I honestly don't really expect an answer to this, but I'm finding that I need more than simple deck preset advice. After being away from the game for almost a year I returned... and promptly got crushed in ELO.
It always seems to go the same way - no matter what deck I use, no matter who my opponent is, they always, ALWAYS throw EXACTLY what they need to throw in order to beat me. I've lost sixteen games in a row, and am hovering way below 1000 points. My frustration and disgust level is rising, mainly because the only advice seems to be "use this preset filled with cards you can't afford and you can get up to 1300!" Meanwhile, I'm fighting opponents whose tactics seem to be throw-no-pills-until-the-very-end-and-win-with-a-1-point-life-advantage... except for those people who bury me in a pill avalanche in the first round. Nothing I do seems to work.
Really, I don't know what else to do. I understand the basics of ELO, can rock-out with the best of them in DMs and Fight Club, and have completely wiped the floor with the AI in the solo games - but ELO will not work. So, any advice? Right now I'm about ready to stop wasting my time.
Get a good elo deck. One of the suggested ones with alternatives that are in your price range. And play with it. Doesn't matter where aslong as you play against humans. Or aliens or dolphins. But not the AI. Get to know the deck, get to know what's the weakest point with the deck, how to get around it. And so on.
I'd recommend the same thing that thoazol said, play against people, figure out the positive stuff and the downsides about the deck you're using and see what's the best way for you to play. people can't really teach you how to play, because we all play differently and the way i play may not work with you (also each match is a match really), so the best way you have is to play against others and figure out your way of playing the game
Thanks for the advice, both Thoazol and rumbletug. That seems to be working... I grabbed about six presets and started playing with them, and my run of bad luck seems to be reversing itself.
On an unrelated note - and this is just my opinion - does anyone else think that Fraggle (or one of his lieutenants) really should go in and start clearing away some of the older, defunct presets? One think I noticed is that there are some that were posted waaaaay back in 2009, and contain cards that are perma-banned (like the Leaders). It's not really an issue, but it can be a bit of a pain in the a$$ to wade through dozens of presets that will never again be valid just to find the few gems scattered about.
"Crap" decks can still work. Get a deck you are comfortable with, it will get you above 1200.
Tried lots of things, 6/1/1s, 6/2 with Bangers, 5/3s, "theoretically crappy" decks with success. Important thing is you're comfortable with what your deck is and how it works.
Sometimes it's not the quality of cards but the player. For example, some people can do really well with Ojibway, and some can't. I belong to the latter.