[Guide] Creating a good deck for online

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[Guide] Creating a good deck for online

Post by Matt »

Most people when they go online and play with other players tend to find themselves getting beaten quite a lot - one of the main reasons for this is bad deck building.

Compared to COMs, players are smarter and are harder to manipulate. Fighting against COMs, unfortunately, does not actually make you better at the game because they make extremely stupid decisions and never make actions like play more than 1 defense card. Furthermore, abilities such as rampage and pierce are quite rare, allowing you to do strategies that would make you extremely susceptible to damage from other players - stacking 4-5 items is not a winning strategy against most players.

As such, here is a not-so-short guide on how to create a potentially winning deck. Don't take it as gospel however and be sure to be creative, these are just a rule of thumb.

You can find example decks at the bottom of this post.

Deck Ratio

A deck should comprise of a ratio similar to the below:
  • 10 item or creature cards
  • 8-9 offensive action cards
  • 10 defense action cards
  • 1-2 assist cards
These cards can then be broken down into sub categories, such as if the deck should focus on lots of small cost creatures, or if the deck should be built around a combo of items (such as the 3-cost Diska of Braveman paired with the 5-cost Caduceus).

Some builds will not follow the above and is simply a rule of thumb. For example, Guykild tends to run very little offensive action cards, if not none, as Big Swing makes it difficult for him to make good use of them.

Item Choices (for Hunters)

Due to the proliferation of the rampage and pierce abilities online, it is generally better to focus Hunters around strong core items, rather than a lot of them. While effective offline, an equipped loadout of 2 mechguns, 1 barrier, 1 handgun, and 1 partisan makes you extremely susceptible to attacks such as Megid, Gizonde, Endu, and Punch, among others. The more items you have equipped when faced with one of these attacks, the harder it becomes to defend, and the more HP you stand to lose, as these items tend to have low HP meaning you are almost guaranteed to lose most of them.

As such, pick sets of items that you can use that fill up all 8 summoning cost slots that are relatively strong. Some examples are:
  • Tsumikiri J-Sword (6) + Soul Barrier (2)
  • Diska of Braveman (3) + Sange Yasha (5)
  • Wals-MK2 (3) + Wals-MK2 (3) + Shield (2)
  • Windmill (4) + Twinkle Star (4)
  • Twin Chakram (4) + God's Shield Genbu (4)
These are simply examples of set ups you can make. Make sure that no matter what you end up summoning, you always have something in your deck that will let you fill up to the full 8 cost, as it's important to make sure you don't have missed potential. Of course in the course of a battle, it might not be worth drawing until you can max out your costs, so sometimes you will have to run at 6 or 7 cost total, but always make sure the potential is there.

Creature Choices (for Arkz)

Arkz have a couple of choices: Centre their deck around many low cost creatures for area control, or centre their deck around a strong card with support.

Both are valid and are useful in different ways. For example, a valid low cost set up for Arkz may be:
  • 3 Claws (1)
  • 3 Al Rappies (2)
  • 3 Goboomas (3)
  • 3 Dimenians (2)
All of these have 3 or less cost, allowing them to be summoned easily, and most importantly, in large numbers. This will let you slowly chip away at opponents while blocking their approach to you. However, if the opponent has certain tools, such as Indi Belra or lots of Round Slay, this strategy can fall apart, especially if the opponent uses Hand Break which directly damages you.

An example of a deck centred around a strong card may be the following:
  • 2 Chaos Sorcerers (5)
  • 3 Arlans (3)
  • 3 Claws (1)
  • 3 Dimenians (2)
The above creature choice is a deck focused around the strength of the Chaos Sorcerer, along with Arlan to do back up damage, or Claws/Dimenians to help control the map as the Sorcerer moves around doing damage. These tend to be very strong if played, but a large unit focused by 2 people in a 2v2 can be very difficult to defend.

There are no set ups which can counter everything, so it's important to you which kind of strategy you wish to employ, and how you can strengthen their perks or minimise their weaknesses.

Offensive Action Cards

Offensive action cards are the main tool which progress a match. These are extremely important and tend to be somewhat underused by newer players used to offline battles, as low-cost deck spam tends to mean you cannot use them very much.

Depending on your choice of story character, item or creature cards, your options here are going to differ. Generally you will want to learn into your characters' strengths, so Memoru should focus primarily on techs and tech creatures, whereas Saligun should focus on her melee and load up with appropriate physical action cards.

It's always good to try and be varied here so that you can address multiple situations, but there is not enough space in a deck to actually do this. For example, adding action cards like Punch, Right Hand Punch, and Penetrate tend to be very useful if you end up against Hunters, but can be dud cards otherwise.

If running a physical set up, Heavy Attack, Heavy Slash, Round Slay, and Stab are always good picks, and if running a technique set up, Foie, Gibarta, Rabarta, Zonde, and Gizonde are always useful to take.

Here are some examples of attack set ups:
  • 2 Heavy Attack
  • 2 Heavy Slash
  • 2 Round Slay
  • 1 Right Hand Punch
  • 1 Penetrate
The above is a somewhat cookie-cutter set up, effective on most physical characters, but especially Kranz and Stella (although Round Slay should be replaced with something stronger, such as Unit Blow and Beat). Always try to use action cards when you can, as low damage can usually be defended entirely by players unlike NPCs - but beware of the Companion defense, as this can easily put you in a bad spot.
  • 2 Foie
  • 2 Zonde
  • 1 Gibarta
  • 1 Rabarta
  • 1 Gizonde
  • 1 Razonde
This is a relatively simple technique set up, giving tech users their general tools to do easy damage (Foie and Zonde), while being able to hit multiple people at decent ranges with the Gi- and Ra- spells. These are not the only useful techniques, be sure to experiment.

Defensive Action Cards

This is quite possibly the most important section to get right

The most common reason newer players fail online is they don't have any defense to defend against the strong attacks of players online. When fighting COMs, they tend to be stupid and not always use all of their ATK or potential moves, and are not very discard heavy, meaning they don't use action cards very much. This is not the case against players, who will spam action cards against you constantly, and always make sure they are doing everything that they can every single turn.

As such, you should aim to have around 10 defense cards, and make sure that you are always holding defense cards you can play after a draw phase.

Make sure that your defense cards are able to defend against techniques as well - it will have a yellow bar at the top. Here is a good mix of defense cards:
  • 2 Dodge
  • 2 Guard
  • 2 Resist
  • 1 Companion
  • 1 Avert
  • 1 TP Defense
  • 1 Seal
This list of defense gives you lots of options to defend against many types of attacks. It is also very important to make sure you have a healthy amount of 1-2 cost defense cards, as getting stuck in a situation where you cannot play any defense due to 1-2 defense feels more common than it should be. If your build focuses around the 3-costs such as Gather +, XX Guards, Counter, or Weakness, you will find you won't be able to defend relatively often. These cards are not bad (very good, actually), but try not to focus on only them.

Another mix of defense for an Arkz deck around dark creatures may be:
  • 3 DK Guard
  • 2 Walls
  • 2 Guard
  • 2 TP Defense
  • 1 Avert
This mixes the very powerful DK Guard with some lower costs cards, so if unable to roll 3+ DEF, the player is not left completely wide open.

Assist Cards

There's not a lot to say here, simply pick cards you feel will help you.

Common picks are Brave Wind, type attack boosters (Saber Dance etc.), attribute attack boosters (Forest Rain etc.), and Dice+1. Pick whatever will synergise well with your strategies. You should always have assist cards however, as the ability to remove bad assist cards from the field is invaluable.

Example Decks

Here are some example decks you can try to base your own off. These are not necessarily perfect decks, and are presented simply as an example.

  • Items: 1 Wals-MK2 (3), 1 Anti Android Rifle (5), 1 Red Mechgun (4), 1 Yasminkov 9000M (5), 2 Meteor Smash + (3), 1 Baranz Launcher (5), 1 Shield (2), 2 Mags (1)
  • Offensive: 3 Heavy Attack, 2 GN Attack, 1 Punch, 1 Right Hand Punch, 1 Penetrate, 1 Knock Out, 1 Lock on 3
  • Defensive: 2 Guard (2), 2 Resist (4), 1 Avert (1), 2 Companion (2), 1 Grow Guard (1)
  • Assist: 1 Deflation, 1 Brave Wind
  • Items: 2 Wand (2), 2 Diska of Braveman (3), 2 Agito (3), 1 Caduceus (5), 1 Dark Bridge (7), 2 Twinkle Star (4)
  • Offensive: 2 Heavy Attack, 2 Heavy Slash, 1 Round Slay, 1 Foie, 1 Gibarta, 1 Rabarta, 1 Zonde, 1 Gizonde
  • Defensive: 1 Dodge (1), 1 Guard (2), 1 Wall (2), 1 Resist (4), 2 Protection (2), 1 Seal (1), 1 Companion (3), 1 TP Defense (2)
  • Assist: 1 Deflation
  • Creatures: 3 So Dimenian (3), 2 Arlan (3), 3 Claw (1), 2 Chaos Sorcerer (5)
  • Offensive: 2 Foie, 1 Gifoie, 1 Rafoie, 1 Gibarta, 1 Rabarta, 1 Zonde, 1 Gizonde, 1 Razonde, 1 Grants
  • Defensive: 1 Dodge, 2 Guard, 2 Resist, 1 Protection, 1 Companion, 2 DK Guard
  • Assist: 1 Deflation
  • Creatures: 1 Gi Gue (6), 2 Pan Arms (4), 3 Gilchich (3), 3 Claw (1), 1 Il Gil (5)
  • Offensive: 1 Heavy Attack, 2 Slash, 1 Heavy Slash, 3 Unit Blow, 1 Lock on 3
  • Defensive: 2 Dodge (1), 2 Guard (2), 2 Resist (4), 1 Avert (1), 1 Companion (3), 1 Counter + (3), 1 TP Defense (1)
  • Assist: 1 Deflation, 1 Brave Wind