In Eternal two players face off in a match of cards where they acquire power and influence to play units, spells and weapons. Both players start at 25 health and the goal is to reduce the opponent's health to 0 before the player runs out of health themself.
Match rules Edit
These are the basic match rules that may vary according to different game modes.
Start of match Edit
The player to go first is chosen at random.
Then both players draw 7 random cards, but the initial hand always contains at least 1 power card and 1 non-power card. Both players have an option to discard the hand and redraw it once, with the second hand having 2, 3, or 4 power cards (with an equal chance of each). When playing against a human player, you will have the option to redraw a second time, but with only 6 cards; again this hand will have 2, 3, or 4 power.
The game then starts with the first player. To even out the advantage, that player doesn't get to draw a card on the first turn.
Own turn Edit
At the start of a player's turn, all units' health and that player's power are filled up, and that player draws the top card of their deck (except on the starting player's first turn). The active player may then do the following actions in any order:
- Play one power card
- Play units, spells, attachments, and/or sites
- Attack once with active units
- Attack with relic weapons
- Use activated abilities on units or relics
Playing units, spells, attachments, and sites requires varying amounts of power and influence—the basic resources of Eternal players get by playing power (and by the effect of some other cards). The active player can play only one power each turn, but there is no limit for non-power cards as long as the player has the required resources. Power is reduced by the cost of each played card. Influence doesn't go down, as it is a requirement to be met but not a cost to be paid.
Attacking with units can be done by selecting the desired units with and pressing "Attack" button. After that, the defender may choose units to block attackers. Finally, both players have the opportunity to use fast spells or units with ambush skill to affect the outcome of the attack. After attacking, the used units become exhausted and can't be used until the beginning of their next turn when they ready again (unless the unit has Endurance skill). Each player can only attack once per turn (excluding spells, special attacks and attacks with relic weapons) and can't attack with units played this turn (unless the unit has Charge skill).
If the player's avatar is equipped with a relic weapon that has an attack value, they may use it to attack the opponent. Relic weapons cannot attack the other player directly if there are enemy units on the board.
Finally, the player finishes the turn when they can't or don't want to do anything else.
Opponent's turn Edit
The opponent's proceeds similarly to player's own turn, but there are two points where the player can play "fast cards." The first is when both have chosen the attacking and blocking units, and the second is at the very end of the opponents turn. It's possible to use fast spells and units with the Ambush skill to surprise the opponent but these require power and influence similarly to player's own turn. Since power doesn't fill up until the beginning of the player's own turn, the power needed to play "fast cards" must be unused from the previous turn.
The units played on the previous turn can be used to block opponent's attacks right after the turn.
Finishing a matchEdit
Both players take turns as stated above until one reaches 0 health or below. It is also possible to lose by ending a turn with no cards left in your deck; some decks attempt to win in this way using cards that force the opponent to discard cards from their deck, known as Mill cards.
Game modes Edit
Eternal has several different game modes where players can choose to play against each other or AI. Dire Wolf Digital plans to support competitive, ranked and ladder gaming which will be involved in some of the game modes. Drafting forms some of the game modes and some will include side decks.