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Initiative
Mechanic
Introduced Commander Legends: Battle for Baldur's Gate
Last used Commander Legends: Battle for Baldur's Gate
Reminder Text Whenever one or more creatures a player controls deals combat damage to you, that player takes the initiative.
Whenever you take initiative and at the beginning of your upkeep, venture into Undercity. (If you’re in a dungeon, advance to the next room. If you’re not, enter Undercity. You can take the initiative even if you already have it.)
Statistics
23 cards
{W} 17.4% {U} 13% {B} 21.7% {R} 17.4% {G} 13% {U/B} 4.3% {artifact symbol} 13%
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oracle:"Initiative"

The Initiative is a player's designation, similar to Monarch, introduced in Commander Legends: Battle for Baldur's Gate and is the only way to enter the Undercity dungeon.[1][2][3][4]

Description[]

Initiative marker

Only one player at a time can have the Initiative. The Initiative has the following ability: "Whenever you take initiative and at the beginning of your upkeep, venture into Undercity." In addition, several cards in Commander Legends: Battle for Baldur's Gate get better or have an additional ability if you have the Initiative.

A special marker was included in booster packs of Commander Legends: Battle for Baldur's Gate that can be used to indicate which player has the Initiative. This can be placed on the battlefield or in the command zone, but is not a token (because it doesn't represent a permanent) or emblem but rather a status.

Taking the Initiative[]

At the start of the game, no player has the Initiative. The Initiative status only enters the game through a card's ability that causes a player to take the Initiative.

Once a player has the Initiative, they retain the Initiative until another player's creature deals combat damage to them, at which point that creature's controller takes the initiative.

Interaction with other Dungeons[]

If a player has already entered in a Dungeon different from Undercity, when the Initiative triggers, it moves further into that dungeon.[5]

Comparison to Monarch[]

Initiative shares a number of design elements with the Monarch designation. They both:

  • provide a continuing advantage as long as the designation is maintained,
  • apply to one player at a time,
  • start the game applying to nobody,
  • are granted explicitly by card abilities,
  • can be "stolen" by dealing combat damage to the current designation-holder,
  • are printed in supplemental sets rather than standard-legal sets,
  • synergize with several cards in their sets,
  • are narrow, directly interacting only with cards that mention them explicitly.

Rules[]

From the glossary of the Comprehensive Rules (July 8, 2022—Commander Legends: Battle for Baldur's Gate)

Initiative
A designation a player can have. Some effects instruct a player to take the initiative. The player with the initiative ventures into Undercity whenever they take the initiative and at the beginning of their upkeep. See rule 721, “Initiative.”

From the Comprehensive Rules (July 8, 2022—Commander Legends: Battle for Baldur's Gate)

  • 721. Initiative
    • 721.1. Initiative is a designation a player can have. There is no initiative in a game until an effect instructs a player to take the initiative. A player who currently has the initiative designation is said to have the initiative.
    • 721.2. There are three inherent triggered abilities associated with having the initiative. These triggered abilities have no source and are controlled by the player who had the initiative at the time the abilities triggered. This is an exception to rule 113.8. The full text of these abilities are “At the beginning of the upkeep of the player who has the initiative, that player ventures into Undercity,” “Whenever one or more creatures a player controls deal combat damage to the player who has the initiative, the controller of those creatures takes the initiative,” and “Whenever a player takes the initiative, that player ventures into Undercity.” See rule 701.46, “Venture into the Dungeon.”
    • 721.3. Only one player can have the initiative at a time. As a player takes the initiative, the player who currently has the initiative ceases to have it.
    • 721.4. If the player who has the initiative leaves the game, the active player takes the initiative at the same time that player leaves the game. If the active player is leaving the game or if there is no active player, the next player in turn order takes the initiative.
    • 721.5. If the player who currently has the initiative is instructed to take the initiative, this causes the last triggered ability in 721.2 to trigger but does not create a second initiative designation.

Rulings[]

  • There is no initiative in a game until an effect instructs a player to take the initiative. Once a player is instructed to do this, they have the initiative until another player takes the initiative.[6]
  • Only one player can have the initiative at a time. As one player takes the initiative, any other player that had the initiative ceases to have it.
  • A player who currently has the initiative may take the initiative again. This causes that player to venture into Undercity again, but does not cause them to have multiple initiative designations.
  • If the player with the initiative leaves the game, the active player takes the initiative at the same time that player leaves the game. If the active player is leaving the game or if there is no active player, the next player in turn order takes the initiative.
  • In a Two-Headed Giant game, if both players on a team deal combat damage to the player that has the initiative at the same time, the player with the initiative will choose the order of the triggered abilities. Then, as those abilities resolve, one team member takes the initiative (and ventures into Undercity) and then the other team member does the same. The last player to take the initiative keeps it until the initiative changes again.

Cards with Initiative bonus[]

References[]

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