EXCLUSIVE: Interview With Stefan Coisson About the “Harry Potter” TCG Tournament Held At Gen Con 2015

Are you wondering what in the world “Harry Potter” TCG is and why/how a tournament with a world championship match is taking place at Gen Con 2015? We have the answers right here.

“TCG” stands for “trading card game,” and the Harry Potter Trading Card Game was originally introduced in 2001 by Wizards of the Coast. The game is a spin-off of the Pokémon and Magic: The Gathering card games with a Harry Potter flair. The game has, unfortunately, slowly died out over time; however, Stefan Coisson wants to see this game return with a passion, and he is bringing it, and a tournament, to the Gen Con 2015 event taking place in Indianapolis, Indiana, from July 30 through August 2, 2015.

Listen to the interview between MuggleNet’s Keith Hawk and Harry Potter Trading Card Game enthusiast Stefan Coisson to find out all the details right here:



Full Transcript with Stefan Coisson, Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Keith Hawk: This is Keith Hawk with MuggleNet.com and I am talking with Stefan Coisson. Stefan is going to be at the Gen Con 2015 convention taking place in Indianapolis, Indiana this Thursday, right Stefan?

Stefan Coisson: Correct.

Keith: And you are presenting what exactly? Tell us what you are going to be doing there.

Stefan: Well, I'm trying to bring back the Harry Potter TCG.

Keith: Alright, so the Harry Potter Trading Card Game. This was originally done by the Wizards of the Coast if I remember correctly, back in 2001. Is that right?

Stefan: Yep. 2001 to - I believe - 2003.

Keith: Give us a little history in how this game works, where it came from, that kind of stuff.

Stefan: Honestly, I don't have that much information in terms of history. I just know it was a product put out by Wizards of the Coast at a time where they were purchasing a bunch of different IPs to produce games for. I know that some of the game designers that did work on the Harry Potter Trading Card Game went on to work on a bunch of great different trading card games. One that's extremely popular in Japan called Spirit Battles. I went to a convention here in Chicago to meet some of the illustrators that worked on the art for the cards. To get the signatures, and talk with them, and get a history about the game before, and they honestly don't know what happened in terms of Wizards losing the license to produce the product.

Keith: Ok. Yeah, Warner Brothers probably squished it. [laughs]

Stefan: I would honestly assume so.

Keith: Yeah, I'm sure that's what happened. They were - at that point in time, back in the early 2000s - there were doing a lot of cease and desist orders. We even got one at MuggleNet at that time. And then they came to their senses and said, "Hey, this is promoting our stuff." Very few licensed products were able to be done at that point in time. There was a lot of Intellectual Property going on. Anyway, this is based on the Magic card game? And Pokemon?

Stefan: It's very similar to Magic in that you get this sort of resource, land, but what they call lessons.

Keith: And there are five lesson types correct?

Stefan: Yeah. Five lesson types. Care of Magical Creatures, Quidditch, Potions, Charms, and...

Keith: Transfiguration.

Stefan: Transfiguration. I don't want to say it's a dumbed-down version of Magic. It is just a simplified version that creates more fun, light-hearted, somewhat interactive game.

Keith: So it's played with two players at a time, correct?

Stefan: Yeah. But I have been researching where some people were trying to test with multiple players at the same time, but I haven't tried it yet. I'm hoping to at Gen Con.

Keith: Can you give us a really short rundown of how the game is played, and who wins, and how that works out?

Stefan: Sure. Since it's very similar to Magic, everyone starts with a 60 card deck with a starting character. And that starting character will either have an effect that happens once or ongoing throughout the game. You only play two actions per turn, and you can only play actions on your turn. The object of the game is to deal damage to your opponent or make them draw their entire deck. The great thing about the Harry Potter game is that when you are dealing damage to a player, they are discarding the cards from the top of their library into the graveyard. So it's not actually like Magic where you have 20 points of life; you have the whole resource of your deck to play with which is pretty interesting because you can play spells to bring back from your discard pile back into your library. That's pretty much it.

Keith: Now, at Gen Con, you are going to be running a tournament in a Swiss tournament setting?

Stefan: Yeah, so I initially wasn't 100% sure how many people were going to sign up. I said to myself, if four people sign up, I'll call it a success. Within the first hour, the introduction tournaments sold out, and I had six or seven people sign up for what I'm calling the World Championship.

Keith: That's awesome.

Stefan: Yeah, it's something that I wasn't expecting.

Keith: Okay. So how is this tournament set up and explain the Swiss-style tournament? I understand it from Quidditch, but fans out there may not understand how it's done.

Stefan: So [with] Swiss-style, we will play X number of rounds based on the number of entrants into the tournament. If we do have a max capacity of 16, we will play 4 rounds. And then you should have enough people. If there are 16 players I'm cutting to a top 4 or top 8, to play single elimination. During the Swiss round, everyone plays every round and just has as much fun as possible. And the people with the top records will then play the single elimination.

Keith: Okay, good. So are there going to be any kind of prizes for the winner, or how are you going to do that?

Stefan: I'm going to have a lot of Harry Potter prize products to give you. I'm not one hundred percent sure how much I'm going to have but it's going to be substantial just because I want people to get excited about the game. And then the World Champion will have a special trophy, which I don't want to reveal yet. I'm hoping to reveal it when I'm crowing the champion. But it's something very special.

Keith: For fans of Harry Potter [who] are in the Indianapolis area, tell them when this tournament is taking place, what room, etc. Just give a little detail on Gen Con.

Stefan: Sure. To get into Gen Con I believe it's... I'm not sure about the price breakdown.

Keith: Don't worry about that.

Stefan: The World Championship is going to be happening on Saturday, August 1, from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. in Hall B. Green tables 21-23.

Keith: Okay, so the World Championship is on Saturday from twelve o'clock to 4 o'clock?

Stefan: Correct. If you were interested in coming, I would come a little early, around 11:30-11:45 a.m., just so I can get you entered into the tournament system.

Keith: Okay, so just to recap this. Harry Potter the trading card game. There's a meet and greet Wednesday at 2 o'clock. That is no charge at all. And that is happening on Wednesday, correct?

Stefan: Correct. And the great thing about it is it's happening in a train station.

Keith: That's awesome. Just wish the Hogwarts Express was there. And then there is a starter and beginner package on Thursday and Friday. They'll introduce you to the game, and you can match and play and all that stuff. The World Championship is on Saturday at [noon].

Stefan: Correct.

Keith: Great. Is there anything else you want to talk about on this?

Stefan: Just that if you are interested at all in the game, please come out to any of the events just to have fun and talk. I want to push the game and hopefully get it started up again. My end goal, honestly, is to help start fan-made sets so that we are introducing new cards into the pool. That way it's not a stagnant sort of card game based on cards that were produced 12 years ago.

Keith: Yeah, because it was produced before the Order of the Phoenix book came out. So you could certainly add a whole bunch of stuff for the last three books.

Stefan: Yeah, and honestly this is the best thing about the game. The entire flavor of the trading card game is based on the books and not the movies.

Keith: Alright Stefan, we wish you luck with the whole tournament. We hope that the Harry Potter Trading Card Game takes off. Let us know how it turns out, will you please?

Stefan: Alright, I will. Thank you so much.

Keith: Alright, great. Thank you for joining us. And again, Stefan Coisson at Gen Con 2015, taking place in Indianapolis, Indiana.


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