TCG stands for "Trading Card Game". It was created by 4Kids Entertainment in conjunction with Upperdeck; as of such, there is no Japanese Trading Card Game (partially because Japan's TCG is pretty much their arcade games).
The TCG made many Move Card Dinosaurs into regular Dinosaurs: for example, Minmi, a Grass Move Dinosaur in the arcade series became an Earth dinosaur in the TCG; Futabasaurus and Seismosaurus, Water and Grass Move Dinosaurs, respectively, became Water Dinosaurs; and Velociraptor, Troodon, and Gallimimus, Normal Move Dinosaurs, became Wind Dinosaurs.
While once available in stores, Dinosaur King TCG cards are now only likely to be found on online stores or shopping/auction sites.
Most cards are available in English, German, French, and perhaps other languages. However, the final booster set, Spectral Armor Shock, and the special edition Power Pack, featuring the 6 DinoTector Dinosaurs each with an Element-themed variant of an exclusive ability, are only available in French versions.
The text of the following section has been quoted directly (including any grammatical errors) from the Dinosaur King Trading Card Game Beginner's Guide instruction sheet included in the Starter Set (formatting reflected as accurately as possible).
About The GameEdit
Get ready for an adventure of Paleolithic proportions! In the Dinosaur King™ Trading Card Game, you use your Dinosaurs to battle your opponent's Dinosaurs, just like Max and the rest of the D-Team. You can also use Moves to power-up your Dinosaurs and surprise your opponent.
What are you waiting for? Grab a friend and let's get started!
Each player needs their own deck and Battle mat.
- Object of the Game
Defeat your opponent's Dinosaurs to reduce their Life Points. When your opponent's Life Points are down to 0, you win! If both players' Life Points go down to 0 at the same time, the game is a draw, which means you'll have to play again to decide who's the real Dinosaur King.
You can also lose the game if you run out of cards in your deck.
- Max Taylor: "If you don't like the cards in your hand at the start of the game, you can shuffle them back into your deck and draw 6 cards again. But you can only do this once!"
Each player shuffles their deck and places it face down in the Deck Area of their Battle mat.
If you're using an oversize Character, place it next to your Battle mat instead.
Each player starts with 20 Life Points. Put a coin or other marker on your Battle mat to show your Life Points.
Each player draws 6 cards from the top of their deck. This is called you hand. (Don't let your opponent see the cards in your hand!) Play Rock-Paper-Scissors to decide who goes first.
When you take your first turn, place a coin or other marker on the "1" in the Turn Counter area. Move this marker up by 1 every time you take another turn. The Turn Counter keeps track of how many turns you've taken.
- Dino Slash!
During your turn, you can play Dinosaurs from your hand. When you play a Dinosaur, it's called a Dino Slash. You can only Dino Slash a Dinosaur if its level is the same as or less than your turn number on the Turn Counter. For example, if your Turn Counter is on 3, you can Dino Slash a level 3, 2, or 1 Dinosaur.
You can have up to 3 Dinosaurs on your Battle mat at the same time. Once a Dinosaur is on your mat, it is call "in play." If you already have 3 in play, you can't Dino Slash a new Dinosaur.
Special Dinosaur AbilitiesEdit
Some Dinosaurs have special abilities that make them more powerful!
When you have a Dinosaur in play with a special ability, just read the ability text and do what it tells you to do. For example, Patagosaurus has a special ability called [Exchange]. When you Dino Slash Patagosaurus, you can trade a card in your hand for a new one from the top of your deck.
Dinosaurs that don't have special abilities have extra info about them in italics. This text doesn't affect the game, but it does tell you some awesome facts about your Dinosaurs!
When Dinosaurs battle, they can use Moves to make them stronger!
Moves have a Power number. When a Dinosaur uses a Move, you add the Move's Power to the Dinosaur's Power.
Make sure to read your Move's ability text before you play it. Many Moves are stronger when used with certain Dinosaurs, and others have special effects!
When you play a Move, read the text to your opponent and place it on top of the Dinosaur that's using it.
Some Moves are Super Moves. These Moves are stronger than regular Moves, but only a Dinosaur with an Element that matches the Super Move's Element can use them. For example, only a Fire Dinosaur can use Volcano Burst.
Some Super Moves also have a Rock-Paper-Scisors icon. Just like Elements, only a Dinosaur with a Rock-Paper-Scissors icon that matches the Super Move's icon can use them. If a Super Move has both a Rock-Paper-Scissors icon and an Element icon, your Dinosaur must match both icons.
Otherwise, Super Moves are treated just like Moves. If a card's text talks about a Move, it means a Move or a Super Move.
How to BattleEdit
During your turn, you can attack with the Dinosaurs you have in play. When you attack:
- First, choose one of your Dinosaurs to make the attack.
- Then, choose which of your opponent's Dinosaurs your Dinosaur will attack.
Each Dinosaur you have in play can only attack once per turn, so choose your battles carefully.
If your opponent doesn't have any Dinosaurs in play when you attack, you can attack your opponent directly! When you attack directly, your opponent loses 1 Life Point.
If you attacked a Dinosaur, a battle begins! First, compare the Rock-Paper-Scissors icons on the two battling Dinosaurs. It's just like playing regular Rock-Paper-Scissors.
The Dinosaur that loses the Rock-Paper-Scissors showdown has to play a Move first in this battle.
If both Dinosaurs have the same Rock-Paper-Scissors icon, the Dinosaur that's attacking chooses whether or not to use a Move first.
Make Your Move!Edit
During a battle, each battling Dinosaur can use 1 Move.
- The Dinosaur that loses at Rock-Paper-Scissors can use a move first. You don't have to play a Move, but this is that Dinosaur's only chance to use a Move in this battle.
- Then, the Dinosaur that wins at Rock-Paper-Scissors can use a Move. You don't have to play a Move, but this is that Dinosaur's only chance to use a Move in this battle.
- If both Dinosaurs have the same Rock-Paper-Scissors icon, the Dinosaur that's attacking chooses whether to use a Move first.
Next, add up any bonuses to each battling Dinosaur's Power from Moves or other cards in play. Add that number to the Dinosaur's Power. That's the Dinosaur's total Power for this battle.
Compare the total Power of the two battling Dinosaurs. The Dinosaur with higher total power wins the battle, and the other Dinosaur loses! If it's a tie, both Dinosaurs lose the battle.
Tyrannosaurus + Tail Slam (2000 + 600 = 2600) VS. Triceratops (1500)
In this battle, the total Power of the Tyrannosaurus is 2600, and the total Power of the Triceratops is 1500. Tyrannosaurus wins!
When a Dinosaur loses a battle, it goes into its owner's discard pile. Its owner loses Life Points equal to that Dinosaur's life.
After the battle, put Moves that were used into their owners' discard piles.
Triceratops has 2 life. If your Triceratops loses a battle, you lose 2 Life Points.
Characters have special abilities that can be a big help during the game.
You can use your Character's ability during your turn. When you do, follow the instructions in its ability text, then turn the Character face down to show that it's been used.
You can only use your Character's ability once per game, so make it count!
When it's your turn, go through the following Phases in order:
- Start Phase
Move your Turn Counter up by 1. (On your first turn, place your Turn Counter on 1.)
Then, draw 2 cards from the top of your deck. The player who goes first doesn't draw any cards on their first turn.
- Main Phase
During your Main Phase, you can do any of the following things as many times as you want, in any order you choose:
- Dino Slash a Dinosaur from your hand.
- Attack with a Dinosaur you have in play.
You can also use the abilities of your Character during the Main Phase of your turn, but you can only use your Character's ability once per game.
- End Phase
After you're finished doing things in your Main Phase, you enter your End Phase.
If you have more than 8 cards in your hand, you have to choose and discard cards until you have exactly 8 cards in your hand.
Then, your turn is over. Now it's your opponent's turn, starting with their Start Phase.
Players go back and forth taking turns until one player's Life Points are brought down to 0, or their deck runs out of cards.
Expand Your GameEdit
This Starter Deck has lots of cool Dinosaurs and Moves, but if you really want to be the Dinosaur King™, you've got to collect more cards!
You can find new Dinosaurs, Moves, and Characters in the Dinosaur King™ booster packs. Each pack has different cards, and some kinds of cards are harder to find than others. The rarest of all are called Colossal Rares—they're awesome foil cards with special pictures. Try to collect all 8!
Relive the exciting adventures of Max and the D-Team with TV Moments cards! These cards show cool scenes from the TV show. Collect them all!
Build Your Own Deck!Edit
Once you expand your Dinosaur King™ Trading Card Game collection, you can make your own deck!
There are a few rules about what you can put in your deck:
- Your deck has to have at least 40 cards (not counting your Character).
- You can't have more than 3 cards with the same name in your deck.
- You need exactly 1 Character card.
You can't win a game with just Dinosaurs or just Moves! Make sure to include a good mix of both so that you have Dinosaurs to attack with and Moves to help them beat your opponent's Dinosaurs. About 20 of each kind of card is a good start. Try different mixes and find what works best!
Also, make sure that you have Dinosaurs of different levels in your deck. You need a mix of both high-level and low-level Dinosaurs.
- Zoe Drake: "When you make a deck, it's easiest to pick 1 or 2 Elements, and then only use Dinosaurs and Super Moves with those Elements. That way, you can be sure that your Dinosaurs can use your Super Moves!"
Special Dinosaurs come in pairs. To Dino Slash the powerful Battle Mode version, you have to have the regular one in play already. When you do, put the Battle Mode Dinosaur on top of the regular version. After that, they're treated like 1 card. If the Battle Mode Dinosaur goes to the discard pile or to your hand, the card under it goes with it.
Special Dinosaurs can only be used in your deck if you're using the Character that goes with them. For example, you can only include "Chomp" in your deck if your Character is "Max Taylor." (Special Dinosaurs are loyal to their friends!) Read your Character to see what Special Dinosaurs you can use.
Attacking Directly: When you attack directly with a Dinosaur, there is no battle. So, you can't play a Move when attacking directly. Also, Dinosaur abilities that happen when you win a battle can't be used when you attack directly.
Dino Slash: Some card abilities, like Fukuisaurus' [Nature Link] ability, let you Dino Slash Dinosaurs. Even when using a card's ability to Dino Slash a Dinosaur, that Dinosaur's level must be equal to or less than your Turn Counter.
Discard: Some card abilities, like Patagosaurus' [Exchange] ability, tell a player to "discard." This means to send a card from your hand to your discard pile.
Discard Pile: Cards in your discard pile are always placed there face-up.
- Sega Credits
Director: Koh Kitaoka
Producer: Toshiki Izawa
Game Design: Masaru Kohayakawa, Hidetake Matsuoka
Dinosaur Supervision: Kyoshi Ieizumi
Playtesting: Yusuke Goto(Arclight)
- 4Kids Entertainment, Inc. Credits
Producers: Norman Grossfeld, Arthur "Sam" Murakami
Art Coordinator: Jason Narvaez
Graphic Design: Jennifer Obrotka, Kana Hashimoto, Colin Bridges
3D Animator: Paul J Baccash
TV Show Support Team: Kathy Borland, Cathy Paterra, Jason Lam
- Upper Deck Credits
Dinosaur King™ TCG R&D Lead and Beginner's Guide: Justin Reilly
Additional Design and Development: Morgan Whitmont, Dan Scheidegger, Eric Bess
Brand Manager: Ana Pereira, Henriette Trippe
Product Manager: Peter Roffe
Editing: Cate Gary
Support Team: Lise Caffrey
Graphic Design: Marco Sipriaso, Michelle Megia, Glen Llorin, George Olarte, David Lomeli
Production: Krista Timberlake, Rudy Diaz, Justin Schmunk, Rick Miller, Tracey Fraser-Elliot, Geert Van Slambrouck, Bart Hoorn
Localisation: Eva Breedijk
President, Upper Deck Company: Richard McWilliam
CEO, Upper Deck International BV: Nico Blauw
COO, Upper Deck International BV: Bruno Van Speybroeck
Category Manager Trading Card Games: Joeri Hoste
Vice President of Product Development, Gaming and Entertainment: Bernd Becker
Director of Mass and Hobby, Entertainment products: Stephanie Mascott
(Some of the following information may be duplicated from above.) The TCG features several repeated and several unique stats and other features to their cards not found in other Dinosaur King media. Across the different types of cards, from top to bottom, there are:
Self-explanatory. At the center of the top bar, its text is colored to the Element of the card. Some abilities can refer to Dinosaurs "of the same name" or specify the name. For example, you can only Dino Slash an "Ace (Battle Mode)" by placing it on top of an "Ace". Each player is restricted to having no more than 3 cards with any given name, including any different versions of a card (for instance, almost every booster deck included a new version of "Chomp", but a player can still only use up to 3 "Chomp"s of any version combination).
The TCG name for Signs, they are the Rock-Paper-Scissors symbol in the top left corner of all Dinosaur and some Super Move cards. For Super Moves, only Dinosaurs with the same Element and Icon can use them.
For Dinosaur Cards, Icons are used to determine the order of battles. When one Dinosaur attacks another, their signs are compared. Whichever one is losing has the chance to use a Move Card first (they don't have to, but this is their only chance), then the one that won can use a Move Card (they don't have to, but this is their only chance). The advantage to winning at Rock-Paper-Scissors is that you know whether or not you need to use a Move (if there's no way you can win, you don't have to waste a card).
All Dinosaurs and Super Moves have one of 7 Element symbols in the top right corner: Fire, Water, Lightning, Earth, Grass, Wind, or Secret (Dinosaur-only). Super Moves can only be used by Dinosaurs with the corresponding Element. Most Normal Moves instead have a blank circle, but Alpha Moves contain the Alpha Gang's logo, and can only be used by Alpha Dinosaurs. Abilities can refer to Dinosaurs or Super Moves of a specific Element. The Secret Element icon features the rainbow question mark from the arcade game instead of the anime's version lacking that feature.
Only found on Dinosaur and Special Dinosaur cards. A number from 1 to 7 that determines when a Dinosaur can be Dino Slashed. Each turn, a player's Turn Counter increases by 1; players can Dino Slash any Dinosaur whose Level is equal to or less than the number the Turn Counter is presently on (on turn 2, a player can Dino Slash a Level 1 or 2 Dinosaur, but not a Level 3 or above one). The Power of a Dinosaur card is directly related to its Level; higher Levels have higher Power, meaning a player must wait longer before being able to use stronger Dinosaurs.
"Upgraded" Special Dinosaur cards have a "-" in place of a number in their Level circle, indicating that they can be played on any turn. This is useful, as chibi Special Dinosaurs are all Level 1, meaning that a Battle Mode Special Dinosaur, with Power comparable to a Level 3 Dinosaur, can be Dino Slashed on turn 1 when the opponent only has Level 1 Dinosaurs, assuming the player had or could bring both chibi and Battle Mode cards to their hand on their first turn. Dinotector Special Dinosaurs, however, can only be Dino Slashed through abilities that treat them like level 4 Dinosaurs, and Spectral Armor Special Dinosaurs are similarly treated like level 6.
Written on a tab underneath the image in the center. There are several types of cards in the TCG, each of which can be referred to separately in an effect.
- Green bar with black scratches across top, black tab under image. Each player selects 1 Character card for use during the game, placing it on the side of their game mat. Each Character has a given ability that can be used exactly once during a game; it can only be activated during your turn. In addition, you can only include a specific Special Dinosaur in your deck if the text of your Character card allows it.
- Black bar across top, black tab under image. A sizable part of your deck, Dinosaur cards can be played in any of three spaces on your game mat. Their usage is dictated by the stats shown on the card.
- Special Dinosaur Cards
- Black bar with white scratches across top, black tab under image. Special Dinosaurs are the (typically) chibi and upgraded (full-sized and armored) forms of the main dinosaurs of the series. Upgraded versions can only be played by being placed on top of their "lesser" versions (effectively replacing them on your field), but their other attributes (described in "Level" section above) can justify the difficulty of this requirement. Once played, the cards of both the normal and upgraded versions are treated as the same Dinosaur, meaning both cards are sent to the player's discard pile or hand if an ability dictates it for the "one" Dinosaur. Otherwise, they are typically treated like any other Dinosaur. They can only be included in your deck if your Character card specifically allows them.
- Battle Mode Special Dinosaurs are summoned through their chibi version's [D-Team Slash] or [Alpha Slash] ability, depending on their team (only found from DKCG to DKDS). Dinotector Special Dinosaurs are likewise summoned through the chibi card's [Dinotector On] ability (only found in DKDS onward), and Spectral Armor Special Dinosaurs through their unarmored version's [Spectral Slash] ability (only found in SAS).
- Though there are 3 Spectral Armor Special Dinosaurs, there are many non-Special Dinosaur Spectral Armor Dinosaurs. However, due to the effect of the ability [Spectral Armor], they operate much like Special Dinosaurs, being played on top of any unarmored version of that Dinosaur (Spectral Armor Shunosaurus can be played by being placed on top of a Shunosaurus, Sunrise Shunosaurus, or Roman Shunosaurus), the main difference being that the Spectral Armor Dinosaur has its own Level to dictate what turns it can be played on.
- Move Cards
- Yellow-orange bar across top, yellow-orange tab under image. Normal Moves that can be used by any Dinosaur, barring any abilities that may say otherwise.
- Super Move Cards
- Yellow-orange bar with scratches across top, yellow-orange tab under image. Move Cards that can only be used by Dinosaurs of a specific Element.
Only found on Dinosaur and Special Dinosaur cards. A series of 0 to 4 orange circles with black stars that determine how much damage a player takes when a Dinosaur is defeated. Each player begins with 20 life points. When one of their Dinosaurs loses a battle, they lose life points equal to the life of that Dinosaur; in a tie, both players lose life points equal to the life of their Dinosaur.
Life is directly related to Level: only chibi Special Dinosaurs have 0 life; all Level 1 and 2 Dinosaurs have 1 life; all Level 3 and 4 Dinosaurs have 2 life; all Level 5 and most Level 6 Dinosaurs have 3 life; all Black Dinosaurs (all are Level 6) and Level 7 Dinosaurs have 4 life.
All cards have this, though its function can vary. All Characters, many Dinosaurs, all Special Dinosaurs, most Moves, and all Super Moves have text which describes the ability possessed by that card or a restriction on using it. Abilities of Dinosaurs are given names, the names being written in square brackets and in bold.
Some Dinosaurs and a few Moves instead feature italicized text, which merely describes an aspect of the real-life dinosaur or how the action of the Move would occur (only the Moves Tail Slam and Dino Stomp lack abilities). Italicized text in the description box has no effect on gameplay.
Found on all Dinosaur and Character cards, and some Move and Super Move cards, this line of italicized text at the bottom of the ability box gives the meaning of the Dinosaur's scientific name, followed by its approximate length (in either feet, meters, or both, depending on the booster set it was a part of and what country it was sold in). Cards whose artwork is a scene from the anime also (or in the case of Characters, Moves, and Super Moves, only) feature a box reading "As seen on Ep. ## - (name of episode)". The Dinosaur Data aspect has no effect on gameplay.
All Dinosaur, Special Dinosaur, Move, and Super Move cards feature a number at the lower left corner, always an increment of 100; Moves and Super Moves have a "+" in front of their Power. This is the mechanic used to determine the winner of battles.
When two Dinosaurs battle, the Power of the Moves used are added to the Powers of the Dinosaurs, any changes from abilities are calculated in, and the two numbers are compared; the higher one is the winner, and if they are equal, it is a tie.
Power for Dinosaur cards is directly related to both Level and abilities: all chibi Special Dinosaurs have 800 Power (700 in DKDS and SAS); all other Level 1 Dinosaurs with no abilities have 1200 Power; all Level 2 Dinosaurs with no abilities have 1300 Power; all Level 3 Dinosaurs with no abilities have 1500 Power; all Level 4 Dinosaurs with no abilities have 1700 Power; all Level 5 Dinosaurs with no abilities have 1900 Power; no Level 6 or 7 Dinosaur is without abilities, but Level 6 Dinosaurs with average abilities have 2000 Power, and Level 7 Dinosaurs can have up to 2400 Power; Level 6 Black Dinosaurs can have 2400-2500 Power; all Battle Mode Special Dinosaurs have 1500 Power; all Dinotector Special Dinosaurs have 2000 Power; and all Spectral Armor Special Dinosaurs have 2500 Power.
If a Dinosaur has abilities, their Power is decreased according to the potential benefit of the ability balanced with how easy the ability is to use. Abilities that cause a disadvantage for the player controlling the Dinosaur actually increase the Power to even out the negative side effects. For Level 1-5 Dinosaurs: mild abilities change Power by -100 (like [Bite]), strong abilities change Power by -200 (like [Defender]), extreme abilities change Power by -300 (like [Twin Talons]), and negative abilities change Power by +100 (like [Berserk]). Depending on their abilities: from 2000, Level 6 Dinosaurs can have Power changed by -100 or even -200 on occasion; from 2400, Level 7 Dinosaurs can have Power changed by -100, -200, or even -300.
Each card has a specific code that identifies its number placement in its deck in the lower right corner, with copyright info underneath it. For example, "DKTB-013/100" is the code for Wading Nemegtosaurus, being the 13th of 100 cards in DKTB, the Colossal Team Battle booster set. The used abbreviations are:
- DKPR = Promotional series (no maximum number listed on cards)
- DKSS = Starter Set (001-032)
- DKCG = Base Set (card game) (001-120)
- DKTB = Colossal Team Battle (001-100)
- DKME = Easter Set (001-006)
- DKAA = Alpha Dinosaur Attack (001-100)
- DKBD = Black Dinosaur Rampage (001-100)
- DKT1 = Collectors' Tins 1 (001-004)
- DKS2 = Dino Slash Starter (starter #2) (001-035)
- DKDS = Dinotector Showdown (001-100)
- DKTA = Time Warp Adventures (001-100)
- SAS = Spectral Armor Shock (French only) (001-100)
- PP1 = Power Pack 1 (French only) (001-006)
Indicates the likelihood of finding the card in a booster pack. Each individually-wrapped pack of cards contains either 5 or 9 cards. Most packs contain exactly 1 foil card (Silver or Gold) with the rest Common, but if a pack includes a Colossal Rare, it replaces one of the Commons, meaning that the pack has both a Colossal and either a Silver or Gold Rare card.
Most cards are Common, meaning that there is nothing special about them; they comprise of about half of each booster set. Silver Rare cards have a shiny silvery surface printed over the image, name, Element/Team, type, and sometimes Power; they comprise of about a quarter of each booster set. Gold Rare cards have a shiny gold surface; they comprise of about 15% of each booster set. Colossal Rare cards have a rainbowy reflective surface over the entire card and feature original, dramatized artwork; there are typically 10 Colossal Rares in each booster set. Colossal Rares are always special versions of other cards found in the same booster set, while Colossal Exclusive cards are special cards only available through a special deal, such as: the Easter Set's Element-themed eggs; the Collectors' Tins' cards with bits of raised texture from the images; and the Power Pack's exclusive Dinotector versions with a unique ability. Oversized Exclusive cards are featured only in the first Starter Set for the 3 Characters, and are merely physically larger versions (about twice the dimensions) with no "foil" aspects.