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Elements is an online, fantasy-themed Collectible Card Game. As the online documentation puts it, "The player is an elemental, a spirit composed of an element; elements are the fundamental building blocks of nature. Each elemental has an arsenal of skills that can be used in a duel against another elemental; each skill corresponds to a card."

The game groups cards into three types:

  • Creatures: These attack your opponent, and can have useful abilities.
  • Spells: These give you an effect once, then disappear.
  • Permanents: These stay in play when you play them.

Permanents, in turn, include three important subtypes:

  • Pillars: These are your primary source of Quanta (singular Quantum). Quanta are the energy you use to play your other cards.
    • Some of which are Pendulums, which alternately give you quanta of their element and your "native" element (which you can change outside of duels).
  • Weapons: These are another way for you to attack your opponent, and most have useful abilities.
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  • Shields: These defend you. Most focus on defending you against your opponent's attacks.

Also, the cards are divided into 12 different elements:

You can find the game here and the forum here.

This game provides examples of:

  • A God Is You: Elementals are apparently very powerful beings, able to take hits from Dragons.
  • All Your Powers Combined: Due mainly to the persistence of quanta from generation to use (with a computer tracking numbers, there's no need for a physical game's "tap to pay" system), it's actually practical to build decks using all 12 elements at once. In fact, certain classes of such decks make up the bulk of arena grinders.
  • Artificial Stupidity: While the AI is mostly competent, every once in a while, it will make some rather boneheaded moves. In particular, the AI doesn't seem to be able to realize that, "Hey, I've already got a weapon/shield; maybe I shouldn't play a different one."
    • Also, it likes to bury immortal creatures, as if gaining the meaningless defence bonus was worth halving the creature's attack.
    • It will also draw using Golden Hourglasses like crazy, often decking itself out in the process.
    • There are three main uses for Armagios - using their Gravity Pull ability to turn them into human shields, using Acceleration/Overdrive to make them go from a Stone Wall to a Glass Cannon, or using the Catapult to fling them at your opponent. The AI has a tendency of trying to catapult them after doing one of the first two options.
    • If a deck has Quintessence and Dune Scorpions in it, the AI may grant the scorpion immortality before increasing its attack, robbing themselves of a very dangerous creature.
  • Attack Backfire:
    • One popular strategy for players with a Deck consisting of death cards is to use Aflatoxin to turn an opponent's creature into a Malignant Cell, allow it to duplicate itself until it fills the player's deck, then kill them all using Plague or Thunderstorm, and gain an army of skeletons using a Boneyard. The problem is that many shields block 1 or more damage from each enemy creature, and Skeletons only do one damage, so each Skeleton can end up being unable to hurt their opponent. To make things worse, players with Otyughs or Scarabs will now be able to greatly buff their attack, and Empathic Bonds will allow the player to heal almost completely thanks to the Malignant Cells.
    • The Shard of Wisdom will let an immortal creature deal "spell damage" instead of "physical damage", i.e. letting them get past most shields. The only problem is that while most shields block physical damage, a few can reflect spell damage, making spell-damaging creatures attack their owners.
  • Awesome, but Impractical: Some of the combos, while awesome in theory, could be quite hard to pull off.
  • Boring, but Practical: Dimensional Shield blocks all attacks for 3 turns. It also happens to be one of the most annoying cards in the game to face.
  • Baleful Polymorph: Entropy has Mutation effects, which change one creature into another, randomly generated creature. These effects can be used on your own creatures, or on your opponent's.
  • Blessed with Suck:
    • Colossal Dragon has an insane number of hit points, making it hard to kill, but also makes it one of the more expensive cards, and it's even countered by Gravity Shield.
    • Creatures that have or are given immortality can not be hurt by the owners or opponents, but they can hurt themselves if their opponent's shield poisons or burns them - and their immortality means that it is almost impossible for their owners to heal them, cure them, or grant them the ability to ignore shields.
  • Bribing Your Way to Victory: Averted: the game's free to play, and donating money doesn't give you any noticeable advantage. While you will get a card for a big enough donation, said card can be gotten without donating.
  • Call a Rabbit a "Smeerp": Quantum (plural quanta) as mana.
  • Cap: Your deck must be at least 30 cards, but it can't have more than 60. Also, you can never have more than 8 cards in your hand, and at the end of your turn, if you do have 8, you have to discard one. Other than pillars, you're not allowed to have more than 6 copies of any particular card in your deck. Finally, as of the latest versions, there is a cap of 75 for each individual type of quanta.
    • Also, Stone Skin/Granite Skin gives you extra HP equal to the number of Earth quanta you have — but only up to 73-74 because of the aforementioned limit.
    • There are also limits on the number of creatures in play (23).
  • Color-Coded Elements: The game color-codes its elements thusly: Fire is red, Water is blue, Earth is brown, Air is sky blue, Light is white, Darkness is black, Life is green, Death is purple, Gravity is orange, Time is yellow, Entropy is pink, Aether is aqua, and Non-Elemental cards are beige.
  • Competitive Balance: Each element has its strengths and weaknesses.
    • Each deck also has strengths and weaknesses. There's no "best deck."
  • Confusion Fu: Any deck relying on the Entropy element. Many cards have random effects, such as Fallen Elf, Mutation, and Pandemonium. By the end of any high level entropy deck match you will generally be wondering what just happened even if you win. That said, Entropy decks also have a chance of netting you a quick and doubtless win or might give you sub-optimal setups, but upgraded cards will make it more likely that the random effects benefit you. The question then becomes what kind of benefits you receive.
    • Another one which is more contained but powerful is the Fallen Druid's Improve ability with an army of fodder. Improve will always give you a creature with higher base stat and a random activation ability. It will also keep any innate abilities (such as Voodoo Doll). The setup is shaky at best, since a simple counter is to just kill the druid, but if it goes wild you may end up facing an army with abilities ranging from growing in power every turn to the wholesale destruction or theft of every permanent that isn't protected. On the same field.
  • Cursed With Awesome: Many, many spells have this effect. Whether it's a curse or a blessing often depends on the situation.
    • Basilisk Blood and Auburn/Earth Nymphs can petrify a creature, which prevents it from attacking for 6 turns, but also increases its health by a massive 20 hit points. Armagios are able to withstand more damage and act as shields for longer, Otyughs and Scarabs become able to consume almost any creature, creatures with Acceleration/Overdrive will live far longer, and anything poisoned can live for longer periods of time.
    • Reverse Time essentially kills a creature and returns the card to its owner, preventing the creature from attacking and preventing its owner from drawing a new card - but this can also be used to cure a dying creature, or stop you from running out of cards.
    • Rage Potions increase attack and reduce health by 5 points each, so it's a death sentence for anything with less than 6 health and a blessing for anything with more.
    • Gravity Pull makes all creatures on one side attack a specific creature on the other. This will, of course, eventually kill that creature, but if the creature has particularly high health, it makes a nice human shield.
    • Aflatoxin poisons a creature for 2 damage each turn. When it dies, it turns into a Malignant Cell, which will keep duplicating until it fills the board - in other words, using it on yourself grants you a Zerg Rush of creatures.
    • Weakening any creature until it has 5 or less health will let it get past a Gravity Shield.
    • Liquid Shadow will poison a creature, but will also give it the ability "Vampire", letting it return the damage it deals as healing.
    • Adrenaline will make a creature attack multiple times per turn - but any poison damage on it, or damage from a shield, will also be taken multiple times per turn, so you can use it to make an enemy creature die faster, or you can use Adrenaline and Antimatter on an enemy creature, which will force it to HEAL you multiple times.
    • Any card that increases a creature's health (such as Blessing, Basilisk Blood, Plate/Heavy Armor) can be used to prevent it from getting past a Gravity Shield. Likewise, intentionally weakening your own creatures with Rage Potion, Shockwave, or another damaging spell will enable it to slip past a Gravity Shield.
    • Any card that increases a creature's attack but not its defence may leave it vulnerable to Maxwell Demon's Paradox ability. note 
  • Diminishing Returns for Balance: The Adrenaline effect gives a creature multiple attacks per turn. Bigger creatures get fewer extra attacks, and their attacks after the first will usually have less power.
  • Elemental Powers: Pretty much every single elemental power from healing to time and space manipulation is represented in one form or another.
  • Explosive Breeder: The Malignant Cell, which has very little attacking power in a game where creatures normally can't intercept attacks. What it can do is copy itself each turn, and so can the copies, up to the hard limit of the number of creatures a player can have in play. Most decks' capacity to kill their own creatures is decidedly limited... this creature is built to be given to an opponent as cancer.
    • Bonus point if the Malignant Cell is affected byAdrenaline. It will create four copies instead of one, quickly filling the board.
    • Time's Deja Vu (a weak flyer) also splits into two copies. While this removes its ability, this game has no creature tokens - the copies are real cards, and so can be returned to the deck (which most Time decks can do ad infinitum). When a card leaves play, it returns to its pristine state and original text... so a Time player need never run out of Deja Vus (or out of cards, for that matter).
  • Extreme Omnivore: Otyughs and Scarabs can eat pretty much anything, from germs to dragons, provided they're buffed enough.
  • Fairy Battle: Before the Arena became the new asynchronous PvP system, you could challenge AI-controlled copies of the Top 500 players' decks. Some players in the Top 500 would intentionally build their decks to include a few rare cards, but no way to play them, and no way to win the game; this makes those rare cards far easier to get.
  • Flawless Victory: If you can win the game with full Hit Points, you get double in-game money.
    • Note that this doesn't require you to have never been hurt, although it still usually requires a bit of skill.
    • Note also that you must have full Hit Points, not just as many as you started with. Some cards increase your maximum hit points. You do get extra money for winning with more than the base hit points, and you double that if you also are at your new max. The reverse happens if you have a lower max hp but are still full.
  • Game-Breaking Bug: Desynchronization.
    • To elaborate: Desynchronization causes the AI to take over the opponent player (And of yours as well on your opponent's side). The actions of the (supposedly disconnected) player, however, clash with those of the AI as the game tries to reconnect both players. Side effects include but are not limited to: random healing, spell duplication, quanta screw, opponent summoning creatures at zero cost, opponent summoning your creatures, weapons played as flying weapons from the hand, and last but not least, mutual accusations of hacking. Feast your eyes. It's been such a long lasting glitch it has its HUD icon now.
  • Glass Cannon: Fire Decks are built around this.
    • The Crimson Dragon and its elite form, the Ruby Dragon. They do 12 and 15 damage respectively, but have 3 and 2 health points, the lowest of any dragon in the game.
    • All Fire creatures have higher attack than defence, with Fire Spirits and Red Nymphs as the only exceptions, and both of them have abilities that let them change this.
    • Even their shields use this concept - the only fire shields both deal 1 damage to the attacking creature and block zero damage from it.
  • Gradual Grinder: This is Death's primary style, both against players and creatures. In this game, damage to the latter persists between turns.
    • And one of Darkness's secondary styles. Players can build an enormous quanta pool and often do. A focused Darkness player can still keep an opponent almost completely quantaless for most of the game with a bit of luck, and with Nightfall/Eclipse, can do slow damage using the same creatures.
  • Human Popsicle: Freeze, a Water card, which freezes the target creature for three or four turns.
  • Incredibly Lame Pun: The same symbol is used for Time and the in-game currency, Electrum. Like we've never seen that one before.
  • Jack-of-All-Stats: Water, in theory. In practice, it's more like Master of None.
  • Kill It with Fire: Fire is an element known for its destructive power. It has the highest number of CC spells, like Fire Bolt, Rain of Fire, and Rage Potion.
  • Kill It with Water: Water, while not as versatile as Fire, also has many CC cards, practical or not.
  • Light Is Not Good /Dark Is Not Evil: Elements themselves have no real scale of morality alignment: that's entirely up to the player's interpretation.
  • Like Cannot Cut Like: Averted. A Pulverizer can destroy another Pulverizer. It can even destroy ''itself''.
  • Literally Shattered Lives: Use Freeze and Shockwave on the same creature for this effect.
  • Luck-Based Mission: The element specific weapons cannot be purchased and can only be obtained by rolling one of them randomly on the post-game slot machine, which already has a very dim rate for common cards, in a special spin of rares after winning a few arena games in a row, or as a daily giveaway by the Oracle (who picks one card among all the cards in the game). Any deck who aspires to have a decent chance at PvP or the False Gods requires at least 2 or 3 copies of the same weapon. Have fun.
    • Shards are worse because they do not appear at all when facing the AI (with Shard of Focus as the only exception; it can be found after beating the False Gods Akebono and Osiris). Shards are best won through the Arena's special spin.
    • Nymphs are far worse. You cannot win any in the slots; it turns into a worthless "Relic" card that does absolutely nothing. You can only get them from the Oracle.
    • Many Entropy cards have this effect. The most notable cards are Chaos Seed, Mutation, Discord, Fallen Elf, and Shard of Serendipity.
  • Luckily, My Shield Will Protect Me: In addition to the creature, permanent, and spell cards, the player character also has access to a variety of elemental shield cards. It's amazing how much the right type of shield can make or break a game.
  • Mana Drain: Devourer, a Darkness creature, can absorb the opponent's quanta and return it to the owner as Darkness quanta.
    • A more extreme example is Black Hole. It drains up to 3 quanta per element and returns it as HP. This is the bane of rainbow decks everywhere.
  • Mirror Match: Aside from the usual, playing against a Darkness player can sometimes resemble one, when their deck can take your weapons, shields, and the pillars to power them. Or just appropriate the defences you included against the usual mirror match...
    • Aether can be far worse. With Mindgate and Parallel Universe, the Aether player will be able to use your cards as well as their own.
      • For bonus fun, pit two of these decks against each other. My card-copier generates multiple copies of your card-copier, then you catch mine with yours, and...
  • Metagame: Present in any organized PvP.
  • Money Grinding: You need money to buy cards, and you can also upgrade your cards for a whopping 1500 Electrum Coins each.
  • Nerf: Over time, a few cards have been changed or made more expensive to play to keep them from breaking the game.
  • Nigh-Invulnerable: In this game, creatures normally attack your opponent directly, ignoring their creatures entirely. This is why players get weapons and shields - and both can be situationally very effective. Every element has at least one shield. Some elements can make you Made of Iron (or Rubber), able to ignore armies of weak attackers. Darkness, Water, and Aether can do a passable Made Of Air (in the form of Extreme Luck for the first two). Entropy can do a Mana Shield, in a game where there can be immense amounts of "mana" to pump into it.
  • Non-Elemental: Used to be impossible, but after the 1.29 patch which introduced "Second Generation Shards", it became possible to make a deck 100% filled with "Other" cards.
    • Until all the shards got moved into their respective elements in 1.32.
  • No-Sell: Sanctuary prevents the opponent from altering your quanta pool or hand during their turn.
  • Noob Bridge: The difficulty spike from AI 3 to AI 4 and from AI 4 to FG is quite high. You are expected to use upgraded cards on them, or else you will blow up your money trying to figure out what to do. Which brings us...
    • Cash Gate: You need at least 9000 electrum (worth 6 upgrades) to gain at least 30% winrate against False Gods. Getting to 9000 electrum is the hardest part on the game, where each win is only worth ~20 electrum and every card won is worth only ~50.
  • Not the Intended Use: Freezing your own creature to prevent them from suiciding into a shield, exploding a frozen weapon to replace it with another one, stacking Shard of Readiness to trigger an ability several times on the same turn, etc...
    • Presumably the same could be said with intentionally getting a Malignant Cell on your side of the field. It's supposed to fill up the side with borderline useless creatures. Using an Otyugh/Scarab or Fallen Elf on them simply means you get more fodder.
  • Numerical Hard: Anything above AI Level 3 requires decks specifically tailored (and upgraded) to defeat, more so the False Gods. The Arena Decks are also player built decks with built-in advantages to compensate for the fact the AI is playing the deck.
  • Obvious Rule Patch: several cases.
    • Flooding doesn't affect Water creatures (which makes sense), but it also doesn't affect neutral creatures. What neutral creatures does the game have? Neutral weapons when made into creatures by Flying Weapon/Animate Weapon, and Malignant Cell. That's it. So why does Flooding not affect neutral creatures? Because if it did, it would affect Malignant Cell.
      • For that matter, how about Malignant Cell being a neutral creature in the first place? Aflatoxin, the card that generates it, is a Death card. So why is Malignant Cell neutral instead of Death? To keep it from being affected (read: buffed) by Nightfall/Eclipse. See Explosive Breeder above.
    • Mitosis used to be usable on flown weapona, but after a Game-Breaker combo is discovered (Mitosis Long Sword), it was changed. Now it can't target weapons.
    • Shard of Readiness' effect: "Time creatures can use their skill twice this turn." What it doesn't say is that if you try to apply it again on the same creature on the same turn, it does nothing. This was because there was a particularly good AI grinder using the shard, and the in-element shards would have made it game breaking.
  • Our Angels Are Different: There are two angel cards in the game: the Fire element Seraph and the Light element Guardian Angel. Seraph is a high hitter which can pseudo-immortalize itself, and Guardian Angel can heal wounded creatures.
  • Our Dragons Are Different: There's a dragon for every element and no two are exactly alike.
  • Player Versus Player: A variation - while you can Random PvP players and selectively PvP friends, the organized PvP of the game happens on the official forums, with some events like Tournaments offering reward codes to the winners.
  • Power Copying: The Light element Crusader can endow a weapon (including the opponent's), which grants him the weapon's attack bonus and skill.
  • Revive Kills Zombie: The card Holy Light is primarily used to restore hit points, but when used against a Death or Dark target, it deals damage instead. (Usually more then enough to kill even the strongest creatures in one hit.)
  • Running the Asylum: If the developer isn't keeping the game interesting, you can bet the fans will with PvP and Forum Events.
  • Self-Imposed Challenge: Some people try farming Silver Arena completely unupgraded. Some people try fighting a specific False God without any rare cards or upgrades. They succeeded.
  • Shock and Awe: Lightning deals 5 damage to a target. Most creatures die to just one Lightning, while barely any creature would survive a second dose of it.
    • To a lesser extent, Thunderstorm, which deals 2 damage to all opposing creatures.
  • Shout-Out: Players can summon an earth based creature called a Graboid and then evolve it into a Shrieker.
  • Sleeper Hit: At face value, it looks like another average CCG that could've easily died once the developer went on hiatus - however, the dedicated fanbase (see Running the Asylum) have made this game pretty durable when it comes to lack of updates.
  • Strategy, Schmategy: Entropy cards are like these in general. Pandemonium inflicts a random effect on every creature on the field. Discord scrambles your opponent's quanta to random elements. Mutation turns a creature into an Abomination or a random creature.
  • Super Drowning Skills: Any creature that's not a Water or Other Creature will drown under Flooding. Including the airborne creatures from the Air element.
  • Taken for Granite: Basilisk Blood, an Earth spell, grants a massive HP bonus in exchange of delaying the target creature for six turns.
    • Gargoyle and certain combinations of Shard Golem also have the Stone Form skill, which gives the creature +20 health.
  • The Computer Is a Cheating Bastard: A player starts with 100 Hit Points, gets one free Quantum of one element each turn from his Mark, and draws 1 card per turn. The False Gods start with 200 HP, draw two cards each turn, has their mark generate 3 quanta each turn, and has a doubled deck size. For the False Gods, the game's pretty upfront about them not playing by the same rules.
    • On the bright side, you can get one prediction a day on exactly which False God you'll fight next, and their card lists and strategies are all wikied up.
    • Subverted in the Arena, since you can also make an Arena deck which grows in level to become closer to the False God's power. It's more balanced since these leveled up decks are played exclusively by the AI against real players.
  • The Phoenix: A fire creature, the Phoenix can resurrect itself after being killed and reduced to Ash, provided the opponent doesn't destroy the Ash as well.
  • There Is No Kill Like Over Kill: Sky Blitz, which doubles the attack of all airborne creatures for one turn. Taken Up to Eleven if used on Diving creatures.
  • The Wiki Rule: Right here.
  • When All You Have Is a Hammer...: Rush decks are both the simplest and easiest to build. They also take down the elders quickly and reliably. Even a mono deck with 6 dragons and 24 pillars puts up a decent pounding.
  • Voodoo Doll: Darkness' card, Voodoo Doll, does all damage it takes to the opponent as long as it survives. Paired up with Rage Potion or Parallel Universe, it can deal huge amounts of damage fairly quickly.
  • Yin-Yang Bomb: Light/Darkness duo decks.
  • Zerg Rush: This is usually the main strategy of mono life.
    • After the 1.31 patch, a Mono Water can also do this. Just put in 6 Nymph's Tears, 12 Water Pillars, 12 Water Pendulums, and enjoy your game.
    • This is also the main strategy of basically everybody in PVP-1 some days...
    • Which can be painful facing somebody who can simply ignore weak attacks. The more so if the rusher hits the creature cap early and lacks free space to summon anything effective.
    • There are also 3 types of zerg rush decks that aren't so much rush decks, but generally end up very bad in numbers:
      • Pharaoh/Scarab: The closest to the traditional rush. The more scarabs there are, the more life they have. Pharaohs summon them. Scarabs also have devour, allowing any creature with higher life to instantly destroy a monster and gain a stat boost. If it gets out of hand, the scarabs are almost impossible to put down due to their numbers and durability, as well as clearing your field of monsters that aren't protected. Fortunately, if not fed, Scarabs on their own are rather weak, even with that life bonus.
      • Fallen Druid: Any creatures will do, but the point is to get out enough fodder in order to mutate them all. Even though you have no idea how you are going to end up, done well you can have a diverse, powerful, an almost unstoppable army of creatures thanks to the druid/shaman.
      • Devour rush: Basically you try to get a lot of creatures out there in order to feed a creature with devour; see scarabs above. The whole rush part is getting enough food for the creature who devour to be unstoppable, capable of destroying any monster on the field and getting more powerful each time, switching to another tactic entirely.

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