Up above, you can see The Azure Tower of Onad the Fallen (Dungeons 24/100). This is the dungeon I use in my tournament deck today. Back when I was putting together the rules alterations that eventually became the Antigonish Variant, dungeons were one of the main areas I wanted to change from standard Spellfire. This post will go over the rules regarding dungeon cards in TAV, and my rationale for altering them from standard.
Rule change #1 - Dungeons in Decks: Unlike in standard, you shuffle your dungeon into your deck in TAV. It's drawn just like any other card, and may be played during phase 2 of your turn. Rationale: To me, dungeons are personal rule cards. You don't start the game with your rule card in play, why should you start with your dungeon in play? Draw it as normal. As for the phase 2 rule, I'm not a big fan of the "play your rule card during phase 0" thing either. In fact I came within a hair's breadth of changing that rule as well in TAV. Ultimately it was left alone, but the dungeon is played at any time during phase 2, when you are placing realms and holdings into your formation. The playing of a dungeon does not affect your ability to play a realm or holding.
Rule change #2 - Attacking Dungeons: Just as in standard, you can choose to attack a dungeon instead of a realm in TAV. Unlike standard, however, there must be a "path" to the dungeon you wish to attack. This means there must be a way for your champion to walk there (no unrazed realms in the way). Rationale: This is very similar to the way a non-flying (or swimming, or earthwalking, etc) champion can't attack back realms. If there are unrazed realms "protecting" the dungeon, it cannot be attacked until those realms are either razed or discarded. A champion successfully attacking a dungeon is not removed from the game, nor do they suffer any type of penalty for winning the combat and discarding the dungeon. Play continues as if the champion had just razed a realm.
Rule change #3 - Dungeon Spoils: When a dungeon is successfully defended, the defender gets a spoils, which is playable in the same way as a spoils gained from razing or discarding a realm during combat. Similarly, when a dungeon is successfully discarded by an attacker, the attacking player gets a spoils. The differences between dungeon spoils and regular spoils that exist in standard have been erased in TAV. Rationale: A spoils is a spoils. Why confuse things with two different types?
Rule change #4 - Discarding Dungeons Outside of Combat: There is no special requirements or rules when using a Wish, a Gib Kcir, or any other card to discard a dungeon. These cards function normally. The requirement to discard the casting champion when using Wish (or any other card) to destroy a dungeon is not in effect in TAV. Rationale: Why make a rule that affects two or three cards, total? If it ain't broke, don't fix it.
Rule change #5 - Where Do Dungeons Go?: Unlike in standard, there is no "special" pile to put a dungeon into when it is discarded. It simply goes to the discard pile. Have a way to get it back? Go for it. Play it normally during your next phase 2. Rationale: Why shouldn't you be able to retrieve your dungeon the same way you can retrieve your rule card? Dungeons are basically personal rule cards, and should be treated as such.
That's about it. I feel these rule changes make dungeons a more fun and less onerous part of the game of Spellfire. Be sure to send me your opinion about them or any TAV-related rule!
Next time: the Dirty Bird!