Magic The Gathering
How to Play Commander

mtg commander
the basics

Commander is a different way to play Magic The Gathering. If you’re wondering how to play this version of Magic, then you’ve come to the right place. Let’s talk about how to play, what the basics are and what else you need to know.

The format is very simple because it involves choosing your hero. Once you have picked your hero, you’ll build your deck around them. The legendary creature you choose will serve as your commander, hence the name of the game. Whatever the color identity of your creature is will determine how you’ll build the rest of your deck.

The deck will consist of the legendary creature of your choice, as well as 99 other cards. You’re only allowed to have one copy of a card. This applies to all cards. The only exception are basic lands. Don’t discard any basic land just because there’s a duplicate copy. Whatever the color identity of your commander is, your other cards should be this color.

MTG Commander Planeswalker

how to play mtg commander

Playing the game requires at least two players. The maximum number of players is six. The format is a free-for-all multiplayer format.

You start with 40 life points, and the commanders have to start in their respective zones, which are known as command zones. Turns are taken in clockwise order. The last one standing is the one who wins the game.

MTG Commander Elemental

color identity and symbols

In regards to color identity, any card’s color identity can come from any area of the card. This includes in areas such as the Mana symbols found in texts or in the area that says how much it costs to cast. The cards within your deck must have the same exact Mana symbol/symbols as your commander. If you have colorless cards, then go ahead and use them because they are allowed.

MTG Commander Cat Beast

the commander zone

The commander zone is where the commander stays when you are not using them. If they are not in play, they are kept in that zone. At the very start of the game, you’ll want to place your commander face up within the command zone.

Take a look at the costs on your commander’s card because that is how much it is to cast them. However, if the commander has been cast already, then you’ll be required to use two Mana for each time the commander was used. This can add up overtime. So be very strategic when it comes to casting your commander from the command zone.

Also, there are certain situations in which you can return your commander to their command zone. For example, place them back into the zone if they would end up in the graveyard or library. If they have been exiled from anywhere or would have ended up in your hand, then go ahead and put them into the command zone.

MTG Commander Sphinx Rogue


You lose the game if you have been dealt a damage factor of 21 by the same commander. Bear in mind that this damage can be dealt over the course of the game. If you are dealt more than 21 combat damage, then you still lose.

Furthermore, whenever there are zone changes, the commander is tracked. For example, if someone else takes control of your commander, but they take damage, then this damage counts in addition to the damage they have already taken. For instance, if your commander was dealt 10 damage and then taken over by your opponent, then that 10 damage is still counted.

MTG Commander Dwarf Soldier

banned cards in mtg commander

Bear in mind that certain cards cannot be played in this format. There are over 20 cards that have the type “conspiracy” on them. These cards cannot be used. Also, there are a number of cards that reference playing for the ante. These cards are banned from being used in Commander.

Some of these cards that are banned include Balance, Black Lotus, Chaos Orb and Falling Star. Other cards include Mox Jet, Mox Pearl and Max Sapphire. Remember, these are only a handful of the cards that are not allowed to be played in Commander format. Before you play this version of Magic, you’ll want to double check to make sure you’re not using cards that are banned.

MTG Commander Human Cleric

What decks do i use in mtg commander?

If you have never played Commander, then you might be wondering what type of deck you should build. The truth is it is easier to just use a deck that has already been built until you get comfortable with the game. Once you are comfortable, you can build your deck from scratch with the cards of your choice.

On that note, there are plenty of pre-built decks on the market. Many of these decks have been created to help beginners stand a chance against other players, even if they are highly skilled. What you’ll want to do is compare a few pre-built decks designed for Commander, and then choose the one you like the best.

MTG Commander Vampire Rogue

what else you should know to play mtg commander

If you’re going to play with three players or more, then this means each player will have 40 life. You’ll draw seven cards. You will be seated in a circle. Turns are taken in a clockwise order. Don’t forget, the commanders go in their respective command zones. Also keep your commander card faced up.

You can attack any player of your choosing. If you want, feel free to launch an attack on several players. Also, spells, permanents and abilities can be used to target any player. If the cards don’t specifically say that they have to be used on yourself, then you’re free to attack anyone else.

MTG Commander Artifact

At first, Commander might seem complicated. However, the more you play it, the more you’ll get the hang of things. You can make things easier on yourself by keeping the above info in mind. With that said, go ahead and start playing Commander to find out for yourself why it’s so much fun to play.