Well, welcome to an all new monthly feature we have here at Zatu - Trading Card pull of the month! We will be looking at some of our favourite decks and what we managed to pull from them over the last month.
Disney Lorcana is here, and it’s given me the best kind of chills! Thus far, I’ve only observed TCGs from afar up. But Ravensburger’s new kid on the block has been the one that’s made me take the plunge. There’s 204 cards in The First Chapter release (216, if you include the 12x Enchanted cards). So how could I pick one card to highlight above all others?
Many of them are fascinating from a mechanisms point of view. The magpie within, though, has leaned towards picking something shiny. I pulled this little beauty on the launch day (August 18th). Elsa is, of course, straight out of Frozen fame. This particular one – ‘Spirit of Winter’ is a Legendary card (see the golden pentagon symbol at the bottom?). It’s one of only 12 Legendaries among the 204. But not only that, she’s a foil Legendary! There’s a foil version of every card in Lorcana, but to pull the rarest type of shiny is like finding gold dust.
So what does the card itself do, when you play it? This Elsa is Amethyst (in Ink colour), so she fits in well with this colour’s philosophy: wondrous, magical, and full of sorcery. She’s expensive to play – 8 Ink – but she’s part of the ‘Floodborn’ category. This means you can pay fewer Ink – only 6 – to play her on top of another one of your (cheaper-to-play) Elsa cards. (Such as Elsa – Queen Regent.)
Her Strength/Willpower stats are solid (4/6), but more intimidating is that she can Quest for 3 Lore. (You win by reaching 20 Lore first, before any of your opponents.) Plus, her Deep Freeze action is as coldhearted as they come! When you first play her, Elsa lets you Exert (‘tap’, if we’re comparing to MTG) up to two chosen characters. They cannot ‘Ready’ at the start of their next turn. This is huge for two reasons:
1) You can only Challenge (attack, and attempt to get rid of) a card when it’s Exerted!
2) Usually players Ready (un-Exert) cards at the start of their turn. It’s then their decision whether to either use that card that turn to Quest for Lore, or Challenge a rival card. If Elsa has ‘frozen’ this card, it is useless for this entire turn! You go, girl!
Trading card games really are the talk of the town at the moment, and for good reason; the years biggest game has just hit the shelves. So it should come of no surprise when I reveal that my TCG of the month is Disney’s Lorcana.
Although getting hold of packs is currently as difficult as it gets, I was able to source a few from my local game stores. Unfortunately, I didn’t get any big hits with ultra rare cards; but I did get a couple that are worth talking about:
Crimped Foil Smash:
Now, I know what you’re thinking, that card’s damaged. But that’s where you’re wrong.. Due to a manufacturing error, this is a one of a kind version of this card and it’s highly sought after by collectors the world over.
These card errors come in many forms, from ink smudges, to misprints, to crimps where the machine that seals the booster has pressed into one of the cards. As a result, an uncommon card that’s normally worth £3 can reach prices up to £20. So it’s no surprise that I was more excited about pulling this card than the legendary card I'll be talking about next.
Gantu - Legendary:
Out of the few packs I bought, this was the best card I got. Although it’s no enchanted pull, I’m ecstatic to have pulled the second highest rarity from a pack. Especially one that has a really neat control mechanic built in.
Although you could use this card as in, you definitely want to keep it in hand for late game as it can stop your opponent from picking off any high value cards you might have on the field. Additionally, being able to bag 2 lore each turn will take you even closer to victory.
Looking back to August, my Trading Card Game set of the month would be without any doubts Digimon core booster set “Vs Royal Knights” (BT13). The set actually released at the end of July and I started off in the best possible way by pulling a Secret Rare alternate art of Omnimon during the pre-release event I attended together with my son. Truth said, my son was the one actually pulling it but I still count it as this is not only one of the rarest cards but also one of the coolest artwork of the set. Getting it out of the 6 boosters used for the event was just the cherry on top.
Disregarding the incredibly lucky pull, I quickly found that BT-13 is an amazing set with a wide range of interesting support for many archetypes. The main character of the set is obviously the god of the digital world, Yggdrasil, that is able to unleash the tremendous power of all 13 Royal Knights lead by Omnimon. The set is not easy nor cheap to build but it showed amazing efficiency during all regional and 2023 Store championships in August.
The 4 different Bust Mode decks released in this set also proved to have massive potential in the current format. The synergy between ShineGreymon and Marcus Daimon, in particular, can bring out a very robust and efficient deck that can be a nightmare to face in a tournament.
Together with the two main highlights above, Vs Royal knights also provided a great set of other fun cards and decks to play with. Personally, I loved in particular the new Black/Yellow Chessmon line and the double tamer Miki Kurosaki/ Megumi Shirakawa. There was already a lot to love in a deck full of Digimon blockers that can be played at no cost any time another one is deleted but adding a few jamming inherited effects to the mix looked too fun to not give it a few tries.
I was lucky enough to have quite a few good pulls this month as I fell back into Magic the Gathering, buying up my local game stores last March of the Machines packs. One such pack contained 3 Mythics, one of which was Chandra, Hope’s Beacon.
A 6 cost (4 colourless and 2 red) mythic Planeswalker with a starting loyalty of 5 is a promising start to a card, although risks being underwhelming. Chandra is anything but. First, she has a passive that allows her controller to copy up to one instant or sorcery her controller casts once per turn, every turn. This is already bonkers considering it isn’t restricted to your own turn. As for her activated abilities, her ultimate is a -X, another sign of a good Planeswalker, meaning you could use it when you first play her and not risk dropping her loyalty too low. For -X she deals X damage to up to two targets, making her one of the best Chandras when it comes to ping damage, something Chandra has always excelled at. Her first loyalty gaining ability, a +2 to add 2 mana of any combination, is a great way to gain the mana you need for instant and sorcery spells that you want her to copy. Lastly, her +1 allows her to possibly dig up from your library instant and sorcery spells giving you the chance to play them this turn from exile, which of course allows you to access those instant and sorcery spells so she can copy them.
At the end of the day, she is set up for ping damage and copying instant and sorcery spells, as any Chandra should. She has in turn gone straight into my Red/Blue commander deck.