How to Play
Object of the Game
Victory is achieved by attacking and damaging the opponent’s Stronghold taking it from 15 Health to 0 Health.
Phases of the Game
Each player’s turn has three phases.
The first player completes these three phases in order, before the turn is passed to the opponent.
Start of Turn
The following events happen at in order at the start of the player's turn:
- Earn Mana (1+ # of units in Ally Spawn Row)
- Draw Card
- START OF TURN trait effects trigger
Open Strategy Phase
All steps are optional and can be completed in any order at any time during this phase.
- Play Units in Spawn Row
- Play Fortifications in the Frontlines
- Play Spells
- Activate Units
- Transfer Mana to Champion
- Discard 1 Card for one Mana
End of Turn
All steps are followed in order:
- END OF TURN trait effects trigger
Game Mechanics: The Basics
Each player always gains 1 Mana at the start of their turn. They gain an additional Mana for each unit stationed in the Mana Row (Ally Spawn Row) when their turn begins. Player’s cannot have more than 10 Mana at any given time. Unspent Mana carries over from turn to turn. The other methods of gaining Mana are described below:
- When a card is destroyed the owning player gains a number of Mana equal to the number of Mana Fragments on the card. Mana Fragments are the blue skull icon. (Pictured)
- Players may discard one card a turn from their hand to earn one Mana.
- Certain card abilities also allow the player to earn bonus Mana.
The player must spend Mana to play cards from their hand. The Mana cost to play a card is shown in the blue orb in the upper left corner of the card.
There are four different card types, specified in the description of each. Once their cost is paid for, they enter the play space:
- Units – Cards that will deploy troops or creatures (usually in the spawn row) to fight for the player, and gather Mana.
- Fortifications – Cards that create environment structures on the Frontlines. Fortifications will not move after placed and do not block either player’s movement, unless it is a WALL.
- Spells – Cards used for direct damage, debuffs, buffs, and upgrades to existing units and strongholds.
- Champions – Special units with powerful abilities whose cost is reduced when their stronghold takes damage, and by banking Mana on them each turn
When a unit is first deployed, it suffers from summoning sickness and cannot perform any actions (unless it has the RUSH ability). Units without summoning sickness may be activated one at a time to move forward and initiate attacks. Whether the unit attacks or moves forward is based on the state of the grid space in the next row:
- If the space in front of this unit is open, it will move into that empty space.
- If this move places the unit directly in front of an enemy unit combat is initiated.
- If there is an enemy unit directly in front of this unit, or the unit is in Enemy Territory this unit will initiate combat.
- If the unit is in Enemy Territory this unit will initiate combat on the opponent’s stronghold, if there is no defending unit in the Enemy Spawn Row.
- The attacker deals damage to the defender (or stronghold if there is no defender and the unit is in Enemy Territory) equal to his Attack Power (found in yellow arrow in the lower left-side of the card). The defender also deals counter damage equal to its own Attack Power.
- This damage is subtracted from the opposition unit’s Health (the Health value is found in the red shield in the lower right of the card). If a unit is killed, it is destroyed, and then the owning player gains Mana equal to the Mana Fragments on the destroyed unit (blue skull icons on a card's description).
- In the case of a Stronghold attack in Enemy Territory, this damage is subtracted from the enemy’s Stronghold Health.
Example Start of Game
The player with initiative is selected randomly. Both players draw cards from their respective deck, with the ability to mulligan (replace) any cards they don’t want in their opening hand. The first player then gains 1 Mana and draws another card from their deck.
This turn the player can deploy any cards in their hand that equal a Mana Cost of 1. This can be multiple 0 cost cards, and a single 1 cost card.
If the player doesn’t spend this Mana, it rolls over giving them 2 Mana at the start of the next turn.
Players have the option to scrap one card per turn in exchange for 1 Mana immediately.
Here is a basic combat example, where a Drake Scavenger is attacking a Shade Manipulator. The Drake Scavengers have an Attack Power of 2, which will kill the Shade Manipulator, which only has 2 Health. The Shade retaliates with an Attack Power of 2, and deals 2 damage to the Drake Scavengers. The Drake Scavenger’s health is reduced by 2, but it remains in play with one health remaining. In this case, the Drake Scavengers also gain +1 Attack Power due to their card ability.
The owner of the Shade Manipulator gains 1 Mana, since it had 1 Mana Fragment (blue skulls icon) on the card.
Card Details and Glossary
- Spawn Row – This is the closest row to either player, used to play units, and generate mana.
- Frontlines – Any space in the center two rows, outside of the Spawn Rows.
- Battlefield – Any space on the board.
- Fort – These cards can be played anywhere in the Frontlines, that doesn’t currently have either an Enemy Unit or another Fort.
- Spell – These typically require a target.
- Unit – Any card with health and defense that can be activated.
- Mana Fragments – This Icon in the upper-right side of the card determines how much Mana is returned to the player when the card is destroyed.
- Lane – The Lanes move between the Strongholds, like a bowling Lane.
- Row – These are the four Rows that run parallel to the Strongholds.
- Ally Territory – Designates the player’s first two rows.
- Enemy Territory – Designates the Enemy’s first two rows (the two farthest away from the player).
- Spawn – Triggered when the card is played.
- Death – Triggered when the unit is killed, and removed from the board, but before the Mana Recovery is earned.
- Survivor – Triggered whenever the unit takes damage and is not destroyed.
- Execute – Triggered when the unit eliminates an enemy unit, even if it is killed in the process.
- Start of Turn – Triggers at the start of the OWNER’s turn.
- End of Turn – Triggers at the end of the OWNER’s turn.
- Action – Triggers when the unit is activated to attack and/or move.
Unaligned Traits can be found in any Faction, while Faction Traits are specifically found in those particular Factions:
- DRAW – Draw a Card. If there is a number after this, DRAW that many Cards.
- FLIGHT – Ignores damage from all ground-based Forts and never count as occupying a Fort. Units with Flight attack the stronghold if it is within range, regardless of units stationed in the Enemy’s Spawn Row, unless the stationed unit also has flight. They attack OVER the enemy unit in the spawn row. They can’t fly over walls.
- HEAL – Restore Health up to its designated value. This can’t exceed the maximum Health value.
- GIANT – This unit occupies two spaces in the same Row. Giant units gain 2 mana when in the spawn row, and can attack both spaces in front of it. This means that a Giant would deal double damage against a stronghold, if neither spawn row space was occupied by enemy units. Fortifications in either space typically affect the Giant.
- MANA – Gain a Mana. If there is a number after this, gain that much Mana.
- POISONED –A poisoned unit receives 1 damage at the start of its owner’s turn.
- RANGE – Units within 2 spaces are considered in RANGE for combat, if no other unit is between them. If an enemy is within range, this unit will not move forward as their action. This also allows a unit to return damage to an enemy unit attacking with Ranged.
- RESPAWN – Spawns the designated entity in the same space in which it died.
- SPRINT – Must move two spaces when it moves during its action, if possible.
- STUN – Causes a unit to forfeit their next turn. The Stun effect is removed from the unit at the end of the turn in which the unit would have had a new action.
- TRAP – When an enemy enters this space, the trap deals its effect. This happens before combat.
- WALL – A Wall blocks unit movement until its health is depleted. Walls receive damage from RANGED and CATAPULT attacks.
- COMMAND- COMMAND traits are active before the Champ is played (while it's still on your Stronghold)
- SIPHON – This unit heals its owners Stronghold whenever it deals damage (including attacks on the opponent’s stronghold). A number after this Trait indicates the number of Health restored to the Stronghold.
- BLIGHT – Blighted units lose their Mana Fragments, gaining no mana when destroyed.
- ARMOR – Ignore one point of damage from each combat attack. This does not protect against Fort, Spell and Poison damage.
- CATAPULT – Units with Catapult do not move as part of their action. Instead they deal damage equal to their POWER to the first unit (or Stronghold) in their Lane, regardless of range. After being activated, a unit with Catapult becomes STUNNED.
- UNION – Units with this Trait gain +1 POWER for every other Friendly Unit in their Row.
- REGEN – HEAL 1 at the END OF TURN.
- RUSH – This Unit doesn’t suffer from Summoning Sickness, and may immediately take an action when played.
- BREACH – This Unit can be summoned in any open space on the board (except for the enemy’s spawn row).
- BERSERK – This unit inflicts 1 damage to all adjacent units around the unit’s new space whenever it moves, even if it is moved through spells or abilities outside of actions. This damage is also inflicted before combat occurs, potentially killing the opposing unit before combat begins.
- DEATHBLOW – When this unit is killed in combat, it damages its attacker one more time (equal to its power).
- STEALTH – Units with this Trait are not revealed to the opponent, until they attack, or an enemy unit attempts to move into their space. Units with Stealth do not earn mana until they are revealed.
- HUSH – This Trait removes all Card Traits, Abilities and Spell modifiers from a unit.
- SWIFT – A unit with Swift inflicts its damage before a unit without Swift. This allows the unit to potentially destroy an opposing unit without taking damage.
PUSH - Move the targeted unit 1 space away from the owner of the ability's stronghold. Does not count as a move action.
SHIFT - Once per turn this unit may move left or right in addition to its normal move. This does not trigger combat.
- DRAIN - Your opponent loses X mana and you gain the amount of mana lost
- PULL - Move the target unit 1 space toward the owner of the ability's stronghold. This does not count as a move action.
EVOLVE – Upon meeting specific conditions, units can change into different, often more powerful, units. Evolved units are almost always OMEGA.
BLESS – This trait converts tile to Blessed tiles. When a unit with Bless enters a tile without a fort, that tile is blessed. Non-blessed forts constructed on a Blessed tile, reverts the tile to the non-blessed version.
STEELWARD – Units with this trait cannot be targeted by spells.
Each Faction has a Base Deck of 31 cards (15 duplicated and 1 Champion). Once the player begins to earn new packs, they may replace cards in the Base Deck with those of the Same Faction (colored border), or Unaligned cards that do not specify a Faction (gray border). Regardless of the cards in the deck, no deck can have more or less than 30 cards.
Decks must also abide by the rule of 2. No more than 2 of any card can be in a valid deck.
Each Deck MUST have one Champion Card. This is in addition to the 30 card limit.
Key Points and Reminders
- Remember you can discard one card from your hand each turn to gain one mana.
- Don’t forget to keep units in the Spawn row to generate Mana for the next turn.
- It is important to watch your opponent’s progress towards bringing out their Champion, just as it is important to put yours in play!
- Players have the option to scrap one card per turn in exchange for 1 Mana immediately.