The Gem board is a 7x7 grid of Gems forming a central part of Magic: the Gathering Puzzle Quest. In each MtGPQ game, the player and the AI take turns matching Gems on the Gem board to fill Cards in their hand with Mana.
When three or more gems of the same colour become adjacent in a straight line, they make a Match. Matching gems generates mana, and causes gems above fall vertically in the gem board to fill the empty space created by the matched gems. New gems fall into the top of the board so that the board is always full of gems.
Matching more than 3 gems at once can trigger special results.
Falling gems can land in a position which creates a new match, causing a cascade of gem matches. Finding cascades and maximizing the chance of cascades is a core gameplay skill which can greatly impact a player's success at the game.
For full article, see Matching.
Support cards and tokens appear on the gem board when played. Supports have a shield value which is reduced by 1 each time the support is matched. When a support's shield reaches zero, the support gem is destroyed.
Gems can also be converted to activated gems or other special gems, which have various effects while in play and when matched.
For full article, see Gems.
The gem board always contains at least one valid swap. At the end of each turn, if the board reaches a position with no valid swaps, the board is shuffled. This randomizes the gems on the board to a new state which doesn't trigger any matches.
Some cards can also shuffle the gem board.