Magic: The Gathering officially recognizes the Oathbreaker fan-created format

Posted by Charlie Hall on Mar 16, 2023 3:59pm

Magic: The Gathering Publisher Wizards of the Coast has officially acknowledged a new fan-made format called Oathbreaker. The format seats 3-5 players and was invented by a Minnesota gaming group called the Weirdcards Charitable Club. A new landing page is now live, providing additional details about the format.

You might be surprised to learn that there’s more than one way to play Magic, the classic trading card game that 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 the most popular way to play Magic. As such, Oathbreaker could greatly increase its appeal to casual groups.

To create an Oathbreaker deck, players must assemble a 60-card deck and build it around their favorite planeswalkers—powerful characters from the Magic universe. According to the Magic website, decks cannot contain duplicate cards. In addition, players must choose what is called a “signature spell” that matches the color identity of their Oathbreaker planeswalker card. Both the planeswalker and the signature spell begin play in-game, and players then fight from there to reduce the other opponents at the table from a starting 20 life.

From the official description:

If your Oathbreaker is on the battlefield under your control, you may cast your special spell at its normal cost, plus two additional mana for each time you’ve previously cast your signature spell from the command zone this game. When your special spell resolves, put it in the command zone instead of your graveyard. If your signature spell would end up anywhere other than the command zone or stack, you must put it in the command zone instead.

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Each player starts with 20 lives. Before the game begins, players should sit randomly in a circle and place their Oathbreaker and Signature Spell faceup in their command zone. The rounds go around the table, one player at a time, clockwise.

During the game, a player can attack any other player, regardless of their position on the table, and they can also choose to attack multiple different players during their attack phase. Permanents, spells, and abilities can also target any player at the table (as long as they don’t specifically say they must be cast on “you”). A player wins when all other players are eliminated from the game.

No official products have been announced that support the Oathbreaker format, but that’s not at all unusual. The majority of Magic’s retail products – excluding prebuilt Commander decks – are said to support multiple game formats. For more information on Oathbreaker, including video demos and additional commentary, visit the format’s official website, which is maintained by Weirdcards.

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