Archive for the ‘Wizards of the Coasts’ 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.
  • Everyone knows about my on-again-off-again relationship with Magic The Gathering. I spent most of my middle school and high school days bouncing back and forth between Pokemon and Yu-Gi-Oh!, but every once in a while Magic would slip in. The last time we actively tried to really get into Magic would have been around Core Set 2010 and the Divine vs Demonic two-player deck, then again when Dragons of Tarkir dropped in 2015.

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    Admit it, Ojutai was dropping the sickest mixtape of 2015.

    This relationship came to a head in 2017 when, after many attempts to get us into the format and several trips to GenCon, we finally broke into the Commander (or EDH) format. I went with the Arcane Wizardry deck, while Rob went with Feline Ferocity. The other two decks were chosen by two others in our main group. Laster that year, we’d add the Commander Anthology to our collection.

    Since then, I think I’ve played more games of Magic in nine months than I have in the last ten years. Things got really bad when Ixalan/Rivals of Ixalan came out. Dinosaurs and pirates are a volatile combination. We attended actual prerelease events, even buying a full box of Rivals. The bug is pretty bad, though we’ve kept ourselves contempt with Commander. I think in large part to it being the only format the majority of our play group will only play.

    This all brings me to the point of this post: I finally sat down and built my first from-scratch Commander deck. We have six decks prior, but they were all pre-constructed decks to which we’ve made modest modifications to over the last several months. The most edited deck probably being the Heavenly Inferno (featuring Kaalia) from the Anthology collection. For my first original build, I decided to go with one of the reasons I’m so big into Magic again – dinosaurs!

    Aside from dinosaurs being one of the big reasons I loved Ixalan so much, they seemed like one of the easier modern types to go with. I was always a fan of aggro decks in the past and the dinosaurs introduced fit that bill perfectly. There are some nice little combos hidden in some of them, but for the most part they hit hard and hit hard fast. The first thing I had to decide on, however, was which dinosaur to use for my Commander. I narrowed it down to two:

    These are the two baddest dinosaurs in the Ixalan schoolyard, with Gishath hailing from Ixalan and Zacama from Rivals of Ixalan. They both offer a tremendous amount of power for their costs, yet both offer completely different play styles. Zacama blocks anything and everything while untapping all the resources to call him out. Gishath, on the other hand, can attack the turn summoned and potentially flood the board with dinosaurs to give your opponent a headache.

    Ultimately, I decided to run the tri-headed terror and Primal Calamity, Zacama. Gishath’s ability to swarm the board is nice, but if he gets destroyed and goes back to the Command Zone, it’ll cost you resources better spent elsewhere. If Zacama gets destroyed, send it back to your command zone with no worries. Why? Next turn, summon it again and then untap. Once you have enough mana on the board to bring Zacama out the first time, it is basically a free 9/9 slaughter house whenever you need it. To add insult to injury, the mana you untapped can then be used for three amazing effects.

    The rest of the build I went with is a bit…unique. As I stated before, my on-again-off-again relationship with Magic over the years has left me with a unique collection. I have cards from several different sets, but not complete access to the must have cards for 99% of Commander builds. As such, you improvise until you go to something like GenCon or you hit up TCGPlayer and single out what you need.

    I don’t want to brag, but I think the deck comes out fairly well. Over the weekend, it was played 6 times. With the exception of one game where it stalled, it performed extremely well the remaining five times. Each game was multiplayer with 3 or more players. I can say with some fine tuning it could be a great contender. A big MVP of the deck is:

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    So much potential…

    With Zacama, as well as a couple other cards in my build, I have a decent amount of life gain. In one game, the deck was able to build up to 98 life. Tapping Sanctum of the Sun for anything over base life is amazing in a deck that doesn’t have an infinite mana build. Better yet is that Sanctum is a land, which means if Zacama somehow gets destroyed, it can untap it for even more land! Rob managed to pull that off, tapping it the first time for 60 red and then 60 white. Just using it for Zacama’s abilities, that’s +60 life and 60 points of damage across all of our creatures. That’s an opponents’ board wiped plus setting up for even more mana for the next turn.

    Of course, the cost is losing five cards exiled with Azor specifically. That’s five turns of a major target on that Artifact.

    I’m super excited to see Dominaria on the horizon. The spoilers have been making me drool a little, mainly for what it could possibly add to my Wizard deck. I’m not sure what could or could not be making their way into this deck, but I’m definitely looking to see what older cards I could possibly add to the dinosaur deck.

    So, for long time Commander players, what are some need to have cards I should be on the look out for? Have you ever tried a dinosaur deck yet? What worked well and what kept you from having fun? Sign off in the comments below and let us know!

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

     

    So first a correction: my final placement from the Dragons of Tarkir prerelease event was 36th.  This was out of 51 players.  Not horrible for my first official Magic the Gathering outing, but not particularly good either.  I only won 1 out of 5 rounds and several players dropped, but I stayed in as long as I could.

    Next up, I sent a question into Panini today that may or may not make me the laughing stock of the Dragon Ball Z CCG community if I’m wrong, possibly breaking the game if I’m correct.  The entirety of the email is as follows:

    “Team Panini,

    First, loving the revitalized game!  I never had the chance to play the original, but jumped at the second chance.

    My question is going to be a weird one.  Maybe you have been asked it, maybe you haven’t.  Either way, it’s a question that has been bugging me and I’d like an answer:

    Can Trunks use the “Namekian Knowledge Mastery”?

    I know it reads like a question of someone trolling or trying to be funny, but I’m being very serious about this.  I have put a lot into this and think he should be allowed to. 

    The rules in regard to whom can use the Namekian Mastery from the rule book states: “This style can only be used by Nameks or those trained by Nameks (Piccolo, Gohan, Nail, Dende, ect).”  The first part is pretty obvious.  Namekians should have access to their own mastery.  It is the second part of the line, “…or those trained by Nameks…”, which leads me to believe that Trunks should be allowed.  During the Fusion Saga of the anime and manga, Piccolo is seen training both Goten and Trunks.

    Now, the quickest argument against this theory is that the main personality Trunks that we have currently is the “future” Trunks seen during the Android Saga.  While the art work/screen grabs used for the card would agree with that, it also hurts it.  In “Wrath of the Dragons”, Trunks and Goten use the Fusion Technique to become Gotenks, which they mastered while training under Piccolo.  At the end of the movie, Tapion gifts his sword to Trunks.  During the end credits, they go out of their way to include a montage of shots showing the elder Trunks fighting with his sword from the Android Saga.

    Of course, the argument against using the movie as an example would be that the movies (except “Battle of the Gods” and select shorts/OVAs) are not considered cannon and that non-cannon material would have no effect on the game.  While this is extremely possible, I’d see it detrimental to the life of the game.  Ignoring the potential content from the movies removes several fan favorite personalities from ever coming, such as Broly or Bojack.  On the flip side, it could be argued that since we are only technically to the Garlic Jr. Saga of the show (going off the artwork used from the “Heroes & Villains” expansions as reference), then he technically hasn’t been taught by Piccolo yet and shouldn’t be allowed.  However, if you go off of the second option, then “Goku- Super Saiyan God” shouldn’t be allowed for use in tournament play because we haven’t gotten to the “Battle of the Gods” as of yet.  I don’t think that would be a good argument, either way, as it has been stated several times that the Panini version of the game is under no obligation to follow the series in order unlike the previous iteration.

    In the end, however, if the arguments of cannon and time line continuity do not win out, the fact is: Trunks was trained by Piccolo.  Piccolo is a Namekian.  Those who are trained by Namekians may use the Namekain Mastery.

    Thank you for your time.  I hope that wasn’t too long of a question.”

    Went to the Magic the Gathering Dragons of Tarkir Prelease at Comic Quest last night (this morning?) and it was definitely not what I was expecting.  

    With 51 players in attendance, I think I finished 38th or 39th.  The said part is that that placement is still after 15-20 players dropped.  Heck, I even had to eventually drop due to the 6th round (final round before top cut) was to start at 7am and I had to work.  But I would have been going into Round 6 with a 1-4 record. 

    Played a side event with my good friend Scott, I which he thoroughly whooped my ass.  The only thing I did win at this event was a pinball/whack-a-mole style game Wizard’s put together.  You threw your die to knock down little tokens, each worth a variety of points. Land in the center, get double the points.  I got 20 points on my first throw, good for all 4 of the alternate art promos.  That was also the high score for the night until Scott rolled…a 36. 

    All in all, win or lose, it was a fun event.  I had never played Magic in any kind of formal setting or environment, so it was interesting.  Lessons where learned.  We’ll see where that leads us.