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One, two or three copies of a card in your deck?

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#1
MariosRizlasWet

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Hi,

When deck-building, what's the thought-process for selecting singles/doubles/triples?

 

I tend to not bother with singles much, on the grounds of 'Not likely to be seen', but the decks I see around and online often have multiple single cards in - should I be including at least a couple of single cards?

 

Doubles seem to be the norm, with a few stand-out cards getting triple copies included - again I tend to triple up on the cards I think I will absolutely need, with doubles as a 'nice to have'...

 

What's the forum's opinion, be great to hear some of the more experienced and succesful deck-builders thoughs on how many duplicates (if any) and why they think 1, 2 or 3 are the right number for that card/deck.

 

Cheers,

 

MRW

 



#2
agktmte

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I will use singles sometimes if I want to make sure certain effects are possible. Or when they perform similar functions. Like I might have 1 Rattleshirt's Raiders and 1 Maester Cressen instead of using two or three of only one them.

 

I also like to use single copies of cards that are good, but not necessary. Like Littlefinger or Syrio (though he might be necessary in some decks), mostly so I don't have to worry about dead draws later if they enter the dead pile.

 

I have been using 2 copies of cards than 3 lately just to make more space for cards in my decks (a necessity in an increasing card pool). So using 3 copies is becoming something reserved for the centerpiece cards, either through importance to winning (3 copies of Daenerys for example) or for stability of cost curve or resources (Roseroad, Reducer characters, etc.)

 

Most other cards I am lately taking to dropping to 2 or 1 to make space for more variety. But I like to play a more "toolbox" style in that I want to have all sorts of effects and then make the best plays I can with what I have. But over the course of a tournament, it ensures I have all the types of tools I might want.

 

Another consideration, with plots like Summons and Building Orders, single copies of characters and locations/attachments make sense. Similarly, cards like Support of the People allow you to use only single copies of certain locations.


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#3
JoeFromCincinnati

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1s are typically reserved for "anti-<insert character or location>" tech.

 

For example, if you're playing against a Baratheon deck and they have the Iron Throne and Chamber of the Painted Table out, your chances of losing just skyrocketed, unless you can destroy one of them.

 

Or, you can include a 1x of Iron Throne just in case so that you can go get it with Support of the People if Baratheon does get their stupid little combo off.

 

For Night's Watch, it may be prudent to run 1x of Yoren, just in case your opponent has a Varys.

 

Or maybe you want to run 1x Tears in a typically low intrigue deck, just so you can kill that Robert or Balon if you need to.

 

Also, 1x can be used for characters that are nice, but not part of your strategy. Also, if a character is expensive and doesn't fit into your cost curve, it might be wise to keep him at 1x and then not count on seeing him every game.

You'll see this with Jaime sometimes in Banner of the Lion decks that mainly wanted Tyrion, the Hound and Treachery.

 

2x I use for characters that I'd like to to see often, but are maybe unique (preventing multiple dead draws) or on the fringe of your central strategy.

 

3x is for your core strategy.

 

And, of course, sometimes you drop a card to 1x or 2x just because you really wanted to add another card and that drop from 2x to 1x was just to make room. Every deck builder has their priorities for what they want to see and sometimes you'll want to see a card more often, but not as much as this other card that you want to add another copy of.

 

Sometimes, you just have to make those hard decisions.


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#4
MariosRizlasWet

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OK, makes sense with the 'Summons' and 'Building Orders' plots that increase your chances of pulling the necessary character/location; and I can see (and sympathise :() with the Baratheon example; i.e. "It's not something I think I need, but I wouldn't like to go ahead without the possibility of using it".

 

I think I need to trim the 3s and 2s carefully, making room for more contingency plans.


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#5
Masterdinadan

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Running a single of a card that can be tutored makes a lot of sense, especially Maesters with Here to Serve or certain locations if you run Support of the People.

Uniques like Shireen or Viserys are often run in singles - if you never draw it in the game then it's not that big of a deal, but drawing it more than once is bad since the first one will almost certainly be dead.

Then there are uniques that are decent enough for their cost but non-essential. It's not so bad to see one Alannys, Lomys, Obara, etc, but drawing a dupe (even when it's not dead) you often feel like you'd have preferred a different card. For those it is easy to run 1, but probably not more.

Practical example: if I want to add 3 claim soak chuds to my deck, adding 3 Shireens is very bad. Adding 3 bastard in hiding is ok. Adding 2 bastards and 1 Shireen is even better.

Also it's harder to run multiples of unique locations and attachments (excepting those you plan to sacrifice like Ghaston Grey and Ice) as their dupes are generally less useful. This is especially true if the attachment has restrictions. Drogo's Arakh is a decent pick if you are running 3 Drogos and 3 Braided Warriors as you will usually have a valid target when you draw it, but 3 is too many!
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#6
Alexfrog

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Any card which is usually an above average draw if you draw the first copy of it, but is worse to draw a 2nd copy of, should probably be one-of.  (Unless the first copy is AMAZING, in which case you are justified playing more).

 

For example, a unique location of decent but not extreme power level are usually good 1-ofs, like Chamber of the Painted Table.  An extremely powerful unique location like The Red Keep is a 3-of, even though the 2nd and 3rd copies you draw are bad (except against Greyjoy).

 

 

Additionally, any card that can be a target of a tutor (deck search) effect, and is useful, should justify a 1-of.  If you play support of the people, you should be playing 1-of locations that you might want to fetch with it.  Of course if you find yourself never searching for a certain location in your games, its probably cuttable.

 

 

For characters, I actually find duplicates of larger unique characters to be INCREDIBLY useful.  A significant amount of the decks in the meta are attempting to kill off your big characters in various ways: Stark, Targ, Greyjoy, and Varys decks (which is most Lanni, Tyrell, and Martell).  Targ's burn kill goes through duplicates but everything else doesnt, and Targ still has trouble burning 5+ str characters a lot of the time. 

 

Basically only Baratheon and Nights Watch make you not care about your duplicates of large characters.  Therefore I tend to play 3 of any character in my deck that has 5 or more strength.  I would usually rather have 3 of a certain large character (the more powerful one) than 1-2 of two different large characters. 

 

 

For small characters, you need to expect that there is a reasonable chance they will die to military claim or wildfire.  Therefore you should be much more careful including duplicates of them in your deck.  If you do, maybe 2 is the right amount, not 3.  This is why I only play 1 copy of The Ticker in my decks for example: he is better than a generic 2 str bicon, but not by enough to justify the risk of a dead draw if I draw a second when he is dead.  If they play a kill effect on the tickler I don't really care, I am happy it didnt hit my big guy.

 

 

The idea that 'you don't draw 1-ofs enough so they dont matter' is very wrong.  This is not magic.  You will draw 12-14 or so cards before your first marshalling phase of the game, or over 25% of your deck, and more as the game goes along with 2 cards a turn draw plus numerous draw effects.  You'll see your 1-of all the time.  It will probably matter multiple games during a tournament.


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#7
PatrickHaynes

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Any card which is usually an above average draw if you draw the first copy of it, but is worse to draw a 2nd copy of, should probably be one-of.  (Unless the first copy is AMAZING, in which case you are justified playing more).

 

For example, a unique location of decent but not extreme power level are usually good 1-ofs, like Chamber of the Painted Table.  An extremely powerful unique location like The Red Keep is a 3-of, even though the 2nd and 3rd copies you draw are bad (except against Greyjoy).

 

 

Additionally, any card that can be a target of a tutor (deck search) effect, and is useful, should justify a 1-of.  If you play support of the people, you should be playing 1-of locations that you might want to fetch with it.  Of course if you find yourself never searching for a certain location in your games, its probably cuttable.

 

 

For characters, I actually find duplicates of larger unique characters to be INCREDIBLY useful.  A significant amount of the decks in the meta are attempting to kill off your big characters in various ways: Stark, Targ, Greyjoy, and Varys decks (which is most Lanni, Tyrell, and Martell).  Targ's burn kill goes through duplicates but everything else doesnt, and Targ still has trouble burning 5+ str characters a lot of the time. 

 

Basically only Baratheon and Nights Watch make you not care about your duplicates of large characters.  Therefore I tend to play 3 of any character in my deck that has 5 or more strength.  I would usually rather have 3 of a certain large character (the more powerful one) than 1-2 of two different large characters. 

 

 

For small characters, you need to expect that there is a reasonable chance they will die to military claim or wildfire.  Therefore you should be much more careful including duplicates of them in your deck.  If you do, maybe 2 is the right amount, not 3.  This is why I only play 1 copy of The Ticker in my decks for example: he is better than a generic 2 str bicon, but not by enough to justify the risk of a dead draw if I draw a second when he is dead.  If they play a kill effect on the tickler I don't really care, I am happy it didnt hit my big guy.

 

 

The idea that 'you don't draw 1-ofs enough so they dont matter' is very wrong.  This is not magic.  You will draw 12-14 or so cards before your first marshalling phase of the game, or over 25% of your deck, and more as the game goes along with 2 cards a turn draw plus numerous draw effects.  You'll see your 1-of all the time.  It will probably matter multiple games during a tournament.

This answer is excellent. Especially the part about 1-ofs. In Magic, because you're only drawing one card per turn by default having a dead draw can be huuuugely detrimental whereas in thrones it sucks but isn't the end of the world as you're drawing more cards per turn. My general rule of thumb is:

3 of if you want to see it every game, don't mind seeing two, and would like/not mind it in your set-up hand

2 of if its really good and you want to see it but don't want to have two of them and/or don't want it in your set-up hand

1 of if its good for your deck but you don't need to see it every game and/or it's a unique character that is going to die a lot (e.g. Shireen)


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#8
MariosRizlasWet

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This answer is excellent. Especially the part about 1-ofs. In Magic, because you're only drawing one card per turn by default having a dead draw can be huuuugely detrimental whereas in thrones it sucks but isn't the end of the world as you're drawing more cards per turn. My general rule of thumb is:

3 of if you want to see it every game, don't mind seeing two, and would like/not mind it in your set-up hand

2 of if its really good and you want to see it but don't want to have two of them and/or don't want it in your set-up hand

1 of if its good for your deck but you don't need to see it every game and/or it's a unique character that is going to die a lot (e.g. Shireen)

 

OK, great stuff; I've never played Magic (or any similar card game to this) before so the analogy is a bit lost on me but the maths I understand.

 

Any card which is usually an above average draw if you draw the first copy of it, but is worse to draw a 2nd copy of, should probably be one-of.  (Unless the first copy is AMAZING, in which case you are justified playing more).

 

...

 

 

For characters, I actually find duplicates of larger unique characters to be INCREDIBLY useful.  A significant amount of the decks in the meta are attempting to kill off your big characters in various ways: Stark, Targ, Greyjoy, and Varys decks (which is most Lanni, Tyrell, and Martell).  Targ's burn kill goes through duplicates but everything else doesnt, and Targ still has trouble burning 5+ str characters a lot of the time. 

 

...

 

 

The idea that 'you don't draw 1-ofs enough so they dont matter' is very wrong.  This is not magic.  You will draw 12-14 or so cards before your first marshalling phase of the game, or over 25% of your deck, and more as the game goes along with 2 cards a turn draw plus numerous draw effects.  You'll see your 1-of all the time.  It will probably matter multiple games during a tournament.

 

Again, thanks so much for the tips/insight, it's helped make my decisions feel a bit less foggy.  I don't often draw 15 cards / 25% of my deck before the first marshalling phase though, I'm more like 10-12 cards mostly.

 

Also, why do Targ's burn effects go through duplicates?  Any more so than a Throwing Axe for example.



#9
PatrickHaynes

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Also, why do Targ's burn effects go through duplicates?  Any more so than a Throwing Axe for example.

Essentially because the burn creates a lasting effect that kills the character when their strength is zero so if you have a duped Tyrion and Dracarys is played targeting him he is at zero strength and is killed, if you try to sacrifice the dupe to save him he will still be at zero strength and will just die again. So the game doesn't even let you try.


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#10
Alexfrog

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Again, thanks so much for the tips/insight, it's helped make my decisions feel a bit less foggy.  I don't often draw 15 cards / 25% of my deck before the first marshalling phase though, I'm more like 10-12 cards mostly.

 

Also, why do Targ's burn effects go through duplicates?  Any more so than a Throwing Axe for example.

You start with 7 cards, you redraw after setup which tends to be 3+ cards (if its less you should mulligan), and then you draw 2 on turn 1.  So thats 12+ cards before first marshal.  If you set up 5 cards instead of 3 because you had dupes or whatever, its more.

 

 

Targ burn goes through duplicates because it creates a condition that lasts until end of turn where if the strength of the character is 0 it dies.  So you save it, and it dies again, and you save it, and it dies again, because its strength is still 0.


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#11
MariosRizlasWet

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You start with 7 cards, you redraw after setup which tends to be 3+ cards (if its less you should mulligan), and then you draw 2 on turn 1.  So thats 12+ cards before first marshal.  If you set up 5 cards instead of 3 because you had dupes or whatever, its more.

 

 

Targ burn goes through duplicates because it creates a condition that lasts until end of turn where if the strength of the character is 0 it dies.  So you save it, and it dies again, and you save it, and it dies again, because its strength is still 0.

 

 

Essentially because the burn creates a lasting effect that kills the character when their strength is zero so if you have a duped Tyrion and Dracarys is played targeting him he is at zero strength and is killed, if you try to sacrifice the dupe to save him he will still be at zero strength and will just die again. So the game doesn't even let you try.

 

Superb, thanks both; got it now!  Nasty when used in combo with Plaza and Crown of Gold I'd reckon then?



#12
PatrickHaynes

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Superb, thanks both; got it now!  Nasty when used in combo with Plaza and Crown of Gold I'd reckon then?

Plaza specifies a character without attachments thankfully.


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#13
MariosRizlasWet

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Plaza specifies a character without attachments thankfully.

 

:)