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Based on the cards which appeared on the Duel Masters anime, which in turn were based on the Magic: The Gathering cards that appeared on the manga, the Duel Masters TCG proved popular enough on its own to compete with Yu-Gi-Oh! and Magic: The Gathering as one of the most played TCG.
Gameplay-wise is quite similar to it's Spiritual Ancestor Magic: The Gathering, having 5 civilizations (fire, water, light, darkness and nature) with cards that should be played by paying "mana" from your "mana pool". One big difference from Magic is that PRACTICALLY EVERY CARD can be used as "mana" (not only "terrains"), giving the game more flexibility against "dead draws" than almost any other card game. To win the game one must successfully attack his opponent directly, for which one must first destroy the "shields" (cards that are randombly set at the begging of the match as defense) and any other defense the opponent decides to play, while protecting one-self.
It spawned a few games for the GBA and for the Play Station 2.
While the game was canceled in 2005 in America (and worldwide), it still keeps on running in Japan.
Not to be confused with the American remake, Kaijudo TCG.
This game includes tropes of:
- Angels, Devils, and Squid: Exceptionally so in that you can build a Deck like this if you mix Light and Darkness Civilizations and use some of the more Eldritch Abomination-type Phoenixes.
- Apocalypse How: As said in Quark, the Original God's flavor text, Original Heart attempted to bring about a Class 5 or 6.
- Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: Valkyer, Starstorm Elemental's flavor text.
"I fear no enemy. I fear no battle. I fear no sacrifice. I'm a little afraid of clowns, though."
- Awesome but Impractical: Romanoff Kaiser NEX, the Super Enlightened requires you to evolve from a creature that evolves from a creature that evolves from a creature. Sarutahiko, the Great Hero makes things much easier, though.
- Badass Creed:
Light Bringers are forged in the crucible of dawn out of a cosmic mixture of the hope embodied by a brand-new day, the final kiss of a waning moon, the sigh of a cloud, the caress of a breeze, and a nuclear warhead unstable enough to blow a continent clear off the planet.
- Call a Hit Point a Smeerp: On in this case, call an equipment card a Cross Gear.
- Cultural Translation: Later expansions start using flavor text based on the Gag Dub of the anime.
- Dracolich: Zombie Dragons.
- Eldritch Abomination: Plenty of Darkness creatures are Eldritch Abominations. Case in point.
- Quite a few of the Phoenixes are Eldritch Abominations, strangely enough. Any Phoenix with 'Supernova' in its name will more-than-likely be this.
- Enemy Mine: The storyline in the Dark Emperor pack has Light, Water, Fire, and Nature civilizations ally against the Darkness civilization.
- Evolutionary Levels: Ken, Crimson Lord and its four evolutions.
- Expy: The five civilizations are Expies of the colors of Magic: The Gathering.
- Frickin' Laser Beams: Hanusa, Radiance Elemental. The Light Civilization in general prefers laser beams.
- Hattori Hanzo: Hanzou, Menacing Phantom.
- Humans Are Warriors
- Instant Awesome Just Add Shinobi
- Instant Win Condition: Ultimate Galaxy Universe, Ken Geki, Alephtina, Spiritual Princess, and Cyber J Eleven
- Lawyer-Friendly Cameo: Bass makes an appearance as a promotional card.
- Monster Clown: Jester Brain depicts one.
- More Dakka: Almost every creature in the Fire Civilization.
- Magic Knight: Knight creatures and their "Magic Shot" spells.
- No Export for You: Only Japan gets new releases now.
- Nonstandard Game Over: Bombazar, Dragon of Destiny, Suva, Emperor of the Gods, and Gabriella, Holy Princess
- Our Angels Are Different: Angel Commands.
- Our Dragons Are Different: Mmhmm.
- Samurai: Samurai, obviously.
- Significant Anagram: The names of many, many cards in the TCG are anagrams of their Japanese names.
- The Phoenix: Well...kind of. Most of them are pretty far from traditional Phoenixes, crossing into Eldritch Abomination territory in quite a few cases.
- Title Drop: Eternal Phoenix was released in the set...Eternal Phoenix.
- Yagyu Jubei: Shadow Sword "Yagyuu" Dragon.
- Yin-Yang Bomb: Any Light and Darkness creature, naturally. Also, the Mystic Light creatures.