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Commander 2016
Set Information
Set symbol
Symbol description A shield with a sword
Design Ethan Fleischer (lead)
Ken Nagle
Alli Medwin
Sam Burley
Robert Schuster
Development Ben Hayes (lead)
Glenn Jones
Yoni Skolnik
Ken Nagle
Dan Helland
Art direction Jeremy Jarvis
Release date November 11, 2016
Plane Multiversal
Themes and mechanics 4-color commanders
Keywords/​ability words Partner, Undaunted
Set size Five four-colored 100-card decks
Expansion code C16[1]
Commander series
Commander 2015 Commander 2016 Commander Anthology
Magic: The Gathering Chronology
Treasure Chests Commander 2016 You Make the Cube

Commander 2016, officially styled as Commander (2016 Edition), is a product in the Commander series that was released by Wizards of the Coast on November 11, 2016.[2]

Set details[ | ]

Commander 2016 features five four-colored 100-card decks. There are 56 new cards legal in Vintage and Legacy. Each of the five preconstructed decks comes with 4 foil commander cards, 1 oversized foil commander card, 10 double-sided tokens, a deck storage box, a strategy insert, a rules reference card, and 15 new cards.

Each preconstructed deck was designed with an identity for each four-color group:

The main new commander in the deck matches the four colors and the primary theme, while the alternate new commanders are bi-colored.

The set features three versions of each basic land with all new art — one of each basic from Rebecca Guay, Mark Poole, and Kev Walker.[5] Rare dual lands from several original cycles were added to fix the mana base.[6]

Beacon of Unrest, Chain of Vapor, Reins of Power, Wave of Reckoning and Windfall received all new art. Gruul Signet and Rakdos Signet were printed with their MTGO art for the first time. Forbidden Orchard and Hanna, Ship's Navigator were printed with art that was previously only available from premium products.

Mechanics[ | ]

  • Commander 2016 introduces partner, a keyword mechanic that occurs on 15 bicolored legendary creatures. A player may for the first time have two commanders if each of them has the partner keyword. Each of these creatures suggests a particular style of Commander deck to build, and the two partners together provide a 4-color color identity for the deck.[7][8]
  • Undaunted is a new keyword mechanic appearing on a cycle of rare non-creature spells. Spells with undaunted cost {1} less to cast for each opponent in the game: therefore, they grow more expensive to cast as the game continues and players are eliminated.[7]
  • Basic landcycling is a returning mechanic that appears on spells in all five preconstructed decks. It was included specifically so that players would have easier access to the colors of mana they needed at a given time.[7]
  • Converge appears for the first time on a new card outside of Battle for Zendikar (Crystalline Crawler).

Cycles[ | ]

Commander 2016 has six cycles of new cards, one of which is a double cycle:

Cycle name {W}{U}{B}{R} {U}{B}{R}{G} {B}{R}{G}{W} {R}{G}{W}{U} {G}{W}{U}{B}
4-color Commanders Breya, Etherium Shaper Yidris, Maelstrom Wielder Saskia the Unyielding Kynaios and Tiro of Meletis Atraxa, Praetors' Voice
Five mythic rare four-colored legendary creatures, each representing the theme of one deck.
Cycle name {G}{W}{U} {W}{U}{B} {U}{B}{R} {B}{R}{G} {R}{G}{W}
Shardlands Seaside Citadel Arcane Sanctum Crumbling Necropolis Savage Lands Jungle Shrine
Each of these uncommon triple lands comes into play tapped and can be tapped for one of three colors of mana. These are strictly better than the old taplands. Reprinted from Shards of Alara
Cycle name {W}{B} {U}{R} {B}{G} {R}{W} {G}{U}
Rare enemy color partners Tymna the Weaver Kraum, Ludevic's Opus Reyhan, Last of the Abzan Akiri, Line-Slinger Thrasios, Triton Hero
Five rare bicolored legendary creatures with the partner keyword, each of whom comes from the same plane as the other partner in their color combination.
Cycle name {W}{U} {U}{B} {B}{R} {R}{G} {G}{W}
Allied color landcyclers Migratory Route Ancient Excavation Grave Upheaval Treacherous Terrain Sylvan Reclamation
Five uncommon bicolored spells with “Basic landcycling {2}”.
Cycle name {W} {U} {B} {R} {G}
Undaunted spells Sublime Exhalation Coastal Breach Curtains' Call Divergent Transformations Seeds of Renewal
Five rare monocolored spells with the undaunted keyword.
Uncommon monocolored cards Orzhov Advokist Grip of Phyresis Parting Thoughts Frenzied Fugue Evolutionary Escalation
Each deck includes two of these five uncommon cards.

Double cycles[ | ]

Cycle name {W}{U} {U}{B} {B}{R} {R}{G} {G}{W} {W}{B} {U}{R} {B}{G} {R}{W} {G}{U}
Bounce lands Azorius Chancery Dimir Aqueduct Rakdos Carnarium Gruul Turf Selesnya Sanctuary Orzhov Basilica Izzet Boilerworks Golgari Rot Farm Boros Garrison Simic Growth Chamber
When each of these common nonbasic dual lands enters the battlefield tapped, its controller returns a land he or she controls to its owner's hand. Each of these lands can tap to produce two mana, one of each of its associate guild's colors. Reprinted from the Ravnica Block
Mythic partners Ishai, Ojutai Dragonspeaker Silas Renn, Seeker Adept Vial Smasher the Fierce Tana, the Bloodsower Sidar Kondo of Jamuraa Ravos, Soultender Ludevic, Necro-Alchemist Ikra Shidiqi, the Usurper Bruse Tarl, Boorish Herder Kydele, Chosen of Kruphix
Ten mythic rare bicolored legendary creatures with the partner keyword.

In addition, a partial cycle of Khans life-gain taplands was reprinted for color fixing. Dismal Backwater, Rugged Highlands, Swiftwater Cliffs, Jungle Hollow, Thornwood Falls

Mega cycle[ | ]

Cycle name {W} {U} {B} {R} {G}
Sorcery magi Magus of the Balance (Commander 2018)
Magus of the Mind (Commander 2017)
(Mind's Desire)
Magus of the Will (Commander 2016)
(Yawgmoth's Will)
Magus of the Wheel (Commander 2015)
(Wheel of Fortune)
Magus of the Order (Commander Legends)
(Natural Order)[9]
Rare Wizards with the converted mana cost and abilities of iconic sorceries from Magic's past.

Theme decks[ | ]

Commander 2016 consists of five four-colored decks:[10]

deck name
Color Identity Commander
{W} {U} {B} {R} {G}
Entropic Uprising U B R G Yidris, Maelstrom Wielder
Open Hostility W B R G Saskia the Unyielding
Stalwart Unity W U R G Kynaios and Tiro of Meletis
Breed Lethality W U B G Atraxa, Praetors' Voice
Invent Superiority W U B R Breya, Etherium Shaper

Tokens[ | ]

Commander 2016 has 21 different tokens and/or emblems.[11] There are 10 double-sided tokens in each deck.[12]

  1. {C} 1/1 Spirit creature for Forbidden Orchard
  2. {W} 1/1 Bird creature with flying for Migratory Route
  3. {W} 4/4 Elemental creature with flying for Hoofprints of the Stag
  4. {W} 0/1 Goat creature for Trading Post
  5. {W} 1/1 Soldier creature for Akroan Horse and Entrapment Maneuver
  6. {W} 1/1 Spirit creature with flying for Custodi Soulbinders
  7. {U} 2/2 Bird creature with flying for Swan Song
  8. {U} 1/1 Squid creature with islandwalk for Chasm Skulker
  9. {U} 1/1 Thopter artifact creature with flying for Breya, Etherium Shaper and Thopter Foundry
  10. {B} 0/0 Germ creature for Bonehoard and Grip of Phyresis
  11. {B} 2/2 Zombie creature for Army of the Damned and Waste Not
  12. {R} 1/1 Goblin creature with "Creatures you control attack each combat if able." for Goblin Spymaster
  13. {R} 3/3 Ogre creature for Kazuul, Tyrant of the Cliffs
  14. {G} 3/3 Beast creature for Beast Within
  15. {G} 1/1 Elf Warrior creature for Nath of the Gilt-Leaf
  16. {G} 1/1 Saproling creature for Artifact Mutation, Aura Mutation, Ghave, Guru of Spores, Korozda Guildmage, Mycoloth, Necrogenesis, Selesnya Guildmage, Tana, the Bloodsower and Thelonite Hermit (art 1 of 2)
  17. {G} 1/1 Saproling creature (art 2 of 2)
  18. {B/G} 1/1 Worm creature for Worm Harvest
  19. {C} X/X Horror artifact creature for Phyrexian Rebirth
  20. {C} 1/1 Myr artifact creature for Myr Battlesphere
  21. Emblem for Daretti, Scrap Savant

Notable cards[ | ]

  • Except for Kynaios and Tiro of Meletis, every four-color commander from the set is the most popular commander in its respective color identity according to EDHREC. For most of the four-color combinations, the next most popular commanders are the combinations of two-color partner commanders that also originated in the set.
  • Many of the two-color partner commanders are considered some of the most powerful commander options in competitive Commander tournaments thanks to allowing for broad and flexible color identities and effects. Among the most powerful are Tymna the Weaver, Thrasios, Triton Hero, and Kraum, Ludevic's Opus which provide incredibly strong card advantage in addition to their other benefits.
  • Ash Barrens is the most heavily played mana-fixing land in Pauper where it sees play in almost every multicolored deck.

References[ | ]

  1. Product information
  2. Wizards of the Coast (May 5, 2016). "Announcement Day". Wizards of the Coast.
  3. Ethan Fleischer (October 24, 2016). "Designing Commander (2016 Edition)". Wizards of the Coast.
  4. Glenn Jones (October 25, 2016). "Development Attacks Attacking". Wizards of the Coast.
  5. Blake Rasmussen (October 25, 2016). "The Basic Lands of Commander (2016 Edition)". Wizards of the Coast.
  6. Ben Hayes (October 28, 2016). "Dual Lands in Commander 2016". Wizards Developer. Tumblr.
  7. a b c Matt Tabak (October 24, 2016). "Commander 2016 Mechanics". Wizards of the Coast.
  8. Mark Rosewater (October 24, 2016). "Howdy Partner". Wizards of the Coast.
  9. Gavin Verhey (August 7, 2019). "To steel everybody appropriately: the 5th Magus is absent from MTGC19.". Twitter.
  10. Blake Rasmussen (October 24, 2016). "Commander (2016 Edition) Packaging". Wizards of the Coast.
  11. Wizards of the Coast (October 28, 2016). "The October 31, 2016 Update". Wizards of the Coast.
  12. Wizards Play Network product information
  13. Gavin Verhey & Jacob Mooney (June 10, 2023). "Magic: The Gathering Trivia Show! Can You Guess the Card From Design Notes?? (Video)". Good Morning Magic. YouTube.

External links[ | ]