Titans were introduced in the Big in Japan set. Titans are an additional type of card, distinct from minions, actions and bases. Every faction in Big in Japan has a titan. Titans are not printed on card-stock like the rest of the cards, but rather are printed on the back side of the plastic Faction divider card. Each titan is essentially the 21st card of their corresponding faction, compared to the usual 20 cards per faction, except that a titan starts the game next to the player's deck and never goes to the hand, deck or discard pile of that player. They also can't be played like any usual minion or action, in fact, they can only be played when a card (including the titan itself) allows you to play one.
Unlike most Smash Up mechanics, which aren't found outside the set in which they are introduced, the TITANS Event Kit provides individual Smash Up TITANS to add to specific factions which had been released prior to Big in Japan.
Each of these factions features a titan:
- Itty Critters have Rainboroc.
- Kaiju have Gorgodzolla.
- Magical Girls have Walking Castle.
- Mega Troopers have Megabot.
- Penguins have Emperor Penguin.
- Bear Cavalry have Major Ursa.
- Changerbots have Mergacon.
- Explorers have Very Large Boulder.
- Fairies have Spirit of the Forest.
- Ghosts have Creampuff Man.
- Giant Ants have Death on Six Legs.
- Ignobles have The Hill that Strolls.
- Innsmouth have Dagon.
- Minions of Cthulhu have Cthulhu.
- Pirates have The Kraken.
- Super Spies have Moon Zero Three.
- Time Travelers have Time Box.
- Tricksters have Big Funny Giant.
- Vampires have Ancient Lord.
- Werewolves have Great Wolf Spirit.
- Wizards have Arcane Protector.
- Main article: Rules
Choose 2 Factions
If you choose one or two factions with a titan, place the corresponding titan(s) near your deck.
Playing a Titan
- Rainboroc from the Itty Critters can be played with its own Special ability after you win a base while Rainboroc isn't in play, or if you play Evolution.
- Megabot from the Mega Troopers can be played with its own Special ability instead of playing a regular minion with certain other conditions, by using Red Trooper's talent, or by playing Form Megabot!.
When a card tells you to play a titan:
- You can choose not to play it. Playing a titan is always optional.
- If you already control a titan in play, you may not play another one.
- If you choose to play a titan, it's not "banked" and must be played immediately or not at all.
- If you're allowed to play a titan "instead of your regular minion play", it means, on your turn, you can play the titan instead of playing your "free" minion of that turn. A "free" or "regular" minion play is the minion play you get on each of your turns and is distinct from "extra" minion plays, which are gained through abilities.
- Similarly, if you're allowed to play a titan "instead of your regular action play", it means, on your turn, you can play the titan instead of playing your "free" action of that turn. A "free" or "regular" action play is the action play you get on each of your turns and is distinct from "extra" action plays, which are gained through abilities.
To play a titan:
Step 1. Choose a base to play it on.
Step 2. Place the titan card face-up next to the chosen base card. Position the titan pointing toward you indicating that you are the controller of the titan. The titan is now "on this base" and "in play".
Step 3. Do exactly what the card says, step by step (a titan may have multiple abilities), and resolve it entirely. The abilities are resolved exactly like how a minion card is resolved.
Step 4. If there is another titan on that base, the former titan and the new titan "clash".
- A titan is neither a minion, nor an action, so playing one doesn't trigger cards that activate on a player playing a minion or an action.
- Playing a titan doesn't count as an extra card for abilities like Eliza.
- The rules never explicitly state a player can or can't play a titan another player brought along with their faction, but imply it is possible based on "If you play a titan, you control it even if you do not own it." This can certainly be done by gaining control of cards like Evolution and Tiny Priestesses. Typically titans benefit their own faction more than any other.
If it is not already in play, any player's titan can be played by any player at any time as long as its conditions are fulfilled.[houserule]
Moving a Titan
Similar to moving minions or transferring actions, if you move another player's titan, you don't take control of it and that player remains its controller.
Follow these steps when you move a titan:
Step 1. Choose a base different than the titan's current base and move the titan to it.
Step 2. Mandatory cards in play that are triggered by the titan are resolved first. If there are more than one, the Current Player decides the order. Make sure to resolve all the mandatory cards in play before moving on to the next step.
Step 3. Optional cards in play and cards in hand with a Special ability that can be activated because of the titan are resolved next. If several players want to invoke/play such cards, start with the Current Player and continue clockwise. When it's their turn, each player may invoke/play one card or pass. This round continues, so a player who has passed may later decide to invoke/play. For example, moving Major Ursa will trigger its Ongoing ability; this is when its Ongoin ability is resolved.
Step 4. If there is another titan on that base, the former titan and the new titan "clash".
Clash of the Titans
On no base other than Kaiju Island can more than one titan exist. Players can play and move titans onto a base with another titan, but a contest ensues over which will remain. The controllers of each titan add together their total power - including minions, actions, and their titan - on that base. The controller with the lesser total power must remove their titan from play. Defender wins in case of a tie.
Provoking a clash is one of the few ways to remove titans from play. Most titans accumulate +1 power counters over time, so if you have a lead consider taking down freshly played titans. Several titans are capable of moving themselves, but only Kaiju can force any titan to move by playing They Say He’s Got to Go. Spirit of the Forest is particularly slippery, but doesn't add power to itself or minions.
Targeting a Titan
Titans are neither minions, nor actions, 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 titans.
List of cards that can target titans:
- Into the Time Slip - Can be used to remove a titan from play.
- Purge the Demon - Can be used to remove +1 power counters from a titan.
- Potion of Paralysis - Can be used to cancel a titan's ability.
- There Goes Tokyo - If used on Kaiju Island, can be used to destroy other titans there.
- Cab-over Pete - Can be used to move a titan you control.
- Expert Timing - Can be used to transfer +1 power counters from a titan you control and/or to any titan. Can also be used to use the talent of a titan you control an extra time, even before a base scores.
- Stagecoach - Can be used to move a titan you control.
Removing a Titan's Base
Another way to deal with titans is by removing its base.
Usually, when a base is destroyed and replaced by another base (e.g. with Not in Kansas, Terraforming, Burn It Down), the minions there remain in play and go on the replacement base. Titans, however, are removed from play if their current base leaves play.
When a Titan Leaves Play
If, for whatever reasons, a titan must leave play, it is set aside near its owner's deck and any +1 power counters on it are removed. A titan never goes to its owner's hand, deck or discard pile.
Once a titan is set aside, it can still be played again when a card (including the titan itself) allows it.
Scoring with a Titan
A titan doesn't have any power by itself and, if so, is not enough to get any VP from a scoring base. To get the base reward, you must have at least one minion there (reminder: a titan is not a minion!) or at least 1 total power there.
However, some abilities allow you to get power for having a titan (e.g. Kaiju Island) or allow you to place +1 power counters on your titan (e.g. Gorgodzolla, Rainboroc). +1 power counters on your titan are added to your total power, like how +1 power counters on a minion are added to their power. So if you manage to get at least 1 total power with your titan, you're eligible to receive the base reward even without any minions there.
Questions on titans
Q: I'm playing with two factions with titans, so I can have two titans in play at the same time, right?
A: No. Each player can only control at most one titan at any one time. If an ability allows them to play a titan while they already have one in play, they can't play it.
Q: I'm controlling a titan already and I'm playing a card that allows me to play a second titan. Can I play it on my first titan's base in order to trigger a clash and have my former titan removed?
A: No. If you already control a titan, you can't play a second one.
Q: My titan says "Special" so I can use it outside of my turn, right?
A: "Special" does not mean the card can be played out of turn. "Special" simply means that it's an ability that can be used when its condition is met. Whether it can be used out of turn, activated straight from your hand/discard pile, or if it can only be used when it's already in play (essentially being a synonym of Ongoing), it entirely depends on the wording. For example, if the condition is "instead of your regular minion play", this means that you can only activate it when you have a regular minion play available, which is only on your turn and more specifically on your Play Cards phase. It cannot be played out of turn, because, outside of your own Play Cards phase, you don't have any regular minion plays to give up.
Rule: “Instead of your regular minion play” means instead of the normal minion play allowed during your Play Cards phase; if used to play a non-minion card, no restriction on minion plays apply to that card play.
Q: A base is chosen to score. I have no minions there, but I have a titan there. It is similar to a minion, right? So I can still get VPs from the base if 0 is among the top three total power, right?
A: No and no. A titan is a titan, not a minion. To be eligible to receive VPs, you must have at least one minion or at least 1 total power on the base. If you have no minions and your total power there is 0, then you can't receive any VPs from the base. Now, if your titan had any +1 power counters on it or gave you any total power (e.g. on Kaiju Island), then you would have at least 1 total power and be eligible. Otherwise, no.
Q: I manage to steal from another player a card that allows me to "play or move" their titan, or I manage to copy the ability of such a card. Do I gain control of their titan?
A: Well, it depends. To be more precise, if you simply move a titan, it's relocated to another base, but you do not gain control of it. In order to have control of a titan, you have to play it. If you choose to play a titan, but the specified titan isn't out of play, then playing it would do nothing since it's already in play and so you would not gain control of it. So in order to gain control of another player's titan, you have to use the "play" option and there must be a titan with that name out of play in order for you to play it.
Q: An opponent is playing with a faction with a titan. Their titan isn't in play. I manage to meet its Special summon condition, I can then play it, right?
A: No, only the player who has it next to their deck can play it.
Q: I have a Titan in play and I am wondering if i can play actions on a Titan like I can on minions, can I?
A: Well, if an action said "Play on a titan", then yes, that action would be playable on a titan, and only on a titan. But as of this day, there is no such action. If you're wondering whether you can play actions that say "Play on a minion" or "Play on a base" on a titan, the answer is no because titans are neither minions or bases.
Factions that can deal with titans
Usually, abilities that target cards are limited to targeting either minions or actions, especially those printed before the release of Big In Japan. As such, titans can be difficult to deal with when you're facing a faction with a titan while you yourself don't have one, but it's not impossible.
Cards that target "cards", and not specifically "minions" or "actions", can target titans:
- Time Travelers: Into the Time Slip can target a titan and remove it from play.
- Kaiju: They Say He’s Got to Go can move any titan, and There Goes Tokyo can destroy other titans on Kaiju Island.
- Magical Girls: Purge the Demon can target a titan and weaken it.
Removing a base from play also allows you to get rid of a titan on it, even when the card allows minions to stay:
- Simply breaking and scoring a base will remove any titan on it from play.
- Aliens: Terraforming can remove a titan from play by swapping its base.
- Minions of Cthulhu: Complete the Ritual can remove a titan from play by swapping its base.
- Dragons: Burn It Down can remove a titan from play by destroying its base.
- Tornados: Not in Kansas can remove a titan from play by destroying its base.
- Polynesian Voyagers: Volcanic Uprising can remove a titan from play by destroying its base.
- Avengers: Hulk Smash can remove a titan from play by destroying its base if Hulk is there.
Finally, if you have a faction with a titan yourself, you can use your titan to try to clash with another, as if you win the clash the other titan is removed from play.