Primer for Deck Building
Hello, new players! Welcome to the Kingdom Hearts Trading Card Game (TCG) deck-building primer. This section of the website will spotlight information useful for players building their first deck using cards outside of the starter decks. If you are at this point, please read on! However, if you only have a starter and are looking for general gameplay tips, be sure to visit the organized play section.
Your First Deck
There are four restrictions new players must remember when forming their decks for the first time:
• Your deck must include exactly one Player Card.
• Your deck must include 41 to 60 cards including a Player Card.
• Your deck can only have one copy of any given Promotional Card.
• Your deck can only have three copies of any given card of any given level unless otherwise specified on the card. For example, you can have three level 1, three level 2, and three level 3 Goofy Cards.
• Some cards will specifically limit how many copies you may have. For example, all three levels of Simba read: "'Simba' limit 3." This means that you may have a total of three cards in your deck with the name Simba, regardless of their level.
Keeping these parameters in mind, there are two major factors that will affect the play of your deck, and this will affect which kinds of cards you will want to include. These decisions surround which Player Card you want to use and what path of victory you want to pursue.
While this choice is seemingly insignificant, the choice of your Player Card can have more impact on your game than you know. Choosing a lower level character will give you a lower Attack value but more Heart Points. Remember that the lower level character will go first, which will allow you to travel to a World Card first and possibly win a challenge first. However, if you play a higher level character, your higher Attack value will allow you to play more aggressively in challenges. However, you must offset the disadvantage of having fewer Heart Points through healing spells, as well as friends and magic/friends that will allow you to avoid damage or heal Heart Points.
Philosophy of Attack
While selecting your Player Card, also keep in mind that you can tailor your deck for a particular victory condition. Here are three examples:
Race Deck: Beat your opponent to 13 levels worth of World Cards. In this kind of deck, you will try to stall out your opponent while racing through your World Cards as fast as possible. Challenges are not a priority since it will use valuable friends and attack cards you'll need to overcome Dark Cards.
Battle Deck: Defeat your opponent by lowering his/her Heart Points to zero. This deck will focus on winning challenges and playing Dark Cards to reduce your opponent's Heart Points. You must also be able to stall the opponent while you lower his/her Heart Points.
Balanced Deck: This deck strategy allows you to pursue either winning condition, although it has the distinct disadvantage of not being able to specialize in one area. However, playing a balanced deck may yield more wins over the long term since you will be able to deal with your opponents in a variety of ways.
Of course, there are more strategies than these, as well as mixtures of the above strategies. In fact, your ability to combine cards into winning decks is limited only by your available cards and your imagination.
Although cramming your deck full of powerful cards may seem like the obvious thing to do, it may not be the best way to proceed! Particularly if you are playing a focused "Race" or "Battle" deck, it is often best to play the minimum 41 cards. For a "Race" deck, this helps to ensure that you will draw World Cards as you need them and are able to advance at a brisk pace. For a "Battle" deck, this makes it more likely that you will draw your attack cards in a set. For both types of deck, a thin deck means that any card you use or discard will be more likely to come back to you as you cycle your deck and reshuffle.
"Balanced" decks may indeed benefit from a larger card pool, with more options and more ability to adjust your strategy based on circumstances. There's no guaranteed "right" choice when deciding how many cards to include in your deck, but you certainly shouldn't make the choice at random!
Here is an example of a standard Balanced Deck using cards from a starter as well as several from booster packs:
1 x Level 3 Sora
3 x Level 1 Traverse Town
3 x Level 2 Traverse Town
3 x Level 2 Agrabah*
3 x Level 2 Deep Jungle*
2 x Level 1 Halloween Town*
3 x Level 1 Donald Duck
2 x Level 2 Donald Duck
2 x Level 1 Goofy
2 x Level 2 Goofy
1 x Level 3 Goofy
3 x Level 1 Ariel*
2 x Level 1 Aladdin
1 x Level 2 Aladdin
2 x Level 2 Genie
3 x Level 3 Bambi
2 x Level 1 Cure
3 x Pumpkinhead
2 x Lionheart
2 x Blizzara
2 x Thundara
2 x Green Requiem
2 x Barrel Spider
2 x Large Body
2 x Sea Neon
2 x Gargoyle
2 x Pirate
1 x Wizard
Total Cards = 60
*Cards marked with an asterisk indicate rare cards of which it may be tricky to get enough copies. If you don't have enough (or any) copies of a given rare card, you can make substitutions. For instance, the World Cards can be any World Cards you have collected so far - any level 2 World Cards will work with the overall strategy of the deck. Instead of Ariel, you may use any other Friend Cards or leave her out altogether.
This deck uses a high-level Sora in order to capitalize on its high attack value. However, the player must be protective of Sora's paltry four Heart Points. To help this, this deck uses plenty of lower level World Cards (since every new World Card you move to means you gain +1 HP). Although you may move slower, this deck's World Cards allows you manage how many Dark Cards are played on them. Additionally, some of the Level 2 World Cards boost the Magic Card damage for the spells included in this particular deck. Whenever possible, use these benefits so you can quickly defeat Dark Cards and move to the next World Card. This deck also uses plenty of Level 1 friends so that you will be able to get out higher level Friend Cards when necessary. Remember that your primary goal with this deck should be to get through your World Cards first although your Level 3 Sora should be able to be aggressive in challenges should an opponent be playing a lower level Player Card.
Remember this is only a skeleton of a deck and is by no means the best possible deck to be made from the total amount of cards available. As you play with this or any other deck, you will begin to notice strategies that work for you or that consistently fail. You may find yourself discarding the same card over and over again without playing it, or using a card you only have a single copy of at every available opportunity. If you repeatedly discard a card rather than play it, consider removing it from the deck. If you are always wishing you had a copy of a card in your hand, add more copies if you can.
Visit us again to find out more deck recipes. Think you have the best deck out there? Visit the Heart forums and show us what you've got!