If you are just delving into the world of trading card games, you might encounter some abbreviations or terms that don’t make a lot of sense to you. That was certainly the case for me when I picked up Hearthstone. The world of trading card games is unique. Part of the fun is learning what any of these phrases mean. One phrase that always confounded me was “Top Decking Lethal.” What does that even mean? Well, buckle in, because Nerds and Scoundrels is ready to spell it out for you.
What Does Top Decking Lethal Mean?
Top Decking Lethal means that during a match you drew the card you need at the exact moment you needed it to destroy your opponent and win the match. The term is typically used when you are at a point where defeat seems certain. The one card you need to win has simply landed in your lap.
This concept is entirely about luck. While many games have cards that allow you to rummage through your deck and pull out the card you need, top decking lethal is simply getting the lucky draw that wins the game for you. For obvious reasons, top decking lethal is the subject of many youtube rants and memes.
The phrase Top Decking Lethal is taken from Top Decking, which means pulling the card you need for a positive outcome. This can be anything from keeping yourself from being defeated, taking out an important card of your enemies, or dealing a lot of damage. In other words, top decking involves any major positive outcome while top decking lethal describes drawing a card that will end the game.
An Example, from Magic The Gathering:
You are at 1 life and your opponent is at 5. It is your turn, but you don’t have a card in your hand or a creature on the board. Your opponent has several minions on the board with plenty of damage to kill you in his next turn. In other words, if you don’t come up with something this turn you’ve lost. Unfortunately, all you have is six land cards on the board and one draw to make. Then, you draw this:
Well what do you know! With the six mana you have available, you can deal exactly 5 damage instantly to your opponent. Not only is this enough to kill him or her, but because you’ve dealt five damage the spell can’t be countered nor the damage prevented.
Here is another video demonstration:
Nerds and Scoundrels
Make sense? We hope this brief rundown of what this TCG term means is helpful to you! Have your own epic story of pulling the perfect card at the perfect time? We want to hear about it in the comment section below!
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