Deck construction in The Far Wilds is a unique undertaking, requiring you to consider many factors. If you are used to building decks in MTG, you will find some similar concepts, but will also have to change the way you go about conceptualizing a deck.
Baby, You’ve Lost that Magic Feeling
I’m starting with a comparison to Magic: The Gathering, because that’s where many of us started. Most CCG players have a background in MTG or similar, though you may have come to The Far Wilds by a different route. If you don’t know MTG, this section probably isn’t for you, so feel free to jump to the next.
Flux is comparable to mana, though there is a very important difference that directly impacts deck construction. In MTG, your mana base is directly related to the number of lands you have. Playing a land each turn gives you more mana this turn and every turn after. This means you can design based on a mana curve, with its peak at 2-3 mana cards and fewer 1 mana cost and even fewer high casting cost cards. However, in TFW your flux doesn’t reset every turn. It carries over from the previous turn. Not using flux this turn means having that flux available the next turn. Using flux this turn means it’s not there to use the next.
In addition to flux, you must also consider that cards have domain requirements to cast. You will have to design your deck knowing that you will have one domain the first turn and will probably need to have 7 flux to cast another domain card before you can start playing cards with a two domain casting cost. Your opponents can destroy your buildings, bringing you back down to one domain.
Remember that you get 2 flux per turn plus one flux for every well you control.
Know the Requirements
Your deck must have a minimum of 40 cards. You can use no more than 3 of the same card in a deck, except for the basic buildings (Dwarven Hall, Grove, Graveyard, Magma Chamber). You can have a max of 5 of each type of basic buildings.
If you are building a deck for the Expert Clash, you can only use cards you own or a default deck. You can’t mix and match the cards from the default deck. You can’t use phantom cards.
The following are general guidelines to use when designing a deck. There are always exceptions to the rules, such as players designing all building decks.
Make sure you understand how Autodraw works. It is vital to your deck construction methodology
Stick to the minimum of 40 cards. There are certain cards you probably want to have in your hand at different points in the game. For example, you may really like starting your Sylvan army with a Thistle Falcon. Sticking to 40 cards allows you to have the highest chance of drawing the cards you need.
Assuming 3 Thistle Falcons in a 40 card deck that includes at least one basic building, you will have one of those Falcons in your opening hand 40.3% of the time. If you 2 Falcons in your 40 card deck, you have s 28.7% chance of starting the game with one. 1 Falcon in a 40 card deck gives you 15.3% chance. In a 45 card deck, you have a 36.3% chance of drawing a Falcon if you have 3 of them, a 25.6% chance if you have 2, and a 13.6% chance if you have 1.
Create a one to two domain deck. It’s possible to create a 3 or more domain deck, but not recommended for beginner deck builders.
Aim for about 15-20 creatures and 10-15 buildings with at least 5 sources of domain. Remember, your opponent will probably take out at least 2 or 3 of your domain sources over the span of the game, and you want to still be able to cast your cards. Plan your domain sources around how many single and multiple domain cards you have.
You will have to consider flux cost and domain cost when curving out your deck. As a general rule, try to keep the cards you plan on casting early game to an average of 3 flux and 1 domain. As the game progresses, you should control two wells and have more domain sources, so your mid to late game cards should have an average cost of 4 flux and 2 or less domain. Use 3 domain and 6 flux cards sparingly. This guideline can be bent with flux accelerators such as Ord Stone, Gather Spirits, the Nether Plasma\Altar of Ix combo. Domain accelerators include Hadarck's Throne, Fairy Emissary, Astridian Diplomat, and Glimpse of Greatness.
Plan your domain and flux cost with precision. You know you want to have early plays of 1 domain and 3 or less flux. You probably want to play a creature first turn. If you have 10 one domain creatures with 3 or less flux cost in your 40 card deck, you will draw at least one of them in your opening hand 85.4% of the time.
What's the deal with all this math?
Math isn't for everyone. The percentages that I talked about above should give you a basic idea of where theses recommendations have come from. However, if you are the kind of person that likes to toy with numbers, see what happens with a larger deck, etc, here is the math I used to figure out the above. If you have any questions on it, feel free to message me (Keyser)
To figure out the odds of drawing a particular card in your first hand, use this formula:
1 - [(D-1-X)!(D-7)!] / [(D-1)!(D-7-X)!]
where D is the number cards in your deck and X is the number of possible cards you are hoping to draw at least one of in your starting hand. For example, if you have 10 1 domain cards that you want to find the odds of drawing that first hand in a deck of 40 cards, you calculate 1 - (29! * 23!)/(39! * 23!).
If you build it, he will come
The desire to build whispers to you, and you must heed it's call. Keep a solid focus in your deck build. Have an idea of what it is that you want to accomplish and design your deck around that. Don't try to accomplish every goal in one deck.
Give your new deck a bit of time. Try it out a several times before you start making changes to it. It takes time for player and deck to merge into a symbiotic relationship. You need to have time to learn the ins and outs of the deck, learn its good draws and bad draws, and see which cards are helpful and which ones aren't. A couple losses does not a failed deck mean.
Don't get discouraged if your first few tries crash and burn. Remember how many tries it took the Wright brothers to get their plane in the air.
Yeah, yeah, got it... now what?
UBER has been working on a concept called Flux_Counting. It should help you on your journey to becoming an advanced deck builder.