Initiative essentially functions as a variation of Monarch. For someone to initially take the Initiative, someone has to play a card that grants it. Once the initiative is in the game, just like Monarch, it remains in the game until the game ends, and only one player at a time can have the initiative.
When you take the initiative, or it you have the initiative at the beginning of your upkeep, you venture into the Undercity, which is a specific dungeon. That’s right, this one mechanic references or is directly related to two completely different ones. But! There is more to Initiative.
- Once someone has the initiative, it can be taken from them. If a creature deals combat damage to a player, that creature’s controller then gains the initiative.
- If the player who has the initiative leaves the game for any reason, whoever’s turn it is gains the initiative.
- If the player with the initiative leaves the game on their own turn, the next player in turn order gets the initiative.
Initiative is an interesting variannt on Monarch – depending on the effect of the room you’re venturing into in the Undercity, and the state of the game, Initiative will generally be a little less powerful. But situationally, it can be fantastic, and will likely always find a way to be at least useful.