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Mechanics of Conspiracy

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The pursuit of power is a deadly game. To survive the machinations of Fiora, you need strength as well as leverage. The right allies can bring riches, but the throne is only a well-timed betrayal away. In the end, only one will stand. Will it be you?

 

Conspiracy Draft

Conspiracy is a new set based around drafting and multiplayer Magic. Thanks to formats like Commander, multiplayer Magic is more popular than ever. There's nothing quite like sitting around the table with several of your friends and battling it out until one winner emerges. Conspiracy takes that time-tested concept and turns it on its ear, with plenty of multiplayer-focused mechanics to keep games exciting. Oh, and one other thing... cards that affect the draft itself! More on that later.

A Conspiracy draft works well with eight players, breaking into two four-player games after the draft. However, it's fun for any number of players. We recommend you have no more than eight players in any draft and no more than five players in any game, but experiment to see what works best for your group.

Each player starts the game with 20 life. In multiplayer games, you draw seven cards rather than six the first time you take a mulligan. The game uses Free-for-All rules, so you can attack multiple players and/or Planeswalkers during combat. If this happens, each defending player blocks in turn order. Play proceeds clockwise, and you win the game when each other player has been eliminated.

 

Draft Abilities

Conspiracy includes something no Magic set ever has: cards that have abilities that affect the draft itself.


Cards with draft abilities have a wide range of effects, so read each carefully so you know what to do. If you're using a draft ability, speak up! Let the table know what's going on. During the draft, there's no stack, turn order, or priority. If two or more players want to use a draft ability at the same time, they do so in a random order. You may find it helpful during the draft to make sure all players draft and pass booster packs at the same time. That is, don't let booster packs "pile up" behind any player.

If an ability tells you to draft a card face up, leave it face up in front of you, next to your face-down pile of drafted cards. It stays face up until you turn it face down (the card will tell you when to do this) or it goes somewhere else, like back into a booster pack. If an ability tells you to reveal a card as you draft it, you show everyone you're drafting the card. The card may have additional instructions. Many of them tell you to note some information, like a number, the name of a card, or a player. For this reason, it's usually a good idea to have pen and paper handy. This noted information will be used in the game.

 

Conspiracies

Conspiracy (the set) introduces conspiracies (a new card type) to play in Conspiracy draft (the format). Got all that? Good. If you draft a conspiracy, you're probably going to want to know how it works. Let's check one out:


You might immediately notice there's no mana cost. That's because conspiracies aren't cast. In fact, they don't even go in your deck. Conspiracies start the game in the command zone (much like your commander in a Commander game). You can put every conspiracy you drafted into the command zone as the game begins. They don't count toward your deck size, so you still need a deck with a minimum of forty cards in it.

The abilities of conspiracies work from the command zone. And those abilities can affect the game in some wacky ways. For example, with Power Play, there's no need to roll dice to determine who the starting player is. Um... it's you. And this works out well for you, because the starting player doesn't skip his or her first draw step in multiplayer games.

 

Hidden Agenda

Some conspiracies have an ability called hidden agenda.


These conspiracies have you secretly name a card before the game begins. Perhaps the easiest way to do this is write the name on a piece of paper and keep it with the face-down conspiracy. Hopefully, you can name a card you've drafted multiples of. Any time you have priority during the game, you can turn the conspiracy face up and reveal the chosen name and what bonus the conspiracy gives cards with that name. Imagine the looks on your opponents' faces when they discover your creatures actually have haste or... um, other secret abilities.

 

Dethrone

If you want to assume the throne, start with removing the person already there.


Dethrone triggers whenever a creature with dethrone attacks the player with the most life or tied for the most life. When the ability resolves, you put a +1/+1 counter on the creature. This happens before blockers are declared. Once the ability triggers, it doesn't matter what happens to anybody's life total. If the defending player doesn't have the most life when the ability resolves, the creature will still get the +1/+1 counter. Note that dethrone won't trigger if the creature attacks a Planeswalker. You're going after the crown, after all, not the royal advisors. If you have the most life, your dethrone abilities won't trigger, but you may find a few choice ways to avoid that situation.

 

Will of the Council

New will of the council abilities let the table determine what's going to happen.


Each will of the council ability calls for the players to vote. Starting with you and proceeding in turn order, each player announces his or her vote. Everyone has to vote—no abstaining! Sometimes you'll be voting between two effects, like the grace or condemnation effects of Magister of Worth. Other cards may have you voting on different creatures, or colors, or... um... other things. Once everyone has voted, tally up the results to see what happens. Players can't do anything once the vote has begun. That is, you can respond to Magister of Worth's ability, but once it starts resolving, you can't interrupt the vote by casting a spell or activating an ability.

Everyone gets one vote. Fair, right? Yeah, but maybe not good enough.


If you have multiple votes, you make them all at the time you'd normally vote. As the reminder text reminds us, you can spread the votes around or load up on one choice. Some older cards, like Archangel of Strife, have players make choices but don't use the word "vote." Keep in mind that Brago's Representative applies only to abilities that use the word "vote" (that is, just will of the council abilities... for now).

 

Parley

Sometimes, in the heat of battle, it can pay to sit down and talk. Confuses the hell out of your enemies.


Parley abilities instruct each player to reveal the top card of his or her library. Then, an additional effect happens based on the number of nonland cards revealed this way. Finally, each player draws a card (the one that was just revealed). Just as we saw with will of the council abilities, you can respond to most parley abilities (Selvala, Explorer Returned has a parley mana ability that can’t be responded to) , but once one starts resolving, no one can do anything until the ability completely finishes resolving.



 
Matt Tabak
Matt Tabak
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Matt Tabak is the reigning, defending, and undisputed rules manager for Magic: The Gathering, Kaijudo, and Duel Masters. Matt Tabak is Gruul. Matt Tabak tries to laugh, think, and cry every day. Matt Tabak is hungry. Matt Tabak doesn't want you to sass him. Matt Tabak loves puppies.

 
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