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Sealed Play for Guild Wars


If you made it to the Gen Con 5k Arena or the PAX 10k Arena events this summer, you would have seen our first official sealed play events held for Guild Wars.

As explained in the Universal Tournament Rules (UTR), each player was given 16 random skill cards that they could share and trade with their three teammates. Each four-player team then built the best characters they could using only those skills, with the option to add Resurrection Signet or Charm Animal.

Each of these events was a rousing success, filling up quickly, with most of the players having a great time. Sealed play, as previously explained, provides an easy entry for new players while testing experienced players' understanding of the entire skill set of Guild Wars.


Have you made any changes to the sealed play rules?

After analyzing what went well and what could be improved from these summer events, we are making the following changes to the sealed play rules. These will be updated in the UTR shortly.


Skill Card Distribution

Before the tournament begins, each player will be given a randomized "pack" of 20 skill cards of which:

  • Three (3) will be Rank 1 skills
  • Seven (7) will be Rank 2 skills
  • Ten (10) will be Rank 3 skills

As previously stated, it is possible for a player to get multiple copies of skills. In the event that more than two (2) copies of the same skill appear or less than 16 different skills are included, it is recommended that the cards be returned to the tournament organizer in exchange for a new set.


Skills Available to All Players

Any player is allowed to choose the skill Resurrection Signet for a character build.

If a player selects a Beast Mastery skill then he or she can choose to use the Charm Animal skill. If that player removes all Beast Mastery skills, then he or she must also remove the Charm Animal skill from the character build.

If a player selects a Dagger Mastery skill then he or she can choose to use the Desperation Strike (Lead Attack) and/or the Fox Fangs (Off-hand Attack) skills. If that player removes all Dagger Mastery skills, then he or she must remove Desperation Strike and Fox Fangs from the character build.

These skills do NOT appear on any skill cards and are not part of the random packs given to players.

These changes were made to provide better play balance for each team.

In order to help keep the events interesting for all, we also plan to give out new sets of skill cards after teams have played three or four matches. This way, if a team feels they didn't get a good set of cards at first, they can wait until the next set of cards is given for new opportunities to show off their skills.


What resources are available to try sealed play myself?

What a great question (even if I did ask it myself)!

First, we have made the skill cards we use available for you to print out for yourselves. Go to this page and download the skill cards for specific professions or for all of Guild Wars (Prophecies and Factions).

Here is an example of these cards.

These cards have been updated with the latest skill changes and will be updated every time we do some more skill balancing work.

But you don't have to use our official cards to try sealed play out on your own. As stated in the Universal Tournament Rules, any card that lists the following information can be used:


Skill Card Rules

Skill cards are cards that list the following information about character skills from Guild Wars as a minimum:

  • Skill name
  • Name of profession that can use that skill
  • Name of profession attribute the skill falls under
  • Casting cost of skill (if any)
  • Adrenaline cost of skill (if any)
  • Activation time of skill (if any)
  • Recharge time of skill (if any)
  • Full text of the skill
  • Rarity of the skill (see Appendix C – Skill Rarity)

ArenaNet has gone through a couple of iterations of our skill cards and several fan groups have done so as well.

One of the best known and useful sets of fan skill cards exist at the Servants of Fortuna web site. They have a sealed deck project that they started work on shortly after we first started talking about sealed play. In addition to making some attractive unofficial sealed play skill cards they also created an online random deck generator.

While it doesn't include the skill card rarities required in our rules, the ability to generate randomized skill cards online is very cool and will allow you to easily try sealed play with your friends.


So, will you run sealed play events again?

Absolutely! Look for live sealed play events to be scheduled at conventions next summer and even at our next championship!

Interested fan groups will also be able to sanction and run their own sealed play tournaments as well (sanctioned play rules coming next week).

Our first sealed play events were well received and we look forward to further testing this format to continue to provide you fun and exciting ways to play Guild Wars at shows and at home. Watch for more articles to come.