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If I play my Illusory Gains on my opponent's commander, does their commander become mine indefinitely? I have not played this card and I am unsure as to how playing it on a commander works.

  • Note that if their Commander is a Planeswalker, you can't target it, as Illusory Gains only targets creatures. – A.P. Dec 30 '15 at 3:36
  • Planeswalkers can be creatures. @A.P. meant "Note that if their Commander isn't a creature, you can't target it as Illusory Gains only targets creatures." – ikegami Jan 4 '16 at 17:14
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You control that player's commander until another creature enters the battlefield under an opponent's control. At that point, Illusory Gains moves to that creature, and the owner regains control of their commander.

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    That is, it works the same as it would on any creature. It won't let you keep anything indefinitely, not just a commander. – Cascabel Dec 30 '15 at 4:44
  • I find this card a little strange... It doesn't specify nor are there any rule specs on the gatherer indicating that the creature goes back to its owners control – thatdude1087 Dec 30 '15 at 13:57
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    The control effect is based on the creature being enchanted by Illusory Gains. Once that is gone, control reverts back to default aka the owner. Think of it as layers of control, with the top layer winning. Once the top layer is gone, the bottom layer wins. – JonTheMon Dec 30 '15 at 14:10
  • It's actually timestamps of control, not layers of control :) Control changing effects happen in layer 2 [CR 613.1b] in timestamp order [CR 613.6], so the latest timestamp wins. – ikegami Dec 30 '15 at 16:41
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    @ikegami I don't think Jon meant layers in the comp rules sense, just an analogy. You're thinking of the effects in timestamp order, where if the most recent ("the top layer") goes away, the next most recent ("the layer beneath") one takes over. – Cascabel Dec 30 '15 at 18:25
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No, because change of control effects are continuous effects, not one-shot effects. The controller is only changed as long as the continuous effect changes it.

Control of a permanent is continually evaluated based on who placed the object on the battlefield and any continuous effects overriding that.

Let's look at a more intuitive continuous effect for a moment. If your opponent has a creature that has a default power/toughness of 3/4, and you create a continuous effect that gives it -2/-2, the creature will revert to being a 3/4 when the continuous effect ends.

Similarly, if your opponent has a creature and you create a continuous effect that changes its controller, the creature will revert to your opponent's control when the continuous effect ends.

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The way Illusory Gains works has been answered by others, but I thought I'd tackle the Commander bit.

Commanders become new objects when they change zones just like any other card

The only thing that Commanders "remember" is that they are their owner's commander.

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.

Other than that, (and the special rule that allows you to return a Commander to the Command zone if it changes zones), the Commander behaves just like any other creature (or planewalker) in the game. If it leaves play, it will "forget" any and all effects that were modifying how it behaved.

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