The following is a rough translation of the official rules translated from the official web site . If there are any glaring errors, please notify me, and I’ll promptly make the corrections as necessary. (Or simply edit this page with your own corrections!)
A View of the CardsEdit
There are three types of cards in the FF-TCG, and the card type can be distinguished by the text box in the upper left-hand corner.Forwards (shown left) comprise your attack force, and are a central part of your deck. They are easily distinguished from the other types by the Power number in the bottom-right hand corner. You can have an unlimited number of Forwards in play.
Backups (shown right) are responsible for providing a steady source of Crystal Points, which are needed to play cards from your hand. You can have a maximum of five Backups in play at any time.
Monsters (not shown) are played in active state and can use abilities on the turn they are played, but they can't attack abilities on the turn they are played and do not provide Crystal Points.
Items (not shown) are equipped to a character to give them new abilities. Only 1 Item of each type can be equipped to a single character.
1. Cost and Attribute: Indicates the amount and type of CP needed to play the card.
2. Card Name: In addition to the name of the card, the bar may also have an icon on the right side.
- Any number of copies of this card may be in play at any time. Usually, only one copy of a card with a given name can be on the field at a time.
- The card has an EX Burst effect (see below).
3. Card Type: The card’s type. To the right-hand side is the character’s job.
4. Text: The card’s effects. Other than the name written on the card itself, this helps identify the card.
5. Card Number: Card rarity and serial number.
6. Power: Only appears on Forward cards. This figure is used to determine how much damage a card deals while attacking, and how much damage it can sustain while defending. If a card receives damage equal to or greater than its Power, it Breaks (is discarded).
There is also help in tight moments, and summons are like a trump card.
1. Cost / Attribute The cost required to summon this monster. You must always pay at least 1 CP of the same attribute as the card.
2. Card Name Similarly to characters, cards with EX Burst have an icon on the right-hand side.
3. Card Type Summon Monsters do not have jobs, so only “Summon Monster” is written here.
4. Text Once you resolve the effect written here on the card, put it in the Break Zone.
5. Card Number Card rarity and serial number.
Summon Monsters are placed on the Field, used only one time, and each have a powerful effect. Summon Monsters, too, cards can be used like Forwards and Backups to interrupt your opponent’s actions using the abilities written in the text field (see page 5). Summon Monsters must have a full set of valid targets when played, but not when resolved.
Only 3 of the same card are allowed in a deck. For cards with the same name, any number can be on the Field if they have the three-card icon. If a card shares the same name but does not have the three-card icon, only one of those cards may be played (however, this does not include your opponent’s cards).
Red Crystal – FIRE– Many attacks during a battle from Summon Monsters and Characters will use the fire attribute.
Light Blue Crystal – ICE– The Ice attribute excels at keeping your opponent from being able to perform abilities during battle. Green Crystal – WIND -With this attribute, a game will be quick and characters will be light and fast.
Yellow Crystal – EARTH – Characters with this attribute are substantially larger and sturdier with solid defense.
Purple Crystal – LIGHTNING – This attribute will determine victory or defeat by removing characters with a single blow.
Dark Blue Crystal – AQUA – This attribute helps draw more cards, and you’ll indirectly gain an advantage.
Clear Crystal – LIGHT
Black Crystal – DARKNESS
– Light cards utilize the power of order and virtue, while Darkness cards utilize the power of chaos and evil. Because of this, only one can be used on your Field.
Special Rare - Rare - Uncommon - Common - Entry
S ---------------- R --------- U ---------- C -------- E
Degrees of Rarity
High <———————————————- Low
The cards have 4 categories of rarity, S, R, U, and C, while E is only contained in the Entry Set.
All cards cost Crystal Points (CP) to put into play. There are two methods of generating CP.The first way is to discard cards from your
hand. Each card you throw away to generate CP generates 2 CP of the same attribute as that card.
The second way is to Dull Backup cards (a mechanic similar to "tapping" in Magic: The Gathering). Each Backup that you Dull for CP generates 1 CP of the same attribute as that backup.
Using CP: After making these preparations and paying these costs, use your cards.
*POINT* When playing a card, the card requires at least 1 CP of the same attribute. However, it’s acceptable to use any attribute of CP when playing a Light or Darkness attribute card. Since only Light and Darkness attribute cards are special, be careful because you cannot trash these cards to generate CP. Once you generate the required cost of CP, you cannot use any remaining CP to play another card or ability.
1. Forwards are placed in the upper half of your side of the field. Forwards come out Active on the turn they are played but cannot use Dull abilities or attack on the turn when they are placed on the field. When a Forward is defeated in battle, they "Break", and are sent to the Break Zone.
2. Backups are placed in the lower half of your side of the field. Backups come out Dulled on the turn they are played. Remember that a maximum of 5 Backups may be in play at one time.
3. Damage Zone. Each time your opponent deals Direct Damage to you, take one card from the top of your Deck, and place it face-up here. You lose the game if 7 cards are placed in the Damage Zone.
4. Your Deck. At the start of each turn, you draw cards from here and place them in your hand. If there are no more cards in the Deck when you need to draw a card, you lose the game.
5. Break Zone. Forward cards defeated in battle, cards discarded from the field, as well as cards you discard from your hand, are placed face-up here.
Setting Up A New GameEdit
At the start of the game, you and your opponent perform the following steps:
1. Prepare a deck of exactly 50 cards for yourself. Only 3 copies of any card are allowed to a deck. Cards with identical names but different abilities do not count as copies of the same card. (Example: You may have three copies of Black Belt (1) and three copies of Black Belt (2) in the same deck.) Exception: You may only have up to 3 cards named "Garnet" in your deck.
2. Thoroughly shuffle your deck.
3. Flip a coin to determine who plays first.
4. Draw a hand of 5 cards from the top of your own deck.
Flow of GameplayEdit
Reset Phase --> Draw Phase --> Main Phase 1 --> Attack Phase --> Main Phase 2 --> End Phase
(Note: This phase is effectively ignored during each player's first turn.)
Change any Forward and Backup cards in the Dulled state (horizontal) to the Active state (vertical).
Draw 2 cards from the deck and add them to your hand. (Exception: If you are playing the first turn of the game, draw only 1 card.)
Be careful; if you have no more cards in your deck at the start of the Draw Phase, you lose.
Main Phase 1During this phase you may, in any order, play cards to the field and/or use abilities.
- Playing Character Cards: After paying the required CP cost, as detailed above, play a Forward or Backup card (or cards) from your hand to the Field. Backups are played in the Dull state and can't use abilities with the Dull icon in the turn they are played. Forwards are played in the Active state, but cannot attack or use abilities with the Dull icon in the turn they are played. (Exception: Forwards with the "Haste" ability are not hindered in this way.)
- Playing Summon cards: After paying the required CP cost, show a Summon Card to your opponent, resolve that card's effects, and place it in the Break Zone immediately after. Also, your Summons can be used to interrupt your opponent’s Summons and abilities.
- Playing Items: After paying the required CP cost, play an Item card from your hand onto a character you control. The character types which can equip an Item card are listed on the card. The character gains all the abilities listed on the Item. A character can only equip 1 Item of each type. (eg: A character can equip 1 [Weapon] and 1 [Armor], but not 2 [Weapons]).
- Using Character abilities: Preceding the description of any Action Ability or Special Ability is its cost. By choosing to pay it, you activate its effects. You can also interrupt your opponent’s Abilities and Summon Monsters.
This is where combat takes place. If you prefer not to attack this turn, skip to the End Phase.
1. Prior to attacking, if you are the first attacker, you can also use abilities and summon monsters to block.
2. To attack with one of your Forward cards, Dull that Forward. Forwards that are already Dulled cannot attack, and Forwards without the "Haste" ability cannot attack on the turn they are played to the field.
3. Your opponent may choose to Block with a defending Forward. They may select any Forward on their side of the field, so long as it is in Active mode.4a. If your opponent Blocks, the attacking and defending Forwards deal damage
to each other. The defending Forward receives damage equal to the attacking Forward's Power, and vice versa. If either Forward suffers damage greater than their Power rating, that Forward Breaks. For any Forwards that do not Break after combat, the damage they took will persist until the end of the turn.
4b. If your opponent does not (or cannot) Block, they take one point of Direct Damage.
5. If you wish to attack again, return to Step 1.
Main Phase 2 * The same things can be done in this phase as in the first Main Phase.
End Phase Subtract damage dealt by Forwards, and if you have more than 5 cards in your hand discard back down to 5 cards.
- Abilities and Summon Monsters can be used during these times.
Forming parties: When selecting Forwards to attack, any number of Forwards can form a party to attack as a single character providing that the Forwards could all otherwise attack and:
- The Forwards are all of the same element OR
- The Forwards all have the P ability symbols
When in a party, the power of the party is equal to the sum of the power of its members.
When in a party, if one of the Forwards cannot be blocked or has First Strike, it is only effective if all the Forwards in the party have that ability.
When a party receives damage, the defending player decides how that damage is distributed.
If there is only one Forward remaining in a party, that Forward is no longer in a party.
There are three categories of abilites that may appear in card descriptions. Using them effectively will bring you closer to victory.Field Abilities have continuous effects on gameplay, e.g. reducing CP costs for playing cards from your hand, boosting your Forwards' Power.
Action Abilities can be activated during any Main Phase or Attack Phase. To use them, you must first pay a cost, represented by various symbols following the ability name. Here is what the symbols mean:
- : Pay 1 CP of matching color. If there are multiple crystal symbols, pay for all of them (for example, means you must pay 1 Fire and 2 Light CP).
- : Dull this card. If the card is already Dulled, or has been played this turn (without Haste), you cannot use this ability.
- : From your hand, discard one card of the same name as the card this ability is printed on. Cards with identical names but different pictures are acceptable to use.
Auto Abilities trigger when the stated conditions are met. For example, "When this card is attacked by a Forward, deal 1000 Damage to that Forward."
- ABILITY KEYWORDS*
Haste: With this ability, it’s possible to do things like attack and use Dull abilities on the turn they’ve been played onto the Field.
Brave: Does not Dull when attacking (however you can only attack once per turn as usual).
Preemptive Strike: When attacking and blocking, your Forwards are able to deal damage before your opponents.
Level UP: When this character breaks a Forward or damages an opponent, you may put this card in the Break Zone to search your deck for a Forward with the same name and place it on the field in the Dull position.
Link: When this card enters the field, you may play one Forward with a cost equal or less than the listed cost at no cost.
Assist: When this card is enters the Field, you can choose to place this card in the break zone to activate the following ability.
War God: You can send one character with the listed job to the break zone to reduce the casting cost of this card by the cost of the card sent to the Break Zone. The casting cost must remain higher than 0.
Overdrive: At casting time, you can increase the casting cost of this character by the overdrive cost to give this character the following ability.
Awakening: By paying the cost, you can search your deck for a card with the same name as this card and put is on the field. This can only be done on your turn. (This will usually force you to put one of the two cards in your break zone).
Blue Magic: Pay the following cost and discard this card from your hand to use the following ability. This can only be done while this card is in your hand.
Remove: Return the Item card to your hand.
Job Change: Pay the following cost to put 1 Backup with a cost equal to or less than the given number from your hand into play.
If an ability says something like "Choose a "something".", the choice of target or targets must be made when the ability is used. If a target becomes invalid at resolution time, the ability does nothing to that target only.
If an ability says something like "Choose a Forward. Dull it", you MUST choose a Forward and Dull it.
If an ability says something like "Choose a Forward. You may Dull it", you MUST choose a Forward and activate its on-targetted abilities. You can choose to Dull it or not.
If an ability says something like "You can choose a Forward. Dull it", you can choose to choose a Forward or not. If you choose one, you MUST Dull it.
If an ability says something like "Choose up to 2 Forwards", you can choose 0, 1 or 2 Forwards.
Dulled cards are valid targets for Dulling. Active cards are valid targets for turning Active.
If a card prevents a Forward from receiving damage (ex. Minwu), that card doesn't even receive 0 damage. On damage abilities don't get triggered.
Abilities that don't have "choose" in their text are not targetted and so don't trigger on-targeted abilities or abilities that prevent targetting or abilities that force a choice of target.
Abilities that ask your opponent to choose a target are not targetted by you and so don't trigger on-targetted by opponent abilities, abilities that prevent targetting by opponent or abilities that force a choice of target on opponent.
Characters can be put on the Field even if their on Field auto abilities don't have a full set of valid targets.
If a Forward's Power becomes 0 or less due to an ability, it is immediately put in the Break Zone. This doesn't count as Breaking.
When the phrase "Alternatively if" is used, the following instructions apply instead of the previous ones if the following condition is true.
Damage and EX BurstEdit
If your opponent attacks with a Forward, and you do not Block, you take one point of Direct Damage. When this happens, take the top card of your deck, and place it face-up in the Damage Zone. The moment you accumulate 7 Direct Damage, you lose the game.
Important EX Burst PointEdit
If a card gets turned up with EX Burst, the effect can be used immediately, and no one’s summon monsters or abilities can interrupt it. Also, in a situation where the card flipped states “When this card is placed on the Field…”, the card does not get placed on the field, but the described effect is activated.