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The hand modifier and life modifier are characteristics unique to vanguards.

The hand modifier changes your starting and maximum hand size. The life modifier changes your starting life total.

Hand modifier[]

From the glossary of the Comprehensive Rules (July 23, 2021—Adventures in the Forgotten Realms)

Hand Modifier
A characteristic that only vanguards have. See rule 210, “Hand Modifier.”

From the Comprehensive Rules (July 23, 2021—Adventures in the Forgotten Realms)

  • 210. Hand Modifier
    • 210.1. Each vanguard card has a hand modifier printed in its lower left corner. This is a number preceded by a plus sign, a number preceded by a minus sign, or a zero. This modifier is applied as the starting hand size and the maximum hand size of the vanguard card’s owner are determined. See rule 103.4.

Life modifier[]

From the glossary of the Comprehensive Rules (July 23, 2021—Adventures in the Forgotten Realms)

Life Modifier
A characteristic that only vanguards have. See rule 211, “Life Modifier.”

From the Comprehensive Rules (July 23, 2021—Adventures in the Forgotten Realms)

  • 211. Life Modifier
    • 211.1. Each vanguard card has a life modifier printed in its lower right corner. This is a number preceded by a plus sign, a number preceded by a minus sign, or a zero. This modifier is applied as the starting life total of the vanguard card’s owner is determined. See rule 103.3.