The Neopets Trading Card Game (or Neopets TCG) is a card game featuring the Neopets setting. It was published by Wizards of the Coast between 2003 and 2006. As well as being collected, the cards can be used in a two-player competitive card game.
In addition to the original base set of 234 cards, seven expansions were released that usually tied in with a plot on the website bring the total to 1410 different cards. Versions of the cards also exist as on-site items.
The goal of each game is to bank twenty one points of equipment and items. Equipment and items may be put in the player's bank when they win a contest against their opponent. A contest is a competition in either strength, agility, magic, or intelligence between the player's Neopet and hero cards and their opponent's. Each player can use equipment and items to improve their cards' statistics. Alternatively, a player wins if their opponent runs out of cards from their deck.
Each player starts the game with a stack of basic Neopet cards and forty cards in their deck. Each game also needs a die. Each turn (except for the very first turn) the player draws the top card from their deck and puts it in their hand. The player must have up to three basic Neopets in play at any one time: if the player has less than three out, then they must turn over the top card from their Neopet stack and put it into play. They can do this once per turn.
When put into play, a basic Neopet is placed into one of four arenas, each one corresponding to one of the contest statistics (strength, agility, magic, and intelligence). The player can move their Neopets to a different arenas once they are in play. Drawing a Neopet from the Neopet stack, moving it between arenas, and starting a contest with it all tap the card: this means that it has been used and can't be used for anything else until it is untapped, usually on the next turn. The player shows a card is tapped by turning it ninety degrees to the side, and untaps it by straightening it up again.
The player can put more than one basic Neopet in one arena to improve their score in it. They can also play cards from their hand to enhance their performance. These include experienced Neopets, which replace one of the player's basic or experienced Neopets of the same species in the arena they were in. When replaced in this way, basic Neopets are returned to the Neopet draw pile, while experienced Neopets are discarded. Heroes are cards that can be added to an arena to start or join contests like a Neopet card, but are discarded at the end of the turn. Equipment cards can be attached to a basic Neopet, experienced Neopet, or Hero, and provides a stat bonus. Attaching equipment usually requires a Neopet to be tapped - but not necessarily the Neopet the equipment is going to.
The player can put Villain cards in any arena that doesn't already have a Villain in. Villains must be defeated in a special contest that does not let the opponent bank any equipment before a normal contest in that arena can be performed. Something Has Happened cards perform special actions and can be played at certain times.
A player can start a contest on their turn with any untapped Neopet. More than one Neopet and Hero can be used in each contest, but they must be in the same arena. The player first taps the Neopets and Heroes they intend to use. Excepting Villain contests, which don't count towards the limit, the player can only perform one contest per arena per turn.
If the opponent doesn't have any Neopets or Heroes in that arena, then the player wins automatically. Otherwise, they must compete. The player who's turn it is (who started the contest) can chose to add an item card to the arena. Whether or not they chose to do so, their opponent can then play an item card of their own, if they choose to. These are played face down: after the opponent has decided if they want to play an item card or not, they are then turned over and their instructions followed. Item cards usually add stat bonuses.
The player and their opponent must both roll a die. If one of them rolls a six and the other person doesn't, the one who rolled the six wins. If they both rolled a six, they must roll again. If neither rolled a six, then each player must add up the stats for that arena for all their Neopets and Heroes in the contest, including their equipment, the stat bonus from the item they played, and their dice roll. Whoever has the highest number wins - in the event of a draw, the players re-roll and start again. Once a winner is found, the items cards are discarded.
If the player who started the contest won, they may chose to either put an equipment or item card from their hand into their bank - twenty one points of equipment and items wins them the game - or they may chose to draw a card. If the other player - who didn't start the contest - wins, then neither player may bank or draw a card.
The first edition contained 234 cards.
Battle for Meridell
The first expansion set was released in conjunction with the Battle for Meridell plot. It contained 140 cards, and two theme decks could be bought (one for Meridell and Darigan). It introduced ten new Neopet species, and Location and Plushie cards.
Return of Dr. Sloth
The Return of Dr. Sloth expansion was the second expansion set released. It was intended to coincide with The Return of Dr. Sloth plot, but the plot was postponed for another four years. The expansion contained 100 cards, and introduced 6 new Neopet species, new abilities, and Petpetpets.
100 cards, 4 new Neopets, new locations, tropical fruits, island plushies, powerful Codestones, and exotic totems.
Hannah and the Ice Caves
150 cards. Introduced Curse cards. Was released in conjunction with the Hannah and the Ice Caves plot
The Hannah and the Ice Caves Release Tournaments were held October 30, 2004. All players received a Red Bori promo card and a Hannah and Bori lanyard. Prizes included Hannah and the Ice Caves booster packs and the first place winner took home a Hannah and the Ice Caves Snow Globe Trophy.
Curse of Maraqua
100 cards. Introduced three new Neopets. Released in conjunction with the Lost Desert Plot.
The Darkest Faerie
Expansion which rereleased many popular cards from previous expansions along with a few new cards. It contained 200 cards.
This 100 card set introduces Haunted cards.
There were 11 cards not part of any expansion that were given out as as promotional items.
The on-site versions of the Neopets TCG cards are featured in the following Random Event, which gives the player a random trading card.