Deck Construction – Choosing your Champions

Champions | Blessings | Units

I’ve been playing this game religiously at the moment – managing to squeeze in games during my lunch break, after work before heading home, and on games night! The Forge has it’s own event coming up on the 1st September which I’ll be running, but don’t worry Shadespire is still joint top of my games list and I’ll be attending an event on 2nd September in the hunt for yet more Glass.

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I wanted to discuss a little about Deck Construction and how I’ve gone about crafting my Destruction Deck. The first and most important part of building the deck is to decide on the ‘colour’ of your deck – this will be apparent to MtG players but for those who don’t know and may have joined from the tabletop wargaming community or just never played a CCG before here is a very simplified explanation:

  • White – Healing and Restoration
  • Blue – Opponent Control & Draw
  • Black – DMG your opponent and hurt yourself for more gain
  • Red – Punch face and win quick
  • Green – Big windup. Big payout.

From these VERY simplified archetypes we see there are some inherent playstyles for our Grand Alliances. For example Destruction can fit the Red theme very well but can also field their Beasts for a smattering of Green, whilst Chaos can be seen as Red and Black – very fitting colours. As we only have four Grand Alliances it’s very likely that we’ll see a smattering of all the colours in each faction.

The colour of my Destruction Deck is RED, and I’ve chosen my Champions accordingly!


You’ve got your theme sorted! Great. Next up is to choose your Champions! This is such an important part of the deck construction! Deliberations and considerations must be taken:

Questing

Your Blessings, which we’ll cover in the next article, are incredibly powerful game changing cards! You want to bestow them upon your Champions as soon as possible whilst travelling your road to victory.

For example in my Red Destruction Deck Snazzgar Stinkmullet initially fit the bill by being able to auto-cast Arcane Bolt for 7DMG, but after a few games I found I was NEVER completing his quests and he was clogging up my Blessings! Instead I chose to swap him for the Warboss Recruiter which boosted my health pool, and provided me with a quest set that matches all my other Champions! This reduced the amount of ‘dead’ cards I drew and meant that everything in my deck was usable in any lane!

In my experience I want to have a Blessing out on Turn 2, or have two very close to being cast. In Red Destruction I run two Orruk Bosses because they want me to Recruit, and that’s VALUE when it’s what I’ve built my deck to do! And that’s ultimately the crux of it – your deck will have to be built around the quests you need to complete so having Champions that rely on the same quest requirements makes your life so much easier.

Health Modifiers and Points

At the bare minimum you’ll want to be breaking even on health, unless there are some top-tier on card Champion Effects or you have innate healing to weather the storm. In my Destruction Deck I am fortunate in the Champions I want to take adding up to +5 to the health pool, this means I’m starting ahead on the road to victory as it’ll take you longer to move my counter round the edge of the board.

You have 20 points to spend. YOU ARE NOT PENALISED FOR NOT SPENDING THEM! I think this is a very ‘wargamer’ mindset, and one I had to begin with. If your deck works better with ‘cheap’ Champions then use them!! 20 is the limit, not the requirement! My Champion total comes to 19pts, so whilst I’m at the top end of the limit that is because I have taken my big stompy boss because of his…

On Card Effects

Some Champions, such as the humble Orruk Boss, do not have flavourful abilities on their card but instead have a solid +1 health and 1pt cost, with easy Quest mechanics. The trade off for this when you look at the high pt cost heroes is that they may have a negative health cost and/or a strong on card effect. For example Aspect of the Sea for Order costs 11pts, gives -1 health BUT opposing Units are Dormant…and that’s always on! She basically kills the lane unless she’s against a Wizard!

Looping back around to my decision to include the Warboss Recruiter over Snazzgar Stinkmullet – his on card Heroic Ability is incredibly strong and whilst I may not have as much ‘remove’ to complete his quest it allows me a card draw on the first action and I can play that immediately if I want to! If he never completes his quest (he does more than Stinkmullet) then his on card effect is worth it every single turn unless I have something better to do!

Next time we’ll be looking at how you should pick your Blessings, and why they’re so important to winning!

 

Need more Age of Sigmar Champions in your life? Check out this video below:

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