Since the Council establishment in Age 1, the Guardian round has served an important purpose to the Matriarch. Before the Council, any member of any rank could challenge the Matriarch to a Matriarch round and quickly take charge if they won the singular duel. With other special ranks having been introduced, the Guardian round has become a part of a newer, more protected system to ensure Matriarchy does not pass as easily from challenger to challenger: the 3-to-4 step Matriarch Road. To become Matriarch, the Guardian round is now the first step in the sequence to become the next Clan leader. The Guardian round is also known as the Prematriarch round due to this, as to fight the Matriarch directly in their round, one must first beat this round to unlock the metaphorical Matriarch Key, the ability to take Matriarch rounds.
The Guardian is one of the few rounds in the Clan that the Matriarch does not directly fight in (Rank, Academy, Omega); however, the Matriarch must be present to host the round whilst acting as a spectator. The actual individual fighting against challenger in a Guardian round will be an Empress of the Matriarch's choice. If no Empress is present, then a Queen will siffice. As a part of the Matriarch Road, the Guardian round is an elite special round, and thus members will be Cocoon rank for its and the rest of the Matriarch Road's duration. This and the Matriarch round are the only elite special rounds available to members upon initiation. This round is under jurisdiction of the Triple (Matriarch) Rule; therefore, if this round is attempted and failed, the defeat will count as one of three possible attempts by that member for Matriarchy.
In a Guardian round in AvP, one must see the Matriarch and make them aware that that member wants to do a Matriarch round, to which the Matriarch will reply by bringing in one Empress from the Council (if an Empress is unavailable, a Monarch or Queen may act as substitute). The Empress will then choose the map to fight on, unusual for a special round. From here, the member must defeat the Empress to be able to pass on to the Matriarch round. The member must kill the Empress 15 times in 10 minutes. Although this feat sounds easy at first, the Empress may play as any species they wish and use any weapon they wish (except plasma caster), while the challenger may play only as an alien (once again). This is considered a difficult match, but beating it will give a free pass to doing Matriarch rounds, as well as ranking up the member once.
Now the Matriarch
Once Guardian round is beaten, the member ranks up once and the Matriarch round will be able to be played. This ability is known as the Matriarch Key, as beating this round unlocks the "key" needed to continue the Matriarch Road. One can save this key to do the Matriarch round, but the key only lasts 24 hours, so it is advised one does their Matriarch round within a day after completing this round, or they must take another Guardian round. This means the Matriarch Key ability surpasses the Round Rule of the Clan. From here, the member will choose the Lesser or Greater Matriarch round and battle through it. If they succeed, they are the new matriarch after doing 2 arduating special rounds, unless they have to do a suprising Superiority Matriarch round after. However, if they lose the Matriarch round, it counts as one of the 3 tries one has to try doing the Matriarch Road.