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How To Play Riftforce


Riftforce! Get ready to brave the Elements….or, rather, the “Elementals”. For this is a battle for control of the Rift, and you are going to need to be nimble with your numbers as well as steady with your nerves!

Set Up

Riftforce is s a 2 player dueling card game so be sure to find a spot where you can sit opposite each other for maximum stare-downs haha!

Essentially, you are battling to destroy your opponent’s cards in order to gain 12 Rift Force (aka points), and you should be claiming victory or vowing to fight again in around 30 minutes.

First set out the 5 Rift cards, placing the score tracker at the far end. I recommend putting the Rift locations in a row between you so that you can each play cards to them in full view of the other player. Once done, you each get a random Guild Summoner and then take it in turns to draft 3 more Summoners representing the 8 remaining Guilds. These are going to be your powers for the game. The unused 2 Guild Summoners are returned to the box.

Once you have your Guilds, you’ll take the Elemental cards to match and shuffle them together. Each Guild contains 4 x #5, 3 x #6, and 2 x #7 Elemental cards. Those relating to the unused Guilds are put back in the box. Then deal yourself 7 cards and place the rest face down next to you to form your deck.

Whoever goes second gets to place one card from the top of their deck to any one of the 5 Rift locations in front of them.

And that’s it. You’re ready to channel your inner Captain Planet and use the elements to power your way to victory!

Riftforce: Card Anatomy

Each Guild of Elementals is asymmetric and can manipulate cards on the Rifts in different ways using their activated powers. For example, in Riftforce, Light allows you to place 2 damage on your enemy’s card at a location and remove a damage from your own Light card or any other ally (i.e. one of your own Elementals). Whereas Thunder means you can place 2 damage tokens on any enemy card at that location (and if you destroy an Elemental as a result, you can repeat the power against another card at the same location).

Earth is the only element with an immediate power. As soon as you lay an Earth card to a location, you can place 1 damage on an enemy’s card at the same location. Then whenever activated, you get to place two damage on your opponent’s first card at that location.

As mentioned above, each Elemental card has a number (#5, #6, or #7) which represents its strength. Throughout the game, your objective is to destroy your opponent’s cards. You do this by placing damage tokens of a greater value on them than their strength value. And your Guild powers will be how you gain and distribute those tokens. If you are successful, you will gain Rift Force and move your token up the score tracker. The destroyed Elemental is removed from the game.

Take A Turn

On your turn, you can do one of 3 actions:

  • PLAY up to 3 cards along the Rift (on your side). But they must be the same number or the same Guild. And if you split them between locations, the places must be adjacent; or
  • ACTIVATE up to 3 cards which match in number or type (e.g. three 7s or two Shadows). To activate, you must discard a matching card from your hand into your discard pile. So, for example, if you want to activate your 7s, you must have a #7 in your hand to be able to discard. Or, if you want to activate your Plants along the Rift, you must discard a plant from your hand. Once you activate, you will be using those powers to attack your opponent’s cards at those locations; or
  • CHECK AND DRAW back up to 7 cards from your discard pile. Checking means looking to see if there are any locations where only you have a card , If you do, then you “control” that location and gain Rift Force. Move your token up the score track.

When a player reaches or gets more than 12 Rift Force points, the game ends and they are declared the Winner!

Very quickly you’ll realise that this game is all about synergies. Combining complimentary Elementals to chain damage causing chaos for your enemy! It’s fast playing and very strategic. Knowing what’s best to do each turn can be tricky – discard a card to activate or set yourself up to check and draw next turn. Keep cards back for when you have a more cohesive hand, or play cards to manipulate control of the Rift locations. There you have it! But hopefully this guide to Riftforce will help ease your way into your first battle for the Rifts!