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Seastan

The One Deck

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40 minutes ago, Kakita Shiro said:

Do you think that there is no other deck better in the game or merely that this is an example of a One Deck?

That's a really good question that I have thought a lot about.

It comes down to what you consider to be a "one deck".

I think if you set the bar at "given an infinite number of attempts, could this deck beat each quest" then many decks might qualify, because on attempt number 122398277 the encounter deck and player deck might be stacked in the exact right way.

So you have to set the bar somewhere. It might be reasonable to say "can beat each quest in 5 attempts or less, on average". But then Escape From Dol Guldur would make a "one deck" impossible. You'll notice this Vilya deck took over 50 attempts to beat Dol Guldur and over 20 to beat Mount Doom.

After thinking about it, my opinion is that it's you can still call something a "one deck" if there are just a couple quests that the deck really struggles to beat. After all, no deck can beat The Black Gate Opens.

With that in mind I think there are some other decks that could qualify. I think my Caldara 2.0 with a couple tweaks could do it. I want to say Erestor+Outlands swarm but I would need to think a bit harder about some quests that really punish that deck, like Dunland Trap Nightmare or Nin-in-Eilph Nightmare, not to mention Dol Guldur or Mount Doom which might very well be impossible for it. There's an Ent deck by 13nrv that is well on the way to being a "one deck" here: http://ringsdb.com/decklist/view/7909/ent-2.0. I have some ideas about other possible decks but I have my doubts about them.

Edited by Seastan

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2 hours ago, Flrbb said:

There should be a general rule which limits Seastan to build only thematic decks. :)

No, seriously. I am very curious what a top tier deck builder would come up with.

+1 to that request/suggestion. I'm one of those (perhaps rare) players who likes to play powerful AND thematic decks. I love Seastan's decks, but I always struggle to build them because I often play multiplayer and I want to showcase what each trait is capable of at their maximum power without intruding on other traits' strength (for context: nowadays I often play with friends who don't have any cards but love Middle-earth and/or playing board games). 

Edited by farealh

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4 hours ago, Flrbb said:

There should be a general rule which limits Seastan to build only thematic decks. :)

No, seriously. I am very curious what a top tier deck builder would come up with.

What part of Elrond gathering together powerful figures from the different races of Middle-earth do you not find thematic? ?

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By the way, there are two quests which features Arwen as ally. Redhorn Gate and Road to Rivendell, if not mistaken. What did you do at those quests?

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5 hours ago, Flrbb said:

By the way, there are two quests which features Arwen as ally. Redhorn Gate and Road to Rivendell, if not mistaken. What did you do at those quests?

According to the uniqueness rules in the core rulebook, it isn't actually illegal to have a unique hero in play at the time you gain control of a unique encounter card from the encounter deck. So I played with both Arwens in play.

Now, the latest rules reference clears up the issue on what to do in this situation, but I had beaten those quests already by the time the rules references came out ?.

If you wanted to beat them now, according to the rules reference, I think you could just drop Arwen from the list. They aren't the hardest quests by any stretch.

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On 5/10/2018 at 12:03 AM, Kakita Shiro said:

Do you think that there is no other deck better in the game or merely that this is an example of a One Deck?

I would personally say that Seastan often get enthusiast on his deck and call them "THE deck". I understand perfectly that since I do that also with my Vilya deck that I found better than any other deck in solo. It better represent that a player do at his best that an absolute deck in the game

So far there is no real way to determine what the best deck should be able to do. Seastan explain it pretty well below. Do you try to have a deck who be the best on the most problematic quest? That is what I do. And this way the best have decent score against each quest (for example my vilya win 4 times for the same amount of games that Seastan do with his own in nightmare Dol Guldur).

But trying to have the best average % of win is not the same. This way an Erestor Outlands should be better since he do 99% in major part of the quest where Vilya only do 97%, and that is more important that doing 7,84% instead of 0,56% in Dol Guldur ^^.

Anyway I will tell that there is other decks as powerful as this deck. Caldara (even with steward) is slightly less powerful. Several tribals decks are slightly more powerful in most case but way less powerful in some case. I'm trying to update my list of solo deck who present a lot of power decks :).

Edited by Rouxxor

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@Flrbb@farealh@Wandalf the Gizzard@dalestephenson

The hard thing about thematic that not two people have the same vision of what a thematic deck is. I found some interesting rules about thematic construction in one of the Lure of Middle Earth event (http://lureofmiddleearth.com/rules-the-free-races-of-middle-earth/). So I'm trying to make a version of each of my tribal deck using them. Those decks haven't be playtesting though (but most are very close to my optimized tribal that I have tested a lot).


Noldor http://ringsdb.com/decklist/view/7549/f ... noldor-1.0
Rohan: http://ringsdb.com/decklist/view/7550/f ... -rohan-1.0
Dwarf: http://ringsdb.com/decklist/view/7548/f ... warves-1.0
Silvan: http://ringsdb.com/decklist/view/7558/f ... silvan-1.0
Outlands: http://ringsdb.com/decklist/view/7559/f ... tlands-1.0
Hobbit stridder: http://ringsdb.com/deck/view/87992
Ent: http://ringsdb.com/decklist/view/7560/f ... th-ent-1.0
Dunedain: http://ringsdb.com/decklist/view/7561/f ... nedain-1.0
Hobbit leadership: http://ringsdb.com/deck/view/87987
Gondor trap: http://ringsdb.com/decklist/view/7552/f ... r-trap-1.0
Gondor Mono tactics: http://ringsdb.com/decklist/view/7551/f ... actics-1.0
Harad: http://ringsdb.com/decklist/view/7564/f ... -harad-1.0
Eagles: http://ringsdb.com/deck/view/62989

I have also a Dale deck but it can't be upload on ringsdb. If someone is interested by it please ask for the thematic list in my Dale topic right on this forum :).

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As usual we can have a "What deck is the best in a particular case", and even that require a lot of data (even playing 50 or 100 games with the same deck against the same encounter like very few person did is not enough for real stats). But this open a very new area to determine what deck is the deck :). But I'm afraid that even the harder encounter deck made isn't enough to disrupt our power decks. It is usually more the quest text that kill some decks.

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13 hours ago, Rouxxor said:

 

I would personally say that Seastan often get enthusiast on his deck and call them "THE deck". I understand perfectly that since I do that also with my Vilya deck that I found better than any other deck in solo. It better represent that a player do at his best that an absolute deck in the game

So far there is no real way to determine what the best deck should be able to do. Seastan explain it pretty well below. Do you try to have a deck who be the best on the most problematic quest? That is what I do. And this way the best have decent score against each quest

But trying to have the best average % of win is not the same. This way an Erestor Outlands should be better since he do 99% in major part of the quest where Vilya only do 97%, and that is more important that doing 7,84% instead of 0,56% in Dol Guldur ^^.

Anyway I will tell that there is other decks as powerful as this deck. Caldara (even with steward) is slightly less powerful. Several tribals decks are slightly more powerful in most case but way less powerful in some case. I'm trying to update my list of solo deck who present a lot of power decks :).

I think people are misunderstanding what I mean by "one deck to rule them all". What I mean is that I have used this one deck, with no sideboard, to beat ALL the quests. I don't mean this deck rules over all other decks out there. I don't mean that this deck is better than any other. As you say, the term "best deck" in this game is impossible to define. 

Quote

(for example my vilya win 4 times for the same amount of games that Seastan do with his own in nightmare Dol Guldur)

Your version of Vilya may very well be better than mine at Escape from Dol Guldur. But you are misinterpreting my number here. I did not "lose" to Dol Guldur 53 times. I reset the quest 53 times until I got an ideal setup+prisoner. Then I won on that attempt. Who knows how many times I might have won if I had actually played through each reset? Probably a few times. But in the interest in time I did not want to do this as I had many other quests to get through.

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I think most of us get what your saying Seastan! I think you’ve done very well articulating yourself on the point of what you meant by one deck. I for one am impressed by your focus and discipline to take the deck through all the quests! Well done!

Looking forward to your next project!

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I see the reason behind this: another ultra powerful deck, but this one is far from something new, as a Gazer/Vilya deck has been floating about since 2012, and there seem to be no new tricks, beside Eowyn and Arwen being superb heroins. I feel Gandalf/Vilya could be even better, but I have not the numbers to support the argument.

I appreciated more the ideas like Everything Costs 2 (felt really fresh), or even the Boromir turbo. Do you think Tactics hero Boromir can still be in a deck to rule them all after the errata?

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9 hours ago, Fingolfin Fate said:

I see the reason behind this: another ultra powerful deck, but this one is far from something new, as a Gazer/Vilya deck has been floating about since 2012, and there seem to be no new tricks, beside Eowyn and Arwen being superb heroins. I feel Gandalf/Vilya could be even better, but I have not the numbers to support the argument.

I appreciated more the ideas like Everything Costs 2 (felt really fresh), or even the Boromir turbo. Do you think Tactics hero Boromir can still be in a deck to rule them all after the errata?

I feel like you are critiquing the deck for not being original enough? I wasn't trying to make an original deck archetype. In fact at the beginning of the deck description I write:

Quote

This might not come as much of a shock to people. Vilya decks have always been one of the strongest archetypes in the game.

However, I was trying to do something I had never seen done before, which is beat every quest in the game with the exact same decklist.

As for Eowyn vs. Gandalf: Certain quests will favor one vs. the other. In my opinion, having played a lot with both heroes, is that Eowyn is a better choice for this sort of campaign. In the deck description under the Eowyn section, I make a point of showing how she can simplify a lot of the most challenging quests in the game in a way that Gandalf cannot.

 

 

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9 hours ago, Fingolfin Fate said:

PS. Meneldor can come straight into your deck, replacing Trackers, for instance. I like the Trackers, quite sentimental about them, but Meneldor would feed EotMM, and be cheap with Eowyn, too.

Meneldor would not bump the trackers from my list. He's a great ally in his own right, but not what this deck needs. First of all he's unique, which impacts the effectiveness of the blind Vilya. Second of all he's not nearly as good tech against Rhosgobel, which was one of the main reasons I had the trackers in the list.  Third, he offers little actual ability to clear locations of consequence from the staging area unless you let him die off, which is not ideal here.

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28 minutes ago, Seastan said:

I feel like you are critiquing the deck for not being original enough? I wasn't trying to make an original deck archetype. In fact at the beginning of the deck description I write:

However, I was trying to do something I had never seen done before, which is beat every quest in the game with the exact same decklist.

As for Eowyn vs. Gandalf: Certain quests will favor one vs. the other. In my opinion, having played a lot with both heroes, is that Eowyn is a better choice for this sort of campaign. In the deck description under the Eowyn section, I make a point of showing how she can simplify a lot of the most challenging quests in the game in a way that Gandalf cannot.

 

 

Hmm, I would not think you as someone that cannot take criticism well. I was not critiquing, just stating a bit of disappointment from the lack of innovation of the deck. In fact I said: I understand the reasoning behind it. And I read the description. It is just that I expected something a bit new.

And I thought you had had more than one deck that beat all the quests before. Perhaps I am wrong, but this One Deck to Rule Them All has been flying about for years now, no? Or you mean, now that there are more quests than say two years ago, this changes?

Interesting what you say about Eowyn vs. Gandalf. I think you might be right, the early +9 is priceless. On the other hand, it might even go Gandalf, Elrond, Eowyn. I had been playing Gandalf, Elrond, Glorfindel before switching to Spirit Beregond as the last hero. The deck is good, but I am sure there are quests so threat punishing (though I have not played them), that the starting 37 is too much to beat them all with such high percentage as your line-up have produced. Though I often stay at around 38 with the deck (and sometimes lower having one copy of Greeting, as you do).

Edited by Fingolfin Fate

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Ok, not sold on Meneldor. Unique, yes, but I see three copies of the Haradrim twice there. I gather they are the pillars of sorts.

One question repeated, what do you think of errata Boromir in a Deck to Rule them All?

Edited by Fingolfin Fate

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20 minutes ago, Fingolfin Fate said:

Hmm, I would not think you as someone that cannot take criticism well. I was not critiquing, just stating a bit of disappointment from the lack of innovation of the deck.

Haha wait, you weren't offering criticism, yet I also came across as not taking your criticism well? 

I'll admit to having some emotional attachment to the deck, having spent months playing through nearly 100 quests with it. To have someone say their disappointed about it not having some quality that I never intended it to have was a little discouraging. 

Quote

And I thought you had had more than one deck that beat all the quests before. Perhaps I am wrong, but this One Deck to Rule Them All has been flying about for years now, no? Or you mean, now that there are more quests than say two years ago, this changes?

The "Seastan's Boromir" as it's called had beaten the all the quests at the time, yes. Not only has that deck been errata'd, but there a lot more quests now, with several of them (Nightmare Nin-in-Eilph, Mount Doom, Nightmare Flight of the Stormcaller, Race Across Harad) being hard counters to its turtle-like approach to questing.

Quote

Interesting what you say about Eowyn vs. Gandalf. I think you might be right, the early +9 is priceless. On the other hand, it might even go Gandalf, Elrond, Eowyn. I had been playing Gandalf, Elrond, Glorfindel before switching to Spirit Beregond as the last hero. The deck is good, but I am sure there are quests so punishing threat (thought I have not played them), that the starting 37 is too much to beat them all with such high percentage as your line-up have produced. Though I often stay at around 38 with the deck (and sometimes lower having one copy of Greeting, as you do).

Not only would this mean a high starting threat, but you're giving up easy spirit access. I think this deck would have a terrible time at Return to Mirkwood.

What Gandalf offers to the Vilya archetype is greatly surpassed by Stargazer. So a cheaper hero (Awren) that can give you quick access to a Stargazer, as well as a deck built in such a way that Stargazer isn't strictly needed, performs better, in my experience.

 

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