First up, Shadowfist and how V:TES and other CCGs have influenced my deckbuilding.
One of the features of playing my own decks for the first time was that I believe I brought a completely different approach to deckbuilding. It’s the nature of those who play a CCG a long time to get into more and more esoteric decks in an effort to see variety. As with most of the CCGs I’ve gotten into, the playerbase for Shadowfist tends to be longtime players.
Meanwhile, with a tiny collection size, I had to play a variety of cards and I was focused on having a minimum threshold of functionality. I didn’t want to lose to combo decks or goofy vehicle decks, so I tried to get in cards that could handle edges and states. I don’t think this was expected as I nearly wiped someone’s board with Realpolitik.
In other words, I built toolbox decks in a world of focused decks.
It’s an interesting question as to whether there’s advantage to building more toolboxy decks in a game as swingy as Shadowfist, where one’s board position can be completely nuked.
I’ve since acquired more cards, so I am now able to build more focused decks. I had some ideas for what I wanted to build around – a good thing, as it displays that the CCG is doing its job of having different cards appeal to different people. I was building mostly 50 or 55 card decks, embracing the ability to build decks smaller than 60 cards. Before getting a chance to play them, though, I’ve already started tuning them. Repeated goldfishing the decks showed that I was constantly drawing cards I didn’t want.
So, I made the decks smaller. One deck is now 40 cards. It has a problem with reliably getting a second faction resource, but that’s because I only own so many Dockyards. At first, I didn’t think much about Dockyard because you “had” to run a bunch of foundation characters, anyway. Then, I started thinking about how to make multifaction decks reliable and Dockyard became crucial. Then, I realized that some of my decks only ever wanted to play one of the foundation characters. By cutting the chaff foundations and running Dockyards, I could shrink my decks and have resource reliability.
Obvious? Maybe. But, I think experience with other CCGs has provided me with some feel for the flow of a deck for a game in which I’ve played rarely.
Just as how I tend to prune V:TES decks for tournaments down by removing extra “answers”, I’m making these decks tighter and tighter by removing the “But, what if someone plays _?” Ultimately, the game is about the ability to take sites. To achieve that requires power to pay for cards that deal damage. The rest is control. Now, I tend to like control effects, so 30-35 card decks don’t seem to make much sense, nevermind that multiplayer games lead to needing more resources and exhaustion in Shadowfist equals elimination.
Well, not really. More, Ragnarök storyline. What I enjoy most about storylines is discovery when it comes to metagaming for unknown metagames. While limited in options for Gargoyles if you want to Gargoyle for the event, Erinyi strikes me as bad not just because she can be tapped by one of the adversaries’ specials but because Sebastian Goulet is an obvious play for bringing out cheaper werewolves and for stealing everyone else’s, which is exactly what happened. Now, -1 STR is not much of a thing, but it’s randomly something.
As a longtime V:TES player, I’m jaded. I have to come up with my own person restrictions to create alternative metagames. Even then, other than when I played in Pleasanton under house rules, no one else is playing under the restrictions I am, so it’s not like the metagaming is different, just the way I address other decks through restricted card choices. So, having a true alternate metagame is quite welcome.
Of course, Danse Macabre is available and I would expect that I’d see some players try those cards, though I don’t know how metagame shifting they are. Instantaneous Transformation may not be the sexiest new library card, but it’s a natural for various vampires. I wouldn’t expect Enkidu so much as The unnamed and Stanislava superstar action. I, personally, see little value in printing the cards out and using them, as I would never expect to use them in tournament play, but it gives other people more variety.
I’ve been lazy about building V:TES decks – the not knowing when we are playing impacts things, as does having gaming going on before V:TES removing my morning window to put decks together at the last minute. I need to get back to executing on ideas that come up as well as just generally play with some cards I haven’t gotten to. I think there are some Heirs to the Blood commons I haven’t actually ever played, for instance.