Berserk 101 — Cards, Chaos, Carnage
A look into the basics of one of the most popular Vulcan Forged games: the TCG Berserk.
So you’ve heard about Berserk, the new CCG in the VulcanVerse Ecosystem. Or maybe you saw the exciting finale to the Launch Tournament, where Discord User Mukti won himself a $2.5k NFT as the grand prize, and you want to learn how to play. So let’s go over some of the basics.
The objective of the game is to reduce your opponent to 0 Life points.
Players take it in turns to play cards from their hand and attack their opponents' creatures or hero directly.
There are currently 2 types of cards in Berserk. Creature cards and Spell cards.
Creature cards are played to 1 of 7 spaces on the board, and can only be played if there is room to do so. Spell cards can be played at any time during your turn.
Each Player has a deck of exactly 30 cards.
Reading a card
Each Berserk card contains 6 key pieces of information.
- Lava Cost — Top Left. This tells you how much lava the card costs to play
- Rarity Gem — Top Right. This colored Gem provides an indication of the rarity of the card (typically correlated with power and value)
- Name of the Card — The middle of the card displays the Name
- Attack Strength — Bottom Left. This tells you the base attack stat for the card (only creature cards have an attack stat)
- Health — Bottom Right. This tells you the base health stat for the card (only creature cards have a Health stat)
- Ability Text — Centre. This explains what effects the card may have, either when played, or when attacking.
There are 5 levels of rarity for Cards in Berserk. Common, Rare, Mythic, Epic and Legendary. We’ll cover the differences and important factors in a more in-depth article.
The Board is made of several distinct zones. The main board, your deck, your graveyard, your hand, your lava counter, your lifepoint counter, and the turn timer.
The main board has space for 7 cards to be summoned at any one time.
Your deck is made up of exactly 30 cards, when you run out of cards you will not lose the game immediately, but you will stop drawing cards.
Your graveyard shows all the cards you have played this game. Both players can see all cards in either graveyard.
At the beginning of the game, there is a special one-off turn. You draw your initial 5 cards, you may then select any number of them to return to your deck, before shuffling and redrawing the selected cards. A critical step in ensuring you have a playable hand at the start of the game.
Taking a turn
Each turn has 3 distinct phases. Upkeep, Main Phase, End of Turn.
During the Upkeep step your available lava is set to the maximum available this turn. You then draw cards, and status effects wear off if applicable.
During the Main Phase you can play cards and attack with creatures, you can do this in any order you like, the main phase lasts for 60 seconds, but you can choose to end your turn early.
You may attack any creature you choose, or the enemy hero directly, unless prevented from doing so by the effects of a card.
End of Turn cancels any active spells if you haven’t selected a target, and applies any DoT (Damage over Time) effects where applicable.
Lava is the fuel for your spells. You start each turn by refilling your available lava, and the amount you have access to goes up with every passing turn, allowing for bigger and bigger plays as the game progresses.
Player 1 starts on 1 Lava, and Player 2 starts on 2, to offset the advantage from going first. Lava then increases by 1 point each turn up to a maximum of 10.
Lava is not carried over from one turn to the next; anything you don’t use is wasted, and your total refills at the beginning of each turn. You cannot hold more than 10 lava at one time.
You draw 2 cards per turn, or up to a maximum hand size of 6 (whichever is lower)
After Turn 7, card draw increases to 3 cards per turn, or up to maximum hand size
At Turn 12, card draw increases again to 4 cards per turn.
This keeps games of Berserk fast-paced and energetic as they go on. This allows for big plays, but a big risk as you burn through what’s left of your limited 30 card deck.
List of Effects
Berserk has an array of abilities and spells that can impact the course of a game. Many cards will simply explain what they do within the ability text of the card. But for some cards Keywords are used, to describe abilities that are otherwise too wordy, or show up on several different cards.
- Blessing — Provides a positive effect to a friendly card, specific details are on each card
- Curse — Provides a negative effect to an enemy card, specific details are on each card
- Heal — Restores hitpoints to either your hero or creatures.
- Immortal — When your hero is Immortal your life points cannot be targeted by enemy attacks or spells
- Immune — Immune creatures cannot be affected by any targeted spells, abilities, or attacks.
- Lifesteal — Heals itself during combat, equal to the damage dealt.
- Poison — Applies a negative debuff that deals 2 damage at the end of turn for each stack of poison, Poison lasts for 1 turn, but applying additional stacks will refresh the timer.
- Rage — Creature gains +1/+0 during your Upkeep step
- Reborn — The first time a Reborn creature dies, it is resummoned with its base attack and HP.
- Sleep — When a card is first summoned it is asleep, and cannot attack until your next turn.
- Stoneskin — When a Stoneskin creature takes damage, the attacker is stunned for 1 turn.
- Strike — A strike creature has multiple attacks.
- Stun — A creature that is Stunned is unable to defend itself, and will be unable to attack for 1 turn.
- Summon — Summons an additional card to the board when played. (if there is space to do so)
- Taunt — Forces creatures to attack this card before being able to target any other creatures, or Hero life points directly.
- Undead — Does not suffer from Sleep. Able to attack immediately when summoned.
Berserk is a fast-paced CCG, easy to pick up, but tricky to master. A fine balance needs to be struck between aggression and defense, and with the wide variety of cards, a game can turn at the drop of a hat.
I hope the above has given you a brief overview of the basics, and you’re now eager to get stuck in and start practicing! If you’d like to know more be sure to check out our Discord Server or keep an eye out for a more in-depth strategy and deck building guide, where we discuss some of the finer points of strategy, and deck construction beforehand, which is just as important as what happens during the game.
This world is quickly expanding, with lots of information to be processed- here are some links to help you along your journey: