GTM #281 - Legendary® Encounters: The Matrix
by Upper Deck


 Legendary Encounters: The Matrix by Upper Deck

Unplug and Free Your Mind with Legendary® Encounters: The Matrix™

By day, Thomas Anderson works for a software company.

By night, he is the hacker known as Neo.

One of these lives has a future, and the other does not. Legendary® Encounters: The Matrix™ puts you right in the action of The Matrix trilogy as you choose a hero, free your mind from The Matrix, encounter deadly Sentinels in the subterranean depths of the real world and defend the underground city of Zion from the relentless machines! No one can be told what The Matrix is.

You have to see it for yourself.


Choose Your Avatar. Build Your Deck. Save Your Future. Legendary® Encounters: The Matrix™ is a cooperative deck building game that immerses 1 to 5 players into the into the films of The Matrix trilogy. The Matrix was groundbreaking, pushing the boundaries of cinema with its mind-blowing visuals and wicked special effects. Its influence on modern film making and special effects can’t be understated, and we’re excited to bring that legacy to life on the table. Whether you’re a fan of Legendary® Encounters games, the sci-fi genre, or just have always wished you could move in bullet time, it’s time to answer the call and discover more about Legendary® Encounters: The Matrix™!

Neo avatar card by Upper DeckMorpheus avatar card by Upper Deck

First and foremost, you might be asking yourself, what is Legendary® Encounters? Is it different from Legendary®?. The Legendary® Encounters deck-building games are in the same family of Legendary®, and have seen great success with other blockbuster sci-fi properties. The core deck building engine is shared between Legendary and Legendary Encounters, but with distinct differences in the experience. We’re excited to return to this variant for the first time in over half a decade! 

 Free Your Mind card by Upper Deck

Those differences suit The Matrix especially well. Legendary® Encounters games have Hidden Enemies: When cards are drawn from the Matrix Deck, they start off face down and must be “scanned” by players who have enough Attack in order to turn them face up. You might find an Agent or other characters to fight an Event or Challenge that’s matched to an ongoing scenario, or Objectives that must be completed before continuing to the next Act of that scenario.

 Agent Smith card by Upper Deck

Another major difference is that Enemies Strike players: When a card last long enough without being scanned and fought in The Matrix row, it drops down to the Combat Zone where it’s immediately revealed and becomes much more threatening. At the end of each player’s turn, the enemies in the Combat Zone Strike that player, causing them to accumulate damage... When any player takes too many Strikes, all players lose! 

One of the most obvious differences is the addition of Avatars. Each player chooses one of nine Avatar standees that correspond with respective Avatar Cards, based on the movie or scenario you’re playing. You can choose Neo, Morpheus, Trinity, and more! This determines how much Speed and Health you have, as well as gives you a three unique Abilities that activate with the Free Your Mind card.

 The Matrix Playmat by Upper Deck

Now that you know what to expect, and you’re ready to plug in, what will you see when you open the box? The game includes a neoprene playmat to help you organize the play field, as well as nine Avatar standees that correspond with respective Avatar Cards, based on the movie or scenario you’re playing. You can choose Neo, Morpheus, Trinity, and more! (Did we mention that already? Must be déjà vu…) Your Avatar card represents your physical body in the Real World, and your standee – which we’ll call your Residual Self Image – represents your consciousness, whose placement on or off the playmat indicates whether your consciousness is in the Real World or the Matrix.

Neo Standee by Upper Deck           

Moving between the Real World and the Matrix is one of the most important new game mechanics that Legendary® Encounters: The Matrix™ introduces. This greatly determines what players can do as well as what effects will be applied to the players. While in the Real World, your Residual Self Image standee is placed on your Avatar card, but if you enter The Matrix, you will move the standee onto the “In the Matrix” Space on the playmat. You can only spend to Recruit Heroes while you’re in the Real World, and you can only pay Attack to scan spaces and fight Enemies in the Matrix. Once during your turn, you may either move to the Matrix or to the Real World for free. You can always move to the Matrix. But you may only leave the Matrix is there’s a Telephone available on the playmat. Thoroughly consider what you need to do in both the Real World and the Matrix depending on whether you need to Recruit, Attack, or complete Challenges – and be careful not get trapped inside with no Telephones open!

 You Move Like They Do card by Upper Deck

Finally, we’ll dive into the most significant thing you’ll find in the box: 500 playable cards with all new art! Card art in Legendary® Encounters: The Matrix™ features all original work by seven different artists. Experience the striking visual style of The Matrix with images that based on iconic moments and imagery from the films! The box art revealed at Gen Con 2022 sparked great interest and anticipation for the release of the game. Attendees who participated in demos at the Upper Deck booth got a special look at the art for the standees as well as select card art. Now, you’ll get to enjoy the impressive amount of never-before-seen art that helped make the demo so popular on the show floor. 

Are you ready to join the Nebuchadnezzar and Become the One? Choose to plug in as Neo or other iconic heroes from The Matrix. Build your deck with powerful Coordinated Attack and Recruit. Save Zion and the Real World in Legendary® Encounters: The Matrix™ Deck Building Game! Find this release in June at your friendly local game store.