card battler

Four Great Deckbuilder Card Battlers For Fans of Slay the Spire

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Slay the Spire’s successful year-plus Early Access run and launch last year helped popularize an exciting new genre. While “card battler” could be used to describe digital adaptations of collectible card games like Magic: The Gathering and Yu-Gi-Oh, it’s increasingly used to describe RPGs, roguelikes, and strategy games that happen to use cards to represent items, buildings, or abilities.

If you’re looking for more excellent card battlers besides Slay the Spire, we’ve compiled a list of some of our favorites.

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Cards for Humanity Is a Charity Tournament Featuring Four CCGs

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Esports and event organizer 983 Media is hosting a fundraising tournament to support those affected by the global pandemic of COVID-19. Cards for Humanity will include not one but four different collectible card game (CCG) tournaments, featuring Magic: The Gathering, Gwent, Mythgard, and Legends of Runeterra.

The publishers of each game is supporting the charity tournament with rewards and goodies for winners, participants, and viewers.

The top eight players for each of the four Swiss round events will have their matches aired on 983 Media’s Twitch channel beginning on Saturday, April 18. The massive weekend-long stream is expected to last 16 hours.

During the weekend stream, viewers will be encouraged to donate to the COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund. The fundraising goal is set at $1000.

To broadcast Cards for Humanity, 983 Media is bringing in some big names from the CCG community. Merchant and AliasV will cast the Magic: the Gathering tournament. WatchFlake and McBeard will be hosting the Gwent event, Wholesome and WhatsUpWoody with Mythgard, and Charm3R and Lazergician for Legends of Runeterra.

Registration for the tournament is open now. More information can be found on the organizer’s official Discord page. The charity tournament begins April 11, with the final broadcast the weekend of April 18 -19.

Disney Villainous: Evil Comes Prepared Review

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Publisher: Ravensburger
Age: 10+
Players: 2-3 (the full game supports up to 6)
Game Length: 40-60 minutes
MSRP: $24.99

The second stand-alone expansion to excellent asymmetrical card game Disney Villainous, Evil Comes Prepared, finally adds Scar as a playable villain, along with dark-horse picks Yzma from The Emperor’s New Groove and Professor Ratigan from The Great Mouse Detective. Scar is mildly disappointing but the others make up for it with unique and interesting play styles, proving that Villainous continues to host an impressive pantheon of Disney favorites.

Circle of Life

By now you should already be familiar with how Disney Villainous plays. Each player selects a Disney villain, which comes with their own deck of villain cards, a fate deck of meddling heroes, a player board with four locations, and a stylized 3D token. Each turn players move their token to a location, performing the limited actions at that location, such as playing cards, gaining power, and vanquishing heroes. Villains can also draw from their opponents’ fate decks to place heroes on their board, partially covering up their actions and thwarting their plans.

Part of the genius of Villainous is its asynchronous gameplay. Each villain has a unique victory condition, as well as their own unique card decks and player boards. No two villains play alike, though with the second expansion Evil Comes Prepared adding the 10th, 11th, and 12th villains to the game, we’re beginning to see some overlaps.

Surprisingly Scar is the weakest of the new additions in Evil Comes Prepared. Scar’s goal is to defeat 15 strength worth of heroes. Eliminating heroes is something most villains do anyway, though Scar has to defeat Mufasa before any defeated heroes count toward his goal. Defeating heroes doesn’t make for an interesting nor engaging goal, and most of Scar’s strength comes from playing a bunch of nameless hyena cards. I also question the theme, as Scar’s goal in The Lion King was to usurp Mufasa and take over the pride lands, not hunt down and kill all the heroes.

Professor Ratigan is much more interesting, featuring a two-in-one goal that changes if his initial plans are thwarted. As in the film, Ratigan’s goal is to replace the queen with a robotic version. The card costs a ton of power, however, which means Ratigan needs to play items and allies that reduce its cost. Once the card is played it needs to be carefully moved from one side of the board to the other. If Basil comes into play, the card is discarded, and Ratigan goes into a rage, physically flipping his goal over to defeating Basil. It’s a brilliant callback to the climax of the film, and often reflects the same playful frustration the Ratigan player is feeling.

Of the three new villains Yzma is the most radically different. Her setup involves separating the fate deck into four different stacks, with each stack at a single location. Yzma needs to spend her time locating Kuzco, then defeating him with Kronk. I’m less familiar with The Emperor’s New Groove than other Disney animated films, but Yzma has to make sure Kronk stays under her control, creating an interesting dynamic while trying to defeat Kuzco. Fating the Yzma player can be a bit of a pain, however, as you have to look through the full stack of cards at a location, and don’t want to give away Kuzco if you find him.

The Rating

Disney Villainous: Evil Comes Prepared has a recommended age of 10+. The gameplay is complex enough to make it more suitable for older kids, teens, and adult Disneyphiles.

The Takeaway

Scar, clearly the marquee new addition, is unfortunately one of the weaker villains of them all, though Ratigan and Yzma provide interesting new ideas and gameplay opportunities. Evil Comes Prepared can coast on how good Villainous plays and the still-excellent production quality of the cards, boards, and tokens (Evil Comes Prepared definitely has the best tokens), but at this point we probably have all the villains we need.

Find Disney Villainous: Evil Comes Prepared at Target.