Balthor the Defiled has an activated ability with the cost "Remove Balthor the Defiled from the game". Excusing that this is now called exile, if Balthor was your commander, could you have Balthor go to your command zone instead of exile and still fulfill the cost for the ability?

  • Hi and welcome to the site. I found it useful to tag cards with "[MTG:*Card Name*]" when quoting cards. It gives you a link direct to the gatherer. Apr 17, 2018 at 6:34
  • No they don't. They have an ability with the cost "{B}{B}{B}, Exile Balthor the Defiled". There hasn't been such thing as "remove from the game" for over 15 years now. Make sure to consult Gatherer for the text of your cards.
    – ikegami
    Apr 17, 2018 at 13:36
  • @ikegami the "printed" text on gatherer does say remove from the game. Apr 29, 2018 at 20:06
  • @ThunderToes, What's your point? Did you incorrectly think you contradicted what I said? What I said stands: Contrary to what the OP said, Balthor the Defiled doesn't have an activated ability with the cost "Remove Balthor the Defiled from the game". Its text was changed over 15 years ago.
    – ikegami
    Apr 29, 2018 at 20:53
  • @ikegami I just thought it wasn't all that important. plus mentioning that it specifically states that on gatherer is not strictly true as when you open the card link the text on the card image is Remove from game. I think most MTG players will know that means exile by now. Apr 30, 2018 at 6:31

1 Answer 1


You sure can. 903.9 says anytime a commander goes into exile, the graveyard, hand, or library from anywhere; you can instead put them into the command zone. This will, however, increase the cost to play them by (2) every time you do this, which is known as Commander Tax. E.g. First cast of Balthor from the command zone will cost the base of 2BB, 2nd time will be 4BB, 3rd time 6BB, etc.

Also, for older cards, make sure to check the oracle text on your card-viewing site of choice if the wording is confusing. (Gatherer is the official Wizards card-viewer.)


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