Deck Building for New and Intermediate Players



Hey fellow players, I am dakartux AKA Swagnar and I have been playing Paragon since the day it was available for purchase in Beta.  I have found through teaching a few of my friends and watching players online that the game has a very complicated deck system, with little to no explanation, and new players, even those quite experienced with other MOBAs have a very hard time understanding them.  Have no fear, I am here to simplify the system for you, along with an informative video to better enhance your knowledge.  Follow these deck tips and your play will improve exponentially just from a proper build!

What Is My Deck?

In Paragon your deck is the way you, the player, interact with your Hero, modifying stats and characteristics throughout the game.  For those well versed in League of Legends, it is a combination of Runes, Masteries, and the in game item shop.  This can be daunting at first for many players, as it is quite scary to know your entire game could ride on whether you picked the right cards for the game.

How Do I Select Cards?

The hardest part about Paragons’ deck building is knowing what cards to use and when to use them.  This is further made difficult because not everyone has the same cards, so via a video on Youtube you may find that a certain character is OP with Micro-nuke cards, but find that you have none!  How can you possibly follow a guide when you do not have any of the items it requires?  While some cards may make certain heroes stronger, it is always possible to build a deck based completely on the starter cards you are provided with when you load up the first time.  WARNING: DO NOT USE THE DECKS PROVIDED FOR YOU!  The base decks the game provides you at the start are actually quite bad, they usually add up to wrong totals, resulting in unfinished cards or extra CP at the end.  They also are bare minimums and allow for no reactionary building.

What Do I Use And How Much Of It?

Now comes actually selecting your cards.  Think of the hero you want to play and how their playstyle works, maybe check out the starter decks to figure out what the recommended setups are, or watch Youtube to find some build guides.  Get a good idea of how to play the character before you start the deck.  Now get into the builder and begin:

Prime Card:

This is generally pretty easy, are you a tank? a mage? or an auto attack based hero?  Choose the prime card that best suits your build.

Starting Items:

This can vary by person.  The general start is a Mana and Health Potion, and either a harvester or a ward.  You will learn over time when to get harvesters or wards, but I recommend purchasing a ward first, and having one of your first cards being an upgraded harvester.  The other way to start is the aggressive start, this involves purchasing your first 3 CP card in opposition to potions or wards, or buying a 2 CP card and a health potion.  Only use this if you are playing a duo lane with a support you trust to keep you alive, or are playing with a champion that has a good amount of sustain, such as Sevarog.

First Back:

Through my time in the game I have learned that the best first back cards are a 3 CP card, and three 1 CP upgrades.  It is very rare you come back to base with less or more than 6 CP on first back, unless your lane is very aggressive and either you died early or killed the opponent early.  This means that on your first back you can purchase an entire card with all upgrades and get its bonus stat for completion.  Pick a card here that gives a good completion stat, for example not one that gives 50% bonus crit damage, as at this point you don’t have any crit to actually proc that bonus.

Mid-Late Game Cards:

From here on you want to average out every card as equal to an average of 10 CP.  You have 60 CP at full build, so you want your 6 cards to be worth 10 CP each to complete that goal.   If you really want a card that is worth 7 CP but provides good benefits go ahead and build it, but know you will need to sacrifice other cards for that benefit.  I usually get out a calculator or hop on google calculator and make sure everything adds up correctly.  You get 40 card slots, and your full build will require only 24 cards, add in the early game cards and the prime card, and we are looking at 29 card slots filled up, with room for 11 more cards.  Use the extra space for reactionary cards, such as some extra energy resist in case an enemy Gideon is doing well, or maybe extra damage in case you get ahead.  You will learn over time what cards are helpful in which situations.  As a support grab an active card or two, teams generally forget about these and a large team shield or a teleport during a fight can be game changing.  Don’t forget to put in an upgraded ward or harvester, such as the Lords Ward or similar cards that work in your build and provide utility.

How Do I Know What Cards Are Good?

Simple… You don’t.  Many a time I have entered a game thinking my deck would demolish the competition, only to learn it was too expensive at the beginning, or the cards simply didn’t mesh well.  Do your research before hand and see what others think is good, but go into the first game with a new deck and don’t worry if the deck doesn’t work, just tweak it for next game.  This is where some theory crafting comes in… Is attack speed Twinblast better than Crit Twinblast?  Who knows, you will need to try both and see what fits your play style.  Personally I have a hard time hitting shots sometimes so I will go attack speed to counter that fault, but for a more accurate player Crit builds probably churn out more damage.  Basically, create your build and then go play a game with it, if you like it great, if not keep making decks until one suits your game.

Don’t I Need To Counter Build?

Counter building in Paragon is difficult because your shop is limited to what you put in it.  The best way to be prepared for anything is to have at least 2, preferably 3 decks for your main hero, for example, my main is Twinblast, and I have a Full Damage Build, and Attack Speed Build, and a deck called Anti-Murdock.  I find that murdock really gets me when I play TB, so i have a deck with some energy armor to counter Murdock.  After your main, have 2 decks for each hero you might play with, such as a Brawler Steel and a Tank Steel, etc.  And finally if possible build 1 deck each for every other hero on the off chance you are forced to play them for some reason or another.  At the start of each game analyze your team and the other team, use resources such as to predict enemy skill, and build accordingly.  As an example: your team has low damage, and you are locked in as Steel.  Build a brawler build to compensate damage.  However, if your team is all damage and no tank, build the tank deck and help your team in that way.  Select your build carefully, and utilize it for what it was built for.

Things To Avoid

There are a few things that really kill a good deck very fast:

  • Half Baked Builds:
    • If you are going to build a certain way do it, but don’t get lost.
    • Damage and Crit work well together, but adding in attack speed too means you won’t have enough of any stat to be effective.
    • Stick to 2 card types to maintain high effectiveness without wasted stats, or underpowered builds.
  • Expensive Cards
    • Expensive cards are better than less expensive ones, duh.  But… having a ton of expensive upgrades and base cards will result in your deck taking a VERY long time to finish, meaning your power spike may come at 30 minutes, and by then the game is often over or you are too far behind to catch up.
    • Try to stick to the 1-3 CP cards, and only grab expensive CP cards when they are going to be very beneficial and you are confident you will be able to buy them in a timely manner.
  • Get To the Good Stuff
    • Each card has a completion bonus, get to that before starting a new card.
    • I often see players with a full deck of cards with no upgrades, stay away from this and build full cards before moving on to the next one.
  • Know What You Scale Off Of:
    • Yes Murdock is AA based… No he does not work with physical damage cards.
    • Characters Auto Attacks scale off of their prevalent stat.  Feng Mao and Twinblast scale on Physical Damage, Gideon and Murdock scale on Energy Damage, know what your hero scales on before you make a full PD Murdock build and do 0 damage.


I hope you all enjoyed my guide and can be better deck builders with this advice, please leave a comment below on what you liked or things you think I can improve on or tips you have learned that you think I should add to make the guide better.  Also check out my youtube channel, I have Battleborn build guides, and will be making more Paragon guides and other game guides in the future.

Thanks For Reading!

dakartux out

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