This page expands upon all of the sections in the Basic Rules, plus includes a Keyword reference.

  1. Golden Rule
    1. Whenever a card’s text contradicts any rules in this document, the card text takes precedence.
  2. Kingdoms
    1. The gold limit of a kingdom is 160 unless otherwise specified by an event.
    2. A kingdom can only have one hero.
    3. A kingdom can only have cards from the hero’s faction.
  3. Game formats
    1. Blitz refers to a format in which all cards in a kingdom are guaranteed to be drafted into an army during the draft phase.
    2. Draft refers to a format in which not all cards in a kingdom are guaranteed to be drafted into an army during the draft phase.
  4. Components
    1. Cards
      1. Units
      2. Abilities
      3. Items
    2. Tokens and counters
      1. These are used to track damage, mana, and status effects.
    3. Map
      1. Must contain 59 hexes with 9 columns and 7 rows.
        1. The “half-hexes” on the edge of the map do not count as playable hexes.
  5. Unit cards
    1. Unit cards represent units on the battlefield.
    2. Heroes are considered units.
    3. Parts of a unit card
      1. Name
      2. Color / frame style
        1. This is the sole indicator of a unit’s faction.
      3. Gold cost
        1. Heroes have a missing value (NULL) for gold cost, which means they cannot be affected by abilities that interact with gold costs. Heroes can still be drafted despite having a NULL gold cost.
        2. Summoned units also have a NULL value for gold cost, which means they cannot be drafted and cannot be affected by abilities that interact with gold costs.
      4. Mana
        1. Some units have a missing value (NULL) for mana, which means they cannot be affected by abilities that interact with mana.
      5. Ability text
        1. Passive and active values are stated here.
      6. Power
        1. This is denoted by a sword icon. This value determines how much damage this unit deals during combat.
        2. A missing value (null) means that the unit cannot attack or retaliate. A null value cannot be increased or decreased.
      7. Range
        1. This determines the distance (in terms of hexes) at which the unit can deal combat damage.
        2. A missing value (null) means that the unit is melee. A null value cannot be increased or decreased.
      8. Movement
        1. This determines the distance (in terms of hexes) the unit can move during its move action on the battlefield.
        2. A missing value (null) means that the unit cannot move. A null value cannot be increased or decreased.
      9. Health
        1. A unit starts the battle with this amount of health and cannot exceed this amount of health.
        2. If this value is reduced to below 1, the unit dies and is removed from the battlefield.
  6. Ability cards
    1. Ability cards are not placed on the battlefield even though they are considered part of the battle. They are open information and may be referenced by any player at any time.
    2. Ability cards do not affect the battlefield after the owning hero is dead.
    3. Parts of an ability card
      1. Name
        1. The ability level is not considered part of the ability name. Therefore, if an ability says that it can only be used once per round, this restriction views all levels of an ability as the same ability.
        2. All abilities have at least one level, even if that level is not explicitly written on the card.
      2. Gold cost
      3. Owning hero
        1. Only this hero may draft this ability.
      4. Ability text
        1. Passive and active abilities are stated here.
        2. Basic property modifiers may also be stated here, though these are technically not passive abilities. (See Properties section for more details.)
  7. Item cards
    1. Item cards only affect the hero belonging to the same kingdom that they belong to.
    2. Item cards are not placed on the battlefield even though they are considered part of the battle. They are open information and may be referenced by any player at any time.
    3. Item cards do not affect the battlefield after the owning hero is dead.
    4. Parts of an item card
      1. Name
        1. The ability level is not considered part of the ability name. Therefore, if an ability says that it can only be used once per round, this restriction applies to any level of the ability.
      2. Gold cost
      3. Inventory slot requirement
        1. A hero cannot use more than 3 inventory slots worth of items.
      4. Ability text
        1. Passive and active abilities are stated here.
        2. Basic property modifiers may also be stated here, though these are technically not passive abilities. (See Properties section for more details.)
  8. Victory condition
    1. Victory is achieved for the first player only if they control the central hex at the end of the 7th round. Otherwise, the second player wins.
      1. The victory check occurs after all other end-of-round events. It is the last event in the game.
    2. A player wins immediately if their opponent concedes.
  9. Drafting Phase and Setup
    1. Use a random contest to determine the first player. The winner of the contest is the first player. The winner does not choose whether they go first.
    2. Drafting Phase
      1. If a Quickstart game is being played (one in which no draft occurs) then units are placed on their pre-assigned hexes instead of drafted.
      2. The attacking player selects any number of cards from their kingdom and places them onto the battlefield (if the card is a unit) or next to the battlefield (if the card is an item or ability).
        • A player may only place units on the two rows of hexes closest to them.
        • A player’s hero card counts for zero gold.
      3. The defending player also selects any number of cards, so long as the selected cards cause their in-play gold total to match or exceed the attacking player’s gold total.
      4. Players go back and forth choosing cards in this way (matching the other player’s current army gold total) until both have hit the 80 gold army limit or announce that their army is complete.
    1. Pre-Battle Setup
      1. These items are typically performed by players during the drafting phase.
      2. Place a mana counter on all units that have mana. Mana is usually tracked with blue six-sided dice.
      3. Place a +1 Shield buff on the center hex. The first buffable unit to end a turn on this hex receives the +1 Shield buff.
  10. Battle Phase
    1. Players alternate taking a single action with one of their units.
    2. A unit may perform one of these three actions, though some keywords combine the effects of multiple actions into one action.
      1. Movement. Move a unit up to X hexes away from its original location, where X equals that unit’s movement.
        1. Units cannot move through other units unless an effect allows them to do so.
        2. Units cannot move outside of the map unless pushed. (See Pushed definition.)
        3. Movement modifiers like “this unit gets Movement X” override all other movement modifiers.
      2. Attack. Attacking an enemy unit with an allied unit initiates combat.
      3. Use an ability. Pay the cost of the ability, if there is one, and then do what the ability says, resolving as many of its effects as possible.
        1. Abilities with a mana cost will state the mana required (e.g., “1M”). When paid, adjust the mana counter accordingly.
        2. Ranged abilities are not blocked by other units.
        3. If the ability requires targeting, you may not pay the cost of the ability if you cannot find legal targets.
        4. If an ability says that it can only be used once per round or per battle, this restriction affects all levels of that ability.
        5. Some abilities specify that they can only be used once per round. This restriction is per unit instance, not per player.
    3. In lieu of taking an action, a player may choose to skip a unit’s action (“action skipping”). When they do this, that unit still consumes an action. Skipping an action does not count as taking an action.
    4. After a unit has performed an action or skips an action, that unit becomes exhausted if it has no remaining actions.
      1. This is indicated on the map by turning it clockwise 90deg.
    5. Although units can occupy the same hex as other units during a turn (e.g., while moving through a hex or during melee combat), units cannot occupy the same hex as other units at the end of the turn. Any action that results in this situation is considered illegal.
    6. If one player has more actions available to them in a round, that player takes multiple turns in a row.
    7. Once all units that can act are exhausted, the round ends.
    8. At the start of the next round, units are refreshed (by turning them counter-clockwise 90deg), status effects are updated as necessary, and the player who last performed an action in the previous round acts second in the new round.
      1. Status effects are updated in the order that is most beneficial to a unit. “Beneficial” means that it prevents as much health loss as possible or prevents death if possible. For example, if a unit with Max Health 2 has 1 remaining health and has Health Regen 1 and Burned 1, the Health Regen 1 will activate first, increasing that unit’s health to 2, and then the Burned 1 will activate, reducing the unit’s health back to 1.
  11. Combat
    1. Combat includes attacking and retaliating.
      1. If a unit charges, the movement is considered part of combat.
    2. Combat begins when a unit attacks an enemy unit.
      1. Attack declaration (certain effects may trigger at this time)
      2. Attack damage dealt
      3. Retaliation damage dealt (if possible)
    3. Whenever a unit attacks, it deals damage equal to its power to the defender, minus any reductions.
    4. There are two kinds of attacks: melee and ranged.
      1. Melee attacks require that the attacker is adjacent to the defender and has at least 1 movement point remaining. The movement point is required because the attacker must move into the defender’s hex when attacking.
        1. If a melee attacker kills a defender, the melee attacker remains in the defender’s hex.
        2. If a melee attacker does not kill the defender, the defender pushes the attacker back to the adjacent hex from which the attack was initiated.
        3. If a melee attacker does not kill a defender, the defender retaliates.
        4. When a unit retaliates, it deals damage equal to its power to the attacker, minus any reductions.
      2. Ranged attacks require that the defender is within the attacking unit’s attack range.
        1. Ranged attacks follow the shortest possible path to the target. If multiple shortest possible paths exist, the attacker chooses the path.
        2. Ranged attacks are not blocked by other units.
        3. The defender does not retaliate.
  12. Buffs and debuffs
    1. Many abilities result in status effects that can be referred to as buffs or debuffs.
    2. A buff is any status effect placed on a unit by one of its allies, excluding exhaustion, damage, and mana.
    3. A debuff is any status effect placed on a unit by one of its enemies, excluding exhaustion, damage, and mana.
    4. Some abilities create a buff or debuff with multiple effects. Whether these multiple effects are considered part of the same buff / debuff is stated on the back of the card.
    5. Non-numerical debuffs do not stack.
      1. Example: If a unit receives a Spellproof buff and then receives another Spellproof buff, it only has one Spellproof buff.
    6. Buffs and debuffs usually last until end of round, but sometimes last a certain number of turns or the entire battle.
    7. Some buffs and debuffs are tracked using a physical component, usually a colored die or token:
      1. White dice are usually used for buffs.
      2. Black dice are usually used for debuffs other than Burn or Poison.
      3. Yellow dice are usually used for Burn counters.
      4. Green dice are usually used for Poison counters.
  13. Damage
    1. Damage refers to effects that would reduce a unit’s health.
    2. Although a unit’s health cannot be less than zero, a unit can receive an infinite amount of damage.
      1. Example: If a unit with 1 health receives 5 damage, it still takes 5 damage, not 1 damage.
    3. Damage types
      1. Physical damage is dealt during combat unless otherwise specified. Physical damage is reduced by Armor.
      2. Magical damage is dealt by abilities unless otherwise specified. Magical damage is reduced by Magic Resist.
      3. Pure damage is dealt by units with certain special abilities. Pure damage is guaranteed damage and cannot be reduced by any effect.
  14. Abilities
    1. Active abilities
      1. Active abilities are always written in this format in the ability text section of a card: [Ability Name] – [Ability Cost]/[Ability Range]: [Ability Effect]
      2. Active abilities consume an action when used.
      3. If no mana cost is specified, the ability has a mana cost of zero.
      4. If no ability range is specified, the ability’s range is infinite.
    2. Passive abilities
      1. Passive abilities are always written as a keyword or a sentence in the ability text section of a card.
      2. Passive abilities are always in effect and do not require an action in order to be used.
  15. Types
    1. Types refer a unit’s identity and are denoted by a hash tag. For example, certain units are #mechanical.
    2. Certain abilities interact differently with certain unit types. Types are not considered passive abilities.
  16. Properties
    1. Properties refer to any information on a card.
    2. Properties come in two types: basic and non-basic.
      1. Basic properties refer to information is printed on every card of a particular type.
        1. Units: Gold Cost, Power, Range, Movement, Health, Mana
        2. Abilities: Gold Cost, Mana Cost, Cast Range, Spell Power
        3. Items: Gold Cost, Inventory Slots
      2. Non-basic properties refer to information resulting from passive abilities, buffs, or debuffs.
        1. Example: “Target unit gets Armor 1” or “Target unit gets +1 Burned.”
    3. Modifying properties
      1. Some items and abilities modify the numerical value of properties. The format of the modifier determines whether the value is stacking or non-stacking. Numerical values stack when an item or ability grants “+X Property” but not when an ability grants “Property X”. In the latter case, the higher value always takes precedence.
      2. A property’s value cannot be less than zero.
      3. A modifier may state in parentheses whether it only affects melee or ranged units.

Keyword Reference

  • Act – When a unit acts, it takes an action. Skipping an action is not taking an action.
  • Allied – Refers to any unit that is under a player’s control.
  • Allied Pathing – This unit can move through allied units.
  • Armor X – This unit reduces incoming physical damage by X.
  • Away From X – When a unit is moved away from X, each movement must take that unit further from X, if possible.
  • Back – Refers to the hex behind a unit, in line with another unit or hex.
  • Backstab – When this unit attacks, the defender cannot retaliate.
  • Battlefield – The zone in which cards are placed during battle.
  • Break – A broken unit has its passive abilities disabled.
    • Buffs, debuffs, and basic property modifiers are not considered passive abilities.
  • Burn X – When this unit attacks or retaliates, the enemy unit has its Burn counters increased to X. At the start of each round, a unit with X Burn counters takes X magic damage, then loses 1 Burn counter.
    • All Burn counters on a unit are considered a single debuff.
  • Burned X – A unit that is Burned X has its Burn counters increased to X.
  • Cast Range – Refers to an ability’s range.
    • Modifying a unit’s cast range modifies the cast range of all of that unit’s abilities.
    • A cast range uses a number. An ability that targets an adjacent unit does not use a number and therefore its cast range cannot be modified.
  • Chained – Refers to unique units or hexes that are connected to one another. The first and second units / hexes are adjacent, the second and third units / hexes are adjacent, etc.
    • Unless stated otherwise, abilities that target chained units require that all units in the chain are within the ability’s cast range.
  • Charging – This unit can move and attack in a single action.
    • The attack must be declared before movement occurs.
    • If a unit with charging does not move before attacking, the defender is not considered charged.
  • Combat – Refers to attacking or retaliating.
  • Combinable – This unit may move and use this ability in a single action.
    • The movement and ability usage may occur in any order. If a unit moves before using an ability, the ability’s cost is paid after movement occurs.
    • You may not split the movement. For example, if a unit with a combinable ability has two movement, you cannot move one, then use the ability, then move one.
  • Control – When you control a unit, it becomes an allied unit.
    • A controlled unit retains all status effects. For example, if it previously had a root debuff on it, it still has a root debuff on it.
  • Counterstrike – This unit retaliates at the same time that it is attacked.
    • This means that attack and retaliation damage is dealt simultaneously.
  • Destroy – A destroyed unit is removed from the battlefield.
  • Disarm – A disarmed unit cannot attack or retaliate.
  • Enemy – Refers to any unit that is not under a player’s control.
    Evasion – This unit reduces incoming ranged attack damage to zero.
  • Evasion X – This unit reduces incoming ranged attack damage by X.
  • Faction – Refers to a unit’s owning faction.
  • Flying – This unit can move through other units.
    • Flying units do not fly perpetually; they are considered on the ground in-between movements, which is why they can be attacked by ground units.
    • If a unit has Flying and Pathing, Flying takes precedence.
  • Gold Cost – Refers to the gold cost of a unit.
  • Graveyard – The zone in which cards that are removed from battle are placed.
    • When a unit goes to the graveyard, it is “reset”: no damage, full mana, no buffs, no debuffs.
  • Heal – Refers to the removal of damage from a unit.
    • A unit can only heal up to its max health, which means that it might not heal for the full heal amount.
  • Health – Refers to the current health of a unit.
    • Max Health refers to the starting health of a unit.
  • Health Regen X – This unit heals X at the start of each round.
  • Imbued – This unit deals its combat damage as magic damage.
  • Legendary – Only one instance of this card can exist in a player’s kingdom.
  • Magic Resist X – This unit reduces incoming magical damage by X.
  • Mana – Refers to the current mana of a unit.
    • Max Mana refers to the starting mana of a unit.
  • Manaburn X – When this unit attacks, remove X mana from the defender.
  • Mana Regen X – This unit gains X mana at the start of each round, but not more than its max mana.
  • Move – Refers to unit moving to another hex using normal movement rules.
  • Movement – Refers to the number of hexes a unit can move.
  • Non-lethal – Refers to damage that cannot reduce a unit’s health to less than 1.
  • Pathing – This unit can move through other units.
  • Physical Damage Return X – When this unit receives physical damage that is not from retaliation, it returns up to X of that damage back to the source.
    • If X is not specified, all damage is returned.
    • Damage from other instances of physical damage return is not returned.
    • Only damage that would be applied to the unit after reductions is returned. The damage absorbed by effects like Armor or Shield is not returned.
    • Damage from buffs and debuffs is not returned.
  • Piercing – This unit ignores Armor during combat.
  • Piercing X – This unit ignores X Armor during combat.
  • Power – The amount of damage that unit deals during combat (attacking and retaliating).
    • A unit with Power N cannot attack or retaliate.
  • Pulled X – A unit that is pulled moves X hexes along the direction it is being pulled.
    • The pulled unit must be pulled along the shortest possible path. If two adjacent hexes qualify, you choose which hex.
    • Units cannot be pulled through other units. A pulled unit stops being pulled whenever it cannot be pulled any further.
  • Pushed X – A unit that is pushed moves X hexes along the direction it is being pushed.
    • Units cannot be pushed into other units. A pushed unit stops being pushed whenever it cannot be pushed any further.
    • If a unit is pushed outside of the map, it is destroyed.
  • Range – This is short for “Attack Range”. Refers to the distance at which a unit can deal combat damage.
    • A value of “N” means that the unit is melee.
  • Refresh – Units refresh at the start of each round, which means they each get +1 Action.
  • Relocate – A relocated unit is moved directly to another hex without passing through any other hexes.
  • Root – A rooted unit cannot move.
    • A rooted melee unit cannot attack, since a melee attack requires that the attacker be able to move into the defender’s hex.
    • Root prevents any effects that would cause a unit to move.
  • Sacrifice – This occurs when a player chooses to remove one of the cards they control from the battlefield.
    • A sacrificed unit is considered dead.
  • Shield X – Refers to X temporary points of damage reduction. When this unit takes damage, reduce that damage by X and remove X shield points. Shield is factored in before other forms of damage reduction.
    • All Shield on a unit is considered a single buff.
    • Example: If a defender with 3 Shield counters and is attacked by a unit with Power 5, the defender loses 3 Shield counters and takes 2 damage.
  • Silence – A silenced unit cannot use active abilities.
  • Spell Power – This refers to the amount of damage or heal done by an active ability.
    • If the Spell Power of an ability with multiple targets or instances is modified, only one target or instance is modified.
    • The additional damage from Spell Power is applied after the damage it would normally cause is calculated.
    • If multiple items or abilities provide additional Spell Power, each may be applied to a separate target or instance.
    • Spell Power does not affect damage caused by buffs or debuffs.
  • Spellproof – This unit is not affected by enemy active abilities.
    • A spellproof unit can be targeted by an enemy ability, but it will have no effect.
  • Stack – Used when describing whether applying the same status effect multiple times to a target is additive.
    • Example: If a buff does not stack, then applying the buff to the same target multiple times replaces the buff each time.
  • Starting Hex – Refers to the hex a unit occupied at the start of the turn.
  • Steadfast – This unit cannot be charged or trampled.
  • Switch – Refers to two units relocating into the other’s hex.
    • Since relocation involves movement, it is prevented by root effects.
  • Trample X – This unit may move into and through hexes occupied by enemy units. If it does, those enemy units take X physical damage.
    • Trample damage is not applied to the defender when a melee attack occurs.
    • Flying units cannot trample.
    • Trample damage only occurs when the unit with Trample moves on its own into an enemy unit’s hex. For example, you cannot use Grand Wizard‘s Teleport to move a unit with Trample into a hex and kill an enemy unit.
    • A unit with trample may move through the same hex multiple times, if possible, dealing the trample damage each time.
    • If a unit has trample, then it always attempts to trample when it moves through enemy units. You cannot optionally move through enemy units without trampling them.
  • Triad – A group of three hexes adjacent to one another.
    • A triad is considered adjacent to a unit when at least one of its three hexes is adjacent to that unit.