Burying was introduced in the Oops, You Did It Again set. Unlike most of the other Mechanics, Burying doesn't involve added material such as cards or counters. Burying happens when a card tells you to "bury" a card. Burying a card is simply placing a card face-down on a base, with its controller being the only player who can see what it is. When a card is turned face-up, this is called "uncovering" the card and that's when its ability is resolved.
- Main article: Rules
Burying a Card
You can only bury a card when a card tells you to bury one. The card to be buried can be the card itself.
For example, when you play Blessing of Anubis, you reveal it normally to all players (just like any card) and start resolving it. Because it says "Bury this card", you must do so and bury Blessing of Anubis on a base.
Another example is Pyramids, whose ability can be used by any player on their Play Cards phase. When you a player uses it, they can bury any card from their hand on Pyramids.
To bury a card:
Step 1. Choose a base to bury it on.
Step 2. Take the card to be buried and place it face-down next to the chosen base card. Position the card pointing toward you indicating that you are the controller of the buried card. The buried card is now "on this base" and "in play".
There are currently three ways a card can be buried:
- When a card you play tells you to bury that card itself, e.g. Tomb Trap, in which case you reveal it to all players and bury it,
- When a card tells you to bury a card from your hand, e.g. Lost Knowledge, in which case you choose card from your hand and bury it without revealing what it is,
- And when a card in play tells you bury that card itself, e.g. Mummy, in which case you must discard any counters and actions on it and bury it.
- Tomb Trap - When you play this card, its ability buries it. Note if you play this card normally, you must reveal it to all players like any other cards when they are played. When you resolve the part that says "Bury this card", that's when you bury it.
- Pyramid Engineer - Its talent allows you to bury any card from your hand. Note that when you do so, you don't reveal what the buried card is to the other players.
- Mummy - Mummies are cards that can be buried from play after their base scores.
Status of a Buried Card
The player who buried the card becomes its controller. As its controller, that player is the only one who can freely check what it is. When doing so, they must be careful to only check one buried card at a time and put it back on the base it was on, and they must not, whether purposely or unintentionally, mix up the buried cards in play.
While the card definitely has an owner under "normal" circumstances, the player who buried it also becomes its owner, even in cases where the card was revealed before being buried and the players could then clearly tell who the real owner is. This is important for Into the Time Slip, which returns a card in play to its owner's hand: when used on a buried card, it is returned to the hand of the player who buried it without being revealed.
Moreover, while the card is definitely a minion or action when it is face-up, because it's not possible to see what a buried card is, and even if it was revealed what it was before being buried, a buried card is simply considered as "a card", not a minion, action, or any other specific type of card. As such, they can never be targeted by cards that specifically target minions or actions. However, some very rare cards, like Into the Time Slip, just target "cards" without specifying what kind of card. In that case, these can target buried cards.
While it's buried, the card also has no ability. Even if the card has a triggerable ability (like "Before a base scores", "After X, do Y", etc.), you cannot play it when the trigger is present. The only way to use a buried card's ability is by first "uncovering" it.
Targeting a Buried card
Buried cards are simply "cards", so they can never be targeted by cards that specifically target minions or actions. However, some very rare cards just target "cards" without specifying what kind of card. In that case, these can be used to target buried cards.
List of cards that can target buried cards:
- Into the Time Slip - Can be used to return a buried card to its controller's hand. Note that it won't go to its rightful owner because while face-down the controller is assumed to be its owner.
- Purge the Demon - Can be used to remove +1 power counters from a buried card, although that's useless because +1 power counters on buried cards have no effect.
- Cab-over Pete - Can be used to move a buried card you control.
- Expert Timing - Can be used to transfer +1 power counters from a buried card you control and/or to any buried card, although that's useless because +1 power counters on buried cards have no effect and Expert Timing itself is the only card that can transfer +1 power counters to a buried card.
- Stagecoach - Can be used to move a buried card you control.
Uncovering a Buried Card
There are only two ways to uncover a buried card:
- during the Start Turn phase of "your turn", you may uncover one (and only one) of the buried cards you control,
- or when a card tells you to uncover a buried card.
When a buried card is uncovered, its controller must play it immediately as an extra card. If the buried card is:
- a minion, it is played on its current base,
- a play-on-base action, it is played on its current base,
- a play-on-minion action, it is played on a minion on its current base,
- a standard action, it is resolved normally and discarded. Note that if it is a standard action that can affect a card, you don't have to affect a card on its current base, unless stated otherwise, e.g. Tomb Trap.
If, for whatever reason, playing the uncovered card is not possible, it is discarded without effect.
If the buried card has any +1 power counters on it (e.g. because of Expert Timing), you must remove them all before uncovering the card.
In the case of cards that bury themselves, when you uncover them, you cannot rebury them immediately. This prevents the awkward situation where you uncover a buried card that says "Bury this card": since you must play it and resolve its ability, you would then have to rebury it and the card would have no effect. That rule tells you to ignore that instruction when uncovering a card.
Note that in cases of actions that bury themselves (e.g. Tomb Trap), playing one to bury it counts as playing an action and so does uncovering it!
- You Can Take It With You - When it is uncovered, its controller draws three cards. Note that when you uncover it, you must resolve its ability, however the part that says "Bury this card" is ignored because uncovered cards cannot be immediately reburied.
- Pyramid Engineer - When played, its controller can uncover one of their buried cards there.
Scoring with a Buried Card
Since they don't count as minions and don't add power to a player's total power by themselves, having buried cards on a scoring base is not enough to be eligible to gain any VPs.
Removing a Buried Card's Base
After a base scores or is removed from play, buried cards on it are revealed and discarded without effect into their rightful owners' discard piles. Note that this doesn't count as "uncovering" and so their abilities aren't resolved. As such, a buried Mummy would be discarded after its base scores rather than being re-buried.
Buried Madness Cards
When playing with Madness cards, it is indeed possible to bury them. However, at the end of the game, buried Madness cards still count against their controller for the VP penalty.
Questions on burying
Q: I bury a card with Special ability that allows me to play it when its condition is met (e.g. Shinobi, Snuggly Bear, Dragon Lands, Plague of Locusts, Mako). The condition is met. Can I immediately uncover them and play them?
A: No, while buried, the only way to use a buried card's abilities is by first uncovering it and to uncover a card, it must be either because an ability allows you to do so or because of your allowance of uncovering one of you buried cards at the start of your turn.
Q: Another player stole one of my cards (e.g. with Trade) and I know they buried it on a base. So since I own that card, it's now considered as one of my buried cards, right?
A: No. "Your buried cards" are buried cards that you control and a buried card is controlled by the player who buried it. By the way, while buried, a buried card's controller is also considered its owner by default, even if you saw the face of the buried card.
Q: I bury a card with Special ability that allows me to play it before its base scores (e.g. Hidden Ninja, Live and Let Chum). Its base scores and I use an ability to uncover it (e.g. with Pharaoh, Lost Knowledge). Can I play it immediately or do I have to wait until the step where Special cards in hand can be played?
A: Yes, you can play it immediately without waiting for the next step.
Q: I bury a card with Special ability that allows me to play it after its base scores (e.g. Total Sellout, Power Pose). I use an ability to uncover it when it's not the right time. Can I play it immediately?
A: No, you will have to discard it without effect.
A: Yes. A standard action is an action that doesn't remain in play after being played. It still would leave play after being uncovered and therefore played, so it IS a standard action no matter what.
Rule: Definition of "standard".
Q: I bury a standard action that can affect a card in play. If I uncover it, do I have to affect a card on that base or the base itself?
A: No, when you uncover a standard action, you simply resolve it as normal so there's no restriction to the base unlike minions and non-standard actions.
Q: I bury a card from my hand. Do I have to reveal what it is?
A: It depends. If you use the card's own ability to bury it, then yes. That's because burying happens when you play and resolve its ability like any normal card and so the card can be seen by anyone until you resolve the part that says to bury the card. Otherwise, if you use another card's ability to bury it (e.g. Pyramids, Pyramid Engineer), then no, you don't reveal what it is.
Q: I target a buried card with Into the Time Slip. Which hand is it returned to? And do we have to reveal what it is?
A: It's returned to its current owner's hand, which is the one who currently controls it. That sort of goes against the usual rule about cards going back to their owners because for buried cards, their controllers are considered their owners no matter what the card actually is. Also, you don't reveal what the card is otherwise the rule about card going to owners would apply because players would see without a doubt what card it is.
Q: I bury a card that has an ability that triggers at the start of my turn (e.g. Water Lily, Choking Vines, Overgrowth, Mild Mannered Citizen). If I choose to uncover it at the start of my turn, does it trigger?
A: Yes. It is still the start of your turn, so its ability is triggered.
Q: I bury a Sprout. If I choose to uncover it at the start of my turn, does it trigger?
A: No. The Bigger Geekier Box gave Sprout an erratum. Now, when Sprout is played during your Start Turn phase, you have to wait until your next Start Turn phase to resolve its ability.
Rule: Check Sprout's erratum.
Q: Using Expert Timing, I manage to place +1 power counters on one of my buried cards. When I uncover it, suppose it's a minion, so will it start with the +1 power counters it had on it?
A: No, before uncovering it, all counters on the buried card are removed.