The Neopets TCG: Hannah and the Ice Caves
This article is written with the assumption that you know the basics of playing
the Neopets Trading Card Game. If you've never heard of the TCG or even played
it, this article may seem a bit confusing. There are plenty of great TCG articles
in the Neopian Times you can catch up on to better understand the game.
Today, we will look at the Hannah and the Ice Caves expansion. This is the
fourth expansion and my favourite expansion thus far. This expansion introduces
new cards called Fate cards. There are two types of Fate cards, Quests and Curses.
These cards are pretty much straightforward, and you just follow what they say.
Quests usually tell you that when you play that Quest, and you can't start another
contest that turn. On your next turn, if you can complete the Quest, you get
a special rewarding effect, and then the Quest gets discarded. With Curses,
you will choose a Neopet to attach it to. This Curse will somehow hinder this
Neopet and usually make it difficult for it to win contests. Let's take a look
at some of these Fate cards.
- Jhudora's Quest: When this Neopet banks a Potion, this Neopet's controller
looks at his opponent's hand and chooses two cards to discard. This is a great
fit for a deck that uses lots of Potions or if your strategy is to make your
opponent discard cards. There are plenty of good Potions to choose from. Shadow
Breeze and Bottle of Grarrl are two bank 4 Potions. Using the Potions that bounce
back to your hand instead of being discarded may also be useful (Potion of Strength,
Potion of Speed, Faerie Dishwater, Essence of Brain). You could even bank Potions
which give special effects when you bank them. If you bank Tagabo Potion, each
of your Neopets get +2 to all stats until the end of your turn.
- Lisha's Quest: When this Neopet banks a Book, this Neopet's controller draws
two cards. This card is perfect for book decks. Some books allow you to draw
a card when banked. This Quest essentially boosts that effect. If you manage
to bank Grimoire of Thade with a Korbat Researcher on this Quest, you will get
to draw 2 cards from Grimoire of Thade's effect, 2 more cards from the Quest,
and another card from the Researcher's effect. You will also have to discard
one card from the Researcher's effect, but you are bound to get a lot of the
cards you need with this amazing drawing power.
- Skarl's Order: When this Neopet banks a Weapon, this Neopet's controller
searches his deck for a Weapon and banks it. This card has its advantages for
any Weapon deck. One way to speed up the process of finishing this Quest is
a card from the Base Set called Put on Display. It's a Earth-type Something
Has Happened card. Choose an Equipment attached to a Neopet or Hero. Its owner
banks it. If you're about 2 to 6 points away from 21, this card can help you
win on your current turn instead of waiting another turn.
So it seems as Quests has its major advantages when banking a certain type
of card. The one drawback to Quests is that you can't start another contest
in the turn you play the Quest. That means you have to wait your next turn before
attempting to complete the quest right? Well, usually.... yes. Just as I pointed
out how Put on Display helps you finish Skarl's Order quickly, there is another
Experienced Neopet in this expansion that could also help out.
- Bori Miner: You may tap this Neopet and discard a card in your hand to bank
an Item or Equipment in your hand. You are banking a card by his special effect,
not by winning a contest so the Bori Miner can complete Quests faster than basically
any other Neopet. The Bori Miner never even has to start a contest to bank a
card. To utilize his effect, why not use a card like Battle Stations (from the
Dr. Sloth expansion) which allows you to untap all of your Neopets. You can
then use the Miner's effect more than once in a turn! There are many other cards
that allow you to untap a Neopet so just search through the checklist and see
which cards best fit your deck.
Now, that we've gone through the Quests, let's take a closer look at the Curses.
- Misfortune: When this Neopet's controller rolls a die for a contest it's
in, all rolls other than a 6 count as a 0.
- Frostbite: This Neopet can't tap to move.
- Selfishness: This Neopet can't bank cards for winning contests.
- Achy Head: If an Equipment is attached to this Neopet, discard that Equipment.
- Sniffles: This Neopet can't be traded in or replaced.
As you can see, these Curses can be quite difficult to deal with. You can always
tap your Neopet to trade it in for a new Neopet to get rid of a Curse. Sniffles
specifically doesn't allow you to do this however. It could be quite annoying
not being able to put in your Experienced Neopet if you have Sniffles attached
to your Basic Neopet. There are other cards which will help you get rid of Curses
though. Healing Springs is a Location card that discards all Curses in that
arena. Fyora's Blessing is a Something Has Happened card that let's you choose
a Curse and discard it. There are also Medicines that get rid of Curses in specific
arenas when you bank them (Slorg Slime, Pickled Greeble Tongue, Gracklebug Paste,
There is another reason why this expansion is my favourite so far. There is
much more Hero support in this expansion. Heroes have better abilities and there
are more cards that make Heroes actually worth playing.
- Hannah the Cursed: When you play this card, search your deck for an Equipment,
reveal it, and put it in your hand and shuffle your deck. When this Hero leaves
play, you may choose an Equipment attached to this Hero and bank it. Wow, not
only does this Hero have a stat of 20 in Agility and 17 in Intelligence, but
using Hannah will lead to not one, but TWO effects. When you play her, you get
to search for an Equipment you need and put it directly in your hand. This helps
you thin out your deck, pull the Equipment you need, and it maximizes the chances
of you drawing another card you need on your next draw. Not only that, if Hannah
wins her contest, you will get to bank or draw a card with the addition of banking
an Equipment attached to her. Sure, attaching an Equipment may cost you the
tapping of a Neopet, but this is a guaranteed bank card. You could always use
a card like Battle Stations (as described previously) or why not attach Hannah's
Magic Rope? It's a bank 3 (highest for any Equipment) and it does not require
you to tap a Neopet to attach it. It's effect lets you discard a card from your
hand to attach it. Don't forget about codestones from the Mystery Island expansion
- Keeper of Time: At the end of your turn, if this Hero has an Equipment, this
Hero stays in play instead of being discarded. This was my main gripe about
Heroes before. Usually Heroes get discarded at the end of the turn, so to me,
it usually wasn't worth playing them. But just as Hannah the Cursed has a special
effect if she has an Equipment attached to her, so does this Bori. He's not
extremely powerful by himself, but with stats of 10,6,9,11 across the board,
he can hold his own, or even help out any of your other Neopets in an arena.
You can use the same strategy for attaching Equipment that I described with
Hannah the Cursed for the Keeper of Time.
- Taelia the Snow Faerie: When you play this card, choose one of your opponent's
Neopets. It doesn't untap on your opponent's next turn. You can see why this
card is helpful. Taelia has a stat of 23 in Magic and 17 in Intelligence which
is very tough to beat. She will win most of the time, but not only that, she
makes your opponent lose part of his turn by keeping a Neopet of your choice
So the Heroes have become bigger, badder, and stronger with better effects.
There's also new Items that make them even tougher to beat. Look at Hannah the
Usuki Doll and Snow Faerie Token, just to name a few. If the Usuki Doll is in
your bank, when you play a Hero, you may choose to play it in any arena you
want instead of the arena in which you tapped your Neopet. This helps greatly
because Heroes cannot tap to move without help from special effects. This card
can help you place Keeper of Time in any arena you want. Also if you play Snow
Faerie Token in a contest with your Hero in it, that Hero can stay an extra
turn! Not only will your Hero help you defend on your opponent's turn, but you
will have extra attack power on your next turn because the Neopet you tapped
to play the Hero previously will now be untapped.
Don't look now, but something had to happen to balance out these Heroes. Yep,
you probably guessed it. There is also more Villain support in this expansion.
Villains have become just as big, just as bad, and just as strong with just
as cool effects as the Heroes.
- Bringer of Night: When you play this card, discard all Heroes in its arena.
This card has an astonishing stat of 25 in Strength and a stat of 21 in Magic
not to be overlooked. This is the perfect counter to those Heroes that try to
stay in play. When I first saw this card, the first thing that came to my mind
was that this card spelt trouble for decks built around King Skarl (from the
Battle for Meridell expansion). Whether you use its effect or not, the Bringer
of Night is a great card to use if you need to block off the Strength or Magic
arena. He's definitely a force to be reckoned with.
- Kanrik: When you play this card, search your deck for an Item, reveal it,
and put it in your hand. Kanrik has decent stats of 17 in Agility and 15 in
Intelligence. He could probably temporarily block off those arenas, but he's
not as powerful as some other Villains. His effect is what makes him unique
though. Just as Hannah the Cursed lets you thin out your deck by searching for
an Equipment, Kanrik let's you do the same, except with an Item.
- Tax Beast: When you play this card, each player who has at least 15 points
in his bank chooses and discards 2 cards from his hand. So the Tax Beast strikes
again! He has a stat of 20 in Agility and 25 in Magic which is definitely usable
in any Air deck that needs to block off those arenas. His effect is an added
The Villains also have some new cards that support them as well. Take for example,
the Location card called Ancient Tomb. You need a Dark Neopet to play this,
but Villains get +3 to all stats here and Items can't be played in contests
against Villains here. This will usually lead to any rivals hoping to roll a
6 for the lucky win. These are nice odds if you're the one that played it. Also
Double-Bladed Staff is an Equipment that you can attach to a villain! When this
Equipment is attached to a Villain, the Villain may also roll a die to even
the odds, or should I say make them more lopsided?
That just about wraps it up for my review of the Hannah and the Ice Caves
expansion. Don't take my word for it though. There are plenty of other great
cards out there that I couldn't fit in this review so start collecting and get
to building those ultimate decks. There are even special cards from this set
that I wanted to review, but I couldn't review because they don't exist...
...or do they?