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What is a Conspiracy ability and how does this card work?: Assemble the Rank and Vile

How does Hidden Agenda work?

How do you activate Hidden Agenda?

What and Where is the Command Zone?

What do you even do with it? I cannot understand anything it is saying.

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    Can you clarify why you used the "mtg-commander" tag? Are you playing the Commander format, or was it just because of the words "command zone" on the Conspiracy card? – GendoIkari Mar 19 '18 at 17:54
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Conspiracy is a special, standalone set in MtG, currently consisting of two expansions: Conspiracy; and Conspiracy: Take the Crown.

First and foremost, I'd recommend you read these articles, which explain some of the set and its mechanics:

The Conspiracy format

The Mechanics of Conspiracy

The second article explains both what are Conspiracy cards and how Hidden Agenda works. Also, this is the official rule for Conspiracy cards:

905.4. At the start of the game, before decks are shuffled, each player may put any number of conspiracy cards from his or her sideboard into the command zone.

And here are the rules for cards with Hidden Agenda:

702.105a Hidden agenda is a static ability that functions as a conspiracy card with hidden agenda is put into the command zone. “Hidden agenda” means “As you put this conspiracy card into the command zone, turn it face down and secretly choose a card name.”

702.105b To secretly choose a card name, note that name on a piece of paper kept with the face-down conspiracy card.

702.105c Any time you have priority, you may turn a face-down conspiracy card you control in the command zone face up. This is a special action. Doing so will reveal the chosen name. See rule 115.2h.

702.105d Hidden agenda and another ability of the object with hidden agenda that refers to “the chosen name” are linked. The second ability refers only to the card name chosen as a result of that object’s hidden agenda ability. See rule 607.2d.

(Mostly) Unrelated to Conspiracy is The Commander format, from which the term Command Zone is taken. The Command Zone is a special zone in a game of Commander, where the commander (or general) of your deck begins the game.

Some Conspiracy cards reference the Command Zone, as it's a zone in the game that's reserved for objects with overarching effects on the game. See rules 408.1...

408.1. The command zone is a game area reserved for certain specialized objects that have an overarching effect on the game, yet are not permanents and cannot be destroyed.

And 408.3:

408.3. In the Planechase, Vanguard, Commander, Archenemy, and Conspiracy Draft casual variants, nontraditional Magic cards and/or specially designated cards start the game in the command zone. Each variant has its own rules regarding such cards. See section 9, “Casual Variants.”

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  • I feel like mentioning the commander-specific rules about commander tax is unrelated to the question (emblems go in the command zone as well; but no need to mention the rules regarding emblems). It adds some clutter to an already long/detailed answer. – GendoIkari Mar 19 '18 at 17:49
  • I debated whether I should say something about it or not. I decided to post it like this because the question, although talking about Conspiracy, is tagged with mtg-commander. I can edit it out if you feel it's not related to the question, though. – J. Sallé Mar 19 '18 at 17:51
  • I didn't notice the tag. Possible that the asker used the tag because of the word "command" in the conspiracy card text; not realizing that "commander" is a different format. Hopefully the user can clarify. – GendoIkari Mar 19 '18 at 17:53
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    I do think beginning to explain how the commander mechanics work is unnecessary; the question's just about conspiracy and the command zone and a separate variant's mechanics have nothing to do with it. At worst it might wind up confusing a reader into thinking you have to pay {2} to use a conspiracy somehow. – doppelgreener Mar 19 '18 at 20:20
  • I've removed the bits that were specific to a game of Commander, then. I believe the answer is now more fitting to the question. – J. Sallé Mar 19 '18 at 20:23
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The Command Zone is one of the zones in Magic, just like the battlefield, deck, hand, graveyard, stack, and exile.

  1. Command

408.1. The command zone is a game area reserved for certain specialized objects that have an overarching effect on the game, yet are not permanents and cannot be destroyed.

408.2. Emblems may be created in the command zone. See rule 113, “Emblems.”

408.3. In the Planechase, Vanguard, Commander, Archenemy, and Conspiracy Draft casual variants, nontraditional Magic cards and/or specially designated cards start the game in the command zone. Each variant has its own rules regarding such cards. See section 9, “Casual Variants.”

The rules for conspiracy cards are mostly given in the reminder text. It simply means that the card starts in your command zone. Also, conspiracy cards are not part of your deck (they come directly from your sideboard).

905.4. At the start of the game, before decks are shuffled, each player may put any number of conspiracy cards from his or her sideboard into the command zone.

So any conspiracy cards that you draft can by placed in your command zone. These cards will help you in various ways, while not actually being in your deck.

A conspiracy with hidden agenda just means that the conspiracy card starts face down, and is known only to you. They all involve you secretly choosing a card name, and then having an effect on cards with that name.

905.4a Conspiracy cards with hidden agenda are put into the command zone face down. Any time a player has priority, he or she may turn a face-down conspiracy card he or she controls face up. See rule 702.105, “Hidden Agenda.”

702.105a Hidden agenda is a static ability that functions as a conspiracy card with hidden agenda is put into the command zone. “Hidden agenda” means “As you put this conspiracy card into the command zone, turn it face down and secretly choose a card name.”

702.105b To secretly choose a card name, note that name on a piece of paper kept with the face-down conspiracy card.

702.105c Any time you have priority, you may turn a face-down conspiracy card you control in the command zone face up. This is a special action. Doing so will reveal the chosen name. See rule 115.2h.

702.105d Hidden agenda and another ability of the object with hidden agenda that refers to “the chosen name” are linked. The second ability refers only to the card name chosen as a result of that object’s hidden agenda ability. See rule 607.2d.

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