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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?

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2 Answers 2

up vote 9 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.

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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.

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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
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@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
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