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Pharce

Optimal Deck?

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I have seen alot of people trying to get an “optimal” deck at 40 cards. Why? This isn’t a competitive game. If you have great cards to put in why not put them in? I know it makes it harder to maybe find “the” card or the ones you favor but usually you are choosing between great cards anyway. Also there is a penalty for going through your deck so more cars in deck less encounter cards. 

I personally usually run around 44 but that is strictly I pick the cards I like for my concept and end up there almost every time it’s 44 for me but 44 is not a goal it just happens.

So why 40? Is it just a hold over from other card games? How many do you put in you deck?

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I stick to 40, but that's largely because I'm still figuring out how to keep my deck from trying to do too many things and ending up doing nothing well. I've considered being a little less strict, but haven't really had a reason to so far.

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I literally just pick cards in the beginning of set-up instead of having set aside "decks". I find it easier to think of a plan in the moment, based off of my certain hero and certain aspect, plus the specific villain and any other heroes and there aspects I may be playing with. To me it just seems impossible to cookie cutter "decks". I always make something different and unique every game based off of my environment. But I also have a brother also into this game, so I almost never play solo games. So I don't know if that effects my reason not to deck build or not. 

And on the topic of 40-50 cards while building my decks, I always do 50. Not because I want to fill my deck, but because I love most of the cards, and always fill on accident. But if the 50 limit wasn't a rule, I would like to think I wouldn't go beyond 50 still. Just because the reason that rule exists, is because it has been play tested a million times, and I respect the game designers enough to trust there judgement. They do know more then me, and that's a general philosophy that I live by. I see the benefits of having a smaller deck, but there's also benefits from a larger deck. Neither is wrong, and each play-style is respectable.

That's just my two cents.      

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For me it's about consistency. You go through your deck more with fewer cards and in a game where you are pitching cards for resources, reshuffling often is a good thing. Also keeping the deck size low in construction forces you to ask the question, is this card really worth it? Having extra cards is fine as long as you don't draw emergency when you needed shield block.

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If you try Heroic 1 and Heroic 2, and play with 50 cards or 45 cards, you will notice yourself never using some of the cards you chose to add.
Because every part of the round will try to kill you, and every decision you make will either give you one more turn, or end the game.

For example, 0 cost cards like chase them down, get ready, and make the call go up in value as you with no extra cards actually accomplish something important.
Then you look on cards like Melee, Uppercut, Concussion blow, Wonder Man, Avengers Assemble, Avengers Mansion and Second wind, and when you play your turn, and look at your hand that you drew, you will notice that you won't have the time, or resources to pay for them. Instead you use them as resorce cards. Eventually you get a turn where your hand is filled with expencive cards, or cards that only are meant to support you untill the late-game, but you find that you won't even reach the middle-game, or survive through the early-game.

That was when I cut every deck down to the 40 most important cards possible!

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It always comes back to efficiency. You have to have a really really good reason to add a 41st card to you deck, and if it isn’t better than the other cards in there, why are you adding it?

There is a penalty for going through your deck, but there’s also a significant advantage. I think if you let any hero start with as much set up in play as they want, then let them have access to their best attack card every turn in exchange for getting an extra Encounter card, you’ll find that significantly easier than playing normally. This can be seen with Iron Man who by the end if mist games is cycling through his deck extremely quickly, but is doing an awful lot of damage thanks to Supersonic punch and Replusor Blasts. You quickly get back to these Attack cards, and they’re better than the equivalent you could have added...

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This has turned out to be a great discussion.

i would tend to think that heros who filter through their cards should have a slightly larger deck. Or i should say a larger deck doesn’t hurt them as much. Ironman, captain marvel,  even black panther (if you ever switch out of hero mode) filter pretty quick. Once set up they have money a few extra card could be the options they need for what’s happening. Where as spidey would be better with a smaller deck. Thoughts?

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13 minutes ago, Pharce said:

This has turned out to be a great discussion.

i would tend to think that heros who filter through their cards should have a slightly larger deck. Or i should say a larger deck doesn’t hurt them as much. Ironman, captain marvel,  even black panther (if you ever switch out of hero mode) filter pretty quick. Once set up they have money a few extra card could be the options they need for what’s happening. Where as spidey would be better with a smaller deck. Thoughts?

I’d argue that the principle advantage someone like Captain Marvel gets from Cycling through her deck is getting to her best cards (or at least more relevant cards) when she wants them, so she’s still better off with a smaller deck. 
 

Iron Man arguably might want to have a larger deck in the end game, but is actively hurting his set up which relies on finding his suit quickly. This might change if we get a significant number of new tech upgrades, but for right now, I personally wouldn’t.

Black Panther probably wants it the least - he’s looking to set up and play as many copies of Wakanda Forever as possible, so wants to cycle back to them ASAP.

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One of the main reasons I personally love a larger deck, is because I get so much upgrades and supports, and by the end of the game my deck only makes up something around 25 cards sometimes. At a minimum, I'm getting an extra encounter card every 5 rounds. Which usually ends up happening sooner than later, just because of card drawing abilities/upgrades or going back to AE. I know Iron Man wants a lower deck to get his tech upgrades faster, but with his massive amount of upgrades and supports and that effective but costly repulsor blast, it almost reaches an encounter card every 3 rounds. Most of the cards I fill my decks with are upgrades and supports, so that by the time I'm done building, I can focus on getting allies out, and playing my beast events in the rest of my deck. And I'm well supplied to do so with my plethora of upgrades and supports. 

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1 hour ago, Venompuppy said:

One of the main reasons I personally love a larger deck, is because I get so much upgrades and supports, and by the end of the game my deck only makes up something around 25 cards sometimes. At a minimum, I'm getting an extra encounter card every 5 rounds. Which usually ends up happening sooner than later, just because of card drawing abilities/upgrades or going back to AE. I know Iron Man wants a lower deck to get his tech upgrades faster, but with his massive amount of upgrades and supports and that effective but costly repulsor blast, it almost reaches an encounter card every 3 rounds. Most of the cards I fill my decks with are upgrades and supports, so that by the time I'm done building, I can focus on getting allies out, and playing my beast events in the rest of my deck. And I'm well supplied to do so with my plethora of upgrades and supports. 

The point is though, if you have a smaller deck, you’re getting to your best cards even more frequently. Yes, Iron Man once set up probably gets an extra Encounter card every 3 rounds, but he’s probably averaging 20+ damage around - possibly more. If you bulk the deck with more cards, it takes slightly longer to cycle, but you turns aren’t as good. 

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, FearLord said:

The point is though, if you have a smaller deck, you’re getting to your best cards even more frequently.

 If you bulk the deck with more cards, it takes slightly longer to cycle, but you turns aren’t as good. 

People always say that, but I'm not filling my decks with junk. I always put cards in there that I'm always gonna use. Like get over here. At first, I thought it was stupid to have an aspect card that only works/useful to only one hero. Then I realized how valuable it is in any Ultron game. Almost virtually useless in any other game, but a must have in all Ultron games, especially expert. That's just one example, there are many cards like this, and I end up filling up my decks with these quin essentials.

On the other side, if I'm looking for a few specific cards to play as much as possible, say Wakanda Forever, repulsor blast, or black widow's widow bites in a Mutagen game, the smaller deck is more inviting. Say that card that resolves around the whole game. I should try some more 40 card decks more often. I also realized that that extra encounter card every so often isn't that punishing. Who knows? Maybe I'll end up becoming a die hard for smaller decks. But I've tried both already, and still end up with 50 somehow. But I understand completely why people swear by 40 sized decks.       

Edited by Venompuppy

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I'll offer a different counterpoint here, though it must be said right off the bat that my whole premise is that whatever I'm going to say below has no bearing on the validity of all the reasons why a 40 card deck is more optimal. Because it is.

I get the numbers game, I really get it. I'm not a competitive player and for the life of me I never wanted to be one until I tried my hand at L5R, attending events and championships at different tiers up to a Kotei. With L5R I did decide I would "play" that game, so to speak. I wasn't so good but I met nice people along the way, so that was not a total waste of time. But anyway, when your endgame is a victory, you want that as often as possible, and thus every little thing you can do to increase your chances of attaining that makes total sense. Inescapably so.

However, it is impossible for me to approach Marvel Champions as a numbers/efficiency calculus. I hope you guys manage to see my side of things when I say with utter seriousness that to me winning is not the point. Yes, it's fun to win, but when you win the game is actually over, you know? Which in a way is a kind of "loss", because what I actually enjoy is the way to get there. I love games for their narrative aspect. I play RPGs at "just the story" difficulty level. I know Marvel Champions is not as narrative-driven as other games, but I do find it successfully evocative, especially Mutagen Formula. I can feel the Green Goblin flying over, the hordes of corrupted citizens running all around, and all that. It's pretty fun.  I want to play the heroes the way I want and create an overall "mind story" with what happens on the table. If I manage to win the game by playing it the way I intended, then cool. I got a cookie, and who doesn't like cookies? But that's not the first reason I sat down in the first place. I do not approach is a challenge, but as a story, and under this paradigm, the math-side of the game is almost painfully futile.

So yeah... My decks are usually between 42-46 cards. It's not wrong. Fight me. 😁

 

 

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On 5/16/2020 at 6:28 PM, Pharce said:

I have seen alot of people trying to get an “optimal” deck at 40 cards. Why? This isn’t a competitive game. If you have great cards to put in why not put them in? I know it makes it harder to maybe find “the” card or the ones you favor but usually you are choosing between great cards anyway. Also there is a penalty for going through your deck so more cars in deck less encounter cards. 

I personally usually run around 44 but that is strictly I pick the cards I like for my concept and end up there almost every time it’s 44 for me but 44 is not a goal it just happens.

So why 40? Is it just a hold over from other card games? How many do you put in you deck?

If you have a 40 card deck in MC, and there are 10 permanents that you could include, you should add them and go with the 50 card deck.

All the permanents are Force multipliers, leaving them out of the deck initially is a flat mistake.

Events on the other hand, you’d need to justify their existence, because they are all that’s left once you’ve fully established your board (them and resource cards). 

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7 hours ago, Ascarel said:

I'll offer a different counterpoint here, though it must be said right off the bat that my whole premise is that whatever I'm going to say below has no bearing on the validity of all the reasons why a 40 card deck is more optimal. Because it is.

I get the numbers game, I really get it. I'm not a competitive player and for the life of me I never wanted to be one until I tried my hand at L5R, attending events and championships at different tiers up to a Kotei. With L5R I did decide I would "play" that game, so to speak. I wasn't so good but I met nice people along the way, so that was not a total waste of time. But anyway, when your endgame is a victory, you want that as often as possible, and thus every little thing you can do to increase your chances of attaining that makes total sense. Inescapably so.

However, it is impossible for me to approach Marvel Champions as a numbers/efficiency calculus. I hope you guys manage to see my side of things when I say with utter seriousness that to me winning is not the point. Yes, it's fun to win, but when you win the game is actually over, you know? Which in a way is a kind of "loss", because what I actually enjoy is the way to get there. I love games for their narrative aspect. I play RPGs at "just the story" difficulty level. I know Marvel Champions is not as narrative-driven as other games, but I do find it successfully evocative, especially Mutagen Formula. I can feel the Green Goblin flying over, the hordes of corrupted citizens running all around, and all that. It's pretty fun.  I want to play the heroes the way I want and create an overall "mind story" with what happens on the table. If I manage to win the game by playing it the way I intended, then cool. I got a cookie, and who doesn't like cookies? But that's not the first reason I sat down in the first place. I do not approach is a challenge, but as a story, and under this paradigm, the math-side of the game is almost painfully futile.

So yeah... My decks are usually between 42-46 cards. It's not wrong. Fight me. 😁

 

 

I appreciate this point of view quite a bit. I find the game to be much more enjoyable with some sense of a narrative, even if it’s just from the cards I’m using. I always feel weird playing interrogation room with a hero like Thor. I just picture Thor at a local precinct questioning some thug, “By Odin’s beard! Where art thou supplier!”

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16 hours ago, Ascarel said:

and under this paradigm, the math-side of the game is almost painfully futile.

 

 

This is so true. I've tried to get into algorithms in the past with other games, but impossible in this instance.  

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On 5/17/2020 at 8:08 PM, Ascarel said:

I'll offer a different counterpoint here, though it must be said right off the bat that my whole premise is that whatever I'm going to say below has no bearing on the validity of all the reasons why a 40 card deck is more optimal. Because it is.

I get the numbers game, I really get it. I'm not a competitive player and for the life of me I never wanted to be one until I tried my hand at L5R, attending events and championships at different tiers up to a Kotei. With L5R I did decide I would "play" that game, so to speak. I wasn't so good but I met nice people along the way, so that was not a total waste of time. But anyway, when your endgame is a victory, you want that as often as possible, and thus every little thing you can do to increase your chances of attaining that makes total sense. Inescapably so.

However, it is impossible for me to approach Marvel Champions as a numbers/efficiency calculus. I hope you guys manage to see my side of things when I say with utter seriousness that to me winning is not the point. Yes, it's fun to win, but when you win the game is actually over, you know? Which in a way is a kind of "loss", because what I actually enjoy is the way to get there. I love games for their narrative aspect. I play RPGs at "just the story" difficulty level. I know Marvel Champions is not as narrative-driven as other games, but I do find it successfully evocative, especially Mutagen Formula. I can feel the Green Goblin flying over, the hordes of corrupted citizens running all around, and all that. It's pretty fun.  I want to play the heroes the way I want and create an overall "mind story" with what happens on the table. If I manage to win the game by playing it the way I intended, then cool. I got a cookie, and who doesn't like cookies? But that's not the first reason I sat down in the first place. I do not approach is a challenge, but as a story, and under this paradigm, the math-side of the game is almost painfully futile.

So yeah... My decks are usually between 42-46 cards. It's not wrong. Fight me. 😁

 

 

I agree that strict efficiency isn’t as important in a co op game, but I’d actually argue that going over 40 cards actually hurts the game narratively as well.

For me, the real ‘flavour’ of the hero comes from their signature cards. I want as high a ratio of hero cards to general cards as possible, and that means I don’t want to put in more than 25 cards...

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Consistency in a deck where you draw cards randomly is a huge factor.

An even simpler reason to keep decks as low as possible is because your best cards are your hero cards, which are fixed at 15 cards, and you want to draw those as often as possible. Basic and aspect cards are less cost-effective because they can be played by any hero. Compare Spiderman's swinging kick to uppercut or Captain America's super soldier serum to any of the enhanced (blank) resource cards. I want to draw my more powerful hero cards rather than basic and aspect cards. Some hero cards are absolutely essential too and need to be drawn as soon as possible. For example, as Thor if I don't draw Asgard  I mulligan most if not all of my hand. More cards means more turns without those key hero cards in play.

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40 cards in this game is not necesarilly more optimal.  There is a cost to a smaller deck.  In addition a 40 card deck allows your signature cards and one-ofs to compromise a greater percentage of your hand permutations.  It also effects when your deck runs out.  Some scenarios are different and there are many many variables.  A hard fast rule is merely emphasizing one set of variables over another.

 

A lot of people make the mistake of applying the same deck building rules of magic to the game, but the game is different and those same rules dont always apply.

 

Also I will caution that a smaller deck is not necessarily more consistent in every deck-building game, it depends on the rules of the game.

 

 

 

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