How to Play Orbs CCG
Before the Game
Before a game begins, you construct a deck of at least 50 cards, with at most 4 of any single card in the deck.
The objective of the game is defeat your opponent by decreasing your opponent's health points (HP) from 18 HP to 0 HP. A player loses the game when their HP drops below 0, or when they have to draw a card but have run out of cards in their deck.
Starting the Game
Each player draws a random number of cards, either 7 or 8, for their first turn. (Note that they do not start with a predetermined number of cards in their hand.) The player that goes first does not draw a card at the start of their first turn. Each player starts the game with 18 HP.
Understanding the Cards
Each card is made up of various components: name, color, type (and for allies, an ally type), energy cost, card text, and, in the case of an ally, attack points (AP) and health points (HP).
The colors in the game are: blue, green, red, yellow, as well as generic (gray) and multicolor. There are four card types: allies, objects, actions, and traps.
Red is the color of fire, Imp allies, and aggression. Red cards have the best direct damage cards as well as some strong, aggressive allies.
Green is the color of animals and nature. Green cards tend to represent feral allies and naturalistic abilities.
Blue is the color of water, planning, and cunning. Blue cards tend to have the best "draw card" abilities.
Yellow is the color of wizardry, knights, and traditional magic. Yellow allies often have armor. Yellow also has the best wizardry action cards, including energy generation.
Black is the color of death, ghouls, and black magic. Black cards tend to interact with your graveyard.
Purple is the color of the Velk, mutations, and object fetishism. Purple cards have a lot of interesting objects, including objects that can turn into allies.
Zones of Play
The game consists of five zones of play: the deck, the hand, in play, the Bench, and the graveyard.
Cards in play can attack, defend, and use abilities. Cards get to be in play by being played from the hand or the Bench, except in the case of action cards, which go directly to the graveyard once played. When cards are destroyed, they go to the graveyard as well.
Cards in the Bench can be thought of as having been preplayed. Their energy cost was already paid for, however they are not yet in play.
The column on the right contains the currently selected card. To select a card, click on it. If a card's text is too large to fit on its card, you can select it to read its full text. If you can take actions with the selected card, those actions will appear in the column on the right as well.
One player is randomly chosen to go first.
Turns are split into two phases: the Defense Phase, and the Main Phase.
At the beginning of your Defense Phase, your energy regenerates and you draw a card. During the Defense Phase, you can do one of four things: defend against any attacking allies, discard a card for energy, use the ability of a card in play, or play an action card from your hand. Note that you cannot play allies or objects during your Defense Phase.
At the end of your Defense Phase, you take damage from any undefended attacking allies equal to their attack points (AP).
At the beginning of your Main Phase, after your Defense Phase, all exhausted allies you control become unexhausted once more. During your Main Phase, you can play any card, use any ability, and declare attackers.
When you are done with your Main Phase, click "End Turn →" on the right-hand side column. It will then become your opponent's turn.
Cards can be played from your hand during your turn. To play a card, select it. If you can afford its energy cost, the action "Play this Card" will appear on the right hand side.
allies and objects go directly in play, while action cards take an effect before going to your graveyard. Note that you can't play allies and objects during your Defense Phase.
Attacking and Defending
During your Main Phase, you may declare an ally as an attacker. Only unexhausted allies that didn't come into play this turn may attack. During their Defense Phase, you opponent may defend against attackers with any unexhausted allies. Defending against an attacker causes the defending ally to become exhausted. Attackers may be defended multiple times.
When an attacking ally is defended by a defending ally, the two engage in battle. During battle, both allies deal damage to the other equal to their attack points (AP). If this decreases an ally's HP below 0, then it is destroyed.
Damage is permanent unless a card says otherwise. This means that a 2 AP / 3 HP that takes 2 damage would permanently become a 2 AP / 1 HP. Some ways to reverse this damage include: using a card that heals allies, or returning the ally to your hand and playing it again.
As mentioned above, energy is required to play cards and use abilities. But how do you get energy in the first place?
Unlike other card games, Orbs CCG does not have a dedicated resource card. Instead, once per turn, you may discard any card for one energy of its color. This is called converting the card into energy. Generic (gray) and multicolored cards are converted into one generic (gray) energy.
Generic (gray) energy in an energy cost can be payed with energy of any color. For example, if you have 1 blue and 1 red energy, you can play a card that costs 1 blue and 1 generic energy.
Your energy regenerates at the beginning of each turn. For example, if during each your first two turns you discarded a yellow card for energy, then you will have two yellow energy at the beginning of your third turn (and all subsequent turns).
The Bench is a game zone where cards are placed face-down (you can still see your own benched cards).
Putting a card in the Bench is called "benching" it, and still requires you pay its energy cost. You can only bench cards during your Main Phase. Why would you bench a card rather than play it? The reason is that benched cards have some advantages:
- Benched cards can be played without paying its energy cost, since you've already paid it. (You could've paid it on an earlier turn, before you were ready to play it.)
- Traps have to be in the Bench in order to trigger.
- allies and objects can be played from your Bench during your Defense Phase (they can't if they're in your hand).
- Some cards get more powerful when you have cards in your Bench.
You might bench a card when: you aren't ready to play it yet; or you are planning to surprise attacking allies by defending with a benched ally (allies cannot be played from the hand during the Defense Phase, but they can be played from the Bench); or it is a trap card; or you are bluffing and want your opponent to think you have something else.
Cards usually have special abilities, described in their card text. Sometimes, these are keyword abilities, like "Armor". Other times, the ability is explained on the card itself.
If an ability is written "(part a): (part b)" it means that you need to do part a in order to get part b. For example, "Exhaust: Draw a card" would mean that first you exhaust the card, then you draw a card.
Abilities requiring exhausting cannot be used the first turn the card is in play. (The same rule applies to attacking.) This balances the game by giving your opponent a chance to respond to the card. Cards with "Battle Ready" can be used the first turn they enter play, however.
Some cards have an initial quantity number, paired with abilities that consume their quantity. In this case, the card is destroyed when it has no quantity remaining.
Here is a short explanation of some common card rules text.
Armor n. When this ally takes damage, that damage is reduced by n. For example. a 3 AP / 3 HP ally with Armor 1 battling a 2 AP / 2 HP ally would take 2 AP - 1 Armor = 1 damage. Armor applies to any damage the ally takes, not just battle damage.
Battle Ready. This ally can attack the turn it enters play. (Other allies must wait a turn.)
Develop n. This ally gets +n AP / +n HP while developing in your Bench. Developing is capped at three turns.
On enters play, (do something). When this card enters play, something special occurs.
Poisonous. allies and players damaged by a poisonous source become poisoned. Poisoned allies and players lose 1 HP at the start of their turns.
The Rules Summary
- Play with your 50+ card deck.
- The objective is to reduce your opponent's HP from 18 to 0.
- There are four card types: allies, objects, actions, and traps.
- Attack and defend with allies, dealing their attack points (AP) in damage to the other's hit points (HP) and vice versa.
- Objects do something special, but cannot attack or defend.
- Actions are used once, cause some special effect, then go to the graveyard.
- Traps are benched face down, and cause a special effect when some triggering action occurs.
- You can play cards or bench them face down to your Bench, once you pay it's energy cost.
- Generate energy by discarding one card per turn for energy of that card's color.
- Regenerate your energy each turn to its full value.
- Non-trap cards can be played from your Bench at any time, for free, since you already paid the cost to bench it.
- During your Defense Phase, you can defend, play cards from your Bench, but can only play actions from your hand. You can play anything during your Main Phase.
- Damage dealt to an ally's hit points (HP) does not heal (unless a card says otherwise).