We cover the basics of combat and game mechanics to get new players up to speed.

We’ve expanded upon our new player guide to provide a more detailed breakdown of what you need to know to get started with Gods Unchained!

Guide index:

  • What are the different card types
  • What are God powers
  • How does Mana work
  • How does Combat work
  • What is the Void
  • How does a match play out
  • Which God starter deck should I choose

Goal of the game

In Gods Unchained, you enter the battlefield represented as the god of your choice to battle another one of your fellow divine beings. Your cards are the creatures and spells you utilize in the fight for ultimate victory. You win by reducing the opposing god’s Health to 0 while making sure the same doesn’t happen to you in the process.

What are the card types?

Relics are wielded by your god and provide you with the ability to send him or her directly into the battlefield, taking and dealing damage in the process.

Relics “lock” onto the left side of your God profile pic

Creatures are combatant cards that get directly thrown into the fray. They have a physical representation on the battlefield with a given amount of Strength and Health – and usually some accompanying abilities and keywords as well (we’ll explore these in detail in a future article).

doing the dirty work

You can use them to directly attack the opposing god or to fight your opponent’s creatures in order to achieve supremacy on the field of battle. The correct strategy depends on the cards you decide to add to your deck, the ones your opponent has at their disposal, and, of course, just a little bit of luck, too.

Spells are the other tools at your disposal in the battle. They are instantaneous magical effects that immediately affect the board state in some capacity. Their potential is limitless. 

with great power, comes great…

Certain spells will let you deal a set amount of damage to every creature on the opponent’s side of the field, while others can add extra Health and Strength to yours. They can directly damage the opposing god, heal yours or vice versa.

In certain cases, they can even summon creatures, draw you extra cards or pull off some amazing, game-changing effects!

Note: Most good decks feature both creatures and spells in copious amounts: the former will allow you to make a stand and deal repetitive damage and the latter allows you to immediately interact with whatever your opponent is cooking up.

What are God powers?

God powers are unique abilities that are attached to each god and can be used once every turn. Using your god power does not require a card, but they’re always around to consider, making it less likely that you run dry and have to completely pass a turn. 

stuck for choice? read on…

Each god has 4 powers to choose from with different effects and Mana costs, with various advantages and disadvantages based on your own deck and your opponent’s.

How does Mana work?

No matter whether you’re playing a spell or a creature, there is a price to pay – literally. Each card has a Mana cost associated to it, which is the primary resource in Gods Unchained. You can find it in the top left corner of the card. 

You start out with one Mana to spend on your first turn and you progressively get more as time goes on: your overall Mana count goes up by one every turn until turn five, at which point the accumulation of Mana slows down. You can read about it in more detail here.

Cards which cost more Mana tend to be more powerful, which is why you can’t just throw them out there at the start of a match: you can only play them when you have enough Mana to cover its cost.

Important: There are 3 clickable gemstones, known as Mana Pips, next to the player mana UI to activate bonus mana. When highlighted, a player can click the Mana Pip to activate the Bag of Tricks. The Bag of Tricks unlocks +1 mana for that turn, which can change the whole strategy and card options available.

Note: You can’t bank Mana: any you don’t spend on a given turn is lost forever, and its efficient use is one of the more important aspects of playing the game. So what do you do if you don’t have a creature or a spell on a turn that you want – or can – play? Well, this is where the god powers come in.

Which brings us to the rules of combat in the game.

How does Combat work?

The attacker has the initiative in Gods Unchained, which means that you get to choose where the attacks of your different creatures (or the relic equipped by your god) go. While there are some limitations to this – for instance, you have to target creatures with the Frontline keyword first – this gives you a lot of flexibility. 

You can only have six creatures at most on the board, and they deal damage equal to their Strength on your selected target. This value is then subtracted from their Health total. If a creature hits 0 health, it dies and disappears from the battlefield, sent to the Void for the rest of the game.

What is the Void?

The Void is the home of dead creatures and already cast spells, every card which has been played so far in the game and somehow removed from the action. Think of it as a card graveyard.

click on either void to see the removed cards

Watch out: certain gods and deck archetypes have the ability to interact with the Void and even bring back cards from the dead!

How does a match play out?

First, you select your god power. You should base your choice on both your own and your opponent’s deck. This is a permanent choice for the rest of the game, so make sure it’s a good one for the situation!

be sure to observe your opponent’s deck before choosing

Next up, the mulligan. Here, you draw your first three (or four, if you go second) card from your hand and then you have to decide whether you want to keep them or “throw it back” to your deck and draw a different random one to replace it.

It’s common practice to “mulligan” cards that have a high mana cost (5 and above) at the beginning of the game as they won’t be usable in the early rounds.

well-balanced starting hand

Using your available mana, you can summon your creatures onto the battlefield or cast spells on the desired targets by clicking and dragging them (make sure you have enough Mana! Remember, cards don’t come cheap!)

You also have the ability to use your god power once a turn exactly the same way as you would target your cards. Once you’re finished with setting up your dastardly plan, it’s time to attack with the creatures you have on the board.

From then on, the escalating combat of creatures and spells begins and the player who made the better decisions and had a bit of luck on their side wins. Of course, whether you emerge victorious or end up defeated also largely depends on the specific collection of cards – your deck – which you brought to the battlefield.

Which God starter deck should I choose?

We’ve recently revamped the new player decks into what we’re referring to as the Welcome Set. The 140 card set includes a 30-card starter deck for each domain. These decks can all be individually customized and edited.

6 decks to begin. Customizable.

Many of the cards are interchangeable between domains so be sure to experiment with different options.

Once you’ve got a few victories under your belt and you’re ready to take your game to the next level, check out this in-depth guide on how to build your own custom deck from scratch.

More reading:

Credit ~ Luci Kelemen