Tournament: Your first deck could be your strongest

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Building a line-up for a tournament can be a complicated process. It’s very easy to get lost in ideas on what is the “best” line-up or deck. This decision could come from a meta-game read, a ladder performance or by watching other players on Twitch. I propose a simpler method to preparing your line-up.

Pantheon Format

Pantheon Format is the standard for most Faeria events. Let us look at the rules first before we go into detail.

  • Each player shall submit 3 decks via the in-game button available in the upper left of the main menu upon login.
  • You cannot use more than 3 of any card (or 1 of any Legendary) across your entire set of decks.
  • The first deck submitted shall be the player’s Prime Deck. The player must use their Prime Deck in the very first game of every match. Tournament lobbies will force players to do this.
  • When a deck wins, you MUST use that deck again in next game of the same match.
  • When a deck loses, you CANNOT use it again in the same match.

You’re going to need three decks with a Prime Deck. This is the deck you’ll start every match with. If your prime deck wins you must play it again in the next game.

For this guide we’re going to build a line-up around your Prime Deck. The goal is to have your strongest deck first and the others deck to support its weak match-ups.

The Prime Deck Strategy

This is a strategy that can greatly benefit players who don’t have access to a teams. Competitive players have started forming teams for practice which gives them a wider spread of insight into building a line-up. Not every player is going to have access to a team. This is where I believe the Prime Deck Strategy could be beneficial for players without access to practice partners and team-mates.

With this strategy you can focus your practice on the ladder with your Prime Deck. December Monthly Cup winner Aya_73 had Mid-Range Red as his opening deck. I played against Aya_73 on ladder many time and he rarely played any other deck. This gave Aya_73 tremendous experience with his Prime Deck.

So what benefits do you gain from practising your Prime Deck on ladder? You will spend most of your game time on the ladder giving you more experience with your Prime Deck. This experience will translate into match-up knowledge and give you a stronger understanding of your decks strength and weakness. This is crucial information to buildingthe rest of your line-up.

Your Secondary Decks

Your two other decks will be counter decks designed to punish players who try to counter you. Winning the first match is crucial with this strategy because it will force your opponent to play a counter deck. This is where your secondary decks come in, to counter their counters. This is a common theme within ‘Last Deck Standing’ formats. Let’s look at an example:

Your first deck is Mid-Range Red in a best of five tournament match. You beat your opponents first deck which was a Blue Control in game one. Game two your opponent counters with Mid-Range Green trying to exploit Red’s weakness to big health creatures. You lose game two and now get to pick your counter. You go with Blue Control to counter the Green. At this point you are 2-1 with two decks to finish off the series giving you the best chance to win the entire match.

Keep in mind your secondary decks need to be solid lists. You can’t fill them with loads of tech cards to beat your Prime Deck’s weak match-ups. The decks do need to stand on their own but give you the edge when playing against your opponents counter.

The Tournament Meta-game

Tournaments usually have their own isolated meta-game created by the participants. This can influenced by many variables within the game; what’s popular on ladder, top players figuring out counter strategies to their meta expectations. When choosing your decks keep in mind what you’re seeing on ladder. This could give you important information on what you could potentially see in your upcoming tournament.


This is one strategy to building a line-up for tournaments. Be sure to practice with your secondary decks enough to get comfortable with them. Remember that playing in a tournament is a learning experience. The more tournaments you play in, the better you will become. Post-tournament analysis of your matches is a good way to understand where you went wrong or maybe even right. Don’t be afraid to figure out your own way to build your line-ups. It could be key to you becoming the next champion.