• There are two ways to win in GateRunners: destroy 2 out of 3 of your opponent’s Gates or eliminate your opponent’s Hero


  • If a player runs out of cards to draw in the deck, that player’s hero takes 3 damage at the start of their turn. If the hero is not in play when it would take damage this way, that player loses the game. 

Game Setup:


  • Each player has 3 fields of play. These are referred to as Lanes. At the end of each of these Lanes are Gates. The center Lane can have up to three units in the lane at once and starts with 3 Shields while the side Lanes can have up to 2 units in the lane at once and starts with 2 Shields. The Hero does not count toward the Unit limit.


  • Each player has 3 Gates. The player who is going first places a Gate in a lane of their choice, and then the other player places a Gate into a lane of their choice. Repeat until all Gates have been placed. 

Starting Hand & Mulligan:

  • Each player draws 6 cards from their deck. You may put aside any number of cards from your hand, then draw that many cards from the deck. Shuffle the cards you put aside back into the deck.


  • Shields are cards from your deck that you place in front of your Gates at the beginning of the game.


  • Each player has a Hero card that starts with The Hero’s Journey side face-up. Each Hero’s Journey is unique and each Hero may have the ability to come into play at different times. 

Basic Concepts:


  • You may play a Level 1 Unit into one of three Lanes. You may do this up to twice per turn. Units may not attack or move the turn they come into play. An exhausted unit is turned sideways and can’t attack, block, or move.

  • To move a unit to an adjacent lane, exhaust that unit and then put it into an adjacent lane that is not full.

  • To play units that are Level 2 or greater, you must LevelUp other units that have been in play for at least a turn.

Actions & Instants:

  • To play an Action or Instant you must exhaust a number of units equal to the card’s cost in the upper right. This is the same spot where a Unit’s Level would be. Units may be exhausted to pay for these costs the turn they come into play.

Game Setup In-depth:


  • Each Player starts the game with a minimum 40 card deck, a Hero’s Journey and 3 Gates. 


  • Some Gates have activated abilities that have a cost to activate. These abilities can only be activated on your turn anytime you could play an action.


  • When a unit deals damage to a Gate, remove 1 Shield and that player adds that card to their prize zone. When a Gate has no more Shields and takes any damage that Gate is destroyed. 


  • You get to choose which Lane you want to place your Hero into and they do not count towards the Unit cap for that Lane. The first turn the Hero enters the battlefield, it can only perform 1 feat. Otherwise, Heroes can perform up to 2 feats per turn: move, attack, or use an ability. Some Hero abilities require 2 feats instead of 1.

Hand Size:

  • Maximum hand size is 7. If a player has more than 7 cards at the end of their turn they must discard cards until they have 7 cards in their hand.


  • LevelUp is the process of sacrificing enough other units to equal the unit to be played’s Level minus one at least. So this means, to play a Level 2 unit you must LevelUp a Level 1 Unit OR LevelUp a Level 2 Unit OR LevelUp a Level 3 unit. To play a Level 3 Unit, you must LevelUp a Level 2 Unit OR LevelUp two Level 1 Units OR LevelUp a Level 3 Unit. You cannot LevelUp an excess number of Units, i.e. using 4 Level 1 Units to play a Level 3 Unit.

  • You may LevelUp any number of Units as long as that Unit has been under your control for at least one turn


  • Actions and Units can have the Instant keyword next to them. This means that they could be played on any turn when that player has priority.

Prize Zone:

  • Whenever you damage a gate, you may draw a prize from your prize zone.


Ready all units.


  1. If you are the first player on the first turn, you do not draw.

  2. Draw a card from your deck 


  1. You can play 2 one cost Units per turn. You can also tap a Unit to move it over to an adjacent Lane. Units enter the battlefield exhausted and can’t attack or move the turn they come into play unless noted otherwise.

  2. To play a card into a lane or to effect a lane in the case of actions or abilities, that card or ability cost must have at least one Unit exhaust from that Lane.

  • If a card is deployed without paying any energy costs, but an alternate cost is paid from a lane, then the card can only affect the lane the cost was paid from.

  • If a card is deployed and no cost was paid, but the card was played due to the effect of another card, then the played card can only affect the lanes the other card could have.

  • If a card is deployed and no cost was paid, then the card can affect only the lane the Hero is in. If the Hero is not in play yet, then the card “fizzles”. 

  1. The Hero can perform any combination of two actions per turn: Attack, Move, or use an ability. Heroes do not need to tap to attack or move.

[Hero Subsection]

  1. Hero attacks are done similarly to regular attacks* (See battle phase below)


[attack step]

  1. Attacks are declared by exhausting that Unit unless it has Steadfast.

  2. Your Units can attack, you choose if they attack a Hero or Gate in the same Lane. You must declare all Units in all Lanes to attack at the same time. 

  3. Both players have an opportunity to act, after attackers have been declared, but before defenders are declared, starting with the current turn’s player.

[defense step]

  1. After you have declared which Units will be attacking the defending player can choose to block your Units with theirs. Blockers are all declared at the same time.

  2. Multiple units can block one unit, unless otherwise noted. 

  3. Both players have an opportunity to act, after defenders are declared, but before damage happens, starting with the current turn’s player.

[damage step] 

  1. Damage is done simultaneously unless a Unit has Quick Strike then it deals damage first. If both units have Quick strike, they deal damage simultaneously.

  2. If a Unit has damage equal to or greater than its defense power marked on it, it is moved to the graveyard.

  3. If a Gate is damaged, through attacks or abilities, a Shield is removed from it and placed into that player’s hand.

  4. If a Gate has no Shields and it is damaged, it is destroyed.

  5. If a Gate is destroyed, that lane is still active. Players can continue to play units into that Lane and affect the lane still. Players may not attack a destroyed Gate.

*Hero Attacks*

  1. If a Hero attacks another Hero or a Gate the defending player can choose to block with any Units in the lane. Heroes blocked this way suffer the Unit’s power in damage. The unit also takes damage from the Hero.

  2. Heroes can block attacks during the Battle Phase. They take damage just like Units do and if their health is at 0 or below they are destroyed.

  3. If a Hero successfully attacks another Hero both Heroes deal damage to each other simultaneously. 


  1. Same as previous mobilize phase


  1. Until end of turn effects all end simultaneously.


  1. Discard down to hand size.


  1. If a shield is to be sacrificed, that is to put the shield in the graveyard instead of putting it into your hand.

  2. If a card or ability you or your opponent controls causes a Unit to attempt to enter a Lane that already has the max number for that lane, you must place the moving Unit into the graveyard.

  3. Deploying a card steps:

    1. Announce the card to be played

    2. Pay any costs

    3. Choose targets

When deploying a card, these steps happen in order, and the opponent cannot respond or do anything while in the middle of this.


Contest: Each unit deals their attack in damage to each other. 

Degrade: Remove a shield from a gate. If there are no shields, then destroy the gate.

Enter: Enter is a keyword that triggers an ability when a Unit enters the battlefield

Exhausted: Units cannot attack or use tap abilities the turn they are played.

Fortify: take the top card of your deck and add it to the Shields of one of your Gates

Gates: A Gate is destroyed when all of its Shields are broken and it takes damage. If all your Gates are destroyed you lose.

Health: The amount of damage a unit can take.

Heroes: Your avatar when playing the game. If your Hero dies you lose the game

Lanes: Play area where Units and Heroes are placed. Center Lane can hold 3 units while edge Lanes can hold 2 Units

LevelUp: Place any number of Units into the graveyard to play a unit with a level one more than the total level of all the Units placed in the graveyard. The total may be more than the specified level.

Maneuver: Exhaust an unexhausted Pirate in this lane to exchange all units and structs you control in this lane with the units and structs you control in another lane.

Multi-Blocking: Blocking an attacking unit with multiple units. Commonly known as double-blocking when using 2 units and triple-blocking when using 3 units. 

Phantom: Units with Phantom can’t be the target of Action or Abilities your opponent uses

Pierce: Units with Pierce deal excess damage to their target when blocked

Power: The amount of damage a unit does in combat.

Quick Strike: Units with Quick Strike deal damage before Units without Quick Strike

Reach: Units with Reach can block attacks in adjacent lanes

Restless: Units with Restless may attack or exhaust the turn they enter the battlefield

Shields: Cards placed from the top of your deck in front of Gates that indicate how many more hits that Struct can take

Steadfast: Units with Steadfast don’t exhaust when they attack

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