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Tabletop Game / Battle Spirits

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Battle Spirits is a Collectible Card Game, produced by Bandai and released in September 2008, and one of the most popular card games in Japan.

The goal of the game is to deplete the opponents' 5 lives through summoning spirits, placing nexues, and casting magic. Cores, which are generated each turn, are necessary to perform such actions but costs can be reduced through reductions by having the number of color Spirits/Nexuses the card specified at the top left.

It received a run in North America in August 2009, but due to Bandai's Invisible Advertising and failure to even bother stocking the cards, it only lasted six Sets.

A wiki can be found here, with a tutorial here. The official Japanese site is here.

There have been several yearly anime based on the game.

There's also a video game developed and published by FuRyu, Battle Spirits: Connected Battlers, which will launch for PlayStation 4 and Nintendo Switch on January 20, 2022.

Tropes involving Battle Spirits:

  • Attack Animal: Basically the purpose of spirits, though not all of them are animals.
  • Crossover: Since 2015, Bandai had introduces the collaboration boosters and starters, which features characters from other franchise such as Godzilla, Ultra Series, Digimon note  and Kamen Rider note . While some of the sets (Mainly the latter two) introduces new abilities, some cards introduced in those sets are potential Game-Breaker, namely all forms of Destoroyah.
  • Death Is Cheap: There are plenty of cards which can bring back your spirits from the Trash.
  • Decomposite Character: White Diamond and Yellow Topaz. As is common for a lot of Follow the Leader collectable card games, most of the different color factions are heavily based on the ones from Magic: The Gathering. However, to make six, the themes of Magic's White (holiness, the sky, hope, but also fascism, zealotry, and totalitarianism) were divided between Yellow (which got most of the color's "Positive" aspects like divinity and kindness) and White (which got most of the dystopian traits).
  • Elemental Powers: Each color is associated with a particular set of elements.
  • Equivalent Exchange: Everything has a cost, even if it's just a low amount of core. Some double symbol spirits require the tribute of another spirit to summon them.
  • Exactly What It Says on the Tin: You battle... with spirits. Though technically, later sets introduce ultimates into the mix, which are not spirits and can also battle, but it started off that way.
  • Expansion Pack: The purpose of every new set that comes out. Gradually, new mechanics are included, as well as many new spirits with a variety of different effects. Early in the game, two new colors were also introduced.
  • Field Power Effect: The main point of nexus cards. Unlike magic, they remain on the field perpetually, having an effect which continuously activates.
  • Flavor Text: All spirit, utltimate and nexus cards have this, to explain the lore behind the cards.
  • Joke Character: Really the only explanation for some cards, like the magic Bomburst that activates after a player farts (which is actually an illegal card in gameplay) and any card connected to the seiyuu radio show, which typically have nonsensical effects (ie: "You can summon 1 handsome Spirit card from your deck").
  • Living Weapon: Sword Braves, which are just swords, but they can battle on their own when in spirit form.
  • Magical Land: The World of Battle Spirits (which has multiple names for multiple eras) is divided into six distinct sub-worlds:
    • Red World: A volcanic world ruled over by dinosaurs, being invaded by dragons.
    • Green World: A wooded world inhabited by animal and plant creatures, under invasion by the "Rowdy Vandals" (a race of beetle men) who seek the World Tree, whose fruit grants eternal life.
    • Yellow World: An enchanted realm itself divided into six adorable kingdoms: the Lands of Cards, Flowers, Fairies, Beasts, Magic, and Penguins. It is under threat of an invading army of equally adorable angels.
    • Purple World: A Hammer Horror-esque European world ruled over by vampires, giant snakes, and cursed oni. It is being invaded by demons.
    • Blue World: A vaguely Greco-Roman land ruled over by Beast Men, merpeople, and golems, obsessed with gladiators. It is under invasion by a race of Giants.
    • White World: A Norse-themed arctic and ocean world that is ruled over by ice people. It is rapidly dying due to an assault from the Invaders: alien robotic forces named after Norse deities.
  • Our Dragons Are Different: They're everywhere, especially in the red attribute, and expect the main characters of each anime to use them as their key card.
  • Power Equals Rarity: Usually this is played straight, with some of the X-Rares being so powerful you wonder how they're legal. One of the strongest cards in the game is the two-of-a-kind Amaterasu-Dragon. Though, it's worth noting that there are some pretty lethal common cards that could turn the game around, like Dream Ribbon and Angel Voice, the latter of which is one of the cards Amaterasu Dragon is weak against.
  • Practical Taunt: Cards like Strike-Siegwurm, which has an effect that can force an opposing spirit to attack it. Typically, the player would have no control over which spirits their opponent chooses to attack with, if any at all. Thus, this would be valuable in forcing a particular spirit you don't want to deal with to its demise.
  • Redshirt Army: Basically the point of Minis Suicide Squad. While most cards have a limit, you can actually put as many of these in your deck as you want.
  • Retcon: The Arc Angelia Mikafar, which was banned in Japan, was given a slghtly weaker effect in the English release to make it playable. That being said, it's still pretty scary.
  • Set Bonus: The Premise of cards Straight Flush and Royal Straight Flush, which require you to collect a certain amount of cards in order to activate their effects.
  • Stamina Burn: Creature cards can only be used once, then they must rest. But, some attacks can make them rest without having done anything.
  • There Is No Kill Like Overkill: Though the card isn't legal, this defines Amaterasu-Dragon. First, it gets 10000BP for each core on it, which very quickly makes it stronger than any other spirit. It also can't be affected by effects, and has a triple symbol. There's also Ultimate-Gai-Asura in the overkill department, with 50000BP. Saigord-Golem and Ultimate-Castle-Golem are the deck destruction equivalents of this, because they can destroy 15-18 cards in a single go. And Libra-Golem could potentially do even more.
  • Was Once a Man: At the end of the first storyarc, Wanderer Lolo realizes that all Spirits were once human souls and the forces of the Empty Sky are ghosts of particularly greedy and evil humans who consume to the point that they destroy themselves.