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

Subject: Solo Deck-Building with 1 Core Set: 30-card decks rss

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I'm pretty new to the game and have notched up solo wins vs Mirkwood with Leadership and Spirit starter decks. I've now started playing with deckbuilding, multi-sphere decks, Tactics and Lore.

The problem is that I don't feel like there are many choices - or many good choices. If I want to make a dual-sphere deck of standard size (50 cards) using one core set, assuming I will use 3 Gandalfs, I have to use 47 out of the 58 cards (29 each sphere) available to me. Plus there are some obvious things to throw out: cards that cost too much in a sphere where you have only one hero, cards that are not very useful in solo play, cards that aren't very good period. Once you throw those out, your deck-building experience is over. Worse, I spend more time thinking about what cards I don't want rather than what cards I do want.

My solution is to play with smaller decks: 30 or 35 cards, for example. If you want, you can add a rule that you can use only two copies of a single card rather than three. Now you are selecting only 50% of the cards available to you rather than 80%.

This should make things slightly easier (not a bad thing for solo beginner, one core set) but not too much. One advantage is that you select the best cards and avoid being forced to play some less useful ones. Another advantage is that your card draws should be slightly more consistent. And you have to "earn" the first advantage by figureing out what the "best" cards are.

Yes, I think I will eventually be buying more cards, but I have only played this game 5-6 times so far. I would like to get to know the game better before dropping another chunk of money on a second core set or an expansion.

Thoughts?
 
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Richard Morris
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Fine. But I would not limit yourself to 2 copies of a card, to give you more choices of what to include, rather than being forced to include a card to 'make up the numbers'.

Unfortunately, you do have to pretty much buy expansions to get the whole experience. The first arc includes song cards that solve the problem of resourcing the sphere with just one hero. But, of course, they are spread out across the individual APs.
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It's funny,
because I was thinking about the exact same thing this morning.

I am another newbie to the game, and the 50 cards deck building did not make sense to me.

Ok, so 3 of same cards per deck, and 50 cards minimum per deck,
so each card has draw chance of 6% in a tournament.

But for casual newbies like myself,
if I were to build 50 cards deck,

I would drop draw chance of some cards (like celebrian's stone) down to 2%, and cannot boost that up unless I buy 2 more copies of the game.

And why would I want to spend another good $50 on a core set of a game to play with tournament rules when I'm playing casually for fun?


Since the pre-made deck came with 30 cards, 30 seems like logical number of cards per deck.

That gives really powerful cards like unexpected courage 3% draw chance.
And moderately powerful cards like galadrim's greeting 6% draw chance.

I've noticed lot of solitaire players have purchased a second core set for deck building purposes, so let's do the math.

2-Core set 50 Card Deck.
3 of same card = 6% draw chacne (steward of gondor and such)
2 of same card = 4% draw chance (unexpected courage and such)
1 of same card = 2% draw chance (high cost card that is good to have?)

1-Core set 30 Card Deck.
3 of same card = 10% draw chance (cheap allies like gondorian spearman)
2 of same card = 6.7% draw chacne (steward of gondor and such)
1 of same card = 3.3% draw chacne (unexpected courage and such)


As can be seen,
cerebrian stone and unexpected courage comes with 0.7% reduced draw chance
steward of gondor and galadrim's greeting comes with 0.7% increased draw chance.

draw chance is drastically increased by 4% when you include 3 of same cards, but since you can only include 30 cards, I am highly doubting 3 of the same cards will be included often.

Also another thing to consider is once you lose unexpected courage to shadow effect of driven by shadow, you have 0% chance of getting another one (unless you have some lore cards) if you are running 1 - core 30 card deck,
where as another copy can be found by burning through deck with beravor if you are running 2 - core 50 card deck.




So overall, 1-Core set 30 Card Deck is slightly inferior to 2-Core set 50 Card Deck.

More likely hood of drawing steward of gondor and galadrim's greeting,
but less chacne of drawing celebrian's stone and unexpected courage.

Plus once you lose or use those 1 copy-only-cards,
that card is done for that game.




However, there is Gandalf to consider.
Having 3 Gandalfs in 1-Core 30 Card Deck gives you 10% draw chacne.
That is 4% more compared to 2-Core 50 Card deck.




SO, here is what I propose.


If you only own 1 copy of core set,
and do not wish to buy a second,
build 1-Core 30 Card Deck with 2 Gandalf.

You may include up to 3 copies of the same card if you wish to, although that would limit your deck somewhat.

THEN place 3rd Gandalf out of play
(not in discard, out of play like the nazgul in Dol Guldur Scenario)
and give it a houserule action that reads.


Action: Remove from play 1 unknown card of player's choice from play deck, then add this card (Gandalf) to the play deck. Shuffle the deck.


Basically without looking at the card, remove from play 1 card from your deck during anytime (from top, from bottom, somewhere random, doesn't matter).

That card is now permenantly out of play (can't be shuffled back by Will of West) and in it's place, Gandalf is there.

Of course, there is a chance of getting unlucky and replacing Gandalf with an existing Gandalf.

This would allow much less exprienced player (such as myself) to construct a 30 card deck with 1 core set which functions much like 50 card deck with 2 core sets,

But gives option of having 10% draw chance on Gandalf whenever I choose to.





I'm still new to this game (no expansions or anything and have yet to solo second scenario and defeat Dol Guldur),

so if there seems to be a flaw in my idea, please let me know.


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I have been using a 3 sphere deck to play solo. It pretty much destroys NinjaDorg's fantastic scenarios, as well as the first two scenarios that come with the core box set. I haven't gotten around to playing Escape from Dol Guldur, but I will tomorrow. But depending on your draw, that one is always going to be nasty. I posted the deck on CardGameDB, if you want to try it out. Just take your time during the first stage of the mission, and by the second stage you will be destroying everything. Drawing 6 cards per round, with a mass of resources and allies.
 
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John Davis
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I've been playing solo heavily over the last few weeks and I also have only one core set.

I always build decks with a minimum of 30 cards (usually about 35), and I always limit myself to no more than 2 of any card (including Gandalf). This gives similar probabilities of drawing key cards as having 3 of a card in a 50 card deck.

I have also make proxies of a few key cards (Unexpected Courage, Celebrian's Stone) which has certainly made some of my decks work better!
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Colin Houghton
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John- are you using a one sphere deck or multi-sphere? It seems that a two-sphere deck (one third cards from one sphere, two thirds t'other)seems best. Is that your experience?
 
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Matthew Thomas
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Well, no where in the rules does it say you have to play more than 50 cards. It just says that is what will be standard for tournaments.

I don't understand why this whole 50 card thing seems to be being considered an official rule.
 
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