Frequently Asked Questions
Here are the answers to a few of the most frequently asked questions about Oathbreaker.
What is Oathbreaker?
Oathbreaker is a new casual format inspired by commander and kitchen table multiplayer that emphasizes the epic power of Planeswalkers. It provides players new and interesting deck building challenges in a faster format, with casual big spell feel.
When was Oathbreaker pulled from the Aether?
In March of 2017, as the Gatewatch prepared to face Tezzeret and Nicol Bolas, the Oathfather began having devising a new format that highlighted the powers of the Planeswalkers. After seeking the council of other Planeswalkers, Oathbreaker began taking form. In June of 2017 the first games were played, leading us to the format that we have now: Planeswalkers breaking the oaths they took to protect the people of the multiverse to fight each other.
Why 20 life and 60 cards?
The combination of 20 life and 60 cards was found to provide a perfect balance of power and resource management. Twenty life makes aggro a viable deck option and forces combo players to find creative ways to survive to their combo. This is also cushioned by the damage that your Oathbreaker is going to absorb through the game. Sixty cards allows for players to have more focused deck building, and making harder cuts than seen in a 100 card deck. We often find that moving back to the base life total and library size that Wizards designs cards for was ideal for providing faster more focused game play.
Is Oathbreaker a competitive and/or 1v1 format?
No, Oathbreaker is a multiplayer casual format much like Commander. While there will always be competitive decks in any formats we highly recommend a casual feel to all decks.
Are we a commander variant?
Our playgroup enjoys the camaraderie that is fostered in multiplayer formats like Commander. So, having played a lot of Commander games, this format has naturally drawn heavily on aspects of the Commander style. However, it also draws on the classic kitchen table style formats. The marriage of those styles makes for a play experience that feels unique unto to itself, allowing us to strongly say that we do not see it as a Commander variant.
Deck building FAQ
Can I use a transforming planeswalker as my Oathbreaker?
Your Oathbreaker must be a planeswalker on its front side. This means legendary creatures like Jace, Vryn Prodigy can’t be your Oathbreaker but Arlinn Kord would make a great Oathbreaker.
Does my signature spell have to match exactly my Oathbreakers color identity?
No, but it must fall within the color identity. Vraska the Unseen can play Worldly Tutor as the signature spell.
Can my signature spell go to other zones besides the command zone?
No, your signature spell must always return to the command zone. It can only exist on the stack and in the command zone. If it somehow would go anywhere else, it returns to the command zone instead.
Why use the command zone?
Fun fact the command zone is a legal zone. This is where emblems live. When Commander first began as EDH, your “General” as it was referred to at the time, stayed in the “Removed from game” zone. This is where Commanders were cast from until WotC adopted the format and created the command zone. There is no reason to reinvent the wheel, so we chose to make the command zone the home for both the Oathbreaker and the signature spell.
Does Burning Wish do anything?
Oathbreaker has no sideboard, however since it is a casual format, each playgroup should have their own rules regarding wishes.
Can you play cards that reference “your commander”?
Yes, any cards that reference your commander instead reference your Oathbreaker. There was much discussion on this topic within our group. Ultimately, it was decided that limiting the card pool was not beneficial to the format and often these cards fit the philosophy of Oathbreaker. They just felt natural to include.
Each planeswalker has their own signature spell. Rowan Kenrith will have a red signature spell, and Will Kenrith will have a blue signature spell. This also means you will have 4 cards in the command zone, and a 56 card library. While Rowan is on the battlefield, you may cast her signature spell, but not Will’s, unless he is also on the battlefield.
Are house rules welcome?
Cards with special rules?
As with most Magic formats, cards overrule game rules, so cards like Relentless Rats work as written.
Is Tibalt overpowered?
You heard it first here, Yes!!!