Tales of Aria Pre-release FAQ

4th Aug 2021 Alan Hale

Tales of Aria Pre-Release Weekend is coming, and as the community continues to grow strongly we're expecting a big turnout from players across the world. As previously, pre-release events are being offered to stores on an invitation only basis, primarily taking into account of recent support of organized play.

The release weekend is designed to allow players to get out and explore the stores in their community over the course of the weekend. The idea is that on Friday and Saturday, players will have the opportunity to get together as a community at some larger events, then on the Sunday there is an opportunity to go out and explore some of the smaller events taking place around the city.

This is intended to be fun for players, but also good for stores in that we try to ensure that the larger events don't end up crowding out the smaller ones, in addition to giving some of the smaller stores a chance to showcase themselves to players that might not otherwise go there during the normal course of an Armory Season.

If your store has been selected to host a Tales of Aria pre-release, congratulations! Please read the following FAQ to further support the in your community.

The Basics

  • Selected stores can run one pre-release event and only the days that have been assigned to them between September 17th -19th.
  • Stores have been allocated a number of pre-release bundles. Each bundle supports 16 players. If you have been allocated more than one bundle, it's to enable you to run a larger event, not multiple small events.
  • Pre-release bundles must be purchased from your distributor (based on the distributor that you have selected in GEM)
  • Pre-release events must be scheduled in GEM.
  • The format for pre-release is Sealed Deck. Each player receives 6 Tales of Aria boosters to construct a 30 card minimum deck.
  • The sale of boosters, booster boxes and blitz decks is not allowed on pre-release weekend. (Release date is September 24th). Breach of release date will have consequences.


Prize Distribution

  • A pre-release bundle contains:
    • 1 case of Tales of Aria boosters (96 boosters)
    • 36 Cold Foil promo cards 12x Amulet of Lightning, 12x Amulet of Ice, 12x Amulet of Earth.
    • Two pre-release playmats

The 96 boosters is enough for 16 players to play sealed deck (six boosters each).

One pre-release playmat should be awarded to 1st place and the other as a random participation prize. If you have more than one bundle the playmats should be evenly distributed between top placers and participation prizes. For example If you have two bundles, 1st and 2nd should get a playmat and two given as participation prizes.

Each kit provides three different Cold Foil promos, 12 copies of each. Players should be randomly handed out two of the three promos. For every bundle there will be 4 promos left over. These should be distributed as participation prizes.


Q. Where do I get the pre-release bundles? What will they cost?

Pre-release bundles are available from your nominated distributor. Once the sanctioning window for pre-release is closed distributors will be provided with the names of eligible stores and pre-release bundle allocations. Distributors will make these bundles available to order fot the selected stores.

Q. Am I allowed to place a player cap on my event?

A. We would ask stores to refrain from setting a player limit that is lower than the amount supported by the Pre-Release bundle. The intention behind the Pre-Release is to enable players to be able to open and play with Tales of Aria in a fun environment prior to the official set release. We would also ask stores to limit there event to the number of players supported by the bundle.

Q. What's the earliest that I can start a Friday Pre-Release?

A. The earliest that a Friday Pre-Release can start is 3pm local time

Q. Are there any suggested start times for events?

A. Because there may be other stores running events in your area on the same day we would suggest you communicate with them to coordinate events. Our suggested timings are as followed:

Friday - From 3pm onward through to 11:59pm

Saturday and Sunday - Morning Events 10am start - Afternoon Events 2pm start (you may start before these times)

Sticking to a common start time in your area will help the maximum number players participate in your pre-release.

Q. When should I receive my PR bundle by? What do I do if I haven’t received it?

A. For any questions regarding delivery, please contact your distributor.

Q. What do I charge for a pre-release event?

A. Stores can charge up to USD30 / EUR30 / GBP30 / CAD45 / AUD45 / NZD45 or local currency equivalent. (If it's normal in the territory for sales tax to be applied to the marketed price at the point of purchase, sales tax may be charged in addition to the prices stated here.)

Q. Are there marketing assets available for me to use to promote the event?

A. Yes. You can find a range of digital and printable marketing assets here in the Marketing Assets section of our website.

Event Structure

Q. If I don't open a particular hero or weapon token in my sealed pool does this mean I can't play with them?

A. No, players should separate all tokens from their card pool. The tournament organizer should collect any tokens that players are not using and place them in a general pool of hero/weapon tokens. If players require additional tokens to complete their deck, they should get them from the general pool. In addition a PDF of Hero and Weapon tokens will be made available for stores to print off before the pre-release.

Q. Should I have a cut to Top 4 or 8? If so, should the Top 8 format be Booster Draft?

A. This is up to the stores discretion. Please be aware that 1 Pre-Release bundle supports exactly 16 players for sealed deck (6 boosters per player). You will only be able to offer a top 8 booster draft if you have left over boosters after running the sealed deck portion of your Pre-Release event.

Q. Am I able to offer either Sealed or Booster Draft for the PR event?

A. The main event must be Sealed Deck. If you choose to run a Top 8, you may do a booster draft. You will need to reserve one box of product from your Pre-Release allocation if you intend to run a Top 8 draft.

Q. How many rounds of Swiss should my tournament be?

A. The recommended number of rounds are:

  • 5-8 Players - 3 Rounds
  • 9-16 Players - 4 Rounds
  • 17-32 Players - 5 Rounds
  • 33-64 Players - 6 Rounds

Q. How long should a round be?

A. The standard length for a sealed deck round is 30 minutes + 5 minutes. However, you may set the round length at your discretion based on how experienced your players are. This is a new set and players will be unfamiliar with many of the cards. You should set an appropriate round length to ensure that the event runs in a timely fashion but also allows players to reasonably complete their matches.

Q. When should I give out prizes?

A. The Pre-release promos should be given out at the start of deck construction as players are allowed to play with these cards as part of their sealed pool.

Q. Can players use the pre-release promo's in their sealed decks?

A. Yes, this is why a Pre-Release bundle has enough promos for every player to receive 2 of the 3 available promo cards.


Q. If my event doesn’t sell out am I able to sell the spare boosters/booster boxes from the PR bundles?

A. Any remaining unsold/spare boosters/booster boxes from Pre-Release kits must not be sold under any circumstances prior to the official release date.

Q. Can I sell the prize cards that I receive in the kit if I am unable to run my event?

A. Prize cards must not be sold under any circumstances. If you are unable to run your event, please contact us op@fabtcg.com


Q. What happens if there is a rules question that I cannot answer?

A. Comprehensive release notes will be made available prior to the Pre-Release events. If you are unable to answer a question after referring to the notes, just try your best to make a ruling that is fair to both players. Ultimately we view Pre-Releases as fun/casual events so a positive player experience should be the main goal of the event.

Q. Can players use the cold foil promos they have received from previous events?

A. No, players can only use the promos they receive at your event.

Q. I’ve heard from my players about updates to the “end of match procedure” and concessions policy. Are these required to be enforced at PR events?

A. Yes, these have been updated in our Tournament Rules and can be found here, Tournament Rules and Policy.


Q. My area is under Covid restrictions/lockdown, what should I do for my pre-release?

A. Contact the team at op@fabtcg.com to discuss

Final Words

Your involvement in supporting pre-releases for the community is indispensable. Pre-releases are casual events and a chance to introduce new players to the community. When you are running and judging events, please be friendly and polite towards players and encourage them to act in the same way.

If there are rules breaches, we would encourage you to assume good faith on behalf of the players, do your best to correct the game state so the match can continue, and use the situation as a learning opportunity to teach the players about the game. The overall goal is for everyone to have fun exploring the new set, and anything that you can do to make the event a great experience is much appreciated.

Ultimately if we have missed anything in this FAQ, please reach out to us at op@fabtcg.com

Thank you for your support of the community. We hope you have a great pre-release event!