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"Card games are serious business!"
—Seto Kaiba, Yu-Gi-Oh the Abridged Series
A collectible card game, or CCG, is a card game where, instead of using a standard set of cards, each player brings his own deck to the game. The "collectible" aspect comes from the fact that the cards are sold in randomized packs, and players must buy these packs in order to create their decks. Most CCGs come in starter sets (one or two decks which are playable, but not very powerful, and may ignore some of the more complex rules) and booster packs (random cards which cannot be used alone, but can supplement existing decks).
The are also called Trading Card Games, or Customizable Card Games.
- Bribing Your Way to Victory (to play constructed formats competitively, you'll often have to spend lots of money, either because the most useful cards are the rarest, or because their usefulness causes inflation)
- CCG Importance Dissonance
- Crack is Cheaper (Those little booster packs add up over time. You could instead drop up to 100 bucks on a huge box, or that much directly buying the most useful cards for your setup. Pick your drug)
- Discard and Draw
- Expansion Pack
- Game Breaker
- Junk Rare
- Kingmaker Scenario
- Loads and Loads of Rules
- Luck Manipulation Mechanic
- Obvious Rule Patch (restricted and banned lists)
- Promotional Powerless Piece of Garbage
- Power Creep (A Long Runner old card set is usually useless)
- Random Drops
- Serious Business
- Screw the Rules, I Have Money (Richard Garfield, creator of Magic, called it "Rich Kid Syndrome" and tried to avert it with his game) He failed.
- Tournament Play
- Trading Card Lame
Some games use CCGs as one part of the experience which are not part of the original, including:
- Maple Story (items can be transferred from cards to the MMORPG)
- Perplex City (the cards had clues to finding the MacGuffin)
- Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom (the cards are used for combat against villains on animated screens)
- World of Warcraft ("Loot" cards have codes to unlock mounts, noncombat pets, and other cosmetic bonuses in the video game)
Another more recent category is games which use personal decks just like CCGs, but do away with the "collectible" part. Games like Dominion (where building your deck is the game) and Summoner Wars (personal decks, but each faction has fixed starter and expansion decks) show that CCGs and the underlying concepts are still evolving.
A number of other media (especially the geeky sort) have licensed CCGs which are otherwise unrelated. See Trading Card Lame for a comprehensive list.
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