|Symbol description||Represents a three-color “wedge” deck|
Ken Nagle (Lead),|
Mark Globus (Lead),|
|Art direction||Jeremy Jarvis|
|Release date||June 17, 2011|
|Oversized “Commander” Cards, Join forces, wedge colors|
or ability words
|No new, many from years-past|
|Set size||Five three-color 100-card decks|
|Magic: The Gathering chronology|
Commander is a set of 5 preconstructed theme decks based on the casual fan-made and maintained format of the same name (previously known as Elder Dragon Highlander) that had been around for many years. While the format was still maintained and controlled by the players, Wizards now for the first time provided a special product for it. The 5 Commander decks included some older commons and uncommons that, while not particularly valuable, were harder to find due to their age. In addition, 51 new Eternal format legal cards were included among the 5 decks. The set was released on June 17, 2011 and each deck retails for $29.95.
Set details[edit | edit source]
The Commander product consists of five decks, each 100 cards strong, that are ready-to-play Commander decks right out of the box, with the option of choosing one of the three legendary enemy-tri-colored creatures each deck includes as the commander. None of the decks contain any cards that contain mana symbols not found on these three cards. Additionally, each deck contains one enemy-colored legend, and each deck can easily be modified to use that card as the commander by replacing all cards that have mana symbols not on that legendary creature and replace them with other cards from the players collection that conform to the Commander rules. All decks contain Sol Ring  and Command Tower 
Each deck also came with oversized foil versions of each of the three wedge commanders.
Commander was the first deck-based retail product to contain new and previously unreleased cards.  These cards became legal in the sanctioned Eternal formats Vintage and Legacy, but not in Standard or Extended, upon the sets release. Many of these cards are multiplayer themed and focus on the political interactions on the table, for example giving an effect to all opponents of a chosen player. As such, Commander also introduces a new ability word in Join forces which allows all players to get a similar effect at the same time.
An oddity about the Commander set is the card numbering. While in normal magic sets, where such cards are more prevalent, Hybrid cards are numbered to follow regular multi-colored cards. In Commander, Hybrid cards are numbered among multi-colored cards. The same is true for split cards, though Fire // Ice is the only representative of those in the set.
Mechanics[edit | edit source]
The ability word Join forces allows multiple players to pay mana to increase the effectiveness of the same card. Starting with the controller of the card with Join forces, each player may pay any amount of mana. Then, an effect based on the total amount of mana paid by all players occurs. All join forces cards included in the set have symmetric effects that benefit all players equally.
Cycles[edit | edit source]
Commander has five cycles:
- Legendary Dragons: Each deck has a rare legendary Dragon that was first printed in Planar Chaos. These dragons have flying, a triggered ability with a cost of 2C that triggers on dealing combat damage to a player, and power/toughness of 6/6 — Oros, the Avenger; Intet, the Dreamer; Teneb, the Harvester; Numot, the Devastator; and Vorosh, the Hunter.
- Commanders: Each deck has a wedge-colored legendary creature which is the designated commander for the deck they appear in. — Kaalia of the Vast, Riku of two Reflections, Ghave, Guru of Spores, Zedruu the Greathearted, and The Mimeoplasm.
- Wedge-color Legends: Each deck has another wedge-colored legendary creatures that can be used as an alternative commander — Tariel, Reckoner of Souls , Animar, Soul of Elements, Karador, Ghost Chieftain, Ruhan of the Fomori, and Damia, Sage of Stone.
- Enemy-Color Legends: Each deck has one enemy-color legendary creature — Vish Kal, Blood Arbiter, Nin, the Pain Artist, Skullbriar, the Walking Grave, Basandra, Battle Seraph, and Edric, Spymaster of Trest.
- Vows: Five auras that give a creature a power/toughness bonus, an evergreen keyword, and stops it from attacking the controller of the aura or a planeswalker that player controls. — Vow of Duty, Vow of Flight, Vow of Malice, Vow of Lightning, and Vow of Wildness.
- Join forces cards: All of these cards have the Join forces mechanic. With the exception of the Dragon, all of them cost 1 mana of their respective colors — Alliance of Arms, Minds Aglow, Shared Trauma, Mana-Charged Dragon, and Collective Voyage
Commander also contains a number of reprinted cycles in lands and mana-producing artifacts, though cycles are not always complete. These cycles include Ravnica Karoo lands, Signets, Onslaught Cycling lands, Lorwyn Vivid lands, Time Spiral Storage lands, Zendikar Refuges.
Theme decks[edit | edit source]
Commander consists of five decks:
|Theme deck name||Color Identity||Commander|
|Heavenly Inferno||W||B||R||Kaalia of the Vast|
|Mirror Mastery||U||R||G||Riku of Two Reflections|
|Counterpunch||W||B||G||Ghave, Guru of Spores|
|Political Puppets||W||U||R||Zedruu the Greathearted|
|Devour for Power||U||B||G||The Mimeoplasm|
The new cards are evenly distrubuted amongst the five decks.
Notable cards[edit | edit source]
- Scavenging Ooze is a staple in several green-based decks in several formats thanks to its ability to remove cards from the opponent graveyard first printed in Commander.
References[edit | edit source]
- Product info
- Mark Rosewater. (June 6, 2011.) “On Wedge”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
- Magic Arcana. (December 2, 2010.) “Announcing Magic: The Gathering Commander”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
- Aaron Forsythe. (December 2, 2010.) “Magic: The Gathering Commander”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
- Monty Ashley. (June 1, 2011.) “Sol Ring”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
- Monty Ashley. (June 10, 2011.) “Wallpaper of the Week: Command Tower”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
- Mark Globus. (June 10, 2011.) “Zedruu the Greathearted”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
- Mark Purvis. (June 6, 2011.) “Building Tariel”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
- Magic Arcana. (April 6, 2011.) “Commander Decks”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
- Magic Arcana. (June 14, 2011.) “Magic: The Gathering Commander Decklists”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
[edit | edit source]
- Magic: The Gathering Commander product information page — Wizards of the Coast
- Official Commander (Elder Dragon Highlander - EDH) Homepage