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    • @Eric Thanks, those are some good initial definitions allowing us to better talk about this. While reading, I had some random thoughts that I'd like to put down here - with more coming later:

      Static Resource vs. Mana-Curve Games: As if it wasn't complicated enough already, I think this is a spectrum instead of just two mutually exclusive categories. ;)

      In case of Eternal, there's ascending resources (1. Power, which you can typically increase by 1/turn, but you might either miss a card draw allowing you to do so, or draw a card that allows you to increase by more than that; 2. Influence, which you don't spend like Power, but still need to amass to be allowed to play cards of a certain color in the first place).

      On the other hand, there's also a more static aspect of generally one card drawn at the start of a turn (of course, this also can be increased by cards - but which, like everything else, might come with a downside in other regards).

      So it's more of a Mana-Curve than a Static Resource game, but not in an absolute way.

      Draw Depth: I will admit that this 30% value is just my intuition, not something I've really researched. Players will start by drawing a hand of seven cards, then typically draw an additional card per turn (unless they play a card allowing them to draw more). Games often end before either player has reached 10 power - so 7 + 10 + some wiggle room might just amount to 25 cards, or a third of the deck.

      Of course, there are game strategies to explicitly gain access to more cards in less turns - for example cards that allow you to draw +1 card next turn (or every turn until the opponent attacked you for X damage), or draw 2 right now but immediately discard one, or check the topmost card of the draw pile and choose whether to keep it there or move it to the bottom of the pile.

      This strategy of course comes at a cost as well: Spending power on drawing cards means that you have less power to spend on playing them at the same time. This is related to the categorization of a deck as aggro (plays many cards with small value, fast), control (plays slow to eventually get a few cards with huge value) or mid-range (something between these extremes).

      Last but not least, Card Value: This really is the core of the problem, I think. Trying to understand each card on its own is basically asking

      What would this card do if I put it in a deck of completely random cards?

      If we're doing that, then there seems to be a good correlation between this Card Value (random) and the power/influence requirements of a card.

      However, most of the time we're not asking that but instead

      What combination of 75+ cards maximizes the average card value, considering that each individual card value is a function that depends on all other cards in the deck?

      Expressed as a sort of pseudo-code, we have

      deck_value(deck:Card[]) { return sum of card_value(deck[i],deck) over all i }
      card_value(card:Card,deck:Card[]) { return the adjusted value of card if played in deck }

      and (getting back to the original question) we would need to show that if we have a deck_big (a deck bigger than necessary), there's guaranteed to be a deck_small with a better deck_value constructed by removing one or more cards from deck_big.