The Elementalist

In 2011 I thought of the idea of making a card game to help others learn the basic of the Five Elements so people can understand “the magic” that lies behind Chinese Astrology – a subject I have been personally fascinated since discovering from a book many years ago. It has been a trip but I have now reached my goal that fulfills 3 objectives:

  • Creating a learning tool to teach people the dynamics of interaction of the Five Elements so they can then see it around them in everyday life.
  • Making this learning tool a Game that is fun to play to teach kids & adults alike the basics of such a powerful universal formula.
  • Presenting the game with expressive Art allowing a talented artist to showcase their work illustrating the characteristics of each element.

It went from this…

To this…

Designing the Game

starThe game took a while to design, the initial formula which had lots of swing & was highly entertaining included a dice that represented the “Universe” (you will get this when you order the deck!).

However, to make the game the dice meant costly production & therefore a costly game! I had to replace the dice with cards but the number of cards used had to add up for both symmetry & gameplay to be maintained. I stumbled across the correct formula through trial & error.


The deck comprises 8 of each of the 5 Element Cards + 8 infinite Dragons accounting for 48 Cards. The number 8 represent Good Luck in ancient Chinese culture.

Then there are 4 Destructive Star cards in the deck (& that card destroys!). The number 4 represents bad luck in ancient Chinese culture.

This led to the standard 52 playing card deck solving the problem of high production costs with a dice involved. The numbers also make total sense to the theme of the game.

With 2 extra cards to pass onto friends watch this space as future design will bring these 2 cards into play!