These are different Card Mechanics, effects and skills that a unit may have or use in a battle.
List of Mechanics
This is an important keyword. Riding increases the grade of your vanguard. There are currently 5 grades:
- Grade 0: These are the weakest units, with a power from 3000 to 6000, but with the highest Shield value of up to 10000. Before a cardfight begins, each fighter must choose a grade 0 unit as their starting vanguard. Grade 0 units have the Boost ability. Many grade 0 units have Trigger abilities.
- Grade 1: These are units with mid level of power, mostly from 6000 to 8000 with a Shield value of 5000. Some Grade 1 units with a power of 6000 have the keyword "Sentinel", exchanging a Shield value of 0 for a defensive ability. This Grade also comes with Boost to add power to front-row units.
- Grade 2: These are more powerful units, with power typically from 8000 to 10000. They all have a Shield value of 5000. Some Grade 2 units have higher power of up to 11000, but such units all have drawbacks such as the keyword "Restraint". Units of this Grade can Intercept from the front row. Some Grade 2 units serve as Mates to Grade 3 Units in a Legion pairing.
- Grade 3: These are the "Ace" units in a fighter's deck. These units have 9000 to 11000 power but no Shield value. They are usually the highest grade in a deck. Some Grade 3 units have as low as 8000 or as high as 12000 power, but are given special abilities and/or restrictions in exchange. Grade 3 units have the powerful "Twin Drive!!" ability. Many carry "Ace" abiliities such as Limit Break, Break Ride, Legion and Generation Break.
- Grade 4: Grade 4 units are special, highly powerful units. Grade 4 normal units have no shield value but have a power of 13000. Grade 4 G units have a minimum power of 15000, are called into the fight via the "Stride" keyword, and come with the "Triple Drive!!!" ability that allows the player to drive check three times.
Skill icon is a common ability present in many cards, including "Boost", "Intercept", "Twin Drive!!", and "Triple Drive!!!".
For more info pertaining to skill icons, see here.
- () Activated Ability: Activated abilities are abilities that a player can use as many times as he or she wants, paying the cost each time to get the effect, unless stated otherwise (i.e. "1/Turn"). This kind of ability can only be used during the Main Phase.
- Activated abilities are written on cards as "[ACT](Zone):[Cost](Effect)". The zone within the () indicates the zone in which the ability can be used, the text within the  indicates the cost to play it, and the text that follows is the effect that occurs by resolving the activated ability.
- Some activated abilities have a requirement stated as "If(Requirement),".
- The effect “This ability cannot be used for the rest of that turn.” is still applied even if the requirement of the ability is not met.
- An ACT ability without any cost is used by simply declaring that you activated it.
- Automatic abilities are written on cards as "[AUTO](Zone):When(Event),(Effect)" or "[AUTO](Zone):At the beginning of (Phase/Step), (Effect)".
- If the automatic ability would be triggered by the movement of the card itself, then the ability is written as "[AUTO]:When(Event), (Effect)". The "event" or "phase” or “step" is called the "trigger condition", and when the “trigger condition” is fulfilled, the automatic ability is considered to be “triggered”.
- Some automatic abilities have "[AUTO](Cost):(Effect)" instead of "[AUTO](Effect)". The cost here is the cost referred to and paid during resolution of the ability.
- Some automatic abilities have the text "[AUTO](Zone):When(Event), if(Condition)". These abilities will trigger if the event happens, even if the condition is not met.
- Abilities with the text "This ability cannot be used for the rest of this turn" will be resolved even if the condition is not met.
- Continuous ability are written on cards as "[CONT](Zone):(Effect)".
- If a continuous ability is active in all zones, it is written as "[CONT]:(Effect)".
Specific Action or Keywords
Some actions are defined as specific actions. They are:
- Choose (
選ぶ Erabu): To point out a card to apply an action on.
- Draw (
引く Hiku): To move a card from the top of your deck to your hand.
- Discard (
捨てる Suteru): To move a card from a player's hand to his/her drop zone.
- Discarding a card can be as a cost or an effect.
- Discarding can be by choice, or at random.
- Retire (
退 却させる Taikyaku-saseru): To move a card from a circle to your drop zone.
- If a unit moved from your field to your drop zone, then that unit is considered to have been "retired" even if the word "retire" wasn't used.
- Place (
東 條する Tōjō-suru): To move a card from a non-circle zone to a circle zone.
- If a unit is moved from a non-circle zone to a circle zone, then it is "placed" on that circle, regardless of it was played or not.
- Heal (
回 復するKaifuku-suru): To move a card from your damage zone to your drop zone.
- Reveal (
公 開する Kōkai-suru): To show cards to all players for a certain time.
- When revealing cards as a cost, decide all costs first, and reveal the cards at the same time that all other costs are paid.
- If an effect asks you to reveal cards, then show them until the end of the effect.
- Revealing cards do not change the zones that they are in. An example is Goddess of the Treasured Mirror, Ohirume.
- Search (
探す Sagasu): To look through cards in a specified zone to find an appropriate card.
- Add / Send / Return: To move a card from other zone into another zone.
- "To add" (
加える Kuwaeru) usually refers to "putting card(s) from the deck to the hand".
- "To put" (
置く Oku) usually refers to putting a card from any zones into a public zones.
- "To return" (
戻す Modosu) usually refers put a card from public zones to hidden zones.
- "To add" (
- Shuffle (シャッフルする Shaffuru-suru): To randomize the order of cards in a zone.
- Stand / Rest: To change the Standing/Resting state of a card. These actions are stated by an icon.
- To change a card to Stand state is called "To Stand"
- To change a card to Rest state is called "To Rest"
- Turn face up/down (（
表・ 裏）にする (Omote/Ura) ni suru): To change the face-up/down state of a card.
- To change a card to Face-up is called "To turn face-up"
- To change a card to Face-down called "To turn face-down"
- Perform (
行う): To force a specified action into process.
- Drive Check: To perform trigger check(s) in a drive step.
- Damage Check: To perform trigger check(s) when a vanguard is dealt damage.
- Bind (バインドする Baindo-suru): To move cards from a specific zone to the bind zone of the owner of that card.
- Attack (アタックする Atakku-suru): To change a unit to be attacking.
- Battle (バトルする Batoru-suru): To change the unit to be attacking or to be attacked.
- 'Get / Give': To treat the text or other info as though it is on a specific card during a specific time. In case of abilities, they are denoted in red text.
- "Get" (
得る Eru) refers to the unit activating the effect itself getting the said info.
- "Give" (
与える Ataeru) refers to another unit getting the said infos.
- In english card text, "give" and "get" are the same word, "get". The difference of the target is written as "this unit" for "get" or "that unit/those units" for "give".
- "Get" (
- Lose (
失う Ushinau): To treat a text or other info as though it is not on a specific card during a specific time.
- Declare (
宣 言する Sengen-suru): To point out information specified by the card.
- If declaring information, you must provide the information of what is specified.
- For example, when "declaring" a card name, you must refer to a card that is existing and be able to point out specifically and uniquely the card you are referring to.
- Nullify (
無 効にする Mukō ni suru): To cancel out an applied effect.
- Soul Blast (X): Put X cards from the soul into your drop zone.
- Especial Soul Blast: The term used when you need to Soul Blast cards with a specific archetype or clan.
- Soul Charge (X): Put X cards from the top of your deck as possible into your soul.
- Counter Blast (X): Choose X cards in your damage zone, and turn them face down
- Especial Counter Blast : The term used when you need to Counter Blast cards with a specific archetype or clan.
- Counter Charge (X): Choose X cards in your damage zone as possible, and turn them face up.
- [1/Turn]: The icon means 'First time per turn'; it prevents the ability with said icon to be used more than once per turn, even if the requirements written are not met, and as long as the unit possessing it is on the indicated zone after [AUTO] or [ACT].
- For an [AUTO] ability, the [1/Turn] is considered to be in effect at the first time the event happens, even if you chose not to pay the cost of that ability when you could do it (if any).
- For an [ACT] ability, the [1/Turn] is in effect at the first time you play that ability by paying its cost. If the unit whose ability was used leaves the indicated zone and later returns, or it is unlocked, its [1/Turn] is considered to be "restarted", and thus you can use its ability again if the conditions are possible.
- In older cards/reprints, they have "this ability cannot be used for the rest of that turn" written at the end of its ability instead. In terms of gameplay, this sentence has the same and exact meaning as [1/Turn], which was explained above.
- Mega Blast : Counter Blast (5) & Soul Blast (8).
- Persona Blast : The term which refers to an effect where an identical copy of the card needs to be discarded from your hand as part of the cost.
- G Persona Blast : A term that describes a G Unit's skill which requires flipping a copy of itself in the Generation Zone face-up as part of the cost.
List of Rides
A regular Ride refers to the action taken during your normal Ride Phase, where you ride a Unit that is the same Grade, or one higher than that of your current Vanguard. Chain Rides, such as Nova Grappler's "Blau" series are considered regular Rides as well, as they take place during the Ride Phase. Another example of this is:
- Starting Vanguard: Pea Knight (Grade 0)
- Ride to: Corolla Dragon (Grade 1)
- Ride to: Hey Yo Pineapple (Grade 2)
- Ride to: Frontline Valkyrie, Laurel (Grade 3)
You can Ride any unit you wish to so the possibilities are endless, but some units have effects that can only be activated in either the Vanguard or Rearguard circles. While some have abilities you can activate in both.
Superior Ride refers to the ability to Ride other than placing a card on top of your vanguard during the Ride Phase. These abilities can only be activated if certain conditions are met. The bonus with Superior Riding is that if you went first, it is possible to Superior Ride to a Grade 3 unit whilst your opponent is still only a Grade 1. If you went second, Superior Riding takes out the advantage of going first.
Some examples of Superior Rides are:
- Monster Frank (BT01-37)
- [ACT] [Drop Zone]: [Counter Blast (3)] If you have a Grade 2 Vanguard, ride this card.
So, if you have a Monster Frank in your Drop Zone and you ride to a Grade 2, during that Main Phase, you can Counterblast (3) to Superior Ride to Monster Frank.
- Dragon Knight, Aleph (BT01-14)
- [ACT](VC): [Counter Blast (1) and Choose a unit named "Embodiment of Armor, Bahr" and a unit named "Embodiment of Spear, Tahr" from your (RC) and put them into your Soul] Search your deck for up to one card named "Embodiment of Victory, Aleph", Ride it, and shuffle your deck.
So by Riding to Dragon Knight, Aleph and playing Embodiment of Armor and Spear, you can Counterblast (1) to search your deck and Superior Ride to a Grade 3 Embodiment of Victory.
So, if you have Drangal as your First Vanguard, you will be able to change some cards around in your deck, and with some luck, have an extra card in your hand.
For the full list of Superior Ride units, you may see here.
Cross Ride is a term that refers to the act of Riding a Grade 3 unit on top of another Grade 3 unit that holds some relation with the previous Vanguard unit. In the anime, Cross Riding is also seen as a Vanguard "reaching it's final and true form". Starting from Booster Set 9: Clash of the Knights & Dragons, Crossrides have becoming more common.
For the full list of Cross Ride units, see here.
- Although it is not necessary to have the previous unit on the Vanguard circle, the new unit will not gain the additional bonuses from its presence, and it would be considered more of a regular Ride than a Cross Ride.
A Break Ride can only be performed when you ride on top of a unit with the Break Ride Skill when you have four damage or more. Your new vanguard must be the same clan as your previous one. When you perform a Break Ride, your new Vanguard gains +10000 power and an additional skill which varies depending on your previous Vanguard.
For more information and full list of Break Ride units, click here.
Cross Break Ride
A Cross Break Ride is an act of performing a Cross Ride on a Break Ride unit while performing the Break Ride at the same time.
List of Skills
A Grade 0/Grade 1 Unit skill which, once you pay its cost, allows you to add a certain Grade 3 Unit from your deck to your hand.
When a certain 6000-power Grade 1 boosts a certain Grade 2 unit, the boosted unit gets +4000 power.
When a certain 6000-power Grade 1 boosts a certain Grade 3 unit and once you have paid its cost (usually is Soul-Blast 1) or meet a specific condition, the boosted unit gets +5000 power until the end of battle.
A Unit skill that says "[AUTO](VC): At the start of your Ride Phase, look at the top 5 cards of your Deck, search for up to 1 [****], Ride it, and send the rest of the cards to the bottom of the Deck in any order. If ridden, you cannot perform a Normal Ride for that Ride Phase."
When a certain Grade 1 unit rides on a certain Grade 0 unit, the Grade 0 searches for a certain Grade 2 unit. By discarding a Grade 3 unit via the Grade 1 unit's effect, it searches for a certain Grade 3 unit. There is also always a Grade 2 unit with 10000 starting power that gets -5000 power if the Grade 2 or 3 is not in the vanguard circle and gets +2000 power while attacking.)
A term that was officially introduced in Booster Set 9: Clash of the Knights & Dragons, with Crimson Heart, Nahas being the first unit known use this term, despite several units before it having a similar skill without having a proper name.Its official description is: When another unit from the same clan rides this unit, you may call it to a Rear-guard Circle.
For the full list of Forerunners, you may see here.
- Notes:These unit effect only activates when you ride a unit other than the next card in the ride-chain in their respective clans.
- Aiming for the Stars, Artemis
- Angelic Star, Coral
- Arboros Dragon, Ratoon
- Bermuda Triangle Cadet, Riviere
- Black Dragon Whelp, Vortimer
- Larva Beast, Zeal
- Micro-hole Dracokid
- Military Dragon, Raptor Soldier
- Miracle Feather Nurse
- Sanctuary of Light, Planet Lancer
- Schoolyard Prodigy, Lox
- Stealth Dragon, Magatsu Wind
- Starting Ripple, Alecs
A term that was officially introduced in Booster Set 9: Clash of the Knights & Dragons, ”Lord” is an ability. If a player has a unit with “Lord” and another unit without a same clan as the unit with “Lord”, the unit with “Lord” cannot attack.
For more information on Lord, see here.
Units with restraint cannot be chosen as an attacking unit in an attack step. Most of the units with "Restraint" are grade 2 units with 11000 Power.
For more details about Restraint, see here.
Sentinels are Grade 1 cards with 6000 Power, 0 Shield and accompanied by [CONT]: Sentinel (You may only have up to four cards with "Sentinel" in a deck), which can easily be recognized with the design of the shield icon. Currently, there are two types of Sentinels:
For more information on Perfect Guards, see here.
NOTE: Starting from December 3, 2012, all perfect guards will now have this skill: [CONT]: Sentinel (You may only have up to four cards with "Sentinel" in a deck), which can easily be recognized with the design of the shield icon.
For more information on Quintet Wall, see here.
Limit Break is a skill which can only be used if you have a certain number of damage or more. Currently, there are two kinds of Limit Break, Limit Break 4, which needs the player to have four damages or more, and Limit Break 5, which needs the player to have at least five damages.
For more information pertaining Limit Break, see here.
For the sub-mechanic "Break Ride", see here.
Legion is a skill that allows you to have 2 cards in the (VC). It is activated(normally) with an ACT skill by returning four cards from the drop zone to the deck. Then, the player search the deck for the "mate" (called "Seek Mate"), and place the Mate in the same vanguard circle as the Legion, creating "Legion Mate."
NOTE: Legion can only be performed when your opponent has a Grade 3 or greater vanguard.
For more information pertaining Legion, see here.
Stride is a mechanic that allows you to place a card from the generation zone on the (VC). Stride can be performed at the end the ride step by discarding cards from your hand whose total grade equals 3 or higher.
NOTE: Stride can only be performed when both your and your opponent has a Grade 3 or greater vanguard.
For more information pertaining Stride, see here.
"Cross Stride" is an official term introduced on G Booster Set 4: Soul Strike Against The Supreme. It can be viewed as a Cross Ride variant for G units, but needing a different G unit in the G zone rather than in the soul. Also, the way of paying the cost is also similar to G Persona Blast, but oriented to a different G unit in the G zone.
For more information pertaining Cross Stride, see here.
"Ultimate Stride" is an official term introduced in G Booster Set 13: Ultimate Stride. The mechanics are similar to Stride, but instead of discarding until the total grade is 3, you must discard a card with the same name as your vanguard, akin to Persona Blast.
For more information pertaining Ultimate Stride, see here.
G Assist is a mechanic that allows a player to search for a card among the top 5 cards of his/her deck by permanently removing from play 2 cards from ones hand and generation zone if the player lacks a card in his/her that is one grade higher then the current vanguard.
For more information pertaining G Assist, see here.
Generation Break is a skill which can only be used if a player has the required number of G Units that are face-up on the Vanguard circle and/or generation zone.
For more information pertaining Generation Break, see here.
Lock is a skill used by the Link Joker clan. The locked units cannot do anything, and it unlocks during the owner's next end phase.
For details about lock, see here.
Omega Lock is the ability to prevent a locked unit from being unlocked during it's owner's next end phase. It can however still be unlocked by card abilities.
For details about delete, see here.
For details about Vanish Delete, see here.
Also called "Stride Skill", activates when you stride on top of a unit with a "During your turn, when your G unit Stride..." skill. Work similar to Break Ride mechanic, but instead of activating when a new vanguard rides on top of it, it is activated when G Unit Strides.
For the full list of units with Stride Bonus, see here.
Starting from G Clan Booster 1: Academy of Divas, Bushiroad began introducing new keywords unique to each clan. The keywords are basically the gimmick of each clan, with a new name, however this is not always the case. The list of the clan skills are as below:
G guardians are specific type of G units that can only be called as guardians during the opponent's turn's guard step.
For more information pertaining G guardians, see here.