The Transformers Trading Card Game is still relatively new, but its developers set a good example for other card games this week by banning an overpowered card, Press the Advantage.
Press the Advantage is an action card that punishes Deceptions while powering up Autobots. Additionally, the card provides an orange blip and a green blip.
Even if your opponent doesn’t have any deceptions, it’s a great card that can be slapped into an orange-heavy deck.
“It’s seeing maindeck play because the ‘worst-case scenario’ is a +2 Attack orange icon Action if you attack with an Autobot, which is actually a strong enough card to print as-is since there isn’t an analog for that effect,” the Transformers TCG team said in their announcement.
And unfortunately, the widespread use of Press the Advantage pushed out a huge portion of the game — Decepticons.
So far, there are only three sets released for the Transformers Trading Card Game and the game just passed its first anniversary. Unlike established card games like Pokemon and Magic the Gathering, Transformers TCG doesn’t have a rotating format yet. That leaves the team with few options when it comes to balancing a game-breaking card like Press the Advantage.
The Transformers TCG team had two options: introduce a card for Decepticons that’s just as powerful as Press the Advantage or recognize their mistake and outright ban the card. They chose to ban the card.
We're making a change that we believe will improve the health of the game going forward. We are banning the use of Press the Advantage in competitive play, effective November 8th.
— Transformers TCG (@TransformersTCG) October 16, 2019
It’s always a bummer when cards are banned out of the blue — collectors lose money, the metagame changes, and chaos ensues. But as Flip Flip Bang Bang wrote on Twitter, it’s better than the alternative, which is a metagame without Decepticons.
I hate seeing banned cards, but I like seeing Decepticon cards more. Glad I don't have a huge stock pile of Press the Advantage cards!
— Flip Flip Bang Bang (@FlpFlpBangBang) October 16, 2019
In general, players recognized the need for the card’s ban and praised the Transformers development team for their transparency and willingness to recognize their mistakes.
“You do not know how nice it is to see the actual reasoning behind a card’s ban. Thank you for that,” one Twitter user wrote.
You do not know how nice it is to see the actual reasoning behind a card's ban.
Thank you for that.
— Matt, Ultimate ??? (@Mattagross) October 16, 2019
“Sad that this is the second banned card in a year within 3 sets,” another user wrote. “But whatever is healthy for the game I’m down for, I’m thankful that the dev’s are so quick to fix issues in the meta.”
Sad that this is the second banned card in a year within 3 sets.
But whatever is healthy for the game I'm down for, I'm thankful that the dev's are so quick to fix issues in the meta.
Maybe Decepticons will see more play now. pic.twitter.com/AViPn6gSVX
— Matafer (@_Matafer) October 16, 2019
The Transformers Trading Card Game team made a tough decision instead of letting a huge problem fester, and they should be commended for that. Other trading card games should take note.