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  • 1 game board
  • 1 initiative token
  • 6 clan decks (27 cards per deck)
  • 6 clan reference cards
  • 2 player reference cards
  • 15 crystal cards
  • 1 Rulebook

Object of the Game

Crystal Clans is a 2-player battle card game in which players use time as a resource to summon troops from a clan deck and do battle to control the crystal zones. The first player to score at least 4 crystals by controlling the crystals zones wins.


1 Place the game board in the center of the play area.

2 Each player chooses a clan and collects that clan's deck, shuffles it and places it facedown on the 'draw' space on her side of the board.

3 Each player places a player reference card and her clan's reference card in the reference card spaces.

4 Each player draws 5 cards from her draw pile.

5 Randomly determine which player will take the first turn of the game. The other player draws 1 more card from her draw pile.

6 Place the initiative token on the '0' space of the initiative track.

7 Shuffle the crystal deck and place it to the side of the game board.

8 Reveal the top 3 cards of the crystal deck and place them face up next to that deck.

Note: Collected crystals may be stacked in the player's collected crystals space for easy access.

Game Play

On a player's turn, she will perform one or more actions. Each time the player performs an action, she must pay for that action by moving the initiative token towards her opponent's side of the initiative track by a number of spaces equal to the cost of that action.

At the end of the active player's action, if the initiative token is still on her side of the initiative track, or is on a neutral space (the 1, 0 and 1 spaces), she must perform another action.

If, at the end of an action, the initiative token is on her opponent's side of the initiative track (past the neutral spaces), it becomes her opponent's turn. Play will pass back and forth in this way until a player has won the game by scoring 4 crystals.

Note: If an action would push the initiative token past the last space on the initiative track, that action is not allowed.

If another game effect would push the initiative token past the last space on the initiative track, the token stops on the last space.


There are 5 actions available to a player during her turn. Players may use the actions in any order and may use the same action multiple times per turn.

  1. Summon
  2. Activate
  3. Score
  4. Replenish
  5. Invade

A. Summon

To perform a summon action, choose up to 3 units from your hand and place them all in your home zone. Pay initiative equal to the total summon cost of those units.


When placing summoned units, organize those units into a squad by stacking the cards on top of one another as shown in the example to the right.

1 unit alone in a zone is still considered a squad. The unit that is completely uncovered is considered to be the top unit of the squad.

The order that units are placed in your squad is important. The top unit is generally your first line of defense in battle. In addition, abilities marked with the icon are battlefield abilities, and are only active if that unit is on the battlefield and is the top unit of its squad.

Each player may only have 1 squad in each zone. Whenever 1 or more units are added to a zone that already contains a friendly squad, the new units are added to the current squad. The player who controls that squad may then reorder the units in that squad as desired. A squad MAY share a zone with an enemy squad.

A squad cannot have more than 3 units in it. If an action or game effect would ever cause there to be more than 3 units in a squad, the player who controls that squad must choose units from that squad to discard until there are only 3 units left in that squad.

Discarded units are not considered to be destroyed for the purpose of other effects.

B. Activate

To perform an activate action, choose a squad to activate and perform the following steps in order. A squad can be activated multiple times in a row, so long as it is still your turn after completing the squad's activation.

  1. Pay Activation Cost
  2. Reorder
  3. Move
  4. Battle

1. Pay Activation Cost (Required)

Pay initiative equal to the highest single activation cost among all units in that squad.

The units in this squad have activation costs of 1, 2, and 1.

Since the highest single activation cost of the squad is 2, it costs 2 initiative to activate this squad.

2. Reorder (Optional)

The player may reorder the units in the activated squad . (Rearrange the order that units appear in the stack of cards that make up the activated squad).

3. Move (Optional)

The player may move some or all of the units from her squad into 1 adjacent zone. A squad cannot move out of a zone containing an enemy squad.

If the squad is moved into a zone that already contains a squad the player controls, she must combine the squads and discard down to 3 units, once again reordering if desired.

4. Battle (Optional)

Finally, if the activated squad shares a zone with an opponent's squad, the player may initiate a battle between those squads. To resolve a battle, execute the following steps in order.

  1. Play a Battle Card.

  2. Resolve Battle Cards.

  3. Apply Damage.

  4. Discard Battle Cards.

a. Play a Battle Card

Both players must choose a card from their hand as a battle card, and then reveal them simultaneously. If a player has no card in hand, she must play the top card of her draw pile as her battle card instead.

b. Resolve Battle Cards

Each player looks at the battle style of her opponent's battle card. Then each player looks at the battle effect of her own card to see which effect triggers. The left effect of a BOLD card always triggers versus a GUARDED card.

The left effect of a GUARDED card always triggers versus a TRICKY card. And the left effect of a TRICKY card always triggers versus a BOLD card. In all other cases, the effect on the right triggers.

Note: Look only at the battle card section of the played battle cards to resolve them. The unit section does not affect the battle. Likewise, the battle card section of units on the battlefield have no effect on the game.

c. Apply Damage

The battling squads then simultaneously deal damage to each other. The amount of damage dealt by each squad is the totaled attack values of all the units in that squad plus any increases to the squad's attack provided by played battle cards or other game effects.

Damage is dealt starting with the top unit of the enemy squad, continuing to the next unit when the first one is destroyed, and so on. A unit is destroyed and put in its owner's discard pile if it received damage equal to its defense value.

Damage not sufficient to destroy a unit is ignored. Because damage is simultaneous, for the purposes of timing, all units that are destroyed as the result of damage from the battle are destroyed simultaneously. See Example: Battle

+: If a battle card effect or unit ability provides additional defense, the amount of damage received by the squad is reduced by that amount, before damage is applied to any individual unit.

Note: If one squad no longer exists or is no longer in the battle zone before applying damage, the battle immediately proceeds to the discard step and no damage is applied.

d. Discard Battle Cards

At the end of the battle, played battle cards go to their players' discard piles.

EXCEPTION: If a triggered battle card effect included a symbol, the player who played that card may place it in her hand instead, even if it came from the top of the player's draw pile.


Scoring is how a player obtains 4 crystal cards and wins the game. A player must control at least 2 out of the 3 crystal zones in order to take a score action. To control a zone means that the player has a squad in the zone and the opponent does not.

The player chooses any 1 of the 3 crystal cards face-up next to the crystal deck to score.

She pays the initiative cost of the chosen card and places that card face-up in her collected crystal area, resolving any game effects that trigger upon gaining the crystal card.

Then she replaces it with the top card of the crystal deck so that there are 3 face-up crystal cards next to the crystal deck.

Facedown Crystal Cards: Some crystal cards feature an effect that flips the card facedown. A facedown crystal card still counts as 1 of the 4 crystals needed to win, but the text on its face-up side no longer applies.


To perform a replenish action, a player must pay 3 initiative. The player may discard any cards from her hand of her choice, and then may draw cards until she has 5 cards in her hand. If she already has 5 or more cards in her hand after discarding, she does not draw cards.


To perform an invade action, a player must control her opponent's home zone and must pay 3 initiative. She discards cards from her opponent's draw pile equal to her invading squad's total attack value.

If her opponent is forced to reshuffle during the invade action (see "Reshuffling" below), the invade action ends after the reshuffle without discarding any more cards.


Any time a player must draw or discard a card from her draw pile while her draw pile is empty, she immediately reshuffles her discard pile to create a new draw pile.

Then, after the current action is completed, her opponent scores a crystal card without needing to control 2 crystal zones or pay the initiative cost of that crystal.

End of the Game

When a player has 4 or more crystal cards in her score area she immediately wins the game.


  • When a card effect contradicts the rulebook, the card effect takes precedence.

  • If 2 or more game effects or choices would ever seem to trigger simultaneously, the active player decides in which order they will resolve.

  • Whenever a card is discarded for any reason, it always goes to its owner's discard pile. The owner of a card is the player that started the game with that card in her deck.

    It is possible for a player to control a card which she does not own. In that case, the unit still has the signature ability of its clan, etc.

Initial Mulligan

Experienced players may optionally play with a mulligan for their initial hand draw during setup.

At the beginning of the game, after players draw 5 cards but before the first player is chosen, each player may choose to shuffle any number of cards from her hand back into the draw pile and draw back up to 5 cards 1 time.

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