GTM #215 - Munchkin Collectible Card Game: The Desolation of Blarg
by Steve Jackson Games

In the Munchkin Collectible Card Game, each match is an epic, one-on-one battle between two playfully illustrated RPG-style Heroes. Players can pick the Dwarf Cleric, Human Wizard, Elf Thief, Halfling Ranger, Orc Bard, or Centaur Warrior to bludgeon, bleed, and bluff their way to victory! This highly anticipated collectible card game will be released in February 2018. Its expansion, The Desolation of Blarg, is scheduled for release in May 2018 and will give players even more Locations, Loot, and Monsters to add to their deck. Using these boosters, players might find themselves at The Plains of Pain Location, their spiky High Roller Loot in hand, trying to do away with the nearing Bullrog Monster!

Featuring over 100 new cards available for players to add to their Munchkin Collectible Card Game deck, each randomized booster pack will contain 12 cards, with one card guaranteed to be rare or rarer than rare. Seven talented artists illustrated the set, including some that we have worked with closely in the past, such as Tom Siddell, the creator of Gunnerkrigg Court.  We wanted each Hero to feature a different art style to set them apart, and that goal has definitely been achieved! In the future, we might give fans an in-depth look into each talented artist that provided original art for this expansion.

The Desolation of Blarg is essentially a continuation of the ideas that were introduced in the initial set, but with a broader scope. This Munchkin Collectible Card Game expansion stays firmly rooted in the fantasy realm of the initial core release, but we've taken the concepts and pushed every boundary out a little further. Many of the new cards seem straightforward, but as players gain more experience with them, some intricacy emerges. Many cards are deceptively complex, designed specifically to interact with other cards from this expansion and the core release. That said, there’s also plenty of cards that simply add more fun and chaos, or exist just because we found them funny! In any case, players will have more freedom to build decks that suit their unique play styles and preferences.

As a true expansion to the core set, The Desolation of Blarg will give players more ways to build their decks in order to surprise adversaries.  An important part of playing the Munchkin Collectible Card Game is its bluffing mechanic, where competitors use a combination of strategy, timing, and a great poker face to bluff out their opponent’s defenses and win. This booster has a great range of Monster cards that will help players do just that, including some pretty gnarly Dragons (hence the title of the set).

Since we’ll (hopefully) have experienced players by the time The Desolation of Blarg releases, we’ve got more freedom to design crazier things. For example, the Inn of Improbable Rooms is a Neutral Location card that allows both players to have any number of Locations in play. Typically, each player is only allowed to have one Location card in play, so this will potentially add lots of mayhem to a battle! There’s also a large assortment of new Neutral cards that any player can seed into their decks for more variety, and we’ve given the Heroes new class-specific cards to make them feel even more distinct.

We’ve focused on giving our players more Beasties in this expansion to add to their hero decks and use to attack their opponents. These brutal creatures will devastate adversaries, bit-by-bit, and since we love our puns, many of the Beastie monsters have quite the clever (to us) name. For example, we’ve added the roaring Savannah Lyin’ to the Dwarf Cleric Hero deck, while the Elf Thief received a Cheatah as part of her dishonest retinue. We’ll always love film puns, so we added Snakes on a Plain to the Halfling Ranger deck.

Also incorporated in this booster series are Yokai monsters, which are loosely based on Japanese folk tales. In Japanese folklore, the yōkai are normally a class of supernatural monsters, spirits, and demons that possess animal or human features and commonly have shape-shifting powers. In The Desolation of Blarg expansion, Yokai monsters are fun mashups of regular animals. A randomized booster pack might contain a Hippopede Monster for the Centaur Warrior, which is a many-legged hippopotamus. Players may also receive an Off-centaur for their Human Wizard Hero, which is a man with a horse head. There’s also an Orcupine, a prickly Orc for the Orc Bard Hero deck. We’ve also included some Neutral Yokai monsters that every Hero can use, like the Gold Finch. This is a generous winged monster that awards one gold to both players once it’s committed to a fight.

There are many new and potent card interactions for constructed play, and we’ve made draft play even more chaotic and fun. We tend to think of the core set as the foundation, and now we get to dive into all the REALLY fun stuff! By drafting with the core set and The Desolation of Blarg expansion, players will get a larger variety of cards for all classes to make every game unique.  While it’ll take several releases to truly explore their potential, The Desolation of Blarg is our first opportunity to dig deeper into the unique natures — and gameplay styles — of each Hero. We want to grow the Heroes at a predictable pace so that casual players are comfortable exploring all of the Heroes, while keeping competitive players eager to find clever new ways to play.

To increase its potential for collectability, The Desolation of Blarg will be limited. We will stagger-ship this expansion, with the first wave including enough displays to cover pre-orders, plus approximately 20 percent if possible. Eight weeks later, a second, smaller wave of booster displays will be ready for distribution sales, and at that time we’ll offer distributors an opportunity to place a preorder for a third wave, which will arrive approximately 90 days later. After this, The Desolation of Blarg booster will be retired. We know that by the time this booster releases, more players will want the Munchkin Collectible Card Game! Therefore, we’ll reprint the Cleric & Thief, Wizard & Bard, and Ranger & Warrior Starter Sets to coincide with this expansion’s release. However, these Starter Sets won’t include a bonus randomized booster pack as they did in their initial release.

Everyone interested in further customizing their Munchkin Collectible Card Game decks should look out for The Desolation of Blarg’s release in May 2018, available only through our direct sales website, Warehouse 23, and local game stores. We hope that this information helps players at every point of the skill spectrum see where we would like the Munchkin Collectible Card Game to head, and how this new game and its expansions will provide a fun and fresh CCG experience!