The goal of Nova Blitz is to reduce your opponent’s Health to 0. You will do this through a combination of playing Powers and attacking with Units.

Both players start the game with 40 Health and 0 Maximum Energy. Both decks get shuffled and each player draws 4 cards. Each player can mulligan once and replace all their cards with new ones if they don’t like the first draw.

At the start of each turn, both players increase their Maximum Energy by 1, refill all Energy and draw a card. Then there is an Action Phase followed by a Combat Phase.

Every card in Nova Blitz has a type (Power or Unit) and an Aspect (Arcane, Tech, Divine, Nature, Chaos). The type governs how you play the card. The Aspect tells you which major faction is associated with it.

Power cards are played once, for an immediate effect, then go to the trash. Each Power has an Energy cost — you can only play a Power if you have enough Energy.

Unit cards stay in play in the arena to participate in combat turn after turn. They have Energy costs just like Powers do, plus they also have two stats. A Unit’s Strength is how much damage it deals in combat. Its Health is how much damage is required to destroy it.

Tip: There is no automatic healing in Nova Blitz. You can destroy a large Unit with multiple small injuries across several turns.

Both players play cards in realtime during the Action Phase, which only lasts about 20 seconds. A shrinking bar shows how much time is left. The bar is broken into two halves. This is important! Units played in the first half of the phase can attack this turn. Ones played after the split have to wait until next turn (though they can still block).

To play a card, simply drag it from your hand into the arena. Playable cards will be highlighted. Some cards need a specific target to be played on. For these, you need to drag the card onto the thing you want to aim it at. Valid targets will be highlighted while you drag.

If you want to play a card but it isn’t glowing, it could be for a number of reasons:

  • You don’t have enough Energy to pay for it.
  • There are no valid targets for it right now.
  • You are at your maximum number of Units.

Activated Abilities

Some Units have abilities that cost Energy to activate. The Energy cost appears before the effect in the card’s text box, and the card will have a purple Activate icon if the action is legal and you have enough Energy. To use the ability, just click the icon. If the ability requires a target, it takes two clicks: first your Unit, then the target.


Any time you play or activate a card, you give up Initiative to your opponent, and vice versa. Whichever of you ends up with Initiative at the end of the Action Phase will attack first in the Combat Phase.

Tip: Having Initiative is extremely important when both of you are close to 0 Health. Play quickly so you’re not stuck putting the last card out.

In the Combat Phase, both players secretly assign combat orders to their Units. Each Unit can be assigned to either attack the opposing player (by clicking the red fist icon) or block one enemy Unit from attacking you (by clicking the blue shield icon first, then the specific Unit to block second).

Note: You can’t attack Units directly, and you can’t assign multiple Units to block the same enemy. You can leave a Unit unassigned. It simply won’t fight. (A Unit also won’t fight if you assign it to block something that doesn’t attack.)

Once both players finish their secret assignments, combat commences. All the Units belonging to the player with Initiative attack first, in the order their commands were given, then all the other player’s Units attack. If an attacking Unit is blocked, those two Units deal damage to each other. If it isn’t blocked, it damages the opposing player.

Tip: Since you can’t see your opponent’s orders in advance, it’s important to predict what they’ll do. Of course, your opponent knows you’ll be doing that and might act unpredictably to ruin your plans! Then again, they might also expect you to predict that, so maybe they’ll give obvious orders after all…

First Strike: When one Unit in a combat has First Strike and the other doesn’t, the one with First Strike deals damage first, and the other Unit only deals damage back if it survives.

Double Attack: This Unit deals damage a second time if it attacks and survives the first combat.

Armor X: Each time this Unit suffers damage, Armor X prevents the first X points.

Aggressive X: This Unit has +X Strength while you have Initiative.

Overrun: If this Unit attacks and deals more combat damage than its blocker can survive, the excess is dealt to the opposing player.

Regenerate: This Unit heals all damage at the end of each turn.

Evade: This Unit ignores all effects of the next enemy Power that targets or affects it, but then loses Evade.

Airborne: This Unit cannot be blocked unless the blocker has Airborne.

Double Block: This Unit may block two different Units at the same time.

Vanguard: This Unit may both attack and block at the same time.

Stun X: A Stunned Unit can neither attack nor block for X turns.

Can’t Attack X, Can’t Block X: If a number appears after these effects, it means they’ll wear off in that many turns. If there is no number, the effect lasts indefinitely.

Summon: (some effect): This effect happens upon the Unit entering play.

Last Breath: (some effect): This effect happens upon the Unit dying.

Attack: (some effect): This effect happens each time the Unit attacks.

Block: (some effect): This effect happens each time the Unit blocks another in combat. (Merely giving the Unit a block order does not trigger the effect.)

Infiltrate: (some effect): This effect happens each time the Unit attacks and isn’t blocked.

“Strongest”, “Weakest”: These refer to the Unit with the highest or lowest Strength, respectively. Ties are broken by Health, and then if there’s still a tie, at random.

The deck builder allows you to edit or delete your decks, make copies of them, or create new ones from scratch. Decks are automatically saved when you leave the editor. To be legal to play, a deck must contain:

  • exactly 40 cards total
  • no more than 3 copies of any one Power or Unit
  • no more than 2 Aspects