"Transformers: Trading Card Game" Devastator Boxed Set Review

in 2019, Constructicon, Decepticon, Game Review

Articles
Transformers: Trading Card Game
Product Review

Special thanks to Hasbro and the folks at Rogers & Cowan for providing Ben's World of Transformers with this boxed set for review purposes.

After its launch in late 2018, the Transformers TCG continued to launch new sets adding to an already rich game environment. One of these standalone boxed sets featured the Constructicons and Devastator. This boxed set includes all six Constructicons with a set of 40 Battle Cards, one counter card and a Tower Card.

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Devastator is one of the most iconic Combiners from Transformers lore. Made up of six Construction themed Decepticons, he is right up there with characters like Megatron and Soundwave as a Decepticon that has been heavily embedded into pop culture. With the "Rise of the Combiners" set, it made perfect sense to feature him in his very own boxed set.

Special Cards
For those unfamiliar, the "Rise of the Combiners" set includes a new type of card. Instead of your normal cards with the Transformers logo on the back and the card art and description on the other. The Combiner cards themselves however are very different. Each card is the size of a character card but it can be folded in half to "transform" into the size of a regular card. When folded, one side has the vehicle mode and the other has the robot mode. When you are ready to combine the Constructicons into Devastator, you unfold the cards and flip them over and connect them together. It is a rather ingenious play pattern for a card and I love how it echoes the play pattern of the toys by having the cards "transform". I was told during Toy Fair that these cards have been tested for about 500 "folds" and they still did not tear, so durability was part of the design process.

Artwork
Like the artwork from the first set of cards, this set borrows heavily from two sources: the now defunct "Legends" mobile card game and the IDW Publishing comic books. A third source of artwork is the "Combiner Wars" toy packaging artwork. The styles of the character cards and the IDW Publishing comic book contrast heavily. The character art has a very classic, painted style that looks rich and lush. Meanwhile, the artwork on the Battle Cards is bright, colorful and dynamic. Even if you do not play the game, these are beautiful cards to have put together in a binder.

The Constructicons
Individually, the Constructicons are fairly average characters to play. They all technically count as rare, but that does not mean they all have insane shields or attack power. For instance, Long Haul only has 1 Shield point and 2 Attack power, but he does have a good 6 points of Health. Meanwhile, Hook has zero Shields but 7 points of Health. However, the key with the Constructicons is "The Tower". This set includes a special card "Tower". This fits with the construction theme of the set (even picturing a tower being assembled). The Constructicon cards allow you to add counters to the Tower. The Tower acts as a force multiplier of sorts. For instance, if you have 10 or more counters on the Tower, Devastator's base attack changes from 6 to 10 which is would be erm...devastating to many characters in the game. This is a very cool way to utilize the "spirit" of the Constructicons in the game play pattern.

Battle Cards
Like the other Transformers: TCG boxed sets, this set includes forty Battle Cards. Some of these are carry overs from previous sets. These include Grenade Launcher (one of my personal favorites) and Primary Laser. However, some are unique to this set. The Constructicon Enigma is the key to getting the Constructicons to be able to combine. It also allows you to repair damage to Devastator. Another card, Builder's Tools can only be used on Constructicons. This allows an upgraded character to add a counter on your Tower when tapped. You can then use that card in concert with Heavy Landing, which multiplies your damage if your Tower has 6 or more counters on it. I was very happy to see that the Battle Cards were not just cards from the first set repackaged. This really enhances the fun (and value) of the set.

The Devastator boxed set is due for release on March 29, 2019. The set is currently up for pre-order on Amazon for $24.99.