Duel Commander is a variant of Commander, where it originally picked up its sources. It is now a very different format, with different mechanics. It got its origins from Level 5 Kevin Desprez, who brought the initial idea of Elder Dragon Highlander to France from the USA, before it spread across Europe and now gains over the rest of world.
Differences to Commander
The main difference is that players build decks with an eye toward 1 versus 1 duel rather than multiplayer.
The game is played by two opponents only, starts with 30 life, and obeys the same rules as a regular Magic: The Gathering game, one commander (or two commanders with the Partner ability) plus 99 (98) cards in the starting library. The mulligan system is the same as for sanctioned formats, and the construction rules follow the same color identity rule as the multiplayer version does.
Rules and Updates
The rules and updates are currently published on a Facebook page using notes.
- Quick Start Guide.
- Comprehensive Rules, inspired by the ones made by Wizards of The Coast.
- Frequently Asked Questions.
- Committee Board.
- Current Banned and Restricted Lists.
- All Updates.
The Rules Committee publishes an update every time Wizards of the Coast publishes one, every three months, after the prerelease weekend. Updates usually apply the by the end of the week during which they get published, just like Wizards Of The Coast does.
The Committee has evolved for over 15 years and is now made of:
- Core Members, who get to take the final considerations and decisions. They are in limited numbers for logical and pragmatic reasons.
- Regional Coordinators, who are here to establish a geographic link between the committee and their respective local areas, especially when they're out of reach from other members.
- Advisors, who are chosen for their wisdom. They're here with no particular profile. They can be judges, players, gurus, people with an interest in Duel Commander or anything good to bring here to us all.
- Technical Coordinators, who are here to make sure that the Committee uses the best tools and mechanics, and to coordinate people.
May 10, 2017, Magic Online launched tournament play for 1v1 Commander consisting of two-player queues and a Friendly Constructed League, and created a seperate ban list for Magic Online Commander. On Magic Online, 1v1 Commander received a starting life total of 30, but multiplayer remained at 40. Both styles of play share the new banned list.