Posts Tagged ‘Trading Card Game’

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!

 

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Jasco Games has finally tipped their hat with the upcoming UFS Yu Yu Hakusho release!

First and foremost, we have a release date. Jasco has announced that the next expansion is due on September 6, 2019. That is a lot sooner than I had given any hope for. Furthermore, per their Facebook post, we may get a bit early at Gen Con next month.

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Wake me before September ends!

Next up, we have our first previews of the set. On both their Facebook and official site Jasco has shown off the leader of Team Urameshi, Yusuke Urameshi himself. Each card previewed looks fun and powers like Spirit Gun represent the iconic moves. The art work looks to be straight pulls from the anime, which is fine by me since that is how Score Entertainment did their version. Interestingly enough, though, is that the first set (based off the characters picked) is based on the Spirit Detective Saga of the anime/manga. Yusuke, though, is depicted in his Dark Tournament Saga fighting gear.

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The Man. The Myth. The Legend.

 

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If these are the kinds of cards we can expect from the rest of the set then I cannot wait to get my hands on them in September.

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

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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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!

    This past weekend was the rerelease of the eighth Dragon Ball Z movie, Dragon Ball Z: The Legendary Super Saiyan, to theaters. Much like the original Poke`mon movies one the early 2000’s, this one came with a brand new card for Bandai’s Dragon Ball Super trading card game:

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    Kakarot!!

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    A new Broly leader gives players an alternative to the current Broly leader. While the original Broly leader has a limitation on only being able to attack an opponent’s leader, this Broly does not. Pre-Awaken Broly does have an effect for attacking a leader with him, one that will see cycling through a player’s deck for added bonus of discarding a card in their opponent’s hand. The Awakened Broly has an once per turn ability that can shut down any Battle Card their opponent may have.

    A downside to the new Broly is that he does not get to benefit from the like’s of cards such as Broly’s Ring or Unstoppable Ambition Super Saiyan Caulifla, one that protects your hand while the hand protects your Battle Cards. That not with standing, this offers a bit more offensive options (being able to attack Battle Cards and not just Leaders) as well as some interesting defensive options.

    All in all, for a movie give-away, this is one that I can see being a rather fun one to play around with. In a couple months, they are releasing a double feature for Dragon Ball Z: Bardock- Father of Boku and Dragon Ball Z: Fusion Reborn, which will have another give away (Gogeta!!).

    That’s it for now. As always, keep your dice warm and happy gaming!

    Over the weekend, I attended my first official event of 2018: a Munchkin CCG launch event. For those unaware, Munchkin CCG is the collectible card game version of the immensely popular line of games by Steve Jackson Games. Unveiled at a past GAMMA event, the game has finally released at retail stores across the country. Is the game a smash hit, or just another fly by trading card game? Lets find out.

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    Munchkin CCG display at GenCon 2017. Photo from ICv2.

    Announced in 2016, the Munchkin CCG is a new game based on the Munchkin franchise. In the original series of games, players take turns exploring dungeons, fighting monsters and scoring loot, all while potentially stabbing one another in the back. The CCG removes the dungeon exploring aspect and replaces it with the heroes now hiring the monsters they once defeated to defeat other heroes instead.

    The Basics:

    To begin with, each player needs to have a deck of 40 cards and 1 hero. Like all trading card games, Steve Jackson Games released three 2-player starter decks for its initial launch. The three are Cleric vs Thief, Ranger vs Warrior and Wizard vs Bard. For their first print run, all 2-player starters include a free booster pack.

    Aside from the hero card, there are five additional types of cards found in the game’s booster packs:

    – Ally: These are sidekick type characters who aid you with special abilities and can take the brunt of your damage.

    – Loot: Loot comes in several forms, mostly armor and weapons. These will help you fight your opponents’ hired monsters.

    – Locations: Cards that effect the entire field.

    – Mischief: These cards are played like Instances and Sorceries.

    – Monsters: These are your creatures that you hire during your turns to damage your opponent.

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    The initial launch booster set, simply titled Munchkin Collectible Card Game. Combined with the starter cards, the Core of Set 1 contains an astounding 319 cards. Something that Steve Jackson Games did a fantastic job on is that most of your rarer cards are simply extended art cards of existing cards. On the other hand, something that they are doing poorly with, is that the booster packs are extremely limited with the first wave. After that, the plans for reprint are slim to none. This is creating an artificial demand for an untested collectible card game, one that may not survive its first year.

    Game Play:

    Each player takes alternating turns playing out three phases: Warmup, the aptly named Munchkining, and then the Cooldown.

    Your Warmup phase is your standard fare beginning of turn/up keep mechanics. You unclip your “Run Away” token, stand any committed cards (called “zap” and “unzap”), collect your stash and draw a card. The Stash is an interesting mechanic in that any monsters that were not destroyed in your previous attacks go to a sort of waiting room. In this zone, during your opponent’s turn, they can play cards that can potentially destroy said monsters. Any monsters that are not destroyed then get added to your hand for another round of monster fights.

    During the Munchkining phase is were the bulk of the action is. Utilizing a fairing interesting cheating system, players lay a card face down in the Dangerous Monster Zone (or DMZ) as well as commit a certain amount of gold (the game’s currency/resource) to the face down card. The key here is that you don’t necessarily have to even lay down a monster here, you could bluff your way to make your opponent run away. They do so by flipping a Run Away token, it’d now show a Limp Away icon. If they don’t call your bluff and decide to fight it, the face down card is moved to the Stash and your gold is returned to your pile. Should they call your bluff and you were cheating, you lose take a point of damage and the card is placed in the Stash face down while the gold returns to your pile.

    Should you not cheat and it is a monster, then a fight plays out. Each monster has an Attack and Defense, while some will also have an ability or effect. Before any cards are revealed, however, your opponent has the option to commit any weapons or allies to the fight. Allies can take the brunt of the damage while the weapons help destroy the monster. If the monster survives, it is moved to the Stash face up with all damage in tact. All committed allies and weapons return to your opponent’s side of the board, also called their Horde.

    These steps are repeated over and over until the active player is done Also, during the Munchkining phase is when players would equip any loot, such as weapons and armor, or recruit allies, as well as play new locations. Every loot card has a star featuring a number. The total of all these numbers cannot exceed your current level, either.

    The final step is called Cooldown. During this phase, the active player only performs two steps outside of any effects that may trigger during this phase. First they Level Up. You start the game on Level 1, but each turn you go up a Level. Like in the main game of Munchkin, players go to Level 10. However, you cannot pass this level, nor is their a victory condition for achieving this level. Then players collect gold equal to their current level. You may never collect more gold than what your level is.

    Having the resource gathering step at the end of the turn presents an interesting and strategic element to the game. Do you use all your resources playing Mischief and other cards to defend against your opponents onslaught? If you do, you’re left with fewer gold coins in which to hire monsters on your turn. Do you save the gold then? Save the gold and hope they use all their resources so they have nothing to defend with.

    Presentation:

    The art in the game is what one would expect from the likes of a Munchkin game. That isn’t to say it is bad by any means, it can just be an acquired taste. That being said, the alternate full art cards can be rather gorgeous looking. The over all designs, however, look amateurish. I suspect this is by design, though. A personal nitpick I have is the lack of any foiling. While I get that that may not bother a lot of people, foiling has always been a quick look way of telling a card’s rarity. The current set of the cards have only two ways to tell a rarity: art or a tiny letter in the middle of the card, at the very bottom, with the card’s set number.

    The additional components included in the starter are generic looking tokens marked 1 or 5. These are to represent your gold, as well as keep track of your Hero’s damage. Also included is a single, black d6 for the random cards that require a die rolls. There are two larger tokens, marked Run Away and Limp Away. The art is cute and easily distinguishable at a glance. Finally, there are two level counters featuring a Munchkin dragon. Again, nothing fancy or special, but gets the job done. At the tournament I attended, and even in my own home games, the use of other counters and dice have made their way to replace the cardboard components.

    One thing I’ve always loved about the Munchkin franchise is their love of parodying other games. This is even more true with the CCG as they take great care in poking fun and parodying the whole trading card game genre as a whole. The rarity system has your normal fare of Commons (C), Uncommon (UC) and Rares (R). However, they also have: Very Rare (V), Promo (FOMO, or Fear of Missing Out), We Destroyed Most of These (W) and These Don’t Really Exist (T). Since Tapped is a copyrighted term by Wizards of the Cost for Magic the Gathering, they use Zap and Unzap. Then borrowing a certain game winning card set from the popular Yu-Gi-Oh! game, they have their own in “Explodia, the Trademarked One”.

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    My grandfather’s deck has no pathetic cards, Kaiba, but it does have…Exodi…I mean, Explodia, the Trademarked One!

    Organized Play and the Game’s Future:

    Currently, the game has drafted and constructed format play for local game shops, with special limited edition prize cards. Three out of the four are merely alternate art, neutral monsters that any player can use regardless of their hero. The fourth card is a draft exclusive Hero card, Goldfish Wanderer. The card has an interesting effect, but over all it isn’t nearly as powerful as the main set heroes. I’m never going to complain about tournament prize cards, especially ones that are just alternate art cards. However, there isn’t anything special about them to make actual participation worth it. The art isn’t fantastic, nor are they full art.

     

    As far as the future of the game is concerned, it looks as though they have at least a year’s worth of content planned. We had the Core Set 1 release this past February, with the next set due out in May and a third set in August. They have regional events planned for the summer, with a national event to be held at GenCon this year. So it could be said that Steve Jackson Games is definitely going all in on this title.

    What is interesting to me, though, is still their reprint policy. It can be found here. I can understand keeping expansions limited after their initial release, but a core set? A core set for any new trading card game should be made readily available during its first year of release. The core set, along with your starters, should be where new players have access to any and all of the key cards that they need to obtain in order to get into the game. There are only two reasons not to do this and they both are bad. First, you’re attempting to create an artificial demand for your product. By creating the demand, you are able to keep the hype rolling for the following releases. This screams money grab, and is something mostly known to happen in trading card games where the company has an IP with limited time (See any of Score’s or Panini’s trading cards). The second, and most problematic, reason to do this is power creep. Each set following will get more and more powerful, making the previous set obsolete after release. Again, another way to force players to buy more and more product.

    Final Thoughts and Verdict:

    I like the Munchkin IP. It is stupid, silly fun. It is a game that I can get out with a group of friends and have a couple hours of mindless enjoyment. Sure, alliances are formed, backs have knives driven firmly down the middle, all in the name of kicking in that last door and hitting level ten first. That being said, most of the same enjoyment, or at least those feelings, can be had within the context of the Munchkin CCG as well. In a time were trading card games are a dime a dozen, and only the most serious or competitive last any time, it is nice to have a more laid back game to have in the deck bag.

    I still have several reservations, namely in regards to the future of the game and the idea that this is a collectible card game with not much in way of “collectible”. The game is still too fresh to see the future clearly, so I hope I am wrong and the game delivers on the longitivtiy that the Munchkin brand is known for while, at the same time, giving us that collectible card game experience.

    Game Play:
    Pros:
    -Simple and easy to learn.
    -Cheating mechanic is an absolute riot in later turns when you have more gold to bluff with.
    -Hero cards and archetypes make for fun builds.
    Cons:
    -Certain gameplay elements are not easily explained in the Quickstart guide, making certain concepts a bit awkward for new players.
    -Gathering your resources at the end of your active turn make for some sticky situations.

    Presentation:
    Pros:
    -The art work, while not phenomenal, fits the game’s legacy well.
    -The full art variants are dynamic and a joy to add to the deck.
    Cons:
    -Lack of any type of foiling, or premium style card, distracts from the collectible aspect of the game. This is especially true for the organized play promo cards.
    -The layout of the cards feels cheap. While easy to read, nothing really pops on the card.

    Replayability:
    Pros:
    -The matches can go rather quickly, allowing for multiple games in a sort period.
    -Currently, even with just the starters and Core Set 1, there are several potentially great builds. This leads to plenty of unique matches, and a game that doesn’t get stale.
    Cons:
    -The fear of the potential power creep makes it hard to get excited for future sets past this one.
    -That’s really the only con, its a fun game to play!

    Final Verdict: 7 out of 10

    Honestly, the Munchkin CCG is a fun game. It really is. You can tell the designers had a blast making some of these cards and the interactions some cards have within their decks shows real thought beyond just using the Munchkin IP for a quick game. I will proudly keep my Warrior deck in my deck bag, along side my Cardfight! Vanguard and Magic the Gathering decks. What keeps this game from ranking higher for me is just the lack of thought into the “collectible” part of collectible card game, as well as the feeling that this will unfortunately be a cash grab attempt from Steve Jackson Games.

    Ultimately, though, I do enjoy it and recommend it to every one looking for a quick, easy card game to play.

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

    So several months ago, as many of you will recall, I was actively following the release of Luck & Logic with much obsession.  It was to be, I thought, my new game of choice.  So much so, that I would watch unboxing videos until all hours of the morning while playing The Division.  One night, however, I found myself watching another video…

    After binge watching the first season of the show, I had my brother watch it.  Somewhere along the way, however, something happened.  I was having this weird desire to actually play the game.

    I decided to buy a couple boosters here or there from my local shop, finally buckling down and ordering a couple starters.  I had fallen hard for the Kagero clan, as my love for dragons in most card games is absolute.  Luckily Bushiroad had just announced the “Legendary Deck Vol. 2: The Overlord Blaze” deck.  Sadly, my local shop decided to not order any of the starters.  I had to go online after waiting weeks.  But I digress.

    Rob also got in on the action, picking up the latest trial deck for the Golden Paladins, Knight of the Sun.  Since then, we’ve played the game religiously as we’ve gotten caught up on the anime (or cartoon) over the last several weeks.  It has been a blast and has made Cardfight!! Vanguard one of the top TCG/CCGs I’ve played in my life.

    Fast-forward to this past weekend: GenCon 2016.

    In the week leading up to GenCon, I was feeling the deck I was playing becoming a bit stale.  After all, it was the only deck I’d been playing for months now.  I learned the game with it, tried to teach others with, and so forth.  However, I felt the need to branch out and look for a second deck.  With several clans to choose from in the game, it was hard to narrow it down, but I finally did: Link Joker.

    Link Joker is a clan that is known for literally locking your opponent’s formation to the point that they have nothing they can do.  The less they have to work with, the less attacks they can get off per turn.  I found a Link Joker trial deck while up at GenCon for a good price, as well as one of the more Link Joker heavy booster boxes.  I came extremely close to pulling the trigger even on a couple singles for the deck: Genesis Dragon, Amnesty Messiah.

    This card is the focal point to a build I have in mind.  However, at $125 on the show floor, I had trouble pulling that trigger.  I’ve never spent that much on a single card or miniature (having played HeroClix competitively for years), but that just goes to show how much I’ve grown to love this game in such a short amount of time.

    Now that GenCon is, sadly, behind us, I look forward to the future.  October is a North American Regional for Cardfight!! Vanguard in Chicago.  I am contemplating attending as I’ll be within driving distance of the tournament that weekend.  The question I have to ask myself is to either continue with Kagero and the mighty dragons, or locking down a perfect build with the Link Jokers before then.

    late

    Welcome to the first in a long line of articles for a card of the week sort of feature here with the Late Night Players.

    I decided for the first article to kick off with a card that has quickly become a personal favorite for my Namekian deck:

    This card should be called something else entirely but they had to keep the game family friendly...

    This card should be called something else entirely but they had to keep the game family friendly…

    This is a card that is potent on it’s own but becomes increasingly more dangerous when combined with other cards. Let’s break down the text of the card:

    • Banish after use: This is pretty straight forward.  Once this card has hopefully done its damage then it is banished from the game.
    • Physical attack. Damage: 3 stages: Flat 3 stages of damage.  Nothing more, nothing less.
    • Damage from this attack cannot be redirected or prevented:  While the attack can still be stopped, the stage damage cannot be passed off to another personality or endured.
    • This attack stays in play to be used a second and third time this combat: Yes, you read that correctly.  Three attacks accumulating in, hopefully, at least 9 stages of damage.

    When I first saw this card, I shuddered a little at the prospect of an attack that banishes itself after use.  One of the Namekian Knowledge Mastery’s strongest strengths is the Anger gain from Rejuvenating during combat.  It’s hard to put cards back into your deck when you have a banished pile growing because you are willingly putting cards in it.  However, I quickly realized I was wrong.  This card was fantastic!

    First, it is a total of 9 stages of damage that cannot be redirected or endured.  If at max power stages, that’s 90% of the opposing personality’s power.  Since the attack is broken up into three separate attacks for 3 stages each, your opponent has to think twice about what Energy Combat cards they decide to play on their attack.  That Krillin’s Destructo Disc in their hand costs 2 stages to perform.  That’s 2 stages closer to 0 and closer to this becoming pure life deck damage.

    Second, that’s only base damage.  It becomes even deadlier when combined with other cards.  How about Namek Dragon Ball 1?

    "I really don't think you should hang out with him, Little Green..."

    “I really don’t think you should hang out with him, Little Green…”

    The best friend of many Namekian decks, this card already helped protect your other Dragon Balls, now it is tossing in an extra +1 life card per attack.  We’re up to 9 stages and 3 life cards of damage.

    What about the three Namekian Main Personalities?

    Dodge!!

    Dodge!!

    {Continuous} Your attacks deal +2 life cards of damage.

    Combined with Dragon Ball 1, we are now at 9 stages and 9 life cards of damage.

    "Nerd!!"

    “Nerd!!”

    {Continuous} Your Styled attacks deal +2 life cards of damage. When you deal critical damage, you may Rejuvenate 1.

    Again, we’re at 9 stage and 9 life cards with potential to you get at least 1 Rejuvenated card for an Anger gain.

    "Nerd!!"

    “Nerd!!”

    {Continuous} Your styled attacks deal +3 life cards of damage…

    There is more to that one, but we are focusing purely on damage buffs right now as the remainder of the effect would not be triggered. This one is 9 stages and 12 life cards of damage.

    "I'm going to call you Big Green."

    “I’m going to call you Big Green.”

    {Continuous} Whenever your opponent stops one of your attacks, he destroys the top 2 cards of his Life Deck.

    Much like Gohan’s previous effect, the first half is the only part that triggers off of Namekian Backhand. Since your opponent can still stop the attacks, just not redirect or prevent them, you can still do damage off of them. If they respond with Time is a Warrior’s Tool they have just lost the top 6 cards of their Life Deck (2 cards per attack stopped).

    "Nail, I saw a bird.  Kick it's ass!"

    “Nail, I saw a bird. Kick its ass!”

    {Continous} Your attacks deal +3 stages of damage.

    Combined with Dragon Ball 1, this would be a brutal 18 stages and 3 cards. Let’s take a moment to think about that for a moment. If your opponent is sitting at 1 stage above 0 or less, you are guaranteeing yourself 3 Critical Damage Effects. There is a potential net loss of 21 life cards from this attack combined with this MP.

    This is a card that I love drawing either in the first couple rounds or near the very end.  If drawn early, you have potential for your opponent to not have much in terms of power stages.  That will help stall some Energy heavy decks.  If drawn later in the game, the combination of later level personalities and Dragon Ball 1 helps ensure some serious beat down.  Hell, we haven’t even discussed what the field would look like if you had two of these bad boys in your hand, let alone manage to get all three at once!

    If there were to be a draw back to the card, which nearly every card has one, is that it cannot be tutored through Namekian Overtime.  That card only allows you to search for Styled Energy Combat cards.

    So, obviously I love this card, but it’s not for everyone’s play style.  So if I was to give it a score…

    We need a better scale, guys!

    We need a better scale, guys!

    We’re giving it 6 out 7 Dragon Balls.  It would be the perfect card if it could be tutored from the deck/discard pile somehow.  It is a beast of card, dealing some mind blowing damage, when combined with the right cards.  The banish cost is a small price to pay for 3 attacks in the end.

    What do you think, Z-Warriors?  Agree? Disagree? Chime in in the comments below to let us know!

    In a strange luck of timing, there were two Dragon Ball Z Heroes and Villains launch events this weekend in town.

    Saturday was a Dragon Ball Z Heroes & Villains launch event at a different venue in town.  Normally, I don’t like to game locally unless it is at Comic Quest since they are my home away from home and source of 95% of all new geek goodness that comes into my house.  Alas, I knew the guy running the event and was really gung-ho about trying my new Namekian Nail deck. 

    Sadly, it didn’t go I had hoped and planned…

    Round One: 

    Vs. Red Frieza

    This was a bit of an unfair match.  This was a good friend of mine and only like his third game ever.  Plus, I had helped him build his deck originally.  I tried to not hold back but at the same time I had to play.  I drew two of my three Crushing Beam in the same combat draw.

    Score: 1-0

    Round Two:

    Vs. Blue Ginyu

    This deck I fear simply because it is the deck I’ve never beaten in an event, still haven’t.  I’ve only ever tied it.  Two bad opening hands ensured a loss with this match up.  He had all his Allies in play by turn 3.

    Score: 1-1

    Round Three:

    Vs. Bye

    I got the bye, a free win that is never fun.

    Score: 2-1

    Round Four: 

    Vs. Namekian Nail

    This match was a card for card mirror match.  The player was also one that I’d played before so I know he is skilled and very technical with his decks.  It just came down to who drew their best attacks first.  He did.

    Score: 2-2

    With that score, I came in 3rd out of 7.   I won a booster, a deck box, 50-count pack of sleeves and a retro Dragon Ball Z keychain.  This was their first major event and they handed out a bunch of the older promos, so I ended up with a play set of the alternate art Goku’s Kamehameha, Vegeta’s Galick Gun, and Trunk’s Sword Slash.

    Sunday saw the Heroes & Villains launch event at my usual hangout, Comic Quest.  I was a bit disappointed by the turn out as it kept us from being able to play for the playmat.  Which bugs me a little, but I digress. 

    Being a sealed event with a starter and three boosters, you build the best deck you can.  In my starter I pulled Goku and the Orange Mastery.  My alternate foil was the Saiyan Mastery, giving me two solid candidates for play.  Ultimately picked Orange for the +1 buff it gave my energy combat cards and that it gave me two options for victory: MPPV and Survival.  With no chance at pulling Dragon Balls, it was the obvious choice as I hate limiting how I can win.

    In the end, I went 2-1, coming in 2nd place.  I got the Stare Down and Trunk’s Sword Slash alternate art promos, plus two boosters.  Rob was the player who beat me both in my first round and for 1st place! He scored the same promos and four boosters.

    In the end, after two grueling (in a good way) events, I am upset with how I did standing wise and I think I’ve officially solidified Dragon Ball Z as my main trading card game of choice.