In games like Elder Scroll Legends, or Slay the Spire, I like themes for what I play. Probably too much, honestly, to the point where the theme overwhelms the more basic concern of ‘does this work well’.
In ESL I’ve mostly fixed this problem, but early on I’d do stuff like put all cards with the “slay” ability in a deck, even if some of those cards barely made sense for what the deck is doing overall. Same issue when I made a ‘dragons’ deck; just dump everything that’s a dragon in the deck and see what happens.
In Slay the Spire its worse, mostly because you have less control over the build process. For example, picking up one relic early on might get me to massively overcommit on a strategy, and this usually fails horribly because the other 10 pieces you need to make said theme/combo work don’t happen. In that game I simply have to accept that a combo is ‘good enough’ with 3-4 cards/relics, rather than devoting 90% of everything to make it work.
One of the big reasons I know I do this is because when everything does come together, its an awesome feeling. When that overly themed deck in ESL gets the perfect draw against the perfect opponent, it’s a steamroll. In Spire if your theme combo does come together because you did acquire the 2-3 key pieces and have the supporting cards, you smash all three levels and win the game easily. That’s the good stuff. The bad stuff is the other 80% of the games, where you lose in frustration because things ALMOST clicked, but didn’t.
The second great struggle of learning Slay the Spire: not trying to build an archetype.