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For other uses, see Commander (disambiguation).
Set Information
Set symbol
Symbol description Represents a three-color “wedge” deck
Design Ken Nagle (Lead),
Mark Gottlieb,
Scott Larabee,
Ryan Miller,
Mark Purvis
Development Mark Globus (Lead),
Peter Knudson,
Erik Lauer,
Ryan Miller,
Lee Sharpe
Art direction Jeremy Jarvis
Release date June 17, 2011
Themes and mechanics Wedge-colored commanders
Keywords/​ability words Join forces, Storm
Set size Five three-color 100-card decks
Expansion code CMD[1]
Commander series
Commander Commander's Arsenal Commander 2013
Magic: The Gathering Chronology
New Phyrexia Commander Magic 2012

Commander is a set of 5 preconstructed theme decks based on the casual fan-made and maintained format of the same name (previously known as Elder Dragon Highlander) that had been around for many years. While the format is still maintained and controlled by the players, this was the first time Wizards provided a product specifically for a player-made format. The five decks included 51 new cards that were legal in eternal formats, as well as several older commons and uncommons that, while not particularly valuable, were harder to find due to their age.[2] The set was released on June 17, 2011 and each deck retails for $29.95.[3]

Commander was Wizards' 2011 entry in their "Summer of Multiplayer" theme, following Planechase and Archenemy.[4]

Set details[]

The Commander product consists of five decks, each 100 cards strong, that are ready-to-play Commander decks right out of the box, with the option of choosing one of the three legendary enemy-tri-colored creatures each deck includes as the commander. None of the decks contain any cards that contain mana symbols not found on these three cards. Additionally, each deck contains one enemy-colored legendary creature and is easily modified to use that creature as the commander by replacing cards outside of its color identity with other cards from the player's collection. All decks contain Sol Ring [5] and Command Tower [6].

Each deck also came with oversized foil versions of each of the three wedge commanders.

Commander was the first deck-based retail product to contain new and previously unreleased cards.[7] These cards became legal in the sanctioned Eternal formats Vintage and Legacy, but not in Standard or Extended, upon the sets release. Many of these cards are multiplayer themed and focus on the political interactions on the table, for example giving an effect to all opponents of a chosen player. As such, Commander also introduces a new ability word in Join forces which allows all players to get a similar effect at the same time.

An oddity about the Commander set is the card numbering of hybrid mana cards. In normal sets, where hybrid cards are more prevalent, hybrid cards come after non-hybrid multicolored cards in the collector number sequence, but in Commander, hybrid and non-hybrid multicolored cards are numbered together. The same is true for split cards, though Fire // Ice is the only representative of those in the set.


The ability word Join forces allows any number of players to pay mana to increase the effectiveness of the card. Starting with the controller of the card with Join forces, each player may pay any amount of mana. Then, an effect occurs based on the total amount of mana paid by all players. All join forces cards included in the set have symmetric effects that benefit all players equally.


Commander has six cycles:

Cycle name {W}{B}{R} {U}{R}{G} {B}{G}{W} {R}{W}{U} {G}{U}{B}
Commanders Kaalia of the Vast Riku of Two Reflections Ghave, Guru of Spores Zedruu the Greathearted The Mimeoplasm
Each deck has a wedge-colored legendary creature which is the designated commander for the deck they appear in.
Wedge-color Legends Tariel, Reckoner of Souls[8] Animar, Soul of Elements Karador, Ghost Chieftain Ruhan of the Fomori Damia, Sage of Stone
Each deck has another wedge-colored legendary creatures that can be used as an alternative commander.
Legendary Dragons Oros, the Avenger Intet, the Dreamer Teneb, the Harvester Numot, the Devastator Vorosh, the Hunter
Each deck has a rare legendary Dragon that was first printed in Planar Chaos. These dragons have flying, a triggered ability with a cost of 2C that triggers on dealing combat damage to a player, and power/toughness of 6/6.
Cycle name {R}{W} {G}{U} {W}{B} {U}{R} {B}{G}
Enemy-Color Legends Basandra, Battle Seraph Edric, Spymaster of Trest Vish Kal, Blood Arbiter Nin, the Pain Artist Skullbriar, the Walking Grave
Each deck has one enemy-color legendary creature.
Cycle name {W} {U} {B} {R} {G}
Vows Vow of Duty Vow of Flight Vow of Malice Vow of Lightning Vow of Wildness
Five auras that give a creature a power/toughness bonus, an evergreen keyword, and stops it from attacking the controller of the aura or a planeswalker that player controls.
Join forces cards Alliance of Arms Minds Aglow Shared Trauma Mana-Charged Dragon Collective Voyage
All of these rare cards have the Join forces mechanic. With the exception of the Dragon, all of them cost 1 mana of their respective colors.

Commander also contains a number of reprinted cycles in lands and mana-producing artifacts, though these cycles are not always complete. These cycles include Ravnica Bounce lands, Signets, Onslaught Cycling lands, Lorwyn Vivid lands, Time Spiral Storage lands, Zendikar Refuges.

Theme decks[]

Commander consists of five decks:[9]

deck name
Color Identity Commander
{W} {U} {B} {R} {G}
Heavenly Inferno W B R Kaalia of the Vast
Mirror Mastery U R G Riku of Two Reflections
Counterpunch W B G Ghave, Guru of Spores
Political Puppets W U R Zedruu the Greathearted
Devour for Power U B G The Mimeoplasm

The new cards are evenly distributed amongst the five decks.[10]

Notable cards[]

  • Scavenging Ooze, a staple in several green-based decks in several formats thanks to its ability to remove cards from the opponent's graveyard, was first printed in Commander.


  1. Product info
  2. Mark Rosewater (June 6, 2011). "On Wedge". Wizards of the Coast.
  3. Magic Arcana (December 2, 2010). "Announcing Magic: The Gathering Commander". Wizards of the Coast.
  4. Aaron Forsythe (December 2, 2010). "Magic: The Gathering Commander". Wizards of the Coast.
  5. Monty Ashley (June 1, 2011). "Sol Ring". Wizards of the Coast.
  6. Monty Ashley (June 10, 2011). "Wallpaper of the Week: Command Tower". Wizards of the Coast.
  7. Mark Globus (June 10, 2011). "Zedruu the Greathearted". Wizards of the Coast.
  8. Mark Purvis (June 6, 2011). "Building Tariel". Wizards of the Coast.
  9. Magic Arcana (April 6, 2011). "Commander Decks". Wizards of the Coast.
  10. Magic Arcana (June 14, 2011). "Magic: The Gathering Commander Decklists". Wizards of the Coast.

External links[]