The (Unofficial) Gems of War: Trading Card Game [Contest Entry]


Gems of War, the Trading Card Game is an unofficial card game idea inspired by Gems of War.
All rights reserved to Infinity+2 and 505 Games - Invented By: Zelfore

Link to all presently created cards and further game-play details.
Cleaner, faster link: Warning: Commenting disabled.

[details=Example Cards (Click)]

Card stats and abilities displayed above might not be finalized and are subject to change.

:new: = Latest Finished || :white_check_mark: = Complete || :atom_symbol: : = In Progress || :o2: = Unstarted

What's New? (6/30/2017)
  • Adana Completed!
  • Minor changes to negative status effects, and Freeze added!
  • Tool-tip descriptions for some of the more complicated effects.
  • Khaziel development begins soon.

:new: Adana
:o2: Apocalypse
:white_check_mark: Blackhawk
:o2: Blighted Lands
:o2: Broken Spire
:o2: Darkstone
:o2: Divinion Fields
:white_check_mark: Dragon’s Claw
:o2: Drifting Sands
:o2: Forest of Thorns
:o2: Ghulvania
:o2: Glacial Peaks
:o2: Grosh-Nak
:o2: Guardians
:o2: Karakoth
:atom_symbol: Khaziel
:o2: Khetar
:o2: Leonis Empire
:o2: Maugrim Woods
:white_check_mark: Mist of Scales
:o2: Pan’s Vale
:white_check_mark: Pridelands
:o2: Primal
:o2: Silverglade
:o2: Stormheim
:o2: Suncrest
:white_check_mark: Sword’s Edge
:white_check_mark: Whitehelm
:o2: Wild Plains
:o2: Zaejin
:o2: Zhul’Kari

The Setup

The above image is the basic gameboard, both players need enough space for a board this size to begin.

What’s the Deck / Recycled?
The deck is where you draw the following types of cards:

  • Troops (Units that are placed above the Hero for protection and maintain field advantage.)
  • Weapons (Tools to be equipped to your Hero, offering them Attack and special abilities.)
  • Skull Gems (Allows a Troop or your Hero to attack the opponent.)
    Recycling is the reuse of cards that are not destroyed or returned to the hand, but still removed from the field. Only Troops, Weapons, and Skull Gems can be recycled to the Main Deck.

What’s a Gem Deck?
The side deck that empowers your Troops and Hero to cast spells or activate traits:

  • Colored Gems (Gems are attached to units to be cast with or used at a later time.)
  • Colored Gems are ALWAYS RECYCLED, this returns them specifically to your Gem Deck.
    Gems are are colored, but not color restricted when attaching. A Blue/Yellow Troops can be attached with a Brown Gem, even if it can’t be used to activate any abilities.

The Front Line?
This is where Troops are primarily played or summoned from the hand. Tactically place them in any of three columns when planning around spells and traits.

  • Troops in the same column can be swapped freely if neither Troop has cast a spell that turn.
  • Troops on the same row cannot be swapped.
  • Legendary and Mythic Troops are restricted to the Front-Line only, and can’t have Troops behind them.
    (Normally) Only Troops in the Front-Line can attack, and they (normally) can only attack other Troops in the Front-Line, or the opponent’s Hero if a column is empty.

The Back-Line?
The Back-Line can’t have a Troop in it if the Front-Line in the same column isn’t already occupied.

  • Back-Line Troops (normally) cannot attack. They can cast spells and activate traits though.
  • Mythic Troops are treated as Front & Back-Line units. Making them susceptible to column damage.
    When a column with a Back-Line Troop in it has it’s Front-Line Troop removed from it, the Back-Line Troop is immediately moved to the Front-Line.

The Hero?
The primary player and important target to eliminating the opponent. Without your Hero, you cannot freely play cards from your hand except for Skull Gems.

  • Heroes are starting board pieces, and normally start with 35 total health.
  • Heroes are treated as an ally/enemy, but not as a Troop. An important detail in most abilities.
  • Abilities that target or effect a Row or Back-Line cannot harm the Hero.
  • Abilities that target or effect columns or Front-Line can harm the Hero if they don’t specify “Troop”.
  • “Playing” and “Summoning” are not the same thing. Only the Hero can “play” Troops.
    A match doesn’t end with the death of your Hero, but it does greatly limit you play. The match ends when either target is left with no remaining units in play. (In case of a tie, the turn player wins.)

These can only be equipped to a Hero and are otherwise useless without them.

  • Other weapons can be equipped over your current weapon, this recycles the previous weapon.
  • All weapons have a “Breaking Point”. Weapons without BP are destroyed and not recycled.
  • Heroes need an empty column and a weapon to attack.
    Additional Attack gained with a weapon is lost when a new weapon is equipped or their current one is broken. The Hero cannot gain any Attack without an equipped weapon.

Mana Pond?
This is where your Colored Gems go. Colored Gems never go to your hand and can be seen by the opponent at all times.

  • The Mana Pond can hold a max of 4 Colored Gems at a time. Extra Gems are considered “overflow”.
  • "Overflow" is the exchange of Gems already in your pond for any extra Gems pooled.
  • Gems can (normally) only be attached to your units directly from your Mana Pond.

The Gameplay

Turn Phases:

  • Start of Turn (Gain 2 Action Points, unless this is the first turn of the match, then gain only 1.)
  • Draw/Pool Phase (Draw 1 Card, Pool 1 Gem.)
  • Passive Phase (PASSIVE Traits without a defined trigger activate.)
  • Status Phase (Status effects activate, then a dice is rolled to cleanse them.)
    – Poison activates.
    – Burn activates.
    – Death’s Mark rolls for activation.
    – Mana Burn activates.
    – Enchant activates. (Pick which Troop picks-up a card first before picking up a Gem.)
    – Roll to cleanse temporary negative status effects. (You say which one you’re rolling to cleanse for.)
  • Action Phase (Spend AP, Spells and ACTIVE Traits can be activated at anytime this phase.)
  • End of Turn (The opponent now starts their turn.)

Action Points (AP):
Action Points are what allow you to play cards from your hand. You get a set number of 2 Action Points each turn. (Effects can increase/decrease this number to a max/min of 3/1, respectively.)

  • The player that goes first starts with 1 AP instead of 2, this is the only difference between who goes first or second in a match.
  • Attaching Gems does NOT cost anything. (You can’t attach a Skull Gem normally.)
  • Casting Spells or Activating Traits does NOT cost any AP.
  • You can draw an extra card for an AP.
  • You can pool an extra Gem for an AP.
  • You can play a Troop for an AP.
  • You can attack with a Skull Gem for an AP.
  • You can attach a weapon for an AP.
    To simplify, if it’s played from your hand or draws/pools extra, it costs AP.

Spells cost the number of attached Gems listed to cast. [E.g: -3 means recycle 3 attached to cast.]
Traits need the number listed or higher to activate. [E.g: =2 means two or more attached to activate.]
Bonuses need the exact number listed to work. [E.g: 1-5 means 1 to 5, where as: 1,5 means 1 OR 5.]

While Spells can be cast as many times as able during a turn, Traits can only be activated once per turn (unless it’s an ADVANCED Trait), on your turn only (unless a trigger notes otherwise).

  • Neither Traits or Spells cost Action Points and only require Gems to activate, but while Spells recycle ‘X’ attached number of Gems to cast, Traits only need a set number or higher without recycling.
  • When casting a Spell, Gems spent to cast it are removed before the Spell takes effect. So spells that calculate Gems attached to Troops won’t count the ones spent to cast it.

Some Traits have triggers, like when a specific action is performed; otherwise PASSIVE Traits activate at the start of your turn, while ACTIVE Traits can be performed anytime during your turn.

  • TEMPORARY Traits only last until the end of the turn, at which point they are reversed.
  • ADVANCED Traits can be performed an endless number of times per turn unlike regular Traits.
  • Traits can still take effect on death.
  • The turn holder’s Traits will activate before the opponent’s.

Bonuses are unique in that their detail is simplistic and will only effect the Hero or Troop with the Bonus if they define no target. Only Heroes and Mythic Troops can have Bonuses.

  • Bonuses also can’t be effected by negative status effects like Silence or Stun.

Status Effects:
For every consecutive turn a negative Status Effect is active on a Troop, you can call one more number for a chance to cleanse. This means the max time-frame is 6 turns for any negative effect.
Negative: [Note: ‘PERM’ means permanent unless cleansed via effect.]
=Poison (PERM): Flip a coin each turn; if tails, take 1 True damage.*
=Burn: Take 3 damage each turn. Cleansed by Freeze.
=Death’s Mark: Pick one number and roll a dice, if correct; destroy.
=Disease: Twice as many Gems needed to activate a trait or spell.
=Entangle: Can’t attack or gain Attack. Cleansed by Burn.
=Freeze: Can’t attach more than 1 Gem per turn. Cleansed by Burn.
=Hunter’s Mark: Attacks deal twice as much damage to the marked.
=Mana Burn: Recycle 1 attached Gem. Cleansed by spell damage.
=Silence: Can’t cast spell or have Colored Gems attached.
=Stun: Traits can’t be activated. Cleansed by attack damage.
=Web: Every number in a spell effect becomes 1, except bullet points. Cleansed by casting spell.

=Barrier: Negate the next instance of damage then remove this effect.
=Enchant: Pick-up a Gem Deck card, if it’s a used color, attach it. When Spell can be cast, remove Enchant.
=Enrage: Deal twice the damage next attack, negating enemy Traits. Attacked Troop gains Enrage.
=Immunize: Negate the next inflicted negative status effect.
=Storms: Lasts 5 turns. Both player’s draw/pool an extra card/Gem: If it is the correct card/color, keep it; if it’s a different card/color from the storm, recycle it. (Storm-drawn cards must be revealed to the opponent.)

Drawing, Pooling, Picking-Up:
- Drawing is drawing. You can only draw from your primary deck to add cards to your hand.
- Pooling is similar to drawing, but can only be done with your Gem Deck. Take a card from the top of your Gem Deck and add it to your Mana Pond, which is where Gems can be taken from and attached to your allies.
- Picking-Up is unlike drawing or pooling because it’s temporary. When you pick-up a card you normally perform some sort of action with it, otherwise it’s recycled. (Picked-up cards are shown to the opponent.)

=Reveal: Show a card to both players, after both sides have confirmed acknowledgement, return the card to it’s original position.
=(rUp): Rounded up.
=(rDwn): Rounded down.
=Gold/Soul/Map Counters: Tokens that serve no purpose unless specifically referenced in an effect.
=(carry-over): Damage that continues to the next target in a Column or Row.
=True: Damage that only effects Life.
=Sacrifice/Steal: Transfer a stat from one target to another.

Deck Building

Any increments listed below are non-finalized and can/should be tweaked depending.

You have two decks, the regular Deck and the Gem Deck.

Regular Deck Limit = 30-40
– Skull Gems = 5-15

Limits & Card Rarity - There’s no limit for uniques, but no particular unique can exceed it’s maximum.
– Maximum Particular Commons = 5
– Max Particular Rares = 4
– Max Particular Ultra Rares = 3
– Max Particular Epics = 2
– Max Particular Legends = 1 (While the number of unique Legends you can have in your deck isn’t limited, you can only ever have one in play, so too many could leave your Hero wide open.)
– Max Unique Mythics = 1 (Unlike other rarity cards, Mythics are limited to a single Mythic per deck, period. Choose wisely. While there’s a Legend on your board, your Mythic can’t be played & vice versa.)

Gem Deck Limit = 25
– Particular/Unique Colors = As many or as few as you’d like! You can run anything from a single to a duo to an every color deck, just be aware that while a single color is more reliable,
it can also be more easily shut-down by Troops that counter specific colors. Striking an even balance can sometimes be the key to victory.

If something isn’t noted for above or in the provided link, shoot me your inquiry! This game idea is still in development so questions could provide insight on how to better simplify things.

Note: That I’m not looking for assistance on card creation, but you are more than welcome to share your ideas on a troop or even an original creation! I’d love to see what people come up with. :grin:


This looks interesting


Yeah, looks interesting. Makes me wanna stick my nose in and help design.

Also: @Saltypatra

…and probably needs some IP disclaimers here…

@Zelfore while I like the idea you are on a slippery slope with this and need to make sure you are not infringing on copyrighted material.

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Worry not, it’s all idea-based. None of the game’s graphics are being used outside of example and preview pics. Everything else is original and only inspired by Gems of War (with character and troop name use).

Note: It’s a theoretical game that can be played physically (with pen and paper for stat alterations), not anything that I could possibly program. As it’s a contest entry, all rights to it will go straight to 505 Games, what they do or do not do with it is up to them.

The original post will be updated with the gameplay mechanics tomorrow.

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If it’s the contest entry then actually OP is assigning all his IP to the publishers


looks interesting but i want to know basic rules, like what it means x/x = 0? or what it means to pool x gems? :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

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Original Post updated.
Please use the provided link to see the cards already made or in development.


This tingles all my M:tG senses😎 love it!


So, this has me giddy… :heart_eyes:

You aren’t looking for help with design, but when you are ready for testers, pm me and I’ll give you my address so you can send me two decks!! :wink:


Oooooh! Excellent idea! Meeee tooo meee toooo!

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Oh I am so here. Need to finish reading the thread but I would love to help

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Me too!!! Please! :heart_eyes:

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Whitehelm is finished!
Adana is next on the list for kingdoms.

I’m thinking Khaziel after that, but what would you guys like to see?


I would like to see whatever you decide brudda


#Adana is finished!

Adana’s Tempo-based strategy revolves around boosting Armor and maintaining durable Mech allies. Many of the new troops rely on their Mechs to become increasingly impenetrable forces and build up to powerful abilities. (To get the steam rolling, if you will.)

Carnex along with Bombot use their Armor to deal devastating blows while Steam Turret and the aforementioned legendary blow past the weakened foes with their strategic spells.

Keeping a strong guard is easy with Royal Engineer and Clockwork Knight keeping the enemy away from reaching the Hero.

Troops like DRACOS 1337 and Sparkgrinder will turn the enemy into Mechs so troops like Ghiralee and Tesla can break them down!

Finally, Tankbot 2000 is the first of his kind to have control over the enemy’s Action Point allocation, deciding what an AP can or can’t be spent on.

There’s others to see and more to come. Thanks for reading! :spiral_notepad: