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The Art of Deck Building

The art of deck building is an interesting thing. For myself, its one of my favorite parts of card games, because I get to bring an idea to life. The process of deck construction and editing can take a long time. The process you should follow is this; first come up with a deck idea, then build the deck, lastly, test your deck, and rinse and repeat until you are happy with what you created.

The first step in building a deck for any game is coming up with an idea. It doesn’t matter how strange the idea, anything and everything can be used to give you inspiration. It could be a specific card you like or combination of cards. It could be a specific mechanic. Whatever the idea is, once you have an idea, the next thing you should do is look online to see if other people have posted deck lists similar to what you want to do. Now, I’m not saying copy them. I’m saying you should use them to inspire your first build of your deck.

Now that you have an idea, the easy part is over. Now onto the hard part, the first draft of your deck. Regardless of what game you play, this step will be similar. I will be using Magic: the Gathering as my example, since that was my first CCG and I learned a lot about deck building from Magic.

When I started Magic there was the rule of 20, what ever game you play there will be a rough rule of thumb to help you build your deck. The best advice I can give you is read your cards, figure out what is most important to your deck, and make sure you have full play sets, or redundancies for those cards. What I mean by that is for instance you have a specific set of cards you want to see every game for your combo, then building the way I suggested will increase your odds of drawing those cards. Too many times have I seen decks with one of this card and one of that card, and the person using that deck never sees them in their initial hand or draws them.

Here comes the fun part. Now that you have come up with an idea, and you built your first draft deck, now all that is left to do is test what you have built. The process of testing a deck is easy in some ways and very difficult in others, because playing a deck is easy, understanding it well enough to see what is not working is hard. Once you have played several games you will find some cards that aren’t helpful, so replace them with other cards and test again.

There you have it, the process for deck building. There are lots of ways to build a deck. This is the one I think works the best for me. Whatever the method you use, don’t skimp on testing and never be afraid to try out something different or new. By doing this I have come up with, and gotten to play some unique decks and had a lot of fun doing it.


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