Haven't been able to find any definitive information about this.

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.

This states clearly that commander-ness is a meta form of information, immutable to any form of play. However, it doesn't say this information is absolutely public.

I think this question falls into a black hole of oversight.

Commander-ness being an attribute is unique in the rulebook. It's a property of the card, but stops there. I think it's assumed to be public at all times, but it's not stated implicitly or explicitly anywhere. This feels wrong in a game where such clearances are very important.

  1. If you cast your commander face down, is it identifiable as a commander spell on the stack?
  2. If your commander is shuffled into your library, is it's position always known?

This might fall under Free Information / Derived Information under the tournament rules.

Free information is information to which all players are entitled access without contamination or omissions made by their opponents. If a player is ever unable or unwilling to provide free information to an opponent that has requested it, they should call a judge and explain the situation.

Derived information is information to which all players are entitled access, but opponents are not obliged to assist in determining and may require some skill or calculation to determine.

A simple amendment that commander-ness is defined also as free information / derived information might solve this issue.

I'm aware there is another question about this on the site. However I'm not satisfied with it's answer as it relies on information that is no longer available (EDH Rules Committee no longer has a forum that I know of), and the comments below that answer make some good counter-points.

So to reiterate, is a commander card always marked across all zones? Are there exceptions, and how are they defined in the CR?

  • I updated my answer to that other question you mentioned. I also emailed the team at mtgcommander.net/index.php/contact-us to hopefully get an answer to your question. Will post an answer if I get a response.
    – Rainbolt
    Commented Jan 27, 2021 at 17:14
  • @Rainbolt Thank you for the coordination! Much appreciated.
    – user117001
    Commented Jan 27, 2021 at 17:20
  • If you - for whichever reason - decide to shuffle your commander in your bib, it is in a hidden zone and therefore not known to all players. Actually, it is know to nobody, which card your commander is.
    – Erik
    Commented Jan 28, 2021 at 13:06
  • 1
    It's been a couple of weeks, so I wouldn't hold out on MTGCommander responding to my question. The closest thing I can find is this ruling from the EDH committee on their now deleted forums which says "Your opponents are also allowed to know which morph creature is your commander." (cont.)
    – Rainbolt
    Commented Feb 8, 2021 at 14:39
  • 2
    @Andrew I think the the ruling is clear on that topic. The ruling says, "everyone should always know what zone each commander is in". Your hand is a zone. Therefore, everyone should know when a commander is in your hand.
    – Rainbolt
    Commented Jul 19, 2021 at 16:20

2 Answers 2


No, a commander is not marked at all zones. If the commander is in your hand, or if it is in your deck, then opponents cannot see it. Another example would be if the commander gets exiled face down from either your hand or your deck, then the opponents would still not be able to see it.

If you choose to have a different sleeve for your commander then it would be obvious to opponents but otherwise opponents would not be able to see what card it is.

Keep in mind that every time the commander would change zones, you have the option to return the commander to the command zone instead, which is face up and all can see.

  • 2
    "Keep in mind that every time the commander would change zones, you have the option to return the commander to the command zone instead" Not any change of zones. It doesn't apply when moving it to the stack or battlefield. Commented Jul 6, 2021 at 19:44
  • 3
    Could you cite evidence for this answer being correct? Commented Jul 6, 2021 at 20:56
  • 3
    And pedantically, with the recent rules changes it's not "instead" when the commander moves to the graveyard or exile but "after". Commented Jul 6, 2021 at 20:56

The only time your opponent is allowed to see your Commander is when it's in the Command zone, so if you were to shuffle your Commander in with your deck, which would be seen as unusual unless you had a way to search it out quickly, then your opponent would not see who your Commander is until you brought them to the field and revealed that to them or if it's in your starting hand, etc., I personally would just put the Commander in the Command zone but each person has their own style. Also the only people that would 100% know your Commander would be the judges and the people you hand your deck list to. If you don't think this is legit then I'll leave a link at the bottom of this answer so you can check it out for yourself.

Link: https://magic.wizards.com/en/content/commander-format

  • 2
    At the very least, the first sentence here seems to be wrong - the Commander can be seen in any public zones. Commented Nov 2, 2021 at 12:42

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