Epic TCG Feels Oddly Familiar

March 24th, 2009 by Ed Grabianowski
It can't rain all the time...

It can't rain all the time...

The Epic TCG is like the Michael Bay of card games. Bigger, faster, explodier! And yet, there’s a nagging feeling we’ve seen a lot of this before, both in terms of the characters on the cards and the game mechanics. Still, the creators are throwing around $2K to win tournaments, and the cards sure do look pretty.

Epic was created by Rob Dougherty, who is fairly well known as a successful Magic player (he’s in the Hall of Fame) and a founder of Your Move Games. The theme of the game is simple. Each player takes on the role of a Planeswalker mighty god and summons creatures Champions to battle against the opposing force.

And really, there’s no sense in me being coy about it – the game is quite obviously derived from Magic. Sure, some of the terms have been altered: instead of the stack, you have the line; instead of untapping, you prepare; instead of power and toughness, you have offense and defense. There are token creatures, cards with x costs in their effects, and even a card called Tim that taps…er, expends, to deal one damage. It’s that obvious.

Each card is apparently derived from some epic moment in a myth, story or movie. This results in some genre blending – although fantasy is the predominant theme, sci-fi and horror show up as well. The weird thing is how obvious (again) some of the references are, to the point where I wonder how many intellectual property laws the creators are going to run afoul of. I mean, that’s pretty clearly the Crow up there in the first imaepictimebenderge.

Epic is not completely without innovation. As an additional cost, some cards can be flipped over (or megatapped, as I like to call it). And there are no resource cards of any kind. Each players has one action on his turn that he can use to play one powerful card or summon one champion. Which means that you can play any card in your hand on turn one. That super awesome ultrahuge creature with a crazy game-breaking ability you just drew? Go ahead and play it. Turn one. Yeah.

Reading through the game’s forums, it’s clear that Epic’s players have realized that the 300 card base set is chock full of incredibly powerful, downright broken cards. This is kind of fun and exciting, and harkens back to the early days of Magic, when they’d print nutty cards that were horribly abusable. On the other hand, a game that ends on the first player’s turn isn’t really fun for anyone.

I hate to bash a game relentlessly, so let me say this in a very neutral way: every female depicted in the computer generated card art is very scantily clad. Some people have valid issues with this sort of thing. Other people appreciate a healthy dose of T&A in their gaming. I’ll let the Timebender help you decide how you feel about it.

The 5K Epic Championship tournament is being held on Saturday, March 28 at TJ Collectibles in Milford, Massachusetts. It’s a sealed booster tourney, so if you live in the area, you could do worse than to give it a shot. You might pull some insane cards and walk away with the $2,000 top prize.

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3 Responses to “Epic TCG Feels Oddly Familiar”

  1. Comment by BullLifter

    I am among those that appreciate the healthy dose of T&A in my gaming; as does my wife.

    I have to say that I am also a fan of nutty broken cards. Super balance is not always a good thing.

  2. Comment by ggodo

    Card design is too busy. I really really dislike the borders, they move the eye away from art and rules. I couldn’t tell the timebender there was female because I was too distracted by the borders.bad thing to judge the game on, I know, but these things matter. Dunno how I feel about the one per turn rule, I like playing lots of cards. It’s fun. I think I’ll need hands on time to judge, but I’m not sure this’ll get anywhere near me before it falls.

  3. Comment by ggodo

    After reading the Rulebook, that IS magic. all it is is a variation of magic that my friends have been playing for years, written down. although, the idea of winning by decking yourself seems like it will lead to a lot of “I DRAW INFINITE CARDS!” moments. victory by suicide intrigues me, but not enough to go to another state to buy this.