In a game of Armello, the thing you will likely be doing the most is handling and playing Cards. There are 138 fully illustrated and animated cards that can be drawn, or encountered, and they all have their own times and places of greatest efficacy.
The scroll on the top right of the card contains its name.
On the scroll to the left is the card's description, which tells you the effect of the card.
This symbol corresponds to a side of the Armello die. When burned, a card is guaranteed to roll a die corresponding to its symbol, if there are any dice left to roll. Be careful, if you burn a card with a symbol that is guaranteed to be a miss during your particular encounter, the die will effectively be wasted. This can also be used to get rid of cards that you do not need.
Most cards have either a cost or a gain associated with them. This is how much you will need to pay in order to play or equip the card. Majority of the cards cost either Gold or Magic to play, however a few may require some of your Prestige. A few cards will cause you to gain Rot upon playing or equipping them.
The bottom right corner shows you the type of the card. There are 4 card types in Armello:
Hovering over the bottom left corner of the card will reveal some flavor text associated with the card.
When hovering over the flavor text icon, the card's prevalence (or rarity) will be revealed. The levels of prevalence indicates how high the chance is of drawing a certain card. Cards labeled common may appear several times in one game, while uncommon cards are the slightest bit more elusive. Rare cards are far more difficult to find than its predecessors, though finding more than one is not out of the ordinary. Unique cards are the rarest out of the four before it, and very few are hidden amongst the other cards.
When hovering over the flavor text icon, a bit of lore involving the card will appear. Just below the text, from what or whom it is quoted from will also be visible.
The card's artwork is almost always visible, performing its set animation loop during battle sequences, perils, or just plain gameplay. Usually associated with the card's description (see above), the artwork may depict anything from wandering circus performers to a shining crown entangled by black vines. The type of card in question may signify what the artwork will look like (for example, Equippable Item Cards will more than likely feature a weapon or useful tool, while Spell Cards might show the magic or curse at work).
Hovering over the artwork will open a window crediting the artist and sometimes the animator.
The Main Card Decks can be drawn from on each hero's turn if the amount of cards in their hand does not match or exceed their Wits stat. (Example: If a hero's Wits stat is equal to 4, but they only have 2 cards in their hand, they may draw 2 more cards on their next turn.) The Card Decks are as follows:
- Main article: Item Cards
Item Cards are drawn from the Item Deck and have yellow symbols. Items marked as "Equippable" are equipped to a Hero directly, and will provide the designated effect as long as they remain equipped. "Consumable" items, however, only provide an instantaneous effect, and are discarded immediately upon use. Most Item Cards cost gold to play or equip, however, some may cause you to gain rot upon using.
- Main article: Spell Cards
Spell Cards are drawn from the Spell Deck and have green symbols. Spells can be used to either deal damage or cause ill effects to an opponent from a distance. They may be played on yourself or another Creature for instantaneous effect, or placed on a specific tile as a Peril. Most Spell Cards cost Magic to play.
- Main article: Trickery Cards
Trickery Cards are drawn from the Trickery Deck and have red symbols. They work much the same as Spells, dealing ranged damage or performing special actions from a distance, with the primary difference being that the cost is represented in Gold, Prestige, or Rot rather than Magic. Also like Spell Cards, they may be played on an enemy directly or on a tile as as Peril.
The Special Card Decks cannot be drawn from like the Main Decks, and instead will be drawn from randomly by the computer in certain situations. For example, if a treasure is rolled via Dungeon Exploration, a Treasure Card will be drawn randomly from the appropriate deck and presented to the finder. (This also applies to rolling a follower.)
Follower Cards have blue symbols and can be found in Dungeons and through Quests, and may be recruited to a Hero's party to provide unique bonuses. A Follower Card must be "equipped" to a Hero to take effect, and require the Hero to pay the indicated cost to use them.
Treasure Cards (often just referred to as Treasures) are shiny equippable Item Cards that shimmer with bright golden rays. Treasure Cards differ greatly from other equipment cards because their effects are usually much, much more powerful and unique, and furthermore, most Treasures cost nothing to equip. (Rot Treasures like Raven's Beak Dagger, Poppet and Bane Blade are exclusions to this rule.)
Royal Cards are unique peril/treasure cards that are entirely their own type. Each Royal Card is unique to the King of Armello or his castle grounds, and they cannot be drawn from the three main decks, won in Quests, or received by Dungeon exploration (drawn from the Special Decks). Royal Cards include the four Palace Perils and the King's equipment. As the King is entirely immune to spells and trickeries, the effect of his equipment cannot be changed; the Palace Perils, however, can be intensified or lessened with cards like Expendables and Cursed Lands at any given moment.