Special Abilities

Hero Special Abilities

Heroes and cards have unique abilities that often let them cheat the rules. Special abilities always supercede the standard rules.

The $ symbol in special ability text means “this hero.”

Special abilities apply only when in the arena

Heroes that have not yet entered the map or are defeated have no effect on the game in any way. Ignore their special abilities unless specifically told.

When specials can be used

Abilities used in the Free step can only be used once unless stated otherwise.

An ability usable in Free, Action, Reaction, Adventure, or Reinforce can be used only during your team’s step. However, if used in Melee, it can be used in both team’s Melee step.

Allies and heroes

The words ally and enemy include heroes and minions. The word hero applies to heroes only, not minions.

Specials may not apply regardless. The special “Allies gain +1 Hit” would apply even to minions. The special “Allies draw 1 card” would not apply to minions, because they can’t interact with cards.

Special abilities after renewal

A hero that is defeated but then renewed into play has everything refreshed, including special abilities. This means that any hero with one-use special abilities may use those abilities again after returning, as if the hero were starting the game.

Conflicting special abilities

In rare cases, special abilities from heroes and cards might conflict. Treasure card special abilities generally override hero abilities. Special abilities that prevent or negate something override abilities that allow that same thing.

By player agreement, a conflict can be resolved in the most logical way. Otherwise, between hero abilities, the hero with the earliest name alphabetically overrides later names.

Tracker Markers.jpg


The game contains a mix of crossed “tracker” markers. Use these to keep track of certain special abilities. Unless stated otherwise, when a hero is defeated, remove all trackers related to them.

Printed Ratings

When an ability calls for using a hero’s printed rating, use the rating from the hero card, without applying any modifiers whatsoever, including Boosts.

Side Switching

On rare occasions, a hero may switch sides, changing teams. This side switching ends if the hero that was switched is defeated. Such a hero goes to the Underpit but returns to their original team at that point. Be sure to change the standee base color.

If the enemy that caused the side switch is defeated, this does NOT undo the switch, unless the special ability text says otherwise.



A special ability or rule may call for a Luck check. Usually, checking Luck is part of a challenge. Look at the Luck number on the challenge card that was drawn for the challenge.

Example: If you must check Luck on a Hit, use the Luck shown on the challenge card drawn for the Hit.

Mental Abilities

Some heroes and cards are designated as “mental abilities.” Minions are immune to all mental abilities.



Some special abilities have an area effect called an aura. Auras extend a certain number of spaces outward. Walls block auras, but all other terrain does not, even in/out of Domes.

Unless stated otherwise, auras do NOT affect the aura owner.

Hero 1 has an aura of 3. The aura must be counted around wall. It reaches all other spaces, including into the Dome.

Determine at start of each step

The area affected by auras is determined at the start of each step. They do not change during the step. So, for example:

During the Action step, if you move an aura-hero, you still measure the aura from where that hero started the Action step.

During Reaction, you again determine auras at the start of Reaction. This means that heroes that moved in the previous Action step now have their auras counted from where they ended their movement, not where they started.

If a hero is dismissed or banished, their aura effects are lost for the rest of that step. The auras of a defeated hero are also immediately lost.

Lazar and Rizzik moved in their Action. Pvt Sanchez plans on shooting at Rizzik in his Reaction. Because Rizzik starts the Reaction step two spaces away from Lazar, he gains the Stealth bonus from Lazar’s aura special ability. It does not matter that the space being fired at is outside Lazar’s aura range.

Aura Example.jpg


A Shift is a special kind of movement. Use the normal Move rules but ignore the hero’s Speed. The hero gains the stated move points, which is NEVER affected by any speed modifiers such as Transports.

A Shift 2 does not become Shift 3 if the hero has a +1 Speed bonus or a Transport. It does not become Shift 1 from a -1 Speed penalty.