Recently, I was told by someone in my playgroup that you cannot take control of a player's commander at any point. If an effect would cause you to control another player's commander, either the effect fizzles or the commander goes to the command zone, I forget which he said.

The thing is, I searched mtgcommander.net, and another website that pointed to mtgcommander.net as the source of the official rules of EDH, and I can't find that particular rule anywhere.

Can someone please clarify? At any time are you allowed to control another player's commander?

It would seem that this question is answered indirectly here and here, but I wanted a more definitive answer to the question.

  • 3
    Possible duplicate of Can I defeat an opponent with their own commander? Jul 3, 2018 at 10:21
  • This question also asks whether or not you can take control of an opponent's commander, which is legitimate. It's a broader question then the supposed duplicate.
    – Hackworth
    Jul 3, 2018 at 11:09
  • Someone else changed the title of this question making it broader than I originally intended. I knew at the time that "Commanderness" is tied to the card and can't be changed, no matter in which zone the Commander resides. The question was more specifically tied to whether a player other than the Commander's owner could control the Commander at any point.
    – John Doe
    Jul 3, 2018 at 15:21
  • This is definitely not a duplicate, but I think the second question should simply be edited out; it should be kept to 1 question per post.
    – GendoIkari
    Jul 3, 2018 at 17:01
  • 1
    @GendoIkari Done.
    – John Doe
    Jul 3, 2018 at 17:09

2 Answers 2


Yes, you can take control of someone else's commander. The rule about returning the commander to the Command Zone reads (emphasis mine):

903.9. If a commander would be exiled from anywhere or put into its owner’s hand, graveyard, or library from anywhere, its owner may put it into the command zone instead. This replacement effect may apply more than once to the same event. This is an exception to rule 614.5.

Since stealing a creature with, say, Threads of Disloyalty or Act of Aggression doesn't put it into any of the zones described in the rule quoted above (in fact, as ikegami pointed out, it doesn't change the object's zone at all), then the rule doesn't apply.

Also, the rule about commander damage reads (emphasis mine):

704.5u In a Commander game, a player that’s been dealt 21 or more combat damage by the same commander over the course of the game loses the game. See rule 903, “Commander.”

The clearly says that the damage must be dealt by the same commander, not necessarily yours, so yes, you win the game if you deal 21 damage with a stolen commander.

And to clarify something, mtgcommander.net is the source of what is commonly known as "the French list" for EDH, which is mainly a different banlist, specifically for 1 vs 1 play. As far as I'm aware, the actual rules are the same for Wizards and mtgcommander.net, though I'm not 100% sure about that.

  • 1
    @ikegami it was a good observation nonetheless, I thought it worth adding.
    – J. Sallé
    Mar 21, 2018 at 16:53
  • Thank you! I thought he was being crazy, just wanted to make sure, although this now generates a new question...
    – John Doe
    Mar 21, 2018 at 17:00
  • @John Doe Feel free to open another question and I'm sure someone will answer.
    – J. Sallé
    Mar 21, 2018 at 17:01
  • I just did. = )
    – John Doe
    Mar 21, 2018 at 17:07

Yes, and that also means that you can kill someone with their own commander.

  • 3
    Welcome to B&CE.SE! We like to see answers that have references supporting the conclusion. As of now, your answer mirrors the accepted answer but has less content. Feel free to add more in order to beef up your answer.
    – SocioMatt
    Jul 3, 2018 at 11:58

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