World of Warcraft Trading Card Game
||This article needs additional citations for verification. (October 2010)|
|Publisher(s)||Upper Deck Entertainment (October 2005 - March 2010)
Cryptozoic Entertainment (March 2010 - present)
|Players||Two and up|
|Age range||13 and up|
|Setup time||< 3 minutes|
|Playing time||20+ minutes|
|Skill(s) required||Card playing
The World of Warcraft Trading Card Game (WoW TCG) is a collectible card game based on Blizzard Entertainment's MMORPG, World of Warcraft. The game was announced by Upper Deck Entertainment on August 18, 2005, and released on October 25, 2006. Players can fight against each other one-on-one, or can join others in order to defeat raid bosses such as Onyxia, Ragnaros, the Betrayer (Illidan), Kel'Thuzad, or the Lich King. In March 2010, Upper Deck Entertainment lost the License from Blizzard Entertainment. On March 24, 2010 Cryptozoic Entertainment announced the acquisition of the game's license and that planned card sets were to be released.
Game details 
Each player uses a hero card and a deck consisting of allies and other supporting cards. In booster and starter packs, gamers can find cards representing weapons, abilities, armor, items and quests. Some booster packs also contain legendary rares, or loot cards (i.e. special versions of normal cards) which contain a scratch-off code. This code can then be redeemed in the online game for a virtual prize. The prizes include special tabards, gimmick items, non-combat pets, and mounts.
During play, players start with a single hero, and then play additional cards to augment the hero's powers or add additional members to his or her party. As in games such as Magic: The Gathering, the goal is to reduce the remaining health of the opponent to zero. Unlike Magic, combat attacks are always directed at individual heroes or allies, rather than simply declaring an attack with a number of creatures. Furthermore, damage done to characters accumulates between turns, making combat more expensive for both the attacker and defender.
Raid Decks 
In addition to standard 2-player game play, the game also features "Raid Decks", representing struggles involving large numbers of players against epic foes. These need 1 "Raid Master" and 3 to 5 other players. The Raid Master controls all monsters and foes, while the other players control the characters participating in the raid. Players who are victorious may be able to win certain "loot" cards from the treasure pack that came with the deck. A treasure pack contains holofoils, and sometimes contains a random insertion of a "loot" card. Upper Deck Entertainment also made treasure packs available from their UDE points store, although the cards in these packs are not holofoil.
As of August 2012, seven Raid Decks have been released, each based on a location in the WoW MMORPG: Onyxia's Lair, Molten Core, Magtheridon's Lair, The Black Temple, Naxxramas, Icecrown Citadel and Battle of the Aspects.
Card types 
The following types of cards are featured in the game:
- Hero - The character which a given player is playing as. Each player starts with a hero, and it is the hero which determines what other cards can be utilized or included in the deck (e.g., Horde heroes can only have Horde allies). The hero card provides information about starting health, race, class, specializations, and professions. Lastly, each hero has a unique power which can be used once per game (after which the hero card is turned face down). Starting with Worldbreaker, Hero cards will lose their professions, such as skinning or jewelcrafting, and the new heroes allow you to pay to flip them, and they would have a special power, such as Mend or Stealth.
- Master Hero - Master Hero cards replace a player's hero in favor of a new card. However, Master Heroes still work like regular cards with a cost. The original hero is removed from the game and any damage, abilities, equipment, tokens or attachments that were on the hero beforehand are brought onto the Master Hero. Master Heroes, unless specified otherwise, can use all equipment and abilities, but abilities on cards that look for specific types cannot be activated. Powers originally on heroes do not carry on to the Master Hero.
- Ability - Cards played from the hand to cause some immediate impact to the game. Abilities can either be of the [Basic type], able to be played only during one's turn, or can be [Instant], able to be played at virtually any time. As with a number of the cards, many abilities include a trait icon, which limits what classes can include the card in their decks.
- Ally - Other individuals and companions who assist and fight on behalf of the main hero. Most allies are affiliated with either the Horde or the Alliance, so only cards matching the hero's own affiliation are permitted in a deck. Neutral allies can be included in either faction. Once brought into play by paying the appropriate cost, allies remain until destroyed or removed from play. Allies can attack (or be attacked), and can also provide special powers or abilities.
- Armor - Defensive cards which protect heroes from damage. Once played, by paying the appropriate resource cost, armor can be exhausted each turn in order to reduce damage dealt to a player's hero. Players are limited in how many different pieces of armor they may equip on any given "body part" (e.g., only one piece of chest armor at a time). Armor cards may also have additional effects above and beyond their defensive value.
- Weapon - Offensive cards which can augment a hero's melee or ranged capabilities, as well as provide other benefits. As with armor cards, players are limited on how many weapons they may have equipped at once. In order to use a weapon card to increase attack power during combat, a player must pay a resource cost associated with the weapon (referred in-game as Strike Cost). Weapons can be used when either attacking or defending, but usually only one weapon can be used per combat.
- Item - Gear your hero can have in addition to weapons and armors. Rings, potions, and trinkets are examples of items.
- Quest - Special cards which act as resource cards, but with additional abilities. Quests can be completed by fulfilling a condition described on the card. When this is done, a reward is earned (e.g., drawing additional cards) and the quest is normally turned face down.
- Location - Location cards are similar to quest cards, but are not turned face down to use their abilities. Only one location can be controlled at a time, even if locations have different names.
- Loot - Loot cards are special versions of cards which can be used within the card game (e.g. as normal allies), but which also contain a scratch-off code. This code can be entered into the website for the online game, which will provide a unique in-game item.
Twenty sets in the WoW TCG have been released. Cards are usually sold in booster packs, which contain 15 random cards - 10 commons, 3 uncommons, 1 rare or epic, and 1 hero card or loot card. Booster packs also used to have one UDE point card redeemable online. Starting with March of the Legion and ending with Twilight of the Dragons, booster packs contained 18 random cards due to more variation of card types: 2 extra commons and 1 extra uncommon.
Certain sets also released with Starter Decks, containing a pre-constructed deck consisting of 33 fixed cards built around one of the 9 classes, 2 booster packs, 3 oversized hero cards and a rulebook. These decks contain 1 rare, 6 uncommons, and the rest are commons. Starter decks were released for Heroes of Azeroth, Through the Dark Portal, March of the Legion, and Drums of War. Class Decks and Champion Decks are another type of Starter Decks. The Battle Deck is a PvP variation of the Starter Deck that contains two pre-constructed decks consisting of 44 fixed cards, 3 oversized hero cards and 8 exclusive allies.
Raid Decks are specially designed decks used for a cooperative experience. They combine elements from the World of Warcraft (the team-based questing), and Dungeons & Dragons (the Raid Master). A Raid Deck typically contains epic boss cards, decks for the boss characters, tokens to represent minions, and a treasure pack.
- Onyxia's Lair (December 2006) - Featuring the black dragon Onyxia. Contains special rules for the deck.
- Molten Core (May 2007) - Includes ten epic bosses, from Lucifron to Ragnaros the Firelord. It has a different ruleset than the Onyxia's Lair Raid Deck.
- Magtheridon's Lair (January 2008) - Contains the Pit Lord Magtheridon, his shadow channelers, and the cubes required to interact with him.
- Black Temple (September 2008) - Based around Illidan Stormrage. Contains a 10 hero raid set with heroes such as Supremus and "The Betrayer".
- Naxxramas (December 2009) - An undead necropolis, seat of the lich Kel'Thuzad.
- Assault on Icecrown Citadel (March 2011) - Featuring the Lich King himself, with other bosses appearing as allies in his deck. Also includes 3 decks built around well-known heroes Lady Jaina Proudmoore, Lady Sylvannas Windrunner and Highlord Tirion Fordring.
- Battle of the Aspects (August 2012) - The final confrontation with Deathwing, the corrupted Aspect of Earth.
Periodically, bonus card sets are released independently to mark special events or dates.
- Burning Crusade Set - A set of 3 cards to mark the release of World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade. Two Heroes of Azeroth starter decks were included alongside the exclusive cards.
- Wrath of the Lich King Set - 2 exclusive cards were included in the Collector's Edition of WotLK with 2 March of the Legion starter decks.
- Cataclysm Set - 2 exclusive cards were included in the Collector's Edition of Cataclysm with a starter deck and a Landro's Gift loot card.
- Feast of Winter Veil - A special collector's set released in November 2007 which corresponds with the holiday in the online game. This comes in a presentation box which contains a booster pack from Heroes of Azeroth, Through the Dark Portal or Fires of Outland, a deck box and 10 Winter Veil themed cards, as well as 2 vanity pets.
- Darkmoon Faire - A special collector's set released in September 2008 which includes 5 preset Darkmoon Faire themed cards and 2 Through the Dark Portal booster packs.
- Arena Grand Melee - A small collector's set released to supplement the Arena theme. This was released with two decks, one for the Alliance and one for the Horde.
Sets released 
- Heroes of Azeroth (released October 2006)
- Through the Dark Portal (released April 2007)
- Fires of Outland (released August 2007)
- March of the Legion (released December 2007)
- Servants of the Betrayer (released April 2008)
- The Hunt for Illidan (released July 2008)
- Drums of War (released November 2008)
- Blood of Gladiators (released March 2009)
- Fields of Honor (released June 2009)
- Scourgewar (released November 2009)
- Wrath Gate (released May 2010)
- Archives (released August 2010 - foil reprints from Heroes of Azeroth to Fields of Honor)
- Icecrown (released September 2010)
- Worldbreaker (released December 2010)
- War of the Elements (released April 2011)
- Twilight of the Dragons (released July 2011)
- Aftermath: Throne of the Tides (released October 2011)
- Aftermath: Crown of the Heavens (released February 2012)
- Aftermath: Tomb of the Forgotten (released June 2012)
- Timewalkers: War of the Ancients (released October 2012)
- Timewalkers: Betrayal of the Guardian (released February 2013)
- Timewalkers: Reign of Fire (July 2013)
The color of the set number on the card indicates its rarity, using a rarity system similar to that of the online game; white for common, green for uncommon, blue for rare, purple for epic, and orange for legendary. 
As with many trading card games, the card art is drawn by a variety of different artists with different styles.
Some of the card art is being done by Penny Arcade's Mike Krahulik ("Gabe"). In the May 26, 2006 update of the Penny Arcade site, Krahulik revealed his artwork for a card that was based on the exploits of Leeroy Jenkins.
Other artists include Doug Alexander, Thomas M. Baxa, Julie Bell, Mauro Cascioli, Matt Dixon, Alex Horley, Todd McFarlane, Jeremy Mohler, Ariel Olivetti, Dan Scott, Greg Staples, Mike Sutfin, Glenn Rane, Samwise, Boris Vallejo, Paul Kidby and many more.
Along with weekly battleground tournaments at local hobby stores, Cryptozoic Entertainment hosts Darkmoon Faires (DMF) events. Darkmoon Faires are weekend events that run Friday through Sunday in cities all across the world.
Previously, the most notable competition featured was the Dream Machine Championship, which the winner received a custom built computer. Currently, Darkmoon Faire Championship Events offer electronics and travel vouchers to the top finishers of its main event. However, the Darkmoon Faire itself has been emphasized as a miniature convention, where people can play more than just the World of Warcraft Trading Card Game. There are also plenty of side events where players who did not do well in the main event can win Apple electronics, gift cards, and World of Warcraft loot cards.
DMF Championship winners:
- Darkmoon Faire Los Angeles - Oliver Schmid
- Darkmoon Faire Austin - Tim Batow
- Darkmoon Faire Frankfurt - Pierre Malherbaud
- Darkmoon Faire Chicago - Brad Watson
- Darkmoon Faire Milan - Erik van der Laan
- Darkmoon Faire London - Stuart Wright
- Darkmoon Faire Philadelphia - Brian Durkin
- Darkmoon Faire Lille - Jonas Skali Lami
- Darkmoon Faire San Diego - Tomas Kuchda
- Darkmoon Faire Orlando - Brad Watson
- Darkmoon Faire Columbus - William Postlethwait
- Darkmoon Faire Stuttgart - Laurent Pagorek
- Darkmoon Faire Lyon - Bernd Reinartz
- Darkmoon Faire Seattle - Morgan Findlay
- Darkmoon Faire Antwerp - Christian Pfeiffer
- Darkmoon Faire Indianapolis - Jimmy Choi
- Darkmoon Faire New Jersey - Brad Watson
- Darkmoon Faire Paris - Pierre Malherbaud
- Darkmoon Faire Anaheim - Tim Rivera
- Darkmoon Faire Prague - Gabor Körös
- Darkmoon Faire Milton Keynes - Erik van der Laan
- Darkmoon Faire San Francisco - Damien Dufresne
- Darkmoon Faire Koln - Stuart Wright
- Darkmoon Faire Charlotte - Bobby Victory
- Darkmoon Faire Turin - Jan Palys
- Darkmoon Faire Sydney - Brad Watson
- Darkmoon Faire Boston - Pat Eshghy
- Darkmoon Faire Indianapolis - Phillip Martin
- Darkmoon Faire Amsterdam - Anssi Alkio
- Darkmoon Faire Austin - Rob Swarowski
- Darkmoon Faire Las Vegas - David Bodimer
- Darkmoon Faire Houston - Calvin Keeney
- Darkmoon Faire Guangzhou - Xie Zhi Qiang
- Darkmoon Faire Antwerp - Christian Kurze
- Darkmoon Faire Los Angeles - Alex Gellerman
- Darkmoon Faire Orlando - Stuart Wright
- Darkmoon Faire Paris - Luca Magni
- Darkmoon Faire Beijing - Qigeng Zhang
- Darkmoon Faire Chicago - Dan Clark
- Darkmoon Faire Koln - Krzysztof Morzyc
- Darkmoon Faire Shenzhen - Lo Ka Man
- Darkmoon Faire Singapore - Lee Keng Yin
- Darkmoon Faire Las Vegas - Jason Newill
- Darkmoon Faire Rimini - Brad Watson
- Darkmoon Faire Indianapolis - Ben Bellis
- Darkmoon Faire Poznań - Marcin Filipowicz
- Darkmoon Faire Philadelphia - Dan Clark
- Darkmoon Faire Rotterdam - Matthieu Laguerre
- Darkmoon Faire Shanghai - Hui Xiang
- Darkmoon Faire Los Angeles - Brad Watson
- Darkmoon Faire Cannes - Stuart Wright
- Darkmoon Faire Chengdu - Xi Lei
- Darkmoon Faire Baltimore - Hans Joachim Höh, Brad Watson and Stuart Wright
- Darkmoon Faire Madrid - Jeffrey Verwoerd
- Darkmoon Faire Las Vegas - Kellen Abel
- Darkmoon Faire Beijing - Xiang Jing
- Darkmoon Faire Prague - Martin Clement
- Darkmoon Faire Indianapolis - Norvic Santos
- Darkmoon Faire Antwerp - Anssi Alkio, Jeffrey Verwoerd and Stuart Wright
- Darkmoon Faire Shanghai - Yinan Liao
- Darkmoon Faire Atlanta - Basem Alsalah
- Darkmoon Faire Jacksonville - Randy Williams
- Darkmoon Faire Dallas - James Kandziolka
- Darkmoon Faire Shanghai - Jia Bin
WoW Nationals 
The U.S. Nationals took place August 16-August 19, 2007 at Gen Con, a gaming convention in Indianapolis, Indiana. After the first day of constructed play, any player with a record of 5-3 or better advanced to day two. Two sets of draft were played on the second day, each set with three rounds. Players sat in draft pods based on their records from day one, where they drafted two packs of Heroes of Azeroth, and two packs of Through the Dark Portal. The finals were held on the third day, played between the top eight selected after draft play concluded. Brad Watson was declared the U.S. Nationals Champion after his victory in the finals.
As of 2008, the U.S. National Championship became the North American Continental Championship, which combined the Canadian and U.S. National Championship events. The winner of the 2008 North American Continental Championship (NACC) was Matt Markoff with a Warlock deck.
In 2009, Corey-Scott Burkhart won the North American Continental Championship at Gen Con Indy with a Shaman deck.
In 2010, under new management with Cryptozoic Entertainment, NACC moved out of Gen Con Indy. Tim Rivera claimed the title for that year in his hometown of Las Vegas.
In 2011, Tim Batow emerged victorious at Las Vegas with his particular Warlock deck, nicknamed "Bunny Deck".
World Championships 
The first World Championship took place November 30-December 2, 2007 in San Diego, California. The winner, French player Guillaume Matignon, became the inaugural World of Warcraft TCG World Champion and received $100,000, the largest prize in TCG history.
The second World Championship (World Championship 2008) took place in Paris, France from October 16 till October 19. Jim Fleckenstein of Virginia won the title of 2008 World of Warcraft TCG World Champion using the hero Kil’zin of the Bloodscalp.
The third World Championship (World Championship 2009) took place in Austin, Texas from October 9 to October 11. William Postlethwait, also known as Billy P, won this Drums of War Block Constructed WoW TCG Championship to win the title of 2009 World of Warcraft TCG World Champion.
The fourth World Championships (World Championship 2010) took place in Indianapolis, Indiana, from August 4 to August 7. The format was Classic Constructed, and German player Jonas Skali-Lami won with a Nicholas Merrick mage deck, taking down Ian Johnson's Pidge Filthfinder deck in the finals.
The fifth World Championships (World Championship 2011) took place in Rotterdam, Netherlands, from November 10 to November 13. The format consisted of Core and Classic Constructed and Booster Draft. It was won by German player Hans Joachim Höh, who is known for his successes across multiple strategy games. He used a Rohashu Paladin deck, taking down Jim Fleckenstein´s less aggressive Rohashu version in the finals.
- About trading card game
- "Press Announcement". 27 February 2010. Retrieved 2010-02-10.
- "Press Release". 25 March 2010. Retrieved 2010-03-25.
- "UDE Points". UDE. 9 January 2007. Archived from the original on 2007-01-06. Retrieved 2007-01-09.
- "Press Release: More Cards and More Loot!". booster. 16 October 2007. Archived from the original on 2007-10-17. Retrieved 2007-10-16.
- "UDE Store: Drums of War PvP Battle deck". battledeck.
- "World of Warcraft TCG Products FAQ". UDE. Archived from the original on 2007-02-09. Retrieved 2007-02-12.
- "WoW TCG - Corey Burkhart at Daily Metagame".
- "WoW TCG - Tim Rivera at Daily Metagame".
- Guinness World Record for Greatest Cash Prize for a Trading Card Game
- Cryptozoic's official World of Warcraft Trading Card Game website
- Daily Metagame - A WoW TCG site with daily articles, and archived decklists from all events
- Warcraft wiki on , a