From Archon Arcana
To set up the game, perform the following steps, in order:
- Place all damage tokens, Æmber tokens, and status cards in a common supply within easy reach of both players.
- Each player places their identity card to the left or right side of their play area.
- Each player places three key tokens, one of each color, with the unforged side faceup near their identity card.
- Randomly determine who is the first player. That player takes the first turn when the game begins. (If players are playing a series of games between two decks, in each game after the first, the player who used the deck that was defeated in the previous game chooses who is the first player.)
- Each player shuffles their deck and offers it to the opponent for additional shuffling and/or a final cut.
- The first player draws a starting hand of seven cards. The other player draws a starting hand of six cards.
- Each player, starting with the first player, has one opportunity to mulligan their starting hand by shuffling it back into their deck and drawing a new starting hand with one fewer card in it. (This step is skipped in the Quickstart game.)
The game is now ready to begin.
—Official rules v1.7 December 2020