So, you've discovered this neat little Transformers card game, but realized you're a little late to the party. Yes, sadly, the game is no longer being supported by the manufacturer Wizards of the Coasts (makers of Magic the Gathering) due to COVID and undisclosed business reasons. However, the established community is keeping it alive with active discussions, tournaments, and fan created card sets! The game is very much alive and the community would love for you to join the action.
The following is a new players guide to help get you up and running as quickly as possible with the current state of the Transformers TCG.
If you're only interested in collecting the cards, then you can skip to the Collection page that provides an overview of the official waves and tips on how to organize and protect your collection.
For those that want to play the game, there are a number of ways to get started:
•Packs and Booster Boxes: Grabbing a handful of packs will give you enough battle cards to fill a legal deck (40) and a variety of character cards to create a team with 25 stars (found on the bottom of each card on their alt mode side).
•Starter Sets: There are a handful of starter sets that pack in pre-selected battle decks and character cards for you to use. Grab the Autobot Starter Set for a solid single battle deck w/character card options and the Blaster vs. Soundwave for fun out-of-the-box 2 player battles.
Official Rules and FAQ support have been taken off Wizards of the Coast website, but they can be found here (link) for reference.
There are 3 main types of cards in the Transformers TCG: Character, Battle, and Stratagem. Each pack you open will include at least 1 large character card and a small collection of battle cards. Siege I and Seige II packs also include a small character card and Titan Masters Attack packs include a small character card or a stratagem card. There were 5 official waves of cards produced by WotC and a growing number of fan made cards have been playtested and made available for use (More on that later).
Character cards are obviously the most appealing at first, but games are won and lost by the battle cards you include in your deck Heres a quick overview of each type of card:
• Character Cards: These are the transformers that will battle against each other during play. Each card contains the base attack (orange), health (red), and defense (blue) as well as any special abilities they might have and a star value. Characters come in 3 different sizes: Large, Small, and Oversized.
- Large: The majority of characters are bigger than standard sized battle cards. Rise of the Combiners (wave 2) introduced character cards that fold in half to give them 3 modes (bot, alt 1/alt 2 or combiner)
- Small: Siege I introduced smaller character cards that have fewer star value, but with different abilities than the large character cards. Small cards can be regular characters, Battle Masters (turn in to weapon upon KO), or Head Masters (for use with Titans in Wave 5).
- Oversized: There are 4 oversized cards that add variety to your collection:
Metroplex - Available in the Metroplex starter set
Omega Supreme - Loot Crate exclusive, but can be purchased for around $10 on the secondary market
Trypticon - Found in sealed boxes of Siege II
Fortress Maximus - Found in sealed boxes of Titan Masters Attack
• Battle Cards: You'll need at least 40 battle cards and no more than 3 of the same card in a legal battle deck. Decks can be made from any combination of Wave 1-5 or fan made cards. However, you'll want to include cards that play to the strengths of the character cards you've chosen for your team. For example you wont want to include a card that can only be used on Megatron if hes not on your team.
• Stratagem Cards: Stratagems were created by WotC to increase the viability of specific character cards from the early waves. They are played along with your character cards and include a star value cost.
More Details on Character Cards (Link to expanded article)
There's a variety of ways to build out your official Transformers TCG collection now that the game is out of print. Sealed booster boxes, packs, and starter sets are still available on various retail websites and marketplace sites like eBay. Some comic book or gaming stores might have a little stock left over as well, but most of their cards have already been cleared out. Its worth paying them a visit or calling to see what might be available. If they do have stock, theyre most definitely listed at a discount from the original price ($4/pack).
You can also find former players that are looking to liquidate their collection. Many of them will list their entire collection based on current market rates from eBay or TCGplayer.com. This will most likely cause you a bit of sticker shock. Keep in mind these people have been spending money on their collection for 2+ years, so they have a lot invested. Also, many aren't willing to break up their collection, especially if its complete, for the handful of cards you need. However, we definitely recommend reaching out and asking them questions as most will be willing to negotiate.
If you've already bought a decent amount of cards, then you might be better off buying booster boxes, trading, or buying individual cards from eBay, Mercari, or TCGplayer.
Here's our recommended purchase order:
• Titan Masters Attack (Wave 5): The last official wave of cards was short printed due to the game being sunset. Not only are there tons of meta-defining cards in this set, it is also the hardest to find, so if you find it for a good price, get it!
• Wave 1 (White packs with Bumblebee, Optimus Prime, and Grimlock): The set that started it all. This set contains tons of staple cards that have seen play since the beginning.
• Siege II (Wave 4): Reason
• Siege I (Wave 3): Reason
• Rise of the Combiners (Wave 2): Reason
Once you've cracked some packs, you might be wondering how to keep them nice and organize them. The large character cards require their own unique sleeve and storage system. Here are some recommendations. See BCWs post on the topic https://www.bcwsupplies.com/blog/2018/11/21/protecting-transformers-tcg-cards/
Eye of the Matrix
Alpha Trion Protocols
There are many others but these have actually seen some tournament support
Dr. Arkeville's Transformers Trading Card Game Lab
Eye of the Matrix
Each set has some key staple battle cards to look for that will be useful in many different decks. Before we get into the breakdown of each set, Id like to take a moment to talk about cards with double pips.
Since the game revolves heavily around the pip colors (the battle icons on the top-right) on cards you flip, cards that have multiple are incredibly good. Orange, blue, and white are the primary pip colors, with green and black as supplementary colors. There are lots of cards with both a primary color and a supplementary color, but very few that have multiple primary colors, and even fewer that do not cost a star.
Wave 1 has all of the 0-star cards: Handheld Blaster, Improvised Shield, Peace through Tyranny, Security Checkpoint, Matrix of Leadership, and Roll Out. Wave 2 and onward introduce more cards with multiple primary pips, but all of them cost at least 1 star to play. Handheld Blaster and Improvised Shield are commons and have been reprinted in Wave 2 and 5, so they are easy to acquire, but Peace through Tyranny, Security Checkpoint (more on those later), Matrix of Leadership, and Roll Out are rares and can only be found in Wave 1.
Wave 1 is a fantastic set with lots of good cards that are still relevant. That said, it is pretty bare-bones, so many cards have been overshadowed by cards in later sets, as they should.
Rare Battle Cards
•I Still Function!
•Matrix of Leadership
•One Shall Stand, One Shall Fall
•Peace Through Tyranny (more on that later)
•Security Checkpoint (more on that later)
•Static Laser of Ironhide
•The Bigger They Are...
• Armed Hovercraft
• Debilitating Crystal
• Equipment Enthusiast
• Grenade Launcher
• Ramming Speed
• Rapid Ascent
• Treasure Hunt
• Crushing Size
• Data Pad
• Drill Arms
• Force Field
• Leap Into Battle
• Ready for Action
• Scrapper Gauntlet
Wave 1 also has lots of trait-specific cards that are important to the decks that run those traits, but are much less useful outside of them
• Bombing Run
• Hunker Down
• Ion Blaster of Optimus Prime
• Jaws of Steel
• Start Your Engines
• Turbo Boosters
Wave 1 has a lot of very good cards, and a lot of decent cards that got overshadowed in later sets. If you can find boxes, I absolutely recommend picking up one or two (perhaps even more depending on the price).
Rise of the Combiners
• Fog of War
• Mounted Missiles
• Backup Beam
• Bolt of Lightning
• Leap of Faith
• Nobles Blaster
• Pep Talk
• Power Punch
• Reckless Charge
• Scoundrels Blaster
• Sparring Gear
• Universal Network Access
• Bashing Shield
• Enforcement Batons
• Erratic Lightning
• Escape Route
• Field Communicator
• Security Console
Wave 2 is honestly a bad set. I listed only 6 rares, but the only ones that are absolutely must-own are Espionage and Marksmanship. The rest are much more situational, depending on the deck you're playing. I originally listed more, but cut them since they were even more situational. This set isnt really worth picking up a box of, unless you can find it cheap or are trying to complete your collection.
War for Cybertron: Siege I
Erratic Energy Grenade
Heat of Battle
RR Disruptor Blade
W-5 Gyro Blaster
War for Cybertron: Siege II
Even the Score
Immersed in Shadow
Fight for Position
Kinetic Intensifier Whip
War of Attrition
Titan Masters Attack
Lose the Initiative
Master of Metallikato
Crystal of Power
Enhanced Power Cell
Magnetic Dysfunction Ray
Spy Satellite Uplink
Hold the Line
There are currently 4 groups that host competitive tournaments with prize support:
Eye of the Matrix
Vector Sigma and Team Bayformers host tournaments using formats that include their custom card sets, Alpha Trion Protocols (ATP) and Bayformers, respectively.
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A note about Peace through Tyranny and Security Checkpoint: In the ATP formats, these cards are banned for causing negative play patterns. You can read more about it in the article on the Vector Sigma website (insert link).