Get your gifts ready! It's the Vault Games 2018 Gift Guide - Part 2: Card Games

Time's ticking down! There's only 6 weeks until Christmas now so let's get onto the next part of our 2018 Christmas Gift Guide, Card Games.

Magic: The Gathering

Let's get the big one out of the way. Magic: The Gathering is the world's largest Trading Card Game and, seeing as it's been played for 25 years now, it's unlikely to be going anywhere soon. So, what is there to get your Magic: The Gathering friend or loved one?

Commander 2018 Decks are back in stock! This year's release of preconstructed decks, this time focusing on Planeswalkers at the helm, are perfect for anyone wanting to jump into the Commander format, or just expand their collecting of new and fun cards. These deckst are extremely limited, so, if you want to get hold of one of the latest decks for the best casual format there is, order it quick.

There also are some great big-box items for the Magic collectors. Firstly, there is Commander Anthology: Volume 2, a boxset containing 4 of the best preconstructed commander decks of all time for the Commander format. These decks are pure power, and a must-have for anyone enjoying the format and looking for some extra spice for their collection.

There is also Planechase: Anthology a boxset containing four preconstructed 60-card decks from the Planechase 2012 sets, and a special planechase deck featuring all 86 planar cards from the original Planechase set, Planechase 2012 set, and promotional releases. Planechase is a ridiculously fun format and, when used in a Commander game, can create some memorable stories.

Finally, for the Magic-obsessed, we have the 'ultimate' present… Ultimate Masters.  Releasing on December 7, Ultimate Masters is slated to be the last masters set for a long time. Not only is Wizards of the Coast printing must have cards like "Diabolic Tutor", "Temporal Manipulation", and "Mana Vault", but each booster box comes with a single, full-frame artwork version of the most sought-after cards. The price point may be a little higher than usual, but the Ultimate Masters set is not one to be missed. Preorders close on November 20 so get in quick.

Living Card Games

The Living Card Game series has been growing since Legend of the Five Rings was introduced late last year and shows no signs of slowing down. If you have any LCG-obsessed loved ones, or are looking at getting a friend or family member into the game, here's a few options.

Game of Thrones: The Card Game released all new Intro Decks this year. Aimed at being the perfect jump-in point for new players without having to buy the core set, the Intro Decks are designed with new players in mind, providing a solid foundation to build upon with new chapter packs.

For the Arkham-obsessed, there is Return to Night of the Zealot, an upgrade to the original Night of the Zealot campaign found in the Arkham Horror: The Card Game core set. You can also preorder the upcoming Return to Dunwich Legacy box, which upgrades the original Dunwich Legacy campaign for returning players (though the release date hasn't been finalised so, it's possible this one will arrive in early January).


Finally, there is the latest release from Fantasy Flight Games, Keyforge: Call of the Archons. Billed as a "unique-deck game", Keyforge sees you duking it out with your opponent to forge your three crucible keys before them. Each deck is randomly generated from three of the seven possible houses so each deck truly is unique and, each turn, you only activate one of those houses, strategically building up your Amber reserves to forge keys with.

To get into the game, the best start is with a Keyforge: Call of the Archons Core Set, but you can also pick up a full display of 12 unique decks (usually $15 each) to keep the game fresh and different every time you play.