Alternate Formats For Two Players is a document released by Upper Deck Entertainment that officially sanctions the use of additional formats of play in the Avatar: The Last Airbender Trading Card Game. This is notable because, as opposed to these formats having been created for casual play by fans of the franchise, they were constructed with a specific set of rules by the producers of the cards. There are three alternate formats, each of which has a divergent set of guidelines from those in the official rules. The changes found in Rip 'Em and Flip 'Em and in Arcade Encounter take a noticeably extreme turn from those rules, while Sealed Deck remains comparatively more traditional.
Rip 'Em and Flip 'Em
Rim 'Em and Flip 'Em, also called simply Rip N' Flip, has each player open a few packs of trading cards and extract the Chamber Cards; after this the cards are shuffled and the game begins simply by flipping the cards onto the play mat, no opening attack specifications required. Furthermore, per other forms of casual play, traits are ignored in Rip 'N Flip. The amount of cards per deck is unlimited, but it is suggested in the document that at least four packs be used. Based on how many cards are in the Master of Elements Starter Packs and how this high number of cards would deter from the fast-paced nature of this format, the packs spoken of are booster packs of just ten cards each.
Arcade Encounter allows for more abstract and free-flowing game where the players themselves can decide how they will use the Chambers they pick. Firstly, all the Chamber Cards contained in the packs one opens are used in Arcade Encounter, not just one. The players deliberate together before the game begins about how the Chambers will be used, as in this format, Chambers are not bound by the rules of traditional play. When an opponent in the match scores a point, the defeated player must remove the top Chamber Card from his or her playing mat. Once a person has lost all of his or her Chambers, that person loses. Five booster packs are recommended for this incarnation of the game. Like in Rip N' Flip, trait requirements are not to be bothered with. Finally, aside from the new Chamber Card mechanics, all other rules not mentioned here are the same as they are in Rip 'Em and Flip 'Em.
The Sealed Deck format is, unlike its counterparts, supposed to increase the length of a match instead of make it fast-paced and relatively short. Furthermore, all the rules of formal play must be followed in this version. For Sealed Deck, both players are to purchase a predetermined number of packs, preferably eight to ten, and select one Chamber and forty cards to be used in their decks. As per formal rules, the cards chosen must have appropriate trait symbols corresponding to the Chamber, and no four copies of the same card may be played in one game with the constructed deck. The only rule from the official rulebook that is betrayed is that of the amount of cards – in Sealed Deck there are forty, but in formal rules there must be at least sixty. The challenge of Sealed Deck is discovering whether or not a player is capable of using a deck that he or she constructs just moments before beginning the game and making this deck formidable enough to defeat an opponent who has agreed to the same unique conditions.
- In the official document, each set of guidelines makes heavy notice of the fact that to play any of these formats, one should buy new, unopened booster packs of the trading cards, especially in Sealed Deck where doing so is a requirement. For example, if anyone wanted to play a game of Sealed Deck, both players would need to purchase at least eight and up to ten booster packs to truly participate in the test of skill, that being to play without being in-touch with all of the new cards beforehand. Any further games would also require a person to buy the same number of booster packs over and over again.
- Alternate Formats For Two Players at the Wayback Machine (PDF). This document includes the information in this article as well as strategic tips and other notes.