Back4Blood – A Guide to Deckbuiding

Back4Blood, if you don’ know, is a brand new game heavily inspired by the classic Left4Dead series, by many of the same creators of that original series. This game is so good if you like left4dead or similar co-op horde shooters, Back4Blood takes that concept and polishes it to a level that I’ve never seen any studio do before, they really understand what makes these games so much fun, especially with friends.

This game has a really interesting progression system centered around building a deck of cards that give various passives, and getting choices from that deck in between every chapter. This deckbuilding system really caught my eye, as a huge fan of slay the spire and other roguelike card games, I’m so happy to see this genre bleeding out into mainstream games.

Everyone has the same cards automatically unlocked for Versus mode to keep things competitive, but you need to gradually unlock cards to put in your campaign decks. You’ll start with a very basic deck, with some very basic cards that give simple stat increases to your health, stamina, ammo, and more. As you play the campaign, you’ll earn Supply Points depending on how far you get, which can be spent at the Supply Line to unlock new cards! When the full game releases, competing each act is supposed to unlock a supply line that you can spend your points to unlock from left to right. These supply lines have a bunch of cosmetic stuff, but most importantly, cards. There is no RNG involved in getting cards, you can pick and choose exactly which ones you want if you have the supply line unlocked and the points to spend.

When you create your deck, the very first card is your “starter card” that you get at the beginning of every run no matter what, for free. At the beginning of each mission you’ll be given a choice of up to 5 cards, you can only pick one at a time to keep it’s benefit for the rest of the campaign. The order of cards shown are in the exact order you built your deck, and if you don’t choose one, it’ll sit there until you do. It only replaces the cards that you have chosen.

It looks like a good strategy is to put your most important cards that you know you’ll need first, and then the optional little bonuses that are nice but not necessary at the end.

Just to give you an example of what these cards actually do, let me show off my simple melee deck I’ve been messing around with in the Beta. The starting card is “Combat Knife” that converts the basic V bash into a knife that counts as a melee weapon and deals a ton more damage. This build is all about using this knife, I really like it, especially since you can use your bash WHILE you are reloading. Then my first choice of cards will be Battle Lust to make melee kills heal 2 health, Motorcycle Jacket for 10% damage resist, wounded animal for even more healing on kill when at low health, and Durable for Trauma resistance and flat HP. These are my 5 most important cards that I want to see most often, since I’ll be in melee range I really want all these tanky stats and healing. The next choices are all more offensive or utility based, Evase Action gives us 20% movement speed when we take damage, Cross Trainers give stamina speed and health, Superier Cardio also gives stamina and health, antibiotic ointment gives healing efficiency, vitamins give flat HP, and second chance gives HP plus an extra life. A deck can have a maximum of 15 cards, but you can keep it as short as you would like, to make sure you always see everything.

I’m not saying this is a good build by any means, but I think it’s really cool how we can customize our own versions of different archetypes like this and just wanted to give an example on the things you can do. Remember that this games still in beta, we only have act 1 at the moment, which means 3 supply lines, that’s not a lot of cards at the moment. You can see the cards in versus that they’ll probably put into the campaign eventually. I’m really excited to see what kind of cool builds we can make in the future, I’m a really big fan of this system.

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