Manaless Magic
John Goodenough
United States
Burnsville
Minnesota
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Magic used a resources system which inspired countless CCG clones. The basic idea is to have a row of resource cards that you tap to pay for card costs. This is an attempt to compile a list of games that break free of Magic's "mana" system. The card games don't have to be collectable but it must PLAY like a CCG. Submissions are welcome.
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1. Board Game: Scarab Lords [Average Rating:6.10 Overall Rank:2145]
John Goodenough
United States
Burnsville
Minnesota
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Scarab Lords has a unique costing system by giving cards a phase number. You can only put one card into play during that phase which can lead to many strategic choices. The system is surprisingly balanced even though cards have different power levels.
 
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2. Board Game: Mystick Domination [Average Rating:6.53 Overall Rank:4356]
John Goodenough
United States
Burnsville
Minnesota
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The unique costing system in Mystick is the Tarot Cross. Characters battle by placing a number of cards equal to their power level into the Tarot Cross. Any symbols that match the character's suit count as successes. So a powerful character will have a good chance of success but will also use up many slots in the Tarot Cross which is limiting for future battles. Since all characters cost one action to put into play regardless of their power level, this "cost" to battle balances them out.
 
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3. Board Game: Maelstrom [Average Rating:6.65 Overall Rank:2545]
 
John Goodenough
United States
Burnsville
Minnesota
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The isn't even a card game but I can't resist adding it to the list. Vortex has a "mana" casting cost but the unique spin is where you place your resources (Strongholds) since you may combine resources only if they're adjacent to the tile you're summoning.
 
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4. Board Game: Das Amulett [Average Rating:6.51 Overall Rank:1805]
John Goodenough
United States
Burnsville
Minnesota
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The cost of a card is simply how much you bid for it during auctions. Each card has resources, a special ability, and upkeep which adds another layer to costing system. Every card is equally powerful by balancing these three attributes. The real value of a card fluctuates depending how the game develops.
 
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5. Board Game: Ophidian 2350 [Average Rating:6.03 Overall Rank:7670]
John Goodenough
United States
Burnsville
Minnesota
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Ophidian uses a conventional payment with Credits and Cheer Points. The innovative system is the "Flow" which determines who's turn it is. Ophidian neither a turn based or real-time game but a cool mix of both. This captures the feel of gladiator combat really well and more unique rules make the game just drip with flavor.
 
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6. Board Game: Spellfire [Average Rating:4.85 Overall Rank:10699]
Roger McKay
Canada
Bedford
Nova Scotia
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Without a doubt. It is often criticized for being manaless. Only a very small few of the high-level cards have any costs to play at all.
 
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7. Board Game: Realm Lord [Average Rating:6.26 Unranked]
John Goodenough
United States
Burnsville
Minnesota
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All cards have the same cost to play which is one action and you only have 3 actions a turn. The cards alone aren't that powerful but certain combos can be devastating. Good card interaction, fun game.
 
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8. Board Game: Blue Moon [Average Rating:6.79 Overall Rank:586]
John Goodenough
United States
Burnsville
Minnesota
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Blue Moon has limitations as a costing system. For example, you may only play one character card per turn. It can be ANY character since there are no "mana costs". So a super powerful character costs the same as a weak weenie character. Another limitation is that you can only have one copy of each card in your deck. Since each expansion features a different race this limits decks to a certain amount of over-powered cards. You can mix races but they cost Moon points. This prevents you from just adding all of the over-powered cards from each race.

 
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9. Board Game: Middle-Earth [Average Rating:7.15 Overall Rank:651]
Kevin Felker
United States
Oxford
Mississippi
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No mana in this game. You start out with 20 Influence to control your characters, and get more by playing characters that have their own influence and can control their own followers.
 
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10. Board Game: Minotaur Lords [Average Rating:6.01 Overall Rank:3076]
John Goodenough
United States
Burnsville
Minnesota
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New game based on the Scarab Lords rules. It can also be used as an expansion by mixing Scarab and Minotaur Lord cards.
 
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11. Board Game: Perry Rhodan Sammelkartenspiel [Average Rating:7.11 Unranked]
Bernd Altmann
Germany
Augsburg
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Only some cards (planets, one per turn) are free to play. Before you can play other cards you have to fulfill the premises printed on them. So if a card has the premise Terra+mutant you can only play it onto Terra if there is a mutant. There is no tapping - you can play other cards with the same premise as you like.
 
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12. Board Game: 1936: Guerra Civil [Average Rating:7.70 Overall Rank:1717]
Arturo García

Madrid
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In this game you build your deck through card drafting. But there are no Mana cards, all cards are something. Each side controls a territory and it's assumed that because of that, a number of resources is produced each turn by default (of course, some cards will provide with extra resources), tracked in a table in one of the boards. You can later use those resources to play cards or use cards in play but you don't have to, as they can be accumulated (up to 39).
 
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