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The Neopets TCG: Best of the Base Set

by slickninja


This article is written with the assumption that you know the basics of playing the Neopets TCG. Hopefully after reading this, it will give you an idea of which cards are best for you and your deck. I will discuss my personal favorite cards from the base set, and in no time, you will be beating all your friends at this game!

First off, let's look at the villains. Villains are great for blocking out an arena where your opponent has a Neopet and you don't.

- The Darkest Faerie: She has an amazing stat of 23 in magic and decent stats of 16 and 15 in agility and intelligence respectively. Basically, when anyone loses to this villain, they get replaced. Your opponent will most likely be too scared to even fight against The Darkest Faerie, so they may waste a turn moving to another arena in which they aren't as strong in, or they may take their chances in a contest against her. If they win, they only get to draw a card, whereas some other villains when defeated allow the opponent to untap, which usually gives the opponent a free win in an unopposed contest. However, chances are your opponent will lose, and they will have to get replaced or discarded, which will give you more of a chance to win the game.

- Lord Darigan: Lord Darigan is another great option for a villain to block off the magic arena. With a stat of 21 in magic, he's very tough to beat. You may think that villains are only here for defense, but they can help you in offense as well. For example, say you have 3x The Darkest Faerie in your deck. It doesn't help you much if your opponent doesn't play in the magic arena so there's 3 cards right there wasting space in your deck. However, if you are in this situation, but have 3x Lord Darigan in your deck, it's not a waste of space in your deck. First, you could put him in magic anyways just so your Dark Neopets can get +1 to all stats (that's Lord Darigan's special effect). Second, if you find that you're not getting all the cards you need in your hand, why not put Lord Darigan in the Strength or Agility arena and beat him yourself? You will get to draw not one, but two cards, and we all know how helpful card advantage can be in this game.

- Eliv Thade: Eliv Thade has the same advantages as Lord Darigan, but for the Intelligence arena. With an intelligence of 22, it's hard to find anyone smarter! Remember, you can use him defensively to block off the Intelligence arena, or offensively where you can beat him to draw a card AND untap.

- Shadow Usul: The Shadow Usul is a very unique villain. Usually if you have a villain in your hand, you can put it in an arena at no cost. With the Shadow Usul, you must discard a card in your hand to play it. But the Shadow Usul has a huge advantage over other villains. Usually villains get discarded after you defeat them, but the Shadow Usul goes back in your hand! When the Shadow Usul loses a contest, the winner gets to draw a card. Most likely you will want to use the Shadow Usul to defend in the Agility arena, but you could throw it in any arena just to stop your opponent from banking. Just make sure you don't run out of cards!

Now, let's move on to Experienced Neopets. In my opinion, you need to build your deck around Experienced Neopets. They will help you win your contests, either by being very strong or by having a special effect which will help you and your strategy.

- Grarrl Gladiator: In this set, he is strongest only to his distant cousin, the Grarrl Guard. Not only does he have a strength of 14, but his special effect lets him win when you roll a 5 (and you still win if you roll a 6). That means the odds of winning a contest the Grarrl Gladiator is about 2 out of 6.

- Korbat Researcher: The Korbat Researcher is great because he is has an intelligence stat of 13 (which is the strongest in Intelligence so far) and has a useful effect if you play a deck with lots of books. You may draw a card you need and discard a card you don't need if you are able to bank a book with him.

- Aisha Enchantress: Aisha Enchantress is great because she has a magic stat of 13 (which is the strongest in Magic so far). She can be even stronger if you or your opponent plays any items.

- Mynci Tourist: This Mynci has no special effect but it will be tough to beat him because he is most agile with a stat of 15 (which is the strongest in Agility so far).

- Poogle Racer: The Poogle Racer isn't great because of its stats. He has the great ability of being able to move to another arena without tapping. If there's an open arena, move him there and get the free win!

- Kacheek Shepherd: I mentioned earlier how helpful card advantage can be. Well when you or your opponent attaches a petpet, you get to draw a card. This is very helpful in petpet decks, but be careful not to deck yourself and run out of cards.

I usually don't like Heroes just for the fact that they usually get discarded after one turn, but I feel there is one hero in the base set worth mentioning.

- Malevolent Sentient Poogle Plushie: So what's so great about a Hero with stats of 1 down the board? His effect is that each of its rivals' stats becomes 0. This isn't too helpful against other Neopets and Heroes, but his main purpose is to get rid of pesky villains as usually, villains don't get to roll any die. He'll be very helpful in unblocking any arenas your opponent has blocked.

Something Has Happened cards can be very interesting. The only constraint is that you have to have a certain faerie type to play each one.

- Slorg Trails: This card will work great with the Poogle Racer. If you move your Poogle Racer to get a free win in another arena, your opponent's Neopets don't untap when you don't have your Neopets in that arena.

- Take a Dip: I mentioned earlier how important Experienced Neopets are. This card will help you draw them. This card is a definite must if you play Air.

- Sludging Ray: I've witnessed a game where someone was about to win by banking to get 21. Instead, her opponent played Sludging Ray and stopped her from banking. It cost him 2 cards from his hand, but he ended coming back with a victory.

- Chomp!: One of your opponent's stats become 1 until the end of the turn. You will win this contest almost every time.

- Misdirection: Choose two of your opponent's Neopets and swap them. Not only will you most likely win two contests because of the switch, but your opponent will most likely waste 2/3 of their turn by tapping to move back to their original arena.

There are many great Equipment in this set, but I'll mention the two that stand out most to me.

- Night Stone: You stop your opponent from rolling a die on your turn.

- Jeran's Armour: Your opponent can't play any items.

It would be tough for any Neopet to win if they can't roll a die or they can't play any items.

Last, but not least, let's take a look at some useful items.

- Rainbow Paint Brush: This serves the same purpose as Take a Dip though it's better in that you don't have to have an Air Neopet to play it. Also, it is +2 in the bank.

- Grimoire of Thade: When you bank this card, you get to draw 2 cards. I can't stress how helpful card advantage can be. You can't win your game easily without a strategy. You can't complete your strategy unless you draw the right cards. The only drawback to this card is that you can only bank it with an Experienced Neopet, but if you've read this far, you probably know how important it is to put Experienced Neopets in any deck.

- Jerdana's Orb: This card gets +10 stats against villains. It will be very helpful if your opponent blocks you off, or if you find that you don't need it for that purpose, using it as a bank 3 is great.

Now to go over some very underrated items:

- Bottle of Grarrl

- Dark Faerie Token

- Light Faerie Token

- Golden A

- Illusen's Charm

- Moon Charm

- Petpetnip

- Shadow Breeze

What's similar about these cards? They are all bank 4's. But what makes them special is that they are NOT food. Most other bank 4 cards are foods, which can be destroyed in your bank from cards in future expansions. Bank 4's will help you win the game quickly so remember these cards, and put multiples of them in your deck!

Hopefully this article has been helpful to you, and look out for similar reviews from me for each of the other TCG expansions.

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