Buddy Help – 52 Cards, Excluding Flag and Buddy… Why Do I Do It?

Welcome everyone to ‘Buddy Help’. A Buddyfight column written by me, ReiZayaki, since I have been given the honor of writing on ‘Climax Phase’. Short explanation of who I am: I’ve played Future Card Buddyfight since the Demo Release, so a long time. I’ve tried to be competitive through the entire time but have been busy every now and then. But now that I’m back from Continentals, I’ll be well-versed in all things Buddyfight even more so than I already am. Now, let’s get into today’s topic:

“How many cards should I play in my deck?” One question that most people very often gloss over while deck building. Very often, people just default to 50 and leave it there. “Now let’s build within these limits.” But what if you really REALLY want to fit a 2-of of that one card you really like. Maybe you want to play some Omni-Lords or other 1-ofs that help round out your deck. Well I’m here to say “Play however many you feel you need to, but only if it doesn’t throw your deck off balance.”.

Even since the beginning of this game, I’ve played 52 Cards in most of the decks I play. Why? Because, it’s comfortable for me. It’s what I’m used to and also how I can fit a few pet cards or keep my opponent guessing. This started when the first Buddyfight Regionals was announced. What did I want to play? Drum. What was the best deck? Jack. So what did I end up playing? A Drum/Jackknife Deck…. before Jackknife “Drum Bunker” was a card (Thank you Bushiroad for that card). Because the Jack Deck and a lot of utility destruction took up so much space, I was already at a high number. I ended up throwing in 4 Drums and a Victory Slash to reach 52 Cards and said “It should be fine, if it’s not that’s my fault.”. I ended up in the Top 8 so that was nice for my very first competitive Buddyfight Event.

That’s my personal reason for playing 52. I know a few others, including some who went to Continentals, playing more than 50. Some decks like Executioners, Hyakugan Yamigedo, or Guardians have valid reasons to play more than the number if they so choose, but I can still see them sticking to 50 for consistency. When you’re unsure of how many to play, try some test hands and get to a point where your deck doesn’t feel clunky or stuck with the number of cards you put in. Now this doesn’t mean that you should just play as many cards as you want just to play all your favourite cards. You still need to take into account the fact that the deck you’re building wants to do what it’s meant to do. Have the core, add to it, put some of your personal choices. That’s the easiest 3 step solution. What does that mean specifically?

Well the first thing is “Have the Core”. This means you find out what your deck is, and what it wants to do. Let’s take something like Cardburn as an example. The deck wants to play Ultimate Card Burn and D-Wing as its win conditions. So the core? All the “Card” Monsters. After having the core, you “Add to It”. This means putting in the cards that get you to your goal. This usually fits into 3 Categories: Advantage, Survivability, and Utility. Advantage means drawing or searching, “It’s about time I got serious” is a very simple example of this. Another, specifically for Cardburn would be “Lend me your Strength”. Survivability includes Shields or Heal to help you survive long enough to play your Deck. Finally, Utility includes anything else to get you to your goal or make your deck run easier. In some decks it’s to enable functionality of cards such as Milling in Executioners or Gaining Life in Tyrants. In Cardburn it would be Metamorph Effect to ease into becoming Ultimate Cardburn.

So we’ve gone through a simple description of figuring out what you need in your deck as well as a short way on how to make sure you have enough or too many. Now let me talk about why I wouldn’t play 52 in every deck. One simple word is the key reason most of the time, and that’s “Consistency”. One of my favourite decks ever is Battle Poets. and in Battle Poets, I would rarely play more than 50. This is mainly due to the archetype being so small so I need to rely on the ability to draw them from my deck. So keeping the card count as low as possible is the main reason. On the other side of the spectrum, in something like Executioners, I would personally play 60 Cards or so because I like to force myself to mill early. And due to that, if the game runs longer, it will be easier for me to deck out with a lower number. Other than those two examples, I almost always play 52 Cards.

So that was my long-winded explanation of why the number of cards in a deck doesn’t have to be universally concrete for everyone. In the end, it’s just a personal choice of what feels right to you. So, if you feel you can do your best with a larger number of cards, go for it. Just make sure you’re willing to take the chance to be more inconsistent if you do decide that. And always try to see if the number of cards will affect how you use a deck, maybe it’ll help you rather than hinder you.

Alright then, that was my first post. Hopefully I’ll write often enough on here. The next post I do will be about Continentals and my experience, so look forward to that within a couple weeks.