[Chromancer] The reason behind 24 deck size.

The more I read about this game, the more I get interested.  It is not the complexity I like but rather flexibility which in the end directly leads to the potential of the game, and variation of the game play.  Chromancer has several relatively unique and different fundamental mechanics compared to many other what I call traditional digital trading card game TDTCG (yeah I just came up with this abbreviation).  Today, let’s look at what appears as a rather strict limit of maximal deck size, which is merely 24.  This article includes some interview information from the developer/CEO.

24 is the limit

Yes. you have heard this part correctly.  24 is the maximal deck size limit in the standard format of this game.  This includes field cards as well.  For those of you who don’t know what field cards are, basically they are the most basic form of mana generator i.e. land in Magic, Shard/gem in HEX.

Why 24?

 Q: How long have you guys been in development of this game?

I created Chromancer 7 years ago. I gathered the team one at a time gradually and incorporated our company last summer, and now we are 6 people, plus some other helpers and some artists.
Obviously with the complexity of the Chromancer’s design, there was no doubt there had been a rather long period of time refining the game design, but I did not expect 7 years.  So it’s promising that this 24 number is all for the best of the game balance.  Having said this, I’m sure you need more reason than this.  So here is another answer.

24 is your health

We have playtested Chromancer for years and 24 cards works well. Remember that the two card-based strongholds in Chromancer (Castle, Graveyard) can only be destroyed when they are empty, so the cards in them are “hit points.” 
This is indeed unique part of the game, and when I originally asked this question to George, I totally forgot about this.  This 24 is indeed tied into the health of the player.

24 x X

In Chromancer, your card recycles i.e.  every turn graveyard card goes back into your deck.  This is automatic process i.e. you won’t need any special ability or card to do this.  So throughout the gameplay, it is likely you will cycle through your cards perhaps couple and more times.  So size may be 24 limit, but may be naturally created 2x or 3x copy of each in essence.

If anyone like myself wonders, if cards on the actual battle field recycles by creating its own copy upon play like Solforge, the answer is no.

No, our game plays like a real TCG and not like Solforge, in the sense you are asking. You have 24 total cards. Some might be in play; others might be in your decks. There are of course many cards that can spawn new copies of themselves or otherwise add cards to your total amount, but by default a card does not send a copy of itself to the Graveyard when it is played.

Unlimited 24


” We have very, very few rules with absolute limits (for example there is no card copy limit in deckbuilding, no colored resources, no restrictions on trading, etc) but the 24 cards is one. 

Yes. you heard it right.  It is possible to make  a deck with 24 copy of a specific field or creature.  Obviously, you won’t be able to do anything with this type of deck, but rather unique rule indeed.

The one potential concern with this rule is what consist of playset.  In Magic 4 copies are the limit, so if you have 4 copies of each card you can make essentially any deck you want.  But with this, technically 24 copies of each card is considered as playset, which would be pretty expensive to collect.  But practically speaking, noone really needs 24 copies of any card, so what’s the practical playset copy numbers?  I have no clue.

Non-standard Format is limitless

As a separate point, we do allow players to alter any of the rules they don’t like including the deck size requirement when they play in friendly matches.

If you don’t like the 24 limit, friendly matches can alter that.


At first glance, 24 appears rather small deck size limit, but there are reasons and in reality the 24 means more in this game due to its automatic card cycling from graveyard back to the deck.  Asides from the 24 maximal deck size limit, number of copy is limitless (well technically up to 24), which is rather the largest of any dTCG I have played.

The only concern I have here is for collectors.  If you want to have a playset in this game, it could rather be very very expensive, and may easily be over Magic.  Any game that ends up being more expensive than Magic is always a bad idea.  This is simply because people know Magic.  If game costs more than Magic, many would just stick with or go to Magic.  Hopefully when more information is revealed, I can do a little cost analysis of this game, and prove myself to be wrong here.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: