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TftC Mailbag: Deck Building #2

by on October 4, 2013

bilbo mail

It’s Friday and that means I’ll dig into the mailbag to see what questions I’ve received recently from readers. As introduced last time, this segment is a chance for me to share some of the dilemmas and quandaries faced by players, in the hopes that this can be helpful for others. The mail today comes from a player who currently has the Core Set and Over Hill and Under Hill, and wanted to know what he should buy to be able to construct four viable decks at once:

Wanted to start with saying I love your blog.
There is SO much info.

Now, I only got the Core set and OHaUH as of right now.

Ideally I would like to build 4 decks (who knows, I might get three other people to play with me), what do I need/should I get?

I already know I want to build a Dwarf deck (why I got OHaUH) and Hobbit deck.
Also thinking about Outland since you basically only need one AP to do that?!

BUT, what about the forth deck?

The big question is also, if you want to build 4 decks at the same time, how much overlap of the better cards will you get?
Would it be a good idea to get a second core set?

This is a great question, as it is helpful to be able to have a few decks ready to go at the same time, so that you don’t always have to tear down and build decks every time you play (and it also makes things much easier when you do get to play with multiple people). Here’s my response:

Thanks for the kind words, I’m glad you’re enjoying the blog! You ask a very good question, let me see if I can help. If you’re going with Dwarf, Outlands, and Hobbit for the first three decks, then you have a few choices for a 4th deck:
A) A second Dwarf deck: There are enough Dwarf cards that you can create 2 good Dwarf decks. If you go that route, you will probably want to pick up Return to Mirkwood AP for Dain Ironfoot and On the Doorstep and/or Khazad Dum.
B) A Tactics/Eagles deck: For this, you will need most of the packs of the Shadows of Mirkwood cycle. The advantage is that you will also get cards for the Rohan deck (option C).
C) A Spirit/Rohan deck: See option B.
D) An Elf deck: For this, I would pick up Foundations of Stone and Shadow and Flame.
E) A Lore/Ranger deck: For this, I would pick up Heirs of Numenor and most of the Against the Shadow AP’s.
To be honest, if you want to run 4 decks at once, a second Core Set will be invaluable to provide multiple copies, or at least 3 copies of certain key cards, such as A Test of Will. I hope all this info is helpful, let me know if you want further help. Good luck!
TftC readers, what further advice would you give this fellow player? What are the four decks you would recommend for a player to build and keep ready for multi-player games, assuming only a few extra packs can be bought in addition to the Core Set and OHaUH? For any readers out there who have similar questions, or just want to drop a line, don’t hesitate to click the Contact TftC tab above! Enjoy your weekend!

From → TftC Mailbag

  1. This is really helpful actually. 🙂 I am the guy who wants to have multiple decks ready to go as well and I have all the cards from all of the sets but not a second Core Set.

    It seems like a lot of the decks use the same cards over and over again. I am actually thinking of trying some mono-sphere decks to as well… We’ll have to see. 🙂

    • If the emailer didn’t already note that he had deck types in mind, I would have suggested mono-sphere decks. Maybe that’s a good alternative for after he’s tried the other 4 decks for a while.

  2. The second core set is definitely a good idea. Personally, I think it was a terrible thing to include only 1 or 2 copies of some cards in the core set. It’s nice because it opened them up to more variety, and it seems to be working in their favor to get more money, but it’s just evil, especially considering every other pack has 3 of everything.

    Anyway, Dwarves and Outlands can generally cover both phases of the game (questing and combat) quite well, so really the fourth deck could be anything. Another Dwarf deck would probably be the most powerful since it can pull some synergy from the 1st Dward deck.

    I guess I don’t really have any more suggestions.

  3. Drew permalink

    Definitely a second Core set if you’re running lots of decks at once.

    There are a couple cards out of the Core that I just really wish I had more of, the main one being Gandalf of course. I can’t really think of any deck where I wouldn’t include at least 1-2 copies of him.

    And as far as Dwarves go, I don’t have OHaUH or Khazad Dum, but On the Doorstep certainly has a number of really great Dwarves. I personally refuse to use Dain as it seems rather easy-mode, but the rest of them will prove very useful. ^_^

  4. Legolas of Darkwood permalink

    I did the same thing – prepare four decks for multiplayer – ages ago. I have used them several times and still keep them ready all the time. I found it usefull to make them slim, easily transportable and – with new players in mind – not too complex but flavourfull.

    Therefore I decided to keep them at 30 cards – to compensate for that I included only two copies of each card maximum (unique cards only once). This has several advantages. For a start, all four decks now fit into a small ultra pro box (sleeded). With only one or to two copies of each card I have actually a very compareable draw propability to 3/50. Another advantage is that you need less cards in general (and less copies of keycards) to build the decks. While they will be stronger and better themed at the same time. This is especially usefull to new players. Let me add, that the standard deck size of 50 cards is (almost) never needed/used during a game.

    Maybe you like the idea.

    • TalesfromtheCards permalink

      I think that’s definitely not a bad idea for ready-made decks that new players will find easy to access and play with.

    • This is a good idea with the caveat that some quests make you burn your deck eg Spiders & Flies, Return to Mirkwood so you will probably struggle with those quests (also don’t make a massive draw dwarf deck)

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