Q:hi, i was wondering what you know about playing schemes? my boyfriend got an archenemy deck and he's a magic vet and doesn't understand them and he keeps bugging me to get an archenemy deck too so i can play schemes and we can be confused together. i'm sure there's an official site to explain all this but i thought i'd ask the friendly neighborhood mtgfan first:
what's the deal with schemes?
904.9. Immediately after the archenemy’s precombat main phase begins during each of his or her turns, that player moves the top card of his or her scheme deck off that scheme deck and turns it face up. This is called “setting that scheme in motion.” (See rule 701.21.) This turn-based action doesn’t use the stack. Abilities of that scheme card that trigger “When you set this scheme in motion” trigger.
904.10. If a non-ongoing scheme card is face up in the command zone, and it isn’t the source of a triggered ability that has triggered but not yet left the stack, that scheme card is turned face down and put on the bottom of its owner’s scheme deck the next time a player would receive priority. (This is a state-based action. See rule 704.)
So! At the beginning of your main phase, put the first scheme into motion! Any abilities it has are now in effect. If your scheme is an Ongoing Scheme, it stays in effect until something causes you to abandon it (the conditions are printed on the scheme itself).
While an Ongoing scheme is in effect, you cannot set other schemes into motion. You can have multiple schemes going on at once. Nothing stops you from having even two of the same scheme going.