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Archenemy logo.jpg
Set symbol
Archenemy expansion symbol.png
Design team
Tom LaPille (lead)
Scott Larabee
Lee Sharp
Andy Smith
Mike Turian
Development team
Art Director
Jeremy Jarvis
Release date
June 18, 2010
Themes and mechanics
Scheme Cards, "Set in Motion", "Abandon"
Keywords and/or ability words
Set size
Four 60+20-card theme decks
Expansion code
Non-block, non-series set
Magic: The Gathering chronology
Deck Builder's Toolkit Archenemy Magic 2011

Archenemy is a casual multiplayer format for Magic: the Gathering emphasising on a "one vs. many" aspect.[1] It is played with the Archenemy set of four "game packs", each consisting of 20 oversized cards and a 60-card deck. This set was released on June 18, 2010. It was sold in English only, but the rules came in additional languages. Each pack's MSRP is $19.99.[2]

Description[edit | edit source]

The lone player, called the "Archenemy", plays against a team of opponents with the use of a second deck consisting of over-sized cards of the card type scheme. The schemes basically represent a free spell per turn and help to balance out the odds for the Archenemy. The Archenemy's opponents work cooperatively against the lone player and, much like partners in Two-Headed Giant, take their turn simultaneously. The Archenemy begins the game with 40 life, while each other player begins the game with only 20. The Archenemy wins if all of his or her opponents are eliminated from the game. All of the opposing players, even those who have already lost the game, win if the Archenemy is eliminated.[2]

Scheme cards are not permanents. The Archenemy sets in motion the top card of his or her scheme deck at the beginning of the first main phase of his or her turn, meaning to turn it face up. Schemes may or may not have the supertype Ongoing. A non-ongoing scheme has a triggered ability that reads "When you set this scheme in motion, [effect]." After resolving this ability, it is turned face down and put on the bottom of the scheme deck. An ongoing scheme has abilities, and stays face up and in effect, rather like an enchantment; but it also has a triggered ability that forces the Archenemy to abandon it, meaning to turn it face down and put it on the bottom of the scheme deck. Only one scheme can be in motion at a time, so an ongoing scheme prevents non-ongoing schemes from being set in motion.

Archenemy may be played with multiple scheme decks, with each player controlling a deck. In this variant, the game more closely resembles Free-for-All or possibly Planechase.

Rules[edit | edit source]

Comprehensive Rules
Game Concepts
Parts of a Card
Card Types
Turn Structure
Spells, Abilities, and Effects
Additional Rules
Multiplayer Rules
Casual Variants
900. General
901. Planechase (variant)
902. Vanguard
903. Commander
904. Archenemy
905. Conspiracy Draft
From the Comprehensive Rules (Battle for Zendikar (September 26, 2015))

904. Archenemy

  • 904.1. In the Archenemy variant, a team of players faces off against a single opponent strengthened with powerful scheme cards. The Archenemy variant uses all the normal rules for a Magic game, with the following additions.
  • 904.2. The default setup for an Archenemy game is the Team vs. Team multiplayer variant (see rule 808) involving exactly two teams. The attack multiple players option (see rule 802) and the shared team turns option (see rule 805) are used; no other multiplayer options are used.
  • 904.2a One of the teams consists of exactly one player, who is designated the archenemy.
  • 904.2b The other team consists of any number of players.
  • 904.3. In addition to the normal game materials, the archenemy needs a scheme deck of at least twenty scheme cards. A scheme deck may contain no more than two of any card with a particular English name. (See rule 312, “Schemes.”)
  • 904.4. At the start of the game, the archenemy shuffles his or her scheme deck so that the cards are in a random order. The scheme deck is placed face down next to the archenemy’s library. All scheme cards remain in the command zone throughout the game, both while they’re part of a scheme deck and while they’re face up.
  • 904.5. The archenemy’s starting life total is 40. Each other player’s starting life total is 20.
  • 904.6. Rather than a randomly determined player, the archenemy takes the first turn of the game.
  • 904.7. The owner of a scheme card is the player who started the game with it in the command zone. The controller of a face-up scheme card is its owner.
  • 904.8. Any abilities of a face-up scheme card in the command zone function from that zone. The card’s static abilities affect the game, its triggered abilities may trigger, and its activated abilities may be activated.
  • 904.9. Immediately after the archenemy’s precombat main phase begins during each of his or her turns, that player moves the top card of his or her scheme deck off that scheme deck and turns it face up. This is called “setting that scheme in motion.” (See rule 701.22.) This turn-based action doesn’t use the stack. Abilities of that scheme card that trigger “When you set this scheme in motion” trigger.
  • 904.10. If a non-ongoing scheme card is face up in the command zone, and it isn’t the source of a triggered ability that has triggered but not yet left the stack, that scheme card is turned face down and put on the bottom of its owner’s scheme deck the next time a player would receive priority. (This is a state-based action. See rule 704.)
  • 904.11. Once an ongoing scheme card is set in motion, it remains face up in the command zone until an ability causes it to be abandoned (see rule 701.23).
  • 904.12. Supervillain Rumble Option
  • 904.12a As an alternative option, players may play a Free-for-All game in which each player has his or her own scheme deck. The attack multiple players option (see rule 802) is used; no other multiplayer options are used.
  • 904.12b Each player in this game is an archenemy.
  • 904.12c As in a normal Free-for-All game, the starting player is randomly determined. All other rules that apply to the archenemy in an Archenemy game apply to each player in a Supervillain Rumble game.

Theme decks[edit | edit source]

Archenemy has four preconstructed decks.[3]

Theme deck name
Colors included
White Blue Black Red Green
Assemble the Doomsday Machine[4]
Trample Civilization Underfoot[5]
Scorch the World with Dragonfire[6]
Bring About the Undead Apocalypse[7]

Promotional cards[edit | edit source]

Several Archeenmy promotional cards were issued by the DCI:

External links[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Magic Arcana. (January 12, 2010.) "Announcing Archenemy", Daily MTG,, Wizards of the Coast.
  2. 2.0 2.1 staff. (May 17, 2010.) "Archenemy Rules Revealed", Daily MTG,, Wizards of the Coast.
  3. Magic Arcana. (Tuesday, April 20, 2010.) "Archenemy Decks", Daily MTG,, Wizards of the Coast.
  4. Monty Ashley. (June 01, 2010.) "Archenemy: Assemble the Doomsday Machine", Daily MTG,, Wizards of the Coast.
  5. Monty Ashley. (June 08, 2010.) "Archenemy: Trample Civilization Underfoot", Daily MTG,, Wizards of the Coast.
  6. Monty Ashley. (June 10, 2010.) "Archenemy: Scorch the World with Dragonfire", Daily MTG,, Wizards of the Coast.
  7. Monty Ashley. (June 03, 2010.) "Archenemy: Bring About the Undead Apocalypse", Daily MTG,, Wizards of the Coast.
  8. Monty Ashley. (August 19, 2010.) "Plots That Span Centuries", Daily MTG,, Wizards of the Coast.

Magic products · Magic: The Gathering sets · Regular Magic sets
Special series and sets
Duel Decks (list of Duel Decks sets) • From the Vault (list of From the Vault sets) • Premium Deck Series (list of Premium Deck Series decks)

Casual sets: Commander (list of Commander sets) • Vanguard, Planechase (2009), Planechase (2012), Archenemy, Conspiracy
Box sets: Anthologies, Battle Royale, Beatdown, Deckmasters 2001, Deck Builder's Toolkit - series, Duels of the Planeswalkers (decks), Modern Event Deck
Reprint sets: Chronicles, Renaissance, Modern Masters (2013), Modern Masters 2015, Zendikar Expeditions
Un-sets: Unglued, Unhinged
Commemorative sets: Collectors' Edition, International Edition, Pro Tour Collector Set, World Championship Decks
Digital sets: Astral, Sega Dreamcast Game Cards
Magic Online sets
Magic Online Deck Series: Exiler, Boltslinger
Masters Editions: Masters Edition (I), Masters Edition II, Masters Edition III, Masters Edition IV, Vintage Masters, Tempest Remastered
Other: Commander Theme Decks, Momir Basic Event Deck, Legendary Cube