I recently got a request to do a comparison between the two decks from Root: A game of Woodland Might and Right by Leder Games. The Standard Deck comes with the base game while the Exiles and Partisan deck is available as an expansion for the game. Image credit to Lord of the Board!
Since each deck is balanced in their own way, there are some big similarities between the decks but there was also some surprising differences. And there were somethings that I learned even though I’m pretty sure I inherently knew them, but I never did the math before. So, without further ado, let’s drive in!
There were two big questions that came to mind for me; What is the distribution of crafting costs in each deck? And what suits are used the most to craft cards?
Looking at the crafting costs, the card ranges from needing nothing to needing four crafting materials. This one had a bigger different between the Standard deck and the Exiles and Partisans deck than I expected. The standard deck has a lot of higher cost crafting cards than I expected. To see the cards costing three resources to craft go from 15% to 4% is a dramatic drop. While, on the flip side, the cards having a one crafting cost increased from 37% to 54%.
The suits needed to craft cards also saw an interesting shift. The standard deck has quite a few cards that require one of each suit which has been reduced in the Exiles and Partisans deck. I feel like the Bunny suit is very favored because it saw no change in cards that require it. While Mouse, poor mouse, got reduced from 36% to 27%. One of the biggest boons of the Exiles and Partisans deck is the amount of cards which any suit can be used to craft. The standard deck has only one card (2%) that could be fulfilled by an combination of suits but that grew to 13% of the Exiles and Partisans deck.
In each deck there are cards that, when crafted, give you items and those items have victory points attached to them. I did find that the item cards in each deck were identical. But I still wanted to do a bit of a break down to show how the items are dispersed within the deck.
Above are the three main breakdowns that I wanted to do. I was curious how many items were available and what suit of card they were on. Both fox and mouse have 6 potential items distributed among the suits of the cards, while bird and bunny only have four. But that isn’t to say that the suit of the card corresponds to the suit needed to craft the item. Each item can only be crafted by a specific suit. I don’t think it ever registered with me before that the fox suit is highly tied to the more aggressive items (I know hammers aren’t used for fighting but, I mean, they could be?). Most items also only need one resource to be craft but coins and swords need two resources.
But why craft items at all? Well, because items can get you victory points of course! If you could craft all of the cards, you would be able to get a whopping 33 Victory Points! That’s enough to win the game! And that’s also probably why each item is limited with only a certain amount available to be crafted.
Even still, crafting all of the items available in the game would get 21 victory points which is nothing to sneeze at. If you had to devote yourself to one suit, I would devote to bunny. Bunny alone can get you 8 VP, while fox gets you 7 and mouse gets you 6.
The other type of cards in the deck, besides items, are what I would call effect cards. These are cards that can give players special active or passive abilities as well as one time attacks on their opponents. The crafting suit needed for the effect cards generally are reflected to be the same suit as the cards. That was a fun discovery I came across as I started closely studying the cards. It’s also a discovery I think I should have recognized a lot sooner.
The break down of the crafting costs of effect cards similarly reflects to the crafting costs of the entire deck. Once again, going from the standard deck to the Exiles and Partisans deck, there is a definite decrease of cards with a three cost as well as a massive increase of cards that have a cost of one. The zero cost cards (Ambushes and Dominance cards) have stayed the same between the two decks so there is nothing affecting those numbers.
The suits needed to craft the effect cards also saw a similar change as the overall deck composition. The cards requiring one of each suit was reduced, and the cards that can use any suit to be crafted was drastically increased. And, again, I’m feel sad for those mouse card which got hit hard – begin taken from 36% to a sad 20%. For the Exiles and Partisan deck, Bunny seems to be the most advantageous suit to have if you want to craft cards.
There currently is a fan-assembled deck by Marcus the Cat that is being called the Master deck. This deck has a total of 60 cards (compared to the 54 of the official decks). The Master deck has 15 cards of each suit in the deck while the official decks have the composition of 13 cards in mouse and bunny and 14 cards in bird and fox. The items cards in the master deck is identical to the other decks so where we’ll see the most difference is in the effect cards. The deck overview and effect cards breakdown is shown below.