Potionomics is a really fun game I've been following for a while, that just recently finally released. You play a potion-maker, crafting and selling potions, sending heroes out on adventures (buffed by your potions) to gather rare potion ingredients, and befriend and romance a bunch of adorable NPCs. I love it! The writing is so good!
Anyway, a big part of the mechanics is selling your potions, or promoting them to a judge during the potion competitions. This is done with a very fun little card-battling subsystem, where you deal "interest" to the customer to raise your potion's price, avoid using up all of their "patience", and they deal "stress" back to you in return.
Your starting deck sucks, and you get better cards from befriending NPCs. After some experimentation and reading, I think I have hit on the optimal deck, tho. It's based on Chorus, card draw, and cost reduction, and can almost always fully max a customer's interest by turn 2 or 3 at the latest, while keeping your stress minimal.
You can swap some cards for better ones later, but these are required to get the deck working. It can be fully built on Day 21 at the earliest, just after you recruit Corsac and have his first card.
- Xid Rank 6, for Jingle, Chorus, Improv, and Rhythm
- Saffron Rank 5, for Meditate and Deep Connection
- Quinn Rank 5, for Press The Attack and Pressure
- Baptiste Rank 1, for Captivate
- Corsac Rank 1, for Ferocity of the Squirrel
- Owl Rank 2, for Scheme and Two Is Better Than One
The decklist is:
- Jingle x2
- Chorus x4
- Improv x2
- Rhythm x2
- Meditate x2
- Deep Connection x1
- Press The Attack x1
- Pressure x1
- Captivate x1
- Ferocity of the Squirrel x1
- Scheme x2
- Two Is Better Than One x1
The powerhouse of this Deck is Chorus - you'll play it 5-6 times per negotiation. All your card draw is to enable you to draw more Choruses. Improv and Scheme are your major card draw; Quinn's draw cards are last-ditch but can occasionally save your negotiation.
Ferocity is very important for the additional interest - you'll play 10-15 cards per negotiation, so this is worth 20-30 extra interest for free, as much as an additional Chorus! And remember that the effect lasts the entire haggle session, carrying over to later customers, so you don't need to cast it again (unless you have patience to spare or it's free, to get the 2 interest from playing a card).
Two Is Better Than One is used to clone Improv and Chorus two or three times each. Remember that the cloned cards also last the entire haggle session, so some early plays will improve your deck for all later customers. If you've filled up on Improv/Chorus or just don't have them in your hand, feel free to clone Jingle or Captivate, or Meditate if your stress is getting worrisome. Don't clone too much, tho - you don't want your deck hitting more than 27 or 28 cards total or it'll choke up your draws.
Jingle is a surprise key card - not only will it reduce Scheme or Rhythm to 0 cost, but it can actually reduce 1 or 0-cost cards to negative cost, making them add patience to the customer! (You'll see this in the UI as something like "--2", meaning it's adding 2 patience.) In other words, it's equivalent to a non-opener Captivate, or if Rhythm is active, to an opener Captivate!
Rhythm is important for kicking the deck into long-combo mode on turn 2 or 3, as it makes most of your deck free. If you have a Rhythm in your hand, it can be useful to play it and any Choruses you're holding, then just end your turn immediately - your next turn will be far more productive instead. Just make sure you'll have 2 or 3 patience at the start of your next turn, so you can play a Scheme.
Captivate's use is obvious, and Deep Connection is similar. You don't always need to cast Deep Connection, but burning thru a hand for the free Ferocity interest and making it all back from Deep Connection can be very useful.
Finally, managing stress is very important - you need all the cards you draw to keep this deck going, so having them replaced by Stress Cards can kill a negotiation. (Plus they prevent you from using Deep Connection!) Play Meditate whenever you can, and prefer ending a negotiation early if the customer is threatening to send you past 10% stress. That 10-20% stress interval is the Danger Zone, as even mildly unlucky RNG can suddenly put three or more stress cards in your hand and bump your stress even higher.
Making the deck perfect just requires spending more time with Saffron (you were gonna do that anyway for her coupons).
At rank 7, you earn Regulated Breathing, which should immediately replace Meditate. Like Ferocity, this buff lasts the entire haggle session; unlike Ferocity, it stacks every time you play it, so by the third or fourth customer you can bump the effect enough to be reducing your stress by 6+ each turn, keeping you at 0% no matter what the opponent does and ensuring you never draw a stress card unless the opponent specifically forces it.
At rank 9, you earn Serenity of Mind, which should immediately replace Scheme. You're always keeping your stress below 20% - at this point, it's almost always at 0% - so this is a strict upgrade, and a massive one at that.
You can get a reasonably-functioning version of this deck going during the second week, if you're quick to raise Xid and Saffron, and spend some time with Muktuk as well.
- Use Build Rapport (Baptiste rank 2) instead of Two Is Better Than One - Sympathy can offset the lack of additional Choruses.
- Use Bravado (Muktuk rank 5) instead of Ferocity - it's more powerful (3 interest per card) but only lasts two turns.
- Swap one or both of your Meditates for Guided Thought - less stress reduction, but keeps the interest pressure going.
- Use a second Captivate instead of Deep Connection, if you haven't gotten Saffron to rank 5 yet for the card.
Unfortunately Xid's Rhythm (rank 6) is pretty core to making the deck pop off, so boosting her relationship as quickly as possible with gifts and hang-outs should be a top priority.