If you enjoy games that put the foundation of their strategy in your hands, deck-builders are likely for you. That's because the deck-building games incorporate a unique combat style that, like chess, requires players to think a move or two ahead of their opponents. Hearthstone, one of the best and most popular deck-building games of all time has succeeded by utilizing this concept, however, we haven't included it on our list. Mainly because we're sure you've heard of it, as it's not relatively new, and the game has recently transitioned to a pay-to-win format, which has taken away the fun of deck building.
Instead, we'd like to look at the best deck-building games that are forging new paths and conquering the genre in 2022. And you'll be relieved to know that none of them are considered pay-to-win, allowing you to focus on the fun of creating a deck that fits your playstyle without the fear of being dominated by the current meta. There's also a great blend of story-based and online competitive deck-building games with plenty of variety and new experiences to be discovered.
5. Across the Obelisk
Across the Obelisk is a co-op roguelite RPG deckbuilding game that you can play solo or with up to three friends. There are a total of 16 unlockable characters that make up your four-person questing party. Each has its own set of cards, items, stats, and strengths and weaknesses, but no two play the same. That means you can build a team with a variety of classes from Warriors and Healers, to Scouts and Mages. Overall, they provide a lot of variety in terms of gameplay, as well as a lot of strategies for how to build your deck.
There are over 500 upgradeable cards for characters and 200 items to mix and match with them. This gives you hundreds of options for constructing your various heroes and expanding your deck's playstyle. The game's story is procedurally generated, so that brings with it tons of replayability. You'll choose a path each time, completing quests and fighting your way through the lands. But it's not all straightforward, as there are many hidden places and mysteries to be discovered.
4. Gordian Quest
One of the newest deck-building games that are quickly growing in popularity this year is Gordian Quest. Inspired by old-school classics like Ultima and D&D, Gordian Quest has you leading a party of three heroes through dangerous journeys. There are a total of ten heroes to choose from, each with their own unique skills and playstyle that will influence the strategy of your deck. Within your party of heroes, are new skills and abilities you can forge between them, to open up even more strategy.
There are over 700 passive and active skills available across all heroes, providing plenty of variety in deck-building and discovering new combos. Heroes can then be upgraded and trained to improve their stats, unlock new weapons armor, and even trinkets to enhance their abilities. And you can test them all across the three different game modes, as well as a campaign mode. If you want to experience a refreshing and original deck-building game, Gordian Quest is one of the best choices.
Inscryption, a game developed by Daniel Mullins Games, takes on psychological horror concepts in its story-based deck builder. Players are placed in a remote cabin in the woods and must construct a deck of woodland creatures while taking on mysterious entities at the table. But it's not just the game at stake; your life and the answers to the game's sinister narrative are as well. With its eerie and twisted story, it will surely raise your hair and give you goosebumps.
In card-based combat, players begin with four cards and have access to an additional resource deck. Each creature card has attack and defense values, but there is a catch. Summoning cards cost blood, which represents the number of creature cards that must be sacrificed to summon it. Despite the emphasis on story, Inscrpytion delivers on all aspects of deck-building, with a variety of exciting ways to play. It is widely regarded as one of the best original deck-building games, with countless positive reviews.
2. Gwent: The Witcher Card Game
Gwent: The Witcher Card Game is one of the best competitive online deck-building games. Ignited in 2020, Gwent is inspired by The Witcher series as a deck-building spin-off game, focused on online PvP card battles. What's great about Gwent is the game isn't a pay-to-win PvP deck-builder. You simply collect new cards and build new decks as you progress.
You begin by selecting a faction, each with its own playstyle and variety of cards. Decks are made up of 25 cards in total, with players starting with 10 right away. What's interesting is that players can play any card they want right away, putting an emphasis on card selection and strategy. With that, each player has two rows to place cards, one for melee and one for range.
Gwent is an excellent choice for players looking for one-on-one deck-building PvP. Especially if you like the Witcher series, as all of the novel aspects of the RPG are included in the card game.
1. Magic: The Gathering Arena
If you want the most strategy and combinations in a deck-building game, look no further than Magic: The Gathering Arena. Based on the original Magic The Gathering card game, which actually came out in 1993, before the likes of Yu-Gi-Oh! and Pokémon.
The online counterpart, which we're talking about here, incorporates all the same rules as the tabletop card game. And, because of how in-depth its card-based gameplay is, we won't get into a quick explanation because there isn't one. The best approach is to pick up the game, play it, and begin learning.
However, it is for this reason that players still regard Magic: The Gathering Arena as one of the best deck-building games in 2022. No two matches are the same; you never know what card a player will pull and you must constantly adapt to the situation at hand. That's evidently why we have the game in our number one spot as well. With thousands of ways to play, each game is a new experience, and the learning curve is always present. This will require you to constantly build decks and find a new playstyle and strategy for battle.