The Astral Acolyte is an optional item to use when playing Cthulhu Wars. All players must agree to its use before the start of the game.
At the end of the first Doom Phase, the First Player takes the Astral Acolyte and places it into any Area that has no other Units. (If no such Area exists, do not place the Astral Acolyte this game).
The Astral Acolyte cannot be Captured, Eliminated, or targeted in Battle. It does not receive Pains or Kills, and it is functionally immortal. It cannot be targeted by any Spellbooks or abilities, even beneficial ones from its own Controller.
If the Astral Acolyte is in an Area containing a Gate, it must always be placed on top of the Gate, automatically replacing any other Unit on that Gate. While a player Controls the Astral Acolyte, he or she gains the benefit of any Gate the Astral Acolyte Controls: he or she earns Power and Doom for the Astral Acolyte and its Controlled Gate, can Move the Astral Acolyte with a normal Move Action, and can Summon Monsters, etc. using that Controlled Gate.
The Astral Acolyte is under the Control of the player with the highest-ranking Unit in the Area. Units rank as follows (1 being the highest):
If no other Units are in its Area, or if there is a tie between ranked Units in the Area, no player Controls the Astral Acolyte. If the Astral Acolyte is Uncontrolled, that Gate is NOT considered Abandoned, and therefore gives no Power to any player during the Gather Power Phase. When Uncontrolled, the Astral Acolyte stays on top of a Gate if one is there, and it cannot be removed. It is ignored in Battle and unaffected by any Spellbooks or abilities as normal.
When the Astral Acolyte Moves, it is possible that its Controller could change immediately. If the Astral Acolyte or other Units in the Area Move, it may switch Control or become Uncontrolled at the end of that Action.
Example: Great Cthulhu has the Astral Acolyte in an Area with a Starspawn (Monster). Black Goat Moves Abhoth (an Independent Great Old One) into the Area. After this Move, Black Goat Controls the Astral Acolyte.
Example 2: Great Cthulhu has the Astral Acolyte in an Area with a Starspawn (Monster). Black Goat Moves in with a Mi-go (Monster), and declares Battle. The Mi-go scores no Pains or Kills, but is Killed by the Starspawn. Black Goat now uses Necrophagy to send a Ghoul to the Area, and Pains Cthulhu’s Units. The Starspawn must take the Pain because the Astral Acolyte cannot be targeted, so it retreats and now the Ghoul is left behind. Black Goat seizes Control of the Astral Acolyte at the end of that Battle Action.
Primeval Map– if the Astral Acolyte is on a Gate when a Glacier appears in the Area, it is bumped off the Gate as per the normal rules.
Shaggai Map– if the Astral Acolyte is in a newly Eradicated Area, it is immediately moved to an existing adjacent Area by the First Player. If its newly Eradicated Area is completely surrounded by other Eradicated Areas, then it is Eliminated. This is the only way to Eliminate the Astral Acolyte.