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Keyforge Rules

Based on official rules Version 1.2 - January 2019

Download latest official Rulebook as PDF

Ability, Card Ability

An ability is the special game text a card contributes to the game. Unless an ability explicitly references an out-of-play area (such as a hand, deck, archives, or discard pile), that ability can only interact with cards that are in play.

Action Ability

Any ready creature of the active house may trigger its “Action:” ability, if it has one.

When a creature is used to trigger its “Action:” ability, the creature exhausts and all “Action:” abilities the creature has resolve.

Active house

The active house is the house that the active player has chosen for the current turn.

Active Player

The active player is the player taking the current turn. The active player makes all necessary decisions for all card abilities or timing conflicts that need to resolve during their turn.

Æmber

Æmber is tracked by Æmber tokens, and is used to forge keys. Each time a player gains Æmber (for any reason), the Æmber is placed in that player’s Æmber pool (on their identity card). Only Æmber in your own Æmber pool is considered “yours” for the purpose of card effects.

See also: Capture, Keys, Reap, Steal

Æmber Bonus

Many cards in the game have an Æmber bonus below the house icon. When a card with an Æmber bonus is played, the first thing the active player does is gain that much Æmber.

See also: Æmber

Alpha

“Alpha” is a new keyword introduced in the second set for Keyforge: “Age of Ascension”. “Alpha” is defined as: “You can only play this card before doing anything else this step.”

This is an unreleased keyword, these rules will be updated as soon as it’s present in the official rulebook.

Archives

A player’s archives is a facedown game area in front of that player’s identity card. Card abilities are the only means by which a player is permitted to add cards to their archives. During step 2 of a player’s turn, after they select an active house, the active player is permitted to pick up all cards in their archives and add those cards to their hand.

Cards in a player’s archives are considered out of play.

A player may look at their archives at any time. A player is not permitted to look at an opponent’s archives.

If the ability instructing a player to archive a card does not specify where the card is archived from, the archived card comes from that player’s hand.

Playing the Dysania will cause each of your opponent’s archived cards to be discarded, however since the Sample Collection states that when these creatures leave the archives they are put into their owner’s hand instead these cards are returned to your hand. Since these cards were not discarded by Dysania’s effect, you will not gain any Æmber from the resolution of that effect.

  • FAQ updated on: January 24 2019
Armor

Some creatures have an armor value to the right of the card title. Armor prevents an amount of damage equal to the armor value that the creature would take each turn. Armor prevents damage before it is actually dealt. For example, if a creature has two armor and is dealt one damage, that damage is instead prevented by the armor, leaving the creature with one armor that can prevent damage left for the rest of the turn. If the creature is later dealt three more damage during that turn, one damage is prevented and the other two damage are dealt to that creature.

If a creature gains armor, the gains are additive and accumulate on top of the creature’s printed armor value.

If a creature gains armor during a turn, the gained armor does not prevent damage already dealt that turn. If a creature loses armor during a turn, it is not retroactively dealt damage that was already prevented by the armor.

If a creature loses any amount of armor, it loses armor that has been used to prevent damage this turn before it loses armor that has not been used to prevent damage this turn.

If a creature has a “~” symbol in its armor field, the creature has no armor. Such creatures may gain armor through card effects.

Assault (X)

When a creature with the assault (X) keyword attacks, it deals damage equal to its assault value (i.e., “X”) to the creature it is fighting before the fight resolves. (The active player chooses whether this occurs before or after other “Before Fight” effects and keywords.) If this damage destroys the other creature, the rest of the fight does not occur.If a creature with the assault (X) keyword gains another instance of the assault (X) keyword, the two X values are added together.

Attack, Attacker, Attacking

See “Fight”

Battleline

The battleline is the ordered line of creatures a player controls in play.

Creatures enter play exhausted and are placed in the front row of the active player’s play area. This row is referred to as the battleline.

Each time a creature enters play, it must be placed on a flank—at the far left or the far right of its controller’s battleline. Each time a creature leaves play, shift the battleline inward to close the gap.

See also: Flank

Before

If the word “before” is used in an ability (for example, “Before Reap:” or “Before Fight:”), that ability resolves before resolving the game effect of the reap or fight (but after the card exhausts, if exhausting is required to use the card).

Cannot vs. Must/May, Cannot vs. Permissive

If two card effects are simultaneously instructing a player that they “cannot” do something and that they “must” or “may” do the same thing, the “cannot” effect takes precedence.

Example: Anna controls a Pitlord (COTA 093) which reads “While Pitlord is in play you must choose Dis as your active house.” On their next turn Anna’s opponent plays Restringuntus (COTA 094) which reads “Play: Choose a house. Your opponent cannot choose that house as their active house until Restringuntus leaves play.” and chooses Dis for its ability. On Anna’s next turn, she both must and cannot choose Dis, but because cannot takes precedence over must, she only cannot choose Dis and must choose one of her other houses instead.

If two card effects are simultaneously instructing a player that they cannot do something and that they may do something, the “cannot” effect takes precedence.

On your next turn, during the choose a house step, you will be in a position where you must choose house Dis (because of the Pitlord), but also cannot choose house Dis (because of the Restringuntus). Cannot effects have precedence over must effects, thus you cannot choose Dis. You may still choose either one of your other houses though.

Capture

Captured Æmber is taken from an opponent’s Æmber pool and placed on a creature controlled by the capturing player. Players may not spend captured Æmber. When a creature with Æmber on it leaves play, the Æmber is placed in the opponent’s Æmber pool. Unless otherwise specified, Æmber is placed on the creature that captured it.

Chain, Chains

Some card abilities cause a player to gain one or more chains. If a player gains chains, that player increases their chain tracker by the number of chains gained.

If a player has at least one chain when refilling their hand and would draw cards based on the number of remaining cards in their hand, they draw fewer cards according to the chart below. Then, they shed one chain by reducing the number on their chain tracker by one.

Chains 1-6: draw one fewer card.

Chains 7-12: draw two fewer cards.

Chains 13-18: draw three fewer cards.

Chains 19-24: draw four fewer cards.

While drawing an initial hand of cards during setup, if a deck has chains assigned to it, the chains also apply to the initial hand of cards drawn as if you were refilling a hand during step 5. A chain is shed for this initial draw as per the standard rules.

Yes, you will shed a chain during this step. Chains are only shed when a player would draw cards during the draw step and the chains prevent them from doing so. You only have 5 cards in hand, and normally you would draw a card to refill your hand. However because of the chains you are prevented from drawing that card. Since you would normally have drawn the card and the chain prevented it, you then shed 1 chain.

No, you will not shed a chain during this draw cards step. Chains are only shed when a player would draw cards during the draw step and the chains prevent them from doing so. Since you already have 7 cards in your hand, you aren’t going to be drawing any cards, and thus don’t lose any of your chains.

Control

A player owns the cards that begin the game in their deck. When a card is played, it enters play under the control of the active player.

A player can take control of an opponent’s card. When this happens, that card is placed in the new controller’s play area. If it is a creature, it is placed on a flank of the new controller’s battleline. If multiple effects that take control of a card are used on the same card, the most recent effect takes precedence.

If a player takes control of a card that belongs to a house not in the new controller’s deck, they can make that house the active house during step 2 of their turn.

If a card that has changed control leaves play for any reason, it moves to its owner’s appropriate out-of-play zone.

Cost, at current Cost

The base cost to forge a key is six Æmber. This cost may be modified by card abilities. The modified cost is referred to as the current cost.

Deploy

“Deploy” is a new keyword introduced in the second set for Keyforge: “Age of Ascension”. “Deploy” is defined as: “This creature can enter play anywhere in your battleline.”

This is an unreleased keyword, these rules will be updated as soon as it’s present in the official rulebook.

Damage

Damage a creature has taken is tracked by placing damage tokens on the creature. If a creature has an amount of damage on it equal to or greater than its power, the creature is destroyed. Damage on a creature does not reduce its power. If multiple creatures are damaged by a single effect, that damage is dealt simultaneously.

In this case, the Shadow Self will take 2 damage, the Raiding Knight will take no damage, and the 4 power creature will take 4 damage and be destroyed. This happens because before the damage can be dealt to the Raiding Knight, two of it is prevented by its armor. Then when the damage is actually being dealt, the damage that would be dealt to the Raiding Knight is dealt to the Shadow Self instead. At the same time as the Shadow Self is being dealt damage, the 4 power creature takes 4 damage from the Raiding Knight’s power.

The rules for damage state that “If a creature has as much or more damage on it as it has power, the creature is destroyed and placed on top of its owner’s discard pile.” When a creature has 0 power, if it has 0 damage on it, it is destroyed.

Destroyed

When a card is destroyed, it is placed in its owner’s discard pile. If multiple cards are destroyed simultaneously they are put into the discard pile(s) simultaneously and any non-”Destroyed:” abilities cannot trigger. (The active player determines what order the destroyed cards are put into the discard pile(s).)

If a card has a “Destroyed:” ability, the effect automatically resolves immediately before the card would be destroyed, which is also before it leaves play.

The Bad Penny goes back to your hand. “Destroyed:” effects happen immediately before a creature is destroyed, meaning that Bad Penny is back in its owner’s hand before the Yxilo Bolter can try to purge it with its reap effect. At that point, any pending effects waiting to resolve on Bad Penny no longer do. This is because Bad Penny is moving to an out-of-play zone in which the identity of cards is hidden from the opponent (see Leaves Play).

  • FAQ updated on: January 24 2019
Discard Pile

When a card is destroyed or discarded, it is placed on top of its owner’s discard pile. The cards in each player’s discard pile are open information, and may be referenced at any time.

The order of cards in a player’s discard pile is maintained during play, unless a card ability causes this order to change.

When a player runs out of cards in their deck and are required to draw, they shuffle their discard pile to create a new deck

Elusive

The first time a creature with the elusive keyword is attacked each turn, it is dealt no damage and deals no damage to the attacker in the fight. Elusive only stops damage that would be dealt by each creature’s power; damage dealt by keywords or other abilities still applies.

End of Turn

End of turn effects are resolved when a player’s turn is over—after step 5, the “Draw Cards” step.

Enemy

If a card ability refers to an “enemy” game element, it refers to an element currently controlled by the opponent.

Fight

Any ready creature of the active house may fight. A creature cannot fight if there is no enemy creature that can be chosen as the target of the attack.

When a player uses a creature to fight, the player exhausts the creature and chooses an opponent’s creature. Both creatures deal an amount of damage equal to their power value to the opposing creature in the fight, and both are “fighting” for the purposes of card effects.

A creature used to fight is said to be “attacking” and can be referred to as “the attacker” during that fight.

If the attacker is not destroyed, all “Fight:” abilities on the attacking creature then resolve. If either creature in a fight has a constant ability referencing the end of the fight (example: “after an enemy creature is destroyed fighting this creature…”), the creature must survive the fight to resolve the ability. Only the attacker can trigger “Fight:” abilities.

No, the Stealer of Souls’ ability will not trigger. In order for the Stealer of Souls ability to trigger it must be in play, so if both the Stealer of Souls and the creature it is fighting die, they die simultaneously and the Stealer of Souls ability cannot trigger.

"Fight With"

If an ability instructs a player to “fight with” or “ready and fight with” a creature, the ability is granting the player permission to use the designated creature to fight. The fight is resolved following the standard rules for fighting, against a creature controlled by the opponent.

Flank

The creatures on the far right and far left of a player’s battleline are on the flanks of the line. A creature in this position is referred to as a flank creature. Any time a creature enters play or changes control, the active player chooses which flank of its controller’s battleine it is placed on.

If a battleline only has one creature in it, that creature is on both the left and right flank and is considered a flank creature.

Forge

If the active player has enough Æmber to forge a key during Step 1 of their turn, they must do so. To forge a key, the active player spends Æmber from the Æmber pool on their identity card, returning it to the common supply. Then, that player flips any one of their key tokens over to its forged side, indicating that the key has been forged.

  • The default cost to forge a key is six Æmber. Some card abilities may increase or decrease this number.
  • No more than one key can be forged during this step each turn, even if the active player has enough Æmber to forge multiple keys.
  • Some cards have effects that allow Æmber on these cards to be spent when forging keys. If there is enough Æmber on cards with this effect you control combined with the Æmber in your Æmber pool to forge a key you must do so during Step 1 of your turn.

See also: Turn

Friendly

If a card ability refers to a “friendly” game element, it refers to an element currently under the control of the same player.

Hazardous (X)

When a creature with the hazardous X keyword is attacked, it deals X damage to the attacking creature before the fight resolves. (The active player chooses whether this occurs before or after other “Before Fight” effects and keywords.) If this damage destroys the other creature, the rest of the fight does not occur.

If a creature with the hazardous (X) keyword gains another instance of the hazardous (X) keyword, the two X values are added together.

Heal

If an ability “heals” a creature, remove the specified amount of damage from the creature.

If an ability “fully heals” a creature, remove all damage from the creature.

Any creature can be chosen to be healed by a card effect that heals, even if it does not have any damage on it. However, if no damage is removed from the creature, it is not considered to have been “healed” for the purpose of card effects that reference healing.

House choice

Each turn, a player must choose one of the three houses indicated by their identity card, if able. Some card abilities may restrict a player’s house choice.

If a player has gained control of a card that does not belong to one of their three houses, that card’s house becomes an eligible choice for that player while the player retains control of the card.

If there is no legal choice of house, the player plays the turn with no active house.

If a player is faced with two (or more) “must choose” mandates, the player may choose either of those options.

"If You Do" and "In Order To"

If an ability includes the phrase “if you do” or “in order to,” the player referenced by the ability must successfully and completely resolve the text that precedes that phrase before they can resolve or perform the text that follows that phrase. In other words, if the first part of the ability is not successfully and completely resolved, that which follows the phrase does not resolve or cannot be performed.

Keys

The first player to forge all three of their keys immediately wins the game.

The color of a key has no impact on the game. Future card abilities may reference keys of a specific color.

Least Powerful

A reference to the “least powerful” creature refers to the creature in play with the lowest power. If there are multiple creatures that qualify, each is considered “least powerful.”

If an ability requires the selection of a single least powerful creature, and multiple creatures are tied, the active player chooses one

Groups of “Least Powerful”

If a card effect refers to a group of “the X least powerful” creatures, it is referring to a number of creatures in play that have an equal or lower power than every creature that does not belong to that group. If there are not enough creatures with the lowest power to fulfill the group, then a creature with the next lowest power is eligible to be considered a part of the group. This continues until the group has been filled or there are no creatures remaining. If at any point multiple creatures are tied at the same power that could qualify them for the group, but there is not enough space in the group for each tied creature, the active player chooses which of the tied creatures are part of the group.

Leaves Play

If a card that is in play leaves play (is returned to hand or deck, destroyed, discarded, archived, or purged), all non-Æmber tokens and status cards on the card are removed, all upgrades on the card are discarded, and all lasting effects applied to the card expire.

When a card moves from an in–play zone to an out-of-play zone in which the identities of cards are hidden from the opponent (such as a player’s hand, deck, or archives), any pending effects that are currently or about to interact with that card no longer do so, unless a card effect explicitly states that it interacts with that zone.

If a creature with Æmber on it leaves play, the Æmber is placed in the opponent’s Æmber pool. If a non-creature card with Æmber on it leaves play, the Æmber is returned to the general token pool.

When a card leaves play it is always put into its owner’s appropriate out-of-play zone, unless a card effect explicitly states that it interacts with that zone.

If a card has a “Leaves Play:” ability, the effect happens automatically immediately before the card leaves play.

Faygin’s effect causes the Urchin to try and go into your hand, however when a card leaves play it always goes to its owner’s corresponding out of play zone unless the card causing it to leave play specifies otherwise. The Urchin is returned to your opponent’s hand instead of yours.

Maverick

This symbol indicates that a card is a maverick. A maverick is an extremely rare instance of a card that has left its standard house and is now a part of a new house. For all game purposes, treat a maverick as belonging to the house printed on its graphic template.

May

If an ability includes the word “may,” the text that follows “may” is optional. If a player chooses to resolve a “may” ability, the player must resolve as much of the ability as they are able.

Most Powerful

A reference to the “most powerful” creature refers to the creature in play with the highest power. If there are multiple creatures that qualify, each is considered “most powerful.”

If an ability requires the selection of a single most powerful creature, and multiple creatures are tied, the active player chooses among the tied creatures.

Groups of “Most Powerful”

If a card effect refers to a group of “the X most powerful” creatures, it is referring to a number of creatures in play that have an equal or higher power than every creature that does not belong to that group. If there are not enough creatures with the highest power to fulfill the group, then a creature with the next highest power is eligible to be considered a part of the group. This continues until the group has been filled or there are no creatures remaining. If at any point multiple creatures are tied at the same power that could qualify them for the group, but there is not enough space in the group for each tied creature, the active player chooses which of the tied creatures are part of the group.

Example: Tom plays the action card “Three Fates (COTA 071) which reads, “Play: Destroy the 3 most powerful creatures.” In play there is an 8 power creature, a 7 power creature, and two 5 power creatures. Tom must select 3 creatures to fill the group and must choose the 8 power creature as the first creature for the group. There are no other creatures in play that are tied for most powerful. In order to fill the group the next most powerful creature is selected, the 7 power creature. After this creature is selected, again there is no creature in play that is tied at 7 power, so a creature from the next highest power must be selected. Tom thus must choose one of the 5 power creatures to complete the group.

Mulligan

During setup, each player, starting with the first player, has one opportunity to mulligan their starting hand. This is done by shuffling the starting hand back into the deck and drawing a new starting hand with one fewer card in it.

After a player chooses to mulligan, that player must keep the new starting hand.

If a player is using a deck that has chains applied to it at the start of the game and takes a mulligan, they do not shed a chain from the mulligan, but do draw one fewer card than they had before the mulligan as per the normal mulligan rules.

Omega

“Omega” is a new keyword introduced in the second set for Keyforge: “Age of Ascension”. “Omega” is defined as: “After you play this card end this step.”

This is an unreleased keyword, these rules will be updated as soon as it’s present in the official rulebook.

Neighbor

The creatures to the immediate left and right of a creature in a player’s battleline are its neighbors.

Omni

The active player may trigger any ”Omni:“ abilities under their control during any of their turns, even if the card with the ”Omni:“ ability does not belong to the active house. When a player uses a creature to trigger its “Omni:” ability, the player exhausts the creature and then resolves the “Omni:” ability.

Off House

An off house card is any card that belongs to a house that is not the active house.

Opposing

When a creature is involved in a fight (either because it was used to fight, or because it was attacked by another creature), the other creature in the fight is the opposing creature

Pay

If a player must pay Æmber to an opponent, the Æmber is removed from the paying player’s pool and added to the opponent’s pool.

Play

When a card has a “Play:” ability, the effect occurs any time the card is played. For creatures, artifacts, and upgrades, the ability resolves after the card enters play. For action cards, the ability resolves, and then the card is immediately placed in its owner’s discard pile.

If an ability “plays” a card from a source other than hand, “Play:” abilities on the card resolve. If an ability “puts” a card “into play,” “Play:” abilities on the card do not resolve.

Yes. The Kelifi Dragon is not being played when it is returned by the Spangler Box, it is being put into play. Being put into play bypasses the normal play restrictions, meaning that the Kelifi Dragon is put back into play no matter how much Æmber you have.

Poison

Any damage dealt via the power of a creature with the poison keyword during a fight destroys the damaged creature. This occurs when the damage is successfully applied to the opposing creature.

Poison has no effect if all of the damage is prevented by armor or prevented by another ability—poison only resolves when one or more damage is successfully dealt.

Poison refers only to damage that would be dealt by the creature’s power, not by damage that is dealt by keywords or other card abilities.

Power Counter +1, Power Status Card

When a creature is given a “+1 power counter,” one such status card is placed on the creature. For each of these cards that is on a creature, that creature’s power is increased by one.

Preceding, Repeat the Preceding

If card text instructs players to repeat a preceding effect, the entirety of the effect before the text providing the instruction to repeat resolves again.

Note: Repeating an effect does not interact with the Rule of Six, as the Rule of Six only applies to playing or using cards, not triggering their effect multiple times.

Purge

When a card is purged, it is removed from the game and placed facedown beneath its owner’s identity card. Purged cards no longer interact with the game state in any manner.

Rarity

A card’s rarity symbol can be found at the bottom of the card, near the collector number. A card’s rarity (common, uncommon, rare, or special) is used by the deck-generation algorithm to determine how frequently it will appear in decks. Special cards have a different type of distribution and do not obey the game’s standard rarity rules.

Reap

Any ready creature of the active house may reap.

When a player uses a creature to reap, the player exhausts the creature, gains 1 Æmber for their Æmber pool, and then all “Reap:” abilities on the creature resolve.

Repeat

If card text instructs players to repeat an effect, the entirety of the effect resolves again including the text to repeat the effect. If the card that is creating a repeating effect is removed from play, the effect can no longer repeat.

Note: Repeating an effect does not interact with the Rule of Six as the Rule of Six only applies to playing or using cards, not triggering their effect multiple times.

See also: Preceding

Resolve as Much as You Can

While resolving a card ability, resolve as much of the ability as can be resolved, and ignore any parts of the ability that cannot be resolved.

Example: Aaron plays the card Anger, that reads “Play: Ready and fight with a friendly creature.”, and chooses his friendly Snufflegator to resolve the ability on. However, the Snufflegator is already ready, so Aaron ignores that part of the ability and just uses his friendly Snufflegator to fight.

The Bumpsy will be readied by the effect of Anger, but since there are no enemy creatures in play it cannot be used to fight so it stays ready. The creature can then be used as per the standard rules.

Yes you can. The “Resolve As Much As You Can” rule says that you resolve as much of a card effect as possible and any part of a card you cannot resolve is ignored. In the context of Lost in the Woods, it means that you shuffle in as many of the creatures as you can. So in the case that your opponent has two or more creatures in their battleline and you have none, you will shuffle in two enemy creatures and no friendly creatures.

Yes, you can resolve the effect of Poltergeist on any artifact in play even if the artifact cannot be used. You just resolve as much of the card effect as you can, and to resolve this situation you just destroy the artifact.

Return

When captured Æmber is returned, it is placed in the opponent’s Æmber pool.

Sacrifice

When a player is instructed to sacrifice a card, that player must discard that card from play.

When a card is sacrificed, that card is considered to have been destroyed, and any “Destroyed:” abilities the card has resolve.

Self-referential Text

If a card’s ability refers to its own title, that reference is only to itself and not to other copies of the card.

Skirmish

When a creature with the skirmish keyword is used to fight, it takes no damage from the opposing creature when the damage from the fight is dealt.

This applies only to damage that would be dealt by the opposing creature’s power, not by damage that is dealt by keywords or other card abilities.

Splash

When an ability deals damage to a creature “with splash damage,” the splash damage is dealt to each of the target creature’s neighbors.

Steal

When an ability steals Æmber, the stolen Æmber is removed from the opponent’s Æmber pool and added to the Æmber pool of the player resolving the steal ability.

If an ability steals more Æmber than a player has remaining in their pool, the ability steals only the amount remaining in the pool.

Stun, Stun Status Card

When a creature becomes stunned, place a stun status card on it. The next time that creature is used, the only effect of it being used is the creature exhausts and the stun status card is removed instead of anything else happening. The creature does not reap or fight, and any “Reap:,” “Fight:,” or “Action:” abilities on the creature do not resolve.

If a card effect causes a creature to be used while it is stunned, the creature is exhausted and the stun status card is removed, just as if the creature had been used normally.

Constant abilities and abilities that do not require the creature to reap, fight, or be used are still active.

If a stunned creature is attacked, it still deals damage to the attacking creature during the fight.

While a creature is stunned, it cannot have another stun status card placed on it. If an effect attempts to stun a stunned creature that effect does not stun the already stunned creature.

No. You may still choose to resolve Smaaash’s “Play:” effect against one of your opponent’s creatures, however you cannot put a stun counter on an already stunned creature so nothing will happen.

If a card (such as Anger in this case) allows you to use a creature and if the creature you are trying to use is stunned, you remove the stun instead of doing anything else. Since Fighting is a type of being used the creature is exhausted and the stun counter is removed.

This will even work if your opponent has no creatures in play, because unstunning replaces the normal “use” (in this case fight) of the card before it begins.

Swap

If two game elements are swapped, they exchange places with one another.

When two creatures are swapped, they exchange positions. This means that each takes the position in the battleline of the other. The two creatures swapped must always be controlled by the same player.

If cards from two distinct game areas are swapped (such as a card in play and a card in hand), the cards switch game areas.

Taunt

If a creature has the taunt keyword, any of its neighbors that do not have the taunt keyword cannot be attacked by an enemy creature that is being used to fight.

In the battleline, taunt creatures are slid slightly forward to indicate their presence to the opponent.

The First Turn Rule

During the first player’s first turn of the game, that player cannot play or discard more than one card from their hand. Card effects can modify this rule.

Wild Wormhole’s effect can be resolved. The First Turn Rule specifies that players cannot play or discard more than one card from their hand. However it does not prohibit cards from being played or discarded from other game areas, such as your deck.

Playing Phase Shift will allow you to play another card from your hand this turn, since the First Turn Rule can be modified by card effects.

The Golden Rule

If the text of a card directly contradicts the text of the rules, the text of the card takes precedence.

The Rule of Six

Occasionally, a situation may emerge in which, through a combination of abilities, the same card may be played or used repeatedly during the same turn. A player cannot play and/or use the same card and/or other copies of that card (by title) more than six times during a given turn.

In this situation, Bait and Switch’s effect will be triggered 7 times. Each time the effect is triggered it will check if your opponent still has more Æmber than you, and if they do it will trigger again. So after the first time the effect triggers you will have 1 Æmber and your opponent will have 13, the second time you will have 2 Æmber and your opponent will have 12, then 3 and 11, 4 and 10, 5 and 9, 6 and 8, then finally 7 and 7. Once both players have the same amount of Æmber when the effect checks if your opponent has more Æmber than you the effect will see that your opponent does not and the card effect will not trigger again.

Note: Repeating an effect does not interact with the Rule of Six, as the Rule of Six only applies to playing or using cards, not triggering their effect multiple times.

"This Way"

If an ability refers to an effect that occurred “this way,” it is referring to an effect that was produced by the same resolution of that same ability.

Traits

Traits are descriptive attributes (such as “Knight” or “Specter”) that may be referenced by other cards. Traits are listed at the top center of a card’s text box.

Traits have no inherent game effect, but may be referenced by card abilities.

Turn

A turn consists of one player performing the five steps detailed in the game’s turn sequence, which are:

  1. Forge a key.
  2. Choose a house.
  3. Play, discard, and use cards of the chosen house.
  4. Ready cards.
  5. Draw cards.
Unforge

If a previously forged key is “unforged,” flip the key token to its unforged side. The key no longer counts toward its controller’s victory condition and must be forged again to win the game.

Use, Using Cards

The active player can use any number of cards from the active house that they have in play during step three of their turn. Depending on a card’s type, the active player is able to do different things when using that card.

UPGRADES

An upgrade modifies the creature it is attached to and is not used independently of that creature.

USING ARTIFACTS

There are two types of abilities that enable a player to use an artifact: “Action:” abilities and “Omni:” abilities.

  • When a player uses an artifact, they exhaust the card and then resolve its abilities.
  • A player can only use an “Action:” ability if it is on a card that belongs to the active house.
  • A player can resolve an “Omni:” ability even if it is on a card that does not belong to the active house.
  • Some artifacts require that they be sacrificed as part of the cost of using them. When an artifact is sacrificed, it is placed in its owner’s discard pile. A player must still exhaust such an artifact when using it.
  • Artifacts cannot be used to reap or to fight.

USING CREATURES

When a player uses a creature, that player must exhaust the creature, and the player has the option to reap, fight, trigger the creature’s “Action:” ability, or trigger the creature’s “Omni:” ability. Any card effect that causes a creature to fight, reap, trigger its “Action:” ability, or to trigger it’s “Omni:” ability is causing that creature to be used.

See also: Action Ability, Fight, Omni, Reap

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