There are two main card pools in KARDS: the Active card pool, and the Reserve pool. The Active card pool generally contains around 800 cards.
The Active card pool consists of all cards currently allowed in ranked play, while the Reserve pool consists of cards which are not currently allowed in ranked play.
Each time that a new major expansion is released (typically twice a year, once in summer and once in winter), a card rotation occurs. This means that:
- Typically around 80 new cards are introduced to the game, and potentially new keywords or mechanics.
- Some cards in the Reserve pool may return to the Active card pool, and at times they may return in an altered state.
- Some cards in the active card pool, older than 1.5 years, may rotate into the Reserve pool. The number of cards moving to the Reserve pool will be similar to the number of cards introduced to the game.
Cards moved to the Reserve pool are hand-picked, meaning that entire sets do not move into the Reserve pool at the same time. The list of cards slated to be rotated out is typically announced 4-6 weeks ahead of the rotation.
Only two card pack types are actively available for purchase at any given time in KARDS: Core packs and the latest expansion packs. Any time that a new expansion is introduced, cards from a previously new expansion will begin to drop in Core packs. There may still be ways to acquire card packs from older sets, in which case they only drop cards from those older sets.
Identifying Reserved cards
Cards currently in the Reserve pool are identified by a small shield icon with a strike through it next to the card.
In the Collection interface, this icon appears on the bottom-right corner below the card.
In the deck building interface, you’ll see the icon next to each of the Reserved cards in your deck.
When looking at your decks, the Reserve icon is shown under the deck.
Using Reserved cards
If your deck contains any card that is in the Reserve pool, you will not be able to play ranked games against other players. You can however play in the Classic PvP game mode against other players with Reserved cards in their deck, training matches against AI, and challenge matches against friends.
Recycling Reserved cards
It is possible to recycle cards you own that are currently in the Reserve pool. This will grant progress towards the next tier in the weekly crate.
Why is There a Reserve pool?
There are a number of reasons why KARDS has a Reserve pool. With up to 200 cards entering the game each year, this could lead to a number of issues, such as:
- Power creep. When introducing new and exciting cards and mechanics through expansions, without a rotation, we risk a power creep issue, making it less appealing to play anything other than a narrow range of the top cards. We want to support a variety of decks and strategies and create an environment where cards in a new expansion don’t always have to be more powerful than previous content, which in turn could continuously make older cards less relevant and lead to balance issues.
- Deck building difficulties. With an ever-expanding pool of cards, deck building would become increasingly difficult. Recalling all the different cards and possibilities can take a lot of mental energy and building new decks can become tedious with too many cards.
- Inaccessibility for newer players. As the amount of cards in the game grows, newer players have more and more of a difficult time getting into the game. Collecting all available cards will be challenging and wrapping your head around all the available cards will become increasingly daunting for newer players.
- Balancing difficulties. Balancing the game becomes more challenging as the card pool expands. With a card rotation, we are able to more effectively balance the game, providing a consistently fun and engaging experience for our players.