Board & Card Games Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for people who like playing board games, designing board games or modifying the rules of existing board games. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

Elbrus, the Binding Blade, is a Legendary Artifact - Equipment that transforms into Withengar Unbound, a Black Legendary Demon. Can I use Elbrus/Withengar as a Commander, and if I can, is my deck colorless or black?

share|improve this question
up vote 11 down vote accepted

Here's an official ruling from Sheldon Mennery, who is the authoritative source for Commander rulings:

[O] Elbrus is not playable as a General, and its color identity is Black.

share|improve this answer

Elbrus, the Binding Blade is not a Legendary Creature, so it cannot be your Commander. It doesn't matter that it could become a creature. In fact, I'd be surprise if there is a card that couldn't become a creature.

711.2a In every zone other than the battlefield, and also on the battlefield with its front face up, a double-faced card has only the characteristics of the front face.

share|improve this answer
Thank you. I suspected this might be the case (though it's saddening), but I wanted confirmation from folks who understand Commander better, since I'm assembling my first-ever deck for it now. – Lord_Gareth Feb 12 '13 at 6:30
It's not really a Commander question, because you already knew the Commander part. It's really a question about double-faced cards. Added the relevant rule to the answer. – ikegami Feb 12 '13 at 6:33
@ikegami I think it is a Commander question. Because what it's actually asking is "Does the back of the card count during deck-building?" And the answer it's necessarily obvious because the precedent in Commander is that it can, based on how we handle the color identity of cards like Garruk Relentless. – Alex P Feb 12 '13 at 6:38
@Alex P, Fine, then no, it's not like color identity. It merely looks if the card is a Legendary Creature. – ikegami Feb 12 '13 at 7:08
@AlexP Deckbuilding isn't the issue. The issue is the Command Zone, which counts as a zone other than the battlefield. The back face doesn't show in the Command Zone, so you can't cast it as a commander. – ghoppe Feb 12 '13 at 19:53

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.