Deck Building Card Games

The genre of the deck-building card game is a relatively new one, originating with the publishing of Dominion by Rio Grande Games in October 2008. Within a couple of months, Dominion was ranked as one of the top ten games by BoardGameGeek. The category is now a strong one, with entries from numerous publishers. Dominion and its ilk are extremely popular games at The Relentless Dragon.

What is a deck-building card game? Games in this category blur the lines between traditional euro-style board games and traditional CCGs like Magic. While there may be numerous expansions to the game, you only need a single copy of the base game for 2 to 4 players to play. Unlike a traditional CCG, all the cards needed to play are included in the game—there is no concept of card rarity. Using Dominion as an example, 25 sets of ‘kingdom cards’ are provided in the box, 10 of which are used in a standard game. This allows for a huge variance from game to game. Using these sets of kingdom cards, plus additional resource cards, players take turns drafting a deck. The act of drafting the deck is the core of the game, unlike drafting a CCG where you draft a deck and then play games with it. The victor is determined by victory points, which come from the cards in the deck you have drafted.


dominionDominion is the original deck-building game, premiering in October of 2008. The game is extremely simple to learn, relatively quick to play, and has massive replay value. The base game, shown to the right, contains 500 game cards which can be stored in the custom plastic tray inside the box. Nothing else is needed to play the game, although card sleeves are recommended to maximize your investment in the game. In addition to the basic victory cards and resource cards (copper, silver, gold), the game contains 25 sets of kingdom cards. Each game is played using 10 sets of kingdom cards which can be chosen by the players or randomly determined using the provided ‘randomizer deck.’



ascension_chronicleAscension is a deck-building card game developed by Magic Pro Tour champions Justin Gary, Rob Dougherty, and Brian Kibler. Ascension was introduced at Gen Con in 2010 after more than a year of development. Ascension has an immersive storyline that supports the game play mechanics. In the world of Vigil, the seals that hold the prison of corrupted god Samael the Fallen are failing, allowing nightmarish monsters to imperil the world. As hero of Vigil, starting out with only a few Apprentices and Militias, you must gather a powerful army to lead you to your destiny as the Godslayer.


High Command

wm_High_Command_3DWarmachine: High Command and Hordes: High Command from Privateer Press bring the concept of a non-collectible card game to the world of the immensely popular Warmachine and Hordes miniatures games. Set in the steampunk world of Immoren, the base game of Warmachine: High Command introduces the factions of Cygnar, Khador, the Protectorate of Menoth, and Cryx while the Hordes: High Command base game introduces the Trollbloods, Circle of Oroboros, Skorne, and Legion of Everblight factions.

Each High Command base set supports between two and four players, each of whom must choose one of the four available factions. In addition to building a deck through resource management and purchasing, players must attempt to conquer locations within the world of Immoren to earn additional Victory Points.


DC Comics Deckbuilding Game

In the DC Comics Deck-building Game, you take on the role of Batman™,Superman™, Wonder Woman™or one of their brave and heroic allies in the struggle against the forces of Super-Villainy! While you begin armed only with basic combat maneuvers, you will add new, more powerful cards to your deck as you go, with the goal of defeating as many of the DC Comics Super-Villains as you can. In the end, the player who has accumulated the most Victory Points from the cards in his or her deck wins the game!