Emperor

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Emperor is a casual multiplayer format for Magic: the Gathering played by teams of three players. Each team has one "Emperor", who is protected by the other players. [1] [2] [3] [4]

Each team sits together on one side of the table, with team members deciding the order in which they're seated. The emperor is the player seated in the middle of the team. The remaining players on the team are "generals" (or "lieutenants" [5]) whose job is to protect their emperor while attempting to take down the opposing emperor. Players randomly determine which emperor will go first, generally using the high roll on dice, and turn order then progresses to the left.

Emperors have a "range of influence" of 2, which means that their spells and abilities affect only themselves and players within two seats of their own. In other words, at the start of the game, they can affect everyone except the opposing emperor. Generals have a range of influence of 1. At the start of the game, they can't affect the opposing emperor either. The only way to get an opposing emperor within your range of influence is to defeat an opposing general!

Players may attack only opponents seated immediately next to them. This means that at the beginning of the game, emperors can't attack anyone because no opponent is sitting next to them.

Each player plays as an individual. Players can collaborate by looking at each other's hands and discussing strategy, but each player keeps a separate life total (starting at 20), hand, library, battlefield, and so on. The one difference is the "deploy creatures" option. Each creature has the ability "{T}: Target teammate gains control of this creature. Play this ability only any time you could play a sorcery." Keep in mind that when a player is eliminated from the game, all cards he or she owns (including creatures controlled by other players) are removed from the game. If that player controlled permanents that are owned by other players, they'll stay in the game and go back to whichever player should be controlling them now.

Winning and losing an Emperor game works differently than normal. A team wins the game when the opposing emperor has been eliminated. It doesn't matter whether the losing team has any generals remaining or not. This also means that a general that's been eliminated from the game can still win if his or her team eliminates the opposing emperor later on!

The Emperor format can be played with more than two teams; in that case, the appropriate Free-for-All rules are applied. The format can also be played with more than three members on each team, as long as each team has the same number. Each extra player on a team is an additional general. That means that some generals won't be sitting next to an opponent (they'll be between two teammates), so they can't attack anyone at the beginning of the game. Be sure to increase the range of influences accordingly.

Rules[edit | edit source]

From the Comprehensive Rules (Aether Revolt (January 20, 2017))

  • 809. Emperor Variant
    • 809.1. The Emperor variant involves two or more teams of three players each.
    • 809.2. Each team sits together on one side of the table. Each team decides the order in which it’s seated. Each team has one emperor, who sits in the middle of the team. The remaining players on the team are generals whose job is to protect the emperor.
    • 809.3. The Emperor variant uses the following default options.
      • 809.3a The range of influence is limited to 2 for emperors and 1 for generals. See rule 801, “Limited Range of Influence Option.”
      • 809.3b Emperor games use the deploy creatures option (see rule 804).
      • 809.3c A player can attack only an opponent seated immediately next to him or her.

        Example: At the start of an Emperor game, neither emperor can attack any opponents, even though both of the opposing generals are within their spell range.

    • 809.4. Randomly determine which emperor goes first. Turn order goes to the players’ left.
    • 809.5. The Emperor variant includes the following specifications for winning and losing the game. All other rules for ending the game also apply. (See rule 104.)
      • 809.5a A team wins the game if its emperor wins.
      • 809.5b A team loses the game if its emperor loses.
      • 809.5c The game is a draw for a team if the game is a draw for its emperor.
    • 809.6. The Emperor variant can also be played with any number of equally sized teams. If the teams have more than three players, the range of influence of each player should be adjusted.
      • 809.6a Each general’s range of influence should be the minimum number that allows one general from an opposing team to begin the game within his or her range of influence. Each emperor’s range of influence should be the minimum number that allows two generals from opposing teams to begin the game within his or her range of influence. Players should be seated such that no emperor begins the game within the range of influence of another emperor.

        Example: In an Emperor game between two teams of four players each, the player configuration (either clockwise or counterclockwise around the table) should be: Team A general 1, Team A emperor, Team A general 2, Team A general 3, Team B general 1, Team B emperor, Team B general 2, Team B general 3. Each emperor has range of influence 3. Each general 2 has range of influence 2. Each general 1 and general 3 has range of influence 1.

    • 809.7. In the Emperor variant, a team’s resources (cards in hand, mana, and so on) are not shared. Teammates may review each other’s hands and discuss strategies at any time. Teammates can’t manipulate each other’s cards or permanents.

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Anthony Alongi. (November 25, 2003.) “Emperor Imperatives”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  2. Anthony Alongi. (February 10, 2004.) “Drafting Emperor-Style”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  3. Anthony Alongi. (March 15, 2005.) “Is There a Draft in Here?”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  4. Wizards of the Coast. (August 11, 2008.) “Casual Formats”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  5. Kelly Digges. (March 30, 2009.) “By the Numbers”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.