WeiB Schwarz Comprehensive Manual (Version 1.79, revised 4/23/2018)
Red denotes changes from previous release.

(You can link to specific parts with "#" and the exact line number. For example, "http://www.heartofthecards.com/ws/manual.html#8.1" or "#10.")

1. Game Outline
1.1 Number of Players
1.1.1 The game is played by exactly 2 players. There are no official rules for 1, or 3+ players.

1.2 Winning and Losing
1.2.1 You win the game if your opponent loses and you do not also lose in the same check timing.
1.2.2 If a player fulfills a loss condition, the next time a rule process (section 9) is performed, the player loses due to rule process.
1.2.2.1 If you have 4+ cards in Level Zone, you have fulfilled a loss condition.
1.2.2.2 If you have zero cards in Library and zero cards in your Waiting Room at the same time, you have fulfilled a loss condition.
1.2.3 If both players fulfill one or more lose conditions during the same check timing, the game is a draw - regardless of type, number, or priority of conditions.
1.2.4 Any player can concede at any point, regardless of check timing. If you concede, you immediately lose, without waiting for the next check timing.
1.2.4.1 Conceding cannot be affected by cards - no cards can force a player to concede. You cannot un-concede.
1.2.5 Cards that cause a player to win or lose (for example, an effect that says "you win") do so without waiting for next check timing.

1.3 Major Guidelines
1.3.1 If a card text conflicts with the comprehensive rules, and does not have official errata, the card takes precedence.
1.3.2 If a player is asked to fulfill an action that is impossible, then it is not carried out. If an effect asks you to carry out a one or more actions, and some of them cannot be accomplished, carry out as many actions fully, and as much of each action as you can.
1.3.2.1 If asked to put a card into a state it is already in, that action is not carried out.
1.3.2.2 If you are asked to do something zero or negative times, you do not do the action at all. If an action is negative , you do not 'do the reverse action' that many times , you simply do not do the action (Example: "Put -2 cards on top of our Library" does not mean "Draw 2 cards")
1.3.3 If a card tells you to do an action, but an existing effect prohibits you, the prohibition takes precedence. (if an effect tells you to draw 2 cards and discard 1 card from your hand to the Waiting Room, and you are prohibited by an effect from drawing cards, you do not draw any cards, and you discard 1 card)
1.3.4 If two players need to make a choice due to a single action, the player whose turn it is makes their choices first, then the opposing player. The opposing player may wait until the first player has made their choices and then act with the knowledge of those choices.
1.3.5 If an effect asks you to choose a number, you must choose an integer, zero or higher. No negatives, no decimals.

2. Card Structure
2.1 Card Name
2.1.1 This is the official name of the card.
2.1.1.1 There may be furigana above kanji in a card's name - this is not part of the card name.
2.1.1.2 If a card name has text that is crossed out in the official printing, the portion that is crossed out is not considered part of the card name, nor is it an optional part of the card name. Example: Midboss from Disgaea (which has "Vyers" crossed out in the name field) would not be affected by cardtext that effects cards with "Vyers" in their name.
2.1.2 Text in square brackets / double quotes refer to exact card name.
2.1.2.1 Any ability that says 'card name that includes "(text)"' or 'with "(text)" in name', and name is in quotes, refers only to cards with (text) in that card's name field. Text that includes part of a proper name is case-insensitive. Due to the vagaries between Japanese and English, should a certain combination of letters not be specific enough to denote cards that can be targeted, a set modifier will be included as well.

2.2 Illustration
2.2.1 Illustration represents the art on the card.
2.2.2 Illustration does not in any way affect gameplay, even if it has words, colors, or symbols that closely match ones found in the game.
2.2.3 Flavor text is considered part of the illustration.

2.3 Card Type
2.3.1 This shows what type of card this card is.
2.3.2 There are three types of cards: Character, Event, and Climax. An abbreviation of the card's type is written to the left of card's name in white text, on a black background.
2.3.2.1 A card that has type 'Character' represents a character or person.
2.3.2.1.1 Character Cards have CH to the left of the card name.
2.3.2.1.2 Any card text that says "Characters" without a zone specified refers to "Cards with type 'Character' on the Stage".
2.3.2.2 Events are events that happen during the course of the game.
2.3.2.2.1 Event cards have EV to the left of the card name.
2.3.2.3 Climax cards represent something dramatic happening during the course of the game.
2.3.2.3.1 Climax cards have CX to the left of the card name.
2.3.2.3.2 Any card text that says "Climax" without a zone specified refers to "Cards with type 'Climax' in the Climax Zone".

2.4 Color
2.4.1 This is the color of this card.
2.4.2 The color of a card may be relevant with regards to restrictions on playing cards. Refer to the 'Playing a Card' section later in these rules.

2.5 Traits
2.5.1 Info on traits. Only character cards have this information.
2.5.2 Traits do not have special meanings in the rules themselves. Other cards may affect cards based on these traits.
2.5.3 Effect texts that have <<(text)>> without another definition within them (or ::(text):: in card translations) are referring to a trait.

2.6 Level
2.6.1 This is the required level in order to play this card. Cards with the types "Character" and "Event" have this information.
2.6.2 The level of a card may be relevant with regards to restriction on playing cards. Refer to the 'Playing a Card' section later in these rules.
2.6.3 Cards with the type "Climax" do not have a spot indicating its level. The level of these cards are 0.

2.7 Cost
2.7.1 The required cost to play this card is shown in the Cost area. Cards with the types "Character" and "Event" have this information.
2.7.2 To play this card, you must move this number of cards noted in the Cost area from your Stock to the Waiting Room. Refer to 'Playing a Card' section later in these rules.

2.8 Icons
2.8.1 Icons that indicates card abilities will be present here.
2.8.2 A card that has a Counter icon means that it can be used during your opponent's turn during the Counter Step.
2.8.2.1 Unless otherwise specified, cards with a counter icon can be used during your own turn.
2.8.3 A card that has a Clock icon means that the card has abilities that are only meaningful when the card is in the Clock (section 3.8).

2.9 Power
2.9.1 This number is the strength of this card in battle. Refer to 'Attack and Battle' later in the rules for details. Only character cards have this information.

2.10 Soul
2.10.1 The number of Soul icons in the Soul area shows the base damage this card would deal against the opposing player. Refer to 'Attack and Battle' later in the rules for details. Only character cards have this information.
2.10.2 Soul value is not shown as a numeric number, but rather as a number of Soul icons.

2.11 Trigger icon
2.11.1 These icons show the effects that occur when this card is revealed during the trigger step as part of the Attack Phase. Refer to 'Attack and Battle' later in the rules.

2.12 Rule text
2.12.1 The static abilities the card has are shown here.
2.12.2 Text on different card types, unless specified otherwise, are only valid in certain Zones.
2.12.2.1 Any rule text on a Character card is only active when that character card is on the Stage unless otherwise noted on the card.
2.12.2.2 Any rule text on a Climax card is only active when it is in the Climax Zone unless otherwise noted on the card.
2.12.3 If a rule text has words in ( ), those words refer to explanation and/or example only. While such text is part of rule text, it does not affect the game.

2.13 Property
2.13.1 The original body of work (show/manga/game/etc.) that the card's illustration originates from is the Property. Generally, the Property is shown to the right of the card name if it is a Character or Event, and in the upper-right hand corner for a Climax card.
2.13.2 Property has no specific meaning in these terms, however, cards may refer to it for effects.

2.14 Collection ID
2.14.1 The card's ID number. This is to the right of the card type, and shown as an alphanumeric sequence.
2.14.2 Collection ID has no meaning within these rules.

2.15 Rarity
2.15.1 The chance of this particular card being in any individual pack. This is shown in English to the right of the collection ID.
2.15.2 Rarity has no meaning within these rules.

2.16 Illustrator
2.16.1 The artist of the illustration of this card. It is written at the bottom of the card.
2.16.2 Illustrator has no meaning within these rules.

2.17 Copyright
2.17.1 The Copyright for the card. It is at the very bottom of the card.
2.17.2 Copyright has no meaning within these rules.

2.18 Side
2.18.1 The background color of the illustrator and the copyright section shows if this is WeiB side or Schwarz side.
2.18.1.1 If the background is white, this card belongs to WeiB side.
2.18.1.2 If the background is white, this card belongs to Schwarz side.
2.18.1.3 If the background is a gradation changing from white to black, this card belongs to both WeiB side and Schwarz side.
2.18.2 The Side has no meaning in the rules, however it may be referred to by effects.

3. Game Zones
3.1 Basic Zone Rules
3.1.1 Unless otherwise noted, each player has their own instance of each Zone.
3.1.2 The number of cards in each Zone is public knowledge.
3.1.3 Depending on Zone, the content (information on the face of the card) of the cards may be open to all players, or no players. This is known as an open Zone or closed Zone.
3.1.4 Unless a card is moved within its own type of Zone, all cards when moved to a different Zone are considered a new copy of that card. Cards do not 'remember' effects or states between Zones.
3.1.5 If multiple cards are placed into the same Zone at the same time, unless otherwise specified, the owner of the card chooses the order they come into that Zone.
3.1.5.1 If multiple cards are moved from an open Zone to a closed Zone, and the order is determined by the card's owner, then no other players may know the order they were put into that closed Zone.
3.1.6 If for some reason a card is moved into a Zone without mention of which player's instance of the Zone, it is assumed to go to the owner's instance of that Zone.

3.2 Library
3.2.1 This is the Zone where your deck goes at the beginning of the game.
3.2.2 The Library is a closed Zone. Stack the cards that go here facedown. Neither player may see the content or order of cards, nor can they change the order.
3.2.3 If multiple cards from the Library are moved by the same effect, they are moved 1 at a time.
3.2.3.1 If for whatever reason an action asks to move more cards from the Library than there are currently in the Library, you first move all cards in the Library to the Zone specified, perform Library Refresh (9.2), and then continue the move action. Repeat this until the number of cards required has been fulfilled. (In the Disgaea English Trial Deck, Library is referred to as "Deck")
3.2.4 When an effect asks for a library to be shuffled, change the order of card(s) in that library randomly. Regardless of who the controller of the effect is, this is to be carried out by the player who owns that library.
3.2.5 Cards that are shown from the Library Zone via effects that move them to the Resolving Zone ("flipped over") cause them to leave the Library Zone. (Translation note: While Heart of the Cards does, English edition does not distinguish between "flipped over" ('mekuri') and "revealed" ('koukai') cards. Both are translated on English Edition cards as "reveal". Flipped over cards move to the Resolution Zone. Revealed cards do not move)

3.3 Hand
3.3.1 The hand is where a player puts cards drawn from the Library.
3.3.2 It is a closed Zone, however a player may look at the contents of their own hand freely, and may freely alter the order of their own cards.
3.3.3 If the number of cards in the current player's hand exceeds the hand limit (3.3.3.1) at the end of the End Phase (6.8), the player must discard 1 at a time into the Waiting Room until the hand limit is met.
3.3.3.1 Unless other effects dictate, both players' hand limit is 7.

3.4 Waiting Room
3.4.1 Character cards removed from stage, used event and Climax cards, as well as cards paid as cost are placed in this Zone.
3.4.2 This is an open Zone. Cards in this Zone are stacked face up. All players may see the contents of this Zone. The owner of this Zone may change the order of cards freely. If you place a card in this Zone, you place it on top of the cards in this Zone.

3.5 Stage
3.5.1 This is the Zone where characters are placed.
3.5.2 There are five Slots in this Zone. All cards in the Slots also belong at the same time to the Stage they are in.
3.5.3 This is an open Zone.

3.6 Slots
3.6.1 This is the area where characters are actually placed. Each player has five.
3.6.2 These are open Zones. Cards in these Zones are played face up. There is usually only one card per Slot at any one time.
3.6.3 There are three Front Row (Center Stage) Slots, and two Back Row Slots. Front Row Slots are labeled Left, Center, Right going from player's left to right, and Back Row Slots are labeled Left and Right going from player's left to right..
(3.6.3.1 Note that in the printed English the Disgaea / Madoka / Fate Zero English Trial Decks, "center stage" refers to all three Slots in the Front Row. In all Heart of the Cards translations, the Front Row is called the "Front Row".)
3.6.4 Front Row Left and Center are "in front of" Back Row Left. Front Row Right and Center are "in front of" Back Row Right. Back Row Left is "Behind" Front Row Left and Center. Back Row Right is "Behind" Front Row Right and Center. This is for the purpose of effects that target cards "in front of" and "behind".
3.6.5 Your own Front Row Left and your opponent's Front Row Right, your Front Row Right and your opponent's Front Row Left, and Front Row Center and your opponent's Front Row Center are pairs that are "opposite" of each other.

3.7 Marker Zone
3.7.1 These are Zones where cards may be placed by effects. Each player has five Marker Zones, corresponding to the five Slots on their stage, on a one-to-one basis.
3.7.1.1 Marker Zones have the same position relationships as Slot relationships.
3.7.1.2 Even though Marker Zones correspond to Slots, they are not considered to be part of the Stage but are instead their own zones.
3.7.2 All Marker Zones are closed Zones. By default, cards placed here are stacked face-down, neither player can view the contents, and neither player may change the order of the cards. When cards are placed to this Zone, they are placed on top of other cards already existing in this Zone. When cards are removed from Marker Zone, they are removed one at a time from the top down.
3.7.2.1 There may be cases where a player is instructed to put a Marker-to-be card face-up. In those cases, that Marker is placed in the Marker Zone face-up, and all players may see the content of that card.
3.7.2.2 If an effect puts multiple cards to the Marker Zone at the same time, they may be placed in any order on top of Marker(s) already in that Marker Zone, if any).
3.7.3 If a card in a Slot changes Zones, and there are card(s) in the Marker Zone corresponding to the original Slot, then those card(s) will move with the original card that moved.
3.7.3.1 If a card in a Slot is moved to another Slot controlled by the same player, then card(s) in the Marker Zone corresponding to the origin Slot move to the Marker Zone corresponding to the destination Slot. If there are already markers in the Marker Zone (and not simultaneously moving away), all the markers originally in that new Marker Zone are placed in the Waiting Room of their owner.
3.7.3.2 If a card in a Slot is moved to a Zone that is not another Slot controlled by the same player, then card(s) in the Marker Zone corresponding to the origin Slot are moved simultaneously to the Waiting Room of their owner.
3.7.4 When there's a character in a Slot, and there are cards in the Marker Zone corresponding with that Slot, that character is considered to be "with Marker(s)".

3.8 Clock Zone (Clock)
3.8.1 Cards are placed in the Clock Zone throughout the game, mainly during a player's own Clock Phase, and when a player takes damage.
3.8.2 This Zone is an open Zone. Cards are stacked here face up. The order may not be changed. Cards moved here are placed on the top first.
3.8.3 If you have 7+ cards in this Zone, rule processing dictates that the player counts 7 cards from the bottom, moves one card of those of their choice into the Level Zone, and then moves the other 6 cards into the Waiting Room. Please refer to the "Rule Processing" section later in this document.

3.9 Level Zone
3.9.1 Cards may be placed in this Zone during gameplay, mainly when the Clock reaches 7+ cards and one is moved here.
3.9.2 Level Zone is an Open Zone, but there may be exceptions.
3.9.2.1 Unless otherwise specified, cards placed in Level Zone are placed face-up. Face-up cards in the Level Zone may be freely looked at by any player.
3.9.2.2 Unless otherwise indicated, face-down cards in your own Level Zone may be freely looked at by you. You cannot look at face-down cards in other player's Level Zone.
3.9.2.2.1 Face-down cards in Level Zone are considered to be a blank card with no information whatsoever.
3.9.2.2.2 If a face-down card in Level Zone would be moved to another zone, whether it is moved face-up or face-down depends on the destination zone. If the destination zone is a closed zone, there is no revelation of the content of the face-down card when it is being moved.

3.9.3 If you have 4+ cards in this Zone, you have fulfilled a loss condition.

3.10 Stock Zone
3.10.1 Cards are placed here during the course of game, mainly as a byproduct of revealed Trigger Check cards being placed here.
3.10.2 This is a closed Zone. Cards placed here are stacked face-down, neither player can view the contents, and neither player may change the order of the cards. When cards are placed to this Zone, they are placed on top of other cards already existing in this Zone. When cards are removed from Stock Zone, they are removed one at a time from the top down.

3.11 Climax
3.11.1 Climax cards may be placed here during gameplay.
3.11.2 This is an open Zone. Card(s) placed here are placed face-up. Generally, only a maximum of one card can be in this Zone at any given time.
3.11.3 If a card not of the "Climax" type is to be moved to the Climax Zone, instead that card stays in its current zone without changing zones.
3.11.3.1 If the card to be moved this way is in the Resolution Zone, it is placed in its owner's Waiting Room after the effect with the zone-changing process is completely resolved.


3.12 Memory
3.12.1 During gameplay, card effects that place other cards or themselves into this Zone are referred to as "sent to Memory".
3.12.2 Memory is an open Zone, however exceptions exist for certain cards.
3.12.2.1 Unless otherwise instructed, cards put into Memory are placed face-up. Face-up cards in Memory can be looked at by both players, and their orders can be freely changed.
3.12.2.2 Unless otherwise indicated, face-down cards in your own Memory can be freely looked at by you. You cannot look at face-down cards in other player's Memory. If there are multiple face-down cards in Memory, they need to be differentiated as to which card was placed there in which order.
3.12.2.2.1 Face-down cards in Memory are considered to be a blank card with no information whatsoever. However, if that card has an ability explicitly stating that the ability would function even while face-down in Memory, that ability is considered to be valid.
3.12.2.2.2 If a face-down card in Memory would be moved to another zone, whether it is moved face-up or face-down depends on the destination zone. If the destination zone is a closed zone, there is no revelation of the content of the face-down card when it is being moved.
3.12.3 Some texts and rules may refer to cards placed in this zone as Memory.

3.13 Resolution Zone
3.13.1 This is a Zone where cards are temporarily placed while an effect activates or damage is resolving.
3.13.1.1 Event card that is played is first placed into the Resolution Zone and then moved to the Waiting Room once its effect is completed.
3.13.1.2 Cards revealed during a trigger check are put in the Resolution Zone, then into Stock after trigger effect is applied.
3.13.1.3 Cards revealed from the top of Library due to damage process are temporarily placed into the Resolution Zone. If damage cancellation occurs, these cards are moved to their owner's Waiting Room, otherwise they are moved to their owner's Clock.
3.13.1.3.1 If multiple cards are moved to the Clock Zone from the Resolution Zone, then all cards are moved in the original order as when they were placed in the Resolution Zone.
3.13.1.4 Cards revealed due to Focus/Brainstorm (10.7) effects are temporarily placed into the Resolution Zone, and then moved to the Waiting Room afterwards.
3.13.2 Resolution Zone is an open Zone. Cards placed to this Zone are placed face-up, and while both players can view the contents of those cards, neither player may change the order of the cards. When cards are placed to this Zone, they are placed on top of other cards already existing in this Zone.

4. Basic Glossary
4.1 Abilities and Effects
4.1.1 "Ability" means the operation caused by cardtext or other effects.
4.1.1.1 There are three ability types: Continuous, Startup and Auto. Refer to "playing and resolving abilities" later in this manual.
4.1.2 "Effect" is the content of the operation caused by the ability.
4.1.2.1 There are three types of effects. Instant, Continuous, Replacement. Please refer to playing and resolving abilities later in this manual.

4.2 Owner
4.2.1 The physical owner of a cards.
4.2.2 The owner is the person who has the deck that included that specific card at the beginning of the game.
4.2.3 At the end of the game, each player collects all cards that they are the owner of, and returns them to their deck.

4.3 Controller (Master)
4.3.1 The controller is the player that is currently using a card, ability, or effect.
4.3.2 The controller of a card in a Zone is the player who owns that Zone.
4.3.3 The controller of an effect is the controller of the ability that created that effect.
4.3.4 The controller of a startup ability is the person who played that ability.
4.3.5 The controller of an auto ability is the controller of the card that caused the ability and controller of the effect that is caused by the auto ability.
4.3.6 The controller of an continuous ability is the controller of the card that caused the ability and the controller of the effect that is caused by the continuous ability.

4.4 Check Timing
4.4.1 Check timing is when rule processing and auto abilities happen.
4.4.2 During check timing, complete all rule processing. Then check which auto abilities trigger, and then those auto abilities are played and resolved.

4.5 Play Timing
4.5.1 The times when a player can choose to act, or choose to not act.
4.5.2 Before play timing is given to a player, check timing is done before it. After check timing, the player then gains a play timing.
4.5.3 The player that has play timing may choose to do an action, or nothing.
4.5.3.1 If an action is chosen to be performed, then after it is resolved, unless specified, the player is given play timing again.
4.5.3.2 If player chooses to perform no action, then the game continues.

4.6 Card State
4.6.1 All characters on the stage are in one of the following three states.
4.6.1.1 Stand state: the state where the card is vertical, text on the closest to the bottom of the stage from the owner of the stage's point of view. Putting the card in this state is 'to stand'.
4.6.1.1.1 In text, 'to stand' may be referred to with the Stand Icon (miniature card with an arrow pointing up).
4.6.1.2 Rest state: the state where the card is horizontal, text on the left of the owner. Putting the card in this state is 'to rest'.
4.6.1.2.1 In text, 'to rest' may be referred to with the Rest Icon (miniature card with arrow pointing right).
4.6.1.3 Reverse state: the state where the card is vertical, text on the top as viewed by the owner (upside-down). Putting the card in this state is 'to reverse'.
4.6.1.3.1 In text, 'to reverse' may be referred to with the Reverse Icon (miniature card with arrow pointing down).

4.7 Drawing cards
4.7.1 "Drawing (cards)" is an action that moves a card from the library to the hand.
4.7.2 If instructed to "Draw a card" or "Draw 1 card", the instructed player moves the top card from his or her Library to his or her hand without revealing it to the opponent.
4.7.3 If instructed to "Draw N cards", do nothing if N is 0. If N is 1 or greater, perform "Draw a card" N times.
4.7.4 If instructed to "Draw up to N cards", do nothing if N is 0. If N is 1 or greater, the instructed player performs the following action.
4.7.4.1 The player may end the action.
4.7.4.2 The player draws a card.
4.7.4.3 If during the current action, 4.7.4.2 has been chosen N times, end the action. Otherwise, return to 4.7.4.

4.8 Looking at Cards from Top of the Library
4.8.1 "Look at cards from top of the Library" is an action that checks the information of cards in the Library.
4.8.2 If instructed to "look at N cards from top of the Library", do nothing if N is 0. If N is 1 or greater, the instructed player may gain the knowledge of the top N cards of that Library.
4.8.3 If instructed to "look at up to N cards from top of the Library", do nothing if N is 0. If N is 1 or greater, the instructed player performs the following action.
4.8.3.1 The player may end the action.
4.8.3.2 The player may look at (1 + the number of times 4.8.3.3 is reached) cards from top of the Library.
4.8.3.3 If during the current action, 4.8.3.2 has been chosen N times, end the action. Otherwise, return to 4.8.3.1.

4.9 Revealing cards from top of the library
4.9.1 "Revealing cards from top of the library" is an action to reveal the information of card(s) currently in the library.
4.9.2 If instructed to "reveal N cards from top of the library", do nothing if N is 0. If N is 1 or higher, you may reveal the information of the top N cards of the library.
4.9.3 If instructed to "reveal up to N cards from top of the library", do nothing if N is 0. If N is 1 or greater, the instructed player performs the following action.
4.9.3.1 The player may end the action.
4.9.3.2 The player may reveal (1 + the number of times 4.9.3.3 is reached) cards from top of the Library.
4.9.3.3 If during the current action, 4.9.3.2 has been chosen N times, end the action. Otherwise, return to 4.9.3.1.

4.10 Damage Processing
4.10.1 Any action that says "Deal N Damage to a Player" is called "Damage Processing". The following is how this is done.
4.10.1.1 The player receiving damage moves 1 card from top of their Library to the Resolution Zone, face up.
4.10.1.2 If the card moved there is a Climax, then all cards that were moved to the Resolution Zone during this damage processing (including this Climax card) are moved to the Waiting Room, and this damage processing ends. This is "Damage Cancelling".
4.10.1.2.1 If Damage Cancelling occurs, it is noted on card as "Damage is Cancelled."
4.10.1.3 If the number of cards moved to the Zone now equals N cards, all cards moved by this damage processing are then moved to the Clock in the same order that they moved to the Resolution Zone, and this ends damage processing. If this is not the case, return to 4.9.1.1.
4.10.2 If the instruction did not include the words "deal damage", and cards were placed into Clock Zone from another Zone, this is not considered Damage Processing, so Damage Processing / Cancelling cannot occur.

4.11 Damage Source
4.11.1 Cardtext may refer to "the source of the damage". this is defined as follows:
4.11.1.1 During the damage step of the Attack Phase, the attacking Character that caused damage is the source.
4.11.1.2 Damage dealt to a player by an event card or other card abilities, unless otherwise specified, causes that event or card containing the cardtext to be the source of the damage.
4.11.1.2.1 Soul given by trigger icons does not do damage, it increases the attacking Character's Soul. Damage done by trigger icons (such as Fire) is done by the card with the trigger icon on it.
4.11.1.2.2 Players do not cause damage, only cards cause damage.

4.12 Trigger
4.12.1 Trigger Icons on cards have actions associated with them. Normally, this is carried out by the turn player during the Trigger Step (section 7.3), but can also be executed if an effect instructs the controller of the effect to "perform the (Trigger Icon) effect".
4.12.2 The following is the list of actions associated with each Icon.
4.12.2.1 No Icon: No effect.
4.12.2.2 Soul icon: During this turn, the current Attacking Character gets +1 soul. This is mandatory.
4.12.2.3 Return (Whirlwind) icon: The player executing the effect may choose an opponent's character and return it to its owner's hand.
4.12.2.4 Pool (Gold Bag) Icon: The player executing the effect may put the top card from their Library to their Stock. (This card is moved before the trigger card is moved.)
4.12.2.5 Comeback (Door) Icon: The player executing the effect may choose 1 character from their Waiting Room and move it to their hand.
4.12.2.6 Draw (Book) icon: The player executing the effect may draw 1 card.
4.12.2.7 Shot (Fire) Icon: An auto ability with the text "Auto: during this turn, if the next instance of damage that would be dealt by the current Attacking Character is Cancelled, deal 1 damage to the opponent" occurs.
4.12.2.7.1 After the auto ability caused by the Shot trigger happens, if the Attacking Character deals damage prior to it dealing damage during the Damage Step (7.5.1.2), and that damage is cancelled, then this auto ability will trigger. On the other hand, if that damage is not cancelled, even if the damage that the character would deal during Damage Step is cancelled, this effect will not trigger.
4.12.2.7.2 This auto ability is not limited to damage dealt to the opponent. Damage dealt to the player himself or herself can also trigger this ability if it was cancelled.
4.12.2.7.3 If for some reason the character deals damage to multiple players at the same time, this auto ability triggers if any player cancels that damage. However, even if multiple players cancel that damage, this auto ability only triggers once.
4.12.2.8 Treasure (Gold Bar) icon: The card that has this icon is returned to its owner's hand. After this, that player may choose to move one card from the top of Library to Stock.
4.12.2.8.1 The movement of card with this icon is mandatory. Because of this, this card has changed Zones and therefore it cannot be moved to the Stock Zone.
4.12.2.9 Gate (Pants) Icon: The player executing the effect may choose 1 Climax card from their Waiting Room and move it to their own hand.
4.12.2.10 Standby Icon: The player executing the effect may choose among characters in his or her Waiting Room 1 (one) character whose Level is equal to or lower than 1 plus the current Level of the player and put it in any Slot on his or her Stage Rested.
4.12.2.10.1 If desired, the Character chosen this way may be put in a Slot already occupied by another Character. In this case, the Character previously in that Slot is put in the Waiting Room due to the rule process of Multiple Characters (section 9.6)

5. Game Preparation
5.1 Deck Preparation
5.1.1 Each player prepares their own deck from their own cards before the start of the game.
5.1.2 Constructed Decks
5.1.2.1 Decks must consist of exactly 50 cards.
5.1.2.2 Only 4 copies of a card with the same name may be used in the construction of a deck.
5.1.2.2.1 As long as the card names are the same, it does not matter if the cards in question have different illustrations, cardtext, collection ID, and/or other information; a total of 4 of this card name maximum may be used.
5.1.2.3 A deck may have a maximum of 8 Climax cards. As a note, the 4-copies-maximum-for-a-card-name rule is also followed with the Climax cards.
5.1.2.4 There may be continuous effects that affect deck construction. These are considered replacement effects replacing deck construction rules (see 8. Playing and Resolving Cards and Abilities).

5.2 Steps Prior to Game Start
5.2.1 Before game start, each player follows the following steps.
5.2.1.1 Show (facedown, stacked) the opponent the deck you are using for this game, at this time, this deck must comply with all other guidelines set forth in 5.1.
5.2.1.2 Each player shuffles their own deck sufficiently. After that, they are allowed to shuffle the opponent's deck. After that, players are to place their deck facedown into their Library Zone.
5.2.1.3 Randomly decide which player goes first.
5.2.1.3.1 Nothing other than random effects may be used to choose the player that goes first. The chosen player may not choose to go second - random choice determines starting player, not which player decides who starts.
5.2.1.4 Each player draws 5 cards from their Library. This is their initial hand. Starting with the first player, each player may discard any number of cards from their hand to the Waiting Room. Then, they draw the same number of cards fron their Library. This effect is only usable once per player.
5.2.1.5 Each player sets their Refresh Point to zero. This point is used during refresh processing and Refresh Point resolving, and does not directly affect the game.
5.2.1.6 The chosen player becomes the turn player, and game commences.

6. Gameplay
6.1 Turn Play
6.1.1 During game play, there is always one player who is the turn player. The turn player is to follow the following Phase order. The collection of Phases that they follow is called a "turn".

6.2 Stand Phase
6.2.1 The turn player is to stand all characters that they are the controller of. This process is as follows:
6.2.1.1 Trigger conditions that say "start of turn" and "start of Stand Phase" occur. Perform a check timing.
6.2.1.2 The turn player stands all characters on their stage.
6.2.1.3 A check timing occurs. At the conclusion of this check timing, the turn player proceeds to draw Phase.

6.3 Draw Phase
6.3.1 The Phase where the turn player draws one card from their Library. This Phase proceeds as follows.
6.3.1.1 "At the start of Draw Phase" triggers now occur. After that, a check timing occurs
6.3.1.2 The turn player draws 1 card.
6.3.1.3 After that, a check timing occurs. After this resolves, the turn player continues to the Clock Phase.

6.4 Clock Phase
6.4.1 This is when the player may add a card to their Clock Zone. It proceeds as follows.
6.4.1.1 "At the start of Clock Phase" triggers now occur. After that, a check timing occurs
6.4.1.2 The turn player may choose to put 1 card of their choice from hand to the Clock Zone. If they do so, the turn player draws 2 cards.
6.4.1.3 After that, a check timing occurs. At the conclusion of this check timing, the turn player proceeds to Main Phase.

6.5 Main Phase
6.5.1 This is the Phase where the turn player may perform various actions. This is done as follows:
6.5.1.1 "At the start of Main Phase" triggers now occur. After that, a check timing occurs.
6.5.1.2 The turn player is given the play timing (and a check timing that proceeds all play timings). During this play timing, the turn player may choose to do any of the actions detailed below.
6.5.1.2.1 The turn player may specify a Slot on the Stage as they play a character card from their hand. The card played this way is placed face-up in the specified Slot.
6.5.1.2.2 The turn player may play an event card from their hand. The event card is put into the Resolution Zone, and after its effect is complete, is placed in its owner's Waiting Room.
6.5.1.2.3 The turn player may play startup abilities of any character that is in a Slot.
6.5.1.2.4 The turn player may choose two Slots, and swap the cards in those two Slots. The cards are moved at the same time. If one of the Slots does not have any cards in it, the card(s) in the other Slot move to this empty Slot. If neither Slot has any cards in them, nothing happens.
6.5.1.3 If the turn player chooses to perform no action during their play timing, the game advances to Climax Phase.

6.6 Climax Phase
6.6.1 The Phase where the turn player may place a Climax card into their Climax Zone. This phases is done as follows.
6.6.1.1 "At the start of Climax Phase" triggers now occur. After that, a check timing occurs.
6.6.1.2 The turn player is given the play timing (and a check timing that proceeds all play timings).
6.6.1.2.1 The turn player may only play Climax cards from his or her hand at this time.
6.6.1.2.2 If the turn player took an action during this play timing, they are not given the play timing again. In other words, they may play only 1 Climax card during this phase.
6.6.1.3 After that, a check timing occurs. At the end of this, the game advances to Attack Phase.

6.7 Attack Phase
6.7.1 The turn player may choose characters that they are the controller of to attack the opponent. This is detailed in "7. Attack and Battle".

6.8 End Phase
6.8.1 The Phase where end of turn processes are done. The End Phase is done as follows:
6.8.1.1 Among auto abilities with the trigger condition of "at the end of the turn", those that haven't already been triggered so far this turn now trigger, and after that, a check timing occurs.
6.8.1.2 If turn player has more cards in hand than the hand limit, then the turn player discards a number of cards to his or her Waiting Room equal to the number exceeding the hand limit.
6.8.1.3 If turn player has a card in his or her Climax Zone, that card is put into his or her Waiting Room.
6.8.1.4 A check timing occurs. Once all processes needed to be completed during this check timing has been completed, all effects with the duration of either "until the end of the turn" or "for the turn" ends.
6.8.1.5 At this point in time, if (1) the number of cards in hand does not exceed the hand limit, (2) neither auto abilities nor rule processes were resolved in the check timing of 6.8.1.4, (3) among auto abilities with the trigger condition of "at the end of the turn", no trigger condition exist for those that haven't been triggered this turn, and (4) no other trigger condition exists for any other auto abilities, the current turn player's opponent becomes the turn player and begins the stand phase of the next turn. Otherwise, start the End Phase over again from the beginning.

7. Attack and Battle
7.1 Basics
7.1.1 Attacking is when the turn player may attack with characters in their front row that are in the standing position. Attack Phase starts from attack declaration and continues in sequence.
7.1.2 The chain of steps between Attack Declaration Step and Battle Step (or Damage step, if the attack is not Front Attack) is called an Attack Sub-Phase.

7.2 Attack Declaration Step
7.2.1 The step where the turn player declares which character is attacking. This goes as follows.
7.2.1.1 If this is the first attack declaration of this turn, then conditions with "at the start of the Attack Phase" now occur. After that, a check timing occurs.
7.2.1.2 "At the start of Attack Declaration Step" triggers now occur. After that, a check timing occurs.
7.2.1.3 The turn player may choose a character in standing position in the front row and to have it attack. If the player does not have a character than can meet this conditions, or chooses not to pick a character, this attack sub-Phase concludes and proceeds to the Encore Step.
7.2.1.3.1 If this is the first turn by the player who was determined to be the first player, and the turn player has already completed an attack sub-Phase that is not this sub-Phase, the turn player may not choose an character to attack with.
7.2.1.4 The turn player may choose the method in which the chosen character will attack.
7.2.1.4.1 Direct attack: if there is no character in the opposing Slot of this character, then the attack method is automatically a direct attack. During this turn, the character chosen by the turn player to attack receives +1 Soul.
7.2.1.4.2 Front attack / Side attack: if there is a character in the opponsing Slot of the chosen character, the turn player may choose front attack or side attack. If the side attack is chosen, and the opposing character is Level 1 or greater, then during this turn, for each level of the opposing character, the chosen character gets -1 Soul.
7.2.1.4.3 After the attacking method is chosen, even if the character in the opposing Slot changes or is removed form that Slot, the attack method and the associated soul increase / decrease effect still persist. For example, if during a side attack an effect returns the opposing character to the opposing player's hand, the initial soul decrease still applies.
7.2.1.5 Starting at this point, and continuing through this attack sub-Phase, the chosen character has now become "the attacking Character", and now has the "attacks" state, and may be affected by cardtext that refers to "(direct/front/side) attacking Character".
7.2.1.5.1 If front attack was chosen, the character in the opposing Slot is now considered the "defending Character" during this attack sub-Phase. The attacking and defending Characters during this sub-phase are now considered "battling characters" and "characters in battle", and the attacking and defending Characters consider each other to be their "battle opponent".
7.2.1.5.2 When front / side attack is chosen, the character in the opposing Slot is now in the "was attacked" or "is being attacked" state.
7.2.1.5.3 The chosen character is placed into the rest state.
7.2.1.6 After that, a check timing occurs, at the end of that, it becomes the Trigger Step.

7.3 Trigger Step
7.3.1 This is the step in which additional effects from the attacking character's attack are checked. It proceeds as follows.
7.3.1.1 "At the start of Trigger Step" triggers now occur. After that, a check timing occurs.
7.3.1.2 The turn player puts the top card of the Library into the Resolution Zone face up, resolves the effect of the trigger Icon(s) on it (if any) (see section 4.12), then move the card to the top of the Stock Zone face down. This whole action is called a "Trigger Check". If there are multiple icons, all icon effects occur.
7.3.1.3 After this, a check timing occurs. After the end of this check timing, if the attacking method was Front Attack, the game moves to the Counter Step, Otherwise, the game moves to the Damage Step.

7.4 Counter Step
7.4.1 This is the step where the turn player's opponent may perform actions against the turn player's front attack. It proceeds as follows.
7.4.1.1 "At the start of Counter Step" triggers now occur.
7.4.1.2 The turn player's opponent is given play timing. Note that a check timing occurs before each giving of play timing.
7.4.1.2.1 At this timing, the only actions that the turn player's opponent may perform are limited to Event cards and startup abilities of Character cards with the counter icon.
7.4.1.2.2 If the turn player's opponent took an action during this play timing, they are not given the play timing again. In other words, they may play only one action or startup ability during this step.
7.4.1.3 After that, a check timing occurs. After this, the game moves to the Damage Step.

7.5 Damage Step
7.5.1 The opponent of the turn player takes damage from the Attacking Character. This step proceeds as follows.
7.5.1.1 "At the start of Damage Step" triggers now occur. After that, a check timing occurs.
7.5.1.2 The Attacking Character deals damage equal to the number of soul of the Attacking Character.
7.5.1.2.1 If for some reason the attacking Character's Soul is reduced to 0 or below, then that character does not deal damage. There is no such thing as "dealing 0 or negative amounts of damage".
7.5.1.2.2 If for any reason the Attacking Character has (a) left the Stage, (b) changed controller, or (c) moved to another Slot, then the Attacking Character does not deal damage. (Translation note: Some effects may cause Characters to be placed into the Attacking Character's Slot, but the effect often denotes this new / moved character to be an Attacking character, which allows damage to occur during the Damage Step)
7.5.1.3 After that, a check timing occurs. After all processes required to be resolved during this check timing are completed, if the attacking method was Front Attack, game moves to the Battle Step. If not, go to 7.5.1.4.
7.5.1.4 "At the end of the attack" triggers now occur. After that, a check timing occurs. After all processes required to be resolved during this check timing are completed, this Attack Sub-Phase concludes, and the game returns to the Attack Declaration Step.


7.6 Battle Step
7.6.1 The resolution of the battle between the attacking and defending Characters. Proceed as follows.
7.6.1.1 "At the start of Battle Step" triggers now occur. After that, a check timing occurs.
7.6.1.2 Compare the power of the attacking and defending Characters. The character that has the lower power is reversed. If both powers are equal, then both characters are reversed.
7.6.1.3 If for any reason either the Attacking Character or the Defending Character has (a) left the Stage, (b) changed controller, or (c) moved to another Slot, there shall be no power comparison and neither character will reverse as a result of power comparison. (Translation note: Some effects may cause Characters to be placed into the Attacking or Defending Character's Slot, but the effect often denotes this new / moved character to be an Attacking or Defending character, which allows power comparison and reversing to occur)
7.6.1.4 A check timing occurs. After all processes required to be resolved during this check timing are completed, go to 7.6.1.5.
7.6.1.5 "At the end of the attack" triggers now occur. After that, a check timing occurs. After all processes required to be resolved during this check timing are completed, this Attack Sub-Phase concludes, and the game returns to the Attack Declaration Step.


7.7 Encore Step
7.7.1 The step where the characters in Reverse state are put into the Waiting Room. Proceed as follows.
7.7.1.1 "At the start of Encore Step" triggers now occur. After that, a check timing occurs.
7.7.1.2 If there is any reversed character on the turn player's stage, the turn player chooses 1 of those reversed character and moves that card to its owner's Waiting Room. After that, a check timing occurs. After that check timing occurs, 7.7.1.2 is repeated.
7.7.1.3 If there is any reversed character on the non-turn player's stage, the non-turn player chooses 1 of those reversed character and moves that card to its owner's Waiting Room. If a card is moved this way, a check timing occurs, and after that check timing occurs, 7.7.1.2 is repeated.
7.7.1.4 A check timing occurs. At the end of this check timing, if there are still characters in the Reverse state on either player Stage, return to Step 7.7.1.2. If there are no characters in the Reverse state, proceed to the End Phase.

8. Playing and Resolution of Cards and Abilities
8.1 Types of abilities
8.1.1 Abilities are divided into start, auto, and continuous abilities. (Translation note: These are denoted in translations as [S] or 'Startup', [A] or 'Auto', and [C] or 'Continuous' respectively)
8.1.1.1 Startup abilities are abilities that a player with play timing can pay the cost to activate.
8.1.1.1.1 Startup abilities are written on the card as "STARTUP ICON [cost]: effect". Text in the square brackets is the cost to use the startup ability, and the text after that is the effect of the ability on resolution.
8.1.1.1.2 "When you use a startup ability" means "when you resolve a startup ability".
8.1.1.2 Auto abilities are abilities that are automatically activated when the conditions indicated in the ability are met during the course of the game.
8.1.1.2.1 Auto abilities are written as "AUTO ICON (condition it happens), (effect that happens), or "AUTO ICON (at the beginning of a particular Phase or step), (effect that happens)", "AUTO ICON (at the end of a particular Phase or step), (effect that happens)". Auto abilities are marked in these ways. (condition) or (Phase or step) is called the trigger condition, and if a trigger condition is fulfilled, that is called "that ability was triggered" or "that ability was activated".
8.1.1.2.2 There are some Auto Abilities that says "AUTO ICON [cost] (text)" instead of "AUTO ICON (text)". This means that when this ability is resolved, you may choose to pay for the ability according to the text directions. (see 8.7.3)
8.1.1.3 Continuous abilities are abilities that are valid as long as the ability is valid.
8.1.1.3.1 Continuous abilities are marked as "CONTINUOUS ICON" (effect).
8.1.1.4 Icons that indicate the ability types (that is, STARTUP ICON, AUTO ICON, and CONTINUOUS ICON) are collectively called Ability Icon.

8.2 Types of Effects
8.2.1 Effects can be divided into instantaneous effects, continuous effects, and replacement effects.
8.2.1.1 Instantaneous effects are effects that end immediately after resolutions. Examples: "draw 1 card", "put this character into the Waiting Room".
8.2.1.2 Continuous effects are effects that have a duration limit. This includes effects with no written limit. Examples: "a Character in front of this card gets +2000 power", "This character gets +1 Soul for this turn".
8.2.1.3 Replacement effects are effects that when something happens during gameplay, something else is executed instead.
8.2.1.3.1 An ability that has "(when performing A, perform B instead)" is considered to be a replacement effect.
8.2.1.3.2 Abilities that say "(when Action B, you may choose, if you want, to B instead)" are optional replacement effects.

8.3 Valid and invalid abilities
8.3.1 There may be effects that cause other effects to become valid or invalid. In that case the process is as follows.
8.3.2 If one part or a whole ability is rendered invalid under a certain condition, then even though the ability exists, that part or whole ability has no effect. If the effect would force you to make a choice, then the act of choosing is not carried out.
8.3.3 If a part or whole of an effect is valid under a certain condition, and that condition is not met, then that part or whole is considered invalid.

8.4 Cost and Payment of Costs
8.4.1 At the beginning of startup abilities and auto abilities, there may be instructions written in square brackets [ ]. This is called the cost of that ability.
8.4.2 "Paying the Cost" means "executing the action written as the cost".
8.4.2.1 If the cost involves multiple actions, it is paid in sequential order as written. However, between the beginning and end of paying a cost, Reshuffle (9.2) and Level-Up (9.3) processes are not carried out.
8.4.2.2 If either some or all parts of the cost cannot be paid, then you cannot pay for any part of the cost.
8.4.3 If a number in a circle (or in HotC translations, numbers immediately surrounded by parenthesis) is written as part of the cost or text, it means "the controller of the card or the ability puts the indicated number of cards from his or her Stock in the Waiting Room". Likewise, if a text indicates paying a cost with a number in a circle (or in HotC translations, numbers immediately surrounded by parenthesis), it means "the indicated player puts the indicated number of cards from his or her Stock in the Waiting Room".

8.5 Check timing / play timing and abilities / effects
8.5.1 When check timing occurs, proceed as follows:
8.5.1.1 Perform all current rule processing at the same time. Then, if that causes more rule processes, repeat 8.5.1.1.
8.5.1.2 If the turn player is the controller of auto abilities that are waiting to be processed, then the turn player chooses one, resolves it, and returns to 8.5.1.1.
8.5.1.3 If the turn player's opponent is the controller of auto abilities that are waiting to be processed, then the turn player's opponent chooses one, resolves it, and returns to 8.5.1.1.
8.5.1.4 Check timing concludes.
8.5.2 When either player is given play timing, proceed as follows:
8.5.2.1 Check timing occurs. Do the check timing process, after that the play timing is actually given to the player.
8.5.2.2 The player with play timing may choose to perform any possible action, or no action. If an action is chosen, unless otherwise specified, that same player is once again given play timing after the action is completed.
8.5.2.3 When the player that was given play timing, and the player chooses to not perform any action, the play timing concludes and the step or Phase in process continues.

8.6 Playing and resolving of cards and abilities
8.6.1 Startup abilities, auto abilities, as well as cards in hand are resolved when played, and the effect occurs. Continuous effects do not need to be played, because their effects are constantly activated.
8.6.2 When you play a card or ability, follow these steps:
8.6.2.1 Choose the ability or card from hand. If you are playing a card from hand, then you may only play that card if it satisfies both the color requirement and level requirement. If that's the case, you may reveal that card.
8.6.2.1.1 Color requirement means that the card being played matches the color of a card in either the Level Zone or Clock Zone of the player. Cards not meeting this requirement cannot be played.
8.6.2.1.1.1 Level 0 Characters and Level 0 Events do not need to satisfy a color requirement when played.
8.6.2.1.2 Level requirement means that the level of the card being played is less or equal to the number of cards in the player's own Level Zone. Cards not meeting this requirement cannot be played.
8.6.2.1.2.1 The level requirement is ignored when playing a Climax card.
8.6.2.2 If the card or ability requires a choice of some type, the choice is now made.
8.6.2.2.1 If it is a character card from hand is being played to the Stage, a Slot on the Stage must be chosen.
8.6.2.3 If there's a cost associated with this play, the cost is determined and and all costs are paid.
8.6.2.3.1 If the card or startup ability is being played, then you now pay the cost shown.
8.6.2.3.2 If the whole cost cannot be paid, the card or ability cannot be played. No partial costs may be paid.
8.6.2.4 Resolve the card or ability here.
8.6.2.4.1 If it is a character card being played, then the character is placed in the Slot chosen. If there is already a character in that Slot, then the character currently in the Slot is put in the Waiting Room at the next rule processing timing.
8.6.2.4.2 If it was an event card being played, then that card is placed into the Resolution Zone and after the effect, placed in the Waiting Room of the owner.
8.6.2.4.3 If it was a Climax card, it is placed in the player's Climax Zone.
8.6.2.4.4 If it was a startup or auto ability, then execute the effect that was written.
8.6.3 If a card or ability says "Choose ____", then on resolution, choose the card or player that was indicated on the card. This is knows as a "target" or "targets".
8.6.3.1 If a number of something is to be chosen ("choose N"), then choose as many as possible up to that number. If you can choose something as a target, and still have not chosen the number of choices required, you must choose that something over not choosing enough to satisfy that number.
8.6.3.1.1 If the number to choose is written as "choose up to N", then you may choose any number between 0 and the indicated number. (Choosing zero (0) is the same as not choosing any in this case.)
8.6.3.1.2 When you are determining how many to choose, and some of the numbers become unavailable for you to choose, then you choose among possible remaining targets and then effect is applied to the targets that were chosen.
8.6.3.1.3 If the number to choose was determined, and you chose 0 targets, then you chose no targets, In this case, all the effects applied to target or targets are completely ignored.
8.6.3.1.4 If you are to choose cards in a closed Zone, and certain information on the cards is required for the choice, you are not guaranteed that the cards in the closed Zone would have that information. In this case, the player making the choice may elect to not choose cards in that Zone satisfying that condition (whether they exist or not).

8.7 Execution of auto abilities
8.7.1 Auto abilities are abilities that are played at the check timing immediately after the trigger condition of the ability is met.
8.7.2 When the trigger condition is satisfied for an auto ability, then that ability is considered to be 'primed' (waiting to be executed).
8.7.2.1 If the triggering condition is met multiple times, then that ability is primed that many times.
8.7.3 When check timing occurs, and the player is asked to play the auto ability, then the player may choose any primed ability that he is the controller of and play one of them. When the effect resolves, then the number of times that ability has been primed is reduced by one.
8.7.3.1 The playing of auto abilities is mandatory. you may not choose to not play a primed auto ability (it is forced). However, you may choose the order of the primed abilities to be played.
8.7.3.1.1 If an auto ability asks you to pay a cost in order to play it, if you are not forced to pay for that ability, you may choose not to pay for that ability, and not play that auto ability.
8.7.3.2 If for some reason you are unable to play the chosen primed auto ability, then the number of times that ability is primed is reduced by 1.
8.7.3.2.1 If you have the option of paying a cost to play an auto ability and you choose not to pay to play the ability, then the number of times that ability is primed is reduced by 1.
8.7.4 There are auto abilities that have trigger conditions based on cards moving between Zones. These are called Zone movement triggers.
8.7.4.1 The auto abilities that have Zone movement triggers may ask for the information off the card that triggered that ability. If so, follow these steps:
8.7.4.1.1 If the info is on a card that is moving from closed Zone to open Zone, or open Zone to closed Zone, then that information referred to is from the card that was in the open Zone.
8.7.4.1.2 If a card is moved from the stage to another Zone, or causes the controller of the card to change, the information comes from the state of the card when it was on the stage before it moves.
8.7.4.1.3 Any movement of cards other than the kind in 8.7.4.1.1 or 8.7.4.1.2 will check the state after it is moved.
8.7.5 If an effect causes a trigger to happen after a certain time ("the next time _____"), these are time-limit triggers,
8.7.5.1 Unless specified, they can only trigger once.
8.7.6 There are auto abilities that may trigger on certain conditions being met instead of certain things happening ("when you have no cards in your hand", for example). These are condition triggers,
8.7.6.1 Condition triggers are primed once when that condition is met. When the auto ability resolved, if the condition is still met, the ability is primed again.
8.7.7 When you play a primed auto ability, even if the card that has the auto ability changes Zone, you still must play the auto ability. If the Zone change makes the effect impossible to be carried out, then that ability would fail to resolve.

8.8 Processing instantaneous effects
8.8.1 If asked to carry out an instantaneous effect, then that action is carried out a single time.

8.9 Processing continuing effects
8.9.1 If a continuous effect is asking for a card's information, then follow these steps to apply the continuous effects:
8.9.1.1 The info written on the cards themselves is considered the base value.
8.9.1.2 Among the continuous effects, abilities that do not change a value used for information is applied first.
8.9.1.3 After that, the continuous effects that change values are applied at the same time. Example: Character A (3000 Power) has a character behind it that has a continuous Support effect that says "for all your characters in front of this card, if they have 3000 or less power, they get +500 power". Character A has 3500 power. This is the end of this ability's application.
8.9.1.4 There may be abilities that may not be clear in the order of application based on 8.9.1.1-8.9.1.3. However, when effect A and effect B are both valid and B's application (in terms of whether it applies and how it applies) is dependent on whether effect A is applied first or not, effect B is considered to be reliant on effect A. Effects reliant on other effects are processed after the effects they are reliant on.
Example: Character A is in the front row center slot, a character B behind it with the ability "[C] ASSIST Characters in front of this gain ::Love::.", and a Character C also behind Character A with the ability "[C] ASSIST Characters in front of this with ::Love:: gain the ability '[A] ENCORE [Discard a Character card from your hand to Waiting Room]". Regardless of the order in which B and C are placed to the Slots, Character A will gain the ENCORE Ability given by the ASSIST ability.
8.9.1.5 If the order in which multiple continuous effects should apply still cannot be determined via 8.9.1.1-8.9.1.4, then they are applied based on the timestamp order of the effect first occurring.
8.9.1.5.1 If the source of the continuous effect was a continuous ability, then the 'timestamp' is based on when it was placed into its current Zone. However, continuous effects from characters in Slots are timestamped based on when they were last moved to a Slot from a non-Slot area.
8.9.1.5.2 All other abilities are based on when they were played.
Example: Character A (3000 Power) has a character behind it that has a continuous effect "[C] ASSIST All your Characters in front of this gain +500 Power". Character A now has 3500 Power. At this point, if an event that says "choose 1 character, during that turn that character has 0 Power" is played with Character A being chosen, then during this turn, Character A has 0 Power (as the +500 came 'before' the zeroing effect).
8.9.2 Continuous effects caused by non-continuous abilities only apply to cards that were played before the ability was played.
Example: you played an event that said "all your characters gain +1000 Power for this turn." and then you play a character that has 3000 Power. That character still only has 3000 power, as the +1000 Power event does not apply to it.
8.9.3 Continuous effects that change the information on cards in certain Zones causes cards in that Zone to have their information changed as soon as they enter that Zone.
8.9.3.1 An auto ability that refers to cards that may have specific information checks for that information only after continuous effects have applied.

8.10 Process of replacement effects
8.10.1 When the replacement effect occurs, then the event that the replacement effect applies to does not occur, and instead the event indicated by the replacement effect occurs.
8.10.1.1 Because of this, the original event is considered to have never taken place.
8.10.2 If there are multiple replacement effects applying to the same event, then the player who owns the cards that is being affected chooses the order of replacement effects.
8.10.2.1 If the event being affected is a card or ability, then it is the controller of the card or ability that chooses the order of effects.
8.10.2.2 If the affected event is an action during the game, then the player who performed the action or who is the master of the card that the action applies to will make the decisions.
8.10.2.3 For each event, each replacement effect can only apply a maximum of one time.
8.10.3 If the replacement effect is a optional effect ("when ___, then you may choose to _____, then if that is the case____") and you cannot make that choice, then this replacement effect does not apply.

8.11 Final information
8.11.1 If an effect is referring to a specific card's information or state, and when the effect is executed that card has moved from that Zone (excluding moving between Slots), then that effect refers to the card's information and state when it was last in that Zone right before moving from that Zone.

8.12 CX Combo Icon
8.12.1 CX COMBO Icon, if present, is located immediately after the icon indicating the type of the ability. This icon indicates that the ability is associated with a climax card with a specific name. This icon has no specific meaning within these rules.

9. Rule Process
9.1 Rule processing basics
9.1.1 Rule processing is when certain events happen during the course of gameplay. The process required to handle the rules of the game is called rule processing.
9.1.2 There are two types of rule processing: interrupt-type and check-type.
9.1.2.1 Interrupt type activates whenever the condition that would cause this to be processed occurs. At the point, the interrupt interrupts all actions being processed at the moment. Once this interrupt ends, actions resume resolving at that point.
9.1.2.1.1 If multiple interrupt-type rule processes are required to be resolved at the same time, they are resolved in the following way.
9.1.2.1.1.1 If multiple controllers are involved in the cards/zones in question, the turn player will resolve the interrupt-type rule processes involving his or her cards/zones before the non-turn player does the same.
9.1.2.1.1.2 If the same player has multiple interrupt-type processes involving only his or her cards/zones, that player chooses the order in which the processes are resolved.
9.1.2.2 The check rule process is only checked at the check timing, and executed when conditions are met. Even if the condition is met in the middle of other actions, as long as the condition is not met during the check timing, the rule is not processed.
9.1.2.2.1 If there are multiple check-type rule processes required to be resolved at the same time, then all are executed at the same time.

9.2 Library Refresh (reshuffle process)
9.2.1 Reshuffle processing is executed whenever a player has 0 cards in their Library. This is an interrupt-type process.
9.2.2 A player who has 0 cards in their Library moves all cards from their Waiting Room to their Library facedown, and then shuffles the Library. Afterwards, the player increases their own Refresh Point by 1.
9.2.2.1 At the moment when there are 0 cards in the Library, and that player also has 0 cards in the Waiting Room, and that player is in the middle of damage processing, and there is no Climax card in the Resolution Zone, then that player loses the game instead. If that is not the case, then you conclude this refresh process. In this case, until there are cards in the Waiting Room and there are 0 cards in the Library, you do not perform another Library Refresh.
9.2.3 Between the start and end of paying a cost (8.4.2), Library Refresh is not performed.
9.2.4 To execute the refresh processing may be referred to in text as to "refresh".

9.3 Level up process
9.3.1 Level up process is executed whenever a player has 7 or more cards in their Clock Zone. This is an interrupt-type process.
9.3.2 The player with 7+ cards in their Clock Zone chooses a card from the bottom 7 cards of their Clock Zone. The chosen card is moved to the top of their Level Zone, and the other 6 at the bottom of their Clock Zone are moved to the Waiting Room in the order their controller wishes.
9.3.3 Between the start and end of paying a cost (8.4.2), Level up is not performed.

9.4 Loss determination process
9.4.1 At the start of a rule process, whenever a player meets either of the loss condition below, then all players that are meeting a loss condition lose. This is a check type process.
9.4.1.1 Whenever a player has 4+ cards in their Level Zone, they meet a loss condition.
9.4.1.2 Whenever a player has 0 cards in their Library, and 0 cards in their Waiting Room, they meet a loss condition.

9.5 0-power character process
9.5.1 Whenever a character has 0 or less power, then that character is moved to the Waiting Room of its owner. This is a check type process.

9.6 Multiple character process
9.6.1 If a Slot is occupied by multiple characters, then all characters in that Slot excluding the character most recently moved to that Slot are placed in their respective owner's Waiting Room. This is a check-type process.
9.6.2 If for some reason there are multiple most recently moved characters in that Slot, then all characters in that Slot are placed in their owner's Waiting Room.

9.7 Multiple Climax process
9.7.1 If a Climax Zone is occupied by multiple Climax cards, then all Climax cards in that Zone excluding the Climax card most recently moved to that Zone are placed in their respective owner's Waiting Room. This is a check-type process.
9.7.2 If for some reason there are multiple Climax cards most recently moved to that Zone in that Zone, then all Climax cards in that Zone are placed in their owner's Waiting Room.

9.8 Unconnected marker process
9.8.1 If for some reason there are cards in a particular Marker Slot, and the spot in the corresponding Slot has no character, then all cards in that Marker Zone are placed in their respective owner's Waiting Room. This is a check-type process.

9.9 Refresh Point resolution
9.9.1 Whenever a player has 1+ Refresh Point(s), that player moves the top card of their Library to their Clock Zone, then reduces their Refresh Point count by 1. This is a check-type process.

10. Keyword and Keyword abilities
10.1 Alarm
10.1.1 Alarm is a keyword that has the effect "when this card is the top card in the Clock Zone, then ____ becomes valid". The word "alarm" itself is not an ability, and has no effect meaning.
10.1.2 Abilities that have the text "(Ability Icon) Alarm (text)" are all abilities that have the keyword Alarm.

10.2 Encore
10.2.1 Encore is an Auto Ability that is triggered by the movement of the card from the stage to the Waiting Room.
10.2.2 "Encore [cost]" means "[cost]: When this character is moved from the stage to the Waiting Room you may pay 'cost'. If you do so, then move this card from the Waiting Room to the Stage by placing this card in the Slot on the stage that it was before in the Rest state."
10.2.3 Unless otherwise specified, all characters have "AUTO Encore [3]".

10.3 Assist
10.3.1 Assist is a continuous ability that happens when the card that has this ability is placed in the back row.
10.3.2 "Assist (text)" means "As long as this character is in a Slot in the Back row, then (text) becomes valid."

10.4 Bond
10.4.1 Bond is an auto ability that allows a player to pay certain costs to return specific cards from the Waiting Room to their hand when this card is played to the stage.
10.4.2 "Bond / (cardname) [cost]" means "when this card is played to a Slot in the stage you may pay [cost]. If you do so, you may move 1 card with the name (cardname) from the Waiting Room to your hand".

10.5 Backup
10.5.1 Backup is a startup ability that may be played during the counter step of an attack sub-phase when (a) one of the turn player's opponent's characters is Front Attacked and (b) that player (the turn player's opponent) has a card in their hand that has this ability.
10.5.2 "Backup (X) Level (Y) [cost]" means "[cost]: Choose a character that you are the controller of that is being Front Attacked. During this turn, that character gets +X Power. This ability may only be played during your opponent's Counter Step, and only if your Level is Y or higher."
10.5.3 "When you use BACKUP" means "when a BACKUP ability has been resolved".
10.5.4 Note that the Backup Ability specifically is allowed if the "Level is Y or higher" requirement is met - color is not a requirement for using a Backup Ability.


10.6 Great Effort (or Bodyguard)
10.6.1 Great Effort is a continuous ability that limits the opponent's attack when the Character that has this ability is in a particular Slot.
10.6.2 "Great Effort" means "So long as this character is in the Front Center Slot, and is not in a Reverse state, then whenever your opponent declares an attack with a character they are the controller of, then instead, the attack is automatically a front attack with this character as a defending Character."

10.7 Brainstorm (Focus)
10.7.1 Brainstorm is an ability that reveals an indicated number of cards from the top of the Library, and then moves those cards to the Waiting Room afterwards, and refers to the information on those cards. The word "Brainstorm" itself is not an ability, and has no special significance.
10.7.2 The effect of events that say "Brainstorm (effect)" as well as abilities that have the text "(Ability Icon) Brainstorm (text)" all have the keyword Brainstorm.
10.7.3 If you are moving cards from your Library to your Waiting Room due to the effect that has the keyword "Brainstorm", you first move the number of cards indicated to the Resolution Zone and then you move all cards to the Waiting Room at the same time.
10.7.4 "Using brainstorm" means "when you have resolved an event that that has the keyword brainstorm or a startup ability that has the keyword brainstorm".

10.8 Change
10.8.1 Change is an ability that within its text has the ability "move this Character to a specific Zone and move a specific Character from that Zone to the Zone that the original Character was in" or "swap the Character that has this ability and a specific character from a specific Zone". The word "Change" is not an ability itself, and has no particular meaning.
10.8.2 Abilities that have the text "(Ability Icon) Change (text)" are all abilities that have the keyword Change.
10.8.3 If a character that has the Change Keyword is swapped with a specific character card in a specific Zone, then when this ability is resolved, if the Character that has this ability was moved to another Zone and it was not an in-stage Slot-to-Slot move, or the specific card is no longer in the specific Zone, then the swap is not executed.
10.8.4 "When this card is placed on stage due to Change" means "when you played an auto ability that has the keyword Change, and as as a result of that ability, this card was placed on stage from a non-stage Zone."
10.8.5 "When you use Change" means "When a card that you're the controller of is placed on Stage via Change".

10.9 Recollection
10.9.1 The Recollection Keyword indicates either of two things. The ability that checks the number of cards in the Memory Zone, or an ability that only works while the card is in the memory Zone.
10.9.2 Abilities that have the text "(Ability Icon) Recollection (text)" as well as abilities of Event cards that say "Recollection (text)" are all abilities that have the keyword Recollection.

10.10 Experience
10.10.1 Experience is a keyword that indicates either of the following two things. An ability that checks the information of cards in the Level Zone including the number of cards and other card information, or an ability that works when that card itself is in the Level Zone.
10.10.2 Abilities that have the text "(Ability Icon) Experience (text)" as well as abilities of Event cards that say "Experience (text)" are all abilities that have the keyword Experience

10.11 Shift
10.11.1 Shift is an auto ability that allows a card in the Clock to be swapped with a card in hand.
10.11.2 "Shift Level (#)" means "if this card is in your Clock at the beginning of the Main Phase, and your Level is # or higher, then you may choose this card and a card in your hand that shares the same color as this card and swap them".
10.11.3 If swap is performed, then both the card with the Shift ability and the card in hand must be legal targets of the ability.
10.11.3.1 If for some reason, you cannot legally choose the card with the Shift ability when the ability is resolved, you may not choose to swap cards.
10.11.3.2 If you have no cards in hand that shares the same color as the card with the Shift ability, you may not choose to swap cards.

10.12 Accelerate
10.12.1 Accelerate is a keyword that indicates an ability whose cost involves putting card(s) in your Clock. It itself is not an ability nor does it have an effect on its own.
10.12.2 Abilities that have the text "(Ability Icon) Accelerate (text)" are all abilities that have the keyword Accelerate.
10.12.3 "When you use ACCELERATE" means "when an effect or ability with ACCELERATE is being resolved and the cost paid for the subsequent effect to be executed".

10.13 Resonate
10.13.1 Resonate is a keyword that indicates an ability whose cost includes revealing a specific card in your hand. It itself is not an ability nor does it have an effect on its own.
10.13.2 Abilities that have the text "(Ability Icon) Resonate (text)" are all abilities that have the keyword Resonate.
10.13.3 "When you use RESONATE" means "when an effect or ability with RESONATE is being resolved and the cost paid for the subsequent effect to be executed".

10.14 Force
10.14.1 Force is a keyword that means an ability with "At the start of your Climax Phase, you may pay cost. If so, choose 2 specified opponent's Characters, then Stand and Swap them". It itself is not an ability nor does it have an effect on its own
10.14.2 Abilities that have the text "(Ability Icon) Force (Text)" are all abilities that have the keyword Force.
10.14.3 "When you use Force" means "When you execute the effect of an ability with Force via paying its cost upon resolving the ability".

10.15 Merge / Trance
10.15.1 Merge (Trance can be used interchangeably) is a keyword that shows an ability that puts the card with this ability and a specified character as marker of another specified character from the Library. It itself is not an ability not does it have an effect on its own.
10.15.1.1 Normally, this ability is written with a cost of '[Put a "(specific character A)" from your Stage face-up under this as Marker]' followed by 'search your Library for up to 1 "(Character B)", put it in the Slot this is in, put all Markers from under this as well as this card face-up under that "(Character B)" as Marker in any order, and shuffle your Library'.
10.15.1.1.1 If for any reason Character B is not put to the Stage this way, 'put all Markers from under this as well as this card face-up under that "(Character B)" as Marker in any order' are not carried out, and the effect ends with that Character with the Merge keyword having Character A as Marker. Even in this case, the Library is shuffled.
10.15.1.1.2 If the Character with the Merge keyword already has Markers beforehand, that Marker also becomes Character B's Marker.
10.15.1.1.2.1 If, however, Character A had Marker(s), those Marker(s) are placed to the Waiting Room upon payment of cost of the Merge ability (see section 3.7.3.2). They will become neither Marker for Character with the Merge keyword nor Character B's Marker.
10.15.2 Abilities that have the text "(Ability Icon) Merge (text)" are all abilities that have the keyword Merge.
10.15.3 "When you use Merge" means "When a card that you're the controller of is placed to the Stage via Merge".

10.16 Separate
10.16.1 Separate is an ability that allows a marker of a character to be placed to the stage as a new character at the end of the original character’s attack (see sections 7.5.1.4 and 7.6.1.5) and the original character is placed as marker of the new character.
10.16.2 "Separate / (cardname) [cost]" means "At the end of the attack, if this card is the attacking character, you may pay cost. If so, choose a (cardname) among one of the marker(s) under this card and choose 1 of your Slots. Put the chosen card in the chosen Slot, then put this card as well as all marker(s) of this card that weren't chosen for this effect under that chosen card as marker(s)."
10.16.3 The character placed to a Slot via Separate is considered to be a different character apart from the character using the Separate ability. The (new) character will not inherit any effect(s) or state(s) that were applicable to the character using the Separate ability.
10.16.3.1 Unless otherwise specified, the character placed to a Slot via Separate is placed in the Standing state.
10.16.4 If the character using the Separate ability has no Marker with the specified name when the cost is paid, no further effect is carried out. The character using the Separate ability will not move to the chosen Slot either.

11. Other
11.1 Perpetual Cycles / Infinite Loops
11.1.1 When during processing, it is possible for an action to become perpetually executable, or it is impossible for this action to not be perpetually done, this is called a Perpetual Cycle. The states when a game state point until the game state is back to its original state is called a Cycle Action. From on follow these rules:
11.1.1.1 During the cycle action, if neither player is able to stop the perpetual cycle through action, then the game is a draw.
11.1.1.2 if during the cycle action, if one player is given the choice to stop the perpetual cycle, then that player announces how many times they are are going to repeat the cycle action. The cycle is executed the announced number of time, until it returns to the point the player is able to make this choice again. At that point, if the game state is exactly the same at the beginning of the perpetual cycle (all cards in all areas are identical in state, order, and name), then unless it is forced by an auto ability, the player may not choose to execute the cycle action again.
11.1.1.3 If both players are able to make the choice to stop the perpetual cycle, then the turn player first announces how many times they are performing the cycle, then the opponent of the turn player chooses how many times they wish it to repeat. afterwards, the smaller of the announced number is the number of times the perpetual action will be executed. The cycle is executed the announced number of times, until it returns to the point the player is able to make this choice again. At that point, if the game state is exactly the same at the beginning of the perpetual cycle (all cards in all areas are identical in state and name), then unless it is forced by an auto ability, the player who chose the larger number may not choose to execute the cycle action again.

11.2 Regarding Gaining Additional Turn
11.2.1 It's possible for a player to gain additional turns. If such effect exist, during the End Phase where a new turn would begin, the designated player would become the turn player instead of the opponent of the current turn player.
11.2.2 If multiple actions exist that grant additional turns, the turn player chooses the last effect that occurred and that effect is applied. All other effects that grant additional turns will be carried over to the next turn.

11.3 Translation Notes
11.3.1 "No keywords", "no traits", "keywordless", "traitless", "Keywords: None", and blank Keywords are all interchangeable methods for describing "a character that has no traits".
Translation © 2018- Heart of the Cards.