Crash Course
Philosophies for Longer Life
by Craig York

It's hard to single out one strategy or idea as the most important in deck building. Speed has been mentioned and is close to the top of my list but I think focus is more important. Focus facilitates speed in that if you have the resourced you can play even big guys quickly. The more types of assets you have in your deck the more likely you are to draw an asset and no base to support it. For low cost assets that may be fine but for your key assets (ones you have a lot of) you want to have the right bases.

A strong focus in this context refers to choosing more of one particular type of resource than anything else and the bases to support it. I recommend 35% bases (that is 14 cards in 40) and at least 8 of the primary type (8 would support about 12 assets of mostly medium size with a couple of big guys). As many as 10 bases can be of the primary type with all the remaining bases being of the secondary type. So if you choose Covert as your primary type then the secondary would be either military or cyber. Thus with 10 covert bases you will have, on average, 2.5 covert bases and 1 non-covert base by turn 3. That means you are deploying a base a turn for at least the first 3 turns and usually the first 4 (85% chance on the fourth one). With that kind of resource power to draw on you can deploy a lot of assets (even some big ones) very early on. This ratio is the heart of my main deck which is a speed deck having only medium to large primarily military assets (big guys kill weenies but you have to be quick).

The second philosophy is equally important and that is only use 40 cards (unless you plan to play in the world setting). The typical game seems to take less than 20 turns with many games ending in or around 10 turns. With that kind of time frame you won't be drawing all 40 cards. People always grumble at this advice saying they 'need' those extra 5 or so cards.. but your not going to be getting all the cards in your deck. If you really do need them then take out something less important.. deck building is the one time you can influence what you might have in your hand but by adding more cards all you do is increase the chance that you don't have any particular card. It is your choice - pick the cards you want or have a bigger deck and let chance do it for you.

My third philosophy for building a good deck is minimizing non-asset cards. Yes there are some great cards out there but drawing a hand full of equipment and interventions without assets isn't going to win you anything. In a 40 card deck 4 non asset cards (excluding bases) is about right.. 6 is tolerable but more than 6 is rarely advisable. Typically the interventions etc. are cards you put in your deck with a particular situation in mind and that is where things break down. Either you draw the card and hold it waiting for the right situation or you use it but less effectively than you might have wanted. In general another asset is preferable especially when you consider what assets you could potentially have drawn instead.

The last philosophy for now is use the resources you are given. I said to focus your deck but you should still include a few cards that use that third type of resource. The best choice for those cards are assets that you will only use on defense (like security checkpoint) or one time cost cards such as equipment and interventions. Anything less is going to waste the 1 resource point your HQ puts out a turn and anything more will use up the resources faster than you make them. Typically I use my third resource type for defense and have 4 or 5 cards that use it (the checkpoints which I mentioned are always in my deck even with no bases to support them).

Ok some ratios for those of you who aren't asleep yet and want to try this out. For a deck like the one I'm talking about try these:

12 - assets of the primary type
6 - assets of the secondary type
4 - assets of the third resource type
22 total assets
** Assets of the second and third type should not be
very expensive (3 or 4 to deploy at most)
4 - Equipments/interventions.. a worm, a bolt,
an H. Thalman, Path of the Monastery,
7th Cavalry -- offensive things if possible
4 total miscellaneous cards
10 - bases of the primary resource type
4 - bases of the secondary resource type
14 total bases

Craig York
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