The Big Question: Card Games

Card games: they seems to be growing in popularity. Dramatically. To the point where even the WWE has one right now. Insane.

Where do you guys and girls stand on card games? There seems to be a fair amount of (unsurprising) crossover between folks who enjoy video games and those who are into card games like Magic: The Gathering.

And it only seems to be growing. Games like Hearthstone are crossing the boundaries between the two, taking advantage of that shared audience. My question is: who among you is into that kind of thing? And what would you recommend? I'm thinking about trying a card game out, but I'm a bit unsure where to start!


(Then give me advice in the comments below!)


    Card games? Aren't those for nerds? :P

    Most of my friends in college were heavily into them. Wound up with a final project that was based on a card game. I totally don't understand them, even after all that.

    The last card game I played was with a standard deck. Probably poker.

      Who cares about card games?

      I just want real, heavy duty, spin for hours Beyblades. Carrying around a miniature weapon toy would be fun.

        Beyblades are the best! - this is coming from a 24yo... lol

        But back on topic:

        Pokemon TCG and Hearthstone ALLLL de way :)


    Yeah i did it so nobody else would, you are welcome.



    Not currently, though I've gone in and out of them. When I was a kid I played Magic, Star Trek CCG and Star Wars CCG, then in high school played Magic, gave that up, played Magic heavily for a couple years around 2008~2009, then sold all my cards when I moved to Brisbane.

    Edit: And that's "Collectable" Card Games. I enjoy games like Canasta, Gin Rummy, Cribbage, etc.

    Last edited 27/08/14 11:23 am

    Standard deck of playing cards, Uno and Top Trumps are all I have played.

    Never played but collected the Star Wars CCG cards.

    Oh boy, you're giving me a chance to ramble about card games? Hooray.

    I'm a reformed M:tG player, having given up the game after Mirrodin came out 11 years ago. These days, my girlfriend won't let me get back into M:tG and that's a good thing. Instead, there are a whole host of Living Card Games (LCGs) to choose from.

    Android: Netrunner is one that I've really wanted to get into but I've never really had anyone to play with. In Netrunner, players are either the defensive Corp who sets up servers to hide and advance agendas while the more aggressive Runners will constantly try to steal them. I have a drawer full of these cards that I wish I could bust out more.

    Warhammer: Conquest is one that has just come out and looks super rad. You have a Warlord from Warhammer 40k and put together a deck of cards from a race with some extra cards from an "ally" (and this means that Eldar and Dark Eldar can team up, or Orks and Imp. Guard). You fight over control of planets in this one and I really just want to get my hands on the Core Set already.

    And then there are card games like Hanabi and 7 Wonders. I probably shouldn't get into them because I'll never shut up.

    Suffice to say, card games are rad. I even do the hand shuffle fidget thing because some habits die hard.

    EDIT: Actually, I have to mention one last card game related thing. In high school, I played a lot of card games. Pretty much every lunch break we'd bust out a standard deck of playing cards (or three if we were playing a big game of Warlords and Scumbags). In year 11, we played a lot of Big 2 and a girl joined our group to play. Two years later, she started dating my best friend. On Sunday, they got married. Fuck yeah, card games!

    Last edited 27/08/14 11:29 am

      i used to play MGT, 7th sea, L5R, vampire, Rage , dragon ball Z(you got little plastic sword to measure how angry you got) the deadlands, Spycraft, net runner. im pretty sure there was even some other but they all got played in the 90's. i spent way to much money on them but i was tame compared to some of my friends who would have spend thousands easy

      everyone should try out sentinals of the multiverse: co-op card game, best card game i have played in ages

      Last edited 27/08/14 12:33 pm

      Where are you located Trjn? Most of the major capitals have active Netrunner communities. Have you tried searching for a Facebook group in your area? Otherwise, start one up! I got the Perth one up and running and its great to get regular games.

        Dubbo. The only active card game in this area is Magic and the scene is fairly small.

        I'll be moving next year and will probably be in a capital city. Then I'll try my luck breaking into the local scene.

    WWE has had card games for ages upon ages, not exactly a new thing.

      Very good point. The Raw Deal one was a very solid game before they got ridiculous with move types.

    PAX last year got me into Magic.

    I have since played a lot of Magic.

      You poor, unfortunate soul.

        Eh, moved into drafting pretty quickly.

        I like playing Magic, I don't like sitting on the internet poring over decklists.

          Welcome to the cardboard crack!


            I'm looking at using my existing cards and building a commander deck or two.

          Yeah drafting, the online games or casual games with friends is the only Magic I can stomach. Everything else is pay to win. People at tournaments spend way too much money getting the right card for some crazy combos.

          Drafts level the playing field.

    I'm currently an addict of "cardboard crack". Here's what I'm playing or recently played:

    Magic The Gathering: For some reason i always come back to this. I'm currently playing a Black/Red Minotaur Tribal deck that is the bane of many players. I love the local community of players that play standard on Tuesday nights down at my local card store. I also play the Duals of the Plainswalkers games every year in order to keep my skills sharp. Not to mention that they have added in more popular multiplayer modes like 2 Headed Giant recently and thats great for me and my friends to play.

    Cardfight Vanguard: I played this for 2 years. I'm also a tournament director and judge for the game. However I've recently stopped playing because the mechanics are getting way too stupid and the amount of times you are required to re-buy the same style deck due to archetype changes has become frustrating. Plus a lot of the Yu-Gi-Oh crowd has moved into the game making the community more about ripping people off and arguments than having a good time. I still have 3 of my old decks for when I'm teaching or judging.

    Future Card Buddyfight: Another game from the makers of Cardfight Vanguard. It's a lot simpler to play and I pretty much gave up not long after launch as it was quite hard to get a decent tournament going at any store.

    Pokemon TCG: I'm mainly playing the online version now as it's a lot cheaper to play and if i want to "buy" packs for it, I can get codes for packs of boosters for less than $0.20 each rather than paying $5-$6 a pack for the physical editions.

    Hearthstone: I'm a Blizzard Whore.

    I still have my MtG decks from High School. Haven't played since then but would love to again sometime.

    Also just got Adventure Time: Card Wars from ebgames which nobody (including me) wants to play cos it seems so complicated

      The problem with Card Wars is that it was never designed to be good. They tried to be as faithful as possible to the game as it was seen in the show, but the writers never play tested it because they didn't need to.

    Hearthstone is great. Easy to get into and understand.
    I've dabbled before but lost interest due to the monetary/time commitment.

    I like card games but it's not something my friends are interested in and I'm not social enough/motivated enough to make matches happen. I liked playing Pokemon TCG online against the AI but that's only fun for so long.

      I feel you. I wish my friends would play because I'm trying to do a draft/trade only sort of thing but it just isn't happening unfortunately.

    I'd recommend trying out one of Fantasy Flight Games LCG's, they have a good selection of games and I prefer the LCG format over the randomness of CCG's.

    Never been into card games at all, then seemed kinda boring to me. Then I played Hearthstone. Great game! I love it. At least now I understand the appeal. Although I dont think I could ever play a physical card game because I enjoy the animations, sound and smashing my opponents face. I dont have to leave the house nor carry around physical cards. I also think I enjoy games above all other media because they are interactive in a fantasy setting and detached from the real world. I do see card games becoming more mainstream because of Hearthstone and I also believe card game tournaments will be played on tablets in the future rather than with physical cards.

    Last edited 27/08/14 12:05 pm

      Same here, I've been playing the crap out of Hearthstone since beta now, having never played a card game before that. I didn't even play WoW so... I dunno.

      And I still haven't spent any money on it. Gold paid for the Naxx adventurer and I'm decent enough at Arena now to generally get my entry gold back from it.

      Kind of the opposite for me, I can't play digital card games because I like having the paper so much. I enjoy having something physical to keep

    Saw someone above call it "cardboard crack". This is essentially accurate. It's a gambling problem, a scourge, and my god holy fuck am I hooked.

    Every few years I ween myself off for another couple of years but I always come back to it. I only wish my friends enjoyed them as much as I do because it would honestly be one of my favourite pass times then.

    I recently got back into it around June and I normally default to Yugioh or MTG, but Yugioh is too pay to win for my taste and the current MTG meta is bland as all hell. So I've just dabbled with vanguard and officially started up with Pokemon.

    I'm more likely to be interested in a stand-alone card game these days than a CCG like magic
    Just as fun but a much lower cost and an even playing field

      That's where Living Card Games kind of come into things.

      They're much more self-contained but because most of them are made by Fantasy Flight, there are monthly expansions. If you're just playing casually, it's very easy to just agree to core set only and be on your way.

      Then the bug bites and next thing you know, you've bought a dozen $15 expansions and are going over CardGameDB to see the latest top tier decklists...

      In hindsight, 7 Wonders or Seasons might be the correct choice.

      Yep, CCGs can turn into a pit of money, as you have to purchase X random packs to 'maybe' get the one card you're after, and throw everything out, which is a waste in my opinion, and favors people with more money with the ability to build a better deck faster (I know, I know, it also comes down to skill, how you build it etc.).
      At least with LCG's (such as Android: Netrunner, which is a stellar game) you're only making one purchase to get something known to you, rather than a gamble, but as @trjn says, still can be a money sink.
      A game like Dominion however is good as you dont need friends to have bought stuff to play it. It's completely stand alone (and great!). like 7 wonders is as well.

      Last edited 27/08/14 1:01 pm

    Both myself and my partner are seriously into Magic the Gathering after we got hooked at PAX Australian last year. I love the game for the sheer variety of formats and intense strategy involved.

    Whether I would recommend it as a TCG to get into depends on what you're looking for in a game. Magic is incredibly fun, but you quickly hit a wall of having to buy good cards in order to continue improving your game. And good cards get expensive. Some formats don't require it, but most do. However, the community is AWESOME, and it's really great being able go to a store and play off a screen, plus having the online option if you feel like it. If you liked Hearthstone, you'll love MTG.

    I wouldn't recommend Yugioh, but I believe Cardfight Vanguard is quite good, Weiss/Schwarz is fun and I believe doesn't require buying much to get a competitive deck in Australia (*can't vouch for that myself, heard it from a friend of a friend basically).

    I've heard really good things about Android: Netrunner and the other Fantasy Flight games. I've always wanted to try it!

    If you're into a standalone card game which you dont need your friends to have bought stuff, and you're not constantly having to buy more stuff all the time, Dominion is a great game. It's a one off purchase, and has tons of re-playability, as well as a stack of expansions should you get bored of it. Possibly get Dominion Intrigue as your first purchase.
    It's a great game as you build your deck as the game progresses, and everyone has the option to buy the same cards. The skill is finding a combination of cards which will work for you/play style, and you feel very victorious when you win as everyone started at the same spot.

    I never played MtG or other card games, and got into Dominion from board games (Settlers of Catan, Terra Mystica etc.).

    Other very very light card games (i.e. not serious and in-depth) can be things like Coup (great fun, party game, more about interaction than cards), the resistance (good party game, once again more about interaction than cards), 7 wonders (card drafting), fairy tale (card drafting, I guess 7 wonders-lite), sushi go (au designer, more for kids, but fun light card drafting game).

    My boy and his school friends are currently enjoying a Yu-Gi-Oh phase. He started going to weekend tournaments and all.

    I'm scared.

      Yeah someone might banish him to the shadow realm.

    Back in the day I was a big Pokemon TCG fan. Not tournament level of course, but certainly played a lot of games against friends.

    I am all about Hearthstone now.

    I would love to play card games but I feel they are too much of a nerd tax with all the expansion stuff.
    Having said that does anyone remember Magi Nation?

    The WoW TCG is what started me on card games. It was similar to Magic, without requiring lands in the decks, your creatures could interact freely, and you had heroes instead of just the player. The game was fantastic and had a strong and growing community up until Blizzard didn't renew the license. Hearthstone is a much, much, MUCH less complex version of it.

    I currently play Magic release events because I love sealed play and play the Duels of the Planeswalkers games too.

    Another game I have checked out is Solforge. It's pretty interesting and pretty simple to pick up. I think it's F2P on Steam too.

    I really like card games - both fixed and collectable stuff - but I tend not to get to play them very often due to just not knowing enough other players to really get into it.

    In High School (a long time ago) I played Magic: The Gathering, but fell out of that a long time ago. I moved to other stuff after - played Spellfire for a bit until I realized it was a bit shit. Played the Battletech one for a while but didn't know anyone else that played.

    The one that clicked for me the most and which I lasted with the longest time was the Star Wars CCG, which was an awesome game. Played from the initial release right through to the point they were doing Episode 1 cards, before Lucas yanked the license from Decipher so it could go to a company he owned so he could pocket the profits. :\

    Recently I tried to get into Weiss Schwarz, have a decent set of cards and stuff but again, the lack of friends that are local that play is the limiting factor. I've yet to actually play more than a couple of games. At least that's a bit more collector-friendly since you can focus on a series you like and not be too far behind other players. The tricky thing when you're looking at CCGs is you really need to have enough cards that you can make 3-4 balanced decks so if you have a friend around you've actually got something you can whip out if they're not a player themselves. This was also the fail point for the WoW TCG for me as well, which I played briefly a few years back. Really attracted by the Raid Deck stuff they had, but with my usual board games group it would have meant spending hundreds on building multiple balanced decks to use, since none of them played.

    My CCG fix nowadays generally gets met by card-based board games. Fixed sets of cards and interesting strategies and so on that result. Big fan of drafting-based stuff, all the many sons & daughters of Dominion. Dominion itself I've lost interest in as it's not quite as tactical as I'd like. I recently got really into a Japanese-import game, Heart of Crown which adds a bunch of interesting twists to the Dominion formula and adds an extra tactical layer that I really like. Outside of that I enjoy whipping out Race For the Galaxy a fair bit, as it's a great 2-player game but also a great 3-5 player game as well (it goes to 6 with expansions, but I find with 5-6 it's harder to build an interesting strategy). And I'm almost always ready to try out other card games as well. Except 7 Wonders, which I'm absolutely terrible at. 50+ games played, never won.

    EDIT: I can't get into Hearthstone at all. I need that tactile experience of handling cards.

    Last edited 27/08/14 1:25 pm


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