Are you a Magic: The Gathering player who loves playing the Commander format? If so, you might be wondering how many planeswalkers you should include in your deck.
If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer to your question: It’s recommended to include no more than 2-3 planeswalkers in your Commander deck.
In this article, we’ll dive into the reasons behind this recommendation, explore the pros and cons of including planeswalkers, and provide some tips on how to choose the right ones for your deck.
Understanding the Commander Format
If you’re new to the world of Magic: The Gathering, you may be wondering what the Commander format is all about. Commander, also known as EDH (Elder Dragon Highlander), is a multiplayer format where each player has a 100-card singleton deck, meaning no two cards can have the same name except for basic lands. The goal is to reduce your opponents’ life total from 40 to 0, all while navigating the unique rules and interactions that come with the format.
What is Commander?
Commander is a casual format that encourages creativity and individuality when it comes to deck building. It allows players to use cards from Magic’s entire history, including cards that are banned or restricted in other formats. Players choose a legendary creature or planeswalker as their commander, which can then be cast from the command zone at any time during the game. The commander’s color identity determines the colors of the cards that can be included in the deck.
Why is it important to follow the format’s rules?
Following the Commander rules is important because it ensures a level playing field for all players. It also helps to maintain the unique identity of the format. By restricting the number of copies of each card to one, it makes each game feel different and encourages players to explore new cards and strategies. Breaking the format rules can lead to an unfair advantage and detract from the overall experience for everyone involved.
How does the format impact planeswalker usage?
Planeswalkers can be powerful tools in Commander, providing abilities and effects that can swing games in your favor. However, the singleton nature of the format means that you need to carefully consider which planeswalkers to include in your deck. It’s generally recommended to include no more than 2-3 planeswalkers in your Commander deck, and to choose ones that have a direct impact on the game rather than ones that are more difficult to protect.
Some planeswalkers that are popular in Commander include:
- Narset, Enlightened Master: This Jeskai-colored planeswalker can cast noncreature spells from the top of your library for free, making her a powerhouse in spell-heavy decks.
- Teferi, Temporal Archmage: This blue planeswalker can untap up to four target permanents, allowing you to get extra value from your lands, creatures, and artifacts.
- Ugin, the Spirit Dragon: This colorless planeswalker can exile all colored permanents, making him a great answer to enemy threats.
Ultimately, the decision of how many planeswalkers to include in your Commander deck comes down to personal preference and play style. Experiment with different options and see what works best for you!
The Pros and Cons of Including Planeswalkers
If you’re an avid Magic: The Gathering player, you’re probably familiar with the concept of planeswalkers. These powerful cards can be a valuable addition to your Commander deck, but they also come with their own set of advantages and disadvantages. Here are some things to consider when deciding whether to include planeswalkers in your deck:
Advantages of Including Planeswalkers
- Powerful abilities: Planeswalkers have unique abilities that can have a significant impact on the game. Some can provide card advantage, others can control the board state, and still others can deal direct damage to your opponents.
- Distract opponents: Planeswalkers can be a tempting target for your opponents, drawing their attention away from other threats on the board.
- Flexible mana costs: Many planeswalkers have flexible mana costs, making them easier to cast and include in your deck.
- Fun to play: Let’s face it, planeswalkers are just plain cool. Playing a powerful planeswalker can be a satisfying experience.
Disadvantages of Including Planeswalkers
- Expensive: Many planeswalkers are expensive both in terms of mana cost and real-world cost. Including multiple planeswalkers in your deck can quickly drive up the price.
- Targeted by opponents: As mentioned earlier, planeswalkers can be a tempting target for your opponents. If you don’t have ways to protect your planeswalkers, they may not stick around for long.
- Require specific deckbuilding: Some planeswalkers require specific deckbuilding to be effective. For example, a planeswalker that creates tokens may be less effective in a deck that doesn’t have many ways to create tokens.
- Take up valuable space: Commander decks only allow for 100 cards, so every card you include needs to be carefully chosen. Including planeswalkers may mean cutting other cards that could be more effective for your deck.
Ultimately, the decision of whether to include planeswalkers in your Commander deck comes down to personal preference and playstyle. If you enjoy playing with powerful, flashy cards, planeswalkers may be a good fit for you. However, if you prefer a more streamlined and efficient deck, you may want to skip them altogether. As with any card choice in Magic: The Gathering, it’s important to weigh the pros and cons and make the choice that works best for you.
Choosing the Right Planeswalkers
Planeswalkers are powerful cards that can greatly enhance your Commander deck. However, it’s important to choose the right ones to fit your strategy and theme.
Consider your deck’s strategy and theme. Are you playing an aggro deck that wants to attack quickly, or a control deck that wants to slow down the game? Different planeswalkers can support different strategies and themes, so choose ones that fit well with your overall game plan.
Evaluate the planeswalker’s abilities. Each planeswalker has a set of abilities that can help you control the board, draw cards, gain life, or even deal damage to your opponents. Make sure to choose planeswalkers that have abilities that will help you achieve your goals.
Assess the planeswalker’s loyalty cost. A planeswalker’s loyalty cost determines how many loyalty counters it starts with and how quickly it can use its abilities. Make sure to choose planeswalkers with loyalty costs that fit your strategy. For example, a lower-cost planeswalker may be better suited for an aggro deck, while a higher-cost planeswalker may be better suited for a control deck.
Look for planeswalkers that can protect themselves. Some planeswalkers have abilities that allow them to protect themselves from damage or destruction. These can be especially useful in a multiplayer game where opponents may try to target your planeswalkers.
Avoid planeswalkers that rely on their ultimate ability. While a planeswalker’s ultimate ability can be very powerful, it’s often difficult to get to that point before your opponents find a way to remove it. Instead, choose planeswalkers with abilities that can be used more quickly and consistently.
Remember, the number of planeswalkers you include in your Commander deck will depend on your individual strategy and preferences. Use these tips to choose the right planeswalkers for your deck, and experiment to find the perfect balance!
In conclusion, planeswalkers can be a powerful addition to your Commander deck, but it’s important to be strategic in your choices. By following the guidelines we’ve outlined in this article, you can make informed decisions about which planeswalkers to include and how many to run. Remember to keep your deck’s overall strategy and theme in mind, and don’t be afraid to experiment with different combinations of cards. Happy gaming!