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Tabletop Game / Epic (Card Game)

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No longer could gods battle directly, tugging against one another on the fabric of reality. Now their wars are fought in the mortal world with mighty champions and devastating events.

Epic is a fantasy strategy Card Game released by White Wizard Games, and designed by Robert Dougherty and Darwin Kastle. After accidentally tearing reality apart due to their fights, the deities in charge of the universe make a truce. After fixing up the previous universe, the gods now have to resort to using proxies instead of direct conflict.

This is where the game itself comes in: Players command champions and play events to reduce their opponent's score to 0.

What makes this fantasy game different from others is its resource system. Each player gains 1 Gold at the start of everyone's turn. Then they can use that 1 gold to play a card cost. If they don't, the gold goes away at the end and they start with 1 gold again on the next player turn. And cards are either free to play or cost only 1 gold. As a result, players can start playing super-powerful cards right away — no waiting to save up or gather resources. In fact, most of the cards in the game are powerful and useful, creating a sense of an epic struggle going on.

Another difference is that Epic is not a Collectible Card Game (though it originated as one). Though one can expand the game buying expansions, the players get all the cards in a single purchase (similar to Fantasy Flight Games' "living card game" model). Still, the game replicates the feel of a CCG, and has multiple formats in mind. Players can construct their decks, do drafts (even cube, though they need another couple of copies), and even play pre-constructed (just separate the alignments into their own decks). All the fun ways to play a CCG without the high cost and searching for powerful cards.

EPIC includes examples of the following:

  • After the End: The first time the gods fought it ended up unraveling reality. Thankfully, they got their act together and rebuilt the universe.
  • Airborne Mook: Champions with the Airborne ability, who can only be blocked by other Airborne cards.
  • All There in the Manual: The backstory of the game is explained briefly through the rules book, but it remains rather vague. Lore on the setting can be found on the game's official website.
  • Bare-Fisted Monk: Master Zo, where the card art shows him fighting with his fists and legs.
  • Black-and-White Morality: Two of the Alignments are Good and Evil. Good focuses on healing, protection, and raising armies of righteous Champions. Evil naturally focuses on destroying, necromancy, and armies of devils and the undead.
  • Breast Plate: Generally the case with Good Angel Champions, and even some Good female cards.
  • Bribing Your Way to Victory: Completely averted, since the game includes all the same cards and most of them are powerful.
  • The Chosen One:
    • Helena's Chosen, a Good aligned Champion of the titular Elder God.
    • Krieg, Dark One's Chosen is a villainous example of this. An Evil aligned Champion who can create zombies, and picked by Maligus, an Evil Sage Elder God.
  • Cleavage Window: Elara, The Lycomancer has one for her outfit.
  • Continuity Reboot: Of the Epic Trading Card Game, a CCG released in 2009. It pretty much had the same system as the Non-Collectible counterpart. Alas, the game did not gather much popularity and it remains rather obscure. Other changes include innovations from Star Realms: the use of four color factions, and faction-triggered abilities.
  • Cool Horse: The Good Alignment likes these, including Pegasus and Unicorn. The artwork on many Good Champions have them riding horses.
  • Cyber Ninja: The Alchemist Assassin is a fantasy version of this. Thee card art shows a ninja-like figure, standing on a roof top, wearing googles and using some sort of alchemical potion.
  • Divine Ranks: With the Elder Gods at the top, followed by Gods, and then Demigods on the bottom of the ranking scheme.
  • Draw Extra Cards: The evil-aligned Scara's Will and good-aligned Angeline's Favor both have this ability, probably due to being diametrically opposed deities in the setting of the game. Uniquely, these both are either/or abilities. Both these cards have second effects that can be picked to use instead (buffing an ally's attack and defense and giving them flight for Angeline's Favor, and breaking an opposing player's champion for gold for Scara's Will).
  • Early-Installment Weirdness: The Trading Card Game is different from the current EPIC. There were three factions (Good, Evil, and Wild) with unaligned cards, and the color scheme was different (gold for Good, purple for Evil, and blue-grey for Unaligned). An additional card type "objects" existed. It also had Science Fantasy elements, with cards referencing firearms and mecha. Most of the card art was computer generated, as opposed to the traditional art style being currently used.
  • Emergency Authority: Martial Law, the card art displaying soldiers arresting civilians. Despite this, the card is from the Good alignment.
  • The End of the World as We Know It: Evil seems to love causing a variety of cataclysms. Not only do the alignment have Zombie Apocalypse (see that trope further down), they also have a straightforward Apocalypse which does wipe the board. Another is Army of the Apocalypse, which does the opposite: causing all discarded Champions to return to play.
  • Excuse Plot: Yeah, the whole "War of the gods" thing is just an excuse for players to battle each other with overpowered cards and events. Perfect for "Timmy" (Power gamer) players.
  • Expansion Pack: Several have been released in sets of 4 non-randomized booster-packs.
    • Tyrants focuses on the titular Tyrants.
    • Uprising, following Tyrants and it seems some have had enough of them.
    • Pantheon, which also includes the god cards, and rules for using them.
  • Fantasy Pantheon: The various gods and demigods. While the base game doesn't include them, deity cards were later released in Pantheon packs. These god cards are special - they are set aside and provide special effects on the player. Its recommended that the player either play with player using another deity-card or against three opponents working together.
  • Female Angel, Male Demon: Naturally follows this imagery, though a male angel and a few female demons do pop up.
  • Fictional Geneva Conventions: Implied. The truce between the deities forbids direct conflict lest they end up destroying the universe, again. Proxy War is how conflicts are settled, but other than that everything else is fair game.
  • Flavor Text: Some cards have them such as the Tokens. Alas, much like Star Realms it doesn't add very much flavor.
  • Good Colors, Evil Colors: And not just for the color-coded allegiances. The art of the factions tend to follow these tropes.
  • Good Is Not Nice: Markus, Watch Captain may be aligned with Good, but he is also listed as a Tyrant.
  • Hit Points: Players start with 30 life points. The Trading Card version of Epic referred to these as Mojo.
  • Holy Hand Grenade: Divine Judgment, the Good counterpart to the Evil aligned Apocalypse. Either it destroys all Champions, or just allows the player to draw cards.
  • Humongous Mecha:
    • Missile Mech from the original Trading Card Game. Justifed as being from a expansion dealing with space-time twists.
    • Steel Titan is a "Construct Champion", looking like a metal, magitech Mecha.
  • Hydra Problem: Whenever the Sea Hydra survives an attack, its offense and defense permanently increase based on how much damage it took.
  • Instant-Win Condition: If a deck runs out of cards to draw, that player wins. This is the reverse for most games - players typically lose when they run out of cards to draw.
  • Jungle Princess: Jungle Queen, actually. Her art fulfils many of the tropes: jungle bikini, well kept grooming, and animals sitting at her feet.
  • Kill It with Fire: The Wild alignment loves this - Fire mages, spirits, storms, balls, and dragons.
  • Magitek: Implied with the Construct Champions. Despite several being called Golems, the Construct's type, Sage affiliation, and artwork suggest they're magic-powered machines.
  • Metamorphosis: Transform, which can change a Champion into a Wolf Token. Wave of Transformation does this for all Champions in play. Elara, The Lycomancer has the ability to do this to other Champions.
  • Nerf: Several cards that carried over from the original TCG have been toned down as not to be too powerful. For instance, the Drain Essence card. The Trading Card version had it do six damage to any Champion or Player, and gain 6 life. The Non-Collectable version does nine damage and gain that much life... but can only target Champions and not the opponent.
  • Order Versus Chaos: The Sage and Wild alignments, at least their core philosophies. Sage go for logic and reason, Wild goes for instinct and passion.
  • Our Angels Are Different: Most of the Angel Champions are Good-aligned, female Winged Humanoids. But the Angel of Death is a male, and despite being Evil-aligned is still considered an Angel.
    • Guardian Angel: Angelic Protector, whose art even has her leaping into action against a swarm of tentacles. When played, the card gives protection bonuses to another Champion.
  • Our Demons Are Different: Demons are considered a separate race from Angels. Some look more like Eldritch Abominations.
  • Our Dragons Are Different: Of all kinds - good, evil, blue, strafing. A game called Epic wouldn't be living up to its name without a few dragons to play, now would it?
  • Our Fairies Are Different: Sage-aligned, the fairy champions are graceful, youthful looking with butterfly wings. Their secondary abilities allow for drawing or getting cards to the player's hand.
  • Our Genies Are Different: The Sage-aligned Djinn of the Sands, complete with the ability to grant three wishes (i.e. allow the player to draw up to three extra cards). Every wish granted makes the Djinn weaker in combat.
  • Private Military Contractors: The Ogre Mercenary. Oddly enough, their alignment is Sage instead of the expected Evil or Wild.
  • Reality Warper: The mostly unseen gods (unless you supported the Kickstarter), who the players are probably playing as.
  • Running Gag: On the art for several cards, Minotaurs tend to be on the receiving end of some nasty fates. Fans like to joke that its the same Minotaur that keeps on getting attacked or impaled.
  • Sand Worm: Wurms, Wild Champions who - based on the card art - love to pop out of the ground and attack.
  • Savage Wolves: Belonging to the Wild alignment - there are several wolf-based cards and can generate Wolf tokens. Sage cards can also generate Wolves via physical transformation.
  • Shout-Out:
    • Paying homage to Magic the Gathering, this game has Fireball, Hill Giant, and Juggernaut cards. The effect done by these cards is different from their Magic counterparts though.
    • The Rage card has a werewolf on its art, echoing a similarly named CCG based on Werewolf: The Apocalypse.
    • The Frost Giant's flavor text: Winter has come.
  • Squishy Wizard: The Forcemage Apprentice, who has zero regular attack and only one health.
  • A Taste of the Lash: Downplayed with Lash. Though it does some damage to the Champion, that target also gains more abilities and offensive strength. Oh, the art has a whip-welding warrior riding a T-rex.
  • Teleporters and Transporters: The Teleport card, which causes a Champion to be removed from the table, and then returned.
  • Time Master: The Temporal Enforcer, Time Bender and Time Walker - champions who have the ability to return champions to the deck or hands.
  • Trickster Archetype: Present in the Fairy Trickster. It's abilities can make it an annoyance to one's opponents.
  • Zombie Apocalypse: A card, which has the option of allowing the player to draw 2 cards, or destroy all Champions and create Zombie tokens for every player.