TrophyThis is a set of rules to use to run casual, fun Commander tournaments. This is not an attempt to duplicate the success of Competitive EDH or Dual Commander events – if you have several people and want to structure an event, try this. Let us know when you use these, we’d love to hear how they work for you and how to improve them.


  • Involuntary infinite combos are bad.
  • Voluntary infinite combos before 60 minutes are bad.
  • Don’t take turns longer than 5 minutes.
  • Don’t take more than two turns in a row. (No Time Stretch)

    MagicFest Los Angeles Variant

    We play like this like at Strategicon:

  • No decklists are needed, but expect to show off your deck after.
  • The “Summary” above is the essence of the tournament rules. This is fun, not competitive.
  • No sideboards.
  • One round. unless there are multiple pods.
  • Points as indicated.
  • Pods are 3 to 5 players.
  • Winner of each pod gets a tee shirt or playmat.
  • If there are multiple pods, we will have a “winner pod” consisting of our winners. If we have only two players, we will introduce a third player who cannot win, but can keep you from winning. (heh)
  • More Formal Rules Follow, But Use the Ones Above

    Preferred Format

  • A three-round tournament, first two rounds of which are Swiss-style; the final round determines first, second, and third place.
  • Participants must be present at start of each round when their names are called. If not present, selection continues with next highest-ranked player.
  • Construction

  • Use the standard Commander rules (
  • Extra banned cards: any card that permits another game to be played, even if it’s modal and that mode isn’t chosen.
  • Record & submit your deck list: general, the remaining 99-card list, and your 15-card sideboard; use a .TXT file and email the list to the Tournament Organizer (TO), or submit it on paper to the TO no less than 15 minutes before the tournament. If you’re playing at a Commanderin’ event, email to [email protected] Playing cards that aren’t on the list counts as a rules violation, as does playing any banned card.
  • Keep in mind that unstoppable infinite combos result in a loss for that player (e.g. Sanguine Bond/Exquisite Blood).
  • Number of players per match

  • Players will be divided into 3- or 4-player tables at the discretion of the tournament organizer (TO).
  • If there are not enough players to create tables of 3 or 4, the TO decides either to arrange a duel or the TO plays in the round (the TO cannot win, but the other players can lose).
  • Game play

  • Revealing Commanders: simultaneous reveal at judge’s call of start of round.
  • Side boarding: all players have five minutes after judge’s call or the delaying player suffers -1 point for the tournament for every fraction of every minute past the five minute limit.
  • Play: Games last 90 minutes starting from the judge’s call; at the end of that time, players have three turns to end the game (turn 0 is current turn, 1, 2, 3). Points will be tallied at the end of the last turn.
  • Taking a turn: a turn may last no longer than 5 minutes or the delaying player suffers -1 point for the tournament for every fraction of every minute past the five minute limit. Note: delaying another player’s turn makes you the delaying player.
  • Conceding: you may concede on your turn only, at the beginning of your first main phase.
  • Combinations

  • Infinite combos that cannot be stopped: loss of game, all points lost for that game, and the effects of the combination are canceled (e.g. Sanguine Bond/Exquisite Blood).
  • Combos that can be stopped voluntarily: you may repeat the combination five times (e.g. Earthcraft/Squirrel Nest, Basalt Monolith/Rings of Brighthearth) per turn. After 60 minutes, this restriction is listed.
  • Multiple turns: You may only take up to two turns in a row.
  • Scoring

    Point tallies determine the winner according to the following list of point awards:

  • Win: 3 points
  • Ties: 1 point each
  • Killing blow: +1 point (see notes)
  • Rule violation: loss of all points this round
  • Notes about Killing blow:

  • If you control someone’s turn or cards and that player or card eliminates another player, you struck the killing blow.
  • If you alter the capabilities of a card (e.g. casting Tainted Strike on another player’s unblocked Terastodon) in such a way that the card is now able to eliminate the player, you struck the killing blow.
  • Unexplored Options

    Do not use these while they are in Unexplored Options.
    When a player is eliminated from the game, or the last players remaining at the game’s conclusion, players vote on two topics; and a player cannot vote for him or herself and only gets one vote:

  • Sporting Award: the player who demonstrated the best attitude during game play including victory or defeat.
  • Most Interesting Deck: the player who has the most interesting deck as seen in play.
  • Additional Scoring

  • Sporting vote winner (see Appendix – Undeveloped Options) : +1 point
  • Most Interesting Deck vote winner (see Appendix – Undeveloped Options) : +1 point
  • Failing to vote (see Appendix – Undeveloped Options) : -2 points