In this lesson, we will discuss everything about the provision system. We have already covered the very basics in previous lessons, which taught us that the sum of all provisions in our deck can be no more than 150 plus the value provided by our leader ability. Here, we will talk more about what sort of value we should expect out of our cards of certain provision values and how different types of cards fit into the provision system.
While we will present a basic “curve” to follow when evaluating a card’s value compared to its provision cost, please realize that this is a gross oversimplification and does not paint the whole picture. As you play more and learn more about the game, you will discover times that we will deviate from this scheme or ignore it entirely.
Our basic curve of expected value vs provision cost will be mostly linear, but it will not represent a 1:1 ratio of the two.
Engines are a way to get more than the expected value of a card at a certain provision range. When unanswered, they can quickly escalate out of control and get huge value.
When looking at low-cost bronze engines (4-5 provisions), we will typically expect a relatively high point floor (roughly equal to the provision cost) by virtue of having high base power and/or Armor. These cards can typically only be removed by expensive gold cards, so they are good inclusions in any deck.
More expensive gold engines typically are an exercise in risk-vs-reward analysis. These cards are removed by other gold cards, so the trades are not usually favorable for us, but they can achieve game-winning value when they survive.
Typically, expensive engine cards only go in decks with a high number of other engine cards so that the opponent will eventually run out of removal options to destroy them all.
Redanian Archer plays for a 3-point body and damages for 1 point per turn; however, it gains 2 additional value if the opponent tries to remove it with damage.
Pavko Gale plays for 2 points per turn of damage. This is great value, but the card is also very is susceptible to removal.
Removal is another, albeit disguised, way we can increase the value of our cards. Removal can be hit or miss: It represents mediocre value when we do not find engine-heavy matchups; however, it provides us some easy victories against engine strategies. Typically we want to include at least some removal in our golds because these are cards we absolutely want to keep in Round 3 where an unanswered engine can be devastating.
A competitive gold removal card typically plays for about 1 point of value less than its provision cost to compensate for the removal potential.
Removal in bronzes is rare in the game now, with most of it existing in the form of special cards. The gold standard of removal with bronze specials is Alzur's Thunder, at 5 points of damage. Other options are included as tech options due to situational value.
Milaen can remove an engine that starts at 4 power or lower, trading up by 4 points in the process, for only 9 provisions. Its downside is that we only gain 8 points of value in the case that we do not have an engine to remove.
Highly synergistic options are probably the number one way that most competitive decks raise their point ceiling to be stronger than decks composed entirely of value cards. It is complicated to explain every case of synergy, but it is something that we can learn over time by looking at the composition of highly tiered decks.
A straightforward example is through the use of tags in some cases, such as the Dwarf tag in Mystic Echo decks, in which cards scale in value based upon other cards with the same tag.
In general, it is a good idea to look for small packages of cards (about 2-5) that work well together and can combine for strong value.
Madame Luiza and Savolla can combine for 25 points for a total of 18 provisions. Individually, the cards are much weaker, with Savolla topping out at 10 points of value approximately.