Special combat powers are often possessed by realms, champions, and allies. Unless the card specifies otherwise, these take effect only when the card is involved in a round of battle. In the case of an attack on a realm, the realm and holding powers are activated.

There are times when there is a direct conflict of powers, where one ability completely contradicts another. Usually, the results of the game can be figured out by careful consideration by the players. In the absence of a solution, the first card played gets to use the power first. As a champion in combat, the attacker is given first use since he is pushed forward first. Additionally, magic items and artifacts the player brings into combat from his pool of items are subject to the same rules.

Occasionally, however, the exact order in which cards activate can be crucial. The following list indicates what order each card activates.

1.
 Rule Card
2.
 Dungeon card
3.
 Realm power
4.
 Holding power
5.
 Yellow cards before battle
6.
 Powers “before combat"
7.
 Attacking champion power
7.a.
Artifacts
7. b.
Allies
7. c.
Magical items
7.d.
Blood abilities
7.e.
Thief skills
7. f.
Unarmed combat cards
7.g.
psionic power cards
7. h.
Spells
8.
 Defending champion powers
8.a.
Artifacts
8.b.
Allies
8. c.
Magical items
8.d.
Blood abilities
8.e.
Thief skills
8. f.
Unarmed combat cards
8.g.
psionic power cards
8. h.
Spells

When moved into combat, champion powers (and attached cards) are fully activated. This includes all cards that adjust the level of the attacking. It also includes defending champions (such as the Triumvirate realms or magical items like the Banner of the One-Eyed God ). Cards whose special powers actually bring another card to the battle (like Gib Aklem, who can use another champion as an ally) can only activate those powers when it is legal for the player to play a card into the battle.

There are cards that allow other cards to be played immediately outside of the realm of the Order of Activation. These cards supersede this rule.