|Magic: the Gathering
Card of the week
|| card of the week | judge school | ask rules question | contact ||
The release of the new side-set, Conspiracy: Take the Crown, ushered a new mechanics that might appear in EDH*, and possibly even other constructed games. Cards with this mechanics are legal in eternal formats such as Vintage, Legacy, Commander and Tiny Leaders. Without further ado, certain Knights of the Black Rose provide you with a power pull straight to Monarch.
Written by Nikita Tarima
Knights of the Black Rose
There is no necessity to separate
What kind of knights are those? A white and black 4/4 Human Knight creature for five mana. Quite a convincing force as your guarantor of staying on the throne.
Their first ability is triggered. It goes off when the Knights enter the battlefield (an EtB-trigger). The ability doesn’t care how the Knights get there. You may cast the creature, or
“When Knights of the Black Rose enters the battlefield, you become the monarch”.
Thus, you become a Monarch as the trigger resolves. You won’t feel any particular superpowers flowing through you, so you will undoubtedly need to consult with the rules. Here’s what you can find there:
It sure is cool to be a Monarch, but first let us figure out the rights and duties.. err, the abilities.
Thanks to the first one, you may draw a card at the beginning of your end step each turn. How does it actually work? After your second main phase you go into your end phase, and the end step begins. That’s when all triggers “scheduled” for this moment go off, including the Monarch first trigger.
Those who aren’t familiar with the turn structure need to know that this trigger resolves before the cleanup step. Which means, if you draw a card at the beginning of your end step and their number then exceeds your maximum hand size, you will have to discard something.
Game of Thrones
We-ell, the first trigger related to the Monarch designation is rather useful, but the second one seems to turn you into a living target. Any other player’s creature damaging you in combat will suffice to steal your crown. Let me remind you that combat damage can be dealt to a player only by attacking creatures as a result of them attacking. It’s not enough to just “ping” an opponent with one’s Mogg Fanatic, even during combat.
But we won’t have any diarchy here:
This transfering of the Monarch title will be reminiscent to some players of the times of “Mirrodin Besieged” set and the land Contested War Zone. A player who takes combat damage parts with the Monarch status just as it was with this turncoat land.
If your opponent manages to take away your right to call yourself a Monarch, the second ability of Knights of the Black Rose will trigger only if you were the Monarch at the beginning of the current turn. This trigger has a so called intervening if clause, which checks the condition as the triggering event occurs, and does not trigger the ability in case of a negative answer, so nothing is put onto the stack. If someone else was a monarch as the turn began, the opponent won’t lose life and you won’t gain any. But you were the Monarch at the beginning of the turn and you control multiple Knights of the Black Rose, each will trigger, and the opponent won’t be too happy about the newly-acquired designation.
Since more than two players may be playing at one table, a Monarch may leave the game before it ends, especially if there are multiple candidates to claim the right of drawing an extra card. How do we split the throne? Even in the case where the Monarch is killed through combat damage, the trigger that player would control will simply not appear on the stack.
The king is dead, long live the king!
After having dealt with one monarch you always get another, and so once this designation appears in the game, it will be with one of the players for the rest of it. Although, if you restart the game through Karn Liberated, there won’t be a monarch in the new game until an effect explicitly states so.
However, aside from the triggers guaranteed by the Monarch position, there are also cards that are concerned with it in different instants of the game.
Anyway, if you aren’t afraid to claim the title and are ready to defend your claim, you will like the new mechanics!
* EDH (Elder Dragon Highlander) — that’s what Commander was previously known as. Browse the official website for related rules.
Irina Samonova © 1999-2017
Magic the Gathering is TM and copyright Wizards of the Coast, Inc, a subsidiary of Hasbro, Inc. All rights reserved.