How to Play: Basic Format

How to Play: Basic Format

FourCuatro Basic Rules

Anatomy of a Card

Each card has four key elements:

    • The card’s name – The card’s name is written sideways up the middle of the card. When you play the card, you announce the name to your opponent.
    • The word “spell” or “trap” – In the upper right of each card, you’ll find the word “spell” or “trap.” This tells whether the card is a spell card or a trap card. Spell cards are blue, and trap cards are red. Spell cards can only be played during your own turn, and trap cards can only be played during your opponent’s turn.
    • The mana cost – It only appears on spell cards. Each spell card has one to four hexagonal symbols located in the upper left-hand side of the card. The number of these symbols is the mana cost needed to cast that spell card.
    • The card’s ability – The card’s ability is written on the right-hand side. The ability explains what to do when you play the card.

ALSO: The number of circles you see at the top right corner of the card indicates how many of that type of card are in the deck.

Starting a Game

Thoroughly shuffle the 66-card deck and split it in half. Each player gets one of these 33-card decks. Do NOT look at the cards yet.
(Note: the Constructed Format plays with 44 cards)

 

Once each player has a shuffled 33-card deck, each player reveals the bottom card of their deck. The player whose bottom card has the highest mana cost goes first. Trap cards cost zero. If both players are tied for the highest cost, each player shuffles their 33-card deck and repeats this process until the two revealed costs are different.

 

Once it has been decided who will go first, the revealed bottom card stays at the bottom of the deck, and each player draws a four-card starting hand from the top. Then the first player begins their first turn.

NEXT STEPS:

 

 

 

 

On Your Turn

At the beginning of each of your turns, take the following actions in order:

  • Refresh all your mana sources. *explained further below
  • Draw a card *if you cannot draw a card because your deck and discard pile are both empty, you lose the game
  • If you have fewer than four mana sources, put the bottom card of your deck into play face down as a mana source. Mana source cards stay on the table for the duration of the game.
  • After you have done this, you may cast spells. You may cast as many spells as you want in a turn, as long as you have sufficient non-exhausted mana sources to pay the mana cost of those spells.

 

Mana Sources

Mana sources produce supernatural mind energy used as a resources to cast spells. They are represented by facedown cards on the table. Both players begin the game with no mana sources. At the beginning of each of your turns, after you draw a card, if you don’t already have four mana sources, the bottom card of your deck is placed into play face down as a non-exhausted mana source.

  • Neither you nor your opponent gets to know which cards are in play as mana sources.
  • Mana sources are “exhausted” when you use them to pay costs, and they are “refreshed at the beginning of each turn, before you draw a card.
  • Whether a mana source is exhausted or not should be shown by altering the position of the mana source (face down card) on the table. For example, you might keep your exhausted mana sources on the left, and your refreshed ones on the right.
  • Exhausted mana sources are used up, and can’t generate mana again until they become refreshed.

Public Information

You must answer honestly if your opponent asks for any of the following:

  • The number of cards in your deck
  • The number of cards in your discard pile
  • The number of cards in your hand
  • The number of cards in your burnt cards pile
  • Additionally, you may always look at either player’s discard pile, to see which cards are there and what order they are in. You may NOT change the order of the cards in the discard pile.
  • You may NOT look at the cards in either player’s burnt cards pile.

Casting a Spell

To cast a spell:

  • First announce the name of the spell.
  • Place it on the table in front of you, and exhaust a number of your mana sources equal to the spell’s mana cost. Give your opponent a chance to respond with a trap card.
  • If your spell doesn’t get countered with a trap card, perform the instructions in the spell card.
  • Lastly, put the spell card on top of your discard pile face up.If a spell puts some of your other cards into your discard pile, those cards will end up below the spell in your discard pile, since your spell goes in last.Once you have announced your spell, wait for your opponent to give you the go-ahead before performing the spell’s effect. Your opponent could choose to counter your spell with a trap card, which would prevent the spell from working.

Burning Cards

To burn a card:

  • Put the bottom card of your deck into your burnt cards pile face down without looking at it.
  • If you have to burn a card and have no cards in your deck, the bottom card of your discard pile is burnt instead. (See “NOT ENOUGH CARDS”) The burnt cards pile is kept face down, and neither player gets to know what cards are inside. The order of the burnt cards pile does not matter.

Discarding Cards

If you are directed to discard a card from your hand, place it on top of your discard pile face up.

Destroying Cards

If you are directed to destroy a card from your hand, place it face down on top of your burnt cards pile.

Cinder

On your turn, you may cast one or more cards (one at a time) from your hand face down as a spell called “Cinder.”

  • Cinder costs zero mana and indicates “your opponent burns a card.”
  • You have to choose which card you are using before your opponent decides whether or not to counter the spell.
  • Your opponent does not know what the card is until after they decide whether or not to counter, and the Cinder card is placed on top of the discard pile face up.
  • Cinder counts as a spell, and can be countered.
  • Cinder is affected by other abilities that affect spells.

Not Enough Cards

When you are directed to do something, but do not have sufficient cards, follow these procedures as applicable.

  • If a player is directed to discard cards, but does not have enough cards in hand, then that player discards their entire hand.
  • If a player is directed to burn cards, and there are not enough cards in their deck, that player burns all the cards in their deck, and then burns cards from the bottom of their discard pile until the required number of cards has been burnt to finish the original ability (what the card told you to do). If there are not enough cards in the discard pile, the player’s entire discard pile is burnt.
  • If a player is directed to draw or look at cards from their deck, and there are not enough cards in the deck, that player draws or looks at as many cards as possible from their deck, then shuffles their discard pile. This pile is placed face down as that player’s new deck. Then that player draws or looks at cards from the new deck up to the number needed to finish the original ability.
  • If a player is directed to look at cards from the top of their deck, and there are not enough cards in the deck and discard pile combined, that player looks at all cards in their deck and discard pile, and finishes the original effect with the available number of cards.
  • If a player is directed to draw cards, and there are not enough cards in the deck and discard pile combined, that player loses the game.


This video may also help you understand how to play: