Can any Planeswalker be used as a Commander, or just the ones that say "XXXX can be your Commander" on the card?

(N.B. This question has nothing to do with the Brawl format.)

up vote 20 down vote accepted

Currently (in November 2018) there are the following sets of planeswalkers that you can use for your commanders:

These latter sets of commanders are still not legendary creatures, but golden rule 101.1 lets them make themselves exceptions.

101.1. Whenever a card's text directly contradicts these rules, the card takes precedence. The card overrides only the rule that applies to that specific situation. The only exception is that a player can concede the game at any time (see rule 104.3a).

This is like how the Commander 2016 Partner commanders also get to make themselves exceptions from the usual Commander rules.


As of Ixalan, all planeswalkers are going to be Legendary Planeswalkers, including retroactively. You still won't be able to use them for your commanders because they won't be Legendary Creatures. Sheldon of the Commander Rules Committee has said there aren't plans to allow all planeswalkers (posted 28 August 2017, in response to an inquiry about planeswalkers becoming legendary):

No, PWs will not be allowable as commanders unless a card specifically says that it can--so no change.

(This is like how they're not allowing Legendary Artifacts or Legendary Enchantments — it's not about being legendary, it's about being a Legendary Creature.)

House ruling exceptions for fun

That said, Commander is intended to be a format played casually for fun with friends — the official EDH site's Philosophy section says as much. That same section explicitly encourages people to make exceptions or changes to the rules for local play if it's fun. Unless you're in some kind of official sanctioned event, adherence to the Commander rules is only necessary insofaras you and your friends find it fun. If you and your friends want to allow Planeswalkers as commanders, by all means, talk about it and create such a rule between yourselves, and then make a deck with a Planeswalker as a commander.

Where are the rules for planeswalker not being commanders?

There's two sources of Commander rules you can check to verify the absence of Planeswalkers in general being allowed:

  1. The official Commander/EDH site's rules, which say the following:

    Players must choose a legendary creature as the "Commander" for their deck.

    No mention of Planeswalkers.

  2. The MTG Comprehensive Rules, probably easiest found on the MTG Wiki Commander format article, which also includes some community commentary and explanation. Those rules say:

    903.1. In the Commander variant, each deck is led by a legendary creature designated as that deck’s commander. The Commander variant was created and popularized by fans; an independent rules committee maintains additional resources at MTGCommander.net. The Commander variant uses all the normal rules for a Magic game, with the following additions.

    (Notably they defer to the site I linked in point 1.)

  • Thanks. I'm sorry to hear that, but at least I haven't already invested in a card I can't use. – MPW Dec 26 '14 at 1:54
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    @MPW: Keep in mind that the Commander format isn't used in any official tournaments (or, at least, the vast majority of Commander play is outside of tournaments), and so you'll always be playing it in a casual context with a group of (hopefully) friends. These friends may choose to allow you to use any planeswalker as your Commander; house rules like this are even explicitly encouraged in the official Commander rules, under "Philosophy": "House rules or 'fair play' exceptions are always encouraged if they result in more fun for the local community." – jwodder Dec 26 '14 at 2:49
  • @jwodder Good point! I was thinking of pointing something like this out, and I guess I should! I'll edit some of those details in too. – doppelgreener Dec 26 '14 at 3:00
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    (Weee! A situation where 101.1 actually applies! Usually, when someone mentions 101.1, it's not actually applicable. This is not one of those times.) – ikegami Dec 26 '14 at 7:59
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    Want to add a note about the transform planeswalkers from Magic Origins? We got a question-as-answer asking about that. – Cascabel Sep 18 '17 at 20:29

protected by Community Nov 7 at 0:15

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