Are there must have cards for a deck

Discuss the way <b>you</b> play (strategy, etc., etc.)

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The Dead Dwarf
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Post by The Dead Dwarf » Sun Nov 14, 2004 8:33 am

Jambo wrote:Peter,

I'd actually argue that the majority of the challenge decks are fairly poor and wouldn't compete too well with a solid constructed deck.
Some of the challenge decks aren't great - some are helped if you add additional sites. Saying that, Alatar's is pretty darn solid. I've beaten 'constructed' decks with it, all it really needs is more copies of vilya (okay, yeah you can alter some other stuff too).

I often use it as a 'test' deck against hero decks I think of, if they can't easily beat the Alatar challenge deck then they're not gonna make the grade!

Nigel

PallandoTwice
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Post by PallandoTwice » Sun Nov 14, 2004 9:45 am

Okay, makes abit more sense. I do not have all that much experience playing minions. What does a minion dump deck do to dump on the first turn? I slaughter Wizard dump decks pretty much everygame. What are the essential plays for a minion drop strategy?

i agree that what to discard is crucial. I discard a card about 90% of the timeI would say if not higher.

I must still disagree with Favor. The ability to reset Many Sorrows Befall, Mouth, Nazgul Engine or BAduila engine or just to restock Vilya, etc. is huge. If you are trying to cycle your deck as fast as possible it isn't that great but a deck based around swiftly going through the deck and putting together efficient combo's and plays turns it into the uber-bomb.

By the way, no one has answered my question on the three metomorpheses.

Camel=>?

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Post by Tegarend » Sun Nov 14, 2004 11:34 am

When I may discard (i.e. when there is no stuff on-guard), I discard 100% of the time. It is just necessary!

And favor is a piece of crap. Sorry, but it looks to be only good for recycling hazards, and I never trust my hazards to truly stop my opponent. I rather go quickly through my deck and then receive my discard again than use this card.

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Post by The Dead Dwarf » Mon Nov 15, 2004 9:21 am

Tegarend wrote:When I may discard (i.e. when there is no stuff on-guard), I discard 100% of the time. It is just necessary!

And favor is a piece of crap. Sorry, but it looks to be only good for recycling hazards, and I never trust my hazards to truly stop my opponent. I rather go quickly through my deck and then receive my discard again than use this card.
Granted Favor is no where near as powerful as some people think - mainly because MECCG has a hand refill mechanic already - at the end of the turn. Games where you don't have that, getting a hand full of cards is awesome.

Saying that Favor has it's specialist uses - if nothing else it's good in a dunk deck as an extra try to get your wizard on the first turn.

Nigel

Zarathustra
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Post by Zarathustra » Tue Nov 16, 2004 2:30 am

Agreed, Nigel.

The thing about MECCG that it took me a long time to learn is that it's very much a game of speed. Sure, you might have a killer hazard deck and some nice cards like Vilya in your discard pile, but if you can't call the council by the end of turn five, you're in serious trouble much of the time. Speed defeats One Ring decks (at least really good One Ring decks played by elite players) more often than hazards.

Favor of the Valar does have specialist uses, as Nigel mentions. You'll want to consider playing Favor in either of two cases, as far as I can tell:

1) Your deck requires getting some card or other on the first turn or else. Such decks include certain One Ring decks, Wandering Wizard decks, and others for which the avatar or some other feature is crucial in the first turn. With these decks, Favor acts as a sort of proxy for whatever card it is you want. If you don't draw you wizard in the first 8 cards, you might draw Favor, in which case you could play it to go fishing for the wizard again. Keep in mind that badbeards may not play Favor of the Valar.

2) You are playing a "trick deck" that tries to reduce the combined size of the play deck and discard pile to almost 0. Such decks are usually after an infinite hazard combo, King Under the Mountain, or all the Elven Kings in their their halls of gold. In such decks as this, Favor's deleterious effects of increasing the size of the play deck by combining it with the discard pile before exhausting are minimized by reducing both the play deck and the discard pile to miniscule stacks of cards.

If you have a deck that doesn't fit either of these descriptions, my advice is: the Flavour of the Valar is not for your nose.

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Post by PallandoTwice » Thu Nov 18, 2004 10:14 am

You all have good points but speed is overrated. Efficiency is much more important and Favor is better than you give it credit for. Why?

When each play deck has been exhausted once, the council starts at the end of the current turn.

After you have exhausted your play deck for the first time, you may choose to call the council at the end of any of your turns. The council starts at the end of your opponent's next turn (i.e., your opponent gets one last turn).

You may choose to call the council at the end of your turn if you have accumulated at least 20 marshalling points. The council starts at the end of your opponent's next turn (i.e., your opponent gets one last turn).

Essentially calling the council gives your opponent another turn unless he has cycled his deck. This means you roppoent gets one last turn to fix the council. If you have a 7 point lead and I influnce away 9 MP you lose. It's that simple.

Also, the moment a speed deck comes up against a seped deck which is more efficeint it loses. this means that most decks touted for being good because they are fast usually are subpar because they are beatin regularly by faster more efficient decks. Speed sets a benchmark and speed deck are strong true, but speed itself doesn't win games. Efficiency does.

Lets takes the following example. I am playing elven lords and now have 3 lords and pallando in play. My options are ridiculously superior to your. You have built a small lead and raced through your deck. Howvere in doing so you moved to several card disadvantageous sites. Essentially I have the best at my disposal while you have a few random cardswhich are fast. I am able to make crazy efficient plays by assembling true combos. So for instance if I drop say 12 MP and influence away 10 of yours (incredibly easy for a lords deck on a critical turn) you will get blown away because you raced to a lead without insuiring that lead.

Speed decks have no control elements and are thus incredibly vulnerable to any deck which can time effciient action.

Favor, I still think belongs in every deck. You just discard it if you draw it late and want to finsih plowing through your deck. If you draw it early you get a huge turbo bost and find your wizard really easily. I think it is also possible to overate it, but from what I have seen people on ethis site are clearing underating cards because they have an extremely narrow strategy outlook.

My deck, tries to take as long as possible to cycle, but maintains the ability to do it very quickly. Also it incoorporated elements which prevents the oppoent from cycling quickly as speed is obviously a strong element. A patient control deck will take apart any suboptimal speed deck with little effort.

Finally, you can completely stall a Speed deck by starving it for cards and making it choke on hazards.

On a side note, wow I have been cheating like a madfool with Nenselde. I hate to tell my oponent this. I have whipped him senseless cheating with Nenselde. ;)

Finally, someone please enlighten me on the Nazgul One-Ring Strategy. Please. I don't no any one who plays it and I have not found a decklist. You don't have to give me your secert list, just tell me the essential basics.

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Post by Jambo » Thu Nov 18, 2004 11:01 am

I think the main reason for the differing opinions here is that PallandoTwice is referring to 1 deck games, while the rest of us are commenting based on 2 decks games.

Zarathustra
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Post by Zarathustra » Thu Nov 18, 2004 3:07 pm

Yes indeed, Jamie.

I had 2-deck games in mind because they are the most common in tournaments and on gccg. If, however, you are playing a 1-deck game, PallandoTwice's advice is quite good. In a 2-deck game, however, you need to exhaust once and have 25 points or exhaust twice in order to call the game. The former option is much more common, and so being able to exhaust in 4-5 turns with over 30 points (with the possibility of hitting at least 40) is a must for all truly elite 2-deck decks. With them, slowing down your cycle by playing Favor when halfway through the deck can be utterly debilitating. But, as Jamie and and PallandoTwice have said, in a 1-deck game, cycling is far less important than hitting 20 points (regarless of how far you are through your deck). Glad we could finally clear up this argument....

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Post by PallandoTwice » Fri Nov 19, 2004 3:55 pm

Well not quite. I had one deck games in mind, but in two deck games, I would still play Favor and I would say still 40% of decks should play it. Definately if you are playing two deck it is marginalized a bit because the effect can bedetrimental. However, regardless calling the council gives your opponent the chance to repson and if you do it without a protection a DI deck will take the win away. So I guess essentially the sum total of our remarks here can be reduced to as follows.

Favor is unbelievably good but only if recycling is detrimental. The ability to discard it and draw a fresh cards mitigates this if your deck is mid-ranged speed so it is probably pretty good in those decks but not nescessarily great. I do think though that speed decks make up maybe only 30% of the elite decks though (By that I mean rampant speed).

Although speed is king, it is tempered by efficiency.

This is something I think is very important to point out. No matter how fast, if your opponent has areasonable speed with better efficiency and a bit of DI he will win.

Here are my five criteria for a poor speed deck. Do you agree?

1) Low efficiency
A fast deck which is insufficent runs the risk of losing the lead and being unable to come back.

2) Inability to protect a lead you have built
If a speed deck calls the council and allows it opponent to swing the council that kind of like trying to dump teh ONe with a cracks of Doom being carried by Ori who likes to carry around a Dwarf ring too. In short if you call the council when the game is too close, you essentially risk giving it away. Another way is simply to reach a critical mass of overwhelming flow of MP.

3) Not fast enough to beat other speed
It is slower that other speed decks which race past it.

4) One-dimensional
Many speeds decks tend to be a bit one-dimensional. If efforts are not taken to diverisfy they may fall apart.

5) Resource Depndant
Since you must blow through resources as fast as possible to win, your hazard strategy must be easily playable, and you must be able to get through your hazards into fesh resources.

Would you guys add anymore. I think these are helpful to both players who play speed decks and those who wish to understand teh weaknesses and how to beat them reliably.

I can tell that my style of play is incredibly differnt from you guys. I build my decks around card draws, power, combos, and versatility. In short I try to build a machine which increases in power each turn, not just increases in MP.

i have found DI the single most powerful component of the game.

Anyways, nice to get some fresh chatter. Like this site allot.

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Post by Tegarend » Fri Nov 19, 2004 4:56 pm

Mmm ... I have one question for you : how many points have you got after 5 turns or so? Or 4 turns?

If at the end of the 4th turn, the opponent can call the council, and he is in a completely different part of Middle-Earth than your influencers, or has sideboarded Wizard's laughter, or has wounded your wizard, or ... - then what do you do?

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Post by Zarathustra » Fri Nov 19, 2004 5:16 pm

OK, so now the discussion has moved from Favor of the Valar to the importance of speed. Here's what I (and I think I have some authority on the issue, having just won the world championship 4 months ago) have to contribute to the issue:

PallandoTwice is of course right to say that a "poor speed deck" is not going to win all of its games. On the other hand, I don't recommend building a poor speed deck, but an excellent one.

There are several reasons to want to be able at least to call the council in at most 5 turns, even if one does not actually do so every time.

1) The most obvious and important one is when you run up against a One Ring deck. Sometimes hazards can stop them, but much of the time hazards can only slow them slightly. This is where speed comes in. If you force your opponent to dunk on his 5th turn or lose, he will usually lose (assuming you have a decent sideboard).

2) If you run up against an elite deck it will have the ability to call ont he 5th (or 4th... or in my case sometimes 3rd...) turn, which means that you need at least to have comprable MP gathering, even if you don't call it yourself.

3) When playing as a hero against a minion or a minion against a hero especially, but also in many other cases, last ditch influence attempts on the final turn before council often go awry. The -5 modifier for cross-alignment influencing pretty much rules out influencing away minions as a hero and vice-versa. Wizard's laughter will put a stop to all your fun as well.

There are more, but those are the top three. I think the best way to resolve this diagreement would be for me and Pallando to have us a couple of matches to see which style works best ;). Look for me on GCCG, screenname zara.

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Post by Tegarend » Fri Nov 19, 2004 5:46 pm

4) If you can call while the Fallen Wizard is still scrambling to get his stage cards out ... you'll probably win ...

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Post by PallandoTwice » Sat Nov 20, 2004 1:56 pm

Okay now we are getting somewhere.

1) The most obvious and important one is when you run up against a One Ring deck. Sometimes hazards can stop them, but much of the time hazards can only slow them slightly. This is where speed comes in. If you force your opponent to dunk on his 5th turn or lose, he will usually lose (assuming you have a decent sideboard).

I agree, however, you can steal it, force it to be discarded etc. i definately agree with you that this is useful. Turbo One Ring decks don't make up the majority of deck sthogh as far as I can tell so this good but not against all decks. Valid point.

2) If you run up against an elite deck it will have the ability to call ont he 5th (or 4th... or in my case sometimes 3rd...) turn, which means that you need at least to have comprable MP gathering, even if you don't call it yourself.

Your definition of an elite deck is speed deck. That pretty much makes this circular. however, the notion of having comparable Mp is important as that is what will alow you to prevent your opponent from calling the council. So this eesentially says you need to put up MP like a speed deck but not nescessarily cyle through your deck as afast.

3) When playing as a hero against a minion or a minion against a hero especially, but also in many other cases, last ditch influence attempts on the final turn before council often go awry. The -5 modifier for cross-alignment influencing pretty much rules out influencing away minions as a hero and vice-versa. Wizard's laughter will put a stop to all your fun as well.

True Wizard's Laughter is harsh, but not the end. Inflence is just one potent weapon and it is backed up by others. Definately the -5 and inability to reveal a copy of minions hurts a bit, but you can still hit common items etc.

As far as making sure you can get to your opponet om the last turn you can either be within normal movement range, use gwaihir, or use Lindion the Oronin. Finally you don't need your wizard to influence because Vilya creates a Wizard. By turn 5 I would say I have on average 25 points not including anything I influence awya from my opponent, which results in a swing. If you allow me to get rid of your item or character MP you can add an extra 10-15 points. So I would say between 25-50 MP on turn 5 with the upper bounds being dependant.

I can't play online right now but will look into in the future if I have a steady placfe to live and internet access at home. Where do you live Zarathustra? Maybe we could make this a face to face grudge match?

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Post by Tegarend » Sat Nov 20, 2004 8:33 pm

2) If you run up against an elite deck it will have the ability to call ont he 5th (or 4th... or in my case sometimes 3rd...) turn, which means that you need at least to have comprable MP gathering, even if you don't call it yourself.
Your definition of an elite deck is speed deck. That pretty much makes this circular. however, the notion of having comparable Mp is important as that is what will alow you to prevent your opponent from calling the council. So this eesentially says you need to put up MP like a speed deck but not nescessarily cyle through your deck as afast.
You have a point here, the problem inherent with a deck that grabs lots of points but doesn't cycle fast is - once again - One Ring, who make a joke of decks that get lots of points without the capability of calling the council ; and Fallen Wizard decks, who generally win the game (or get their chances increased by a lot) in longer games as far as I have experienced.

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Post by PallandoTwice » Sun Nov 21, 2004 11:53 am

You have a point here, the problem inherent with a deck that grabs lots of points but doesn't cycle fast is - once again - One Ring, who make a joke of decks that get lots of points without the capability of calling the council ; and Fallen Wizard decks, who generally win the game (or get their chances increased by a lot) in longer games as far as I have experienced.

Definately. The point is, no deck type is inherently superior. Not speed, not anything. If you are playing slower deck, you must take extra care to stop teh One. Inner Cunning, Mouth, Nazghul engine, etc. are all strong. I mentions influence as a great way to hit a traditional One RIng deck. If you do this, they will be unable to win and you will march on to a devastating MP total victory. Obviously, you may not be able to do this everygame which isn't suprising. Th eminion One Dump worried me allot more now that I have taken a look at the cards and what I think does. That being said, a standard Wizard One Ring DUmp, is extremely vulnerable to having the One Ring influenced away. The other possibilty is to simply play the One Ring before they do, which a good ELven Lords deck can do. I beat Wizard's dump decks about 90% of the time. That's better than almost anything else I play against.

Essentially, the point of all the things I have written is not that Elevn Lords is inherently superior strategy, it is that speed is not. Speed is a really important component of the game, but if you try to make a southern faction deck into a speed deck it sucks. why because a good Southern faction deck is based upon starving your opponentof cards and trying to turn it into a speed deck just makes it into a bad speed deck. Advising players that their deck smust be fast to win is wrong. Shadow of Mordor, Snowstorm, etc. These cards are houses for a reason.

Essentially when I think about classic METW (Wizards) you have to deal with four deck types, Speed, One Dump, Control, and Midranged versatile decks. Each obviously has strengths and weaknesses. But to dismiss whole swaths of quality decks and advise players to turn them into bad speed decks instead of addressing the real concerns (Opponent dumping the One before you can cycle)is silly.

the most important point I have tried to drive home is that if you race towards calling the council your deck is completely predcitable and vulnerable. Now some decks certainlydo this well enough to offset the disadvantage, but many speed decks just blow and roll over to the first whiff of control.

If you have a 3 point MP lead do you call the council against a table with Elrond/Galadreil/Cirdan/Wizard. No. You will lose. You have to have bigger lead than that. That is why I emphasized efficiency. If you build a deck that cyles a turn later on average but is more efficient it is usually better. Of course, you shouldn't wlak to far down the slippery slope.

I will look into trying to get the interent cafe owner to let e download the software to play online. It lokks a bit tricky. I hope to see you guys online sometime in the future. I'm sure we all have allot to teach each other. I love METW because it is a dead game and each generation of players gets chance to leave their own makr.

Also, congrats on winning the World Championship Zarathsutra. That's quite a feat. I was the top ranked Doomtown player in the world for a brief time, but was never able to bring home a championship victory. I got 9th place and 5th place at the two worlds I played at. I was pretty happy though considering the draw was huge and there were over 300 players. I wish people wouldplay more dead CCGs. The crap they peddle now just isn't worth the hassle and teh money. everything seems to be based around one gimmick and geared towards a 7 year old audience. METW forever.

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