Magic: The Gathering Commander

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Released June 17, 2011
Size Five 100-card decks, including 51 new cards
Designers Ken Nagle (Lead), Mark Gottlieb, Scott Larabee, Ryan Miller, Mark Purvis
Developers Mark Globus (Lead), Peter Knudson, Erik Lauer, Ryan Miller, Lee Sharpe
Development code Bedlam[1]

Commander is a series of supplemental Magic: the Gathering card game products, meant to be used in the variant format initially known as "Elder Dragon Highlander (EDH)".[2]


Commander is a format where players construct 100-card decks, with each card except basic lands appearing no more than once. Players also choose a legendary creature (or Planeswalker card in Commander 2014) to be their "Commander" (also known as a "General"), which begins the game in the "Command Zone". Each player's deck is based and built around their Commander's colors. In addition to the same losing conditions that exist in a normal game of Magic, each player starts the game with 40 life points instead of 20, and a player may lose if he or she is dealt 21 or more total points of combat damage from a single Commander throughout the game.[3] Commander is most commonly played in groups of four, but larger groups do happen. A one-on-one variant on the Commander rule set has been rising in popularity.

Commander also has its own "banned list" of cards, separate from any other format.[4] A list of the recommended banned cards in the format can be found on Wizard's official page here

Duel Commander[edit]

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.

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 20 health points, and obeys the same rules as a regular Magic The Gathering game, one commander (or commanders with 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. The rules and updates are currently published on a Facebook page using notes.

There are:

* A Facebook note as a quick start guide.
* A Facebook note for comprehensive rules, inspired by the ones made by Wizards of The Coast.
* A Facebook note for Frequently Asked Questions.
* A Facebook note for the Committee board.
* A Facebook note for the current Banned and Restricted lists.
* A Facebook note for each update.

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.


Commander 2011[edit]

Magic: The Gathering Commander was released on June 17, 2011. It consisted of five preconstructed decks, each containing three foil oversized legendary creature cards. This set is notable in that it was the first set printed outside of the normal booster pack expansions to have functionally new cards. The set introduced 51 new cards,[5] made specifically for multi-player games.[6]

Each deck is built around a new legendary creature and a distinct mechanical theme. In addition to the intended Commander, they include two other new legendary creatures.[7]

Commander's Arsenal[edit]

Commander's Arsenal is a set with 18 premium foil cards, 10 oversized premium foil cards, card sleeves, a life counter, and tokens for keeping track of in-game effects. The set was released on November 2, 2012.[8] Each card in the set was the first edition of that card to receive premium foil treatment, the first to be printed in the modern frame, and/or received special art.[9]

Commander 2013[edit]

Commander 2013 was released on November 1, 2013. It introduced five new pre-constructed decks, each built around one of the three-colored "shards". 51 new cards were printed for Commander 2013, including five that introduced the mechanic Tempting offer, which allows opponents to duplicate the card's effect but at the cost of granting its controller a larger effect.

Commander 2014[edit]

Commander 2014 was released on November 7, 2014. It introduced five new pre-constructed decks, each built around one of the five colors. 61 new cards were printed for Commander 2014, including five that introduced the Lieutenent mechanic, which gives a bonus for the creature if you also control your Commander, and the first ever Planeswalkers that can be your Commander.

Commander 2015[edit]

Commander 2015 was released on November 10, 2015. It introduced five new pre-constructed decks, built around "enemy" two-color combinations. 55 new cards were printed, including new commanders that utilized "experience counters" to grow more powerful as the game progressed. Other new cards introduced the Myriad mechanic, which allowed a single creature to attack every opponent simultaneously.

Commander 2016[edit]

Commander 2016 was released on November 11, 2016. It introduced five new pre-constructed decks, built around four-color combinations. 56 new cards were printed, including new commanders.

Commander Anthology[edit]

Commander Anthology was released on June 9, 2017. It is a boxed re-release of four pre-constructed decks, one from each of the first four years of Commander sets.

Commander 2017[edit]

Commander 2017 was released on August 25, 2017. Starting with Commander 2017, Commander sets are reduced from five to four preconstructed theme decks (without reducing the number of new cards) and will be built around themes instead of focusing on color combinations.

Commander Anthology Volume 2[edit]

Commander Anthology Volume 2 was announced on February 14, 2018 for release on June 8, 2018. Like the previous year's Commander Anthology, Volume 2 will be a boxed re-release of four pre-constructed decks. It has not yet been revealed which decks will be included.[10]

Commander 2018[edit]

Commander 2018 was announced on February 14, 2018 for release on August 10, 2018. Like the previous year's set of pre-constructed decks, there will be four themed decks. The specifics of these decks have not yet been revealed.[10]


  1. ^ Shawn Main (May 20, 2014). "Conspiring a Conspiracy". Wizards of the Coast. Retrieved May 20, 2014. 
  2. ^ "EDH is now Commander". December 2, 2010. Retrieved June 21, 2011. 
  3. ^ "Magic: The Gathering Commander Rules". Wizards of the Coast. Retrieved June 21, 2011. ,
  4. ^ "Deck Construction Rules". Retrieved June 21, 2011. 
  5. ^ "Commander Spoiler". MTG Salvation. Retrieved August 12, 2011. 
  6. ^ Ashley, Monty (December 2, 2010). "Announcing Magic: The Gathering Commander". Wizards of the Coast. Retrieved June 5, 2011. 
  7. ^ Ashley, Monty (June 14, 2011). "Magic: The Gathering Commander Decklists". Wizards of the Coast. Retrieved June 3, 2012. 
  8. ^ Ashley, Monty (August 10, 2012). "Commander's Arsenal". Wizards of the Coast. Retrieved January 4, 2013. 
  9. ^
  10. ^ a b "Valentine's Day Mini–Announcement Day". MAGIC: THE GATHERING. Retrieved 2018-02-16. 

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