Home | Rules | Update | Realms | Researcher | Banned List | Sample Set-up | Specific Cards | Ideas
ALLEGIANCE: A Magic the Gathering format


Basic Rules


Players share five libraries. There is one library for each color.


Each player constructs a realm library that is not shared. Realm libraries must contain 10 basic land cards. 3-color decks may replace one basic with a non-basic land representing its color identity.


Whenever a player draws a card, that player chooses a library and draws from it. Players cannot draw cards from an opponent's realm.


Detailed Rules


Realm Immunity

Realms cannot be affected by spells or abilities controlled by an opponent. Players cannot draw cards from an opponent's realm.



Drawing Cards

Whenever a player draws a card, that player can draw from any colored library they like.  Or, the player may draw from his or her realm library.



Pulling Decks

Decks can sometimes grow to thousands of cards. During a game I pull 30 cards for each color to use during that game. Any tutors are limited to searching a single colored deck, not the 1000's stored in the big box.



Initial Draw

Players can look at each card as they draw their opening hands.




Players keep their own separate graveyards.




The player that draws a card is considered that card's "owner".



Returning Cards to Libraries

Whenever a card is returned to a library, it returns to the library it came from. For instance, Time Ebb returns green creature cards to top of the green library .



Draw Timing

Choosing a library to draw from does not use the stack, so no one can respond to it. For instance, you can’t Reclaim a crap card onto a library after a player has decided which one they will draw from.



Who Picks which Library

The controller of the spell or ability chooses one legal library it affects. See "your library" below.

For "mill costs" such as Dredge or Arc Slogger, the controlling player must choose a deck in his color identity.


 Color Identity: "Your Library" and "His or her library"

A player's color identity is determined by the colors of mana produced by his or her basic lands. For instance, a player who controls a forest and two islands has a blue green color identity.

"Your library" includes any library within your color identity. "His or her library" includes a library within that player's color identity.




Revealing the Top Card of Libraries

If a card continuously reveals the top card of a library (such as Wizened Snitches), its controller chooses which library that card affects when the card enters the battlefield.



Searching Libraries

Whenever a player searches a library, that player may only search one library. This includes scrying and effects that allow a player to look at the top cards of a library, like Ponder.


In short, you can't deplete meaningless libraries with dredge, or Polymorph into a green fatty unless you are playing green.



Multiple Players Searching a Single Library

If two or more players would simultaneously search the same library, the controller of the spell or abilty searches the library first. Subsequent players search in turn order.




Check the researcher page for this optional mechanic. When players are drawing from huge decks, a bit of looting can give them more control over their fate. The researcher is a planeswalker that starts the game on the battlefield, giving players a limited ability to loot.



Colorless Cards

Artifacts and non-basic lands are allowed in decks. If a colorless card has a colored mana symbol in its rule text, it is recommended that the card be included in the deck of that color.



Gold and Hybrid Cards

Hybrid cards are allowed in decks. However, gold cards are often difficult to cast in this format and are not recommended. The exception to this is the "easy cast" gold cards like Slave of Bolas.


See the "Ideas" page for more details on gold, hybrid and colorless cards.