Collectible card games

City of Heroes Collectible Card Game

The "Ms. Liberty" card from the City of Heroes Collectible Card Game
Players 2
Age range 9+
Playing time Approx 30 min
Random chance Some
Skill(s) required Card playing
Basic Reading Ability

The City of Heroes Collectible Card Game is an out-of-print trading card game based on the discontinued NCSoft MMORPG, City of Heroes. The card game was designed by David Williams, the designer responsible for other games such as Legend of the Five Rings. The initial product release from Alderac Entertainment Group was in January 2006. The City of Heroes CCG was discontinued in February 2007 as it "did not reach critical mass" according to AEG CEO John Zinser.

Gameplay summary

Players took on the role of superheroes, testing themselves against other superheroes in the arena of Paragon City. Players took turns performing a single action, until only one hero remained standing; that player was the winner.

Players could take the following actions:

The core gameplay revolved around using powers to damage opponents, while simultaneously positioning oneself favorably (by adding or upgrading powers and activating defensive powers). Because powers had to be recharged before they can be used again, it was possible to get into a state where a number of turns had to be spent simply getting back into a position from which one can again attack.

Card types

The cards in the City of Heroes Collectible Card Game could be broken up into the following types:

Cards also featured small inspiration icons in the bottom corner. These icons represented a fixed minor effect which could be utilized by discarding the card, instead of playing it normally. Because the game had no draw phase, this mechanism had to be used with care to avoid exhausting one's hand.

Hero types

Heroes were split up into five different categories or archetypes. These archetypes defined the types of powers that a hero would have and hence how a deck would be constructed. The following types of heroes existed:

The game also allowed one to make use of a "Build your own hero card" mechanism, provided by the official website. One filled out a form, picked appropriate powers and selections, and then uploaded an image. The data was then processed into a PDF file which could be printed out and used in official play (including in tournaments). This was not considered exploitable because all heroes created using this system were presumed to be balanced appropriately.

Products and availability

The City of Heroes: Arena base card set consisted of 324 unique cards. Of these, 99 were only available as part of a battle pack, 75 were common, 75 were uncommon, and 75 were rare. The following products were available for purchase:

Product Cards Notes and other comments
Battle box 145 Includes 4 battle packs and 4 booster packs
Battle pack 25 Features a hero and his or her special powers
Booster pack 11 7 commons, 3 uncommons, 1 rare

The first expansion set, Secret Origins, was released in August 2006. It introduced 22 new heroes, 10 new powersets, and a new winning condition. This set was available as booster packs and as battle packs containing the new heroes.