In 2004 Wizards of the Coast released the first set of the G.I.Joe ARAH Trading Card Game. The game was designed by some of the biggest legendary names over at Wizards of the Coast: Aaron Forsythe Director of Magic R&D and a former Magic: The Gathering pro-player, Robert Gutschera director of development at Wizards of the Coast and Mark Rosewater. The first set of 114 cards was released during the G.I. Joe Valor vs Venom line and had a decent marketing push, along side of a huge toy launch and cartoon.
The game was supported by a two player G.I. Joe Trading Card Game Starter Pack that was filled with tons of awesome product to get you playing. The box contained:
- G.I.Joe starter Deck, with Exclusive Foil Duke card
- Cobra starter Deck, with Exclusive Foil Cobra Commander card
- Booster Pack
- Rules Book
- Play Mat with a massive Poster on the flip side
- Devil’s Due Mini Comic
The basic rules of the game are G.I. joe vs Cobra and the last man standing wins. Much like Magic: The Gathering cards with highest total after all effects are resolved win, and are discarded to your graveyard. But the G.I. Joe Trading Card Game had a special second combat phase that was called Firefight, that used cards drawn from your library with special bullet and target markers to destroy cards from the field of battle.