It's been a while since the previous guide that went through building a deck on a budget, and this portion of the Quick Start Guide will serve mainly as a wrap-up so we can move on to other topics. First, though, I went through 5 placement games with the FJS list from last time and added commentary. Apologies for the shoddy audio quality; my microphone was on the fritz.
Some of the main takeaways in no particular order:
- Starting out, you won't be playing against players with complete collections and meta decks.
- Budget lists can be highly functional in ranked, but are more prone to faltering due to misplays (strong legendaries can bail you out of some situation that an uncommon may not).
- Twitch drops are currently in flux, but offer rewards that can be converted into shift.
- Midrange's reputation as a legend pile is well-deserved, but not necessarily the defining feature of the archetype.
- Save your gold for buying campaigns (or use gems)! The overall card quality has gone up each campaign, with Homecoming having a majority of the cards seeing constructed play in at least one deck.
You may not go 5-0 in your placement matches, but the ranked ladder is pretty forgiving, allowing for a roughly 30% winrate all the way to the second highest tier, Diamond. Before that point, wins are worth twice as many points as losses take away, and it requires a string of losses to drop numbered tiers (from Silver I down to Silver II might take 4+ consecutive losses at 0 points). The end of month rewards for ranked are a nice addition, since making it to Diamond nets 3 packs and 2 premium rares (which I like to think of as rares of your choice due to their destruction value).
Also useful for newer players are the Defiance theme decks released by DWD. These are available for 2,500g in the store, and each comes with a single legendary and a smattering of rares. The Hojan's Oathkeepers deck is especially popular because of the very in-meta Martyr's Chains it comes with. Quicksilver Oddities may be more your speed if you're building a market with Primal, since Quicksilver Mirror can be a solid finisher. Since the recording of games for this article, the Dark Frontier theme decks are released, and contain similarly good cards.
Most of the older theme decks aren't worth the gold cost of half of a draft, but the decks themselves offer a good example of different build-around archetypes in the game such as Empower or Amplify.
I'll try to keep this guide updated with any changes to the game that may be relevant to a new player, but in the spirit of the name of the series, that's it for now. My best advice to people getting started in 1v1 games is that someone has to lose each match, and sometimes that someone will be you. Keep at it and find the way to play that you enjoy!