Not originally intended to be sample cards, thousands of thick card stock DEMO22 Demo Decks were created and distributed to everyone who wanted to try Grand Archive for free at conventions.

Grand Archive Convention Demo Decks photo.
Grand Archive Convention Demo Decks photo.

If you’re looking for the regular card stock demo decks given to game stores and distributors, see LGS Demo 2022 (DEMO22).

Introduction

On 26th May 2022, a couple of days before Grand Archive made an appearance at Collect-a-Con in Dallas, Kickstarter update #22 announced that anyone attending the convention could visit the Grand Archive booth to play a gameplay demo against one of the developers. Regardless of whether or not you beat the developer, you’d get to keep your demo deck

These demo decks were intended to be identical to the LGS Demo Decks the developers had announced on 11th March 2022 in Kickstarter update #18, however also noted in the 26th May update was that there had been issues with the cutting of the cards due to the thick card stock used.

The team decided that all future cards were to be printed on thinner card stock. As such these thick card stock convention demo decks were labelled as not legal for play and were unintentionally given sample card status.

Kickstarter update excerpt

In the last Kickstarter update, we shared our progress with our manufacturing samples. We were happy with the 7th iteration samples, and were calling it the final iteration of samples. However, after manufacturing thousands demo decks, it has become apparent that a quality control issue exists that is related to the cutting of the cards. We have identified that the issue was because the card stock we were using was too thick and was using a stiffer material than normal. We will continue testing with lower thickness card stocks in the coming weeks.

Because the card thickness will be lowering, the demo decks which were printed on thicker card stock, will not be legal for organized play. In addition, we printed some promotional cards such as an alternative extended art of Dungeon Guide which is a card that was supposed to be included with merchandise sales. However, this was also using the thicker card stock, which means that this too will not be legal for organized play. Therefore, we have decided to not distribute this Dungeon Guide until we print it in its final form. It was hard for us to compromise the card thickness to improve quality control, as we were very excited for thick cards. However, we believe that with other elements such has high detail printing and the frosted texture + UV spot treatment backs, our cards will still feel very premium.

These demo decks will not be distributed to local game stores through distributors. They will only be given away by the GA team from events. After solving the quality control issues, we will be reprinting the demo decks as real cards, which will then be distributed to stores.

Distribution

Before the developers made the decision to move on to thinner card stock, 12,000 of these thick card stock Demo Decks had been produced.

Starting with Collect-a-Con in Dallas, these 12,000 decks would be freely given out at conventions over the coming months whilst stocks lasted.

Convention Decks distributed
Collect-a-Con Dallas May 2022 1,000
Anime Expo Los Angeles July 2022 2,000
Future conventions (TBD) 9,000

Whilst the original 26th May 2022 Kickstarter update noted that fans would only be able to keep the decks they had played against a developer with, in reality these decks were given out to anyone who asked for them.

Variants

The cards included in the deck are always the same, but the packaging and other contents did change over time.

Sealed

The first 1,000 decks distributed at the Dallas Collect-a-Con in May 2022 were all sealed in a clear plastic wrap.

The cards cannot be accessed without the seal being broken.

Collect-a-Con sealed Demo Deck photo.
Collect-a-Con sealed Demo Deck photo.

Loose in bag

All other conventions from the Los Angeles Anime Expo in July 2022 onwards saw the decks loosely packaged in a clear plastic bag with a printed booklet - separating the material deck from the main deck - detailing the game setup, turn phases and card anatomy.

Unlike the sealed variant above, these decks can be resealed without any indication that they have ever been opened.

Anime Expo loose Demo Deck photo.
Anime Expo loose Demo Deck photo.

Deck contents

The sample Demo Decks are made up of 34 cards and have the same set list as the LGS Demo 2022 (DEMO22) decks given to game stores and distributors:

Number Name
CHAMPION
EN-001 NORM element Lost Spirit x1
EN-002 NORM element Lorraine, Wandering Warrior x1
REGALIA
EN-003 NORM element Bauble of Abundance x1
EN-004 NORM element Life Essence Amulet x1
EN-005 NORM element Ornamental Greatsword x1
EN-006 NORM element Seer's Sword x1
EN-007 NORM element Sharpening Stone x1
EN-008 NORM element Warrior's Longsword x1
ALLY
EN-009 NORM element Crusader of Aesa x2
EN-010 NORM element Esteemed Knight x3
EN-011 NORM element Honorable Vanguard x3
EN-017 NORM element Trusty Steed x2
EN-018 NORM element Veteran Soldier x3
EN-019 NORM element Weaponsmith x2
ACTION
EN-012 NORM element Inspiring Call x2
EN-015 NORM element Scry the Skies x3
ATTACK
EN-013 NORM element Opening Cut x2
EN-014 NORM element Reckless Slash x2
EN-016 NORM element Sudden Steel x2

The quantity of each card reveals its overall population. With 12,000 decks distributed, cards with x1 have a population of 12,000, whilst x2 has a population of 24,000 and x3 has the highest population at 36,000.

What about the cards with blank backs?

All of the cards within the demo decks given out at conventions had the normal gloss-treated Grand Archive card backs.

Grand Archive card back.
Grand Archive card back.

One of the activities at the Grand Archive booth at Anime Expo allowed anyone to create their own constructed decks using card-sized paper print outs of cards from the Dawn of Ashes Prelude set. These were printed on regular printer paper.

If you want one of these blank back cards for yourself, check out the Print and Play section of Grand Archive Index where you can generate identical-size cards that you can print yourself from home.

Despite being readily available for anyone to print themselves, at Anime Expo in Los Angeles several of these print outs were stolen from the Grand Archive booth which delayed people from taking part in the activity until more could be printed. Some of these stolen print outs later appeared for sale on eBay.