Monarch MTG Overview Rules, Cards & More

Are you ready to don your royal robes and ascend to the throne in your next Magic: The Gathering multiplayer clash? If the allure of power, strategy, and a hint of danger excites you, then the Monarch mechanic is your ticket to ruling the game.

Unlike typical abilities or keywords, Monarch is a designation a player can hold, transforming the flow of the game by introducing a high-reward, high-risk element to the multiplayer format. This guide explores what makes Monarch a game-changer and how you can leverage it to your advantage.

What Is Monarch?

Monarch was introduced as a novel way to spice up multiplayer games, such as Commander or Two-Headed Giant, by adding an element of risk and reward. Unlike traditional abilities or keywords in MTG, becoming the Monarch does not stem from a card’s inherent ability but is a designation a player can hold.

The title of Monarch grants the player the ability to draw an additional card at the end of their turn, providing a significant advantage in a game where resources and card advantage often dictate the victor. However, this crown is not without its burdens, as it makes the holder a target for all other players, who can claim the title for themselves through specific actions.

Queen Marchesa serves as an excellent case study for the Monarch mechanic in Magic: The Gathering, demonstrating the strategic depth it adds to gameplay. When Marchesa enters the battlefield, the player becomes the Monarch, immediately benefiting from the card draw at the end of their turn. If the player loses Monarch status, Marchesa compensates by creating 1/1 black Assassin creature tokens with deathtouch, offering both a defensive and offensive strategy to regain control. This card highlights the Monarch mechanic’s impact on game dynamics, encouraging aggression and strategic planning.

Gaining and Losing Monarch

Becoming the Monarch typically requires playing a card that grants you the title. Once the Monarch is in play, it can only change hands through combat damage dealt to the current Monarch or if the Monarch player leaves the game. This constant threat requires strategic planning and negotiation, turning the mechanic into a dynamic game of cat and mouse.

Monarch in Different Formats

While designed with multiplayer formats like Commander and Two-Headed Giant in mind, Monarch has found its way into competitive single-player formats such as Pauper and Legacy. The mechanic shifts from a political tool to a straightforward advantage in these settings, underscoring its versatility and impact across MTG’s diverse gameplay.

The Colors of Monarch

Monarch is not tied to any single color, reflecting its role in breaking stalemates and encouraging aggression. The mechanic is evenly distributed among MTG’s colors, with a slight predominance in white due to its presence in multicolored cards. 

This distribution ensures players of all color preferences can access and utilize the Monarch mechanic.

The top five Monarch cards in MTG, include:

  1. Queen Marchesa: A cornerstone for Monarch strategies, offering both card advantage and defensive capabilities.
  2. Jared Carthalion, True Heir: Promotes an aggressive strategy, growing stronger as long as you’re the Monarch.
  3. Custodi Lich: Forces opponents to sacrifice a creature whenever you become the Monarch, providing removal and political leverage.
  4. The Courts: A series of powerful enchantments that become more potent when you’re the Monarch, illustrating the mechanic’s versatile benefits.
  5. Regal Behemoth: Doubles your mana while you’re the Monarch, offering a significant advantage in resource management.


The Monarch mechanic in Magic: The Gathering offers a compelling blend of strategy, risk, and reward, challenging players to balance the pursuit of power with the inherent dangers of prominence. By encouraging aggressive play, tactical planning, and social interaction, the mechanic has become a beloved addition to the game, enhancing the multiplayer experience and extending its influence into competitive formats.

Whether wielding the crown or seeking to claim it, players must navigate the intricate dance of power and vulnerability that the Monarch mechanic introduces, making each game a dynamic and engaging encounter.

Embrace the crown, navigate its perils, and let the Monarch mechanic elevate your MTG experience.

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