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Hand of the Gods Advanced Rulebook

March 1, 2018

Hand of the Gods can be a bit overwhelming at first, so we want to offer resources for those seeking to learn more about the advanced mechanics on the battlefield!

For starters, we encourage all new players to check out our series of tutorial video guides available on our YouTube channel here. These will cover the basics of how to navigate the in-game menus, identify the stats of cards, and play cards to lead your armies to victory.

Once you have a bit more experience with the game, many players find that it’s help to understand more advanced details of gameplay, such as the order in which different types of card effects are resolved, or intended interactions surrounding in-game Mechanics. For these players, we have made the Advanced Rulebook, which can be read below.

Advanced Rulebook

I. Sequencing


  • Actions indicate specific triggered events from a player such as attacking, playing a card, issuing a movement, using a warcry, using a leader ability, or ending a turn.


  • An effect is any event that occurs as a result of an action.
  • Effects can trigger other effects.


  • Each effect of a given action has a priority that determines the order in which it occurs in relation to other effects.


  • Resolution refers to when a specific effect actually occurs.

Time Order

  • If there are multiple effects of the same priority, the effects are resolved in the order of the actions that created them.



The following is the basic priority ranking of effects found in Hand of the Gods.

  1. Unit Deployment
  2. Warcry
  3. Attack Damage
  4. Attack Damage Effect
  5. Return Damage
  6. Return Damage Effect
  7. Reincarnate
  8. Death
  9. Resurrection
  10. Unit Spawn
  11. Afterlife
  12. All other unspecified effects

Note: There can be some exceptions to these priorities caused by specific card effects that directly manipulate the normal functionality of a listed mechanic.



The best way to conceptualize the sequencing of events is to think of it as a hierarchy with a “tie breaker” based on time order.

Tier 1: Actions

  • Actions fire off a series of effects

Tier 2: Effects

  • Any action can have multiple effects and each effect can itself have multiple effects.

Tier 3: Priority

  • Each action has a priority that determines the order in which it occurs.

When an action occurs, each effect is resolved one at a time in priority order. If two or more effects share a priority, the order in which they are resolved is then determined by the time order of the action or other effect that triggered them. This process is completed until all effects of a given action are resolved.


Example 1

  • Attacking another unit with one of your own is an example of an action. Once a unit attacks there are many possible effects but the most common ones are damage from your unit and return damage from the enemy unit.
  • When the attacking action occurs, all effects are ranked by priority and time order.
  • For this example, your unit would first deal damage and then the enemy unit would deal return damage.


Example 2

  • Using the same basic example above let’s add in the effect of death.
  • If your unit would kill the unit it is attacking, the enemy unit still does return damage because the return damage effect has a higher priority than death.
  • The priority ranking of effects can be found in the section dedicated to Priority above.


Example 3

  • Taking the same example we have been using let’s add some more effects.
  • Now, both units have an afterlife effect and both units kill each other in combat.
  • In this example let us also say that your unit was deployed before the enemy unit was, adding the time order element to the equation.
  • Now when your unit attacks, The effect priorities are as follows:
  1. Attack Damage
  2. Return Damage
  3. Death
  4. Afterlife
  • Since both deaths are resolved before afterlife, the order in which the afterlife effects are triggered is determined by the time order of the initial actions. In this case, since your unit was deployed first, its afterlife triggers before the enemy afterlife.


II. Player Action Events
Start and end of turn
  • Start of Turn
    • Summoning sickness is removed.
    • When a turn begins the first event that occurs is the player’s mana is replenished.
    • Next, the player draws a card.
    • Next, all effects that are triggered at start of turn are resolved in the order that the card producing the effect was played.
  • End of Turn
    • When a player ends their turn, all effects that are triggered at end of turn are resolved.
    • Exhaustion is cleared from all friendly units.
    • The start turn sequence begins for the other player.


Playing a Spell Card from Hand
  • When a Spell is played from hand the following sequence occurs in order.
    1. The mana cost of the card is removed from your total mana pool for that turn.
    2. The card is removed from your hand but not discarded.
    3. The Spell effects are resolved.
    4. Any effects that are triggered by a card being played are resolved in the order that the cards producing the effects were played.
    5. The card goes to the graveyard.
    6. Any effects that are triggered after a spell is discarded are resolved in the order that the cards producing the effects were played.


Playing a Unit Card from Hand
  • When a unit is played from hand the following sequence occurs in order.
    1. The mana cost of the card is removed from your total mana pool for that turn.
    2. The card is removed from your hand (but not discarded).
    3. The unit is deployed to the battlefield and is put in a state of summoning sickness.
    4. All effects that are defined in the played card’s text are resolved.
    5. All effects that are triggered when a card is played are resolved in the order that the cards producing the effects were played.
    6. The card is sent to the holding zone.
    7. Any effects that are triggered after a unit Card is sent to the graveyard are resolved in the order that the cards producing the effects were played.


  • Every unit has a movement value that determines how many tiles it can move each turn.
  • A unit can only move if it is not exhausted and has not already attacked on a given turn.
  • A unit can only move through friendlies.
  • A unit can not occupy the same tile as another unit or blocker.


  • When you direct a friendly unit to attack an enemy unit the following sequence occurs in order.
    1. Pre-combat event: If the attacking unit has stealth, it is now removed.
    2. Any effect that is triggered as a result of combat but before damage occurs is resolved.
    3. If the effects of (b) would not result in the removal of the targeted enemy from play, the attack initiation is resolved.
    4. Combat Event: Attack Damage is resolved
    5. Any effect that is triggered by attack damage is resolved.
    6. Any effect that is triggered as a result of a counter attack but before damage occurs is resolved.
    7. If the effects of (f) would not result in the removal of the targeted enemy from play, the counter attack resolved.
    8. Return Damage is resolved.
    9. If either unit would die, the deaths are now resolved.


Leader Ability
  • When a Leader Ability is used it becomes exhausted for the remainder of that turn.
  • A Leader Ability is refreshed at the beginning of your turn and when the ability is replaced by a new ability as the result of an effect.


III. Cards, Units, and Subtypes
  • Cards are broken down into 2 main types: Spells and Units.
    • Spells are a type of card that, when played from hand, result in an effect.
    • Units are a type of card that when played result in a character being deployed to the battlefield. There are many types of units that can be deployed which are discussed below.


Units and Sub-types
  • Units can have various subtypes which are shown at the bottom of a card. Some sub-types have special rules and others just interact with other cards in special ways.
    • Structure: This sub-type consists of units that have no movement and can not be given movement.
    • Beast: has special interactions with some other cards.
    • God: has special interactions with some other cards.


Neutral Units
  • In some rare cases units can be neutral and not owned by either player. An example of this would be Medusa statues.
  • If a neutral unit would go to the graveyard or be returned to hand, it is instead removed from the game.


Summoning Stones
  • Summoning Stones are the main objective of Hand of the Gods. When an opponent’s Summoning Stone is destroyed, you win the match.
  • Unlike most units, Summoning Stones do not have an attack value or a movement value nor can they gain those values.


IV. Mechanics
  • Each tile on the Battlefield can only be occupied by a single unit at any given moment.
  • If more than one unit would be placed on a tile, whichever is spawned first occupies the tile and all others are placed in the graveyard. units placed in the Graveyard in this way are not killed but rather placed directly.


Attack Range
  • Ranged units are able to attack units up to 3 tiles away by default. The 3 tile range is counted in vertical or horizontal movements, not diagonal.
  • Melee units are able to attack any adjacent enemy including diagonally.
  • Any unit with a range above 1 has its range calculated without diagonal movement.


  • Units have a “current” health value and a “maximum” health value.
  • An effect that heals a unit can not bring its health total above its maximum health but an effect that gives +1 health would increase the units max health by 1 as well as healing it for the same amount.
  • Examples:
    • A 4/5 Enyo takes 2 Damage and becomes a 4/3. Now let’s pretend Enyo is given a temporary buff that gives +1/+1 and becomes a 5/4 with a max health of 6. When the buff wears off, the unit remains a 4/4 but has a max health of 5.
    • A Blademaster takes 3 damage and becomes a 4/4. Stone of Gaia is then played on the Blademaster and he becomes a 4/8 with a maximum health of 10.


  • Auras are persisting bonuses that are applied to units from other units. An example of an Aura would be Surtr’s passive which gives +1/+0 to adjacent friendlies.
  • Auras can be provided adjacently (Surtr) or globally (Basilisk).
  • The removal of Auras is resolved immediately following death resolution, banish resolution, silence resolution, and removal from play.
  • Auras are constantly creating effects that are checked for resolution.
    • Example: You move a 3/5 unit adjacent to an Enyo Flag making it a 4/5. You then play Transfusion on the unit making it a 5/5. Since Auras are constantly checked for resolution, the unit immediately gains +1 from Enyo Flag and becomes a 6/5.


  • Unless otherwise stated, Discovered cards are not pulled from a player’s hand, deck, or graveyard but instead from a set list of cards that are generated solely for Discovery.
  • Discovered cards are added directly to hand unless otherwise stated.
  • Effects can also be Discovered from Warcry and are resolved immediately following selection.


  • Any effect that would return a unit back to its owner’s hand returns that card back to its default state regardless of any effects that had been applied.
  • Example: Your Marksman has its passive triggered and becomes a 2/2. Your opponent then plays Recall on your marksman and it is returned to your hand in its default state: 2 mana, 1/2, Ranged.  Whenever you play a God, gain +1/+0.


  • Banished units are considered to be in the “Removed from Game” zone.
  • Banished units do not affect any persisting or added game effects for the duration of the banish.
  • Example: Your opponent has a White Tiger that has been banished. You have a Surtr and a Thor on the Battlefield. If you were to play the spell Mayhem, 2 Damage would be dealt to the enemy Summoning Stone since White Tiger is not a valid target.
  • A unit can move through any banished unit but can not occupy the same tile from which that unit was Banished.


  • Summoning Stones that are guarded can not be directly targeted by Enemies with attacks or Warcry effects.
  • Guarded Summoning Stones can be hit by indirect unit damage such as attacks from Bull Demon King as long as the damage is not from the direct portion of the attack.
  • A friendly with Guard loses Guard if it becomes Stealthed.


  • Stealthed units can not be directly targeted by Spells, Units, or Leader Abilities.
  • Stealthed units can be hit by random effects, AOE effects, and effects that target tiles.


  • A stunned unit can not move, attack, or deal return damage.
  • By default, when you stun a unit the effect lasts until your next turn.


  • Effects that transform units into another unit immediately remove the original unit from play.
  • A transformed unit is not killed and transformations do not trigger Afterlife.
  • Example: Your Medusa attacks a damaged Occult Deadeye turning it into stone. The Occult Deadeye’s Afterlife does not trigger.
  • A transformed unit that is Silenced does not get transformed back to the original unit.


Immune: X
  • A unit with Immune X can not be targeted nor can it be indirectly affected in any way by the effect stated as X
  • Example: If a unit has Immune: Enemy Spells, it can not be directly targeted by Enemy Spells such as Sunder nor can it be effected by a Spell that affects an area such as Cataclysm.


Protect: X
  • A unit with Protect: X Reduces the damage of each attack source that affects it by the X value.
    • Example: Your Doom Speaker has Protect: 1 from an Aphrodite. The enemy Arges attacks the Doom Speaker dealing 0 Damage.
    • Example: Your Doom Speaker has Protect: 1 from an Aphrodite passive. The enemy Fire Imp attacks your Doom Speaker dealing 1 total Damage.
  • Multiple Protect: X effects of the same value do not stack.
    • Example: Your Doom Speaker has Protect: 1 from an Aphrodite Warcry effect. You then play another Aphrodite and target the Doom Speaker with her Warcry. Your Doom Speaker still has Protect: 1 since both Protect: X being applied are of the same value.
  • A Protect: X of a higher value will override a lower value Protect: X effect.
    • Example: Your Doom Speaker has Protect: 1 from an Aphrodite Warcry effect. You then target the Doom Speaker with Shell. The Doom Speaker now has Protect: 2. When the Shell effect expires, the Protect value on Doom Speaker would return to 1 since it was affected by Aphrodite’s persisting effect.
  • Protect: X does not prevent Spell damage, Warcry effects, or Leader Abilities.


  • If a unit has a resurrection effect, it is always resolved after the unit’s death is resolved but before any Afterlife effect.
  • Resurrection effects fail if the affected unit card is not in the owner’s graveyard.


  • If a unit is executed it does not revive if it had any resurrection effect and is instead sent directly to the Graveyard.
  • Executed units will still trigger any Afterlife effects.


  • Afterlife effects are Resolved in the order that the unit was spawned on the Battlefield but after resurrection.
    • Example: You play Scarab’s Blessing on a Sylvanus with 1 Health. The enemy then plays Sunder and kills your Sylvanus. Since the resurrection effect from Scarab’s Blessing resolves before Sylvanus Afterlife, Sylvanus first revives and the Sapling would not spawn since Sylvanus occupies the target tile.


  • Warcry effects can either resolve immediately upon a unit being deployed (Vulcan) or after an activation (Ares).
  • Warcry is not triggered when a unit is put into play from any means other than being played from hand.
  • If a unit with an activatable Warcry is targeted with an effect that removes exhaustion such as Charge, the Warcry must be used before the unit is moved otherwise it is lost.


Zones and Card States

Every Card and Unit in Smite Tactics exists in a specific game area called a zone. Cards in Tactics can exist in one of two states; the card state and the unit state.

  • Zones
    • Deck
    • Hand
    • Battlefield
    • Holding
    • Graveyard
    • Removed From Game
    • Discover Zone

When a Spell card is played from hand, the card immediately goes into the holding zone until its effects are resolved. Once the effects are resolved, the card is sent to the Graveyard zone.

When a unit Card is played the card is placed in the Holding Zone until the deployed unit is killed. When the unit is killed, the card is moved to the Graveyard zone.


Removed From Game

  • If a Card or unit is moved to this zone it is no longer considered to be a part of the game in any way and can not be interacted with.


Zone Limits

  • Deck: A deck must have exactly 25 cards
  • Hand: A hand can have up to 10 cards. Any card that would bring the hand size to above 10 is instead discarded to the Graveyard.


Moving Between Zones

  • If a card or unit would be moved to a zone that is full it is instead moved to the Graveyard Zone.
  • If more than one unit would enter the same location in the Battleground zone at the same time, the first one to resolve would occupy the tile and the others would instead be sent to the Graveyard or removed from play.
  • Units that are moved from the Graveyard to the Battlefield do not trigger their warcry as if they were played from hand.


  • Each Player can have a maximum of 10 Mana on a given turn.
  • Each turn a player’s Mana is replenished and they are given one additional mana than the turn before.
  • The Mana Cost of a card can be lowered by other effects to a minimum of 0.


Card Drawing
  • When a card is drawn it is immediately resolved and added to the player’s hand if there is available space.
  • Cards that are added to your hand from a location other than the top of your deck (Cards that are added via Discover for example) are not considered to be drawn.

Having a thorough understanding of specific interactions between cards and how to use these to your advantage are key to climbing the Leaderboard and becoming a top player in Hand of the Gods! Feel free to join our Discord server and discuss gameplay with other players! We’ll see you on the battlefield!


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