A Quick Glimpse at What the Official Harry Potter TCG League Was Like
At the peak of the Harry Potter Trading Card Game, both children and adults were ecstatic to play and find other wizards and witches to duel against. Wizards of the Coast recognized this and similar to other trading card games, they created a league where people could come together to play the game, participate in activities and make friends.
When you found a trading card shop that is your go-to for TCG related items, you would inform the patron that you were interested in the league and from there, they would get started by issuing League materials to you and informing you of how the league works. You would be provided a league folder that has the famous checkered pattern in dark blue and maroon colors. In the very center of the folder is an image of Hogwarts students getting ready to board the Hogwarts Express on Platform 9 3/4. On the back of the folder there are empty spaces for you to put stickers that you would receive as you advance in the league. We will go over those advancements later on.
Inside the league folder, will find an acceptance letter that introduces and explains to you some of the functions of the league. The letter opens thusly:
“Welcome to the Harry Potter Trading Card Game League! Here you will take on the role of a student at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. During the league’s eight seasons, you will take some of the same classes as the famous Harry Potter and possibly participate in some of the same adventures.”
This league was superbly set up in such a way as to not only allow for game play, but for interactivity with others, socialization and abilities to earn promo cards and stickers. There were “challenges” that were provided to the members of the league that would require them to answer Harry Potter TCG related questions, card identification, drawing some cards and writing abilities related to the game. Each season had a different set of activities and once these activities were completed, the members of the league would receive a class certificate and a promo card.
For example, one such challenge type was called the Diagon Alley Challenge. Inside of the Diagon Alley Challenge, there is an activity that the players are required to complete. “Hogwarts First Year” is a section of the activity that challenges the student/player. There are 3 challenges, the first one reads:
The Uniform: Basic Training
Find a Wizard or Witch card
Find a Lesson card
Find another type of Lesson card
Find a Creature card that does 2 damage
Find a Spell card that needs 6 power to play
Find a Spell card that allows you to put a Creature card from your discard pile into your hand.
Once you've completed this, you are now ready for the Harry Potter Trading Card Game and will be “drawn into the world of Hogwarts.” By completing these activities, it allows you to be familiarized with the different types of cards that are involved in the Harry Potter TCG and allows you a chance to familiarize yourself with them before being asked to build a deck.
For the second challenge, you are prompted to gather “Other Equipment”, the challenge looks like this:
Before the game:
Choose which deck you want to play with
Remove the Character card and place it in front of you
Shuffle your remaining cards
Draw 7 cards
Randomly determine who goes first
You are asked to choose which deck you'd like to play with, this might be from the starter decks or from decks that you have built with the cards you've opened from your booster packs. You are now ready for the game and once you complete your first game in the league, you earn two promo cards.
The various promo cards that exist in the Harry Potter TCG league that students/players were looking to collect are: Diffindo, Forest Troll, Hufflepuff Match, Unusual Pets, Moonseed Poison, Ollivanders, Hover Charm and Forbidden Corridor. The promo cards all had a gold “promo” stamp in the corner with a lightning bolt symbol underneath it. There were other promo cards that came out through the card games' duration but not all were given out in the league.
The League was a place for kids and adults to socialize, learn the game, become immersed in the Harry Potter Universe and feel as though they were transported to the world of Harry Potter and his friends. This was a place for all to be welcomed with a commonality, a love for magic, adventure and building friendships for a lifetime. The league unfortunately met its demise the same time the card game did. Even though there were plenty of cards to go around and many decks to be built, card shops didn't feel it was worth their while to continue the league of a dead game. After all these years, there are small groups of people worldwide who disagree and they keep the game going and are ready for the next duel with a fellow witch or wizard from any corner of the globe!
Although you may not find an official League at your local card shop, if you are interested in playing the Harry Potter Trading Card Game and joining a league of fans and friends, then please consider joining the Into The Floo Harry Potter TCG League, where we play over discord with people all around the world using our physical decks over WebCam. The discord link can be found below along with other ways of getting in contact with me for any questions you might have. If you don’t have a deck, don’t worry as I could provide one to you if interested. If you would like to see more promo cards then please visit my YouTube channel where I have a video of them or my Instagram where I've got pics as well.
Have fun, be safe and maybe I'll catch you in the league!
This article was originally published for The Rowling Library Magazine in November 2021. To find their website and read more of what they have to offer, visit here.