Ignitions vs. Sequences

In the Universal Card Game there exist two types of actions you can perform: Ignitions or Sequences. This section will cover all the various scenarios when you can or cannot Ignition or respond with a Sequence.

  • Ignition: The initial usage or playing of a card during a phase of a turn. Ignitions start in the Ignition Zone and can only be performed by turn owners.
  • Sequence: The response a player takes after an Ignition has been declared. Sequences start in Effect Zones and if no Effect Zone is free, cannot be performed.

Make sure when building your deck that you have cards that can both start Ignitions and/or make Sequences against plays. Decks composed mostly of characters depend on abilities of the characters to Sequence the action of other cards. Decks that have a large variety of card types can have greater versatility in the ways they can create Sequences.

Ignition: Playing a Terra Card


To begin, let's give an example for the Ignition of playing a Terra Character. The player has a starting hand of Eight cards and they take the first turn of the game. The player will place one Resource card from their hand into play into their Reserve Zone. This will give the player the ability to play a card with the Archetype of Terra with a Terra Cost of One or less.

In the player’s hand, they have the One Terra Cost card: Spirit of Imagination. The Spirit of Imagination is a Terra Vanilla Character with Two Combat. To start this Ignition, we need to pay its Terra Cost and get it into the Active Zone. State to all the players that you are going to play the card, this is done by placing the card into the Ignition Zone.


Now we need to pay its Terra Cost. To pay the cost, move over the first resource card you played from the Reserve Zone to the Expended Zone.

Now that you have paid the one Terra cost requirement for the Spirit of Imagination, this will allow players to Sequence against the Ignition. Since this is the first turn of the game, the other players may not have a Sequence.

As the game progresses, cards get more powerful. However, cards that are more powerful cost more than one Terra to play. These cards can be played by using your collection of resource cards you have accumulated over the passing turns. You can also use cards that can generate Terra as part of an ability.


In this next example you have the card, Commit Sin Sloth. When activated, this card is Disposed to generate Two Terra for the playing of a card in the Ignition Zone. You also have a Tech Graveyard in play that can Activate to generate Two Terra as well if you Decimate it.

Now let’s play the card, Architect of the Flesh, which costs Six Terra. First, we would need to place the card in the Ignition Zone. Once the card is in the Ignition Zone, you then Decimate Tech Graveyard. This will pay two of the Six Terra needed for Architect of the Flesh. Let’s also use the first ability listed on Commit Sin Sloth to generate Two more Terra. When you use Commit Sin Sloth's ability, it will send it to the Void rather than go to the Exhausted Zone.


Once all three of these requirements are met, you now have paid Four of the Six Terra needed for the Architect of the Flesh. We can move Two Standard Resource cards to pay the last Two Terra needed to play Architect of the Flesh.

Note: A player cannot Sequence to card abilities that are used as part of a cost. The Ignition has not yet completed, so there is no opportunity for the player(s) to Sequence to the action.

Ignition: Playing an Epic Character

The playing of an Epic Character is an Ignition action that you can take on your turn and the conditions associated with paying the cost for the Epic Condition are considered to be Non-Sequential actions. Non-Sequential actions are discussed in a later section of this manual, however, they are actions that cannot result in a Sequence. Epic Characters are not Terra based, but do have costs associated with them. This section will cover in detail how to meet the conditions or costs of cards with these abilities to allow them to be played.

Note: Support Abilities and Epic Conditions cannot be Nullified if the ability states to counter an ability of a character. These abilities are considered the costs of playing the cards.

There are two types of Epic Conditions associated with an Epic Character: Those that have the Epic Condition listed on the card's text box and those that have no listed Epic Condition. We will start with the latter which will lead to a better understanding of the listed Epic Condition.


Epic Characters played by Epic Condition are always an Ignition. As with all other cards in the game that are played as part of an Ignition, you will begin by placing an Epic Character such as Riptor, Sharvan Elite into the Ignition Zone. This card has no written Epic Condition, so it is assumed that it is free, and will consume the one Epic Character you can play per turn. Once Riptor, Sharvan Elite has been placed into your Ignition Zone, the cost is paid, and your opponent can Sequence against the action similar to Terra based cards.


Some Epic Characters have written Epic Conditions such as Drakkonen Reaver. This card has after its keyword abilities the Epic Conditions of "Dispose of an Epic Character you control or Drakkonen Reaver comes into play with a -2 Combat Counter on it." One of these conditions will need to be paid in order to Ignition the Drakkonen Reaver into play. You will start the Ignition by placing the Drakkonen Reaver into the Ignition Zone. There are two options available, you can choose to place the -2 Combat Counter on the card after the card enters the Active Zone or you can immediately Dispose of one of your other Epic Characters. If you had the Riptor, Sharvan Elite in play from a previous turn, you can Dispose of it, completing the Ignition of the Drakkonen Reaver.

Note: Notice that the written Epic Condition is played as part of the Ignition of the Epic Character, thus not giving a chance for a player to Sequence against it until after the cost is paid.

Ignition: Playing a Terra Effect


Terra Effects are played the same way as their character card counterparts. They are placed within the Ignition Zone and the cost is paid. Many Terra Effect cards need a target when played to use its ability.

Let’s start an Ignition by playing the card, Final Clash. This card has a Terra Cost of Five. Final Clash has the Timing of Action, meaning you can only play it on your turn's Primary Phase. You will place the card, Final Clash, into your Ignition Zone and then pay the card's Terra Cost. We will pay the card's cost with Five Terra by moving Standard Resources from the Reserve Zone over to the Exhausted Zone. Once the Terra Cost is paid for Final Clash, the card text states that you will “Decimate target Character.” This statement is important as it tells you what type of target must be declared and how many.

Note: There are cards in the game that would require you to select more than one type of card, or a specific card to use the ability.

Final Clash states that you must target a character. Once the cost has been paid, choose a character card in play that is a valid target for the Effect Card. Cards that cannot be targeted will clearly state that, “This card cannot be the target of Effects or Abilities.” Now that you have chosen your opponent's Generic Force, for example, you can now play Final Clash from your Ignition Zone. If your opponent does not have an effect or ability they can use in Sequence, the Ignition would resolve. Once the Ignition has been completed, Final Clash would be Decimated as part of its ability.

Ignition: Playing Pitfall Effect - Proxy Cards

Just as Epic Characters don't rely on Terra to be played, Pitfall Effects also have no associated Terra Costs. The key to using Pitfall Effects is Timing. To begin with, there are two different Timings of Pitfall Effects: Proxy and Hidden.

In order to Ignition a Pitfall Effect with Timing of Proxy, simply place it into the Ignition zone. Since Pitfall Effect - Proxy cards have no cost to pay, after it's on the Ignition Zone, your opponent has an opportunity to Sequence it. If they don't, simply move it to the highest numbered unoccupied Effect Zone you have.


At this point the card is in play, but isn't ready to use. The first word in a Proxy card's text box is Bide, followed by a number. At the beginning of your Dawn Phase, you put a Bide Counter on your Pitfall Effect. Once it has Bide Counters on it equal to the Bide value on the card, the card will Ignition for its ability.


When the Bide Cost has been met, the card will immediately begin an Ignition. This is not an optional action unless the cards states that you can choose to resolve it. One example of a Bide Cost that is optional is the card ElectroDark Summons. This card allows you the option to choose when to pay the Bide Cost, however you only have the option of paying the cost once a Bide Counter has been placed on it at the beginning of the turn. Some cards that do not have optional Bide Costs are cards that become characters such as Sharvan Phoenix and Sharvan Dragon.

Note: Always remember that the rules listed on a card's ability will override the rules in this rulebook. Not all Bide Costs are paid the same and resolve at different times.

Sequence: Responding and Nullifying the Playing or Activation of a Card.


In this next example the opponent has placed a Dretch, Primal Spawn in their Ignition Zone, and generate Four Terra to pay for it. At this point, you have an opportunity to respond by beginning a Sequence. There are Five resources in the Reserve Zone. Respond by placing a Savant's Intuition into Effect Zone 1. It is placed into this zone because it is the highest value unoccupied Effect Zone. Pay Five Terra to Nullify the playing of Dretch, Primal Spawn. Now the opponent has an opportunity to respond to the initiated Sequence. They active Dorf's ability by disposing of him, however, until the sequence resolves, their Dork will be placed in their Effect Zone 1, holding its place in the sequence. It is important to note that at this point Dorf is no longer in play, and can no longer be targeted. Its ability in the Sequence can still be responded to. Since there are no more Terra generating resources or cards with relevant abilities to activate, we cannot continue the Sequence.


Now it is time to complete the Sequence. So Dorf's ability resolves and increases the cost of Savant's Intuition by One Terra. Now it's time for Savant's Intuition to resolve, but wait, the cost has increased by One Terra. That means the card hasn't been paid for, and is Nullified! This means the card is Consumed by the Void without creating an effect. So now that Savant's Intuition has been Nullified, the last card in the Sequence, Dretch, Primal Spawn resolves as normal.

Sequence: Responding and Malfunctioning a Card

Note: This section also discussed the process of playing a Status Effect as part of an Ignition.

Malfunctioning occurs when a card is being played in an Ignition no longer has a valid target. The main reason for this is caused by reacting to a card or cards in a Sequence and removing the target prior to the Ignition resolving.


A common example of Malfunctioning a card is by disrupting the playing of a Status Effect card. Status Effect cards require a target as stated to the right of its main card type. The Status Effect - Character card, The Emperor, requires a character to target both before and after the card has resolved its Ignition. However, as the opposing player, you have the chance to Sequence against The Emperor's Ignition by removing its target prior to the Ignition resolving in hopes of causing the card to Malfunction.


As stated in the example, the opponent places their The Emperor into the Ignition Zone and pays its Terra Cost by moving Four Standard Resource cards from the Reserve Zone to the Expended Zone. Then the player will state that they are targeting their Von Rapture The Savior as the card's target. Now is your chance to Sequence against the card being played with your own cards and abilities.

The only option to remove Von Rapture The Savior is to Activate and Dispose of the Commit Sin Wrath. Place the Commit Sin Wrath into the highest unoccupied Effect Zone. Take note that this ability will cause the Commit Sin Wrath to go to the Void, however it is placed into the Effect Zone 1 as a placeholder until its ability resolves within the Sequence.

The other player now has a chance to Sequence against the ability of Commit Sin Wrath, however they have no other cards in play or any cards in their hand. Thus, the Sequence is considered to be complete, and will now resolve in reverse order. The Commit Sin Wrath will then deal Two damage to the Von Rapture The Savior, putting both into the Void. Then The Emperor card is all that remains within the Sequence, and since it no longer has its initial target, it will now Malfunction since the Status Effect card cannot exist on the Playing Field without a target to attach to.


Another example is how to Malfunction a Terra Effect as it is played as an Ignition. In our very first example of how to play a Terra Effect, we discussed the playing of the Terra Effect - Action card Final Clash. This card has the Timing of Action meaning that can only be played during your turn's Primary Phase and only as part of an Ignition. Now we will have the same situation where the Final Clash is in the Ignition Zone and it is targeting the Spirit of Imagination in play. Let's say the controller of the Spirit of Imagination can initiate a Sequence with an effect card with the Timing of Immediate, which allows them to play the card during any phase. Ignorance allows a player to return a target character in play, back to its owner's hand. This card can be played in a Sequence against the Final Clash, targeting the same Spirit of Imagination. Place the card in the highest valued Effect Zone available. Then One Terra is paid from either a resource card in play or another card's ability that can generate Terra.


Now that we have a Sequence initiated, the player playing the Final Clash can choose to Sequence against our card. We will assume that no other cards can be Sequenced against the Ignorance and the Sequence will resolve in order of the last card played. The Ignorance will return the Spirit of Imagination to its owner's hand, and the Final Clash will then attempt to resolve. Since the initial target for the card is no longer in play, the card cannot resolve and will Malfunction. Cards such as Ignorance can be used both to start an Ignition or a Sequence based on the condition of the Playing Field. This is a large benefit of effect cards with the Timing of Immediate, however, their abilities tend to be less in strength compared to cards with the Timing of Action.

Ignition or Sequence: Playing Support Abilities

Support Abilities allow you to play a card with a different Timing and in some cases as a different main card type.


In this instance, your opponent has just placed the card Dave onto the playing field. Dave can Slay all Totem Wings you currently control in an Encounter, so it needs to be removed quickly, but all other cards in your hand currently are other Totem Wings. Red Totem Wing has a Support Ability for this situation.


To play a character's Support Ability, place the Red Totem Wing into the Ignition Zone. Now instead of paying the card's Terra Cost, use its Support Cost of One Terra. Support abilities act similar to an effect card, and they follow the same rules.

After the One Terra is paid, the opponent gets an opportunity to Sequence against the Support Ability. Our opponent passes, so the Red Totem Wing resolves dealing Two damage to Dave. After this ability resolves, Red Totem Wing is consumed by the Void just like an Effect Card.

Sequence: Playing Pitfall Effect - Hidden Cards

Note: Pitfall Effects with the Timing of Hidden can be played as an Ignition as long as the Contact ability has been met. Follow the same rules when playing any other Effect when playing Pitfall Effects with Contact abilities.


When starting an Ignition for Pitfall Effects with the Timing of Hidden, place them in the Ignition Zone face down; they will stay like this until their Contact conditions have been met.


One big difference between the Timings of Proxy and Hidden is that Hidden cards can be used as soon as their Contact condition is met. In this example, Arclight is set in Effect Zone 1. There is a Drakkonen Reaver in play that needs protection from a card being played until next turn. This will allow for the option to play a Drakkonen Timekiller during that turn. Since only one Epic Character can be played per turn, this will end our turn since the opponent has Dave in play.

On the opponent's turn they play a Fall from Grace on our Drakkonen Reaver.

If the Drakkonen Reaver is lost now, it will be impossible next turn to play Drakkonen Timekiller. Begin a Sequence against their Fall from Grace with Arclight by turning it face up. Since Pitfall Effect - Hidden cards have no cost, our opponent now gets an opportunity to Sequence from the Arclight. Since Fall from Grace was played for its additional cost, the opponent has no more resources, has no face down cards in their Effect Zones, and no relevant abilities in play to activate. The Sequence will now resolve and since Arclight was the last card to be played, it resolves first, and Nullifies the Fall from Grace. The Drakkonen Reaver card then is not Slain and not placed into the Void.

Sequence: Character declared as an attacker or blocking in an Encounter.

Sequences during an Encounter are fairly straight forward, to keep things simple, think of attacking or blocking as playing a card or activating an ability as the order of events are the same here too. So once it's your Conflict phase, you may select a character from your Active Zone and move it to your Encounter Zone.

At this point, your opponent has an opportunity to Sequence your attack just like if you had started an Ignition. If they don't Sequence your attack, your character deals damage to your opponent, or if they control a Shadow Architect, the damage goes to the Shadow Architect.

However, if they have a character in their Active Zone, they may choose to Block your attack with their Character. This will grant you an opportunity to Sequence their Blocker. If you don't, the Encounter continues as normal.

Note: As the Active Player, you can Ignition whenever you want on your turn. However, once you start an Encounter by moving a character into your Encounter Zone, you are in a Sequence and have to wait to respond to abilities. So if you want to activate your Queen Arcanist Lizzy multiple times, you must do this before moving a character into the Encounter Zone.

Sequence: Attacking Character with Cunning in an Encounter

Characters with Cunning have the option to activate their abilities while they are in the Encounter Zone as part of a Sequence. These specific abilities are abilities that tell the character to Activate as part of the cost. Unlike an activated ability that only needs a Terra Cost paid in order to use its ability.


You pay Three Terra to put into play the Maclain Wing from the Ignition Zone and place it into the Active Zone. The opponent has Cassie, Vanity Feeder and Helen, Lust Feeder in play in their Active Zone available to block you, however, the Maclain Wing has Cunning. Start an Encounter.


Since Helen, Lust Feeder has the ability to Assist other characters in Encounters, the opponent decides to block with their Cassie, Vanity Feeder first and then declare an additional blocker with Helen, Lust Feeder. However, Maclain Wing has Cunning and can use abilities that require it to Activate while in the Encounter Zone. Before being blocked by Helen, Lust Feeder, you can activate the Maclain Wing's ability to move one of your opponent's characters to the Exhausted Zone, and remove it from the Encounter.


So when the opponent chooses to block with the Cassie, Vanity Feeder, you can choose to immediately Sequence the Maclain Wing to target the Helen, Lust Feeder into the Exhausted Zone. Another option would be to Activate Maclain Wing to send the blocking character, Cassie, Vanity Feeder, to the Exhausted Zone making your character now unblocked.

If one of these options is selected during the Encounter, Activate the Maclain Wing by moving it to the Ignition Zone and declare the target of your ability. Then move it back to the Encounter Zone. Maclain Wing will be placed into the Exhausted Zone at the end of the Encounter.


However, if your opponent decides not to block Maclain Wing or only blocks with one character, then Maclain Wing would not have to Activate during the Encounter to Slay one of your opponent's characters without being slayed itself. This grants the second benefit of characters with Cunning, the ability to return back to the Active Zone after not activating during their Encounter. This will allow you to save the card for later during the Encounter Phase or during another player's turn.

Note: If you Activate a character with Cunning outside of an Encounter, it will always be placed into the Exhausted Zone as normal.

Note: You need an available Effect Zone in order to Activate the character with Cunning when Sequencing against a blocking character.