Theseus Protocol

All Theseus Protocol keywords explained

Theseus Protocol Keywords Explained

Theseus Protocol, the anime cyberpunk deck-building / Dungeon Run-style game from the  Archive Games development studio, launches into Steam Early Access today. Utilize hundreds of different cards, keywords, abilities, and weapons to take on increasingly challenging opponents. Below is a quick explanation of some of the common keywords used in Theseus Protocol that you need to know about to become a Theseus Protocol champion. 

The keywords you need to know. 


For every Valiance point you have, deal increased damage from your attack spells. Does not affect bleeds or toxins. Permanent buff. Valiance is best comparable for my Hearthstone readers with the Spellpower keyword. 


For every Adrenaline point, deal more damage from your Attacking spells. (This turn only)

Periodic Shock

The keyword Periodic Shock is a source of recurring damage similar to Venom or Bleed. Periodic Shock deals damage at the start of the player’s turn. After each hit of Periodic Shock, the number is reduced to half each time. 


The Shield mechanic is a widely available source of damage reduction, but it only remains for a single turn. 


Armor is similar to Shield. It works as damage reduction, stacks, and remains until destroyed by damage. Notably, it takes damage after temporary protection like Shield, but ahead of the damage to the player’s health total. Armor can be bypassed by Piercing Damage.

Nano Shield

Nano Shield is a mechanic for when you gain Shield, gain (one) additional Shield for every (one) Nano Shield.


Exhaust is using a card in a manner that causes it to be removed from your deck until the next combat. Either through the Exhaust keyword or by using it to charge the user’s weapon. 

Action Points

The Action points keyword is quite self-explanatory. Action points are the number of actions players can take in a turn. The action points required for each card range from one to four. Movement takes one action point. Players start each run with three action points, but that number can be (permanently or temporarily) increased through various means. 


Debuff reduces the damage of the affected target’s next attack.

Piercing Damage

Piercing Damage is a special type of damage bypasses Shield and Armor to directly attack a target’s total life.


In Theseus Protocol, Melee refers to the closet unit on the board. If only one unit is on the opposing team, that target is always in Melee range despite its actual location on the board. 


The Unplayable keyword refers to cards that can’t be played or discarded. Unplayable cards are often paired with some positive or negative associated effect.


Cards with the Flash keywords will not reappear if not used in the turn you drew them. Use it or lose it. 


The powerless keyword reduces the damage a target can deal by the number of Powerless. The remaining Powerless halves each turn, similar to Periodic Shock.


The keyword Counterattack allows the user to deal damage back to the attacker only when attacked.


Credits are the main currency used throughout your run, with the main purpose of purchasing items and buffs.


The Weak keyword decreases the damage dealt when attacking, similar to Powerless. The Weak debuff halves after each turn, similar to most other effects in Theseus Protocol. 


When a target is attacked with the Vulnerable keyword, they take additional damage for each stack of Vulnerable. The debuff halves after each turn. 


The Discard pile includes cards used or unused after the turn ends. Unlike the Exhaust pile, these cards can be redrawn at later turns. 

Special keywords in Theseus Protocol. 

(Electric) Virus

Virus or Electric Virus refers to a type of negative effect similar to Periodic Shock, that is caused by certain cards that the player or an opponent can put in the respective player’s deck. When you draw a Virus card, you take damage accordingly directly to your health total, at the start of the turn. 


The Regeneration keyword allows players to restore a number of health at the start of each turn. 

Nano Repair

Nano Repair is a special effect that allows players to gain ARMOR at the start of each turn, equal to the number of Nano Repair they have active. This buff is permanent throughout the fight. 

Charge Attack

A similar special keyword is Charge Attack. Characters with Charge Attack can increase the damage of their next attack by 100%. 

Life Intake

When attacking, deal additional Piercing Damage for every Life Intake; gain one (1) Life Intake whenever you attack.

For more Theseus Protocol, take a look at our basics guide here.

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