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Duel: A Commander Variant

Commander / EDH*




As someone who has a bunch of EDH decks laying around, I never really get to see Planeswalkers played in the format other than the occasional Atraxa superfriends deck and random Jace, the Mind Sculptor for value. Wizards likes to hype up the existence of walkers, but there really isn't a format other than Brawl currently that allows people to utilize these cards to their fullest.

Enter Duel, a Planeswalker variant of Commander.

The Rules are simple, each Duel deck can only have cards of your Walker's color identity, the decks themselves are 59 cards plus your Walker (for a total of 60 cards), it's singleton (meaning only one copy of each card with the same English name, minus basic lands), and each player starts at 20 life or 30 life if you are playing with more than one opponent.

We also have a ban list, which is basically the commander ban list plus these cards:

Doubling Season

Phyrexian Revoker

Pithing Needle

Sol Ring

Sorcerous Spyglass

The Chain Veil



  1. Players choose a planeswalker as the Walker for their deck.

  2. A card's color identity is its color plus the color of any mana symbols in the card's rules text. A card's color identity is established before the game begins, and cannot be changed by game effects.

  3. Cards in a deck may not have any colors in their color identity which are not shared with the Walker of the deck. (The identity of each card in the deck must be a subset of the Walker's)

  4. A Duel deck must contain exactly 60 cards, including the Walker. In other words, 59 cards plus your Walker.

  5. With the exception of basic lands, no two cards in the deck may have the same english name. Some cards may have rules text that overrides this restriction.

  6. Players start the game with 20 life for 1v1, 30 life if it is a multiplayer game.

  7. Walkers begin the game in the Command Zone. While a Walker is in the command zone, it may be cast, subject to the normal timing restrictions for casting planewalkers. Its owner must pay {2} for each time it was previously cast from the command zone; this is an additional cost.

  8. If a Walker is re-cast (aka: second cast) from the Command Zone, it enters the battlefield with an additional loyalty counter on it. The maximum amount of additional loyalty counters that may come from being re-cast is two. (ex: if you have cast your Walker five times, it still enters with only two additional loyalty counters)

  9. If a Walker would be put into a library, hand, graveyard, or exile from anywhere, its owner may choose to move it to the Command Zone instead.

  10. Being a Walker is not a characteristic, it is a property of the card and tied directly to the physical card. As such, "Walker-ness" cannot be copied or overwritten by continuous effects. The card retains it's Walker-ness through any status changes, and is still a Walker even when controlled by another player.


  1. A duel deck may only contain one planeswalker in it. That planeswalker being the Commander of your deck. No other planeswalkers may be in the additional 59 cards.


Ban List:

Advantageous Proclamation

Amulet of Quoz

Ancestral Recall

Backup Plan



Black Lotus

Brago's Favor

Braids, Cabal Minion

Bronze Tablet

Chaos Orb

Coalition Victory


Contract from Below


Demonic Attorney

Double Stroke

Doubling Season

Emrakul, the Aeons Torn

Erayo, Soratami Ascendant

Falling Star


Gifts Ungiven


Immediate Action

Iterative Analysis

Jeweled Bird


Library of Alexandria

Limited Resources

Mox Emerald

Mox Jet

Mox Pearl

Mox Ruby

Mox Sapphire

Muzzio's Preparations

Painter's Servant

Panoptic Mirror

Phyrexian Revoker

Pithing Needle

Power Play

Primeval Titan

Prophet of Kruphix

Protean Hulk


Recurring Nightmare

Rofellos, Llanowar Emissary

Secret Summoning

Secrets of Paradise

Sentinel Dispatch


Sol Ring

Sorcerous Spyglass

Sundering Titan

Sway of the Stars

Sylvan Primordial

Tempest Efreet

The Chain Veil

Time Vault

Time Walk

Timmerian Fiends


Tolarian Academy

Trade Secrets

Unexpected Potential




Yawgmoth's Bargain


If you like the format, spread it around! We would like to have more people test the format out and give us some suggestions here for unbalanced cards in the format, for example cards like The Chain Veil or maybe even broken generals if you can. I have made a deck to showcase the format above where Ugin is the Walker of the deck.

Thank you all for reading and I hope you try the format!

PS: As a side note we know that a certain Golgari Planeswalker, aka Garruk, Apex Predator, is kinda scary in the format because of his plus one being able to deny a single player their Walker. We tested him in multiplayer, and he did not have enough staying power to require an immediate ban, at least not in multiplayer. As such, we have made a special case to ban him from 1v1.


Garruk, Apex Predator


Pretty empty in here...



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Date added 3 weeks
Last updated 3 weeks

This deck is Commander / EDH legal.

Cards 60
Avg. CMC 4.22
Tokens 3/3 Wurm
Folders Uncategorized, Cool decks by other people, Great Ideas
Top rank #4 on 2018-07-06
Ignored suggestions
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Revision 2 See all

3 weeks ago)

-1 Ugin, the Spirit Dragon main
+2 Ugin, the Spirit Dragon main
-1 Karn Liberated main