When a commander is exiled, it can go to the command zone if the owner chooses. What if a commander is exiled by an Oblivion Ring?

Oblivion Ring

I am assuming the commander can still go to the command zone. If it does, then what happens when Oblivion Ring leaves the battlefield? Does your commander return to the battlefield? Is the additional cost of casting your commander affected in any way?

2 Answers 2


The Commander can still go to the command zone, or exile, its' owner's choice.

903.12. If a commander would be put into the exile zone from anywhere, its owner may put it into the command zone instead.

When Oblivion Ring leaves the battlefield, it triggers an ability that attempts to "return the exiled card to the battlefield under its owner's control." When it can't find the card in the exile zone, it fails to do anything.

You do not get your Commander back on the battlefield (as he is currently in the Command Zone). The +2 additional mana cost can never loose/subtract/lower in cost, it always increases for each previous time you have cast your Commander from the Command Zone.

903.10. A player may cast a commander he or she owns from the command zone. Doing so costs that player an additional {2} for each previous time he or she cast that commander from the command zone that game.

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    Side Note - If the commander were put in the Command Zone via the Oblivion Ring, cast again as normal, and then exiled again with the player choosing to let it be exiled, destroying the Oblivion Ring WOULD NOT return the commander because it is not the same object that the Oblivion Ring targeted. Commented Jan 12, 2012 at 16:54
  • Another side note: This is specifically because Oblivion Ring says "return the exiled card," meaning O-Ring will only look in the exile zone for the card it targeted. A card which says something such as "return it," "return that card," etc. would be able to pull the Commander back from the Command zone (more specifically, from the first public zone the targeted card went to). For example: Otherworldly Journey can pull a targeted Commander back from the Command zone at EOT, meaning you're not in trouble if an opponent uses Stifle on the return trigger.
    – Brian S
    Commented Nov 15, 2013 at 19:54
  • @BrianS, Incorrect. Can you cite specifically which CR rule allows Otherworldly Journey to find the exiled card in a zone it wasn't expecting? If your reasoning is correct, why can't Rancor return itself from exile if someone responds by exiling all cards in a graveyard?
    – user1873
    Commented Nov 16, 2013 at 1:08
  • @user1873, 603.6. Trigger events that involve objects changing zones are called “zone-change triggers.” Many abilities with zone-change triggers attempt to do something to that object after it changes zones. During resolution, these abilities look for the object in the zone that it moved to... Because returning the Commander to the Command zone is a replacement effect, the Command zone is the first zone it moved to. Because OJ and others say "that" or "it"/etc. instead of singling out a zone, they track to the CZ.
    – Brian S
    Commented Nov 16, 2013 at 2:49
  • @user1873, Also, see this post by Natedogg (Wizards Net Rep) about a similar situation with Cloudshift.
    – Brian S
    Commented Nov 16, 2013 at 2:54

You can either leave the commander under the oblivion ring to begin with, so he doesn't go to the command zone or you can send him to the command zone, making him cost a normal +2, and nothing happens when the ring goes away.

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    Welcome to the site!
    – Pat Ludwig
    Commented Dec 30, 2011 at 17:07

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