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Neopets TCG: Curse of Maraqua


by slickninja

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This article is written with the assumption that you know the basics of playing the Neopets Trading Card Game. If you haven't ever played the TCG, you should consider getting in to it as it's a fun game for people of all ages. Today, we'll be taking a look at the fifth expansion which correlates to the current plot, Curse of Maraqua.

The main new mechanic that the Curse of Maraqua expansion brings to the TCG is for an effect to occur when a Neopet taps to move. Take Experienced Neopets for example. The Maraquan Chomby gets to draw a card when he taps to move. When your Maraquan Krawk taps to move, your opponent chooses a card from his or her hand and discards it. If your Maraquan Scorchio taps to move, you may attach an Equipment to him.

There are Locations that also tap in to this new mechanic. When a Neopet taps to move to New Maraqua, its controller reveals the top card of his or her deck. If it's an Equipment or Item worth 2 points or less, he or she draws it. When a Neopet taps to move to Old Maraqua, its controller may search his or her deck for an Equipment or Item worth 2 points or less, reveal it, and shuffle the rest of his deck and put that card on top of his or her deck. Imagine having both of these locations out and using both abilities. You basically get to find and draw any card in your deck worth 2 points or less.

With the current Maraquan plot, we were introduced to Maractite weapons, which have no resistance under water. There are many Maractite Equipment cards in this expansion that give a special effect when their Neopet taps to move. All of the Maractite Equipment give a +4 and a +2 stat boost to a certain arena depending on which Equipment it is. The Armours, which include the Maractite Armour and Maractite Shield, gives each of your Neopets and Heroes in the new arena it taps to +4 to all stats. Two other weapons, the Maractite Axe and the Maractite Sword, give +4 to the Neopet that tapped to move until the end of the turn. Unlike the previously mentioned Maractite Equipment, the Maractite Trident requires you to tap a Water Neopet to attach it. When this Neopet taps to move, choose one of your opponent's Neopets that isn't in the new arena and move it there.

One of the drawbacks of this new mechanic is that, to get its effect, it is likely that you will be leaving an arena open to your opponent for a free victory. Your best bet would be either to use Maractite Trident's effect so you can bring your rival along with you or to just use many Villains to block off any arenas you are tapping away from.

One of the reasons I like this expansion is the balance it brings to the game. If you remembered from the Battle for Meridell expansion, a Darigan Paint Brush, when banked, allowed you to search for a Dark Experienced Neopet, Hero, or Villain from your deck, reveal it, and put it on top of your deck. In this expansion, a Maraquan Paint Brush does the same thing, except for Water Experienced Neopets, Heroes, or Villains.

There is also balance between Isca and Caylis. If you notice, Isca and Caylis have the same stats across the board, but Isca is a Hero, whereas Caylis is a Villain. When you play Isca, you are allowed to search your deck for a Quest and put it in your hand. When you play Caylis, you are allowed to search your deck for a Curse and put it in your hand. This is a great way to thin out your deck and find the Fate card you need.

You will also find a rivalry between Garin the Foolish and Captain Scarblade. Garin the Foolish is a Hero. When you start a contest with him, you choose an Item in either player's discard pile and he gets the stat bonus from that Item. Captain Scarblade is a Villain. When a player starts a contest against this Villain, his or her opponent chooses an Item in either player's discard pile and Captain Scarblade gets the stat bonus from that Item.

There are some interesting Petpets that have been brought into this expansion. The following Petpets all specialize in a certain arena, giving a special effect in that arena with the addition of a +3 stat boost, while giving a +1 stat boost in the remaining arenas. The Island Hasee specializes in the strength arena. You get to roll an additional die during strength contests this Petpet's Neopet is in. Attach him to a Grarrl Gladiator (who wins when rolling a 5 or a 6), and that can be very tough to beat! The Screal specializes in the agility arena. At the end of each agility contest this Petpet's Neopet or Hero is in, untap this Petpet's Neopet or Hero. This can be very helpful in utilizing an extra tapping ability on your turn. The Trunkard specializes in the magic arena. You get to play an extra Item in every Magic contest this Petpet's Neopet is in. The Gathow specializes in the Intelligence arena, and it allows you to draw an extra card when you draw a card from winning an Intelligence contest this Petpet's Neopet is in. As you can see, depending on the deck you play, any of these Petpets can be a great help.

Some other interesting cards introduced in this set are Everlasting Porridge and Pirate Cutlass. When you bank an Everlasting Porridge, you may bank another Everlasting Porridge in your hand. So if you manage to have all of them in your hand and bank one, you get to bank the other two for free for a total 6 points! When you play a Pirate Cutlass, you may search your deck and to attach a Pirate Cutlass to each of your Neopets that doesn't already have a Pirate Cutlass. Those are two interesting cards which allow you to utilize multiple copies in your deck.

Speaking of interesting cards, Coral Bracelet and Isca's Necklace are two Equipments that have a new effect. When you play Coral Bracelet, you may exchange an Item from your bank with an Item from your discard pile. Isca's Necklace is the exact same thing except you exchange Equipments instead of Items.

The Curse of Maraqua expansion brings many new interesting cards to the game, while expanding on many types of decks. If you like to play a deck that makes your opponent discard Neopets, you could use The Black Pawkeet, Tears of Caylis, or Walk the Plank. Garin's Redemption helps out decks that focus on discarding cards from your opponent's bank. It is likely to see more decks with all faerie types with the new cards Faerie Circle and Rainbow Pearl. Those cards go well with the Rainbow Pteri from the Mystery Island expansion. Even decks based on having Basic Neopets are stronger with cards like Angry Giants, which replace all Experienced Neopets on the board, and Apprentice Wand, which can possibly give you +15 to all stats when you start a contest if you can keep track of the order of your Neopets in your Neopets stack. As you can see, with each new expansion coming out, new aspects are brought to the game, which keeps the game very interesting. I don't know about you, but I can't wait until the next expansion comes out, which is supposedly based on the Lost Desert!

 
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