Deck commander

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The deck commander or simply 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 commander is the formal term according to the rules.

Description[edit | edit source]

From the glossary of the Comprehensive Rules (Commander 2018 (August 10, 2018))

1. A casual variant in which each deck is led by a legendary creature. See rule 903, “Commander.”
2. A designation given to one legendary creature card in each player’s deck in the Commander casual variant.
  • However, a small number of planeswalker cards have an ability stating that they can serve as commanders and with the Brawl option, every planeswalker can be commander.
  • A player's choice of commander determines which other cards can be played in the deck by determining that deck's color identity.[3]

Rules[edit | edit source]

  1. Players may choose either a legendary creature, or a planeswalker that has an ability allowing it to be chosen, as a commander. Players may choose a pair of them if each has the Partner ability.
  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. This is called the Commander Tax.
  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.

From the glossary of the Comprehensive Rules (Commander 2018 (August 10, 2018))

Commander Tax
Informal term for the additional cost to cast a commander based on the number of times a player has cast it previously this game. See rule 903.8.

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.

Commander Storm[edit | edit source]

Main article: Commander storm

Cards with the commander storm mechanic first introduced in Commander 2018.

Lieutenant[edit | edit source]

Main article: Lieutenant

Cards with the Lieutenant ability word first introduced Commander 2014 have an effect if your Commander is on the battlefield.

Interacting with other commanders[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Matt Tabak. (October 24, 2016.) “Commander 2016 Mechanics”,, Wizards of the Coast.
  2. Mark Rosewater. (October 24, 2016.) “Howdy Partner”,, Wizards of the Coast.
  3. Chas Andres. (August 15, 2017.) “How to Choose Your Commander”,, Wizards of the Coast.
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