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Deck Building Changes In General

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I have been looking at my older decks and my newer decks and I have noticed some shifts in them.

1.  Due to the much larger card pool than even say a year ago, when building decks now I have so many choices.  This is leading my design thoughts to be less about "what works in this deck?" and more "what do I want this deck to do and what is the best way to get there?"

2.  Skill cards.  Back in the day 6-12 cards would be skill cards with an emphasis on neutral skills.  Now unless I am making a specific deck (Minh), I am down to 2-6.  My view of them has changed as well.  They are less about passing checks and more about getting an ability that costs no actions and has no cost.  This is because I have other options for effects.

3.  Related to the above, when playing I am much more likely to throw an asset or event to boost a skill check more now than I have been in the past.

Anyone else notice any changes in general deck building as the game evolves?  Also, I still can't make a deck with Skids that I am really satisfied with, has anyone else?

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I generally agree, except I never went heavy on skill cards, and with the exception of Rogues I still tend to use them more for passing important checks.

I think the new card availability has shifted things to be more multi-dimensional for most characters, which has introduced real decisions around deck builds.  Guardians have gotten a lot of good options in the team support role, which has added a lot of depth and choice.  Seekers have more variety too, though for different reasons - their core kit is so solid I find everything else to be highly optional.  On initial build though there's a very interesting choice in which of the upgrade options you take, now that they can be 20% of your deck.

The other classes I've found less so.  Survivors have never fit my playstyle, and I can't seem to make anything but Dark Horse decks (though this may be similar to the Seeker issue).  The subtypes for Mystics, especially doom manipulation, really aren't developed well enough yet.  Rogues get a lot of variability, but mostly because they have a number of incredible upgrade options that are all SUPER expensive.

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Posted (edited)

I feel similarly to Buhallin. I was never heavy into skill to be honest, or survivors. Calvin is going to be a weird deck for me because I feel like he heavily relies on skill cards. For most of my decks, I optimize the cards to be as versatile as possible and largely ignore skills. Many cards have 2 skill pips, so you're just trading out the "draw a card" on the neutral skills for other event abilities or the possibility to play a card as an asset. The key, for me, is to not get so powerhungry that you try to play every single asset or event you draw. You can still commit them, and often, if it means passing a test, it can be the better option if you're already pretty set up.

If anything, the way my deck building has changed has really depended heavily on what cards I want to build into. I know that if I want to make as much use out of my experience as possible, I'm going to have to get my starting deck to mostly look like I want it to look when I finish. There's no room to swap out a skill card for something like waylay that I could have just started with originally. It's important to know where you're taking a deck so you can have synergy prepared with those cards before you add them to your deck. 

I've also come to love the Rogue faction for the sheer reason that they can take adaptable. it's essentially 2 free xp every scenario to build in some of that synergy that could be really fun that is not initially available because all you have are lvl 0 cards.

I lean into Rogues and Mystics because I enjoy their versatility. I don't like getting pinned down in a scenario with no options to either fight back, escape, or hoover clues. It's nice to have a role, but I prefer my decks to be self-reliant and I only play multi-player games at this point. Inevitably one of your teammates is going to go down, and it is so much friendlier to have a back-up no matter who is left standing.

I also find myself leaning into asset cards simply because they extend your health and sanity pools. I'm almost sad that this is the case because there are a lot of leveled skills and events I'd love to try out more, but I guess I'm just too cautious and feel like I must have my lvl 2 Peters, and Beat Cops, and lvl 5 Armor of Ardennes, etc etc. 

Edited by Soakman

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Posted (edited)

I agree that skill cards have lost a lot of their luster.  There are simply other cards that give you more options and they still give you skill pips, even if it is often not as many, and no rider effect.  Still, I feel a lot of skill cards are way too restricted for my tastes.   All of the Desperation cards, Rise to the Occasion, Not without a Fight, Last Chance... these all have just too many restrictions to play (although maybe Calvin can make use of a few of them).   I feel that these cards are really needlessly hampered by their crushing conditional play effects.  Really, there are only a few skill cards that I consider good.  Outside of Core (I like Fearless, Deduction, and Vicious Blow), the only strong skill cards that come to mind are Resourceful, and maybe double-or-nothing with the right build.  Some people have been using Watch This recently, but I haven't played with it.  

I really enjoy mystics, but since I typically play 2 player I usually end up with Seekers or Guardians.  Scavenging seeker builds are becoming really strong.   Weirdly, I think Minh is great, despite the fact that I'm generally not a fan of skill cards... just because she has the Seeker/Survivor roles, allowing her Scavenging, resourceful, Coat, Keepsake, and Higher Education.   She is just so difficult to kill.  Guardians I think play much the same as before, I dont typically use a lot of their medic abilities because I usually find that the investigator who needs the most help is probably the Guardian, since they are in the thick of things.   A few healing items maybe, I like Liquid Courage on those who can take it, but otherwise I mostly have them stick to fighting.  I do love a couple of the new events though, specifically On the Hunt, and Let Me Handle This, giving you some control over the mythos.

Edited by awp832

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I think I have moved away from putting 2 copies of every neutral core skill card in my deck, but I do find myself still considering other skill cards.  I still run Unexpected Courage x2 in every deck.  I usually use the other cantrip skill cards to fill weaknesses.  I do make use of other skill cards though.  Inspiring Presence is a must in Pete IMO, and probably in Leo now as well.  Eureka is Old Tome without the 3 cost or hand slot.  Vicious blow, deduction, and fearless are obvious.  Will to Survive is combo-rific, especially if you can play Taunt.  I could go on.  Skill cards do have their place in my decks still. 

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I only play on easy and normal usually, so Watch This! pays off much more reliably. I do use it when I can. Deduction and Vicious blow will always be good because they enhance the results of the text you are committing them to.

It would be cool if there was an  evasion skill that attaches to the enemy if you succeed and instead of exhausting, the next time the enemy would ready, you detach/discard the skill card. Something to make the evasion action more action efficient. That'd be neat. I'd play that.

I really want to find an investigator where eavesdrop really shines. I don't feel like there is one yet. The best intelligence Rogues have is 3 barring Finn. I suppose it'd be a good pick for Finn.

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3 hours ago, Soakman said:

I only play on easy and normal usually, so Watch This! pays off much more reliably. I do use it when I can. Deduction and Vicious blow will always be good because they enhance the results of the text you are committing them to.

It would be cool if there was an  evasion skill that attaches to the enemy if you succeed and instead of exhausting, the next time the enemy would ready, you detach/discard the skill card. Something to make the evasion action more action efficient. That'd be neat. I'd play that.

I really want to find an investigator where eavesdrop really shines. I don't feel like there is one yet. The best intelligence Rogues have is 3 barring Finn. I suppose it'd be a good pick for Finn.

Bait and Switch more or less does that.  Well more actually.  Snare Trap also has some of those features, although it requires provocativeness.

Eavesdrop is for Finn.  We may get more options later on, but yeah its for Finn.

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On 5/19/2018 at 4:47 AM, awp832 said:

All of the Desperation cards, Rise to the Occasion, Not without a Fight, Last Chance... these all have just too many restrictions to play (although maybe Calvin can make use of a few of them).   I feel that these cards are really needlessly hampered by their crushing conditional play effects.

A lot of these cards are conditional, but I don't really consider them conditional play effects - more just conditional effects period.  Getting use out of them is as much about putting them in the right decks as not.

Desperate skills are pretty solid in a Guardian deck once you eat a mental trauma (or two).  Rise to the Occasion is great for Finn, or Calvin - and pretty much anyone, honestly, as long as you use them right.  You don't put Rise in for the sake of your main stats, you put them in for your awful whatever-else.  Last Chance I think is awesome - you've got a solid chance for it to be an unrestricted 3 wildcard, which is great.

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Posted (edited)

I try not to take mental trauma in my guardians.   Ever.   And if I do.... am I really spending XP to put these back in my deck?    No...    Unless you're maybe a guardian/rogue with access to Adaptable (skids or leo), in which case, you really ought to have a pretty decent hedge against mental trauma, in the form of either I'm Outta Here! or Liquid Courage.   Stuff happens, but still...

Calvin aside, Rise to the Occasion is, as you said, only really useful to assist your weakest stat.  Which, unfortunately, pretty much means it never helps enough, at least on hard mode.   Take finn for example, he boosts his 1 wp to a 4 wp.  The check must be at least 3 difficulty for him to use it, so with the card he is at +1 over the DC.   Bah.   he is still going to have to commit a fair bit more than that to have a decent chance of passing.   And you really need someone with a very low stat to use it.   Even with a 2...  the number of 4 difficulty checks in your bad stat you will be doing isn't that much, not enough to get a lot of use out of this card.

Last Chance I guess depends on how many cards you like to have in hand.  I like to have a lot of cards in hand.  But I really don't want to be holding Last Chance in my hand waiting for the opportunity to play it when I can get 3+ wild out of it.  I'd rather have a card that is more useful in the moment, because until that point when you have 3 or fewer cards in hand (including your Last Chance), it's a dead draw.  And I still wouldnt consider it great for 3 wild, it's decent at 3 wild, but I wouldnt say it's great.  I'd really want to play this at 4 Wild or better, which requires you waiting until 2 cards or less, including your Last Chance, in hand when you want to use it.    

Edited by awp832

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1 hour ago, awp832 said:

I try not to take mental trauma in my guardians.   Ever.   And if I do.... am I really spending XP to put these back in my deck?    No...    Unless you're maybe a guardian/rogue with access to Adaptable (skids or leo), in which case, you really ought to have a pretty decent hedge against mental trauma, in the form of either I'm Outta Here! or Liquid Courage.   Stuff happens, but still...

Of course you try to avoid it, but it is going to happen, and it only takes one to put any o the Guardians into a viable range to expect this to happen.  You can also end up with mental trauma from scenario effects.  As for whether it's worth the XP to swap them in...  I tend to think the extra +2 will often be worth it, especially for fighting.  Would I do it for every skill?  No, but for the main stats, probably.

1 hour ago, awp832 said:

Calvin aside, Rise to the Occasion is, as you said, only really useful to assist your weakest stat.  Which, unfortunately, pretty much means it never helps enough, at least on hard mode.   Take finn for example, he boosts his 1 wp to a 4 wp.  The check must be at least 3 difficulty for him to use it, so with the card he is at +1 over the DC.   Bah. 

Really?  Even if you only get +1 over, that still takes you from an auto fail to about a 33% chance of passing on hard - possibly more depending on the tokens.  On standard it's around 50%.  That's not nothing, even before you consider the amount of "Take X for each point you fail by" tests.

As a brief aside, can we get past this idea that any card that doesn't help you steamroll hard sucks?  I get it that people like to show how buff they are for playing hard, but standard is what most people play on.  It would be nice if we could keep the evaluation in that range.

1 hour ago, awp832 said:

because until that point when you have 3 or fewer cards in hand (including your Last Chance), it's a dead draw.  And I still wouldnt consider it great for 3 wild, it's decent at 3 wild, but I wouldnt say it's great.  I'd really want to play this at 4 Wild or better, which requires you waiting until 2 cards or less, including your Last Chance, in hand when you want to use it.    

Eh?  This is confusing, and completely the wrong way to think about the card.  It's not a dead draw unless your hand is flush - if you've got 4 cards in hand it's the match for any neutral skill boost.  Even if it's sitting at zero when you draw it, it's going to be useful once your hand is depleted - and if you're in control enough that you can casually sit around 6+ cards then who cares what you drew, because you obviously don't need it.

And why in the world would you refuse to use a +3 wild on something because it has the potential to be a +4?  I can see how the card could trap you into that sort of flawed thinking, but that doesn't make it a bad card.

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On 5/21/2018 at 7:41 AM, awp832 said:

Take finn for example, he boosts his 1 wp to a 4 wp.  The check must be at least 3 difficulty for him to use it, so with the card he is at +1 over the DC.   Bah.   he is still going to have to commit a fair bit more than that to have a decent chance of passing.

It still puts him in a spot to consider passing. If he's got any spare Will or Wild icons in hand, or if he's standing next to Minh, or if any other investigator at his location is willing to help him out,  he's got a decent chance of success, which is way better than an automatic failure.

Besides, testing 4 vs 3 might not be worth it against Frozen in Fear, but it can be a lifesaver against Rotting Remains.

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it's much better to include a card like Moxie or Dig Deep and just use resources to boost your WP instead, then you can do it as many times as you want, as much as you want, so long as you have resources,  and having resources just so  happens to be one thing that Rogues are very good at.   

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14 hours ago, awp832 said:

it's much better to include a card like Moxie or Dig Deep and just use resources to boost your WP instead, then you can do it as many times as you want, as much as you want, so long as you have resources,  and having resources just so  happens to be one thing that Rogues are very good at.   

I don't really agree with that.  In a single-use case, you're looking at 4 or 5 resources and a card to do the same as what a single card will (probably) do.

And sure, the boosters last beyond that.  But are they really viable with Finn?  Can you afford to be dropping 3 resources on every WP test just to break even?  Even rogues don't make THAT much money.

Honestly, this seems a bit contradictory.  Earlier, you said a +3 wasn't worth using with Finn's WP.  Now it's viable to be spending 3 resources a test to get to that same point that wasn't good enough to include a card?

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Either you feel that WP checks are worth trying to pass, or you don't.    That's the choice you have to make when you're deckbuilding.   

 

Supposing you think they are worth passing, you are going to need to be more than +1 above the DC.   You'll have to commit more than just a Rise to the Occasion.   Rise to the Occasion alone isn't going to cut it, so you'll have to spend more cards to get a bit better chance.   Or you can spend resources and try to pass with Dig Deep or Moxie.  Of course, if you are including Dig Deep anyway, then there really isn't much reason to take Rise to the Occasion, as it would probably be easier for you to get resources.   Moxie/Dig Deep also have the added benefit of allowing you to boost another stat, besides willpower.  

Supposing you don't, and are willing to just eat what the WP effects of the mythos do to you: then there is no reason to include either card.

The question is always:  is this a card that is strong enough to merit 1/30 or 2/30 cards in my deck? And I think Rise to the Occasion just does not meet that standard (except for maybe on Calvin).   Same with the Desperation cards and Last Chance.

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9 minutes ago, awp832 said:

Either you feel that WP checks are worth trying to pass, or you don't.

This isn't really true though, it's not nearly this all-or-nothing.  Realistically, there are going to be some checks you don't care about, some checks you really must pass, and some that you might like to pass but can deal with it if you don't.  You can't even put any given test into the same bin - a Rotting Remains the first round of the game is a much different beast than a late game draw when you've only got two sanity left.

Skill cards are ideal for handling this.  They're far more efficient at dealing with occasional tests than any of the boosters, and ones like Rise or Last Chance are good for providing a big boost when those must-pass tests come around.  Sure, Rise won't get you all the way to where you need to be to guarantee passing, but it'll do it a lot more efficiently than if you're just dropping your entire hand to get the +3 you need to have a shot at surviving.

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Posted (edited)

I still use a lot of core set skill cards. Mostly because I play 3-4 player multiplayer so all those skill cards that let you draw a card reduces you deck size and so make it more effient! With 4 player skill cards very rarely stays in the hand long time. Most like you play it very soon to one player skill check and you draw a new card to replase it becauše the check was succesfull.

it allows you to cycle your deck so much faster than without them!

Edited by Hannibal_pjv

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I've found that with added cards my deckbuilding has mostly grown more varied at the same rate as new strategies became possible, for example the new seeker event that cures 2 sanity or the guardian events that fetches enemies from the encounter deck.

Suddently a Roland can go actively looking for a face to smash and proc his clue ability rather then risking another Frozen in Fear draw or Rotting remains, a pretty good alternative to Perception if you ask me.

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