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Subject: Looking for my first deckbuilder, or LCG? rss

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Danny Ramon
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Hey folks!

I am looking to get my first deckbuilding game. Or is it a LCG I am looking for? I am not completel sure (other than regular schedule of expansions) what the difference is...

I used to LOVE magic the gathering, and had quite the collection. I previously traded my entire collection away to obtain some other nerd adjacent collectibles when I had not played for several years, and I have no regrets to this day. I enjoyed the mechanics of the game, quick play, and variety of strategies, however hated having to be on the bleeding edge of every new release (yes, I know I dont have to, can do duel packs, etc, but I am plagued by OCD completionism, so no, I cant do those things). My favorite part of the game was building my deck, and would often spend hours going over lists of cards and making my perfect theoretical decks (didnt have all the cards, after all).

That being said, I am looking for a game that is similar, in that you build a deck, then play that deck (either against another player or multiple players against the game), where all the cards come in the box (or maybe expansion).

I understand that LCGs can become as expensive as CCGs with a monthly release schedule, but to me, that is still much easier than boosters and secondary market to get my sought after complete set.

I have been thinking about Legendary Encounters Alien/Predator, since that should give me quite a bit of variety, and be decent with the thematic aspect, but I am mostly oblivious to what is available to me, and cursory searches dont tell me enough about the mechanics of each game.

Here are my priorities, in order:
Prefer limited (and still in print) expansions, for my OCD (3 expansions might be my limit)
Thematic (this is where Dominion seems to fall short for me, that and the seemingly endless expansions)
Would like it to work for 2+ players, with strongest at 3-5, can give up the 2 player, but it would be nice
Short to Medium Length - Dont want a 4 hour card game
Campaign mode a plus
Would prefer Co-op, but not at all a deal breaker. Best would be Co-op/VS optional.

TL;DR
Want a deckbulding game where it is easy to get all the expansions, that there arent too many expansions (wouldent want to buy more than 3 things after the core set), that plays short to medium length for 2 or 3+ players. Co=op noce if an option, campaign mode too.
 
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Mike Ricotta
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Have you looked into Epic? A LCG with a few small expansions, if you liked Magic it should be right up your alley! No Co-Op nor Campaign

For an actual deck builder how about Star Realms? Some expansions, I think the original Gambit expansion had co-op (I don't own it), no campaign

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Greg Strobel
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Have you looked at Eminent Domain?
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Daily Grind
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Just so you know, Deckbuilding often refers to games where you build a deck during play (Greg mentioned Eminent Domain which falls into this category).

The LCG/CCG type of deckbuiling is also often called 'Deck Construction' to avoid the confusion. (Mike's Epic suggestion falls into this category)

Since you mention both LCGs and Dominion in your post its unclear which category you're referring to.
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Craig Iwen
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Ashes: Rise of the Phoenixborn

Pre-constructed, constructed, or drafting of decks. Plays 2-4 players. It has a much slower release schedule than FFG LCGs. It may be worth a look for you. You can read the online rules here http://www.plaidhatgames.com/images/games/ashes/rules.pdf



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K S
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+1 for Epic. It really is a Magic clone, but I think it's an improved one in many ways.

You may also want to look at the upcoming Hero Realms, due out in October from White Wizard Games (the same company who makes Epic. It seems to hit all of your criteria: only a few small, cheap expansions planned per year, thematic (high fantasy), great for 2-5 players, has a quick playtime, and substantial support planned for co-op and campaign.

If interested, you can still late pledge for the kickstarter: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1172937197/hero-realms-...


EDIT: Hero Realms is very much the build-as-you-play kind of deckbuilder, similar to Dominion. Also, I haven't played it, but I've heard god things about [geekurl=https://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/151347/millennium-blades]Millenium Blades[/geekurl], a non-collectible card game which simulates the experience of collecting and playing a CCG. However, Its play time may run a bit long for you.
 
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Danny Ramon
United States
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cafin8d wrote:
Just so you know, Deckbuilding often refers to games where you build a deck during play (Greg mentioned Eminent Domain which falls into this category).

The LCG/CCG type of deckbuiling is also often called 'Deck Construction' to avoid the confusion. (Mike's Epic suggestion falls into this category)

Since you mention both LCGs and Dominion in your post its unclear which category you're referring to.


Good to know!! I'd be referring to one where you build prior to play, or at least pick what you will have the option to build from during play...

Thanks for the clarification!
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Danny Ramon
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Looking into Epic now - the Tyrant packs (4 varieties) - are they random boosters or does each pack contain the same cards?
 
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Adelin Dumitru
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ricottma wrote:
Have you looked into Epic? A LCG with a few small expansions, if you liked Magic it should be right up your alley! No Co-Op nor Campaign

For an actual deck builder how about Star Realms? Some expansions, I think the original Gambit expansion had co-op (I don't own it), no campaign



So the OP asks for:
Quote:
Prefer limited (and still in print) expansions, for my OCD (3 expansions might be my limit)
Thematic (this is where Dominion seems to fall short for me, that and the seemingly endless expansions)
Would like it to work for 2+ players, with strongest at 3-5, can give up the 2 player, but it would be nice
Short to Medium Length - Dont want a 4 hour card game
Campaign mode a plus
Would prefer Co-op, but not at all a deal breaker. Best would be Co-op/VS optional.


And you're recommending Star Realms? Seriously now, do people take their time to think about what they're recommending ?
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Tim Salay
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freek007 wrote:
Looking into Epic now - the Tyrant packs (4 varieties) - are they random boosters or does each pack contain the same cards?


The Epic Tyrants expansion are fixed. So buy all four different packs and you have the set! If you are building decks then it will be 3 of each pack.
 
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Daily Grind
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AdelinDumitru wrote:
And you're recommending Star Realms? Seriously now, do people take their time to think about what they're recommending ?

lol... at least no one has suggested Mage Knight yet.

To the OP, I +1 Ashes: Rise of the Phoenixborn for the limited + still in print, but I'm not sure I can say it plays super well past 2 players. It's okay, but best at 2 in my opinion.

Android: Netrunner is also great, limited, thematic and in print, but is absolutely only for 2 players.

The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game is co-op, but is definitely not 'limited'. There is a TON of stuff out for it. But it is still in print.
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Danny Ramon
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Great recs, folks - looking in to all of them. Seems like variety might be limited with Epic due to low total card count, does anyone have issues with this?

High card count ( = more options, yes?) is one of the reasons I was looking at legendary encounters, but to be honest I have yet to watch a playthrough on Youtube, so not really sure how the deckbuilding mechanic goes for that one...
 
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Danny Ramon
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cafin8d wrote:
AdelinDumitru wrote:
And you're recommending Star Realms? Seriously now, do people take their time to think about what they're recommending ?

lol... at least no one has suggested Mage Knight yet.



Haha! I have and love Mage Knight, its just not what I'm looking for now...
 
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Daily Grind
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freek007 wrote:
High card count ( = more options, yes?) is one of the reasons I was looking at legendary encounters, but to be honest I have yet to watch a playthrough on Youtube, so not really sure how the deckbuilding mechanic goes for that one...

The Legendary Encounters series is of the 'build-deck-during-play' variety of deck building and isn't deck construction. It's a great game, but not I think what you're looking for.
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Jacob Schoberg
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The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game is the king of coop card games where you build your deck ahead of time. It's best with 2 players, but can be played with up to 4 with a second core set.

That being said, it is absolutely an investment. There is a HUGE amount of content for it. It's awesome, though.

I don't think the Legendary games are what you're looking for. They're all deckbuilding (ala Dominion) where you build your deck as the game goes on. I mean, they're great games, but not what you're asking for.

If LOTR LCG is too much of an investment for you, you might try Seasons or Ashes: Rise of the Phoenixborn, although I'm not too familiar with either. Or now that Doomtown: Reloaded is end of life, you might be able to swoop up a collection of it for cheap.



...But really, just get LOTR ninja
 
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Simon Maynard
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freek007 wrote:
I'd be referring to one where you build prior to play, or at least pick what you will have the option to build from during play...

I know you've expressed a concern that Dominion's weak theme might make it not a good choice for you...but from everything else you've said I think it fits the bill. It is one of the most strategic deck builders I've played. You can define at the start which card will be available (to all players) and then plan in advance how you want to build up your deck. This is in stark contrast to other deck builders that are not strategic at all (you just don't know in advance what might come up).

Also, the expansions are all widely available. As for there being too many expansions...well, I've personally felt happy only with the base game. I've been fairly tempted by one or two of the expansions but there's so much variety right out of the box that they're hardly essential.
 
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Matt Brown
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freek007 wrote:
cafin8d wrote:
Just so you know, Deckbuilding often refers to games where you build a deck during play (Greg mentioned Eminent Domain which falls into this category).

The LCG/CCG type of deckbuiling is also often called 'Deck Construction' to avoid the confusion. (Mike's Epic suggestion falls into this category)

Since you mention both LCGs and Dominion in your post its unclear which category you're referring to.


Good to know!! I'd be referring to one where you build prior to play, or at least pick what you will have the option to build from during play...

Thanks for the clarification!


Ashes and Mage Wars Academy are the best of the Magic wanna bees where you construct a deck before the game. I don't think Academy officially supports 3-player, but it might not be that bad to kind of wing it and try it out. Both came out last year so they both have a smaller card pool to deal with. Academy has the smaller of the two card pools with only four mages being out shortly.
 
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Chris Gillmeister
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I was in same position as you, I was really into Lord of the Rings TCG and L5R. I really enjoy deckbuilding but disliked having to get booster packs. I think FFG (fantasy flgiht games) and their line of LCG's are great. They have a wide variety of popular IP's but none will fit your criteria perfectly.

The one I would recommend based on your criteria, for co-op and the ability to go to 4 people, would definitely be Lord of the Rings LCG. Side note I love the Lord of the Rings lore, if you are meh probably not worth.

There are a ton of things to buy for LotR LCG, but I traded for my collection and for it and other LCG's you can usually get for 25-50% off MSRP if you find someone with a large collection getting out. That's what I did for my star wars collection then purchased what I was missing.

Either way good luck!
 
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Danny Ramon
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Alrighty then, looks like I will have to concede on at least one of my preferances. Looks like limited expansions will be it. Since I def want a variety of cards to build from AND I also LOVE LOTR, Its gonna be LOTR LCG...

So here is a question, will I need 2 core sets to make it 3-4 player, or can the same be done by buying some of the other "larger" boosters (Hobbit Over Hill and Under Hill, On the Doorstep, Khazad-Dum, Heirs of Numenor, etc), or even if I get those will I still need 2 core sets?

Followup question, which expansions are the first to get?

This may require a new thread... likely there is one already, off to search (though a helpful person linking a good thread would be appreciated)...
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From a former M:tG player, Epic Card Game is indeed what you are looking for.

You will have access to all the promos once they are released, and they will be.

You can play multiple formats : EDH (with the Elder Gods), constructed (but you might want to buy three packs), draft, pseudo-sealed.

You'll never face mana flood/mana screw. You'll never have to ramp up to the interesting part of the game, as it already starts on M:tG's turn 10.

What you will have to face, if you're like me, is the lack of interest of current M:tG players. I believe card games are more popular in the USA so you should be able to play it more easily.

There's a new expansion coming, with fixed content in boosters too. But you should try before you buy. It's a weird game, with rules poorly written, and it becomes expensive if you want to play constructed AND add the expansions. Think $15*3 + $8*5*3 (for Tyrants + Uprising) + sleeves + longbox.

EDIT: if you're looking to go into deckbuilders but don't know how it works, Ascension: Deckbuilding Game and Star Realms would be my best pick for starters. Then try something deeper. Dominion is fine but it can be really agressive. Aeon's End was definitly impressive if you don't mind the coop only aspect of it.
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K S
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freek007 wrote:
Seems like variety might be limited with Epic due to low total card count, does anyone have issues with this?


I don't know how much variety you're looking for, but I haven't really had trouble with that with Epic. However, I don't play constructed, so I can't really speak to the deck-construction "design space".

I have to say, even after you're clarification I'm still a bit confused about whether or not you're looking for deckbuilding games since you mention Legendary Enounters as interesting. If you are indeed open to deckbuilding games (where your deck is built during gameplay), then I may renew my previous recommendation to look into Hero Realms.
 
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Milena Guberinic
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Royals wrote:
Ashes: Rise of the Phoenixborn

Pre-constructed, constructed, or drafting of decks. Plays 2-4 players. It has a much slower release schedule than FFG LCGs. It may be worth a look for you. You can read the online rules here http://www.plaidhatgames.com/images/games/ashes/rules.pdf





I second this! You have manipulable dice for mana so you are never mana screwed and it's gorgeous and comes with a good number of Phoenixborn in the base set. Also, it's a dueling game.







I've become slightly obsessed
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milenaguberinic wrote:
[q="Royals"]Ashes: Rise of the Phoenixborn

Pre-constructed, constructed, or drafting of decks. Plays 2-4 players. It has a much slower release schedule than FFG LCGs. It may be worth a look for you. You can read the online rules here.


This won't help at all, but I personally am not that impressed by the artwork I'd love to try it though! Shame noone I know is interested in that kind of game. "Duh, why play anything that resembles Magic when we can play Magic?" "Mh, because money and fun, duh?"
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Mitch Willis
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Hero Realms was recently Kickstarted successfully and it's due to be released in October so you might want to check it out...it checks off most of your boxes. The original release will be in VS mode but expansions that are due to be released at the beginning of next year will introduce a Campaign mode, a solo mode, and, I believe, a 1 vs. many mode...
 
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otha62 wrote:
Hero Realms was recently Kickstarted successfully and it's due to be released in October so you might want to check it out...it checks off most of your boxes. The original release will be in VS mode but expansions that are due to be released at the beginning of next year will introduce a Campaign mode, a solo mode, and, I believe, a 1 vs. many mode...


Yup, that's what the Dragon and Lich decks are for. Or you can powerplay them against each other, too.
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