The Rank round is a special round of the Hive, the first normal special round created when the prestige system came into effect. The Rank round's point is just as it sounds: the winner recieves a rankup. This is a minimal special round, and was almost thought to be a Hive game at first. The Hive Empress chaosshadow18 thought of this idea originally. This is also one of the few special rounds where the Matriarch is (typically) not directly involved (along with Academy, Guardian, and Omega). In fact, this is the only special round not typically involving any high-ranking Hive members of unnatural rank. As such, this is considered the second-easiest Hive round, after the Initiation.
This round does occur, however, if a Queen, Deacon, King, or Empress wins a Hive game (this is the only one of two rounds Deacons may host). When an upper-level member wins a game, they are already the highest rank they can be, therefore the game win has no effect on their rank. (*Note: if the Matriarch or Monarch wins a game, that rankup(s) are not typically distributed and thus such individuals winning events is not normally recommended.)
This round is optional; a victorious Queen, King, Deacon, or Empress does not have to give out their rank if they win (and therefore they can save up their won rankups after becoming that rank, making "collections" of rankups to give away in this round). The round can be for a maximum of 10 rankups to those subleaders that save rankups. However, the rank is not just given away; it must be won with this match. The winning upper-level member must pick 2-4 normal-ranked players that have participated in the game. This is also one of the few rounds that has more than two players (or two, if only two are chosen). The chosen 2-4 members will participate in this round to win the one or two rankups. This is one of the few rounds that is usually played in Jungle map in AvP. All players in this match must play as aliens, just as many other special rounds.
In Aliens vs Predator
In the AvP version, the members line up around the Jungle map's Hole, equally distanced from one another. This is like the Inner Formation of the Training in the Hive. The participants all bow to each other, then they begin to fight. The gameplay is very simple, all the players try to kill each other in a free-for-all, a special round setup only otherwise found in the "death" series of subrounds and the Bloodslayer Round. If a player dies 5 times, they are out and join the other spectators of the match. The final player wins the proffered rankups, depending on the amount decides by the hosting subleader. Despite this, the Rank round is the least-serious of all special rounds, but spectators should still be respectful. This is a very short match, so it should never go over any 15 minute increment. If it is not beaten within 15 minutes, no-one wins the rank(s). Overall, Rank rounds mostly fulfill a morale-boosting role in the Clan, allowing a lucky member to win a decent amount of rankups in a relatively easy fashion.
Once a Rank round is up and a winner recieves the rank(s) that the upper-level member won, the other losing players have one more chance to recieve something. The only if the previous Rank round was 3-4 players will this go into effect. If it was only 2, then this cannot occur. The players that lost the previous Rank round will line up around the Hole in Inner Formation, except with less people. The winner of the Rank round cannot participate here. Once again, the fighters will have 5 lives. If they die 5 times, they are out and join the others on the pillars, like in the Rank round. The final survivor will win the Redemption subround. It is just like the Rank round, except 2 things: 1) the players only have 10 minutes to complete this round or no-one wins, and 2) the winner only recieves half of what the original Rank round gave. This means if the Rank round was for 2 rankups, the Redemption round will be for one. If it was for one, then half a rankup will be given, the lowest of any special round. This subround cannot be done after a Rank round against only 2 people.
Along with the Redemption round is the Ichor subround, another variant of Rank round. This subround was created in the final months of italian-stal's reign by the Matriarch himself. It is named ichor after the Ichor Scions, direct apprentices of the Matriarch. The word "ichor" is an appropriate title for this subround, as ichor is considered the blood of royals or gods. The reason for this is because of motivation for this round's creation. When the Rank rounds were created early on in italian-stal's reign as clan leader, the Matriarch himself has never released rankups from winning any Hive events over his years as leader. All rankups received winning games and beating his own rounds were never put back into Rank rounds for Hive members to fight for, therefore the third Matriarch was said to possibly have had a "rank stockpile" (as other subleaders are also able to create) of the thousands of ranks he won over the years. In the last part of italian-stal's leadership, he offered (for the first time) 10 rankups from his limitless stock of ranks in a Rank round. However, the rankups were not fought for in a traditional round, but instead a new variant. In the Ichor round, the match is now 35 minutes and all fighters have 20 lives each. All players should line up the same as a normal round before the Matriarch starts it. This version of the round not only has more lives, but another objective aspect -- vulnerability mode. This is unseen in any other special rounds and is only used for the Ichor round. To be in vulnerability mode, a player must lose all 20 lives; thereafter the player would be directly out (as they would be for the original Rank round), but here a very fragile mode of gameplay replaces this once all normal lives are lost. Once in vulnerability mode, a challenger may only be eliminated if he is killed by a specific type of attack (light, heavy, finishing move, stealth move, wall tail; as with variance in special rounds). As such, the Matriarch must assign each member fighting a type of attack each from which they can be eliminated. If a player dies by his assigned type in vulnerability mode, then he is out. Otherwise, a member is still in with a limitless number of lives until he dies from that specific variant of kill. In the end, the final player standing wins the rankups offered; if time runs out, no one wins the rankups. It is recommended a Redemption round is played between the loses of the round. *Note: this round only exists from the rankups given away from a Matriarch or Monarch of a particular sector winning a Hive event, as a Rank round would from an Empress, Deacon, Queen, or King. Therefore, this round must be for at least 5 rankups and may actually span up to a limit of 15 rankups. As such, USE THIS ROUND SPARINGLY. IT IS NOT FOR THE FREQUENCY OF DAY-TO-DAY HIVE ACTIVITIES.