Nov 28, 2018

How to Build a Deck

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Like a lot of other games on the market, before a game begins, you'll build a deck in Ivion. The thing is, it's not quite a deck. Or a character. It's both! If you're not into that, no worries. You can find some starter decks here.

 

If you are into that, let's talk about how the rules actually work. It's pretty cool.

 

There are quite a few ways you can approach deck construction, but we'll pick and choose one formula to instill you with essential knowledge. I call deck construction in Ivion the Archetype System. The core of building a deck is that you'll be picking three archetypes. Some Archetypes are Classes and others are Specializations. If you've played an RPG like World of Warcraft, this will come naturally.

 

At the bottom middle of most Ivion cards is the Archetype they belong to. In the example below, the cards on the left belong to the Warrior Class and the cards on the right belong to the Steward Specialization. How do I know which one is a Class and which a Specialization? Well, the Class cards have a golden border while the Specialization cards have a platinum border. There you go!

 

 

Well... what's the difference between a Class and a Specialization besides a name?

 

A Class has a larger pool of cards to choose from than a Specialization. More on that later. Specialization cards are generally more focused and feel more powerful, while Class cards help add core aspects of playing Ivion to your deck: damage, healing, interaction, resource generation, stuff like that. If you like thinking of things in terms of a character, your two Classes are your character's core development, while their Specialization is their powerful focus. Anyone can be a Warrior, but only a chosen few can become a Steward.

 

Now, at this point, you don't really need to know anything about a Specialization to pick one. Choose it based on how cool its art is, or the name. Set that pile of Specialization cards aside. One of them will look different...

 

 

The card on the left is the Steward Specialization's Ultimate card. This card has a different format because it exists in the Feat Zone. Unlike the rest of the cards you'll be choosing, this card won't be shuffled into your deck. It will be available to you at all times during the game! Some Ultimates are passives, which means they'll always be active. Usually, they grant you a permanent, powerful bonus, or a one-time boost.

 

After you've chosen a Specialization, you'll need to choose a Class. You can choose two Classes if you'd like, but that isn't necessary to build a deck. Set your chosen Class(es) aside in their own piles. Classes don't come with inherent Ultimates like a Specialization does. One of your Classes must have a color at the bottom left or bottom right of each of its cards that matches one of the colors in the same places on your Specialization cards.

 

Now, you have two (or three!) Archetypes in front of you. The time to build your deck has come! A few additional rules to get you started: you can have a max of three copies of the same card in your deck. You'll need exactly 15 Specialization cards and 30 Class cards. If you have two Classes, those Class cards can be in any combination from both Classes. There are some good things to keep in mind while building a deck, which you can find in here. If you'd rather not, the two most important things are to put in a lot of cards that generate power and put in a lot of cards that deal damage.

 

Once you've chosen 45 cards, you can set the remaining Class and Specialization cards aside. It's on to choosing your two Traits! Something to note before choosing your Traits is that each of your Archetypes contributes two color bars to your deck's identity. If you chose Warrior as your Class and Steward as your Specialization, you'd have four gray color bars.

 

Traits, like Ultimates, exist in the Feat Zone. They're outside of your deck, never shuffled in. They to choose a Trait for your deck, you must have an equal or greater amount of color bars in your deck's identity of that color. To pick a double gray Trait, Warrior or Steward would suffice. To pick a triple gray Trait, you'd need both Warrior and Steward, or another source of gray from another Class or Specialization.

 

And that's the basics on how to build a deck! If you have any questions, feel free to ask in the comments below. If you think you're ready to move on to what makes a deck cool and interesting, check out this article.

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  • So, you want to build an Ivion deck. Great! There are a lot of cards in the game, and it can be a bit daunting. This guide assumes you have some knowledge of how to play Ivion, and that you've read page 16 of the rulebook . Okay, so we *technically* know how to make a deck. But what makes a deck... good? What makes it fun to play? Well, the most important thing is to ensure you're generating enough Power . It's great to have a lot of big Attacks that deal tons of damage, but if you don't have enough ways to generate Power, you won't even get the chance to play them. Some examples of cards that can really help with this are Energize in Manifest , Fractal Burst in Cryomancer , or Druidic Lore in Druid . They may not be your biggest, flashiest means of winning the game, but they're important towards ensuring you can get there in the first place. Secondly, you'll need enough damage to actually win. This can be added to a deck in a ton of different ways. You can add a high density of Attacks that don't deal that much damage, but put in a lot of them. Cards like Glacialize and Warrior's Strike , -1 +1 cards for the most part. You can put in a good mix of all so you have what you need for any situation, or you can frontload all of your damage into huge, sweeping Attacks, like Raze or Battering Ram . Thirdly, you should have some means of defending yourself against your enemy. This can also take many forms—you can play hard Counters like Bewitch or Backhand , play Meta-Counters like Shadowburst or Goad , or simply heal a lot. A lot of decks will be able to take you out very quickly if you have no means of defending against the damage output they have, so if you don't plan on defending yourself at all, you'll need to make sure your deck can pack a very quick and mean punch. Finally, try to imbue your deck with some quirky combos! See what kind of mischief you can work with Black Magic , build a character that gets value out of True Focus , or get that sick synergy between Succeed and Frenzy cards. This is a bit harder to do than making a basic deck, so if you're not confident in making a solid foundation, make sure to focus on that first. That's the basics! There are many articles and theories that can be written and discussed regarding deckbuilding, but this isn't for that. Get out there and make an Ivion deck you're proud of! Once you're a master deckbuilder, remember to come back here and share your knowledge with other beginners!
  • Hey there, welcome to the Ivion forums! We're a rowdy bunch here. I hope you enjoy your stay! I've got a bit of a quick start for the curious. Check it out! What is Ivion? I can certainly answer that question. So, first of all, Ivion is awesome . Have you ever wanted to play a competitive card game, but instead of summoning creatures or tinkering with abstract mechanics, your deck represents a single, powerful character? Each card is a masterful weapon strike if you're a Warrior , or a devastating spell if you're a Cryomancer . In it's simplest terms, Ivion is a competitive card game where you have a deck, and you battle against an opponent who also has a deck. However, each of you also has an avatar that represents your character on a board. You might be playing a long range ice mage, while they might play a short range warrior. Each card in your deck is working, in some way, towards victory: reducing their life total to 0. When they're down, you win the game. Simple! Getting there, however, is often times easier said than done. They're going to try to trick you, outmaneuver you, counter your stuff with their own stuff, and ultimately... well, defeat you first. So! It's up to you to figure out how to get past their defenses, while keeping your own strong. There's a lot more going on than just that, but above is the essence of the game. We set out to create a game that felt almost like a fighting game in its nature, except transported onto a tabletop setting. There's also a whole world of deck construction, where you build your own character from scratch. Games of Ivion are fast, but they feel brutal and oh so fun. Landing your big attack against a vulnerable enemy is a really good feeling, and nothing can replace pulling victory from the clutches of defeat. If you want to learn more about how to play , check out this nifty rules presentation by The Rules Girl. (The card format in the video is outdated, but no biggie. The rules are right.) Ways to Start Playing There's a couple of ways to start playing! If you have Tabletop Simulator you can start playing right away with anyone else that has it and the Ivion deckbuilder and play area . Otherwise, snag a copy of Winterstorm from our store to play in person! It's a huge amount of value. Seriously. And really fun. I would highly recommend it, and I'm not biased at all. Ways to Connect The best way to contact us and join the community is to hop onto our Discord server! Discord is a free instant chat server shared by everyone on that server. So get on there if you'd like to talk about Ivion, set up Tabletop Simulator games, and so on! Of course, there is also this forum, which will act as a hub for more permanent discussions. Our Facebook page is a great way to stay up to date on the current happenings, information, events we're attending, new reveals, and other announcements. Finally, if you love the art of the game, check out our Instagram ! Where to Next? Well, you may need some starter decks to put together and learn how to play. You can always find those in the rulebook on page 16, but there's also some nifty starter decks posted in this very forum with commentary to help you get started. Stop by the other threads in the New Challengers category for some deckbuilding tips , and other advice that our community has to offer! Snag a copy of the physical Winterstorm product to play with some local friends! Such a fun way to play. There's also a print and play versions of a starter deck match up if you'd like to give it a test run first. (To be added soon!) Finally , introduce yourself to the community! Post in General , apprise us of your glorious presence, perhaps ask a question if you're feeling unsure about something. I promise we don't bite, unless we're in a game. Well, not even then, there aren't any vampires or werewolves in Ivion. Or are there? Have fun!