10 Best Deck Building Games

Dominion Deck Building Board Game Card Close
Copyright © 2019 Matt Halvorson. All Rights Reserved.

Deck Building games came on the scene in 2008 with the release of Dominion. This genre is not the collectible card games you might be thinking of like Magic the Gathering or Pokemon. Everything you need comes in the board game box. Everyone starts from square one and the game is the process of building up your deck (or pool or whatever). Deck Building games are a type of engine building game where it is all about buying different pieces to get bigger and stronger, getting you even bigger pieces. We love deck building games because of the endless strategy options and the satisfaction of crazy combos going off. You will see that plenty here. This is the list of the 10 Best Deck Building Games.


Marvel Dicewars Deck Building Board Game

#10 Dice Masters

Dice Masters is a dice drafting game as opposed to building an actual deck, but it fits and it fits so well it is refreshing. Dice Masters is actually a huge proprietary property belonging to WizKids, originally Quarriors!, that is licensed out and used quite a bit so it is hard to say exactly which one to get. The most popular right now is probably Marvel Dice Masters: Avengers vs. X-Men. In the game, each player heads up a superhero team. You have to build up your “team” with 20 dice. Players use these dice to collect energy, recruit new heroes, and battle head-to-head. 

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Great Western Trail Deck Building Board Game

#09 Great Western Trail

Great Western Trail happens to be a much larger and denser engine-building game that has deck building as a key component. This is a dense one, the setup alone will make your head hurt but it is worth it. Once it starts to flow, the games are really fun. You are basically cowboys in the Old West who need to move cattle and find ranchers to join your team and whatnot. Deck Building is not the most important thing but because it is used in an interesting way and this game is fantastic (once learned), it just makes our list of the best deck building games.

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Tyrants of the Underdark Deck Building Board Game

#08 Tyrants of the Underdark

Tyrants of the Underdark is a heavy fantasy dungeons and dragons deck building game. There are dragons and elves and more. If you are looking for that deep dive into this world, this is the game for you. Besides the deck building, this has a game board with various locations and tracks, as long as, forces. It is the building you deck from cards from the market that drives everything. This is very much a combat game, most actions rely on building up your troops, assassinating enemies, or mixing it up with spies. This is very straight forward and very thematic.

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Bloodbowl Team Manager Deck Building Board Game

#07 Bloodbowl Team Manager

Bloodbowl plays much more like a tycoon game than any other other game on this list of best deck building games. Things are happening and you are just the mastermind behind the scene making investments and puppetmastering you minions towards victory. Customize your team by drafting Star Players, hiring staff, upgrading facilities, and cheating like mad. For 2 – 5 players, games last around 90 minutes.

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Trains Deck Building Board Game

#06 Trains

In Trains, its modern times and players are the select railroad tycoons who have consolidated power and will fight to make the most money off of the spreading of these modern marvels. Managing private railways companies and striving to become bigger and better than the competition, you are in it to win it. The game uses cards as an engine with a map game board in the center. You will start with a small set of resources and materials, but by amazing deck building, you will be able to place stations and lay rails over the maps of Osaka, Tokyo or other locations. It is Ticket to Ride meets Dominion. For 2 – 4 players at about 45 minutes per game.

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