Home > Special > Building Battle Pack 2 – Part 1: Design Rules

Building Battle Pack 2 – Part 1: Design Rules

April 23rd, 2013

Want to know a secret?

Battle Pack: Epic Dawn was the best-selling Yu-Gi-Oh! TCG release of 2012.

It took us ten years to finally assemble enough cool cards to make a set that works specifically for sealed pack play. But once it hit the streets, Duelist response was huge.

Just about everybody, everywhere, was picking up Battle Packs for sealed pack play, either at their local tournament store or just at home with some friends. There have also been two sealed pack Yu-Gi-Oh! Championship Series events (one in Europe, one in North America), and will be more in the future.

So there’s just one problem… how can we possibly top that?

There are lots of things to like about sealed pack play:
It’s a level playing field.
You get to play with (and against) cards you don’t normally see a lot.
You get to see some old favorites that you might have played with years ago.
There aren’t a lot of complicated rules situations.

But the biggest appeal is probably that sealed play is different, yet at the same time, familiar.

I knew from the beginning that Battle Pack 2 needed this in relation to Battle Pack 1. It needed to be different from Battle Pack 1, but familiar at the same time. Simply put, Battle Pack 2 needed to duplicate all the things that made Battle Pack 1 such a huge hit, but it also needed to be completely different.


War of the Giants

Battle Pack 2 delivers this different-but-familiar experience by focusing on something the first Battle Pack didn’t spotlight: high-level Tribute Monsters.

In Battle Pack 2: War of the Giants, we’re taking advantage of the tightly controlled card pool that you can have in sealed pack play. By carefully choosing each card in the set, we’ve created an environment where high-Level monsters will dominate and thrive.

Is this familiar? It sure is – you’ve seen it on TV for years! Massive, high-level Tribute Monsters, slugging it out. Punch after counter-punch. Spells and Traps surprising the opponent to turn around the result of a battle, only to have the opponent unleash a surprise of their own. That’s what Yu-Gi-Oh! is all about, right?

In regular constructed play, this doesn’t really happen as much as it could. With thousands of cards to choose from, many pick  the fastest cards available. Strategies seldom have a time to really get rolling like they do on the TV show.

By lowering the game speed, evening out the power level between cards, and putting more emphasis on strategy and battle, Battle Pack 2: War of the Giants is designed to deliver a Dueling experience much closer to what you’ve always enjoyed on the TV show.


Design Rules

Once we knew what we wanted to do, the next step was to set out some design parameters. These were the guiding rules we looked at, and kept looking at, when assembling the card pool. The “seven commandments” of set design, if you will:

Rule #1: Level 7+ Monsters are King. The most important rule, from which all other rules flow. This is their set, their format. This is their time to shine. There are 26 Level 7 or higher monsters in this 215-card set.

Rule #2: Very few one-Tribute monsters. Been there, done that. Single-tribute monsters, like the Monarchs and Jinzo, were big players in the first Battle Pack. But there are only 10 Level 5 or 6 monsters in Battle Pack 2, and most of them are included for their ability to be Special Summoned (like Oracle of the Sun and Solar Wind Jammer). There are only 2 monsters in the set that you’ll generally be Tribute Summoning with 1 Tribute.

Rule #3: Minimal monster removal. In a Duel that’s evenly matched, getting a 2-Tribute monster onto the field can really feel like an achievement. Something that takes effort, planning, and strategy. And then comes that sinking feeling when your monster gets killed by a Spell Card, right? Not this time. Monster removal is extremely limited in War of the Giants. You want to take down your opponent’s monster? You’re going to have to beat it in a fair fight.

Rule #4: Lots of battle outcome changers. This isn’t just limited to Spells and Traps that change ATK or DEF. It also includes cards that stop attacks, prevent damage, change battle positions, or Special Summon monsters to or back to the field. There are far more Spell & Trap Cards in this set than there were in the first Battle Pack.

Rule #5: Almost no Spell/Trap removal. Not much point in adding all those cards if they’re just gonna get blown up. That’s why there’s even less Spell/Trap removal than there is monster removal. Every card counts here. You’ll have surprises to turn fights around, but so will your opponent. With all cards being relatively equal, the skill test is when and how to use your cards best – not whether you should play them at all.

Rule #6: Lots of Special Summoning. BUT this is primarily to get monsters out so you can Tribute them. You won’t be Special Summoning a gigantic monster onto the field. That’s what your Normal Summon is for. But you can definitely use Special Summons to set that up.

Rule #7: Trap Monsters! One of the coolest but most overlooked aspects of the game. Trap Monsters aren’t just a surprise during combat, they’re also a great way to get monsters out that you can Tribute. Token Monsters serve a similar purpose, and there are lots of them in the set, too.



When you create a game experience based around high-Level monsters, you need to follow several additional rules. Among them:

Corollary A: The game cannot turn into “whomever gets a big monster out first, wins”. You need ways to turn it around. Constructed Yu-Gi-Oh! TCG does this with easy monster removal, but that cheapens the effort of summoning big monsters. We needed ways to stay in the game without ruining the fun for your opponent.

Corollary B: Weenies need to stay competitive! Make no mistake: Your Level 4 & lower monsters CAN compete with the big boys, given the right strategy. (And a little luck doesn’t hurt, either.)

Basically, the game needs to work in three possible scenarios: when neither player gets a big monster in play, when both players get a big monster in play, and when one player gets a big monster in play but the other does not. In each case, both players need to stay in the game, be competitive, and have fun.


As the release of Battle Pack 2: War of the Giants gets closer, we’ll talk more about the cards that are included, what didn’t make the cut, and some of the strategies you might be seeing.

(And yes, there are THREE foil wrapper designs – one for each of the Egyptian God Cards. We tried putting them all on one wrapper, but, you know, they tend to fight….)

Written by:
Categories: Special Tags: