MANTIS  rules title

OBJECTIVE:  The first player to get ten cards in their score pile wins

NUMBER OF PLAYERS: 2 – 6 players

MATERIALS: 105 card mantis deck, rules, comic book

TYPE OF GAME: Set Collection Card Game




Mantis is a crustacean themed set collection card game in which players are trying to collect ten cards as quickly as possible.  This is done by matching cards in your own tank OR attempting to steal cards from an opponent’s tank.  Each card has a special color coded back that hints at which color the card is.  Use this information to make decisions a little less risky.  Don’t get too courageous though.  Guessing wrong and failing to steal puts more Mantis cards in your opponent’s tank which gives them more scoring opportunities.  


MANTIS content

The 105 card Mantis deck is composed of seven different suit colors.  There are fifteen cards of each color.  Colors are also represented by a character and a symbol.    On each card’s back is an image containing three different colors, and the card will be one of those three colors.  This helps players make decisions that are a little more informed.  A Why the Mantis Shrimp is My Favorite Animal comic book is also included.


MANTIS gameplay

Shuffle the Mantis deck and deal four cards to each player.  Flip those four cards face up (so the characters are showing) and lay them out in a row.  Players should be able to see their opponents’ cards.  This layout is called the Tank.

The rest of the Mantis deck is placed face down (so the tri-color image is showing) as a draw pile.  Everyone should be able to reach the draw pile.  Leave room for a score pile beside your Tank.  


Choose a player to go first.  You have two options on your turn: score or steal.  A decision between the two must be made and announced before drawing from the draw pile.  

If you announce that you wish to score, draw the top card from the draw pile.  Reveal and place it near your tank.  A revealed card that matches the color of any card or cards in your tank allows you to score.  Remove the revealed card and the matching cards and add them to your score pile.  Did you reveal a new color that does not match?  You cannot score.  The revealed card is left in the tank.  Once you begin to get more than one card of the same color, those cards are kept in a staggered column for all players to see.  Play passes left.

Your turn also begins with drawing a card if you announce that you wish to steal.  Draw the card and reveal it near an opponent’s tank.  If you reveal a color that they have, you take the card you revealed as well as your opponent’s matching cards and add them to your tank.  Revealing a color that does not match means that card is left in your opponent’s tank.  Turn order continues left. 


As the game progresses, score piles will grow.  Players must keep their score pile staggered, and they must say the number of cards they have if asked.  The first person to collect ten or more Mantis cards in their score pile wins the game immediately. 

There is a chance that the draw pile runs empty before someone collects ten Mantis cards. In this case, the person with the most cards in their score pile wins.  If there is a tie, the player with the most cards in their tank wins.


For a two player game, the first to collect fifteen Mantis cards in their score pile wins.  Also, successfully stealing from your opponent allows you to take another turn. 

Mark Ball
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