Archive for the ‘Weiss Schwarz’ Category

Anyone who knows me knows that my favorite genre of gaming is the realm of trading card games. I am obviously a proponent for CardFight! Vanguard and Magic the Gathering (primarily Commander/EDH). I could spend literally hundreds of hours writing, talking, dissecting both of those games, but everyone knows that. Instead, today, I thought I’d share the trading card games that I love and try to have a deck ready to go at all times. There are a lot, so I narrowed it down to four and they have to currently be in publication (I do love me some dead games, after all).

#4.) Transformers TCG (Hasbro)

This one actually came out of left field for me this year. I love the Transformers IP, but even I saw this as a cash grab. The idea of the oversized character cards seemed as gimmicky as it comes initially. Then came GenCon a few months ago and the demo we had was fantastic. The next morning, we were on the show floor early to grab a starter and a couple of the convention exclusive booster packs.

Building a team of multiple character cards and a minimum 40 Battle Card deck featuring Upgrade (Armor, Weapon and Utility) and Action cards, players take alternating turns playing cards, transforming and attacking. Last ‘Bot standing wins. Its as simply as that. One of the things I enjoy is that you don’t deck out in this one, simply reshuffle.

The game being so new, this is the perfect time to jump in. The newly released Metroplex Deck has everything a player needs to get started, including a super large Metroplex card that might be the most annoying thing in any card game.

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Includes a 40 card deck with 3 exclusive new cards, 3 exclusive normal sized characters and the gigantic Metroplex all for a low cost of $19.99.

#3.) Dragon Ball Super TCG (Bandai)

This one was a little bitter sweet for me. Back in the old days of Score (Early 2000’s), I backed the Yu You Hakusho TCG while a lot of people I knew went with their Dragon Ball Z. Admittedly, I was a bigger fan of Yusuke and his crew than I was of Goku and friends back then. I didn’t make the same mistake twice and, when Panini America released their reboot of the old Dragon Ball Z game, I went all in. Sadly the game went belly up (for one reason or the other) and Bandai launched their Dragon Ball Super TCG.

The best part of this game is that, unlike previous incarnations, they aren’t holding themselves to going saga by saga. They mix and match present arcs, previous arcs and movies in each set. The newest expansion, Miraculous Revival, features characters from the Fusion Reborn movie, Super Android 17 arc of Dragon Ball GT, and instances of Shenron and the Dragon Ball wishes from Dragon Ball through Resurrection F.

The game has officially been out a year now and they have released 8 booster sets (5 main sets and 3 special themed sets), 8 various starter decks and dozen or so special boxes/gift sets. There are several options on how to get started, though the current meta would seem to favor the new “Wish” mechanic. That means the recent Shenron or Gogeta  starter, along with the latest booster set Miraculous Revival, would be an ideal place to start. Most staples in the game can also be picked up fairly cheap (in comparison to other games), with one or two exceptions.

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A Blue staple from the original set, Senzu Bean is currently a $10 card via TCGPlayer.

The game has had some growing pains, I won’t lie, but what game doesn’t? 2019 is shaping up to be a fantastic second year for the game, especially with the hype around the Dragon Ball Super Broly movie set in March.

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The old game died out before we ever got Gogeta officially printed, let alone a Super Sayian 3 Gogeta like this!

#2.) Weiss Schwarz

The game that got me into Bushiroad and all their products, Weiss Schwarz is an anime fan’s dream game. Recently I went into length about my favorite franchise for the game, Sword Art Online (You can read the original article here), but there are so many other games that are a part of the series. Currently in English, there are over 80 various booster boxes and starter sets available for franchises such as Sword Art Online, Kill la Kill, Persona, Attack on Titan, Hatsune Miku and so many more. This month sees the release of No Game No Life starter and booster, with Cardcaptor Sakura releasing in January. Things get even crazier when you look at the Japanese edition of the game as they have properties like Star Wars!

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Seriously, this is not a joke. Some of the art on these cards put the stuff Fantasy Flight puts out to shame!

If you are a fan of video games or anime, you’d be hard pressed to not find a set that you didn’t like. One of the key things that has drawn me to this game is that, since sets are not interchangeable (no mixing Attack on Titan with Cardcaptor Sakura), you only really have to stay up on the releases that you want.

That being said, there is a draw back to this game that most other games do not have. Bushiroad only prints a certain number of cases for each set and they aren’t known for reprinting. That means obtaining sealed product for older sets can be a pain and the prices for some singles on the secondary market can be abnormally high. Also, since these sets are licensed IPs, they don’t return to a lot of them (or at least not frequently) unless a new season or game releases. This means that some sets can be pushed to the side easily by power creep.

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It could be the worst series ever and I’ll still main deck Sword Art Online!

#1.) Universal Fight System (Jasco Games)

So what game system could push out one featuring one of my all time favorite anime series? One featuring my favorite, as well as sporting the most unique mechanic system in the industry: Universal Fight System (UFS).

This game has a bit of a storied history. Currently published and designed by the crew at Jasco Games, the game was originally under two other publisher- Sabertooth Games (February 2006-February 2008) and Fantasy Flight Games (June 2008-November 2009). While the game has featured the likes of Gabe and Tyco, from Penny Arcade, to the more recent Bebop crew from Cowboy Bebop, it has had a primarily video game focus. Which makes sense as the game’s core mechanics are designed to make it feel like you are playing a fighting game with a deck of cards.

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Cammy from the recent Street Fighter set.

Everything you need to start constructing your deck is decided like any good fighting game- at the character select screen. Using the Cammy pictured above, there are 5 symbols to the left of her text box. You have your starting/maximum hand size, your health and then the three elements your deck uses. You can use any card, from any set, so long as it contains at least one of those three symbols.The game takes the fighting theme to a whole new level with the way cards actually interact. You have attacks that combo off previous attacks, building up a super meter, and getting progressively harder with each new hit. Each attack has an attack speed and hit zone (high, middle or low), so you have to match it with a like block.

The main reason I got into the game.

  • There are a few things this game has going for it, beyond the amazing mechanics, that make it an amazing product.
  • First, and something I wish every game did- booster pack redemptions. Every booster pack has a little skull printed on the back of it. Simply hit up the official website for a list of key reprints and alternate art foils and print out the order form. Ship them the boosters, they ship you the cards. It’s a small little thing that gives you a little extra bang for your dollar.
  • Then there are the formats. UFS supports two formats for their game, Standard and Turbo. Standard format is a 60 card deck with cards from the last 10 most recent print sets, while Turbo is a 41 card deck from the 4 more recent printed sets. As a new set comes out, the oldest set in the list gets pushed out. Further more, the formats support both 1v1 traditional play and Teams (3v3).
  • Finally, there is the grand prize from their National and World events. For singles competition, the winner gets to be made into a tournament legal character promo card. Team champions get turned into an Assist card. What makes these so amazing is that the winners actually get to have a hand at helping design the cards. As a gamer and an artist, that is probably one of the best prizes I could ever hope to win.
  • The next UFS set due out is “Street Fighter vs Dark Stalkers”. That preview art is gorgeous!

  • We could spend hours talking about how much of amazing game UFS is, how it is played and so much more. We probably will in the near future!
  • So what do you all think? Do you agree with our choices? Think a different game should make the list? Sound off in the comments below and let us know.
  • Until next time, as always, keep your dice warm and happy gaming.
  • Sword Art Online has been one of the few anime to truly capture my imagination the way anime used to do back when I was in high school. While there are parts that are better than others and certain characters fair better has the series progresses, the over all package of Sword Art Online is one that I’ve throughly enjoyed without reserve. Heck, its probably why its one of my top rewatched animes of the last few years. The top honors of that goes to Cowboy Bebop and Yu Yu Hakusho. That is why the only two hobby games for the series hold a special place in my collection.

    First, and foremost, is the Sword Art Online line of expansions for Bushiroad’s hit trading card game- Weiss Schwarz.

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    Weiss Schwarz, for those unaware, is a card game thats brings together multiple anime and video game properties to battle it out. The likes of Attack on TitanPersona 5, and even the upcoming Cardcaptor Sakura set battle on “stages” using character cards, event cards and Climax cards (think Triggers from CardFight! Vanguard). Generally speaking, decks are played series-specific, meaning no Kirito fighting along side Even Yeager.

    To date, there have been 8 Sword Art Online releases:

    • Sword Art Online Trial Deck
    • Sword Art Online Booster Box
      • Both of these cover the first 14 episodes, or Aincrad arc, of the first season.
    • Sword Art Online Vol. 2 Booster Box
      • Covers the final 11 episodes, or Fairy Dance arc, of the first season.
    • Sword Art Online II Trial Deck
    • Sword Art Online II Extra Booster Box
      • Covers the first 14 episodes, or Phantom Bullet arc, of the second season.
    • Sword Art Online II Vol. 2 Extra Booster Box
      • Covers the final 10 episodes, or the Calibur and Mother’s Rosario arcs, of the second season.
    • Sword Art Online Re: Edit
      • Reprint set of 100 previous released cards + 19 new ones
    • Sword Art Online The Movie -Ordinal Scale-
      • Cards from the theatrical movie of the same name.

    Like all of the Weiss Schwarz series, they use still shots and promotional art from the anime to make the cards. For some of the cards, it can look a little wonky (is that an ok word to use?) like the Asuna on the left. For others, though, they can look amazing, like the Asuna on the right.

     

    Interesting enough, it is also because of this game that I ever became remotely interested in any of Bushiroad’s other products. We were walking the hall of GenCon for the first time and we’d stumbled across their booth. Back then they actually had a lot of tables set up and product for sale. I digress. We demoed it and the deck I got to demo was for Sword Art Online.

    Another bonus is that, with my love of playmats, official Sword Art Online playmats are some of the most gorgeous around:

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    One of my favorite playmats in my collection.

    My current build is a little scatter brained, but I love it. It is primarily the original starter with some random bits thrown in for good measure. I was super excited with the starter because it had a RRR “Asuna- Start of the Battle” inserted.

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    The RRR Asuna is on the bottom row, second column.

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    Like CardFight! Vanguard, you get a certain number of Climax Cards (think Triggers).

    The other game to appear with the Sword Art Online name on it is from Japanime Games called Sword Art Online: Sword of Fellows.

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    Launched on KickStarter last year, players play as their favorite characters from the original arc- Kirito, Asuna, Agil, Silica, Klein and Lisbeth. Games play out over four scenarios, each representing a level of the game from the show. The first three levels (Lower, Middle and Upper) have multiple options and one is randomly drawn for each, giving way to lots of play throughs with different outcomes. Players can earn itms to help them beat later bosses and level up for better and stronger attacks.

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    I should really have taken pictures of my copy, but this works!

    One of the things I absolutely love about the game is that, even sleeved, all of the cards and components (dice and tokens) fit back into the small box it comes in. That means it is easily stored and taken with you so you can enjoy the world of Sword Art Online anywhere and everywhere you can find a flat surface! Bonus note: This KickStarter had one thing I wish every KickStarter would offer- Sleeves for all of their different sized cards! Seriously, a life saver.

    I really wish there were more games for the Sword Art Online universe. Yes, it is a franchise that lends itself to video games more than a physical medium, but there are still a number of amazing possibilities. A small army miniatures game in the same vein as Infinity from Corvus Belli exploring the front lines of the dungeons would be amazing. Think of the possibilities of Sword Art Online RPG where if you die, you have to preroll a whole brand new character? At the very least, I would love to see a new card set. With the third series recently launching, I have no doubt Bushiroad will put out another expansion for Weiss Schwarz but what about Jasco Games and Universal Fight System? That would be a killer set!

    What do you all think? Should we have more games with the SAO IP or should the series stick to what it already does. Sound off in the comments below and let us know.

    Until next time, keep your dice warm and happy gaming!