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Magic The Gathering: What Are Commanders?

Magic The Gathering's Commander Format is one of the most popular formats in the entire game.
Magic The Gathering: What Are Commanders?

How do Magic The Gathering's Commanders actually work? The Commander Format is one of the most popular formats in the entire game, with new decks being consistently released exclusively for that format. But how do the Commander cards actually work? What's the purpose of them? We've taken a look and found out.

How exactly do Commander Cards work?

Commander Cards are cards that basically lead your entire deck in Commander Format. They're the cards that you build your entire deck around, and they start the game in their own 'Command Zone'. If the card dies, gets exiled, or is removed from the board in any way then you can pay two more mana to cast them and place them back in the command zone, with the note that the cost goes up every time this happens.

The major thing that you need to know is that Commander Cards can deck and deal damage. If you deal 21 or more combat damage specifically with your Commander, or if you're dealt 21 damage specifically by your opponent's Commander, then the game ends. This is designed to prevent people from massively increasing their health using absurd strategies that are designed specifically to prevent them from losing a game.

Commander Format changes a lot of rules from the standard game, and the Commander itself isn't the only one. You're allowed a much bigger deck, your life total is increased and you can only have one of each card in your deck (excluding basic lands).