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Can a Planeswalker Be a Commander?

Can a Planeswalker be a commander in mtg - Main


Key Takeaways: Can a Planeswalker Be a Commander?

  • Not all planeswalkers in MTG can be commanders; only those with the specific ability “can be your commander.”
  • Planeswalker commanders were first introduced in the Commander 2014 Edition.
  • Using a planeswalker as a commander requires unique strategic considerations, both in deck building and gameplay.
  • Planeswalker commanders add a new layer of tactical depth and variety to the MTG Commander format.
  • Protecting your planeswalker commander is crucial due to their vulnerability to direct attacks.
  • Planeswalkers can significantly influence the power level and strategy of a deck in the Commander format.
  • Planeswalkers cannot be commanders in all MTG formats, this is specific to Commander (EDH).
  • Resources such as official MTG rules, forums, and articles are invaluable for understanding planeswalkers as commanders.

Understanding Planeswalkers in Magic: The Gathering

Understanding Planeswalkers in Magic

Hey there, fellow Magic: The Gathering enthusiasts! If you’ve been playing MTG for as long as I have, you know that the world of MTG is vast and magical. Planeswalkers are at the heart of this universe. These powerful characters are not just spellcasters but also travelers between the planes of the MTG multiverse. Each planeswalker comes with unique abilities that can turn the tide of a game.

Remember my early days in the late ’90s, when the concept of planeswalkers was still evolving? Back then, we could only imagine being these powerful beings. Today, they are an integral part of the game, each with a rich backstory and a role to play in the ongoing MTG narrative.

The Concept of a Commander in MTG

Now, let’s talk about commanders. In MTG, the commander format, also known as Elder Dragon Highlander (EDH), is a favorite among players who enjoy a more social, creative deck-building experience. Your commander is a legendary creature that leads your deck and can be called into the battle repeatedly. This format revolves around your commander’s unique abilities and encourages diverse strategies.

Can a planeswalker be a commander? It’s a question that’s been on the minds of many players. Traditionally, commanders were only legendary creatures. But as the game evolved, so did the rules and possibilities. This opens up an exciting realm of strategic depth and deck-building creativity.

When I first encountered a deck with a planeswalker commander, it was a whole new experience. The dynamics of the game changed, bringing new challenges and strategies to the table. It’s this kind of evolution in gameplay that keeps MTG fresh and exciting for players like us, who have been in the game for decades.

So, let’s dive deeper into this intriguing topic and explore the possibilities and rules around planeswalkers as commanders. Whether you’re a seasoned player or just starting, understanding these concepts is key to mastering the art of MTG.

Can a Planeswalker be a Commander?

Can a Planeswalker be a Commander?

The Basic Rules of Commanders

In the realm of Magic: The Gathering, the concept of a commander in EDH (Elder Dragon Highlander) format is a game-changer. Typically, a commander is a legendary creature chosen to lead your deck. This choice shapes your deck’s strategy, color identity, and overall gameplay approach.

Historically, commanders were always creatures. But, as MTG evolved, the introduction of planeswalkers that can act as commanders added a new layer of excitement and strategy. However, not all planeswalkers can serve in this role. The planeswalker must have the specific ability stating, “can be your commander.” This subtle yet pivotal rule opened doors to a multitude of new strategic plays and deck themes.

Specific Cases Where Planeswalkers Can be Commanders

The introduction of planeswalkers as potential commanders started with the Commander (2014 Edition), a pivotal moment in MTG history. This set featured five planeswalkers, each designed with the ability to be a commander.

Let’s delve into some examples. Take “Nahiri, the Lithomancer” from this set. Nahiri’s abilities cater to a deck focused on Equipment and creature buffs, providing a unique angle compared to a traditional creature commander. Similarly, “Teferi, Temporal Archmage” allows for a control-style deck centered around manipulating time and resources.

The inclusion of planeswalkers as commanders is not widespread across all sets. Only certain planeswalkers from specific sets, like the aforementioned Commander (2014 Edition) and others, possess this unique capability. This limitation ensures the balance and integrity of the commander format, maintaining a level playing field while offering creative deck-building options.

It’s worth noting that in regular play, planeswalkers are not automatically eligible as commanders. This distinction is vital for maintaining the game’s balance. The ability for a planeswalker to be a commander is a special exception, not a general rule.

This development in the game’s rules reflects the dynamic nature of MTG. It showcases the willingness of the game’s designers to explore new horizons while respecting the game’s core principles. As a longtime player, seeing these changes and adapting to them has been both a challenge and a thrill. Each new set and rule change brings a fresh wave of strategic possibilities, keeping the game engaging for both veterans and newcomers.

All Planeswalkers that Can Be Commanders

All Planeswalkers that Can Be Commanders

List of Eligible Planeswalkers

As a seasoned player of Magic: The Gathering, I’ve seen a wide variety of planeswalkers, each bringing their unique flavor to the game. However, when it comes to planeswalkers that can serve as commanders, the list is more selective. Let’s take a closer look at these special planeswalkers.

Nahiri, the LithomancerCommander 2014
Teferi, Temporal ArchmageCommander 2014
Ob Nixilis of the Black OathCommander 2014
Freyalise, Llanowar’s FuryCommander 2014
Daretti, Scrap SavantCommander 2014
Lord WindgraceCommander 2018
Aminatou, the FateshifterCommander 2018
Estrid, the MaskedCommander 2018
Saheeli, the GiftedCommander 2018
Urza, Lord High ArtificerModern Horizons

These planeswalkers are not just any characters; they were designed with the intention of leading your deck in the commander format. Each one of them brings a unique strategy and style to the game.

Spotlight on Notable Planeswalker Commanders

Let’s highlight a few of these extraordinary planeswalkers. “Nahiri, the Lithomancer” is particularly interesting for her ability to create and manipulate equipment, making for a deck that’s heavy on artifacts and creature enhancement.

Then there’s “Teferi, Temporal Archmage,” a favorite among those who love to control the game. Teferi’s ability to manipulate time and resources gives players the upper hand in controlling the game’s pace.

“Urza, Lord High Artificer” from Modern Horizons is another standout. Urza’s versatility in artifact manipulation and creation of mana makes him a powerhouse in any commander game.

Each of these planeswalkers offers a different approach to the commander game, allowing players to explore various strategies and styles. The diversity they bring to the table is a testament to the rich and evolving world of MTG, where new characters and abilities continually redefine the game’s dynamics.

Playing with a planeswalker as a commander is not just about the powerful abilities they bring. It’s also about the stories they tell and the worlds they represent. Each game becomes a journey through the lore and magic of the MTG universe, making every match an exciting adventure.

Exploring the Rules: Can Any Planeswalker be a Commander?

Can Any Planeswalker be a Commander

General Restrictions for Planeswalkers as Commanders

In Magic: The Gathering, the idea of having a planeswalker as a commander is both exciting and complex. It’s important to understand the general rules and restrictions. Typically, in the commander format, a commander must be a legendary creature. This is the fundamental rule that shapes the format. However, there are exceptions, specifically for planeswalkers.

The key rule here is that a planeswalker can only be a commander if it has the specific ability stating, “can be your commander.” This is not a common trait among planeswalkers. Most planeswalkers in MTG do not have this ability and thus, cannot be used as commanders. This restriction is crucial for maintaining the balance and integrity of the game, ensuring that the powerful abilities of planeswalkers are kept in check.

Exceptions and Special Sets

Now, let’s look at the exceptions to this rule. The Commander (2014 Edition) was the first to introduce planeswalkers that could also be commanders. This groundbreaking move added a new dimension to deck building and gameplay. These special planeswalkers were designed with abilities and power levels suitable for the commander role.

Following this, other sets also introduced planeswalkers with the capability to be commanders. For instance, the Commander 2018 edition brought in more such planeswalkers, expanding the options for players. However, it’s vital to note that these are specific exceptions. A regular planeswalker card from a standard set, without the “can be your commander” ability, cannot be used as a commander.

This approach ensures that the addition of planeswalker commanders remains a special and exciting aspect of the game, without disrupting the overall balance. It also encourages players to explore different strategies and deck themes, keeping the gameplay fresh and engaging.

In conclusion, while not every planeswalker can be a commander, those that can bring unique strategies and challenges to the commander format. This selective approach by the game designers shows a thoughtful balance between innovation and tradition, keeping the game engaging for both new and veteran players.

Deck Building with a Planeswalker Commander

Deck Building with a Planeswalker Commander

Strategies for Building Around a Planeswalker

Choosing a planeswalker as a commander in Magic: The Gathering adds an intriguing twist to deck building. Unlike traditional legendary creatures, planeswalkers offer a different kind of utility and strategy. As someone who’s built numerous decks over the years, I find this aspect of the game particularly exciting.

Firstly, it’s crucial to align your deck with the unique abilities of your planeswalker commander. For instance, if your commander excels in creating creature tokens, your deck should capitalize on this strength. Include cards that benefit from having a lot of creatures on the battlefield. Similarly, if your commander has strong control abilities, consider adding cards that disrupt your opponents’ plans while protecting your commander.

Another key strategy is to ensure that your deck can function effectively even without your commander on the field. This means having a good balance of creatures, spells, and other planeswalkers that can hold their own in various situations.

Balancing Your Deck with a Planeswalker at the Helm

Balancing a deck with a planeswalker commander is like solving a fascinating puzzle. You need to consider not only the strengths of your commander but also their vulnerabilities. Since planeswalkers can be attacked directly by creatures, it’s important to include cards that protect them. This could mean having creatures with “defender” or spells that can remove threats.

Additionally, the mana curve of your deck is crucial. Planeswalkers tend to have higher mana costs, so it’s essential to include lower-cost cards to ensure you’re not left defenseless in the early game.

Incorporating cards that synergize with your commander’s abilities can also amplify your deck’s effectiveness. For example, if your planeswalker commander can draw additional cards, include cards that benefit from having a large hand size or cards that allow you to play multiple lands per turn.

Building a deck around a planeswalker commander is not just about the power of the cards. It’s about creating a strategy that reflects your play style and maximizes the potential of your commander. Each decision in the deck-building process contributes to a unique and personalized gaming experience.

Impact on Gameplay

Impact on Gameplay

How a Planeswalker Commander Changes Your Game Plan

Having a planeswalker as a commander in Magic: The Gathering significantly alters the game’s dynamics. This change introduces new strategies and considerations, both for the player using the planeswalker and their opponents.

For the player with the planeswalker commander, the focus shifts to protecting this valuable asset. Planeswalkers, unlike creatures, can be attacked directly by opponents’ creatures. This vulnerability means you have to think defensively, ensuring your planeswalker can utilize their abilities without being overwhelmed. It’s a thrilling challenge to balance offense and defense, making every move count.

Opponents also need to adjust their strategies. A planeswalker commander often has potent abilities that can dominate the game if left unchecked. This requires a more aggressive approach, focusing on direct attacks and disruption strategies to prevent the planeswalker from gaining too much control.

Interaction with Other Players and Strategies

The presence of a planeswalker commander on the battlefield also influences interactions with other players. In multiplayer games, it’s common for players to form temporary alliances to deal with a particularly strong planeswalker commander. These shifting alliances and negotiations add an intriguing layer of diplomacy and strategy to the game.

Furthermore, the choice of a planeswalker as a commander often signals a specific strategy. For example, a player using Teferi, Temporal Archmage might focus on controlling time and resources, while Nahiri, the Lithomancer might indicate a deck built around equipment and artifact synergy. This insight allows opponents to anticipate and prepare for certain strategies, making the game more about outsmarting the opponent than just overpowering them.

In conclusion, a planeswalker commander adds a complex and engaging element to Magic: The Gathering. It challenges players to think creatively, adapt their strategies, and interact with opponents in new ways. Whether you’re the one commanding the planeswalker or facing against one, the game takes on an exciting and dynamic quality that’s both challenging and immensely rewarding.


What Makes a Planeswalker Eligible to be a Commander?

In Magic: The Gathering, not all planeswalkers can serve as commanders. The key criteria for a planeswalker to be eligible as a commander is a specific ability stating, “can be your commander.” This ability is only found on certain planeswalker cards, primarily from sets like Commander 2014 and Commander 2018. Without this explicit ability, a planeswalker cannot act as a commander in the EDH format.

How Do Planeswalker Commanders Affect the Power Level of a Deck?

Planeswalker commanders can significantly influence the power level of a deck. Their unique abilities provide strategic advantages that are not typically available to creature commanders. For example, a planeswalker’s ability to create tokens, draw cards, or control the battlefield can offer consistent advantages. However, their vulnerability to direct attacks also requires a deck to have protective measures, which can balance their power level.

Can Planeswalkers be Commanders in All Formats?

No, planeswalkers cannot be commanders in all formats of Magic: The Gathering. The eligibility of a planeswalker to be a commander is specific to the Commander (EDH) format. In other formats like Standard, Modern, or Legacy, planeswalkers can only be played as regular cards within a player’s deck and not as commanders. This rule is crucial for maintaining the balance and integrity of different gameplay formats in MTG.

Conclusion – Summarizing the Role of Planeswalkers as Commanders

In the captivating world of Magic: The Gathering, the inclusion of planeswalkers as commanders has added a new dimension to the game. This shift has not only broadened the strategic possibilities but also deepened the lore and connection to the characters.

Planeswalker commanders bring a unique blend of abilities and challenges to the game. Their potential to be a game-changer in every match, with abilities that go beyond the scope of regular creature commanders, creates new tactical layers. Players must think creatively and strategically, balancing the strengths and vulnerabilities of their planeswalker while considering the broader game dynamics.

The introduction of planeswalkers as commanders is a testament to the evolving nature of MTG. It reflects the game’s ability to adapt and grow, offering players both old and new, a fresh perspective on deck building and gameplay. As the game continues to evolve, the role of planeswalkers as commanders will undoubtedly continue to be a key part of MTG’s enduring appeal and strategic depth.

Related Reading: Planeswalker Commanders in Magic: The Gathering

All 19 Planeswalker Commanders in MTG Ranked – Draftsim
The landscape of Magic: The Gathering’s Commander format underwent a significant transformation with the introduction of planeswalkers as commanders. This change, initiated by Commander 2014, opened up new strategic possibilities and raised intriguing questions. The article delves into the nuances of using planeswalkers as commanders, highlighting the specific criteria that allow a planeswalker to assume this role. It also explores the evolving dynamics of the game, offering insights into the top planeswalker commanders and their unique abilities.

Can any planeswalker be a commander? – Vintage is The New Old
In the realm of Magic: The Gathering, the rules governing planeswalkers as commanders are distinct and fascinating. This source sheds light on the conditions under which a planeswalker can serve as a commander, emphasizing that not all planeswalkers are eligible for this role. It provides a comprehensive overview of the planeswalkers that fit the criteria, enhancing players’ understanding of the strategic choices available in deck building.

What planeswalker cards can be used as commanders in the Commander format?
This resource offers a deep dive into the specific planeswalker cards that are permissible as commanders in Magic: The Gathering’s Commander format. It clarifies the official rules and guidelines, providing players with a clear understanding of which planeswalkers can lead their decks. The discussion also touches on the broader implications of these rules for gameplay and strategy, making it an essential read for enthusiasts of the format.

Can any planeswalker be your commander? – Vintage is The New Old
Exploring the intriguing question of which planeswalkers can be commanders, this source delves into the specifics of legendary planeswalkers eligible for this role. It presents a curated list of the top planeswalkers that can serve as commanders, offering insights into their abilities and impact on gameplay. This article is a valuable resource for players looking to optimize their Commander decks with the right planeswalker at the helm.

Oathbreaker: All Planeswalker Commanders
Oathbreaker, a unique format in Magic: The Gathering, is dedicated exclusively to planeswalkers as commanders. This article introduces readers to the Oathbreaker format, highlighting its distinct rules and the freedom it offers in choosing any planeswalker as a commander. It provides an overview of the format’s structure, including the role of an accompanying instant or sorcery spell in the command zone, making it a must-read for players interested in exploring new and dynamic ways to enjoy the game.

Further Resources on Planeswalkers and Commanders

  1. Official Magic: The Gathering Website: This is the go-to place for the latest updates, rules, and card databases. It’s essential for keeping up-to-date with the ever-evolving world of MTG.
  2. MTG Wiki: An exhaustive resource for all things Magic, including detailed histories of planeswalkers, their abilities, and their roles in the MTG universe.
  3. Commander Forums and Websites: Online communities like offer discussions, deck-building guides, and insights on using planeswalkers as commanders.
  4. YouTube Channels: Channels dedicated to MTG often provide visual guides, deck reviews, and gameplay tips that are invaluable for both beginners and veterans.

Recommended Articles and Guides

  • Articles from well-known MTG players and theorists often delve deep into strategy and card analysis. Look for articles focusing on commander strategies and the utilization of planeswalkers.
  • Guides on deck building with planeswalkers as commanders can be found on various MTG-themed websites and blogs. These guides offer step-by-step instructions and are great for players who are new to this concept.

Incorporating these resources into your MTG journey can profoundly impact your understanding and enjoyment of the game. Whether you’re a seasoned player or just starting out, there’s always something new to learn in the vast, magical world of Magic: The Gathering.


Official MTG Rules and Guidelines

  1. Magic: The Gathering Comprehensive Rules: These are the official rules of the game, providing detailed information on gameplay mechanics, including the use of planeswalkers as commanders.
  2. Commander Format Rules: Specific guidelines for the Commander (EDH) format, outlining the unique rules and card interactions.
  3. Wizards of the Coast Publications: Official publications from Wizards of the Coast, the creators of Magic: The Gathering, often contain updates and clarifications on the rules, including the role of planeswalkers.

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