consistently.

    3 copies – You still want to draw it, but not as often. Usually high cost cards.

    2 copies – You don’t want to draw it every game. Usually support/tech cards. (e.g. Ley Line Nexus)

    1 copy – You only want to draw it once per game. (e.g. enrage)

    Note that you don’t include extra copy of a card so that you can sacrifice unnecessary copies earlier. It is a waste of deck slot which you can include something with higher value.

    The way to decide card count is how early you want to draw it. The chance to draw a card in late game is higher than the chance in early game because you have access to more cards along the game. Therefore you need a higher count of low cost cards compared to high cost cards.

    6. Card Value

    It also seems obvious but just a note for your card selection.

    You need damages to win a game. There are 3 types of damages in SE currently:

    1. Ally damages

    It is a permanent damage source until removed. The damages is deferred by one turn (summoning sickness) unless the ally has haste/readied.

    2. Weapon damages

    The damage is instant but is limited by the durability of weapon.

    3. Direct damages

    Some spells/abilities can deal direct damages. These damages are instant but are usually one-off.

    When selecting your cards, it is obvious that card have come-into –play damages/abilities is better than cards that can only activate next turn. This is why allies with haste/readied have so much value.

    7. Draw cards

    Given the sacrifice-resource system of SE, you need to have a decent amount of draw cards in your deck.

    A good rule of thumb is to have 6-8 draw cards in a 39 cards deck, but this is not an absolute number. The exact amount of draw cards depends on your playstyle and the type of draw cards selected.

    There are 4 types of draw cards in the game:

    1. Draw engine

    The most powerful type of draw card. They act as a power house and give you unlimited amount of cards. Usually you only need one copy throughout the whole game but 4 copies are required in your deck because the earlier you play the engine, the more value you get out of it.

    e.g. Bloody Frenzy, IGG

    2. Instant draw cards

    Cards that give you draw instantly. It can act as a main draw or alt draw depending on your game plan.

    e.g. Hunters Gambit, Bad Santa

    3. Card drawing abilities

    Some allies have card drawing abilities. These are usually good alt draw if you are playing an ally based deck.

    e.g. Tainted Oracles, Stardust Extractor

    4. Cantrips

    Cards that give you draw 1 card upon playing it. They just replace themselves and help you to get through your deck quicker. Normally they are not counted in the 6-8 draw cards count but a good addition to it.

    Draw cards can also be classified as unilateral draw and bilateral draw in nature.

    1. Unilateral draw

    Cards that only give you draw. Most decks should be built on unilateral draw as this is how you build up card advantage.

    2. Bilateral draw

    Cards that only draw to you and your opponent. The most typical card is Bad Santa. The goal of Bad Santa is to equalized card advantage (i.e. when you are down on hand and your opponent has a full hand of cards). Other bilateral draw cards are usually not good unless you are playing a stall strategy.

    The exact amount of draw cards is case to case. For example, you can have 4 draw engines + 2-4 instant draw/ability draw or mixing some cantrips.

    Having lower than 6 draws will lower your deck efficiency as you may run out of steam easily. Having too much draw will affect the consistency of your deck which is not desirable. If you spend too much time on drawing cards (building up card advantage) but can’t transfer it to board advantage, it is usually not good. However, if you are playing a control approach, you might need more draw cards.

    Credits to RS Jacqui to some of the points above.

    Remarks: If you want to learn and improve, do not hesitate to apply to Rising Sun (RS).

    To apply to RS, send a message to RS Randomguy (Telegram: @RS_RG) or RS Seadog (Telegram: @Seadog).

    We are a fun guild with a lot of professional players. We welcome players of all levels.


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