Magic: The Gathering is a game beloved by millions of people world wide, its countless variants in play format have captivated players for well over 2 decades. Whether you play draft, legacy, standard, modern or any of the other formats, one format towers above the rest. Chances are that if you play MTG you likely play Commander as well.
Commander is a format that has been played in one form or another since the late 90's, first conceptualized by Adam Staley in 1996, it was originally known as Elder Dragon Highlander (EDH) basing its wacky and fun play style off the original "Elder Dragons" Nicol Bolas, Arcades Sabboth, Chromium Rhuell, Vaevictis Asmadi and Palladia-Mors. Using these behemoths players would duke it out in a 1v1 game that would last hours until only one player emerged victorious. The format as a whole would be tweaked and changed over the years until it became the fully fleshed out titan of a format that it is today. Players today build 99 card singleton decks with the legendary creature of their choice at the helm, dictating what colours the pilot has at their disposal and battle it out in groups of 4, each player with 40 life.
On June 17, 2011 Wizards of the Coast would finally recognize Commander and its massive following by releasing the first ever Commander preconstructed decks. A set of 5 decks hit the shelves introducing a total of 51 new cards that the game had never seen before and a bunch of wild reprints that would excite the community and kick off a product line that blossomed into the most anticipated releases every year. These days, WotC releases 3-5 Commander products a year and players cant seem to get enough.
These days when you walk into your local game shop finding a crew to play with is basically a guarantee, with most stores running a weekly "Commander Night".
Commander is one of those formats that no matter what you want to play, you can. From a silly squirrels decks to serious combo decks, commander can be built in whatever way the player wants. Needing only 1 copy of any given card opens up endless possibilities for players to brew and construct all sorts of whimsical decks. With over 130 different sets in the game and tens of thousands of unique cards the possibilities are seemingly endless. You can be as creative or cookie cutter as you choose to be.
Commander has enabled players old and new to really think about what they want to do in the game and achieve it. The creativity it offers is the main reason for its success as a whole. WotC has also taken that creativity and ran with it, as now they release commander products with players from other facets of the gaming world. This year they released Universes Beyond: Warhammer 40k preconstructed decks that sold like wildfire, bringing in new players from the Warhammer community and expanding the horizons of commander. This release opens up a world of possibilities for new commander product and cards that will keep players coming back for more.
Head out to your local game store and ask the staff about commander and how you can get involved ! If you enjoy a casual game night with friends, Commander is most certainly the game for you.
You can find all sorts of singles and preconstructed commander decks at criticalhitgaminglounge.com