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Game Play and Card Rarity
Bryony Stibbons
Author: Bryony Stibbons

A life-long board game addict, but anime newbie, Bryony is gradually getting hooked!

Game Play and Card Rarity



Game Play

Card Makeup – Each card has the following areas which you need to be familiar with before you start to play (check out the images below too):

  • Grade – A figure 0-4 in the top left hand corner.
  • Skill Icon – Located just under the grade, these relate directly to the grade and use symbols to show the type of skill the unit has.
  • Power – This is the attack strength of the card found at the bottom left.
  • Shield – The defensive strength of the card found down the left-hand side.
  • Trigger Icon – Presence of one of these icons (which are not on all cards) in the top right-hand corner indicates that the card has a special trigger ability.
  • Card name, clan, nation and race – All of these are present at the bottom of the card to let you know the name and background of the character.
  • Card Type – This is located bottom left and just indicates whether the card is a normal unit that goes into your main deck, or a G unit which goes into your G deck.
  • Ability text – This is the text box at the bottom of the card which indicates the special abilities of the card. These can be continuous once played or automatic, meaning that they can be used once the card is played. There is also a system of symbols used in the ability box that relate to specific conditions that must be met in order for the card to be used.

Playmat Make-up

Essentially your play area is made up of seven circles that you are able to place cards onto.

The centre of the front row is your Vanguard circle. Into this space you place your most powerful cards starting with a grade 0 card and working up. Each turn you can place a card here that is either equal to or one grade higher than the one below.

To either side and in a row of three behind the vanguard circle are five Rearguard circles. This is where you place your supporting units. To place units here their grade must be equal to or less than the current card on the Vanguard circle.

At the very front of your mat, directly opposite your opponent and in front of your Vanguard is your Guardian circle. When under attack from your opponent, you will move units with ‘intercept’ capabilities or defensive cards from your hand into this circle to offer protection.

Turn Process

Each turn proceeds as follows:

  • Stand, Draw and Ride/Stride:
    • Rested armies (those turned sideways following use in the previous round) are stood back upright ready for use.
    • Draw a card to add to your hand.
    • Ride, by adding a card to your Vanguard the same grade or higher than the one in place until you have played a grade 3 card.
    • If playing Vanguard G, when a grade 3 card is already in place in the Vanguard circle you can stride, which involves taking a grade 4 card from your G deck to place in your Vanguard, but to do this you need to pay the cards cost.
  • Call – Place as many cards as you wish into your rear-guard spaces as long as their grade is equal to or less than that of your Vanguard. At this stage cards can also be swapped between the front and back row as long as they remain in the same column.
  • Attack – You can attack a unit in your opponents front row, using any of the cards in your front row. Once a card has been used for attack it is rested (turned horizontal) until your next turn. Cards in the back row with a ‘boost’ ability can also be used to add power to an attack.
  • Guard – The defending player can either play cards from their hand (still with a value equal to or lower than the Vanguard) or move cards with intercept ability from the front row, into the Guardian circle to provide defence.
  • Drive Check – This is only activated if the Vanguard card is used for attack. To drive-check you turn over the top card of you deck and put it into your hand. During this, you check for a trigger symbol in the top right-hand corner. If there is one, and if the cards clan matches the clan of your vanguard unit, you get to use the trigger effect.
  • Damage Check – Power of attack is weighed up against power of defence and equal or greater power from the attacking forces gives them the win. If a rear guard was the target that card goes into the drop zone. If the Vanguard suffers a hit, a card is drawn from the top of the deck and checked for a trigger ikon, before being moved to the damage zone.
  • Turn End – You are able to do multiple attacks per turn, but once you are no longer able to, or you don’t wish to do any more, your turn ends.

The game is won, once your opponent has six cards in their damage zone!

As well as the above process, you have the card special abilities to factor in! You won’t fulling grasp everything regarding the special abilities from the get-go and may need to keep referring to the rules to understand the symbols, but the basic game format is easy to pick up and the more you play the greater your understanding of the nuances of the game. Before you know it, you will be purchasing booster packs, building a unique deck and googling where your local CardFight events are taking place!

Card Rarity

The ability to collect cards, search for ‘rares’ and build a unique deck is what hooks people into this game and the rarest cards can get really pricey. Here is a quick guide to how card rarity works:

To start playing, you need to purchase a ‘Trial Deck’ which contains the perfect amount if cards to meet the competition rules. These packs will contain duplicates of some cards and sometimes (but not always) duplicates have the ability to boost each other when played.

Any cards that come as part of a trial deck have no indication of rarity as they are easily available.

Cards within booster packs however, all have a code at the bottom left that indicate rarity:

  • C = Common Card – Approx. 1 in 2 cards
  • R = Rare – Approx. 1 in 4 cards
  • RR = Double Rare – Approx. 1 in 5 cards
  • RRR = Triple Rare – Approx. 1 in 10 cards
  • VR = Vanguard Rare – Approx. 1 in 20 cards
  • GR = Generation Rare – Approx 1 in 50 cards
  • ZR = Z Rare – Approx. 1 in 50 cards

And the following codes for hologram cards which appear in different booster packs:

  • SP = Special
  • SVR = Special Vanguard Rare
  • OR = Origin Rare
  • IMR = Image Ride Rare

If you want to get into card trading, check out some of these links:

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