Brief English guide for people who know a minimal amount of Chinese but still feel like playing this game.
The Nine Regions Brief English Guide
“The Nine Regions” is a turn-based card game with a poker-ish sort of combat mechanic. You might be drawn by the pretty live2d images and anime tiddies and thighs and hot bois, or maybe you’ve just been a diehard fan of the Chinese Paladin franchise. (I still hate this name, The Legend of Sword and Fairy is also bleugh but passable) Or maybe you have always liked the cultivation aesthetics and have always been lamenting about the rarity of them.
Anyhow, you’ve decided to brave the elements of the language barrier and are now trying to play this game somehow with minimal knowledge of Chinese. So here I am to explain it as simply as I can to you on your journey to glory, confusion, and virtual haremhood.
There’s also a pretty voluminous story mode and a slay the spire-esque roguelike deck building mode for people who don’t care about rankings and arenas. So, stick around? if that’s your shtick.
(Pictures from tutorial and loading screens, thanks kagerou01gata so I don’t have to go through hell trying to get them one by one)
There are six slots for each player to play their cards in:
Basically correspondingly in English:
In this shape, assuming right side (you’ll always see yourself as right side):
Played cards for each player will resolve in order from A to B to C to D to E to F.
Basic flow of the game goes like this:
1. Round begins
2. Each player draws 1
3. Each player gains 1 max mana and refills mana for the amount of max mana they have
4. Playing phase, each player can start plopping down their cards
5. Resolve card effects in order
6. End turn, go to next round
You win when the opponent hero’s HP reaches 0. Can also tie if both reach 0 together.
Each hero also has a special ability which you can use when it cools down. Basically hero power in hearthstone terms, only with much heftier costs and more impactful like giant board wipes or summoning a board full of weenies.
Cards will attack the opposing slot that is on the same row as they are on. If there are no cards on the same row, the card will attack the opposing player hero.
So in this case, the unit in the right side A will attack the opposing hero. The units in the B slots for both players would attack each other.
Units enter their respective owners’ graveyard when they die. Summoning sickness is also a thing.
When you’re placing cards, you may “push” a card around the battlefield slots by placing a card on the existing card’s slot. Place it slightly upward to push it down, slightly down to push it up and so on.
For instance, in the picture above the card in the B slot is pushed to the A slot.
You can only move cards in cardinal directions, meaning that you cannot move cards diagonally with just one card. (But you can do so if you push it twice with two cards.)
You also cannot move two neighbouring cards at once. (If you have a card in both A and B, you cannot put a card in A and try to move the original A to B and original B to C at once.)
Since moving cards will change the order it resolves, this is the main strategic rock-paper-scissors in this game. You can probably say that this is the main draw of the game, as in trying to read what your opponent wants to do and trying to juke them by placing cards and moving cards in ways that favour you. This is especially so for aggro/minion based setups, in which one wrong turn can easily lose you the game.
Other than cards resolving in the ABCDEF order, for cards in the same slot, there are also priorities in what takes place first. This is the resolve order:
1. Things that affect the player (Drawing cards, increasing or decreasing mana, summoning cards)
2. Buffing (+2/+2s and such effects)
3. Weakening (-1/-1s and such effects)
4. Recovering HP
5. Unit leaving battlefield (From card effects such as removal spells)
7. Unit death
So for instance, if you were to play a 2 damage spell (in A slot) at a 2/2 unit, but in the same A slot they played a +2/+2 spell on said unit, then the unit would first become a 4/4, then take damage from your 2 damage spell, and end up as a 4/2.
Abilities and Terminology
I’ll translate some of the ability names sort of flavourfully to give you a feel of what they are in Chinese.
This unit’s combat damage is doubled.
This unit will deal its attack damage to the entire row of enemy units it attacks.
This unit will attack twice.
If this unit destroys an opposing unit in this unit’s combat phase, attack once more.
When this unit attacks, also deal this unit’s damage to the front column.
When this unit deals damage, gain x HP for your hero.
This unit’s hit point will not be lowered to below 1 from damage.
This unit can attack instantly without summoning sickness.
This unit attacks the opponent directly if the opposing unit does not have flying. If the unit with flying has finished action, it can be attacked by units without flying. (Summoning sickness is considered finished action, so flying units can still die if you plop one down in front of an active enemy one)
This unit will gain x amount of HP at the end of round.
This unit is not affected by spells and cannot be the target of spells. (Hero abilities are considered spells)
Frozen units do not enter its next attack phase.
This unit takes 1 damage and does not regain life at the end of round. (Can stack several times)
This unit loses all abilities. (Including unit stat buffs)
This unit dies at the end of round.
Damage caused by this unit freezes the damaged units.
Damage caused by this unit ignites the damaged units.
Damage caused by this unit seals the damaged units.
Damage caused by this unit curses the damaged units.
Randomly shuffle x amount of cards from your hand into your library and draw the amount of shuffled
If you drew this card during the last battle phase or at the start of this round, gain the listed effect
Your units gains the listed effect as long as this unit is on the field
This unit will take up all your board slots. At the next end phase of summoning this unit, deal this unit’s damage to all enemy characters, then this unit leaves the battlefield.
This unit only enters combat with units that are both attacking and have shadeless.
If you have the listed units on your battlefield, this unit costs 1 mana less.
If you have played another card before this card, gain the listed effect.
Remove the listed units from the battlefield. Does not trigger on death effects. If the unit with devour were to leave the battlefield, return the devoured units to the battlefield.
Exile listed unit. It leaves the battlefield without triggering on death abilities and does not go to the graveyard.
Targeted unit will transform into the listed unit.
Gain listed effect if you have 1 or less cards in hand.
You can probably try to piece together what a card does by checking this list and doing frankensteinmancy with Chinese. I might or might not make an easier version for comparison some time in the future.
Player character. You lose when your dude goes to 0 HP.
Includes units and hero.
Hand. Maximum size is 9 and cards drawn over 0 goes to the corresponding graveyard.
40 cards maximum. When library has 0 cards and you attempt to draw, take 1, 3, 5…and so on (ramps by 2 damage per empty card drawn).
Used cards and dead units go here.
When the unit goes to the graveyard.
Larger than and equal to
Smaller than and equal to
Only in cardinal directions, no diagonal.
Playing a unit card basically.
Trigger listed effect before this unit’s attack.
Trigger listed effect after this unit’s attack. If this unit dies from combat the listed effect does not trigger.
Trigger listed effect at the start of unit’s action. (Triggers even with summoning sickness)
Trigger listed effect at the end of unit’s action. (Triggers even with summoning sickness)
When this unit takes damage, gain the listed effect.
Things that last for one round only.
Mana. It refers to both the card costs and your mana pool. You start with 1 max mana by default and gain 1 max mana per turn. Mana is refilled by your max mana at the start of your turn. Can overflow more than your current max mana.
During this round
Once per round
When this unit’s HP is at max
Draw (x) card(s)
Draw x amount of cards.
Control of the corresponding unit.
When a unit you control other than this unit attacks, trigger the listed effect.
Gameplay Loop, or how to progress
This is the main screen of the game.
In the battle tab you’ll find the different pvp modes of the game.
From left to right:
Ladder mode is basically your ranked matches. Nothing special of note.
Arena is draft mode. Only opens at UTC+8, which is 19:00-22:00 in China.
Much like Hearthstone if you’ve played that before. Costs 1500 stones to enter/a ticket.
You get 3 heroes to pick from. Then 40 cards to draft from. Fight until you get 12 wins or 3 total losses. Always has at least a pack as reward and if you win enough times you basically get your stones refunded.
Friendly Mode. Fight your friends, test your dumb decks out.
Idk man it’s not available yet.
Screen not wide enough so two screenshots total for this one.
From left to right:
Scriptures of Lost Rumours
Your main story mode. Story is about how your dude is going on a journey to look for your lost master and meeting people along the way. You also have an osananajimi character with basically 100% affection rate to you already.
Tabs from top are from left to right:
You can equip things to your hero for effects like “Start battle with 1 extra max mana.”
The Slay the Spire mode.
Free to enter. Pick an element, then heroes, then fight for 36 floors of stuff for this thing called Mystery Dust. Use Mystery Dust to unlock more items in the Spire mode and also purchase packs and items in the shop. Has artifacts and such for broken interactions. Also has ascension mode for even more dust. You gain score from completing certain objectives in a run and with a high enough score can get you on a ranking board.
Too much stuff in it to explain briefly so if there’s enough interest I’ll consider making a further explanation on this.
Recount the story of Chinese Paladin/The Legend of Sword and Fairy 1 in the format of this game. Has sword and fairy card packs from completing it.
Win against characters with preconstructed decks once to unlock them. Can unlock every element from the start. Nothing special of note so far.
Scriptures of Lost Rumours
Special random challenges that give you affection raising items and stones. Can challenge 3 times a day. Challenges range from making every minion summoned a 10/10 to making all your spells cost 5 less or to getting lethal on a dummy in 3 turns.
You view your cards and edit your deck here. Has a pretty self-explanatory filter screen.
The little torn paper icon next to the filter thing on top is the one for dusting your extra cards and crafting cards.
Left side is mass dusting your extras and the right side is crafting.
Just press the bottom right button and it’ll grab everything for you.
Also press the bound scrolls on top for your daily rewards for completing x amount of missions.
Your achivs. Just press yellow shiny button for rewards.
For mail rewards. Press yellow shiny button when it pops up.
Buy packs here. There’s currently three different packs.
^^^This first one you see is the basic set. You can buy basic card packs with free stones.
^^^This one is the Legend of Sword and Fairy set with characters from the series. Cannot buy this set with stones. Only buyable with whale stones. They do give out some amount of this pack in the Side Story mode. You can also buy some of these packs with tokens.
^^^This last one is a guaranteed at least second highest rarity pull with only 1 card from the pack. The item for pulling this is not whaleable and only gained through gameplay.
The tabs from top to bottom are:
We’ve just explained it.
Buy preconstructed decks with whale stones.
Buy equipment items you can use for main story mode.
Second tab is for buying things with mystery dust you get from Mystery Realm. Mostly affection items and packs.
Buy heroes from here. Currently has the several characters from Legend of Sword and Fairy available for 5000 stones each. Li XiaoYao you can get for free after logging in for seven days.
Top left of the main screen you’ll see another seasonal thing which gives you rewards and star medals. Use star medals to buy cosmetics or packs in this tab. Probably consider buying the Legend of Sword and Fairy packs or the guaranteed rare one if you want more cards.
You can get pack fragments in missions and story. Exchange 10 fragments for a pack here.
Woo your waifus and husbandoes here and unlock new lines and information about them with high enough affection levels. Raise affection by using them in battles or by drowning them in gifts, the latter of which is the only reasonable course of action. Max affection is 10.
Ranking for ranked matches and Mystery Realm. You can get rewards like stones and packs from getting high rank in a season.
Event screen. Just mostly news. Third one from the top is a new launch mission thing for a legendary card when you complete enough missions.
Idk who even adds friends in card games. There’s an achievement for having friends so I guess?
Can pretty much ignore since you grab it on log in anyways.
In general when you get new stuff or rewards there’ll be a shiny red diagonal telling you that so just keep following the rabbit and you should be fine. Happy cultivating!
Also steam has issues with uploading too many images or something so if you want more images in the guide for the gameplay loop bits I’ve also made a google docs version of this. Or if you want to save it or something.
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