Gameplay Explained: How Does the PvP Card Game Designed by Richard Garfield Work?

Ever since we first announced that there was going to be a Blockchain Brawlers PvP card game designed by Richard Garfield on our roadmap, the anticipation from the community has been absolutely unreal.

More recently, there has been a ton of discussion about how the game will actually work. Will it be a trading card game (TGC) similar to Magic the Gathering or Hearthstone? Nope. As we have shared with you on our social media channels, the game will be more akin to playing poker. It will feature betting, bluffing, well timed folding and, most importantly, being able to read your opponent and attempting to understand what cards they played based on a multitude of variables.

We get it. It may sound complicated, but it’s not. It’s a simple premise with a lot of strategy and depth involved. In the end, the better game player will win more often than they lose.

With that said, as our Closed Beta play test phase quickly approaches, we’d like for each and every player to have a comprehensive understanding as to how this all works. Keep in mind that the Closed Beta play test phase will not come with any tutorials whatsoever or a walkthrough of the live gameplay environment.

Now that we’ve got all of that out of the way, let’s get into the nitty gritty.

Get Ready to Flex on Your Opponents

The Set Up: When the game starts, both players will get dealt three (3) cards each. Both sides will start with a total health pool of 20 points and will start with their Power Meter beginning at one (1), the lowest possible amount.

How to Win a Hand

The winner of the hand is the player who’s two (2) chosen cards add up to a higher point value than the cards their opponent is holding if they get to the Showdown phase. This means that no one has folded and the bets have been matched. If you’re wondering what defines the Showdown Phase, this is it. Sounds simple right? It is, well kinda. More on folding and betting later down the line.

What Do You Mean?

To “play” your cards, you’ll select 1 card to be shown face up and the second card will be played face down. Your face up cards will convey a certain amount of information to your opponent. As long as your face up card is a lower number or the same value as your face down card, everything will proceed as normal BUT if your face up card is higher than your face down card this is called “Flexing.”

If your opponent folds during a regular hand, you would only deal damage equal to your Power Meter with no multipliers. Winning a hand where you “Flexed” because your opponent folded will actually take your Power Meter amount and add 1 more point. That is the damage you deal.

Power Meter = 3 and “Flexing” hand won + 1 = 4 points of total damage dealt.

Flexing Is OP Amirite?

Hold up. Not so fast, boss. If you Flex on someone and they call you by matching your bet, then you will lose even if their point total is less than yours. The only way a Flex bet wins a showdown is if both players Flexed at the same time. Then it defaults to the rule of highest point total wins and damage is dealt accordingly.

So Then Betting Is Like Texas Hold’em?

Not exactly. In this game, there are only up to three (3) bet amounts to make. This will drive the following three decisions:

  1. Fold your hand or bet.
  2. You can bet 1, 2 or 3 as the only allowable bets. You can think of these amounts as signaling something about your hand to your opponent.
  3. If the amounts the players bet are not exactly the same, the lower bet has to decide to match the amount (call) or not (fold the hand).

If the bets are matched, then the Showdown will take place.

Winning the Showdown

When a showdown takes place, both hands are revealed. The player with the higher total will deal damage to the other player and not receive any damage. How the damage is calculated is the bet amount (1, 2, or 3) multiplied by the winning player’s Power Meter. So, if the bet was two (2) and the power meter was four (4), then eight (8) points of damage would be dealt.

That’s pretty devastating in a game where the total health pool starts at 20.

Tell Me More About This “Power Meter’’

Whenever you win a hand, your Power Meter increases by 1. Every time you lose a Showdown, your Power Meter resets to 1. If you win a hand where you used a 1 card or a 3 card, your Power Meter will increase for each 1 and 3 you used.

As an example, say you were to show a 1 face up and have a 3 face down (not Flexing) and your opponent folds, then your Power Meter increases by 1 for the win, 2 points for winning with a 1, and 2 more for also winning with a 3 for a total Power Meter increase of 5.

But winning with a 1 and a 3 will be nearly impossible. If and when you “Fold” your hand, your Power Meter total is preserved. However, having a 1 or 3 in a winning hand happens regularly. Be sure to use these lower cards at the right time to gain the upper hand.

Folding Is Lame

Well, not really. Here is the interesting strategic choice tied to folding your hand. If you fold, you get dealt one extra card during the next round. This increase in total cards is permanent. The draw increase is capped at three folds or when you possess six cards. If you fold while holding six cards, you can choose to discard some or all of the cards you are holding.

Folding strategically is a pro move. Remember: you are receiving damage from your opponent but gaining an extra card for the rest of the match. So, fold early with a low opponent Power Meter as opposed to late when you might incur 4, 5, 6 or even higher amounts of damage if you choose to fold.

What Happens in the Event of a Tie?

Both sides deal full damage but the Power Meter will reset to 1 for both players.

How Do I Win?

The winner is declared when a player’s health total is 0. In the event of a tie, the player with the lower number will be declared the loser.

How Will Brawling Work During the PvP Match?

Each player will choose their Brawler NFT that will visibly represent them in the Ring. They will also choose their load out of 11 cards (8 deck cards ordered 1–8 and an attack, taunt and a finishing move). Without these 12 items, you cannot compete in the Open Beta PvP mode when it goes live.

If you are waiting for an opponent to play his hand or make a betting decision, you can choose to taunt him or play to the crowd. There are 10 unique taunts available to be crafted and upgraded. If the crowd perceives you to be the heel, expect a raucous chorus of boos to rain down upon you. But if you are a “babyface” expect them to instead shower you with love.

When a Showdown takes place and the winner is determined, you will be able to crush your opponent with any of the unique and hilarious 19 attacks that can be crafted and collected. Each comes with its own custom reaction to getting hit.

If a player’s health point total hits 0 or below, brace yourself for any number of 14 jaw shattering finishing moves that you are sure to recognize. The reactions will be pretty over the top!

What are the Brawlers doing in between being attacked and taunted? They are Brawling, delivering some low end action and playing to the crowd while they wait for you to deliver the more show stopping moments.

The moment you’ve all been waiting for is almost here! Get ready for the most insane card game you’ve ever experienced.

As always, hit us up in Discord if you have any questions or comments.

04, Aug 2022