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    1. #1
      ValdusWildheart's Avatar
        ValdusWildheart is offline Legendary Wizard
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      Wizard Bootcamp: Deck Management (The Needle in the Haystack)

      Note: Deck Management is MUCH easier now with the 2015 update that allows you to turn off item cards. Many of the principles still apply, but getting to the right cards is not nearly as difficult.

      Wizard Bootcamp: Deck Management (The Needle in the Haystack)


      Well well, I once believed all my cards were nice
      Wizards, listen to me, take my advice
      Yeah, you'd better get yourselves onto my track
      'Cause findin' the right card, folks, is like findin' a
      (Needle in a haystack)
      What did I say? (Needle in a haystack)
      -- The Velvelettes (adapted)


      When you first start out, finding cards isn’t a problem. You have very few, and you often draw them all the first hand. As the decks get larger and spells more plentiful, we tend to load all kinds of things “just in case.” But what happens when you need a card in a “must cast now” scenario? There are 3 main ways to do this:

      • Make the haystack as small as possible! The absolute first thing to do in order to find your cards is to load as few cards as possible, similar to when you were starting out. Using a small deck still works, no matter what level. Even solo I don’t load in more than about a dozen cards. In a team I put in maybe half a dozen.
      • Discard! Hard. Sometimes I will throw out all but 1 card from my hands. Keep in mind the cards you want to play for the next few turns (no more than 3) and toss the rest
      • Make use of treasure cards. Especially if you really, really need a card first round … make sure it’s in your treasure cards. Pre-enchanting trained spells with TC cloak is a great way to do this for blades & dispels. Primordial, gargantuan, and accuracy all work too and give you lots of options.


      Discarding Example:

      In this battle, I need to storm dispel every round, starting in round 1, and blade the hitter on the last round. My “must play” card in this scenario is storm dispel, so I have packed multiple copies to ensure I get one quickly.



      But, UGH! Look at all these gear cards! Eleven of them. My first hand could easily not contain a single dispel.



      Treasure cards to the rescue! I have cloaked some storm dispels, so they will function exactly like trained dispels. I also know I won’t have to draw more than four cards to get one, guaranteeing a first hand draw.
      Note: If more than one player is using the same dispel, it’s important to make sure you are using the same kind as TC and trained “stack” – meaning the enemy will consume both dispels at once. You can also use cloak to cast trained blades if you or a teammate also needs to use a TC version.



      Sure enough, my first turn I get no dispels. Discard everything except the storm blade and draw for TC dispel. Yeah the feint could be handy. Sure rebirth is nice. Maybe I’ll need a wand for a tower shield. Doesn’t matter, get rid of them.



      Why discard everything? I’m looking for my gear/pet armament sharpen blade card. If I draw 4 TC, this will still give me room for 3 fresh cards next round (2 open spots plus the TC played). Try to think a couple turns ahead.



      In this case it took 3 TC draws to get my dispel (I didn’t cast it). On the next turn I got my sharpens (and still no dispel). I still need another dispel, so I’ll enchant the blade, discard everything else, and cast the dispel. That clears 6 spots for the next round.

      At this point, I’ve gotten rid of 8 of 11 gear cards (3 left). I’ll get at most 5 unwanted cards (2 blades and 3 gear cards), but at least one spot will be filled with a dispel. So I’m safe. I can now dispel for up to 5 rounds guaranteed if I want, and my final blade is ready to go.

      Tips and Tricks:

      • Try to play a treasure card first turn. That gives you time to discard (a lot if needed) to fish for your second (and third) turn card. It’s much more dependable than hoping for a trained spell to show up.
      • If first turn TC is not possible, try for the “easy” single cards and load in 5 or 6 copies. Ruthlessly discard as this can clog up your draws.
      • Draw TC early. If you know you’ll need a specific TC on turn 4, for example, draw one or two TC each round up until then if needed (stop once you get it!). Think of one or two spots as a dedicated “TC” spot and keep cycling through until you get the card you need. Otherwise, you may end up with 7 unwanted TC and no ability to draw from needed trained spells the next turn, assuring two lost turns in a row.
      • Use enchanted cards last. Since you need to find two cards to enchant, these are harder. Buy yourself time by giving yourself a round or two to discard first to find them.


      Other Wizard Bootcamp posts you may enjoy:



      Last edited by ValdusWildheart; 4-3-16 at 6:04:12 PM.

    2. #2
      Sierra SeaSong's Avatar
        Sierra SeaSong is offline Legendary Wizard

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      Re: Wizard Bootcamp: Discarding (The Needle in the Haystack)

      Hope everyone is paying as much attention as KI (kudos for making the newsletter). These guides are great and will hopefully help a lot of people having problems out there.

    3. #3
      ValdusWildheart's Avatar
        ValdusWildheart is offline Legendary Wizard
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      Re: Wizard Bootcamp: Discarding (The Needle in the Haystack)

      Quote Originally Posted by <strong>Sierra SeaSong View Post
      Hope everyone is paying as much attention as KI (kudos for making the newsletter). These guides are great and will hopefully help a lot of people having problems out there.
      Thanks! LOL it reminded me I hadn't posted everything ... got caught up with work and other much less fun pursuits

      I'm guessing the next arc will not be as hard as Darkmoor, but good team habits are helpful no matter the situation.

    4. #4
      Bailey Jade's Avatar
        Bailey Jade is offline Promethean Wizard

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      Re: Wizard Bootcamp: Discarding (The Needle in the Haystack)

      every nice guide.

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    5. #5
      Angel Eyes's Avatar
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      Re: Wizard Bootcamp: Discarding (The Needle in the Haystack)

      Very timely and informative (and concise) guide.

      Just an aside. Storm prism can't be enchanted, I've tried. Buy them when they're there in bazaar. (Mass, on the other hand, can be simplified or elucidated, if you're THAT desperate.)
      Angel's dad pulled the last box out of the closet, the one with Shoes of Pain and Fear printed in faded Gothic letters across it. Angel tried them on. In fact, they were snug and comfy, and not even a little bit scary.

    6. #6
      Eric Stormbringer's Avatar
        Eric Stormbringer is offline Wizard101 US Faculty

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      Re: Wizard Bootcamp: Discarding (The Needle in the Haystack)

      This guide is wonderful- The information contained here is not only useful in PvE but also in max lvl PvP where the fast paced meta puts a severe emphasis on playing the right card at the right time.
      Last edited by Eric Stormbringer; 2-8-15 at 5:53:37 AM.

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    7. #7
      ValdusWildheart's Avatar
        ValdusWildheart is offline Legendary Wizard
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      Re: Wizard Bootcamp: Discarding (The Needle in the Haystack)

      Quote Originally Posted by <strong>Angel Eyes View Post
      Very timely and informative (and concise) guide.
      Thanks, and yes it's concise. It can get a lot more complex. My hope is (i) it gets more folks thinking about small decks as those still tend to unnerve a lot of people and (ii) puts the idea of discarding hard out there, even if you don't have 100 cards still waiting on you next turn.

      The interesting thing is I've been in some Darkmoor runs where the wheels came off (i.e., going second with a bad volley of spells from the enemy, the hit didn't quite kill, etc.) and even with everyone on the team using these small decks I was surprised at the capability to recover. It helps when you can find the cards you need :D

      Quote Originally Posted by Angel Eyes View Post
      Just an aside. Storm prism can't be enchanted, I've tried. Buy them when they're there in bazaar. (Mass, on the other hand, can be simplified or elucidated, if you're THAT desperate.)
      Elucidated storm prism! That's desperate!

    8. #8
      iamdragonslayer's Avatar
        iamdragonslayer is offline Adept Wizard
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      Re: Wizard Bootcamp: Discarding (The Needle in the Haystack)

      There's actually a lot of math behind this (pretty unsurprising, right?). To find the probability of drawing the card you want on the first turn, what you basically have to do is C[(total # of seven card hands),(# of 7-card hands containing the card that you want)]. With the function C(n,r) in mind, what you're actually doing is (#hands w/card)!/[(total # of hands)!-(# w/card)!]. If you really want to calculate the probability of drawing a card, I'd recommend using a graphing calculator.

      However, now that item cards can be turned off...I don't know if there's really a need for maximizing utility. You can basically manipulate your deck to draw a usable card however you want, nowadays.

    9. #9
      ValdusWildheart's Avatar
        ValdusWildheart is offline Legendary Wizard
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      Re: Wizard Bootcamp: Discarding (The Needle in the Haystack)

      Quote Originally Posted by <strong>iamdragonslayer View Post
      now that item cards can be turned off...I don't know if there's really a need for maximizing utility. You can basically manipulate your deck to draw a usable card however you want, nowadays.
      I agree, I often don't have more than 7 cards in my deck & items at all now :D Turning off item cards is one of the best updates KI implemented.

      Still, I find convincing people to use small decks remains an up hill battle...

    10. #10
      iamdragonslayer's Avatar
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      Re: Wizard Bootcamp: Discarding (The Needle in the Haystack)

      Quote Originally Posted by <strong>ValdusWildheart View Post
      I agree, I often don't have more than 7 cards in my deck & items at all now :D Turning off item cards is one of the best updates KI implemented.

      Still, I find convincing people to use small decks remains an up hill battle...
      My deck usually comes down to a solid 7-10 when I'm soloing mobs, 20 at max when I'm soloing bosses. When I'm in a group, 7 is usually my top limit though, so that a well executed strategy is always available. Eventually people are going to understand that they don't need 7 different attacks at one time. Eventually.

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