So, you’re finally here to join the eternal war, mortal. Here, to battle against heroes and prove yourself amongst the scourge of the Vulcan universe. Well, the bell’s been rung, and all in Berserk have heard it. The peace to end all wars is broken, and the champions are no longer at bay. And if this is treason, it doesn’t matter whether you’re new or a veteran at heart. Because the epic realm of Berserk will reel you in – right from the start:

Game Objective: Baring your true intent.

Berserk famously places you on a battlefield where you are represented by a Vulcanite. These mighty champions are your ‘hero’ characters in that they lead your ‘forces’ into a duel amongst other celestial beings. Creature cards and spell cards – form the bulk of your attack in duels. And you win, only, when your opposing champion’s health has been reduced to 0 or if you’ve sent their forces to an early grave!

Card Types: Agents of Mayhem

The Forges of Vulcan have belched up creatures and spells – essential allies to your cause. And as cards, you have a select horde of these warriors in your deck, which you must employ to duel and unleash your brand of chaos:

Creatures: Like well-oiled troopers, creature cards hold the frontline in any duel you play. They join the battlefield and are physically involved in attacking and defending the Vulcanite heroes in the fray. Because of this, they each have fixed base stats for health points and attack strength.

Generally, you draw them out from your hand to the board and use them to attack your opponent and their forces. Depending on which creature cards come up from your deck, they also have a range of attributes or abilities that affect how you’ll use them and to what extent. (we’ll talk more about these in a separate article)

Spells: Making up the rest of your arsenal are a handful of choice runes and hexes called ‘spells.’ As opposed to creatures, spells don’t join your forces in battle but are instead played directly by your champion. They’re an essential tool for each duel you play as their effects are instantaneous, and their prospects are limitless.

Each spell card has a unique ability, much like the creatures, you’ll play, from dealing damage to healing or enforcing your own. In addition, they can silence or ‘Debuff’ your enemies, empower your forces, deal direct damage, and an assortment of other uses just waiting for you to explore!

Lava Crystals: Lifelines to the Forge

To battle against foes, you need all the help you can muster from your allies. From the creatures and spells that are lurking under your control. And that’s what makes Lava crystals, the red-gemmed answers to your salvation in every duel.

Each duel begins with the player going first, having a single Lava crystal, whereas the second player starts with two instead of one. This balances the advantage one gets by getting to go first. You must then spend Lava crystals from your pack and match the amount associated with a card – displayed on the top left corner to summon it from your hand.

The total Lava crystals you hold at any moment is displayed in the bottom-right corner of your display. These crystals get replenished at the beginning of each turn for both players. Plus, each turn ups the ante by increasing the number of Lava crystals you can hold – going up to a maximum of 10. We suggest you use any and all crystals in each turn you get, as they don’t get carried over to the next.

The Mulligan Step: Opt for a Better Hand

Now once the die has been cast and you’ve relented yourself to the edict of fate, you should know that there’s one last chance to have a greater say:

At the beginning of each duel in Berserk, all mortals get a once-in-a-game chance to look at the hand they begin the duel with and submit a few spots to be shuffled and redrawn. Then, the cards you select are returned to your deck, and new cards fill in their spots before the game proceeds, and your duel begins. As such, you can swap out any cards you don’t want to be present in your starting hand and hopefully get a few from your deck, which you’d instead begin with.

Combat System: Drawing First Blood

Duels in Berserk can go one of many ways. No one knows what cards may spawn which creature into the fight or which spell might suddenly join the fray. It’s why every match you play stays unique. However, the board housing all the battlements and the combat system propelling the duels – remain the same. Right from when you begin:

  • The board on which your duels unfold in Berserk is split into multiple sections, each part holding a particular sway. You can see your deck of cards on the right and the graveyard of creatures and spells that have expired to your left.
  • The middle of the board serves as the main battlefield where the cards drawn from you and your opponent’s hand – meet. There’s room for only seven cards to be drawn to the board from each side at a time.
  • The bottom of the board greets you with your Vulcanite hero display – its health points along with the cards equipped in your hand.
  • And finally, there’s the red-gemmed Lava crystal indicator in the bottom-right and the playing-turn indicator in the centre. The playing-turn indicator also doubles up as a button for you to press and end your turn before the timer expires to either skip or hasten your opponent’s hand.

The duel begins once the initial phase of ‘Mulligan’ has been crossed after joining a match. Depending on the cards you hold in your hand at the start of your turn, you then get to summon a creature to the board or inflict a spell on your opponent. The creatures you call generally tend to sleep (unless you have an Undead card) and get activated only when a turn has passed. However, the spells are instant and aren’t barred in any way upon being used. And you use your creatures to attack your opponent’s Vulcanite hero or forces by clicking and dragging them to indicate your choice of target and hammering them with all you’ve got.

The duel ends when either of the two players has run out of supporting creature cards, spells, or their Vulcanite’s health points have all been beaten away by the attacks the champion faced. You can try all this out and much more by playing a few practice games with Berserk’s AI bot before heading in for some ranked matches of your own: Where you can be sure to experiment and get acquainted with all the cards you have on your deck, whether you’re accessing Berserk from your computer, iOS or Android device. And once you’ve got some victories to show for all the time you’ve spent, you can also check out this guide on some vital card game skills to improve on and learn how to slay.