Magic: the Gathering
( Comprehensive rules )


Contents Glossary

9.  Casual Variants

903.  Commander


903.1  In the Commander variant, each deck is led by a legendary creature designated as that decks commander. The Commander variant was created and popularized by fans; an independent rules committee maintains additional resources at MTGCommander.net. The Commander variant uses all the normal rules for a Magic game, with the following additions.

903.2  A Commander game may be a two-player game or a multiplayer game. The default multiplayer setup is the Free-for-All variant with the attack multiple players option and without the limited range of influence option. See rule 806, "Free-for-All Variant."

903.3  Each deck has a legendary creature card designated as its commander. This designation is not a characteristic of the object represented by the card; rather, it is an attribute of the card itself. The card retains this designation even when it changes zones.

Example: A commander thats been turned face down (due to Ixidrons effect, for example) is still a commander. A commander thats copying another card (due to Cytoshapes effect, for example) is still a commander. A permanent thats copying a commander (such as a Body Double, for example, copying a commander in a players graveyard) is not a commander.

903.3a  Some planeswalker cards have an ability that states the card can be your commander. This ability modifies the rules for deck construction, and it functions before the game begins. See also rule 112.6m.

903.3b  If a players commander is a meld card and its melded with the other member of its meld pair, the resulting melded permanent is that players commander.


903.4  The Commander variant uses color identity to determine what cards can be in a deck with a certain commander. The color identity of a card is the color or colors of any mana symbols in that cards mana cost or rules text, plus any colors defined by its characteristic-defining abilities (see rule 604.3) or color indicator (see rule 204).

Example: Bosh, Iron Golem is a legendary artifact creature with mana cost 8 and the ability "3R, Sacrifice an artifact: Bosh, Iron Golem deals damage equal to the sacrificed artifacts converted mana cost to target creature or player." Boshs color identity is red.

903.4a  Color identity is established before the game begins.

903.4b  Reminder text is ignored when determining a cards color identity. See rule 207.2.

903.4c  The back face of a double-faced card (see rule 711) is included when determining a cards color identity. This is an exception to rule 711.4a.

Example: Civilized Scholar is the front face of a double-faced card with mana cost 2U. Homicidal Brute is the back face of that double-faced card and has a red color indicator. The cards color identity is blue and red.

903.5  Each Commander deck is subject to the following deck construction rules.

903.5a  Each deck must contain exactly 100 cards, including its commander.

903.5b  Other than basic lands, each card in a Commander deck must have a different English name.

903.5c  A card can be included in a Commander deck only if every color in its color identity is also found in the color identity of the decks commander.

Example: Wort, the Raidmother is a legendary creature with mana cost 4RGRG. Worts color identity is red and green. Each card in a Wort Commander deck must be only red, only green, both red and green, or have no color. Each mana symbol in the mana cost or rules text of a card in this deck must be only red, only green, both red and green, or have no color.

903.5d  A card with a basic land type may be included in a Commander deck only if each color of mana it could produce is included in the commanders color identity.

Example: Wort, the Raidmothers color identity is red and green. A Wort Commander deck may include land cards with the basic land types Mountain and/or Forest. It cant include any land cards with the basic land types Plains, Island, or Swamp.

903.6  At the start of the game, each player puts his or her commander from his or her deck face up into the command zone. Then each player shuffles the remaining 99 cards of his or her deck so that the cards are in a random order. Those cards become the players library.

903.7  Once the starting player has been determined, each player sets his or her life total to 40 and draws a hand of seven cards.

903.8  A player may cast a commander he or she owns from the command zone. A commander cast from the command zone costs an additional 2 for each previous time the player casting it has cast it from the command zone that game.

903.9  If a commander would be exiled from anywhere or put into its owners hand, graveyard, or library from anywhere, its owner may put it into the command zone instead. This replacement effect may apply more than once to the same event. This is an exception to rule 614.5.

903.9a  If a commander is a melded permanent and its owner chooses to put it into the command zone this way, that permanent and the card representing it that isnt a commander are put into the appropriate zone, and the card that represents it and is a commander is put into the command zone.

903.10  The Commander variant includes the following specification for winning and losing the game. All other rules for ending the game also apply. (See rule 104.)

903.10a  A player thats been dealt 21 or more combat damage by the same commander over the course of the game loses the game. (This is a state-based action. See rule 704.)



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9.  Casual Variants       
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