Magic: The Gathering publisher Wizards of the Coast has officially recognized a new fan-made format called Oathbreaker. The format accommodates 3-5 players and was invented by a Minnesota-based gaming group called Weirdcards charity club. A new landing page is now live and provides additional information about the format.
You may be surprised that there is more than one way to play Magic, the classic collectible card game launched in 1993. As of March 15, there are 23 in total, but most players are drawn to one of three different formats: Standard, Booster Draft, and Commander. Commander, the game’s first multiplayer format, has long been considered the most popular way to play Magic. As such, Oathbreaker could greatly increase its appeal for casual groups.
To create an Oathbreaker deck, players must assemble a 60-card deck and build it around their favorite planeswalker – powerful characters from the Magic universe. According to the Magic website decks may not contain duplicate cards. In addition, players must select a so-called “signature spell”, which must match the color identity of their Oathbreaker planeswalker card. Both the planeswalker and signature spell start the game in-game, and players fight from there to reduce the other opponents at the table from a starting value of 20 lives.
From the official description:
When your Oathbreaker is under your control on the battlefield, you can use your Signature Spell for its normal cost, plus two extra mana for each previous time you used your Signature Spell from this game’s command zone. When your Signature Spell is resolved, place it in the command zone instead of your graveyard. If your Signature Spell were to go anywhere other than the command zone or stack, you should place it in the command zone instead.
Each player starts with 20 lives. Before the game begins, players must randomly sit in a circle and place their Oathbreaker and Signature Spell face up in their command zone. Rotates progress one player at a time clockwise around the table.
During gameplay, a player can choose to attack any other player regardless of their position on the table, and can also choose to attack multiple different players during their attack phase. Permanents, spells, and skills can also target any player around the table (as long as they don’t explicitly say to be used on “you”). A player wins when all other players are eliminated from the game.
No official products supporting the Oathbreaker format have been announced, but that’s not uncommon at all. The majority of Magic‘s retail products — excluding out-of-the-box Commander decks — are intended to support multiple game formats. For more information on Oathbreaker, including video demos and additional commentary, check out the formats official website maintained by Weirdcards.