So, you know the basics of the game, and you’re ready for your first brewing session. Where do you start? While familiarizing yourself with the catalog of options across the 4 sets we currently have available, the amount of archetypes and options can be overwhelming.
When I am looking to start a new list, I typically start from the Character lineup. In this step you could be looking for a group of similarly traited Characters (Scout Regiment, Indigo Tribe, GCPD, Villain, etc.), or you could zero-in on one specific character out of admiration for their ability, or, simply, as a big fan.
For the sake of argument, let’s say you’re cracking open some Batman packs and are lucky enough to pull the new Ultra-Rare Joker. You like the Joker as much as the next fan, but you’re not too thrilled with any of the Harley Quinns. Instead, let’s examine the other archetypes that can be shaped with the unpredictable villain.
Immediately, one can see the value in his constant effect. A deck boasting a full 3 of suite of this card can swing for VPs early and often. So, now, let’s look at his stats to determine the other Characters to go into the list as well as Battle Cards to create a balanced 40 card deck. His Intelligence 7, more than his Special 4, really jumps out at me because of U99-JL–there’s a Battle Card to build a deck around.
Now, we’ll follow some simple steps to get to our 40 cards:
- Pick a card, any card. Select a Character, Battle Card, or Event which you think will be the overarching strategy for your deck.
- Assemble a list of other cards which can fit into this strategy, keeping an eye our for parallel stat figures.
- Trim down your list of Characters, taking note of exact stats.
- Choose your Battle Cards. It is essential that a majority of your Characters, if not all of them, can use the Battle Cards you select. It’s a terrible feeling to have useless cards in your hand; avoiding that pitfall begins with deck construction.
- Before even looking at Events you may have over 40 cards selected. That’s OK. The trimming process will bring your numbers down to where you want to be. Pinpoint some events that you know will help push your deck’s win condition. Play with the numbers a little, making sure your deck can afford the general MP cost of what you select.
- Trim down to 40 cards, making note of the cards you cut entirely.
- Playtest the build. You can always go back in and adjust numbers. Play against a variety of builds and, if you’re able to, a variety of different players.
Below are all of the Intelligence Rank 7 Characters currently in the game. Some of these cards are thematic to their trait, others are valuable in many builds, and still others are more niche in their appeal. While your entire Character lineup does not need to consist of cards with the same stat, having as many of your Battle Cards playable by your Characters as possible will lead to more consistency in your decks.
Selecting our second Character will continue us down a path of decisions to complete our tight 40-card list. This deck can already go in many different directions. I’ll select some Characters on my own from the visual above to flesh out an Intelligence 7 lineup which will be the majority of the Characters for my deck. I am also going to casually peruse the other Intelligence Battle Cards to see what kind of theme I can come up with.
Now, with some Battle Cards and Characters in mind to fill out our deck, let’s piece some of this puzzle together. Here are some characters that I’d really like to include with our UR Joker:
It wasn’t intentional to have a Character from each set added to this deck, but I really like the combination of this eclectic bunch. Batman can swing in, push an opposing Character to open up a VP lane–especially to push an opposing Character with Intelligence, clearing the way for Int-1 C32-JL. Black Hand has the stats we’re after and an ability to shut down an opposing Character’s powerful ability. Erwin Smith also shares our desired stats and can act as draw engine during each of our Planning Steps. Red Hood becomes a shield for our other powerful characters; he’ll be able to use most of the deck’s Battle Cards as well.
With our lineup now decided we can flesh out some more Battle Cards. Scanning our other stats, we have a couple of Characters with Strength, but it will likely not be worth it to run any Strength Battle Cards. However, all of our characters do have Special Values, so since Special is our secondary stat for this deck (Intelligence being our primary), we will only select Special Battle Cards which every Character can use: no higher than Special 3.
I won’t go to far into detail with selecting Events. Through 4 sets, we have a lot of options. While many Events are linked to specific Traits and Characters, plenty have universal effects.
Here is my first run at this list. The numbers could be tweaked, the Events swapped entirely, but I think we have a solid cast of Characters and a premier strategy of unblockable attacks to gain VP early and often.
P.S. In this game you do not need the URs and XRs to build a playable deck. We will be showcasing many budget-builds in the days and weeks to come. This deck, while containing 3 Ultra-Rares, only has two Rare cards: the rest are all Commons and Uncommons from various sets.