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Posted by Raine Hutchens on Apr 5, 2012

Review – World of Warcraft Champion Decks (TCG)

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As a fan of the MMO phenomenon World of Warcraft, I’m always looking for ways to keep my gaming interesting. Tons of people log on to World of Warcraft each day, and some even take their game outside of Azeroth. Developer Cryptozoic game together in conjunction with Blizzard to make an epic trading card game based on the MMO, and it’s captured the attention of plenty of the game’s fans across the world. Just recently the company released new themed decks for the card game called Champion Decks. With these new sets players can assume the roles of champions of Azeroth, putting their abilities to the test. I decided to grab a couple of these to see what they’re all about, and set them to the test. Here’s how it turned out.

Out Of The Box

For the sake of the review, I picked up two different decks: Jaina Proudmore (Alliance Mage), and Lady Sylvanas Windrunner (Horde Hunter). I wanted to see the variety between the decks, and take a look at what they were all about. Opening the box, I found that both were very different in their own way. Though both contained the same ingredients: a Crown of the Heavens booster pack, hero card, pre-built deck, and rulebook, the packaged parts were vast. Taking a look at Jaina’s deck, it was primarily built around a central theme. Jaina, being a Frost Mage, had plenty of allies in her deck to support her ability. When it came to Sylvanas, however, the table was quickly turned.

In Sylvanas’ deck were allies that did little to help her overall ability. Unlike Jaina’s deck in how it was built around a central theme, this deck was more scattered and built on chance. Sylvanas had a special bow that allowed her to create Undead tokens, but there was only one in the whole deck. This put the main theme of the deck out of reach, and solely based it off of drawing the card at the right moment. The allies supplied didn’t help create chains or anything of the sort.

At this point, right out of the box, I felt some unbalancing going on between the two. I felt that Jaina’s deck was much better suited for battle, due to the fact that the cards seemed to bounce off of each other. There wasn’t anything special in each deck aside from the heroes and weapons, though they were each branded specifically for the decks.

Putting The Decks To Use

When it came down to it, there wasn’t a way to officially judge the decks until they were put to the test. I sat down for a session with each deck, and came out with different results for each.

I started off with Sylvanas, mainly because I’m a fanboy and I play Horde. Off the bat I was surprised. The deck was built to play quick, as most of the abilities and allies were low-cost. There are also plenty of Quests to complete, which meant I was never left without resources. By my fourth turn I had a long-range weapon, a pet, and a couple of allies ready for battle. As most Hunter decks run, this was set for efficient and quick kills. There weren’t a lot of Protectors, and success weighed heavily on my hero to pull off damage. Overall, the deck didn’t do too bad.

The second round I switched it up. I ran Jaina, and the experience was totally different. Jaina’s deck played slower, and more methodical. I ran low on resources, and ended up using a lot of actual cards to substitute in. This left me with holes, leaving my defense open to attack. Once I got some resources under my belt, though, I was sitting nicely. Jaina has a lot of Protectors under her ranks, and it became difficult for my opponent to hit her. She is very much aggro control, and works on stopping opponents before they get across the line. She has a lot of abilities that control opposing allies, as well as damaging with direct spells. The only drawback to this is that eventually these spells will get all played out. Once it got to this point, I was left helpless with nothing else to do. My allies got taken out, and I was a sitting duck. Needless to say, I lost this match. With more strategy and patience, I think I could have pulled it out in the end.

The Bottom Line

All in all both of the Champion Decks were a lot of fun to play. Being able to control a powerful force of Azeroth was very interesting, and added a new phase to the game. The decks, while not built perfectly for a tournament, are fun to play. They are tournament-ready, however, so if you felt bold you could run them. There are five total, so there’s three more that I haven’t picked up. I will say, though, that if you’re a fan looking to get started in the card game, or if you just want to have a new experience with the existing game, picking up one of these would be a great idea. Each deck is priced at around $12, so they’re not going to break you. Well, at least not in the wallet anyway. So if you want to switch things up, grab one while they’re available.

The Good

  • new style of play
  • lets you play as actual champions of Azeroth
  • included weapon/equipment cards are unique to the set
  • a lot of fun, and a great idea for beginners
  • tournament-ready play

The Bad

  • decks seem a bit off-balance

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