This entry is part 90 of 538 in the series CommanderCast

Posted by ANDY aka GHoooSTS
This week we’re podcasting about something I know little if anything about. While it wouldn’t be difficult to argue that’s no departure from the usual, it’s even more true than normal because this week’s episode is the Duel Commander-focused special I promised last week. If you’re interested in learning more about a very cool format-within-a-format that is growing rapidly, then this podcast should be right up your alley.

For all you hating-ass multiplayer purists, don’t worry, there’s an extra podcast going up tomorrow for your myopic tastes, so keep the crazies to a minimum.

When you have nothing to say on a topic, it’s best to go to experts. Unfortunately, I didn’t know where to find them and one I had on deck for this totally flaked on me. Fortunately, my original two planned guests brought sufficient heat to turn this bitch into a blistering audio inferno of information. Joining me to provide two different perspectives on duel Commander, I have Cassidy Silver off Off-Color Cast fame to provide the ‘backstreet brawling’ perspective of a man who’s spent many nights in Commander duels with the conventional multiplayer banned list; and then as a guest SUPERstar¬† I have Matt aka The Golden Boy, who used to be one of CommanderCast’s editors. Matt also turns out to be something of an expert on the French 1v1 format.

Show notes and pertinent links below. Enjoy.



00:00 to 04:06: Introductions: WHO THIS IZ


04:16 to 23:03: Introduction to Duel Commander: Cassidy and Matt educate Andy on the basics of fighting 1v1-style with 100-card decks. Matt lets us in on the rules, some of the stuff about the community, and overall we talk about why one may want to give this little oddity of a format a second look.

Key rules differences:

  1. This is a duel format.
  2. Players start the game with 30 life.
  3. Partial Paris mulligan rules.
  4. If a Commander would be put into it’s owner’s library, it may go to the Command Zone instead.
  5. The Legend Rule does not apply if you are playing the same general as your opponent, but clone effects still invoke the legend rule.
  6. No sideboards.
  •, where you can find all the official dirt on dueling in Commander all official-like

26:13 to 29:44: Quality Resources for Duel Commander: If you want to learn more about Duel Commander, where can you go to find information, decklists, and all that good stuff? Well, look no further than these handy links (unless you can read French, in which case you can be swimming in resources with a Google search apparently):


29:57 to 53:17: Dueling 101: In this segment, my mans who know more about this than I do go ahead and run down the fundamentals of playing 1v1 games. What do you need to know to survive in such a different environment, and what are the major differences in the game’s tempo and threat assessments? How does the mindset change? All this and more in a brief but reasonably comprehensive introduction to the duel format.We also touch on some strategies that are nice in the 1v1 format which kind of suck in multiplayer EDH.

The mantra here is ‘turn 5’.


53:35 to 1:08:14: Traits of a Quality Commander: How do you pick your first commander for heads-up battling? In this segment, we talk about the common things that quality duel Commanders have in common. Generating card advantage is important, but there’s also a lot of other good stuff like strong aggressive creatures, Hexproof, and even straight-up uniqueness. Just ask Captain Sisay. Also, don’t forget your cost… how much can you pay for a Commander, when a game is often decided in the first five turns?

1:08:31 to 1:22:320: Stock Swerves: Some cards are much better in duel Commander than multiplayer. In this segment we discuss a few categories of cards whose value goes way up or way down depending on the number of people at the table. Join us as we discuss:

  • Mana Dorks: LLanowar Elves, Birds of Paradise and the like get more use in duels than in multiplayer for many reasons. Less sweepers, faster games, specific archetypes, and consistency are all good reasons for mana mans.
  • Targeted Discard: With only one opponent and critical, must-answer cards flooding the format, cards like Duress are much more powerful.
  • Rituals: The classic Dark Ritual doesn’t get a lot of love in typical Commander but it has more of a place in duels… right?
  • Tempo Bump Cards: It’s your Stone Rains and Boomerangs… in the French format, do these start to make the cut, or at they still too little too late?


1:22:46 to END: Outtro: Thanks for listening!


Andy: E-Mail: CommanderCast(at)gmail(dot)com // Twitter: (at)CommanderCast
Matt: E-Mail: mattrileyalbrecht(at)gmail(dot)com
Cassidy: E-Mail: csilver85(at)gmail(dot)com // Twitter: (at)writerofwrong

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