The number 1 newbie mistake: too many one-offs


Ok, so I have seen a lot of threads asking for help on their decks, they often say that it works in lower tiers but they get destroyed after reaching gold.
So I made this post because I noticed that almost all of these decks are bad for the exact same reasons, too many one offs is the biggest mistake new players make.

When players posts their decks over half their cards are cards with only one copy of. This is bad for many reasons.

First, it harms the consistency of your deck, every card you have you can only use once, you can’t develope any sort of strategy or synergy, you just blow your load and your done. Having more copies of your most essential cards is a must.

Secondly, your deck is far too random. With only one copy of every card, you have to pray to RNGsus to get the card you want when you want it, and when you do get it, you’re likely to get it when you don’t need it.

Thirdly, with all these one offs, people end up putting cards because they “like” them, but they have no business being in their decks. For example don’t put sunsteel in a deck focused on deathwatch, don’t put nightwatcher in an obylesk deck, etc.

If you put more copies of the cards you need most, and scrap the cards you could do without, you will make your decks much better!


Worth mentioning that most newbies do not have 3 copies of all the good cards so they have no other choice.


This is where budget decks come in


Yes, some cards are difficult to get three copies of, but some people do this with almost every card, even to basic ones. One copy of healing mystic, one copy of maw, etc.


The point is valid but perhaps over-made. Sure, you don’t want a “flea market” deck with 25 different types of cards. But as ezekeel said, many times people have to use what they have.

The best idea IMO for new players is to start with a budget deck, and then make sensible upgrades with what you have available. Especially if you have “staple” cards for the faction in epic or legendary. If you are running a budget Songhai deck, I think most are better off with 1 lantern fox than 0. If you are playing Lyonar, same with holy or regalia. Etc.

So, don’t go overboard, but do use what you have at your disposal.

EDIT: Also, do what you find fun or want to play around with. I finally got a Chrysalis Burst and I tossed it into several Magmar decks because, well, I wanted to. Fun is the priority. :slight_smile:


I wouldn’t call it a number one newbie mistake. There is way worse things they can do then just fill their decks with them neat epic and legendary cards they opened from the orbs in order to try them out.

If anything, I’d say it’s a good thing. Doing exactly that will help them learn the game and how deck building works as they will experience the inconsistency of it from first hand which will result in them trying something different or just coming to forums for help. Sure, sometimes you will end up with a player with 20 ribbons or something that still doesn’t know how to translate that experience into deck building process but those cases are extremely rare. Hell, sometimes all those different one-offs serve the similar role so the inconsistency isn’t even that big of an issue in the first place.

If I were to choose a number one mistake newbies make I’d say it’s mismanagement of their resources ie crafting and de-ing cards without any consultations. And when it comes to gameplay it’s miscalculating the reach of minions and other similar big positional errors.


Daaaaamn Raq. The burns are soooo real! xD


It’s not really a burn as I am just generalizing and not referencing anyone in particular.
Any similarity with fictitious events or characters was purely coincidental.


Yup, not a specific reference at all and completely coincidental. Got it.


I only have two ribbons, not twenty.


There are also advantages to having less cards.

You should run 3 obelisks if you are building an obelisk deck. When it comes to the core of your deck, you want reliability so you can make the most of your synergy.

You shouldn’t run 3 crossbones, 1 might help you if you are in trouble & if you are playing against Songhai / Mechazor you can hold it. You also don’t need 3 Silithar Elders, they are also too expensive and therefore conditional. Conditional cards can be run 1-2 of.

Often it’s because players don’t have 3 of every card, they might only have 2 Sworn Avengers & need to fill in the gap with 1 Sunsteel Defender, that can’t be helped.

They also don’t know which card they want or need most which is why they branch out, it’s a pretty good learning tool,. If you put 1 healing mystic, 1 young silithar, & 1 primus fist in your deck, then you can learn through experience which cards benefits you most.

TL;DR; More cards increases reliability, ideal for deck synergy & powerful cards. Less cards grants flexibility, it’s good for conditional choices. The more cards you try, the more you learn.


Well I am currently running this on ladder

It doesn’t use synergy at all and since most units do the same thing the x1 offs don’t hurt.

If anything it benefits from the diversity

Edit: Nicon’s tdlr summarises it well


Indeed. There is a common misunderstanding between one-offs and the number of role players. Example: You need some number of 2 drops in your deck. The qualifications that you have for this role is that they need to survive a hero attack, be able to capture a tile and deal 2 damage. Everything else is gravy. Given these conditions, you can add a split between all the 2/3’s for 2 of the world that is not 3 of each. You probably don’t need a multiple of 3 dedicated to that slot anyways.

Crossbones is very similar. Maybe you just need some beefy 3-drops for your deck to contest turn 3 with, and your default is Chaos Elemental. You end up needing 3 minions in slots dedicated to that role, so you include a one-off crossbones, which is a 3/3 but still able to fulfill that role. The benefit is that is makes your deck more robust against a diversity of decks. Now you will for instance have an “out” against mechazor.

A variation on the crossbones example is where crossbones is just the fourth chaos elemental in case you need more than 3 of them.