With the new Conspiracy set around the corner, there is one thing that cought my eye: The Monarch mechanic. There are several cards that introduce this new layer to multiplayer games. Once someone becomes The Monarch they draw an extra card during their end step. There are also promises of cards that become better when you’re The Monarch.
Extra cards are always a good thing, but it’s the catch that makes it really interesting: When someone deals combat damage to The Monarch, they become The Monarch themselves, stealing the title. So, when someone holds the title, they also have a bit of a target on their heads.
I think it’s usually worth it to be The Monarch for the extra card alone, but you’ll need to back up your titel with a proper defense. Some players might be hesitant to take up the mantle and becoming a target, and leave you alone, and let you gradually grind to an advantage.
It’s also handy that there is a new legendary creature that helps introducing this element in games of Commander:
Queen Marchesa will help you watch your opponents killing each other or just get an advantage over time. She’s Mardu colored () which is a combination you won’t see that often in Commander outside for Kaalia of the Vast decks, and she plays quite differently from her. Marchesa is seemingly innocuous and even killing her doesn’t stop the power struggle. Her deathtouch further disincentivizes people from attacking you. And she replaces herself almost immediatly.
The question is, what kind of deck is best with her? Or the most fun. A deck around the voting mechanic (which also comes back) seems fun. Having a few difficult to block creatures seems handy for taking back the crown. And she’s in Extort colours as well.
One nifty trick with being The Monarch is using Solitary Confinement. The extra carddraw helps keeping the confinement up, and you can’t loose the crown with confinement in play.
In the end it’s a subtle combination of pillowfort, chaos and grouphug. I look forward making a deck with her.