If you like to play classic deck building games such as Magic - The Gathering, the following situation should sound familiar: As a warlord you send your troops into battle, throw spells around you and place artifacts in strategically favorable places - only to find out in the end that the subjects fail again all along the line. At the card game Epic PvP from Pegasus Spiele * this cannot happen to you. Real warriors enter the battlefield themselves and in the case of Epic PvP The arena.

In our following review we introduce you to the deck building game Epic PvP in detail and show why PvP battles without cheats are the most fun.

There are goblin paladins ...

The fantasy card game Epic PvP has strong similarities to the deck shuffle game Smash up which was also published by Pegasus Spiele in this country. Instead of fighting for world domination, you fight for fame and honor in this epic player-versus-player card game. If you don't feel like putting together a deck of cards completely independently, paying attention to complex synergies and constantly buying new boosters, you'll get it Epic PvP a suitable game concept is presented. In the game box you will find 160 playing cards, 8 overview cards, 34 game markers and a 16-page rulebook. The playing cards are divided into 8 x 20 card groups according to the eight overview tiles, 80 cards each being assigned to the classes and 80 cards to the peoples. So before you enter the arena, you have to prepare for the upcoming fights. This is based on an idea that is as simple as it is ingenious: each player chooses a favorite from each of the four races and four classes and uses it to determine his personal play deck. The races include humans, high elves, dwarves and goblins. Ranger, Paladin, Druid and Rogue are available as classes with the main game. You can combine to your heart's content; classic combinations such as high elf rangers or dwarf paladins are just as possible as exotic fighters. Anyone who has always wanted to slip into the role of a goblin paladin or a dwarf druid gets a game of cards Epic PvP the opportunity to do so. Many a MMORPG player would turn green with envy.  

If you have decided on a race-class combination, you then look for the 20 race and 20 class cards from the card contingent. These 40 playing cards make up your deck and within five minutes you are ready for your big performance in the arena.

Rare pleasure: Player vs. Player without cheats

Is played Epic PvP in a traditional duel system either 1-on-1 in the variant for two players or 2-on-2 with four brave warriors. However, there are no games in skirmish mode, i.e. everyone against everyone, in a game with four players. The playing field is divided into different areas. In the middle in front of you are the overview tiles of your race-class combination, to the right of your deck. To your left, place a number of cards equal to the value of the blood symbol on your people's card. This card slot represents your life points. The resource area at Epic PvP Called the “Aggression Stack”, is located above your fighter overview. With the help of the aggression you pay for the actions with which you mistreat the opponent in the course of the game.

The aim of the game is to bring the life points of your opponent to zero and thus to leave the arena victorious. Only then can you be sure of fame, honor and a tankard of mead - with dwarfs also a keg of mead. In the game you always act in turns and orientate yourself along the seven phases of the game, which each form a round. These consist in particular of: (1) increasing aggression, (2) drawing cards, (3) playing actions, (4) building up defense, (5) defending, (6) calculating damage and (7) final phase.

At the beginning of your turn you build up your aggression by drawing the top two cards from your deck pile and adding them to the aggression pile. Then you decide whether you want to draw cards into your hand. In contrast to classic deck building games, however, you do not draw cards from your deck pile, but use yourselves from the area of ​​aggression. This means that you have to choose early on in your turn whether you want to make more cards available in hand or leave the aggression pile untouched in order to serve yourself from a larger supply of resources. With the help of the aggressions you now play your action cards, the costs of which increase with the strength of the cards. This is where the tactical possibilities of class-race combinations come into play. As usual, for example, insidious villains hand out "free" but light strikes, while paladins use sacred energy to reinforce their defenses. In addition, skills do not cost any resources and thus bring an additional strategic component into the course of the game. In the defense phase you play your defensive actions to block the attacks of your opponents. It is important to note that the defenses you play out also represent your future attacks on the opponent, which he must fight off in his turn. This creates an exciting dynamic that can be found in the card game Epic PvP at first would not trust it.   

If you have compared attacks and defenses, the damage is calculated. The following applies: Every successful attack causes one point of damage, regardless of how high the damage actually suffered from an action is. A successful attack therefore costs the opponent one card from his life pile, two successful attacks consequently two life cards and so on. The decision to leave enemy attacks undefended is more or less wise depending on the people chosen. While muscle-packed dwarves with six life points are relatively persistent, you have to deal with the puny four points of goblins or high elves more foresight.

Tactical depth is created by the different special rules for action cards, abilities or permanent bonuses. This allows, for example, the playing of free actions or the blocking of strong attacks with a comparatively weak defense. The tokens contained in the game represent various buffs and debuffs that you can use to strengthen or weaken attacks and defenses. On the other hand, the special skills of the classes and races are particularly practical. For example, high elves have the powerful ability to draw additional cards, while druids, with a little luck, can defend themselves against certain actions. Due to the different skills, it is a lot of fun in the long term to try out new hero combinations. That motivates and keeps card players engaged. The 4-player games also create tension, in which you have to coordinate with your game partner in order to fight the opposing team efficiently. Both players on a team play in their active turns at the same time, which fortunately keeps the downtime low.

Future secured: expandable game concept

A game concept like the fantasy card game Epic PvP offers, literally calls for extensions. Already on the similarly designed card game title Smash up you can see how much potential there is for addons in such a deck mix game. And in fact, initial information can be found on at least two extensions, of which the 1st extension should be available in German at Pegasus Spiele in around August 2016. Of course, both the races and the classes are then expanded to include some alternatives. You get two additional options per race and class per expansion. You can then try out completely new combinations.

In the test: Epic PvP from Pegasus Spiele - Enter the Fist!

Running around as a crazy orc druid is just as possible as fighting a dwarf monk. the 1st extension to Epic PvP contains the classes barber and monk as well as the races orc and dark elf. The second expansion is currently only available in English from AEG and includes the Halflings and the Catfolk, the class options Dark Knights and Clerics. What fantasy fans should notice immediately is the fact that traditional classes such as sorcerers or magicians have not yet been mentioned. Future expansions should be pretty sure of the class and race selection that the various fantasy worlds hold ready, so that fans of Epic PvP will also be offered a lot of entertainment in the long term.

Epic PvP images


Number of players: 2 to 4 players
Age: from 12 years
Playing time: 20 to 30 minutes
Difficulty: easy
Long-term motivation: medium

Publisher: Pegasus Spiele
Year of publication: 2016 
Authors: Ryan Miller, Luke Peterschmidt
Language: German
Cost: 15 Euro


As a conclusion of our review, we first of all note the following: How well entertaining a game ultimately also depends on the expectations that you as a player have of the game mechanisms. Who in the case of Epic PvP expecting a complex deck building game with an almost scientifically pronounced deck development, its demands must first be reduced a little. But then, the fantasy card game knows Epic PvP definitely convincing of Pegasus. Getting started is quick thanks to the comprehensible rules of the game and even beginners do not face any problems. With this deck mix game, playing cards becomes a relaxed experience in which the focus is not on preparing for the game, but on the duels between the players. Nevertheless, one should not underestimate the number of possible game strategies: Epic PvP offers a lot of potential to try out special tactics and to define the personal style of play via the right combination of races and classes. The idea of ​​deck mix games also gives publishers and authors the opportunity to quickly publish new content in order to expand the card contingent to an epic level within a very short time. Epic PvP by Pegasus Spiel is an ideal fantasy card game for beginners for whom TCGs and LCGs are too complex. Game connoisseurs, on the other hand, look forward to easily expandable content and new class-race experiments.