Characters from Shardbound

Shardbound 101: Not Your Grandma's Card Game

Welcome to the start of an epic journey into Shardbound—a place where a thousand stories come to life! ✨

In this realm, each card you hold isn't just a piece of paper; it's a 3D warrior ready to brawl on an ever-changing battlefield. (Yep, think 'I choose you, Quillblade!~')

Shardbound's not your average game - it's a genre mash-up that redefines what you think a “strategy game” is! By blending the depth of a tactics game and the thrill of collectible card games, get ready to achieve victories with a deck of your all-time favorite characters or dive deep into intense showdowns where near-defeats turn into glorious comebacks. 💥

So buckle up and prepare for an unforgettable journey! Let the battles begin! ⚔️

That’s all great, but how do I win?

Great news, Ranger, in Shardbound, you are blessed with more than one way to win! 🎉

The two ways to win are to either - 

  • Kill the opposing commander OR
  • Collect Victory Points
Shardbound victory points and commander health

Victory Points are denoted by the small triangles that will turn orange when you earn a point. Commander HP is indicated by the green health bar.

⚔️ Kill the Commander

Start up a match, look across the board, and you’ll be staring your target right in the face - the opposing commander (boooo...👎).

Bring the opposing commander’s health down to 0 from their initial life total, and bam, you win the game.

Shardbound commanders on the battlefield

🔟 Collect Victory Points

Alternatively, you can collect and bank Victory Points by embracing your inner Hulk and smashing Victory Crystals (large, orange, delicious-looking ones) until you get 10 Victory Points.

Jury's still out on what flavor Victory Crystals taste like, but we think it's blurpleberry.

Shardbound Victory crystals before and after spawning

ONLY 3 Victory Crystals spawn per match!

The first one spawns several turns into the game. Watch for it!

Each time you hit a Victory Crystal, you gain 1 Victory Point. Dealing the final killing blow gives you an additional 2 Victory Points and 2 Bonus Mana Gems!

Hitting a crystal gives your minion or commander the Victory Point(s), but not your player. You must wait one full turn for them to finish “turning it in”! Protect them while they are holding the Victory Points. Don’t let your opponent kill them, or the points will be stolen, and your opponent can then turn in your hard-earned Victory Points!

Ok, tell me how to get started!

The secret to winning Shardbound is a combination of two factors - peanut butter 🥜 and jelly 🍇

Wait...<checks notes>...mana management and unit placement/movement.

🩸 Mana is your lifeblood

Mana is the fuel that powers every move you make (and every breath you take). There are two types -

  • Rechargeable mana (permanent mana that is replenished at each start of your turn)
  • Bonus mana (temporary mana that is gone once it's spent)

Mana can be used in a number of ways - to summon units, activate abilities and even cast spells.

Mana crystals that appear on the map are blue, and have 2 HP. When hit, you gain one bonus mana gem.

Now, before you go flinging spells and summoning armies, take a moment to think about your hand, your deck, and the battlefield. Realizing you don't have enough mana to do anything is like being stuck in the boondocks with no gas in your tank.

Mana management is one of the main keys to unlocking all the epic moves and strategies Shardbound has to offer.

📍 Unit Placement and Movement

After summoning a unit from your hand, you'll think about a couple of things (or a hundred, depending on who you are) -

  • Where to place or move your unit
  • Who to attack and unleash your wrath upon

Typically, a unit that can move can do so within 3 hexes of its current position.

No two games in Shardbound play the same way, and the landscape matters. Boulders and high ground affect line of sight (what your unit can see), and where you can place your units.

Shardbound map terrains and landscapes
Use the highlighted blue and red hexagons to guide where you can summon and move!

Go forth and play, young Ranger!

At this point, you're ready to start playing Shardbound. The best way to get to know the cards is by playing with them. If you find that you start to think of them as your friends, well then, welcome, you have become one of our Rangers.

So this is us officially giving you that little nudge to just GO PLAY, you can come back later if you want to dive in a bit more!

But what are all these cards?!

If you want to go one level deeper, we're here to talk about cards. Every unit in Shardbound belongs to one of the colors of the Lifeweave, each having its own distinct personality and Commander.

A standard deck must include one Commander and one Relic, and there is an upper limit of total cards you can have in one deck.


Each Commander has their own way they like to shape the Lifeweave and come out victorious.


Arm your Commander with a powerful Relic, ensuring they never enter battle empty-handed. Each Commander needs a Relic that complements their strengths and amplifies their abilities. With only a dozen in the game, Relics can be equipped on Commanders, granting them special abilities and unlocking Dual Color Decks!

An unexpected victory is the result of unlikely alliances in Shardbound! The ability to play with Dual Faction Decks (Red/Blue, Orange/Green, etc.) is unlocked by equipping a different color Relic Card in your single-color deck. For example, if I am a Red commander, and want to play with Blue as well, I need to obtain a Blue Relic Card and equip it onto my Red commander.


Minions are crucial units in Shardbound, summoned onto your board from your hand to control the battlefield and flow of the game. Choose between ranged or melee types to build a strong deck. Pay the respective Mana to summon a Minion from your hand. Their attack and health can be found at the bottom corners of the card.


Spells are temporary cards that can have lasting effects on the board or other minions. They can heal, damage, change the terrain… they can trigger almost anything except do the dishes (sigh).

A timely Spell can turn the tide of battle in your favor, disrupt your opponent's plans or bolster your own forces with powerful effects.


Usually representing weapons or armor, these cards can be allocated to an existing minion on the board, to make them even more awesome. They’re pretty scarce at the start, so use them wisely for maximum impact! 

Equipment can enhance a unit’s capability, granting additional power or abilities during combat. 

Try to incorporate a good mix of minions and spells to maintain a versatile and well-rounded deck.

Once again, go forth and play, young Ranger!

So, what's next on your Shardbound agenda? Will you be fine-tuning your tactical prowess, exploring the rich lore, or diving into epic battles with friends? The choice is yours!

Pre-register today to claim your exclusive card at the open beta, and join us on Twitter and Discord to bask in the glory that is our community of Shardbound lovers. There is a treasure trove of tips, strategies, and exciting updates in the future. Until then, may your battles be legendary and your adventures boundless. See you on the battlefield, Rangers!