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Does a Commander which has been turned into a copy of another card still do commander damage (i.e. will 21 damage dealt to a single player from the copy lose the game for that player)?

Alternately, does a card which has been turned into a copy of a commander do commander damage?

Examples of both cases:

Our antagonist has 50 life and no commander damage dealt.

Our protagonist has a (any) commander and Malignus on the battlefield.

Protagonist enchants Malignus with Infinite Reflection and then attacks with his/her commander (which is a copy of Malignus). Antagonist does not block. 25 damage is dealt. Does our protagonist win the game due to commander damage?


Our antagonist has 50 life and no commander damage dealt.

Our protagonist has a 6/6 commander and 3 other non token creatures on the battlefield.

Protagonist enchants his/her commander with Infinite Reflection and then attacks with all 4 creatures. Antagonist does not block. 24 damage is dealt (6 per creature). Does our protagonist win the game due to commander damage?

It seems like the answer to one of these questions should be yes. I feel like it's probably the first one (a commander turned into a copy of another card doesn't lose its commander-ness), but I'm not familiar enough with the rules to say for sure.

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This is essentially a duplicate of boardgames.stackexchange.com/questions/7515: both ask if you can copy a commander's commander abilities. –  Circeus Jun 9 '12 at 20:59
Am I missing something here because I don't play Commander? I would have thought that Infinite Reflection on your legendary commander in the second example was a great way to send all your creatures to the bin. –  thesunneversets Jun 9 '12 at 21:06
possible duplicate of Commander damage from Mimic Vat token? –  user1873 Jun 10 '12 at 6:16
This question also asks about a changed commander. –  Cees Timmerman Aug 7 '12 at 7:32

3 Answers 3

I found the answer to this in the rules:

903.3. Each deck has a legendary creature card designated as its commander. This designation is not a characteristic of the object represented by the card; rather, it is an attribute of the card itself. The card retains this designation even when it changes zones.

Example: A commander that's been turned face down (due to Ixidron's effect, for example) is still a commander. A commander that's copying another card (due to Cytoshape's effect, for example) is still a commander. A permanent that's copying a commander (such as a Body Double, for example, copying a commander in a player's graveyard) is not a commander.

So the answer is that in the first example (commander copying Malignus) the antagonist loses the game. In the second he/she does not (yet).

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In the second game, all of the protagonist's creatures immediately go into the graveyard after you cast Infinite Reflection on the commander, due to the legend rule. –  JSBձոգչ Jun 9 '12 at 23:29
Thanks for pointing that out. I'm new to MtG and wasn't familiar with that rule. –  Lawrence Johnston Jun 9 '12 at 23:54
Indeed. The way is was explained to me was "Commanderness cannot be transferred. Ever." –  Hyppy Jun 13 '12 at 23:08

In the first case our protagonist's commander, currently pretending to be Malignus, will deal 25 damage, ending the game. A Legendary Creature that is designated as Commander retains this designation even if it later becomes something else. As such, combat damage dealt by the commander will count towards commander damage.

Since the designation of Commander is not a copyable characteristic, our antagonist would not lose the game in the second case (although he or she is well on their way to losing already.)

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Welcome to B&CG! Thanks for your contribution. –  Pat Ludwig Sep 27 '12 at 16:57

Infinite Reflection cannot be used on your commander because all commanders have to be legendary and if you control 2 copies of a legendary permanent you must imedatly sacrifice one before any other action could be taken.

In your scenario every time you played a creature you would have to sacrifice it or your commander.

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Infinite Reflection can be used on a Commander. Also, Commanders can lose Legendary (e.g., if it copies another creature, gets turned into a frog, etc.). You also did not answer the main question: Does a copy of a commander deal commander damage? You also said "In your scenario [...]" but you'll notice that there are two scenarios mentioned in the question. Which one are you talking about? –  Rainbolt 15 hours ago
Oh, one more thing. The state based action that occurs when two legendary permanents with the same name are under your control is not called "sacrificing". You simply move one of them to the graveyard. This is important for cards that care about sacrifices. –  Rainbolt 15 hours ago

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