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Games of Battle Spirits Saga are won in one of two ways.

The first is by reducing your opponent’s life total to zero through attacking them with your Spirits.

By hitting your opponent with Spirits, you reduce their life cores by the total number of symbols in your attacking creatures’ bottom right corner – for instance, if you hit with two creatures with one symbol each, your opponent will lose two life cores.

The second way will be one familiar to most TCG players, known as ‘decking out’. If you go to your start step with no cards left in your deck, you immediately lose the game regardless of how many life cores you had left remaining.

Of course, there are other potential outcomes, such as both players winning at the same time (resulting in a draw), or one player conceding the game and losing as a result.

Each turn is divided into seven steps:

Start Step: This step is more about checking the condition of the board. Any effects that say they happen in the Start step are resolved, and the active player must check to see if they still have cards in their deck. If they don’t, they immediately lose the game.

Core Step: The Core Step has the active player puts one core from their Void into their Reserve. Any effects that are stated to trigger now are also resolved. The first player doesn’t have a Core step on their first turn.

Draw Step: This step is simple enough: the active player draws a card. If any effects trigger now, they are also resolved.

Refresh Step: In the Refresh Step, every currently-exhausted card (those turned 90 degrees) are returned to their normal position. Cores in your Trash area are moved back into your Reserve, and any effects triggered by this step are resolved.

Main Step: This is the earliest point in the turn where you can play cards. In the Main Step, you can play Spirit, Nexus, and Magic cards, level up cards already on the field, set cards in your Burst area, activate abilities on cards, or merely move onto the next step.

Attack Step: This is when combat happens, and the active player can decide which Spirits they are attacking with, while the defending player can choose their blockers. Alongside combat, this step also includes two Flash Windows where cards with flash abilities can be played.

End Step: In the End Step, any effects that specifically trigger during the end step, or last until the end of the turn, are resolved. After this, the turn ends, and the next player begins again at the Start Step.