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

Subject: Player deck rss

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mak logan
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Is there a minimum on the number of cards in the player deck? I think the max is 50 cards..you can have as less as you like?
 
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Patrick
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Other way round, min is 50 cards, no max.

Typically stick to 50 for consistency unless using certain advanced deckbuilds (elven discard, etc.)
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Greg Darcy
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The 50 card minimum is specifically for tournament play. Many recommend a minimum of 40 or even 30 for private play. But if you are thinking you might ever try a tournament, you had best get used to the 50 card limit sooner rather than later.
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Dale Stephenson
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There aren't really "tournaments" in LOTR, but for playing with other players 50+ cards is expected, and sharing decks you've designed with less than 50 cards won't be of interest to other players.

The one exception is when just starting out, because constructing a good 50-card deck out of a single core set is quite difficult. Often recommended decks, like at Beorn's Path and the killer deck, have less than 50 cards. If running a monosphere deck, you'll need quite a lot of cards before you can make a good 50-card deck. My rule of thumb is this -- if you're worrying about what you could possibly add to get to 50 cards, you're fine with less than 50. If you had to cut a bunch of cards to get down to 50 cards, don't cut more to make a more efficient deck.
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Todd
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Just want to highlight that the 50 card minimum is for tournament play. A lot of players on the forums seem to be hung up on that number, calling decks < 50 "invalid." I'd suggest using however many cards you want when first learning, then add cards to your deck as you pick up more cards, based on the quest you're playing.

Good deck-building guides:
https://hallofbeorn.wordpress.com/2013/01/24/beorns-path-par...
https://boardgamegeek.com/thread/1108855/back-basics-killer-...

Both start out with < 50 card decks, then slowly add to them.
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Sam Cook
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50 card minimum decks are more than just "tournament" legal: It is what the game is balanced around. Play the game how you want, but I would consider playing with a smaller deck equivalent to including multiple copies of "Limit 1 per deck" cards or using Saga Boons in a normal cycle.
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Dale Stephenson
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Donkler wrote:
50 card minimum decks are more than just "tournament" legal: It is what the game is balanced around. Play the game how you want, but I would consider playing with a smaller deck equivalent to including multiple copies of "Limit 1 per deck" cards or using Saga Boons in a normal cycle.


The game isn't *remotely* balanced by the 50-card requirement or anything else. Quest difficulties vary widely, deck strengths vary widely, and "Easy" and "Nightmare" modes are exactly as legitimate as playing at Standard mode. New players should absolutely, positively not feel bad about playing with < 50 cards when they don't have enough cards to get to 50 without including drek. A 40 card deck with a single core set only is likely to be *considerably* weaker than the same heroes with 50 cards but access to the entire card pool and three cores.

Using multiple copies of "Limit 1 per deck" or using Saga boons in a normal cycle is explicitly breaking the text of the cards and rules. Using less than 50 cards means that your deck is not a "tournament deck", and that's all. The game itself provides you with four "starter decks" that are only 30 cards -- and despite their small size, they are considerably *weaker* than 50-card monosphere decks you will find on ringsdb.

I recommend strictly adhering to 50+ card decks when your card pool supports it, and no one will be interested in decks drawing on the full card pool but using less than 50 cards. Unless running monosphere decks it won't take a lot of expansions to support a 50 card deck -- finishing the Mirkwood cycle or adding a couple of saga/deluxe expansions should be sufficient. But until that point, no new player should feel bad about running with less than 50, nor worry that their very-limited deck is somehow breaking the game's balance.
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Sam Cook
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dalestephenson wrote:
The game isn't *remotely* balanced by the 50-card requirement or anything else. Quest difficulties vary widely, deck strengths vary widely, and "Easy" and "Nightmare" modes are exactly as legitimate as playing at Standard mode. New players should absolutely, positively not feel bad about playing with < 50 cards when they don't have enough cards to get to 50 without including drek. A 40 card deck with a single core set only is likely to be *considerably* weaker than the same heroes with 50 cards but access to the entire card pool and three cores.

Using multiple copies of "Limit 1 per deck" or using Saga boons in a normal cycle is explicitly breaking the text of the cards and rules. Using less than 50 cards means that your deck is not a "tournament deck", and that's all. The game itself provides you with four "starter decks" that are only 30 cards -- and despite their small size, they are considerably *weaker* than 50-card monosphere decks you will find on ringsdb.

I recommend strictly adhering to 50+ card decks when your card pool supports it, and no one will be interested in decks drawing on the full card pool but using less than 50 cards. Unless running monosphere decks it won't take a lot of expansions to support a 50 card deck -- finishing the Mirkwood cycle or adding a couple of saga/deluxe expansions should be sufficient. But until that point, no new player should feel bad about running with less than 50, nor worry that their very-limited deck is somehow breaking the game's balance.


I have no way of knowing if OP is a new player with a small collection, all they asked is what the normal deck size is. As you mentioned earlier, less than 50 is considered an exception. Other posts seemed to indicate otherwise, so I just wanted to reiterate that tournament 50 size is considered standard.
 
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Dale Stephenson
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Donkler wrote:
I have no way of knowing if OP is a new player with a small collection, all they asked is what the normal deck size is. As you mentioned earlier, less than 50 is considered an exception. Other posts seemed to indicate otherwise, so I just wanted to reiterate that tournament 50 size is considered standard.


Indicating that it's considered standard is fine -- as you note, it was said already in the thread. Claiming it's equivalent to violating the rules or that it's messing with the carefully crafted balance of the game is going too far, IMO. This game can be really tough for beginning players, and giving them the impression that using sub-50 decks is actually cheating should be avoided.

The fact that someone is asking what the normal deck size, and thinks that 50 might be a max, is a dead giveaway that the player is new; and new players commonly have small collections. If you were particularly curious, a review of the OP's other posts on LOTR (all recent, all with new player tells) would confirm that easily.
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Brother Leon
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