Every year, Wizards of the Coast adds new Magic sets to the game. With many of those new sets, new mechanics and keywords are introduced that can completely alter the meta.
With the release of the Ikoria: Lair of Behemoths set in in 2020, players saw the introduction of a mechanic called Companion. This popular mechanic broke many formats at the time, including Commander, because of how it shaped the landscape.
In this post, we’ll be discussing MTG Commander companion rules. We’ll also introduce Companion as a mechanic and answer some other popular questions about it.
Let’s dive right in…
What is a Companion?
If you’ve just started playing Magic: the Gathering, you might be wondering to yourself about what a Companion is and why it matters. That will be our starting point.
Companion is a relatively new (compared to the overall age of the game!) mechanic that was introduced in 2020. It basically allows you to have an extra card in your deck that starts outside of the game, provided you meet that card’s stipulations.
You can’t choose just any card to be your Companion, either – it must specifically say “Companion” in the text, like in the above Jegantha, the Wellspring card. As you can see, after the word “Companion,” there is a requirement. This is how all Companion cards are formatted; they have a requirement your deck must meet in order to access that card as a Companion.
At most, you can only have one Companion per deck. The Companion does not count towards your deck size, so you don’t have to worry about going over the 100-card Commander limit by including one.
Your Companion is cast at any time you would be able to cast a sorcery. It’s a special action that requires you to pay three to move the Companion from outside of the game into your hand. From that point, you will have to pay the mana cost listed at the top of the card, just like casting any other spell.
After you’ve brought it into the game, it’s part of the game until the game ends, which means it can be destroyed, bounced to your hand, or even potentially exiled.
Read Also: MTG Commander Abilities in the Command Zone
MTG Commander Companion Rules
The same Companion rules we outlined above apply to the Commander format. Of course, there are also some stipulations unique to Commander that apply to your Companion.
For instance, your Companion must share a mana color with your Commander. Just because it’s technically outside the game at the start doesn’t mean you can choose a Companion of any color.
You also cannot include that Companion twice in your deck. In other words, you can’t have one as your Companion, then have that same card again in your library.
Additionally, don’t forget to keep up-to-date on the Commander ban list. These are cards that Wizards of the Coast chooses to ban from various formats, and there’s always the potential for particular Companions to be banned. At the time of this post, only one Companion has been banned: Lutri, the Spellchaser.
Companion in Commander FAQs
Can you use a Companion in Commander?
Yes, you can use a Companion in your Commander deck. You can technically even use a Companion as your Commander – just keep in mind that it’s not going to start outside of the game like other Companions and will function just like any other Commander card. You don’t even need to meet the Companion’s deck-building rule if you’re using it this way, since you’re not using it as a Companion in that case.
This applies to all Companions that aren’t currently banned in the format. If you’d like to learn more about building a deck, be sure to also read our short guide to the MTG Commander deck ratio.
Can Yorion be your companion in Commander?
Yorion, Sky Nomad is an interesting card. Its Companion deck-building rule is that your starting deck must have at least twenty more cards than the minimum deck size for that format.
In Commander, however, players can have no more or less than 100 cards. (Technically, you can have 101 if you’re including a Companion, but don’t forget that the Companion doesn’t count towards the total.)
Yorion’s requirement is not compatible with Commander rules. Therefore, you cannot use it as a Companion through the Companion mechanic. If Yorion otherwise fits with your deck strategy, you can include it in your deck as a normal card or even as a Commander, if you wish.
Can you have 2 companions in MTG?
No, you can only have one Companion per deck. This is one of the basic rules for the keyword itself.
This doesn’t mean that you can’t have more than one card with the keyword “Companion” on it in your deck, though. You can just only have one that you’re actually using as a Companion. If you want to use other Companion cards, they will need to be included in your deck outside of the Companion mechanic, causing them to function as normal cards.
Companion can be a fun mechanic to build around if you’ve found the right card. It’s essentially like getting to have an extra card, making it a bit of a game-changer for eternal formats such as Commander.You don’t necessarily need to incorporate one, though. But there is one thing every Commander deck should have: board wipes. A board wipe can help you change the tide of the battle if you’re backed into a corner, and we’ve got a list of the best MTG Commander board wipes for you to browse.