Final Fantasy Trading Cards Games

Games Format

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. Constructed

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 Constructed is that it comes in 2 variants: Standard Constructed and L3 Constructed. The difference between those is  simple: in Standard Constructed, you are allowed to play using all the expansions "Opuses" we have released so far whereas in L3 Constructed, you can only use the last 3 Opuses released. Having these two options means that you can approach Constructed in completely different strategical ways, and the L3 variant makes it so that you don't need to worry about acquiring older/rarer cards too much. You can read more about L3 on our blog here, as well as in our special Producer's Column here featuring deck examples!

2. Limited

In FFTCG Limited events, there is no need for you to prepare anything as the store hosting the tournament will provide the booster packs for you to play! This means that you will discover your cards at the same time as other players and will need to build a deck on the fly! Unlike "Constructed" and in order to make things easier for you, your deck only needs a minimum of 40 cards and victory is attained by dealing 6 points of damage instead of the usual 7. It is also permitted to have more than 3 copies of the same card in your deck. Apart from these changes, all the other standard game rules apply so there is no need to learn anything new.

There are actually two different Limited formats in FFTCG called "Sealed" and "Draft". In Sealed, you will receive 9 or 10 Booster packs and will need to build a deck following the rules mentioned above. This is a very popular format that we also use during pre-releases as it is a great way to experience a new set with guaranteed laughter (let's just say nobody really knows what they are doing at this stage ^^). In Draft, things get even crazier! Each player receives 4 booster packs. Everyone opens their first pack, picks one card and passes the remainder of the pack to the player on their left, until there are no more cards left in the pack. Then, play proceeds to the second pack in the opposite direction, and so on. Once this "drafting" phase is over, you then have to built a deck following the Limited rules aforementioned. Draft is a super fun format where you can really go for the mind game ("Do I focus on building the best possible deck? Do I steal all the stuff my opponents would need...?). Believe us, trying draft is loving draft!

3. Title

If there is one thing for sure, it's that every FINAL FANTASY fan has their Number 1 which they will defend to the grave. Luckily, Title is your chance to do just that without the terrible consequences. Reignite the flame and build a deck themed around your most beloved FF to prove your peers (once more) that your title reigns supreme!  

The Title format comes with some interesting twists on the base FFTCG rules. For example, you can cast cards using Crystal Points of any colour and even have several versions of your favourite Hero or Heroine on the field at the same time! Make sure to check our quick and easy Title guide to learn the ropes. It's a format that screams passion and will make you appreciate even more the work that has gone into creating FFTCG and making the Characters so faithful to their original game!

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!