Deck Guru

Deck Guru

As I mentioned in my introduction article, the majority of my articles will focus on decks: Building decks, Deck Doctors, Budget Builder, and Deck Analysis. However, for the first article I want to go through the basic deck building process. I will be referencing this article frequently in future articles. This article is for deck builders new and old. I myself constantly have to re-evaluate deck building and how to make card choices.

However where is the fun in just reading a boring article about deck building? Let’s build a deck in the process! Let’s keep some things in mind

*This article will be written before Shattered Alliance premieres. Thus, I will base this deck on the current card pool we have available (no Shattered Alliance).
*This is the process I, Robby Stewart, use when building decks. This might work for you, or it might not. Everyone is different.

So we are going to build a fun/semi-competitive deck today. Skyforce Champions!

Step 1- Pre-Deck Building:
How do you decide to start building a deck? What if you are brand new to the game? Generally, you find a card or theme you like and you try to expand upon that theme by inserting cards of similar design and nature. Go check out Kaijudo.com or the Kaijudo Wikia and browse the gallery of cards they have for each set. Take some time to familiarize yourself with the card pool. I promise this will pay off in the future, when new cards come out.

NOTE: I researched cards before this article, and just seeing some of the underused cards effects/art can really inspire a person to build something cool or Meta breaking.

Step 2- Foundation:
This is the most important part of your deck. What is the deck’s foundation? What does it do? Here are five things I look at:
1. What Type of Deck am I creating?
2. Is there an overarching theme?
3. What civilization is my primary focus?
4. What civilizations compliment what I am trying to achieve?
5. What is my win condition?
Now, these cover some broad categories. Newer players might have no idea where to even begin, or may not have the cards at their disposal. Even with limited card pool, you can still make something locally viable by using  these 5 concepts, which I will expand upon later.

Step 3- Building:
So you have thought everything out. You know what you want to build, and some of the cards you want to include, but what now? We actually start putting them together, naturally. There are a couple of ways to build your deck and each has its own applications.
1) Top Down
2) Bottom Up
So I am stealing a little bit of terminology from Wizards R&D, but let me break it down.

Top Down: This is where you smash as many cards as you want into the deck. Every card that you want to experiment with or have thought about trying, stick those suckers in there. This allows for you to see different card interactions during a variety of situations. The various card choices you make can be seen in different scenarios against different decks, generally without compromising the foundation you have already established. After some testing, you can see which cards work the best and begin cutting them from you deck. This process allows you to eliminate some of the fat, and see what cards are strong in what match-ups. Slimmer decks might be considered because of the concise nature of the deck.

Bottom Up: This deck construction technique has you start out at the bare minimum. You put your key essential cards inside the deck, with however many copies you decide on, and keep your deck at 40 cards. Why is this useful? It really establishes the foundation concept that I discussed earlier in the article. These core 40 are your consistency. However, it does limit your variation and your answers to a varied meta. Once you get your foundation down, you can start establishing tech and meta calls, and start increasing deck count. The size of deck is your choice.

Step 4 – Testing!
This step is the most tedious and frustrating. Play style and opponents make a huge difference in the card choices you make. So I will break down testing into the types of tournaments you could be attending.

Locals/Duel Days – If you are trying to improve your standing at locals, take a look at what is being played by the majority and plan accordingly. Test against the most common decks, and choose your cards based on how those testing sessions go. Remember: Your opponents can do the same thing to you.

KMCs – As KMC attendance grows, they will feel less like slightly larger locals. The 2nd round of KMCs will be different, and you can’t plan to play against someone you know every round. This part requires some research, and not just looking at what’s played around you, but what is the most popular in general. This can change from week to week. So stay on your toes!

Lets apply these steps to building Skyforce Champions.

Step 1 – Pre deck building
250px-Azuri,_the_Dawnbreaker_(7CLA)Prior to this article, I did some research and decided Skyforce Champions were fun, cool, and something people could relate with. So Azuri, The Dawnbreaker, and Skyforce Champions will be the focus of the deck I want to create. Plus, Skyforce Champions are just plain awesome.

Step 2 – Foundation
1. What Type of Deck am I creating? –A deck that has a primary focus on Skyforce Champion creatures and evolutions. Primarily Control.
2. Is there an overarching theme? – The Light Civilization has powerful Tap abilities as well as a focus on powerful spells.
3. What civilization is my primary focus? Light
4. What civilizations compliment what I am trying to achieve? Nature and Light are both Complimenting Civilizations. It is an argument for Darkness as well for its powerful spells. (Remember: You have to usually pack enough cards of a certain civilization in order to use them effectively.)
5. How do I win? Attacking shields and overwhelming my opponent through battle and various spells.

Step 3 – Deck Building
So like I said earlier, we want Azuri and Skyforce Champions to be the centerpiece of the deck. After looking at the list of current/available Skyforce Champions, here are the ones I picked:

X 3 Azuri, The Dawnbreaker
X 3 Storm Seeker
X 3 Wave Lancer
X 2 Starlight Strategist
X 1 Ra-Vu Seeker of Lightning

These cards work great in combination and independently. This also gives us plenty of Skyforce Champions to evolve into Azuri.

Now that we have our Skyforce Champion line up, are there any other powerful Light creatures or spells that we throw in? Look at what Light creatures are at your disposal and pick from there. I went with these:

X 2 Andromeda of the Citadel
X 1 Keeper of Dawn
X 3 Keeper of Laws
That’s 18 Creatures, which is almost half of the deck. That is a solid foundation to start with.

Now, I know that we started building in the previous section, but I felt like adding those cards into that section would help everyone better understand where the foundation concept was coming form. On to the real deck building. For this deck I am going to use the Bottom Up approach.
As of the beginning of step 3, we are at 18 cards, which give us another 22 cards to work with. It is no secret to you seasoned Kaijudo players that Water Dark Light Nature is a solid deck. So I am going to go with something familiar and use those civilizations. Here is what I came up with (Notice the importance of Multi-Civ cards to keep card count low, and still have enough cards to meet a consistent mana requirement):

Darkness:
X 3 Terror Pit
X 3 Bone Blades
X 3 Skull Shatter
X 1 Dark Return

Water:
X 3 King Tritonus
Nature:
X 3 Sprout
X 3 Reap and Sow
X 3 Root Trap

This puts us right at 40 cards. That’s a lot to cram into a 40 card deck. Since we are using the Bottom Up theory of deck building, it requires some sacrifice to get that core 40.

Step 4:

So now that we have our core 40, we can start adding cards. It doesn’t matter how much theory you put into it. Nothing is better than testing the value of a card than actual matches. After some initial testing, here is what I decided to add:

Light/Water:
X 2 Piercing Judgment
X 2 Aqua Strider
X 1 Gigahorn Charger

With the addition of those 5 cards, that puts us at a comfortable 45. Lets break it down.

4 Colors is a lot to stuff in a relatively thin deck. Here is the Color break down.

Light: 16
Water: 3
Nature: 10
Darkness 10
Water/Light: 7

Lets look at the deck all in one list:

X 3 Azuri, The Dawnbreaker
X 3 Storm Seeker
X 3 Wave Lancer
X 2 Starlight Strategist
X 1 Ra-Vu Seeker of Lightning
X 2 Andromeda of the Citadel
X 1 Keeper of Dawn
X 3 Terror Pit
X 3 Bone Blades
X 3 Skull Shatter
X 1 Dark Return
X 3 Keeper of Laws
X 3 King Tritonus
X 3 Sprout
X 3 Reap and Sow
X 3 Root Trap
X 1 Gigahorn Charger
X 2 Piercing Judgment
X 2 Aqua Strider

If you want to see a match with this deck, go check out my channel. TheCardAcademyTCG
We covered a lot today in this article, but these are some great fundamentals when it comes to deck building. Add some of your own personal touch, and you can build virtually anything with a competitive edge. Give it a try!

For all deck submissions please send your complete list toTheCardAcademyTCG@gmail.com
Please Include:
– Your Deck list. (Please send a written deck list, not a screenshot.)
– Your name and city.
– Remember – please use full card names! No Abbreviations and miss-spellings please!
– A paragraph or two describing your deck: what it does, why you’re playing it, and its strengths and weaknesses.
– Don’t forget! The cooler and more out of the box your deck is the more I’ll want to fix it, so don’t be afraid to get creative!(Hint: New cards/decks will get priority)

Next Article I will be looking at one of the decks you all have submitted! So if you want a deck looked at send away! Be sure to check out www.cardsnow247.com for any cards you are looking for!

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