The Binding Of Isaac Four Souls: Simplified Game Guide

The Binding Of Isaac Four Soulsmsimplified Game Guide
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“The Binding of Isaac Four Souls” is a captivating multi-player card game that brings the quirky and darkly humorous world of the popular computer game to your tabletop. Designed for 2-4 players, it masterfully combines strategy, chance, and adventure, offering a unique experience with every play. The game revolves around characters from the Isaac universe, each equipped with special abilities and items, battling monsters and collecting loot to emerge victorious. Simple to learn but rich in strategy, it’s perfect for both casual and avid gamers. Its engaging gameplay and creative design make it a standout choice for game nights and a testament to the innovative mind of creator Edmund McMillen and Maestro Media.

Table of Contents

    Game Overview

    Isaac Holding A Meat Crying

    “The Binding of Isaac: Four Souls” is not just a card game; it’s an adventure into a world filled with challenges, surprises, and strategic decision-making. At its core, the game is about players taking on the roles of characters from the Isaac universe, each battling monsters, collecting powerful items and secure four souls to claim victory.

    4 Souls

    Players must navigate through strategic battles, negotiate trades, and sometimes outwit their peers to progress. With a dynamic mix of skillful planning and the element of chance dictating each turn, ‘Four Souls’ guarantees a fresh and exciting experience in every session, making it an ideal choice for those who appreciate thoughtful gameplay and interactive dynamics.”

    The Binding Of Isaac Terminology

    To fully grasp and enjoy Isaac world, it’s crucial to understand the specific terminology used in the game. These terms not only define the mechanics but also enrich the gameplay experience, allowing players to strategize more effectively.

    Here’s a breakdown of key terms you’ll encounter in the game.

    Players will come across various types of cards, each serving a unique purpose in the game. Let’s take a look at each one, how they work and their uses.

    Character Cards

    These are the heart of your game persona. Each character card represents a different character from the Isaac universe, complete with special abilities. Think of these cards as your identity in the game world.

    Who Am I Card

    Who are the different Playable Characters in The Binding Of Isaac?

    Starting Item

    Starting Item Card

    These cards are paired with the character the player chooses or is assigned at the beginning of the game. Each Starting Item Card typically represents an ability or advantage that is unique to that character, reflecting their special skills or traits.

    Starting Items for each Characters:

    Loot Cards

    Loot Cards At Hand

    These are your tools for strategic advantage. Loot cards are unique, they are the only cards drawn and kept in hand by players.

    Utilizing these cards can rapidly alter the game’s progression.

    Loot Cards Boi

    What are the different kinds of LOOT Cards?

    Treasure Cards

    Treasure Card Boi

    The game changers. Treasure cards are valuable items that players acquire in the game. These cards are immediately placed in front of the player, visible to all. They possess potent effects that significantly influence gameplay, often interacting with other players and monsters, thereby shaping the game’s dynamics.

    What are the 2 kinds of TREASURE Cards?

    Monster Cards

    The Monster deck is a central component of the game, offering a variety of challenges and rewards.

    Monster Card

    What’s are the different kinds of MONSTER Cards?

    The Bonus Souls

    The Bonus Souls Cards

    Once players are comfortable with the basic game mechanics, they can introduce an exciting element called Bonus Souls. They are special cards that can greatly influence the outcome of the game. Players can earn these cards by meeting specific conditions during gameplay.

    What are the different BONUS SOUL Cards?

    Room Cards

    Room cards adds another dimension to the game, providing various effects when they come into play. These cards are not part of the standard game setup but can be included for added complexity and variation.

    Room Card

    Room Cards

    Each card type brings its own flavor to the game, making every round a new adventure full of strategic decisions and unexpected turns.

    Four Souls

    How do you gain Souls?

    Now that we’ve familiarize ourselves with the different card components and the main objective, “to be the first to gather 4 souls”, let’s set the stage ready.

    1. Choose a Character

    Character Cards Binding Of Isaac

    Each player chooses a character card. Take a moment to get acquainted with your character’s special ability, as it will be a key asset in your quest for victory.

    2. Prepare the Decks

    Treasure Deck Loot Deck And Monster Deck

    Shuffle the Treasured deck, Loot deck, and Monster deck.

    To set up the TREASURE deck you would…

    To set up the LOOT deck you would…

    To set up the MONSTER deck you would…

    3. Add Optional Cards

    Room Cards And Coins

    If you decide to include the Room deck, shuffle it as well and put out 100 cents (place near the room deck)

    3 Random Soul Card

    If you decide to play with Bonus Souls, pick 3 random Soul cards and place on the table face up.

    Place card decks in the middle of the table.

    4. Distribute Starting Items

    Starting Item

    Each player gets a Character card and gets the corresponding Starting items.

    3 Loot Cards 3 Pennies

    Each players are given 3 loot cards and 3 pennies to start with.


    Ensure each player has a way to track their health and coins, whether through tokens, stones, or any form of counters.

    Your complete table set-up should be like the image below.

    5. Choose The First Player

    “Time to Choose who will be the first in turn.”

    Character Cain

    Normally “Cain” always go first turn.

    Or each players rolls the dice and who ever gets a higher score is the first in turn.

    With all these steps completed, you’re ready to Play.

    A Turn is divided into 3 parts called Phases. These are the Starting Phase, the Action Phase, and the End Phase. They are an essential processes to understand and remember since you will be doing them repeatedly throughout the game.

    Start Phase

    At the beginning of every Turn(Start Phase) do as follow.

    Hand Draws 1 Loot Card From Loot Crd Deck

    Active player draws 1 loot card from the loot deck to add to their hand.

    Recharging An Item Or Card

    NOTE: Players ‘Recharge‘ any items they used in the previous turn by turning them upright.

    At Action Phase, Active player may do the following below:

    1. Play Loot Cards

    Loot Card

    Player gets to play Loot Cards until the end of his/her turn .

    How do you “Play Loot Cards?”

    2. Purchase Items

    Treasure Deck Set Up

    Buy items from the store with coins to gain abilities.

    How do you Purchase Items?

    3. Attack Monster

    Monsters Deck Set Up

    Declare an attack before choosing which to attack. You can’t attack a boss if there’s an are active basic monsters, the basic monster are the first to be dealt with.

    You can either attack a monster at play(face-up monster cards) or the top of the monster deck.

    How do you Attack a Monster?

    Every “End Phase”, do as follow.

    A Heart Hp Marker

    1.All players and monsters heals to full health (HP Reset).

    10 Loot Cards At Hand

    2. Active player should discard down to 10 cards. (Maximum number of cards by default)

    Hand Discarding A Room Card

    3. If playing with Room Deck, the active player may put a room into “discard”

    4. Active player turns end, next player takes turn.

    Although playing “The Binding Of Isaac Four Soul” is straightforward as taking turns, there are different sets of rules on certain action, and process that we need to follow and understand. Let’s go through them, shall we?


    Priority is “When to play?”, Priority determines which player can act at any given time. The player with Priority may do any of the following:

    Loot Cards
    • Play a Loot card.
    Activate Sign And Pay Sign
    • Activate an ability.
    Hand Rolling A Dice To Batle A Monster Card
    • Attack (up to once)
    Hand Purchasing A Treasure Card
    • Purchase (up to once)

    You may take as many action as you want as long as you have Loot play and Abilities that you can activate while you are at Priority. Dough the Active player have one attack and purchase by default, these my increase by some effects. When you’re done, you pass Priority to the next player so they have a chance to respond.

    How does Priority Works?

    The Stock

    The Stock

    How does The Stock works?

    The Stack is like a pile where you put actions and effects that are waiting to happen. Players take turns adding to the Stack and can also react to what others put on it.

    For example, if one player uses an item, another can respond with their own card before the first item’s effect happens. The last thing put on the Stack happens first. This rule is used for buying items, rolling dice, fighting, and other important parts of the game. It makes sure everyone gets a fair chance to react and plan their moves.

    How to resolve The Stack?

    Think of the stack as a deck of actions stacked one after the other. Once everyone finishes adding their actions, you begin resolving from the top action down. You carry out what the top card instructs, then proceed to the next, continuing this way until all actions have been carried out, till stack is empty.

    Playing Effects

    You have several options to influence the game’s direction. You can use loot cards, activated effects, or paid effects to make things happen, which is collectively known as ‘playing an effect. An effect is something that happens due to a loot or ability. When a loot or ability resolves, it may create more effects.


    Responding To Game Actions

    You can strategically respond to in-game actions like an action or effect from another player, you can react to it. You can do this by playing your own loot cards or using effects from your activated or paid items. When you respond, your action goes on top of the stack. This means your action will happen first, before the action you’re responding to. You also have the option to respond when the stack is empty, which is actually the only time you’re able to buy items or attack other players.

    Bartering & Treats

    Bartering is encourage in the game. The only rule is you can only trade coins for favors, not the items or cards you have. Both players must agree on the deal for it to go through.

    In “The Binding of Isaac: Four Souls,” bartering and even making threats are part of the social strategy. You can barter by exchanging coins for favors, like asking someone to use a loot card in return for coins. Threats can also be part of the deal, like threatening to use a loot card against someone unless they pay you coins. You may or may not follow on your promise or still do your treats, as you wish. Just remember, it might cost you trust and make you a target for others in the game.

    Dice Roll

    Binding Of Isaac Red Dice

    The dice is the arbiters of fate, used in combat and certain game effects, adding an element of chance that keeps every round unpredictable.

    How to do a Dice Roll?


    What are the Death Penalties?

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    The Binding Of Isaac Four Souls Requem Card Game Set

    Now, let us go through some common gameplay questions.

    Common “The Binding of Isaac Four Souls” Questions

    The Binding Of Isaac Common Questions

    Loot Cards Questions

    Turning Trinkets into Items

    • Q: Do I need to use a trinket card from my hand to make it an item?
    • A: Yes, you need to play the trinket card from your hand. Once it’s played and its effect happens, it becomes an item and stays in play just like any other item until it’s removed or destroyed.

    Understanding Game Items

    Q: What counts as an item in the game?

    A: Items include anything you can buy in the shop, find in the treasure deck, or have in play in front of you, marked by either a silver or gold border. It’s important to note that loot cards aren’t considered items. However, there are special loot cards called trinkets which turn into items and stay on the table when you play them, unlike regular loot cards that are used and then discarded.

    Using Butter Bean on Trinkets and Lost Soul

    • Q: Can I use Butter Bean to stop a trinket or the Lost Soul card from being played?
    • A: Yes, you can use Butter Bean to stop any loot card, including trinkets and the Lost Soul card. Trinkets and the Lost Soul card are not considered items or souls until their effects are completed.

    Order of Discarding with Butter Bean

    • Q: What’s the discard order when Butter Bean cancels a loot card?
    • A: The loot card that got cancelled goes into the discard pile first, and then Butter Bean goes on top of it in the discard pile.

    Using Counterfeit Penny for Extra Coins

    • Q: Does the Counterfeit Penny give an extra coin when I steal or trade?
    • A: No, the Counterfeit Penny only gives you an extra coin when you get coins from a card that says ‘gain’ coins. It doesn’t work for stealing or trading coins.

    Attacking and Monster Card Questions

    Gaining Rewards from Defeating Monsters

    Q: What happens if someone defeats a monster on another player’s turn?

    A: Whoever’s turn it is (the active player) gets the rewards from any defeated monster. If the monster is a boss, they also get its soul.

    Encountering Non-Attackable Monsters

    Q: What if I reveal a monster from the deck that can’t be attacked?

    A: If you draw a non-attackable monster like Stoney or Death’s Head, it goes to an active slot, but your attack doesn’t happen. This still counts as your attack for the turn, though.

    Simultaneous Lethal Damage

    Q: What if a player and a monster both would die at the same time?

    A: Usually, the game’s rules decide who gets hit first. But if an effect hurts both at once, like Lust’s effect, the monster’s death is resolved first, then the player’s.

    Dying from a Monster’s Effect

    Q: If I’m low on health and my attack roll that would kill the monster also triggers its attack on me, who dies first?

    A: The monster’s attack effect goes first. If it kills you, your attack on the monster doesn’t happen, so the monster survives.

    Damaging Non-Attackable Monsters

    Q: Can I still hurt non-attackable monsters with cards and items?

    A: Yes, you can use items and cards to damage and possibly defeat monsters like Stoney and Death’s Head, even though you can’t attack them directly.

    Forced Attacks with Full Monster Slots

    Q: What happens if a card forces me to fight the top monster card but all slots are full?

    A: If all slots are filled with monsters that can’t be covered, the effect to attack the top deck monster doesn’t happen, and you can choose to attack an active monster instead.

    Monster Rewards with Rolls

    Q: What’s it mean when a monster’s reward includes a dice roll for coins or loot?

    A: When you defeat this monster, you roll a dice to figure out your reward. The number you roll is the amount of coins or loot cards you get. It’s like a little bonus game after you win the fight.

    Killing Monsters to Avoid Damage

    Q: Can I kill a monster with a card to avoid its attack killing me?

    A: Yes, if you kill the monster during the attack, the attack ends, and any rolls against it are cancelled since the monster is no longer there.

    Q: What Defines a Curse Card?

    A: A curse card is a type of card that, when in play, negatively affects the player who has it. These cards are designed to challenge a player’s strategy and can be introduced into play through various game actions, often as a result of attacks from other players. The primary role of curse cards is to add an element of risk and uncertainty, potentially impacting a player’s ability to win if not addressed.

    Mechanics of Ambush Cards

    Q: What is an Ambush Cards?

    A: An ambush card in the game triggers an expansion of the monster slots by two. Following this, the player whose turn it is must launch an extra attack against a monster occupying one of these newly added slots during their turn.

    Character Card Questions

    Eden’s Item Selection

    Q: What happens to the items Eden doesn’t choose at the start?

    A: The treasure cards Eden doesn’t pick are placed at the bottom of the treasure deck.

    Using “Destroy This” Items as Eden

    Q: Can Eden start with an item that says ‘Destroy this’?

    A: Items that say “Destroy this” don’t really work as Eden’s starting item because they’re meant to be used once and then discarded. If Eden picks such an item, it won’t be destroyed due to becoming eternal, making it less useful.

    Choosing Glass Cannon for Eden

    Q: Is Glass Cannon a good starting item for Eden?

    A: Glass Cannon is an exception to the rule about self-destructing items. It can be used as Eden’s starting item because its main effect doesn’t depend on the item being destroyed. However, you won’t get the ‘Loot 2’ effect if the roll is 1-5, since it can’t destroy itself.

    The Forgotten’s Bone Transformation

    Q: What happens when the Forgotten’s Bone becomes a soul?

    A: Once the Forgotten’s Bone is turned into a soul, it can be stolen, discarded, or destroyed just like any other soul card. It loses its eternal status and any special protections.

    The Lost’s Starting Soul

    Q: Can the Lost’s starting soul be taken away or destroyed?

    A: No, the Lost’s starting soul is safe and can’t be stolen, discarded, or destroyed. It’s a permanent part of the Lost’s character card.

    Player’s Death Questions

    Dying More Than Once

    Q: Can you die more than once in the same turn?

    A: You can only die once each turn and will be fully healed when the turn ends. But, it’s possible to die once on each player’s turn before it’s your turn again.

    Dealing Damage to a Dead Player

    Q: Is it possible to hurt a player who’s already ‘dead’?

    A: You can’t choose to hurt a player who’s already dead. But, if there’s an effect that hits everyone or targets players next to someone, a dead player might ‘take’ damage from that. Remember, a player’s health can’t drop below 0.

    Playing Loot Cards After Dying

    Q: If I die, can I still use my loot card for that turn?

    A: Yes, you can play your loot card in response to dying, as long as you haven’t played one yet. After you’ve dealt with the Death Penalty and the game has moved to the End Phase, you can’t play a loot card unless you have a special way to do so, like tapping your character card.

    Preventing Player Death

    Q: What if something stops me from dying?

    A: If an effect stops you from dying, your health goes back to what it was before you were about to die.

    Active Player Death and Game Flow

    Q: What if the active player dies and there are open spots for monsters or in the shop?

    A: If the active player dies and there are open spots, they have to fill those spots at the start of the End Phase. Any non-monster cards that come up get played like usual.

    Souls Questions

    Swapping Souls Between Players

    Q: Can players trade soul cards with each other during the game?

    A: Game rules keep soul cards as non-tradable to maintain the integrity of each player’s victory path. However, players can always choose to add house rules that allow for such exchanges, provided all players agree.

    Discarding and Stealing Multi-Value Soul Cards

    Q: What if I have to give up a soul card or someone takes one, and my only soul card counts for two souls?

    A: Even if your soul card is worth two souls, you’d still have to give it up if asked because it’s considered one soul card. The same goes for someone trying to take a soul card from you; they can take your two-soul card just like any other.

    Handling Bonus Souls That Are Lost

    Q: What happens to bonus souls if they’re thrown away or taken out of the game?

    A: If a bonus soul gets thrown away or taken out, it’s turned face down next to the game area and can’t be picked up again by anyone.

    The Stack Questions

    Simultaneous Passive Item Triggers

    Q: What if two passive items I have activate at the same time?

    A: Their effects go onto the stack based on the turn order, and then they work out in the reverse order. If you own both items, you get to choose the order they’re stacked.

    Commitment to Actions

    Q: Can I change my mind about attacking or buying from a deck if someone changes the top card after I decide?

    A: Once you’ve chosen to attack or buy, you’re locked into that decision, even if the top card changes before your action happens.

    Overlapping Effects on Rolls

    Q: What if my item and a monster I’m fighting both do something when I roll a certain number?

    A: The monster’s effect goes on the stack first, then your item’s. They’ll resolve starting with the last thing that was added to the stack.

    Avoiding Death with Items or Loot Cards

    Q: Can I use an item or card to stop my attack if a dice roll would kill me?

    A: Yes, you can use an item or card to cancel the attack, putting its effect above the dice roll on the stack, so it resolves first and prevents the fatal outcome.

    Prevent damage VS Activate when damage is taken

    Q: If someone has a card that stops damage like Dead Cat, and also has a card like Fanny Pack that works when they get hurt, does Fanny Pack still work if they’re hit but don’t lose health because of Dead Cat?

    A: No, if the damage is stopped by something (like Dead Cat, Guppy’s Hairball, Yum Heart, or a soul heart), then it’s not considered as getting hurt for cards like Fanny Pack that need you to take damage to work.

    Choosing Effects on Cards

    Q: If I use a card with multiple options and someone reacts, can I pick a different option later?

    A: No, once you’ve picked an option and put it on the stack, you can’t change it, even if someone responds to your card.

    Activating Items in Response

    Q: Can I use an item if someone’s about to deactivate it?

    A: Yes, if you activate your item in response, its effect will go above the deactivation on the stack and resolve first.

    Playing Cards in Response to Discards

    Q: If I’m forced to discard, can I use that card instead by activating my character card?

    A: Yes, by activating your character card in response, you can play the card before the discard effect resolves.

    Treasure Card Questions

    Accumulating Treasure Cards

    Q: Is there a limit to how many Treasure cards a player can have?

    A: No. There isn’t a set limit to the number of Treasure cards you can have active at any given time, allowing for diverse strategies and combinations. This aspect of the game encourages players to seek out and accumulate powerful items to enhance their abilities and chances of winning.

    Haunt Items Classification

    Q: Are Haunt items considered curses?

    A: No, Haunt items are just regular items, not curses. You can use any effect on them that works on items, like rerolling or swapping them, but you can’t use effects that specifically target curses.

    Finding Haunt Items in the Shop

    Q: What happens if a Haunt item shows up when we’re adding items to the shop?

    A: Haunt items go into the shop just like any other item. If one comes up while filling a shop slot, it just takes that spot.

    Daddy Haunt’s Damage Effect

    Q: Does Daddy Haunt make a player take more damage or just add an extra hit?

    A: Daddy Haunt increases the total damage you take by 1. It doesn’t count as a separate hit on its own.

    Classification of Haunt Items

    Q: Are Haunt items considered as items in the game?

    A: Yes, Haunt items are indeed classified as items and not as curses. This means they can be affected by any game action that targets items, such as rerolling or specific effects from cards like Contract From Below or Donation Machine. However, they’re immune to effects that specifically target curses, so cards like The Bible or Dagaz won’t affect them.

    Q: Can you play The Binding of Isaac Four Souls with 5 or 6 people?

    A: “The Binding of Isaac: Four Souls” is officially designed for 2 to 4 players. However, it’s not uncommon for players to accommodate more participants by tweaking the rules or game mechanics. If you’re considering playing with 5 or 6 people, here are some suggestions to keep the game enjoyable:

    1. Increase the Game Length: With more players, the game will naturally take longer to play. Make sure all players are aware and okay with the extended duration.
    2. Adjust the Starting Resources: To balance the game, consider modifying the starting items, coins, or loot cards for each player.
    3. Modify Victory Conditions: You might need to adjust the number of souls required to win to keep the game competitive and balanced.
    4. Implement Turns Wisely: More players mean longer wait times between turns. Encourage quick decision-making to keep the game flowing smoothly.
    5. House Rules: You may need to introduce or modify rules to manage interactions and resolve conflicts with more players in the game. (Like: only the players on the left and right of the active player can respond with effects)

    The Binding Of Isaac Four Souls Extended Rulebook

    The Binding Of Isaac Four Souls Rulebook
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    Wee’s Wrap-Up

    Wee here, signing off with a little heart-to-heart about why “The Binding of Isaac: Four Souls” deserves a spot on your game shelf. Let’s be real – it’s not just a game; it’s like stepping into a story, filled with twists, turns, and a touch of dark humor that somehow brings everyone closer. Every card flip is a new plot twist, making each playthrough as unique as the folks you’re playing with. Whether you’re a master strategist or just in it for the laughs, this game has something special for you. And honestly, isn’t that what game nights are all about? Sharing stories, building memories, and maybe, just maybe, a little friendly backstabbing along the way. So, from one gamer to another, give “Four Souls” a go. Wee promises, it’s more than just a game – it’s an experience that’ll keep you coming back for more. Lastly, big thanks to Edmund McMillen and Maestro Media for creating an amazing game.