MTG Wiki
DCI Sanctioned
Paper {Cross}
Magic Online {Cross}
Magic Arena {Cross}
Type Constructed
Multiplayer {Tick}
Add. rules Captain
40 life points
Singleton deck:
At least 100 cards, including Captain(s)
Not to be confused with Captain (Captains of MTG).

Captain is a casual, multiplayer, singleton format. It is similar to Commander, but with a slightly different banlist and a structure in place to allow community voting on future potential bans and format changes.

"Captain is a format that focuses on transparency, accountability, and community involvement. Captain is dedicated to creating a format that is democratically run by the community, for the community. In this endeavor, Captain will ensure that all true decision making power is left in the hands of its community."[1]

The official logo of the Captain format.

History and controversy[]

The Captain format was initially created by Mitch, a content creator known for his YouTube channel, The Commander's Quarters. Inspired by community outrage[2] over Secret Lair Drop Series: The Walking Dead not being banned in Commander by the Commander Rules Committee, Mitch sought to create a format where the community could vote on rules changes and bans independent of the RC. The Discord server he started for that purpose was quickly overrun with hate speech and griefers, causing him to abandon the format and deactivate the server.

Interest in a format maintained by the community at large persisted, yet contended with a steady stream of impersonator formats and internet griefers. Over the course of October and November 2020, a new Constitution was written by members of the community and adopted[3] to foster the growth and success of the community for the future.

On December 13th, 2020 the Captain Community elected its first class of Elected Administrators.

On June 11th, 2021 the format's website explained the format was dead due to internal power struggles and harassment.[4][5]


Players choose a legendary creature to act as their Captain and build a deck whose cards adhere to their Captain's color identity. The total number of cards in their deck plus their Captain(s) must be at least 100 cards. A player may have two Captains if they both have the Partner mechanic.

Players begin at 40 life, and with their Captain(s) set aside in the Command Zone. Players may play their Captains from the Command Zone at any time they could otherwise cast a creature spell. If a Captain is in a graveyard or in exile and that card was put into that zone since the last time state-based actions were checked, its owner may put it into the command zone. If a Captain would be put into its owner’s hand or library from anywhere, its owner may put it into the command zone instead. Players may cast their Captains from the Command Zone additional times, paying {2} additional cost for each time it was previously cast from the Command Zone this game.

Banned cards include (but are not limited to) cards deemed by the community to be too powerful or format-warping, cards featuring offensive cultural depictions, ante cards, cards that begin subgames, silver-bordered cards, and cards determined by the community to be predatory to their consumer base (i.e. cards available exclusively through Secret Lair Drops).

The entirety of Captain's banlist can be found at their website, here

Community and governance[]

The Captain format is uniquely community-driven, only issuing bans and rules changes with significant and documented community support. To oversee nominations, organize votes, and secure the future of the format, Captain has some basic governing structure. The Captain Constitution was drafted and edited by members of the Community, and was ratified by a Community vote on November 22, 2020[3].

The Captain governing structure only has two elected positions- 7 Elected Administrators, and 1 Scribe. These positions exist only to oversee the format; all decisions on bans, rules, and other format changes come from the Captain Community via democratic voting.

Elected administrators (EA)[]

The primary duty of the EAs is to foster community and allow everybody's voice to be heard.

To do this, EAs hold periodic Town Hall meetings, in which the Community brings up topics of discussion and collectively proposes potential format changes.

EAs also attend EA Meetings, whose minutes are recorded and published by the Scribe for the sake of transparency. During these meetings, EAs discuss the state of the format and decide which (if any) Community proposals should be brought to an official Community vote. They are required to entertain at least the top 25% of popular Community proposals. It should be noted that EAs do not vote on whether to pass or veto these proposals; their purpose is to filter out bad-faith proposals meant to harm the Captain format, its reputation, or its Community.

There are at all times 7 EAs, each serving a 2 year term, and no more than 2 non-consecutive terms. Elections are staggered such that 3-4 new EAs are elected each year; 3 on odd years and 4 on even. Candidates for EA positions must be at least 18 years of age, and must not simultaneously hold another position within the format.

Should the Community find an EA unsuitable for their position, they may remove that EA from office via a Recall Vote.


The responsibilities of the Scribe include recording the EA’s discussions on Community proposals, maintaining order at Town Hall Meetings via Robert's Rules of Order, updating official Captain documents when changes are made, and publishing the records of the EA body to maintain complete transparency. The Scribe has no voice within EA votes or discussions; they exist solely to protect transparency and ensure changes are made smoothly.


The Community is the heart of the Captain format. Any rules changes are proposed by the Community, vetted through the EAs, and returned to the Community for an official Vote.

Members of the Community may propose the following, via the Captain official website:

  • Candidacy for an elected position
  • Format changes (including bans, unbans, and rules changes)
  • Recall petitions
  • Topics for Town Hall Discussion

When the EAs pass a Community proposal, the Community will have 7 days to vote on it. Voting is conducted via the Captain website to ensure security. Votes are well promoted, and their results shared publicly to encourage maximum participation.

Voting Requirements are as follows:

  • ⅔ Majority to ban/unban a card
  • ¾ Majority to amend format rules
  • ¾ Majority to change governance structure or amend the Constitution
  • ⅔ Majority to recall an elected official

When a proposal passes, implementation occurs within 7 days.


External links[]