Official Rules

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About The Game

Grotto Beasts! is a trading card game where you and another player play in a Rumble against each other to determine a Champion! Players summon Beasts to their team and form strategic attacks against their opponents, adding diverse Grottos to their sideline to boost abilities. With powerful Wishes, players can bring chaos to score their way to victory! Players can opt into a more specific deck, calling upon a powerful Challenger from the Jermaverse or from the world of the Grotto Beasts itself! These Challengers increase the crazy effects within the game and provide an even more strategic experience.

The “Story” of Grotto Beasts

One day, Jerma scoured the Nevada desert looking for a time capsule buried by his Grandpa. After locating and excavating the locked box, Jerma discovered inside multiple broken electronics and gimmick food products from the 1990’s. Among those items included booster packs to a long forgotten card game franchise: Grotto Beasts!

Started in 1997, Grotto Beasts! was an attempt to develop a competitor to other monster-based cartoons that were popular at the time. Upon finding the rare booster packs, Jerma decided to add to his untold billions of dollars in debt and purchase the intellectual property on the spot.

Intending to make the money back, Jerma hired a random guy to sift through the mountains of files to make sense of the cryptic cards. Through copious research, the guy discovered a secret: the original game was printed with massive cuts to card types and core elements in order to satisfy the market research of the day. With this information the guy fully reconstructed the true Grotto Beasts game, improved its mechanics, and included additional Jerma content for the fans.

Jerma is proud to present: The Grotto Beasts! Trading Card Game, as it was originally intended with additional content in an expanded world! Followers of Jerma985 as well as collectible card game enthusiasts alike can all share in the experience of opening booster packs and finding those rare holographic cards once again.

Game Variants

There are three ways a player can participate in Grotto Beasts!

The Classic Game - For those who want to play a well-balanced and fun game that is true to the vision of the original Grotto Beasts Trading Card Game, the Classic Game is a duel between two players using only their Grottos, Beasts, and Wish cards to maximum effect. Games are generally shorter and more competitive.

The Rumble - For added craziness, players can add Challengers to their game - gigantic figures in the grand storyline of the Jermaverse that have collided into the Land of Grottos. Games are typically longer and have more additional effects that change the way players and their decks interact with each other.

The Jerma Rumble - For the ultimate rumble experience, bring multiple players together for a Jerma Rumble! Three or more players can get together to see who is the true Rumble Champion! Games are chaotic, intense, and hilarious fun!

Building a Deck

In order to play any variant of Grotto Beasts!, a player must construct a deck using their favorite cards and adhering to the following rules:

  • A deck must contain exactly forty (40) cards, using beast cards, grotto cards, and wish cards.
  • A deck can contain up to one (1) card that has the Epic card type.
  • A deck can only have up to three (3) copies of each card that share the same name. (This allows the player to build a deck with up to three copies of one Epic card, but may only use the same Epic card up to three times.)
  • If a player wants to play a Rumble variant, the player must choose one Challenger card in addition to their 40 card deck. The Challenger card is not added to the deck, but remains outside of the deck for ease of game setup.

During the life of the game, cards may become Banned, Limited or Restricted depending on the variant played or competitive setting. A card that is Banned cannot be added to any deck under any circumstances. A Limited card will change the maximum number of copies a card may be within a deck from three copies down to either two or one. A Restricted card will come with additional rules in deck construction, such as allowing “Card A” to be in a deck as long as “Card B” is excluded from the deck.

Tournament Side Deck

When playing in a tournament or competitive series of matches, a player may choose to build a Side Deck. The Side Deck allows a player to switch cards within their deck between matches to assist in counterplay against their opponent. The Side Deck must follow the following rules:

  • A Side Deck must contain exactly seven (7) cards, using beast cards, grotto cards, and wish cards. If the tournament or competitive game uses the Rumble variant, a maximum of one (1) Challenger card may be one of the seven cards in the Side Deck.
  • A Side Deck cannot be constructed with any cards with the Epic card type.
  • Both the Deck and Side Deck together can only have up to (3) three copies of the same card.

Additional Gameplay Items

Grotto Beasts can be a chaotic game and may require various randomization tools. Players should review the cards they add to their Deck to determine if they need to bring additional items to play the game.

  • Dice: There are multiple cards that require a six-sided die in

order to determine the card’s effect. Players only need one die, but more might be helpful to share between players.

  • Coins: Actual coins with clear “heads” or “tails” is

recommended. If players do not have access to a coin, use a six-sided die - even numbers to represent “heads” and odd numbers to represent “tails”.

Gameplay and Turn Order

The Game Area

The space in front of each player is called the Game Area. The Game Area contains multiple areas for card placement, including the In Play Area, which is made up of the Team and Sideline.

  • The Deck starts the game with all cards face down and shuffled. No player is allowed to review any face down cards of the Deck unless instructed by a card effect.
  • The Discard starts the game empty. Any card that enters a player’s discard pile must be a card that player owns, and must always be placed in the Discard face up. It is allowed for any player to review all cards in any player’s Discard pile at any time. There is no required order of cards placed in the discard.
  • Players place their scored cards into the Score Pile. All cards scored are placed face down into the Score Pile and will remain there until the end of the game or moved by a card effect. No player is allowed to look at cards that are scored except when allowed by a card effect.
  • The Summoning Pool is a collection of cards that aids players in Summoning. Cards placed in the Summoning Pool are always placed face down and must be placed in order of the player placing them into the Summoning Pool unless a card effect allows otherwise. No player is allowed to look at cards that are in the Summoning Pool unless allowed by a card effect.
  • The Team is part of the In Play area and contains 5 spots where summoned Beasts and a Challenger may reside. Each spot can hold only one Beast or Challenger at a time.
  • The Sideline is part of the In Play area and contains 5 spots where summoned Beasts and Grottos may reside. Each spot can hold only one Beast or Grotto at the time.

In Play Area and Restrictions

The In Play Area is made up of the Team and the Sideline. Most of the interactions between players happens between each player’s In Play Area.

  • Beasts are allowed to occupy spots in a player’s Team or Sideline and can move within and between the Team or Sideline during Action Phases.
  • Grottos are only allowed to occupy spots in a Sideline. Once a Grotto enters play, it cannot move until discarded.
  • Challengers, if used, start the game in a player’s Team and can only move within the Team during Action Phases. Challengers cannot enter the Sideline.
  • Wishes are usually discarded after being summoned and never enter play, except as an attached card.

Player Hands

Players can hold cards during the game, in a zone called the Hand. Cards in a player’s hand are only visible to them and can be summoned, or are spent to pay summoning costs.

Unless otherwise changed with a card effect, a player has a maximum hand size of six (6). At the end of each player’s turn, if that player has more cards in their hand than their maximum hand size, they must discard cards until they have the maximum. If a player has no maximum hand size, they do not need to discard at the end of their turn.

Setting Up The Game

Before starting the game, there are five key steps each player must perform as setup.

  1. Each player shuffles their deck until randomized, and may also shuffle or cut their opponent’s deck to ensure randomization. Any coins or dice that would be used in the game should be prepared to use.
  2. Players set their Deck face down into their Game Area. If players are using a Side Deck, it must be moved away from the Game Area. If Challengers are used in the match, each player sets their Challenger face down onto one spot in their Team.
  3. Choose a player to go first with a game of Rock-Paper-Scissors. If this match is another in a series of matches, the loser of the previous match determines which player will go first.
  4. Each player draws an initial hand of six (6) cards from the top of their deck. Players may then choose to mulligan by putting, all at once, any number of cards from their initial hand on the bottom of their deck and then draw that many cards from their deck. Players have only one opportunity to mulligan in this way.
  5. The game can now start! Challengers are simultaneously flipped face up and the first player starts their first turn.

Game Flow

Each game is played over a series of turns. Each turn contains a series of Phases that guide players through the game. Some Phases are split into Steps that a player must follow in order before passing to the next Phase.

Start of Turn Phase
This is the initial Phase of a turn.
Start of Turn Step
- Review all cards In Play to see if any card effects activate at the Start of the Turn. They activate at this time.
Wake Up Step
- All Beasts the player has in play that are resting are set to awake.
Draw Step
- The player draws one card from the top of their Deck.
First Action Phase
This is the main part of the game. Players are able to Summon cards, activate available card effects, and move Beasts between their team and sideline. A player may perform as many available actions as they like during their Action Phase as long as they follow all other rules.
- Summon Cards - Players may summon Beast, Grotto and Wish cards during this phase of the game. They may summon as many cards as they wish as long as they follow the special Summoning Rules.
- Move Beasts and the Challenger - Beasts that do not have Summoning Sadness are able to be moved from their current spot in play to any other empty spot only once per turn. Beasts may move between the team or sideline, or may move within the same area. Challengers may move within the Team, but cannot be moved to the Sideline. As a reminder, Grottos may not be moved.
- Activate card effects - Some Beasts or Grottos may allow a player to activate their card effect specifically during their Action Phase. If a player wants to activate the card effect, they must announce the intention to their opponent and then perform the card effect as written.
Battle Phase

The Battle Phase allows players to settle the growing conflicts In Play, and potentially give a solid advantage to a well-prepared player. Additionally, a battle is the main method given to players where they can score cards toward winning the game. While players always have the option to enter a Battle or choose to skip the Battle Phase, if a player has no Beasts or Challenger on their Team, their only option is to skip the Battle Phase.

Start of Battle Step
- Review all cards In Play to check for card effects that activate at the start of the battle. They activate at this time.
Choose Attackers Step
- The active player becomes the attacking player and must choose an opponent. The chosen opponent becomes the defending player.
- The attacking player chooses any number of awake Beasts on their Team that do not have summoning sadness. Those Beasts are now attacking. The player may also choose their awake Challenger to attack, as long as it is not that player’s first turn.
- Once all attackers are chosen, card effects that activate when Beasts or Challengers attack activate at this time.
Choose Defenders Step
- The defending player chooses any number of awake Beasts on their Team. Those Beasts are now defending. The defending player may also choose their awake Challenger to defend, and the Challenger can be chosen in this way in any turn.
- The defending player is not required to choose any Beast or Challenger to defend.
Once all defenders are chosen, card effects that activate when Beasts or Challengers defend activate at this time.
Assign Damage Step
- The attacking player adds up the total power each attacking Beast and Challenger, and the defending player adds up the total power of each defending Beast and Challenger, if any.
- The attacking player distributes the total attacking power, called power damage, among the defending Beasts or the Challenger. Then, the defending player distributes their power damage among the attacking Beasts or the Challenger.
- As soon as a Beast receives an amount of damage equal to its own Power, that Beast is discarded. If a Beast receives fewer damage than their Power, nothing happens.
- If a Challenger receives an amount of damage equal to its own Power, that Challenger is defeated. The player that defeated a Challenger draws one card from their deck.
If the Attacking player has any remaining power damage, they score a card from the top of their deck for each remaining damage. The defending player does not gain anything for having remaining power damage.
All attacking and defending Beasts and Challengers rest.
End of Battle Step
- Review all cards In Play to check for card effects that activate at the end of the battle. They activate at this time.
Second Action Phase
- The Second Action Phase works the exact same as the First Action Phase, allowing the player to perform Actions after their Combat Phase. Players may Summon Beasts, Wishes or Grottos, move Beasts or the Challenger if they had not yet already been moved in the First Action Phase, and may activate card effects.
End of Turn Phase
Once a player has completed all of their chosen actions in their turn, they move to the End of Turn Phase to clean up any lingering effects and prepare the game for the next player in turn order.
End of Turn Step
- At this time, review all cards In Play to see if any card effects activate at the End of the Turn. They activate at this time.
Reset Step
- If the player has more cards in their hand than their Maximum Hand Size, they must discard cards from their hand until they reach their Maximum Hand Size. The starting Maximum Hand Size in the game is 6 cards, but this number may be increased by card effects, or made infinite by having no maximum hand size.
- Any Beast with Summoning Sadness, loses Summoning Sadness.
- Once the player has finished the Reset Step, the next player in turn order takes their turn.

More Game Rules

Summoning Cards

In order to summon a Beast, Wish, or Grotto, their summoning cost must be paid. Paying for summoning costs is done through the following rules: 1. The active player reveals from their hand the card they want to summon. 2. The active player must spend a number of cards from their hand onto the top of their Summoning Pool equal to the revealed card’s summoning cost. × Cards entering the summoning pool are always placed face down, and once inside the summoning pool cannot be looked at by any player. × Unless otherwise stated, players choose the order of spent cards entering their summoning pool. 3. That player’s opponent draws from their own summoning pool a number of cards equal to the revealed card’s summoning cost. If their summoning pool runs out of cards, that player draws any remaining cards from the top of their deck. × If there are more than two players in the game, only the next opponent in turn order performs this draw. 4. If all conditions are met, the player successfully summons the card. × Summoned Beasts can be placed into any empty spot in that player’s Team or Sideline, while summoned Grottos can only be placed into an empty spot in the Sideline. × If there is no available empty spot to summon a Beast or Grotto, the player may choose and discard any other card in their Sideline, and summon the Beast or Grotto to the now empty spot. × Summoned Wishes have their card effect immediately performed, and then it is discarded.

Summoning Restriction

The first Summon a player performs in their turn is done without restriction. After their first summon, all subsequent summons that player would like to perform can only be done if their opponent has at least one card in their summoning pool. If at the time of any summon (that isn’t the first within a turn) their opponent has no cards in their summoning pool, that player is unable to perform the summon.

It is possible that later in a turn their opponent does end up with cards in their summoning pool. It is allowed for the player to perform summons again until their opponent has again run out of cards in their summoning pool.

In a game with more than two players, only the summoning pool of the next opponent in turn order is looked at for this restriction.

Summoning Sadness

Being summoned can cause a Dizziness that takes time to recover from. When a Beast is summoned, it immediately gains the game effect called Summoning Sadness. A Beast with summoning sadness cannot be chosen to attack and cannot move to another spot In Play. However, its card effects can still activate and it can be chosen for other activated card effects. All Beasts with summoning sadness lose it during the next Reset Step of the current player’s turn - meaning that all instances of summoning sadness only last the turn in which the Beast was summoned.

Awake and Resting

Beasts can be in one of two different statuses while In Play: Awake or Resting. An awake Beast may move, be chosen to attack or defend, or perform various card effects. Awake Beasts should be face up and pointed upright. Beasts that are already awake can be chosen for an effect that makes a Beast awake. A resting Beast has typically already attacked or defended, or was set as resting by a card effect. When a Beast rests, they are placed on their side, turning 90 degrees. A Beast that is already resting cannot be chosen for a card effect that would require the Beast to rest in order for the effect to activate.

Card Effect Order

During the game, it is possible for multiple card effects to activate at the same time. Card effects are resolved through a priority order based on when the card effect was activated. Whenever a card effect is activated, it must be resolved until a player may continue with any following actions within their turn.

Scoring Cards

The goal of the game is to Score cards. When a player Scores a card during Battle or as part of a card effect, the player always takes the top card of their deck and places it on top of their Scored Cards pile without revealing it to any player (including themselves). Some card effects will instruct the player to score specific cards, such as cards In Play or from their hand. When those cards are scored, they are placed face down into the Scored Cards pile, even if they were originally face up or revealed to players.

Ending the Game

The Classic Game

As soon as a player reaches or surpasses ten scored cards, the game ends and that player becomes the winner. If both players reach at least ten scored cards at the same time, the player with the most scored cards is the winner. If the number of scored cards are equal, the game ends in a draw..

The Rumble Variants

The objective of any game that uses Challengers is to be the first player to score equal to Challenger’s Goal. Immediately upon a player reaching or surpassing a number of scored cards equal to their Challenger’s Goal, the game ends and that player is declared the winner. However if both players reach at least ten scored cards at the same time, the player with the most scored cards is the winner. If the scored cards are equal, the game continues until the tie is broken!

Player Deck Running Out

It is possible during normal play that a player will run out of cards in their Deck. If that player does, they immediately shuffle all cards in their discard pile and that becomes their new Deck. The player may finish any drawing, scoring or card effect that caused their deck to run out.

Deck Depletion Score

After a player has finished any effects or required actions after shuffling their discard pile to become their new deck, each of that player’s opponents score two (2) cards before any other action or card effect is allowed to be activated.

Complete Depletion

In the rare chance a player runs out of cards in both their Deck and Discard, that player immediately loses the game, even if they have cards in their game area.

Attaching Cards

Some card effects may require a player to attach cards to another card that is In Play. Cards can be attached to another In Play card either Face Down or Face Up, and the card effect will instruct the player which orientation the card must be. When any card is attached, it should be placed underneath the card at 90 degrees, so all players can identify there are cards attached. A Challenger card can never be attached to another card, but a Challenger can have cards attached to it. Any attached card is considered In Play, however they cannot be interacted with except through game effects and card effects that specifically choose attached cards. Attached cards cannot attack or defend, but if they are attached to a Beast, that Beast may still attack and defend normally - it just has cards attached to it. If at any time an attached card would leave Play, those cards are put into the card owner’s discard pile unless a game effect or card effect states otherwise. Whenever a card In Play that has cards attached to it leaves play to anywhere, if there is no specifically stated location for any attached cards to be put, those attached cards are always discarded into the card owner’s discard pile.

Face Down Attached Cards

Cards that are attached Face Down must not be revealed from the zone they are brought from and must remain hidden from view from all players until those cards are put into the card owner’s discard pile or are revealed through other effects that specifically reveal face down attached cards. A Face Down card that is In Play does not have any name, type, summoning cost, power, or card effects and can only be chosen with card effects that choose attached cards.

Face Up Attached Cards

Cards that are attached Face Up are visible to all players at the time they are In Play and remain Face Up until they are hidden through other effects. Face Up attached cards typically provide an added benefit to the card they are attached to based on information of the card that is attached, such as power or the card type.

Coins, Dice, And Rock Paper Scissors

Flipping Coins

There are no strict rules in how to flip a coin. However, it is expected for players to do their very best to make sure the coin is well randomized and lands clearly within view of all players. It is not recommended to flip a card in place of a coin. A dice can be used in place of a coin, with Even numbers equaling Heads and odd numbers equaling Tails.

Rolling Dice

There are no strict rules in how to roll a die. However, it is expected for players to do their very best to make sure the die is well randomized and lands clearly within view of all players.

Playing Rock-Paper-Scissors

There are no strict rules in how to play Rock-Paper-Scissors. However, players should make sure they both start playing the game at the same time and throw their selected object at the same time. If players have any issues in playing Rock-Paper- Scissors, players can opt to roll a six-sided die. Rolling a 1 or 2 equals Rock, rolling 3 or 4 equals Paper, and rolling a 5 or 6 equals Scissors.

Additional Rule Details

Card Text versus Game Manual

In the event any card text appears to be counter to what is allowed in the game manual, the card’s text always takes precedence.

Skipping Phases or Steps

It is allowed for a player to skip their entire First or Second Action Phases, as well as their Battle Phase. If a player does perform any of those Phases, they are required to perform all required Steps within those Phases.

Unresolved Games

If the game ends Unresolved, typically due to an infinite loop, no player wins and no player loses. An Unresolved Game is not a Draw. Unresolved Games may have additional rules in competitive tournament settings.