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Subject: How essential is the deck building to the experience? rss

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Damon Asher
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I don't generally enjoy pre-game deck building. This may be largely because I know my primary gaming partner sure as hell isn't going to spend time tweaking a deck in between games. I'm fine with drafting a team together at the beginning of a game, I just don't go for games that require offline homework. Nothing wrong with them, I just prefer to do all my gaming at the table.

I enjoy a several games that have a deck-building option, but come with preconstructed decks. Blue Moon and Summoner Wars would be examples of this. I love these games, and while I appreciate that they have the option, I don't feel like I am missing much by not delving into deck construction.

Mage Wars looks like a lot of fun to me, and I see that the game does give you preconstructed spell books to work with. My question is this: Is Mage Wars just fine if you never stray from the pre-cons (like Summoner Wars), or are you really handicapped if you don't deck build (like, say, The Lord of the Rings Card Game)?

Thanks for your opinions!

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Joel Eddy
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Re: How essential is the deck bulding to the experience?
I think you would do fine with the precons, but don't be afraid to tweak them here and there.

Pretty soon, you will have something very personal you've created.

"Your baby", if you will.
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Dave Kudzma
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Re: How essential is the deck bulding to the experience?
Deckbuiding is completely unnecessary IMHO. The precostructed books are wonderful and are infinitely replayable as-is.
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Ron Hunt
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Re: How essential is the deck bulding to the experience?
locusshifter wrote:
Deckbuiding is completely unnecessary IMHO. The precostructed books are wonderful and are infinitely replayable as-is.

I agree with this, but my bet is that once you play with the preconstructed decks a few times, you will *want* to tweak them and then the fun really begins. My opinion, of course. Your milage may vary.
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Doug Bey
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Re: How essential is the deck bulding to the experience?
locusshifter wrote:
Deckbuiding is completely unnecessary IMHO. The precostructed books are wonderful and are infinitely replayable as-is.


What he said.

I had a lot of fun playing many games using just the recommended starting spellbooks... and then with just a couple tweaks in each deck, you'll be able to get a lot of mileage out of this game.

Who knows... maybe after a number of plays, you'll feel that itch to customize your spell books even further. And what's different about customizing your "decks" in Mage Wars compared with other card games is that you don't need to worry about THE DRAW. If you put a card in your book, you can use it whenever you want during the game, as long as you save up your mana for it.

The frustrating part of any traditional deck building game is spending a lot of time customizing a great deck, only to have lousy draws completely suck the life out of it. Customizing your spell book in this game is great fun due to the elimination of that dreaded random draw mechanic.
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Purple Paladin

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Re: How essential is the deck bulding to the experience?
Yes: Friend #1 played preconstructed, and has made his own book every time since. I'm positive he'd never play the pre-made again.

Friend #2 just played his first game last week. He said he'd never make his own book, guess what he's been doing since he played.

The paradox is, if new players play with the prebuilt spell book, they end up spending a LOT of time choosing their cards during the game, since they have to read and understand each card. It will usually occur to most new players that they could have spent about the same amount of time making their own book; reading each spell as they put it in, and then save way more time picking spells during the game.

Plus, lets be honest, your first couple games, who has not seen all the neat cards other mages play, and thought "I want that in my deck". And of course, you know you can have that neat card, and any other neat cards you want in your book when you make your own.

Building your own book sells itself if you can get just one game out of them.

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Mike zebrowski
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Re: How essential is the deck bulding to the experience?
I've played the game quite a bit and haven't built a spell book yet.
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David Vanden Heuvel
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Re: How essential is the deck bulding to the experience?
rwhunt wrote:
locusshifter wrote:
Deckbuiding is completely unnecessary IMHO. The precostructed books are wonderful and are infinitely replayable as-is.

I agree with this, but my bet is that once you play with the preconstructed decks a few times, you will *want* to tweak them and then the fun really begins. My opinion, of course. Your milage may vary.

after a few games you may find yourself saying... I never cast these spells but I wish I had some of those. Hence the deck tweaking occurs naturally.
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Benjamin Piehler
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Re: How essential is the deck bulding to the experience?
I don't enjoy deckbuilding either. Its a stumbling block for my enjoyment of Netrunner actually.

The beauty of Mage Wars is that your spellbook gives you access to all your cards at a given time. The only reason you'd add more than one copy of a card is if you intend to cast it more than once; you don't need to account for the probability of drawing a card like in most TCGs.

Edit: (I should clarify; while generally I dislike the deckbuilding process, I enjoy it in Mage Wars.)
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Paul Hackman
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Re: How essential is the deck bulding to the experience?
Bpiehler wrote:
I don't enjoy deckbuilding either. Its a stumbling block for my enjoyment of Netrunner actually.

The beauty of Mage Wars is that your spellbook gives you access to all your cards at a given time. The only reason you'd add more than one copy of a card is if you intend to cast it more than once; you don't need to account for the probability of drawing a card like in most TCGs.



Excellent point. The spellbook is definitely not just a gimmick or a minor tweak to the card game formula. In games where you build decks there is a science and math to it where one small miscalculation can mess up your entire game. Hence, the preconstructed decks for a lot of CCGs and LCGs are limited and weak since they are often built to show off the game's possibilities rather than to function efficiently.

Mage Wars mostly eliminates economy from deckbuilding by simply giving everyone a base channeling amount. Then they eliminate the need for redundancy in your deck by allowing you to access any card each turn. And since you only select two spells each turn, they eliminate the overpowered combos that other games usually include.

So while there are good spell books and bad spell books, two friends could just grab a bunch of cards and go for it. The dice, the bluffing, and the tactical maneuvering have as much to do with your success as the text on the cards.
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Roger Reisinger
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Re: How essential is the deck bulding to the experience?
Snotwalker wrote:
locusshifter wrote:
Deckbuiding is completely unnecessary IMHO. The precostructed books are wonderful and are infinitely replayable as-is.


What he said.

I had a lot of fun playing many games using just the recommended starting spellbooks... and then with just a couple tweaks in each deck, you'll be able to get a lot of mileage out of this game.

Who knows... maybe after a number of plays, you'll feel that itch to customize your spell books even further. And what's different about customizing your "decks" in Mage Wars compared with other card games is that you don't need to worry about THE DRAW. If you put a card in your book, you can use it whenever you want during the game, as long as you save up your mana for it.

The frustrating part of any traditional deck building game is spending a lot of time customizing a great deck, only to have lousy draws completely suck the life out of it. Customizing your spell book in this game is great fun due to the elimination of that dreaded random draw mechanic.


+1

Deckbuilding in this game is a bit different. you dont need to agonize on needing so many copies of "x" and "x" card in order to maximize your chance of drawing your combo.

My experience is that the starter spell books are great for your first game, and afterwards you'll tweak your book by adding in maybe another copy of a weapon cause your opponent dissolved yours last game, or perhaps an extra seeking dispel or nullify.

My friend and I spend about 10 minutes before our matches tweaking our decks, I would't consider it any more pregame upkeep than any other game.
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Justin Fitzgerald
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Re: How essential is the deck bulding to the experience?
Not very. If you wanted to keep deck-building to a minimum, you could also just add a few cards to the existing decks (since they come in a little slim).
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Mike Beiter
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Re: How essential is the deck bulding to the experience?
To me it is ALL about the spellbook making.

The pre constructed decks are great as a tutorial for new players but after playing them once I had to move on.

SOOO MANY OPTIONS!!!!
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C. E. Freeman
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Re: How essential is the deck bulding to the experience?
Ok you got a whole lot of opinions and personally I agree with the sentiments above. To answer yor question though.

Yes.

Since you brought up SW I would say it is better than SW if you never customize the base spellbook. The reason is that it will take you longer to learn the base spellbooks since they have more options than a SW deck. There is a lot more variability in the interaction between players than there is in SW. There are just more options to explore. SW currently has more faction than MW has mages so in that way SW has more options. As you might have guessed I am a SW fan.
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Purple Paladin

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Mage Wars, without spellbook building, is like heavy petting. Sure, it's really, really great, but there's a lot more to the game.
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Matt
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I just play with the prebuilt spell books. As I get more seasoned I will probably tweak them. I luke to stick with theme so I dont see myself doing anything crazy like a priestess casting fireballs.
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rock lobster
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if you're going to play in a vacuum of pre-constructed only... yes.

the minute you play a custom-deck designed to win games in under an hour ("rush!")... no.

you just wont have the utility for contingency.


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