The top level meta and its fast pace have led to a rapid change in tactics. First Age strategies for the most part have been circumvented to be replaced by newer tactics and mechanics. While the top level meta can be seen and played as a spam-fest there are tactics that exist that can help a player succeed with more consistency. One of these principles is what I refer to as deck segregation.
The Top Level Meta
The top level meta has evolved into a damage focused meta. Schools focus more on consistent damage output with utility/damage spells(loremaster, fire beetle, hungry caterpillar) being exceedingly effective due to their ability to accomplish multiple tasks in a single round. As such matches are ending in record time and are often decided by 2 or less crucial plays. These crucial plays often revolve around having the right cards at the right time and as such deck structure becomes critically important. Deck segregation is one way to structure your deck to maximize the chance that your critical cards are available at crucial moments.
What is Deck Segregation?
In wizard 101 players effectively have access to 2 decks: their main deck and their side deck. The main deck provides trained cards that can be used more than once per duel(if reshuffled) while the side deck provides one time use cards. Most players currently have a mix of cards in both decks serving many different functions. While this can be effective it is not as effective as it can be. Many players have experienced what I refer to as “deck clutter”. Deck clutter is the state in which you cannot draw the cards you need when you need it. Deck clutter can be the result of poor card discarding/draw mechanics but it is often the result of deck structure. A random main and sideboard can increase the likelihood of deck clutter.
In this meta even one misplayed round can spell the end of the duel and that is why deck segregation is critically important. Deck segregation is actually a very simple principle. It involves having different foci for both your main deck and side deck. An easy example is having your side deck focused on offense while your main deck is focused on defense and support. By having different foci for your different decks you can significantly reduce your chance of deck clutter.
How Can Deck Segregation Help You?
Of course all this talk of deck segregation begs the question-What is the point? The answer is that deck segregation can help you in numerous ways. By segregating your deck you can reduce the number of cards needed. In this way you reduce your deck size which of course helps you to draw the cards you need more reliably. Deck segregation also allows you to directly manipulate what cards you are most likely to draw. For example let's say my main deck was devoted to offense while my side deck was devoted to defense. My opponent now has me in a prone position and is about to attack. Thanks to deck segregation I can now ensure I can pull a defensive card by drawing from my side deck. If I had not applied deck segregation in the design of my deck then it would be completely up to luck whether I could defend myself in said scenario. Simply put deck segregation helps you to organize your resources more efficiently than your opponent which in this meta can easily lead to victory.