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While most of the text on cards is intended to be self-explanatory, many terms have precise definitions that will clear up (or possibly cause) confusion. In order to play the game correctly, you must pay careful attention to the wording on cards.

For the general rules of the game, please check the Rules page.

Ability Edit

It's the text on the bottom of any card, whether a minion, an action, a base or a titan. Exception: Buried cards don't have abilities while they remain buried.

Some cards are (or can be made) immune to "actions" (e.g. Dork Orc). Those are then immune to the abilities that appear on action cards.

Some cards are (or can be made) immune to "minions" (e.g. with Laser Sword). Those are then immune to the abilities that appear on minion cards.

Some cards are (or can be made) immune to "other player's cards" (e.g. with The Folly of Men) or to "other player's abilities" (e.g. with Deep Roots). Both these wordings are synonymous and those cards are then immune to the abilities that appear on any cards controlled by those "other players" (i.e. their minions, actions and titans). However, those cards are not immune to the abilities that appear on bases.

Some cards are (or can be made) immune to "abilities" (e.g. with Tooth and Claw... and Guns). Those are then immune to the abilities that appear on any card, so any minion, any action, any base, any titan,... basically ANY card (including itself!).

Affect Edit

Counter-intuitively, the word "affect" has a very precise definition that includes many things, but not everything you think it would. Also, it only applies to cards in play, e.g. "placing" a card in play into your hand counts as affecting the card, but "placing" a card from your discard pile into your hand doesn't.

The original definition in the Core Set includes these things:

  • Moving a card affects it. Only minions and titans can be moved.
  • Returning a card (remember, only a card in play) affects it. Some cards tell you to return cards that are not in play (e.g. Hoverbot, Mass Enchantment, Word of Recall). In that case, they aren't considered as affecting the returned cards.
  • Destroying a card affects it.
  • When an action is attached to a minion, the minion is being affected by it. This applies to when an action is played on a minion (e.g. Poison), but also when an action is transferred to it (e.g. Rules Lawyer), since both make it so the minion has an action attached. When a card transfers an action to a minion, the card affects the action, not the minion; it's the transferred action that affects the minion. This is important for determining which card affects which card.
    • Note that if a minion with an action on it becomes immune to being affected by that action, the action is destroyed because it can't remain attached to it.
    • Similarly if you transfer an action to a minion that's immune to being affected by that action, the action is discarded because it can't be attached to it.

The definition in Pretty Pretty Smash Up augments the list to include the following:

  • Placing a card (remember, only a card in play) affects it. Some cards tell you to place cards that are not in play (e.g. Neophyte, Grave Digger). In that case, they aren't considered as affecting the placed cards.
  • Changing a minion's power affects it. While this definition is strict in the rulebook, there are actually some exceptions and some obscure cases. See below.
  • Changing a card's controller while the card is in play affects it. Some cards allow you to play other players' cards (Trade, Mass Enchantment, Word of Recall) and therefore gaining control of them, but it doesn't count as affecting them because they were not in play. However if a control change expires, it doesn't count as affecting the minion.[probably]

The definition in It’s Your Fault! added the following:

The definition in Big in Japan added the following:

  • Transferring an action affects it. When a card transfers an action to a minion, the card affects the action, not the minion; it's the transferred action that affects the minion. This is important for determining which card affects which card.
  • Shuffling a card (remember, only a card in play) into a deck affects the card (e.g. Dr Livingstone, I Presume, Dusty Henry). Some cards allow you to shuffle cards from your hand or discard pile into your deck (e.g. Recycle the Trash, Winds of Change). In that case, they aren't considered as affecting the shuffled cards.

The definition in The Bigger Geekier Box added the following:

  • Removing a +1 power counter from a card affects it.
  • Transferring a +1 power counter from a card affects it.
  • Transferring a +1 power counter to a card affects it.

While it seems this list is intended to be complete, it still misses quite a few things that a naive player would expect from the term "affect". The definition does not include the following:

  • Detaching an action from a minion does not affect the minion. This can happen through destroying actions (e.g. Disenchant) or transferring actions away from this minion to another other minion (e.g. Tinx). This omission seems to be deliberate when considering the wording in Shielding.
  • Discarding a card from play does not affect the card (e.g. Terraforming). When a card leaves play, any attachment on it (actions and +1 power counters) are removed/discarded. Terraforming only tells you to discard actions on the base as a reminder of that general rule.
  • Copying a card's abilities doesn't affect either the copied card, or the copying card (e.g. Copycat, Cellular Bonding).
  • "Choosing" a card doesn't affect it. There are cards that do something to the chosen card that counts as affecting, but the act of choosing a minion doesn't count. There are even some cards that tell you to "choose a minion" but do nothing that counts as affecting to the chosen minion (e.g. Rampage, Copycat, Budding)

Note that playing a card does not count as affecting it, because only cards in play can be affected by anything (e.g. Steam Queen does not prevent another player from getting control of one of your actions with Mass Enchantment).

Bases can also be considered as affectable, since they can be placed, destroyed, shuffled, have actions attached to them or their abilities cancelled, etc. Currently there aren't any cards that trigger when a base is affected.

Some cards are immune to "being affected" (e.g. Dork Orc, Elder Thing), can protect another card from "being affected" (e.g. Steam Queen, Shielding, Beautiful Castle), or have an ability that triggers when they or another card is "affected" (e.g. Brownie, Ensign).

Almost every time the term "affect" is used in card text, it is in the negative sense, e.g. "Your minions here are not affected by other players' actions." Some exceptions to this pattern are Brownie and Ensign.

Notable examples:

  • Wildlife Preserve - protects your minions there from other players' actions.
  • Brownie - responds to but does not block abilities.
  • Steam Queen - protects your actions from other players' abilities.
  • Shielding - can block other players' actions from affecting their own minion. Can also block another player's action played on a minion from self-destructing, although that's probably not useful.

Change in Power Edit

The rulebook simply states that a minion is affected when its power is changed, but actually whenever a minion's power is changed, you can't always claim that it's been affected. And even if you can claim that it counts as being affected, it's not always easy to figure out which card affected it. This is important because immunity is limited to certain players' cards and/certain card types. Here are different scenarios:

  • When a card gives +/-N power to a minion, the minion is affected by it.
Example 1: You play Augmentation and target a minion, the minion is considered as affected by Augmentation.
Example 2: You play Howler, it gains power because of its own ability and therefore is considered as affected by it.
  • When a card's +/-N power given to a minion expires, the minion is not affected by it.
Example: After playing Augmentation, at the end of the turn, the affected minion loses power, but that is because Augmentation expired and no longer affects it.
  • When a minion's own ability changes its power because of the presence of another card, the minion is not affected by the other card, but is affected by itself.
Example 1: You play a minion on your Starlyte's base. Starlyte gains power, but is considered as affected by itself, not by the minion you played.
Example 2: You play an action on your Steam Man's base while you had none there. Steam Man gains power, but is considered as affected by itself, not by the action you played.
Example 3: You play an action on Furious George. Furious George gains power, but is considered as affected by itself, not by the action you played.
  • When a minion's own ability changes its power because another card is removed, the minion is not affected by either the removed card or the card that caused the removal, but the removed card is affected by the card that removed it. The minion is affected by itself.
Example 1: A player has Starlyte and another minion on the same base. You play Beam Up and return that other minion. Starlyte loses power because of its own ability. Beam Up affected the other minion by returning it, but Starlyte is not considered as affected by the returned minion, nor by Beam Up. Starlyte is considered as affected by itself.
Example 2: You play Disenchant and destroy an action attached to Furious George. Furious George loses power because of its own ability. Disenchant affected the action by destroying it, but Furious George is not considered as affected by the destroyed action, nor by Disenchant. Furious George is considered as affected by itself.
  • When a minion's power is changed because a card that gave it +/-N power leaves play (e.g. destroying/returning Sword Lord, Sleep Spores or Upgrade), the minion is not affected by either the removed card or the card that caused the removal, but the removed card is affected by the card that removed it.
Example 1: A player has Sword Lord in play and some other minions. You play Ninja Master and destroy Sword Lord. All the other minions lose power. Ninja Master affected Sword Lords by destroying it, but the other minions are not considered as affected by Ninja Master or Sword Lord. They lost power because Sword Lord no longer affects them.
Example 2: A player has Sleep Spores in play, affecting other players' minions there. You play Disenchant and destroy Sleep Spores. All the minions gain power. Disenchant affected Sleep Spores by destroying it, but the minions are not considered as affected by Disenchant or Sleep Spores. They gained power because Sleep Spores no longer affects them.
Example 3: A player has Upgrade attached to their minion. You play Disenchant and destroy Upgrade. The minion loses power. Disenchant affected Upgrade by destroying it, but the minion is not considered as affected by Disenchant or Upgrade. It lost power because Upgrade no longer affects it.
  • When a minion is given +/-N power by a card after the latter is moved/transferred by a card, the minion is affected by the moved/transferred card, but not by the card that moved/transferred it; that card only affected the moved/transferred card.
Example 1: A player has Ghost Knight and a minion on two separate bases. You play Shanghai and move Ghost Knight to the other minion's base. That minion gains power. Shanghai affected Ghost Knight by moving it, and the other minion is considered as affected by Ghost Knight, not by Shanghai.
Example 2: A player has Rotary Slug Thrower and a minion on two separate bases. You play Rules Lawyer and transfer Rotary Slug Thrower to the other minion's base. The minion gains power. Rules Lawyer affected Rotary Slug Thrower by transferring it, and the other minion is considered as affected by Rotary Slug Thrower, not by Rules Lawyer.
Example 3: A player has Upgrade on a minion. You play Rules Lawyer and transfer Upgrade to another minion. That minion gains power. Rules Lawyer affected Upgrade by transferring it, and the Upgraded minion is considered as affected by Upgrade, not by Rules Lawyer.
  • When a card places +1 power counters on a minion, the minion is affected by it.
Example 1: You play a Worker. It gains +1 power counters by its own ability and is considered as being affected by it.
Example 2: You play Gimme the Prize and place +1 power counters on your minions. Your minions are considered as being affected by Gimme the Prize.
  • When a card transfers +1 power counters away from a minion, the minion is affected by it.
  • When a card transfers +1 power counters to a minion, the minion is affected by it. Astroknights treat this as directly increasing its power as well.
  • When a card removes +1 power counters on a minion, the minion is affected by it.

After Edit

When a card says "After X, do Y" (where "X" is an event and "Y" an effect), you need "X" to happen and be resolved completely before you do the effect stated as "Y".

Exception: If a card states "After a base scores", that rule doesn't apply. You must instead refer to the rules about base scoring.

For example, with Tar Pits (After each time a minion is destroyed here, place it at the bottom of its owner's deck.), the event "X" is "each time a minion is destroyed here" and the effect "Y" is "place it at the bottom of its owner's deck". If a minion is destroyed on Tar Pits and nothing prevents the destruction, "X" is considered resolved completely and the destroyed minion is placed on the bottom of its owner's deck. If for some reason the minion is not destroyed (for example, the minion is a Buccaneer, which moves instead of being destroyed), then "Y" doesn't happen.

Note that when "X" happens, "Y" is guaranteed to be resolved no matter what, even if the card changes controller or is removed from play.

For example, if your opponent has played an Imperial Dragon ("Ongoing: After another player plays or moves a minion here, draw a card."), and if you play a Tiger Assassin on the same base and destroy Imperial Dragon, your opponent still draws a card. The reason is Imperial Dragon's ability has been triggered the moment Tiger Assassin was played on its base. Afterwards, even though Imperial Dragon is no longer in play, its ability must still be resolved.

Another example. If your opponent has played an Imperial Dragon once again, and if you play a Muffin on the same base and take control of Imperial Dragon, your opponent will draw any card. The reason is Imperial Dragon's ability was triggered the moment Muffin is played, so its controller at the time is set to draw a card.

Attachment Edit

A card's attachment is any other card or counter that is currently on that card.

Note that an attachment is not necessarily one that has been actually played/placed on the card. If it is later moved/transferred to another card, it stops being an attachment to the previous card and becomes the other card's attachment.

While the words "attachments" or "attached" are very rarely used (the only case being Terraforming), the wording "played on [a card]" is used instead and is synonymous with "attached to [a card]", again even if the attachment was transferred to the card rather than actually played on it.

  • Minions, play-on-base actions, titans and buried cards are attachments to their base.
  • Play-on-minion actions are attachments to their minion, but not to their base.
  • +1 power counters are attachments to the card it is on.

When a card leaves play, all its attachments are discarded, unless stated otherwise (e.g. Burn It Down, Death on Six Legs, Gimme!, Unicrave).

When a card with attachments becomes immune to being affected by some of them, those attachments are destroyed. Similarly, if a card is immune to a type of attachment, trying to play/place/transfer such an attachment to that card will cause the attachment to be discarded.

Bury Edit

When a player buries a card, it means they place it face-down on a base.

Buried cards are considered as "cards", but are not minions, actions, bases, nor titans, even when other players know what the card really is.

To play a buried card, it must first be uncovered.

For more details, check the Burying page.

Cancel Edit

Ignoring the effect of a card. Cancelling is usually temporary.

Cancelling an effect does not necessarily undo what it did. For example, if you cancel an Invader's ability, the player doesn't lose the VP they gained from it. If you cancel Mr. Grumpers's ability, the -2 power still remains until the end of the turn. If you cancel a Sneaky Squire's ability, you don't give control of it back to the player who gave it and it doesn't return the extra minion they played into their hand.

Some cards use the term "lose" (most notably the Changerbots). While it's not clearly defined, it seems to work the same way as a cancellation.

Cancelling an on-play ability is pointless as these abilities aren't active anymore and cancelling it doesn't undo them.

Cancelling a Talent ability only means that on its controller won't be able to use it as long as the cancellation lasts. However, it doesn't necessarily undo it if they already used it previously. If you cancel Mind Lady's ability, it doesn't undo any current cancellation that was caused by Mind Lady (similar to how the rules specify that removing Mind Lady from play doesn't undo its ability). If you cancel Aunt of Drakes's ability, it doesn't undo the control of the minions that were given by Aunt of Drakes's ability. If you cancel a Glymmer's ability, the power change it caused still persists until the start of Glymmer's controller's turn.

Cancelling an Ongoing ability can be very interesting. There are different types of Ongoing ability. Those that have a continuous effect (e.g. War Raptor, Mimic, Ghost Knight) are shut down completely. Those that only activate on certain conditions (e.g. Jason, Hatchling, Hammerhead) won't activate if those conditions are met again, but similarly to talents and on-play ability, it doesn't undo what happened from previous activations. If you cancel a Hammerhead's ability, it will stop getting +1 power counters but the ones it already has remain. If you cancel a Hatchling's ability, it will stop lowering the power of minions played there, but it doesn't undo any -1 power it already caused. If you cancel a Leprechaun's ability, it won't destroy anymore minions, but it doesn't resuscitate any minions it has already destroyed.

Example:

  • Potion of Paralysis - Special: Play before a base scores. Until the end of the turn, cancel the abilities of all cards on the base or on minions on the base.

Control Edit

Not to be confused with own. Every minion (except uncontrolled monsters), action in play, titan in play and buried card is controlled by exactly one player. When a player plays or buries a card, they become the card's controller (Monsters are a special case: when a card tells you to play a monster, you don't become its controller).

Minions you control are your minions (and your minions add to your power at a base, etc.). Again, don't confuse "your minions" with "minions you own". Usually, "you" in the card's text refers to its controller, not its owner. For example, Talents can only be used by the card controller. When a card leaves play, it no longer has a controller, and the card goes back to its owner's hand, deck, or discard pile.

Minions on a base should be positioned pointing toward their controller, not their owner. An action controlled by a player other than its owner is difficult to represent on the table.

When a card refers to cards that you "have" on a base, it means cards that you "control" on that base, whether or not you own them.

When a card allows you to take control of a minion, it means you become that minion's controller for as long as the change in control lasts. The owner doesn't change though.

Also, if the minion has any actions attached to it, you don't gain control of those actions. The consequence of this is intuitive for cards like Daisy Chain, but isn't for cards that mention "you" or "other players". For example, taking control of another player's minion with Missing Uplink doesn't make you Missing Uplink's controller and therefore doesn't make you draw a card at the end of your turn.

Here are several (hopefully helpful) examples to show some interactions when you take control of a minion while an action on it is still under the control of another player:

  • If player A has a minion and played Daisy Chain on it, the minion has +2 power because Daisy Chain's controller (player A) is the same as the minion's controller. If player B takes control of the minion, Daisy Chain is still under the control of player A, but because the minion's controller is no longer the same as Daisy Chain's, it has -2 power.
  • If played A has a minion and player B plays Choking Vines on it, the minion will be destroyed at the start of player B's turn, because they are Choking Vines' controller (so "your turn" means "player B's turn"). If player C takes control of the minion, Choking Vines is still under the control of player B, and so will still be destroyed at the start of player B's turn.
  • If played A has a minion and played Überserum on it, the minion gets a +1 power counter at the start of each of player A's turns, because they are Überserum' controller (so "your turn" means "player A's turn"). If player B takes control of the minion, Überserum is still under the control of player A, and so it keeps getting a +1 power counter at the start of each of player A's turns, not player B' turns.
  • If player A has a minion and played Moontouched on it, player A is Moontouched's controller and therefore can use its talent. If player B takes control of the minion, Moontouched is still under the control of player A and so only player A can use Moontouched's talent. (also applies to Leader of the Pack, Ladybug, Leaf Armor, Magic Missile, Boots of Running Really Fast, Monkey on Your Back, Traveling Elf)
  • If player A has a minion and played Passengers on it, player A is Passengers's controller but the talent is gained by the minion, player A being the minion's controller can use it. If player B takes control of the minion, Passengers is still under the control of player A, however, the talent is one of the minion's talents and so now, only player B, as the minion's current controller, can use it. (also applies to Potion of Redundancy Potion, Flighterizer, The Touch)
  • If player A has a minion and played Too Tough on it, player A is Too Tough's controller and therefore the minion is not affected by the actions of the players that are not player A. If player B takes control of the minion, Too Tough is still under the control of player A, and so the minion is not affected by the actions of the players that are not player A. Yes, even player B's actions! (also applies to Shielding, Smoke Bomb)
  • If player A has a minion and played Expanded Power on it, player A is Expanded Power's controller, and so the minion cannot be destroyed by players that are not player A. If player B takes control of the minion, Expanded Power is still under the control of player A, and so the minion cannot be destroyed by players that are not player A. Yes, even player B!
  • If player A has a minion and played Laser Sword on it, player A is Laser Sword's controller and therefore the minion is not affected by the minions of the players that are not player A. If player B takes control of the minion, Laser Sword is still under the control of player A, and so the minion is not affected by the minions of the players that are not player A. Yes, even player B's minions! And yes, even that minion!
  • If player A has a minion and played Flying Monkey on it, player A is Flying Monkey's controller, and so after the base scores, player A can decide whether to move the minion or discard it. If player B takes control of the minion, Flying Monkey is still under the control of player A, and so they still decide the minion's fate after the base scores, not player B.
  • If player A has a minion and played Hang in There on it, player A is Hang in There's controller, and so if the minion is destroyed, player A will have to move it instead. If player B takes control of the minion, Hang in There is still under the control of player A, and so if the minion is destroyed, it will still be moved instead, but it's player A who decides where, not player B.
  • If player A has a minion and played Missing Uplink on it, player A is Missing Uplink's controller, and so they draw an extra card at the end of their turn. If player B takes control of the minion, Missing Uplink is still under the control of player A, and so player A still draws an extra card at the end of their turn, not player B.
  • If player A has a minion and played Encouragement Power on it, player A is Encouragement Power's controller, and so the minion has +1 power for each of player A's other minions there. If player B takes control of the minion, Encouragement Power is still under the control of player A, and so the minion has +1 power for each of player A's other minions there, not player B's minions!

Some abilities allow you to play another player's action (e.g. Mass Enchantment), in which case you become that action's controller. If that action is one that is played on a minion or a base (i.e. a non-standard action), then you remain that action's controller until the card leaves play.

Some rare abilities allow you to take control of another player's action that's already in play (e.g. “El Bandido”) You then become that action's controller until it leaves play (unless a deadline is stated).

Notable examples:

  • Cat's Paw - take control of a minion.
  • Make Contact - "Treat this minion as yours" (predates the term "control").
  • Mass Enchantment - play cards from other players' decks, thereby making you the controller.
  • Daisy Chain - ability is conditional on who controls the minion.
  • Sneaky Squire - you can give control of it to another player.
  • Foot of the King - take control of a minion "you own"
  • Hostage Exchange - give control of a minion to take control of another
  • Hotwire - take control of a play-on-base action.

Current Player Edit

The current player is the player whose turn it is. This player has the unique ability to decide the order of events that are supposed to happen simultaneously. The current player does not change until after all phases of the current player's turn are complete.

Examples of simultaneous events:

  • Two bases are both ready to score in Phase 3. This choice is explicitly described in the rules.
  • Sprout and Water Lily both take cards out of your deck at the start of your turn in different ways. It is typically more advantageous to resolve Sprout's ability first.
  • Playing a Haunting on the Haunted House occupied by an enemy Leprechaun triggers two on-play reactions at once. The current player can chose to force the Haunting's controller to discard a card first or to have the Leprechaun attempt to kill the Haunting first. This can mean life or death for the Haunting.

Note that several things that seem like they might happen simultaneously actually have a priority order predetermined by the rules of the game. As such they must be resolved in priority order regardless of the preference of the current player. See Order of Operations.

Examples of "simultaneous" events that the current player can't influence:

  • If a player plays a card that causes multiple destructions (e.g. Powderkeg, Nukebot, Bear Hug), multiple returns (e.g. Crop Circles, Mass Teleport) or multiple moves (e.g. Hyperspeed 10, Felicia Day), the destructions/returns/moves all happen at the same time and there's no order to decide.
  • If several players have the opportunity to play a card at the same time (e.g. as a reaction to a card being played, during the before/when/after-scoring steps of the Score Bases phase, when Secret Volcano Headquarters is scoring), the order is clockwise from the current player.
  • If several players are instructed to do the same thing (e.g. Bear Hug, Out of Sight, Fate of the Favorites) or get the same reward from a scored base (e.g. in case of a tie for winner position), the order is clockwise from the current player.
  • After a base scores, all the cards on it are discarded. All the cards are discarded at the same time without the current player influencing the order of discards.

Destroy Edit

When a card is destroyed, it goes to its owner's discard pile, thereby leaving play. If a minion leaves play, any attachment is discarded (actions, power counters). If some ability targets a card for destruction, but the destruction is thwarted, then do nothing to the targeted card; it is not destroyed.

See "target" for how to choose a minion if an ability says something like "Destroy a minion."

After a base is scored, cards on it go to the discard pile. This counts as being discarded, but not as being destroyed.

Some abilities trigger when a minion is destroyed (e.g. Cave of Shinies "After each time a minion is destroyed here, its owner gains 1 VP."). If a minion is targeted for destruction, but the destruction is thwarted, then these kinds of abilities do not trigger. It's possible for multiple of these kinds of abilities to trigger simultaneously from the same event. In that case, the current player decides the order.

Some abilities trigger when a minion would be destroyed (e.g. Hang in There "Play on one of your minions. Ongoing: If this minion would be destroyed, move it to another base and destroy this action instead."). If the minion is targeted for destruction, but the destruction is thwarted even without the "would be destroyed" ability, then the "would be destroyed" ability does not trigger. If multiple "would be destroyed" abilities trigger from the same would-be-destruction, the current player decides the order.

Examples:

Directly Edit

Card X does something "directly" to card Y if that "something" is part of card X's ability and card Y is among the selected targets of card X's ability. If the target is changed or if what happens is because of a different card than card X, then card X did not "directly" do it to card Y. Even when there's no choice to be done because the card indiscriminately affects all minions or all of your minions, it does it directly to all of them.

For example, if you play a Bear Cavalry (Move another player's minion from here to another base.) and target an eligible minion, the Bear Cavalry "directly" moved it, or it can also be said that the Bear Cavalry "directly" affected it because "being moved" is listed under the definition of "being affected". Then, if the targeted minion is of power 2 or less and is moved to a base with a Cub Scout, the targeted minion is destroyed, but in that case it was "directly" destroyed by the Cub Scout; what Bear Cavalry did was merely triggering Cub Scout. This is significant if the opponent has an Ensign in play. If the Ensign was on the Bear Cavalry's base, Ensign can be moved instead of the targeted minion because the move was "direct". But if the Ensign was on Cub Scout's base, Ensign cannot be destroyed instead of the targeted minion because the card that was played is Bear Cavalry and Bear Cavalry isn't the card that destroyed the minion.

So far, this term has been used in two situations: general affection of a card and increase of a minion's power.

The Astroknights have a few cards that deal with actions that "directly" increase a minion's power when they are played. Such actions are actions that:

  • Give the minion "+N power",
  • Place +1 power counters on it,
  • Changes its printed power to a higher value,
  • Transfer +1 power counters to it.

List of actions that give "+N power" to a minion when they are played:

List of actions that place +1 power counters on a minion when they are played:

List of actions that change a minion's printed power when they are played:

List of actions that can transfer +1 power counters to a minion when they are played:

Examples of cards that use the term "directly":

  • Ensign - If an opponent plays a card that "directly" affects another minion, it can change the targeted minion to itself.
  • Alien Guru - Places a +1 power counter on a minion if an action "directly" increases its power.
  • Walking Carpet - Allows you to play an extra action that "directly" increases its power.
  • Space Prince - Allows you to play an extra action that "directly" increases one of your minion's power.
  • Hive of Scum and Villainy - Allows you to draw a card after you play an action that "directly" increases one of your minion's power.

Discard Edit

It means putting a card into its owner's discard pile. Unless otherwise specified, when a card instructs you to discard a card, it refers to cards in your hand.

Other than cards that tell the players to do so, certain "events" also make you discard cards (and not necessarily cards in your hand):

  • After a base scores and after the after-scoring step, all the cards on the scored base are discarded.
  • When a card with attachment (e.g. a minion with actions attached to it, or a base with minions and/or actions on it) is removed from play, either returned/destroyed/placed in your deck/etc., the cards attached to it are discarded.
  • When you try playing an action on a minion or transferring an action to a minion and that minion is immune to it, then the action is discarded.
  • During Phase 4 of your turn, after drawing your 2 cards, if you have more than 10 cards in hand, you must discard down to 10. Note that you only discard down to 10 during that phase, not the end of your turn. The end of your turn is actually an entirely different phase (Phase 5). In practice, nothing usually happens during your End Turn phase, but if something does (e.g. Missing Uplink, Difference Engine), it's after you have to discard down to 10 cards.

In the original Core Set rulebook, "discard" could apply to cards anywhere, but in Pretty Pretty Smash Up, this definition was changed to only apply to cards not in play.

Terraforming explicitly says to discard actions from play. This seems to conflict with Pretty Pretty Smash Up's redefinition of this term, but it's actually a reminder of a general rule, i.e. "when a card leaves play, discard attachments." It's normal when a minion leaves play to discard any actions attached to it, but it is less well-known that it also applies to bases. According to the rule, when a base (which is a card after all) leaves play, then anything attached to it is discarded. Minions played on a base and actions played there are considered as "attached" to it, like actions played on a minion are considered as "attached" to that minion. Note that an erratum corrects the text on Terraforming to avoid discarding minions as well.

But, then why do Burn It Down and Not in Kansas make you destroy a base and actions attached to it? If the actions survive the destruction (e.g. Steam Queen), they will still be discarded according to the above rule, so why attempt to destroy them anyway?

Notable examples:

Duel Edit

When a minion duels another, their two controllers face off, each one having the opportunity to play one action. The minion with the highest power wins the duel.

For more details, check the Duels page.

Extra Edit

Normally, you can play one minion and one action on each of your turns during Phase 2, i.e. your Play Cards phase. You can play these cards at any time during Phase 2, and they are each optional. Those are your "regular card" plays. If you get extra minions and actions during your Play Cards phase, it increases the number of minions and actions you can play within that phase. As with the regular minion and action, you can play extra minions and actions at any time during Phase 2 or not at all. Extra minions and actions acquired outside of your Play Cards phase or acquired from a special ability must be played immediately or not at all (they are then lost).

The term "extra" has a long history:

  1. The original Core Set rulebook said that extra minions and actions could be played in any order, but they were not optional. There was no mention of Special abilities or playing things outside of your phase 2.
  2. The Awesome Level 9000 rulebook added that extra minions and actions acquired by a Special ability must be played right away.
  3. The Pretty Pretty Smash Up rulebook added that non-Special extra minions and actions were optional during your Play Cards phase, and that if they were acquired outside of Phase 2 they must be played right away just like if they were acquired through a Special ability.
  4. The Bigger Geekier Box added that extra cards gained during Phase 2 can now always be played immediately instead of being saved for later and that under very specific circumstances, some extra card plays must actually be played immediately or not at all, even during Phase 2.

Situations where the extra card must be played immediately or not at all are:

  • When the extra card refers to a specific card, e.g. Hoverbot because the card is revealed from the deck or Mechanic because the card is one you choose while resolving the ability,
  • When something else follows the instruction to play the card, e.g. Commission because the rest of the ability needs you to play the extra minion,
  • When the extra card is granted by a Special ability, even during Phase 2, e.g. Ninja Acolyte,
  • When the extra card is granted outside of your Play Cards phase, e.g. Hidden Ninja, Bring Down the Walls.

So, except for the cases where the extra card must be played immediately otherwise it's lost, when you gain an extra card play during your Play Cards phase, you can either decide to play it immediately or save it for later during your Play Cards phase. If you don't use it, it's lost and doesn't carry over the next phase or your next turn. For example, playing a minion on The Homeworld occupied by an enemy Leprechaun triggers an extra minion play and a reaction from the Leprechaun. You can choose either to play the extra minion before the Leprechaun's reaction, or to wait until after you've resolved everything to play it.

Notable examples:

  • Sprout - Immediately play an extra minion in Phase 1.
  • Puck - Play an extra action during the current turn phase. Combined with Sprout and Overgrowth, allows a Fairy/Plant player to score a base with a single minion in a single turn.
  • Chronomage - Play an extra action at any time during your Play Cards phase. Played outside your Play Cards phase, you must play the extra action immediately or not at all.
  • Secret Volcano Headquarters - Immediately play extra minions in Phase 3.
  • Doppelgänger - Play an extra minion any time a minion can go to the discard pile, such as Phase 2 of another player's turn, or Phase 5 if killed with Assassination. This is a special ability, so the extra minion must be played immediately.
  • Blossom - "Play up to three extra minions that all have the same name." Since extra minions can be played at any time during your turn, you could play these extra minions one at a time while playing any other card in-between. For example, playing Enchantress to draw cards hoping for more Enchantresses.
  • Bacta the Future - Qualifies that the extra minion must be played immediately.
  • Eliza - Limit the number of extra cards opponents can play.
  • Difference Engine, Portal Room - Use the term "extra", but not in this context.
  • Hoverbot, Neophyte, Mass Enchantment - You may play an extra card from the top of a deck and put unused cards back. These cards must be played immediately if you want to; they cannot be saved for later.
  • Commission, IT'S ALIVE!, Crack of Dusk, Non-Infinite Loop - Play extra an extra card, and then do something to the extra card. These cards must be played immediately if you want to as well; they cannot be saved for later.

Free Edit

Each player gets to play one free minion and action on their turn during Phase 2. These are also known as your "normal" minion and action. Playing a card as a Special minion or action never counts as your free minion or action.

The term "free" is only ever used in the rules, not in card text. The term is synonymous with "regular", which is used in card text.

"Extra" cards are distinct from "free" cards, as the former are gained through abilities, while the latter are gained on each of your turns.

Ignore Edit

So far only base abilities can be ignored. Note that this is different from straight up cancelling the base ability as only a few aspects of the ability can be ignored. Sometimes, the base ability may only be ignored by one player, which means that only they ignore it (duh) but they can't make other players ignore it.

When a player can ignore a base ability, they can choose:

  • not to follow the base's instruction addressed to them,
  • to ignore a base's restrictions just for themself,
  • to make their cards not affectable by the base's ability,
  • and to make their cards not protected by the base's ability.

Note that if the base is a triggerable ability (one that says "after", "when", "if", etc.), they cannot ignore triggering it, but they may be able to ignore parts or all of its resulting ability when applicable.

When a base ability only involves one player, it is easy to figure out what happens when they ignore the base's ability: they act as if the base ability was non-existent for themself and their cards.

However, if a base ability involves two or more players, it becomes quite complicated if only one of them chooses to ignore the base ability, but here are a few key rules:

  • No one can ignore triggering a base. If you do something that can trigger a base, the base is definitely triggered. However instructions that follow the base being triggered may be ignored.
  • If a base instructs one or more players to do something, only those who can ignore it can choose not to do it, the others have to do it, unless it says "you may" (obviously).
  • If a base ability affects players' cards, only those who can ignore it can choose for their cards to be immune to it, the other cards are affected.

The context is player A and player B, with player A the only player who ignores the base's ability. Situations that cause a base ability to instruct player A, and only player A, to do something will usually be skipped, because obviously player A won't do it.

Notable examples:

  • Infiltrate - Allows a single player to ignore a base's ability.
  • Jammed Signal - Forces all the players to ignore a base's ability.

In play Edit

A minion is in play if it is on a base; an action that can be played on a base or minion is in play if it is on a base or minion. An action that cannot be played on a minion or a base is never in play. A card's Ongoing abilities are active for exactly the time that the card is in play.

Likewise, a titan is in play if it is on a base and buried cards are necessarily in play as they are buried.

A card goes into play when it is played on a base just before resolving its on-play abilities. This means Ongoing abilities (other than the played card's own Ongoing ability) affect the minion before resolving its on-play abilities, which is also before resolving "After a minion is played here" abilities. If a card goes to the discard pile (such as by being destroyed or by its base scoring]], it goes out of play just after going to the discard pile. This means any Ongoing ability the minion has still applies while it and actions played on it are going to the discard pile.

Whenever card text refers to "all minions" or "your minions" or the like, it is referring to minions in play, not in hands, decks, or discard piles. (e.g. Howl "Each of your minions gains +1 power until the end of your turn.")

Notable examples:

  • Spreading the Word - "Play up to two extra minions with the same name as a minion in play."
  • Make Contact - After playing on a minion, "Ongoing: Treat this minion as yours while it and this card are in play."
  • Microbot Alpha - "Ongoing: Gains +1 power for each of your other Microbots. All of your minions are considered Microbots." Both of these sentences refer to only your minions in play, not in your hand, deck, or discard pile. This means Microbot Reclaimer can never shuffle non-Microbot minions from your discard pile into your deck.
  • Jumper - The Ongoing ability must be active due to the minion being in play. This ability does not activate when the minion is discarded, such as in Phase 4.
  • Clyde 2.0 - Still applies to actions played on him when he goes to the discard pile, because minions are in play until just after they are discarded.

Instead Edit

There is no precise definition of instead given in the official rules. This term shows up in the form "If X would happen, do Y instead." or "Do X instead of placing it in the discard pile."

In the case of "If X would happen, do Y instead", you check if X is about to happen, and if so, you do Y instead of X. X then isn't considered as having happened.

For example, with Buccaneer ("Special: If this minion would be destroyed, move it to another base instead."), X is "this minion is destroyed" and Y is "move it to another base". So if Buccaneer is targeted for destruction, it is moved to another base instead of being destroyed, and it doesn't count as having been destroyed for cards that react to minion destructions.

In the case of "Do X instead of placing it in the discard pile", the effect just "reprograms" the card so X happens if the card is about to be placed in the discard pile. But if the card isn't placed in the discard pile, X doesn't happen.

For example, with First Mate ("Special: After this base is scored, you may move this minion to another base instead of the discard pile"), X is "you may move this minion to another base". So, this ability can only be invoked during the specific step where after-scoring abilities are invoked/played. And it's optional, so you must then decide if you want to activate it or not. If you choose to activate it, First Mate isn't moved yet, but it will be reprogrammed to move if it's placed in the discard pile, which will happen later during the Score Bases phase. Note that if something else happens to the First Mate before it's discarded (e.g. Ninja Dojo), then it won't move despite its ability having been activated (with Ninja Dojo, it was destroyed, not placed in the discard pile).

Notable examples:

  • Buccaneer - "Special: If this minion would be destroyed, move it to another base instead."
  • First Mate - "Special: After this base is scored, you may move this minion to another base instead of the discard pile."
  • House of Nine Lives - "If a minion at another base would be destroyed, its owner may move it here instead."

There are cases when Y cannot happen. In that case, should X happen like normal? The answer is no. Once you've decided that Y will happen instead of X, just because Y can't happen doesn't mean that you roll back to doing X. X being replaced by Y is definitive. Even if Y isn't done in the end, the rules allow you to do something even if it can't happen.

For example, if Buccaneer is on the same base as Entangled and if a destruction hits Buccaneer, Buccaneer will "change" the destruction into movement. So instead of being destroyed, it will move, but since Entangled prevents it, Buccaneer just stays in place; you do not revert to destroying it.

Move Edit

Only minions and titans can be "moved".

To move a minion, choose a minion to move and choose a base that is not the base where the minion is currently. If the minion cannot be moved through some ability (e.g. Entangled), then do nothing more. Otherwise, move the minion card to it to the new base. Anything attached to the minion (Actions that say "Play on a minion" and +1 power counters) go with the minion and stay attached. Then trigger any ability that reacts to minions being moved, (e.g. High Ground).

If a card allows you to move another player's minion, they still remain that minion's controller; you do not take control of it.

Moving a minion must target a destination base that is different from the current base, meaning you cannot move a minion to the same base where it already is. When you move a minion, you must target a base that exists, meaning after a base scores, you cannot move First Mate onto the new base right away.

Moving a minion does not reactivate its on-play ability, and does not count as playing the minion. For example, you can move power 2 minions onto Tsar's Palace, Haunted House, Mountains of Madness, etc., or onto a base where there is a Leprechaun, Block the Path, Pay the Piper, etc. with no restriction or penalty.

Moving a titan is very similar to moving a minion, except that if you move a titan to a base with another titan, they "clash". To do that, compare the total power of each titan's controller on that base; the player with the lowest total power must remove their titan from that base. In case of a tie, the moved titan is removed and the former one remains.

Similarly to minions, if a card allows you to move another player's titan, they still remain that titan's controller; you do not take control of it.

Actions and power counters are never "moved". Instead, that's called transferring.

It's unclear whether buried cards are "moved" or "transferred".

Notable examples:

  • Invasion - Move your minion or an opponents' minion.
  • Full Sail - The most powerful "move" card in the game.
  • Cub Scout - Reacts to a minion moving and checks the minion's power. Since the minion's Ongoing abilities activate before this check, it means War Raptors are probably safe.
  • Deep Roots - Prevent your minions from moving.
  • Entangled - Prevent opponents' minions from moving.

Ongoing Edit

Ongoing actions are active for as long as those cards are on the field.

Some cards have an Ongoing ability but only trigger at certain times, e.g. Cub Scout, Leprechaun. The Ongoing part is here to keep the ability active until something triggers the ability, which will most likely happen after the turn the cards are played.

Some other cards have an Ongoing ability but eventually self-destroy themselves at a given time, e.g. Smoke Bomb, Stasis Field. The Ongoing part is only here to remind players that this ability carries on after the turn that it is played, unlike "instant" abilities. Interestingly, if the destruction is prevented, the ability still applies and self-destruction attempt is delayed until the next opportunity.

On your turn Edit

Effects that happen "on your turn" are actually useable during the Play Cards phase (Phase 2) of your turn. They cannot happen during any of the other phases of your turn.

For "on your turn" effects of cards in play, these abilities act exactly like talents, except they aren't considered as such. I.e. they can only be used during your own Play Cards phases and only once per turn just like talents, but since they don't use that keyword, they can't interact with abilities that interact with talents, e.g. Expert Timing, Great Wolf Spirit or Potion of Redundancy Potion.

Also, the "on your turn" wording is more predominant on base cards since they lack any label keyword such as Ongoing or Talent, and only some faction cards from the Core Set with talent-like abilities use that keyword, e.g. Ninja Acolyte, Archmage, Enshrouding Mist. From Awesome Level 9000, that wording disappeared in favor of the Talent keyword whenever possible.

OR Edit

When an ability is worded as "Do X OR do Y", you have to choose between either doing the part that precedes the "OR" (Do X), or doing the part that follows it (do Y). Normally, you can only do one part, not both, unless you have Spirit of the Forest in play, in which case you can do both part in the order you want.

Note that if you choose to do a part that you're unable to do, you don't do the other. For example, with Turner, if you choose to "destroy an undead monster here" but there's no undead monsters on its base, then you can't go back and do "shuffle a random minion from your discard pile into your deck" instead. Or with Disco Lou, if you choose to "place an action from your discard pile on top of your deck" but there's no action in your discard pile, then you can't "play an extra action" instead.

Note that "or" and "OR" are very different. "OR" has a very precise use, being put in-between two distinct effects from which to choose from, while "or" is more broadly used in the same way as in the English language. For example, with Puck ("Play an extra action OR draw a card."), the OR separates "Play an extra action" and "draw a card", so whether you choose the part that precedes the OR ("Play an extra action") or the part that follows it ("draw a card"), it makes sense without having to refer to the other part. On the other hand, with Seeing Stars, ("Destroy a minion of power 3 or less."), the part that follows the or ("less") doesn't make sense by itself.

List of cards that use the OR wording:

List of cards that look like they could use the OR wording, but actually can't:

  • Disenchant, Bear Necessities, Freedom Power, Remove Curse, Dungeon Rule Book, Lightning Crystal, Super Effective! - These allow you to destroy only one action in total, the choice being put on whether the action is on a base or on a minion.
  • Elder Thing - The "Destroy two of your other minions or place this minion on the bottom of your deck" part works very differently from how the OR wording actually works. Indeed, contrary to what is written on the card, official answers explain that if you fail to destroy two minions, then you must place Elder Thing under your deck instead. And also, still according to official answers, if you choose to destroy minions and can only destroy one, then you don't destroy any minions and must place Elder Thing under your deck. This isn't how an OR wording works: if the card said "Destroy two of your other minions OR place this minion on the bottom of your deck", then if you choose the destruction part, an OR wording would allow you to keep Elder Thing in play no matter how successful you were to destroy your minions.
  • The Spy Who Ditched Me - While there's an "or" in it, there's actually no choice involved; the other players MUST discard a minion from their hand, and if they don't, they have to prove they have no minions in hand. It says nowhere that they can choose between discarding a minion and showing their hand, and if it did, an OR wording would allow them to show their hand and not force them to discard a minion if it turns out they have one.

List of cards that should have used the OR wording:

  • Genetic Shift
  • Rules Lawyer - Note that Ripped Off, while worded slightly differently, works functionally the same way, except it's clear that Ripped Off is meant to transfer only one action in total, either from base to base, or from minion to minion, so it's possible for Rules Lawyer to be the same since it's the very first card that was created to transfer an action and so the wording was experimental at the time.

Own Edit

Players own the 40 cards in their 2 factions (or more, if they chose factions with a titan) and only those cards. The owner of a card never changes throughout a game, but the controller can change. No one ever owns bases, treasures, or monsters.

Madness cards are a special case. Because anyone can "go mad", any player who possesses, plays or controls a Madness card is considered its owner.

It may be difficult to determine a card's owner if there are multiple copies of the same faction in one game.

While this term is not listed in the "Terms and Restrictions" section of the rulebook, a definition can be found in the "Void Where Prohibited" section:

When a card that others can see goes to the hand, deck or discard pile, it goes to the one belonging to the card’s owner (i.e. the player whose deck the card came from), no matter who played or controlled it

- Big in Japan rulebook page 13

Using Trade, it's possible for a player to have a card in their hand that another player owns. However, if that card were ever to go to the discard pile (e.g. after playing it as an action or discarding your hand down to 10), the card would go to its owner's discard pile instead. On the other hand, if that card were ever to go to the deck without being revealed (e.g. Field Trip), the card wouldn't go to its owner's deck.

Furthermore, the interpretation of a card "going" to some place is important for cards that reveal another card and return it to the same place. For example, if you play a Hoverbot and reveal an action that you don't own from the top of your deck, the action is supposed to be returned to "the top of your deck", but it wasn't clear if it was actually your deck or its owner's deck. A later rule in Oops, You Did It Again now clarifies:

Cards you don’t own that are merely revealed in your hand or deck stay there, but if they are seen to go elsewhere they then go back to their owners, unless explicitly allowed by cards like Shield Maiden etc.

- Oops, You Did It Again rulebook page 16

So, now cards you don't own that are revealed from your hand and are supposed to go back to your hand do go there. Similarly, cards that are revealed from the top of your deck and are supposed to go back to the top of your deck do go there. And cards that are revealed from the bottom of your deck and are supposed to go back to the bottom of your deck do go there as well. In any other situation, the card actually changes location and should then go to the hand/deck/discard pile of its real owner.

A caveat to this appears in the clause "unless explicitly allowed by cards like Shield Maiden etc." Indeed, Critter Cube and most of the Vikings' cards challenges the previous rules even further by stealing other players' cards while they can actually be seen changing location. So now, there are situations where the rule of a card going to its owner doesn't work and while the rule states that it's mentioned "explicitly", it's actually based on how the card is worded. Basically:

  • If an ability makes one of your cards go to either your hand or your deck, the ability "assumes" you're the card's rightful owner and so the rule about cards going to their owners must take place in situations where you're actually not the owner.
  • If an ability makes any card or another player's card go to either your hand or your deck, then the ability allows stealing and so circumvents the rule about cards going to their owners.
  • If an ability reveals one of your cards from your hand of your deck and returns it to the same location, it's merely revealed so it goes to your hand or your deck, therefore ignoring the rule about cards going to their owners.
  • If a card goes to the discard pile, it will always go to its owner's discard pile.

Here's a summary to help you out:

For a card in play:

  • If you put "one of your cards" in play in "your hand/deck", it goes to its owner's hand/deck as it's a case where normally it would go to your hand, but if control was changed at some point, the default rule is the card goes to its owner. For example, Doctor When, G.E.L.F..
  • If you put "one of your cards" in play in "its owner's hand/deck", it goes to its owner's hand/deck as written. For example, Port Me Up.
  • If you put "a card" in play in "its owner's hand/deck", it goes to its owner's hand/deck as written. For example, Into the Time Slip, Dusty Henry.
  • If you put "a card" in play in "your hand/deck", it goes to your hand/deck unlike the case of "your card" going to "your hand/deck", here the identity of the card's controller doesn't matter at all and so the card is clearly worded to allow stealing. For example, Critter Cube.

For a card in hand:

  • If you reveal "one of your cards" in hand and put it in "your hand", it goes to your hand as you're merely revealing it -- there's no change of location. For example, The Spy Who Ditched Me.
  • If you reveal a card in "another player's hand" and put it in "their hand", it goes to their hand as you're merely revealing it -- there's no change of location. For example, Wood for Sheep.

For a card in a deck:

  • If you reveal a card in "your deck" and put it in "your hand", it goes to its owner's hand as it's a case where normally it would go to your hand, but if you got another player's card, the default rule is the card goes to its owner. For example, Portal, Hush, My Stories are On.
  • If you reveal a card in "another player's deck" and put it in "your hand", it goes to your hand unlike the case of a card from "your deck" going to "your hand", here the location of the card is purposely another player's deck and so the card is clearly worded to allow stealing. For example, Shield Maiden
  • If you reveal a card in "your deck" and put it back "where it was" (e.g. from the top of your deck to the top of your deck, or from the bottom of your deck to the bottom of your deck), it goes to your deck as you're merely revealing it -- there's no change of location. For example, Neophyte, Hoverbot.
  • If you reveal a card in "your deck" and put it "elsewhere in your deck" (e.g. from the top of your deck to the bottom of your deck, from the bottom of your deck to the top of your deck, or from the top/bottom of your deck and shuffled into your deck), it goes to its owner's deck as it's a case where normally it would go to your deck, but if you got another player's card, the default rule is the card goes to its owner. For example, The Locals, Monkey See, Monkey Do.

Notable examples:

  • Beam Up - return a minion to its owner's hand.
  • Cave of Shinies - a minion's "owner" gains 1 VP, not its "controller".
  • Bear Hug - "owner chooses" should surely be interpreted as "controller chooses". Otherwise, the ability is incoherent.[probably]
  • The House of Nine Lives - gives a minion's "owner" a choice rather than its "controller". Since the author of this base knew the term "controller" (in fact this base is themed after a faction that prominently features controlling minions), we should assume that this word choice was deliberate.

Place Edit

Typically, the verb place is used to refer to moving cards around that are not in play, such as Grave Robbing "Place a card from your discard pile into your hand." Some abilities also use the verb place to remove cards from play, such as Disintegrator "Place a minion of power 3 or less on the bottom of its owner's deck." As of the Pretty Pretty Smash Up set, placing a card that is in play counts as affecting the card.

Sometimes, some cards "place" cards in play into their owner's hand (e.g. Scout). While the end result is the same as if the cards "returned" the card into its owner's hand, the use of a different word is very important for some cards that interact with cards being "returned" from play (e.g. Ship's Engineer, Entangled). Such cards don't do anything to cards that are "placed" from play.

Several abilities refer to placing cards after a base scores, such as Scout "Special: After this base is scored, you may place this minion into your hand instead of the discard pile.", or after a minion is destroyed, such as Tar Pits "After each time a minion is destroyed here, place it at the bottom of its owner's deck." These placings happen after the card goes out of play and as such do not interact with Tooth and Claw... and Guns or any other abilities that would prevent the card from being affected by the placing.

Examples of placing other player's cards that are in play:

These abilities were modified by the rules change in Pretty Pretty Smash Up when placing was considered affecting a minion.

Examples of placing your own cards that are in play:

The rules change in Pretty Pretty Smash Up didn't matter at all for these as there is no way to prevent your actions from being affected by your own abilities or to prevent your minions from being affected by your own abilities before you can play Tooth and Claw... and Guns on them.

Play Edit

You play a card as a free minion or action in Phase 2, as an extra Minion or extra Action (usually in Phase 2 as well), or as a Special minion or action. Monsters and titans are also played when a card tells you to play one, but they are not played as extra cards. See also Rules#Playing Minions and Rules#Playing Actions.

Power Edit

Minion cards have power.

When a card refers to the "power" of a minion card in your hand, deck (e.g. Sprout, Mild Mannered Citizen, Rock of Luuv) or discard pile (e.g. Not Really Dead, Lunar Captain), it always refers to the number on the top-left corner of the minion card, also known as the "printed" power.

On the other hand, when a card refers to the "power" of a minion card in play, it always refers to its "modified" power, i.e. the power it has after applying all modifiers to its starting power (usually equal to its printed power). Modifiers include abilities that gave it +/-N power (e.g. Howler, Augmentation, Wyrm’s Desolation) and +1 power counters.

More rarely, a card may refer to the "printed" power of a minion card in play (e.g. Mimic, Matrix of Bossiness), that's simply the number on the top-left corner of the minion card. A card may also refer to the "starting" power of a minion card in play (e.g. Lovey Bear), that would simply refer to the minion's power before modifiers are applied, which is usually the same as the "printed" power, unless an ability changes the starting power. For example, a Lovey Bear's ability will modify its starting power depending on the circumstances, but its "printed" power will remain at 3 no matter what its starting power is.

While some actions add power to your total power on a base, they don't technically "have" power. Most actions from the Kaiju faction show a number on the top-left corner like minion cards do (albeit with a slightly smaller font size), but those are only reminders of their abilities.

Titans also don't have power. +1 power counters placed on them are simply added to your total power on their base, but they don't make up the titan's power.

Regular Edit

Each player gets to play one regular minion and action on their turn during Phase 2. These are also known as your "normal" minion and action. Playing a card as a Special minion or action never counts as your regular minion or action.

The term is synonymous with "free", which is only ever used in the rules, not in card text.

"Extra" cards are distinct from "regular" cards, as the former are gained through abilities, while the latter are gained on each of your turns.

Some titans (e.g. Gorgodzolla, Megabot, Walking Castle) can be played "instead of your regular minion play", which means that, on your turn, you must not play your regular minion in order to play them.

Cthulhu can be played "instead of your regular action play", which means that, on your turn, you must not play your regular action in order to play it.

Spirit of the Forest can be played "instead of your regular minion and action play", which means that, on your turn, you must play neither your regular minion, nor your regular action in order to play it.

Return Edit

This means that a card goes back where it came from. When a card returns from a base (such as to your hand or deck), discard any attachments on it (i.e. actions played on a minion or +1 power counters on it). Usually, "return" is used to put back a card that is out of play (e.g. Neophyte, Walker) or to put a card in play into its owner's hand.

Special Edit

There are four different meanings for Special:

  1. An ability that can trigger when the card is not in play. This usually takes the form of playing the card from your hand under some specific circumstances. For example, Shinobi, Hidden Ninja
  2. A synonym for Ongoing. This definition is used frequently in the Core Set presumably before the designers had a good understanding of how the rules would evolve over time. For example, Ninja Acolyte, Buccaneer.
  3. An ability that triggers during the Score Bases phase while the card is in play. While the keyword Ongoing would also work here, the keyword Special is more prominently used for that particular phase while Ongoing is used for the other phases. For example, Dust Devil, Pharaoh.
  4. An ability that triggers when it's uncovered. For example, Blessing of Anubis, Tomb Trap.

As a reminder, an Ongoing ability is one that is active while the card is in play. Several cards that say "Special:" should really say "Ongoing:". The best example of this is Cthulhu's Chosen when compared to Mole.

  • Cthulhu's Chosen - Special: Before a base scores, you may draw a Madness card. This minion gets +2 power until the end of the turn.
  • Mole - Ongoing: Before this base scores, you may play an action as a Special action.

Another example is Ninja Acolyte vs. Sprout:

  • Ninja Acolyte - Special: On your turn, if you have not yet played a minion, you may return this minion to your hand and play an extra minion on this base.
  • Sprout - Ongoing: Destroy this card at the start of your turn. You may search your deck for a minion of power 3 or less, and play it here as an extra minion. Shuffle your deck.

All of these abilities are active as long as the minion is already in play. This fits the definition of Ongoing perfectly.

Although it appears that the designers chose to say Special instead of Ongoing if the ability was optional, consider Archmage which has an optional ability that says Ongoing:

  • Archmage - Ongoing: You may play an extra action on each of your turns.

Over the years, the use of the keyword "Special" for abilities that only work while in play became gradually exclusive to abilities that happen during the scoring of a base.

Here is a list of all the cards (as of Oops, You Did It Again) that should say Ongoing instead of Special:

Here is a list of all the cards (as of Oops, You Did It Again) that could say Ongoing instead of Special, but fit the definition of Special being usable on phase 3:

Here is a list of all the cards (as of Oops, You Did It Again) that should say Special instead of Ongoing because they are only usable during phase 3:

Some cards (as of Oops, You Did It Again) classify cards based on whether or not they are "Specials":

  • Mindraker - Play on a base. Ongoing: Other players cannot play Specials while this base is scoring.
  • And Stay Down! - Special: Play before a base scores. If you have the highest total power here, other players cannot play or use Special abilities.
  • Black Trooper - Ongoing: After a special ability is used, this minion gains +1 power until the end of the turn.
  • Juice Bar - Before this base scores, each player with a minion here gains +2 power here for each special ability they use before scoring.

Since Mindraker refers to playing Specials, all of the above cards that should say Ongoing are not relevant anyway; those cards cannot be played as Specials. However, And Stay Down! prevents the use of Special abilities, and Black Trooper and Juice Bar activate on special abilities being used, so the qualification of Special instead of Ongoing is relevant.

Here is a list of every Special ability (as of the Oops, You Did It Again) that can trigger when the card is not in play:

Standard Edit

A "standard action" is an action that isn't played on anything. The only things an action could be played on are minions and bases. So, if an action says "play on a minion", "play on a base" or any other variation, then it's not a standard action. If it doesn't say that, then it's a standard action.

Note that it's possible to play an action that says "play on a minion/base" and not have any eligible card to play it on. It is then immediately discarded, but that doesn't make it a standard action. Standard actions are strictly those that don't say "play on a minion/base".

On-play actions (i.e. actions that don't say Ongoing, Special, Talent) are all standard actions. Special actions that aren't played on anything also count as standard actions.

Creampuff Man allows you to play actions from your discard pile, but only the standard ones.

The Disco Dancers care about standard actions, but only those that affect minions.

Notable examples:

  • Rampage is a standard action. It reduces the breakpoint of a base, but it isn't played on it, so it's a standard action.
  • Stomp is not a standard action. It also reduces the breakpoint of a base, but it is played on a base, so it isn't a standard action.
  • Augmentation is a standard action. It boosts the power of a minion, but it isn't played on it, so it's a standard action.
  • Upgrade is not a standard action. It also boosts the power of a minion, but it is played on a minion, so it isn't a standard action.
  • Rotary Slug Thrower is not a standard action. It also boosts the power of minions, but it is played on a base, so it isn't a standard action.
  • Sacrifice is a standard action. It allows you to destroy a minion, but it isn't played on it, so it's a standard action.
  • Assassination is not a standard action. It also allows you to destroy a minion, but it is played on a minion, so it isn't a standard action.
  • Tail Smash is not a standard action. It also allows you to destroy a minion, but it is played on a base, so it isn't a standard action.
  • Under Pressure is a standard action. It says Special but that has nothing to do with it being standard or not. The most important point is it doesn't say "play on a minion/base", so it's a standard action.
  • Intimidating Presence is not a standard action. It says "play on a base", so it can't be a standard action. Even when you play it as a Special action, you have to play it on a base, so it's not a standard action.

Starting Edit

"Starting power" or "starting breakpoint" means the "base" power or breakpoint of a card before applying any modifiers. The word "starting" was probably introduced to avoid possible confusion that could come from talking about "base power" or "base breakpoint".

So, when talking about the power of a minion or the breakpoint of a base, its "printed value" is the one printed on the card, its "starting value" is its value before applying any modifiers (in the vast majority of cases, the starting value is exactly the same as the printed value), and its "value" is either its "printed value" when the card is not in play, or its "modified value" (taking into account all the modifiers) when the card is in play.

For example, if you play a Weed Eater (printed power of 5), its ability gives it -2 power until the end of the turn. So, the Weed Eater's printed power is 5, its starting power is also 5, but its power (i.e. its modified power) is 3. So, while Weed Eater does have only 3 power whenever it's first played, 3 is not its starting power. That is because when you calculate its power you do the following operation: 5 (printed power) - 2 (its ability) = 3. So, 5 is really its starting power, i.e. the "base power" on which you then apply any power modifiers.

Another example. If Lovey Bear (printed power of 3) is on the same base as an opponent's minion with a printed power of 4 and Lovey Bear has a +1 power counter on it. Lovey Bear's printed power is 3. Because of its ability, Lovey Bear's starting power is 4 (to match the opponents' minion with the highest starting power). Because Lovey Bear has a +1 power counter, its power, a.k.a. its modified power, is 5 (starting power of 4, plus 1 from the +1 power counter). So Lovey Bear has a printed, starting, and modified powers that are all different. Note that if the opponent's minion had +1 power counters too or a power-changing action attached to it (e.g. Upgrade, Grumpiness), it wouldn't change Lovey Bear's printed, starting and modified powers at all because Lovey Bear only depends on the minion's starting power.

Since it was created before the word "starting" was introduced, Mimic probably changes its "starting power" and should be rephrased "Ongoing: This minion's starting power is equal to the highest power printed on a minion card in play." Its current wording only saying "This minion's power" could be interpreted as "This minion's modified power" if one follows exactly what is written in the rulebook. However, it makes more sense if what Mimic's ability changes is actually its "starting power", and it would match what the official answers have already explained about Mimic's behavior.

Notable examples:

Talent Edit

This is an ability on a minion, action or titan that may be activated once during the Play Cards phase (Phase 2) of each of your turns. You don't have to use it if you don't want to. The card must be in play for you to use its talent and you can use its talent as soon as the card is in play; you don't have to wait until your next turn to use it!

Only the card's controller can use its talent. If a player controls several talents at the same time, they can activate each of them if they want to, but only if it's their Play Cards phase and they cannot activate a given talent more than once on the same turn.

It's entirely possible to have an action with a talent (e.g. Magic Missile) attached to a minion with a talent (e.g. Captain Ahab). In that case, only the action's controller, i.e. whoever played the action, can use the action's talent, regardless of who the minion's controller is.

Some actions attached to minions give that minion a talent as an additional ability (e.g. Potion of Redundancy Potion). In that case, the talent is treated as one of that minion's abilities and can therefore only be activated by that minion's controller and only during their Play Cards phase, no matter who played the action. Also, if that minion happens to have another talent, both talents can be activated independently from each other, but the same talent cannot be activated twice on the same turn, as always.

Please note that if a card is removed from play and replayed on the same turn, it doesn't keep "memory" of having been present before. So, if you use a card's talent, then return it and replay it (e.g. Do Over!, Doctor When, Change of Venue), you can use its talent again.

If you play a card with a talent, the talent is not activated from playing the card. Instead, you must actively activate it when you are able to do something once the card is in play.

For example, if you play a Mind Lady on a base with an enemy Imperial Dragon, you cannot use Mind Lady's talent to immediately prevent Imperial Dragon from reacting to you playing Mind Lady. Indeed, like any card you play, you must first resolve any of its relevant abilities (usually its on-play and ongoing abilities). In that case, Mind Lady's only ability is a talent, which is not automatically activated when you play it, so when you resolve its ability, you do nothing. Then, card reactions must be resolved, so Imperial Dragon's ability is activated. Only after all card reactions are resolved are you able to act again. You can now use Mind Lady's talent to cancel Imperial Dragon's ability, but it's too late to prevent its activation when Mind Lady was played.

Also, while a talent is not activated when the card is played, activating it on the same turn as the card was played does trigger cards that react when "a player plays a card that do X" (X being an effect).

For example (example given in the What Were We Thinking? rulebook), you have Forgotten Horrors in play. Forgotten Horrors is a card that is activated after you either play a minion on its base, or play a card that moves one or more of your minions to its base. If you play a Zeppelin on its base, nothing happens because Zeppelin is an action, not a minion, and because Zeppelin's ability is a talent, and therefore not automatically activated when it's played. Later on the same turn, if you use Zeppelin's talent to move one of your minions to its base, then the rulebook declares that it does activate Forgotten Horrors's ability. The only condition is for the talent to be used on the same turn as the card with talent is played. If the card was played on a previous turn and you use its talent, it won't trigger Forgotten Horrors. (The Bigger Geekier Box rulebook erased that rule)

Notable examples:

  • Venus Man Trap - A minion with a talent.
  • Zeppelin - A "play on a base" action with a talent.
  • Monkey on Your Back - A "play on a minion" action with a talent. Note that it doesn't give the minion a talent!
  • Flighterizer - A "play on a minion" action that gives the minion a talent.
  • Potion of Redundancy Potion - A "play on a minion" action that gives the minion the talent to copy the talent of another minion.
  • Standing Stones - A base where minions can use their talent twice, instead of once.
  • Changing Room - A base where minions gain power from using their talents.

Target Edit

If an ability says to "Choose a minion" or to do something (e.g. destroy, move, etc.) to "a minion" without specifying which card in particular to do it to, you may target a minion in play of your choice (and similarly with actions in play). If the ability has qualifications on what kinds of card you can target (e.g. "a minion of power 2 or less", "another player's action played on a minion", etc.) you must obey these qualifications. If there are no valid targets, then the ability targets nothing, and any further reference to the target has no effect. If there are valid targets, you must choose one, even if it means bad things happening to your minions. If the ability does something to several cards without the card player having to make a conscious selection, the ability also targets all those cards.

The card you target may be immune to the effects of the ability you are performing, but it is still a valid target.

Many cards have an implied "Choose a minion." in their abilities. For example, Augmentation "One minion gains +4 power until the end of your turn." You are still allowed to target a minion who cannot gain power, for example, another's player's minion who is Incorporeal.

Notable examples:

  • Sacrifice - Target a minion for destruction. Even if that minion doesn't die, you still draw cards.
  • Bear Cavalry (minion) - If other player's have minions on the base, you must target one of them. However, the minion you target might not be affected anyway.
  • Microbot Guard - Often forced to destroy himself because no other minions on a base are low enough power to be targeted.

To Edit

When a card says "Do X to do Y" or "You may do X to do Y" (where "X" and "Y" are effects), you need to completely do the effect stated as "X" before you do the effect stated as "Y".

Please note that whether the card says "Do X to do Y" or "You may do X to do Y", doing X is actually always optional! This is contrary to the usual rule about "Do X." (mandatory) or "You may do X." (optional), but that's the official ruling about "Do X to do Y" abilities.[1]

If effect "X" cannot be done completely for any reason, you can't do either "X" or "Y". Note that this is also contrary to the usual rule about "Do X." or "You may do X." abilities that make you do as much as you can. For example, if an ability says "Choose a minion. You may discard cards equal to its power to destroy it." (Spirit), and if you don't have enough cards, then you don't discard any cards. On the other hand, if an ability says "Discard two random cards." (e.g. Take the Shinies) and you only have one, you must still discard it.

However, if you manage to do effect "X", you must then completely do "Y".

For example, with Nightstalker (Destroy a minion of power 2 or less here to place a +1 power counter on this minion.), the effect "X" is "Destroy a minion of power 2 or less here" and the effect "Y" is "place a +1 power counter on this minion". There's no "you may", but the destruction is still optional because it's a "Do X to do Y" ability! So, if you choose to, you may destroy a minion of power 2 or less on Nightstalker's base. If it happens successfully, then you must place a +1 power counter on Nightstalker. On the other hand, if the destruction is prevented, e.g. if there's no eligible minion or if the minion is immune to destruction, then Nightstalker cannot get a +1 power counter through its ability.

Transfer Edit

It's possible for power counters and actions played on minions or bases to be transferred to another minion or base. This is analogous to moving a minion, but for some reason there is a different term for power counters and actions.

On a side note, it's unclear whether buried cards are "moved" or "transferred".

Just like moving minions, transferring an action does not make you its new controller. The controller still remains the player who played the action. The consequence of this can be intuitive for most cards, but isn't for cards that mention "you" or "other players". For example, transferring another player's Missing Uplink to one of your minions doesn't make you Missing Uplink's controller and therefore doesn't make you draw a card at the end of your turn. Please refer to the section about "control" for examples of unintuitive consequences of that. In essence, transferring another player's action to one of your minions leads to similar problematics as taking control of a minion while another player's action is attached to it.

Here are more (hopefully helpful) examples to show some interactions when you transfer another player's actions to one of your minions (or a different player's minion):

  • If player A has a minion and player B plays Make Contact on it, player B becomes that minion's controller. If player C transfers Make Contact to one of player D's minions, Make Contact is still under the control of player B and so the first minion's control is returned to player A and player B now becomes the controller of player D's minion.
  • If player A has a minion and played Incorporeal on it, player A is Incorporeal's controller and so the minion is not affected by the cards of the players that are not player A. If player B transfers Incorporeal to their minions, Incorporeal is still under the control of player A and so their minion is not affected by the cards of the players that are not player A. Yes, even player B's cards! And yes, even that minion!

Transferring an action away from a minion does not count as affecting the minion, but transferring an action to a minion does count as affecting the new minion.[probably] This means that Steam Queen cannot protect against Tinx.

Transferring power counters away from a minion counts as affecting that minion. And transferring power counters to a minion counts as affecting it as well. If the minion you want to transfer the +1 power counters to is immune, then the counters are discarded.

Notable examples:

  • Tinx - Transfer an action played on a minion.
  • Rules Lawyer - Transfer an action in play from anywhere to anywhere. It's possible to use this card to put a base action onto The Dread Gazebo, which is normally impossible. If the action transferred there is Jammed Signal, then more base actions can be played there as well.
  • Leaf Armor - Action transfers itself.
  • A Kind of Magic - Transfer power counters among your own minions.

Note that Change of Venue is not an example of transferring an action; you return an action to your hand and replay it; you don't transfer the action.

Uncover Edit

When a player uncovers a buried card, it means turning a buried card face-up and immediately playing it.

A player may only uncover a buried card when an ability tells them to do so, or at the start of their turn but only with one of their buried cards.

When a buried card is uncovered, its controller must play it immediately. If it's a minion or a non-standard action, then it must be played on its current base or on a minion there. If it's a standard action, then the player can resolve its ability however they want, in particular, if the standard action targets a card or tells the player to choose card in play, they don't have to target/choose a card on its current location.

For more details, check the Burying page.

Undead Edit

The term undead refers to a class of monsters that say "Undead" as part of their ability. These monsters are:

There are no particular rules for undead monsters, but a few card abilities refer to the class of undead monsters:

  • Poultrygeist - Ongoing: This monster has +1 power for each other undead monster here.
  • Turner - Destroy an undead monster here OR shuffle a random minion from your discard pile into your deck.
  • Whack-A-Ghoul - After an undead monster is played here, place it on the bottom of the monster deck.

Until Edit

A lot of cards state a deadline for their abilities, commonly "until the end of the turn" or more rarely "until the start of your next turn". It means that the effect of the card is applied and that it lasts until the specified moment.

Interestingly, if such a card is removed from play, or if the effect is lost or cancelled, the effect that was already resolved before that still persists until the stated deadline.

For example, all "instant" actions work like that. If you play Swashbuckling, you must discard it after use, but the +1 power boost still remains until the end of the turn. Less intuitively, it also happens with minions. If you play Mr. Grumpers and reduce the power of another minion until the end of the turn, even if you later destroy or return Mr. Grumpers, or cancel its ability on the same turn, the other minion still retains the -2 power. It will only wear off at the end of the turn, as stated.

Howl and Augmentation are the only cards in the game that state "until the end of your turn". This isn't a mistake and The Bigger Geekier Box rulebook clarifies that if they are ever played on another player's turn, the power boost lasts until the end of your upcoming turn!

Finally, the position of the "until" determines if the ability applies to the cards currently in play at the time of application, or if the application changes depending on the state of the board:

  • If the cards says "Do X until Y" where Y is a limit in time (e.g. the end of the turn, the start of your turn, etc.), then you can only do X to cards currently in play at the time of the card is resolved. For example, Swashbuckling only applies to your minions currently in play and if you later play a minion, it won't get +1 power from it. Another example is Bruiser which loses all its abilities except for its talent and if it gains another ability (e.g. from Flighterizer), it isn't lost.
  • If the cards says "Until Y, do X" where Y is a limit in time (e.g. the end of the turn, the start of your turn, etc.), then you keep applying X for as long as the effect lasts, even to cards that later come into play. In particular, if the effect X is limited to a base, you stop doing X to cards that are moved away, while you do X to cards that are moved to it. For example, Potion of Paralysis applies to future cards that are later played or moved to the scoring base.

Notable examples:

  • Rampage - Reduces a base's breakpoint until the end of the turn.
  • The Deep Ones - Boosts your minions' power until the end of the turn.
  • Glymmer - Gives you a choice of two effects that both last until the start of your next turn.
  • Bruiser - Loses its abilities until the start of your next turn.

ReferencesEdit

  1. https://boardgamegeek.com/article/17014769#17014769