Author Topic: A fine tuned deck  (Read 1791 times)

Offline Xonathan

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A fine tuned deck
« on: April 04, 2018, 10:11:22 AM »
0
Today’s LoR article got me thinking about a few questions, for those who’ve had success in tournaments and at nationals specifically, how many iterations did your decks go through before you felt confident with the deck? What does a fine tuned deck mean to you? And when do you scrap a deck?
Look to the Lord and his strength; seek his face always.
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Offline Kevinthedude

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Re: A fine tuned deck
« Reply #1 on: April 04, 2018, 11:11:10 AM »
+2
Most of my deck ideas get scrapped after just the initial version or one revision when it becomes obvious that they simply cannot accomplish their goal in a consistent way or that accomplishing their goal doesn't actually lead to winning the game. I have a lot of bad deck ideas.

To be fine tuned to me means that I have determined that when the deck "works" I do actually win and that the deck does its thing without depending on things like my or my opponent's starting hands and without getting out raced. If this takes one iteration, awesome! What's important is a good sample size of playtesting games rather than a certain number of deck revisions.

Offline Xonathan

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Re: A fine tuned deck
« Reply #2 on: April 04, 2018, 12:25:47 PM »
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Most of my deck ideas get scrapped after just the initial version or one revision when it becomes obvious that they simply cannot accomplish their goal in a consistent way or that accomplishing their goal doesn't actually lead to winning the game. I have a lot of bad deck ideas.

To be fine tuned to me means that I have determined that when the deck "works" I do actually win and that the deck does its thing without depending on things like my or my opponent's starting hands and without getting out raced. If this takes one iteration, awesome! What's important is a good sample size of playtesting games rather than a certain number of deck revisions.

What do you think makes for a better play test game, playing a deck that counters yours or playing decks you would see in the meta?
Look to the Lord and his strength; seek his face always.
1 Chronicles 16:11

Offline The Guardian

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Re: A fine tuned deck
« Reply #3 on: April 04, 2018, 12:31:45 PM »
+1
Usually when I stumble on a deck or strategy that works really well, I will try to get as many practice games as I can and make tweaks after each game or each couple of games. Such was the case with my T2 Revelation deck that I used for this year's T2 Only. I wasn't really sure at first how the deck would do, but after running it in a couple games, I knew it would be good. I continued to test and change a card here or there, tweaked the Reserve a few times and for the most part played it pretty optimally on my way to winning the T2 Only.

Other times, it's completely different--

In 2016, I won T2 2P at Nats with the Silver/Syrians deck despite building it the night before and having done exactly zero test games with it.

At 2015 Nats, I used the Judge Widow deck which I had played dozens of games with since I first built it in 2013--that deck went through a ton of iterations.

In general, I think the more practice you have with a deck, the better your chances of playing optimally will be, which improves your chances of winning. However, even if you don't have a ton of practice with a specific deck, if you are familiar with the strategies on offense and defense, but you just never combined those two strategies/themes before, then you should still be able to do pretty well.
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Offline Red Dragon Thorn

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Re: A fine tuned deck
« Reply #4 on: April 04, 2018, 12:35:16 PM »
+2
I have a similar philosophy to KTD, the first few games I play with a new deck are "proof of concept" games if the deck doesn't perform well in that stage I usually move on, otherwise it can be as many as 5 different versions, or as few as 2, depending on how well constructed the deck was to begin with. "The Deck" from 2012 was one of my most iterated decks, as James Reopke and I tried a number of different packages before settling on the "final version" Greek gods was one of my least, seeing only minor changes from the state version to the Nationals winning version.
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Offline Kevinthedude

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Re: A fine tuned deck
« Reply #5 on: April 04, 2018, 12:35:24 PM »
+1
Most of my deck ideas get scrapped after just the initial version or one revision when it becomes obvious that they simply cannot accomplish their goal in a consistent way or that accomplishing their goal doesn't actually lead to winning the game. I have a lot of bad deck ideas.

To be fine tuned to me means that I have determined that when the deck "works" I do actually win and that the deck does its thing without depending on things like my or my opponent's starting hands and without getting out raced. If this takes one iteration, awesome! What's important is a good sample size of playtesting games rather than a certain number of deck revisions.

What do you think makes for a better play test game, playing a deck that counters yours or playing decks you would see in the meta?

Generic meta decks first, preferably the fastest ones. After you can beat those start playing against hard counter decks and work on shoring up the weaknesses.

TheHobbit13

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Re: A fine tuned deck
« Reply #6 on: April 04, 2018, 03:40:00 PM »
+2
My general rule of thumb was to play a deck in a tournament once, and if it didn't draw or play out with much success I'd dump it. But when I would find a deck, I preferred to take a popular idea and twist it or run atleast one alignment counter-meta and I was fine. Now this was before the advent of lackey and intense online Redemptioning, so now you can really fine-tune the details; however, I probably wouldn't feel comfortable taking a deck straight off lackey and running it at Nationals. Lackey is nice but it lends itself towards experimenting with ideas which might not see play at the tournament level at all. The exception being if you have a dedicated friend to test your deck against multiple other strategies. If I had to give someone new a bit of advice, I'd say stick with a deck you have had success with all tournament season and have played the most, because there's really no substitute for practicing how to play your deck.

Offline goalieking87

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Re: A fine tuned deck
« Reply #7 on: April 04, 2018, 06:57:43 PM »
+2
What do you think makes for a better play test game, playing a deck that counters yours or playing decks you would see in the meta?

I would highly recommend both. As others have mentioned, nothing can really substitute knowing your decks ins and outs. I believe alongside of this comes knowing it’s weaknesses and being preemptive to stop your opponent from setting those up when you come across a deck that causes problems for it.

Theoretically this will help your deck to be more well rounded and minimize those weaknesses, but I think there will always be a couple of things that are hard for any particular deck to handle. It’s just a matter of whether or not you see it.

Offline Red

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Re: A fine tuned deck
« Reply #8 on: August 09, 2019, 12:58:07 PM »
+4
This topic is incredibly old, but it deserves some revisiting, as I found this on "Who's Online" and decided that I should have chimed in.

Historically, I've been known to tweak and revise a deck to death. During the 2016 season, I was playing a Judges/Magicians/Assyrians deck that I had been playing more or less since the 2012 season. I obviously put that deck through hundreds of tweaks and edits to find the "perfect" list.

2017, I did a complete 180, and played a different deck at each tournament. I built my nationals list that I took to 7th place the night before after getting a judges variant stomped by Sergei Creech.

2018, I once again went through a million different decks until finding the Flood Survivors/Egyptians combination, which turned out to be quite good. That deck then proceeded to evolve into the flood survivors deck that I used at TN State and Nationals, finally placing 5th. I played very few testing games this season, letting a knowledge of my offense and defense carry me throughout the season. I went 2-2 at EC Regs, testing the Egyptian variant, which showed me that isn't the correct route to go. In prior years I played far more testing games, but this year, I let a legacy of testing and the general viability of my archtype carry me through state, regionals and nationals. I have no idea what next year holds, as I'm going to be primarily hosting, but this was a thread that I felt like sharing my experience may be valuable for someone.
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Offline Red Dragon Thorn

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Re: A fine tuned deck
« Reply #9 on: August 09, 2019, 01:11:05 PM »
+1
And now I want to go back and re-read the article....

JudgesCTB went through about 6 iterations

1 - Initial build with Acts of Solomon and MagicDemon defense
2 - Change to AniDemon defense
3 - Move away from Acts
4 - Change to MagicAnimal defense
5 - Minor support tweaks
6 - Final Nationals version
Covenant with Death. That is all.