SolForge Fusion Rules
In SolForge Fusion, players take on the role of Forgeborn. The Forgeborn are mighty heroes that can wield the magic and power of the SolForge by summoning creatures and casting spells that level up when they are played.
SolForge Fusion is a lane-based combat game. Each player has five lanes into which they can place at most one creature each. Creatures opposing one another will clash in battle. If a creature is unopposed in a lane, it will attack the opposing Forgeborn directly, reducing their health. The first player to reduce the opposing Forgeborn’s health to zero, wins the game.
Creatures, spells and Forgeborn come in unique, algorithmically-generated faction decks. While you can’t change the cards in a faction deck, you will fuse two faction decks together to construct the perfect deck. Since you only play a small fraction of your cards each time through your deck and those cards level up to new versions, which cards you choose to play will dramatically affect your deck’s behavior each game.
Each faction deck consists of 10 sets of three matching Level 1, Level 2, and Level 3 cards and a Forgeborn card (which lists the 10 card names on its back). Physical copies come with a promotional 32nd card that is not part of the deck. If it is a Minion card, set it aside with your other Minion cards.
Each player selects two faction decks from different factions at the beginning of the game and shuffles their Level 1 cards together to form a 20-card fused deck and sets the Level 2 and Level 3 cards to the side. During the game they will replace the cards in the deck. The players also choose one of their two Forgeborn cards to use during the game.
Each Forgeborn has three single-use abilities. The icon beside an ability indicates the deck cycle in which they are available. Note that the exact set of abilities and their order varies on Forgeborn cards with the same name and many abilities are stronger when they appear at later levels.
Each faction has two types of Minion cards. Set them aside, organized by faction and level. Most Minion cards are two-sided with different levels on each side. Minions never go in decks, but otherwise behave as creatures (see below).
Forge Token card
During the game, one player will have the Forge (showing the colorful side of the token) and the other player will not. This affects whether you have an aggressive or defensive posture for the turn. Ownership of the Forge will change each turn.
Health and Attack Trackers
Each Starter Kit comes with 25 tracker cards. These cards can be used to help keep track of Health and Attack total changes on your creatures. Dice are a great alternative to the tracker cards if preferred.
The Game board will help all players know which of the five lanes your creatures are placed in. It also outlines places for players to keep their deck, discard pile, upgrade piles, Forgeborn cards, and Forge Tokens.
There are five lanes that will contain creature cards. Each player takes one side of the lanes and their sides have front (red) and back (blue) rows. When creatures enter play, they do so in the front row on the Forge player’s side of the board and the back row on the non-Forge player’s side of the board. Players can only have one creature in their half of a lane, but they can replace previously-placed creatures.
At the end of each turn there is a Combat Phase that triggers fighting in each lane that has at least one front-row creature. If both players have creatures in such a lane then the creatures deal damage to each other. If only one player has a creature in a lane and it is in the front row then it deals damage to the opposing player.
As mentioned above, creatures are played into lanes. When they leave play, creatures are banished -- they do not go into player discard piles. For Minions, that means they go back to supply. Other creatures go into their owner’s banish pile.
Each creature card has Attack (red swords icon) and Health (green plus icon) values printed at the top of the card. During the game, these values will change and the changes persist between turns. Use dice or tokens to indicate the current values. The Attack value cannot go below 0. If Health is reduced to 0 or lower, the creature is destroyed and is banished. Abilities may still be triggering that care about the creature’s lane and attack value, so you may wish to temporarily put the creature beneath its lane until the abilities are done resolving.
Creatures have a small box that describes them beside their level icon. For example, the Scorchmane Dragon says ‘Creature - Dragon’ so other cards that refer to level 2 cards, creatures, and Dragons can all refer to Scorchmane Dragon. The larger box gives abilities if the creature has any. Scorchmane Dragon’s ability is ‘Mobility’ (bold keywords are explained in the glossary).
Creatures can be either Ready (upright) or Exhausted (sideways). Creatures enter play ready. The only difference between an Exhausted creature and a Ready one is that it cannot use abilities that require Exhausting it to activate.
Creatures can also be in the Front Row or Back Row. Creatures enter play in the Front Row when you play them while you have the Forge. Otherwise they enter play in the Back Row. Creatures in the Front Row will initiate combat at the end of each turn (see Combat Phase below).
Spells are the other type of card in decks. Unlike creatures, spells are not played into a lane. Immediately resolve the effects in a spell’s text box and then banish the spell.
Start of the Game
Players each select two faction decks and one of their faction decks’ Forgeborn, then shuffles their Level I cards together face-down to form their starting deck. Set aside any Level II and Level III cards for later use. Players start the game at 50 Health. Randomly choose a player to start the game with the Forge, then begin the first turn.
- Players Draw 5 Cards
- Action Phases
- Forge player’s first Action Phase
- Non-Forge player’s first Action Phase
- Forge player’s second Action Phase
- Non-Forge player’s second Action Phase
- Combat Phase
- End of Turn Phase
- Resolve “end of turn” effects
- Remove “this turn” effects
- Armor is restored to its printed value
- Maintenance Phase
- Players discard their hands
- Put back-row creatures in the front row
- Ready Exhausted creatures
- Pass the Forge to the player without it
- End of Deck Cycle Phase (once every 3 turns)
- Ready Exhausted Forgeborn
- Players each shuffle their draw and discard piles together to make new decks
- Level Up Forgeborn
- After four deck cycles, the game enters Sudden Death
Each Action Phase has an active player. That player will either play or banish one card from their hand. (If you banish a card this way, level it up as if you had played it; see below.) In addition, they may take any number of free actions both before and after playing or banishing a card:
- Play a card with an ability that allows you to play it for Free
- Exhaust one of your Ready cards to use an ability:
- Forgeborn ability for the current deck cycle (starting with the second deck cycle)
- A creature’s Activate: ability
- A creature’s Mobility (X) ability (see Glossary)
While most action phases will consist of a single card play, players should indicate that they are done taking free actions.
Lanes engage in combat simultaneously, but ignore lanes that don’t have a creature in a front row. In lanes where both players have creatures, the creatures will Battle, dealing damage to each other equal to their Attack value. Otherwise, if a creature in a front row is unopposed then it will deal damage equal to its Attack value to the opposing player instead.
In the above image, there are 5 different examples of combat occurrences.
A) The Combat Demon is in the front of its lane and is unopposed. It will attack the opponent’s Health for 7.
B) Combat Demon and the opposing creature are both in the front of their lanes. They will both initiate combat and deal damage to eatchother.
C) Combat Demon is in the back of its lane. It would not initiate a combat itself, but will return damage to the opposing creature that is going to initiate an attack.
D) Neither creature is in the front of a this lane. No attacks will take place.
E) The opposing creature in the final lane will not attack the bottom player because it is not in the front of its lane.
Damage and Armor
A creature with Armor first applies damage it takes to its Armor value before its Health is reduced. A creature’s Armor resets each turn, unless the Armor was gained from another card’s effect.
For example, if a creature with 2 Armor would be dealt 3 damage, its Health would only be reduced by 1. Any additional damage taken by that creature in the same turn would further reduce its Health.
To play a card:
- Reveal and announce the card being played
- Declare whether the card is being played for Free
- Creatures: place them in a lane (see below)
- Spells: resolve their effects, then banish them (see below)
- If you played the card from your hand or discard pile, place the next level of the card in your discard pile (Level 3 cards do not have a higher level version to place in your discard)
- Resolve all effects triggered by playing the card (see below)
If an ability on the cards you are playing says that the card can be played for Free and you wish to do so, you must meet any preconditions (‘If you have gained Health this turn, this is Free’) and agree to any constraints imposed (‘You may also deal 5 damage to yourself. If you do, this is Free.’).
When you play a creature, first choose a lane. If it contains a friendly creature, banish that creature: this is called replacing a creature. If you have the Forge, place the creature in the front row; otherwise it goes in the back row. The Aggressive and Defender keywords override this behavior, forcing you to put the creature in the front or back row, respectively. When you replace or reanimate (see glossary) a creature, the new creature is placed normally no matter whether the original one was in the front or back row.
Playing a creature will trigger ‘Deploy:’ abilities. If you replace another creature, it will trigger ‘if this replaces a creature’ effects but not ‘when this is destroyed’ effects.
Spells can have several abilities, each of which will be separated by a blank line. Abilities that make a card Free were discussed above. Some abilities just modify other abilities, such as ‘If you have a Scientist in play, you may Reanimate up to two creatures instead’. All other abilities are resolved in the order written but are otherwise independent. Abilities must be resolved unless they say they are optional.
When resolving a single ability, resolve each step of the ability in the order written. If a step tells you to do something more than once then do each thing one at a time (‘Play two Gizmos’ can replace the first Gizmo with the second).
If a card’s effect has more than one ability, the controlling player chooses the order that each ability takes place.
Resolving Triggered Effects
Card abilities tell you when to trigger their effects. For example, Spell Sprite has the ability ‘When you play a spell, give this +2 Attack. An ability can only trigger if it is in play both before the triggering event starts and after it is resolved. If you have a Spell Sprite in play and play a spell with the ability ‘You may play a Spell Sprite’ then the original Spell Sprite’s ability will trigger but the abilities of the new Spell Sprite created by the spell will not. If a creature has an ability that triggers when creatures are destroyed, this ability will trigger even when that creature is destroyed and it will take into account all creatures that are destroyed at the same time. For example, if a creature with “whenever a creature is destroyed, you gain 1 Health” is destroyed along with one other creature during Combat then you gain 2 Health.
Combat or playing a single card can create several events that trigger many abilities before there is an opportunity to resolve them. After combat, playing a card, or resolving an ability that requires you to exhaust a card there will be an opportunity to resolve triggered abilities. If these actions nest (e.g. an ‘Activate:’ ability causes you to play a card), only resolve triggers after the top-level action is complete. The player with the Forge resolves all of their accumulated triggered abilities and then the player without the Forge resolves theirs. If resolving abilities triggers more abilities, accumulate the new triggers until after the original batch is completely resolved by both players and then repeat this process for the new batch of triggered abilities.
When a player has multiple effects to resolve in the current batch then they get to choose the resolution order.
Winning and losing
You lose if your Health is reduced to 0 or below. You win if you are the only player who hasn’t lost. If all remaining players lose at the same time (or the game enters the fifth deck cycle), follow the Sudden Death rules.
At any time during Sudden Death, if a player has less health than their opponent, they lose. The game continues for up to 3 turns in sudden death. If there have still been no changes in health, the player who has the Forge during the last turn wins the game.
Activate: (ability) - This creature may be Exhausted to resolve the ability.
Adjacent: Creatures are considered to be adjacent if they are controlled by the same player and in lanes next to each other (they can be in different rows).
Aggressive - Keyword. Put this creature in the front row when played (even if you don’t have the Forge) or when it gains the keyword.
Armor - See the section ‘Damage and Armor’. When a card ability refers to whether a creature has Armor or how much Armor it has, include inactive Armor.
Battle - Creatures that Battle deal damage equal to their Attack to each other.
Breakthrough - Keyword. When this creature is in the front row during Combat, any damage that would be taken by the opposing creature in excess of that creature’s current Health is dealt to the opponent instead.
Defender - Keyword. Put this creature in the back row when played (even if you have the Forge) or when it gains the keyword. This creature cannot be put in the front row as long as it has Defender, even if it also gains Aggressive.
Deploy: (ability) - When this creature is played, including being reanimated, trigger the ability.
Destroy - Destroy an in-play creature by banishing it. A creature whose Health is reduced to 0 or less is considered destroyed, but creatures that are replaced are not.
Discard - Put a card from a player’s hand into their discard pile. The card does not level up.
Enters - A creature enters a lane and row when it is played. Afterwards, it enters a row or lane when its row or lane changes (usually only one or the other changes at a time).
Exhaust - Rotate an upright card to the sideways position. An Exhausted card behaves as normal; the only effect is that it cannot be Exhausted to activate abilities.
Free - A card that can be played for Free does not count as the one card that you can play or banish during one of your action phases.
Level (I,II,III) - Cards have their level (1/2/3) indicated by an icon on their middle-left of the card.
Minion - A creature with Minion in the description. Minions do not go in decks or banish piles.
Mobility (X) - Keyword. This creature may be exhausted to Move it up to X lanes. Intervening lanes do not need to be empty.
Move - Change the lane of a creature to another, empty lane. This does not change the creature’s row position unless explicitly specified (e.g. Ironbeard’s Knockback).
Opposed - Having an enemy in its lane.
Opposing creature - The other creature in the same lane.
Opposing player - The opponent of the player controlling a creature.
Owner (of a card) - The player whose deck the card came from (named at the bottom of the card).
Ready - Return an Exhausted (sideways) card to the upright position.
Reanimate - Play a card from your banish pile.
Replace (a creature) - Play a creature to an occupied lane, banishing the original creature. The banished creature is not considered destroyed. The player whose creature is replaced is the one who plays the new creature and that creature is put in the front or back row accordingly.
Stealth - Keyword. During Combat, treat this creature as unopposed if the opposing creature is in the back row.
Strike - This creature deals damage equal to its Attack to another creature.
Swap - To swap a creature, there must be another valid target for that creature to swap with. Move the creatures to each other’s lane without changing their rows.
This - If unqualified, ‘this’ always refers to the card on which it is written.
Unopposed - Not opposed.
Upgrade - Keyword. Upgrading a Level 3 card has no effect, but is considered to have succeeded. Otherwise, banish the card and replace it with its next level. Subsequent references to the card that was Upgraded refer to the higher-level version that replaced it instead. ‘When a card is Upgraded’ only refers to using this keyword, not normal leveling of cards when they are played.
You - For spells this means the player playing it, but for creatures it is the player whose side of the lanes the creature was on when the effect was triggered.
Your creatures - Creatures on (or just banished from) your side of the lanes.
If card text or rules says that something ‘cannot’ happen, then abilities cannot override that restriction. Otherwise, card abilities override the rules. If two triggers attempt to do contradictory things then follow trigger resolution rules and stop resolving abilities when a step fails (as normal).
Each Spell in Your Banish Pile (Darkforge Drain)
Count each level of the spells separately.
‘Gained Health This Turn’
A player or creature that gains Health is considered to have gained Health on that turn even if there has been a net loss of Health since the start of the turn.
Almost all lasting effects expire during the ‘End of Turn Phase’ (after Combat and before Maintenance). This means ‘gains Defender this turn’ doesn’t affect whether a creature moves to the front row. Lasting effects also expire when a creature is banished from play, so a creature that reanimates itself is actually causing a new and different creature to be played.
Losing Printed Abilities
If an effect causes a creature to lose its printed abilities, treat its ability box as if it was blank but lasting effects (e.g. ‘has Breakthrough this turn’) will persist. If a creature loses printed Armor then remove inactive Armor before active Armor. A creature that loses its printed abilities can still gain new abilities.
‘Lowest Attack Creature’
In case of a tie, pick one of the tied creatures. See Under-Specified Situations.
The contents of discard and upgrade piles is public information and players may ask to look at their opponent’s discard piles at any time. When playing offline, players should check their opponent’s discard piles immediately before a shuffle and make sure that the correct number of cards are present.
Replacing a Creature with a Different Level of Itself
Level 2 Metamind Overseer and Everflame Phoenix have abilities that replace themselves with their Level 3 versions. When a creature is reanimated, the higher-level version could be in play. Rules as written suggest that you would banish your in-play creature to replace the lower-level one.
The player performing an action that isn’t restricted to a unique target chooses the target. If an ability requires multiple players to act without specifying the order (and the situation is not covered by the triggering rules), the player with the Forge acts first. For example, ‘Each player destroys one of their creatures’ would cause the Forge player to choose and destroy one of their creatures first, then the non-Forge player. (In 2v2 players within a team choose their order.)
‘Use Your Forgeborn’s (level) Ability’
This allows you to resolve the indicated ability (regardless of the current deck cycle) but does not exhaust your Forgeborn, require your Forgeborn to be ready nor affect normal uses of the ability.
‘When This Damages/Destroys’
Both Attack and abilities on the card can damage or destroy for the purposes of its wording. ‘Damages’ requires the target to take damage. If an ability on one card causes a second creature to Strike another, the creature whose Attack was used to deal damage and gets the credit.
Michael Van Biesbrouck