In Eternal two players face off in a match of cards where they acquire power and influence to play units, spells and weapons. Both players start at 25 health and the goal is to reduce the opponent's health to 0 before the player runs out of health himself.
These are the basic match rules that may vary according to different game modes.
Start of match
At the start of the match, both players draw 7 cards at random. They both have an option to discard the hand and re-draw it once with the second hand having at least 2 to 5 power in it. The player to go first is also chosen at random at this point.
The game then starts with the first player. To even out the advantage, that player doesn't get to draw a card on the first turn.
At the start of a player's turn, that player's power and units' health is filled up and they draw the top card of their deck (except on the starting player's first turn). The active player may then do any of the following actions in any order:
- Play one power
- Play units, spells and weapons
- Attack with active units
- Attack with relic weapons
Playing units, spells and weapons requires varying amounts of power and influence—the basic resources of Eternal players get by playing power (and in effect of some other cards). The player can play only one power on each turn, but there is no limit for the other cards as long as the player has the resources to play them. Influence doesn't go down even if cards require it but power is drained by each played card.
Attacking with units can be done by selecting the desired units with and pressing "Attack!" button. After that, the opponent may choose to block some of the attacking units with their own units if able. Finally, both players have the opportunity to use fast spells or units with ambush skill to affect the outcome of the attack. After attacking, the used units become inactive and can't be used until the beginning of his next turn when they ready again (unless the unit has Endurance skill). It should be noted that the player can only attack once per turn (excluding spells, special attacks and attacks with relic weapons) and can't use units played this turn (unless the unit has Charge skill).
If the player's avatar is equipped with a relic weapon that has an attack value, they may use it to attack the opponent. Relic weapons cannot attack the other player directly if there are enemy minions on the board.
Finally, the player finishes the turn when they can't or don't want to do anything else.
The opponent's proceeds similarly to player's own turn, but there are two points where the player can play "fast cards." The first is when both have chosen the attacking and blocking units, and the second is at the very end of the opponents turn. It's possible to use fast spells and units with the Ambush skill to surprise the opponent but these require power and influence similarly to player's own turn. Since power doesn't fill up until the beginning of the player's own turn, the power needed to play "fast cards" must be unused from the previous turn.
The units played on the previous turn can be used to block opponent's attacks right after the turn.
Finishing a match
Both players take turns as stated above until one reaches 0 health or below. It is also possible to lose by running out of cards to draw, but it is a rare occurence.
Eternal will have several different game modes where players can choose to play against each other or AI. Dire Wolf Digital has plans to support competitive, ranked and ladder gaming which will be involved in some of the game modes. Drafting will also be part of some of the game modes and some will include side decks.