Kingdom Hearts Trading Card Game
The Kingdom Hearts Trading Card Game is a collectible card game originally released by Tomy in Japan and translated into English and released internationally by Fantasy Flight Games in 2007. There are eight card sets in Japan, four of which have been released internationally.
- Base Set - The first set of cards, consisting of 91 cards.
- A Darkness Awakened - A combination of the Japanese sets Force from a Dark Realm and Dawn of a Friend. Consists of 128 cards.
- Light & Darkness - A combination of Japanese Light & Darkness set and the Glico Wafers set of promotional cards released in packs of Pocky. Consists of 91 cards.
- Break of Dawn - The final set of cards released in English. The cards have a new layout, and feature characters, items, and worlds from Kingdom Hearts II. Consists of 162 cards.
- Piece of Memory - This set is exclusive to Japan, and consists of 37 cards.
- Rejoin - This set is exclusive to Japan, and consists of 54 cards.
- Eternal Darkness - The final set of cards, exclusive to Japan. It consists of 72 cards.
- Glico Wafers - This set of cards is exclusive to Japan, and was released in packs of Pocky. The cards were released in English as part of the Light & Darkness set. It consists of 30 cards.
- Promotional Cards - A series of cards that are not part of any set.
Player (プレイヤー Pureiyā ) Cards represent the players of the game. Each player places their Player Card on the Player Card area at the start of the game. When the HP of the Player Card reaches 0, that player has lost the game. Player Cards come in three varieties:
- Player/Light (プレイヤー/光 Pureiyā/Hikari ): These cards depict protagonists like Sora. Player/Light Cards can use Friend Cards as allies.
- Player/Dark (プレイヤー/闇 Pureiyā/Yami ): These cards depict antagonists like Ansem. Player/Dark Cards cannot use Friend Cards, but can play Dark Cards as if they were Friend Cards.
- Player/XIII (プレイヤー/XIII Pureiyā/XIII ): These cards depict members of Organization XIII. Like Player/Dark Cards, Player/XIII Cards cannot use Friend Cards. However, they can play both Nobody Cards and other Player/XIII Cards as if they were Friend Cards.
FC Player Cards (short for Form Change) are a special kind of Player Card. FC Player Cards can be placed on top of a regular Player Card containing the same name, when certain conditions are met. They provide additional effects, and can be discarded.
Friend (仲間 Nakama ) Cards depict allies from the Kingdom Hearts series, like Donald Duck, Phil, or Lumière. Friend Cards can only be played by Player/Light Cards. When played, Friend Cards are placed in the Friend Area. Friend Cards can be used to power up a Player Card during a battle or challenge, but have to be discarded afterward. A player can't have two Friend Cards with the same name on the field.
Magic (魔法 Mahō ) Cards depict magic spells like Fire or Cure. Magic Cards can provide various effects, from dealing damage to the opponent to restoring the player's HP. Later sets differentiate between regular Magic cards and Magic/Attack cards, which deal damage.
Magic/Friend (魔法/召喚 Mahō/Shōkan , lit. "Magic/Summon") Cards depict Summons like Simba or Tinker Bell. Magic/Friend Cards are played like Magic Cards, but act like Friend Cards. Like Friend Cards, Magic/Friend Cards are discarded after participating in a battle or challenge, but also at the end of the player's turn.
Attack (アタック Atakku ) Cards depict Keyblades or the Soul Eater. They can be played to increase the Player Card's Attack Value, or provide certain effects. Some Attack Cards get a bonus when 2 or more of the same Card are played at the same time. Attack Cards are replaced with Equipment Card in later sets.
Equipment (装備 Sōbi ) Cards depict weapons like the Kingdom Key or Axel's Chakrams, but also items like the Magic Lamp. Equipment Cards can be attached to a Player Card or Friend Card to power up that card. Each Card can only have one Equipment Card attached to it, unless otherwise noted in the Card's effect.
Dark (闇 Yami ) Cards depict enemies from the Kingdom Hearts series. Dark Cards are placed on the opponent's World Card to prevent them from playing another World Card. Dark Cards can be defeated through a battle. Player/Dark Cards can also play Dark Cards as if they were Friend Cards. Dark Cards come in two varieties:
- Dark/Heartless (闇/ハートレス Yami/Hātoresu ) depict Heartless like the Shadow or Darkside.
- Dark/Villains (闇/ヴィランズ Yami/Viranzu ) depict villains like Maleficent.
Nobody (ノーバディ Nōbadi ) Cards depict Nobodies like the Dusk. They function the same as Dark Cards, except they can be played by Player/XIII Cards as Friend Cards. Since Nobody Cards were introduced in a later set, they are not mentioned in the effects of older cards. However, older cards that affect Dark Cards also affect Nobody Cards.
World (ワールド Wārudo ) Cards depict various Worlds from the Kingdom Hearts series. Playing a World Card lets the player "travel" to that World. World Cards are played on top of each other. If the total value of all World Cards' levels is 13, that player wins the game. Opponents can prevent players from playing World Cards by placing Dark Cards or Nobody Cards on their current World Card. World Cards cannot be played until all Dark Cards or Nobody Cards are removed from the current World Card.
Technique (技 Waza ) Cards depict Limits from Kingdom Hearts II. They can be played during a battle when the required Cooperation characters are on the field. Technique Cards have powerful effects. Some Technique Cards can only be played after another Technique Card is in your discard pile.
Event (イベント Ibento ) Cards are special Cards that depict various Key Art. They can be played to activate an effect, after which they are immediately discarded.
Certificate (認定証 Nintei-shō ) Cards are special Cards that were awarded at the Kingdom Hearts TCG Official Tournament. They cannot be played.
Heart Points, abbreviated as HP, are an attribute exclusive to Player Cards. Heart Points show the life of a Player Card. The current number of Heart Points are indicated on the Heart Point Track on the play mat. Player Cards can gain Heart Points from Card effects or by moving to a new World. Player Cards lose Heart Points when losing a challenge or escaping from a World. When a Player Card's Heart Points reach 0, that player loses the game.
Level (レベル Reberu ) is an attribute used for Player Cards, Friend Cards, Magic/Friend Cards, Magic Cards, Dark Cards, Nobody Cards, and World Cards.
A Player Card's Level determines who may begin the game. The player with the lowest Level Player Card takes the first turn. In the case of a tie, an additional method can be used to determine who goes first, like a coin flip.
A Friend Card's Level determines whether or not it can be played at the time. Friend Cards can only be played when its Level is at most 1 Level higher than another Friend Card's Level in that player's Friend Area. If a Player has no Friend Cards in their Friend Area, only a Level 0 or Level 1 Friend Card can be played.
A Magic Card's or Magic/Friend Card's Level shows the required Magic Value to play the Card. Only if the Player Card, or a Friend Card or Magic/Friend Card has an equal or greater Magic Value, can the Card be played.
A Dark Card's or Nobody Card's Level determines if it can be played on the opponent's World Card. Players can play Dark Cards and Nobody Cards with a Level equal to or less than the total Level of World Cards the opponent has played.
A World Card's Level determines the Level of Dark Cards and Nobody Cards that may be played on the World. Only Dark Cards and Nobody Cards with a Level equal to or less than the total Level of World Cards may be played.
Attack Value (攻撃力 Kōgeki-ryoku , lit. "Attack Power") is an attribute exclusive to Player Cards. It shows how much damage the Card can inflict during a battle or challenge. A Player Card's Attack Value can be increased by playing Friend Cards, Magic/Friend Cards, Equipment Cards, or Attack Cards.
Support Value (サポート力 Sapōto-ryoku , lit. "Support Power") is an attribute used for Friend Cards, Magic/Friend Cards, Equipment Cards, and Attack Cards. The Support Value can be added to the Player Card's Attack Value during a battle or challenge.
Magic Value (魔法力 Mahō-ryoku , lit. "Magic Power") is an attribute used for Player Cards, Friend Cards, and Magic/Friend Cards. It shows whether a Magic Card or Magic/Friend Card can be played. Only when the Level of a Magic Card or Magic/Friend Card is equal to or less than the Magic Value of any Card on the field, can that Card be played.
Magic Support Value
Magic Support Value is an attribute exclusive to Equipment Cards. The Magic Support Value is added to the Magic Value of the Card it is attached to.
Power, abbreviated as POW, is an attribute exclusive to Dark Cards and Nobody Cards. It shows the strength of the Dark Card or Nobody Card. To defeat the opponent's Dark Card or Nobody Card, the player needs to have an Attack Value equal to or greater than the Power of that Card.
Dark Level is an attribute exclusive to World Cards. It shows how many Dark Cards or Nobody Cards the opponent can place on that World. Some World Cards do not have a Dark Limit, meaning an unlimited number of Dark Cards and Nobody Cards can be played on that Card.
Card Text is an attribute on almost all Cards. It shows the effect a Card has. Some Cards also have a quote that character says in the Kingdom Hearts series. When a Card Text has a symbol, that effect is used when the Card is played.
Some Card Texts have a Card Limit. This shows how many Cards with that name may be placed in the deck, overruling the general Card Limit rule.
Some Card Texts in later sets mention counters (＋１カウンター +1 Kauntā , lit. "+1 Counter"). These are tokens that are placed on a Card when specified. Some Cards have effects that allow players to move counters between Cards, or discard a number of them to trigger an effect.
Home World is an attribute introduced in later sets. It is used for Friend Cards, Magic/Friend Cards, Equipment Cards, Dark Cards, and Nobody Cards. Some Card effects affect Cards with a specific Home World.
Cooperation (連携 Renkei ) is an attribute exclusive to Technique Cards. It shows the Cards that need to be on the field for that Card to be played.
The Rarity of a Card does not affect the game, but shows how rare the Card is. The least rare Cards are labeled C (Common), followed by U (Uncommon), R (Rare), SR (Super Rare), and finally GSR (Gold Super Rare). Promotional Cards are labeled P, while some Event Cards are labeled E.
Before playing the game, each player needs to build a deck. A Deck needs to follow the following rules:
- Each deck must have at least 41 cards, but no more than 60 cards.
- Each deck must contain exactly one Player Card (not counting FC Cards), unless the chosen Player Card is a Player/XIII Card. In that case, other Player/XIII Cards can be added to the deck to be used as Friend Cards.
- Each deck may contain only one copy of any Promo Card.
- Each card name with the same level may occur only three times in a deck. For example, a deck may only contain up to three "Donald Duck Level 1" Cards, but may also contain up to three "Donald Duck" Cards of a different Level. Some Cards specify a Card Limit in the Card Text, which has priority over this rule.
Once each player had their deck ready, they can prepare the game. Each player places their play mat in front of them (when using a play mat), and places their Player Card face-up on the Player Card area. Each player places a marker on the Heart Point Track matching the Heart Point value of their Player Card. Each player shuffles their deck and places it face-down on the Deck area. Then, each player draws six cards from their deck as their starting hand.
Each player's turn consists of four phases, which are performed in order. After the fourth phase, that player's turn ends, and the opponent's turn begins.
Each turn starts with the Draw Phase (補充タイム Hojū Taimu , lit. "Replenishment Time"). During the Draw Phase, the player draws Cards from their deck until they have six Cards in their hand. Some Cards have effects that allow players to draw additional Cards. If a player draws the last Card of their deck, they shuffle their discard pile and place it facedown on their Deck area as a new deck.
The Action Phase (アクションタイム Akushon Taimu , lit. "Action Time") is the main part of a player's turn. During the Action Phase, a player can choose to perform several actions. These actions can be performed in any order, although moving to a World and starting a battle can only be performed once per turn.
Move to a World
A player can move to a new World when their current World has no Dark Cards or Nobody Cards on it. To move to a new World, the player places a new World Card on top of the current one. When a player moves, they gain 1 Heart Point. If the total Level of all World Cards is 13 or higher, the player wins the game.
Start a battle
When a player's current World Card has Dark Cards or Nobody Cards on it, that player can choose to battle those Cards. During a battle, the Player Card's Attack Value is the amount of damage the player deals to the opponent's Dark Cards or Nobody Cards on the World. When the damage dealt is equal to or greater than the Power of a Card, that Card is discarded. A player can have Friend Cards or Magic/Friend Cards participate in the battle by moving them from the Friend Area to the World area. Friend Cards and Magic/Friend Cards that participate in battle add their Support Value to the Player Card's Attack Value. Attack Cards and Magic Cards can also be played to increase the Attack Value or deal damage. If there is more than one Dark Card or Nobody Card on the World, the damage dealt can be spread between the Cards to defeat multiple Cards. At the end of the Action Phase, all damage on undefeated Dark Cards and Nobody Cards disappears.
At the end of a battle, the Friend Cards and Magic/Friend Cards that participated in that battle are discarded, unless an active Card effect says otherwise. Any Attack Cards, Magic Cards, or Technique Cards used are also discarded.
Escape a battle
Instead of starting a battle, a player can also choose to escape a battle. When escaping, that player discards their current World Card and any Dark Cards or Nobody Cards on it. When escaping, that player must discard all their Friend Cards and Magic/Friend Cards on the field, they lose 1 Heart Point, and they cannot move again that turn.
Disrupt an opponent
A player can also disrupt their opponent by playing Dark Cards or Nobody Cards on the opponent's current World Card. Whether a Dark Card or Nobody Card can be played on the opponent's World Card depends on that World Card's Level and Dark Level. The player can only play a number of Dark Cards or Nobody Cards equal to the World's Dark Level. Additionally, the Level of the Dark Card or Nobody Card may not be higher than the total Level of the opponent's World Cards.
Play Friend Cards
A player may choose to play an unlimited amount of Friend Cards in their Friend Area. A player may not have more than one Friend Card with the same name on the field. If a player wants to play a Friend Card, its Level may not be more than 1 Level higher than the highest Level Friend Card or Magic/Friend Card in their Friend Area. If a player has no Friend Cards or Magic/Friend Cards in their Friend Area, they can only play Level 0 or Level 1 Friend Cards or Magic/Friend Cards.
Play Equipment Cards
A player may play Equipment Cards if there are Cards that do not yet have a Card attached to them. When playing an Equipment Card, the Card is placed on top of a Player Card or Friend Card. Certain Equipment Cards can only be placed on certain Cards, and some Cards allow more than one copy of that Card to be placed on a single Card. Like with Friend Cards, only one Equipment Card with the same name can be on the field at a time, unless otherwise specified.
Play Event Cards
Event Cards can be played at any time during the player's Action Phase. When playing an Event Card, the Card's effect takes place, and the Card is immediately discarded.
Play Magic Cards
If the player has a Card on the field with a Magic Value equal to or greater than the Level of a Magic Card, they can play that Magic Card. Magic Cards can be used to deal damage, restore Heart Points, or activate other effects.
When a player concludes their Action Phase, they can decide to play a Challenge Phase (チャレンジタイム Charenji Taimu , lit. "Challenge Time"). During a Challenge Phase, the player can challenge their opponent's Player Card. When playing a challenge, both players move their Player Card to the Challenge area of their play mat. Each player chooses one of four options until both players decide to do nothing, with the player who initiated the challenge going first.
- Have one of your Friend Cards or Magic/Friend Cards participate in the challenge, adding their Support Value to the Player Card's Attack Value.
- Play one or more Attack Cards from their hand to take part in the challenge, increasing the Player Card's Attack Value.
- Play a Magic Card or Magic/Friend Card from their hand.
- Do nothing.
Players cannot play new Friend Cards during a challenge. However, Magic/Friend Cards can still be played as they are played as Magic Cards. Challenges are considered to be held on the defender's current World Card. Only the effects of that player's World Card or any Dark Card or Nobody Card on it are in effect for the challenge.
Once both players have chosen to do nothing, they each determine the amount of damage dealt by adding up the Player Card's Attack Value, the Support Value of any participating Cards, and any damage dealt by Magic Cards. The player with the highest damage dealt wins, while the loser loses 1 Heart Point. In the case of a tie, neither player loses a Heart Point. At the end of the challenge, both players discard all Cards that participated in the challenge.
A turn ends with the Discard Phase (捨札タイム Sutefuds Taimu , lit. "Discard Time"). During the Discard Phase, the player discards all Magic/Friend Cards on the field. Then, the player may choose to discard a number of Cards from their hand. Once the player finishes their Discard Phase, the opponent's turn begins.
End of the game
The game ends when one player's Heart Points drop to 0, or when one player's total World Card Level reaches 13.