Both players start with an "Element Deck" of exactly sixty cards and a five card "Magnum Opus Deck". Within the Element Deck you may have up to three of any single type of element card with the rest being made up of "Process Cards", up to two copies of each. You will also need a six sided die and a die of at least ten sided, alternatively a pencil and paper will do just as well. Element cards are basic cards with one of four elements printed on them, process cards are everything else in the deck. Magnum opus cards contain a special one off effect that you may use whenever you are able to pay for it.
Both player's decks are shuffled and placed on their sides of the field then an opponent selects one of your Magnum Opus cards face down at random and it is set on your side of the field. Only the controller of the Magnum Opus card is allowed to look at it while it remains face down on their side of the field.
At the start of the game both players draw six cards from their respective decks, then the turn's controller gains two action points. You use action points to declare an attack, pay for some process cards or use a game action. You may choose not to use any action points on your turn, in that case the points are stored for you to use whenever you like but only up to six points, keep track of these points on your six sided die. At the start of each of your turns you are forced to discard your hand and draw six new cards. Once your deck contains less than six cards and your turn starts, the cards in your recharge pile are shuffled and are placed in your deck pile.
During your turn you may play any processes you are able to pay for or use action points to use a "Game Process". Game Processes are actions that either player may use during their turn without needing a specific card.
At the cost of one action point, either player may do the following, once: Add the cards in your hand to your deck, shuffle the deck and draw the same number of cards; Draw an extra card; Access the store.
The area at the bottom of your field is called "The Store", this is where you are able to place any cards you want to hold on to until a further turn. It costs you one action point to enter your store but once you're there you may store or return to your hand and number of cards up to a maximum of three. Cards that are placed in the store are always placed face down. Only the player who controls their store has access to it.
The area above the store is called "The Field", this is where you place elements when you're activating them as well as where processes are played.
Decks and Piles
To the right of the field is the deck zone, this is where your deck is placed face down. Below the deck is your recycle pile, this is where used cards go as well as any cards that are in your hand at the start of your turn.
To the right of the deck is the exhausted pile, cards are concidered to be exhausted if they are used to create a complex element, pay for a cost of a process or if they are a completed process themselves. Exhausted cards are not returned to your deck when your deck runs out of cards.
Playing Cards - Attacking
When you have a basic element in your hand you can spend an action point and declare an attack on another player. Winning an attack will earn you points which is important because the first player to reach ten points is the winner. To declare an attack pay one action point, state whom you are attacking (Important if there are more than two players) and place an element onto your field. The target of your attack may then choose to play an element of their own to defend against the attack or allow the attack to hit them.
Each element has a different magnitude (MG) as indicated by the number of pips on the top right of the card, this has an impact on how combat will play out as will the type of element as shown on the top left of the card.
The winner of any battle is the player who held the last card in the chain that caused damage.
You cannot block an element with an element of the same type, remember, you can't fight fire with fire.
If the attack is blocked by a ascendant element (element that card is weak against) then the blocking MG is doubled, but if it is blocked by an decendant element (element that card is strong against) then the MG is halved.
For example, P1 attacks with FireMG3
If P2 blocks with AirMG3 it will only count as AirMG1.5
If P2 blocks with WaterMG2 it will count as WaterMG4
If P2 blocks with EarthMG3 it will still count as EarthMG3 as it is concidered neutral.
P2 does not have the option to block with a Fire element.
After any changes are made due to elemental alignments:
If the MG of both elements is equal then the attack is "Countered" and the battle ends.
If the MG of the defending element is higher than the attacking element then it is "parried" and the defending player not only takes no damage but has the chance to declare an attack of their own at no cost, this new attack can be blocked and parried as normal.
If the defending element has a lover MG than the attacking element then it is blocked and the attacking player gains points damage equal to the difference in MG.
You may choose to create a complex element by playing two elements at the same time, fusing them together. A complex element has the MG of the elements used to create it and is treated as a new element with new strengths and weaknesses. You may play a complex element at any time you would normally play an element, when you create an element this way you may put a placeholder card into play stating the new card's element and MG if you wish. When basic elements are used to create a complex element they are put into the exhausted pile instead to the recycle pile.
The Magnum Opus card is a special card that remains hidden from other players until you choose to complete it. It complete a Magnum Opus you must pay it's cost and flip it face up so each player may see it.
When a Magnum Opus is completed you may return all cards in your recycle and exhausted piles to your deck at the start of your next turn, then instead of drawing six cards after discarding your hand you may search your deck for any six cards and put them into your hand. You may only do this once each game and only after completing your Magnum Opus.
It is important to remember that over extending your resources on your own turn will leave you unable to mount a defence against your opponent's attacks on theirs.