You Need These Collectors Guidebooks & Game Companions
By Alex J. Coyne © Gifts for Card Players
Guidebooks and companions are one of the best possible gifts for a trading-card or tabletop player. Covering the rules, characters, cards, and often strategy of each game, they become essential for anyone who plays their chosen game often.
If something has Deluxe, Official, or Complete in the book title, it’s almost sure to fall into this category. Unofficial guides can also be appropriate for advanced players who like to collect everything they can about how to play better.
Wondering which guidebooks and companions are best-sellers? Here’s what to get for players of Magic: The Gathering, Pokemon, Yu-Gi-Oh!, and World of Warcraft.
Sports card collection is a huge, international business. It’s common for newcomers to get lost in the sheer amount of available information: What’s good? What’s bad? What’s a potential fake? How do you spot the best sports cards, and where can you exchange them for either others or cash?
Sports Card Collector 101 is a May 2021 release by Beto Salinas. It attempts to demystify the sports trading-card business, and condenses most of the common questions into one book. Important information on selling, trading, and pricing/condition is also included here.
A great recommendation, especially for those only starting out.
Trading Card Games for Dummies is a broad-perspective reference book for new or intermediate players. If you’d like to spark an interest or get to know several different TCG games at once, it’s a sure recommendation.
Written by John Kaufield and Jeremy Smith, the game covers mechanics of play, popular TCG titles, and advanced resources for readers learning more.
Not sure where to start yet? Start here for a better idea of what games will grab your attention.
The Pokemon TCG is one of the most widely played in the world.
If you need a solid foundation in gameplay, basic rules, and strategy, there’s almost no better place to start than the Official text. While advanced playing might mean hours spent on internet message boards or YouTube, the very basics of the original TCG can be found here.
A great read, recommended for first-time players and die-hard fans alike.
The Super Deluxe Essential Pokemon Handbook from Scholastic Publishers is a 2018 release.
What’s it meant for?
As a reference book for Pokemon fans or comic book art fans, this is excellent and authoritative. Covering 800 different characters, it’s a must-have for readers who want to know the series inside-out.
If you want to make sure your Pokemon-universe knowledge is complete, it’s an essential.
The Official Yu-Gi-Oh Handbook by Tracey West is the book for anyone with particularly intricate questions about the canon or the series. Characters, duels, and statistics are covered – although it’s worth saying that only fans of the first US television show will find this appropriate and accurate.
The original Japanese-series and TCG differs in some ways; fans will have to dig for books originally released in Japanese to stay closer to this variety of the show.
Still, the Official Yu-Gi-Oh! Handbook belongs on your shelf if you’re a player, fan, or Dueling Nexus regular.
The Yu-Gi-Oh! Rulebook is one of the official strategy guides by Prima Games. Released in 2003, it’s a recommended reference book for the first official rules of dueling.
If you’re dueling at all, consider this one of the books you should read at least once. Basic concepts have preference (and it’s something that all TCG players appreciate having around, even during the heat of a game).
Here, you can find a Q&A about dueling decks, a basic deck-construction guide, and more information about some of the most well-known cards. Overall, 96 pages for starting and intermediate players is worth it.
Magic: The Gathering is one of the biggest gaming franchises in the world right now.
The Complete Encyclopedia (from Kathryn Hayes) dates back to 1996, but still contains some of the most important details fans might want to know. From characters to settings, you’ll find the answer in here – with the exception of newer decks.
Authoritative, any serious tournament player should consider working their way through.
The Unofficial Ultimate Collector’s Guide (by Ben Bleiweiss) was released in 2018.
Are you the type of MTG fan who wants to know everything (and then some)?
Very well-rated, expect this book to contain information you might struggle to find anywhere else. Sometimes unofficial guides can turn out to be very wrong, but Bleiweiss gets credit for having done a great deal of research to compile what’s in here.
World of Warcraft is huge and played in many varied forms. Of course, the trading-card variety is one of them – and for super-fans, going over the artwork from their favourite TCG is always fun.
Released in 2008 and officially Volume 1 in the series, The Art of the Trading Card Game contains more than 300 artworks from the card decks.
Know any lovers of arts or orcs? Buy them this!