Deck building

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Deck Building or deck building is a mechanism in card games in which the player during the game broaden their set of cards and optimize. The most important deck building card game is Dominion , through which the genre became widespread.


Each player starts the game with a small number of cards that are usually not particularly powerful. This set of cards is called a deck from the English term. In the course of the game, the players can use their existing cards to build and expand their personal deck with cards that come from an offer available to all players. With the English “build” for “to build”, the result is the combination of deck building or deck building in German.

An essential element of deck games is the passage of all cards by repeatedly shuffling the discard pile and making them available as a draw pile. This means that all cards in a deck are drawn back into hand over and over again. In combination with the deck building mechanism, this gives players the chance to use ever stronger cards. This means that the deck is subject to constant changes until the end of the game.

Charm of the mechanism

Deck building contrasts with the older form of preconstructed decks from trading card games . There the players usually have to assemble their deck before the game, such as. B. in the classic Magic: The Gathering . There are often discussions about which cards can be used at all.

With the deck building mechanism, a selection of cards is prepared as a general offer before the game, from which in principle all players can use equally. Usually, the offer is newly compiled or at least partially changed for each game. Since the players do not have to decide which cards they want to use before the start of the game, they can continuously adjust the content of their decks during the game. So every game has the potential to become an unprecedented variation of the game.

The actual game plays a bigger role in deck building than the preparation. If the deck has been put together beforehand, the game often appears as a mere execution of the initially determined selection. There it is less the ability of the player during the game, but rather before the game, that is the decisive criterion. Deck building integrates this performance into the game itself.


Although there have been games with deck composition before, it was the deck building mechanism developed in Dominion that made its breakthrough into broad gaming circles. As Game of the Year 2009, it found enormous sales worldwide.

Since then, many games have been brought onto the market that have made use of this mechanism, with some also great success, e.g. B. Thunderstone , Ascension or Nightfall .

In the meantime, there have also been websites devoted exclusively to the deck building genre.

Individual evidence

  1. a b Deck-buidling games , meoplesmagazine, May 11, 2011
  2. ^ Game of the year 2009 on the website of the club of the same name
  3. ( Memento of May 30, 2013 in the Internet Archive ) Website focused on deck building games (discontinued)