PAX Prime ’10: How To – Marvel Super Hero Squad Online TCG

This year, PAX brought many gamers an opportunity to get their eager hands on one game or another, but one genre of gameplay I was not expecting was a Trading Card Game (TCG).

If you followed our PAX Prime 2010 coverage for Marvel Super Hero Squad Online, then you know that the upcoming free-to-play MMORPG from The Amazing Society has a sibling card game franchise that will be available to play in-game as a mini-game of sorts.  And if you didn’t follow our coverage (shame on you!) you know now.  As of press time, not many details are out in the open.  In fact, the Wizards co-developed game doesn’t even have a distributor yet.

However, Gazillion Entertainment was promoting the property by giving away tons of decks as part of the PAX SWAG bag, and to those who asked for them.  Free lessons were even available to those walking the show floor.  iTZKooPA and I needed to rest our dogs so we sat down and learned a new game. After just about five, yes five minutes, he and I were playing like pros joes. Rounds go pretty quick, and the end of the set of matches left us 1-1.

This post is geared to get your familiar with the rules.  Hopefully, when the game is released you too can own the board (figuratively).

All that is required to play is something to keep count with for the Power Count, an even amount of cards in the deck among the players, and a coin or die.

The card to the above-right is what every card looks like essentially, minus one key item that I’ll mention in a bit.

There are Five(5) Core things you want to focus on:

  1. The Power Point: This number is required at least by the Power Point Counter. If the number is higher than the current power count, then it cannot be played.
  2. The Max Damage Counter: This number defines the largest amount of damage that card can specifically do, excluding the proc effects and being blocked.
  3. Type of Damage: This is what type of damage the card attacking is using, and the card blocking must be able to block.  Some cards can attack with more than one type of damage, or require extra blocking.
  4. Blockable Damage: This determines what type of damage this card can block. Blocking does not need the Power Point to be equal to or less than the current Power Count.  Strategy comes into play here.  Sometimes the card you could block with is much better than the card it would block, so you may want to risk going to your deck.
  5. Proc Effect: Secondary Effect that the card has when certain measures are met. EX – Specific amount of damage has been dealt, certain cards in your hands. Not all cards have these.

Hit the jump to whet your appetite on SHSO TCG and see Mordil and iTZKooPA duke it out.


  • When the game starts, the Power Counter starts at 1.
  • Players roll a die to decide who goes first.
  • Player draws a card from their deck at the beginning of their turn (regardless of the # of cards in hand), and then decide if they want to pass, or play a card if they can.
  • If the player does go, they lay the card down and begin their attack. At that point, the other player must look at their hand and see if they can block it (refer to #3 vs. #4). If the opponent has a card that #4 matches the attacking player’s card #3, then all damage is blocked, and both cards move to the discard pile.
  • If they do not have a card that can block, or do not want to block and prefer the “Skull parry“, they can pass and take damage.

Note: Taking damage is by flipping the top card of your deck and moving it directly to your discard pile. Think of your deck as health points.

  • If they do want to block, but cannot, they begin taking damage. Cards moved into the discard pile still have a the ability to block. Say I turned a card over after the second damage and the card is able to block, at that point the attacking is done and the round ends.
  • You then flip a coin / roll the dice (with even = head, odd = tails). If it is heads or even, the Power Counter goes up by 1. If it does not, it stays the same. After three times of not going up, the Counter automatically gains 1.
  • Players take turns until someone runs out of cards in their hand and deck. If they are no more cards in the player’s deck when taking damage, they take damage from their hand.

And here is iTZKooPA’s and my tie-breaking match for a video demonstration:

Easy enough? You bet. I was able to teach my twelve-year-old brother in about the same amount of time iTZKooPA and I learned, and little kids around the ages of 6 and 7 were picking it up as well.


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