By Jorge Paiz

It has been for quiet a while now that trading card games have become a part  of the daily lives of many people whether they are avid players, casual players, tournament players, or they just played the game as kids after seeing the anime series of it on tv or in commercials, and our now closet players hiding there love for the game due the pressure put on them by society.  If you are reading this article and deny that you ever played card games or even got the urge to try, you are the biggest liar to have ever walked the earth!  Another thing  that has happened is that The game and strategies of card games have evolved over the past years! With new arch types, abilities, spells , and deck builds. In This article I will mention today’s Top 3 card games and the One Card game though loved by most including myself is slowly losing its luster as well as many players.

#3 Pokemon

Now a lot of you probably grew up watching Pokemon just like I did back when first aired in 1998. Today the Pokemon still runs growing strong with all new Pokemon adventures for the younger generation. One thing that still grows with the show is the Pokemon trading card game. The cards of this game are collected by many people around the world today of all ages. However most avid players an tournament players range from ages 6-10 so  it can be socially awkward if your older then 110 and entering a Pokemon card game tournament with a bunch of little kids. however despite the fact that most of players are very young the game has very good structure and variety of strategies in which one can build there Pokemon deck upon.

The game was very easy follow for most people you had Pokemon Cards and you had them in what was called  the bench you are allowed 5 Pokemon on the bench which you called out one at a time just like in the show when Ash would call out one Pokemon at a time in the show to do battle. just like in the show you had many types of Pokemon which in the card game where referd to as Energy Types. Which consisted of  water, grass,fire, lightning, psychic, fighting, darkness, metal and colorless.

The rule to win was Pretty simple  knock all 6 of your opponents Pokemon. Another way to win was if your opponent could not draw a card at the start of their turn or tour opponent has no Pokemon left in play or if you are the first to draw your last prize card.  You also had cards called energy cards which where used to power up you Pokemon and help them evolve, you also used energy cards to use whatever attacks the Pokemon had and each attack required a certain amount and certain types of energy to declare. You also had special damage conditions like asleep, paralyze, burned, confused, and poison. As well certain Pokemon having special abilities. You also had trainer cards and stadium cards which had there own unique abilities.

The game also had set conditions to keep things well balanced for example neither player could evolve their Pokemon during there first turn. Also in order to have certain attacks or abilities go through you had to flip a coin and if it landed on  tails the attacks or abilities did not go through. Also you were allowed to activate abilities while you were attacking or your opponent was attacking, the way the abilities would activate was with a coin flip and as always if you landed tales the attack  or ability would not go through. Some abilities would include something like removing 3 damage counters from one Pokemon o another. Damage counters were  how you kept track  of how much damage your Pokemon took if for example you Pokemon had 50 HP and  it took 5 or more damage counters it was knocked out and the player who gave the knock out got to put on his face down prize cards in his hand.  Other conditions were if your Pokemon had Paralyze or Sleep counter you could not retreat it back ti the bench to remove the effect the only way was to flip a coin when your opponents turn ended and the confused counter had it’s own effect in which if you flipped a coin if landed on heads the attack went through normally if it landed on tales the damage your opponents Pokemon would receive would go your Pokemon. You also had super strong Pokemon called Ex Pokemon that had special rules such as you can only have 4 in each deck also if  your Ex Pokemon is knocked out your opponent draw 2 prize cards therwise they are played like regular Pokemon cards and they come in rare calligraphic forms and Ultra rare forms.

Over all the Pokemon trading card is well balanced with its rules and conditions and  players can build there decks based around there favorite Pokemon or Pokemon type whether it be Water, Fire ,Grass etc. Also its has nice setting of 60 cards exactly in a deck, with a limit of 4 cards of the same name in each deck. As well as having 18-20 cards be energy cards. Though itappeals more to young kids ages 8- 10.

#2 Vanguard

Now this was a Anime and Card Game that won my heart as well as the hearts of many others. This Card game is called Vanguard. Though the anime has been out for a year though never aired on american TV the Vanguard card game has  become a hit so far among many trading card game players along with the anime. What made the anime really unique  is unlike other card game anime like Yu-Gi-Oh or duel masters whom deal with a magical quest  dealing with  ancient Egyptian monsters and enemy’s which incorporated into  the card game and manifested in battle through hologram. Vanguard  card Battles manifested in the minds and Imaginitaion of the characters in the show and The card game was played on table on a card mat rather then on  a high tech projection Card dueling device. This anime pretty related very well with trading card  game players because even though it took place in a an animated world it had  a sense of realistic fiction which taps into the minds of many TCG Players.

The Rules  and card mechanic are really simple to follow each player must have exactly 50 cards in there deck including there starting Vanguard. Only 4 of each individual card, you also must have 16 trigger units. Also you may only have 4 Heal triggers and 4 cards with a sentinel Skill. Also if you run a Flash Deck  you can only have 26 cards and with special ruling. So In the Game There’s a Deck Zone, Trigger Zone, Drop Zone, (discard pile) Front row , Back row, Guardian Circle and The Vanguard Circle. The Vanguard Circle is where you place your Vanguard and the front and back row are five rear guard circle where you summon units to fight along side  you. The Guardian circle is were units are moved to intercept attacks made on your Vanguard.

Each player starts the game by choosing one grade zero unit and placing it face down in the Vanguard  circle then they play rock paper scissors to see who goes first. the players must then shuffle there decks and draw 5 cards to there hand. The one who goes first then chooses any number of cards puts them at the top of there deck shuffles and draws til they are back with 5 cards player two must do the same. Upon which both players flip there Vanguard unit right side up in the stand vertical position and begin to play. Player one then enters the ride phase which means to select a unit in your hand that has a grade greater then or equal to your Vanguard  and place it o top of your Vanguard in which case any abilities the unit may have can be activated. The first player can not atatck on there first turn.

Players can call fourth any units to a rear guard circle. When attacking players choose a non rested unit or Vanguard and attack the the other players Vanguard or unit, to rest in this game is to turn a unit side ways after it is done attacking. When attacking the player can use a unit that has a boost ability you may activate it to boost the front units power once it has attacked. the Player receiving teh attack can call a unit from there hand with a grade that is lower or equal to there Vanguard, players can call as many as they want one at a time. Doing so reduces the attack power of the attacking unit if the defending units attack power is greater. If the players vanguard receives damages the player must then take the top card of there check for trigger effect an move it to the damage zone. If a player gets  six cards to the Damage Zone they loose and the game is over. After the attack phase ends all guardians and hit rear guards are retired to the drop zone.

The triggers  in this game which can be revealed during the Drive or Damage check. Theres ones like Critical trigger which is used to give one of your unit + 5000 power as well as selecting another unit to give it +1 critical which increases the dame given by 1. Then there’s the Heal trigger which also can be used to give a unit you select +5000 and put one card from your Damage zone into teh drop zone if you have damage equal to or greater then your opponent. Last but not least the stand trigger which  gives a selected unit +5000 and can restand  a rear guard unit from resting.

Over all vanguard is a fun game it can apply many fun an unique strategies and have many type of deck builds i am reletivly new to the game as well as the anime so i cant say a whole lot other then basic information. howeverI look forward to building a deck and playing it.


#1 Magic The Gathering

Created by Wizards of the coast in 1993 Magic the gathering to this day the number one trading card game of all time. Though it does not have an anime series it has many books and a few manga. It  is game in which it apples the most simplest of of card rules and  game mechanics that can be used to build Decks of epic battles and strategies. I have enjoyed so many countless magic battles with many players having many unique different decks and strategies.

The rules are simple all players have a deck of minimum of 50-60 max you use card known as mana which are of different color there white, blue, red, green, and black. All of which are based off of different sources of power White being Order and Power. Blue being Intellect and Deceit. Green being Nature and Strength and  black being Death and Decay. All strategies revolve around 1 or more colors based on how many colors of manna you have in your deck will determine  how much ability you have to get things you need on to the field quicker. Also spells such as summoning  a Creature, Enchantments, Instants, and Summoning Artifacts are dependent on the color and amount  of manna  they need whether it be a set of specific colors or any kind of color in general.

There rules for creatures and combat are simple when a creature is summoned it can not attack due to summoning sickness unless it has haste.  A Creature  can block an attack from another creature preventing damage to opponent unless it has Trample which an ability to cause some damage if blocked a high cost blocking creature can kill the low attacking creature unless a attacking creature has abilities such as death touch which kills a creature on contact. Creatures also poses abilities that help them increase there power and toughness. As well as having the abilities to help you gain life and take life from other players like Life Link which is an abilities that lets a creature take life equal to the damage your opponent took so you can gain.

Other then Creatures there are cards known as instants which can be played at any time they are used to prevent abilities or to activate an effect that can help you whether it be gaining life, taking life, Increasing creature toughness and power, Draw Power,and or causing damage to creature or opponent. You could even un-summon creatures and prevent combat damage yeah instants have alot up there sleeve.

There also cards like artifacts Enchantments, Auras and Sorcery. Which have many abilities like Pacifism for example has abilities to pacify a creature preventing it from attacking or blocking. Robe of shadows which has shroud  which protect creature from spells or abilities. The list goes on and on.There  many Deck builds as well there life gain strategies decks mill deck Life Drain, vampire deck, wear wolf , Decks , angels Dragons This list is too long for this article.Over all magic has an Infinite amount of combos in which one can create and you cant build the same deck as everyone else cause someone will build a deck that can beat it easily.

Why is Yu-Gi-Oh off it’s game?

Yu-Gi-Oh I remember getting up every Saturday morning to watch this anime the show was really awesome you have kid named Yu-gi who has a millennium  puzzle given to him by his grandfather which, has the spirit of  a pharaoh who played was involved in games long ago known as the shadow games. Which are played in the present as duel monsters. which is what the card game is referred to in the anime. However when the actual card game came out from the show things were quite different. For one we didnt have the hologram technology to make  holograms of the monsters imprinted on the cards. Which ment teh game mechanic were going to be different from the show this wasn’t a problem for older fans for we soon learn exactly how yu-ghi-oh was played. We also learned ways we can build unique costume decks around many arch types and strategies. It was really fun game growing up, however the way yu-ghi-oh evolved in today was not in the best way.  now don’t get me wrong i’m a huge yu-ghi-oh fan but  many thing have turned me away from the card game as of recent.

Well Yu – Gi-Oh is pretty basic you have the Draw Phase (except on first turn) Stand By Phase, Main Phase, Battle Phase, main Phase II, End Phase. You are allowed to have a limit of five monsters on the field you must sacrifice low level  monsters tow summon high level ones and you must use Tuners to summon Synchro monsters as well as certain cards for Fusion monsters, and certain amount level cards for XYZ Monsters. this form of special summoning, which can be done in many ways based on card effects. Unlike Normal summoning Special summoning requires certain cards  and certain attributes based on the description on the cards that activate the special summon.

This also works with trap cards which are placed in the back row you have the limit of five spell and trap cards and five monster cards.  Trap Cards can be activated based on the description  it says in the description box. This applies to spell cards as well some spell cards can be activated while face down as traps these are known as quick play spells. There are also continues  spells and traps that can only be destroyed with certain spells or monster abilities. To the game you must destroy enough of your opponents monsters or hit him directly enough times to reduce his life points to zero. upon the destruction of a monster the card immediately goes to the graveyard (discard pile) spells and traps that are not continues also go to the graveyard after played.

Now from what you just read above you would think that Yu-ghi-Oh is a well balanced card game with smooth game mechanics right? Well i’m sorry to say but that’s wrong. Over the years Yu-Gi-Oh  addition in arch type and game mechanic have made the game well quite generic and predictable. the reason being is because of the following things that were added and how they were not able to expand further upon the additions they made. Take for example  the Synchro and XYZ  monster arch types, Synchro was arch type that spawned from the Fusion arch type which originated when Yu-Gi-Oh was first released cards that required fusion to be summoned were cards like  Rainbow Neos, and R. Skull Dragon and many others. To summon these would involve the right combination of monsters and fusion cards like Polymerisation and Fusion Gate from there spawned a knew arch type known as Synchro monsters which one would use monsters called Tuners along with other monsters that equaled the level the Synchro monster would have. The next arch type where XYZ monsters didnt have a level but a rank which meant the stars that were on top that measured the level were on the opposite side in order to summon you need a certain number of level monsters that attached to them.

Now although the new arch types had super cool new monsters with really great effects, there was just one big problem. The arch types were discontinued and forgotten almost.  As soon as a new arch type like Synchro would arrive Koonami would completely forget about Fusion monsters and there were no more unique fusion monsters made for that arch type. When XYZ came out  the production on Synchro monsters seized after a long six months of getting used to a new arch type.  what mae matters worse for fellow Duelists was that when a new arch type or new structure Deck came out everyone would go buy it and build the exact same Deck around the cards they got instead of making there own unique and creative strategies  Now don’t get me wrong you can make many types of unique decks with a cool strategies in Yu-Gi-Oh, the problem was it was really difficult because Koonami made cards that although where part of the same arch type they did not combine well together and there a lot of useless cards no one wanted which could have been useful if  built in a deck with the proper cards. In the end everyone pretty much built almost the same exact deck with little to no alternation which made the game generic and less fun.

So in the end Koonami need to build netter structure decks and expand on there current arch-types as well as past arch types like Fusion and Synchro monsters. Other then that we still have Magic ,Vanguard, and Pokemon for everyone to play and enjoy. Soo Koonami start restructuring Yu-Ghi-Oh before it loses anymore credibility.


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