Welcome back to our Frozen themed series of T2 deck building strategy! Today’s article comes from perhaps the most well-known song of the movie, Let it Go!
When you are considering what cards to include in your deck it can be easy to just keep adding and adding cards. After all, you need to have at least 100 cards so it may seem like you can fit whatever you want, right? Well, not quite.
Countless times I have put together an initial deck list only to find that I have a much bigger deck than I anticipated. T2 deck size is another important topic that I hope to cover at some point, but for this article I want to focus on the concept of “letting go.” In terms of Redemption that means trimming your deck into the tightest list possible without leaving any major vulnerability.
Now when a deck is in a testing stage, using a “try it all and see what works” approach is a legitimate process in my opinion. After two or three games,(ideally against a couple different deck strategies),you should be able to determine two things: First, does the deck even work? Second, what cards were included that were never used or were never the best option?
If you identify any such cards you should strongly consider either cutting them or if your deck didn’t work very well perhaps swapping them for some different cards to test. Now it’s important that you not take this idea too far. In a T2 deck, you will nearly always have some characters (especially Heroes) that are only used when you simply don’t have any other options at a given time. That doesn’t necessarily mean you should cut them.
In my experience, there are only a couple offensive themes that have enough Heroes for a T2 offense where you don’t have to include some weaker Heroes to give yourself a balanced offense. Let’s say for example that I want to build a T2 Silver offense. I’m obviously going to use Michael, Captain of the Host, The Strong Angel, Gabriel, and The Angel Under the Oak. I might even run two of each of them because of how strong they are.
However, that still only gets me to 10 Heroes and I’m going to want more than that, especially since at this point I only have 5 unique Heroes. In order to have a balanced offense, I am going to need to use some Heroes that aren’t quite as strong even if the majority of the time I want to be attacking with one of the first five I mentioned.
The most common cards I find players (myself included) using too many of are the support type cards such as Sites, Fortresses, and Artifacts. As I’ve talked about in previous articles, these cards can be vital to a deck’s overall strategy but often the temptation is to try and include a counter card for every scenario or strategy that one might face. This is simply not feasible in what I believe is fairly wide open meta in T2.
Support cards should be just that—cards that support certain aspects of your offense and defense that would otherwise be vulnerable and not the cards that you are counting on to win you games. That doesn’t mean a support card cannot play a vital role in a given game. I have won and lost many T2 games because either I or my opponent had a certain support card at just the right time, but in a game with random drawing cards that are multi-purposed will ultimately prove the most valuable and many support cards have only a single function.
If you discover that your deck has too many cards that serve just a single purpose it might be a good idea to trim some of them and then retest your deck to see if its performance improves. If it works better, you made a good change. If it gets worse, add the cards back in. If there’s no change at all, try adding in some different cards and see how that goes.
One example of this from my personal experience happened at New York Nationals in 2013. I had been testing my Judge Widow deck a lot in the months leading up to Nationals and I had been using The Women at the Well, The Thankful Leper, and two copies of Samaritan Water Jar. Because of my deck’s hand control based strategy with Words of Discouragement it was important for me to generate enough Lost Souls before using Words of Discouragement. Since the two Heroes were Gold, they fit pretty well in the primarily Judges offense.
However, the night before T2 2P as I was analyzing my deck I realized that in all the testing I had done, I rarely needed the Water Jars to win. Furthermore, the two Heroes were certainly not my first options for attacks. I made the decision to swap out Thankful Leper for another Judge and cut the two Water Jars to go from 103 cards to 101. I obviously cannot say that one decision to let go of some cards was the reason I ended up winning, but I do know that in all but one game my deck drew better than it had in the weeks of testing leading up to Nationals.
I have often found that cutting cards from a deck is one of the most difficult aspects of refining a deck—especially if it is a deck that I have used a lot and am trying to improve and/or update with the release of new cards. Any time I think about cutting a certain card, I think back to a game or a situation where that card really came in handy.
What I have to remember is to ask myself is this: “if I had gotten to my strongest cards quicker, would I have even needed that card?” That is the question I encourage you to ask yourself when you look at your deck. If you find that the answer is “No,” then it’s time to take the advice from the song, and Let it Go!
Thanks for reading, I hope you found some tips you can incorporate into your next T2 deck-building process! Be sure to check back soon for another installment of Do You Wanna Build a T2?!
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