Chaotic is a Trading Card Game that was made along with the show of the same name. Originally based on a Danish game called "Gnolls and Gorks", Chaotic eventually evolved into the card game we know today and was officially released in 2006, alongside a (Now Defunct) website which allowed people to play the game online.
Basic gameplay is done on 2 boards, each with 10 creature spaces arranged in a triangular pattern, although all 10 were almost never used at the same time, typically only triangles of 6 or 3 spaces on each side were used. The goal is to simply defeat all of your opponents creatures. Creatures had 5 stats, 4 potential elements, various abilities, and up to 3 starting Mugic counters, which were used to cast Mugic, powerful spells that could rellibly change the flow of the game. In additon creatures could be equipped with battlegear to boost their strength even more. You could only have as much mugic and battlegear as you do creatures (For example in a 6v6 game, you start with 6 battlegear and 6 mugic). Battles are initiated when one creature moves into an enemy creature's space, and they consisted of flipping a location card for additional effects and to figure out who went first.
It was notable for being one of the first card games to use codes in order for players to transfer their collections online, and also for every creature's stats differing between cards, meaning that one card could have 50 courage while a different copy of said card having 40 courage. This ended up making every card unique on some level.
Provides examples of:
- Awesome, but Impractical: Aa'une The Oligarch, dear god, Aa'une the Oligarch. He starts out in his Projection form, which is a basic M'arrillian Chieftain who's only effect is that it's the side that starts the game face-up, similar to Magic's transform cards. In order to transform him into his incredibly powerful Avatar form, which has 200 in every stat, 100 energy, 20 extra damage with every stat attack, and the ability to basically destroy every creature on your opponent's board if you haven't used any mugic, you must:
- Have Aa'une win combat. Doable, if somewhat difficult since he's a very inviting target for damaging Mugic and abilities and isn't the beefiest of creatures.
- Have Aa'une be equiped with Baton of Aa'une◊. Very easily gotten rid of by certain mugic, attacks, or creatures, but a good battlegear to have on him.
- Play the attack Rage of Aa'une◊. Again, good to have in your deck if you're playing Aa'une, but even with the max 2 copies it's entirely possible you won't have it on hand when Aa'une fights.
- Then, if all of the former conditions are met on the same turn, you have to cast Calling of Aa'une to flip him over and play the Oligarch. The issue here is that Aa'une himself has no mugic counters and Calling is a M'arrillian mugic, meaning you have to have a fluidmorpher to cast it, as there's almost no way Aa'une himself could ever gain that many mugic counters on his own. This means if Aa'une is your only creature left, you can't transform him. There is a Location that lets Calling of Aa'une be cast for free, but being a Location, there's no guarantee of it actually coming up, but even then, there's always the chance of the opponent simply dispelling Calling of Aa'une and completely screwing you over.
- Glacier Plains, M'arillian Heat Cannon is the only card in the game with an Instant-Win Condition; the problem is that the condition is ulcer-inducing to actually pull off. To win the game with its effect, you have to have a whopping 50 Mugic counters on your field. You read that correctly: 50. You basically need to keep an entire army of fluidmorphers alive for at least two or three turns without playing Mugic or abilities at the very least to even get that many. And to top it off, the Heat Cannon is a Unique Location, meaning that there's only a 1 in 10 chance on any one of your turns that it'll come up, and if it shows up before you have enough counters, you can kiss your instant win goodbye.
- Allmageddon was probably the most powerful attack in the starter set Dawn of Perim, capable of nuking a creature for up to 50 damage (which was, in most cases, a One-Hit Kill). However, it also has a bunch of drawbacks. One, it's a Unique attack, meaning that you might not draw the card if you need it. Two, it has a build cost of 5, forcing you to run at least four wimpy attacks to accomodate it. And three, to get the max damage from Allmageddon, you have to use it with a creature that has all four Elements; if your creature is missing one or two, you're probably better off with a cheaper attack like Thunder Shout.
- Warbeasts in general tend to have high Recklessness as a drawback, but most can be managed with a few Conjurors in back. Then there's the big daddy Khorror, a behemoth of a creature with 100 in all Disciplines barring Wisdom and an enormous 130 Energy... counterbalanced by a preposterous Recklessness 50 and no elemental types. You pretty much have to build your entire deck around sustaining Khorror to make sure it doesn't self-destruct the first time it fights, often by hoarding Mugic counters on Savell or Appelai and, in turn, not using your Mugics. To double down on the awesomeness and impracticalness, Khorror can swing for 105 damage with the Slashclaw attack, enough to one-shot anything that's neither another Khorror nor stacked with Energy buffs. That is, if you don't mind loading your deck with 0-cost bricks due to Slashclaw's enormous build cost.
- Balance, Power, Skill, Gimmick: For the original four tribes: Overworlders are Balance, with the most variety in creatures and no glaring weaknesses; Underworlders are Power, built for trading blows with the opponent; Mipedians are Skill, as they're focused on quickly gaining an advantage with Invisibility; Danians are Gimmick, based around manipulation of the unique mechanics Hive and Infect along with their discard pile. M'arillians also fall under Gimmick, as they have the unique Brainwashed and Fluidmorph mechanics and have a large focus on Discipline manipulation.
- Blessed with Suck: The Mipedian Warbeasts, while whey have massive energy pools and disciplines, all but two of the Warbeasts also have massive Recklessness values, causing them to take large amounts of damage whenever they attack. Additionally, of the ones that don't have Recklessness, one reduces the energy of all other creatures you control, and the other forces you to sacrifice another creature after winning combat, or it gets destroyed.
- This can be averted with the exception of The Warbeasts that lack Recklessness with use of Conjurers, most of which reduce Recklessness damage to Warbeasts, if not negating the damage entirely. However, you'll then need a way to stop the enemy from simply sniping your Conjurers first.
- This can also be partially averted with use of the Stone Mail Battlegear, which negates all effects on a creature, however this has its own drawbacks in that it prevents movement and increases all damage dealt to the creature by 5.
- Boring, but Practical: 1-cost attacks in general, most notably the ones that deal minor damage in 2 elements like Ash Torrent and Inferno Claws and the Alliances Unraveled attacks that deal 15 in a single element. They're not the biggest or flashiest attacks, but using them as the crux of your attack deck means you can deal consistent damage with every attack you draw instead of having to chip away with scratch damage while you wait for big 4- or 5-cost attacks. Furthermore, bonus element damage is very common and accessible by all tribes, so with a good build these attacks can easily deal around 10 more than their stated value.
- Brainwashed and Crazy: The M'arillians have this as a game mechanic. They were introduced alongside Minion creatures from the other tribes that use a "Brainwashed" ability instead of their usual ability if they're played alongside a M'arillian Chieftain.
- Difficult, but Awesome: Danians are probably the most difficult of the original 4 tribes to play due to their plethora of different mechanics. Their main mechanic, Hive, requires a little bit of micromanagement to make sure that its active when you need it. Compost, which uses various Danians in the creature discard who buff the ones still alive, makes it so you need to gauge whether a creature is more valuable alive then it is in the ground. Finally Infect needs to be properly spread throughout both armies. However, master them and you'll find that Danians are capable of growing to insane stat totals as the game goes on.
- Discard and Draw: Quite a variety of attacks and some mugic discard or shuffle attack cards to draw new ones, such as Malevolent Blast◊ and Melodic Might◊.
- Elemental Powers: Creatures can have Fire, Water, Earth, and Air elements to allow them to do extra damage with attacks using those elements. Creatures can also have "Element X" abilities (e.g. "Fire 5," "Air 10," and so forth) that boosts any elemental damage they deal. Each tribe is also associated with an element: Underworlders favor Fire, Danians tend to use Earth, Mipedians often come with Air, and Overworlders lean towards Water. M'arrillians take it Up to Eleven by using Water exclusively, with only one or two exceptions.
- Home Field Advantage: Location cards often have just as much of an impact on battle outcomes as creatures and attacks. In addition to possessing abilities of their own that affect Creatures in combat, Locations also have an Initiative label that determines who gets the first hit. Ideally, you want your deck to have Locations with abilities that synergize with your creatures and Initiative checks that your creatures can reliably win.
- Magmon in particular is infamous for the Lava Pond giving any of his cards a free Fire 5. Thanks to the Lava Pond already giving 5 extra damage on all fire attacks, combined with base Magmon's preexisting Fire 5, Retalitator's additonal 5 damage to all M'arrillians/minions (Or additional 5 damage to non-M'arrilians if brainwashed), or Engulfed's ability to grant all of your fire creatures Fire 5 (And Recklessness 5), fighting Magmon on his home turf can be a very brutal experience.
- Invisibility: A game mechanic, primarily used by Mipedians, that gives a creature additional abilities if they fight an opponent that doesn't have Invisibility. It's usually paired with Strike (your first attack deals more damage), Disarm (disables the opponent's Battlegear), or Surprise (skips the Initiative check and lets you attack first, unless the opponent also has Surprise).
- Joke Character: While there are some creatures that generally aren't good, Fivarth is probably the one most clearly designed to be terrible. He has an utterly pathetic 15 in every stat and no elements, meaning he dies in combat if the opponent looks at him too hard and most of the attacks in the game are completely useless on him, and his only remotely useful ability is reducing your Warbeasts' Recklessness damage by 5... which doesn't do much considering that Warbeast Recklessness starts at 10 and often reaches 20 or more, not to mention the other Conjurors that are much better at dealing with Recklessness. His only saving graces are his 2 Mugic counters (which, again, most Conjurors also have) and being untargetable by Mugic and abilities, which doesn't mean much when he does absolutely nothing on his own.
- Magikarp Power: Stelgar both subverts and plays this trope straight. Normal Stelgar has a good 65 on all stats and the typical underworld elements, fire and air, and it gains more in every stat except energy every time it does attack damage. However, grow its power stat too much, and Stelgar destroys itself. On the other hand, play Stelgar in a minion deck and it changes to gaining mugic counters every time it wins a battle, which, unlike the power stat, can be used up in a productive way, so it becomes a viable muge. In Stelgar's second card, Stelgar, Vicious Mutation it plays this trope extremely straight. It starts with the water element, which is unusual for Underworlders, and 20 in every stat. However it gains 10 in everything at the end of each turn. Protect Stelgar long enough and it will grow into a massive creature with over 100 in every stat. Then equip some element gaining battlegear on to it. Now you've got a complete monster.
- Mechanically Unusual Fighter: Befitting their status as the Outside-Context Problem, M'arrillians have numerous unique traits in their gameplay:
- Their Chieftains are Loyal to both M'arrillians and Minions, forcing the latter type to use Brainwashed abilities instead of their regular abilities.
- Their Mugic mechanics are different from the other tribes, as no M'arrillians start with Mugic counters. However, their casters are Fluidmorphers that gain a counter each time you use a Water attack, allowing them to build up huge counter totals over the course of a single combat. To balance this out, M'arrillian Mugic cards tend to have hideously high costs, often in the 3-4 counter range. They also have many abilities that interact with Mugic aside from casting it, such as the quartet of Milla'iin, Ihun'kalin, Fal'makin, and Emna'ool discarding Mugic for their abilities and Fal'makin, AZAIA Inquisitor's ability to cheat out cheap Mugics when he attacks.
- Even among the M'arrillians, Gan'trak's ability is completely unique and deck-defining. While active, Gan'trak causes your attacks to drain the opponent's disciplines instead of their Energy and destroys creatures with 0 in all disciplines. While creatures tend to have higher disciplines than Energy, meaning that you'll likely need more damage to kill with Gan'trak than regular damage, this also wreaks havoc on opponents that depend on discipline-based attacks, and M'arrillians have numerous ways to exploit this ability, with cards like Fal'makin and the Requiem Mugics to instantly pop creatures as soon as their weakest discipline is drained and Neth'uar to deal more damage against weakened opponents.
- Power Creep: As with most trading card games, this inevitably set in, with cards of all types just getting stronger over time. Compare, for instance, Tangath Toborn from Dawn of Perim, with a piddly 30 energy and no stats above 50, to Tangath Toborn, In Training from Beyond the Doors, with a much higher 65 energy, better stats all around, one additional Mugic counter, and an extra element. Another example is Infight, which deals an unconditional 20 damage on a cost of 4 and with a drawback, which was ruthlessly power-creeped by the 1-cost Primal Smash, which has the same damage and no downsides aside from being Unique.
- Power Degeneration: The Recklessness ability, used by some Underworlders and most Warbeasts, cause a creature to take damage every time they attack. Meanwhile, the Exhaust ability makes a creature's specified discipline drop with every attack (for instance, Exhaust Wisdom 10 means you lose 10 Wisdom every time you attack).
- Simple, yet Awesome: Overworlders and Underworlders don't have many tribe defining abilities like the M'arrillians, Danians, or Mipedians do, but have the largest pools of creatures in the game, and are rather effective anyways. Underworlders in particular just focus on large damage, but it doesn't stop them from being probably the most popular tribe in the game.
- In terms of attacks, we have Primal Smash◊, which has no effects, but is a 20 damage card with 1 build cost (most 1-cost attacks average 10 to 15 damage, often with conditions attached), allowing it to be safely splashed into just about any deck.
- As for Mugic, there's Cadence Clash, a 1-cost Mugic that dispels another Mugic and returns it to the hand. Unlike Refrain of Denial and its variants, Cadence Clash puts the dispelled card back into the hand, allowing it to be cast again. However, the opponent will have to pay the cost again to use it, and Mugic Counters are a limited resource; if they can't, you've basically gotten rid of the card anyway. It's also a lot cheaper than other negation cards and is a Generic Mugic, meaning that you can run it in any deck.
- Take Me Instead: The Defender ability, which allows a creature to enter combat in place of an adjacent ally that is attacked by an enemy. Useful for giving your Squishy Wizards or other keystone creatures an extra layer of protection.
- There Can Be Only One: The Unique and Legendary labels. If a card is Unique, you can't use another card of the same name in your deck, and you can only have a maximum of one Legendary card in your entire deck.