Epic Spell Wars of the Battle Wizards: Duel at Mt Skullzfyre Card Game Review (Cryptozoic Entertainment)

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In the running for the longest game name ever, Epic Spell Wars of the Battle Wizards: Duel at Mt Skullzfyre is a set collection spell-casting battle royale card game played in multiple rounds. With a quirky art style ripped from an Adult Swim special, Epic Spell Wars is a casual, unpredictable game that really doesn't have a lot of strategy to it. Damage comes fast and hard, and there are a number of interesting and unique spell combinations with which to battle your foes. Unfortunately, it does get old fairly quickly, as the game doesn't really evolve in any way -- characters never get stronger and everyone pulls from the same common deck. 

Epic Spell Wars Card Game Review

Players: 2 to 6

Game Time: 30 Minutes

Age: 15+

Genre: Set Collection / Battle Royale

How Do You Play Epic Spell Wars?

Players begin with eight cards in their hand. These cards are going to be used to create a single spell, which everyone is going to assemble and then reveal at the same time. Each spell has up to three components: a beginning (source), middle (quality), and end (delivery). You don't need to have all three, but you can't have more than three, and you can't have the same type of component more than once. As an example, you wouldn't be able to play three source cards, or two quality cards and a isngle delivery card.  

In addition to the type of component, the component also has a type of magic. You can create a spell that is all "arcane" magic -- or you can create a spell that is all "illusion" magic. You can even create a spell that is arcane, illusion, and then destruction magic. 

Epic Spell Wars' art style is likely the most noticeable thing about the game.

At the beginning of a round, players determine initiative -- the last card of a spell (delivery) has an initiative number on it. Spells are played in initiative order. Each individual spell will resolve from the first card, to the second card, to the third card. Some spell effects will injure all players, a targeted player, a random player, or a player to your left or right. Some spells, such as illusion spells, will force all players to roll and will either reward or harm the one who rolled highest or lowest. Every player has an HP tracker; when it goes to 0, they die (for the round). 

Princess Holiday and Her Furicorn; each player starts with 20 HP.

When a player dies, they get a special "graveyard" card that gives them an ability for the next round. Each round goes till everyone is dead. Multiple rounds are played to determine the winner. That's all there is to it. 

How Many Can Play Epic Spell Wars?

Epic Spell Wars is made for 2 to 6 players -- but, in actuality, it's really built for 4 to 5, with 4 being the ideal number. If you have more than 4 players, spell resolution takes too long; if you have fewer than 3 players, the game goes by too quickly. Like many games, playing with 2 players cuts out a lot of the (already minimal) strategy involved. 

In illusion spells, many of the cards make everyone roll a die -- so the person playing the spell could end up taking damage as well.

Is Epic Spell Wars Worth Buying?

First published in 2012, the dated nature of Epic Spell Wars is a little obvious. Many classic card games don't seem immediately dated, but when it comes a trendy card game, you can tell. The spell effects are extraordinarily random, and you are beholden to the luck of the draw. There are few ways that you can cycle your cards, and you're going to end up getting dealt a few bad hands. Since each person pulls from the same communal card deck, multiple plays of the game leads to a lot of repetition. 

It's easy to build spells, as the cart art makes it intuitive as to which spell component goes where.

Once or twice, though, Epic Spell Wars is a fun casual game. It can be played in under an hour, gives everyone a chance to win, and requires that everyone shout out some ridiculous spell names at each other as they attempt to wipe each other out. Since it's played in multiple rounds, getting defeated once doesn't necessarily mean that you've lost the game for good -- and you even get a little bonus for the next fight.

After you've seen all the art that Epic Spell Wars has to offer, it's not very replayable; it's a lot like Exploding Kittens in that way. If you enjoy Adult Swim and want something that's light-hearted and playable, though, Epic Spell Wars is a $20 ticket to a blood-thirsty wizard battle.

Epic Spell Wars Card Game Review
  • PRO: Adult Swim-styled art and amusing descriptions lead to some unique spell effects.
  • CON: A lack of real card diversity in the game eventually lows replayability.