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I bought my first two WoW starter decks just under two weeks ago and have amassed a collection of around 700 cards already. This CCG thing is a little compulsive, isn't it? I flirted a little with Pokemon a few years back but wasn't too bothered about it, and then out of the blue I almost made a spontaneous M:TG purchase in Game the other weekend when Michael Fox pointed me towards WoW instead. I'm glad he did, and as my rapid card collecting demonstrates, I'm enjoying it quite a lot, and as there is already a M:TG thread, why not one for WoW too, eh?

Anyways, I was thinking of popping to a Games Workshop on Saturday for some dice to recorded hero/ally damage rather than using pen and paper. What do you players here use for this?

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Good call on not going to the dark side ;)

I am dreadful at WoWTCG, but I really enjoy it - just wish I had the time to play more often. I use a couple of d10's to keep track of my life, plus a bunch of glass beads to track damage on allies and enemies. So get some of them!

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Hi! I have played WoWTCG once or twice. :)

I use a large D20 or a pen and paper for hero damage, and D6s or D10s for ally damage. You can probably count the number of allies ever printed with more than 10 life on two hands.

I'm not such a fan of individual beads as counters, as I find it harder to tell how much damage an ally has at a glance, but that is probably down to me being a moron.

What starters did you get, and what boosters have you been buying?

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Me and Donk play each other at least once a week. He's better at it than I am. Anyway, I use a 20 and 10 sided dice to record damage. Like Donk says, it's just easier to see at a glance.

Seeing as we have a dedicated thread now I'll put this here. Blueswirl was a legend sent me a load of 'Classic' format cards in the mail including two raid decks. This made me laugh:

post-3754-069407000 1314343796_thumb.jpg

Still sealed. A bit useless in Core but the fact they're still sealed made me giggle.

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What starters did you get, and what boosters have you been buying?

I got the Human Paladin and Goblin Rogue class starter decks, but only because that is all Gamestation had in stock at the time. I'm currently building myself a Death Knight deck though. I've mostly been picking up Twilight of the Dragons boosters, but I've also raided eBay for lots of different cards from the likes of War of the Elements, Fields of Honor, etc. They may not be all legal cards now for tournaments, but I'm only playing for fun against immediate family anyway.

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I don't know if we're both just inexperienced players that simply don't 'get' playing as a rogue, or if the decks are unbalanced, but I beat my son about six times with the human paladin starter deck, and now we've swapped my goblin rogue gets smashed every game.

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The Paladin deck is very strong. Drawing more cards than your opponent is important in this game and the Paladin is a bit unfair in this respect, as a lot of its cards take the form of "do thing, draw a card" - also known as Cantrips.

When played right, Holy Shock will turn the tables, Wrath of Turalyon will kill all of your opponent's stuff and Seal of Wrath... well, you can't win them all.

The Rogue is not quite such a strong deck, but very flavourful - it wants you to exhaust your opponent, and generally hamper them and stop them from doing what they want to do. Carnage is a fantastic panic button, Perdition's Blade is a great way to take out two opposing allies on your third turn, or to take out one thing with three health. Don't be afraid to attack your opponent's allies with your hero and a weapon, and be clever with your Gouges - it's instant, so if there's something you want to put out of action for a couple of turns, use it on your opponent's turn.

- Gouge on your turn:

Ally is exhausted on your turn [1]

Ally doesn't ready as usual on their turn [2]

Ally is exhausted on your turn [3]

Ally readies on their turn

- Gouge on their turn:

Opponent tries to attack with ally. You respond with Gouge. Ally is exhausted and you prevented an attack [1]

Ally is exhausted on your turn [2]

Ally doesn't ready as usual on their turn [3]

Ally is exhausted on your turn [4]

Ally readies on their turn

Also, you can use Gouge offensively - if you have Captain Swash/Skronk Skullseeker in play and ready to attack, you can Gouge your opponent's hero to make those allies more effective, as well as putting them out of commission if they want to attack with a weapon.

Finally, don't feel pressured to play as many cards as possible on every turn - especially things like Gouge. If you have nothing else to do on Turn 1, don't be afraid to do nothing and pass the turn - equally important is using your quests, sometimes it's worth drawing an extra card over playing another card from your hand, given the likelihood of having your board wiped* against either deck.

Also be aware that unless they specifically state "on your turn", quests can be completed in your opponent's turn. For the Paladin especially, this is a great way of keeping your options open - you can keep 3 open to either play Holy Shock with, or complete the Grimtotem Weapon if you don't need to play it.

[*a "board wipe" refers to having all of your things killed at once - as if someone's just wiped all your cards off the table]

Hope this is all useful - the starter decks are relatively well-balanced against each other but they all have strengths and weaknesses and hopefully this will help you pick them up a little.

Out of interest, whereabouts in the country are you?

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Excellent tips, thank you for taking the time to reply in such depth.

I'm going on holiday Thursday and won't have the time to finish compiling my own decks before I go, so which other class starter decks do you recommend I pick up next to take with me?

I'm near Birmingham by the way.

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*rubs hands together*

Priest is my favourite. It doesn't do anything flashy or special but almost all the cards it plays are useful and powerful. Cards like Flash Heal and Circle of Healing are great for helping you learn when the best time to use Instants are too.

Warlock is a little more fragile (and with two experienced players, will find it tough going against the Priest deck), but is arguably the most powerful starter once it gets going. Lots of its cards key off each other - there's a lot of Demon pets in the deck, cards that give your demons Ferocity, cards that give your demons +2 ATK, and helpfully a card that makes all your fire and shadow ATK allies better - and every single ally in the deck deals fire or shadow damage.

Hunter is perhaps a tiny bit hit and miss - I've not spent much time with it but you generally want to win with one of your rare cards, which is a practically impossible-to-kill 8/8 translucent cat (no really). The main problem is that often by that point in the game, spending your entire seventh turn playing a big cat isn't going to get you anywhere if you're behind, and won't turn the tables enough; if you are playing it on to an empty board though, you've pretty much won. Other than that, it does Hunter things - long-range damage, has a bear, great at killing big allies.

Death Knight is pretty good, and probably the closest to a 'complete package' out of all of the decks - most of its cards are very threatening, it has answers to both abilities and equipment, Gargoyle (a ferocious 5/5 for 4) is nuts, as is Unholy Ground (which makes a 3/3 token whenever one of your non-token allies dies). Difficult to find anything to criticise about this one.

Shaman is quite bad, and is probably worth avoiding in all honesty. It's nice and thematic and all the cards key off each other nicely, but there's just a few parts of the deck that don't feel very well-thought out - like having a card which heals all damage from all your Nature ATK allies, when 90% of them only have two health... Basically it's fine, but other decks are simply better.

Mage is supposed to also be quite bad, though I've not played with it so can't really comment. Not quite as bad as the Shaman deck, but lacks ways to actually win the game - there's one 7/5 Elusive guy in the deck and you tend to find that if you have him, you win; if you don't, you don't.

Druid is very good - an excellent hero flip and much like the Priest, lots of plain good cards. Gift of the Earthmother (+6/+6 to target ally) is also completely silly.

Finally, Warrior - also quite bad. Relies a little too much on you having a weapon in play; unfortunately there are only four in the deck so by the time you've managed to draw one, you're probably going to be out of luck.

If you wanted two more decks, I'd consider two of Druid, Priest, Warlock and Death Knight based on your preferences; if you're wanting more, basically just avoid Warrior, Shaman and Mage unless you want to face lots of lopsided matches. You could buy any of the bad decks and improve them with extra cards but as time is of the essence at present, they're probably best left alone for now.

tl;dr version

Good:

Priest

Warlock

Druid

Death Knight

Paladin

OK:

Hunter

Rogue

Not so good:

Warrior

Mage

Shaman

If you're near Birmingham on the South side, there's some guys over on Zapped Giants (the UK community forum: http://www.zappedgiants.com) who are just about to start playing at the Manaleak store in Worcester - in case you wanted to find some new opposition :)Here's the thread in case it's relevant to your interests.

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Thank you again for such a lengthy and informative response. I had been attempting to put together my own Death Knight deck, but I won't have time to field test and tweak it before we fly so I'll probably pick up the starter for that at least if I can. Is there any worth in playing two of the same starters against each other, or would we lose too much of the fun in trying to counter the differing forms of attack and strategies offered when playing against a different class?

Cheers for the heads-up about the Worcester sessions too.

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Just popped into Game and Gamestation and the only decent starter deck I could find was the Draenei Priest. I know it was your top recommendation, but as a character it doesn't appeal to me much as the Death Knight so I'll try elsewhere first before I go with the priest. Not that I don't appreciate your advice of course!

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In theory, with enough duplicates, if is possible to build decent decks from just one set of cards. I have more Twilight cards than anything else, handy of course for longevity, do I try and stick mainly with these or ideally do I need cards from some of the previous still legal sets too?

On the flip side, considering that I'm only likely to play close family and friends, is there any harm with us playing with cards from the entire range, or can some of the older cards unbalance things too much? I have about 150 Honor cards I could be drawing from...

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Until you're playing in an organised play environment (at a store or at tournaments) there's nothing stopping you from using whatever cards you have at your disposal. There are one or two cards that are completely silly and should probably be avoided in the interests of fairness (Adam Eternum, Dimzer the Prestidigitator, Dethvir the Malignant, etc) as the occasion that you get to play them may introduce balance issues; however in general, fill your boots.

If you were going to purchase product or single cards, I'd recommend buying cards from Worldbreaker, War of the Elements and Twilight of the Dragons for now - Worldbreaker is probably the best set of the three closely followed by Twilight. You can build a deck with whatever card pool you have but diversifying is going to increase the amount of options you have significantly.

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