Deck Check - "Need to Read"

by Michael Gills

Welcome to the first episode of Neopets Deck Check. This is the first deck that I have made using the Neopets Base set of cards. Take a look at the Base Set article to learn all about this first set.

When I first looked over the Neopets Base set, a lot of interesting combinations popped up. Should I build a Negg-banking deck? Or fruit heavy deck (with high banking point items for a fast win)? Or I could build a deck using all sorts of counter cards (Like Nothing Has Happened) to counter whatever tricks my opponent is using. In the end I chose to make a Book based deck.

As anyone who plays neopets online ( knows, Books mean more knowledge for your neopet. That is also true in the Neopets TCG as well.

This is not one of the easier decks to play (you have to know when to hold them and know when to fold them), but I think it highlights how much strategy exists in this exciting new game.

Let starts with my pet stack. While I am allowed to have more than 10 basic Neopets in my stack, unless there is a really good reason to not do so, I will stick with 10.

Looking through my cards, I saw that the other cards I wanted to play need Dark, and Light faerie types so that is what I chose from.

I chose Red Korbat for his 8 intelligence and Red Grarrl for his 9 strength on the dark side. For the light faeries I chose 3 Yellow Aisha (8 magic) and 2 Green Kacheek (6 agility and 7 magic plus gets +2 vs dark faerie.

Now that I have my ten basic Neopets, I moved on to the Experienced Pets. The Grarrl Gladiator caught my eye right away as it automatically wins on rolling a 5 or 6 on the contest die so I chose 2 of them. I also like the Aisha Enchantress as it has decent stats (a 13 magic and a 9 intelligence) and it gets a +2 to all stats for each item played in its contest. This means that if your opponent plays an item in a contest against it, this Aisha also gets +2 to all stats for that item as well!

Finally, since I am building a Book deck, the Korbat Researcher was important (When you bank a Book with this Neopet, draw a card and then choose and discard a card).

Since this is my first constructed Neopet deck, I wanted to try at least a few cards of each type to see how they worked, so I chose 1 Hero (Koya, Korbat Huntress), 1 Villain (Shadow Usul), and 1 Something Has Happened card (Travelling Library).

I picked Koya for my hero as her ability to look at the top 5 cards in my deck and rearrange them falls into the design of the deck and I chose the Shadow Usul because even when it is defeated the card returns to my hand. Card count is important in this game and with the number of times I will need to discard cards (see below), every card is important.

The choice of the Travelling Library was easy. This card allows you to draw 1 card for every book you have in your hand. Since I will have 18 books in my deck of 40 cards, this can provide great draw power!

I only chose 2 pieces of Equipment for this deck but took 3 copies of each. The Meowclops is just a good balanced Petpet that can be played on any Neopet and adds at least a +2. The Night Stone is one of the cards that made me choose Dark faeries as a focus for the deck in the first place. This piece of Equipment doesn't add to any stats and only has a bank value of 2, BUT your opponent doesn't get to roll a die in contests against this Neopet or Hero on your turn! In addition to lowering your opponent's total, they cannot win on an automatic 6 (or 5 or 6 if they also chose the Grarrl Gladiator)!

Finally we get to the items. I chose the 6 best books in my opinion and took 3 copies of each of them. They combine well with Koya's ability as well as with the Travelling Library card. Half of the books have their own additional card drawing or arranging abilities when they are banked as well! Look to bank your Hidden Tower Secrets item after you have already used some of your other books for contest bonuses. When this book is banked it lets you return 2 books from your discard pile to your hand!

I also included 3 copies of the Faerie Pancakes because it is just one of the best items in the set. In addition to counting as 3 bank points, it also adds +2 to all of your Neopets' stats until the end of the turn. This card will go in all of my decks.

So, what do you think? I look forward to seeing what the other decks people come up with.

Here is the final deck:

Need to Read

2 Green Kacheek
2 Red Grarrl
3 Red Korbat
3 Yellow Aisha

Something Has Happened
3 Travelling Library

3 Night Stone
3 Meowclops

2 Grarrl Gladiator
2 Aisha Enchantress
2 Korbat Researcher

3 Biting Book
3 Book of Sadness
3 The Golden Shoyru
3 Hidden Tower Secrets
3 Grimoire of Thade
3 Travelling Neopia
3 Faerie Pancakes

2 Shadow Usul

2 Koya, Korbat Huntress

Deck 1 : Petpets and Villains

Welcome to a new feature on the site where we give you some tips and strategies on how to build decks for the Neopets TCG. The first deck has been built by Adam, and it has a lot of Petpets in it, and a lot of Villains in it, hence the name Petpets and Villains. It's won 18 games in a row, so he must be doing something right.

The aim of this deck is to stop your opponent from banking in the arenas that he or she excels in, and at the same time slow down the game enough so that after a while your Neopets have SO many Petpets that their stats are astronomical! The deck centres around the card-drawing ability of the Kacheek Shepherd and the arena-blocking power of the Shadow Usul.

With the Shepherd in play, every single time you (or an opponent) attaches a Petpet to a Neopet you get to draw a card. Now if you have two Shepherds in play, that means two cards every time. Picking up such a large amount of cards gives you the following advantages :

Anyway, before we continue let's look at how the deck is built.

Petpets and Villains
Neopets (10)
3 x Green Kacheek
3 x Blue Kacheek
2 x Red Grarrl
2 x Green Grarrl

Heroes (0)

Villains (6)
3 x Shadow Usul
3 x The Darkest Faerie

Petpets (12)
3 x Kadoatie
3 x Meowclops
2 x Mirgle
2 x Doglefox
2 x Spyder

Experienced Neopets (4)
3 x Kacheek Shepherd
1 x Grarrl Gladiator

Items (12)
3 x Thingy
3 x Petpetnip
3 x Illusen's Charm
2 x Rainbow Paint Brush
1 x Starberry

SHH (6)
3 x Jhudora's Evil Eye
3 x Pant Devil Attacks

Deck Strategy

With this deck you are aiming to get your Experienced Neopets (the Shepherd and the Gladiator) out as soon as possible. The Rainbow Paint Brush will help you do this (bank it and you can search through your deck to find an Experienced Neopet!) In fact, in the first couple of turns if you do not have any Experienced Neopets in your hand, I suggest you keeping drawing (and not banking) until you find them.

You only need one Grarrl in play, and he should be in the Strength arena. If in the first couple of turns you draw a second Grarrl, you should try and replace it with a Kacheek as soon as possible! Keep your Kacheeks in the Magic and Agility arenas, and try and block off the Intelligence Arena with villains as much as possible.

The most powerful weapon in your arsenal is, in my opinion, the greatest villain in the whole base set - the Shadow Usul. Although she makes you discard a card when you play her, she jumps back into your hand when defeated. Due to the fact that your Shepherds are drawing so many cards, this should not be a problem! Even if your opponent can defeat the Shadow Usul, just keep playing her round after round and your opponent will not be able to bank, and they will eventually have to leave the arena in frustration!

With the Shadow Usul blocking your opponent at every move, the Grarrl Gladiator dominating the Strength arena, and with your Petpet-boosted Shepherds dominating the centre of the board, your opponent should not be able to bank a single item!

Other Cards of Note

Thingy - this is a quick 2-point bank item that allows you to search your deck to find a Petpet and put it in your hand. This is really handy for pulling a Kadoatie out mid-game.

Petpetnip - although in reality this 4-point item should be banked, it is very helpful if your opponent decides to stop you with a villain. With two Kadoaties and Petpetnip you have at least a +12 bonus which will help you win even the toughest contest.

Spyder - this nasty little Petpet has the ability to scare its enemies on the roll of a 6, causing them not to untap in the next round. With the Shadow Usul in play you can expect your opponent to be doubling up Neopets against you in the other arenas, making the Spyder doubly effective! Remember, the point of this deck is to slow your opponent down while you build up enough momentum to win - and the Spyder certainly helps.

The Darkest Faerie - any Neopet who loses against this evil faerie is banished to the discard pile. People are so scared to challenge her that they usually don't even bother picking up the dice. Use her early on to lock down an arena that you are weak in. You can always break out the Petpetnip and beat her later on!

Well, hope you found that interesting :) More decks coming soon!
Deck 2 : Tidal Wave

This is the deck that won the Staff Tournament! It's called the Tidal Wave for a couple of reasons: First, it's an Air/Water deck. It would make a lot of sense to call an Air/Water deck a "water spout" (a tornado at sea), but "water spout" just sounds too dumb. Second, the Tidal Wave deck is all about speed - your opponents are in over their heads and washed away before they even know what hit them!

The key to a speed deck lies in your bankable cards. The aim of the game is to bank 21 points - there is another way to win, but I'll leave that for someone else to discuss. 21 points is simply the way to go. Most games that are evenly matched are won or lost based on which player draws the most bankable cards, so you want to be the player drawing cards that bank for 4 points (I'll call them fours for short).

For a real speed deck, you should consider having as many as 20 fours in a 40 card deck. This sounds extreme, but it works. Look at it this way: If you are banking fours, you will win the game with 6 cards in your bank. So if you win 6 contests in a game, but you didn't win the game because you were drawing cards or banking twos, then your opponent didn't really beat you - your deck beat you.

This is not to say that the person with the most fours wins - you do still have to actually win contests! So lets get to the cards that win contests for the Tidal Wave:

Tidal Wave
Neopets (10)
3 x Blue Poogle
3 x Yellow Poogle
3 x Red Eyrie
1 x Green Eyrie

Heroes (2)
2 x Malevolent Sentient Poogle Plushie

Villains (2)
2 x Eliv Thade

Petpets and Equipment (5)
1 x Meowclops
1 x Mirgle
1 x Doglefox
1 x Vira's Dagger
1 x Sceptre of Banishing

Experienced Neopets (7)
3 x Poogle Racer
1 x Poogle Apprentice
2 x Battle Eyrie
1 x Eyrie Guard

Items (20)
3 x Scabu (4)
3 x Juppies (4)
3 x Chokato (4)
3 x Starberry (4)
3 x Jerdana's Orb (3)
2 x Water Faerie Token (3)
2 x Faerie Pancakes (3)
1 x Rainbow Paint Brush (2)

SHH (4)
3 x Slorg Trails
1 x Turmaculus Strikes

Deck Strategy

The important faerie type in the Tidal Wave deck is Water. And the Water pet to watch is the Poogle! The basic Poogles are all rare, so it can be hard to put together a Poogle deck, but it's well worth it, and all because of the Poogle Racer.

The Basic Poogles have fairly equal stats across the board, so you don't have to worry about getting too many of them the way you would with Grarrls, for example. This kind of versatility gives this deck an early advantage - you are banking cards while your opponent is fumbling with the "wrong" pets.

The ideal situation for this deck is to have an Eyrie in the Strength arena and Poogles in two of the other arenas. Don't waste much time attaching equipment to your pets in the early stages unless they are really outmatched, but don't bank your equipment either - you should be banking fours, after all! The deck is loaded with Experienced pets, so it shouldn't take long to get a couple of them out.

When you get a Poogle Racer into play, it may not be a bad idea to put some equipment onto him, so that he can be a threat in arenas other than Agility. At least one Poogle Racer should be strong enough to take on Villains across the board so that you can unblock empty arenas. The Sceptre of Banishing looks very good on a Poogle Racer. Jerdana's Orb and the MSPP also serve this same purpose.

You may not always want to beat Villains, though. If your opponent has a lot of Villains, and especially if those Villains are Shadow Usuls, you may want to focus your attention on one or two arenas. This is where the Poogle Apprentice comes in handy. If you put a Poogle Apprentice in the Strength arena with a Battle Eyrie, you'll have a base of 20 and two dice rolls - even the dreaded Grarrl Gladiator will lose over 70% of the time against that team. Your opponent will quickly be sorry for playing so many Villains!

Other Cards of Note

Malevolent Sentient Poogle Plushie - The MSPP is always a handy card to have around. It's most useful against Villains, who all crumble before it. It's name provides you with a couple of good vocabulary words, too - look them up and impress your teachers! But be warned, the MSPP won't help ward off bullies.

Eliv Thade - A very handy Villain. If you are outmatched in the Intelligence arena, Eliv Thade will be glad to block it up for you. On the other hand, if you don't want to play him, you can put him in the Strength arena or Agility arena on your turn where you can beat him easily. Since he untaps you and gives you a card, you're basically just replacing him with another card! Another possibilty: You can put him in the Agility arena if your opponent doesn't have any pets in there to prevent your opponent from playing a Shadow Usul on you! It's good to have choices.

Juppies - Ok, they're just Juppies. Four point items just aren't all that exciting - there are no holo fours or rare fours, but if it makes you feel better, you can load up on uncommon fours like these.

Slorg Trails - Remember how I was saying that the Poogle Racer is a great combo card? Well, this is one of those combos. Pull your Poogle Racers out of arenas that your opponent's pets are in, and maybe even move your other pets out, too. A couple of these in a row, and you'll have ample time to defeat any (non-Usul) Villains, bank some points, attach some equipment, and get back to fighting without ever giving your opponent a chance to do anything but draw cards! Never play 3 Slorg Trails in a row, though - you may win the game, but it's not worth losing a friend over! J Boogie still won't talk to me!