Rule Sheet1

Rule Sheet

Welcome to Battle Spirits

This page details the basic how to turn-by turn explanations of the game as well as detailing how to use different types of cards.

For detailed rulings about playing, please refer to Official Rulings Q&A.

Types of Cards

Spirit: Spirits are summoned mainly to attack the opponent and reduce their life but are also used to protect your own life.

Magic: Called "Spells" in the English release. Players use magic to change the game field environment by causing a variety of different effects from providing BP boosts to drawing more cards. They can drastically change the pace of the game.

Nexus: The places of the Battle Spirits would that give your spirits special power called nexuses. Players use them to change the field and gain an advantage over the opponent. A Nexus in some ways is like a Field Spell in Yu-Gi-Oh.

Brave: A fourth type of card introduced about two years into the Japanese game's life. They act like other spirits, but can be Braved onto other Spirits, combining BP, effects, attributes, costs, and symbols.

Ultimate: A card type introduced late 2013. Ultimates are similar to spirits, but are not treated as such. Most have effects which require a trigger to activate, and have higher levels than spirits. Ultimates require a condition to be met in order to summon them, typically needing another spirit of a certain color or cost on field or life at a certain number. All Ultimates have a gold symbol rather than a colored symbol.

Cost, Cost Reduction and Core Number for Level Cost

Every card must have its cost paid before it can be used. The Core Cost is the number in the top-left corner of the card. To pay the cost, a number of cores from the Reserve or Field (cores on spirit/ultimate/nexus) equal to the Core Cost are sent to the trash. Core in the trash cannot be used to play cards.

Cost Reduction, represented by the spokes to the right of the core cost, shows how much the cost can be reduced by. For each symbol on field that corresponds to the cost reduction symbol, the cost can be decreased by 1. Sample is if there is a spirit card with 1 red gem symbol stays on field, to summon a spirit with cost number of 3 and cost reduction symbol in red color of 2, pay only 2 cores (3-1=2) to trash and summon the spirit card to field. Then if the next spirit is cost 3 and 2 red reduction symbols too, the paying cost is 1 core (3-2=1). If another one spirit is 3 cost and 2 red reduction symbols again, pay 1 core to summon it even there 3 red gem symbols on field already (3-2=1 again). But if a spirit with 3 cost and 2 yellow reduction symbols will be summoned next, pay 3 cores to summon this one because there is no yellow gem symbol on the field before this summoning. The Cost Reduction is a must-use feature, not an optional one. This means if a card has an effect of "When use soul core to pay its cost" but the card has no need to pay cost because the reduction is equal to the cost, then the player cannot pay soul core to activate the effect.

After paying cost and place a card on Field, a card must have enough core(s) place on it equal or more than its Core Number of Level 1 Cost to stay on field and complete their summoning (a Summon Effect will happen after place enough core(s) for the specific level). Most Spirits, Braves, and Ultimates have Level 1: 1 core which means they need at least one core to stay on field (but some Spirits have Level 1: 2 core which means they need at least 2 cores). And most nexuses have Level 1: 0 core makes normally they need no core to maintain level 1 condition. But during the game if there are effects to remove cores from them or increase their level 1 cost, then any cards which do not have enough core(s) to meet their level 1 will be treated as depleted (not destroyed) and sent to the trash (including nexus).

Magic cards cannot stay on field and must be put to trash after pay their cost and use their effects, with only a few exceptions.

Game Mat


Gameplay Mat (2008)

Playsheet w

Gameplay Mat (2015)

  • Void: Called "Core Pool" in the English release. This is placed to the side of the game mat, and is where core not currently in play is kept.
  • Life: Where the cores representing your life are put.
  • Reserve: Where core in play, but not being used, is kept.
  • Field: Where cards in play are placed.
  • Hand: The cards that you currently hold, but are not in play.
  • Burst Zone: Burst cards are set here face down until their condition is fulfilled and they are activated. Only one burst card can be set at a time, and only cards with burst effects may be set. Bursts can be discarded by their owner during the main phase without activating them.
  • Deck Zone: Where the deck is placed.
  • Removed from Game Zone: Where cards removed from game are placed. It is located besides the void. Despite the name, removed from game cards can be played as if they were in your hand.
  • Core Trash: Where core used up when paying cost is placed.
  • Card Trash: Where discarded, depleted, or destroyed cards are placed.

Other Terms

  • Core: Tokens that allow you to use cards. If you don't have enough core to pay the Core or Level Cost of a card, it cannot be used.
  • Soul Core: A new type token introduced in the season Battle Spirits Burning Soul in 2015 (SD29 then BS31). Soul Core is the different core that can activate many effects related to it. Every player can have only 1 Soul Core during a game and it cannot be removed from game to void by opponent. Only the owner can remove it from a game by the effect of Soul Drive.
  • Color: The color of the card. The six colors of Battle Spirits are Red, White, Green, Purple, Yellow, and Blue. They are sometimes alternatively called Ruby, Diamond, Emerald, Amethyst, Topaz, and Sapphire, respectively.
  • Battle Points (BP): How strong a card is. In battle, the card with lower BP is destroyed. In the case of a tie, both cards are destroyed.
  • Family: Also called characteristic, attribute, or type (not to be confused with type of card). Classifies a spirit, brave, or ultimate.
  • Symbol: Called "Gem" in the English release. The symbol determines how much damage a card can deal to the opponent's life. Cards with 0 symbols cannot decrease the life, cards with 1 symbol can decrease the life by 1, and so on.
  • Effect: Most cards have effects that strengthen them. Effects have various timings indicating when they can be activated. If there is no timing listed on a card, it is a permanent effect. Effects with specific names are referred to as Abilities. Most of Effects are mandatory to use when the specific timing happen. Only Effects with wording "Can", "May", or "By" are optional to be used or not used.
  • Refreshed: A card in upright position. A refreshed spirit, brave, or ultimate can attack or block.
  • Exhausted: A card in sideways position. An exhausted spirit, brave, or ultimate cannot attack or block.
  • Destroyed: A destroyed card is moved to the trash and the cores on it go to the reserve.
  • Depleted: A card that does not satisfy its LV1 cost is treated as depleted and sent to the trash.
  • Burst: Action of trap cards that activates when certain conditions are met. Burst cards have an effect that can be activated without paying the card's cost, and typically can activate another if the cost is paid.

Game Preparation

A deck must contain at least 40 cards, but has no upper limit. There is a limit of 3 cards of the same name per deck. However, some cards may be restricted, forbidden, or have unlimited copies allowed.

  • Place all your cores into the Core Pool or Void.
  • Shuffle your deck and have your opponent cut it.
  • Place that deck in the deck zone.
  • Place 5 core in your Life.
  • Place 4 cores in your Reserve (including Soul Core).
  • Draw 4 cards from your deck to your hand.
  • Decide who goes first by dice roll, coin toss, or rock paper scissors. The winner will decide who will go first.

How to Win

  • Reducing your opponent's life to 0.
  • Your opponent has 0 cards in their deck during their Start Step.

Turn Order

All steps cannot be skipped even if the player does nothing on them.

1. Start Step

Any effects that are activated at the start of the turn are activated in this step.

2. Core Step

You gain 1 core in your reserve from your core pool. (On Turn 1, the player must skip this step)

3. Draw Step

Draw 1 card from your deck.

4. Refresh Step

Refresh all your exhausted cards. Then, move all the cores in your Trash to your reserve.

5. Main Step

Player can do any move in the following during this step:

i) Summon a Spirit, Brave, or Ultimate card - Pay the cost of a spirit, brave, or ultimate card in your hand and summon it.

ii) Deploy a Nexus card - Pay the cost of a Nexus card in your hand and deploy it.

iii) Play a Spell - You may play a spell card with (Your Main Phase) or (Flash) timing from your hand or removed from game zone by paying its cost.

iv) Level up and down cards on field - The amount of cores your need to bring the cards to each level is indicated on the left on the left side of their text. Core can be moved onto cards in any amount.

6. Attack Step

In an Attack Step, the turn owner player can make as many Battle Steps as need. Depend on how many spirits/ultimates on turn play's field that can declare an attacking.

But the Battle Step on the first Turn is skipped. The second player can choose whether to launch attacks on their initial turn (the second Turn). There are many steps in one Battle Step as the following:

i) Declare Attacking: The Attacker selects 1 of their unexhausted spirits/ultimates and attacks with it by turn it sideways. If the attacking card has any effects of [When Attacks] or [When Battles] (the summary word of When Attacks or When Blocks), which are not optional to use, they must be used at this time. If there are some effects those are optional to use, the attacker must select to use or not use any effects before the blocker may use a card that has an effect to play at this time. (For example Burst, Kagemusha)

ii) Flash Step 1: The blocker will get a chance first to play a card using an effect with (Flash Step) timing, or pass. Then the attacker will get the chance or pass too. Then the blocker will get a chance again and so on. Flash step will be ended if neither players declared flash.

iii) Declare Blocking: The blocker can select 1 of their unexhausted spirits and block with it by turn it sideways. And the effects of [When Blocks] or [When Battles] will happen at this time. If the blocker choose to not block or cannot block, Flash step 2 will be skip.

iv) Flash Step 2: (exists after block) Same as Flash step 1.

v) Showdown Step: If the blocking player blocked the attacking, compare the BP of each attacking and blocking spirit/ultimate. The spirit/ultimate with lower BP gets destroyed. If the BP is equal, it results in a draw and both are destroyed. If the blocker does not declare a blocking, the attacking will go to Life makes the blocker's life core(s) be reduced by the number of gem symbols the attacking card has. The destroyed life core(s) will go to Reserve.

vi) End of Battle: Happens after the Showdown Step is resolved. Many effects will happen at this time.

Some effects are resolved in this phase. The Attack Step always happen even a turn owner will declare an attacking or not. But the Flash Step 1 will only happen after a declaring of attacking and before blocking. If a spirit has an effect to target the opponent, it will make a blocker has to declare blocking immediately, then the Flash Step 1 will be skipped. 

If the turn player does not (or cannot) declare another Battle Step, the Attack Step will be ended.

7. End Step Any effects that are activated at the end of the turn are activated in this phase.

Dual Battle

Please refer to the page How to Play/Dual Battle.

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