Introduction to the anime card game – Weiss Schwarz

Last year saw the localisation release of Weiss Schwarz, a collectable card game based on popular anime and was created by Bushiroad, I’ve taken a liking to the game recently and I’ve decided to do an article on the game to show what it’s all about.

It’s an anime card game? What is there to offer?

So far, there have been five english versions released:

  • Madoka Magica
  • Fate/Zero
  • Sword Art Online P1 & P2
  • Hatsume Miku Project Diva F
  • Bakemonogatari
  • Angel Beats
  • Kill La Kill
  • Persona 4
  • Fairy Tail (Coming Soon)
  • Nisekoi (Coming Soon)

All these have trial packs which contain 50 cards and also contain instructions on how to play the game (they come with a Playbook, Playmat and Rulesheet), so it’s useful to get one if you seriously want to learn the game.

I did a recent unboxing video of the Bakemonogatari Trail Deck, so here is what it looks like:

Much like other card games, you can buy booster packs to build your deck; cards range from common to rare, there are also super rare cards which are signed by the voice actors themselves and they are contained in the English version. There are also promotion cards that are given out at certain card shop events.

Of course, there are a range of Japanese versions of Weiss Schwarz but unless you can read Japanese on the card effect, then I suggest you keep to the English version otherwise.

Now that you’ve explained that, how do I play it?

Weiss Schwarz works in multiple phases; you always start at level 0 but the more damage you take, you level up but if you reach level 4, you lose the game, so you have to make sure the opponent reaches that level before you do.

As you can see, there are cards that range from levels 0 to 3. You must always start by using level 0 cards but when you take 7 damage you can level up to level 1 and then you carry on until you reach level 4 or your opponent does. On your left you have your climax cards which can be a great ally when used; this can range from adding power to your characters or get a damage boost.

Also you will notice in my Madoka Magica deck that there are various coloured cards; same-coloured cards normally have similar effects like red “Power” cards which can possibly remove opponents’ cards from play or blue “Advantage” cards which are used more for defence.

Other things I will briefly mention: on the left bottom corner is the card’s power and if your card has a higher number than your opponent’s then you can beat that card but your opponent’s card can counter that if he uses the card effect correctly. The card effect, if used, can increase another card’s power or can remove an opponent’s card.

That’s a basic look at the cards – but what about the mat?

Looks complex at the start but the instructions that come with the Trail Deck gives a detailed look at how you play using the mat:

  • Center Stage – Your major attacking cards will almost always end up here, however if your opponent attacks and you have no cards there, then you are open to extra damage.
  • Back Stage – Mainly used for supporting characters to add power to your Center Stage characters.
  • Deck – Where you place your deck; if you finish your deck, you don’t lose, you shuffle your Waiting Room and put back into your deck but you take 1 damage because of it.
  • Waiting Room – Pretty much your graveyard; most of your cards will end up here.
  • Clock – Where your damage ends up; when you place 7 cards into your clock, you remove the cards, place 1 card into your level area and put the rest into your waiting room.
  • Level area – As explained, once 4 cards are placed here from your clock, you lose the game.
  • Memory – Memory are cards that are fully removed from play; it’s rare that it happens, but certain cards can do that.
  • Climax – Remember that I mentioned the climax cards? If you have one in your hand, you can place it in that area and the effects of that card will affect the cards you have on the stage.
  • Stock – Cards that will allow you to either revive one of your centre stage characters or are used for title effects.

Thanks, but I’m still a little confused and I can’t get a trail deck. Where can I look to find more information on how to play Weiss Schwarz?

There are plenty of places where you can learn this card game. The first place I would suggest is to go and watch this video on the Weiss Schwarz UK youtube:

It gives a visual overview on how to play the game while also giving a more in-depth look at other rules I’ve touched upon. In other videos they also play with other decks, so I recommend that.

Another place I would recommend you check out is the Weiss Schwarz English site as it lets you have a look at some of the cards available:

Lastly, if you can, I would recommend you go to your local card club and ask for a tutorial and get a feel for the game; this is the best way I learned it.

That’s a brief look on Weiss Schwarz, I hope this article has been of some interest, I’ll be making more unboxing videos and I’ll be going to the next London Comic Con to play some games, so I hope to see you there!