Preparing for CommandFest

DeQuan WatsonCommander

CommandFest is a brand new event from Wizards of the Coast, and the first events are coming up this weekend in Seattle and Chicago. Unlike MagicFest and Grand Prix events, these events will not be anchored by a competitive tournament – instead, the focus will be entirely on casual play.

If you’re heading to a CommandFest this weekend, here’s what you can expect:

  • Commander, Brawl, Planechase, Battlebond, Two-Headed Giant, and Oathbreaker events all weekend long.
  • Single Day Passes are $50 and come with a non-foil Sol Ring Promo and one event voucher.
  • Three-day Passes are $125 and come with a FOIL Sol Ring Promo and 3 event vouchers.
  • Other swag can be obtained via $25 and $100 packages with access to a party.
  • Magic artists and vendors will be on-site.  

While this may look a lot like a Grand Prix weekend, CommandFest’s casual focus will attract some players who have never been to a major event before. With that in mind, let’s talk about a few ways that you can prepare for this new, exciting event.

Bring Your Decks!

In the days leading up to CommandFest, you’ll need to decide which of your decks to bring with you. I’d recommend not bringing more than three or four decks each day of the event. Even if you’re active, you’ll likely want to get 2-3 games in with each deck, which is a full day.

You should also consider spending your time leading up to CommandFest diversifying the decks you’re bringing. There will be a variety of events to play in, so you might have some opportunities to try new formats. Most people have a Commander deck, so that’s an easy one to prepare. But maybe you’ve been interested in trying Oathbreaker or Brawl for the first time. If you’re looking for some inspiration, head over to and check out their recommendations.

This is also a great time to meet people and play some cooperative games. The good news is that Planechase, Battlebond, and Two-Headed Giant are all great for cooperative play. You can make a flexible deck that benefits a teammate and you can hop between formats with it. This could also help dictate what to bring. Maybe you go with two Commander decks and two for other formats.

Once you’ve decided what formats you want to play there’s another serious question to consider: How competitive do you want to be? There will be players at the event looking to play at each end of the competitive spectrum, so it’s important to take stock of your decks and see where you fall. You may want to consider bringing decks of varying powerful levels so you can play with different groups at different times. This is ultimately a personal decision, so it’s worth taking some time to think about what you want to get out of the CommandFest experience.

Things to Do

Of course, there’s more to do at CommandFest than just play games. Magic artists Rob Alexander, Mark Tedin, and Kieran Yanner are all confirmed for the Seattle event. These artists will have new art, tokens, playmats, and other wares available, and they’re always happy to sign cards. If you’re lucky, you can even get them to do a custom piece of art (for a price, of course). These artists are trying to interact with a lot of people, so remember to be considerate and keep the number of cards you ask them to sign to eight or less.

There will also be tons of vendors on-site – including Card Kingdom! This is a good opportunity to pick up hard-to-find cards you’ve been hunting for. It’s also a great time to unload unwanted cards. Before you head to the event, take a look at the vendors’ buylists and bring some of those cards with you. This can help you turn some of your unwanted cards into things you’ll use, and most of the vendors give additional bonuses if you take the payment in store credit.

CommandFest events look like they will be great first-time events for kitchen table players wanting to attend a large event. And if you’ve been to these types of events before, this is a great opportunity to introduce a friend. Pack your decks, make some new friends, and have a good time.