Amiibart TCG Rules

First of all, yes, this is exciting news. Amiibart is going to produce an amiibo-themed CCG (collectible card game). You may need to chill out for a little while, though, because the earliest you can expect the first expansion is January 2021.

Amiibart will continue being released, but since I’m also developing the TCG, it may be less common to see releases. Amiibart Minis (the blind pack ones) are also going to be released more sporadically. The hope is to have at least the entirety of Test Wave Finale out by Christmas, but developing card games takes a lot of time and effort, so that may be delayed as well. Amiibart Winter Con will likely be delayed until January as well.

At any rate, onto the ins and outs of the game. Notably, this game will be completely free and can be played through Discord without any bots or websites (bar one coin flip), though players will likely need to keep track of matches in real life- either by paper and pencil or by printing proxy cards. Either way, players will have access to a database of every card made, so don’t worry about your opponent (for example) playing Gear Up! and you not knowing that it buffs Tech-type Fighters.

How do you obtain cards? Actually, that system hasn’t been completely figured out yet Currently, the most likely route will be finding a code in an Amiibart CCG Discord server and then claiming it in a channel meant for that purpose, then having cards sent into a channel that serves as your collection, just like Amiibart currently runs. This keeps pieces collectible and allows easy trading- two players decide what they want to trade, and I move the pieces into the other channel, delete it from the original channel, and boom, trade complete.

There will be four rarities of cards- Common, Rare, Ultra Rare, and Art Rares. Art Rares aren’t unique cards- they have a purely aesthetic change to an Ultra Rare, similar to “Brushstroke” Chases in Amiibart. 

Packs will contain 5 cards. Three will be guaranteed Commons, one will be a guaranteed Rare, and the last one will have a ⅔ chance of being Rare, ¼ chance of being Ultra Rare, and 1/12 chance to be an Art Rare. Not bad odds, right? This allows collectors to pull an Ultra Rare/Art Rare every three packs, leaving the odds high enough for collectors to obtain them but low enough that collectors may need to trade for certain ones.

Now, for the rules. They may sound complicated at first, but they’re actually really simple. If you’ve played any other TCG or CCG (Pokemon, Magic: The Gathering, Yu-Gi-Oh!, Hearthstone, Legends of Runeterra, Mythgard, Gods Unchained)- the rules are pretty much in the same mold. Play your Fighters onto the field, use Spells to buff them/heal/do damage, smack them into each other. Not complicated.

Onto building your deck. A deck will be made up of 30 cards and 2 “Powers”. More about Powers later. There are three kinds of cards- Fighters, Stages and Spells. Decks cannot have more than 25 “Fighter” cards- so you must have at least 5 “Spells” or “Stages”, though stuffing that many Fighters into a deck s a bad idea. In addition, there is a special kind of Spell known as a “Hazard”.

Every card has an “Element”- Dark, Light, Fire, ELW (Earth/Life/Water), Magic, Weapon, Tech, Brute, Electric, Animal, Fighter, Tank, Warrior, Assassin, or Specialty. At launch, not every Element will be available. Sorry about that. The original set is already pretty big for me to produce in just a couple months, so it will not have Brute, Electric, Animal, Fighter, Warrior, or most of the Specialty Fighters. That means it will have Dark, Light, Fire, ELW, Magic, Weapon, Tech, Tank, Assassin, and Specialty Spells, though, and each Element will have 10 cards on release, for a total of 100 cards, along with 2 Powers (Specialty will have 5).

Your deck can only contain a maximum of 2 different Elements, not counting Specialty. For example, if I build a deck with Tech and Assassin cards, I can’t add the Dark Spell Dual Blast. I can still add Specialty cards, though.

Powers also have Elements, and if you have a Power that isn’t a Specialty Power, you have to have cards of that Element in your deck. For example, if I use a Fire Power, I have to have Fire cards in my deck- which takes up one of the two Elements I’m allowed to have.

Powers are also divided up into 2 types- Primary and Secondary. You get one of each. The difference is that Primary Powers tend to be more generic- you could put them into any deck and be just fine. Specialty Powers, on the other hand, tend to promote a certain playstyle, and are more tailored to specific decks- for example, a Specialty Power that heals a Pokemon probably won’t be useful in a deck full of Fire Emblem characters.

Every Power will be accessible to everyone right off the bat- you won’t need to get them in packs to use them.

The last restriction on deck building is that each card has a star value on it. This decides how many you can put in your deck. For one-star cards, the maximum is four in your deck, for two-star cards, three, for three-star cards, two, and for four-star cards, one. Since players have access to their entire deck all game (unusual for a CCG, I know) it’s important that certain strong cards can’t be played a bunch of times. You will need to have multiple copies of a card you wish to play multiple of, though.

Now for the actual rules of the game.

First of all, players have access to their entire deck. There will be no drawing cards or anything like that. You have access to every card you chose to add and haven’t played yet, every single turn. This is for one simple reason- I don’t want players to have to trust the order other players draw, and I don’t have the chops to put together a Discord bot or anything to do it.

On the flip side, your opponent knows every card you can play at any time. If my hand is made up of three cards, and my opponent has kept track of what cards I’ve played and what’s left in my deck, they know what I can play and can play around those cards. Fair warning. This shouldn’t come into play other than general strategy until late in the game, but it is an interesting facet that puts Amiibart CCG apart from most card games.

Start of the game: a moderator flips a coin to see which player goes first. This is the only time a moderator is needed, and can probably be done by a Discord bot.

Turn One: Players put their 2 Powers into play along with 3 Fighters from their deck. They cannot attack, play Spells, or do anything besides put their cards into play. If a player triggers a Passive Power by playing a Fighter, the Passive Power’s effect will happen- for example, if a player has a Power that does damage to opposing Fighters whenever the opponent plays a Fighter, it will trigger.

This gives the player going first the advantage of not being affected by the opponent’s Powers, but the player going second can plan their starting Fighter lineup based on what the first player has. 

In subsequent turns:

  1. The player notes that their Energy is 10.
  2. Players may play up to 2 Fighters from their hand into empty slots on their field, use any Active Powers, play Spells from their hand, play Stages into the field, and attack with their Fighters in any order.
  3. Players end their turn and the other player goes.

How to win: When a Fighter dies, its owner gains one Death Token. When a player has 5 Death Tokens, they lose.

To prevent, for example, players not playing Fighters or not playing enough to lose, if a player has no Fighters in play and does not play any the first turn they have after not having any in play, they lose.

If a player has no cards in their deck and no Fighters in play, they lose.

To prevent stalling/turtling, a player that does not attack, play a card, use an Active Power, or concede for three turns in a row loses.

The important thing to go over is Energy. Players have 10 Energy, which refills at the start of their turn. Attacking, using Active Powers, casting Spells, and playing Fighters all cost Energy, and if you don’t have enough Energy to meet the cost listed on the card, you can’t do it.

Powers

As stated earlier, players have two Powers in their deck (one Primary, one Secondary), which stay in play the entire game. There are two ways that Powers affect the game- Passive or Active. Passive Powers have an activation requirement and trigger every time it’s met, for example “Whenever your opponent plays a Fighter, deal 100 damage to it.” or “At the end of your turn, give a Fighter +200 Attack.” Active Powers must be triggered by the player during their turn and can only be triggered once per turn. They may or may not cost Energy. For example, an Active Power may read “One Energy: Give a friendly Weapon Fighter +100 Attack.”, or “Zero Energy: Deal 500 damage to a friendly Fighter and an opposing Fighter.”

Spells

Spells cost Energy to use, the cost of which is listed on the card. They take effect immediately, and after their effect is resolved, they are discarded for the remainder of the game. They may only be played during their owner’s turn.

Hazards also count as Spells, but are put into play instead of being discarded when played. When the opponent meets their activation requirement, their effect occurs, then they are discarded. For example, if a Hazard reads “When an opposing player plays a Spell, deal 200 damage to their left-most Fighter.”, when, during the opponent’s turn, they play a Spell, immediately deal 200 damage to their left-most Fighter and discard the Hazard from play. You can’t choose not to trigger it- so in this case, you wouldn’t be allowed to not trigger it until their left-most Fighter would be killed by it, for example.

Yes, opponents know what Hazard you have put into play when you play it and can play around it, making them weaker than “Traps” or “Secrets” from other CCGs.

Hazards have a specific trigger order- they generally resolve before the opponent’s action does. For example, in the case of the above example, if the opponent’s left-most Fighter had 200 Health left and they played a Spell to heal it, the 200 damage would be dealt to it (killing it) before it was healed and the Spell would be wasted.

The exception is if the Hazard reads “after x”, in which case it triggers after the opponent’s play resolves. For example, if a Hazard reads “After the opponent plays a Fighter, destroy it.”, it only triggers once that Fighter is in play. This, aside from making the Hazard actually trigger, allows opposing counterplay. If the opponent’s Fighter had an Ability that triggered when it was played, that Ability still counts. Say the opponent played a Fighter that had an Ability that read like this- “When this Fighter is played from your hand, destroy all Hazards in play.”- it would destroy the Hazard, preventing the Hazard from triggering.

You may not have more than one copy of a Hazard in play at any time- eg, if I have “Trip Wire” in play, I cannot play another Trip Wire.

Reading Spell Cards

Spell cards have a number in the upper left corner. This is the card number within the set, and has no impact on gameplay. The top of the card has the card name. The top right corner of the card has three symbols, which are, from top to bottom, the Element, the Energy Cost to play it, and the number of Stars (which determines the number allowed in a deck). The Spell cards may have art (this is unlikely, as it would take a lot more time and effort), and on the main body of the card its effect is listed. Lastly, the very bottom of the card may or may not have the set and rarity listed. Again, I don’t know for sure, as I haven’t begun making the actual cards at time of publication.

Hazard cards are marked as Hazards in their effect text.

Stages

Stages are cards with a constant and ongoing effect- whenever the requirement for the effect to trigger (eg playing a Fighter, starting a turn, et cetera) occurs, the effect triggers. Stages do not take up space on the board. Once played, they stay in play until discarded by an effect or by their owner playing another Stage. You may only have one Stage in play at a time.

Reading Stage Cards

Stage cards have a simple layout. In the top left corner, the cost to play is listed. At the top, the name of the card, the top right has the element and number of Stars, the art and effect are on the main body of the card, and the set and rarity are listed on the bottom.

Fighters

These are, of course, the most important cards in the game. They cost 1 Energy to play from hand. When you play them, you put them into an empty “slot”- more on that later. They may not attack the turn they are played, and may only attack once per turn.

They have an Attack and a Health number, and when a Fighter runs out of Health, they are discarded and their owner gets a Death Token.

The exception to this is Token Fighters. Token Fighters don’t start in your deck, but can be created by other cards. When summoned, they go into the player’s left-most empty slot. They cannot be returned to the player’s hand or affect gameplay once discarded- for example, they cannot be revived and do not count as discarded cards.

The majority of important stuff on them can be found below.

Reading Fighter Cards

Top left corner: number in set, no impact on gameplay

Top right corner, from top to bottom: Element and Star number

Top: Name, any types (for example, Pit may be marked as an Angel, while Ivysaur may be marked as both a Plant and a Pokemon)

Art

Any special Abilities are noted, along with any keywords.

Any special Attacks they have are noted, along with the Energy cost to use them

Bottom, from left to right: Attack, set/rarity, Health

I apologize that at this time I do not have any examples to show. This will be updated as soon as production of cards begins.

The Board, and Attacking with Fighters

The board is really simple. Since the game isn’t in real life, it doesn’t have a physical representation, but it simply has five slots, slots one through five. Slot one is the left-most and slot 5 is the right-most, and the slots are in order, 1/2/3/4/5, for any cards that affect adjacent Fighters or go left or right. Players designate which slot their Fighter goes in when they play one.

You may not play more than two Fighters in a turn after turn one. It costs 1 Energy to play a Fighter, and you may not play a Fighter if you do not have an empty slot.

Attacking is also pretty simple. There are two ways to attack.

The first is to use a special attack listed on the card, by spending the amount of Energy listed for the attack. The attack’s effect and damage are listed on the card.

The second is to use a basic attack, which doesn’t cost any Energy. A basic attack deals damage equal to the attacking Fighter’s Attack to a single enemy Fighter, and the attacking Fighter takes damage equal to the Attack of the Fighter it is attacking.

Fighters have their Health go down by the amount of damage dealt when attacked. If a Fighter’s Health drops to or below 0, discard it and give its owner a Death Token.

Fighters may only use an Attack/basic attack once per turn.

Attacks, Abilities triggered by attacking or being attacked, and Hazards triggered by attacks trigger in a set order. If multiple things fall into the same number, the attacking player’s trigger first, Hazards trigger before anything else, and Abilities or effects triggered by attacks trigger from left to right.

The order is as follows:

  1. Abilities that read “When this Fighter attacks/when a friendly Fighter attacks”
  2. Abilities that read “When an opposing Fighter attacks”
  3. Attacks that read “When this Attack is used”
  4. Abilities that read “When this Fighter is attacked/when an opposing Fighter attacks”
  5. Deal any damage dealt by the attack, or, for a basic attack, damage both Fighters
  6. Trigger anything for “After a friendly Fighter is attacked/after this Fighter is attacked”
  7. Abilities or attacks that read “After this Fighter attacks/after a friendly Fighter attacks”
  8. Any Abilities that read “When this dies”

Lastly, a few small things that don’t really fit in any categories, as well as a few keywords:

-Fighters may not be healed past the amount of Health listed on the card

-Players have access to any cards in their deck they haven’t played yet at all times

-If a Power triggers a Trap, the Trap resolves first

Keywords are simple, one word powers in a card’s Ability text. At time of writing, the list is as follows:

Lifesteal: When this Fighter deals damage, heal it for an amount equal to damage dealt. This applies even if it was dealt damage that killed it during its attack, but not if a Hazard or Ability “Destroyed” it.

Block: While this is in play, it must be attacked before any friendly Fighters without Block.

Instakill: Exactly what it sounds like. Any Fighters hit with Instakill attacks will be killed, no matter the damage dealt. Lifesteal does not stop Instakill.

Swift: After Turn One, any Fighters with Swift can attack the turn they are played.

Void: Once discarded, this card cannot be used or returned to a player’s hand by any player. It stays permanently discarded.

Forge: When a card with Forge is played, choose and activate ONE of the listed Forge effects. Mainly for Weapon-type cards.

Bind: Set a card’s stats to the amount listed on the card ad remove any effects on it that aren’t listed on the card. Mainly for ELW and Magic-type cards.

Update: Remove all damage and effects from a Fighter and discard it, then immediately summon a Fighter in the way listed on the card.

Well, that’s all for now. That should be fairly close to the final ruleset, though there may end up being more keywords.

I’ll be back with card reveals once the set gets made, but for now, check out our regular Amiibart, as well as the accompanying lines- Portraits, Pop Amiibart, Minis, Cheery Bomb, and Puff of Color.

-Spike

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