Inscryption: Which Cards Have Hidden Abilities (& What They Do)

Inscryption puts an indie horror twist on the roguelike deck-builder, taking players down a bizarre and twisted path as they uncover its creepy secrets, buried lore, and hidden abilities. As players progress through Inscryption’s three Acts, they must build several decks by collecting and strategically enhancing cards, many of which have more than one use that players must discover as they play. Cards that may seem weak, like Inscryption’s Ring Worm card, often have unique or helpful abilities that players can use to their advantage, not just in battle, but to solve the greater mysteries of the game as well.

Each card in Inscryption displays its attack power and hit points, as well as any sigils it has, which indicate the abilities it’s able to use in combat. However, several of the game’s rare and common cards also have hidden abilities that are only revealed when specific conditions are met. While some of these abilities are easier to find than others, they add depth to Inscryption’s gameplay, and some even allow players to set up potentially game-winning combos when used with some clever strategy.

Related: Inscryption Review: A Horror Deckbuilder Like No Other

Not every hidden ability in Inscryption is unique, and some cards will share hidden abilities with other cards, giving each one different advantages with their unique stats and sigils. Some cards also have multiple hidden abilities, so players can get creative by setting up different combos to make the most of the unique advantages they grant. Inscryption gives players a lot of freedom with regard to their cards, and, with plenty of opportunities to solve escape-room-style puzzles and enhance their creatures throughout the game, no two playthroughs of Inscryption will be the same.

For each card with a hidden ability in Inscryption, players will need to power it up or transform it a certain way to access its real power. There are 12 cards with powerful hidden abilities that players can use to their advantage.

The Cat card has the Many Lives sigil, which prevents it from dying when sacrificed. However, “many lives” unfortunately doesn’t mean infinite lives, and, when the Cat has been sacrificed 9 times, it will lose its Many Lives sigil and become an Undead Cat as its hidden ability. The Undead Cat has 3 attack and 5 health, making it a strong card that still only costs one blood to play and is a valuable addition to the player’s deck if they choose to transform it this way.

The Adder’s poison gives it the Touch of Death sigil, which kills any enemy it attacks regardless of their health after taking the hit. However, this snake’s poison has another use. The Adder’s hidden ability will kill the hungry survivors huddled around campfires throughout the game board. By powering it up at these campfires until the survivors eat it, players can unlock the ability to boost their cards’ health and attack power risk-free for the rest of the game.

Inscryption’s Black Goat grants three blood when sacrificed, allowing players to play stronger cards while sacrificing fewer of their creatures. However, the Black Goat can also be sacrificed at the altar of the Bone Lord to unlock a special boon. While most Bone Lord sacrifices will grant players the Minor Boon of the Bone Lord, which lets them start each battle with one bone, sacrificing the Black Goat will grant players a heap of eight bones to start with. Additionally, while it isn’t technically an ability, the Black Goat’s appearance will change if players have used the dagger to cut out their eye and replaced it with the goat’s eye.

The Ouroboros card is one of the most powerful and easily-exploited cards in Inscryption, gaining +1/+1 every time it’s sacrificed. Its Unkillable sigil returns it to the player’s hand when it dies, allowing them to play it over and over again to drastically increase its stats until it becomes an instant game-winner with massive attack and health. What makes this card particularly powerful is that its hidden ability lets it retain its stat boosts from match to match, which means that players only have to take the time to power it up once in order to keep this bulldozer in their deck for the rest of the Act. The Ouroboros also counts as a ring in the game, allowing players to use it to pass Leshy’s Trial of the Ring just before the final fight and unlock a powerful boon.

As a reference to the Hungry Child in Inscryption’s demo version, Sacrifices Must Be Made, Child 13 is one of the more unique rare cards that players can add to their deck in Act 1. Child 13 has a sleeping “defense” mode and a flying “attack” mode that it switches back and forth between each time it’s sacrificed. Its Many Lives sigil keeps it on the board, but, once it has been sacrificed 13 times, it will transform into a 0/1 Hungry Child with no abilities, not even hidden ones. However, it will transform back into Child 13 for the next battle.

Like the Adder, the Long Elk has the hidden ability to kill the survivors around the first Act’s campfires when players allow it to be eaten. The Long Elk will also change appearance, showing its skeletal face rather than its incredibly long neck. The ghastly look of this card is actually a reference to horror artist Trevor Henderson’s Long Horse, which has a similar long neck and chilling appearance.

The Mantis card bears the Bifurcated Strike sigil, which allows it to attack two opposing spaces rather than one for area-of-effect damage. However, when this card is upgraded with the Fledgling sigil, it will transform into Mantis God in battle, upgrading its sigil to the Trifurcated Strike along with its stat boosts. Most other cards will only receive a stat boost when given the Fledgling title, but the Mantis card is able to transform into another card entirely, and Mantis God’s sigil makes it one of the more powerful cards in the game.

While the Ring Worm may seem useless at first glance, it has two hidden abilities that make it worth adding to an Inscryption deck. It’s a 0/1 creature that costs one blood to play, making it one of the worst cards to utilize in battle as it has the same stats as a free Squirrel and can’t attack. Its usefulness becomes apparent outside of battle, as it’s one of the cards in the game that’s able to kill the campfire survivors on the game board, unlocking risk-free power-ups for the rest of the game. Not only that, but this card’s other hidden ability lets it count as a ring so players can pass Leshy’s Trial of the Ring before the final boss fight of Act 1.

One of Inscryption’s most mysterious cards is The Daus, which references The Daus card from an old European card game known as Karnoffel. While this may not strike players as anything special during their first playthrough, the Karnoffel Code is referred to several times throughout the game and ties into the secrets of the OLD_DATA and its hidden horrors. The Daus itself creates 0/1 chimes on adjacent spaces of the board when it’s played, and its hidden ability allows it to attack any creature that attacks these chimes.

The Amalgam’s hidden ability allows it to take on the kin type of whichever Totem players have on the board, as well as its sigil. This not only makes great use of the Totem item, but also makes it much easier to unlock some of Inscryption’s achievements, such as the Squirrel Wrangler achievement, which requires players to win a battle by doing damage with Squirrels. The Wood Carver will give players an Amalgam card for free if they visit her enough, making it easy to set up specific combos with this card and her Totems.

While it doesn’t have any attack power, the Pack Mule’s 5 health makes it a strong defender as it moves across the board with its Sprinter sigil. However, the Pack Mule’s greatest strength lies in its hidden ability, which takes effect when it dies. When the Pack Mule perishes, a Squirrel will be added to the player’s hand, along with four other random cards.

One of Inscryption’s more cryptic cards doesn’t have a name, drawing, or stats, and instead displays nothing more than a mysterious static. The static card can be found randomly throughout the game and isn’t available in every run, but it’s unclear what causes this card to appear. The Static Card’s unique hidden ability will transform it into a random card when it’s drawn from the deck. When this card first appears, a binary code will be displayed at the top of the screen that translates to “Deep Beneath,” which ties into the mysteries of Inscryption’s OLD_DATA and the game’s complex hidden lore.

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Inscryption is available for PC.

Source: Naguide

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Author: Damien Freidly