Yomi: Fighting Card Game, created and released by in 2011 by David Sirlin of Sirlin Games, is a fixed-deck competitive card game that simulates a duel between two characters from a fighting game.[1]

Each Yomi deck represents one character from the Fantasy Strike universe and doubles as a regular deck of playing cards with beautiful art.

Yomi Trailer

Yomi Trailer

The trailer for the Steam version of Yomi—available on PC, Mac, and Linux.

Yomi is an asymmetric game (like most 2D and 3D fighting games), not a symmetric game (like Chess), which means players can choose between a cast of characters, each with a unique deck of cards that have unique strengths, weaknesses, and abilities that reflect that character's particular personality and style (you can find a list of the Yomi characters below).

About the gameEdit

The decks Edit

Jaina Card

Jaina's 9 card allows you to throw your opponent or block attacks.

Each Yomi deck has 56 cards, including:
  • 52 poker cards, each with relevant help text and graphics (for playing Yomi)
  • 2 Jokers
  • 1 character card
  • 1 rules quick-reference card
  • A 1-page Yomi rulesheet (see Yomi Ruleset)

In terms of what each card represents::

  • The 2 to 10 (numbered) cards are normal moves (attacks, blocks, dodges, and throws)
  • Face cards (Jack, King, Queen) are special moves.
  • Aces are super moves.
  • Jokers are "gold bursts" and are used for escaping damage (similar to blue bursts in fighting game, Guilty Gear).[2]

Object of the game Edit

The object of a game of Yomi is to reduce the hit points of your opponent's character to zero by out-playing your opponent (winning combat rounds).

The four moves: Attack, Block, Throw, and Dodge Edit

Yomi diagram

Attacks beat throws, throws beat blocks and dodges, and blocks and dodges beat attacks.

During the combat phase of a game of Yomi both players choose to either Attack, Block, Throw, or Dodge (or play a Joker card, which we'll talk about later), depending on the cards available in their hand. Once a player has made their choice they play that card face down. Once both players have down that, each player turns their card face-up to reveal their choice and to see who won that combat phase.

Cards have two moves along the top and bottom edges. For example, one card might have Attack at the top and Block at the bottom, which allows you to use that card as either an Attack or Block.

When you successfully hit with an attack you can follow up with other attacks to perform a combo, much like in a fighting game. Though in Yomi you can easily perform normal, special, and super moves simply by playing cards to the table—a fighting game for everyone!

To keep things interesting, each character has

  • two special abilities (found on two of the cards between cards 2 to 10)
  • an innate character ability (found on the character card)
  • (powerful) Joker cards that, when played in the right situation, can be used to escape damage dealt from your opponents combos, or to beat your opponents Attacks and Throws for the opportunity to search your deck or discard pile Aces ("super moves") and place them in your hand (the equivalent of charging your super meter in a fighting game).

You can also search your deck or discard pile for Aces and place them in your hand by discarding two, three, or four of the same cards (e.g. two King cards; three 2 cards; four 9 cards; etc), or by chaining Attacks together (doing a "combo") in ascending order (e.g. playing 2, 3, 4, or 6, 7, 8, 9; etc).[3]

Skills tested in Yomi Edit

Apart from physical dexterity, Yomi involves skills and knowledge required for other fighting games, such as:

  • yomi (ability to read your opponent)
  • valuation
  • character knowledge
  • knowledge of matchups (what to do versus a specific character)[4]

Yomi and valuation

"Yomi" is Japanese for "reading," which, in the context of competitive games, refers to "knowing (reading) the mind of your opponent." [5] Yomi: Fighting Card Game is designed to distill the high-level mind games that occur between players of a fighting game into a simple card game that stands up and is balanced in competitive play (including tournaments) and tests your ability to read your opponent (your "yomi" ability) and judge the relative value of cards from one situation to the next (a skill known as "valuation").[6]

While Yomi may at first seem like a "luck"-based game of rock-paper-scissors, at its core is a cleverly designed system of weighted rock-paper-scissors that allows skilled players to use yomi and valuation to out-play their opponent.

Playing Yomi will teach you to pay attention to small clues that indicate how people think and act, and to feel, trust, and interpret your intuitive hunches—your gut instinct. Yomi and valuation are skills that may be useful in other games (especially competitive games), and even other areas of your life.

Hand management

While fighting games (like Street Fighter) often require physical dexterity, in Yomi, these requirements are replaced by hand management skills. [4]


Setting and lore Edit

Yomi: Fighting Card Game features 10 characters from the Fantasy Strike universe.

Fantasy Strike is an Olympic-style tournament that takes place in a fantasy martial arts world fractured by political conflict. Garus Rook, Stone Golem founded the tournament series to bring together the many provinces of the authoritarian Flagstone Kingdom, and plant the idea of a different way of life.

Meanwhile, Grave Stormborne, Wind Warrior has gained notoriety throughout the kingdom as the only fighter to defeat Rook in a tournament match. Though Grave has no interest in matters of state, his fighting skills have piqued the interests of several factions. [this section seems too derivative and should be rewritten as to be original]

More information about the Fantasy Strike universe and characters, see Fantasy Strike (characters and setting).

Other games set in the Fantasy Strike setting include:

Soundtrack Edit

See Soundtrack

Shameless Consumer Review- Yomi by Sirlin Games

Shameless Consumer Review- Yomi by Sirlin Games

A comprehensive, 21-minute video review of Yomi.


Yomi: Fighting Card Game (base set)Edit

Yomi: Fighting Card Game (base set) was released January 2011.

Playable characters Edit

Yomi: Shadows Expansion (expansion)Edit

Yomi: Shadows Expansion is a standalone Yomi expansion that introduces 10 new character decks from the Fantasy Strike universe into the game. The new characters are balanced and compatible with the 10 existing Yomi characters (Grave, Jaina, Midori, Setsuki, Rook, DeGrey, Valerie, Geiger, Lum, and Argagarg). [7]

In other words, you can play Yomi with anyone, regardless of whether you own decks from the base set or the Shadows Expansion.

Yomi: Shadows Expansion doesn’t introduce any new changes that make the ex, just new characters that each have their own unique deck, cards, and innate abilities.

Playable characters Edit


Flagstone Authority:

The Blood Guard:

Mysterious Super Powerful People:

Tragic Sisters:

Limited Edition character decks Edit

  • G. Panda - Kickstarter exclusive.
  • Lum, featuring G. Panda art

EX character cards Edit

Game editions Edit

There have been two editions. The second edition is the most up-to-date, balanced version of Yomi and introduced the Yomi: Shadows Expansion characters. (Though the expansion characters must still be bought separately, similar to an expansion pack for a video game.)

Ways to playEdit

Physical tabletop versionEdit

Online versionEdit

Inscribed cards Edit

See Inscribed cards

Key contributors Edit

Name Contributions Relevant links
David Sirlin Created Yomi and did the:
  • Game Design
  • Balance
  • Graphic Design
  • Art Direction
  • Rulebook
  • Packaging Design[8]
David Sirlin
Thomas Grové
  • Created the pipelines for Yomi card art and data formatting
  • Contributed to the graphics design, usability design, and mechanics design
  • Performed general production and business development services [9]
Thomas's website
Long Vo Character illustrations for Yomi [8]
Twin Win Games Character illustrations for Yomi [8]
Concept Art House Character illustrations for Yomi [8]
Udon Crew Character illustrations for Yomi [8] Udon Crew DeviantArt page
Genzoman Character illustrations for Yomi [8] [10] Genzoman on DeviantArt
  • Created the online (web) version of Yomi [8]
OCRemix team Created music for Yomi [11][12][13] Known team members:
Beikoku Taichou

Created the 8-bit art for Yomi (e.g. found in the rule book) [8]

Aphotix Lead playtester [8]
The (formerly forum crew Playtesting [8][14], feedback, tournament organisation, and hype

Reception Edit

Sales Edit

  • Yomi: Fighting Card Game (base set) was released January 2011. The first print run sold out in February 2011 within a month of the games release. [needs citation]

Awards and Honors Edit

Also see Reviews

  • Tom Vasel of The Dice Tower reviewed Yomi (base set; first edition) and gave it 10 out of 10. [15]
  • Tom Vasel's Game of the Year, 2010 [16]


  • #12 on Tom Vasel's top 100 games of all time (2011 edition)[17][18]
  • 2011 Golden Geek:
    • Best Card Game Nominee[19]
    • Best 2-Player Board Game Nominee[20]


  • Bestcovery Best Card Game award[21]
  • #13 on Tom Vasel's top 100 games of all time (2012 edition)[22][23]

Custom variants Edit

Several fan-made, non-commercial variants of Yomi exist.

See Yomi variants.

Trivia Edit

  • In a discussion with Aphotix, lead Yomi playtester, David Sirlin said that the original version of Yomi (created in 2004) was turn-based, not double-blind as it is now. Sirlin said he had trouble getting the turn-based version to work, which is what led him to realise that fighting games aren't really turn-based, resulting in the double-blind, simultaneous reveal mechanic in Yomi today. [24]

See alsoEdit

External links Edit

Designing Yomi


  4. 4.0 4.1
  7. Yomi: Shadows expansion info from a post by todzilla26, SteelCoil, David Sirlin, and the BoardGameGeek Shadows Expansion listing
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 8.4 8.5 8.6 8.7 8.8 8.9 Yomi rule book, version 4.1-2, (via )
  9. Thomas Grove website, Game Design projects, (accessed 23 May 2015)
  10. Jaina vs Valerie playmart art by Genzoman,
  11. 18 March 2010, Fantasy Strike Album,
  12. Fantasy Strike music tracks, first pass, 16 August 2010,
  13. Fantasy Strike music tracks, second pass, 2 Jan 2011,
  14. Lots and lots of old threads on were the community gave feedback
  15. Yomi Review - with Tom Vasel, Uploaded on 27 Dec 2010
  16. Tom mention it's his favorite game of 2010 in his top 10 Games of 2010 podcast and write-up:

    Top Ten Games - 2010 [write-up]

    Podcast: (the part about Yomi starts at 53:00)
  17. Sirlin.Net- Blog - Yomi in Tom Vasel's Top 100 of All Time [which isn't Sirlin being misleading; Tom just creates a new "of all time" list each year]
  18. 2011: Tom Vasel's Top 100 Games of All Time: # 20 - #11
  19. ttps://
  22. 2012: Top 100 Games of All Time: Tom Vasel (# 20 - # 11) Published on 2 Nov 2012
  23. THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 8, 2012 "Yomi made Tom Vasel's top 100 list of all time again. Not just this year, but ALL TIME! It's #13"
  24. Aphotix interview with David Sirlin about Yomi, 2014 -