Throughout its 17-year history, Magic: The Gathering has maintained a consistent “duel” mentality where each player pretty much is out to win everything for him or herself and everyone has an equal footing. However, with Archenemy, there is one bad guy and the other players gang up to defeat him. Now, you ask yourself, how can this be fair?
The archenemy’s big weapons — literally big — are larger-sized cards called schemes. At the beginning of the Archenemy’s turn, he or she turns a scheme card face up — this is called “setting a scheme in motion.” Usually the schemes benefit the villain, but not always!
Each one features funny wording, mimicking a stereotypical villain’s posturing and monologuing. (See the sample schemes after the jump.) Your Puny Minds Cannot Fathom lets the bad guy draw four cards, which could be pretty huge depending on the timing. Look Skyward and Despair gives the villain a red dragon creature that is immediately put on the battlefield — he doesn’t even have to pay mana. My Crushing Masterstroke is particularly wicked. When this scheme is played, you take control of the good guys’ creatures and turn them on their owners!
The rest of the Archenemy’s deck — and this is included in the set — is a standard Magic deck, so the bad guy is ready to play with no more than the usual deck-tailoring needed. His or her opponents can play with their own personal decks or can also use Archenemy decks and everyone can be out to get each other!
There are four sets available, each continuing the hilarious naming scheme of the scheme: Trample Civilization Underfoot (white and green), Scorch The World With Dragonfire (green and red), Bring About The Undead Apocalypse (black and red), and Assemble The Doomsday Machine (blue, white and black).
Interested in learning more? Check out the Archenemy page on Wizards.com, and check out two of the cards after the jump.