I Opened Six FFTCG Packs From Target

Why Final Fantasy TCG Is The Best Card Game Available

A few months ago, I wrote an article on why it was my new favorite hobby. Now, I’m confident that this is the best TCG out there, and here’s why.

Author: Nathan Doverspike

Okay, so that’s a pretty strong title and possible even a little click-baity. What can I say? I have very strong feelings towards Final Fantasy TCG (I’ll just refer to it as FFTCG from now on). A few months ago, I wrote an article on why it was my new favorite hobby. Now, I’m confident that this is the best TCG out there, and here’s why.

Reasonable Barrier to Entry

As with all TCG, there is a barrier to entry, meaning there is a slight hump to overcome before becoming invested in the game. However, unlike many other TCG out there like Magic The Gathering, the cost to start playing FFTCG is noticeably lower. For my first competitive tournament, I entered after buying two booster packs and a starter set (consisting of 50 cards, rule book, and play mat) for $25 total after tax. Considering it took hundreds of dollars before I competed in my first Magic tournament, I would say that’s a pretty fair price to begin playing. Plus, I came in third against people who have played the game for much longer than I had, meaning I felt like I was on a much more level playing field than I ever did playing MTG.

Another barrier to entry is the difficulty of the game itself. FFTCG can  be difficult at times, especially with all the options available to you with how you build your deck. But, it only took me about 10-15 minutes to get a good grasp on the basics of a turn, how cards work, and how to properly play certain abilities with maximum efficiency. I would definitely describe this game as easy to learn, hard to master. I don’t think there is another TCG out there that better exemplifies this. For new players, that should be something to take into consideration when starting a new card game.

The foil cards, which each pack comes with one, are awesome!

Better Value In Packs

This part is subjective, and I will be the first to admit that. However, as someone who played MTG for a very long time, I can attest to the massive number of cards I accumulated that were essentially useless. To me, this isn’t good design in a card game. I understand that not every card will be fantastic, but to open up a pack and see that the “rare” card you get from it is worth less than the easily found “common” cards in the pack, in addition to its abilities/stats are worthless, that results in the feeling like you just wasted money. When I play card games, I don’t ever want to feel like I am wasting my money, since each pack alone is normally $4 before tax or shipping if you are ordering online. Sure, I’ve opened FFTCG packs and put the rarer card in a sleeve and into my binder, but I am sure I could find a use for it in a new deck.

Also, you are guaranteed one foil card in every pack. These foil cards can be of any rarity, and pulling a legend foil is such a great feeling, especially when it’s a foil Wol! Having a foil in every pack drastically increased the chance to have a fantastic return on your investment in that pack. No joke, I recently pulled a pack that had $60 of value in the cards, and yes, it did include that foil Wol from Opus V.

A typical setup of what playing the game will look like. It may resemble another TCG with Magic in the name, but I can assure you I like it much more.

No Banned Sets

This is a big one to me. In Magic, they cycle through sets as time passes, meaning that in order to compete in certain tournaments, you also must buy all the new cards. This also means that any investment you made in the previous sets is now wasted if you wish to still compete in that format. As FFTCG grows, it is likely that certain sets may be pushed out of the standard format. However, as of this article, that is not the case. That is a huge plus when comparing it to other TCG out there.

Still love me some Vincent in my Earth/Fire deck.

The Community

This one is also subjective, but after meeting many other FFTCG players, I can confidently say that the majority of them are decent human beings who just love the game. They aren’t there to win the tournament to turn around and sell all those cards and are rude to everyone they interactive with (speaking from personal experience on that one).

Overall, I am very thankful that one of my coworkers introduced me to this game. Without him, I would have never known how awesome the game is, or met the fantastic people who also play this game. How about you? Have you played any TCG lately? Is there one that you also this is really good and would suggest checking out? Let me know in the comments! [Click here for a complete version of the rules from the creators.]

The Importance of Family Game Nights

Does anyone else remember family game night?  You know that time when families would pull out a board game like Trivial Pursuit, Monopoly, or Mouse Trap, blow the dust off of the box and sit down together and play?

Author: Josh

Note: This article was originally posted on Josh’s personal blog.

Does anyone else remember family game night?  You know that time when families would pull out a board game like Trivial Pursuit, Monopoly, or Mouse Trap, blow the dust off of the box and sit down together and play?  It seems that in today’s society we have changed.  These games are now all almost digital.  Family game night turned into a room of drooling zombies staring at the glowing box in front of them trying to make a man dance across the screen, or blast each other away.  While yes both could be considered time spent with family, I feel that with board games there is something special to be had.

star wars monopoly

For example, with Monopoly.  Great time to help teach your kid about math and money management.  If you want the expensive property with hotels, you need to save your money and buy it.  If you land on another players square, make sure you pay the bills.  These are very common life oriented tasks that will apply to a person for the rest of their lives.  Family game night is an amazing way to teach the younger members of the family about different tactics that have worked for adults.  I guarantee it’s better for the good old brain thinking power than a ton of pixels flashing random colors of light slowly burning out our retinas.

 Trivial Pursuit.  The greatest game to prove how smart/knowledgeable of their surroundings someone actually is.  Teams can be formed while playing this game with house rules.  With those teams comes an opportunity to bond with your family.  That bond could serve a stronger purpose one day.  For example if a child is having problems with life that they normally wouldn’t feel like talking about.  They may just remember that time spent on family game night and decide that they want to discuss their situation with their parents just because of the trust/communication that was built during last weeks round of trivia.

 While I do feel that video games are awesome and great, I also feel strongly that we can not leave behind board games.  They offer so much in the way of building relationships.  They offer a chance to unplug from technology.  They offer a chance to be human for a little while, and the best part is…when the power goes out, you can just keep on playing.

Why Final Fantasy The Trading Card Game Is My New Favorite Hobby

Then a coworker introduced me to the Final Fantasy Trading Card Game, and I now have a new favorite hobby and a few new friends. Here’s why you shouldn’t overlook this game, whether you play Magic, Yu-Gi-Oh!, Pokemon, or another popular card game.

Author: Nathan Doverspike

A couple months ago, I made the decision to sell off all 15,000+ Magic The Gathering cards I had amassed over 18 years of playing/collecting. While a difficult decision, I told myself it was for the best and that I was over the collectible card phase in my life. Then a coworker introduced me to the Final Fantasy Trading Card Game, and I now have a new favorite hobby and a few new friends. Here’s why you shouldn’t overlook this game, whether you play Magic, Yu-Gi-Oh!, Pokemon, or another popular card game.

First of all, the mechanics in the game will feel very familiar to anyone who has played Magic or Pokemon, with cards called backups taking the place of lands/energy in those respective games. However, with most things in this game, there’s a twist that sets it apart and adds new layers on old strategies. You may discard cards into the break zone (discard pile) from your hand in order to gain two energy of that card’s element. For example, if I want to play a very powerful card named Vincent (featured below) on turn 1, I could put two cards from my hand into the break zone to play him. Where in Magic I would have to wait a few turns, most likely 3 if I have some tricks up my sleeve, I can play him turn 1 if I am willing to sacrifice my hand size and options down the road to gain an immediate and noticeable advantage early on in the game. While board control isn’t the only way to win, for the Fire/Earth deck I currently play it’s what keeps me from getting wiped out quickly by Ice/Lightning decks that focus on removal.

Seriously, this card is extremely powerful in addition to the sick artwork and foil background.

You defeat your opponent when you deal seven points of damage to them. That a relatively low number, and you would think that games would be over in five minutes because of that. But I’ve found that these are some of the most interesting and longest matches, which is probably why each round was only one match in the recent tournament I attended. Also, whenever you deal damage to an opponent, there’s always a chance that the card they put from their deck into the damage zone is an EX card, which activates the effect on the card before resolving and moving on to the next action. You read that right, you could possible have your strongest Forward, or your whole board destroyed because you dealt damage to your opponent, which is the only way to win by the way. It is such a curve ball in a card game and I LOVE IT!


Pokemon has the strategy of evolving your cards into more powerful forms, and while Final Fantasy doesn’t have that, it does have even more intriguing. See that “S” in the cost to play Death Penalty? That mean sacrifice a card with the same name as this one as a cost. In other words, it becomes a strategy to put cards with the same name into your hand (through drawing, abilities or searching) in order to use their special abilities that can usually change the whole landscape of a game. Vincent here can straight up destroy other characters that are used to attack or block with his ability, something that definitely comes in handy if your opponent has cards that rely on synergy to win.

Unlike other colors, you may only have one dark or light card in play at a time.

Light and Dark cards are another neat idea Final Fantasy uses that other card games don’t feature. These cards tend to be very powerful, sometimes excessively so. Which means there’s always a catch, and the catch here is that you may only have one in play at a time. So even though they are very strong, having too many in a deck will likely result in a loss. That isn’t to say they aren’t useful, but it takes some serious thinking to figure out which cards work well with others, and likewise which ones might not.

Another thing I love about this game is the fact that no cards are banned and all sets are valid for tournament play. Whereas in Magic, Pokemon, and Yu-Gi-Oh! they have different formats depending on if you want to play with brand new sets or ones from the very beginning, Final Fantasy lets you use any set. The game is still somewhat new, so there is always the chance that this might occur. Still the cards in each set are so unique and interesting that it might not matter as much as those games if they do choose to ban cards or older sets in the future.

The most important thing about playing cards games competitively is the community; and this is really where Final Fantasy shines the brightest. Like I mentioned above, I recently attended my first competitive event, and even though I brought up the rear in the standings, I didn’t feel that other players looked down on my or felt insulted that I came with a barely modified starter deck. Instead, they offered advice and encouragement to keep playing and how they feel my deck could be improved. I took that advice to heart, and can’t wait to bring my newly revamped Vincent/Cloud deck for a rematch at the next event. Every player was polite, something I NEVER experienced at a Magic event (and from the stories I heard from fellow former players I wasn’t the only one who dealt with poor sports and overall rude players).

There are so many other aspects I could go into, like how monsters in this game are like artifacts in Magic, summons can be used almost anytime unless their card states otherwise, and how mono decks are some of the strongest out there, which is a stark contrast to other games. What about you? Have you played Final Fantasy The Trading Card Game? If so, what do you think? Let me know in the comments!

Table Top Games-A Guilty Pleasure

Author: Josh

This originally appeared on Josh’s Blog on December 18th, 2014

For years table top games have been a guilty pleasure of mine.  The artistry that goes into the pieces.  The ability to play anywhere you have a flat surface… or not if you enjoy using books and items as cliffs.  Table top games are in my opinion board games on crack.  A chance to leave the confines of a structured play through and explore strategy at it’s core.  A game of chess that is more true to combat strategy than the game with limited pieces.

When I say table top games, 2-3 games should stereotypically pop into everyone’s minds.  Starting with the most predominant, WarHammer.  This table top game has been in existence since around 1983.  A true testament to the genre itself.  This game allows players to assume the role of different factions of space marines and battle it out with friends in campaigns that can last days if not weeks.  More to the creative side of this game, players have the ability to paint/customize their soldiers when they buy them.  This allows players to immerse themselves in their army as they invest real time bringing the figurines to life.  The only downside of the game (which really isn’t a downside at all) is the cards that record stats.  There is a lot of information to remember.  Enter a game that takes the stat cards away and provides something a little more friendly to non die hard fans, Mage Knight.

Mage Knight takes the table top adventure to a new level.  Players can go out and purchase packs of figurines, some random booster packs of three, single serving random figurines, or even pre built 9 man armies.  Each has it’s own stat dial on the bottom of the figurine.  This allows players to play a table top game a little faster than what they would have normally, but also allows for ease of health and power tracking.  With each hit, the figurines stats change giving a semi realistic combat advantage of attacking first.  The other subtle part that Mage Knight added to the genre, was the random figurine factor.  Whether you play the game or not, some people out there will just want to collect the figurines by themselves.  Making them random adds a sense of gambling adventure into the equation.  This is a perfect combination for making sales on a product.  A gamer will never know what piece they are getting in a random pack.  They could buy five of them and end up with one rare (if they’re really lucky) or just five duds and still want to come back for more.  Hard to argue this sales gimmick.  Even for the people who just like the figurines, there are plenty of options to buy them separately, especially the tanks!  The tanks are just giant sized figurines that have multiple dials and have a large amount of life.  Although they are more expensive, with the artistic paintwork done and the huge stat increase, you really get what you pay for.

I myself am guilty of purchasing large amounts of Mage Knight figurines just trying to get the rare ones ( I was lucky enough on my first booster pack to get one).  After that I was hooked.  The game itself is a blast to play.  You can turn an ordinary dinner table into a heat of the moment battlefield in no time.  Using napkin holders for a height advantage, or even the salt shaker as cover, Table Top games have a true place among the great genres of games.

Like Josh’s work? Find more inspired writings at:  http://apollo8007.wixsite.com/joshuasblog