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 Post subject: Commander FAQ and Dumb Question Station
AgePosted: 2013-May-26 7:05 pm 
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Welcome to Commander. Got questions? If you don't want to sift through the official rules document, you might find the answer here:

Quote:
How's a commander work?

Your commander begins the game in the command zone, and you can cast that card as long as it's there. If your commander goes to the graveyard or is exiled, you may move it back to the command zone instead. You can cast it again, but it costs 2 more mana each time as an additional cost (this is known as the "commander tax").

No, you can cast your commander as though it were in your hand, but it's still being cast from the command zone. This means that cards such as Possibility Storm don't affect commanders in the same way as most other spells, and if you'd like to use a creature like Phage the Untouchable or Myojin of Cleansing Fire as your commander you might have to jump through a hoop or two.
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Some legendary creatures have abilities that allow you to get them onto the battlefield in unique ways, such as Akroma, Angel of Fury, Ith, High Arcanist or Ink-Eyes, Servant of Oni. In general, if your commander has an ability like one of these, you'll be allowed to use it from the command zone as long as it doesn't specify that you must use it from hand. You'd be allowed to play Akroma face down as a morph, for example, but Ink-Eyes can't be ninja'd in and Ith can't be suspended unless they make it into your hand.
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If any player takes 21 combat damage from a single commander, he or she loses the game. This can be from one big 21 damage attack, or from a bunch of smaller attacks over the course of the game. The card itself is designated as the commander, so another creature copying a commander won't deal commander damage and if a commander leaves play and returns later it can pick up where it left off. And, yes, you can die to commander damage from your own commander, if your opponents manage it!
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Since the card itself is designated as the commander, face down commanders still deal commander damage. Your opponents are also allowed to know which morph creature is your commander.
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“Tuck” refers to the ability some cards have to put a commander into its owner's library (see Condemn, Spell Crumple or Warp World). You don't have the option to send your commander to the command zone instead of putting it in your library. The location of each commander is open information (everyone should always know what zone each commander is in), but you don't get to know where in your library your commander is. If you prefer to keep your commander in a differently-coloured sleeve (I do), you should swap it for a regular one before putting it in your library.
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There are no special rules dictating how commanders react to copies of themselves when they're on the battlefield, so they act as normal. If a player controls more than one legendary creature with the same name, all but one are put into the graveyard, whether or not there is a commander among them.
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Quote:
How do you build a commander deck?

Your commander deck must contain exactly 100 cards including your commander, which must be a legendary creature. Except for basic land, you can only play one copy of each card, and you're only allowed to use cards in your commander's color identity.

Each card has a color identity, which is determined by the mana symbols on the card as well as its color indicator, if it has one. So therefore Karador, Ghost Chieftain has a black/green/white color identity, Whirlpool Warrior has a blue/red color identity, and Crookshank Kobolds has a red color identity. You're not allowed to include cards in a Commander deck which have colors in their color identity that are not in your commander's color identity.
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Basic land words don't affect color identity unless it's actually a land with that type. So, for example, Grixis Panorama or Gem of Becoming would be allowed in any deck, but you'd only be able to play Swamps with commanders who have black in their color identity.
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Hybrid mana symbols count as both of their colors. Kitchen Finks, for example, has a green/white color identity.
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Mana symbols in reminder text (or flavor text, if Wizards ever printed a card with a mana symbol there) don't count. If the text is in italics then it doesn't affect color identity. Crypt Ghast can be played in any black deck, for example.
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Color identity is determined by all sides and faces of the card. Garruk Relentless is green/black, Elbrus, the Binding Blade is black, and Odds / Ends is red/white/blue.
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No. Aside from the banned list, you're allowed to use any Vintage-legal card in Commander, meaning that any ante cards, dexterity cards, subgame cards or silver-bordered cards aren't allowed for normal play.
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Up to 99 Relentless Rats.
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Quote:
How do you play Commander?

The same as most other Magic formats, except that each player begins with 40 life and you cannot produce mana with colors outside of your commander's color identity (you get colorless mana instead).

Reflecting Pool, Darksteel Ingot and cards like them can be played in any Commander deck, since they have no mana symbols on them to make them illegal. You can choose to make any color of mana that they could produce, but if you choose a color outside of your color identity you get colorless instead. Basically, any time colored mana would be added to your mana pool, it turns colorless if it doesn't match your commander.
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In a multiplayer game, when a player loses or concedes, first all of their cards leave the game, then any control effects (like Blatant Thievery) end, then anything else they own leaves the game, like tokens, or abilities on the stack, and finally anything else they still control is exiled. So, if someone has control of your creature and they lose the game, you'll get it back if they stole it from play with something like Control Magic, but it would be exiled if they stole it from somewhere else, like with Beacon of Unrest or Bribery.
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Like Sorin Markov or Divinity of Pride? The same as anywhere else (though maybe a bit better). There aren't any special rules affecting how cards like those work in a game.
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The same as in regular Magic. 10 poison counters still make a player lose the game.
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Quote:
So, what's on the ban list, and why is my [favorite/least favorite] card [banned/not banned]?


The current ban list can be found on the official rules page, under the "deck construction" tab. If you'd like to know why a particular card is banned or unbanned, check this handy reference thread, where you can find links to discussions about just about any controversial card. If you don't see the card you've got on your mind there, feel free to ask about it in this one.

Unlike all sanctioned formats, game balance is not our top concern. The goal of the ban list is to make Commander as fun as possible for as many people as possible, especially those people who aren't deep into the tournament scene. We naturally care a lot about game balance, because balanced games are way more fun, but overpowered cards or strategies only become an issue once they start making games less interesting or more frustrating. There are a variety easy ways to break Commander as a format (we do use the vintage card pool, after all), but we trust that players are interested in choosing strategies they enjoy, rather than strategies that merely win. They key concept supporting the ban list, then, is not to make Commander a fair competitive format, but to keep the card pool clear of cards that make games less enjoyable which, for various reasons, players put into their decks anyway.

Here is an old but still fairly accurate description by another rules committee member, and here's a great, colorful metaphor illustrating the concept.
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Since Commander is a busted competitive format, you're required to go into games with a different attitude, and that's all the "Spirit of EDH" refers to. It's like a variation on the Golden Rule: Make sure your deck is one that you're going to have fun playing with, but also make sure that it's a deck that you'd like to play against. Commander is a social format, meaning you're responsible for the goodtimes of your opponents as well as your own. This also means that a great Commander deck is different for every group of players, depending on what kind of games those players like to play.
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There used to be different names for the format. In the olden daes, a commander was called a general and Commander as a format was known as EDH (short for Elder Dragon Highlander, referring to the elder dragon legends (like Nicol Bolas and Arcades Sabboth) and Highlander the movie (“There can be only one!”)). You still might see the cool kids calling it that, sometimes.
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If you'd like to post a deck list of your own for suggestions or critique, check out this useful post. Lots of handy tips for helping people figure out what you need. If you don't feel like tagging each of the cards in your deck individually, try this site, which is maintained by one of the users here.
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 Post subject: Re: Commander FAQ and Dumb Question Station
AgePosted: 2013-May-26 7:06 pm 
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If you've got a quick question that wasn't covered, but you don't want to make a whole thread to ask, post it here. To keep this thread as useful as possible for new members, I'll be culling posts every week or two to leave just the questions and most relevant answers, so don't be offended if your post disappears.

ttyl, bkm


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 Post subject: Re: Commander FAQ and Dumb Question Station
AgePosted: 2013-May-26 7:12 pm 
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Location: Costa La Haya, capital del ducado Holanda
In before the lock... the question I'd like to see answered is:

Quote:
What is the spirit of EDH?


I'd just leave it at "that depends on your playgroup"

Nice FAQ, but perhaps it's easier if you show all the answers instead of using spoiler tags. Because, you know, ctrl+f.

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 Post subject: Re: Commander FAQ and Dumb Question Station
AgePosted: 2013-May-26 7:15 pm 
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the spirit if edh is in ur heart all along :)


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 Post subject: Re: Commander FAQ and Dumb Question Station
AgePosted: 2013-Jun-06 7:57 am 
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Joined: 2009-Feb-11 7:00 pm
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Here is a question that I don't believe was covered. Given the incremental costing for your general if cast repeatedly, does this cost only take into account if its cast from your command zone only or from all zones such as your hand?

I believe the answer is only from the CMD-Z. but I could be wrong.

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 Post subject: Re: Commander FAQ and Dumb Question Station
AgePosted: 2013-Jun-06 8:14 am 

Joined: 2010-Sep-11 12:19 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
thedarkheart wrote:
Here is a question that I don't believe was covered. Given the incremental costing for your general if cast repeatedly, does this cost only take into account if its cast from your command zone only or from all zones such as your hand?

I believe the answer is only from the CMD-Z. but I could be wrong.

The incremental cost is only for when your general is only applicable from the General Zone.


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 Post subject: Re: Commander FAQ and Dumb Question Station
AgePosted: 2013-Jun-29 3:15 pm 

Joined: 2012-Mar-31 11:52 am
Age: Elder Dragon
With the upcoming release of Shadowborn Apostle, is it safe to assume that it (and any future cards with similar templating) will follow the Relentless Rats rule?


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 Post subject: Re: Commander FAQ and Dumb Question Station
AgePosted: 2013-Jun-29 6:33 pm 
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Yes.


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 Post subject: Re: Commander FAQ and Dumb Question Station
AgePosted: 2013-Jul-16 12:08 pm 
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Joined: 2007-Jan-05 12:58 am
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I got some Strionic Resonator questions by PM, and I thought I'd post the answers here. He can't be the only one wondering:

Quote:
Hey, have a few questions about interactions:

Utvara Hellkite:
Whenever a Dragon you control attacks, put a 6/6 red Dragon creature token with flying onto the battlefield.

Will this copy the trigger of one dragon attack (that I choose) or all of them?

Iona, Shield of Emeria
As Iona, Shield of Emeria enters the battlefield, choose a color.

Is this an enters the battlefield trigger, and if so, can I choose a second color? >_>

I'm guessing this works plainly with Sylvan Primordial (an extra permanent is destroyed from each player)?

Thanks so much for your response... :)


Utvara Hellkite triggers whenever a dragon you control, meaning you'll get separate triggers for each one. Strionic Resonator still works, but you'll get just one extra 6/6.

Iona's ability isn't a triggered ability, and can't be copied. All triggered abilities begin with the word "when", "whenever" or "at". Abilities that start with "as" happen during that event and don't use the stack. Note the similar templating on Vesuvan Shapeshifter; if this were a triggered ability, it would enter the battlefield as a 0/0 and die while it was waiting for its trigger to resolve.

If, hypothetically, Iona did have a triggered ability, then yeah, you'd be able to name a second color. Here might be a good place for a tangent about imprint and similar abilities: A lot of triggered abilities attach info to a card (usually by exiling another one) that's used in a second, linked ability (examples: Duplicant, Oblivion Ring, Isochron Scepter, Elite Arcanist, Exclusion Ritual). When the linked ability refers to "the exiled card" it's referring to all the cards that its triggered ability exiled, including copies of that ability. So Exclusion Ritual would exclude two different spells, all the permanents exiled by Oblivion Ring would return to the battlefield when it goes away, and activating Isochron Scepter or Elite Arcanist once would let you cast a copy of each spell they're holding onto. If the card looks for a value, such as Duplicant or Elite Arcanist, it gets more than one answer and uses the sum. So Elite Arcanist would cost a bunch to activate, but Duplicant will be gigantic.

As you'd expect, Sylvan Primordial's triggered ability is one big chunk, it's not a separate ability for each opponent. Copying it will blow up another permanent for each opponent, not just one.


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 Post subject: Re: Commander FAQ and Dumb Question Station
AgePosted: 2013-Jul-17 2:11 am 

Joined: 2012-Oct-22 5:14 am
Age: Drake
Ban Ki-moon wrote:
I got some Strionic Resonator questions by PM, and I thought I'd post the answers here. He can't be the only one wondering:

Quote:
Hey, have a few questions about interactions:

Utvara Hellkite:
Whenever a Dragon you control attacks, put a 6/6 red Dragon creature token with flying onto the battlefield.

Will this copy the trigger of one dragon attack (that I choose) or all of them?

Iona, Shield of Emeria
As Iona, Shield of Emeria enters the battlefield, choose a color.

Is this an enters the battlefield trigger, and if so, can I choose a second color? >_>

I'm guessing this works plainly with Sylvan Primordial (an extra permanent is destroyed from each player)?

Thanks so much for your response... :)


Utvara Hellkite triggers whenever a dragon you control, meaning you'll get separate triggers for each one. Strionic Resonator still works, but you'll get just one extra 6/6.

Iona's ability isn't a triggered ability, and can't be copied. All triggered abilities begin with the word "when", "whenever" or "at". Abilities that start with "as" happen during that event and don't use the stack. Note the similar templating on Vesuvan Shapeshifter; if this were a triggered ability, it would enter the battlefield as a 0/0 and die while it was waiting for its trigger to resolve.

If, hypothetically, Iona did have a triggered ability, then yeah, you'd be able to name a second color. Here might be a good place for a tangent about imprint and similar abilities: A lot of triggered abilities attach info to a card (usually by exiling another one) that's used in a second, linked ability (examples: Duplicant, Oblivion Ring, Isochron Scepter, Elite Arcanist, Exclusion Ritual). When the linked ability refers to "the exiled card" it's referring to all the cards that its triggered ability exiled, including copies of that ability. So Exclusion Ritual would exclude two different spells, all the permanents exiled by Oblivion Ring would return to the battlefield when it goes away, and activating Isochron Scepter or Elite Arcanist once would let you cast a copy of each spell they're holding onto. If the card looks for a value, such as Duplicant or Elite Arcanist, it gets more than one answer and uses the sum. So Elite Arcanist would cost a bunch to activate, but Duplicant will be gigantic.

As you'd expect, Sylvan Primordial's triggered ability is one big chunk, it's not a separate ability for each opponent. Copying it will blow up another permanent for each opponent, not just one.


I assume you're saying "Duplicant will be gigantic" since he would seemingly use the total P/T of the 2 exiled creature cards. However, this doesn't and can't happen. A creature cannot have multiple sets powers and toughness at the same time. Per Matt Tabak's M14 Rules Update Bulletin:

"Duplicant (functional, sort of)

As you'll read in the Comprehensive Rules section (you will read that part too, right?), our favorite friend Strionic Resonator can do some wacky things with cards that have imprint abilities. Cards that were meant to only have one exiled card can now have two or more. In most cases, that's fine, a rules tweak lets those cards take advantage of that, but Duplicant is a bit different. It's the one card of the bunch that doesn't react well to exiling multiple creature cards. It simply can't have multiple powers and toughnesses. Back before linked abilities were codified, this was solved by having Duplicant get the power, toughness, and creature types of the last creature card it exiled. We're using that solution again, updated with modern terminology.

Old wording:
Imprint—When Duplicant enters the battlefield, you may exile target nontoken creature.
As long as the exiled card is a creature card, Duplicant has that card's power, toughness, and creature types. It's still a Shapeshifter.

New wording:
Imprint—When Duplicant enters the battlefield, you may exile target nontoken creature.
As long as a card exiled with Duplicant is a creature card, Duplicant has the power, toughness, and creature types of the last creature card exiled with Duplicant. It's still a Shapeshifter."

So the copying of Duplicant's trigger will simply change P/T & creature types from one set to another as the triggers resolve, but will still end up exiling two creatures in the process; which is still good enough for me to abuse with the Resonator. :)

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Current EDH decks: Kaalia of the Vast; Lazav, Dimir Mastermind; Marath, Will of the Wild; Cromat


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 Post subject: Re: Commander FAQ and Dumb Question Station
AgePosted: 2013-Jul-17 11:10 am 
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Alright then, thanks for the correction! Phyrexian Ingester is still gigantic.


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 Post subject: Re: Commander FAQ and Dumb Question Station
AgePosted: 2013-Jul-18 1:33 am 

Joined: 2012-Oct-22 5:14 am
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Yes, Phyexian Ingester's linked ability should work with Strionic Resonator as you want since his second ability modifies his P/T rather then sets his P/T like Duplicant.

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Current EDH decks: Kaalia of the Vast; Lazav, Dimir Mastermind; Marath, Will of the Wild; Cromat


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 Post subject: Re: Commander FAQ and Dumb Question Station
AgePosted: 2013-Aug-16 6:36 pm 
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Since we're on the topic of Duplicant/Phyrexian Ingester, this is a question that's come up a lot that I'd like definitively solved.

If you Duplicant/Ingestor a Commander, and the Commander goes to the Command Zone, does the applicable information still get imprinted on the card(s) or are they still a 2/4 slash 3/3 respectively?



Additionally, this always comes up in multiplayer and we always forget the correct answer because there is no good compendium for this simple FAQ. When Player 3 uses Bribery/Acquire on Player 2, and later Player 3 dies with Player 2's card still on the battlefield under his [Player 3's] control... what happens to Player 2's card? Does it get exiled, sacrificed, or returned until Player 2's control remaining on the battlefield? As a sidenote, we know that a card that's Gilded Drake'd is returned to its owner, but we're confused if it was not stolen from the battlefield originally.

_________________
A few of my EDH Generals:
~ Mayael the Anima - Mayael the 5-Power Stompy
~ Marath, Will of the Wild - An EDH Teacher deck (Tribal Beasts)
~ Rhys the Redeemed - Tokens... Why do they keep coming!?
~ Bosh, Iron Golem - Legend of the Iron Giants
~ Damia, Sage of Stone - All Creatures Great & Small


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 Post subject: Re: Commander FAQ and Dumb Question Station
AgePosted: 2013-Aug-16 9:53 pm 
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I can answer this one :D

TheDoctor wrote:
Since we're on the topic of Duplicant/Phyrexian Ingester, this is a question that's come up a lot that I'd like definitively solved.

If you Duplicant/Ingestor a Commander, and the Commander goes to the Command Zone, does the applicable information still get imprinted on the card(s) or are they still a 2/4 slash 3/3 respectively?

Duplicant ends up as a 2/4. Because it reads "As long as a card exiled with Duplicant is a creature card", since the card never goes to exile, Duplicant can't find the imprinted card's P/T values, so these never change.

TheDoctor wrote:
Additionally, this always comes up in multiplayer and we always forget the correct answer because there is no good compendium for this simple FAQ. When Player 3 uses Bribery/Acquire on Player 2, and later Player 3 dies with Player 2's card still on the battlefield under his [Player 3's] control... what happens to Player 2's card? Does it get exiled, sacrificed, or returned until Player 2's control remaining on the battlefield? As a sidenote, we know that a card that's Gilded Drake'd is returned to its owner, but we're confused if it was not stolen from the battlefield originally.

Yeah, this rule is indeed pretty confusing. I use Karrthus as a Commander, so I had to look up the official ruling for control-changing effects, and it took me a lot of time to find the correct answer.

Basically, this is how it works. if you take control of a permanent from the battlefield permanently, when you lose the game, the control-changing effect that was giving you control of that permanent ends and the most recent control-changing effect after that takes place. Example: if player 1 is the owner of Squire, then player 2 casts Sower of Temptation on Squire, then you cast Blatant Thievery on Squire, when you lose the game, if player 2's Sower still hasn't left the battlefield, Squire doesn't return to it's owner; it returns to player 2.

However, if a player takes control of a permanent from anywhere other than the battlefield, when that player loses the game, the permanent is exiled.

_________________
Name: Night of the Ninja
General: Yuriko, the Tiger's Shadow
Archetype: Aggro

Name: Enraged Wilds
General: Marath, Will of the Wild
Archetype: Aggro-Control

Name: Draconic Domination
General: The Ur-Dragon
Archetype: Midrange


Last edited by Maluko on 2013-Aug-19 9:43 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Commander FAQ and Dumb Question Station
AgePosted: 2013-Aug-18 12:19 pm 

Joined: 2012-Mar-31 11:52 am
Age: Elder Dragon
So basically, if the stolen permanent entered the battlefield via theft, it gets exiled, and if it was stolen from the battlefield it returns to its previous owner?


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