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The Essential Guide to TCG Deck-Building

by dan4884


Building a TCG deck can be challenging. It’s taken me an extremely long time to perfect my deck, and believe me; it’s nowhere near being completed. That’s why I wrote this article: to help you create your own great deck! Be warned, though. This article is aimed at people who have read and understand the rules and have a basic idea of how to play the game. Also, it’s better if you have enough cards to work with.

Let’s start with the basics: the rules. When building a deck there are three regulations that your deck must fulfill. One, you must have at least 10 Basic Neopets. Two, you must have at least 40 cards that cannot be your ten Basic Neopets. Finally, you cannot have more than three copies of one card in your deck. That’s it. Quite simple, don’t you think?

In this guide there will be ten steps:

1. Choosing your Faerie Types

2. Choosing your 10 Neopets

3. Adding Experienced Neopets

4. Items

5. Equipment

6. Heroes

7. Villains

8. Something Has Happened Cards

9. Locations

10. Fate Cards

Faerie Types

If you’ve read or looked at anything that has to do with the TCG, you’ll probably notice there are six Faerie types: Fire, Earth, Water, Dark, Air, and Light. Since you can only have three Neopets in play, it’s best to choose one, two, or three types of Faerie types. Any combination of types work. It’s up to you to choose your types. Be warned, though. In my opinion, it can be difficult to make a good deck with only one Faerie type.

To help you choose your types, let me break down the different categories. Generally, Fire and Dark Neopets excel in Strength and Earth Neopets are best in Agility. Light and Water Neopets do extremely well in Magic, and Air and Dark Neopets stand out in Intelligence. So, just choose one type from the three arenas you want, and voila! You have your 3 Faerie types! Now you get to choose your pets.

TCG Tip: If you find that after playing a lot of games one of your Faerie types isn’t that strong, eliminate it! Your deck will be a lot stronger with only two or even one type.


When choosing Neopets, it’s important to remember two things. One, you want to keep the species of Neopets constant in order to be able to use your Experienced Neopets. If you have four or five different species of Neopets and you can only play three, it might be difficult to find the correct Experience Neopet in your deck. Try to keep the number of species to two, three, or if absolutely needed, four.

Two, it’s important to find strong Neopets in three different arenas. You want to spread your Neopets over as many arenas as possible to maximize your chances of getting automatic wins in contests. So, you’ll want to find Neopets with stats of eights, nines, and tens for three separate arenas.

TCG Tip: Pay close attention to the effects some pets may have. They could give you extra stat boosts!

Experienced Neopets

Choosing your Experienced Neopets obviously depends on which Neopets you choose. Try to find at least two Experienced Neopets for each of your species. I find that more than two Experienced Neopets can be too many. You only need one per Neopet, right?

TCG Tip: If you have more than two Experienced Neopets to choose from, obviously look at their stats, but don’t forget their effects! This can be the deciding factor between which Experienced Neopets to choose from. Sometimes choosing an Experienced Neopet with a lower stat and a better effect will help you in the game more than a couple extra points could.


Items are essential to any deck for many reasons. Most importantly, they give you the chance to win the game. But, they can give you the edge in a close contest, or they could help you or subdue your opponent in later turns.

When building a deck, it is said about half of your deck should be items. I generally use only four point cards for banking items, but in a pinch, three point and even two point items will help. Don’t be afraid to bank cards if they aren’t four point cards, especially when you’re losing.

When creating a deck, I like to have about 40% of my cards items. Try to have at least half of your items bankable items. The other half can be stat boosting or special effect cards. Stat boosters are extremely important as they can make or break a contest. Make sure you read the effects though, as some items can give you extra boosts or cancel out your item.

TCG Tip: Choose an equal amount of cards for each arena you will have pets in so there’ll be enough cards to draw.


Equipment cards are very helpful, but I only suggest them for using on your Neopets, not banking. Items usually have higher point values and items are in your deck to bank, right? Try to choose an even mix of petpets and weapons, as they generally help with the effects and stat boosts.

TCG Tip: The card Petpetnip is extremely helpful with a petpet deck.


Heroes aren’t, in my opinion, very essential to a deck. To me, it’s a waste of a tap to put in a hero and use it in a contest, even a contest again a villain. Mind you, I do have two or three heroes in my deck, though. Choose a couple of heroes you like, whether it is their special effect or their stats.

TCG Tip: Keep in mind that when you choose your heroes, they have to be put in the arena of the pet you tapped.


Ah, villains! These cards are one of my favorite types. The main reason these cards were created is to cover all four arenas with one of your cards. Say, for example, you have Neopets in the Strength, Agility, and Magic Arenas. You’d want something to block your opponent from winning in the Intelligence Arena, right? Put in a few choice high stats cards for the arena you need, and you’re set. You’ll have protection in four arenas!

TCG Tip: Some villains have stats that are easily beaten with a well-placed item and a strong dice roll. Make sure the villains you are putting in have high stats. (I generally go for a stat of 17 or higher for the arena you need it for.)

Something Has Happened

These cards are perfect for shaking up the game and keeping it interesting! There are a ton of different cards that all have different effects. Keep it diverse, and stick to your deck types. If you are building a deck with a lot of equipment, you might consider Contest of Champions or Put on Display. Both of these cards help you win contests and the game with equipment. So stick to your theme! There are a TON of these cards, so make sure you don’t get confused with which cards to put in!

TCG Tip: If you are using a Light deck, a must-have is Library Visit. It’s an easy way to grab some more cards!


These cards make the game extremely exciting, but they can be a bit hard to play. Make sure you know where to put each Location before you put it into your deck. Some cards allow you to draw cards or bank extra items, and these Locations you’ll want to keep to yourself. However, some cards have bad effects, like taking away the ability to play items or roll dice. You’ll want to play these cards where you both have Neopets to either even the playing field or possibly give you an extra advantage. A lot of Locations can help with a deck tailored for a specific card. They can give you the advantage when you use a lot of a specific card, such as books or neggs. So, be very careful where you place your Locations, and remember: a Location is discarded when another Location is played in that arena!

TCG Tip: Villains and Locations make excellent combinations! Try playing Ancient Tomb or Maintenance Tunnels to give your Villain longer playing time!

Fate Cards

Our final card type is Fate Cards. These are like Equipment in function, but like Something Has Happened in effect. First off, let’s discuss Quests. Quests are cards that give you rewards for completing the “mission” the card describes. These cards do anything from keep your hero in the game longer or being able to bank an extra card. Quests are generally designed for a specific kind of deck. If you have a weapon or book, for example, there are Quests that will help you out.

But, definitely do not count out Curses. These are some of the best cards in the whole game. Take the card Petrification, for example. It says the Neopet the curse is attached to cannot tap to start a contest. That literally knocks it out of the competition! Curses are exceptionally helpful, so whatever you do, do NOT count out Curses when building a deck.

TCG Tip: Before you play a Curse, keep this in mind: Curses are discarded if that pet is traded in. This doesn’t count being replaced with an Experienced Neopet, though.

There you have it: Tips for creating the ultimate TCG deck! I hope you enjoyed and learned more about the card types, and maybe I’ll see you at a tournament someday. I will try to answer all comments/questions, so by all means send ‘em to me. This is dan4884, signing off! See you next time!

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