I've always considered card games, collectible or otherwise, to be the prime gateway drug into tabletop gaming. Whether it's challenging my old man to a cribbage game or firing a booster draft on MTGO, card games have always been a staple of my competive gaming personality. Of course, video games have had a big impact on my life as a competitor; I played StarCraft: Brood War for God's sake, and the times spent NOT destroying friendships in Mario Party were some of the best. However, I can't tell you how on top of the world I was to get a holographic Blastoise in the Pokemon TCG (the guy next to me got a holo Charizard...I was so pissed!) or come back from an 18-2 life deficit in Magic the Gathering to win a local store tournament. Truth be told, card games have had more of an impact on my childhood than finding out the Missingno. glitch in 1st gen Pokemon, and that's saying a LOT.

Over the years, I've played a whole bunch of CCGs or their equivalent. Pokemon, MTG, YuGiOh, Digimon, Duel Masters, the list goes on. I figured I'd share this topic with all of you to discuss which card game you think is the best and why. If it's an otherwise obscure title, don't be afraid to burn through ten or so lines of text to explain it to us. Hopefully the passion you exert in your explanation of the game will attract interest in others, which is the prime goal of any game, really.

Here's the example I'll use. Three years ago my cousin showed me this card game called Android: Netrunner. This game is based off of a series of light novels and a tabletop game, so there's actually a good amount of background and lore involved in the game. Granted, you don't need to be familiar with any of it, but it makes the flavor of the game much tastier. Picture a cyberpunk setting where all forms of entertainment, revenue, news, medical and robotic engineering, and many more are controlled by mega-corporations hellbent on completing and developing their agendas to tighten their grasps on the masses. Since the Internet in this world is extremely developed to a point where people can physically plug their brain into the WWW and do some crazy shenanigans, the corps protect themselves by installing highly complex programs capable of either hard-stopping hackers into their servers or developing subroutines dedicated to physically harming - potentially killing- any unfortunate soul who wants to make a name for himself by slandering a megacorporation. Those who fail to expose the corps for who they really are via hacking are found and punished accordingly. Those who succeed, regardless of motive, are praised and feared by almost everybody. They are known as runners.

What makes this game so cool is that both sides don't have the same goal, like in Magic or YuGiOh. One side is the corporation whose goal is to advance his agendas and keep the runner out of his information servers. The other side is the runner whose job is to hack through the corp's servers and steal the agendas which the corp is trying to score. It's a bit difficult to grasp at first, but once you get the hang of how everything works, it's such a good game.

If interest is piqued, perhaps I'll start a separate thread about ANR in the future. Until then, time to get back to the question at hand: what's your favorite card game and why? Enjoy!