It’s commonly understand in the gaming industry that Magic: The Gathering is one of the biggest games around. Magic: The Gathering booster packs, singles, and other products remain a staple of any friendly local game store. Nearly every day of the week, there’s an official Magic tournament somewhere or another. Beyond that, there are any number of “unofficial” variants and ways to play. Let’s face it: Magic is a big deal.
But I’m not here today to talk about Magic. We’ve already got a guy for that. Besides, the last thing anybody wants is for ME to start talking about Magic cards. That would be a disaster. I’m here to talk about that OTHER trading card game that has been making its way into the Gamma Ray community:
No. Not that one. The reason we have any Yu-Gi-Oh in the store at all is a story for another time.
World of Warcraft TCG? “You’re out of your mind,” you say. And although that may indeed be true, it’s not what I’m here to tell you. I’m here to tell you that the World of Warcraft TCG is actually a fun game to play.
The WoW TCG has been around for nearly seven years. Designed by Magic: The Gathering Superstar Brian Kibler, the game has some of the feel of Magic but also has some notable differences. A big one being that every deck is built around a specific hero (represented by a card). So you don’t just play some nameless, ambiguous planeswalker, you play Thrall the Orc Shaman, Arthas the Human Death Knight, or Rawrbrgle the Murloc Warrior. Further, like EDH (Elder Dragon Highlander, for you non-Magic folks out there), your choice of Hero limits the kinds of cards you can put into your deck due to both your Hero’s class and faction.
In addition, as it’s based on an already existing intellectual property, the people at Cryptozoic focus less on silly story and more on the game. Sorry, but you’ll see no “Jace Beleren and the Implicit Maze of Guildpacts” nonsense here. But, if you’ve ever played a game with “Warcraft” in the title, you’ll probably see things you recognize: Uther the Lightbringer, Sylvanas Windrunner, Deathwing the Destroyer, and even Human Peasant.
At it’s core, the WoW TCG is a one versus one game where you assemble a party of allies (creatures, if you will), ready your equipment (artifacts), and use your class abilities (instants and sorcery spells) to defeat your opponent. One thing that makes it a bit different is that alternate play formats were part of the design from day one. In the game’s first year, they introduced the Onyxia’s Lair Raid Deck, a “one player versus many” deck. Since then, each year has brought a new deck that challenges players in a way that is very different from classic one-on-one play. Iconic dungeons like Molten Core, the Black Temple, the Caverns of Time, and Shadowfang Keep are part of the WoW TCG cooperative experience.
Many venues that run WoW TCG events (including our very own Raygun Lounge!) routinely run these team and cooperative style events. These alternate formats promote very different deck construction than your typical one-on-one slugfest. Maybe you’re not the best at crushing your foes. That’s okay; you can be the party healer. Or the tank. These are all possibilities in the WoW TCG.
There are other notable differences from Magic but I’m not here to rattle off technical differences between one game and another. I’m here to let you know that the WoW TCG is fun to play and invite you over to the Lounge to give it a try. We play every Sunday at 1pm and we even have free stuff(tm) to give out for new players.
And if you’re really lucky, you may even get to hear somebody play a Leeroy Jenkins card sometime.