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12 Essential Card Mechanics





One of the most often requested help tools from the community is a breakdown of the different card mechanics and keywords available in Gods Unchained. We’ve provided a list with explanations and examples of the most essential ones below.

Afterlife: the story doesn’t end with your death

Afterlife is an effect that triggers when the creature dies & before it is moved to the void. 

Sometimes it’s not enough to kill something: you need to get rid of what remains behind as well. Removing cards with Afterlife from your opponent’s board require careful planning or overwhelming force as you need to be ready to deal with the effect which takes place after their removal.

Afterlife effects can come in many forms. They can spawn new creatures on the board, making it more difficult to fully remove your opponent’s presence. They can draw cards from the deck, add specific ones to the player’s hand, deal damage and much more.

There’s an interesting aspect of Afterlife effects, namely that your creature actually needs to die if you want to be able to trigger it. Managing such cards requires both players to deal great attention to the changing board state and how much the effect can influence the situation in the game.

Keep in mind that there’s an important exception to the way Afterlife normally functions: when a creature is obliterated, it does not trigger its effect.

Roar: making a stylish entrance

Roar effects are activated when a creature is cast from your hand.

In many ways, Roar is the opposite of Afterlife, allowing you to immediately impact the game state when you play a card. Normally, a creature has to wait a turn before it gets to attack (with some notable exceptions we’ll discuss below), so its Roar effect serves as the way to help out in a pinch. They’re often synergistic in nature and require careful forward planning for maximum impact.

Of course, since Roar effects are activated the moment a creature is cast, you have no time to interact with them as the opponent. So how do you predict and play around them?

Just like how careful deck construction and an understanding of synergies is the way to get the most out of Roar effects, you’ll be the most well-equipped against them if you arm yourself with the knowledge of popular deck archetypes.

For instance, if your opponent is playing a lot of small critters to swarm the board, it’s quite likely they’ll have a creature or two with Roar effects that buff them, therefore incentivizing you to squash every little bug on the field.

Note that Roar effects only trigger when the creature is cast from your hand, so returning them from the Void will not allow you to make use of them again. Similarly, a creature can’t target itself with its own Roar effect.

Regen: getting back into shape

Creatures with “Regen X” heal for X at the end its controller's turn.

Regen is a shorthand for “regenerate”, and it does exactly what it says on the tin: as long as the creature in question wasn’t killed outright, it will gain X amount of health (for instance, one with Regen 3 would recover three hit points) at the end of the turn of whichever player cast them originally. 

The battleplans are simple with this one: if you have a creature with Regen on the board, try to keep it alive and deal damage with it over and over again. If it’s your opponent with the Regen creature, get rid of it in one fell swoop!

Burn: decaying matters

Characters with “Burn X” take X damage at the end of their controller’s turn.

Burn is essentially the polar opposite of Regen: a guaranteed source of damage dealt to a creature or god at the end of the turn. Sometimes, it’s a downside to otherwise excellent creatures: in other cases, it’s a slow-acting removal tool for the opponent. 

Whichever the case may be, the clock is ticking for every creature affected by Burn, and it’s your job to get the most done with them before their time is up – or find a way to heal them back up or outright remove the effect.

Confused: there’s always another way

A creature with confused has a 50% chance to instead of attacking the players chosen target, to instead attack a random valid enemy target instead.

Not every creature is intelligent enough to fully process your divine proclamations. They are burdened with the Confused keyword, and the only thing you can be sure of when you order them to attack is that they’ll do exactly what you’ve asked of them… 50% of the time. In every other scenario, they randomly select a target they’d otherwise be able to attack in the situation.

 As such, the utilization of these creatures is purely a matter of risk management. If you remove the little critters from the board, the number of potential outcomes drop, making it easier to plan for every eventuality.

Blitz and Godblitz: when you’re in a hurry

A creature with blitz can attack creatures the turn its played. Godblitz functions exactly the same as blitz except they can also attack gods.

Certain creatures are itching for battle and simply can’t wait out their turn. Spending the first moments in action by not doing anything is simply not their style. 

Blitz and Godblitz are fairly simple mechanics: they mean that the creature in question can immediately act when you’ve played them. 

The difference between the two is the range of possibilities: the Blitz keyword only allows the creature in question to attack other creatures on the board while Godblitz also lets you immediately target the opponent’s god. Needless to say, the latter works pretty well in decks which focus on all-out aggression.

Deadly: you don’t want to touch this

Deadly creatures automatically kill other creatures if they deal damage to them from any source. This can be combat damage or ability damage.

Think of these creatures as if they had 10000000 attack (as long as they attack other creatures and not gods). 

the menacing green blade symbol

What’s perhaps less self-explanatory is that any source of damage works, so if a creature with Deadly deals one damage to every creature as a Roar effect, they will all die even though they didn’t actually initiate combat.

Hidden: going sneaky-beaky like

Creatures with Hidden may not be the targeted directly by their opponent, they can still be the target of random effects. When a creature with Hidden attacks, Hidden is removed.

Hidden basically allows you to set the rules of engagement. You are the one who decides when to reveal the creature in question, ideally at the perfect moment after you’ve managed to set up the desired attack with your other cards. 

However, this is not a sure-fire guarantee: effects affecting every (enemy) creature or random ones can still throw a spanner in the works. If your opponent is setting up something around a Hidden creature, these are your best options to get rid of it.

Otherwise, your only consolation is that it won’t remain Hidden forever: once it comes out of the shadows, it’s forever exposed to the light, ready to be targeted for the rest of the game.

Pick one: the A/B test

Pick One gives the controlling player the ability to choose between two or more effects stated on the card.

Flexibility is the name of the game with Pick One cards, allowing you to tailor your approach to the situation by having a choice between the options listed. 

Much like Roar effects, the best way to play around the different options is to have a good understanding of which ones could be present in your opponent’s deck in the first place!

Frontline, Backline and Flank: it’s all about location

Enemies must attack creatures with Frontline before any non-Frontline characters.

Flank allows Frontline to be ignored after the first attack of a turn.

Enemies can’t attack creatures with Backline until any non-Backline creatures are on the board.

These mechanics serve as a tool to adjust the range of combat targets available at any given time. If you need someone to hold the line, a Frontline creature is your best bet. 

It can protect your vulnerable creatures from coming to harm. That is, unless your opponent has a Flank creature available to mess with your plans. 

Finally, Backline creatures are your engines, the grey eminences behind your dastardly plans, operating in safe distance from the battlefield – as long as the war doesn’t come to them, of course…

Protected and Ward: two kinds of respite

Protected absorbs the first instance of damage taken by protected creature or god as long as it is greater than zero.

Cards with Ward are protected from one enemy spell or god power effect.

Sometimes, you can’t just damage your opponent’s creature outright, because their god has given them some sort of a defensive aura. There are two kinds of such effects in Gods Unchained: Protected and Ward. You can think of the latter as a first-class upgrade on the former. 

Protected “shields” the creature in question from the first instance of damage dealt to it, regardless of how much it actually is – meanwhile, Ward serves as a way to cancel out a more specific but potentially more powerful effect. 

ward: a glowing blue circle envelopes the creature(s)

Transformation spells, debuffs and other tools can’t immediately target creatures with Ward, at least not until the effect is removed by another spell or god power effect.

That’s the rundown of the basics, and all you need to know to understand what exactly your opponent’s creatures are capable of – now go out there and prove your superiority over your foes!

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Credit ~ Luci Kelemen