On the CommandFest Online stream this weekend, the Commander Rules Committee announced that they were changing the format’s rules to allow dies and exile triggers on Commanders to work “the way you think they should.”

Currently, when a Commander dies, players are given a choice: put the Commander in the graveyard, where it can trigger its dies abilities; or returns it directly to the command zone, where it does not trigger its dies abilities. If you chose Elenda, the Dusk Rose as your Commander, for example, you would have to let her go to the graveyard in order to take advantage of her dies ability and create Vampire tokens. However, she would stay in the graveyard, which would prevent you from re-casting her from the command zone later in the game.

This meant that Commanders with dies abilities tended to be weaker than other Commanders. The Core Set 2021 rules update will change that rule, though, to help even the playing field for those Commanders. The rule will be rewritten as follows:

If a commander is in a graveyard or in exile and that card was put into that zone since the last time state-based actions were checked, its owner may put it into the command zone.

The new version of the rule will allow Commanders like Elenda, the Dusk Rose to go the the graveyard (very briefly) and trigger their dies abilities. Then, similar to the previous rule, players will have the choice to leave the Commander in the graveyard or return it to the command zone.

Commander is a format full of crazy rules interactions so there are bound to be some complications in how the new rule is implemented. But I’m not a rules scientist—so if you have any questions, please reach out to the Commander Rules Committee and Advisory Group.

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