August 25, 2006

World of Warcraft TCG Session Video


Want to get started playing the WoW TCG? Then pick up a Starter Deck and a few booster packs. Also check-out Our Review.

We realize that it was only two weeks ago when we covered a lot of the World of Warcraft TCG for our first TCG It's Friday installment, but we were sucked back in with some cool news that we couldn't just sit on. To be honest, it wasn't hard to go back - we haven't been this excited about a release since Belichick put Brady in for the playoffs and set Bledsoe out to footballer's pasture (sorry Buffalo - the fact that he didn't then take an early retirement was his own doing).

The video (which comes from includes about 20 minutes of footage from Gen Con last week. The reporter plays as a Warrior against Upper Deck Entertainment Product Manager David Hewitt, who pulls the strings of a fire tossing Mage. The coverage includes an entire game played from start to finish with open hands, and also contains a few thoughts from David Hewitt about the Onyxia raid deck. The video is free to download, doesn't require any registration or other bueracratic / marketing nonesense, and .. what the heck are you waiting for?

Here are some notes we took while watching the game session so that you can join in the fun even if your computer doesn't have any speakers, or if you're running on a Apple II GS and can't watch those new fangled moving pictures.


1. David Hewitt speaks about his experiences playing against the Onyxia raid deck, and how difficult she is to defeat even for experienced players. Uppder Deck os really hard-selling this Onyxia raid, huh? The whole raid deck sounds like a great concept, and it better not be as difficult as Dave paints it to be. It would be such a let down to have to devote so much time and money to the WoW TCG to ever experience the completion of a raid deck when WoW takes enough time as is. If these games are supposed to compliment each other for a broader fan base, then where should the WoW player devote his/her time? To the TCG or the MMORPG?

2. The players start the game with their cards face up, and discuss starting strategies and resource mechaincs for a few momemnts. David also talks about the game's mulligan rule; when a player mulligans, he reshuffles and once again deals the standard seven card hand. The fact that your starting hand doesn't shrink is cool, but a player can only mulligan once! This is scary. Considering that any card can be a resource, that might not be sooo bad, but still -- Yikes!

3. One of the players brings out a hefty weapon, and then on his next turn he weighs the decision to either use his resources to attack, or to use his resources to beef up his hero. Not a big point, but still noteworthy.

4. At the end of his opponent's turn the designer (Hewitt) uses three resources to resolve a quest, which is to draw one card. Notice that he taps a bunch of unsolved quests for resources, including the quest that he finally resolves (tapping a quest for resources apparently doesn't exclude it from also being used as a quest that turn.) Very cool multi-use card action going on here.

5. Some more combat takes place with a Krol blade hacking away at one of the hero's and his allies. We see how armor is used to mitigate damage, a few example of the targeting rules, and the Ferocity (haste) ability in action.

6. After the reporter declares an attack, Hewitt plays a Frost Nova spell that deals one damage all-around to the reporter's heroes and his allies. The nova includes a rule "Opponent Allies and Heroes cannot attack this turn". The thing is, Hewitt casts the Frost Nova in response to an attack. Not to get nitpicky here, but hadn't that attacker ALREADY attacked? The reporter declared an attack, his attack should continue, no? Maybe Hewitt cast Frost nova it before the attack phase, and that's silently implied? The whole thing smells fishy, and we hope we're right on the rules (that the guy should have resolved the declared attacked anyway) and the designer messed it up, but our Egos wouldn't be too hurt if we've got it wrong.

7. Some class specialization cards are thrown down, which turns the tables a bit (at least temporarily). We won't get into many details, you know.. for a surprise.

8. The game goes down to the wire.

It was interesting to see the slow inevitable butchering from the warrior with his high hit point advantage, protective armor, and relatively slight offensive damage through weapons, fight against a shock and awe Mage type. The warrior effectively hacked his way through the game, spending resources to challenge his opponent's allies to combat, where as the mage cleaned the table a few times with his indirect area of effect spells. There definitely seems to be some play style differences in the class types which should keep the game fresh for repeat players, and also provide for various style niches for those players with specific gameplay tastes. We can't wait to see how the other classes play, and well.. we'd like to see the allies in action a bit more.

The World of Warcraft TCG is set for release this October.

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Posted by Critical Gamers Staff at August 25, 2006 11:43 AM

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