Mechanics 101 - Deck Building
In Mechanics 101 we discuss board game mechanics! This is to help provide context when we say "This game is a ......"
In the first Mechanics 101, we are going to talk about Deck Building
Deck Building refers to a mechanic where the player has a personal collection of cards that are played as different actions and/or resources. This collection or deck will have cards added or removed throughout the game. The most common purpose of a deck building game is to make your deck the most efficient for a given objective (dealing damage, scoring points, etc).
Some key terms in deck building games:
- Deck: Each player has a personal deck of cards
- Draw: Take cards from the Draw Deck
- Hand: Cards that have been drawn to your hand
- Discard Pile: Each player has a personal discard pile
- Discard: To place a card in your discard pile
- Banish/Destroy: Remove a card from play
- Play Area: Your piece of the table
- Market: Cards that can be purchased
- Resource Card: Cards that give you a resource, often used to buy other cards from the market
- Action Card: Cards that allow you to take set actions, e.g. draw another card.
Examples of Action Cards include; dealing an opponent damage, drawing another card, banish/destroy a card from your hand or discard pile, refresh the market (remove all market cards and replace with new ones), etc.
A players turn in a standard deck building game could consist of:
- Playing cards out of your hand to collect resources or complete actions
- Purchase any cards and place them in your personal discard pile
- Discard any unused cards
- Draw back up to the hand limit (often 5)
If at any stage your draw deck is empty, shuffle your discard pile to make a new deck.
Examples of win conditions in deck builders: Your opponent has 0 health, you have X victory points, and you have the highest score when X happens.
Some examples of our favourite Deck Builders are: