Forget What You Know – Deckbuilding 101 in My Hero Academia

Forget everything you know about deckbuilding. In the world of My Hero Academia, making a deck is not only a unique experience from other card games, but it’s also unique to the player making the deck. Your card choices are rarely right or wrong. Instead, you’ll be looking for cards that support each other in three main areas: Blocking, Attacking and Support. Jump in the lab with me as I take you through my process to making an awesome deck in MHA. A great tool for theory crafting is uvsultra.online. 

First things first, we have to choose our Character. A little more than half of the tournament legal Characters have topped a major event so far, with more getting close. The format is wide open, so don’t feel like you need to play a specific deck to do well. For this article, we’ll be building Fumikage Tokoyami. Before diving in, it’s not a bad idea to check out some other deck lists for your chosen Character. Be warned however – you’ll be asking yourself “Why is this in the deck?” quite often if you don’t go through the deck building process yourself.

Fumikage TokoyamiSummon Dark ShadowDark Shadow Ruin

Tokoyami is a popular option for how quickly he can muster lethal levels of damage. Now that we have a Character, we have to select a Resource Icon. On the left of the Effect Box, Tokoyami’s resource symbols are listed as Chaos, Evil and Fire. There is a Deck Building Rule that each and every card between your main deck, side deck and Character card must share one resource symbol. At this point, you should look at the available cards on each symbol and devise a strategy that fits your play style. Looking into the Chaos and Fire symbols, you’ll notice Tokoyami has access to an interesting card, Frigid Heatwave. Frigid Heatwave is an aggressive attack because it allows the user to draw more attacks for free, and can hit for as much as 10 damage without support. Let’s see if we can build around that.

Ice StormFrigid HeatwaveCrow and Frog Takedown

Seeing that Frigid Heatwave depends on Ranged attacks to access its effects, our next stop is to check the rest of the attacks on the Fire and Chaos symbols to see if there’s enough support. With Ranged attacks that exist on both symbols like Dark Shadow Ruin, Ice Storm and Crow and Frog Takedown, we’re still able to play on either symbol. Notice, C&F Takedown has the Infinite Symbol in its resource pool, so it can be played in any deck. This is great. We have a wealth of attacks that suit our play style. C&F Takedown and Dark Shadow Ruin both help keep my progressive difficulty low, allowing me to play many attacks in one turn. Ice Storm can be very difficult to block because of its top Enhance, so it serves as a great kill shot while having great defensive stats. We’ll explain the defensive part of all these cards a bit later.

Now that we have a good idea of what attacks we’ll use, let’s look to build out the rest of your deck with Foundations and Actions. Usually in most card games, you’d look at the staples now and jam in a play set of “best in slot” cards. MHA doesn’t have many cards that fit this description, instead rewarding cards that your deck can take advantage of. Tokoyami starts with four copies of his Action Card Summon Dark Shadow. After that, you’re really free to play any cards you want on your resource symbol, so you need to ask yourself “What does your deck need?” We’ll be building an aggressive deck that thrives on speed, so draw power is a must. The Fire symbol provides us with Latent Skill and Calling for Backup, two great options to filter our hand and get to more attacks. Then, Revel At His Masterpiece and Stronger in Darkness will give our deck more consistency and power. 

Latent SkillCalling for BackupRevel At His MasterpieceStronger in Darkness

One thing that every deck should focus on are Foundations with a printed 0 Difficulty (the orange number at the top of the card). Running 0 diffs, as we call them, allows you great consistency on turn one and more options on turn two to either put your foot on the gas or build up your defense. With four copies of Stronger in Darkness, that’s enough for most decks. I’d like to have even more consistency, so let’s add in two copies of In Danger.  

In Danger

As you choose cards to add, you need to keep an eye on two critical ratios: Attacks to Foundations and Block Zones (High, Mid or Low). Each card has a Block Modifier at the top right-hand corner of the card. You should generally try to aim for an equal split between the three zones, with the mid zone holding a slight edge in the final count. At the same time, you’ll want to have about twice as many Foundations, Actions and Assets as you do Attacks. Slower decks aim for about 33 percent of their deck being attacks, while very aggressive decks like Tokoyami can get as high as 40 percent. We use percentages because deck size is never set in stone. In the Top 8 of the most recent Regional License Exam Tournament, only one deck ran the minimum, 50 cards, with three decks running more than 60 cards and the winner running 58 cards. 

You now have a pretty good idea of how to get started building the deck that can wreck your opponent’s dreams, but the only way to perfect it is to practice. You can find the list here and you can place an order for product on the ChannelFireball Marketplace. The most important step to deck building is the same across any game you play: practice and refinement. Best of luck heroes, and I’ll see you on the tables!

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