Resource bases in card games are an art and often the amount you need varies from deck to deck. I have yet to see an article looking into this issue for Flesh and Blood so today we are starting from the ground up and looking what on the surface seems like a basic concept:

How many blue cards does your deck need?

Starting with the basics, currently, all blue cards fall into one of two main categories:

- Cards with unique effects, often they are class specific like Lord of Wind or Sand Sketched Plan but can also be generic like Energy Potion
- Cards that have a red, yellow and blue version with the blue version offering less value than the red version when played directly

When considering blue cards in your deck I would almost always include the class specific unique cards first **if the effect works in with your general strategy. **For instance, Lord of wind is a great card if you are running the Surging Strike combo line but isn’t essential if you aren’t. After you have included all of these cards in your deck, you need to make a decision about how many other “chaff” blue cards you want to include to fill out your deck as playing these cards directly does not offer as much value as playing the yellow or red versions instead.

There are a few factors to consider here but the biggest factor in my opinion is **how many blue cards do you want in your four card hands?**

Decks like Guardian that are playing high cost cards such as Crippling crush will want multiple blue cards in their hands every turn to either pitch for a powerful attack or block the opponents attack. Aggressive Ninja or Warrior decks may only ever want one blue card at a maximum in their hand as most of their cards cost zero to play and extra resources are spent on weapon attacks.

**Warning math content ahead: **If you aren’t interested in this, skip to the end where I summarise how many blue cards are ideal for if you want your hands to contain one or less, two or three or more blue cards, otherwise read on to understand how I have come up with these numbers.

Card Probabilities and Hyper-geometric Distributions:

Hyper-geometric distributions are used to determine the probability of sample of a certain size containing a success based on a given population size. They are commonly used to determine odds of winning a hand in other card games such a Poker. In this analysis we are using the following parameters:

- Population Size: 60 (based on a deck containing 60 cards)
- Sample Size: 4 (without additional intellect, every class will draw to four cards at the end of a turn)
- Successes in Population: Varied (A success is a blue in this case, we want to determine what this value should be)
- Successes in Sample: 1, 2 or 3 or more (how many blue cards we want in our hand)

To look at how the number of blue cards in your deck affects the probability of drawing a set number in a four card hand, I have created a graph to see how the probability changes, provided you don’t shuffle your deck (we will get to shuffling later).

The graph shows a few important points:

- The probability of having exactly one blue card in your hand peaks at 15 blue cards in your deck
- The probability of having exactly two blue cards in your hand peaks at 30 blue cards in your deck
- The probability of having two blue cards is higher than the probably of having zero with more than 17 blue cards in your deck
- The probability of having more than two blue cards is higher than the probably of having zero with more than 22 blue cards in your deck

This graph represent the probability of drawing blue cards in your deck at the start of the game. As the game goes on, the distribution of cards in your deck changes as you pitch cards (almost always blue if you have them) and play cards. This has the effect of removing cards from you deck that you play while keeping those that you pitch. The next graphs show how the probabilities change as your deck size gets smaller and you shuffle your deck.

So what does all this mean? Lets start with a deck that typically only ever wants to draw one blue card per turn, say an aggressive Ninja deck similar to those played by most players in the Auckland Calling Top 8. I would guess based on my experience and the quantity of total blue cards played that somewhere between 12 and 16 blue cards were played in peoples main decks. Lets assume for this analysis that 15 blue cards are in the deck at the start of the game. This gives the chance of having a single blue in hand at the start of the game at above 43%.

Now lets say we consider any hand with two or more blue cards a bad hand and hands with less than one blue are fine because typically the deck can operate without many resources but wants to play multiple powerful red cards every turn

60 Cards:

Probability of good hand: 44%

Probability of bad hand: 26%

50 Cards:

Probability of good hand: 43%

Probability of bad hand: 35%

40 Cards:

Probability of good hand: 38%

Probability of bad hand: 48%

30 Cards:

Probability of good hand: 25%

Probability of bad hand: 70%

If you shuffle your deck sometime after the fifth turn and have not played any blue cards, you are now in a situation where you are more likely to draw a bad hand than a good hand. Now lets consider the same analysis with 10 blue cards in your deck.

60 Cards:

Probability of good hand: 40%

Probability of bad hand: 13%

50 Cards:

Probability of good hand: 43%

Probability of bad hand: 17%

40 Cards:

Probability of good hand: 44%

Probability of bad hand: 26%

30 Cards:

Probability of good hand: 42%

Probability of bad hand: 41%

With only 10 blue cards in your deck, the chance of having a good hand stays almost the same up until the eighth turn of the game even if you shuffle your deck and the chance of having a bad hand is significantly reduced throughout the game. Note that this is without considering any yellow cards at all which are perfectly fine in some hands so more than likely having less than 10 blue cards is the way to go.

**Summary:**

As a basic starting point you first need to work out based on the deck you are playing what your ideal hand contains, is it up to one blue card, up to two blue cards or two or more blue cards? You can then use the table below to work out how many blue cards I think you should be playing to maximise your chance of getting good hands throughout the game.

This article is just the tip of the iceberg on this subject and so many other parameters also need to be considered, such as average deck cost and average pitch cost. Look out for our articles this week where we start to build some decks with the new classes. We will also be building some budget options for those people who haven’t been lucky enough to pull that pesky Eye of Ophidia!

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