The Neopets Trading Card Game or Neopets TCG was a real world card game that people could purchase and collect in order to play its two player tournaments with friends or foes. It was launched in 2003 and was produced by the company Wizards of the Coast which is pretty known for being the creators of many popular collectible card games such as Magic: The Gathering, Dungeons & Dragons, Pokémon Trading Cards, and others.
Neopets TCG – How to play
The game mode was simple (keeping in mind that it’s intended for 8+ age range): each of the two players needed to play would have a play deck with at least 40 cards, and another one of Basic Neopets stack with 10 to 15 cards in it, at the same time, a dice will be needed for this game. Once this is settled, the Neopets of the cards would participate in Contests in the four different arenas that exist in the TCG: Strength, Agility, Magic, and Intelligence. Players would use boosters cards such as items and equipment to put over their Neopet card in order to increase their skill in each arena. The winner of a particular contest can either draw a card or bank it and the first player with 21 points in their bank would win the game. You can also win the game if your opponent runs out of cards in their draw pile.
It’s important to keep in mind that you can only have 3 of each card in your deck, not more than that since that would be against the rules of this game. At the same time, a game mat might be needed to keep things more organized and simple when you start playing the game. If you don’t have an official one, you make your own custom one to avoid any confusion, drawing them on a large piece of paper and saving this one for the tournaments might be a good idea.
To start the game, each player needs to have their decks shuffled and placed in the right place on the game mat, after which each one would take four cards from the top of their respective decks. After this, both players will roll the dice to see who will go first. At the start of each turn the player should untap any of their tapped Neopets, which is the act of turning the card sideways to indicate they have been used. You can tap a card to attach equipment to the Neopet but if you do this, this card will immediately become tapped and you won’t be able to use it anymore for that turn, neither to enter a contest with it during that one. Once all cards have been untapped, the player can draw a card from the top of the deck, if they have less than three Neopets, the can also draw a card from the Basic Stack and place it in of the arenas. Then, the player can play Locations and Equipment cards, move pets to different arenas or start contests.
The contests can be played in any of the four arenas but Neopets, Villains or Heroes that are already placed in that arena are the only ones that can enter them. You can also only have one contest in each of the arenas per turn. If you wish to start a contest, it needs to be your turn and you need to have one of the last said cards in one of the arenas. You then should tap such card and if your opponent current does not have any card on that arena, you win the contest by default. If the opponent does have one or more cards in the arena, then the contest will begin and each player will be able to put a card facing down and then flipped at the same time to see the effects they will create. Then, both players will roll the die and add such number to this formula: base stat + equipment + item + roll. The highest score will win the contest, and if it’s a tie then both players will roll the die once more.
Neopets TCG – Types of Cards
As said briefly before on this guide, there exist different types of cards inside the game, which are divided in categories and colors to be more easily identified. This ones are: Basic Neopet, Experienced Neopet, Item, Equipment, Hero, Villain, Something Has Happened!, Location, Fate (Curse and Quest) and Constellations.
1) Basic Neopet (Yellow)
The Basic Neopets cards are always represented by existing solid colored Neopets and have a deck of their own inside the game. Each card has a single element affiliation and a score between 1 to 9. These types of cards are the elemental part of the game and have a great importance both in attacks and defense in the contests.
2) Experienced Neopet (Grey)
The Experienced Neopet cards are represented by Neopets with more advanced character features than the Basic Neopets, like Zafara Princess and so on. They are part of the main deck and they have higher attributes than the previously seen type of card and can also have more than one element affiliation. While playing, if you have an Experienced Neopet card in hand that is of the same specie of a Basic one that you currently have playing in the game, you can replace it for the Experienced one and send the Basic Neopet card back to the bottom of it’s pile.
3) Item (Red)
The Items cards are used at the beginning of a contest by adding them to the Neopet that will participate in such battle. The points listed at the bottom of the item card will be added to the stats of the Neopet card during the contest, and after it has finished, the Item card will be discarded. At the same time, Items can also be banked for when the player wins a contest, since to win the match 21 banked points are needed.
4) Equipment (Blue)
Equipment cards are pretty similar to the Item cards, in terms that this one can also be banked in order to add up the total needed points to win. Players can also use them to equip them on Neopet cards, for this both the pet and equipment must have the same element in order to be allowed the fusion of points, and such Neopet card must also be tapped. The equipment card will be attached to the pet for the rest of the match unless the other player uses a card with the effect to discard them.
5) Hero (White)
Hero cards have the characteristic of having high ability numbers and they are often used to fight difficult battles since they can only be used one time before being discarded. To tap a Hero, you’ll require to have a pet or two already, you can use Items and Equipment cards on them but all will be discarded at the end of your turn.
6) Villains (Black)
To play a Villain card, you’ll need to have a Neopet card already in the arena that has the same element alignment to the villain you want to send in, when you do, you’ll be able to call in the Villain card to the arena of your choosing. Once the villain has been submitted, the arena where it’s located will be sealed until this card is beaten. Unlike Heroes, Villains can’t have Equipment or Items attached. Once a Villain has been beaten, the card is discarded.
7) Something Has Happened! (Purple)
The Something Has Happened! cards provide events that just happen one time before being discarded, most commonly an effect or event that is used mostly for contests since they can provide a pretty nice advantage on the battles. They are all different and the effects and specifications are written on the bottom of each card.
8) Location (Green)
Location cards can only be placed in specific arenas and affect those ones and players are only allowed to put one location per arena. Once you use a second location card in the same arena, the previous one will be replaced with the new one. Locations usually give advantage to certain kind of Neopet cards, depending on the elemental alienation, but they can also give side effects for the contests that happen in such arena.
9) Fate (Orange)
There are two kinds of Fate cards, the Curse and Quest. Curses can be played against Neopet cards that the other player has in the game, in order to give them a negative effect that will decrease it’s capacity in the battle. These kinds of cards are not discarded after playing and they keep inflicting the victim until they are gone. Quest cards are usually applied to the own Neopet card or to parts of the arena, and have neutral effects.
Constellation cards gives out effects to all the Neopets in the game, or affect the current arenas and gameplay in some sort of way depending on the card. They are inspired in the star constellations as the name suggests, and they are considered like magic enchantments.
Neopets TCG – Sets of Cards
The Neopets Trading Card Game has different deck expansions sets that were released to follow certain themes, integrating more variety to the game. Most of the existing sets were based on previous Neopets plots or site events that are pretty well known for the users and recurrent players of the time. At the same time, the sets of cards allowed the game to get most of the Neopets species inside the TGC excluding only Gnorbu, Ogrins and Xweetoks due being new species released close or post the discontinuity of the card game. In this section you’ll be able to learn a little bit more about them and what they have in them.
1) Base Set
This set contains 234 cards with no clear theme. This set introduced the card types Basic Neopet, Experienced Neopet, Hero, Villain, Item, Equipment, and “Something Has Happened!” and the Basic Neopet types Aishas, Korbats, Myncis, Scorchios, Shoyrus, Kacheeks, Acaras, Lupes, Wockies, Poogles, Eyries, and Grarrls. Some of the popular cards or highlights between the set include the Malevolent Sentient Poogle Plushie card, The Darkest Faerie and Siyana of Talador (Altador).
2) Battle for Meridell
This set is based on the Meridell Wars and was the first expansion set released for the Neopets TCG. It includes 140 cards and it introduced the Basic Neopet cards of the species Blumaroo, Draik, Gelert, Ixi, Meerca, Quiggle, Skeith, Uni, Usul, and Zafara, while also creating the Location card type.
3) The Return of Sloth
This set includes 100 cards and was made inspired in the Dr. Sloth plot but it was released in 2004, while the actual plot came out in 2008, due this the game The Return of the Return of Dr. Sloth was named like it to call out on this known joke running around Neopia. The featured new Neopet species made for this set were Cybunny, Grundo, Jetsam, Jubjub, and Kougra.
4) Mystery Island
This set had 100 cards and was related to the Secret of the Volcano mystery plot and the Volcano Mystery puzzle event from the Mystery Island. In this set we could see Pteri, Techo, Krawk and Peophins being introduced. It did not include new card types.
5) Hannah and the Ice Caves
Based on the Neopets plot and with the always popular Hannah, this set of cards was released in October of 2004 and had 150 in it’s repertory, all with a very according ice and winter theme. This set had the Basic Neopets Bori, Bruce, Elephante, Flotsam, Kyrii, and Moehog.
6) Curse of Maraqua
This set was based on The Curse of Maraqua plot, which was the last “war” plot of Pirates against Maraquans. It has 120 cards and introduced four new Neopet species: Yurble, Chomby, Lenny, and Tuskaninny.
7) Lost Desert
The Lost Desert set was released before the plot and included 100 cards in the expansion. The Basic Neopets released were Ruki, Kau, and Tonu.
8) The Darkest Faerie
This set was created inspired in the Altador Plot and the Darkest Faerie PS2 game and was known for introducing Constellations. The set has 150 cards, including as most notable the Darkest Faerie, the Dark Faerie Sisters, and the Werelupe King. The Basic Neopet Type featured in this expansion were the Buzz, Koi and Nimmo.
9) Travels in Neopia
This set does not containing original cards since it featured re-releases of some of the best cards from previous sets. This expansion included 200 cards and features all the previously known Basic Neopet cards, introducing also Hissi, Kiko, and Lutaris.
10) The Haunted Woods
The Haunted Woods set was created inspired by the Tale of Woe plot. It included 100 cards and was the last expansion produced by Wizards of the Coast, having the less publicity as well of all the sets.
This card game was sadly discontinued in 2006, so if you are interested in getting this cards or playing this game you can only get them from resellers, and to be quite honest, the price for some of the sets can be pretty high, since this cards have not being created for 10 years already and some card collectors pay small fortunes to get the rare decks. Either way, I hope this guide was informative and you now know more about the mythic collectors Neopets card game from the golden era!