11 BEST DECK BUILDING GAMES FOR YOUR NEXT GAME NIGHT


Best deck building games

Grab your cards and shuffle up because we’re about to dive into the world of the best deck building games of all time! These games are the ultimate fusion of strategy, creativity, and nail-biting competition. They’ve got that addictive blend that keeps us coming back for more. And who knew there was such a variety of these fun and creative games? Whether you’re a seasoned pro or just starting out, get ready to discover 11 best deck building games, perfect for all sorts of players. From Harry Potter fans to adventure seekers, there’s a deck building game for everybody!

This post contains some partner links for various products.

1. DOMINION

THE CLASSIC DECK BUILDING GAME

Sale
Rio Grande Games Dominion 2nd Edition |...
  • 2nd Edition features updated cards, artwork and streamlined rules
  • Tactical game for 2-4 Players
  • 30 minute playing time

Deck building games are complex, competitive, strategic, and entertaining, and Dominion was the game that brought this crazy board game genre to life. Dominion is a game that every board game lover should own. The game was originally released in 2008 and is still one of the best deck building games. Additionally, Dominion has influenced many different deck builders since, including essentially every other game on this list! Dominion is a relatively easy game to grasp, and those new to deck building should be able to play it without feeling too overwhelmed. Trust us. We know the feeling of unboxing a new game and having no clue what is going on in the instructions! 

2 to 4 players can participate in Dominion, and it will take you around 30 to 45 minutes to play a round.

2. ASCENSION

BEST DECK BUILDING GAME FOR EXPERIENCED PLAYERS

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Stoneblade Entertainment Ascension: 10 Year...
  • Designed by Magic: The Gathering Pro Tour Champions
  • A deeply strategic deckbuilding game set in a unique fantasy world
  • Remastered Cards for Improved Gameplay

If you are a serious board gamer and you are looking for a challenging deck building game, we highly recommend checking out Ascension. Ascension, full name Ascension: Chronicle of the Godslayer, is another one of the most popular deck building games. Ascension is a slightly more advanced deck builder that is best for players that have some experience playing these types of games. If you are an absolute beginner, you are better off choosing a more beginner-friendly game on this list.

1 to 4 players can play Ascension. That’s right! You can even play this game by yourself! Ascension takes about 30 to 45 minutes to play. The game starts with all players receiving similar decks; then, through the game, players earn runes that they use to advance and customize their decks, making them more adept at fighting monsters. Fighting monsters earns players honor points which are the points that determine the winner.

ASCENSION ETERNAL

If you are new to these types of games, you can play a dumbed-down version of Ascension called Ascension Eternal that is perfect for beginners!

Playroom Entertainment Ascension Deckbuilding...
  • A fast-paced deckbuilding game designed by Magic Pro Tour champions Justin Gary,...
  • Age 10+.
  • 2 Players.

3. CLANK!

ADVENTURE DECK BUILDING GAME

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Renegade Game Studios Clank! A Deck Building...
  • A fast and intense dungeon delving experience!
  • Push your luck to collect more treasure but watch out for the Dragon!
  • A perfect melding of map exploration and deck-building in one game!

Clank! combines deck building with role playing, making it one of the best deck building games out there. The premise of this game is that the players are all thieving adventures snaking into a slumbering dragon’s lair to steal valuable treasures. The deeper into the lair you go, the more valuable the loot you acquire. To retrieve and leave with your loot, however, you must be able to sneak, fight, and earn new skills. Throughout the game, you will modify your character to make them faster, stronger, and more advanced. The game is won by the player who retrieves the most valuable treasure and, most importantly, gets out alive!

Clank! is rated for ages 12 years and older, and it can take anywhere from half an hour to over an hour to play.

4. LOST RUINS OF ARNAK

ANOTHER ADVENTURE DECK BUILDING GAME

Czech Games CGE Edition Lost Ruins of Arnak
  • In Addition To Traditional Deckbuilder Effects, Cards Can Also Be Used To Place...
  • Decks Are Small, And Randomness Is Heavily Mitigated By The Wealth Of Tactical...
  • Building A Solid Resource Base Will Be Essential

In Lost Ruins of Arnak, players discover a deserted island with the ruins of an ancient city. Each player leads their own expedition to the island in search of artifacts and new discoveries. In this game, you only get to make one move per turn, so it is all about collecting useful cards and making strategic moves.

Lost Ruins of Arnak is a super popular game that is super fun to play with a group of friends. While the game does have quite a few moving parts, it won’t be too much to stomach for most players.

5. THE QUEST FOR EL DORADO

EASIEST TO GRASP

Ravensburger The Quest for El Dorado: Golden...
  • What You Get - The Quest for El Dorado comes with 7 Terrain tiles, 2 Terrain...
  • Fun Play Experience - You can play a game in 60 minutes, and it's perfect for...
  • Easy to Understand Instructions - High quality, easy to understand instructions...

Similar to the Lost Ruins of Arnak, in The Quest For El Dorado, players are on an expedition to explore an ancient city. El Dorado is a legend of an ancient golden city that many Spanish explorers searched for in the 16th and 17th centuries. In this board game, players compete to find the city and become rich off of its offerings! 

The Quest For El Dorado is super easy to play and is the perfect game for family game night. Up to 4 players can play this game, and it will take around 1 hour to play through a round.

6. STAR REALMS

BEST DECK BUILDING GAME SET IN SPACE

Star Realms Box Set – A Board Game by Wise...
  • Forge your own star realm! Build up your military through shipping and trade,...
  • Designed by Magic hall-of-famers Darwin Kastle and Rob Dougherty, Star Realms...
  • As you play, use trade to add new ships and bases to your deck. When played,...

A sci-fi deck building game to appease all self-proclaimed nerds, Star Realms is a fast-paced game where you combat your opponents to win control over the entire galaxy! To do this, players must grow their deck’s starting fleet into an armada strong enough to overwhelm and, yes, kill their opponents! In Star Realms, you play cards to gain Trade. Combat. Authority and other effects. You start with 50 Authority, but if it goes down to 0, you lose!

While one deck box supports just two players, by adding more copies, you can also play multi-player games. Star Realms is perfect for all players aged 12 and up and is a fun and moderately-challenging deck building game to add to your repertoire.

7. DRAGONFIRE

BEST DND THEMED DECK BUILDING GAME

Catalyst Game Labs Dragonfire Deckbuilding Board...
  • Set within the world's greatest roleplaying game setting
  • Based upon the critically-acclaimed Shadowrun: Crossfire Engine
  • 2 to 6 players ages 13 and up

Dragonfire is a DND themed deck building game for 2 to 6 players. This game is cooperative, so players all work together to complete the game! 

In Dragonfire, you and your teammates build and upgrade your own heroes, choosing from several different races and roles (cleric, fighter, rogue, wizard, warlock, etc.). These adventurers will fight together through many battles, going up against many kinds of foes. Throughout the game, players should build out their decks and upgrade with the gold they earn from defeating monsters to make the “team” a better-equipped fighting machine.

8. HARRY POTTER HOGWARTS BATTLE

BEST BEGINNER FRIENDLY DECK BUILDING GAME

Sale
USAOPOLY Harry Potter Hogwarts Battle Cooperative...
  • Play as your favorite character to defend the wizarding world from evil forces:...
  • Gain influence to master powerful spells, recruit allies, and uncover magical...
  • Enhance your abilities with over 140 cards

I mean, who doesn’t love Harry Potter? The Wizarding World has captivated the hearts of many, and now you can play through a legendary Hogwarts-Themed deck building game!

Harry Potter Hogwarts Battle is a coop game, so players work together to defeat villains and protect the school. This game can be played by 2 to 4 players. You will assume the role of a Hogwarts student in this game (Harry, Ron, Hermione, or Neville) and build a deck of spells, potions, other characters, and magical items to help you win the game. You may take damage during the game, but you can heal your character with potions to continue on. As the game continues, Dark Arts Event cards will be played, which all players will have to work together to resolve.

9. MARVEL LEGENDARY

A SUPERHERO THEMED DECK BUILDING GAME

Legendary®: A Marvel Deck Building Game: MCU 10th...
  • A limited edition Marvel Cinematic universe (MCU) core set comes to legendary...
  • This edition has 12 new villains and 1 new mastermind!
  • The entire set will contain images from phase 1 of MCU.

Play a S.H.I.E.L.D agent that is assembling a team of superheroes to defeat the Mastermind (super-villains) four times. In this cooperative deck building game, recruit characters from the Marvel Universe, like The Hulk, Spiderman, and Wolverine, to fight the enemy together! These superheroes give players stronger fight power, special abilities, and even higher recruiting power (to recruit more superheroes). Players win victory points as they each fight and defeat the Mastermind. If the players defeat the Mastermind, they all win the game. However, there is an individual winner as well, so make sure you get as many VPs as possible!

Released in 2012, Legendary: A Marvel Deck Building Game, AKA Marvel Legendary, is perfect for parties of 1 to 5 players and is best played by older kids and adults aged 14 and up!

10. MAGIC: THE GATHERING

BEST TRADING CARD DECK BUILDING GAME

Magic: The Gathering 2022 Starter Kit | 2...
  • Magic: The Gathering Starter Kits are a great way to dive into a game of deep...
  • 2 decks designed for out-of-the-box play, with a Play Guide to get you started
  • 2 boxes to store your decks—easy to bring to your next board game night or...

Magic The Gathering is a unique deck building game because each player starts with a pre-built and customized deck. Instead of building a deck throughout the game, players bring their own deck, and build their hand by drawing from their own decks. Magic: The Gathering is a complex game that takes time and practice to master, but what makes this game so great is that there are around 50,000 unique cards. Additionally, there are more cards being added to the game each year! 

Only 2 players can play Magic: The Gathering at one time, building Mana and attacking the opposing player with various cards in their deck. This is a super complex game, so be sure to check out our complete breakdown of the rules for more information on how to play.

11. PAPERBACK

BEST WORD GAME AND DECK BUILDING GAME MASHUP

In paperback, you are Paige Turner, trying to become a famous author and finish writing novels for your editor. You can write Westerns, Romance, Crime Noir, Science Fiction, or even a Best-Seller! In this unique deckbuilding game, players must form words with letter cards and wild cards and purchase more powerful letters, which can help them form longer words and have special powers, or fame cards (which also act as wild cards) to earn victory points.

A word-building deck building game, Paperback can be played with 2 to 5 players and takes around 45 minutes to play.

WHERE TO BUY PAPERBACK

Ready to jump into the world of paperback authors and finish writing novels in all sorts of genres? Buy this fun and creative deckbuilding game!

CONCLUSION

So there you have it, y’all! There’s a huge range of deck building games to suit all tastes and styles of players, offering a mix of excitement, strategy, and surprise that’s hard to find elsewhere. From Dominion’s classic charm to the superhero showdowns of Marvel Legendary, these games are sure to be a blast!

Amber Crook
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