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How to Play the Harry Potter Trading Card Game (Part 2)

Updated on June 20, 2016
Jeremy Gill profile image

Jeremy casts spells in between studying Forensics and working part-time at his college in the swamps of Louisiana.

The Harry Potter Trading Card Game

Alright, since we've already read Part 1, we're already halfway done with the Harry Potter TCG rules! We've previously covered basic objectives, Lessons, Spells, and Characters; here we'll discuss everything else.

Remembrall
Remembrall
Nimbus Two Thousand
Nimbus Two Thousand

Items

As you'll remember from Part 1, each turn you get 2 actions to spend in various fashions. Items are cards you can play from your hand, at a cost of 1 action each. Unlike Spells, they stay in play until destroyed and enhance you in various ways. The Remembrall card to the right allows you to spend an action to place one of your Lessons from your discard pile into play.

Like Spells, Items cost a certain amount of magical power to use. The Remembrall example has an 8 in the upper right, so you'll need a total of 8 Lessons out to play it. And because of its red butterfly symbol, at least one of those Lessons has to be Transfiguration.

Some Items, likes wands and brooms, only allow you to have a single card of that type out at once. This will be noted on the card itself, so it's easy to remember. If you play a new Item of that type while you already have one out, you must send your original card to your discard pile.

Hebridean Black Dragon
Hebridean Black Dragon
Scabbers
Scabbers

Creatures

Remember the Care of Magical Creatures Lesson card? There are a few Spells powered by it, but it's typically used to play Creature cards. These are various magical beasts that can repeatedly deal damage to your opponent, and playing one costs 1 action. Each Creature has its own health bar, which your opponent can attack with various Spells. Once a Creature's health reaches zero, place it in your discard pile.

Let's look at an example. The Hebridean Black Dragon requires 8 total Lessons to play, one of which must be Care of Magical Creatures. As noted on its card, once you play it, you must discard one of your CoMC Lessons. This dragon's damage is 7 and health is 5. This means that, on your next turn and every turn after, you'll deal seven damage to your opponent before you take your actions. Your opponent will need to inflict a total of 5 damage to Hebridean Black Dragon before its destroyed.

Creatures are a great way to continuously empty your opponent's deck, and some even have special abilities. For example, Scabbers, Ron's pet rat, returns to your hand if it is discarded during your opponent's turn. When using Creatures, be wary of Transfiguration Spells - many can eliminate your monsters.

The Leaky Cauldron
The Leaky Cauldron

Locations

Locations are pretty easy. Like Spells, Items, and Creatures, they require a certain number of Lessons to play. The Leaky Cauldron example needs at least 2 Lessons, one of which has to be Potions, as indicated by the green cauldron symbol.

Like Items, Locations take 1 action to play and stay on the field until destroyed by another card. However, there can only be one Location on the field - if you or your opponent plays another one, the first one is discarded.

Location cards affect both players. The Leaky Cauldron card allows both players to play Character cards for 1 action instead of 2, perfect for Character-ridden decks.

Three-Month-Long-Match
Three-Month-Long-Match

Matches

Matches are interesting. They cost 1 action to play, and require a certain amount of magical power to use. The Three-Month-Long match has a Lesson requirement of 1, and because of its golden snitch symbol, you need at least one Quidditch Lesson out to use it.

Once a Match is in play, both players can attempt to complete it in order to claim its prize. The conditions for victory and prize change from Match to Match. In this case, the first player to deal 30 damage wins the Match and claims the prize: deal 15 more damage to your opponent. This 30 damage is cumulative; you could deal 15 one turn, then 10, then 5 in order to succeed. Just make sure that you gather the spoils before your opponent does.

Only one Match can be in play on the field. If one is already out, neither player can play a Match until the current one is fulfilled.

Into the Forbidden Forest
Into the Forbidden Forest

Adventures

Last, let's take a look at Adventures. Like Character cards, these take 2 actions to play. Adventures are high-risk, high-reward cards. Similar to Matches, they impose a condition in order for the Adventure to end; however, only your opponent can satisfy the condition and claim the prize. To make up for this, Adventures detriment your rival or boost you with a plethora of effects.

Conditions for solving Adventures and prizes change from card to card. In our example to the right, Into the Forbidden Forest, you gain this status: whenever one of your Creatures deals damage, it deals an extra 1 damage. To solve the Adventure, your opponent needs to skip a total of 5 actions. When they do, the Adventure ends, is discarded, and your opponent chooses if they want to claim the prize or not. In this case, if they take it, they can draw one card.

Unlike most cards, Adventures don't require any Lessons to use. Both players can have an Adventure card in play at the same time, but neither can ever have more than one at once.

If the Harry Potter TCG were still in print, would you be interested in playing it?

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Future of the TCG

And that's it! You now know how to play the Harry Potter TCG. There may only be a few hundred cards, but that's more than enough to allow for several decks and strategies. If you get your hands on some of these increasingly-rare cards, experiment and see what works for you.

These cards are largely forgotten, but a small, dedicated fanbase remains that still enjoy these lost treasures. It's only a slight chance, but perhaps the future will see more cards released, whether official or fan-made.

Regardless, thanks for reading, and feel free to consult the table below for a concise summary about the rules of each type of card.

Card Type
Stays on the Field?
How many can be on the field at once?
Lesson
Yes, until destroyed.
Unlimited
Spell
No, once cast, discard it.
N/A
Character
Yes, until destroyed. Starting characters cannot be destroyed.
Unlimited, but only one of each character can be on the field.
Item
Yes, until destroyed.
Unlimited, except for certain kinds of items, like wands and brooms.
Creature
Yes, until destroyed.
Unlimited."Unique" creatures can only have one on the field at once.
Location
Yes, until destroyed.
One. If a new one is played, discard the old one.
Match
Yes, until won.
One. Neither player can play a Match until the current one is completed.
Adventure
Yes, until solved.
One per player.

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