Explanation of Throw Back & Revolution

Started by Hutch37, April 18, 2021, 10:03:46 AM

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I played this game back in the day from Premier through ~Mania, then sold everything and moved on with life. A couple of years ago I bought a few starters to play with the kids and every once in a while get a bug to buy a few more cards to have around. Can someone explain Throw Back and Revolution to me? Are there any gameplay rules I should be aware of? Can TB & Revolution cards be used with the early sets?


Throwback is just a different version of a card, usually made better, but let's just use the word different, because certain superstars may want to use the original not the throwback.  There are packing rules like if 1 is unique and 1 is not, u can either pack 1 unique one or 3 of the non-unique (unless a superstar give you different permissions), but cannot combine the two.  If both are non-unique you can pack 3 total, your choosing (again unless a superstar changes the 3 limit).

The revolution cards from the last 3 sets before printing ended.  There are different formats that keep them separated (classic / virtual classic) or (revolution / virtual revolution).  The classic ones are let's say commonly played where classic is just sets 1-20 and virtual classic is those cards plus the virtual cards you can find here that the development team does a wonderful job with and I encourage you to check out.  The two revolution formats are similar and simpler, classic is only 3 sets and virtual is an additional 2, but it is not as commonly played.  The last set is all access which combines both classic and revolution, which is a mess of brokenness.  It can be done but is not encouraged.  I believe for right now the group of players prefers to keep them separate but let's use the word "can" be put together.

Any other questions feel free to ask as I along with the rest of the community is here to help.


Thanks much, this is helpful! I'll check out the virtual cards sometime.


Just to add a little more explanation on the Revolution cards:

They are fully compatible with classic Raw Deal cards. They follow the same rules in terms of how you gain Fortitude and how you apply damage, and there is a tournament format called "All Access" (in contrast to classic or revolution) that anticipated using both classic and Revolution cards in the same deck. But you might find that, from a practical standpoint, including both types is overwhelming while you're regaining your footing with the game.

First: There are several new card types in Revolution that are distinct from classic card types. Rather than Strike/Grapple/Submission/High-Risk/Trademark Finisher, the maneuvers are Assault/Throw/Hold/Extreme/Trademark, and rather than Actions, there are Antics. This means that if you have a Reversal that says it will reverse any Grapple, it will NOT reverse a Throw, even if conceptually they're the same kind of maneuver. So incorporating Revolution cards means drastically reconsidering how maneuvers will be reversed, especially if you're building from a small pool of cards to start with. While cards like Manager Interferes, Clumsy Opponent, and Elbow to the Face will all still work very well (as they reverse any maneuver, rather than going to the trouble of listing out specific maneuver types they can reverse), Manager is a rare card, and the damage limits on what CO and EttF can reverse might not leave them as effective if you and your opponent are packing up to 9 10 different types of maneuver. EDIT: Not sure how I messed up my math. There are 10 total maneuver types across the two versions of the game, not 9. Don't want this to be read as some sort of arbitrary limit on how many maneuvers you're allowed to pack.

That said, as NJDevil18 pointed out, here on this site you can find a great amount of "virtual" support: Fan made expansion cards that not only add new superstars to the game, but also add a variety of cards useful for most superstars, including throwbacks of important cards that might otherwise be hard to get. Those cards can be downloaded here: http://teamcanadaonline.net///index.php/topic,5753.0.html and, germane to this point, if you look at the "Prize Cards" for Virtual 4: Saturday Night's Main Event, you'll find that there's a throwback version of Manager Interferes that would help quite a bit with getting extra copies.

Since you're playing with your family, you could also feel free to use house rules that ease your play. It wouldn't be "tournament correct", and you shouldn't expect that your games with family will prepare you for competitive play with others, but there's nothing wrong with telling your kids that for family games, Assault and Strike are the same thing and can be reversed by cards that use either word, etc.

Second: Revolution maneuvers have a new information line above the damage number: A target. Some moves target chest, or legs, or arms, or head, or neck, or what-have-you. These targets don't do anything on their own. Other Revolution cards may interact with them. For example, Revolution Ring Psychology: Neck reads as "If you have 4 or more Target "neck" in your Ring and your opponent plays an Assault: draw up to 1 card and he overturns 1 card." So in that case, all it's doing is checking whether you have an appropriate number of neck targets in your ring.

But that also means that if you don't want to include any of those cards in your deck, it doesn't matter what targets your cards may have (or not have).

Similarly, all maneuvers are grouped into three categories with a corresponding keyword on the card type line. The categories are Core, Mean, and Colossal. Like with targets, these words do not do anything on their own, and their significance is defined by other cards. A common motif of Revolution 1 was that lots of the Core maneuvers were hybrid Maneuver/Reversals that were set up to carry a flexible capacity to reverse. So Revolution Big Boot can reverse any Hold that is a Mean maneuver, and Revolution I Won't Be Beat Tonight can reverse any maneuver that is a Colossal. Again, this is just a matter of those reversals checking to see if the right keyword is present on the card you want to reverse.

Third: There are two more keywords to keep any eye out for: "Momentum" and "Follow-up". These DO have rules implications. A Follow-Up is shorthand for "Can only be played after..." Revolution Half-Crab is a Hold: Mean: Follow-Up: Maneuver. That means it can only be played after a successfully played maneuver. A card with Momentum can only be reversed by reversals that specifically say they can reverse a card with Momentum. Since you played up until about Mania, you probably remember "Clutch onto Opponent", which could only be reversed by Clean Break. This is kind of like that, but unlike having to pack COO, there are several different cards that will let you reverse a card with Momentum, but they all explicitly say it. The main point here is that Momentum was the new version of "cannot be reversed" or "can only be reversed by", and to help change the balance of that effect, there was a limited pool of cards provided to specifically reverse Momentum.

Fourth: On the topic of Uniqueness: As NJDevil18 pointed out, when dealing with Throwback cards, if two cards have the same title, you have to worry about Uniqueness (even if their effects are very different between original and Throwback versions). However, all Revolution cards are considered to have the word "Revolution" at the beginning of their name. So when you see a Revolution card titled "R Big Boot" that is a different card title than "Big Boot". So you could pack 3 versions of each.

So, the take away here is: You absolutely can use Revolution cards with earlier sets. There are some things to be aware of, both from a proper rules standpoint, and from a practical perspective. But, especially if you're playing with your kids and don't intend to go out and challenge the world, a lot of these can be poopooed away to help keep the game simply and fun.

And you should definitely check out the Virtual Cards. The development team has put out a ton of new sets that help balance problems that existed in the game before it went out of print, and perhaps more importantly for you, since you're playing with a limited pool of cards and in a friendly setting, add lots of new superstars to the game. Your kids might be more excited to play as Kevin Owens or Sasha Banks, and the virtual cards will let you do that. Some spoilers have started going around for the next set, giving us a taste of new additions that will be coming soon. Bray Wyatt was previously printed in his capacity as the leader of the Wyatt Family, but on April 1 (so, you know, maybe he won't actually be in the new set, April Fools and all), they previewed a Throwback version of his superstar that's more in line with his role as the host of the Firefly Funhouse. They've also previewed a superstar card for the Hurt Business, if they're big Bobby Lashley fans.

They've previously added lots of older superstars, including WCW and ECW themed superstars and legends like Bret Hart, Yokozuna, and Sandman, and lots of new Virtual Cards for the superstars you already have. You can find a list to "Superstar Strategy Guides" (which are not actually about the strategy of building a given superstar's deck, but rather give a list of all the Superstar Specific cards a given superstar can pack) here: http://teamcanadaonline.net///index.php/topic,14349.0.html

It can be overwhelming at first how much this game has grown since you left it, between the expansions you missed, the release of the Revolution sets, and the library of Virtual support, there's a lot for you to discover. So my recommendation is: start where you're comfortable and slowly grow from there. Build decks with what you have, and take a peek at the Guides to see if your dream superstar is already brought into the game. When you and your kids are comfortable with playing with what you've got, start bringing in new stuff. If you find that you're having a bit problem with deck balance because of the limits of what you have, come on back and tell us the problem you're having and we can hopefully help direct you to a solution.

Welcome back. I hope you and yours have a blast.


Thanks for taking the time to write all that MonkeyLord. Very thorough and useful information. I'm looking forward to scrolling through the Virtual library when I get some time. Maybe this weekend.

I found the strategy guides and they were also helpful in knowing what cards are available for the superstars I have.

A separate follow-up question...Is there a list already made on the forums that have commonly used cards (any rarity) that can be used in a variety of decks? Cards that I remember being really useful when I played 20 years ago were EttF, Manager Interferes, Turn the Tide, Samoan Drop, Super Kick, Puppies, etc.

Though I played up to Mania/Summer Slam, the only cards I have now are from Premiere and some superstar specific cards. If I knew what some good base cards are, I could keep an eye out for them on eBay or other online stores over time.


There probably are, BUT those lists are going to be for the overall meta of the game, which essentially assumes that you have any card you could possibly want. Given that you're starting from such a limited base, your experience isn't going to be the same as someone who is planning on going to GenCon.

A good discussion of some of the "must pack" meta can be found on the Backlash Podcast: Listen here https://www.listennotes.com/podcasts/backlash-podcast-eric-regier-6HUlZ9gRcEJ/ or Youtube it here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v7tbv81ysXU

This helps to explain some of the standards of the Virtual era that serve decks well.

The reversals are both generally still good, especially if you find yourself adding Revolution cards to your decks. Neither of those have specifically been replaced by per se better cards (though there are more options now that might better fit a given deck). For the maneuvers, a lot of decks follow specific themes that happen to disfavor those cards. One of the highest priorities of any deck will be building Fortitude so you can play your better cards, and getting out your first maneuver is clearly a vital part of that. But to that end, some decks go along more specialized routes for how they get their Fortitude, opting for a safer route (i.e. trying to play 0F maneuvers that come with some protection from being reversed). Superkick and Samoan Drop are good cards, unless they run into an Elbow to the Face. So if you head over to the deck forums on this site, you'll see that not a lot of decks are using cards that aren't as good a deal in terms of F for D, but if you're at 0F are more likely to actually be played. You'll also notice that a lot of decks follow maneuver themes that have actual, mechanical impact. You'll see decks build around Dynamic Maneuvers, which are a set of maneuvers that are all Maneuver/Action hybrids and generally allow you to play them for 0F as an action where you discard them to go get a different Dynamic maneuver. So they don't need a lot of non-Dynamic 0F maneuvers because they're going to just search for a 0F dynamic until it sticks. Or you'll see Chain or Heat decks that almost exclusively pack maneuvers in those themes, because the support cards for the theme better protect or reward them for playing those types of maneuvers than a card that may do better damage but isn't part of the theme.

The actions are less favored. First, you won't see a ton of decks using them because 1) there are more reversals for non-unique Actions than there were when you played, so playing an action isn't as safe as it used to be, especially because 2) there's a popular virtual prematch stipulation called "Old School Wrestling Match (Throwback)" that makes you overturn 4 cards if you end your turn without having tried to play a maneuver, Set-up Action, or Superstar Specific card. So that means that if you play TtT as your first card of the turn (and don't have Mean Gene out there to protect it), and it gets reversed while your opponent has OSWM (TB) in their ring, not only is your turn over, but you overturned 4 cards for it. On top of that, there are a lot more options for reversing cards that "cannot be reversed", or punishing players who rely on them, than there used to be. People sometimes joke that "cannot be reversed" is easier to reverse in a lot of games than cards without anything restricting their reversals. So you maybe get your TtT played, but then your maneuver gets reversed by something like Sidewalk Slam (TB).

For Actions that recover cards (like Puppies Puppies), there's another popular virtual prematch stipulation called "Old School Cage Match" that reduces recoveries by 1 (unless they are printed with one of several specific traits), so for PP, if your opponent is packing OSCM, you're only getting 4 cards back, it could still be reversed, and overall doesn't feel like it's worth it for most decks. There are better options for most decks than PP, such as Candice: Internet Icon. It is a 10F non-unique action that lets you recover 12 cards. So even with OSCM in play, you're getting 11 cards back rather than 5, and for less Fortitude. There's a virtual card called "Here Comes the Cavalry" which is Unique (which is one of the traits that OSCM does not interfere with), that is also 10F, and is multi. It will get you back 8 cards, let you draw 2, and has an extra punishment for your opponent if they're a Tag Team or Stable. And there's Ready to Fight, an 8F midmatch Chain action that gives itself -8F if you have less Fortitude than your opponent and lets you recover 5 cards. Not only is it beyond OSCM because it has the Chain trait, but that same trait means that in order to play a reversal to it, your opponent has to discard 2 cards from their hand BEFORE playing their reversal. So it's potentially free when you're behind, sits in your backlash until you want to use it, is hard to reverse, and isn't effected by OSCM.

So the TL;DR here is that at this point, don't worry about whether the cards that are good for your family are also good to other players, and vice versa.

If none of you are using OSCM or OSWM(TB), then all those concerns about Actions aren't there, especially if you guys are relying on a limited base of action reversals. If you have 3 TtT and your kids' decks are only packing 2 or 3 action reversals, and only 1 or 2 ways to reverse maneuvers that "cannot be reversed", then TtT is still a great card. If you don't have actions that outperform PP for recovery, and you really prefer that you get to not only recover but also draw, then it's still a great card. When you start looking at the current meta of the game on an international level, you'll realize that it's shifted and moved because some cards have been "replaced" with better options, some cards are riskier than they were, and some cards just don't do enough anymore. But none of that has to come back to your kitchen table unless you want it to. If you guys aren't playing Multi cards, you don't need to worry about finding space in your deck for reversals that completely reverse Multi maneuvers. If the only way you guys are playing maneuvers that cannot be reversed is because someone occasionally plays TtT, then you don't need to start packing Sidewalk Slam (TB).


Thanks, that's a good perspective. I think for now, just to keep things simple for the kids, we'll stay in the shallow end of the pool  :laugh:

I finally started browsing through some of the virtual sets. Holy crap you guys have been busy! A lot to digest and several game terms I'm not familiar with. I think there was a rules thread, I'll look through whatever current rule books are linked there to get a better understanding. Thanks for all the answers and advice! It's great to see another 'dead' card game I used to play is still being kept alive. I'm taking a breather from another right now so it's nice to have something else to get obsessive about, lol.