Magic cards are expensive and dumb.
Eliminate all six of the other players’ cards to win by playing higher cards against them.
Explanation of Play
All players are dealt six cards which they must arrange face-down in front of them in 2 rows with three columns. The remaining cards in the deck are placed face down in the center of each players’ fields. As cards are drawn from the deck, they may be discarded right next to it. Any number of people may play, just adapt the field to suit the number of players.
Order of play
In our example game with four players, the game progresses in sets. The order of each player in each set is determined by drawing from the deck. The player with the highest draw moves first, followed by the second highest draw, with play continuing in the same direction until everyone has made his or her moves for the set. After all players have gone, everyone draws again and the process continues. When only two players remain, there is a final draw by each player, and the highest drawer goes first and the two alternate until the end of the game. There is no longer any more drawing to determine order.
The player’s turn
A player’s turn is split into three phases: Summon/Swap, Attack, and Movement (conveniently remembered through the acronym SAM). They must be taken in this order. All phases are optional but must be taken in the prescribed order. The only variation in the three phases is with the very first turn of the entire game, which does not have an attack phase. Let’s break down the three phases to see what they do:
Assume we are starting with six face down cards in our field in front of us. At the beginning of every turn each player is given 5 summon points to use to flip up cards. These are NOT accumulative between turns. This means a player can flip up a 2 through a 5 on any given turn, any card with a summon cost less than or equal to 5. To summons cards with a higher summon cost, already face up cards may be flipped down to add their face value to the 5 summon points of their turn. The face value of a card is the same as the number printed on them. Face cards run 11 through 14, Jack through Ace relatively. A card may only be flipped up once and down once in a turn, not necessarily in that order. As many cards as the player desires (within his own field) can be manipulated to draw on enough summon points. Extra summon points are eliminated at the end of the summon/swap phase of the player’s turn. If a player chooses to swap, the may put ONE face-down card face-up in the discard pile and replace that same position with a face-down card drawn from the deck. A player may choose to EITHER summon or swap in this phase of play.
Each player may attack once per turn using the following process. If the player decides to attack during his turn, he first declares which card he is attacking with. The player then draws a card from the deck and immediately discards it. It’s value determines the amount of attack points available this turn to the player. If it is higher or equal to the attack cost, usually a card’s face value, of the card the player wants to attack with, the player may now choose which card of an opponent he desires to attack. If it is lower, the player may flip down face-up cards on the field and add their value to the drawn card to gain enough attack points to be equal or greater than the attack cost they must pay. Most cards may only attack from the front of their field to the front of another’s field. A player may attack both face up and face down cards. We can now refer to cards as attacking and defending. The attacking card is always under the control of the player whose turn it is while the defending card can be controlled by any other player in the game. If a higher real value attacking card attacks a defending face-up card, the defender is sent to the discard pile and the space on the opponent’s field is now empty. If a lower real value attacking card attacks a defending face-up card, the attacker is flipped down and nothing happens to the defender. If a higher real value attacking card attacks a defending face-down card, the defender is forcibly flipped up and sent to the discard. If a lower real value attacking card attacks a defending face-down card, the defender is forcibly flipped up and the attacker is flipped down. When cards are forcibly flipped up, their owner is not required to pay anything or have any number of points or requirements. If the real value of two cards is the same, players may use a physical challenge as determined by the other players. These could include rock/paper/scissors, evens/odds, coin flip, triathlon, etc.. The winner’s card succeeds in either attacking or defending.
The last phase of the player’s turn allows him or her the option of either swapping the positions of two face-down cards, or moving one face-down card to an open position. Face-up cards may NOT be moved. Each player must follow the above order of phases although any or all of the phases are optional. A player may not go more than three turns without performing a Summon/Swap or Attack.
When all of a player’s back row or front row are eliminated from a row, all positions are treated as a front row for that player. This player may only regain the ability to use two rows if he or she gains four cards by having an opponent forcibly flip up a heart.
If the deck runs out, reshuffle the discard pile and place it upside down as a new deck.
Card Special Modifiers
These apply to cards in various situations, from attacking/defending to determining then necessary attack points to function
- Suit Modifiers (apply to cards of a suit):
- Clubs – has a summon cost 2- face value, has an attack cost 2+ face value
- Hearts – if forcibly flipped up and destroyed a new card is drawn and replaces the card at the position it was destroyed, if forcibly flipped up and not destroyed, a new card is drawn and placed in an open position of the heart’s owner
- Spades – must attack over a row, may not attack from adjacent rows (ex: may attack an opponents back field from their owners front field or an opponents front field from their owner’s back row)
- Diamonds – have a real value 2+ their face value when defending and have a real value 2- their face value when attacking
- Face Modifiers (apply to face cards) In a conflict between two face cards, the card with the higher real value has its real value decreased by 2. If both cards are equal real value, nothing happens. (ex: Jh attacking Qc, Jack destroys queen because the Jack has a real value of 11, while Queen’s value in this case become 10, two less than its initial 12)
- Number modifiers (apply to specific face valued cards) Face value 2 – if already face up, the card may be used at the beginning of an attack phase or any time when defending time to boost the real value of another card by 2. If used with an attacking card that fails to destroy the targeted card, it is flipped down with the attacking card. If used with a defending card that is destroyed, it is not destroyed but is flipped down.
Face value – the number printed on a card or what would be assigned to it if numbering continued (7h = 7, 9d = 0, Jc = 11, Qd = 12, Kh = 13, Ad = 14) Real value – value of a card after its special modifiers are applied to its face value Summon cost – the amount of summon points required to flip up a card, usually a card’s face value Attack cost – the amount of attack points required to start an attack