You start your turn with your unlock phase. At the beginning of your unlock phase, you must unlock all of your cards (except your infernal cards, see section 11). Any cards or effects that require or allow you to do something during your unlock phase take effect after you have unlocked your cards. You may choose the order in which these effects take place. Along with effects generated by cards, there are other effects that are resolved during the unlock phase:

  • If you have the Edge, you may take one blood counter from the blood bank and add it to your pool.
  • For each card and title you are contesting, you must choose to yield or to pay to contest it (see below).

4.1. Contested Cards

Some of the cards in the game represent unique resources, such as specific locations, equipment or people. These cards will be identified as "unique" in their card text. In addition, all crypt cards represent unique minions. If more than one unique card with the same name is brought into play, that means control of the card is being contested. For the duration of the contest, all of the contested cards are turned face down and are out of play. If another unique card with the same name is brought into play, it is immediately contested and turned face down as well.

The cost to contest a card is one pool, which you pay during each of your unlock phases. Instead of paying the cost to contest the card, you may choose to yield the card. A yielded card is burned. Any cards or counters stacked on the yielded card are also burned.

If all other cards contesting your unique card are yielded, then the card is unlocked and turned face up during your next unlock phase, ending the contest.

Be careful about putting duplicates of the same unique cards in your deck. You can't control more than one of the same unique card at a time, and you cannot contest cards with yourself (if some effect would force you to contest a card with yourself, then you simply burn the incoming copy of the unique card). On the other hand, you may wish to have a second copy handy in case the first is burned.

4.2. Contested Titles

Some titles are unique. For example, there can be only one prince or archbishop of a particular city (see Vampiric Sects, sec. 10). If more than one vampire in play claims the same title, then the title is contested. While the title is being contested, the vampires involved in the contest are treated as if they have no title, but they remain controlled and may act and block as normal.

The cost to contest a title is one blood, which is paid by the vampire during each of his unlock phases. Instead of paying the cost to contest the title, the vampire may choose to yield the title (or may be forced to yield, if he has no blood to pay). Only ready vampires can contest titles -- vampires in torpor must yield during the unlock phase. Yielding the title has no other effect on the vampire.

If all other vampires contesting a title with your vampire have yielded the contest, then your vampire acquires the title during your next unlock phase, ending the contest.