Lieutenant

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Lieutenant
Ability Word
Introduced Commander 2014
Last Used Commander 2018
Typical Text Lieutenant — As long as you control your commander, ...
Statistics 5 cards
{W}20% {U}20% {B}20% {R}20% {G}20%
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Lieutenant

Lieutenant is an ability word introduced in Commander 2014. It only appears on a horizontal cycle of 5 creatures. [1]

Description[edit | edit source]

Sometimes, highly competitive Commander players choose their Commanders mostly for color identity, without the intent of building their decks around them. Lieutenant is meant as a reward for players who actually intend to cast their commanders and try to keep them on the battlefield.

A creature with lieutenant gets (or grants) a bonus as long as you control your commander. It allowed R&D to create creatures with combat stats that are more generous than they would normally allow for a typical one-on-one duel, because their abilities will only be turned on in a context where players have a higher starting life totals. Moreover, unleashing your lieutenant's full power involves keeping your commander on the battlefield, which isn't always a given.

Example[edit | edit source]

  • Angelic Field Marshal - {2}{W}{W}
    Creature - Angel
    Flying
    Lieutenant — As long as you control your commander, Angelic Field Marshal gets +2/+2 and creatures you control have vigilance.
    3/3

Rulings[edit | edit source]

  • Lieutenant abilities apply only if your commander is on the battlefield and under your control. [2]
  • Lieutenant abilities refer only to whether you control your commander, not any other player's commander.
  • If you gain control of a creature with a lieutenant ability owned by another player, that ability will check to see if you control your commander and will apply if you do. It won't check whether its owner controls his or her commander.
  • If you lose control of your commander, lieutenant abilities of creatures you control will immediately stop applying. If this causes a creature's toughness to become less than or equal to the amount of damage marked on it, the creature will be destroyed.
  • If a triggered ability granted by a lieutenant ability triggers, and in response to that trigger you lose control of your commander (causing the lieutenant to lose that ability), that triggered ability will still resolve.

Other Use[edit | edit source]

Sometimes the protecting players in an Emperor game are also described as "lieutenants".[3] However the proper descriptor would be "generals", which is ironically how many player call their deck commander.

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Ethan Fleischer and Ian Duke. (October 24, 2014.) “A Love Letter to Vorthos”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  2. Wizards of the Coast. (November 10, 2014.) “Commander 2014. Release notes”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  3. Kelly Digges. (March 30, 2009.) “By the Numbers”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
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