WHAT'S NEW IN COMMANDER (2016 Edition)?
Commander (2016 Edition) adds four-color Commanders to Magic. The set will feature five four-color, 100-card Commander decks, along with 56 new Magic cards legal in Eternal formats (Vintage and Legacy) but not legal in Standard, Block Constructed, or Modern.
Commander (2016 Edition) decks introduce an ability called partner that lets you designate two legendary creatures as commanders instead of one. Both commanders need to have the partner ability listed on their card. This new ability appears on characters from the past and future of Magic lore, allowing you to form unlikely but powerful pairs.
HOW TO PLAY COMMANDER
The Commander format is all about picking your hero and building a deck around them. In this casual, multiplayer format, you choose a legendary creature to serve as your commander and build the rest of your deck around their color identity.
- 1 commander card (legendary creature)
- 99 other cards
- Only one copy of any card, except basic lands
- All cards must be in the color identity of the commander
- 2–6 players
- Free-for-all multiplayer format
- Start with 40 life
- All commanders start in their command zone
- Take turns in clockwise order
- Last player standing wins
TERMS TO KNOW
A card's color identity can come from any part of that card, including its casting cost and any mana symbols in its text. Every card in your Commander deck must only use mana symbols that also appear on your commander. Colorless cards are allowed as well.
This is where your commander resides during the game when they are not in play. At the start of the game, each player puts their commander face up into the command zone. A commander can be cast from the command zone for its normal costs, plus an additional two mana for each previous time it's been cast from the command zone this game. If your commander would be put into your library, hand, graveyard or exile from anywhere, you may return it to your command zone instead.
A player that's been dealt 21 or more combat damage by the same commander over the course of the game loses the game. The commander is tracked across zone changes for this purpose (for example, if one player takes control of another player's commander, any damage that commander already dealt is still counted).
If you're new to Commander, a pre-built deck can be the best place to start. The below sets include decks that were created to be fun, powerful and ready to play.
Yidris, Maelstrom Wielder harnesses raw chaotic energy to obliterate his foes, channeling the Maelstrom at Alara's center. He cares little for long-term plans, preferring to unleash bursts of devastation upon anything in his path.
Saskia the Unyielding thrives in brutal combat, calling upon vicious hordes to crush her adversary underfoot. Saskia's strikes always find their mark, cleaving through any foe that stands between her and the focus of her fury.
Kynaios and Tiro of Meletis believe harmony is the key to true power. They share the rewards of their unshakable bond among their supporters, building alliances before unleashing powerful haymaker spells against their enemies.
Atraxa, Praetors' Voice serves as emissary for four of New Phyrexia's five praetors. The indomitable Atraxa's greatest strength is her power to spread the influence of Phyrexia, enhancing her armies while decimating the opposition.
Breya, Etherium Shaper learned to command powerful works of artifice on the Esper shard of Alara. Her mastery of lightning and expertise with etherium enable her to unlock the full potential of her creations and overwhelm her foes.
BUILD YOUR OWN DECK
STEP 1: CHOOSE YOUR COMMANDER
The hero of your deck can be almost any legendary creature from Magic's history. As long as a card has "legendary creature" as its card type, you can choose it to be your commander.
If you know what colors you want to play, but don't know which commander you want to play with, we can help. Choose your colors below and you'll get a few examples of legendary creatures that could be your commander.
STEP 2: BUILD YOUR SUPPORT
With your commander chosen, next you'll want to find cards in their color identity that synergize well. Choose creatures and spells that fit together and can also take advantage of the multiplayer format. This is why a lot of Commander players like to build their deck around a tribe of creatures. For example, if Ishkanah, Grafwidow is your commander, you might include a number of other Spiders in your deck.
STEP 3: ADD MANA SOURCES
No deck is complete without a balanced source of mana fixing. With so many cards to choose from to help generate mana, finding the right balance of lands will vary depending on your deck. However, most decks will use 38–40 lands.
PLAY FREE-FOR-ALL MULTIPLAYER
If you're playing a game of Commander with three or more people, you play against each other in a free-for-all multiplayer format.
Each player starts with 40 life, places their commander face-up in their command zone, and draws a hand of seven cards. Players are seated randomly in a circle and turns progress one player at a time in clockwise order around the table.
During gameplay, a player may choose to attack any other player, regardless of their position on the table, and can also choose to attack multiple different players during their attack phase. Permanents, spells, and abilities can also target any player around the table (as long as they don't explicitly say they must be used on "you").
Your goal is to crush every other player, using strategy, skill, and the cards at your disposal. The last player left standing in each game wins!
Revised: August 26, 2016
The following cards are banned from the format: