The Three Stages of Deck Building in a New Format
It is exciting when a new set comes out, but it can also be overwhelming to figure out where you want to start when exploring new deck possibilities. In today’s article, I will offer insight into the stages I experience whenever a set is released. When looking to create novel decks, I have found the key is not being afraid to fail.
In my experience, there are several stages to the release of a new set. First, there is the overwhelmingly exciting stage as you get to know the cards and begin imagining the seemingly infinite possibilities of all the decks you could create. I understand that some players are purists and like to wait to get to know a set after the official release, once they have cards in hand. I respect that; however, I just can’t wait! As soon as Caster Society gets a hold of the new cards and posts them to MetaZoo HQ (powered by Caster Society) in the MetaZoo Card Set List tab, I begin studying the cards, and the new deck ideas start to come to me, often before the set hits the shelves. “Intergalactic Space Council + Artifact Barrier! Merging Flames + Green Fireball! Caramel Area Creature + Greys! Or even Bat’s Mike The Headless Chicken + Laser Beam Gun Upgrade?!?”
Soon though, fear starts to creep in. I begin to worry that my ideas might be bad and my decks might be laughable. “But Intergalactic Space Council + Artifact Barrier doesn’t win the game for you. And Caramel Area Creature + Greys isn’t enough fighting power to withstand the onslaught of beasties the decks in the current meta throw at you.” Thoughts of returning to my tried-and-true decks start to compete with my initial enthusiasm.
When I find myself going through stage two, I try to remind myself that all the good decks are just crazy ideas that worked! One of my favorite unconventional decks that had an impact on the meta is Gaasy/Torrential OTK. Who would have thought combining Gaasyendietha and Torrential River to create MetaZoo’s first storm combo deck would be so impactful? I find it such a fun deck to play, and I am really grateful that whomever explored it initially wasn’t afraid to fail. This helps me get through stage two and back to imagining what exciting undiscovered new decks await in the latest release.
The final stage is to bring your ideas to life and create your new deck. Look for what you believe are the best cards in the set, find those winning combos, and identify cards that can support your game-winning threat. The only thing left to do after that is to start playtesting your deck and getting the feel of it. I went through these stages in Roswell, NM, at the MetaZoo UFO Release Event, resulting in my most recent new deck, Seven Thunders. Understanding what stage I was in during the process and how to move through it helped me immensely, and I hope it helps you too.