What is the Card Limit in a Commander Deck?

Commander, also known as Elder Dragon Highlander (EDH), is a super popular and unique way to play Magic: The Gathering. In Commander, you build your deck around a special leader called the “Commander.” This article will talk about one special rule in Commander: the card limit. It’s what makes Commander different from other ways to play Magic, and we’ll see why it’s important for your deck.


What is the Card Limit in a Commander Deck?

First, let’s remember what Commander is all about. In Commander, you start with 40 life points, and your deck has to be exactly 100 cards, including the Commander. You can only have one of each card, except for basic lands.

Deck Building Rules Singleton Rule:

The Singleton rule is the most important thing in Commander. It means you can only have one copy of each card, except for basic lands. This rule makes sure your deck is full of different cards, which makes each game exciting and unique.

Choosing a Commander:

Your whole deck is built around your Commander, a special legendary creature. The Commander lives in a special place called the Command Zone. You can cast your Commander many times during the game, which makes them super important for your strategy.

Deck Size:

In Commander, your deck has to have exactly 100 cards. In other ways to play, you can choose how many cards to have in your deck, but in Commander, it’s always 100 cards.

Understanding the Card Limit:

The card limit, thanks to the Singleton rule, is the key to Commander’s fun. It means you have to think carefully about every card you put in your deck. Each card has to do something important because you can only have one of it. So, you need to find a balance between strong cards and having lots of different options.

Card Limit in a Commander Deck

In Commander, a special way to play Magic: The Gathering, there are some important rules about the number of cards you can have in your deck. Here’s what you need to know about the card limit:

Deck Size: A Commander deck must have exactly 100 cards. This count includes everything in your deck, including your Commander card.

Commander Card: Your deck is led by a legendary creature card that’s your Commander. You can only have one card with the “Legendary Creature — [Your Commander’s Name]” type, and it goes into the command zone at the start of the game.

No Duplicates: You can only have one copy of each card in your deck, except for basic lands. This means you can’t have two or more of the same non-land cards. This rule makes sure each game is different and encourages creative deck-building.

Colour Rules: The colours in your Commander card decide which colours of mana symbols you can have in your deck. This includes the mana symbols in your card’s cost and rules text. Your deck can only have cards that match the colours in your Commander.

Singleton Rule: This rule about one copy per card is known as the “Singleton Rule.” It makes sure you use a variety of cards and makes each game special.

Exceptions: Some cards, like basic lands, have special rules that let you have more than one copy in your deck. Also, certain cards might have their own special rules for deck-building, so it’s a good idea to check for those.

Following these rules about card limits is important to keep Commander games balanced, exciting, and full of creativity in deck-building.

Why is Commander More Popular Than Standard?

Deck Building Strategies

Building a strong Commander deck requires smart choices and planning. Here are some important strategies to keep in mind:

Picking the Right Colors:

In Commander, you can use one, two, three, four, or five colours. Your choice of colours affects your deck’s style and available cards, so choose wisely.

Balancing Mana:

Make sure your deck has cards with different mana costs. This way, you’ll have good options to play in every part of the game.

Adding Ramp and Card Draw:

Ramp cards help you get more mana and card draw lets you get more cards. Both are crucial for a strong deck because they keep you in the game and let you do powerful things.

Finding Synergies:

Look for cards that work well together. Combining cards that have strong interactions can make your deck powerful.

Adapting to Your Group:

Commander is a social game, and different groups like to play in different ways. Adjust your deck to match your playgroup’s style so everyone has fun.

Why Card Limit Matters:

The rule about having only one copy of each card (except for basic lands) is super important in Commander. It makes you think hard about what cards to put in your deck, which makes each game different and exciting.

Deck Tuning and Flexibility

Deck tuning and flexibility are crucial aspects of building and maintaining a successful deck in trading card games like Magic: The Gathering, Yu-Gi-Oh!, Pok√©mon TCG, and others. Let’s break down what these terms mean and why they matter:

Deck Tuning:

Deck tuning means making smart changes to your deck to make it better. Here’s what you should consider:

  • Analyze How It Performs: Pay attention to how your deck performs when you play it. Notice if some cards are always helpful or if some combos work well.
  • Find Weaknesses: Figure out where your deck isn’t so strong. Maybe it struggles against certain strategies, or you don’t have enough cards to help you when you’re in trouble.
  • Adjust the Number of Cards: Sometimes, you need to add more copies of important cards and remove ones that don’t help as much.
  • Sideboard Strategy: If the rules allow it, have a sideboard with cards that can help you in specific situations or against certain opponents.
  • Think About the Big Picture: Keep an eye on what other players are doing. Make changes to your deck to give you an edge against popular strategies.
  • Test and Improve: Play games with your deck after making changes to see how it does. Keep making small changes based on how it performs.
  • Balance and Consistency: Make sure your deck has a good mix of different types of cards (like creatures and spells) and sticks to its main strategy.

Deck Flexibility: Deck flexibility means your deck can change its plan based on what’s happening in the game. Here’s how to make your deck more flexible:

  • Versatile Cards: Include cards that can help in many situations, not just one. These cards can be used in different ways to deal with different problems.
  • Sideboard Choices: If you can switch out cards between games, have a sideboard with cards that can help against different types of opponents.
  • Flexible Slots: Keep some spots in your main deck open for cards you can change depending on what you expect to face.
  • Balance Between Attack and Defense: Make sure your deck can switch between being aggressive and defensive. Being able to change your strategy can make you hard to predict.
  • Change Your Playstyle: Be willing to change how you play your deck based on what’s happening in the game. Flexibility in how you make decisions can help you win.
  • Learn and Grow: Keep learning from your games and use what you learn to make your deck and your skills better.

Deck tuning and flexibility aren’t one-time things; they’re a constant process. The best players are always watching how their decks perform and making changes to stay at the top of their game. With practice and a good strategy, you can make your deck better and have more fun playing your favourite card game.

Common Mistakes to Avoid

Building a Commander deck can have pitfalls, as with any Magic: The Gathering aspect. Here are some common mistakes to steer clear of:

  • Attempting to include too many different strategies can lead to a consistent and focused deck. Keeping the deck lean and focused ensures a more coherent gameplay experience.
  • A deck needs more mana acceleration and card draw to keep up with opponents. Including these elements is essential for a well-functioning deck.
  • The Commander’s abilities should be central to the deck’s strategy. Neglecting its role can hinder the deck’s overall performance.


The card limit in a Commander deck is one of the things that makes this format special. It’s all about being creative, thinking smart, and changing things up. With 100 cards and your special Commander in charge, Commander games are like epic adventures with exciting battles and unforgettable moments.


Q: Can I include more than one copy of a card in my Commander deck?

A: No, the Singleton rule allows only one copy of each card, excluding basic lands.

Q: Can my Commander be any legendary creature?

A: Yes, you can choose any legendary creature as your Commander, provided its colour identity matches your deck’s colour identity.

Q: Are there any banned cards in Commander?

A: The Commander format lists banned cards players must adhere to when building their decks.

Q: How can I improve the consistency of my Commander deck?

A: Including cards that offer card draw, mana ramp, and focusing on synergies can significantly enhance your deck’s consistency.

Q: Can I have multiple Commanders in my deck?

A: No, a deck can have only one Commander. Additional legendary creatures are not considered part of the Commander.