Commander (General)

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A commander is the central card of a Commander-deck. It starts the game in, and is usually played from, the command zone.

The term general is sometimes used instead, although this term does not appear in the rules.

Description[edit | edit source]

The commander of a deck is usually a legendary creature. However, a small number of planeswalker cards have an ability stating that they can serve as commanders, and a player can have two commanders if both have partner.[1][2] A player's choice of commander determines which other cards can be played in the deck by determining that deck's color identity.

Rules[edit | edit source]

  1. Players may choose either a legendary creature, a pair of legendary creatures with each having the Partner ability, or a planeswalker that has an ability allowing it to be chosen, as a commander.
  2. The Commander's color identity restricts what cards may appear in the deck. If a player chooses to have two commanders, the color identity is the combined color identity of each.
  3. Being a Commander is not a characteristic but a property of the card.
  4. If a player has been dealt 21 points of combat damage by a particular Commander during a game, that player loses the game. If a player chooses to have two commanders, each is counted separately.
  5. While a Commander is in the command zone, it may be cast. As an additional cost to cast a Commander from the command zone, the player casting it must pay {2} for each time that player has previously cast it from the command zone. If a player chooses to have two commanders, each is counted separately.
  6. If a commander would be put into its owner's graveyard, be exiled, or returned to a player's hand or library from anywhere, that player may choose to put it into the command zone instead.

Commander interaction cards[edit | edit source]

Some cards specifically interact with your commander. If a player has two commanders, then each is counted separately, except for abilities referring to color identity, in which case the color identity of the commander is the combined color identity of each of that player's commanders.

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Matt Tabak. (October 24, 2016.) “Commander 2016 Mechanics”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  2. Mark Rosewater. (October 24, 2016.) “Howdy Partner”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.