The First Final Fantasy Trading Card Game’s 2019 Starter Sets Bank On Beloved Characters

Recommended Videos


The Final Fantasy Trading Card Game is a staple in the card game community. The first decks made their debut in Japan in 2012, it went worldwide in 2016, and now the Opus VIII Starter Sets and booster release will be released on March 22, 2019. These new decks and accompanying booster cards rely on iconic characters from two Final Fantasy games with enduring popularity and fervent audiences, while also providing an accessible entry point for the series and sense of general cohesiveness. If someone gets the latest Final Fantasy VII or Final Fantasy XIV, they will find it easy to understand and maybe even have an idea of which cards will work well together based on familiarity with certain people.


An important thing to note about the games is the clarity with packaging. If someone is getting into Final Fantasy Trading Card Game for the first time, a deck box can say a lot. Cards have one of six elemental affiliations. The element tells you the general approach for using that kind of card, letting you know what sorts of strategies you are using or your opponent could play if you know the color. As you play the game, you are also discarding cards or dulling them (turning a card sideways to make it inactive for that turn) to earn certain amounts of Crystal Points (CP) for that element.


If someone looks at the box for the Final Fantasy XIV Starter Set 2019, they will the colors on the sides note it is a fire and lightning deck. Fire cards are primarily offensive and are great for taking out an enemy’s characters that could damage you, as does lightning. Both are about hitting your foe hard, with the lightning cards usually requiring a little less prep-work. The Final Fantasy VII Starter Set 2019 is a little more thoughtful, due to it consisting of earth and wind cards. It’s a good counterpart to the other Opus VIII deck, as the earth cards are defensive tanks, with the wind cards being easier to play and involving quick attacks. It is all a part of the game’s general friendliness. The included instructions are very in depth, there is an online tutorial that walks you through turns that can be played in a browser, and the elements’ natures seem like they make sense at a glance.


final fantasy trading card game opus viii


As an example of how these two decks could work against one another, there are a lot of cards that seem perfect for attempting to counter ones with other elemental traits. Someone with the Final Fantasy XIV deck could try and get Lyse out there to try and bolster the team and wipe out the Final Fantasy VII deck’s Forwards, so the player using it could deal damage to the opponent. She’s a fire elemental and her Scion of the Seventh Dawn ability will give your other Forwards (the characters who could attack or defend) an additional 1,000 power if you have taken less than five damage or 2,000 points of power if you have taken five or more damage. Just be careful when you look at the card, as it has a fairly huge Final Fantasy XIV spoiler on it. However, her ability in general is very appropriate, given her part in aiding the resistance.


But how could a person with the Final Fantasy VII deck counter? Well, Cloud and Tifa are a great pair that works well together. You can use these two earth element cards to block. If you have other characters from his game on the table in your field when you are being attacked and one of those characters block, they get 1,000 points for the rest of the turn because Cloud is there. Also, if Cloud is already active on the table and you have a Tifa in your hand, you can play her for only two earth CP, rather than the normal four. It’s both effective and very in-character for Cloud, as a leader, and Tifa, as someone who has supported and been by Cloud’s side for years. You could also use the generic WRO character cards to bolster one another, WRO Member Forward cards can give 1,000 Power and Brave to their fellow WRO Member Forward cards, bringing them up to 7,000 Power. A WRO Commander in play can give a WRO Member Forward on the field an additional 2,000 power. Not to mention a Backup WRO Member card, when it can have its ability used, can make one WRO Commander unbreakable for one turn when you Break it.


But what about the speedier elements of this 2019 Final Fantasy VII Starter Kit? Well, there are plenty of ways to quickly get cards out there and start attacking. For example, for only one wind CP, you can play a standard Chocobo. This Forward only has 3,000 Power, but it and every Forward in its party each get 2,000 extra power on its turn. If someone springs for the three CP Chocobo, they have a unit with Haste, 4,000, and the same ability. You also have the Red XIII and Yuffie cards that each play off of each other. The four CP Yuffie lets you pay a cost to get a Red XIII card from your deck and immediately play it. (She also has 8,000 Power, which is great.) The three CP Red XIII has the First Strike and Haste abilities if both he and Yuffie are active at the same time. Considering he is a 7,000 Power card, it is very helpful.




The Final Fantasy XIV starter set has some incredible cards that could ward off or attempt to take out the Opus VIII ones. Thancred is a renowned rogue good at helping organize attacks. With him as a backup, someone could choose another Final Fantasy XIV character and give them First Strike for a turn. Though, with someone like Fordola around, you could take Thancred and make him even more useful to her. She’s known for seeking out power and acting as a commander determined to achieve her goals. If a backup like him is present when she is first placed on the field, you can get rid of the backup and permanently give her 9,000 Power instead of 8,000 and the Brave, First Strike, and Haste effects. She gets that power she has always craved and can use it to ruin your opponents.


The Final Fantasy Trading Card Game 2019 Starter Sets have cards that work well together, while also having ways of possibly countering one another. The cards have descriptions that are typically easy to understand, and people familiar with the characters may find themselves developing associations that help them remember what each one is capable of. The two decks play off of one another well, with elements and cards that can help counter one another and maybe exploit weaknesses. They also have pairings that are easy to understand. They could be a good way to help people into the game.


Final Fantasy Trading Card Game is immediately available in North America, Europe, and Japan, with Opus VIII coming out on March 22, 2019. The latest Final Fantasy VII and Final Fantasy XIV starter sets will be available, alongside new booster cards.

Siliconera is supported by our audience. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn a small affiliate commission. Learn more about our Affiliate Policy
Image of Jenni Lada
Jenni Lada
Jenni is Editor-in-Chief at Siliconera and has been playing games since getting access to her parents' Intellivision as a toddler. She continues to play on every possible platform and loves all of the systems she owns. (These include a PS4, Switch, Xbox One, WonderSwan Color and even a Vectrex!) You may have also seen her work at GamerTell, Cheat Code Central, Michibiku and PlayStation LifeStyle.