Commander Rules

Philosophy

Before reading the rules below, please read the philosophy of commander; simply following the rules is not sufficient to ensure a good play experience.

Deck Construction Rules

  1. Players choose a legendary creature as the “commander” for their deck. 
  2. A card’s colour identity is its color plus the color of any mana symbols in the card’s rules text. A card’s colour identity is established before the game begins, and cannot be changed by game effects. The cards in a deck may not have any colours in their colour identity which are not in the colour identity of the deck’s commander.
  3. A Commander deck must contain exactly 100 cards, including the commander.
  4. With the exception of basic lands, no two cards in the deck may have the same English name. Some cards (e.g. Relentless Rats) may have rules text that overrides this restriction.

Play Rules

  1. Players begin the game with 40 life.
  2. Commanders begin the game in the Command Zone. While a commander is in the command zone, it may be cast, subject to the normal timing restrictions for casting creatures. Its owner must pay for each time it was previously cast from the command zone; this is an additional cost.
  3. If a commander would be put into a library, hand, graveyard or exile from anywhere, its owner may choose to move it to the command zone instead.
  4. Being a commander is not a characteristic [MTG CR109.3], it is a property of the card and tied directly to the physical card. As such, “commander-ness” cannot be copied or overwritten by continuous effects. The card retains it’s commander-ness through any status changes, and is still a commander even when controlled by another player.
  5. If a player has been dealt 21 points of combat damage by a particular Commander during the game, that player loses a game.
  6. Commanders are subject to the Legend rule; a player cannot control more than one legend with the same name.
  7. Abilities which bring card(s) you own from outside the game into the game (such as Living Wish; Spawnsire of Ulamog; Karn, the Great Creator) do not function in Commander.

Note: With the advent of companion, Rule 11 will be modified to reflect legality of cards with the mechanic.

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