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Inspired by Ivo Beckers' comment on the answer to Is your commander still a "commander" if it gets turned face down?

If Akroma, Angel of Fury is your commander and is returned to your hand, followed by casting her as a morph creature for {3}, how is her commander status handled?

Naturally, by CR 903.3, the face-down object still is your commander. However, that fact is hidden information. Normally, if a commander has been turned face down, since everyone is permitted to know what the morphed creature was, dealing commander damage with the nameless 2/2 isn't an issue. But if the commander was cast as a morph, that doesn't help.

The most relevant specific question to this situation, I suppose, is "can you deal commander damage to your opponent without them knowing it?" (ie, connect for combat damage with the morph creature without revealing that the creature is your commander)

  • Re "However, that fact is hidden information", Is it? – ikegami Nov 21 '14 at 15:34
  • Tournament rules 3.12: "Hidden information refers to the faces of cards and other objects at which the rules of the game and format do not allow you to look." CR 707.5: "You can’t look at face-down cards in any other zone or face-down spells or permanents controlled by another player." The identity of a morphed card played from your hand is thus hidden information. – Brian S Nov 21 '14 at 15:38
  • Last I checked, the commander attribute is not present on the face of cards, so neither of those two passages are applicable. So again I ask, is the Commander attribute hidden information? – ikegami Nov 21 '14 at 15:46
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    @ikegami, So you say it isn't hidden, how would you handle that situation? "I am playing this card face-down but by the way it is also my commander"? If so, are you obliged to reveal the face up side of your card to prove it is your commander? It seems weird that you have to, but on the other hand you could ofcourse have lied about the fact that your facedown card is a commander – Ivo Beckers Nov 21 '14 at 15:51
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    @Ivo Beckers, Re "So you say it isn't hidden", No, I'm not. I'm asking if it is. If it isn't hidden, that's exactly what you would have to do. But not the reveal. There's no reason to do that. Of course, you can cheat, but you will be caught, and when you do, you'll get disqualified and people will stop playing with you. (It's actually easier to cheat if it is hidden information.) – ikegami Nov 21 '14 at 17:05
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Is it my commander?

To reiterate what is stated in the question, your commander is always your commander, and nothing can change that. This is because of the following rule:

903.3. [...] This [commander] designation it is an attribute of the card itself. The card retains this designation even when it changes zones.

Does a commander deal commander damage?

Yes, obviously.

Even if it's morphed?

Yes. Commanderness cannot be hidden. It's an attribute of a card, not a card face. This is specifically covered by an example under rule 903.3.

A commander that’s been turned face down (due to Ixidron’s effect, for example) is still a commander.

Even if it's morphed from my hand?

Yes. Being unable to immediately prove* commanderness is not a legitimate argument for ignoring the rules. To illustrate this very clearly, consider these two rules:

  • Correct rule 903.3
    • The commander designation is an attribute of the card itself.
  • Incorrect rule 903.3
    • The commander designation an attribute of the card itself if and only if you can prove what card it is.

*Note that you will eventually be required to reveal your morph via comprehensive rule 707.9.

Am I required to tell the truth if asked if a morph is my commander?

Yes. The EDH Rules Committee specifically stated on their forum:

Face Down Commanders
Since the card itself is designated as the commander, face down commanders still deal commander damage. Your opponents are also allowed to know which morph creature is your commander.

MTGCommander.net is cited in the comprehensive rules as being a source of "additional resources", so rulings made by the EDH Rules Committee are pseudo-authoritative.

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    So when you morph it from your hand and someone immediately asks if it's the commander, you have to tell them? And if it really can't be hidden, what if it gets shuffled into your library - do you have to tell people if you draw it? – Cascabel Nov 21 '14 at 22:35
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    "You will eventually be required to prove that your morph is indeed a commander, and you therefore cannot cheat without being caught." I think we all agree on this, but the real question is when does it become required? – bengoesboom Nov 23 '14 at 6:30
  • An answer to @bengoesboom's question would complete this answer – Brian S Nov 24 '14 at 15:07
  • "The rules allow you to cheat" is a nonsensical phrase. If the rules allow something, that thing can't be cheating by definition. If something is cheating, then by definition the rules cannot allow it. If what you mean is that the rules don't have accountability built in to stop you from cheating, then that's something that's true of lots of games and lots of rules. Most rules are written with the assumption that the players playing the game will obey the rules. – GendoIkari Nov 24 '14 at 18:11
  • Excellent. Great answer. :) – doppelgreener Nov 24 '14 at 21:57
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I could not find anything that specifically says that everybody knows that it is your commander. Being a commander is an attribute of the card itself, however nowhere in the rules is the word 'attribute' defined as it applies to a card, it isn't a characteristic or status as those are both defined in the CR. Morph creatures only lose characteristics they don't lose any other properties of the card. As such I would say that everyone should know when you cast the card that it is your commander. If you do decide that you don't need to tell people when you cast it you would have to tell them when combat damage is dealt as life totals are free information so you have to tell someone if they are dealt commander damage.

Regardless, currently the only Legendary Creature with Morph is Akroma, which means you are mono-Red, and there are very few playable mono-Red morph creatures, so you should pretty much always assume it is her if they play a morph creature.

References:

109.3. An object’s characteristics are name, mana cost, color, color indicator, card type, subtype, supertype, rules text, abilities, power, toughness, loyalty, hand modifier, and life modifier. Objects can have some or all of these characteristics. Any other information about an object isn’t a characteristic. For example, characteristics don’t include whether a permanent is tapped, a spell’s target, an object’s owner or controller, what an Aura enchants, and so on.

110.6. A permanent’s status is its physical state. There are four status categories, each of which has two possible values: tapped/untapped, flipped/unflipped, face up/face down, and phased in/phased out. Each permanent always has one of these values for each of these categories.

707.2. Face-down spells and face-down permanents have no characteristics other than those listed by the ability or rules that allowed the spell or permanent to be face down. Any listed characteristics are the copiable values of that object’s characteristics. (See rule 613, “Interaction of Continuous Effects,” and rule 706, “Copying Objects.”)

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