Rebirth (転醒; Tensei) is the main gimmick of the 11th saga of Battle Spirits, introduced in SD55. Cards which possess the keyword are printed on both sides, each side having their own effects, cost, and even differing card types. While some Rebirth cards do not possess the ability, the keyword serves mostly as a "remains on field" effect, as one of the general conditions for the flipping is for the opponent to remove the card from the field, through effects for Nexuses, via any means for Spirits.
The primary condition for Rebirth are counters, having less than a certain number allows the card to flip once they meet the condition, and when a card is Reborn, it adds a counter, making it so the more Rebirths are used, closer the player is to be unable to use them.
Besides double-sided cards, Rebirth cards also first introduced the rarities "Rebirth Rare" and "Rebirth X-Rare". They also brought along checklist cards (more details below). A new area was also added to the board for these cards, the Counter Area (also more details below).
Meanwhile, Zero Rebirth (零転醒, Zero Tensei) requires the player to have zero counters to activate, and adds no counters upon flipping, conflicting directly with vanilla Rebirth, making it so the synergy with Rebirth and counter-based decks is nearly non-existing. This keyword only exists on collaboration cards.
Texts possible for Spirit Rebirths include:
- (Zero) Rebirth: X or less Counters (Only one Rebirth can be used at a time) When either (Condition A) or this Spirit leaves the field due to the opponent, put on this Spirit and it is Reborn.
And for Nexus Rebirths, there is:
- When either (Condition A) or when opposing effects would remove this Nexus from the Field, you can put on this Nexus and it is Reborn.
- When (Condition A), this Nexus can be Reborn. When it is, you can put one core from your Field/Reserve to this now-Reborn Spirit.
Once flipped, the Reborn side contains the following text:
- When you flip into this side, this card remains on the Field, and you gain a counter. (Put a core from the Void to your Counter Area.)
As for Zero Rebirth, the Reborn side will contain the following text:
- When you flip into this side, this card remains on the field, and you gain no counters.
- Six Heaven Rebirth: 5 or less Counters (Only one Rebirth can be used at a time) When this Spirit attacks, You can flip it. If you have five or more symbol colors, instead, you can send an opposing Life to the Trash and flip it.
During the game, while the Rebirth cards can be referred through normal means (such as if an effect targets a Spirit, a double-sided card with its Spirit side on the Field can be affected), there are also new terms to refer to them specifically, including "Rebirth cards", "Rebirth Spirits (Nexuses)", "pre-Rebirth Spirits (Nexuses)", and "Reborn Spirits (Nexuses)".
"Pre-Rebirth XXX" refers to cards with their A sides face-up (can be recognised through having the cost at top left, and the set number writing "A"); while "Reborn XXX" refers to cards with their B sides face-up (recognised through having the cost at top right, and the set number writing "B"). In the meantime, "Rebirth XXX" will refer to the double-sided cards whichever sides they are at.
Counter Area is situated outside of the field, and can be interacted with if rules or effects state "counter +X". If a card is reborn and does not leave the field, a specified number of counters is always needed to add to the Counter Area.
However, there is no official clarification where the Counter Area exactly is. On the play mat given out from PB09, the Counter Area is situated on the left side of the deck; while on the play mat in the anime Battle Spirits: Gallet's Revolution and the official YouTube battles Extreme League, the Counter Area is situated above the deck.
How to Use Rebirth Cards in the Deck
As the Rebirth cards are double-sided, unlike the normal cards, they do not have a side with the usual black surface with silver stripes and the BS logo. As such, it is a must to use colored sleeves. There are two methods to use these cards. While both methods can be used in the same game, the same copies of a card must be using the same method.
- Put the actual Rebirth cards inside the deck, and when needed to flip to the other side, pull them out from the sleeves, flip to the other side, and insert them back into the sleeves.
- Put the checklist cards inside the deck, and when played, put the actual Rebirth cards from outside of the game on top of the checklists.
Checklist cards are provided to be put in the decks, and can be obtained along with the other products. Each checklist card displays multiple sections, with each section depicting the name, cost, reduction symbols, card type, families, and set number of a Rebirth card the checklist card can represent. Each checklist card in the deck must be ticked in one of the sections to specify which card each checklist card is representing.
- Checklist cards from booster boxes have their back sides printed with indexes. Their back sides do not look like normal cards (black surface with silver stripes and the BS logo).
- Otherwise, other checklist cards, like the ones printed in SD55, have the back side the same as normal cards, so they can be played in a deck without sleeves or with transparent sleeves.
- Starting from CB16, the sections of the checklist cards also display the effects that can be activated from hand (e.g. Exchange, Armed Intervention).
When a checklist card is played, the player is required to take the actual card from their deck box and replace the checklist card with it. When the Rebirth card leaves the field, it switches places again with the checklist card, then the checklist card is placed to the designated area of where the actual card is actually sent to.
- The number of checklist cards in the deck and the number of actual Rebirth cards readied in the deck box must be the same.
- The contents of the Rebirth cards placed outside of the game cannot be checked by the opponent. It is also fine for you to intentionally hide the Rebirth cards until they are used.
Rebirth Cards in Deck, Hand, and Trash
- When building a deck, the name of a Rebirth card is the combination of the name on the A side and the name on the B side.
- When a Rebirth card is on the field, only the side that is face-up to the players is referenced by the effects. When a Rebirth card is outside of the field, such as being in hand or trash or a pre-Advent card, when referencing or targeting it, only the A side can be referenced.
- During the game, you can always check the contents of your own Rebirth cards that are outside of the game. As for the opposing Rebirth cards, you can only ask to check them if those cards are placed in open areas, such as the field, trash, and the removed zone.
Rebirth Cards on the Field
- If a Rebirth card is a Nexus on the A side, and a Spirit on the B side. While it is in the pre-Rebirth state (on the A side), it cannot be targeted by effects that target Spirits.
- Rebirth Spirits and Rebirth Nexuses can still be targeted if the effect simply specifies "Spirit" or "Nexus". However, if the effect specifies "Rebirth Spirits" or "Rebirth Nexuses", normal Spirits and Nexuses are not affected.
- When a card is flipping into a Spirit via Rebirth, as it is not a summon, effects like "cannot summon Spirits", "cannot summon by effects" do not affect it. Of course, "when a Spirit is summoned" effects do not activate either.
- When flipping through Rebirth, there is no need to pay any costs, and cores cannot be moved unless effects state so. Unless specified, the card remains in the same state as before it flips.
- When the Rebirth effect also includes moving cores, you cannot move the cores without also flipping the card.
- When the Rebirth effect triggers upon "when leaving the field", as many cores as according to the effect stated are moved to the card and it flips. After flipping, if there are enough cores to maintain the card at the lowest level, then it remains on the field, and the player increases their counters.
- However, if there are not enough cores to maintain the lowest level, the process of Rebirth is stopped, the Rebirth card does not remain on the field, counters do not increase, and it is treated as depletion through your own effect.
- In the case of "put on this Nexus and flip it", the Soul Core must be put if possible. However, even if the Soul Core cannot be moved, the card can still be flipped. Again, if there is not enough cores to maintain the lowest level on the B side, the card is depleted.
- In the case of "you can put a core from your Field/Reserve to this now-Reborn Spirit" for a Rebirth Nexus with zero cores, if you choose not to put a core on it, and there are no other effects to put at least one core on it, and its lowest level on the B side cannot be maintained, it is depleted by your own effect. If such, the Rebirth process is stopped, no counters increased, and effects such as (When Reborn) effects cannot activate.
- "When you flip into this side, this card remains on the field, and you gain a counter. (Put a core from the Void to your Counter Area.)" is not an effect. As such, it cannot be nullified.
- The process of a "Flip a Rebirth card" effect is treated as rebirthing. As such, when flipped, counters increase according to the designated number, and effects such as (When Reborn) effects can activate.
- However, any effects stated on the Rebirth text of the card being flipped cannot activate, as the card is not flipped through its Rebirth but by other effects.
- Multiple Rebirth and "flip a Rebirth card" effects cannot activate together at the same timing. You can only choose one of them to activate. However, when the same timing fulfills the flipping conditions for both you and your opponent, each of you can activate one flipping effect, order decided by the turn player.
- Tip: You have two Spirits with the Rebirth condition "when the opposing Life is reduced", the attack of your Spirit with the effect "when this attack reduces the opposing Life, send an opposing Life to the Reserve" reduces the opposing life, you can flip one of your Spirits with the stated condition, then activate the life burn and flip the second Spirit.
- When your Brave pre-Rebirth Spirit flips, it stays braved. However, it separates with the Brave if the B side does not meet the Brave condition.
- The Reborn Spirits still carry the continuous effects which were affecting them prior to their Rebirth, such as "during this turn" effects. However, effects without a timing stated are lost after the card flips. Also, after flipping, if the cost, color etc. of the Reborn Spirit do not meet the conditions of the effects, those effects are also lost.
- A pre-Rebirth Spirit activates the effect "during this turn, give this Spirit +5000 BP" and applies it onto itself. It is then reborn, the effect is still applied on it.
- After the "once per turn" effects of Braves, such as that of The GroundDeityBlade Ootenta activates while the Brave Spirit is in pre-Rebirth state. After it flips, the Reborn Spirit cannot activate them again.
- When a battling Spirit is reborn, the Reborn Spirit continues the battle. However, if it is a Reborn Nexus, it does not continue the battle, but there is still Flash Timing for both players.
- When an attacking Spirit flips mid-way, the (When Attacks) effects of the Reborn Spirit can only activate depending on situations.
- Instantaneous effects such as drawing and destruction cannot activate.
- (When Attacks) effects with other timings, such as with the "Flash" timing stated, when comparing BP, when destroyed etc., and during battle effects that do not have the texts "during this battle" or "during this turn" stated, can activate.
- When you advent onto a Reborn Spirit, it is flipped back to the A side when it becomes a pre-Advent card. At this moment, the process of Advent is already complete, so it does not matter if the A side does not fulfill the Advent condition. However, when activating (When Advents) effects and is necessary to reference the Spirit that is being advented onto, the Reborn side is referenced. If part of the effects reference pre-Advent cards, then the pre-Rebirth side is referenced.
- If your Soul Core is in your life due to Seal, then it is taken out due to your Rebirth effect, you can activate your set Burst with the condition "After your Life decreases".
- When your pre-Rebirth Spirit is depleted or destroyed, then you declare your set Burst with the condition "After your Spirit is depleted/destroyed by the opponent", but your Spirit activates Rebirth, flips, and remains on the field, as the card is not placed into the trash, your Burst cannot activate and it returns to its previous state.
- When your Reborn Spirit is depleted or destroyed, then you declare your set Burst with the condition "After your Spirit is depleted/destroyed by the opponent", even if the Reborn Spirit is a Nexus on the A side, you can still activate the Burst. This is because the card is placed into the trash before it flips back.
- However, in the example of Rampart Wall, which has the effect "you can return a Spirit card in your Trash that was depleted/destroyed when this Burst activated to your Hand", if the depleted or destroyed Spirit has flipped back to a different card type, it cannot be returned to the hand. However, if the A side is also a Spirit card, then it can be returned.
- For Rebirth effects which activate during Flash Timing, as they do not have the timing "Flash" written, they are not flash effects.
- For this reason, when The Duke Kingtaurus (Revival) activates its "during this battle, the opponent can't use flash effects", as long the Rebirth condition is fulfilled, it can activate during the Flash Timing of that battle.
- If a Rebirth Spirit has facedown cards under it due to Poison Blade, those cards stay there if it becomes a Reborn Spirit/Ultimate. However, if it becomes a Reborn Nexus, the facedown cards are discarded.
- As Rebirth is not summon/advent/deploy, Core Charge cannot activate.