Building a deck from scratch : Where do you start?

edited September 2017 in General Gameplay
Hey absolvers,

I hit lvl 36 yesterday, just lv5 in PVP. I don't do much of it yet as I don't really feel confident enough in my combat deck.

Hence my question : when you start a new combat deck from scratch, where/how do you start? My own process so far has been :
  1. How many combo loops do I want? ("I'm more DEX-heavy in specs so I want to surprise and vary, so I'll do 2 very different loops")
  2. What are my best fast hits? I'll put one to start off each of my stances
  3. How do I want to end each stance chain? 2 or 3 moves?
  4. Finish each stance chain with a cool move that links to continue the loop.
  5. Flip through all my moves to fill in the blanks with moves from/to the right stances
  6. Fiddle with it for a while switching moves around (group moves of the same Style together so they flow better, max out damage...)
  7. Try it out against the Dummy, think "Nice, this is very cool!"
  8. Go PVE, win against a mob, fail miserably against a Marked One
  9. Give up and go back to my original deck that kinda sucks but not too much, but at least I'm used to it now.

Am I doing something wrong? What are your processes, what do you do different?


  • I think the best fast attack is Direct Punch. I recommend you use other kind of sequence starters though. Sweeps, jumping kicks, that sort of thing. There are some fast ones so don't just limit yourself to one kind of starter otherwise you'll get blown up.

    Personally I like one stance with a fast move, one to strafe, and one to go low. If a starter is relatively slow I like to have a fast move right after it to continue my pressure.
  • Personally, I usually only use eight moves. You'll learn it much more quickly, and the move selection isn't watered down.

    For picking individual moves: I pick two moves that best personify the style I'm going for: one from one of the top quadrants, one from the bottom. From those I fill in to connect all four stances in some order, using whatever makes a decent combo. Then I'll pair alternate moves to provide variance in any stance - left/right, high/low, timing, moves that start out looking similar, etc. Generally I keep my alternates flowing through the stances in the same order as the mains, but not always. It's more important to me that I can memorize the style.

    I edit or scrap my decks often, I think that's part of the fun, but I always keep one that I know well. You'll probably fare better with a poor deck that you know inside and out than a better deck you're guessing with. I also find it helpful to take a screenshot of my deck editor before making any significant changes.
  • Your process is fine, it's your approach to deck building you have to think about. I have 3 blank spaces in my deck. You don't need all of them and honestly, I think most players will get better if they have less moves in their deck.
    The problem you see with most players is their endless X mashing of a 12 move loop and maybe they'll throw in an alternative attack. The quantity is fine, but if they're just cycling the motions waiting for a decent move to show up, they're always vulnerable. Every punch they throw has a window of opportunity for you. So each move needs to count.

    If I start a new deck I first think about what I want my alternative attacks to do, because those are the attacks that change up your deck and keep things interesting. They'll also help you land in a stance with your preferred combo. For example, I have 2 alternative attacks that loop endlessly, and another alternative attack lands into the stance for one of them. So about 70% of my deck lets me access them at any point in time. One of these moves lands me in a stance that has a combo that is safe and reliable. No high damage, no flashy spins. But it will disrupt their flow and open them up for different attacks. My safe combo loops back into one of those two alternative attacks. You could see it as a 5 move combo if you wanted to. My choice for alternative attacks aren't heavy, they're usually medium or fast speed. This helps create endless loops without having some of your moves shoved to the back of the deck where they'll never do any good.

    My philosophy towards deck building is to have access to any move as quickly as possible. All my moves are no more than 2 buttons away, which helps for deciding when I can land a strong attack or hang back and play it conservative.
  • I recomend having some strings of fast horizontas, as they'll beat something players try to do too often for their own good: side steps and jabs. It's really important to be able to beat these two things when you know your opponent will try them, which is all too often.

    Also, don't get too horny with having many slow and powerful attacks. Just because you see your average damage going up... itd oesn't mean you will actually deal more damage. Equipping a bunch of strong moves won't make your fast moves any stronger. And you gotta hit the opponent to deal the damage (duh).

  • lemme know if that helps
  • My deck has one move per direction + 4 Alternatives.
    non-Alternative moves are selected in a way to loop through all four directions.
    non-Alternative moves are selected to be as fast as possible.
    Alternative moves must have special purpose:
    - 2 charged - to get out of fast attack mayhem
    - 1 Guard break - to break the defending oponent or break charged attack
    - 1 quick double hit - to stop charged attack or deal "surprise damage"
  • I personally like to have opening moves in each stance have some sort of special in at least two of the stances, for example a quick charge break attack in one and a low sweep in another. In general just try and experiment and see what works, people already have a lot of different styles.
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