September 24, 2020

What is The Commander War Chest?

The Command War Chest has become my favorite way to play Magic. It’s a self-contained Commander experience, that doesn’t require that anyone else bring anything. There’s no long drafting process or any other nonsense. It’s ready to play out of the box, like a board game. You simply pick your Commander, hand out the landsets, shuffle the libraries, and start the game.

The Commander War Chest ensures that everyone at the table plays the game. Giving each player a set of lands to play from. It also eliminates the need for power-level matching, since all players play from the same set of libraries. Is your interest piqued? Here’s how to set it up and play.

Setup and Rules

To set up the Commander War Chest, take out each library, shuffle it, and set it on the table.

You will play from these six shared libraries, one for each color, and one for colorless. The shared libraries are considered your library and your opponent’s library. This means that effects that rearrange the top of your library can affect your opponent’s draw. For each spell or effect, a player may choose which library (within their Commander’s color-identity) to resolve the spell or effect on. If a card would be placed on top of your library, it is put on the corresponding color library.

The Monarch token is placed in the center of the table. The first player to deal combat damage will become the Monarch.

Each player begins the game with a Jeweled Amulet in play.

Each player must select a Commander from the Commander Pool. The person who plays last will get first choice, then work your way up to player one. If you pick a Commander with “Partner or Partner With” you may also select an appropriate Partner Commander.

After the Commanders are chosen, each player chooses a utility land from the utility land pool. Your utility land must be within your Commander’s color identity. Use the same order that the Commanders were chosen.

Each player starts the game with a land set. The land set contains five tri-lands, one of each Snow-Covered basic land, and a Command Tower. These lands are set aside and can be played each turn. You are not restricted to your Commander’s color-identity for the lands that you play. All other normal rules of Magic for playing lands apply.

Each player starts the game with a three-card hand. These cards are drawn from the shared libraries. A player may only draw cards from libraries that match their Commander’s color identity. There are no mulligans, but you do draw a card for your turn.

Each player will maintain their own graveyard.

Your commander can never cost more than eleven to cast. If your commander would cost more than eleven, it costs eleven instead. This includes commander tax.

All other Commander rules apply.

Current List

You can find the current Commander War Chest list here.

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