Card Types

This section contains detailed descriptions of the various types of cards you will find within the game. Cards in the UCG work differently as they have names such as Terra Character - Mercenary, rather than just character. In this example "Terra" is the card's Archetype and "Character" is the main card type. "Mercenary" is the card's Designator which is a special subtype associated with character cards. The other types of cards in the game have their own set of Archetypes and Subtypes which will all be discussed in detail below. Knowledge of all the types of cards, as well as the archetypes associated with them, is crucial to developing a well-rounded deck. Always keep in mind the playing conditions of each card you choose to add to your deck. An average match will often have players start with weaker cards. They will then escalate to the usage of more expensive and powerful cards as the game progresses. A good deck will need to keep a balance between the price and power of each card it contains.

Character Card

The primary card type of the Universal Card Game. Most players will achieve victory by using character cards. These cards represent the various heroes and villains in the Starcat Universe. Characters have a Combat stat located in the center-left of the card inside the grey "gizmo" icon.  Combat represents the total amount of damage the character can dish out and receive during an encounter. Whenever a character would take damage greater than or equal to their Combat stat, the character is Consumed by Void. Meaning it is no longer on your playing field.

The Combat Logo

Character cards are the only type of card that can participate in an Encounter. Character cards, unless otherwise stated, will start off in play in your Active Zone. This will allow them to attack or defend in an Encounter, or use an Activated Ability. When a character activates as part of an ability or attacks in an Encounter, it is placed inside the Exhausted Zone. Character cards placed here can no longer be used until your next turn. Keyword abilities are used to represent common abilities that are found on character cards. Please refer to the Keyword Ability and Combat sections of this rulebook for more detail on Keyword abilities.

A unique feature of character cards is they have Designators. The Designator is used to show the allegiance(s) of the character represented on the card. Several cards in the game have abilities that only apply to characters with certain Designators. Character cards are the only types of cards that have Designators in the Universal Card Game.

Note: Some cards can gain the ability to become characters and would gain Designators only while they are character cards.

Character cards that are placed within the Exhausted Zone cannot use abilities that require them to activate. Character cards can have abilities that require a cost, but the cost may not include an activation. These abilities do not cause the character card to be placed into the Exhausted Zone after use.

Note: There are five archetypes associated with Character cards. They include: Terra Characters, Epic Characters, Vanilla Characters, Flip Characters, and Token Characters.

Terra Character

The primary character archetype you will encounter in the Universal Card Game. Terra Characters have a Terra Cost listed in the top left hand corner of the card. This is the price in Terra that you need to pay in order to place the character in your playing field. In general, the higher the Terra Cost of the card, the more powerful the card will be. Terra costs are paid by either using resource cards or using other cards that have abilities that generate Terra.

Note: Regardless of how a card is put into play, the card’s Terra Cost will always be the number listed at the top left of the Terra Character card. This will be the case even if the Terra Cost is affected by another card's ability for a reduced cost. This statistic of the Terra Character card cannot be reduced unless otherwise stated by another card in play.

Note: Each turn you can play Terra Characters as long as you have Terra to pay for them.


Epic Character

Epic Characters have a certain condition to meet to enter the playing field. These cards, as with the Terra Character cards, have their Combat stat listed next to their card type in the center left part of the card. Epic Characters require a significant investment to play, for you can only play one per turn. With the proper circumstances, these characters can be easier to play than Terra Characters. Compared to Terra Characters, Epic Characters' scale of cost growth is much less.

Note: Epic Characters do NOT have Terra Costs and any abilities that would affect Terra Costs or Terra Characters do NOT apply to this Archetype.

Note: You can only play one Epic Character per turn..

Token Character

Characters put into play by the ability of another card's ability. These cards will never start in your deck, but will rather be in a separate stack known as your Side Deck. You can only have an amount of Tokens equal to the amount of cards dedicated to Token Characters in your Twenty card Side Deck. Token Characters have their Token ability which states the name of the card that is allowed to place the Token Character into the playing field.



Vanilla Character

Character cards that have no special abilities on their own. The Vanilla Character can be associated with other types of character cards. It will often show in unison with other character card archetypes. The Vanilla Character card will often have what is known as Flavor Text filling its text box. This text is only used for story purposes and has no effect on the rules of the game. The addition of abilities from other cards or abilities in play will not affect the Archetype of the Vanilla Character. This is because the Character still does not have any abilities of its own.



Flip Character

These cards have the ability to switch between either two or more cards at one time. This can be performed by meeting certain conditions that will “Flip” the Character card between forms. This card will always start off with the card name where the Terra Cost is stated in the top left corner of the card.

Flip Character cards are different from other Character Archetypes. Because of this, they have a different layout. Flip Characters have text boxes on both the top and bottom of the card. The artwork is split into two forms. The card name on the top refers to the abilities listed on the bottom text box of the card.

Note: When a Flip Card changes its form, the name of the character also changes as well. Any abilities that would affect one form may not affect the other form.

Note: Some Flip Character cards can flip into different card types. If the card flips into a non-character card type, it no longer counts as a character while in that form.

Note: If a Flip Character flips into another Archetype that does not include Terra, they are no longer affected by abilities that would affect Terra Costs and Terra Characters.

Effect Card

Effect cards have abilities that can only be used once. After which, they are removed from the playing field.

Effect cards are different than character cards. Effect cards, unlike characters, have single use abilities that can immediately turn the tide of the game. Effects can remain safe in your hand until you need them, rather than exposing them on the playing field. Effect Cards are not affected by abilities that would deal only with character cards.

The Archetypes of effect cards include: Terra Effect, Status Effect, and Pitfall Effect Cards. Like character cards, the Archetypes affect the conditions needed to use the Effect card.

Effect cards instead have a Timing associated with their abilities. The Timing can allow the card to resolve immediately as long as its cost is paid. Timing can also sustain a card as long as it is not slain by another card on the field. Timing is an attribute only associated with effect cards.

Note: Effect cards resolve immediately after play. They are then placed in the Void. Their abilities can be cancelled by cards that would Nullify their effect. This will cause the card to instead immediately go to the Void without using its ability.


To understand the full functionality of the effect card is to understand Timing. Effect cards, unlike their character counterparts have their abilities limited by their Timing. A character can stay in play for several turns unless otherwise removed or “slain” by another card or ability. In contrast, effect cards will resolve their effect in full and immediately sent to the Void. Avoid instant resolution by having cards with the Timing of Permanent. This will allow it to remain on the field like character cards.


The Timing of Action makes the card playable only during your Primary Phase. They cannot be played in response to another card being played and only during your turn.


The Timing of Immediate allows an effect card to resolve immediately. Effect cards with this Timing can be played in response to other affects or abilities. Other cards can activate abilities in response to Immediate Effects. The playing of other Immediate Effects can be used in response to an Immediate Effect. Immediate Effects cannot be played during Dawn, Draw, and Dusk Phases.


Effect cards with the Timing of Permanent allow them to stay on the field longer than one turn. These cards act like character cards. They will often have a passive ability. They can activate like character cards as well. Effects with Timing of Permanent can be activated in response to other cards, but not played in response to other cards.


Effect cards with Timing of Hidden can only be played during your Primary Phase. They can only be played in one of your Three open Effect Zones. These cards are played face down and often have a condition called a Contact Condition that will flip them face up.

Note: Effect Zones are used for Sequences which is discussed in its own section in this manual.


Effects with the Timing of Proxy are played in one of your Three open Effect Zones. Unlike Hidden Effects, Proxy Effects are played face up. Some conditions that move them to your Active Zone. These abilities are called Bide abilities and will be discussed later in the "Playing the Game" section of this manual.

Terra Effect

The Terra Effect is an Effect Card that has a Terra cost associated with its use. Terra Effect cards can have all three different types of Timing associated with them. They can also mix with other Archetypes of Effect cards. As with Terra Characters, a Terra Effect's Terra Cost can be reduced on a Terra Effect.

Example: Terra Status Effect is a card placed on another card in play that needs Terra Cost paid to play it.

Note: Each turn you can play Terra Effects as long as you have Terra to pay for them.






Status Effect

Status Effect cards must have a target, and remain on the target until removed from the playing field. You cannot play the Status Effect card on itself, even if it would be a valid target. The targeted card or “Effected” card can leave the playing field before you can attach the Status Effect. In this case, the Status Effect has no valid target and it immediately leaves the playing field.

If a card has a card type listed as “Status Effect – Character” the effect must have a character in play to target when it is played. The Status Effect is then attached to the character card. It can then grant it the abilities listed on the Status Effect card.

Note: It is assumed that all Status Effects have the timing of Action unless otherwise stated on the card itself.




Pitfall Effect

Pitfall Effects are Effect cards that do not have any type of cost associated with putting them on the playing field. They are often associated with Proxy and Hidden Timings. These cards can only be played within one of your Three open Effect Zones. These cards have abilities that will allow them to enter your Active Zone. You can play as many Pitfall Effect cards that you have available Effect Zones.

Note: Pitfall Effect cards have a dark texture at the bottom to show that they need to be played within the Effect Zones.







Architects are played in the Shadow Zone and have the Archetype of Shadow Architects. This is a Zone that can only be occupied by one card you control. Cards with the Archetype of Shadow have a Resource Requirement. A Resource Requirement is the total number of Resource cards you must have in play in order to play the Architect.

Note: You do not need to activate resource cards to pay a Resource Requirement. Also, non-resource cards that generate Terra do NOT count toward meeting a Resource Requirement. Example: Touch of the Void.

Once you meet the Shadow Architect's Resource Requirement, you may place it face up into your Shadow Zone. This card is considered your active Shadow Architect and will act as a shield to your deck. The Shadow Architect has two specific types of abilities, used during different phases of your turn.


The Assimilation ability for the Shadow Architect you have in play Triggers at the beginning of your draw step. You must read and follow the ability exactly as it is stated as some Assimilate abilities do not allow you to draw a card. Once you have completed the Assimilate ability, you then place a Retribution counter on the Shadow Architect. You will then continue the rest of your turn as normal.

Note: Assimilation Abilities replace your standard draw step action. If the Shadow Architect states that you do not draw a card as part of its ability, then you will not draw a card during your draw phase.

Note: If another card or ability would make you draw cards, you draw the cards as normal.


Once your Shadow Architect has used its Assimilate ability or "Assimilated", you can then use one of its Retribution Abilities. Each Shadow Architect has at least three Retribution Abilities it can use. The abilities scale in power based on how many Retribution Counters are used for the ability.

Note: You can only use Retribution Abilities once per turn and only during your Primary Phase.

The idea behind a Shadow Architect's Retribution abilities is to provide you with a wide amount of abilities that you can use each turn. If you are patient you are rewarded with a greater effect. You can use other cards in the game to change how these abilities can be used. They can even use the abilities for free without the use of Retribution counters.

Note: All Retribution and Assimilate abilities on a Shadow Architect in play cannot be nullified from Effects or Abilities. The Shadow Architect itself can have its abilities removed or changed by other cards in play.


PowerShadowArchitectDemoShadow Architects along with any card within the Shadow Zone act as shields to your deck from your opponent's attacks. If an opponent attacks you with a character and you have a Shadow Architect in play, that player must eliminate the Shadow Architect before being able to damage your deck.

Note: Abilities that trigger as part of dealing damage to a player will still resolve if the damage is dealt to a Shadow Architect instead.

Shadow Architect cards have a Power stat instead of a Combat stat. Power, unlike Combat, cannot be modified by cards that would affect characters. It cannot be changed on the Shadow Architect. This stat however, like the Combat stat does heal at the end of every turn. This allows a Shadow Architect to provide a definite amount of defense to your deck . The player must inflict damage either with attacks or with Effects or Abilities that would deal damage to any target.

Resource Card

ResourceDemoThe Resource Card resides in different zones of play from other cards such as the characters and effects discussed prior. They are played within the Reserve Zone (Unused Resources) or Expended Zone (Used Resources). Resource cards are used as the in-game currency to play cards of the Terra Archetype. Resources remain in play unless removed by another card’s ability. They can also similar to Effects with the Timing of Permanent, have passive and active abilities.

There are two Archetypes associated with Resources, they are Unique and Standard Resources. 


Standard Resource cards have the following features:

  • The name “Resource” is only on the card to let you know that is a Standard Resource. Cards of the Standard Resource Archetype do not have a card name.
  • Second, the Standard Resource card will only have the ability "Activate: Generate One Terra."
  • The Standard Resource card Archetype is the only card in the game to have the Stability of Unlimited. This Stability states that you can play up to sixty copies of the card in your deck. Not that you would want to play that many. Regardless, you can play as many as needed to fulfill your need of Terra generation in your deck.

Note: Any Effect or ability within the game that would state a card name, CANNOT affect Standard Resource cards.

Note: When making a deck reliant on Terra, we recommend using 20-24 Standard Resource cards.


Unique Resource cards are cards that follow the basic stability of the game. Unlike Standard Resource cards, these cards do have card names like the rest of the cards in the game. Additionally, the cards will be able to activate for more abilities. They can go beyond just generating Terra. These cards are like Effect cards with the Timing of Permanent. One big difference is that they activate from your Reserve Zone instead of your Active Zone.

Note: As with other cards that can activate for abilities, Unique Resource cards can be activated to the Ignition Zone or in response to other cards or abilities.