It all starts with an idea
To build a deck you need a starting point. Maybe you saw a card that you think has potential, which you want to build a deck around. You might also have a specific decktype in mind.
If you are starting completely from scratch, you should pick a class and afterwards pick an archetype. Different classes have different archetypes, but in general the ones to pick from are: aggro, midrange, combo, control.
I will use Paladin and Midrange as an example in this guide.
What are the options?
In wild there is a huge card pool, which means that almost any archetype can be built in a lot of ways. One way to identify this is to look at the different “card packages” available. A card package is a couple of cards that in combination increases the value of the deck by a lot. An example of a card package is “Curator Package”, which would be The Curator, 2 strong beasts, 2 strong murlocs, and 2 strong dragons.
In Midrange Paladin the card packages would be:
- Curator package
- Handbuff Package
- Anyfin/Finja package
- Secret Package
- Recruit Package
- Nzoth Package
- OP early game Package
- Equality + consec (+ Wild Pyromancer)
Pick the road you want to take
When you have identified the different card packages that you can put in your deck it is time for your first decision. Can you specify what deck you will make and which packages will this deck use? There is not a correct number of packages to use. What is important is to try to find synergy between the ones you pick.
In my example, I will make a Recruit Paladin. In this deck I will use:
The recruit package (Lost in the Jungle, Steward of Darkness, Muster for battle, Lightfused Stegodon, Quartermaster, Sunkeeper Tarim, Stand Against Darkness, Vinecleaver)
Recruit Paladin has a lot of 2-card combos so drawing is important. The Curator Package with Azure Drakes will help with drawing.
The deck isn’t very fast and 1/1s have synergy with Equality, so Equality + Consecration makes sense. Wild Pyromancer shouldn’t be added because it is bad with 1/1s
The rest of the packages try to do completely different things, which would give us less synergy between our cards
Identify cards with potential
At this point you should know approximately what direction your deck is heading. It is time to go through the collection to pick out any card with potential (don’t pick tech cards). The cards can generally be divided into 2 categories: strong cards and cards that synergize with the deck. Most of the neutral cards that are not in a package will be too weak, but not all so go through everything.
In my case I found:
- Knife Juggler
- Aldor Peacekeeper
- Stonehill Defender
- Keeper of Uldaman
- Truesilver Champion
- Spikeridged Steed
- Dr Boom
- Tirion Fordring
- Sunkeeper Tarim
- Ragnaros Lightlord
- Lay on Hands
Which cards will make the cut?
The first thing you want to figure out is if any of the cards fit into both previous categories. In my case Keeper of Uldaman synergizes with 1/1s and is a strong card in general so I include that. Stonehill Defender is a very strong paladin card and in my case, it also synergizes with the deck because The Curator and Sunkeeper Tarim are great to get.
The next thing to do is to see if any of the cards are strong enough or has enough synergy to fit in. In my case Tirion Fordring and Spikeridged Steed made the cut.
Make the decklist
At this point you should just put in 2 of every card that you decided to use. You should always have more than 30 cards at this point. Otherwise you have been too critical at some point earlier, which forces you to go back and fix it. Now you should find your 30-card core. Even though many decks use tech cards I think it is important to have a core. Afterwards you can swap tech cards in and out as you wish.
This step of the deck building is when experience comes into play. One of the important things is to look at how much cycle the deck has and how the curve looks. But just try something. Cut some cards, play some games, change something, play some more. In my opinion, this is a never-ending cycle. A decklist is never done. It is always in progress.
When I look at the 35 cards I picked for my deck I can see that the deck might be too greedy. So I ended up cutting some of the expensive cards.
I cut Vinecleaver because weapons are not very good in decks without healing. I cut 1 Stand Against Darkness because you rarely want to play it on turn 5, which makes it a very greedy card. It is also a bad 5-mana card on its own and we don’t want too many situational cards.
The main reason why Azure Drake is good is The Curator, but with a pretty greedy list we don’t need to draw 3 cards from The Curator every time. So -1 Azure Drake.
The list has a lot of 4-drops so I cut 1. I didn’t want to cut cards from the packages I decided to use, which leaves Truesilver Champion or Keeper of Uldaman. I am still not sure which one is better, but I cut a Truesilver Champion because this card loses value when we have 2 3-mana weapons in the deck.
So now I have my 30-card core. http://imgur.com/a/fK4dD
How do you beat the meta?
This is a question every deck must be able to answer. How do you beat control/aggro/midrange/combo decks. Your deck doesn’t have to be favoured against every deck type, but if you don’t have a clear answer to how your deck can beat them, you have a problem.
This is also the point where you should think about swapping in tech cards. What tech cars make sense to use right now?
I figured that my list didn’t need tech cards, but the tech cards that make sense to use right now are: Golakka Crawler, both Oozes, Mistress of Mixtures, and Loatheb.
I hope you found this guide useful. Go out there and make your own deck.