The Commander Rules Committee (RC) develops and maintains the philosophy, rules, and list of cards banned in Commander.
Olivia Gobert-Hicks Olivia is a cosplayer, engraver, and metalsmith. She’s been playing Magic since 2014, and learned the game exclusively from Commander. True to form, her favorite decks feature powerful artifacts, enchantments, and strong women. Olivia has traveled across Europe and the United States to hone her crafting abilities—and of course sling a few spells along the way.
Jim LaPage started playing Magic (largely incorrectly) on the playground with a 4th edition starter deck. After a long hiatus between Exodus and Scars of Mirrodin, he dove into Commander headfirst and never looked back. Jim loves pushing the boundaries of what’s possible in the format, and showcases his favourite brews on his Youtube channel, The Spike Feeders. When he’s not playing Magic, Jim loves cooking and baking (and eating), and playing with his big dog Nigel.
Scott Larabee has been involved in Magic since first playing the game in 1994. He’s been a player, single-card dealer, tournament organizer, judge, and store owner before being hired by Wizards of the Coast in 1998. Since 2003, he’s been the Tournament and Policy Manager for Magic’s tabletop professional events.
Scott stumbled across Commander at the Pro Tour in 2005 and joined the Magic Rules Committee in 2008. He’s been on multiple Commander product design teams at Wizards since 2010. Scott and his wife live in Renton, WA with their skeptical cat. Outside of Magic, he enjoys board games, crossword puzzles, cinema, and foodie-food.
Toby Elliott began playing Magic with Alpha and never stopped. He qualified for the Pro Tour in 1999, and since you weren’t able to play in PTQs once you qualified, decided to check out this judge thing. It worked out OK. He holds the record for most Pro Tours Head Judged and is known as the “policy guy” for his work on the Magic Tournament Rules and Infraction Procedure Guide. He started playing Commander in 2005 and joined the Rules Committee in 2007.
In his spare time Toby is a Principal Engineer at Amazon and lives with his wife and cats in Boston, MA. Toby is also a dedicated League of Legends ARAM player, with over 4000 games played, board gamer and amateur foodie.
Gavin Duggan was one of the two original members of the Commander Rules Committee, and has shaped the rules, philosophy, and infrastructure of the format since its inception. He serves as the mad scientist of the RC, and is responsible for many of the more radical changes in the history of format. He was a pro tour judge, Netrep, and regional coordinator for tournament magic for 15 years.
When playing, Gavin enjoys brewing and currently owns 42 commander decks covering almost every colour configuration. When not playing commander, he plays poker, Go, and Ultimate. He holds a PhD in computational biochemistry and works as senior software engineer for healthcare artificial intelligence research in Mountain View, CA.
Email: edhforum at gmail
Sheldon Menery is commonly regarded as “The Godfather of Commander.” He’s been leading the charge on the format since the very beginning, when he shaped it from an obscure idea in Alaska, to foundation of the RC, to what it’s become today.
He’s a former Level 5 Judge, known for his aggressive efforts to make the Pro Tour a bastion of fair play. After retiring from judging in 2011, he joined the Pro Tour coverage team until moving on to complete a Master’s Degree in English literature in 2019. He has written a column at starcitygames since 2000 and in 2019 did a stint as a Magic designer at Wizards of the Coast. He’s created arguably the most famous deck in the history of Commander, You Did This to Yourself.
A retiree of the US Air Force and continuing cancer battler since 2016, he lives in Lakeland, FL, with Gretchyn and their five cats, Cupid, Vito, Vixen, Sissy and Max.
The Commander Advisory Group
The Commander Advisory Group is an invited group of Commander community leaders who use their breadth of perspectives on the format to assist and advise the Rules Committee. They highlight potential format improvements, discuss impact of proposed changes, and help the RC stay in touch with the community.
Josh Lee Kwai has been a Magic player (off and on) since 1993. In 2013, he learned to play Commander and eventually started The Command Zone podcast with his friend Jimmy Wong. Josh is a former movie trailer editor with over 15 years of experience working for companies like Disney and Universal Pictures on properties like Star Wars, The Fast and Furious, The Avengers, and many more. Jumping into content creation for MTG was a chance to unite his favorite hobby with his professional knowledge of film production. He is currently the CEO of The Command Zone on YouTube as well as the creator and director of the popular web series Game Knights.
Rachel Agnes began playing Magic during original Innistrad, around 2011. The first card she ever cast was stoneforge mystic fetching batterskull and she was hooked ever since. She immediately became enamored with powerful strategies and, in addition to Commander, loves eternal formats such as legacy, vintage, modern, and cube where Magic’s most powerful cards can reign. After a short stint streaming Magic Online, she began writing magic articles for a local shop and eventually graduated to writing Commander (and miscellaneous) content for Channel Fireball. Beyond Magic, Rachel enjoys posting dumb Magic memes and polls to her twitter, skincare routines that include face masks, and baking!
Shivam Bhatt stumbled onto Magic in middle school in 1994 and has had an abiding love for playing incredibly powerful cards poorly ever since. After a lengthy hiatus from Magic (Phasing and Flanking were going to destroy the game) and a sojourn into D&D and other card games, Shivam rediscovered Magic with Duels of the Planeswalkers on Xbox. Innistrad’s zombies got him back into paper magic, and a well timed article about Grimgrin leading a zombie army on the mothership introduced Shivam to Commander, where he discovered his true home. Now he talks Commander on a podcast every week, and when not slinging hundreds, he lives in the sunny SF bay area with his wife and child, in tech during the week and as a Hindu priest on the weekends. In between, he gardens, bakes, and indulges in the food arts, and works to further the cause of social justice and equal representation in the magic community.
Charlotte Sable has been playing Magic since 1994 and has been a Magic judge and Commander player since 2009. In the intervening years, she has made her mark on the community through her rules blog (magicjudge.tumblr.com) in addition to her work as a judge. Originally from the Toronto area in Canada, she currently lives near Helsinki in Finland with her partner.
Adam “Stybs” Styborski learned Magic when Mirage and Ice Age were all the rage, playing off-and-on again throughout the ’90s and early 2000s. Sealed was his favorite format, but he picked up the casual side of Magic by drafting to play multiplayer games and “this sweet EDH format” in 2008. He began writing about non-competitive Magic for DailyMTG in 2009, growing to travel for Magic event coverage and leading multiple Magic content sites and communities, including the popular Pauper Cube. He currently works at Wizards of the Coast supporting content and communications. Beyond 100 card decks, he helps his wife put +1/+1 counters on their two Goblins, gives their cat Grover all the pets, and enjoys RPGs such as Chrono Trigger and World of Warcraft.
DeQuan ‘PowrDragn’ Watson has been involved continually with Magic since ’94/’95 after stumbling across the game on a high school field trip. Since then he’s been a retailer, writer, competitor, organizer, marketer, commentator and content creator for the game. He now spends time tackling social issues around the game on his podcast Color of Magic. Though he’s an aggro player at heart, you can find him playing on types of decks on his YouTube channel. When doing neither of those, he’s goofing around with his community on Twitch. He plays most formats competitively, but when it comes to Commander he’s on the casual side of things. He’s a fan of several sports (especially basketball and American football) and is a huge lover of gummy candies.
Greg Sablan started playing Magic since 4th Edition but took a break to collect from 2002-2013 while focusing on college and the military—including two deployments to both Iraq and Afghanistan. In 2014, he quickly became immersed in EDH, and tapping Bazaar of Baghdad to draw two cards felt great again! Greg is originally from the island of Guam, holds Masters Degrees in both Civil and Nuclear Engineering, and is a Licensed Professional Engineer. He is now over 16 years Active Duty Army and is currently assigned to Japan with his wife and three kids. As a member of the CAG, Greg’s two primary goals has been to promote awareness of and to bring together the military and alters enthusiast communities with the game of Commander. He manages his team of artists at Sablan MTG Alters, streams on Twitch as The Painter’s Servant, is the founder of The Alliance of Military Magic Players (AMMP), and is an admin of the Professional MTG Alters Resource & Community. When not playing Magic, Greg enjoys doing island-style BBQs, practices Judo as a Shodan, and spends time with family.
Rachel Weeks is a Los Angeles-based podcaster, writer and comedian from the western suburbs of Chicago. She may be comparatively new to Magic— she started playing in 2017—but has been dedicated to Commander since she bullied her playgroup into adopting the multiplayer format. She cohosts the comedy Commander podcast “The Commander Sphere” with Dan Sheehan, does graphic design for Channel Fireball, and has designed a series of Magic-inspired playmats for Inked Gaming.
Outside of Magic, Rachel costars in Better than Heroes, an all-comedian, Spelljammer-inspired D&D livestream. She has performed stand-up comedy since 2014 and appeared on NBC’s First Look, Seeso’s Hidden America with Jonah Ray, and the RISK! podcast.
Kristen Gregory made the switch from competitive Pokémon to Magic in 2016 and hasn’t looked back. An avid drafter and cuber first, she got into Commander in between drafts at her LGS and quickly developed an affinity for the format. Kristen began writing about Magic in 2019, and you can find her work at Card Kingdom, Commander’s Herald, Hipsters of the Coast, and in video form at Tolarian Community College. When not beating face with Boros in Commander, Kristen works as an editor, writer, and software tester. She resides in rural Yorkshire, England, where she makes the most out of the beautiful countryside. Want to get on her good side? A grass-fed ribeye is a good place to start.
Elizabeth “Ellie” Rice was introduced to Magic in 2014 by a coworker. Since then, she has thrown herself headfirst into nearly every format, including commander. Known for her love of splashy cards like Forced Fruition, Ellie’s favorite kind of commander game is where power meets fun, as seen by her love of splashy plays with cards like Forced Fruition. Ellie is also known for writing about people in the Magic community, and has been published on Channel Fireball, Cardsphere, and http://Magic.gg.
Rebell stumbled into Magic in 2005 when she wanted to see what the fuss was about and opened an Akroma that her friend really wanted. She then saw this game had rat ninjas and fox samurai and was instantly hooked. Rebell first encountered commander in Singapore, where standard players didn’t want to play caw-go mirrors and instead played these massive decks with Elder Dragons set on the side. After playing Modern extensively, Rebell dived into Commander through the release of the first preconstructed decks, specifically with Heavenly Inferno. While trying desperately to keep it a casual experience, she couldn’t help her competitive nature and eventually started playing cEDH, ultimately leading to playing in tournaments and creating Youtube videos for strategies to use in commander. She has an AI.
Benjamin Wheeler has been glued to Magic since the release of Torment in 2002. Since the beginning, singleton Magic has been Wheeler’s bread and butter, including the creation and curation of community formats such as Gladiator and Canadian Highlander. Never one to make things easy on himself, Wheeler tends to brew outside the box (and the colour pie), often showcasing his efforts on his personal Twitch channel or as a member of LoadingReadyRun. When he’s not playing Magic, he’s asleep, but occasionally a break of routine will have him dipping his toes into other card games or pampering his cat Mulder.
Tim Willoughby has played Magic since 1994, and first encountered Commander while traveling the world on Magic event coverage team in around 2005. While he’s played most formats at some point, the casual/creative nature of Commander makes it a natural fit for how he enjoys Magic most. Tim first wrote about the format with an article on magicthegathering.com which was enough to get Shivam Bhatt hooked. To this day loves to write, be it of the Magical variety or putting together assorted stage shows.
The RC would like to thank Duncan McGregor, Kevin Desprez, Alex Kenny, and Devon Rule for their past contributions to the Rules Committee, and Ron Foster for his contributions to the Commander Advisory Group.