Amid all the calls for deck requests, card evaluation, ruling discussions, hype about the upcoming set, and the ever-present desire to win, we tend to forget one of the most fundamental concepts that you need to master (or simply enjoy) the game.
Your own turn.
I know, I know, you’ve read the manual and the comprehensive rules, and you’re pretty sure that you’ve got this thing covered right? Well maybe this guide isn’t for you.
But the next time you’ve forgotten a key play that you should have done at some point in your turn. Feel free to come back and read on.
For those of you who have stayed, here are the things you should remember once your opponent says done:
Before your Turn
Once your opponent says he’s done, it’s not immediately your turn yet. You can always say “wait, before you end your turn…” and cast Instants or Activate abilities that you can. This is important for a couple of reasons. Strategically speaking, you’re maximizing any of your remaining resources in order to draw out and exhaust more of your opponent’s. This means that if you cast Stoning to Death at the end of his turn, and he uses Absolute Cake Zone to cancel it; sure it sucks, but more than that you’ve forced him to use two more of his resources on his turn – meaning that he has less resources to work with during your turn. In effect, you limit the plays that he or she can make during your turn. Meanwhile, those two resources you’ve used to cast Stoning to Death will refresh themselves once your turn comes around.
Compare this to casting Stoning to Death on your turn and having the opponent Cake-cancel it. You both lost two resources, but the opponent benefits from it more, because he limits your options for the turn by having you go through with it two resources less. Now when I say resources, I usually mean Magic Stones, but these things could be anything that represents any strategic advantage.
The other reason to do this is to make use of “once (or twice, or more) per turn” effects such as Grimm’s or Abdul’s. Because they are a limited quantity per turn, you will want to use them on the opponent’s turn whenever applicable to get the benefit of retaining that additional use when your turn arrives.
Your Draw Step
Wait! Before your draw a card. Know that there’s a priority window wherein your can (again) cast Instants or use Abilities. As the turn player, you get to decide first if you’re gonna do something during this time, then the priority passes to the opponent. Usually, the turn player does nothing during this priority window (and it’s often skipped because hey, we wanna draw cards ASAP), so if your opponent has Law of Silence in hand and wants to use it before you gain an additional option from the top of your deck, they’ll use it at this point.
Thus, the famous “Wait, before you draw, Law of Silence.” line and its variants.
If either player has no more effects to add (chase) at this point…
You May Draw Your Card
Yay. Now take a good, hard look it at it.
Before Your Recover Step
Another priority window! Again, you can play Instants and Activate Abilities. This window is used a lot more by the turn player because it’s his or her last chance to use any unused resources that he has before they recover. Note that any Will that’s unused after this window vanishes, so don’t expect to “float” any excess Wills into the Main Phase at this point.
This window is also infamous for setting up Rapunzel’s killing turn, wherein the turn player uses Rapunzel’s ability on herself, then rests any of his or her recovered Resonators to repeatedly cause Rapunzel to recover and buff herself repeatedly before their Recover step. Since it’s technically their turn, Rapunzel retains all of the benefits of her ability.
When both players choose to pass priority, we move on to the…
Call a Magic Stone right? WRONG! Before resting your Ruler to call a Stone. Take a second to consider your board state. Invest a few moments to look at it. Is there a play that you want to do that can be accomplished by your current field? If not then that’s when you consider if adding a Magic Stone will enable you to make a better play, or if J-Activation is a better course of action. In more casual games, take-backs are okay. So if you find yourself regret about calling a Magic Stone earlier with your Ruler rather than J-Activating, then it’s fine. In tournament play however, you have to plan more carefully since your opponent won’t allow that. So take time to look at your field first before doing anything.
Unless you’re playing Grimm, in which case calling a Magic Stone is the first, best thing you can do on your main phase.
Here are the things you can do in your Main Phase:
1) Call a Magic Stone (you’ve assessed your board state right? No need to J-Activate right?}
2) J-Activate (make sure your Ruler hasn’t called a stone, isn’t rested, and the Chase area is empty)
3) Attack (the finer details of combat needs an entire article for itself and will be tackled at a later article)
4) Cast a Spell:Chant, Standby, or Addition (as long as the Chase is empty)
Note that you can do this in any order, so it’s very important to sequence your plays properly. Here are some general plays that you might want to remember:
– Play all of your Addition buffs before attacking. (e.g. playing Realm of Evolution before attacking with Cowardly Lion)
– Calling a Magic Stone (you’re sure about this right?) to ensure you have all the resources you need should a Chase sequence happen mid-combat, or in response to a play you’re making.
– J-Activating your Ruler to get any additional benefits (e.g. Crimson Girl, Puss in Boots) before making any major plays.
– Resting any potential blockers (you can do that too before the opponent declares blockers in combat) before attacking.
– Using any Activate Abilities that might invoke a response from your opponent before doing anything else.
– Sequencing your attacks in an order that maximizes each of your Resonator’s abilities.
Always keep in mind that during the course of your turn, you have priority, and your opponent can only respond with an instant and Activate ability if and only if you have passed priority after doing something. Otherwise, he can’t go out of his way to do something first during your turn.
Ending Your Turn
Once you say that you’re done, the turn doesn’t immediately pass to your opponent. Just like you, he or she can play any instants or use abilities by saying “Before you end your turn.”
Remember that any “at the end of your turn” Continuous abilities trigger priority windows which either player can Chase into (the turn player gets first priority to chase). If multiple “at the end of your turn” abilities trigger, the turn player has to make clear on the order that these triggers are happening to avoid confusion.
Once everything’s clear and resolved, check if you have more than seven cards in your hand. Discarding is the very last thing that will happen at the end of your turn, and there’s no priority window after it.
And that’s it, congratulations on surviving your turn! I hope this guide helps you in making the most out of your turns. Remember to communicate with your opponent regarding what you’re going to do and when to avoid confusion and any misunderstandings.