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Subject: Challenge decks! rss

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Ola Lundin
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Hi!

I trying to get into this fantastic game, which I have played a lot with a friend, but I'm having a hard time finding a good place to start my own collection. I already own 3 sets of Dragon uncommon and common cards an 1 set of Dark Minions uncommon and common and 2 Wizards starters. However, it seems this is not enough to build to interesting decks from.

Some threads recommend the challenge decks but I cant't really find any in-depth information about them.

What do the challenge decks include? How do they play? Are they highly competitive? What kinds of themes do they address?

Personally, I like the story aspect of the game. It's almost like an rpg and the questing can be so immersive. I'm not at all interested in the competitive side of the game (even though I love playing nasty hazards and beating up my opponents hobbits with my orcs), would I still enjoy the challenge decks?

Thanks in advance! sauron
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José San Miguel
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The challenge decks are 10 preconstructed decks ready for standard play (they include a character pool with minor items, play deck with 30 resources/hazards, sites and sideboard). About 110 cards per deck, I think. They also include the game rules and playing tips for each deck.

They are not very competitive decks (to my tournament standard), some are more competitive than others.

Five of them are hero decks (one for each wizard) and the other five are minion decks (with five different ringwraiths). Each challenge deck features different resource/hazards themes and strategies.

Check this file for details:

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/filepage/62447/playeraid-for-ch...

They are a great way for learning the game and they make a good card pool to build new decks.

EDIT. Spelling.
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Ola Lundin
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Thanks for the quick and informative reply!

Judging from the pdf, which was just what I was looking for, it seems like buying a set of those challenge decks will give me a great starting point and a lot of variety.

Are they compatible play style-wise with the cards from Dragons and Dark Minions (perhaps that is a hopeless question, but I am really new to this game blush)?
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José San Miguel
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oolaa wrote:
Are they compatible play style-wise with the cards from Dragons and Dark Minions (perhaps that is a hopeless question, but I am really new to this game blush)?


Sure, the challenge decks already contain cards from almost all sets, including those of Dragons and Dark Minions.

IIRC, each challenge deck includes 3 rares and some of them even promo cards.
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Ola Lundin
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Alright, that sounds really promising.

To they offer the same amount of depth and replayability as other, player constructed, decks? I realize this is a vague question but I don't think I will have the money any time soon to start collecting a lot of booster boxes etc. but I still want that magic experience I had when I played with my friends decks.
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So how do you find the Challenge decks? Are they simply called challenge decks? I'm getting confused by The different sets. Is there a difference between limited and unlimited? I mostly find Dragon sets when i look around and that's an expansion if i'm not totally in the dark.

I'm also trying to get into this game, it sounds and looks totally amazing. I was widely dissapointed with the new Lotr the cardgame and i'm a total newbie regarding ccg's.
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John Peterson
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Try here:

http://gwaihir.net/product.php

He's in Europe, too, so it might save you some shipping....
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José San Miguel
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Also available here (also from Europe):

http://www.eaglecard.org/

From time to time you can find them on ebay looking for "middle earth challenge decks", "meccg challenge decks", "lord rings challenge decks", etc.

Challenge Decks are neither limited (black bordered) nor unlimited (blue bordered). They are grey bordered instead. Only The Wizards (the first one) set had an unlimited edition. All other sets (e.g. Dragons, Dark Minions...) only had a limited edition.
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José San Miguel
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oolaa wrote:
To they offer the same amount of depth and replayability as other, player constructed, decks?


This is highly subjective. IMO, if you compare them with the decks a good player can build, no.
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scubadawg1 wrote:
Try here:

http://gwaihir.net/product.php

He's in Europe, too, so it might save you some shipping....

Jose-san wrote:
Also available here (also from Europe):

http://www.eaglecard.org/

From time to time you can find them on ebay looking for "middle earth challenge decks", "meccg challenge decks", "lord rings challenge decks", etc.

Challenge Decks are neither limited (black bordered) nor unlimited (blue bordered). They are grey bordered instead. Only The Wizards (the first one) set had an unlimited edition. All other sets (e.g. Dragons, Dark Minions...) only had a limited edition.


Cool man, that's a pretty sweet site! *well sites, thanks both of you!

So now i'm divided... Should i go for the 10pack challenge set(65€) or the wizard limited/unlimited starter set(85€/95€? I still dont really know the difference between limited and unlimited. Just different border colors and/or art?

Cool fucking site anyways!

Also, sorry for asking stupid questions AND hijacking the thread, i'm just a total virgin regarding ccg's.
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Nick Bolton
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Go for the challenge decks.

Unlimited cards have blue borders instead of the black ones the limited cards have. Unlimited cards also have some updated text.
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nickbolton wrote:
Go for the challenge decks.

Unlimited cards have blue borders instead of the black ones the limited cards have. Unlimited cards also have some updated text.


Thanks for the input!

And also, what type sleeves do any of you prefer? I want to sleeve these bad boys as soon as i get them!
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Ola Lundin
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What would be the best starting point for expanding the challenge deck.

A box of boosters? In that case, which edition(s)?
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José San Miguel
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65 € is very good price for the Challenge Decks. Bear in mind that it's a heavy box, and it can add quite a bit on shipping costs. I'd go with them, as I said, they're an excellent introduction to the game.

Any regular size sleeve will do.

To improve upon the hero Challenge Decks, you'll need mostly cards from the first three sets: The Wizards, Dragons and Dark Minions. Start with The Wizards. Unlimited is cheaper, the cards are the same and you get some corrections on the cards (and some new errata!).

MECCG cards got a lot of errata btw. This will be of help:

http://www.meccg.net/netherlands/meccg, go to "Rules" and then to "Collected Rulings and errata".

Boosters are one of the ways to go (the others are buying complete sets or singles). If you go the booster way, make sure to buy a "fixed" set. That's the cards that only come in starters and not in boosters. It's pretty cheap and there are many important cards there. There are 5 different fixed packs (a "fixed" set includes all of them).
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Ola Lundin
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Alright!

How many complete sets do I need? I suppose that I need more than one copy of each card.

And if I go with boosters, would wizards starters give me the fixed cards I need? I already got two of them.

Does one booster box give me the cards I need to build interesting decks or would you say that more boxes are required?
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Jose-san wrote:
65 € is very good price for the Challenge Decks. Bear in mind that it's a heavy box, and it can add quite a bit on shipping costs. I'd go with them, as I said, they're an excellent introduction to the game.


It seems to be a good price but 65€ is pretty hefty plus shipping wich will land on around 85€.

So i'm thinking of going with this insted;

1x Challenge deck A (110 cards), Stewards of Gondor (Saruman) 11.95€
1x Challenge deck D (110 cards), Bargain Between Friends (Radagast) 11.95€
1x The Wizards starter (76 cards), unlimited edition 10.50€
2x The Dragons booster (15 cards) €2.50
2x Dark Minions booster (15 cards) €2.95

Wich will land on around... 66€ including shpping.

How does thos sound for a starting pack for a beginner wich will probably only play with one other person. A pretty good start with some room for customization or should i skip the dragons and dark minions boosters?
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Nick Bolton
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monkehbwoy wrote:
nickbolton wrote:
Go for the challenge decks.

Unlimited cards have blue borders instead of the black ones the limited cards have. Unlimited cards also have some updated text.


Thanks for the input!

And also, what type sleeves do any of you prefer? I want to sleeve these bad boys as soon as i get them!


I prefer the Fantasy Flight Game sleeves (Clear standard card game size 2 1/2 x 3 1/2 in / 63.5 x 88mm). That's what I use for my MECCG cards. They are a bit more expensive than some other makes of sleeves but are the best quality (in my opinion). They cover the cards well and have a small bit of extra plastic at the top of the card (just a few millimeters, which some people don't like) but adds extra protection to the top of the cards especially if you are flicking through cards in boxes.

Other makes are Ultra Pro, Mayday & Dragon Sheilds. Any sleeves that fit standard CCG cards will do.

Go for the thicker sleeves, (often called deck protectors rather than the cheap "sleeves"). Cheap thin sleeves can feel horrid, don't last long and don't feel good when shuffling.

If you are near a gaming store you should be able to ask to see (and feel) some samples.
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Nick Bolton
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oolaa wrote:
Alright!

How many complete sets do I need? I suppose that I need more than one copy of each card.


For most cards 3 of each non unique card per player and one of each unique card will give you the capability to make any deck (although you don't need all the cards to have fun with the game).

oolaa wrote:
And if I go with boosters, would wizards starters give me the fixed cards I need? I already got two of them.

Does one booster box give me the cards I need to build interesting decks or would you say that more boxes are required?


The fixed cards are in the starter packs, not the boosters - it may be easier to just buy a set of the fixed cards. Ultimately if you want a complete set if will probably be cheaper to buy a full set. However you don't need all the cards and can just buy boosters and some individual cards if you like. A booster box of Wizards will give you a good selection (and many spare commons). Get Wizards (the big base set) before investing too heavily in the expansions.
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Ola Lundin
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Do I need all the fixed cards from Wizards to build a satisfying deck or would the fixed cards from two starters be sufficient?
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Brad Miller
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You can build a good deck with one fixed set. However, it will really limit what you can build. Two would get you a bit more flexibility. Really would depend on the wizards you got, or rather, which fixed sets you got.
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Ola Lundin
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Okay, but two starters and a box of boosters, would that get me somewhere?
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oolaa wrote:
Okay, but two starters and a box of boosters, would that get me somewhere?


That should be sufficient, but Wizard Characters were only released in the starters if memory serves, which means you would only have four of them, and possibly a a duplicate of one or both. (At the very least they put two different Wizards in a starter if I remember correctly.)
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Ola Lundin
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That sounds excellent.

I have four different wizards, Gandalf, Saruman, Radagast and Pallado. That should be quite enough, right?

How crucial are the rare cards for building an interesting deck? They are really hard to come by and cost quite a lot.
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José San Miguel
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oolaa wrote:
Do I need all the fixed cards from Wizards to build a satisfying deck or would the fixed cards from two starters be sufficient?


I'd say you do. There are lots of important sites, characters and factions on the fixed packs. Also with all 5 fixed packs you'll have 2 copies of each wizard which is handy (you may want 3 copies of each wizard).
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oolaa wrote:
I have four different wizards, Gandalf, Saruman, Radagast and Pallado. That should be quite enough, right?


You can include up to 3 copies of the same wizard in a deck.

oolaa wrote:
How crucial are the rare cards for building an interesting deck? They are really hard to come by and cost quite a lot.


Not as important as in other CCG. In MECCG many important cards are common/uncommon/fixed. Also, don't be shy of making proxies of the rare cards you need (or of any card, for that matter).
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