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Magic 1503: Tarot Combat March 20, 2013

Posted by James in : all, random , trackback

The history discussed here is made up by me and there is no evidence that it is based on reality.

In 1493 a card game was invented called “Combat.” That game uses regular playing cards, which can be played as soldiers that attack or block, or as farms (lands). Players start with 20 life, and unblocked attacking soldiers deal damage to the defending player.

“Tarot Combat” is invented ten years later, which is almost the same thing, except it uses a tarot deck. Tarot cards are now famous for being used to tell fortunes, but they were originally used for card games. A tarot deck is pretty much the same thing as a regular card deck, except 22 trump cards are thrown in — cards with colorful images, such as the Magician, Death, and the Devil.

The trump cards each have a unique ability, have a cost of 2, and can be played any time (as an instant).

The names and abilities of the trump cards are the following:

  1. The Fool: Counter any character card as it is being played. Put the countered card into the discard pile instead of into play.

  2. The Magician: Counter a trump card as it is being played. That card has no effect and goes to the discard pile. (Choose what to counter as soon as you play the Fool.)

  3. The High Priestess: This is a copy of a trump card that is being played.

  4. The Empress: Draw two cards.

  5. The Emperor: Give target attacking soldier five additional strength.

  6. The Hierophant: Gain control of a soldier controlled by an opponent of that player’s choice.

  7. The Lovers: Give two soldiers two additional strength each until end of turn.

  8. The Chariot: Turn your soldiers right-side-up and get an additional attack step this turn.

  9. Strength: Give a soldier four additional strength until end of turn.

  10. The Hermit: Search the draw pile for a soldier card, reveal it, then put it into your hand. Shuffle the draw pile afterward.

  11. Wheel of Fortune: Cause all players to discard their hands. Then all players draw five cards.

  12. Justice: Cause all players to discard cards until they all have as many as the player with the least. Players must destroy their own soldiers and farms in this way.

  13. The Hanged Man: Destroy two soldiers an opponent controls of his or her choice.

  14. Death: Destroy a soldier.

  15. Temperance: Exchange control of a soldier you control for one controlled by an opponent of your choice.

  16. The Devil: Search the draw pile for a trump card, reveal it, put it into your hand, then shuffle the draw pile afterward.

  17. The Tower: Deal 3 damage to a soldier or player.

  18. The Star: Cause all players to shuffle their hands and discard pile into the draw pile. Then they draw five cards.

  19. The Moon: Put a soldier card from the discard pile into your hand.

  20. The Sun: Randomly select two cards from the discard pile. Put those cards into your hand.

  21. Judgment: Destroy all soldiers.

  22. The World: Put a trump card from the discard pile into your hand.

Comprehensive Rules

I have a Tarot Combat comprehensive rulebook. It includes rules for various ways to make decks, rules for team play, and rules for various types of tournaments. A PDF of the rulebook can be downloaded here. (Updated 8/16/13)

Rule Cards



1. Tarot Combat: A Battle-Oriented Game Using A Tarot Deck | Fantasy Cards - March 21, 2013

[…] Magic 1503: Tarot Combat […]

2. Recoculous.com: Magic the Gathering Articles » Magic 1513: Tarot Combat II - March 27, 2013

[…] Tarot Combat is a tarot card game similar to Magic: the Gathering invented in 1503. The problem is that the game requires players to memorize what all the cards do. The 22-unique trump cards can be difficult to remember in particular. Tarot Combat II is training-wheels for Tarot Combat. It’s basically a tarot deck, but all the cards say what they do on them. This makes it much easier to play. […]