Kingdom Hearts February Special: Discovering the KH Trading Card Game.

I have always enjoyed playing Trading Card Games and it seems like every series every show, movie, etc. has gotten a TCG or at least collectable cards and Kingdom Hearts is no difference. Today I’m going to talk a bit about the Kingdom Hearts TCG and what I would want in a Kingdom Hearts TCG if one was released today. Let’s start with the basics of the game.

The Kingdom Hearts TCG was released in 2007 by Tomy and was translated to English by Fantasy Flight. There are 2 ways to win a game, either get your opponent to 0 heart points or play enough world cards whose level equals 13. To play the game you need a 41 to 60, 1 card must be a Player card and the rest of the deck being made of Friend cards, Magic/Friend cards, Magic cards, Attack cards, Dark cards and finally World cards. Player cards are always on the field and set you starting stats for the game.

  1. Card Name (Name of the character)
  2. Level
  3. Attack level: the amount of damage a player can inflict
  4. Magic Value: magic value that determines what Magic and Magic/Friend cards can be played.
  5. Heart Points (HP): the initial amount of life a player has.
  6. Card Text
  7. Card Type.

The next card type are Friend cards. These cards are used to power you Player card for battles and challenges. They cards stay on the field until they are used then they are discarded and you can only have. Also, you can’t have 2 Friend cards with the same name, even though they may be different cards.

  1. Card Name (Name of Friend)
  2. Level: Can only be played if the at least 1 level or lower than the highest level among the Friends or Magic/Friend cards. So, for example, if a player has no Friend cards, they can only play level 0 and level 1 cards.
  3. Support Value: Value that is added to the Player card’s attack value during battles and challenges.
  4. Magic Value: value that determines what Magic or Magic/Friends can be played.
  5. Card Text
  6. Card Type

Magic/Friend Cards, or Summon cards which make more sense, are treated as companion but played as Magic cards. This means they have values to raise the Player card’s attack but are discard at the end of the turn rather they were used or not.

  1. Card Name
  2. Level: this is the necessary Magic level of a Player, Friend or Magic/Friend must be greater than or equal to.
  3. Support Value: value that is added the Player card’s Attack value.
  4. Magic Value: value that determines what level of Magic card can be played.
  5. Card Text
  6. Card Type

Next up is Magic and Attack cards, Magic cards the one-time used cards that have a can help in varies ways like dealing damage and healing. Attack cards, are played to increased Player card’s attack value.

  1. Card Name
  2. Level: the minimum level needed from the Player, Friend or Magic/Friend cards to be played.
  3. Card Text
  4. Card Type.
  1. Card Name
  2. Support Value: value that is added to the Player card’s Attack value
  3. Card Text
  4. Card Type

Now Dark Cards are interesting. Dark cards are played on you opponent’s World cards and must be removed before they can before more World cards can be played.

  1. Card Name
  2. Level: To play this card the level must be less than or equal to the sum of levels of the opponent’s World cards. For example, if they have one level 3 World card and one level 1 World card for a total of 5, only level 5 and lower Dark cards can be played.
  3. Power: this is the toughness or health of a Dark card. The Player card must deal damage equal or greater for this card to be discarded.
  4. Card Text
  5. Card Type

The last card types are World cards, you can play one card per turn and the sum total of the level on the World cards equal 13 or more you win.

  1. Card Name
  2. World Card Level
  3. Card Text
  4. Card Type

Those are the card you will use through out the game but how to you play the game. Like most games, two players take turns and complete various phases of the turn. For this game the phases are Draw, Action, Challenge and Discard. Starting with the draw phase, unlike some other TCGs, you draw until there are 6 cards in your hand and if you draw the last card in your deck, you shuffle your discard pile and place it face down back in Deck place.

Next up is the Action phase and there are several things you can do here. First one I will talk about is the Movement action. Movement is just a ‘clever’ way of saying you played a World Card, your Player card ‘moved’ from one world to another. You can only play World card per turn and can only be played if there are no Dark cards in play. You can remove Dark cards by taking the Battle action during the Action Phase. You can only do one Battle action per turn and you need to get you Attack value to be equal to or greater than the power level of the Dark card. Now, what happens if there are multiple Dark cards on your World and you take the Battle action. First, all Dark cards are attacked when you take the Battle action and to defeat all the Dark cards your Attack value has to equal to or greater than the total Power value of the card. So, for example, if there are a Dark card with 3 power and one with 4 powers, your attack value has to be 7 or higher. Now this shouldn’t be hard as you can use Magic, Magic/Friend, Friend and Attack cards to raise your Attack value. Also, if there are Dark cards on a player’s World cards and they can choose to escape rather than Battle, but there are some penalties with it. When a player ‘Escapes the Battle’ they discard the current or last played World card and all Dark cards are also discarded to your opponents discard pile. In addition, the player discards all Friend and Magic/Friend Cards after escaping, lose 1 Health point and cannot move or play another World card during their turn. The thing to remember with ‘Escaping the Battle’ is it’s only available if there are Dark Cards on a player’s World cards AND they haven’t taken their Battle action. So even though you may be able to defeat all the Dark cards if you at least take the Battle action, you won’t take the penalty. Also, any Attack, Friend and Magic/Friend cards used in the battle are discarded. The other actions you can take during this phase is to play Dark Cards, Friend cards and Magic/Friend cards and it seems like there is no limit to number of cards you can play. This adds a need manage your resources of what you want to use during the Battle action or during the next phase, the Challenge Phase.

The Challenge phase is when you attack your opponent directly. During the challenge phase one player is consider the attacker and the other is the defender. This is important because the challenge consider to be held on the Defender’s current world so the World and any Dark cards abilities on their side of the field are in play. Starting with the attacker they perform 1 of 4 actions:

  • Choose 1 Friend or Magic/Friend that is currently in play to support the player card
  • Play one or more Attack cards from their hand
  • Play one of more Magic Cards from their hand. Note: Only 1 Friend card can be used during the Challenge phase and neither player can play a Friend card from their hand. However, Magic/Friend cards are played as Magic cards to players can Magic/Friend cards from their hand during the Challenge.
  • Do nothing.

After the attacker takes one of these actions, the defender takes 1 of the 4 actions. This continues until both players do nothing on their turn. Once this is done, add up all the Attack values from the Player card and adding any Attack, Magic/Friend and Friend cards Support values and if any Magic cards add to the Attack value. Player with the highest Attack value wins and the loser takes 1 HP of damage. If it ends in a tie, neither player loses HP. After the challenge, all Attack, Friend, Magic/Friend cards that were used in the challenge are discard. The final phase of your turn is the Discard phase you have to discard any Magic/Friend cards and can discard whatever cards you don’t wait. After that your turn is over and now it’s your opponent’s turn.

That is a very basic overview of the game and the gameplay. Things I like about it are there are multiply ways to win rather than just take your opponent to zero and don’t have to worry about your deck running out as it just gets reshuffled. It seems like it would be an interesting game with some unique mechanics. However, let’s shift over to what I would like to see in a 2022 version of the game.

First thing, I would just revamp this game with a few changes to how the cards work. The winning conditions would stay either score 13 or more World levels or points or reduce your opponent to zero. Each deck would be still be between 41 and 60 cards and still require 1 Player card. Card formats will mostly be the same but the first change I would make is to base what level a Friend, Magic and Magic/Friend just on the Magic Value because the cap for Friend cards is it can’t be more than 1 level higher than the Friend cards in play. Instead, the highest Magic Value among Friend and Player card is the limit so if you have a Friend with Magic value 4, you can play Magic, Friend or Magic/Friend cards of level 4 or lower. A change to the Magic/Friend cards will just be Summon cards and will still be treated at Magic cards and wouldn’t count tours the Friends card limit. They would still have a Support and Magic value but since they still would be discarded at the end of your turn, feel like that is descent balance.

The next major change would be with Attack cards. So, the Attack cards were mainly just the Keyblades so I figure I would make Keyblades their own cards and make Attack cards, like aerial sweep and Sonic blade. This would still add value to the Player card’s Attack value but could also have special effects. One example I have it a Strike Raid attack which would apply the Attack value to each Dark card. For example, normally if there are multiple Dark cards you need to get your Attack value to equal the sum of the Dark Cards power, so if I have that power 3 and power 4 Dark cards on my side, I need to raise my Attack value to 7, however if I use Strike Raid, I would just need to have an Attack value of 4 and apply 4 damage to each Dark card. Would require more balance but could be fun. As for the Keyblade, I would add them as Equipment cards. They would have a Support level for both the Player cards Attack and Magic value. This would give a more powerful tool to use to either play stronger Magic, Friend or Summon cards and have a stronger base for when going into the Battle action or Challenge phase.

The last change I would make is how Friend and Equipment cards would work. I would make these cards that stayed on the field permanently and when used would use the ‘tap’ mechanic, more for the Friend cards but I have some ideas for the Equipment cards. This would be like using mana in Magic the Gathering. During a Battle or Challenge the Friend cards you used during either would be tapped rather than discard after use. I would add the limit of only 2 Friend cards in play at a time but Summon cards wouldn’t count tours that. For Equipment cards, only 1 Equipment card can be in play at a time, unless a like Valor mode is in play, and some of the Attack cards, like Sonic blade, may require the Equipment card to be tapped meaning while tapped the Support values are not added to the Player card’s values. A few changes but could make an interesting game.

I kind of wish I would gotten into the original Kingdom Hearts TCG when I was younger because trying to get the cards now is supper pricey and some of my ideas for a modified version of the 2007 game may not be the best but still could be fun it someone with more experience took it on. And with that, thank you for taking the time to read this and until next time; Stay Safe, Be Kind and Game On!

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