An ability is the special game text that a card contributes to the game. There are five types of abilities: action abilities, claim abilities, ongoing abilities, special abilities, and triggered abilities. There are also keywords, which are shorthands for abilities that appear on multiple cards. Cards can have more than one ability; each ability is its own paragraph on the card.
Example: Finn ( 45) has two different abilities.
An ability becomes usable as soon as its card enters play, and remains usable as long as that card is in play. An ability from an event is resolved when that event is played.
Players must resolve as much of an ability as they are able to, unless it includes the word "may" or explicitly gives the player a choice. Special abilities () are mandatory if that side of its die is resolved.
The queue is an imaginary line that most game effects and abilities enter and leave in chronological order, based on a "first in, first out" principle. Each effect must fully resolve before the next one resolves. If during the resolution of something in the queue, another effect is added, it moves to "the end" of the queue and is resolved last.
After abilities enter the queue.
Before abilities do not enter the queue, but interrupt it.
Additional actions that are gained do not enter the queue, but instead wait their turn since a player can only resolve one action at a time.
Example: A player resolves one of their dice to deal 2 damage to a character. The 2 damage enters the queue, and since nothing else is in the queue it resolves.
Example 2: A player plays the event Squad Tactics ( 143) and has a Gomorrean Guard ( 19) upgraded with a Gaffi Stick ( 25) and a Tusken Raider ( 22) on their team.
The Guard has the Guardian keyword and, since this is a before ability, it interrupts the activation and resolves (it does not enter the queue).
The Guard is defeated by the damage it takes with Guardian, and the Redeploy keyword on the Gaffi Stick interrupts it being defeated and moves to the Raider (it does not enter the queue).
Squad Tactics then activates the Raider and it rolls both its die and its Gaffi Stick die into the pool. The "after" ability on the Raider triggers and enters the queue, and since nothing else is in the queue it resolves.
Some support, upgrade, and character cards have unique actions listed on them. These actions are preceded by the word "Action" or "Power Action" in bold. To resolve this ability, a player must spend one action on it during their turn and then follow the instructions on the card.
Example: Underworld Connections ( 101) has the action ability "Action - Exhaust this support to gain 1 resource".
Battlefields have claim abilities on them, preceded by the word "Claim" in bold. These abilities are optional and may be resolved by the player who claims the battlefield.
Any non-keyword ability whose text contains no trigger condition and does not have a bold word in front of it (like "Action" or "Claim") is an ongoing ability.
Example: Personal Escort ( 78) has the ongoing ability "Attached character has the Guardian keyword".
Inherent Dice Abilities
Some cards have ongoing abilities on them which are considered to be inherent to the die, and always affect how the die resolves, independent of the card being in play. Inherent dice abilities other than specials never use the words "before" or "after" or "while".
Example: Diplomatic Immunity (r50) says "The shields from this die can be given to any of your characters, distributed as you wish".
The shields from this die can be split up regardless of whether the card is in play or not, such as when resolved through Poe Dameron's (r29) special ability.
Dice with a non-special inherent die ability: Diplomatic Immunity ( 50), Launch Bay ( 31), Lure of Power ( 16), ID-9 Seeker Droid ( 13), Training Remote ( 35), Gang Up ( 68), Vibroknife ( 57).
These are a type of inherent dice abilities that appear on some cards and are marked by the special () symbol. When a die with that symbol is resolved, the special ability on its matching card is resolved.
- The special () cannot be resolved to use the special ability on a different card.
- If a card has more than one special ability, the player who resolves it may choose which one to use.
Keywords are shorthands for abilities that appear on multiple cards.
- A card cannot gain another copy of a keyword; it either has the keyword or does not have the keyword.
- If a card loses a keyword, then it loses the keyword no matter how many times it would gain it.
- The italicized text that explains keywords on cards is solely reminder text, and is overridden by the full rules written below.
After playing (and resolving) a card with Ambush, a player may take another action. If a player is allowed to take an action outside of their turn, they immediately take it.
Before a character with Guardian activates, its owner may remove one die showing damage () from their opponent's dice pool to deal damage equal to the value showing on the die removed to the activating Guardian character.
This keyword only appears on upgrades. Before this upgrade would be discarded by its character being defeated, you may instead move it to one of your other characters. The upgrade die moves to the new character card, even if it was in the dice pool.
The Redeploy keyword ignores play restrictions when attaching to a new character.
A triggered ability has a trigger condition and an effect. When a triggered ability meets its trigger condition, the ability resolves. There are two types of triggered abilities: "after" and "before" abilities.
Triggered abilities exist independently of their source. Once triggered, the entire ability resolves, even if the card it was on leaves play.
A trigger condition indicates the timing point at which an ability may be used, and always follows either the word "after" or "before". A trigger condition matches a specific occurrence that takes place in the game. ,
Example: Qui-Gon Jinn ( 37) is about to gain a shield, which is the trigger condition for his ability that says "Before this character gains 1 or more shields, you may remove 1 of his shields to deal 1 damage to a character".
If, during the course of a game, a before ability meets its trigger condition, immediately resolve the before ability prior to resolving the rest of the effect. In this way, before abilities can interrupt the flow of the game and ignore the queue.
Example: One with the Force ( 42) says "Before attached character is defeated, this card becomes a support for the rest of the game". The trigger condition is "attached character is defeated", and the timing word "before" tells you to resolve the rest of the effect before the trigger condition resolves.
If, during the course of a game, an after ability meets its trigger condition, it resolves following the resolution of the trigger condition. Unlike before abilities, after abilities do not interrupt the flow of the game, and instead wait their turn in the queue to resolve.
Example: Comlink ( 61) says "After you play this upgrade, you may reroll any number of your dice or any number of your opponent's dice". The effect of playing the card must fully resolve (paying the cost, choosing a character to attach it to), and then the after ability resolves.
If the trigger condition of an after ability was part of another ability, that entire ability is completed before the new after ability resolves.
When two or more triggered abilities meet their trigger conditions at the same time, the player who is resolving those abilities chooses the order they resolve in (in the case of before abilities) or enter the queue in (in the case of after abilities).
If more than one player has abilities that are simultaneous, the player who controls the battlefield chooses the order in which each player resolves their own abilities or has them enter the queue.
Example: A Tusken Raider ( 22) with Fast Hands ( 150) is activated when there is also a Jango Fett ( 21) with Fast Hands in play. Each card is controlled by a different player.
Both players have after abilities that can resolve after the Tusken Raider activates, so it is the battlefield controller's choice as to which player resolves theirs first.
An effect is anything that results from an ability. An effect lasts for as long as the action described in it.
Some abilities contain delayed effects. Such abilities specify a future timing point, or indicate a future condition that may arise, and contain an effect that is to happen at that time.
Example: Crime Lord ( 23) says "You may pay 5 resources to choose a character. That character is defeated after this round ends". The character being defeated is a delayed effect because it does not fully resolve until a future point in time.
An event with a delayed effect creates the effect, and then is discarded. It does not remain in limbo until the effect resolves.
A replacement effect uses the word "instead" somewhere in its text. If a replacement effect resolves, the original effect is considered to have not resolved, and no abilities can be triggered off of it. (Abilities can be triggered off of the replacement effect).
Example: Second Chance ( 137) says "Before attached character would be defeated, instead heal 5 damage from it and discard this upgrade". Because this prevents the character from being defeated, the character is never considered to have been defeated.
Some replacement effects that are part of before abilities use the word "would be" in their text. These effects are faster than other before abilities, and no abilities can be triggered off of the original effect.
Example: Second Chance ( 37) resolves before the before ability on General Grievous ( 3). Since the character affected by Second Chance is no longer defeated, General Grievous' ability cannot be triggered.
When two or more replacement effects are trying to replace the same thing, the player who is resolving those abilities chooses the order they resolve/enter the queue in.
If more than one player has abilities that are simultaneous, the player who controls the battlefield chooses the order they resolve in. The other replacement effect(s) no longer resolve, since the thing they are replacing no longer exists (it has already been replaced).
When a card's ability text refers to its own card type, such as "this upgrade" or "this character", it refers to itself only, and not to other copies (by title) of the card.
Negative effects take precedence over positive effects. If an effect says a player cannot do something, then they cannot do it, even if another effect says they can.
In order to resolve an effect that is preceded by the word "then", the previous effects on the card must have fully resolved (i.e., the game state changes to reflect the intent of the effect in its entirety).
If the part of an ability that precedes the word "then" does not successfully resolve in full, the part of the ability that follows the word "then" does not attempt to resolve.
Example: Scavenge ( 132) says "Discard the top 3 cards of your deck. Then you may add an upgrade or a support from your discard pile to your hand". If less than 3 cards remain in your deck, you cannot add a card to your hand because the previous effect did not fully resolve.