This Advanced Rulings Document (ARD) is intended to supplement the current rulebook as well as the Clarifications and Errata document (C+E). Some entries in the ARD override corresponding text in the rulebook while others provide new rulings information not included in the rulebook. Any changes in the ARD are effective immediately.

Additional Game Rules and DefinitionsEdit

These are additional rules and definitions to help you play at a higher level.

Activated EffectEdit

  • An activated effect is a card effect found on cards in play that you "use" as one of your actions in the game. Activated effects have a cost to use them either in energy or some other condition. Activated effects can be used any time you have priority (unless otherwise stated) and can be used more than once if you have the resources to pay for their use. If a condition is not in bold or ending with a colon, it is NOT considered an activated effect.

EXAMPLE: Overbearing Thug Leader's effect is "Discard an Evil Human from your hand: Draw a card." This is an activated effect.


  • A character with this keyword may attack and use deplete effects the turn they come into play.

Bankai EventsEdit

  • Bankai vents only attach to the guardian that is named in the card text.
  • Guardians with attached Bankai events can use the effets on them as long as they are still attached.
  • Only one Bankai event can be attached to the proper guardian, unless it is a Dual Guardian which they can have one of each proper Bankai event attached.
  • Dual guardians may have 2 Bankai events attached as long as it is one for each character represented on the guardian.

EXAMPLE: The Kaname Tosen and Sajin Komamura guardian can have one copy of Suzumushi Tsuishiki Enmakorogi and Kokujo Tengen Myo-oh attached.


  • Certain cards and effects can only be used during a battle. Battles still occur if there is no defending characters, and they officially start in the 3rd step of Phase C .
  • You can only win or lose a Battle if there is an attacker and a defender.


  • Boosting is a game mechanic. Discarding a card to boost is not discarding that card by a card effect.


  • Battlegrounds are only used by the card's controller.

Can vs. Can'tEdit

  • When you have an effect that allows you to do something and another effect that prevents you from doing that specific action, the effect that does NOT allow you to do something overrides the other effect.

Card EffectEdit

  • Some effects on cards breakdown into smaller "effects" named "card effects." There are four kinds of card effects: Activated Effects, Constant Effects, Triggered Effects, and Card Rules.

Card TypeEdit

  • Each card belongs to one of six types: guardians, energy, characters, items, battlegrounds and events.

Card MemoryEdit

  • A card only "remembers" what has happened to it while it is in play. When a card leaves play, it loses all "memory" of what happened to it, even if it comes back into play at a later time. EXAMPLE: "Choose a character. That character gets +2 STR." If this character is discarded, removed from the game, or put into your hand, it loses the bonus of the "+2 STR." It "forgets" it had a bonus.

Card RulesEdit

  • This is text appearing in an effect of a card that describes how the card is played or used outside of standard timing sequences. Some card rules affect deck construction like "Limit 1 copy per deck." while others are play restrictions like "Limit once per turn." Even if the text of the card is negated, these rules are not negated.

Card Names, VersionsEdit

  • Title: The entire group of words appearing at the top of a card — both the name and the version make up the title.
  • Name Definition: The first words in a card's title appearing in large type. If a card has no version, then the name and the title are the same words.
  • Version Definition: The words appearing in small type under a name.
  • Items, Characters, and Battlegrounds can all have Versions, Guardian cards cannot.
  • Guardians use the first and last names of the characters of the show. Character cards just use the first name followed by a version.

Cards Referrencing ThemselvesEdit

  • When a card uses its name in its text, it is specifically referring to the card itself.

Common KnowledgeEdit

  • The game defines "common knowledge" as the things that all players have a right to know. The following are all common knowledge:
    • The cards in all discard piles
    • The number of cards in discard piles
    • The cards in all removed piles
    • The number of cards in all removed piles
    • The number of cards in every deck
    • The number of cards in each player's hand
    • The number of each player's energy cards in play and which of those are depleted
    • The text and values of every face-up card in play
    • The amount of power on each player's guardian
    • Any condition affecting the game state

Constant EffectsEdit

  • These effects appear on all card types and are always "in use" while the card is in play. These effects do not take up a player's action, or go in the queue unless the effect says otherwise. EXAMPLE: Menos Grande - Lurker has the following effect "All other Hollows in your party get +2 to all stats." This effect is always active. Some constant effects only become active when a condition is met; these are still constant effects and are not triggered/activated effects. EXAMPLE: Ichigo - A New Incarnation "Ichigo gains the Good or Evil trait while all other characters in your party have that trait. Ichigo gains the Hollow or Soul Reaper trait while all other characters in your party have that trait.

Controlling CardsEdit

  • You control any face-up cards on your side of the play area.
  • You "own" any cards you bring to the game in your deck.
  • When a card leaves play, it always goes to the owner's respective place (deck/discard pile/hand/etc).


  • There are three kinds of costs in the Bleach TCG.
    • Energy Cost: The cost to play a card.
    • Effect Cost: The cost of some effects that appears before a colon.
    • Conditional Costs: The use of language to denote a cost of an effect. EXAMPLE: The Perfect Plan. (Remove from the game after use.) If your party has 3 or more Cute characters, your opponent can only attack 1 time this turn.

Deciding Who Goes FirstEdit

  • For the first game of a match, randomly decide who goes first by a method both players agree on (roll a die, flip a coin etc.). Determine who goes first before players draw their opening hand. For each game afterward, the player who lost the prior game decides who goes first. The player going first does not draw their mandatory card for the first turn (Phase 2 in the Sequence of Play).


  • A character with the "Defensive" keyword gains a bonus to all stats equal to the number following the "Defensive" keyword.
  • If a character gains the "Defensive" keyword multiple times, the numbers following the "Defensive" keyword are added together.

Discard PilesEdit

  • Discard piles must stay in the order in which the cards were discarded.


  • A game command that appears on a card that enters the game state when it is used or enters play.

Floating EffectEdit

  • An effect that is in the game state but is independent of any card that created it. EXAMPLE: You have Leech Spitter in play and you choose to use its effect: Remove Leech Spitter from the game: Your opponent loses 2 power when he attacks this turn. If Shrieker is in your party, your opponent loses 3 power instead. Even though Leech Spitter is now gone from the game, the effect you created from Leech Spitter lasts until the end of your opponent's turn.

Game StateEdit

  • The present point of time in a game where the collection of effects, rules, and physical elements combine to create an imaginary reality that produces imaginary outputs which lead toward a victory condition.

How to Play Character CardsEdit

  • Declare the title of the character that you intend to play. Pay its cost, take that character out of your hand and put it out of play. If the card overlays another character, discard the overlaid haracter and its attached cards.

(Priority Window Opens — this window begins with effects that trigger off of cards being ddiscarded from play.)

  • Play that character into the Play Area.

(Priority Window Opens — this window begins with effects that trigger off of a character entering play.)

How to Play Event CardsEdit

  • Declare the title of the event that you intend to play and pay the cost of the event. Declare any targets of that event, and put that event in your discard pile.

(Priority Window Opens — this window begins with the effect of the event.)

How to Play Item CardsEdit

  • Declare the title of the item that you intend to play and pay the cost of the item. Take that item out of your hand and put it out of play, and declare the target to attach the item to.

(Priority Window Opens)

  • Play the item into the Play Area, attached to the declared character.

(Priority Window Opens — this window begins with effects that trigger off of an item being played.)

How to Play Battleground CardsEdit

  • Declare the title of the battleground that you intend to play and pay its cost. Take that battleground out of your hand and put it out of play.

(Priority Window Opens)

  • Play that battleground into the Play Area.

(Priority Window Opens — this window begins with effects that trigger off of a battleground entering play.)

How to Use Activated EffectsEdit

  • Declare the activated effect that you intend to use, and pay the activated effect's cost.

(Priority Window Opens)

Infinite RulesEdit

  • If a game state occurs such that there exists a loop with optional actions, the player that created the loop must first demonstrate the loop 3 times without being interrupted by his opponent. He or she must then choose a number of times to repeat that loop. The loop resolves that many times and play immediately continues.

Modifying StatsEdit

  • If an effect modifies a stat that a character doesn't have, the character does not gain that stat. If an effect requires a stat, characters that do not have that stat are not affected.

No Energy CostEdit

  • When an effect uses the phrase "no cost or no energy cost" it means that the effect removes the energy icons from the chosen card. Therefore there is no value for any energy cost on the card that can be modified by effects.


  • Overlaying is the act of playing a character card to replace one that has the same name (but a different version) of a character you have in play. When you discard an overlaied character, all its attached cards go to its owner's discard pile.
  • An overlaid card must be in play at the beginning of your turn to attack with or to deplete for its activated effect. Triggered effects on overlaid cards work the instant they enter play. Overlaid cards take on the same depleted/renewed status of the card they overlay.
  • Cards can be overlaid when they are either played from your hand or if they are put into play by card effects.

EXAMPLE: You have the card "Ichigo, Substitute Soul Reaper" in play depleted. You choose to play "Ichigo, Ready for Training" from your hand by paying his cost of 2 mind, 1 body, and 6 spirit. You discard the previous Ichigo along with any of its attached items and replace it with the new Ichigo. You place the new Ichigo in play depleted because the prior version was depleted. The new version of Ichigo has a triggered effect that discards your opponent's hand when it's played. So your opponent discards his hand. This version of Ichigo cannot attack this turn even if you renew him. If this Ichigo had an activated effect, you couldn't deplete him to use it until the next turn.

Parenthesis TextEdit

  • Any texts in italic parenthesis are card rules and are in effect even if that card is not in play.

Play Area and In PlayEdit

  • The Play Area is the place where cards are put when they are played or put into play. While a card is in the play area, it is "in play." When a card leaves the play area, it "leaves play".

Plural RuleEdit

  • Card titles that are referenced in plural form also target the singular form of those cards and vice versa.

Power DamageEdit

  • When an attacking character wins a battle, any difference between the attacker's and defender's stats becomes power damage and is subtracted from the power of the defending player's guardian.
  • If there is no defender, the defending player's guardian takes power damage equal to the attacker's stat at the end of the battle.

Removed from the GameEdit

  • When a card is "removed" or "removed from the game", it is placed in a pile to the side called the "Removed from the game pile." Cards in this pile are not in play and cannot be affected by other cards unless specifically noted.

Replacement Card EffectsEdit

  • Replacement card effects are the only card effects that can go off in the middle of an effect's sentence. These are often effects that use the term "instead." EXAMPLE: Zangetsu reads "Attached character gets +1 to all stats. If that character is Ichigo, he gets +2 to all stats instead."

Responding PlayerEdit

  • The player who isn't the active player.

Searching Your DeckEdit

  • When a card effect allows you to "search" your deck or discard pile, you may choose to search your deck and discard pile and not find the card even if you have the card in your deck or discard pile.
  • When a card effect allows you to search your deck or discard pile, you always put the card in your hand unless otherwise stated, after you reveal it to your opponent.

Shuffling Cards into DecksEdit

  • When a card(s) is shuffled into a player's deck, the card(s) is shuffled into its owner's deck.

Side DeckEdit

  • The Side Deck contains all the energy that your guardian can use.
  • You can substitute any energy card in the Side Deck for a normal card on a one-for-one ratio. Normal deck construction rules still apply.
  • During a best 2-out-of-3 game, you can switch the normal cards in your Side Deck for cards in your Main Deck on a one-for-one ratio. You can only do this before the second and third games.

Simultaneous EffectsEdit

  • There are no simultaneous effects in the game. Every effect in the game resolves in order as defined by the rules of the queue.

Triggered EffectsEdit

  • A triggered effect is a card effect that is used when a condition (trigger) is met. These effects do NOT take up a player's action. A triggered effect can be used only once when its trigger is met, although it can be used multiple times if the trigger is met on multiple occasions. Triggered effects can go off from a specific action or a time segment in the game. The effect will tell you what the trigger is. When multiple players have triggered effects off the same event, the active player's effects go on the queue first in any order, and then the responding player's triggered effects go on the queue.

EXAMPLE: You play the card Ichigo, Ready for Training. This Ichigo has the following effect: When Ichigo enters play, your opponent discards his hand. Use only while all the characters in your party are Wholes. If you only have Wholes in your party, then your opponent must discard his hand when Ichigo enters play.

Uniqueness RuleEdit

  • Except for Non-Unique cards, you cannot play or put in play a card if you control a card with the same TITLE. If an effect allows you to play or put in play more than one card at a time, you cannot choose cards with the same TITLE. If at any time you control a unique card and a card with the same NAME is in play, you must discard them until you have only one of those cards in play.

The QueueEdit

The effect queue is a method of dealing with simultaneous effects in a last-in-first-out fashion with the ability to add additional effects whenever an effect in the queue resolves.

How the Queue WorksEdit

Event cards, activated effects, and triggered effects create game commands that happen as soon as they enter the game state. But often these effects occur at the same time. If that happens, how do you sort out which of these immediate effects occurs "first?" The answer is that you put them in a "line" and resolve them in a "last-in-first-out" fashion. We call this line the "queue."

Priority and the QueueEdit

Whenever you have a chance to play cards and effects, you have "priority." When you have priority you may use as many of the above mentioned effects in that you want. WHen you are finished, your opponent gets priority and can put as many effects on the queue that he wants. A player cannot respond to effects put onto the queue unless he has priority.

As you play the game there are places where a queue can appear.. We call these places "Priority Windows." In a moment you'll see the places where these windows occur.

EXAMPLE: It's your turn and you enter the Resource Step (see below). After you renew all of your cards, a priority window immediately appears. In that window, you must choose to either do something or pass priority to your opponent. If you do nothing, your opponent has priority and must choose to do something or pass. When you both pass priority, then you go to Phase 1 and draw a card.

As players go through each phase, step and action in the game, priority windows appear. The active player gets priority first and the responding player gets priority second. Even if neither player chooses to do anything, the process continues to happen automatically within the game state.

For the most part, players don't formally go phase by phase and do priority checks along each phase. Usually, the game flows naturally and these priority windows don't become an issue until a player wants to do something that would start a queue of immediate effects. If you want to compete at a serious level, you should be doing priority checks with yourself to make sure you don't let the flow of the game work against you.

Examnple of the Queue and PriorityEdit

To learn how the queue works, we are going to use a word picture.

Imagine that there are four cars owned by two players who want to drive into a dead-end alley. Each of the four cars has a Bleach Trading Card Game effect painted on its hood. To get the effect on your car to work, you have to drive down the alley until you stop and then back out of the alley.

Let's say you had an activated effect that says "Draw a card" and you choose to use it. Using this analogy, your first card effect "drives" into the alley until you reach the end. Now, the only way out of the alley is to back up. You look over your shoulder to start backing up when ...

Your opponent drives in behind you — blocking your effect in the alley!

Your opponent has an event that also can be used right away. The effect on the hood of his car says "Gain 3 power." He sees that you used an activated effect and he responds to your effect by playing his event card. Now his card with "Gain 3 power" drives down the alley. The game state now has two effects in the alley that are supposed to happen right away.

But wait, there's more...

On top of that, he has two more cars to send down the alley! The effects on their hoods are: "Discard any character in play," and "Search your deck for any event and put it in your hand."

It's now your priority, and you choose to pass. When you pass priority after your opponent added effects onto the queue, the last effect on the queue resolves.

Right now, the alley now has four cars in it and your first car can't get out until the other three leave the alley, so the last effect must resolve first. Here are all the effects in the queue:

  • Car #4: Search your deck for any event and put it in your hand. (your opponent's effect).
  • Car #3: Discard any character in play. (your opponent's effect).
  • Car #2: Gain 3 power. (your opponent's effect).
  • Car #1: Draw a card (your effect).

Car #4 is blocking everybody from backing out of the alley. So car number 4 backs out of the alley and the effect painted on his hood resolves. Your opponent searches his deck for an event and puts it in his hand.

  • Car #4: RESOLVING: Search your deck for any event and put it in your hand. (your opponent's effect)
  • Car #3: Discard any character in play. (your opponent's effect)
  • Car #2: Gain 3 power. (your opponent's effect)
  • Car #1: Draw a card (your effect)

Now car #3 can resolve unless another player wants to drive more cars into the alley. You pass priority and your opponent passes his priority, so your opponent's effect on car #3 resolves. He chooses one of your Hollows and you discard it.

  • Car #3: RESOLVING: Discard any character in play. (your opponent's effect)
  • Car #2: Gain 3 power. (your opponent's effect)
  • Car #1: Draw a card (your effect)

Now you get priority to add effects to the queue but you choose not to. Then your opponent gets priority to add effects to the queue but chooses not to. Both you and your opponent choose to pass priority, so you now resolve the effect on card #2 and drive car #2 out of the alley. Your opponent gains 3 power from the effect painted on its hood.

  • Car #2: RESOLVING: Gain 3 power. (your opponent's effect)
  • Car #1: Draw a card (your effect)

Now the last car remains in the alley. You pass your priority to add effects to the queue, and your opponent passes his priority to add effects to the queue.

Now you draw your card! But you drew a card that discards two cards from your opponent's hand. So you put it on car number one and send it down the alley again!

  • Car #1: Your opponent discards 2 cards from his hand.

Your opponent does not like this. He plays a card which says "cancel any effect in the queue." He chooses your effect on car #1 to go away! Essentially, he's going to blow up the car entirely!

  • Car #2: "Cancel the effect on car #1."
  • Car #1: "Your opponent discards 2 cards from his hand."

You also have a card that says "cancel any effect in the queue." You play it and choose the effect on his car number 2. Now your opponent can choose to respond. He chooses not to. So here's what happens: car #3 cancels car #2's effect.

  • Car #3: "RESOLVING: Cancel the effect on car #2." (Your effect)
  • Car #2: "Cancel the effect on car #1." (Your opponent's effect)
  • Car #1: "Your opponent discards 2 cards from his hand." (Your effect)

Now you have priority again and you choose to pass. Your opponent gets priority and passes as well.. Finally, car #1's effect resolves.

  • Car #1: "RESOLVING: Your opponent discards 2 cards from his hand." (Your effect)

Your opponent now discards three cards from his hand. Now he can respond to the effect that just resolved but he chooses to pass because he either cannot play any more effects or for strategic reasons. You can also respond and you choose to pass. Now the queue is empty of effects.

When a Queue Can OccurEdit

A new queue cannot occur in the middle of an effects' resolution even if the effect has multiple instructions.

EXAMPLE: You are the active player. Your resolving effect on the queue is the effect from Passing Over: Choose a depleted character in play and discard it. That character's controller gains 2 power.

When this effect resolves, you discard either your or your opponent's depleted character. Then the player who discarded that card gains two power. Your opponent cannot respond to any of the two instructions because they are all tied to ONE effect that resolves off of the top of the queue. If he has a card that says "Play when a character is discarded," he must play that card after everything on that effect has resolved and any of your or his triggered effects go into the queue and you pass priority to him. Then and only then can he play that card.

Triggered Effects and the QueueEdit

Triggered effects go on the queue before any other effects can go on the queue. The active player's triggered effects all go on first in the order of his choosing followed by the responding players' effects in the order of the responding player's choosing.

Paying Costs for Effects on the QueueEdit

If an effect requires you to pay a cost to use it (like playing an event or an activated effect), then if it is removed from the queue you do not regain the costs you paid to use that effect.

You attack your opponent for 10 STR! Your opponent doesn't block and right before he takes damage from the attack, he depletes 1 mind and 1 body and plays the card Narrow Escape which lets him discard cards from his deck instead of taking the power damage from the attack. You want his guardian to take the damage, so you pay 1 mind, 1 body and 1 spirit to play Reality Check from your hand. Reality Check cancels any effects in the queue, so you cancel the effect from Narrow Escape. Even though your opponent's Narrow Escape was cancelled, the energy he depleted to play Narrow Escape stays depleted.

Boosting and the QueueEdit

When you boost the stat you are using in an attack, it goes on the queue like any other effect. Boosting is not an activated effect.

Power Damage and the QueueEdit

In the Bleach TCG, power damage does NOT go onto the Queue. Damage resolves outside of any queue that occurs in the game.

Below are the six stages of a queue. When effects enter the queue, they enter it starting from stage 1 and go to stage 6. After an effect resolves from the queue in stage 6, the queue starts again at step one and goes up to step 6 again to resolve the last effect that entered the queue.

6. The top effect of the queue resolves completely and starts this process over at stage 1 until stage 6 resolves. 5. Players alternate priority adding effects to the queue until both players pass. 4. Responding player gets priority to add as many effects as he wants to the queue. 3. Active player gets priority to add as many effects as he wants to the queue. 2. Any responding player's triggered effects enter the queue in order of his choice. 1. Any active player's triggered effects enter the queue in order of his choice.

The Queue takes a little time to understand. Many people have to be shown how it works, so if you still don't understand, ask a judge or see if someone can show it to you in depth.

The Sequence of Play and Priority WindowsEdit

Step 1. Resource
Phase 1. Renew All Depleted Cards

(Priority Window Opens — This window begins with effects that trigger off the start of a turn)

Phase 2: Draw a Card

(Priority Window Opens)

Phase 3: Either Draw a Card or Play an Energy Card — If you play an energy, you choose which one from your energy deck

(Priority Window Opens)

Phase 4: Either Draw a Card or Play an Energy Card — If you play an energy, you choose which one from your energy deck

(Priority Window Opens)

Step 2 Main

(Priority Window Opens — This window begins with effects that trigger off the start of the Main Step.)

Phase A: Declare - Pass.

(Priority Window Opens — This window begins with effects that trigger off the end of the Main Step.)

Active Player Passes and the Step Ends
Phase B: Declare - Play a card — See How to play a Character, Event, Item, and Battleground
Phase C: Declare — Attack, both the character and the stat. If the attacker is no longer legal in any part of this Phase, the Phase ends. If the defender is no longer legal, the Phase continues as normal.

(Priority Window Opens — In this window, you would use effects that prevent someone from attacking, such as depleting the proposed attacker.)

1. Deplete the declared character - that character is now attacking.

(Priority Window Opens — This window begins with effects that trigger off of when a character attacks. In this window, you would use effects that would keep someone from possibly defending with a character, such as depleting them.)

2. Opponent declares what character he wants to defend with and depletes them.

(Priority Window Opens)

3. Battle begins (even if the oponent didn't defend with a character).
i. Starting with the attacking player, he or she may do the following:
1. Boost a characters stat in battle.
(Priority Window Opens)
2. Play an event card.
(Priority Window Opens)
3. Use an activated effect on a card in play.
(Priority Window Opens)
4. Pass
When both players pass consecutively as their action in battle and there are no effects remaining to be resolved in the queue, then you go to 4.
4. Stats lock on attacking character and defending character. Define which character wins the battle and loses the battle (or if both lose) by comparing their final stats.

(Priority Window Opens - This window begins with effects that trigger off of a character winning or losing a battle.)

5. If the attacker's stat is higher than the defenders, the difference is dealt as power damage to the Guardian. Characters are not dealt damage. Discard any losing characters and their attached cards.

(Priority Window Opens)

6. Battle ends.
Step 3. End

(Priority Window Opens)