Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Marvel Super Hero Squad TCG: 304 Card Set?!?!?

The Marvel Super Hero Squad TCG has a 304 card "foundation" set. Now, 304 cards is a LOT. That means to have four of every card you would have 1,200 cards. Considering that a box of booster packs only has 240 cards in it you would need 5 boxes of booster packs to accomplish this feat. Right?

Wrong. Actually, the number is MUCH, MUCH higher than this. See, there are 84 rare cards. There's only one rare card in each booster and there are only 24 boosters in each box so there are 24 rare cards in a box of boosters. To get one of each rare card you would need to purchase 336 boosters (and that's if you got a perfectly even distribution which is almost entirely impossible) to get four copies of each rare card.

But wait - it gets worse. The set ALSO has 24 Super Rare Rainbow Foil Cards. These cards are only found once in every eight booster packs in the place of a rare. So it would take you 768 booster packs to get four copies of each super rare card, once again assuming perfectly even distribution. Now, of those 768 packs only 96 have Super Rares, leaving 672 packs you can get your rares from. That's probably a mathematically reasonable number for coming close to getting every rare four times.

But it actually gets worse. The Spider Armor loot card is in one out of every 288 booster packs. That means you'd have to open 1,152 packs if you actually wanted to get four of this card. To my knowledge there is no non-loot variant of this card either.

So let's see... 1,152 packs at $4 a piece would be $4,608 dollars. That's just crazy.

Even if you didn't want to go to those extremes and you wanted to just get four copies of every rare and super rare it would cost you $3,072! That's 32 boxes of booster packs!

Come on, Upper Deck. I understand rarity to give some cards increased value but don't you think this is a bit ridiculous. What this system actually does is it makes the game pretty hard to access. The size of the foundation set is large enough that players are looking at a couple hundred dollars just to have enough cards to make reasonable decks with.

What's my suggestion? Smaller, more focused expansions with fewer rares. The next set is probably going to be villains. Instead of a 304 card set, why not a 100 card set of just Spider-Man's villains.

I think rarity should follow booster deck distribution. A booster deck has 10 cards - 1 rare, 3 uncommon, and 7 commons. So in a 100 card set, 10 cards would be rare, 30 would be uncommon, and 70 would be common. You'd still need to purchase at least 40 booster packs to get four copies of every rare.

I really don't think there are very many people out there dropping $4,000 on this card game so I doubt a smaller set with less rares would lose Upper Deck money. But it would make the game more accessible to fans, thus making the players happier. And happy players buy more cards.
Who designed this game... a superfan or the bean counters?


  1. that's why it's called a "trading card game". Unless you are a completist, you don't need to worry about spending $4000. They want you to trade with other people, that way you don't have to buy more! and FYI, the next set is called Destiny and it has only 130 cards ( 42 common, 42 uncommon, 36 rare, 10 super rare and 4 loot cards.) It will be released August 16th of this year. The checklist of Destiny set can be found here http://superherosquadonline.wikispaces.com/Test

    under UD set 2

    1. Sure... A friend and I both bought a few boxes a piece with the intent to trade. We never did, though, because we didn't feel that we had any "extra" cards except for some commons that we both had plenty of.

      130 cards seems much more reasonable. I'm okay with a 300 card set - just not 300 card sets with 1/3 of them rare or super-rare. That's just silly and it makes decks hard to make. Still too many rares/super rares in the next set in my opinion... As it is, if I wanted to make a Cap/Falcon deck it's difficult to do in a balanced way with just the Foundation set because there are only so many Cap/Falcon cards and some of those are rares.

      Thanks for the checklist. I'm going to have to publish that...