Welcome to Club Commander, the newest and most intense post on the vast and growing Magic the Gathering Commander format. Over the next few weeks we will embark on a thought seizing quest into the history, innovative deck ideas, combo’s(soo many pieces!), and play-styles that have bonded to form one of the most enjoyable formats in MTG.
For those of you now wondering exactly what commander is and how to play. Quite simply it is a one hundred card singleton deck that is generally themed off of a Legendary creature known as the general. Only cards with mana cost of the generals colors may be included in the deck. So for example, if I choose Teysa, Orzhov Scion as my general her colors being white and black all the other ninety-nine cards in my deck must be a combination of those colors.
The game begins with both players at forty life and the general in a special zone known as the command zone where your general may be cast at any time it could be played from your hand. Each time your general dies there is a penalty to play it again as to deter lower mana costing generals from being overpowered in the format. The game is then played very similar to a normal game of magic. To find the official ban list for deck construction and comprehensive rules please visit here. While wizards has this listed under the online formats I assure you commander is very much a scene in most local playgroups and card shops.
To fully explain the hype behind this format I strongly suggest you play or view a couple of games. Most likely you will view a collage of big Timmy cards, flashy combos, and cards that really take you on a time shift back into the archives of 15,000 plus playable and unique cards. Pulling out the boxes of your favorite cards is completely possible and often quite enjoyable. So where to start is easy pick any legendary creature and a deck theme if you prefer. The real strategy goes into the selection of the other ninety-nine cards and yes I know what your thinking sooo many choices. Trust me on this one as I created my first Commander deck (in a galaxy far away when it was still known as EDH) being as indecisive as possible I settled on a five colored general Karona, False God.
Well needless to say I was very new to the format and a deck based on a general you give away every turn seemed like and retrospectively was an extremely fun choice. This deck was by no means competitive however, it had its moments to shine and included cards such as Bedlam, Armageddon, and Concordant Crossroads (Team DeathMatch!).
At its core Commander is truly a designers choice. As there is no consistent meta for the format and deck-list are ever evolving thus promoting further player creativity. As new sets such as Dragon’s Maze enter the realm of standard many of the unwieldy and often overlooked cards are perfectly suitable for the Commander format. For example, the soon to be released mythic land Maze’s End may not be played in standard but I can assure you making a competitive and fun Commander deck using this card is entirely possible. Many players will be drawn by the limitless opportunities for deck themes and card combos available to them. Commander furthers the idea that players are planeswalker and personifies the idea into the general you select. There is nothing more satisfying than having your newly created deck perform well knowing you designed it based on what you enjoy most in magic. And yes many of the cards you thought were extremley broken in past formats do exist in Commander however the limitations set on singleton highlander format allows for a proper distribution of power (most of the time). Sadly, CheatyFace is still banned so if you see one just say NO.
New and vintage players alike, we are pleased to announce that Kaboom will now be hosting it’s Commander League on Thursday nights at 530pm and Saturday at 2pm complete with prize support. We follow the official multiplayer ban list and are using fun achievements for point determination. All players are welcome, especially those new or interested in the format. For questions concerning the format or Commander Events hosted by Kaboom contact us at email@example.com.
On an unrelated note, some of you may notice that my articles may contain obscure anime and Internet references. Furthermore, each article will be closed with either a anime of the week or a Commander song of the week (Dub-step, Industrial, Trance, Hard-style, EBM, MLP, Techno, drum&base, and/or Vocaloid). Please note that these are entirely my opinion and may or may not be appropriate for people of all or any age. This off-topic section will be know as Sub-Commander.
No laughing man, you did not make the cut this week. Now presenting the first edition of Sub-Commander! Anime is often classified by genre and defined by content. The following anime falls under the categories of Shounen, Survival, Psychological, and supernatural. Known as Mirai Nikki or Future Diary this single season series follows the story of a your “typical” anti-social and otherwise disassociated male protagonist, who finds that his phone diary can predict the future. Soon his world begins to warp with fantasy as he is thrust into a survival free-for-all against other future diary holders. With good character development and a decent amount of suspense Mirai Nikki is definitely worth watching.
Tune in next week for more Commander goodness including a high speed low costing($$) deck idea for Maze’s End. Together we will conquer the Commander Kingdom (Brittania) with Magic’s most vital card type…Lands.