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On today’s Minute: All previous Commander products included five decks…so why does Commander 2017 only include four?


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Read Gavin Verhey’s article on why there are only four decks Commander 2017, plus some other design notes.



Commander 2017 previews continued today, and Gavin Verhey, the lead designer of the the set, released a behind-the-scenes article explaining some of the decisions that went into making it.

First, he explained why Commander 2017 contains only 4 decks, instead of the 5 that all previous Commander sets had featured. Verhey wrote that Wizards’ research indicates that Commander is much more commonly played in groups of 4, rather than 5, and they wanted to mimic that group structure in their product design. He also said the move from 5 to 4 decks increases the number of new cards in each deck, and thus reducing the number reprints.

Second, Verhey said that moving away from 5 decks allowed the team to finally design around a 5-color commander, which ended up being the 5-color Dragons deck being previewed today. The 4-deck structure of Commander 2017 opened up a lot of other interesting design space as well, he wrote, meaning that future Commander releases will most likely continue to be 4 decks…at least for the time being.

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