Recommend
22 
 Thumb up
 Hide
12 Posts

On the Edge» Forums » Strategy

Subject: Deck Building Basics rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
Eric Jome
United States
Franklin
Wisconsin
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mb
Introduction

There's a pretty good chance you have some On The Edge cards laying around. The bottom dropped out of the game when Atlas still had pallets full of the stuff so they gave it away for a song for years at conventions they attended... they probably still are. And the really sad thing about those long forgotten cards in the bottom of your closet is that this really is a great game! And you could enjoy it and have fun... if only you knew how to throw together a deck. So, here's a basic guide and some additional details that might help you give this one a shot.

The Basics

The rules say that a deck must be at least 40 cards. And that's it. Nope, no card limits. Nope, no banned or restricted lists. And, when you look at the rules closely, you'll notice something else... before you even take 1 turn, you draw ELEVEN cards! Yup, over 25% of your deck can be in your opening hand before you even begin - no other card game has this advantage, this ability to access your entire plan up front.

So, take advantage of this. Plan to build to a limit of 40. True, you lose if you cannot draw a card, but in years of playing, I've almost never seen that happen. 40 is plenty for almost any strategy, even drawing 10 in your opening hand.

So, what do we include in our 40 cards?

Cards By Classification

Traditionally, cards were classified in 5 basic ways. These were;

1) Resources; These cards you used like land in Magic to pay the costs of other cards. There are cards called Resources, but generally any card with 0 cost that paid pull to call other cards, such as Secrets, fits this category as well.

2) Pullers; Characters with the ability to generate Influence, usually by generating Pull - the stat on the lower left was non-zero, in other words. But, as the rules say you lose points if enemy characters pop these guys, you need...

3) Blockers; Generally, any character with higher Defense (second number) than Attack (first number) and no positive Pull (third number) could stand in a file with a puller and protect them. Obviously, you'd like the biggest numbers you can get.

4) Hitters; And how to get past the enemy Blockers to his juicy Pullers? Any character with higher Attack than Defense should do the trick... often especially if they have abilities like Surprise or Bypass or Bulldoze. These guys often don't live long as they represent a threat to every enemy.

5) Other cards; This catch all basically included characters who were more useful for their card text than their numbers, but also included the wealth of Whammies, Conditions, Gear, and other things you could use.

And lo and behold, 40 is divisible by 5. So, the earliest form of deck is to take 8 of each of the above types and call it a day... but that often isn't the best in practice.

Remember that only Pullers will win you the game. Hitters and Blockers are there to help. So, they don't have equal importance. Thus, if we have 8 Pullers, we can skimp a bit on Hitters and Blockers and beef up a bit on surprises and modifiers we throw at our enemies - the Other cards. This leads to the following pattern;

8 Pullers
4 Hitters
4 Blockers
4 Specials
12 Other cards
8 Resource

This is a good guideline for most deck building. Sometimes a couple other cards become a couple extra Hitters or some such, but generally this structure will be more fun for basic play. Specials here are characters that have abilities that are useful above and beyond their attack and defense - but it never hurts if they are good at that too.

"Colors"

A structure is nice to have, but cards have to work together. Especially, Resources should match the other cards in your deck, more or less, so that you can leverage the bonus pull they provide. Take a look at some of your basic "Friend of" Resources.

Friends In Flowers Barrio gives 1 pull to call anything and +1 pull to call Aries cards. So, if you are going to have a lot of Aries cards, you should have a lot of Friends In Flowers Barrio.

In fact, this leads to the basic idea of deck building; pick a Resource and take 8 copies of it or pick 2 different ones and take 4 of each. Make sure they all provide 1 pull to call anything and +1 pull to call something. And then start filling the structure we described with characters, Whammies, Gear, and Conditions that match those somethings.

This is a bit backwards from classic Magic: The Gathering deck building (build the deck, then add the land), but is easier and faster for On The Edge. See, OnTE doesn't really have colors - all those 1 pull to call anything Resources can call anything. But the bonus pull is what really makes them playable. Match the traits and your deck will fall together on it's own in no time.

Power Cards For Every Occasion

Of course, you might choose Friends In Great Men Barrio, start including Glorious Lords and realize you don't have a lot of pullers. That's the way Glorious Lords are, I'm afraid - two bit Satanist punks aren't really going to be taking over the island anytime soon without help. So, it's good to have a quick library of generic cards to fill in some blank spots when you need it. Here then is a quick list of some good ones;

Resources

Friends In Broken Wings Barrio (094) - So many characters are human, in a pinch this will probably do good to fill in the Resource hole, if any. Nothing else will do quite as well.

Pullers

Chikutorpl (055) - A generic, solid puller with excellent defense and no confusing text or abilities to tempt you away from cranking for points.

Costs 1, Pulls 1 - James R. Cartwright, Malak Suzier, Aurora Bolt, Bitter & Herb, and a few dozen others are cheap, common manipulators who can help you score anywhere.

Hitters And Blockers

The 5 Rule - Generally, any character who matches your resources who has at least 5 attack power is considered a good candidate as a hitter. Above 5 and anyone will consider using them - Weegzon has 6 defense; a solid blocker for anyone. J.S. Rocket has 6 attack; that'll hurt something. Anyone below a 5, even solid characters like Gemma Candiru or Fahd Amaq may not survive very long or hit very hard.

Specials and Other cards

There are staples that can work for anyone. If you can't find anything else more intersting, use these;

Blackmail
Kidnap
Gang A-Gley
Fury
Rampage
Smear Campaign
Total Taxi
Immunity
Bad Luck
Good Luck
Duro-Trench
Pistol-Grip Chain Saw
Concealable Weaponry
Polymer Clothing

All solid cards that go right to the bottom line of winning you control of the island and keeping your adversaries off your backs.

Good luck and remember to keep your hand over your drink at all times!
19 
 Thumb up
6.05
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Jeremiah Lee
United States
Milan
MI
flag msg tools
designer
publisher
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I'm your biggest fan now. Thank you for the primer.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Eric Jome
United States
Franklin
Wisconsin
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mb
Sure! Here's an extra tip;

I often build "half decks". Take the strategy above and half the numbers. Pick a trait. Grab 4 matching Resources and the other cards with that trait.

When you have several "half decks" you are ready to mix and match them to play! You can put different halves together and switch them at any time to help change things up and keep it fresh.
6 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Mike Haverty
United States
Oklahoma
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Thanks, Eric. I'm finding you popping up helpfully in all sorts of CCG places. I think Week 7 of my CCG Journey is going to be WoW, but maybe Week 8 will be OtE. I have about 2000 cards (guessing) but have never built a deck/played a game (that includes unopened booster boxes from base, Cutups, Arcana and Shadows, I think). I'm considering just using the base set to make a bunch of half-decks like you suggest, then if people like it I will start adding each expansion, or maybe even do a draft since I'm the only one with cards.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
avatar of slaughter
United States
atlanta
GEORGIA
flag msg tools
One other thing was there was no limit to the max of any one card you could have. You could also play as many Whammys (instants) as you wanted on your turn. They also printed a Sinkhole called Sabotage for those in the magic world. It was a Whammy. I just played 16-20 free instant Sinkholes. Crushed all my opponents resources so they could never get out a large man.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Eric Jome
United States
Franklin
Wisconsin
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mb
In 2000, for a fun little event we had at Gencon that year, I gave this advice is a slightly different way. Here's what that looked like;

Deck Building for On The Edge

To help new players (and players who havent played much lately), here is a little article on one way to put together a solid On The Edge deck. Constructed deck play in On The Edge is really a lot of fun and its very easy to put together a good deck. Follow the steps given below and you should do just fine!

These rules are, of course, guidelines. If they ask you to choose a number of cards and you are one short or one extra, wing it. If a particular trait or ability is required and you cant find one, work around it. Also, a deck is 40 cards and this comes in a few over, so you could tweak it a bit to get the minimum.

The recipe;

1) Look over your cards and pick two traits that have Resources
that provide generic pull with bonus pull for that trait.
Pick 5 Resources for each of the traits. You may substitute
a Secret that can crank to call any card with that trait for
one of the Resources if you want.


Examples; The trait Aries has Friends In Flowers Barrio, but the trait Sommerite doesnt have a resource. Some Sommerites have the Artist trait, however, and the trait Artist has Contacts in the Art Scene. No Secrets exist for these two traits, so 5 of each.

2) Find 8 Characters with Pull with those traits. Be sure some
of them have more than 1 pull. Be sure some of them have a
cost of 1 or 2.


Examples; For Aries, Hans Knudson and Frank Germaine (not Aries, but works with them). For Sommerite, 2 Karla Sommers, Cheryl D'Aubainne, Aurora Bolt, Sister Mary Evangline, and Bitter and Herb.

3) Find 4 or 5 Charatcers with an Attack Power of 5 or more with
those traits. Be sure at least one is not a Human or Mutant.
Be sure at least one has Surprise, Bypass, or Bulldoze. None
of these should have Pull and dont worry about their Defense
Power.


Examples; For Aries, Thor Runestone and Peer Solgerkvist. For Sommerite, Laura Zoom. For the last, Betty Frenum who is an Artist. All of these are Human or Mutant, however, so we should replace Peer (the weakest) with Eunice Rae Hopner.

4) Find 4 or 5 Characters with a Defense Power of 5 or more with
those traits. Be sure at least one is not a Human or Mutant.
If you can find one with Immune: Control, it can be very helpful.
Definitely none of these should have Pull.


Examples; For Aries, Saxolf Herman, who is also a Sommerite. Other Sommerites to round out the number are Mugly Flats and Arwa Marabu. One last generic defender is Weegzon.

5) Find 4 Characters with cool special abilities. Their Attack
Power and Defense Power isnt important, but they should have
no pull and cool abilities. Look for abilities that do things
like add AP or DP to characters, stealing or copying influence,
canceling or popping Whammies, Conditions, Environmentals, or
Gear, or Saving Characters that get popped.


Examples; For Aries, Abbas Nadjafi. For Sommerite, Antenella Falchi. Two generic characters round out the four with Ricardo Cerdo and Mantra.

6) Find 12 non-Character cards (Whammies, Conditions, Gear, or
Environmentals) that are generally helpful. Include a few
things that help you deal with a high powered attacker or
defender. Include a few things that help you with cancel,
negate, pop, or restrict opponents cards.


Examples; 1 Newtonian Slam, 2 Gang A Gley, 2 Mole, 1 Battle Bike, 1 Inspiration, 2 Total Taxi, 2 Blackmail, and 1 Duro-Trench. This covers most of the major bases, with a card to use each of the main traits.

And that's all there is to it. You have a solid deck that can hang with the best!
1 
 Thumb up
5.00
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
The Lord of Dust
United States
Tennessee
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Never, ever put more than one or two Unattainable Desires in your deck.

Certainly not 80, as one acquaintance did back in the day- he had a deck of all Whammies that consisted of 80 Unattainable Desires, several each of Gang-A-Gley and Status Quo, and a few other miscellaneous Whammies. 100 cards total. The strategy was simple- make the win threshold almost impossible to reach, and have cards remaining while everyone else runs out.

This is a bad thing to do. The creator himself only did it once or twice to troll people who were playing a bit too ruthlessly, especially against newer players.
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Alex B
United States
Ogden
Utah
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Sorry if I'm necro'ing. What about cubing? I have quite a bit of On The Edge that I've never used, but it seems like this could be a prime candidate for cubing. What do you experts think?
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Eric Jome
United States
Franklin
Wisconsin
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mb
admiral142 wrote:
Sorry if I'm necro'ing. What about cubing? I have quite a bit of On The Edge that I've never used, but it seems like this could be a prime candidate for cubing. What do you experts think?


Building an On The Edge cube is a great idea.

You can use the above ratios for 500 cards as well as 40.

Assuming you'd draft for a 4 player game, each person should perhaps get about 50 cards. So if you have a set of 240, that's a rotation of 40 cards left out, a good game to game shift for replay value. I think I would not include basic Resources in the set, but instead make a pool of perhaps 12 each from which to draw after.

Here's some old thoughts on the matter;

https://boardgamegeek.com/thread/1008198/edge-cube-format
2 
 Thumb up
1.00
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Eric Jome
United States
Franklin
Wisconsin
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mb
Also this;

https://boardgamegeek.com/thread/378019/edge-game
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Alex B
United States
Ogden
Utah
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Awesome, thanks! Based on your second link, I see you are a collector of defunct card games. Is that still the case? I have a game group that started out with that as the premise. We would buy up boat loads of dead cards games for dirt cheap. Some were cool, some not so much. I have quite a few now. I'm going to have to hunt through your posts and see if you've done anything with some of the games I've got. Thanks!
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Eric Jome
United States
Franklin
Wisconsin
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mb
admiral142 wrote:
Based on your second link, I see you are a collector of defunct card games. Is that still the case?


Yes, many different ones. You're always welcome to ask.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.