Gem matching is a core part of the Magic: the Gathering Puzzle Quest gameplay. Matching occurs when Gems on the Gem board form a sequence of three or more of the same color. Matching gems gives you Mana and Loyalty to power your Cards and your Planeswalker abilities. Matching special gems can trigger special effects or abilities.
Types of matching
There are three types of gem match:
- Swap - On your turn, when you make a match by swapping a gem with its neighbor to form 3 or more gems of the same color in a vertical or horizontal row, it's a Swap match.
- Cascade - When gems fall into the empty space left by previous matches, or by destroying a gem or block of gems, if they land in a sequence of 3 or more of the same color, they make a Cascade match.
- Convert - When a card converts the color of gems on the board to make a sequence of 3 or more of the same color, it causes a Gem Conversion match.
At least one Swap is always available on the board. If the board has no valid moves at the end of a turn, it's Shuffled. The game prompts you with a possible Swap if you take some time to make your move. The prompted Swap is not necessarily the best one.
Effects of matching
Making a match causes the following effects.
- You get Mana and/or Loyalty (see below)
- The matched gems are removed from the board (except for some special gem types)
- All gems vertically above the removed gems fall down to fill the empty space
- New gems appear from beyond the top of the board, so the board remains full of gems
- Falling gems which make 3 in a row when they land cause Cascade matches
- Any number of Cascade matches can occur in a turn
What you get when you match
Matching gives you mana and/or loyalty.
Matching coloured gems
Each match of 3 or more colored gems gives you:
- +1 mana for each gem matched
- Additional mana equal to your mana bonus
- +1 loyalty
If your green mana bonus is +3 and you match 4 green gems:
- You get: 7 mana and 1 loyalty
- +4 mana (from 4 gems)
- +3 mana (from your mana bonus)
- +1 loyalty
Matching loyalty gems
Each match of 3 or more loyalty gems gives you +1 loyalty for each gem matched.
If you match 3 loyalty gems, you get +3 loyalty.
Matching 4 or more gems in a line destroys the whole row or column.
- You only get mana for the 4 gems you match, even though 7 gems are hit by the match.
Matching 5 (or more) adjacent gems gives you an Extra turn.
A match 5 (5 or more adjacent gems triggering an extra turn) includes the following arrangements:
- Line: 5 same-colored gems in a line
- (This also triggers the match 4 effect of destroying the whole row or column)
- L: 5 same-colored gems in an L shape
- Plus: 5 same-colored gems in a plus shape
- Adjacent: 6 same-colored gems in two orthogonally adjacent match 3s
The following arrangements are not considered match 5s:
- Diagonal: Diagonally adjacent match 3s of the same color
- This arrangement counted as a match 5 in the past
An extra turn grants you an extra move on the board in which you can gain mana and loyalty, and play cards. You don't get to draw another card or attack again.
- If your move on your extra turn causes another match 5, you get another extra turn
- An extra turn is triggered whether the match 5 is a direct match or a cascade
- An extra turn is not triggered by a match 5 which occurs from a gem conversion effect
- Making two or more match 5s in a single move (match plus cascades) provides only up to 1 extra turn
- However, if one of the two match 5s involves a permanent support gem, two extra turns can occur (it is not known whether this is a bug)
Cards with the Landfall ability trigger an effect written on the card when you perform a Landfall match.
A landfall match is a move or cascade in which a match 4 or match 5 occurs on coloured gems.
- Matching loyalty gems does not count as landfall
- Landfall only triggers up to once per move or cascade step, even if two or more match 4s occur simultaneously
Matching special gems
Matching or hitting special gems can trigger a variety of effects. Special gems are triggered when matched in a match 3, and in some cases are also triggered by being destroyed in a match 4.
The effect of matching each kind of special gem is described in Gems.