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WGP Info

Preregister for Qualifying Tournaments.
This includes the Nov. 10th tourney before the Nationals. Failure to do so can lead to a 'Round 0' elimination round, and nobody wants that.

Click here to Preregister! >

Regional / National Tournaments are Best-of-1 Swiss, with an approximate 25% Top Cut to a Best-of-1 Single Elimination, with a Best-of-3 Finals.

Decks must either have 100% translation sleeves, or the player must either have a sheet or set of index cards (or other multi-sheet device) to allow the opposing player to understand the cards in English. We suggest printing the english text and placing them on 3x5 cards. These translations must be revealed for every card as it is first played to the stage, or for any card in an open zone at the opponent's request. Reference cards are available on the individual card translation pages. Note that willingly misrepresenting a card is cheating.

Deck randomization is a serious matter. A shuffle is a randomization followed by an opponent cut. Simply 'fanning in' Climaxes on Deck Refresh and performing a few overhand shuffles is not sufficient - randomization must be done to a point that it does not matter if climaxes or other cards were placed in deliberately prior to shuffling. Players must use at least one full table/riffle/bridge shuffle when they randomize a deck, and if the opponent is not satisfied, the opponent may request a judge randomize the deck. According to comprehensive rules, an opponent may instead 'shuffle' a deck as opposed to 'cut' it. However, we realize that players may not wish to have opponents damage their cards through careless action. As such, opponents may request that a judge randomize their deck, and that judge may not bridge a deck, or 'rough up' the sleeves via careless shuffles. Judges must take care to preserve the quality of all cards they touch.

Closed zones (stock, deck, etc) must have face-down cards stored in a uniform matter. This means no 'flipping around' climax cards, turning them in Stock so you know which ones in Stock are Climaxes, etc.

Mandatory actions cannot be 'skipped'. Should you draw before you stand all of your Characters, you must go back and stand them. Players should call a judge if they feel their opponent is pressuring or 'sharking' them.

You can be penalized if you fail to follow appropriate 'manner' rules. This includes, but is not limited to: hygiene issues, threatening your opponent, grabbing your opponent's collar, taking insufficient care of their cards (tapping on them strongly with a pointed nail, bending them, etc), making excessive / annoying noises (loudly flipping through the cards in your hand while they are thinking, talking to them, etc), rushing them (if you feel someone is slow playing, call a judge), and so on. These rules exist to make sure everyone at the tournaments has a fair time.

Click here for the Blank Deck List.

Click here to Preregister! >

Common Rulings

Note that cards from damage / Brainstorm / trigger are moved to the Resolving Zone in full, with Deck Refreshes done immediately upon having 0 cards in Library; then only after all effects are applied is Refresh Point Resolution resolved. As a few full examples:

A player has 4 cards in Library, 2 of which are Climaxes, 1 is an Event, 1 is a Character. They use an ability that states "Brainstorm 4 cards: for each Climax, choose one character in the Waiting Room and move it to hand".
- they activate the ability.
- one card at a time is moved from Library to the Resolving Zone.
- when the fourth card is moved, the Waiting Room is shuffled and made into a new Library.
- the number of Climaxes (2) is counted.
- the 4 cards in the Resolving Zone are moved to Waiting Room.
- the effect goes off, allowing the player to move up to 2 Characters from the Waiting Room to hand.
- as there is only 1 Character in Waiting Room, only 1 is taken.

A player has four cards left in their Library, and the last card is a Climax. They take four damage.
- the cards are moved one at a time to the Resolving Zone.
- the fourth card is moved to the Resolving Zone. The Waiting Room is refreshed into a new Library.
- the fourth card, being a Climax card, stops the damage.
- all cards in resolve zone are moved to WR.
- Refresh Point Resolution occurs (move top card of deck to clock)

A player has four cards left in their Library, no Climax, six cards in Clock. They take four damage.
- the cards are moved one at a time to the Resolving Zone.
- the fourth card is moved to the Resolving Zone. The Waiting Room is refreshed into a new Library.
- damage is moved to Clock.
- Level Up occurs (moving 6 cards to WR)
- Refresh Point Resolution occurs (move top card of deck to clock)

A player has one card left in their Library, a Climax Card with a Door Trigger, and six cards in Clock. They Front Attack.
- The player reveals their Trigger. It moves to the Resolving Zone.
- The Waiting Room is refreshed.
- The Trigger activates. There are no cards in WR, so no Character can be taken.
- Trigger card is moved to Stock.
- Refresh Point Resolution occurs (move top card of deck to clock)
- Level Up occurs (moving 6 cards to WR)

Note that cards that move cards directly from the top of library to Clock - no resolving zone - allow the activating player to choose the order of effects. (this is exceedingly rare)

A player has 1 card in Library, 6 in clock. They play a Character that says "when this Character comes into play from Hand, move the top card of your library to Clock."
- The character comes into play.
- the top card of the library is moved to clock. Now the player may choose the order of the next two steps (A and B).
A: - Level Up occurs.
B: the WR is shuffled and made into a new Library.
- After both A and B are done in the chosen order, Refresh Point Resolution occurs (move top card of deck to clock)

As a final note: "Shot" Trigger Damage happens *after* Refresh Point Resolution. The entire act of Cancelling, Refresh, Refresh Payment (and possibly Level Up) is considered "Damage Cancelling". Only after all of that does Shot damage occur.

Notes from the Organized Play Head Judge

Please note that the following represents the opinions / methods of the HotC Organized Play lead, and not of Bushiroad Japan / SEA / USA.


- three sleeves max (example: "penny", sleeve, oversleeve)
- must be sleeved
- sleeves cannot be damaged
- all cards must be identically sleeved
- must have at least 1 'opaque' layer (in this case, 'opaque' means layer with zero 100% transparency - yellow Ultra Pro sleeves that are translucent enough to see the WS card through are fine, as long as the cards themselves are not distinguishable via wear
- cannot use oversleeves with any printing / color on them IF sleeves under them are not a solid color (so oversleeves with printing fine if solid beneath, not fine if characters under)
- cannot use sleeves that unnecessary slow / impede shuffling (if hard sleeving, you better be good at shuffling)

single-sleeved in opaque solid color sleeves, 'tapped' in to the same level, individual reference cards for opponent translations, and extra sleeves ready for the possibility of a 'busted' sleeve. Please note we take marked decks very, very seriously, and a player who does not take proper care of their deck in a tournament environment is only hurting themselves. Things that can get you penalized: shaved sleeves, trigger cards 'tapped to the top of the sleeve', crumples that allow us to pick out tech combinations / level 0s / etc, certain combinations of sleeves reversed in a deck so they can be recognized (reversing climaxes, etc).


- all cards must have official translations made available by the player
- inserts, if used, must be identically sized and oriented within sleeves
- translations must be presented to the opposing player upon the card being chosen as a target for an effect or played / activation of an effect on them (for example - when targeted for a Bond, or played to stage).
- translations must be provided on request for any card in an open (temporarily or otherwise) zone. (for example, your opponent sees a card in your clock, and asks what it does)


- cannot be bootleg (if character picture, must be from legitimate rights holder - printing copywrighted designs / images on mats is not allowed)
- cannot be reflective
- if not official bushiroad product (points mat, paper mat from trial deck, etc), opponent must approve of mat for you to use it

Time Limits
WS Best of one matches are 40 minutes. This includes time taken to present translations to the opponent. Time starts when the round starts, which is after the "Final five" (which is 1. shuffle and cut 2. RPS, winner is the turn player and goes first 3. both sides draw five 4. turn player discards up to five and draws to five 5. opponent discards up to five and draws to five). In WS, games that go to time are Tied, there is no sudden death. In the Swiss format, a Tie is worth zero points (the same as a loss), so it is in both players' best interests to play expediently and watch for slow play.

Spectating allowances are left up to the Head Judge, who must watch for signalling and intimidation. For the record, all HotC-judged events are No Spectating. Players are to remain at their seats or move to the common area after their matches.

Why Best of One?
We use Best of One tournaments for multiple reasons:
1. Tournament time limits. A Best of Three Tournament takes three times as long as a Best of One. This may limit venues from running tournaments for large numbers of players.
2. It preserves the Japanese 'meta'. In a Best of One tournament structure, techs that work two out of three times are much more potent overall. It allows players to 'get away' with more variance, as they will have a free 'loss' in every matchup. As such, certain builds are more powerful in a Best of Three structure - perhaps in a way that differs from the original imagining of those cards in the overall game.
3. It prepares the eventual winner for the World level. Players who build and are victorious in a Best of Three structure will not fare as well with similar deck and playstyle in a Best of One tournament. We want our National Representatives to be as well-prepared as possible.
4. Players learn to counter decks as they play them, not after they lose to them. Instead of losing to a deck, then adjusting their play, they must adjust their play within the bounds of the game they are playing. This leads to a higher degree of skill required to succeed.
5. It does not necessarily change the eventual match victor in an individual match. While this is not a stand-alone reason, but we wanted to show that we have done our 'homework'. We ran a number of mid-range events in 2011 with Best of Three rules, and only 25% of the games went to the third match, which resulted in the winner of the second game winning the match only 30% of the time. This shows that, for our results, the Best of Three winner was different than the Best of One only 8% of the time. While this is 8%, be aware that statistically, for every win you 'should' have gotten because of a Best of Three, you lose one that you 'should' have gotten because of a Best of One.

What sort of judging do you perform?
We perform Passive Judging. This means that our judges are not responsible for pointing out flaws in player games without a judge being called to that game. Now, this does not mean that judges are not constantly on the lookout for cheating / incorrect play - they are, and will call them accordingly. It means that if a player makes an in-game error and a judge does not see it, it is the opposing player's responsibility to actively call a judge over to rectify the situation. If someone slow plays, call them on it. If they told you a card's power was X and it was Y, call them on it. If they are intimidating you or otherwise being unsportsmanlike, call them on it. If you think they stacked their deck, call them on it. It is a player's responsibility to keep an eye on the state of the game. After a game is too late to get a ruling that will change that game's outcome.

What are your cardsleeve rules?
Cards must be sleeved (or not sleeved) in such a way that the cards are not identifiable to either player when in a closed zone. Sleeves must be identical, and free of marks of any kind. If cards can be seen through the sleeve in any way, those cards must be of uniform wear. Cards themselves must in those sleves in a uniform manner, and must themselves be of similar lay-flat appearance. These rules are enforced by the Deck Check. If you make it through an entire tournament with a winning position (a high enough ranking to receive a prize / invitation), you should expect as least one. Decks and their sleeves are checked thoroughly for any evidence of deceit. For example, if all of your sleeves are slightly worn, but the four cards with the most wear in the upper-left corners are the Grade 1 part of your Ride chain (Cardfight!! Vanguard) or your Door Trigger Climax (WeiB Schwarz), you should expect at least a Game Loss. If all of your Triggers (CF!!V) / Level 0s (WS) are at the top of your sleeves (so they can be noted when looking at the top of the sleeve from the side) or perhaps have an identical crinkle on the right side, that is an equal penalty. Note that purchased sleeves are not necessarily uniform. You may buy sleeves that have some that are shorter than others, or have a fold in the corner. In Regional and greater events, it is your responsibility to use uniform sleeves.

Why do you run tournaments manually?
We do this because we strive for openness, all possible fair actions are done by hand and then checked by all judges present. We realize this takes a slightly longer time, especially during topcuts, but we feel the openness leads to a better tournament experience. The only thing we do via computer is the pairing shuffle, wihch is done via an atmospheric random shuffle (such as one from During this shuffle, should an illegal pair arise (previous matchup, double pair-down, etc), the two are set aside and the first legal pair is then matched with the first set aside player, second with the second, and so on. Should this not be possible due to all legal matches paired, that entire section of pairing is re-randomized. While there are a number of great pairing systems available, there is always a chance that someone may create a flawed / loaded version of that program.

What is Tiebreaker priority?
In descending order:
Largest Number of Wins
Smallest Number of Wins via Timeout
Strength of Schedule: All players have a 'Personal Strength' (PS) of (Number of Wins / Number of non-Bye Rounds played), minimum 0.33. Strength of Schedule is (total PS / Number of non-Bye Rounds played).
Previous Head to Head Winner: If two players are tied at this point, and have played each other previously, the previous winner is ranked higher)
1-Game Single Elimination Match
Please note that Ties are, for all scoring purposes, a Loss for each Tied player. © 2011- Heart of the Cards. Intellectual Property Notice