- 1 Keyword Abilities
- 2 Unofficial Keyword & Hookword Abilities
- 3 Hook Words
- 4 Ability Step Words
- 5 Terminology
- 6 Statpoint worth
Keyword abilities are unique effects of cards that cannot stack.
- This unit can attack the turn you play it.
- This unit can block the turn you play it.
- The card with this keyword can't attack while having the keyword.
- The card with this keyword can't block while having the keyword.
- Kills any unit it damages.
- Can attack enemy units directly (like an Active).
- You can immediately play another card after this.
- Can only be blocked by units with Flying (or Leap).
- Can't be silenced or copied. Returns to owner's hand when destroyed or removed from the game. (Not available to players: only found on hero rewards)
- Always starts in your starting hand.
- Can block Flying units.
Leap was introduced as an official keyword in Patch V0.12. Its functionality was changed in this transition - the keyword used to grant units flying for the block phase if the unit didn't attack.
- When this card deals damage, you gain that much life.
- When blocked, this unit deals excess damage to the defending player.
- The first time this card would go to the discard pile, return it to your hand and it loses Rebound permanently (except if Milled).
- Regains all lost HP at end of turn.
- Unable to be blocked.
- Can't be targeted or chosen by actions or abilities (including friendly ones).
- Cancels the effect of one enemy Action, Active ability, or triggered ability on this unit (then loses Ward permanently).
Unofficial Keyword & Hookword Abilities
Rule of 7: According to the devs, a keyword can be officially implemented into the game if 7 or more cards have the keyword.
- A spell that is countered is put into the graveyard instead of doing its effect. It is essentially negated.
- 4 cards in game. Shadow Consultant, Counterspell, N3ON Canine Trails, Snap Rebuke
- Effect triggers when this destroys a unit.
- 27 cards in game. Last Hit, Ace in the Hole, Armored Eradicator, Killpack Hunter, Lich, Possesing Ghost, Stabot 1000, Lizathep Tomb Guard, Lizathep Soulclaimer, Rogue Shredder, Amatera Warwolf, Feast, Soulshredder, Fearmongerer, King Midas, Hatespawn, Sam the Ram Mascot, Freezefire Mage, Yoricho Bannersister, Brandisher of Souls, Wild Wailer, Premature Animation, War Dragon, Lizathep Challenger, Scaled Earthshaker, Head Chieftain Dzikus, Dr. Reflektowicki
- After attacks are declared, you can play a card with Trick by paying its mana cost.
- 3 cards in game. Caltrops, Danger Noodle, Rock Crusher
- Stock is a resource some units can spend on certain abilities.
- 2 cards in game. Crab Cannoneer, Armor Forge
- Has +X HP. When this takes damage, heal X HP, up to the damage taken.
- 5 cards in game. Ickling, Blue Ickling, Menes, Pharaohs' Sickle, Twin Arcanists, Armor Forge
- This unit gets +1/+1 for each other ally unit that shares a tribe with it or has this ability.
- 5 cards in game. Grallaxian Soda Jerk, Vox's Polyphony, Biosludge, Formless Fruit, Resonant Belle
- Add this unit's stats and non-Merge abilities to another unit. Banish this until that unit leaves play.
- 7 cards in game. Pugilistic Parasite, Brutish Blob, Crawking Crow, Kasei Tricksune, Hydraxi Battlesuite, Tormented Image, Doc Frank
- The first time this card deals damage to a unit each turn, deal that much damage to each adjacent unit.
- 2 cards in game. Cratermaker, Buckshot
- Affected unit in play is replaced by a random one whose base cost is +/- X than the original.
- 4 cards in game. Rapid Onset Evolution, Sabrina, Matterologist, Underlabs Scientist, Reoccurring Accident
- Effect triggers when you play an off-affinity card.
- 1 card in game. Chromus Prime
- At the start of the game, or upon creation, gains the most common tribal type among your cards (all if tied).
- 4 cards in game. Moldable Gooze, Bucket, Color Drain, Guiding Sprite
- Banish this card end of turn if it's still in your hand.
- 1 card in game. Dr. Reflektowicki
- Other units have "Active: Duel a unit with Charm".
- 2 cards in game. Scapegoat, Popularity
Hook Words are the term for keywords that share a trigger ("hook"), but can have different effects when triggered.
- Use this ability (during the Main Phase) instead of attacking or blocking for an effect.
- Does something when it dies.
- Gives a bonus to each unit you play after this card this turn (Triggers after play ability of units).
- When this is blocked, it deals X damage to its blockers (Frenzy is followed by a number which replaces X).
- Does something when it takes damage.
- Does something when you play this (from hand).
Ability Step Words
- The unit attacks another unit directly, as with the Duelist ability (no reminder text).
- Allows a unit to act again.
- Remove all abilities from a unit permanently.
- Removes a card from the game.
- Move a card from the hand into the discard (no reminder text).
- Prevents a unit from attacking, blocking or using active abilities.
Healed unit returns to their current max HP. Counts as no damaged.
- Give the top unit of your deck +X/+X.
- Puts cards from the deck into the graveyard (See Mill).
- Look at the top X cards of your deck. You can decide if you want to discard each one of these cards separately.
A development principle has been determined, which assigns keywords worth equal to the statpoints of a unit. Note that this is isn't applicable for all scenarios such as extremely scaled stat distributions.
For example, if we consider the vanilla statline at 2 mana to "get" you a unit with 3/3 stats, you could then further develop it by giving it a keyword and then decrementing either its ATK and/or HP according to that keyword's "worth." Say, keeping with the statline and giving it both Agile (-1 point) and Rebound (-1 point), you could make it either a 2/2, 3/1 or 1/3.
Notably there are numerous other things to consider (such as keyword synergy with each other or how a keyword like regenerate scales with HP) but this can be used as "general rule of thumb" to baseline an early prototype design on.