Can Epic Survive Modern Deck Tech Analytics? Red Falcon Is Not So Sure
Can a new CCG handle the scrutiny which droves of professional CCG players are currently giving it?
Epic is a great game. It is well thought out, balanced, dynamic and fast paced. It has some pretty obvious parallels with Magic: The Gathering which for a lot of people, will make it super easy to learn. In the world of pop, White Wizard Games is like Pepsi….where Wizards of the Coast would totally be Coke.
Hell, even their company names are awesome. It’s like two battling conclaves of wizards.
This game literally exploded onto the scene
2016 saw the first world championship for Epic: The Card Game. It was a big event complete with a 100,000 dollar first place prize. A guy named John Tatian won. Take one look at Mr.Tatian and just try to tell me this dude hasn’t been tapping cards for decades!
But yeah, 100,000 dollars to win a game that is only one year old?!?! Keep in mind, this game was a Kickstarter campaign which shipped out in September of 2015. The brain child of Magic: The Gathering hall of famer, Rob Dougherty, Epic is a casual game which can very quickly be amped into competitive mode.
A new copy of Epic comes with 120 cards, broken into four factions (good, evil, wild and sage). I was impressed that such a compact game could field four players…. but then there are a lot of impressive elements to this game. This one tiny box allows you to play a variety of formats familiar to most CCG aficionados: Sealed, draft and preconstructed which are casual in nature. This is the format for people who just wanna play a relaxing game of cards.
The rules need to be air tight. People are going to try and break this game.
Shortly after releasing the core set of Epic, a series of booster packs dropped and everything turned sideways. Shit got real. Now players were using these boosters to customize their decks and tech builders rejoiced. It doesn’t help that all the real action is in the constructed format. Hidden beneath the veneer of Epic’s “a game for everyone” is a lurking monster….. and it lies in that goddamn 100,000 dollar prize. Now there’s a literal shit tonne of veteran MTG players out there, strategizing and testing combos in the game; just looking for a crack in the rules to run some seriously janky wombo combos.
It’s only a matter of time. As of yet, there are no “rarity” levels for cards which is both a boon and a drawback. It’s great because you have a fair playing field where money can’t buy wins. The problem is that once a combo is found, literally everyone can and will run it. I imagine seeing dozens of decks, all running the same thing.
And why not?
A big difference is that when Magic releases a set, they release a lot of cards. Epic, doesn’t offer that depth. Already, Thought Plucker is being seen a bunch.
I suppose only time will tell if this game will be broken before ever getting to fully realize it’s potential. There is a pretty long line of failed CCG’s, mostly in the late 90’s when the CCG burst onto the gaming scene.
I fucking love Richard Garfield.
But ya, back to White Wizard Games, they are gunning hard for the MTG community.
Just visit their website and you’ll see multiple jabs at the CCG behemoth known as Magic. On top of claiming Epic is just as good as their competition but at a fraction of the price, they’ve added other incentives to get serious MTG players into Epic. Their tactics are clever, offering a copy of their game for certain banned Magic cards. Here’s what they have to say about it,
When your $10 rare gets banned from Standard, that is a bad feeling. When your $20 mythic rare gets banned, that is an even worse feeling… Send us your Emrakul The Promised End or Smuggler’s Copter and we will send you the Epic Card Game starter.
Oh ya, they also are offering free world championship admission to backers of Epic’s digital platform currently campaigning on Kickstarter. That’s right, they’re once again offering a 100,000 dollar purse to the champion. Man, I’d love to get in on that.
Personally, I think White Wizard Games are going to be bought by some other, bigger company. Maybe the aggressive posturing is to make them look more appetizing. I dunno. What I do know is that I have my copy of the game and I’m gonna be casual4life.
Though I’d love to get that money.