Summary: Today let’s take a look at the various card types in the game of Infinity Wars.
What is card type?
Even before talking about the detail of exactly what a specific card does, each card can be categories based on its general mechanics. For example, creature, character, ally or whatever you call are types of card represent a creature. So it can attack, it has its own health i.e. may be killed/destroyed if takes enough damage.
This type of card should be completely different in terms of what parameters to be included when compared to “Magic” spell card. Magic spell cards is casted and does what it meant to, but once that’s done the card simply goes away (goes to the graveyard). So Magic spell card don’t need health and won’t even stay on the field next turn, so should be placed in different location than the creature card (if TCG is designed correctly).
It is these difference that result in TCG developers to create different types of card. To be honest, most things that we do in TCG can essentially be performed by some variation of the simple 3 types of cards.
- Creature – A card with its own health, attack etc.
- Quick cast – A card with one time action that resolves during the turn the card is used.
- Permanent spell – A card with its action/existence spans multiple turns until its goal is achieved or destroyed.
- [Resource type card can be complete separate entity if the game uses]
In many games; however, there are many more card types than what is specified above. This is mainly due to the concept of the game, giving players the feel of variation, and slight variation in parameters etc. But in the end, I personally think more the card types, more the variation and giving us the feeling of the game is more robust. Though one may argue, it gets too confusing.
What specific card types are there in Infinity Wars?
Currently, it looks like there are 3 fundamental card types:
Let’s take a look at these individually,
Character is a term used in Infinity Wars to represent creature in Magic, Eye of Judgment, ally in Shadow Era etc. These are the cards that represent a living entity that you deploy/summon/cast and attack or defend with.
The above is an example of a character card. Left upper corner is its deployment/summoning/casting cost. On the right a number below sword icon represent its attack power. Below it with shield icon represent its health.
Next up is ability cards. These basically fits under “Quick Cast” concept. Basically, you cast this card and its effect takes place the turn you use. Once the effect occurs, the card goes to graveyard.
Note there is a casting cost in the left upper corner as in character, but no health or attack power. It does 3 damage, but the actual 3 damage is specified in the text. This is one time use card so won’t really stay on the field.
The last of three nicely fits under the “permanent spell” type. This is similar to Yu-Gi-Oh field cards. You cast this spell but unlike ability, it remains on the field (specifically support zone) until it is destroyed i.e. spans across multiple turns.
They could have decided to use completely different approach to achieve the same here. For example, they could created an permanent type ability card and do the exactly the same, or
Technically speaking, other than resource type card which the game does not use, it covers all basis; hence, they can make any effect they want using one of these types. However, if that’s the reason why the other TCG have many more card types?
Magic the Gathering
In Magic, there are sorcery and instant. Both are technically “quick cast” type spell. But sorcery can be used only during your turn, and instant can be used even during your opponent i.e. allowed you to counter. So distinguish two, they created separate types. Though this concept may not directly apply to Infinity Wars, this is one example why developer decides to use more types than 3 basic ones.
More interesting part are the use terms “enchantment” and “artifact” in Magic. Both of these fits under the definition of the permanent spell i.e. stays on field multiple turns.
Artifact represent like (non-living) item. These can represent equipment to your creatures such as Sword. Enchantment which has subtype called “aura” is like superpower that you can give to your creature. Generally speaking, both attaches to a specified creature but Aura goes to graveyard when the attached creature dies. Whereas, artifact just become unowned sword i.e. you can attach to someone else.
So both are very similar but definite difference.
So personally, I want to see many more card types in the game.
Some examples are:
Attachment type cards
Basically like Aura or equipment cards. One may initially think some ability card such as “Angelify”, which gives a target character some additional abilities like “flying” is identical, but it is similar but not the same. You cannot really take away the added ability once Angelify has resolved; whereas, “aura” or “equipment” can be removed with appropriate counter. I am not saying these are better than the ability approach, they just provide different method i.e. more variation.
The chance we will see cards like these in the future, my guess is fairly high. I would say 90%+.
In World of Warcraft TCG, and also in Magic there were cards called Quest. In Magic, these were considered subtype of enchantment. In any event, the mechanics are simple. Just as you play RPG, you complete a given task i.e. complete a quest, and you get a reward by completing it.
Currently, Infinity Wars already have similar concept implemented with “Location” type. Those of you who have seen video clips, you remember Dragon Project. Basically, you pay resource and dragon project becomes more complete as you do, and in the end you get a reward, which is create a dragon character.
Making these entirely Location bound, you can only do one quest at a time, which may or may not be a good idea. So I like to see dedicated card type called “Quest.” Obviously, quest can be completed in many different ways.
Road of Warrior
“Destroy an character, add 10% to this quest. When quest is 100% complete, you gain an Emblem. This emblem adds +3/+0 to all of your characters.”
Note: I created a new term emblem. Idea sort of from Magic, but conceptually you complete a quest you get an emblem that you completed a quest. And now with the completion, you basically leveled up i.e. get strong effect.
I briefly had casual conversation with Elphie about various TCG, and during the brief conversation we talked about Quest sort of idea. In fact, he used the term and sounded some what interested. Having said such, it was no more than TCG players talking casually, and I am by no means in development team. So the actual chance we see something like this is not super high. Though Infinity Wars is built in such a way that new faction = new world = new concept/mechanics. So compared to other game like Shadow Era, I still think the chance is much higher to see something like this. I say 60% chance.
Due to simultaneous play, every card or move is sort of instant in magic as you predict opponent’s move and cast your spell based on your prediction. Having said such, the true “instant” type of card i.e. casting a spell based on opponent’s move is not built as foundation of the game. And casting some cards in prediction of opponent’s can be countered by opponent making clever move by predicting your move, in which case you may just waste your card. This is part of fun; however, sometimes complete waste of card/move seem daunting. So how about trap card as in Yu Gi Oh or Shadow Era?
Basically, you cast a card faced down in support zone. When certain triggering event occurs, it goes off. Example:
When opponent character moves to attack zone, destroy the character.
Just like Shadow Era’s death trap. You may not have a perfect control to which character to destroy, but you won’t be wasting your card.
Now these are just couple quick examples. I’ve already written about resource card. Using initiative, they could “time card.” and I am sure there will be many more potential card types. Any interesting idea?
So Infinity Wars currently covers 3 fundamental card types; however, there still seem to lack more detailed sub categorization when compared to other TCGs. This may be design decision for the first set. Because I already see each factions having very unique flavors and developers plan to introduce new factions every 3 months, they must be holding off lots of ideas as part of unique mechanics for individual factions. Imagine a world of samurai and ninja ala bleach and naruto. Its easy think characters in the world fight with special power possessing weapons. So assuming I will see more card types in the future, it is a great start with mixture of simplicity yet covering the basis.