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.
On occasion, CCGs will put out special versions of cards, from “foils” that randomly appear in normal packs, to different art or layout treatments, to entirely unique, special cards. Of note recently, the Pokémon CCG announced a set of Edvard Munch inspired cards. Promos, alternate arts, and foils play into the “collectible” part of Corrine card games. They’re special, and to some degree, rare. They let you show off or express yourself and often are just inherently cool.
Foils and alternate arts are the bread and butter of the “special” card. They have the exact same mechanics as the “normal” version so they are interchangeable with the cards that you otherwise are using. In games with reprints, there can sometimes be many many versions of art to choose from, in varying levels of coolness. Playing an Arabian Nights Mountain (the set wasn’t supposed to have any basic lands, but Mountain was accidentally left on the sheet, making it an interesting rarity) says something very different than playing an Anime Chandra:
Alternate arts can go further, too, changing the look or frame of the card – Magic has textless, full-art, borderless, and “classic frame” promo cards, variously in foil and not, just to name some off the top of my head.
Now, when you get out of the realm of “alternate” cards and into mechanically unique promos, like the Pokémon ones above, that’s when you start playing with fire. With alternate arts, players can still play the “normal” version like plebians. But special promos are, well, special. Having something like that means that you have something that most people don’t have, and sometimes that something is unique and powerful. There is a delicate balance to be struck with cards like these – they must be cool enough to be desired, but toothless enough to be “safe”.
This week’s prompt: What cool promos do you own? What cool promos do you desire with a burning need but will never get your grubby little hands on?
Or, as always, feel free to talk about anything going on with you in the world of *CGs.