Welcome back to Level 1 – 9th CX’s rules column! We take some commonly asked questions from the game and present the answers here with the appropriate rules citations.
Standard disclaimer – we are here to present situations and answers to the best of our knowledge and understanding of the rules. Some answers may be based on FAQs that are on Bushiroad’s WS website. Other questions may not necessarily need rules citations to be true. If we catch something wrong, we’ll correct it ASAP.
With that, let’s dive into the next set of questions!
Q: What is “encore” and how does it work? When can I use it?
A: Great question! We’re going to pull straight from the Comprehensive Rules for this one, and then go from there.
10.2.1. Encore is a keyword ability and an automatic ability that can occur when a character is put from the stage to the waiting room.
10.2.2. “Encore [(cost)]” refers to “[(cost)（When this card is put into your waiting room from the stage, you may pay the cost. If you do, return this card to its previous stage position [in REST]] ”.
10.2.3. All characters have an “ AUTO: Encore [③]” ability not written on the text.
Q1: Can I encore a character outside of the encore phase? What if it’s not my turn?
A: Yes! Encore is an ability that triggers whenever a character is sent to the waiting room from the stage. It will trigger during either player’s turn, so if your opponent has an effect that sends a character on your stage to the waiting room, you can pay to encore it.
Q2: If I have a character with clock encore (e.g. a 1/0 Kosaki) and I play another character with clock encore (e.g. another Kosaki) in its slot…what can I do and why?
A: If you really wanted to, you could clock yourself all the way to level 4. (Unless your deck refreshes at some point in the process) Here’s why: when you ‘overload’ a slot with more than one character, the newest character ‘wins’ and sends the old one to the waiting room. (CR 9.6.1.) So let’s say you control Kosaki A, and she’s in the middle slot of your center stage. You play Kosaki B in the same slot (you can do that even if you have other empty slots). The game says, “Whoa! Put that old Onodera into the waiting room please!” and then moves Kosaki A to the waiting room. When that happens, her encore ability triggers and asks you “Would you like to pay 3 stock or clock yourself to bring her back?” If you pay either cost (you can’t pay both at once, only one cost), Kosaki A comes back (rested) and says, “Hey, I’m here now!” and shoves Kosaki B into the waiting room. Then, for as long as you can and want to pay either cost, you can continue this loop.
(Game tip: There will rarely be situations that arise where this is something you want to do. If you are color-locked, it might make sense to do it once or twice to be able to play a card in hand, but it’s a questionable play at best.)
Q3: What will happen if I try to pay for clock encore for a character when there is only one card left in my deck?
A: The short answer is – don’t do it!
Here’s why. When your character is put into the waiting room, its encore ability triggers. When you opt for the clock encore payment, you complete the payment by putting the top card of your deck into clock. Because you are finished paying your cost, the game’s interrupt process cuts in and forces you to refresh your deck… meaning that the character you just paid the cost to retrieve is going to get shuffled into your deck. Ouch!
Now let’s move to some other questions!
Q: Can you cancel refresh damage? How about clock encore?
A: Hold on! Before we answer this question, let’s just make something very clear:
Damage causes X cards to be revealed (and put into the resolution zone) from the top card of a player’s deck until the damage effect is complete or until a CX is revealed, whichever comes first.
Resolving refresh points, putting cards into clock during clock phase, and paying for costs by putting cards into clock, are NOT forms of damage. They are only effects that put cards into your clock.
Damage can always be canceled. Any effect that has “deal damage” in the text can be canceled even if it is missing its italicized reminder text. (There is currently no ability in the game that deals unpreventable damage. If an ability was to exist like that, it would likely read “Damage dealt by this card can’t be canceled.”)
So going back to the question, no, because your refresh point is not damage, it’s an action that makes you put the top card of your deck into clock; and no again, because the act of putting the top card of your deck into clock is part of a cost, and not an ability that deals damage.
Q: Can you use a deck that has 7 CXs? How about 0?
A: Yes! If you really feel like it, you can use a deck with anywhere from 0 – 7 CXs at no penalty. (CR 18.104.22.168.) The only stipulation about CXs is that they follow the ‘up to 4 copies’ rule, and you must use 0 – 8 in your deck.
Q: Let’s say I have no cards in my waiting room. I play a brainstorm ability that lets me salvage for each CX revealed, and the 4 cards I reveal are 2 characters and 2 CXs. Can I return those characters to my hand?
A: Yes! Once the four cards hit the resolution zone, assuming no other process (like a refresh) interrupts you, they are put into the waiting room, and then you resolve the effect. (CR 22.214.171.124.)
Q: What is the sequence of a battle? What can happen during one?
We got a lot of questions like this, so we’re going to consolidate them into one big answer.
(CR 7) (Yes, that is the whole section.)
A: So let’s say that we have moved past the climax phase and are moving into the attack phase. Once you enter the attack phase, any abilities that trigger “at the start of your attack phase” (your opponent’s characters may have abilities that can function here, such as runners), happen and resolve in turn player order. That is, turn player resolves abilities first, and then the non-turn player resolves his or her abilities.
Once you decide on what character you want to attack with, you turn it into the [REST] position and declare the attack type, direct, frontal, or side. Direct attacks can only be declared by characters that are unopposed; the slot in front of them needs to be empty. Otherwise, you declare a frontal or side attack. Depending on the type of attack you declared, the appropriate effects are immediately applied:
Direct attack: the attacking character gets +1 soul until end of turn
Frontal attack: no additional effect
Side attack: the attacking character gets -X soul until end of turn, where X is the level of the character facing it
No matter what happens to your character or your opponent’s character, nothing will change the type of attack you declare.
For example, bouncing an opposing character won’t make your frontal attack change to a direct attack.
Once you declare the attack, any ability that triggers when a character attacks (including itself) are resolved again in turn player order. This is most often seen in CX combos, and the character will have an ability that is worded something like, “When this character attacks, if [CX] is in your climax zone, [EFFECT].” These effects apply and resolve before you go to the trigger step.
After you have resolved “on attack” effects, the game advances you to the trigger step. Note that even if the character you attacked with is somehow no longer there, you still trigger.
During the trigger step, you put the top card of your deck into your resolution zone face-up and resolve the triggers appropriately. Your trigger will resolve before the game advances to the counter step and/or damage step. All of this happens before the game makes the characters themselves do battle.
If the attack type was frontal, you proceed to the counter step, where your opponent can play up to 1 Backup effect or up to 1 event with counter step timing. Once this is done or if the attack type was direct or side, and all other abilities that may have triggered during this step have been resolved in turn order, you proceed to the damage step.
In the damage step, your character will deal X damage to your opponent, where X is equal to its soul. Your attacking character needs to be present during the damage step to deal damage. If your character was somehow removed from its slot on your stage and put into another zone, it will not deal damage!
Something to note is that soul buffs and penalties (through triggers and side attacks) last until the end of turn. If you side attack a level 2 character with a character with 1 soul, your character will have -1 soul. If you trigger a soul trigger, it will go up to 0 soul and deal 0 damage. From there, if it attacks again in the same turn and declares another side attack, your character will go down to -2 soul. But, if it attacks again in the same turn and declares a frontal attack, it will still be at 0 soul and will need the help of a soul trigger to deal damage.
The damage process is just like we described it before. The player being dealt damage puts X cards from the top of his or her deck into the resolution zone (not clock!!) until a CX is revealed or X cards have been revealed, whichever comes first. A CX revealed at any point stops the damage process and puts it and any other revealed cards into the waiting room. No CX revealed means all the revealed cards, in order, go to clock.
Abilities that may trigger here (usually, involving Burn or Punish Burn triggers) resolve in turn player order. Once the damage step has been resolved, assuming neither player has lost the game, the game (finally) moves into the battle step. This step is only used while resolving a frontal attack. This is where the powers of both characters are compared, and the character with less power is reversed. If characters are tied, it’s a double KO and both characters are reversed. Abilities that trigger upon being reversed (level reverser) or reversing an opposing character (Asuna, Akagi, Nico, Ultimate HomuHomu) trigger, and are resolved in turn player order.
If you have other characters that can attack, you may then elect to attack with one and repeat this whole process, all over again.
Q: Can we get a tl;dr?
Yes! For this, we’ll use “resolve abilities” as an alternative to “perform a check timing”. (They’re essentially the same thing)
-> Beginning of attack step (resolve abilities)
-> Declare attack, apply buffs/penalties for direct/side, then resolve abilities
-> Trigger step, resolve trigger
-> Counter step (if frontal), resolve abilities
-> Damage step, resolve damage, resolve abilities
-> Battle step (if frontal), compare power, reverse losing or tied characters, resolve abilities
-> Go back to declare attack or proceed to encore step
Whew! Let’s go onto one last question to wrap up.
Q: I control a character that has a burn trigger ability. (The first time its damage is canceled this turn, you may deal 1 damage.) If I attack with it, reveal a burn (shot) trigger, and the attack is canceled, what happens? Up to how much damage can I deal to my opponent?
A: Ah, Burn triggers! Burn triggers have a unique wording: “[A] Up to once per turn, when damage dealt by this character is canceled, you may deal 1 damage to your opponent.”
In your scenario, your character already has an iteration of this ability. When your attack reveals a Burn/Shot trigger during the trigger step, the trigger adds another iteration of the ability to your character. In other words, your character will have two copies of the same ability.
When damage dealt by the character is canceled for the first time, both abilities will trigger because you fulfilled the conditions for it to happen; you just needed the character’s damage to be canceled. Because you are the controller of both abilities, you choose the order in which they resolve.
Neither ability cares if the other resolves first, and neither is dependent on the other either. Therefore, you can choose to deal 0, 1, or 1+1 damage to your opponent. Note I didn’t say “2” because that would imply that your opponent is dealt 2 damage at once. 1+1 is most accurate because you are dealing 2 damage total, but 1 at a time; your opponent will need 2 CXs to cancel both burn triggers. (CR 126.96.36.199.7)
We’re all out of space this time, but we will be back with more questions! Have any more you’re itching to ask? Drop us a line here, in our question pool!
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