RIP WoW: TCG

(Editor’s Note:  This is the same editor’s note as on the main page.  I had been working 3 jobs and had precious little time to devote to the pages.  However, two of those jobs are on winter break, so I have more time and will be updating the pages on a more regular basis.)

(2nd Editor’s Note:  Playing a few rounds of this game has only increased my anger that Blizzard killed it in favor of Hearthstone.  I understand the decision, but it still makes me mad.)

After fits, non-starts, and a fried hard drive (2 actually) that took episode 2 of the podcast, Christ and I got together for a couple of game nights.  We didn’t record, but we are going to this weekend, so be on the lookout for the triumphant return when we push the reset button on the show.  As part of these game nights, in addition to the usual games of Magic and Gears, we played some WoW:  TCG.  This isn’t our first experience with the game, but it was our first attempts at deck building and strategy.  Overall the games were a success and both of us mentioned that they inspired us to find more cards and build new decks or solidify the ones that we already have.  For me, at least, the games were more fun than the recent Magic games.

The first reason is the “new”ness of the game.  I am always really excited when I discover or rediscover something and it has that feeling of being new.  Since we had not played WoW very much, it was a brand new game whild Magic is the old and faithful game, always there for us.  Sure, Khans made it new and exciting for a couple of months, but it’s time for a new expansion again.  Also, because Chris had more time to tweak his decks, the Magic battles were not very competitive this round.  WoW was much more balanced between us.  I don’t care if I win or lose, but I do want the games to be interesting or entertaining.

Secondly, WoW has some definite advantages over Magic.  There is no mana and therefore no mana screw unless it somehow works to your advantage.  Let me explain.  You build resources to cast creatures and spells.  The more powerful resources are quests because they allow you to draw cards and perform other actions.  However, any card can be played face down as a resource.  Doing so removes it from the game for its intended purpose, so you can trade a less powerful creature or spell in order to cast a more powerful one or vice versa.  All of this adds to the strategy and complexity of the games.  I generally try to build my decks so that I don’t have to use cards other than quests as resources, but it is nice to know that the option is there.

Chris and I toyed around with some kitchen table rules to make Magic more like WoW and to remove (or at least reduce) mana screw and make our decks play more like the way we intended.  Chris posted the article last year and you can find it on the page here.  I was trying to think of other ways to counter mana screw, but honestly it has gotten to the point where it isn’t that big of a deal in the games that we play.  Still, it might be nice to have options for people learning the game, so I’ll keep brainstorming.

The only con against WoW is that it is no longer supported by Blizzard, as I mentioned above.  Therefore, the shelf life of the game is very limited, especially if we don’t get out there and buy more cards before they are not on the market any more.  Chris has picked up some cards, but I don’t feel compelled to do so because I’d rather spend my money on the new Magic expansions coming out and expand into other formats in a game that is still alive and growing.

WoW:  TCG was (and still is for a limited time) a great game that got put to the side in favor of the push to digital content.  The most unfortunate part is that as I did research into the game, it felt like it got killed right as it was starting to reach its potential.  I don’t hate Hearthstone as much as I used to, but every time I see a card that uses art from the WoW:  TCG (like the Leeroy card above) it gives me a twinge of anger and sadness that both games can’t coexist and that digital content wins out again.  If you get a chance to pick up some of the starter decks for relatively cheap (which shouldn’t be a problem for the near future) you should definitely check out the game.  You could also get a lot of 2000 cards for fairly cheap, but those are more random and if you are going to do that, maybe get both the starter decks and the random cards to swap them out for stronger decks.  If you are looking for a slight change from Magic, WoW:  TCG is absolutely a strong contender and I, for one, will miss it greatly and wish that I had paid more attention when it was around.

As a post script (postmortem?) to the game, Chris and I were first talking after the announcement that the game had been cancelled and I tried to come up with some ideas to extend the life of games that have been taken off of the market.  The one idea that I thought would be easy to modify is to give people the chance to make their own cards for the game.  There are already web pages that let you make Magic and Hearthstone cards.  It wouldn’t be that difficult to make one that does the same for WoW cards, both heroes and the other cards.  I don’t know how much support there is for such an idea, but it is definitely something that I’d like to see implemented and not just for WoW.

Do you love WoW:  TCG?  Is there another defunct TCG or other table top game that you would recommend as an alternative when Magic becomes stale again?  Let me know in the comments.  Thanks, as always, for reading!

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