See this post for part 1. Or read this recap:
So we’ve managed to change the rules of the game in a way that all the rules can be incorporated into 5 cards played by all players within the format. This feels like a step in the right direction–any questions about the format can be answered by simply pointing to one of 5 cards already in play. Since the abilities aren’t static, players don’t need a constant reminder of what these new rules are. And since each player starts with one of these new cards, these special “format” cards don’t need to be passed between a group of players.
For reference these 5 cards are the Ministers of War, the Environment, Information, Finances and Health. They represent a new method of producing mana (and, in the case of the Minister of Finances, how you can get this mana on your opponent’s turns). Furthermore, they represent the options of losing summoning sickness, playing an additional land, drawing additional cards, and the ability of the ministers to “restore” lost loyalty similar to how damage “falls off” creatures at the end of the turn. Instead of life, one has 5 ministers: when each is destroyed by being brought to 0 or less loyalty, you lose the game. They are not planeswalkers, although they use loyalty counters in a similar fashion and can be attacked. They are colorless and exist only in the command zone.
So now we reach the most daunting of subjects: the unlisted rule. For now, I’ll just call it the Raging River Rule. Now before I lose anyone out there who remembers the headaches associated with the famous mono-red enchantment that all-too-often just wound up saying “[most] creatures you control are unblockable”, the rule is anything but an exact copy of Raging River “always active” in the format. What the rule really does is change the range of influence of effects between cards and the turn order. In the War variant format, the Turn Order is changed so that the Declare Attacker’s Step and Delcare Blockers steps occurs before Main Phase 1 and Main Phase 2 (in addition to at the beginning of the Combat Phase). Furthermore, the range of influence of all cards that effect creatures in any way extends only to creatures attacking or blocking a particular Minister. Creatures attacking or blocking a minister are considered attacking or blocking creatures only during the actual Combat Step, but they remain within this special limited range of influence for the remainder of the turn. Furthermore, only creatures with Haste may be declared as attackers during the second Declare Attackers Step (the one in the combat step) and only creatures with Defender, Flying, Shadow, Reach, Horsemanship or the ability to block multiple creatures can block during the declare blockers step that occurs during the battle phase. Cards with global effects on non-creature permanents such as artifacts or enchantments must also choose a minister (yours if you are the defending player, your opponent’s if you are the attacking player) and only affect creatures also attacking and/or blocking that minister.
I think we might need an example or two.