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Vanguard (format)

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DCI Sanctioned
Paper {Cross}
Magic Online {Cross}
Magic Arena {Cross}
Type Constructed
Multiplayer {Cross}
Add. rules Additional vanguard card

The Vanguard format allows players to play with a special extra "card" called a vanguard that modifies the rules of the game just for them. You enter a Vanguard game with a normal constructed deck in the format of your choice, plus a pre-selected vanguard card. Players must agree on which format (Standard, Modern, Legacy, or Vintage) they will use to build their decks.

Rulings[edit | edit source]

  • Each player has one Vanguard card in effect for the duration of each duel.
  • Each event will have its own specific rules for the method and frequency of selecting the card(s) to be used.
  • Each player's Vanguard card is in effect throughout the duel; Vanguard cards may not be targeted, removed from play, or otherwise affected during play.
  • Unless specifically stated otherwise, the Vanguard card's effect extend only to the controller of the card (and their permanents, if applicable).
  • The Vanguard card being used by each player must be visible at all times to all players.

Magic Online[edit | edit source]

Since May 2005, Vanguard avatars were also used as in casual games for Magic Online. You added one of them to your deck before play, and at the start of the game, the avatar card from your deck started in play for you and applied the modifications listed on it. Starting with Zendikar, rules text and hand size/life total modifications for vanguard avatars were discontinued. Nowadays, you may continue to play the vanguard format with previously avatars. Both old and new avatars can still be used to represent you in-game.[1]

Rules[edit | edit source]

From the glossary of the Comprehensive Rules (August 7, 2020—Double Masters)

1. A casual variant in which each player plays the role of a famous character. See rule 902, “Vanguard.”
2. A card type seen only on nontraditional Magic cards in the Vanguard casual variant. A vanguard card is not a permanent. See rule 311, “Vanguards.”

From the Comprehensive Rules (August 7, 2020—Double Masters)

  • 902. Vanguard
    • 902.1. In the Vanguard variant, a vanguard card allows each player to play the role of a famous character. Each player will have one face-up vanguard card whose abilities and other characteristics affect the game. The Vanguard variant uses all the normal rules for a Magic game, with the following additions.
    • 902.2. A Vanguard game may be a two-player game or a multiplayer game.
    • 902.3. In addition to the normal game materials, each player needs a vanguard card. Each vanguard card is placed face up next to its owner’s library before the game begins. All vanguard cards remain in the command zone throughout the game.
    • 902.4. Each player’s starting life total is 20 plus or minus the life modifier of their vanguard card.

      Example: The life modifier of a player’s vanguard card is -3. That player’s starting life total is 17.

    • 902.5. Each player’s starting hand size is seven cards, as modified by the hand modifier of their vanguard card.
      • 902.5a If a player takes a mulligan in a Vanguard game, just like in a normal game, that player shuffles their hand back into their library, then draws a new hand equal to their starting hand size. (In a multiplayer game, a player’s first mulligan is for the same number of cards as they had before.) See rule 103.4.

        Example: The hand modifier of a player’s vanguard card is +2. That player starts the game with a hand of 9 cards. If the player takes a mulligan three times before keeping, they draw a new hand of nine cards and put three of those on the bottom of their library.

      • 902.5b A player’s maximum hand size is seven, as modified by the hand modifier of their vanguard card.

        Example: The hand modifier of a player’s vanguard card is -1. That player’s maximum hand size is six. If that player has more than six cards in their hand as their cleanup step begins, they will discard all but six of them.

    • 902.6. The owner of a vanguard card is the player who started the game with it in the command zone. The controller of a face-up vanguard card is its owner.
    • 902.7. Any abilities of a face-up vanguard 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.

References[edit | edit source]

External links[edit | edit source]