2021 was a crazy year for our format, lots of powerful cards were released, and more DC tournaments than ever were organised all over the world. It looks like 2022 will be even better in that regard, two new sets are already out (Secret Lair: Stranger Things -among others- and Neon Kamigawa Dynasty), and the first 300+ players tournaments have been announced.

Unfortunately, the pandemic is still out there, and we hope it ends one day so that players can safely enjoy the game and attend tournaments, but the format is still thriving, even in that context, and it is a great thing. Tournament organizers and players have made it clear that they love Duel Commander.

However, with one more partners themed set (Secret Lair: Stranger Things) and one random "partner-ability" card to be released in the latest set, players and tournament organizers have been even more concerned than before about the growing popularity and strength of decks with 2 cards in command zones. While there was a reasonable doubt about the frequency of print and amount of multiple objects command zones, it seemed fine to regulate this “problem” as we’ve always done, i.e. banning the cards that were deemed too powerful or threatening to the format’s balance. It was not perfect, as it meant frequently banning commanders, but it worked, and it allowed us to keep the diversity offered by the mechanic and its variants. But the latest prints made it obvious that Wizards Of The Coast wants the mechanic to become a permanent feature, and that more and more cards allowing multiple objects in command zones will be printed in the future, with an increasing frequency of printing.

Therefore, we’ve decided to change our method of handling this concern in the hope that it will offer more stability to players and tournament organizers. Today’s off-schedule announcement is about something we haven’t done often in the past (and that we don't plan to do more often in the future): we’re changing rules to try and tone down the power of command zones with two or more objects.



The following rule changes now apply (you can find these in the context of our Comprehensive Rules):

  • 301.5 Casting commanders

  • 301.5a Players can only cast the same commander from their command zones after choosing which one they cast for the first time during each game. This is a change from previous rules defined in section 903.8 of the Magic The Gathering Comprehensive Rules.

  • 301.5b There is no such choice to be announced by a player prior the first cast of one of their commanders.

  • 301.5c During a game, once a player has cast one of their commanders from their command zone, the other ones, if any, can’t be cast from this command zone.

  • 301.5d The other commanders in that player's command zone are still subject to the rules defined in section 903.9 of the Magic The Gathering Comprehensive Rules and can be cast from anywhere else.


  • 403.1b Rule 301.5 in this document does not affect the deck building process.


  • 507 Playing with more than one commander

  • 507.1. If more than one commander is put in the command zone at the start of a game, refer to rule 301.5 in this document.

  • 507.2. A commander cast from any other zone than the command zone does not count in regard to rule 301.5 of this document.

    Example : Command Beacon is a card that reads “{T}, Sacrifice Command Beacon: put your commander into your hand from the command zone.” A player put one of their commanders in their hand using this ability and didn’t cast the other commander previously. They can still cast any commander from their command zone.
    Example : Tevesh Szat, Doom of Fools is a card that reads “{−10}: gain control of all commanders. Put all commanders from the command zone onto the battlefield under your control.” A player that did not cast any commander from their command zone before the resolution of this ability can still cast one of their commanders from that zone.


  • Yoshimaru, Ever Faithful is now banned as a commander only.


  • No changes.


  • No changes.

We know this is a lot to process, and that this will shake the format. It will require some time to adjust, some deckbuilding habits to change. Gameplay decision making will also be different. We trust players will be able to adapt, and will enjoy the format even more in the end.

As some players won’t fail to notice, this announcement means that preventive announcements and off-schedule “emergency” announcements are now tools we’re ready to use. Please keep in mind that these still won’t be used lightly, and only on exceptional occasions.

👉 Don’t forget to check out our Banned and Restricted page for a recap of all the currently banned/restricted cards.

👉 Don’t forget to check out our Comprehensive Rules page to fully understand the Duel Commander rules.
👉 These changes apply immediately. Of course, you can still contact us on
our Facebook Page page and our Discord server. The next announcement will be published on Monday, March 28.


We read and analysed a lot of feedback to determine what players wanted, which characteristics of the mechanics they wanted to get rid of and which characteristics they liked, and three major axes came to light:

  • A lot of players no longer wanted two or more objects that could be cast multiple times from the command zone.

  • A lot of players did love the colour options the mechanics offered. As we often mentioned, the mechanics allowed players to play colour combinations that didn’t see a lot of quality commanders, and it was probably the main reason why the mechanics were seemed as interesting by everyone.

  • Should a fix happen, a lot of players would have liked to have the possibility to individually play the commanders, as some of them were reasonable and interesting cards on their own, and still offered build-around options.

We also read and analysed the most possible options that we could think of or were suggested by various members of the community (either on Discord, Facebook, private messaging, or face-to-face talks). None of these solutions were perfect, so in the end we went for the one that offered the best balance in terms of keeping what made the characteristics interesting while bringing it close to single commanders in regard to power level, and the one that best matched the aforementioned axes.

As the new rules state, players picking more than one commander in their command zone (whether they’re Partners, Friends Forever, Partners With, or any other future variants allowing multiple cards in the command zone) will now have to choose which one they want to cast each game, and won’t be able to cast both multiple times. So you will now have to choose carefully which commander you cast first, as you won’t be able to cast the other one for what remains of the game. The one you cast still follows all of the dedicated Commander rules, of course. For the second game and beyond, if any, you can choose to cast the other one, or the same one anew.
For instance, if you’re playing
Livio, Oathsworn Sentinel and Malcolm, Keen-Eyed Navigator, you can play game 1 with only Livio, Oathsworn Sentinel, game 2 with Malcolm, Keen-Eyed Navigator only, and game 3 with either of them. Or you can also play all three games with the same one.

Also, you don't have to choose at the beginning of the game, since the “lock” happens when you cast a commander for the first time each game. This also means that if you’re using specific cards to move one commander from the command zone to your hand (such as Command Beacon or Hellkite Courser do) before casting a commander from the command zone, it won’t lock the other one. So these cards still function as they always did.

Of course, this new rule means some of the commanders that were previously banned because they were part of the mechanics concerned by this rules change will no longer remain banned. All those that were banned mostly because they were too strong with a second commander but would be fine on their own get an “out of jail” seal and are back to the format. On the other hand, those that were banned because they were already too strong on their own (such as Vial Smasher, the Fierce or Akiri, Line Slinger, for instance), or key components of specific archetypes and combo outlets (such as Thrasios, Triton Hero), will remain banned.

The following commanders hence remain banned:

Yoshimaru, Ever Faithful

Even though Yoshimaru, Ever Faithful won't be as strong as it could have been without the rule change, it is still one of the best one-drop commanders ever printed. With more and more cheap legendary permanents printed every year, and a decent number of those being already available, it will regularly outperform other low-cost aggressive commanders, even with an average draw. Therefore, we’ve decided to ban Yoshimaru, Ever Faithful in order to maintain diversity among aggressive strategies.