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So, how does deck building work at the very fundamental level?

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So before I start babbling too much, my question is as noobish and straightforward as the title suggest -- how does deck building work? What are the basic rules here? I can't seem to find anything about this in the rule book, nor on the forums. Either I suck at searching, or it's just such a given thing that no one has asked about it :)


Basically, I just bought the core set on a whim, one rainy afternoon when me and a friend were bored. As opposed to many of the other people posting "noob questions" here, I have absolutely zero experience with any previous game card games (like Magic, etc).


Nonetheless, we learned the basic rules quite quickly and have so far played around 6 one-on-one games with the core set and its four available houses, and we're having a blast (albeit being utter newbies in terms of tactics, etc - but hey, at least we're at the same level)!


We quite quickly felt that we had already exhausted the available houses and wanted more! More houses, and more exciting cards for each house.


With that said, I'm planning on buying the expansion sets to get house Greyjoy & Martell (and, down the line, the expansion sets for all six houses) into the game, and while googling, I came across various topics on "deck building" and got a bit confused about what this is? People seem to be buying multiple core sets, and there are further expansions for each house as well (assuming it means you get a wider array of playable cards for each house) - and here is where my questions enter:


1. I initially thought you simply got a "larger deck for each house" to draw from with all these additional cards (basically doubling your house cards with the additional core set, and even further adding more cards with house expansions). But I now assume this is not the case, and that you instead simply "pick the cards" you want to use for your deck -- is this correct?


2. If the above is correct, how many cards are you supposed to have in deck? Is it a set number or is the amount optional between a certain interval? I'm also assuming there should be a recommended or division between the various card types (characters, locations, etc)?


3. Are neutral cards supposed to stay in the same deck as with the house they came with? For instance, House Targaryen had Maester Aemon in their deck (which makes sense, considering his bloodline) -- but he's the only Night's Watch character in the Targaryen deck, and thus his ability becomes moot?


I guess that's basically it. I hope it made sense and that someone out there can help this beginner get some further understanding about this lovely game. Might be good the bear in mind that I'm only planning on playing casual games with my friends, and not any competitive stuff with the scary elite :)

Edited by justgimmeaname

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I'm still new at this too.  There's two articles that may help you out in regards to some of questions:






Also, I've found




pretty helpful.


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Deck building really does come with experience, experimentation and a wide access to card pools.


Below are some suggestions that i think will help when building


1) Try to stick with 60 cards and not go over ( this can be difficult as you naturally have to make cuts )


2) Have 30 characters or 50% of the deck


3) Run an agenda and take note of it's abilities both positive and negative


4) Determine if the deck is mainly for Joust or Melee ( there can be a huge difference )


5) Establish a theme, for example, Armies, Asshai, Knights, Holy


6) Choose the characters and then build the plots, locations around the characters /themes


Hope this helps




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Hmm, As an ammendment to the above it should be: 30 characters 15 resource providing cards 15 other cards.


What I would first attempt is to look at characters that are awesome just by themselves, once you've picked about 5 of them that you would put 3x of, look at patterns to see if you have a lot of knights, war crests, etc, and choose 2-3 more characters that fit into that theme, and possibly swap some characters. And then add in utility characters as you will need draw, for non martell/lannister this comes down to: Shadow cards to fuel King's Landing, Knights for the Knights of the Realm Agenda, Sam Tarly and the Ravens, Val, and for Summer Agenda: Gilly.


Now that you have your character base, and draw stategy, go through it again and prune/swap so you have a decent mixture of Intrigue/Power/Military, some uniques, and some stealth. Try to keep the average gold cost around 3-4.


Then Build your resources - Typically: 1x each: Flea Bottom, Shadowblack Lane, Street of Steel, Street of Sisters, Street of Silk and River Row for (6). Then 3x of the Sea reducers (replace with Seat if you are Bara) raising you to 9. 3x of the limited gold producing location (Aegons Garden for example), and 3x of the Chambers location. 


Note: If you are in need of influence, you may want to curtail the reducers and replace with influence producing cards. And for some decks using Bay of Ice for 3 of them here also works.


As for the last 15: This is where you fill in the support for your deck, from locations, events and attachments. Milk of the Poppy, Paper Shield, and Distinct Mastery are some decent events to start with. Other good cards to look at: Frozen Solid (Stark), Golden Tooth Mines (Lanni), Oakenshield Port (Baratheon), Scouting Vessel (Greyjoy), Forever Burning (Targ), Taste for Blood (Martell)

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Try to find some world class decks. Study them. learn from them. Making your own decks without knowing what your're doing would be like trying to compose music without ever having studied it. Or cook a gourmet dinner without having stepped foot in a kitchen before. I recommend netdecking starting out. Some feel cheap doing it. But it's good for getting a grasp of things and you'll win way more. If you lose with a world level deck, you're probably not playing it right.

Edited by snaggrriss

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