Deck Construction Rule
- A deck must contain exactly 50 cards. No more no less.
- A deck can only have up to a maximum of four cards with the same name, unless stated otherwise.
- A deck contains maximum of 8 Climax Cards. Can have less, although not recommended.
With the basic limitation out of the way, how exactly should one go about creating a deck?
In my case I start with the following generic rules:
- Choosing the Color make up of your deck, the recommended number of colors is 2.
- Includes at most 8 climax cards.
- Decide on a deck theme and stick with it, avoid trying to include a little bit of everything
- Avoid creating your deck out of 42 unique cards, as far as possible try to include 4 cards for your deck staple.
- Start by choosing your favourite Character or Series
- Look at all the cards available in the following order
- Level 3 -> 2 -> 1 -> 0
- Also check for Character cards that goes with certain climax cards
- Also check for Character cards that goes with other Character cards
- Pick out all the cards you like and start building your deck!
- Try to stick to one series
- Try to stick to 1 or 2 colours
The theme of a deck should be decided before the determining the level to cards distribution ratio. There are many deck themes such as【ミハネム】,【双子ビート】 or 【メカデッキ】 but it is recommended that a player simply choose the deck theme they like the most. Since the game is somewhat luck based, there are no true meta decks (deck archetypes that are widely considered to have a vast advantage over all others in competitive play), and most well thought-out decks should stand a winning chance.
Level 0~3 Distribution Ratio
Although the actual ratio varies from deck to deck, this is something of a generic standard.
16 cards for level 0, although depending on playstyle some players favor 17 or 18 cards as well.
Generally speaking the number of level 1 cards is dependent on the number of empty slots left after deciding level 2 and level 3 cards.
8~14 cards, level 2 cards are usually the cards that act as your main attacker, and should be included, even if it takes away a spot or two from your level 1 cards.
4-7 cards recent level 3 cards have the trend to be extremely powerful, and are even on the level of being balance breaker. However, since they are only usable late into the game, it is not advisable to focus too much of one deck on these cards.
Deck Concept - Building the Deck
I will be using 【ミハネム】 deck as an example on how to build your deck around the primary concept.
In 【ミハネム】's case the basic strategy involves using 天枷美春 to pump up 音夢 cards and beat down on the opponent using high power. So how should you go about creating this deck? First of all we pick the color, the deck's basis 天枷美春 is red, so red is definitely one of the color we want to include. But whether other colors should be included is then up to each player's preference on how to FHITP
FJCJCMDD; Adding green cards allow for stock boosting, adding blue cards improves drawing power and grants recovery ability and so on. See Card Type for more on each color's traits.
After deciding the colour you can start considering the cards to include in each level band, in 【ミハネム】's case there are cards in the level 0~2 band that 天枷美春 can pump up. So for level 0 its 浴衣の音夢 for level 1 its 水着の音夢, お手製弁当を持つ音夢と由夢 while level 2 will be 美春＆音夢. Due to the nature of the game, it is recommended that a player include 4 of each deck staple.
After including 4 of the above mentioned cards, what about the rest of the deck?
This is where things start to get serious, any average player can arrive at the conclusion to the above easily. In addition to what is already mentioned, one of the most important aspect to take note of while building a deck is to simulate a variety of situation. In our example deck, 【ミハネム】's case, what if the deck is overpowered? What if you fail to draw 天枷美春? What if your key cards are removed from the stage? The important thing is to think of all the disadvantageous situation.
After identifying the weakness of the deck, think of cards that will either boost your advantage or remove these weaknesses. Then consider the cost performance of the cards, their synergy with the rest of the deck, rarity of the card(directly equivalent to how easily or how much you need to spend to obtain the card), and whether the card is really needed in the deck. For example, even if you simply wishes to add cards with Backup effect into the deck, you can still choose from level 0~2 cost free and non-cost free Backup cards.
Try to focus your deck's fine adjustment in level band which includes little, or none of the key cards in your deck. For example, if your deck's key strategy unfold itself on level 2, then you should focus on building your level 1 cards to prepare for level 2's combat.
Level 0 cards are usually filled with character cards with Bond ability, have the ability to reverse opponent on defeat, characters that pump up other characters, and most of all vanilla cards. Since in level 0 there are rarely any spare stocks, it usually simply boils down to attacking with whatever you have.
As stated earlier, level 2 is usually filled with the deck's main attacker, so there are less room and freedom to fine tune the deck around with. This leaves things to level 1 again, level 1 is something like a intermediate stage after the start, level 0, and before the meat of the battle, level 2 and 3. Keeping this in mind most would think that its simply best to include only cost free level 1 card, and then go all out once level 2 comes around. That's something along the right line, but there's a problem with this strategy, and that's with the number of soul trigger.
The number of cards with soul trigger in your deck will greatly change your damage output, so this is a relatively important aspect to consider. Including the climax cards, idealy speaking a deck should have 20 plus minus 2 ~ 3 cards with soul trigger icons. This is a flexible number however, and should again be balanced with your deck's cost performance level.
As you should already know, a huge part of this game is decided by having the right amount of stock. So how should we balanced the cost performance of the cards? In my opinion, unless its a deck that focus heavily on level 0 gameplay, level 0 cards should never have to incur cost. It is alright to play cards with some form of draw back, such as taking damage when the card dies, or lowered power on opponent's turn, but it should never incur stock cost. This is simply because when you start the game you don't start with any stock, so including too many level 0 cards that require cost simply means you can't even play them on your first turn.
As a generic rule its alright to simply include level 2 or 3 cards without too much consideration since they will be the main force of your deck. Once again the balance falls on level 1, most of the cost free level 1 cards don't come with soul trigger, so this directly affects the soul trigger number as well. It is extremely tricky to balance between cost free level 1 and non-cost free level 1, there's no definite answer and should be tried and tested for each deck. But as a rough guide 6 non-cost free level 1 with soul trigger out of 15 level 1 cards should be a relatively stable number.
Vanilla Finally, we move on to vanilla cards, generally speaking, its agreed that 1/1 P6000 and 2/1 P8500 cards are less useful in most situation compared to 1/0 P5500 and 2/2 P9000. However, having said that, what should take precedence is still the general balance of the deck, so depending on situation 1/1 P6000 and 2/1 P8500 could be more ideal for your deck as well.
This is the end of a basic tutorial to get your deck building started, it doesn't mean that following the guides above will guarantee you a win, and depending on deck natures there are also exceptions to many of the advice provided above. This is only the basics of basics, and the rest can be learned through experience.