Note: This section will describe the standard 55-card deck's gameplay. In cards decks of 25, 75, and 110 cards, there is a difference in the number of cards drawn, the hand size, and the winning conditions.
If optional rules are to be used, they should all be agreed upon before the game begins. Players should select their own decks after the rules have been agreed upon. The list of Optional rules
Each player randomly draws a card during a game and notes the last digit of the card number. It is the player with the highest number who goes first. (Example: The Caravan (131/CL) from the Spellfire classic booster is #131 of 500. "1" is the number that determines who goes first.) A tie results in another cut by the tied players.
Next, each player shuffles his deck thoroughly before placing it face down on the table. All players are dealt their own draw pile and never draw cards from other players' draw piles.
After players have drawn five cards, they form their starting hand. With each turn, players draw three cards. The game is played clockwise around the table. Note: No matter how many rule cards, magic items, or artifacts may indicate differently, each player draws three cards on their first turn.
Whenever a player hasn't played any realms and doesn't have any realms in his hand by the end of his second turn, stop the game and restart. There are no winners or losers in such a situation. To request a mulligan, the player must have played any events that gave him a chance to get a realm. The player must show his hand to prove he does not possess a realm.
Through card play, it is possible that a player may draw a realm but then discard it. It is not possible, however, to call a mulligan when the player discards a realm on his own. Mulligans are permitted if the player has never had a chance to play a realm card. Even if a player has realms in his hand, but other players have them all in play, he can still declare a mulligan.
The same player can only declare a mulligan once. The player is forced to play with the cards he draws in the second game. Players need to decide who goes first when they start a new game after a mulligan.
This turn sequence must be followed by every player. Players must perform phases 1, 5, and 6. Phases 0, 2, 3, and 4 can be omitted.
Phase 0 - Play a Rule Card - Perform any other actions that must be performed before a player's turn begins. For instance, with Dungeon demolisher (255/5th) players may sneak up on and destroy any dungeon card (phase 0).
Phase 1 - Draw Three Cards from the Draw Pile - Depending on the card, a player may draw additional cards every turn. If there is no other phase specified, all cards that grant extra cards do so in this phase.
Phase 2 - Play a Realm and/or Holding and/or Dungeon - Even if a player has more in his hand, he can only play one of each. Steps A, B & C may take place in any order
A) Play, Rebuild, or Replace one Realm - There is only one option that you may select. Once a realm is played, the player cannot rebuild another realm in the same turn. Details about rebuilding and replacing realms can be found in extended information about realms.
B) Play one Holding - A holding can only be attached to a realm in the same world. Holdings cannot be rearranged once attached. It is possible to add a holding to a realm other than the one just played or rebuilt.
C) Play a Dungeon card - You must place the dungeon below the "base" of your formation. Whenever it is played, it immediately takes effect.
Phase 3 - Play cards into the pool and use spells, psionics, blood abilities, or thief skills - Performing steps A & B of this phase does not have to be done in any particular order. It is possible to alternate between them. This step can only be performed by the player whose turn it is.
A) Place any number of champions, artifacts, and magical items into the pool - Magical items and artifacts must be attached to champions. Items cannot be rearranged once they have been attached. It is possible to attach a single artifact to a champion from the same world. Multiple magical items can be attached to any champion. During this phase, you can continue to equip your champions with magical items.
B) Make use of any phase 3 spell, psionic power, blood ability, or thief skill. TAmong the champions in the pool must be one who can use the spell, power, ability, or skill. It is possible for other players to negate the cards you are trying to play. This is the only time you can play Phase 3 cards.
Phase 4 - Attack one realm of another player - Unless a card's power allows it, the attacker cannot change the realm of his attack once it's chosen. A player can choose either his hand or pool of champions for the attack. To learn more about attacking realms, visit the Combat section.
Phase 5 - Use phase 5 cards and adjust the hand size - You cannot place champions in your pool, attach magical items, or perform other actions normally associated with phase 3 at this time, unless they were obtained as spoils of victory.
A) In phase 5, you may play any card you want. The card cannot be used unless there is a champion in the pool. In phase 5, only the player whose turn it is may play cards.
B) You may discard cards from the hand until your maximum hand size has been reached. There is a chance that some card powers might let you keep more cards. In other cases, you may be limited to how many cards you can have in your hand.
Phase 6 - Declare the end of your turn - It is now time for the player on the left to take their turn.
It is possible to end a Spellfire game in two different ways. In many cases, players will have six realms in play when none are razed. Essentially, it is a whole empire built. If the player does this first, he wins. Another way a game can end is when one of the players runs out of cards. He has the opportunity to finish his turn, but the game ends when he raps (knocks to signal the end of his turn). It is the player with the most unrazed realms who wins. To break a tie between two or more players with equal numbers of unrazed realms, count the number of razed realms. In the event of further ties, count the holdings. If further tiebreakers are needed, count holdings. If this is still a tie, the game is a draw.
Barbaric Newbie Victory Conditions
The first player to have 3 unrazed realms wins at the start of his turn. TAn introductory deck of 25 cards works well under these conditions.
Enhanced Victory Conditions
To win, the player must have 10 unrazed realms.
Barbaric Victory Conditions
The game ends when a player has six unrazed realms in his formation at the start of his turn. Caravan turns and Ancient Kalidnay turns are not counted; the turn must be "real" to count.
Rule of Cosmos
As a rule of the Cosmos, only one champion, one artifact, one realm, and one holding card can be in play at a time. When a specific champion, artifact, realm, or holding is in play, another player cannot have it. A player cannot bring another Suingu, the Necromancer (161/5th) card into play if he has this card in his pool or in battle.
Cards cannot be played if their name, icon, and powers are identical. Whether a realm is razed or not, it remains in play, preventing other players from playing the same realm into their formation. Spellfire Classic boosters have some cards with the same powers but with different artwork and names. In the Cards section, you can search for a card to find out what's new with it.
A champion in Limbo is not considered to be in play. Check the Limbo section for details on what happens if you play your pool's champions while another's is still stuck in the Limbo.