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The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game» Forums » General

Subject: How Far Can This Game Take Me Without Deckbuilding? rss

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David Villa
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I am a huge LOTR fan and don't mind card games at all. This game has been getting such rave reviews as both a solo and cooperative 2-player game that I would like to give it a try, but before I invest the time, I want to make sure I won't hit a wall after the core set if I do not intend to do any deck building. After playing Magic The Gathering in my past, I have pretty much sworn off collectible card games and deck building. I have learned I just do not have the time nor do I want to invest the effort on spreadsheet keeping and sorting through piles and piles of cards trying out differeent combinations. I just don't enjoy that aspect of card games. So with that in mind - that I will not get into the deckbuilding aspect of this game - how far can this game take me by just playing the pre-set single sphere of influence decks? Beyond just the core game, would it be worthwhile for me to pick up any additional expansions or am I pretty much limited to the core game if I do not deck build?

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Richard Morris
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Nowhere, really. The single sphere decks don't fly, or, rather, you need lots of expansions to get enough cards of a sphere for it to work alone. And then you have to deckbuild, even if all that is doing is throwing away the cards from that sphere that you like least, to get down to the deck size limit.
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Matt Deuber
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If it's the building you hate (not the assembling), there are lots of decks already built throughout these forums. You could try those out.

Don't miss out on a great game, especially since you are a LOTR fan.
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Mark Campo
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yerh use cardgameDB website or old posts that say they can beat Dol gur, look at other peoples decks simple print a few out
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The cards come out at a much slower rate than Magic, so you will be unlikely to find yourself under a pile of cards anytime soon. There are about 10 new player cards roughly released each month. The game is broken into 4 spheres (or colors) and each color gets about 2 new player cards each month.

So you will not find yourself overwhelmed trying to figure out new cards. There is deck building in this game, but I don't think it has the same management issues that Magic has.

Also every time you buy a new Adventure pack, you will get those 10 new player cards and 1 new hero, so just expanding beyond the base set for more adventures will also get you some new cards... and once you have them, you will more than likely want to add them to your deck.
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David Villa
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Thanks. Can anyone point me to some posts that have some good basic constructed decks made up from cards from the core set and only a few expansions that have a chance of beating a lot of the quests? I'd like to only buy maybe one big box expansion and some of the quest packs that I can then use the same decks over and over again once I have constructed them on all the quests I have at that point.
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Vladimir Lehotai
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Check this blog.

Beorn's Path is a series for new players and it begins with building two decks from the core set and playing with them (with some modifications) through the first AP cycle.
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John Davis
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You can't really avoid deck-building entirely, but it's perfectly possible to build a couple of decent decks from the core set and than add or subtract a few cards each time you get a new pack.
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Daniel Corban
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jrd23 wrote:
You can't really avoid deck-building entirely, but it's perfectly possible to build a couple of decent decks from the core set and than add or subtract a few cards each time you get a new pack.


Agreed. You could easily play this as more of a "deck tweaking" game than deck building. After the first quest, you will want to combine spheres to make a pair of decks. After that, you will just swap a few cards in and out as you gain experience and encounter certain scenarios.
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Joe Skull
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Deck building is not as stressful in this game as it is in Netrunner. All my decks have been just looking at the heroes and the cards organized by spheres (With a huge coaster deck pulled out from these spheres and set aside.) Pick good heroes, good allies, throw in must includes, and then the cards that sparked the idea for your hero combo and you'll be at 70 most of the time and just need to pare down from there.
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Richard Morris
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mdeuber wrote:
If it's the building you hate (not the assembling), there are lots of decks already built throughout these forums. You could try those out.

Don't miss out on a great game, especially since you are a LOTR fan.
... but in some, perhaps all, cases, you do need to understand how the deck is supposed to work. If you do not realise that the deck is designed to enable you to pull off combo X, then even if it is a great deck, you may not do very well with it. So try to understand what the designer was trying to achieve (and thus, in particular, choose decks where the designer has given some sort of an explanation).
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David Villa
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Thanks for the advice, folks. You have given me enough to at least give it a try, but I am worried it is a bit more than the "out of the box" game I was hoping for. It sounds like the base set will give me three quests and four basic spheres I can use out of the box but they really won't shine or let me experience what this game can really be unless I invest more money, time and effort to put decks together... So I may never go beyond the basic set and will trade it away if it does not give me a fun experience.
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Daniel Corban
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I've succeeded several times at the first three scenarios using only the cards in the core set. It is certainly enough to discover if you enjoy the game or not.

There aren't that many player cards to work with in the core set. My decks were basically two spheres put together, then whittled down to 40 cards. I've used these decks with only minor changes over time.
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Thomas
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I gave up in this game because you pretty much need to start from scratch for evey new scenario, so if you don't have the patience or mind set for building decks than look elsewhere.
 
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Ben Tate
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Try my blog where I show the deck build my mate and me used to conquer the base set, Khazad Dun and the mirkwood cycle. (1 deck build versus all scenarios)

They certainly weren't optimised and I'm sure there are better builds but it shows that the deckbuilding is interesting but certainly doesn't need to dominate your game.

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/blog/2579/the-red-book-of-westm...
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Mark Judd
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I was able to build a solo deck that got me through all of the releases up to the end of the Dwarrowdelf Cycle. Some quests took several attempts, but that just made it feel that much more rewarding when I beat them. Very few quests required tweaking of the deck, adding or removing maybe half a dozen cards.

A Solo Deck to Escape from Dol Guldur

The deck utilized cards from the Core Set (2 copies, but you could get by with just one), Khazad-dûm, The Hobbit: Under Hill and Over Hill, Conflict at the Carrock, A Journey to Rhosgobel, The Dead Marshes, The Hills of Emyn Muil, The Redhorn Gate, The Long Dark, The Watcher in the Water, Foundations of Stone, and Shadow and Flame. But you could get by skipping the cards from The Hobbit, A Journey to Rhosgobel, The Hills of Emyn Muil, and The Redhorn Gate, limiting the deck requirements to one core set, one deluxe expantion, and 6 adventure packs - a total investment of just over $100, providing 12 different quests to attempt.
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Daniel Corban
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LunarSoundDesign wrote:
I gave up in this game because you pretty much need to start from scratch for evey new scenario, so if you don't have the patience or mind set for building decks than look elsewhere.

I'm not even sure what this means. I have used my same deck to play scenarios from a couple different expansion.
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Ed T
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LunarSoundDesign wrote:
I gave up in this game because you pretty much need to start from scratch for evey new scenario, so if you don't have the patience or mind set for building decks than look elsewhere.


That's actually not the case at all for me. I only start from scratch at the beginning of each cycle when I play.
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Jacob Fryxelius
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Even with just the Core Set, you have more than 3 scenarios. LOTS more! Check out all the fan-made scenarios linked to from the games head page info section here on BGG.
But you'll want to deckbuild a little...
The game is fun if you don't mind a tough challenge.
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secoAce -
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I'm an old MtG player too and deck building has always been daunting for me too, but I realize now that's because of Magic's large and constantly changing card pool.

I was leery getting into LotR:LCG because of the deck construction required too, but the way the Core Set box is set up actually eases you into deck building strategies that I not only mind it, but want to do it too.

The Core Set gives you four 30-card mono-sphere decks. You play with each of the mono-sphere decks first learn the strengths and weakness of each Sphere and become familiar with the game and the player cards. When you're familiar enough with the mono-sphere decks, you'll find them limited enough to want to combine abilities of different spheres together.

The official LotR:LCG tournament rules requires a 50-card deck. You don't have to follow that rule playing casually; creating a smaller deck actually helps to get to the cards you want more efficiently. But let's start there to make deck building easier.

This is how I did it to really help my deck building dislike, which I call deck stripping. Take two of the 30-card mono-sphere decks to combine a dual sphere deck and you have 60 cards. Now take out 10 cards that you don't think you'll need. If you've played enough with each of the mono-sphere decks, you'll know which cards just sat unused in your hand. There, you've got your dual sphere deck.

Play with your new deck and you'll find what might still be lacking and what other things you don't need. So it's back to doing some tweaking.
LotR is less about building that one all-purpose deck and you throw that at the scenario, unlike MtG where you want to build a deck to beat your opponent. Of course the ultimate goal of the game is beat the scenario, but it's more about a learning process with each new scenario you're facing and tweaking along the way.
 
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LunarSoundDesign wrote:
I gave up in this game because you pretty much need to start from scratch for evey new scenario, so if you don't have the patience or mind set for building decks than look elsewhere.


Why'd you start from scratch every time? I play scenarios blind, meaning the first time I play a new scenario, I don't read through the quest or encounter cards. So how do you know what to build your deck with if you don't know what you're going to face? I use the same deck I used with the previous scenario I played.

Of course, this means you'll likely do poorer the first few times you play a new scenario, but that allows you to experience a new scenario as an adventure you're walking through and then you can build up your deck with what you'll need to meet the challenges of the new scenario.

If you play a new scenario already knowing exactly what to expect so you think you can build that "best" player deck to beat the scenario on your first play, then you're missing the immersive environment of what this game provides. It will become little more than just playing through the mechanics.

So I do not suggest looking at other people's deck until after you've experienced a scenario and trying to tackle it yourself first. Only after trying to play through a scenario on your own several times and you find you are still having trouble, then see what others do for help. Believe me, you'll enjoy the game much more when you can discover things for yourself even though you'll end up losing a lot.



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Thanee
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dajebriza wrote:
Thanks. Can anyone point me to some posts that have some good basic constructed decks made up from cards from the core set and only a few expansions that have a chance of beating a lot of the quests?


Here's one I made a while ago (cards from one Core Set only).

Journey Down the Anduin (with a deck built from only a single Core Set)

Bye
Thanee
 
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Daniel Tello
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dajebriza wrote:
how far can this game take me by just playing the pre-set single sphere of influence decks?

First of all, you can't count too much on the initial decks' strenght (except for Spirit), because they will show their weakness quickly. Also, if you won't play alone, deck building loses some importance. Tuning decks is much more important playing solo.
You can think of this game as a puzzle. Many quests don't require different decks, but different play styles. You may really understand this statement once you beat the second quest of the Core Set, Journey Down the Anduin. You can't rush through the quest as you can do in the introductory quest.
Other quests require deck tunning, but I'd say changing 6-9 of 50 cards are enough for most quests, depending on the need to focus on combat, questing or countering some specific threat found in the quest. A few quests will require much more important changes, like Desolation of Smaug.

Here is an excellent article reviewing the quests that explains perfectly where lies the difficulty of the game:
http://talesfromthecards.wordpress.com/2013/09/16/lotr-rants...
 
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Ken B.
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Since you can't beat all the scenarios without deckbuilding--in fact, most scenarios encourage you to deckbuild specifically to beat them--you won't get very far at all.

I like deckbuilding, but the "build a deck against each scenario" thing got old quickly, and I moved on. (That wasn't nearly the only problem I had with the game, but it was a major one.)
 
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Daniel Corban
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franklincobb wrote:
Since you can't beat all the scenarios without deckbuilding--in fact, most scenarios encourage you to deckbuild specifically to beat them--you won't get very far at all.

I like deckbuilding, but the "build a deck against each scenario" thing got old quickly, and I moved on. (That wasn't nearly the only problem I had with the game, but it was a major one.)


This must be something only seen when playing with a single deck. I've not found any need to build a deck specifically against a given scenario. I just create balanced decks and play with two players. I have the same philosophy I had when playing MTG 10-20 years ago: you never know what you will be up against, so build a balanced deck.
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