Final Fantasy Trading Cards Games

Game Formats


Base Tournament Format

A great majority of the FFTCG events utilize the Swiss tournament method. This is a system where the number of rounds is determined by the number of players in attendance.

  • 5 to 8 players:3 rounds
  • 9 to 16 players:4 rounds
  • 17 to 32 players:5 rounds
  • 33 to 64 players:6 rounds
  • 65 to 128 players:7 rounds
  • 129 to 256 players:8 rounds
  • 257 to 512 players:9 rounds

For the first round, everyone is paired at random but during subsequent rounds, you will only be paired with players of the same "strength" as you (i.e - players who performed as well as you). This makes for a more balanced and exciting experience!

Another great advantage with this system is that you can carry on playing until the very end, even if you are not doing so well. It's the best way to improve and other friendly players will always be around for great tips and advice. 

At the end of the last round of Swiss, a ranking will be issued and a winner crowned. In certain tournaments, a set number of players will proceed to a second, single elimination style tournament after the Swiss rounds in order to determine the winner. This is called a "top cut" (e.g - 64 players will play 6 rounds of Swiss. At the end of the last round the top 8 players will move to a single elimination tournament featuring 3 more rounds > Quarter final > Semi Final > Final).

Additionally, rounds can be played in what is called Best of one/BO1 or Best of three/BO3. BO1 simply means you only need to win one game to get the round and BO3 that you need to win two games to get the round.

This covers the basics of our tournaments, if you would like to find out more details about those and the general rules and guidelines for our events, we have compiled this useful guide for you!

Now, let's dive into the different ways you can play. You will see that not only is FFTCG a great game, it also comes with plenty of different formats bringing new twists and spins at every turn!

Taro Kageyama - Chief Producer FFTCG

FFTCG Game Formats

1. Standard Constructed


Standard Constructed is the most common format in FFTCG. Create a 50-card deck with no more than 3 copies of the same card and win the game by dealing your opponent 7 points of damage, or making their deck run out (a.k.a "milling"). FFTCG offers 6 core Elements which accomodate various play styles: Fire, Ice, Wind, Water, Earth, and Lightning. Some are more agressive than others, some are more about controlling the board or maximizing your resources, and of course you can mix several Elements within one deck! They key to victory is to find something that suits you while keeping an eye on the current "meta" (i.e, what decks are popular at the moment, what are the most likely archetypes you would encounter during a tournament).

If you need a little refresher you can download our Starter Guide. It comes fully illustrated and has everyting you need to know to start playing in Constructed.

One last important point about Standard Constructed is that you are allowed to play using all the expansions "Opuses" 

2. L3 Constructed


L3 Constructed is a special type of Constructed Format that uses cards from the latest three sets. In addition to the “Standard” format rules, the below rules also apply:
 

● The below cards can be included in the deck under the L3 Constructed Format.
1. Cards from the latest three booster packs available for sale on the day of the event, with a serial number associated with one of the Booster Packs in question (in the case of “Dawn of Heroes”, this is 20-XXX; players are permitted to use other cards, such as cards from sets that were made available for sale before the three usable Booster Packs or promo cards, provided that the serial number on the card is the same as that of an applicable card).

2. Cards that predate products such as Starter Sets released alongside or after the most recent Booster Packs (depending on the competition, use of these cards will be allowed according to the same timeframe as Standard Format).

3. Cards whose use has been permitted officially, and whose serial number follows the format PR-XXX only.

(As of 28 July 2023, there are no cards whose use has been permitted officially and whose serial number follows the format PR-XXX only.)

4. Any other cards whose use has been permitted officially as a special case.

(As of 28 July 2023, there are no cards whose use has been permitted officially.)
 

● Cards from the newest Booster Pack will become usable upon their release, at which time the oldest Booster Pack will no longer be usable.

● Cards that have been banned from the L3 Constructed Format are subject to different criteria than in Standard Format.
There are no banned cards under the L3 Constructed Format (as of 28 July 2023).


● The below cards can be used under the current L3 Constructed Format (as of 28 July 2023).
• Cards with a serial number equal to or more recent than “Resurgence of Power” (18-XXX).

3. L6 Contructed


L6 Constructed is a special type of Constructed Format that uses cards from the latest six sets. In addition to the “Standard” format rules, the below rules also apply:
 

● The below cards can be included in the deck under the L6 Constructed Format.

1. Cards from the latest six booster packs available for sale on the day of the event, with a serial number associated with one of the Booster Packs in question (in the case of “Beyond Destiny”, this is 20-XXX; players are permitted to use other cards, such as cards from sets that were made available for sale before the six usable Booster Packs or promo cards, provided that the serial number on the card is the same as that of an applicable card).

2. Cards that predate products such as Starter Sets released alongside or after the most recent Booster Packs (depending on the competition, use of these cards will be allowed according to the same timeframe as Standard Format).

3. Cards whose serial number follows the format PR-XXX only.
(Cards up to and including Yuna & Tidus [PR-111] will become unusable at the time of the release of the Booster Pack scheduled to be released in summer 2024.)

4. Any other cards whose use has been permitted officially as a special case.

(As of 28 July 2023, there are no cards whose use has been permitted officially.)

● Cards from the newest Booster Pack will become usable upon their release, at which time the oldest Booster Pack will no longer be usable.

● Cards banned from the L6 Constructed Format will be established separately to those banned in Standard Format.

The below cards are hereby banned from L6 Constructed Format (as of 28 July 2023).
• Amber [16-065C]

● The below cards can be used under the current L6 Constructed Format (as of 28 July 2023).
• Cards with a serial number equal to or more recent than “Crystal Dominion” ([15-XXX]).
• Cards whose serial number follows the format PR-XXX only.

4. Limited


Limited Format Rules

● In the Limited Format, players open packs that are presented to them then and there, and use those cards to construct a deck. There are two types of Limited match: Sealed and Booster Draft.

Sealed
1. Each player is given nine packs, which they open. They must then build a deck using the cards from those packs.
2. The “Special Rules” given below apply.

Booster Draft
1. Booster Drafts take place among four or more players.
2. All players form a circle at the table, and each is given five packs. They then open one pack each.
3. Each player chooses one card from the open pack to keep and passes the rest of the cards to the player sitting directly to their left. Each player then chooses a card from the pack that they have been handed to keep, and passes the rest of the cards to the player directly to their left. This is repeated until no cards remain, and each player has 12 cards in their possession.
4. The remaining four packs are divided among the players in the same way. However, the second pack is passed around in the opposite direction to the first, i.e. to the right. The third pack is passed around to the left again, and the direction in which the cards are passed continues to alternate in this way.
5. This process is repeated for all five decks, and the players then build their decks using the 60 cards in their hand.
6. The “Special Rules” given below apply.

Special Rules
Note: These rules are common to both Sealed and Booster Draft matches.

1. Decks are made up of 40 or more cards. Any number of cards is allowed, provided that the number is 40 or more.
2. There is no limit to the amount of duplicate cards that can be included in a deck. Any number of duplicates can be included.
3. If a player inflicts six points of damage on an opponent, they win.

5. Title


Title is a special format where cards from specific titles (categories) are used in matches. In addition to the “Standard” format rules, the below rules also apply:

Title Format Rules

1. Specify a “category” and construct a 50-card deck formed of cards belonging to that category and cards that fit into point 2 or 3 below.

 (Cards belonging to multiple categories, such as “MOBIUS · VII”, can be used in either a “MOBIUS” or a “VII” deck.)

■ Decks of the following categories cannot be constructed (as of 1 February 2024):

・Special

・Anniversary

・FFRK

・MQ

*“DFF”, “THEATRHYTHM”, “Crystal Hunt”, “PICTLOGICA”, “LOV” and “FFEX” that were previously not included in the list of usable categories can now also be used.

2. [Job (Standard Unit)] Backups are a special case, and up to three of each card can be used in any category of deck.

3. Cards in the “Special” category are a special case, and up to three of each card can be used in any category of deck.

4. At least 30 cards belonging to the specified category must be included in the deck.

5. Cards that have been banned from the Title Format are subject to different criteria than in Standard Format.

The below cards are hereby banned from Title Format (as of 1 February 2024).

・Jessie [4-082C] (Category: VII)

・Feolthanos [10-098L] (Category: XII)

・Neo Exdeath [12-110L] (Category: MOBIUS · V)

・Locke [15-042R] (Category: DFF · VI)

・Edgar [17-002L] (Category: VI)

・Celes [20-031R] (Category: VI)

Special Rules

1. The cost to cast characters and summons do not need to include CP of the same Element. However, if the cost of a particular card’s ability is restricted to a certain type of CP, as is the case for Emperor Xande [2-007L], then this must be observed.

 These special rules only apply to the casting of cards. Action abilities, special abilities and card effects should be paid for as usual using the specified CP Element.

2. Playing two or more characters with the same name but without the “generic card” icon into the field is permitted. It doesn’t matter if these cards exist as both Forwards and Backups.

 However, it is not permissible to play more than one card of the same number without the “generic card” icon. Should a player find themselves in control of two or more such cards as the result of some sort of effect, both cards are to be placed in the Break Zone.


We hope you enjoyed this preview of some of the most common ways to play Final Fantasy Trading Card Game. There are even crasier formats like the Boss Battles, All Star Cube Draft...which we will touch upon in the "Advanced" section. 

In the meantime, don't forget to stop by the Finding Events & Useful Resources sections which will provide additional help to get you started!