You and your opponent each have a Leader card and a deck, and you will face one another for absolute victory! Reduce the enemy Leader's health to 0 to win a round. The first player with three rounds won has claimed absolute victory!
To create your Deck, begin by selecting a Leader card. This will begin the match on the field, and determines what cards you can include in your Deck of 40 cards.
Blue - A color that encourages a balanced approach towards offense and defense.
Red - An aggressive color that focuses on delivering powerful blows to your opponent.
Black - A sneaky color that will hinder and confuse your opponent.
Green - A durable color with plenty of healing and defensive options.
Orange - A resourceful color that specializes in quick tricks and resources.
You can only include cards that are the same color as your Leader in your Deck. There is a 3x limit for each card. In addition, there are also Signature cards and Class cards. Signature cards can only be included in that specific Leader's deck. Class cards can be used regardless of color as long as the Leader's class(denoted by the icon in the corner) is the same.
Leader - As previously mentioned, the Leader card starts the game in play and a player wins a round by defeating it. The Leader's color and class determines what cards you can include in your deck, along with its signature card.
Action - These are cards with Attack, Block, and Damage values. When attacking with one the Attack value is used, when defending with them the Block value is used, and after hitting with one the Damage value is used. If a stat has a dash for its value it cannot be modified and cannot be applied for that category.
Event (Enchantment, Twist) - These cards do not attack, and each come with a variety of effects. Enchantments remain on the field after being played as permanents, and Twists can be activated at any suitable time(even during your opponent's turn).
Ally - These permanents are placed on the field as characters and can attack in place of the Leader. When an allies Health reaches 0 it is buried(sent to the Grave). If your Leader would take damage, you can bury an ally in place of 1 damage.
Item - Each character, Leaders and allies alike, can be equipped with 1 Item. These permanents tend to provide additional effects for the equipped character.
So, how does a match unfold? After determining who goes first, each player draws 3-5 cards(their choosing). A player can make one action each turn(usually playing a card or activating an ability) before it becomes the opponent's turn. A player can pass their turn too, by choice or if there are no performable actions. When both players pass in a row, the current cycle ends. When a cycle ends, each player discards down to 0-1 cards in hand(their choice). Then both players again draw to 3-5 cards as the next cycle begins.
Cycles will continue until a player loses a round - usually when a Leader runs out of Health or a player runs out of cards in their Deck and needs to draw. If both players would lose in the same turn, the round is considered a draw. When a new round starts each Leader has their Health set back to their default and all enchantments as well as cards in the hand or Grave are shuffled back into the Deck. Items and allies on the field, as well as sealed cards, are not shuffled back into the Deck. Allies keep their current Health values. Then, the first cycle of the next round begins. This continues until one player has won three rounds!
Ryo - Cards with a value in the bottom left require that much Ryo to be played. Ryo can be gained through a number of means and does not go away until spent or lost to effects.
San - When you pass a turn, you gain 1 San token. After you have 3 or more San tokens, remove all San tokens from your Leader and apply 1 of the following effects: gain 1 Ryo, Heal 1, or draw a card.
When you attack, either with an ability or a card, you first declare your attacking character and the character being attacked. If the attack is a character's ability it must be the attacker; conversely, a character's ability can only be used to defend itself. If the attack is an ability, you point out which one it is. If the attack is from a combat card, you play it. The defending player can then play a combat card or use an ability to block. You can only attack with actions that have Attack values and block with actions that have Block values(even if they are 0).
If the blocking action has an effect that is not passive or applied at a different time, it activates at this moment. Then the same happens for the attacking action. Afterwards, the attacking action's Attack value is compared to the blocking action's Block value. If the Attack is higher, it hits and damage is dealt to the attack target equal to the attack's Damage value. If the Block value is equal to or higher than the attack, it is blocked.
C - This ability can only be performed once per cycle.
R - This ability can only be performed once per round.
Bury - Sending a card to the Grave.
Seal - Sealed cards are placed in a pile which is not shuffled back into the Deck at the end of each round.
Striking Power - When an attack hits, its striking power is equal to the amount its Attack was greater than the Block by.
Stopping Power - When an attack is blocked, its stopping power is equal to the amount the Block was greater than the Attack by.
Heal - Removing damage.
Veil - When you attack with Veil, you initially place the attack face-down. Your opponent selects their blocking action if any, then the attacking card is flipped face-up. If the card with Veil has a Ryo cost it is paid at this time(if you cannot pay the cost, the card is buried and your turn spent without attacking).