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Set Information
Set symbol
Symbol description Represents a three-color “wedge” deck
Design Ken Nagle (Lead),
Mark Gottlieb,
Scott Larabee,
Ryan Miller,
Mark Purvis
Development Mark Globus (Lead),
Peter Knudson,
Erik Lauer,
Ryan Miller,
Lee Sharpe
Art direction Jeremy Jarvis
Release date June 17, 2011
Themes and
Wedge-colored commanders
Keywords and/
or ability words
Join forces, Storm
Set size Five three-color 100-card decks
Expansion code CMD[1]
Commander series
Commander Commander's Arsenal Commander 2013
Magic: The Gathering chronology
New Phyrexia Commander Magic 2012

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.[2] The set was released on June 17, 2011 and each deck retails for $29.95.[3]

Commander continued Wizards' "Summer of Multiplayer" theme, following Planechase and Archenemy.[4]

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 [5] and Command Tower [6]

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.[7] 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:

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:[9]

deck name
Color Identity Commander
{W} {U} {B} {R} {G}
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.[10]

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]

  1. Product info
  2. Mark Rosewater (June 6, 2011). "On Wedge". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
  3. Magic Arcana (December 2, 2010). "Announcing Magic: The Gathering Commander". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
  4. Aaron Forsythe (December 2, 2010). "Magic: The Gathering Commander". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
  5. Monty Ashley (June 1, 2011). "Sol Ring". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
  6. Monty Ashley (June 10, 2011). "Wallpaper of the Week: Command Tower". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
  7. Mark Globus (June 10, 2011). "Zedruu the Greathearted". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
  8. Mark Purvis (June 6, 2011). "Building Tariel". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
  9. Magic Arcana (April 6, 2011). "Commander Decks". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
  10. Magic Arcana (June 14, 2011). "Magic: The Gathering Commander Decklists". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.

External links[edit | edit source]