September 22, 2006

World of Warcraft TCG: Molten Core Raid Deck and Dark Portal Expansion

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The WoW TCG Molten Core Raid Deck has been released, and is now available from Shopzilla and Funagain Games.

Upper Deck Entertainment started pinging retailers yesterday with product information about two World of Warcraft Trading Card Game releases. The World of Warcraft TCG is still not yet in stores, but set to ship in October of this year.

The first new release coming down the pipe is The Dark Portal Booster expansion, which is set to ship in March 2007.

The Company Line: A storm rages in the Blasted Lands as evil stirs within the Dark Portal. Bloodshed in Azeroth intensifies as the Blood Elves and Draenei join the fray. Already, the great conflict spills over into the other world . . . the Burning Legion looks on and plots its next move. Grab your weapons and make ready, the darkness is upon us!

Heroes will be made. Legends will be written.

Heed the Call! The Dark Portal Expansion includes everything one player will need to join the struggle.

The release of The Dark Portal falls somewhat in line (at least thematically) with the late November release of Burning Crusade expansion, which extends the World of Warcraft Massively Online RPG. In the Burning Crusade players will enter the Dark Portal to travel to new world zones (regions) of high-end content. Their characters will grow more powerful, gain new armor, weapons, spells and equipment as they play through the new content and level up their characters. A Dark Portal TCG tie-in seems like an obvious extension of the WoW TCG, and is well-timed for a few months after both the initial World of Warcraft TCG release the Burning Crusade expansion to the MMORPG.

Shortly after release of the the Dark Portal expansion, Upper Deck will release the second in the series of Raid Decks: The Molten Core Raid Deck.

The Company Line: Deep within Blackrock Mountain, amidst the smoldering lava of the Molten Core, sleeps Ragnaros the fire lord. His minions roam his domain, keeping watch as his lieutenants guard the protective runes throughout his lair.

Enter the Molten Core if you dare, but beware the fury of Ragnaros!

Limited-edition Raid Decks open up a whole new facet of the World of Warcraft TCG. One player takes on the role of an epic foe that only multiple heroes working together can even hope to challenge. Should the raid defeat the powerful Ragnaros, the heroes win the chance to crack open the enclosed Treasure Pack and reap rewards not found anywhere else!

This second installment of the Raid Deck expansion set requires players to build their raid parties using cards from the World of Warcraft® TCG: Heroes of Azeroth TM and The Dark Portal TM sets.

The Molten Core will be the second in the line of the WoW TCG cooperative Raid Decks. The first, the black dragon Onyxia, will be released this fall in line with the initial WoW TCG release "Heroes of Azeroth".

We find it a bit odd that the Molten Core Raid Deck will be released AFTER the Dark Portal. Bear with us here.

The WoW TCG mirrors the class equipment of the MMORPG, and in the online game, the better equipment comes from the more challenging encounters. The Onyxia raid deck is said to have a "gold foiled" treasure chest with powerful gear to give to your TCG characters. In the MMORPG, Onyxia is the first raid, with the Molten Core the next in order, and then BlackWing Lair, the Temple of Ahn'Qiraj, and finally the floating undead citadel Naxxramas.

When the Burning Crusade arrives this fall, the MMORPG will get a chance to out-level some of the gear from these raids. They will, in essence, become more powerful than anything that existed in the game to date. The new loot will make the Molten Core loot seem like nerf weapons.

If the Dark Portal TCG expansion mirrors the content of the Burning Crusade, presenting players with more powerful equipment then those found original Heroes of Azeroth, then why would someone want to raid Molten Core - a now substandard instance raid?

The whole thing has us scratching our critical lobes. We're not complaining, just confused. Perhaps all of the TCG equipment is balanced, and there isn't a true disparity of equipment quality across the sets? We'll just have to hang-on and find out.

The World of Warcraft trading card game is set to ship this October.

News of the Dark Portal expansion and the Molten Core Raid deck was found both in the game's online forums, and on the GamingReport.com.

Read More in: Collectable Card Games | Gaming News | World of Warcraft TCG

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Posted by Critical Gamers Staff at September 22, 2006 3:36 PM

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