(EDH) What happens if you champion your Commander?

Asked by vic 1 week ago

In EDH, my commander, Rhys the Redeemed in on the board and I play a Wren's Run Packmaster and Champion Rhys. Does Rhys go to the Command Zone? If so, does WRP remain in play?

Gidgetimer says... #1

Wren's Run Packmaster will not have to be sacrificed. This type of triggered ability only checks to see if you chose to take the action, not the actual results of the action. If you do decide to put Rhys into the command zone he will not return to the battlefield when Wren's Run Packmaster leaves the battlefield.

118.12. Some spells, activated abilities, and triggered abilities read, “[Do something]. If [a player] [does, doesn’t, or can’t], [effect].” Or “[A player] may [do something]. If [that player] [does, doesn’t, or can’t], [effect].” The action [do something] is a cost, paid when the spell or ability resolves. The “If [a player] [does, doesn’t, or can’t]” clause checks whether the player chose to pay an optional cost or started to pay a mandatory cost, regardless of what events actually occurred.

July 7, 2024 8:09 p.m.

Gidgetimer says... #2

I just thought about this right after I posted it, and my rationale is wrong despite all of the answer parts being correct. With the current implementation of sending a commander to the command zone as a SBA after it was exiled, you are fully paying the "cost" associated with the trigger and the last clause of 118.12 doesn't need to apply.

July 7, 2024 8:10 p.m.

vic says... #3


  1. I can't figure out what SBA stands for. Do you perhaps mean State Based Effect?

  2. What I was mainly getting at with my question was what happens to Rhys, not the Packmaster. I'm sure I could choose to champion Rhys and that that would satisfy the requirement to keep the Packmaster on the board.

But does Rhys stayed "championed"? I'm not sure if that counts the same as being killed or bounced. As I type this, I just now realize that championing is exiling, so yes, I guess it would go do the Command Zone, like if it got hit with a Path to Exile.

But that raises another question: what if (not that I'm likely to do this, but maybe in a different championing situation) I want to CHOOSE to let it get exiled in this instance, so that if Packmaster is removed, Rhys comes back into play. Am I allowed to do that?

July 7, 2024 11 p.m.

Rhadamanthus says... Accepted answer #4

"SBA" stands for "State Based Action". "State Based Effect" is not an official rules term.

The SBA to send the commander to the Command zone after being put into Exile is optional. You can leave the commander in Exile if you want.

July 9, 2024 9:59 a.m.

Gidgetimer says... #5

The wording "state-based effect" was changed to "state-based action" in 2009 with the M10 rules change at the same time that mana burn and damage on the stack were removed. It looks like Rhadamanthus has answered the question but I would like to provide rules references and some clarification on the intricacies of why this interaction works like it does.

CR 704.6d is optional to move the commander to the command zone. The SBA will only applied once each time a commander changes zones though since it says "that object was put into that zone since the last time state-based actions were checked". Since the commander goes to exile or the graveyard first if the effect that killed/exiled it tracks the card through a zone change (like Oblivion Ring or Champion does) it will see it in the graveyard/exile. If it then changes zones into the command zone the effect will lose track of it and not be able to act upon it. If you leave it in the graveyard/exile the effect will still be able to act upon it.

704.6. Some variant games include additional state-based actions that aren’t normally applicable:

704.6d In a Commander game, if a commander is in a graveyard or in exile and that object was put into that zone since the last time state-based actions were checked, its owner may put it into the command zone. See rule 903, “Commander.”

July 9, 2024 8:08 p.m.

vic says... #6

Gidgetimer Wow. That takes some digesting about the zone changing, but I got it. Yeah, I remember that rules shakeup, but I guess I missed the changing of "state based effect". I still thought that's what it was called. Thanks for that.

July 10, 2024 4:42 a.m.

Please login to comment