Monday, August 17

Back to Basics: Filling Your Deck?

Filling Your Deck:
Thats right, what you have in your deck can make all the difference as to whether or not you are going to emerge successful from your encounters in the spiral. We are going to be looking at deck setup for the PvE portion of the game, as Alex has a blog on PvP deck setups already, and he is far more qualified than me for that! So, lets start with that age old question....
What's in YOUR deck?

If you are stuffing every card you can into your deck, and filling the sideboard, chances are you are spending much more time discarding and passing for battles than you are in actually being productive.

Back to the Beginning:
As a new wizard with your starter deck, you find yourself in battle on Unicorn way. The dark sprite looked so cute, and you just wanted to say hi, but then...BAM! She has you in the dueling circle and you are in a fight for your life...she was not so nice after all!

Why do I bring this up? Because there is a lesson to be learned from these early battles. As long as you have your most effective spells loaded, you can make it though most encounters in the spiral with very few cards. Yes, you have the starter deck filled to the point that you have to use straps to close it and keep the top on...but even when you are running some of the larger decks later, you should try to limit the cards you carry to as few as possible.

All of my wizards pack around 20 cards at all times. This proves efficient for taking out the enemy without a lot of discards. It also assists in making sure you have what you need, when you need digging and looking for that card that could be 40 cards deep in the deck.

I know there are some that will run with a deck with as few as 8 cards in it...personally, I don't like to run that thin. I chose my setup so that if someone joins me, I can assist on the final enemy or two before having to reshuffle, but also, just so I have some extra traps around so that I can take a more friendly approach to my traps. It isn't as vital if someone uses a wand to break one, because I have an extra or two in hand.
Sidebar: The Friendly Necromancer recently answered a question for a reader about the issues that can arise between friends when decks are too thin, and I would suggest you take the time to view it if you have not already.

So What Should I Carry:
Ok, I will give you the breakdown of what my wizards pack around as a general rule. You will have to play with your deck to find what matches your play style a little better. Note: all of these suggestion assume that you have attained a certain level and trained specific spells, if you haven't you will have to make your own decisions about what should be involved.

  • 3 School Blades
  • 3 School traps
  • 2 School Spells (your next to best)
  • 2 School Spells (your best - NOTE, this doesn't necessarily mean the 7 pip spells, as they may not be the most effective for your school)
  • 1 Pixie - for self heal (my necromancer uses Sacrifice instead of pixie)
  • 4 shields (depends on what school you are and what you are fighting, some of my wizards don't carry any shields)
  • 2 Reshuffle (discard the first, and then you are set up for an endless deck)
  • 2 Misc buffs (feints, balance traps/blades, etc)
That covers the basic 20 cards I have in my deck. I of course still have my item cards, and a couple of heal anyone cards in my sideboard as a just in case. With this setup, I am able to solo most battles in the Spiral, and have only had to use the reshuffle a handful of times. When I am going up against opponents from my school, I add in MAX prisms. I do wind up discarding some of them, but I want to ensure they come up quickly, so I can get the prism on before they drop the shield to block the converted damage.

I feel it should be said again that it is important that YOU feel comfortable with what's in your deck. If you find yourself worried about your cards, then add a few more until you feel want to keep the game fun, and not a source of stress. :)

If you are not used to running a smaller deck and want to try it, I would also suggest going back to a world you have already finished up and trying it there, where you should have a large advantage in the fight just by being you.

Now, all of you others out there that have views on smaller decks, let's hear them. :)


  1. I have to fill my deck I'm a storm wizard and all my spells are efective (I used to use myth too thrash that idea) I put in as many spells that I can fit and I win everything.

  2. I've been having a lot of trouble lately with my lvl 40 Life wizard getting the cards she needs when she needs them. She ends up with a full hand of heals and no damage cards, or vice versa. This looks like a good starting point for reworking her deck, thanks! I'll probably use Guiding Light for the misc. buffs, add one or two extra heals to help others (maybe replace one of the shields with a heal) and a couple of mid-level damage spells to balance the heals out.