The Collectible Card Games Thread – Beta Play

Welcome to the *CG thread, where we talk all manner of Card Games – Collectible, Trading, Living, and otherwise! Feel free to chat amongst yourselves about the card games you’re playing or anything card game-related that strikes your fancy.

Ok so if I’m being perfectly honest, I haven’t spent as much time on writing this as I usually do because I’ve been playing the crap out of the Magic Arena Open Beta. I’ve done a whole bunch of Guilds of Ravnica Sealed Deck and I’m really looking forward to drafting it.

But even apart from that, this year is shaping up to be a big year for CCGs – Valve’s Artifact is in closed beta, and I’ve been seeing a lot of first-impressions and pre-reviews for all sorts of games, from Fantasy Flight’s Unique Deck Game, Keyforge to Hasbro’s Transformers CCG. I can’t remember a time when there was this much hype-driven, anticipatory press about CCGs.

Aside: My takes – Artifact feels like it keeps shooting itself in the foot, and may have difficulty figuring out just who its audience is between eSports players, serious sharky ccg-players, and, uh, libertarian Steam Community marketeers.

Transformers seems like it’s better than a licensed game has any right or reason to be, but I also don’t play Pokemon or Yugioh, so what do I know?

Keyforge seems like it’s got a lot of barriers to long-term success, just from being so different from the norm – but on the other hand, the barrier to entry is so low, basically just being able to buy a deck and go for it, so I imagine a lot of people will at least give it that much of a chance. Whether that’s enough to make it a success is anyone’s guess.

The whole phenomenon of betas and prerelease reviews isn’t new – in a lot of ways, the CCG marketing machine is chasing the tail of digital gaming. But it’s a trend that I find interesting. With Hearthstone and Magic Arena making a serious impact in the digital space, not to mention up-and-comer Artifact, and Hex, Eternal, and the many other games, digital has been such a boon to CCGs existing in the public consciousness, and with the board game boom boosting paper CCGs too, we be entering a second golden-age for CCGs.

This week’s prompt: What upcoming paper and digital CCGs are you looking forward to? What looks like a looming disaster?

Or, as always, feel free to talk about anything going on with you in the world of *CGs.