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Monarch
Mechanic
Introduced Conspiracy: Take the Crown
Last used Commander Masters
Reminder Text At the beginning of your end step, draw a card.
Whenever a creature deals combat damage to you, its controller becomes the monarch.
Storm Scale 7[1]
Statistics
42 cards
{C} 2.4% {W} 16.7% {U} 19% {B} 14.3% {R} 11.9% {G} 9.5% {W/U} 2.4% {W/B} 2.4% {R/W} 7.1% {M} 7.1% {artifact symbol} 4.8% {land symbol} 2.4%
Scryfall Search
fulloracle:"become the monarch"

Monarch is a player's designation that was introduced for multiplayer games in Conspiracy: Take the Crown.[2][3][4][5][6] The mechanic returned in Commander Legends[7], in the Adventures in the Forgotten Realms Commander decks, as a one-off in the Transformers set, and in the Lord of the Rings Commander deck Riders of Rohan.

Description[ | ]

The Monarch

The Monarch marker

Only one player at a time can be the monarch. The monarch has the following ability: "At the beginning of the monarch's end step, draw a card." In addition, several cards in Conspiracy: Take the Crown get better or have an additional ability if you're the monarch.

A special marker was included in booster packs of Conspiracy: Take the Crown that can be used to indicate which player is the Monarch. This is not a token or emblem and does not represent a game object in any zone, it only represents a player's status.

Monarch was inspired by the "Edge" mechanic, a similar mechanic from Vampire: the Eternal Struggle (another trading card game created by Richard Garfield and at one point published by Wizards of the Coast).[8] A similar mechanic had also been considered for Ixalan.[9]

Monarch was followed by the Initiative mechanic in Commander Legends: Battle for Baldur's Gate, which is very similar but with "Venture into the Undercity" instead of drawing of a card.

Becoming the Monarch[ | ]

At the start of the game, no player is the monarch. The monarch status only enters the game through a card's ability that causes a player to become the monarch.

Once a player is the monarch, they remain the monarch until another player's creature deals combat damage to them, at which point that creature's controller becomes the new monarch.

If the monarch leaves the game, the turn player becomes the new monarch. If the turn player was the monarch, the next player in turn order becomes the new monarch.

Rules[ | ]

From the glossary of the Comprehensive Rules (June 7, 2024—Modern Horizons 3)

Monarch
A designation a player can have. Some effects instruct a player to become the monarch. The monarch draws a card at the beginning of their end step. Dealing combat damage to the monarch steals the title from that player. See rule 722, “The Monarch.”

From the Comprehensive Rules (June 7, 2024—Modern Horizons 3)

  • 722. The Monarch
    • 722.1. The monarch is a designation a player can have. There is no monarch in a game until an effect instructs a player to become the monarch.
    • 722.2. There are two inherent triggered abilities associated with being the monarch. These triggered abilities have no source and are controlled by the player who was the monarch at the time the abilities triggered. This is an exception to rule 113.8. The full texts of these abilities are “At the beginning of the monarch’s end step, that player draws a card” and “Whenever a creature deals combat damage to the monarch, its controller becomes the monarch.”
    • 722.3. Only one player can be the monarch at a time. As a player becomes the monarch, the current monarch ceases to be the monarch.
    • 722.4. If the monarch leaves the game, the active player becomes the monarch at the same time as 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 becomes the monarch. If no player still in the game can become the monarch, the game continues with no monarch.
    • 722.5. If the result of a continuous effect generated by a static ability is determined based on who is currently the monarch, but there is no monarch in the game as that effect begins to apply, that effect does nothing until a player becomes the monarch. See rule 613, “Continuous Effects.”

Rulings[ | ]

  • The game starts with no monarch. Once an effect makes one player the monarch, the game will have exactly one monarch from that point forward. As a player becomes the monarch, the current monarch (if any) ceases being the monarch.
  • Abilities that trigger whenever you "become the monarch" trigger only if you aren't already the monarch. For example, if you are already the monarch as Custodi Lich enters the battlefield, its last ability won't trigger.
  • There are two inherent triggered abilities associated with being the monarch. These triggered abilities have no source and are controlled by the player who was the monarch at the time the abilities triggered. The full texts of these abilities are "At the beginning of the monarch's end step, that player draws a card" and "Whenever a creature deals combat damage to the monarch, its controller becomes the monarch."
  • If the triggered ability that causes the monarch to draw a card goes on the stack and a different player becomes the monarch before that ability resolves, the first player will still draw the card.
  • If the monarch leaves the game during another player's turn, that player becomes the monarch. If the monarch leaves the game during their turn, the next player in turn order becomes the monarch.
  • If combat damage dealt to the monarch causes that player to lose the game, the triggered ability that causes the controller of the attacking creature to become the monarch doesn't resolve. In most cases, the controller of the attacking creature will still become the monarch as it is likely their turn.

Monarch interaction cards[ | ]

Some cards check if you're the monarch, without making you the monarch. Each card apply a specific effect if you are the monarch.

Gallery[ | ]

References[ | ]

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