Last Update: 21 Jan 01

WCW Nitro TCG Main Page

Strategy Guide, Part 1


Deck Construction

Starting Play

Plan Your Turns

Taking Damage

Dealing Damage


Fog of War

Set Up Your Finisher

Orange Attacks and Weapons


Strategy Guide, Part 2

A Little Help From Your Friends

Fan Support

Multiple 1 or 2 AP Attacks

Out of the Ring


Pin/Continue the Hold

The Best Offense Is A Good Defense

Discard Decks

Balls to the Wall

Other Strategies



    You may include up to 4 Wrestler cards in your deck. These Wrestlers can be played from your hand into your Corner at no cost in Nitro or APs to assist your cause in a variety of ways. They can add their Reputation as extra Damage points to an Attack, absorb that number of Damage points from an opponent's Attack, provide bonus Attack points to shared-color Moves, and/or contribute their Special Ability for your betterment. This opens up the possibility for a "Strength in Numbers" or "interference deck" strategy.
    To take advantage of Corner Wrestlers, the first card you will want to have in your deck is Ringside Reinforcements. With this card in your Corner, any time a Wrestler is overturned from your deck while taking Damage, he can be placed directly into your Corner at no cost. Also, you may wish to add More New Blood. This card will allow you to search your deck and retrieve a Wrestler card. Next, you'll want to have Help cards which will allow you to use a Corner Wrestler's Special Ability. (You can do this only once per Round for each Corner Wrestler.) Other useful cards with this deck strategy are Mentor, Taking One for a Friend, Outside Interference and Call for Help. In addition, you'll probably want to use Second Wind to recycle discarded Wrestlers and Instant Replay to put Help cards back into your hand.
    Playing Wrestler cards from your hand into your Corner is free, so there is no need to play them immediately (unless you need them for defensive purposes or to take advantage of a Mentor card). Since Help and Call for Help also cost no APs to play, these can be saved up and sprung suddenly on your opponent. Choose your friends carefully so as to have ones which have useful Special Abilities, colors which match yours, and/or high Reputations to contribute towards your Attacks and defenses. If you have Outside Interference in play, you can use it to add *all* your available friends into one massive finishing Attack.
    With the addition of David Flair Joins Vince Russo in the Hardcore expansion, it becomes even more advisable not to play Wrestlers from your hand into your Corner any sooner than necessary. Otherwise, you may find them turning against you! Also, your opponent may play One on One and force you to remove all other Wrestlers from your Corner.
    The best candidates for interference decks are those Wrestlers who don't have specific and strong Special Abilities. Billy Kidman and Buff Bagwell might be the two best choices. Disco Inferno has a Unique card (Disco, Manager of Champions) which would help him play this strategy by allowing him to retrieve a Wrestler card from his discard pile. You might also consider this strategy for Scott Steiner or Sid Vicious.

    There are several cards which contain the word "Fans" in their title. The "Fan deck" strategy involves loading up your deck with these cards and trying to get several of them into your Corner simultaneously. Then, near the end of a Round, use Come From Behind to discard all of these cards and receive a +3 point Attack bonus for each Fan card discarded. This can often produce an Attack worth 20-30 points.
    In addition to helping set up a big Come From Behind finisher, Fan cards also put the squeeze on your opponent by making it more expensive for him to play Move cards and by reducing the Damage from his Attacks. This will slow the game down and help you get more Fan cards into play. This can be especially important for Wrestlers with small hand sizes. The Hardcore expansion introduces many new Fan cards which give various Attack or Nitro bonuses and introduce new possible combinations for Fan decks.
    Another devious strategy which can be employed via Fan cards is the "cheap Pin". This involves getting several Loud Fans and Heckling Fans into your Corner. These cards lower the Damage caused by Attack cards. However, since cards containing the Pin provision say that you can play a Pin if no Damage is stopped from this Attack, the reduced Damage value of those cards via Fan effects actually makes it *easier* to use them to deliver Pins! In fact, if there are seven Loud/Heckling Fans in play, a Vertical Suplex card becomes an automatic Pin since it will be reduced to a zero Damage Attack -- which can't, of course, have any Damage stopped and will allow a Pin to be played.
    Defense against Fan decks basically comes down to one card -- Nitro Girls, Center Stage. Hang on to this card until your opponent gets several Fans in his corner. Then, play the card and remove them all in one stroke! Fan decks can also be hampered by Corner removal cards such as Corner Chaos, Chaos in the Ring and Outta Here. A more elegant defense would be to employ the "cheap Pin" strategy *against* the Fan deck.
    Fan decks seem to work best for Wrestlers who don't have powerful offensive Special Abilities. Rey Mysterio, Jr. does it well and Buff Bagwell can pull it off since he has a Unique Fan card. Since almost all Fan cards are either White Corner cards or Thunders, any Wrestler could implement this strategy. With the Hardcore expansion, more Wrestlers will be using Fan cards since there are many new ones which provide strong benefits.

    Cards like Snap Suplex and Eye Rake are deceptively dangerous. Since they require only 1 AP to play, you can string 2 or 3 (or more with Extra Effort) together in one turn and produce Attacks which are equal or superior to any single Attack card like Goldberg's Jackhammer. Save these up until you can play more than one in the same turn.
    Also, look for the chance to play an Extra Effort card to allow you to get off two strong Attacks which each require only 2 AP in the same turn (such as Vertical Suplex, Piledriver or Clothesline) -- especially if each can be augmented by the play of a White modifier card like Jump from the Top Rope.
    A "low AP" theme deck can be made in which all or most cards require only 1 AP to play. This will allow you to get off multiple Attacks or card plays on most turns. If you build such a deck, you must ensure that all cards work together so your hand doesn't stagnate through the accumulation of unusable cards. Include Gut Check and Take the Microphone in your deck to help draw lots of cards and give you a lot of options with this strategy.
    I like The Total Package with this strategy since he has a good hand size and a special card (TTP's Flex Posedown) which allows him to draw 4 cards. This card is also recyclable with Instant Replay, so he can use it more than once and keep the card flow going. Getting cards into your hand is the key to pulling off this strategy successfully.

    This is a new strategy introduced by the Hardcore expansion set. This involves two sets of new cards. The first includes cards such as Toss over the Ropes which include text which says "If none of the Damage from this Attack is stopped, the action is out of the ring until the end of your turn." These cards may or may not also grant you additional APs for that turn. The second set includes cards such as Meet the Announcers Up Close which can only be played if the action is out of the ring. This means, for example, that you must successfully play Toss over the Ropes (and have none of its Damage stopped) before you can play Meet the Announcers Up Close. Often, this will require using Resistance is Useless to ignore all Thunder cards and set up the strong card(s) which can be played only when the action is out of the ring.
    Having a couple of Extra Effort cards available when the action goes out of the ring can prove to be very effective. Most cards which are playable outside the ring require only 1 or 2 APs, so Extra Effort can help you get off more of them. Since many of these Attacks do a fair amount of Damage, stringing them together can produce the equivalent of a finisher.
    For example, successfully playing Toss from the Turnbuckle will cause 8 points of Damage, gain 2 APs, and send the action out of the ring. If two Extra Effort cards are available, the Wrestler will then have 5 APs to use outside the ring. He could then play two Meet the Announcers Up Close cards (2 AP and 11 points each) and a Toss over the Railing (1 AP and 6 more points) for a total of 28 more points. This would make a potential grand total of 36 Damage points -- not counting any available bonuses for Magenta attacks.
    You shouldn't expect to get more than one or two opportunities per Round to take it outside the ring, so save up the good cards until the opportunity presents itself for a big turn. This also means that you probably shouldn't devote more than 6-8 cards in your deck to this strategy unless you want to go all or nothing with it. If you want to go for it, make sure to include the special weapons cards (Announcer's Table and Metal Steps to the Ring) which can only be used out of the ring. You may also want It Gets Dangerous for the Fans to add bonus Damage points to these Attacks.
    Tank Abbott is the obvious first choice for this strategy given his strength and his Special Ability to take the action out of the ring at a time of his choosing. Terry Funk is also a good choice. Any Wrestler who gets a +1 Magenta bonus might consider this strategy since the strongest "out of the ring" cards are Magenta Moves. Wrestlers who are strongest in Blue Moves should probably forego this strategy due to a lack of good cards.
    Defending against the "out of the ring" strategy requires that you be able to stop at least one point of damage from any Attack card which threatens to take the action out of the ring. Holding an appropriate Thunder card in your hand until needed will do the trick.

    "Nitro-hosing" is a term which refers to the strategy of removing Nitro cards from your opponent's Corner. Without Nitro cards, your opponent will be hard-pressed to get his strongest cards (or any cards at all) into play and you'll have an easier time defeating him. The primary cards used in a Nitro-hosing strategy are Good Night, Everybody! (which specifically targets Nitro cards) and Outta Here (which allows the removal of any 1 card from the opponent's Corner). Combine these with the recycling ability of Instant Replay and you may be able to keep your opponent's Nitro to a bare minimum for much of the Round. Also, if you play a successful Pin card, your opponent is forced to discard 3 Nitro or lose the Round immediately. The Hardcore set adds Surprise Guest-Referee's ability to increase this penalty to 4 Nitro per Pin. When your opponent is helpless, you can take your time and set up crushing Attacks at your convenience.
    Kevin Nash's Unique Nash's nWo Support can lead to a tough Nitro-hosing deck which would be backed up by his ability to deliver strong power moves. Bret Hart's recycling ability can keep the Nitro-hosing cards coming back into play.
    To defend yourself against Nitro-hosing, consider using cards such as The Artist (which allows you to search your deck for two Nitro and play them) and Mix in Some Nitro (which is a "free" card play and allows all cards during the current turn to be played for two less Nitro). Keep a Thunder card in your hand which will stop at least one point of damage in order to stop Pins.

    Several cards state that if none of the Damage from the Attack is stopped, you may play either a Pin or a Continue the Hold card. Playing a Pin forces your opponent to discard 3 Nitro cards (4, if Surprise Guest-Referee is in play) or lose the Round immediately. Continue the Hold allows you to do the Damage of the original Attack again. Since these provisions are most often associated with finishing Moves or other strong Attack cards, the combination can be devastating to your opponent.
    The Pin/Continue deck strategy involves attempting to set up as many of them as you can. You will need Resistance is Useless, Aysa, or other cards which can ignore the opponent's defensive cards in order to increase your chances that the initial Attack will proceed unstopped. Strangely enough, it is not always the strongest Pin/Continue Attack cards which make the best choices for the initial Attack. Remember that the initial Attack must go unstopped in order to follow it up with the Pin/Continue. Therefore, if you don't have Resistance/Aysa available, you will actually want a *low-Damage* initial Attack card to increase the chances that none of its Damage points will be stopped. This also means that, unless you can guarantee that the Attack is unstoppable, you shouldn't play cards which add Damage points to these Attacks. The more cards that the defender has to overturn from his deck, the greater the chance that an undesirable Thunder will come up and stop the Attack before the Pin/Continue can be played.
    Sting's built-in Resistance is Useless and brutal Scorpion Death-Lock makes him easily the best choice for a Continue deck. Hollywood Hogan has a built-in Continue which is always a danger. The ultimate Pin deck would have to belong to Goldberg. Not only does he have the biggest hand size -- which will make it easier for him to accumulate the necessary Pin combo cards -- but his unmatched "take another turn" Special Ability can allow him to launch a devastating double-Pin or follow up a Pin with another brutal Attack before the opponent can answer. Scott Hall's built-in Making it Look Easy can free him from concern over an opponent's Corner cards while setting up Pins.
    Defending against Pin/Continue decks requires a fair amount of defensive cards to help ensure that no Attack goes without at least one point of Damage being stopped. Bret Hart and Jeff Jarrett have Unique cards which allow them to ignore Pins and Continues, respectively.

    This deck strategy (sometimes called a "technical deck") downplays Attacks in favor of slowing the game down to a virtual crawl and hamstringing your opponent's ability to fight. It combines Nitro-hosing, Recycling and Fan Support with other deck control tactics such as Corner Chaos and Chaos in the Ring to strip away the opponent's Corner. Such decks also normally include more than the usual number of defensive Thunder cards to help ensure that an opponent's big Attacks do little Damage. Also important is AP management and ensuring that you go through your deck as slowly as you can. This can be accomplished by using cards like Larry Zybysko, Doug Dillinger, Bischoff on Your Side, and ***Chameleon to burn up APs examining and rearranging decks, permanently removing dangerous cards, and returning the best cards to your own hand. Attack cards in these decks are normally those which require 3 APs so as to keep the pace slow. If your opponent is forced to draw down his deck more quickly than you, you will win by attrition. I've seen technical decks draw a game out to 20 turns (with a normal game being 8-11 turns), so this strategy requires a patient and focused player.
    Bret Hart can pull off this strategy extremely well due to his unmatched recycling ability, large hand size, and ability to ignore Pins with Bret Shows His True Allegiance. "Excellence of Execution", indeed! Disco Inferno might also be a candidate for a defensive deck given his Special Ability which essentially makes him capable of shrugging off one big Attack.
    When playing against a technical deck, you'll want to make all of your Attacks count. It will be better to launch many smaller Attacks than try for a few big ones. You need to get cards out of your opponent's deck to win and big Attacks which get cut off short won't get the job done.

    A "discard deck" is another new strategy introduced by the Hardcore expansion set. This one features numerous cards which force the opponent to discard one or more cards from his hand. Since the three primary cards in this strategy -- Crossface, Front Face-Lock, and Wicked Hair-Pull -- are all Yellow cards, this is best employed by Wrestlers who are strong in that color. The three aforementioned cards say that the first Damage point from these Attacks which is not stopped must come from the opponent's hand rather than from his deck. This strategy is enhanced by including Thunder cards such as Quick Hit and Human Shield and the White Move card, Stunned. By removing cards from the opponent's hand, his options will be reduced, his chances of saving up the important cards needed for combos will be lessened, and he may be forced to draw several extra cards to replenish his hand -- which will accelerate the reduction of his deck and eventual defeat. Needless to say, if he's drawing cards, he's not playing them against you. Use Recycling tactics to keep putting the necessary cards for this strategy back into your hand and keep on nuking your opponent's hand.
    Scott Steiner is an excellent candidate for a discard deck due to his +1 Yellow bonus and lack of an offensive Special Ability. The versatile Bret Hart can also use this strategy successfully.

    This is a deck strategy which concentrates almost exclusively on Attack cards. Fill your deck with Attack cards and cards which will add Damage points to those Attacks. Get off as many Attacks as you can as quickly as you can deliver them and wear down your opponent before he can do the same to you. It can be a wild ride, but can also be surprisingly effective. Defensive cards are kept to a bare minimum in this strategy and would normally not be more than 4 Dodge/Block Thunders.
    Berlyn works very well as a "Balls to the Wall" deck with his excellent Attack-oriented Special Ability and Unique cards. Plus, his Rep of 5 means that he could blitz one of the "big boys" (Rep of 9 or 10) and gain 2 points for winning a round while never being forced to give up two points for losing a round to any Wrestler in the game. Brian Knobs might adopt a hardcore version of this strategy.
    Another interesting candidate would be Vampiro. His Unique cards enable Vampiro to add points to his Attacks while weakening his opponent's Attacks and he also has a good Attack card in Vampiro's Knee-Drop. But, his Special Ability to put two cards from his hand back on top of his deck before taking Damage from an Attack will allow him to do ugly things like overturning a Payback plus Reversal combination on demand in response to an opponent's attempted finisher and send lots of Damage back to the opponent. In effect, this adds another finisher to Vampiro's arsenal and fits right in with an overall Attacking strategy.

    The game allows for the employment of other miscellaneous and fun strategies, as well. One is the "Low Nitro" deck in which you use no cards which require more than 3-4 Nitro to play. This strategy would allow you to use a minimum number of Nitro cards and free up some space for other cards. Good choices for these extra cards would be the White Attack modifier cards like Running Start. These will help boost the power of your cheap Attack cards. Wrestlers with small starting hand sizes can benefit the most from this strategy since it will allow them to play their cards more quickly.
    Another interesting strategy is the "Nitro Girls" deck. Here, you include all or most of the different Unique cards which feature one of the Nitro Girls. Since each of these benefits your efforts or hinders your opponent's, having several of them in play at once can give you a significant advantage throughout the Round. Any Wrestler could do this, but for those of us who remember Ric Flair from his classic "Space Mountain" days, we might enjoy building a deck around him using this strategy.

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