Posted by: frostare | January 26, 2014

Commander – MYM and Magic


Welcome to my article on the Commander format of Magic: the Gathering. I wrote this article in hopes of sparking interest in MYMers so they might play it and enjoy it. Many of you don’t even play the basic Magic: the Gathering game. Hopefully I can explain it to you so you’ll know how to play both Magic and Commander. The good news is, it won’t cost you a thing to play! I’ll explain all that later.

OmniscienceCheap Ass

To learn the basics of Magic, here’s a helpful article. The goal of the game is to get your opponents’ life total to zero, using spells from your deck which include creatures and sorceries. If you have questions, ask me, FA, Froy, or many other people who know about the game in MYM. Or just Google it. It’s a great game.

Command Tower Oloro, Ageless Ascetic

Commander, or EDH for short, is a unique casual format of Magic. Each deck has 100 cards in it, and each card is different other than basic lands. To compare, normal Magic decks have 60 cards,  many of which have 4 of the same card in them. In normal Magic, players have 20 life, but in Commander, that’s doubled to 40. Unlike normal formats, Commander is geared towards multiplayer: three or more players. So obviously, the spells and creatures are larger, the games are longer, and the matches are colossal. It’s the greatest format in Magic.

Krenko, Mob BossUril, the Miststalker

The signature feature of the format is in its title: Commander. You have a Legendary creature called your Commander who leads your deck and army. He’s in his own zone: you don’t have to search your deck or draw him to cast him. As soon as you have the mana available, you can cast him right off the bat. The deck is built around the Commander, too. You can only have cards that share the Commander’s color. So if you have a red Commander, like Krenko, Mob Boss, you can only have red spells in your deck. If you have a multicolored commander, like Uril, the Miststalker, you can only have red, green, and/or white spells in your deck, in any combination. For these reasons, I think that Commander is a lot like MYM, and I approach building my decks with the same mindset. I express their character and theme somewhat with my card choices, and people can be creative with their decks, because they can use any card in the history of Magic!

Krenko's CommandSpellbreaker Behemoth

Here are two examples for the cards I listed above. Krenko’s Command is obvious, but Spellbreaker Behemoth is a bit more subtle. It fits with Uril’s theme of immunity to magic, and it’s huge, much like the whitecover mist referenced in Uril’s card. Behemoth’s second ability also helps with getting Uril out onto the field. Many players (looking at you, Blue) have counterspells to deal with threats. If Uril can’t be countered, once he’s on the battlefield, his hexproof ability makes sure he can’t be removed by kill spells! Now back to Krenko’s Command. It helps with Krenko’s ability, which doubles the amount of Goblins you have on the field. If you cast this spell, then use Krenko’s ability, those two Goblins become four! So with Commander decks, I like to focus on fitting the Commander’s theme both mechanically, and flavorfully.

PutrefyUnexpectedly Absent

There’s something else about your Commander that I haven’t mentioned. Your general will eventually be taken out, especially against players packing kill spells like the single target Murder and the mass wipe Wrath of God. Whenever your Commander is either destroyed or exiled, you can put it back in the command zone where you can cast it again. However, each time after the first has an additional cost of 2 extra mana for each time cast. This is a balancing factor, as Commander games have a lot of mana at their disposal and it keeps it somewhat on the same level. Otherwise, players can keep casting cheap commanders or abusing “enter the battlefield” effects without having to expend any extra cost or effort.

So, that’s the basics, all you need to know to enjoy my articles on this topic. I’m gonna go over several different decks in articles in the future, deckbuilding tips, and share with you some of my favorite commanders and decks! Now, I said it wouldn’t cost you anything to play. I play it on Cockatrice, a free Magic online simulator. Download it at:

Let me know what you’d like to see in the future, which will be more apparent with my articles. I will also take deckbuilding requests! For now, here’s a sneak peek at the card I will be discussing in my next article, and the only Commander deck I own in real life:

Thromok the Insatiable


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