Phantasy Star Online: Episode III
Sega/Shin Force
Phantasy Star Online: Episode III

Sega/Shin Force > Elite Series > Phantasy Star (Series) > Phantasy Star Online: Episode III > Strategy

Phantasy Star Series Phantasy Star Online: Episode III C.A.R.D. Revolution :: Battle Flow
Action Card
A card which can be played during the ACT phase (using ATK points) in combination with an Item Card, or during the DEF phase  (using DEF points).  These include attack enhancements, techniques and defensive cards.

Assist Card
A card which can be played during the SET phase (using ATK points) to affect either you or your opponent(s), or everyone.  These include (but are not limited to) various rules changes, like dice, resistance and hand size modifiers.

Item Card
A card which can be played during the SET phase, moved during the MOVE phase, and used for your attack during the ACT phase.  These uses require ATK points, unless the Item Card has the proper special ability.  These include any weapon, shield, mag and monster cards.

Initialize Battle
Enter an online/offline game and make desired preparations for battle.  Walk over to the Battle Room Terminal and access the Computer.  Select "Map / Quest" -- if you're online, you'll be given an additional choice of "Free Battle" (you select map/rules/Story Characters), or "Random" (CPU selects map/rules/Story Characters).
Select a Map from the choices given (as pictured, there may only be one choice).  Select "Rule settings" to make changes (if allowed).  Next, go to "Deck selection" and pick the deck you'll use for yourself (and the Story Characters, if allowed).  Finally, select "Decide" to begin the match. Note: not all decks are available for every battle -- some battles have Story Character class restrictions.
Begin Battle:
The highest roll determines which side/team gets to act first (pictured above-left).  You'll receive your first hand of 5 cards, and be given the option to use it or be dealt a new hand (pictured above-right).  As you can see, this is a one-time option given at the beginning of every battle.

Attack / Player's Turn | Attack Phase
Note: not all of the following pictures occured in the same round.
#1 DICE:
The Player's Attack Phase always begins with a roll of the dice to determine your ATK (attack) and defense DEF (defense) points.  Note: your roll can be affected by a bonus roll (indicated by the "Dice +0"), somebody having played a roll Assist Card, or the alteration of the min/max roll rule.
#2 SET:
It's time to SET your Item Cards, based on your current ATK points.  Each card has an ATK points value which is indicated by the yellow dots below its title (see above-right -- the DEMONIC FORK has a value of 4 ATK points).  You may have a total of 8 ATK points worth of Item Cards played at any given time.  Any combination of your ATK points being too low to play an Item Card in your hand; you have no Item Cards in your hand; or you don't have enough total ATK points left to play an Item Card, results in you being unable to do anything in the SET phase.  Note: your opponent's play of Assist Cards may hamper your ability in the SET phase as well.
#3 MOVE:
In the MOVE phase, you may use any leftover ATK points from the current roll to strategically move your Story Character (SC), or any monster cards (Darkside) you have played.  Each SC and monster has a set movement distance per turn, which can be affected by Assist Cards. Note: other factors, including terrain, status disorders and surrounding foes, can limit your movement.
#4 ACT:
During the ACT phase, you may use any leftover ATK points to attack the enemy with your Item Cards, and Action Cards (for combos).  Each Item Card you've played has a set attack range, which is displayed on the card with the small grid of 9 squares.  In the case of the DEMONIC FORK (shown above-left), it's range is only one square (vertically or horizontally).  Using a weapon by itself costs 1 ATK point.  However, in this example (above-left), the Gizonde Action Card is being combined with the DEMONIC FORK Item Card (at a total cost of 4 ATK points - determined by the Action Card's ATK point cost) to extend the range with a technique attack.  That attack caused HP -8 damage to the Story Character (SC) opponent and Tollaw monster cards (pictured above-right).  Notwithstanding possible Assist Cards played, Item Cards which are reduced to 0 HP are put into the discard pile.  Also, you gain various amounts of battle EXP for defeating enemy Item Cards.  When battle EXP is maxed, your Dice modifier goes up by +1.  Note: if you have them in your hand and have the ATK points to use them, many other Action Cards can be played to combo with your Item Cards.  Chain combos are possible as well.
#5 DRAW:
A standard hand consists of 5 cards.  In the DRAW phase, you can strategically discard unwanted cards you may have in your hand, which will be replaced by drawing from the deck.  Note: the number of cards in your hand may be affected by playing certain Assist Cards.

Defense / Opponent's Turn | Defense Phase
Note: the following pictures did not occur in the same battle.

Defense Phase:
Each Opponent goes through the same 5 steps as outlined in the "Attack / Player's Turn" portion of a battle.  The CPU opponent's ACT phase (your DEF phase) is pictured to the left.  You may use your current DEF points to play Action Cards which will defend against these attacks (assuming you have any in your hand).  The top example shows a defense Action Card being selected which will lower the CPU's attack score by 2 points (at a cost of 1 DEF point), while the CPU's damage attack score is also 2.  The actual HP your Item Card(s) will lose is the CPU's attack score minus the effect of any defense Action Card(s) you may have played.  In other words, the actual outcome of this example is HP -0 (attack successfully defended).  The bottom example shows Player 1's weapon has 0 HP, yet is still being used.  This is a result of an Assist Card being played which delays the discard of Item Cards that are reduced to 0 HP.
Note: Once each player has completed their Attack Phase, the battle continues with the Attack / Player's Turn.  If the time has expired (battles can have various time limits), or a Story Character's HP is 0, then the battle is over and Victory is determined.

Victory | Battle End
Once Victory conditions have been met, you are ranked, awarded level EXP points and given a couple statistics pages to view.  Note: S-rank is the best while E-rank is the worst.  Also, you have a separate online and offline level.
The number of cards awarded to you depends on the rank or loss of your battle.  I've received as many as 9 cards for an S-rank victory, while a loss always results in a 2 card award.  In the example to the left, a C-rank victory yielded 6 cards.  Note: any new cards you win will be highlighted with a "NEW" on them.  Also, online Tournament wins are awarded with varying amounts of Meseta.

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