Category Archives: Collectible Card Game

Transformers TCG: 2018 – 2019

It has been a while since we held an “In Memoriam” for any of our games, the last being the far too soon passing of Luck & Logic in 2017. Today we are gathered to remember the Transformers TCG. On July 20th, Hasbro and Wizards of the Coast posted the following to the official website and to the official Facebook page:

“Titan Masters Attack is the Transformers TCG Final Release.

For over two years, Wizards of the Coast has worked to create a great action TCG brand with the Transformers TCG. While the retailer and player community continued to grow, our product offerings didn’t meet the expectations of the broader fan base to engage further with the brand. Additionally, the current global situation posed by the COVID-19 pandemic presented additional hurdles. As such, Titan Masters Attack released on May 29, is the game’s final TCG release.

We are informing our players and retailers so they can make the best decisions regarding event participation and product ordering.

The Transformers TCG team wishes to recognize the tremendous effort that fans and retailers put into building a great community.

“The Transformers TCG was truly a labor of love for the Wizards team, and we saw that enthusiasm and love echoed by players across the world,” said Drew Nolosco, Wizards of the Coast Global Brand Manager. “We are grateful to our fans, content creators, retailers, and distributors for the enthusiasm they brought to the game. The greater Transformers TCG fan community is perhaps the best TCG community I’ve had the privilege of working with.”

‘Til all are one.”

Debuting in the summer of 2018, we first had the opportunity to demo the game at Gen Con 2018. The game had the oddest booth as it wasn’t on the show floor or in the event hall, but rather set up in the halls of the convention center like some random pop-up venue. The demo was face paced and easy to pick up on. We decided we wanted to add it to the collection and purchased a couple of the 2018 Convention Packs.

We never had the opportunity to play it as much as we would have liked beyond the first set. Surprisingly our local stores seemed to support the game a bit more than most trading card games, but that probably had something to do with the fact that it was Wizards of the Coast producing the game. Granted, not much happened in the way of events or anything like that, but the shelves generally had product at all times.

What always seemed to bother me about this particular trading card game is that considering the brand, and the fact that Hasbro has most of the toy shelf space in big box stores, why wasn’t this game pushed more? The game should have been in every toy aisle in North America. Sadly, with the exception of a small endocap display that was never supported beyond the initial set, the cards could only be found in that awkward card space by the check out lanes at Wal-Mart and Target.

Still, though, the All Spark may live on.

I ran into a local content creator last week and, while discussing the game’s untimely demise, he mentioned that the hardcore of the community will continue with the game and create fan sets. We’ve seen games continue on for years after their expiration date with things like Retro DBZ continuing on the game after Score‘s original Dragon Ball Z TCG passed on. They kept the game alive so much so that Panini relaunched the game in 2014, before being discontinued in 2017 after seven sets.

That all being said, we find ourselves moving the Transformers TCG deck boxes, binders, and bulk collection from our active play shelf to our beloved Dead Trading Card Game wall. It joins the likes of the aforementioned Dragon Ball Z, Bleach, World of Warcraft, and our beloved Yu Yu Hakusho.

Jasco Games Offers Updates for ‘My Hero Academia’ License

Gen Con Online was this past weekend and Jasco Games took the time to do several multi-hour online seminars to connect with retailers and their fans. Along with some great online sales (50% Yu Yu Hakusho UFS booster boxes!!!), trivia contests and an intimate look behind the scenes at the company, they took the time on Sunday to offer an update to the previously announced My Hero Academia: Collectible Card Game.

Before we get into it, we have to give a massive shout out to Jasco Games for offering the demo decks and promo cards from last year’s announcement celebration during the Sunday stream. Player’s had to go through a little bit of an obstacle course to get the Deku and Bakugo demo decks and alternate foil fighter cards. Then the only way to get the amazing looking All Might promo fighter, you had to participate in the demo tournaments that all sold out in mere minutes of Gen Con’s event page going live last year.

On Sunday, they listed the demo decks with matching promo fighters on their website for free (all you had to do way pay shipping). This literally crashed the site for a good ten minutes. They sold out and then they relisted them only for them to get sold out again. The All Might promo was listed for $40, which isn’t bad considering the only way to get this was through the sold out demo tournaments.

Anyways, enough fanboying over that. Lets talk the news and what it means.

First off they revealed this image of their first wave of My Hero Academia: Collectible Card Game products:

So many beautiful goodies to buy

Starting with the top left, we have:

  • Izuku Midoriya vs. Katsuki Bakugo 2-Player Rival Deck: These include two complete decks themed to either Deku (Midoriya) or Bakugo. In traditional fashion with their 2-Player Turbo Deck, each deck is predertimed with Rival Deck exclusive cards and 1 randomly inserted Ultra Rare from the main booster set. These offer new players a fantastic way to learn the game as well as possibly get some legit value starting out (my Cowboy Bebop 2-Player Turbo Deck included a $15 Ultra Rare).
  • Next to that in the same row, we have the My Hero Academia: Collectible Card Game DLC pack. DLC, or Deck Loadable Content, are a new product they launched this year. Each pack includes once copy of 4 different fighters, and two copies of an Attack and a Foundation for that character, for a total of 20 cards. These offer a great way for players to get new content for existing sets that do not have a full booster set in the release schedule.
  • Then we have a look at the first three officially licensed My Hero Academia playmats. These just look absolutely gorgeous (we have a closer look at them further down the article).
  • On the bottom, we have the box art for the first set. We’ve been told that there may or may not be hints at who we can expect to see in the set on the box. Though we have also been told that the first box focuses on the first season of the anime, so that will be a bigger clue of what to expect I think. Booster boxes include a box topper and every booster pack has 1 point printed on them for their redemption program.
  • And finally, we have the first three officially licensed card sleeves from DragonShield. These are gorgeous and each set gets better than the previous (again, a closer look towards the bottom.

Following the line up of the products, they went into previewing the new card borders and new rarity introduced for this set- Extra Rares (though the name will probably change since the owner doesn’t like that it’s abbreviation is ER).

The Deku and Bakugo fighters above will probably look familiar to those that scored the promo cards and decks at Gen Con last year. The first card in each image is the Fighter card as it appears in the demo deck. The second card is the alternate foil promo from Gen Con as well (and the sale from Sunday). The final card in each image is as they appear in the 2-Player Rival Deck.

Note: The final Deku card is missing his element symbols (the three black dots) because Jasco will be running a public beta test for the card game beginning sometime around November and do not want there to be any bias to elements (the way some players have a bias for colors in Magic the Gathering). Several of the cards they showed are missing their elements or any text because they are a part of the public testing or they are waiting for surprises later in the year.

The next card they showed off was 5% Detroit Smash from the demo deck. The card received a name change going into the release- Aspirational Punch. The second card, featuring the change, also includes the border that most cards will include (the color coded dotted). The third card is the full-art “Extra Rare” version. It loses the border, though some cards will have more art displayed with the borders due to the show being in widescreen. They will be foiled, full-art and any card in the set, save for Ultra Rares, will have the chance to have the Extra Rare treatment. They also stated that they will not take up the Rare or Ultra Rare slots in boosters, though they haven’t figured out the distribution percentage as of yet.

Future Charge, a very iconic looking Deku attack, is a great example of the difference between a standard card border and the Extra Rare border. The new elements of the game’s visual changes are on display here, including color coding the border to the type of card (Orange for Attacks, Gray for Foundations). The visual elements add a very cartoon, yet dynamic look, to the cards that are extremely fitting for the source material.

Example of how the widescreen aspect of the show can effect the artwork’s display between the full-arts and regular version.

They showed off a few of Bakugo-centric Attacks and Foundations. The character’s fiery attacks look gorgeous in full art and we can only image how they will look in a foil pattern.

After teasing us with the new design changes, we got a glimpse of what we know was on everyone’s mind- who will playable? Well, we got a teaser overload! We get to see some Class 1-A students, pro heroes and teachers, as well as our first villain. Interestingly, Todoroki is displayed with only his ice powers, which is fitting given his story arc during that first season.

Note: Again, these are missing their text and elemental symbols in order to have unbiased playtesting this winter.

After teasing us with cards we won’t be able to have in our hands for months, they showcased the accessories that they hope to have out this holiday. They print all their playmats in house, which accounts for some of the most vibrant colors and long lasting playmats in the industry (we speak from experience). The card sleeves are produced in a partnership with Arcane Tin Men under their Dragon Shield sleeve brand. They are 100 count and made from the same durable material that all their others are.

They announced that the playmats and sleeves will come out in series, launching with their respective booster expansions. They then showed off the next three series of sleeves. While future expansions can’t be discussed, they did say that the sleeve art could hint at the content of those boosters.

The last thing discussed about the My Hero Academia: Collectible Card Game dealt with Organized Play. The sign of any healthily collectible card game is its Organized Play. From your local shop to the World Championships, a healthy environment keeps players engaged with the game and thus spending money. More money spent, the more content the developers make. Sadly some bigger companies think it goes the other way around and produce premium products without concern for the environment. We digress, however, as that is a conversation for another day.

They showed off the following slides that briefly detailed Organized Play from the local game store (called Dojos) level to World Championships:

The big bullet points to take away from this are:

  • My Hero Academia: Collectible Card Game is a fully supported UniVersus title, able to be combined in the existing format. However, it will have its own tournament series with its own meta and prize support that is purely MHA.
  • Unlike standard UFS/UniVersus events, the MHA format will not support the diversity rule.
  • Worlds and Nationals will be an open event, meaning no invite required. However, at Worlds, the top 32 players ranked by points will receive a special welcome package that they describe as having some significant value. Players earn points for participating in events, though the distribution hasn’t been discussed (do you get points for just participating or is it based on your win/loss record?).
  • Participation prizes and supplemental prize support includes a special “Plus Ultra” Booster Pack. These packs will include event exclusive cards that you are unable to obtain by normal means or through the company’s redemption program.
  • They want the bigger events to be just that- events. There are plans for several side events so if you wash out you won’t feel as though you have nothing to do or can’t have fun. They even plan on supporting cosplayers who attend their events.

Their last card tease featured everyone’s favorite teacher and a card that was featured at Gen Con last year:

They closed out the show by discussing where else the My Hero Academia license will be seen within the board game and tabletop industry under the Jasco Games banner. While they didn’t go into too many details beyond partners (and mentioning Pixel Tactics), they did discuss the My Hero Academia Miniatures Game.

The My Hero Academia Miniatures Game will be a part of their Universal Tactics System line that they launched with the Street Fighter: The Miniatures Game on Kickstarter. While they didn’t have any samples to show off because the game is currently in the approval stages with the parent company, they did say these will be fully painted and to scale with their Street Fighter miniatures (Nintendo Amiibo sized miniatures). The also mentioned they have submitted over 20 characters to be approved to be a part of this game, so let the speculation begin.

An example of the Zangief miniature prototype for scale.

That about covers the big update, previews, and information drop they gave all of us this past Sunday. There is a lot to unpack and let sit, especially if you are new to either their games or just their trading card line in general. We’ll link to the full Sunday live stream below if you want to hear the details straight from the developers themselves. It is just a couple minutes shy of being 5 hours long, but the My Hero Academia portion begins at the 2:58:21 mark: https://www.twitch.tv/videos/698261247

What do you all think? Are you excited to see Deku, All Might and the rest of the heroes (and villains) coming to UFS/UniVersus? Who are yAre you happy with the visual changes to the game or do you wish they’d have kept the old border? Lets us know in the comments below.

As always, keep your dice warm and happy gaming!

Bandai’s Chrono Clash System Loses ‘My Hero Academia’ In The US: A Sign of the End?

As some of you might recall, we discussed the stealth announcement of Bandai Games bringing the My Hero Academia to their Chrono Clash game system back in March (you know, in the before time?). This was a huge announcement to just slide under the radar (much like they did with Neon Genesis Evangelion). Since the world altering effects of the pandemic brought much of all non-essential production and news to a halt or slow crawl, Bandai has been rather radio silent about the game. As expected and acceptable as that is, we now know there may be more to the story than originally thought.

Earlier this month, several commenters in various Chrono Clash Facebook groups have been saying that their local game stores are informing them that their distributors are saying the game will not be released in the United States. When we reached out to surrounding game store for our on confirmation, we were told that the game was no longer available for order and that their preorders had been canceled. On July 21, a post on the game’s primary community Facebook page stated that they had spoken with Bandai’s customer service and it was confirmed that due to licensing of My Hero Academia, the game could only be sold in certain countries.

We have reached out to Bandai Games and will update if and when we get a reply.

Update- 7/21 9:34CST: We received a response from Bandai Games and it does ultimately confirm the distribution at the very least. Per the email from Bandai’s Customer Service-

“We appreciate your support for Carddass Club.

Due to the license of “My Hero Academia”, we plan to sell it only in certain countries. We cannot provide detailed information at this time.

Thank you for understanding.

Back in our original post, we commented on the name simply being My Hero and questioned rather or not that that had anything to do with Jasco Games’ own My Hero Academia TCG for their UniVersus card line. In the July 10th edition of their “Joffice Live!” live stream, they begin talking about My Hero Academia at the 35 minute marker. At the 38:50 mark, they comment that they are the master license holder for the IP in North America for board games and card games. This, more than anything else, is probably the reason for the game not being released here.

Another strong reason is that a couple months ago, Bandai Game’s released an all-new attempt at the Digimon TCG. The game has taken off over seas and it seems like an inevitability that the game will hit English-speaking regions once things return to a somewhat sense of normalcy.

At the core of the game, however, is the unique Chrono Clash engine. The main system that made it so fun and challenging is now the heart of a brand new game. While it isn’t unheard of for company’s to use the same system for multiple titles, it is when they are such vastly different games in this case. On one hand, the Chrono Clash titles are mostly one and done purchases, especially as they didn’t not allow for cross-property play or deck building (no Mothra or Eva-01 in a Naruto deck). Everything anyone would need to play is in the box. They keep customers coming back with new expansions and title add ons. On the other hand, Digimon is a collectible card game in which more money is spent because players will constantly need to update their decks with every new release.

That “Memory Gauge” sure looks familiar…

Chrono Clash is a fantastic line that had momentum coming out of Gen Con 2019. Naruto had launched a couple months prior and had people talking. Godzilla met some criticism. Neon Genesis Evangelion was praised for its complexity and new mechanics. The announcement of My Hero Academia, however, got more stores talking about it and looking at it because My Hero is one of the biggest manga and anime properties in the world at the moment. It offers a cross-selection of multiple potential buying groups that only comes around once in a while and one that had store owners seeing dollar signs. Chrono Clash could only go up from there.

However that momentum went head first into a brick wall. Even prior to the pandemic and many areas going into lockdown, the game had problems. The lack of tournament support for competitive players compounded with the lack of cross-property play. The dead silence from the developer on even the most basic of things (the game’s official Facebook page was last updated was March 3, 2020). These are problems easily fixed, though. Now, as we drift along, we are finding it hard to see anything saving the game at this point.

Yes, the game uses only icons/symbols so that the game can be shared across a language barrier. If someone wants the game bad enough, they can import the game from another country and be able to enjoy it. That’ll be fine for home games but not for local stores. The place where communities develop and games fail or flourish. How much fun will it be to play the game if you have no one to play with? How much fun will you have playing a year old Naruto deck against the new powercreep of All Might or Deku?

Ultimately, though, things could change. Jasco Games and Bandai Games could come to some sort of arrangement that benefits both parties (Goku in UniVersus perhaps?).

What do you think? Is the Chrono Clash game line dead in the water or is it just waiting to catch it’s second wind? Sound off and tell us what you think in the comments below.

As always, keep your dice warm and happy gaming!

Chrono Clash System Is Preparing To Go ‘Plus Ultra’!

In yet another stealth announcement, Bandai Games updated their Chrono Clash System website to announce three new sets based on one of the most popular manga/anime series in the world – My Hero Academia.

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Izuku Midoriya and Class 1-A Set (MH01)

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Katsuki Bakugo and Shoto Todoroki Set (MH02)

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All Might and All For One Set (MH03)

Beyond the box art, set names, and the listing on the game’s official website, not much (if anything) is known about the newest edition to the Chrono Clash System.

Each set will include two decks, obviously, but their contents aren’t known at this time. With the Izuku Midoriya and Class 1-A Set it would be a safe guess that the Class 1-A deck will focus heavily on the rest of Deku’s classmates that Bandai didn’t feel couldn’t warrant their own deck(s). It would explain why Bakugo and Todoroki recieved their own decks.

The set that has my interest, however, is the All Might and All For One Set. The pro heroes of My Hero Academia have always been one of my favorite parts of the series, so anything that gives them more attention is a plus (ultra) for me. Much like western comic books, the heroes can only be as great or enthralling as their villains. Judging by the box art, the All For One portion will have a focus on the League of Villains.

Interestingly, however, they are simply calling the set the My Hero Card Game. I wonder if that has anything to do with the release of Jasco Games’ My Hero Academia Collectible Card Game for their UniVersus line (the revamped Universal Fight System)?

Obviously, this is a set I cannot wait to hear more about and have the cards in hand. What about the rest of you? Is this something you’re looking forward to? Or is it something you may put off getting in favor of a more solo based game right now?

As always, keep your dice warm and happy gaming.

PLUS ULTRA!!

So in the midst of the calm before the storm as it were, Jasco Games dropped a bit of a bombshell this past week. The company will be releasing a trading card game based on the ultra popular My Hero Academia. Furthermore, they are debuting it at Gen Con next week with a special demo event and tournament. Participating in the events will get players 1 of 3 limited edition preview promo cards. Winning the tournament gets you a 1 of a kind giant sized “Plus Ultra” card.

They have been previewing the promo cards via their Facebook page in the…oddest of ways:

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Preview image of the “Plus Ultra!!” Promo Card

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Preview of the “Katsuki Bakugo” Promo Card

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Preview of the “Izuku Midoriya” and “All Might” Promo Cards

I say odd because the images of the cards haven’t been the focal point of the overall picture itself. They are dangling enough of the carrot on the stick to get us invested and want to get there to see what this is all about.

And speaking of dangling a carrot, the images tease a new card game banner UniVersus. According to Jasco Games (or at least whomever is responding for them on their Facebook page), UniVersus and UFS are fully compatible with one another. That would make sense considering some of the iconography on the preview cards share similarities with UFS cards (Like the Block icon in the top left corner). I’m personally wondering if the two games will function in the way that Weiss Schwarz does in that all decks can play against one another but you can’t mix and match from outside your particular series (no mixing Attack on Titan with Sword Art Online).

This announcement definitely caused a small shift in my Gen Con 2019 plans, but in a good way! I can’t wait to learn more and get my hands on this game.

Anyways, keep your dice warm and happy gaming!

 

UFS Yu Yu Hakusho

I’ve written this opening entry a dozen or so times and I still can’t process it. We are going to get straight to the point then.

Today, via their Facebook pages, Jasco Games announced the next expansion to their Universal Fight System (or simply UFS)…

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If the opening theme isn’t in your head right now…

Those that know me personally, or have been following my game writing for a while, know that Score Entertainment’s Yu Yu Hakusho TCG from the early 2000’s was insanely influential to me. The game was the reason I am as big of a fan of trading card games, and collectible games in general. To this day, I will buy the boosters and starters for it, even more than a decade after it stopped being published. For me, the Yu Yu Hakush TCG was the game by which all others were measured (power creep be damned).

Of course, I have no delusions that these will be anything similar. UFS has a rich and rewarding combat system that a property like this was made for. More so than even last year’s Cowboy Bebop set, Yu Yu Hakusho is a series about tournament fighting, hand to hand combat and a magnitude of characters that should offer several rich deck types and builds.

It just makes me beyond happy to know that I’ll be able to buy new cards and experience the new thrill all over again with characters I adore.

So, until next time, keep your dice warm and happy gaming.

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