Cards from booster packs often have varying levels of rarity, with the cards of higher rarity being much harder to trading in the buff pdf and often having a much higher value than cards of lower rarity. Players usually start by purchasing a preconstructed starter deck that is ready to play, but additional cards are obtained from randomized booster packs.
Card distribution in booster packs is set by a rarity system, with more powerful cards typically having higher rarity than others. The metagoal of most CCGs is to craft customized decks that play to synergies of card combinations, even while accounting for randomness introduced in a match and opponents’ actions, to make winning decks. The exact definition of what makes a CCG is varied, as many games are marketed under the “collectible card game” moniker. The definition of CCGs is further refined as being a card game in which the player uses his own deck with cards primarily sold in random assortments. Acquiring these cards may be done by trading with other players or buying card packs. If every card in the game can be obtained by making a small number of purchases, or if the manufacturer does not market it as a CCG, then it is not a CCG. Terms such as “collectible” and “trading” are often used interchangeably because of copyrights and marketing strategies of game companies.
Dead games are those CCGs which are no longer supported by their manufacturers and have ceased releasing expansions. Living games are those CCGs which continue to be published by their manufacturers. Usually this means that new expansions are being created for the game and official game tournaments are occurring in some fashion. LCGs are card games that share many of the same characteristics as CCGs, but without the randomized booster packs characteristic of trading cards and CCGs. Other similar card games have been marketed or referred to as CCGs.
Many of these games are sold as complete sets. A few were intended to have booster packs, but those were never released. Each CCG system has a fundamental set of rules that describes the players’ objectives, the categories of cards used in the game, and the basic rules by which the cards interact. Each card will have additional text explaining that specific card’s effect on the game. They also generally represent some specific element derived from the game’s genre, setting, or source material. The cards are illustrated and named for these source elements, and the card’s game function may relate to the subject.
The bulk of CCGs are designed around a resource system by which the pace of each game is controlled. Frequently, the cards which constitute a player’s deck are considered a resource, with the frequency of cards moving from the deck to the play area or player’s hand being tightly controlled. Relative card strength is often balanced by the number or type of basic resources needed in order to play the card, and pacing after that may be determined by the flow of cards moving in and out of play. This allows a CCG player to strategically customize their deck to take advantage of favorable card interactions, combinations and statistics.
While a player’s deck can theoretically be of any size, a deck of approximately sixty cards is considered the optimal size, for reasons of playability, and has been adopted by most CCGs as an arbitrary ‘standard’ deck size. Deck construction may be controlled by the game’s rules. Each match of a CCG is generally one-on-one with another opponent, but many CCGs have variants for more players. The goal of a match typically is to play cards and actions that damage the opponent’s avatar and reduce a counter, often representing character health, to zero, before the opponent can do the same. Some CCG provide for a match to end if a player has exhausted their deck, as well. During a game, players usually take turns playing cards and performing game-related actions.
Ready phase — A player’s own in-play cards are readied for the upcoming turn. Draw phase — The player draws one or more cards from his or her own deck. This is necessary in order to circulate cards in players’ hands. Main phase — The player uses the cards in hand and in play to interact with the game or to gain and expend resources. Some games allow for more than one of these phases. Combat phase — This typically involves some sort of attack against the other player, which that player defends against using their own cards. Such a phase is the primary method for victory in most games.
End of turn — The player discards to the game’s maximum hand size, if it has one, and end of turn effects occur. Broadly, cards played can either represent a resource, a creature, minion, or other non-player character under the player’s control that attack the opponent while defending the player, or magic spells or abilities that directly damage players or creatures, buff or de-buff other cards, or have other effects on the match. Other CCGs do not have such direct reaction systems, but allow players to cast face-down cards or “traps” that automatically trigger on certain events generated by the opposing player. Special cards may also only be available through promotions, events, purchase of related material, or redemption programs. CCGs, the level of rarity also denotes the significance of a card’s effect in the game, i. Such a card might even be removed entirely from the next edition, to further limit its availability and its effect on gameplay. Starter set — This is an introductory product which contains enough cards for two players and includes instructional information on playing the game.
In order to speed the learning process, the card content is typically fixed and designed around a theme, so that the new players can start playing right away. It usually contains a random selection of cards, but with some basic elements so that it may be playable from the start. Theme deck or Tournament deck — Most CCGs are designed with opposing factions, themes, or strategies. A theme deck is composed primarily of cards that work well together and is typically non-random.