Turtle Rock is back in the co-op zombie-killing game again with Back 4 Blood, basically a spiritual successor to the Left 4 Dead series. Unlike those games, Back 4 Blood comes with a nifty deck building system that determines your powerups and skills.
These cards will determine whether you live through a multiplayer session, or die by zombie horde. Here are some tips to deck building in Back 4 Blood, especially with the beta popping up later this weekend.
Sort Out Your Playstyle
Before building a deck, you need to figure out what your role is on a team. When you unlock more cards as you play, you’ll start seeing themes.
There are cards that grant bonuses to stamina, reload speed, and movement speed; the kind designed for Assault roles. There are cards that improve a player’s ability to heal others (Support roles) and even cards that grant the whole team extra inventory slots (pack mules & supply).
Once you start unlocking cards with supply points, try to make a number of different decks that allow you to play different roles. This is to ensure you can not only find a deck and role that suits your playstyle, but also fill a role that is currently not in use on your squad.
On that note, don’t be the jerk who wants to stick to a role stubbornly when a team wants you to play another. A flexible player is a well-liked team player.
If You’re New, Pick Reload Speed & Stamina
Two things that are universally important in an online co-op first-person shooter are reload speed and stamina. Gravitate towards cards that provide bonuses to those two things.
The advantage of a fast reload speed is that it gives you less downtime between your shots and allows you to keep firing more often. The advantages of stamina are a little less obvious though; stamina is not only tied to your sprint, but it’s also tied to your melee bash attack. This melee move is important for getting grab-happy zombies off of you. Or even killing them outright if you have the card that adds a knife to your bash attack.
Having a lot of stamina will also save your life in certain sections of certain levels that basically require you to run away from pursuing zombie hordes
Use Cards That Add +1 Or More To Your Inventory
Hoarding stuff can help you out in Back 4 Blood. You are only able to carry one of every type of item. This means you will likely find yourself having to leave behind crucial pieces of equipment.
You can avoid this by adding cards that add +1 to your inventory slots, allowing you to pick up another identical item. These bonuses stack as well, and there are even cards that can add +1 to the entire team’s inventory, but those typically have a significant drawback.
Check The Card To See If Its Negative Effect(s) Are Worth The Hassle
Many cards in Back 4 Blood that are extraordinarily powerful are typically balanced by having a negative effect. For example, the Box of Bags card provides the whole team with +1 Support Inventory, but penalizes the person with the card by taking away 10% of their health.
Depending on your playstyle and team dynamic, this may be a sacrifice that can certainly be worth it. For example, that player who uses the “Box of Bags” card can be typecasted as the team mule: useful to give players inventory space and stuff, but can’t do much in a fight apart from support.
Conversely, many of the cards with significant drawbacks are actually worth it if you’re able to play around their negative effects. One example is Adrenaline Fueled, which reduces your stamina regeneration by 75%, but increases your stamina itself by 100%, while also giving you the ability to regain stamina by killing enemies.
With the right build, this drawback can keep you mobile as long as you’re continuously killing enemies, which makes the reduced stamina regen a possible non-issue. Another card that is super valuable in a healer deck is Rousing Speech which disables your offensive items, like grenades, molotovs, and pipe bombs, but in exchange, you get 150% increased revive speed and 50% less trauma damage when you revive someone.
Considering how slow revives are normally, and how much trauma damage a revive can inflict, this is a tremendous boost to the healing capabilities of one player. Plus, someone else can be in charge of disposing grenades and molotovs onto the undead horde.
Make Sure The Order Of Cards Are What You Want
The order of your cards in your deck matter. Cards at the top of the deck will be given to you earlier in the run, with the card at the very top being your starting card that you get for free.
Make sure to think about which cards you’ll need early on in a campaign, and which cards you might be able to do without until later in the game. You will definitely want to keep core cards closer to the top.
When In Doubt, Use These Cards
The following cards should be able to complement any playstyle whether you’re Assault or Support.
Inspiring Sacrifice is a card that grants your whole team health over time when one teammate gets incapacitated. This not only takes some of the sting out of getting knocked down, but can also be just the boost a team needs to survive a tough fight and keep on surviving.
Overwatch can be an absolute lifesaver. It gives 5 temporary health to any ally within 10 meters of an enemy shot and killed from 15 meters away.
Marked for Death highlights pinged special zombies and causes your whole team to deal an extra 15% damage to them. This card is useful for all roles since players in a team should be calling out and pinging special zombies.