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What is colorless Commander color identity?

Commander, also known as EDH (Elder Dragon Highlander), is a popular multiplayer Magic: The Gathering format. In Commander, each player chooses a legendary creature or planeswalker as their commander, which determines the colors of cards they can include in their deck. But what about colorless cards with no mana symbols – what is their color identity for a Commander deck?

Rules for Color Identity in Commander

According to the official Commander format rules, a card’s color identity is determined by the mana symbols in its mana cost and rules text. This includes:

  • Any colored mana symbols in the mana cost (e.g. 1U, 2R, etc)
  • Any colored mana symbols in the rules text
  • Any color indicators (e.g. Transguild Courier)

The commander’s color identity restricts what cards can be included in the deck. Every card in the deck must have a color identity that is a subset of the commander’s color identity. For example, if your commander is the blue/red Niv-Mizzet, Parun, your deck can only include cards with blue and/or red mana symbols in their cost/text.

Colorless Cards in Commander

Colorless cards without any mana symbols at all, like Sol Ring or Skullclamp, have a special status in Commander. They have a “colorless” color identity, meaning they can go in ANY deck, regardless of the commander’s colors.

This includes:

  • Artifacts with no colored mana symbols
  • Colorless Eldrazi like Endbringer and Conduit of Ruin
  • Basic lands like Plains and Island
  • Land with no mana abilities like Wastes

So if your commander is mono-white, you can still play strong colorless cards like Karn Liberated and Ugin, the Spirit Dragon in your deck.

Why Colorless Has Its Own Identity

There are a few reasons why colorless cards are treated as their own separate “color” in Commander:

  • Gameplay – It enables more deck-building flexibility and creativity.
  • Flavor – Colorless Eldrazi feel like they should be able to go in any deck.
  • Rules simplicity – The current rule is very clean and straightforward to understand.

Being able to include Sol Ring, Chromatic Lantern, and other powerful colorless staples in any deck helps ensure a baseline power level in Commander. And it feels right that Ulamog, the Ceaseless Hunger can devour creatures no matter what Commander you have chosen.

What About Generic Mana Costs?

Be careful not to confuse generic mana costs with colorless. Generic mana is denoted by numbers in grey circles, like {3} in a cost. It can be paid with mana of any color.

For example,take Ravenous Chupacabra which costs 2B. The {B} makes it black, even though it also has a generic {2} cost. Generic mana does NOT contribute to a card’s color identity.

Examples of Colorless Commanders

Here are some legendary colorless creatures that are popular commander choices:

Commander Abilities
Kozilek, Butcher of Truth Card draw on cast, counter synergies
Karn, Silver Golem Artifact animator
Hope of Ghirapur Prevent activated abilities
Traxos, Scourge of Kroog Artifact voltron

Colorless commanders open up unique strategies and let you build around artifacts, charge counters, or colorless synergies. You also get access to Eldrazi titans like Ulamog which can be difficult to hard cast in colored decks.

Building a Colorless Commander Deck

When building a deck with a colorless commander, here are some tips:

  • Include plenty of colorless mana sources like Ancient Tomb, Crystal Vein, and Wastes
  • Prioritize colorless card draw like Mind Stone and Tower of Fortunes
  • Use colorless removal such as Meteor Golem, Spine of Ish Sah, All is Dust
  • Take advantage of synergies like charge counters, processors, or ingest

Colorless decks benefit from fast mana like Mana Crypt and Sol Ring to accelerate out an early commander. Card draw is important since you lack colored draw spells. Don’t forget targets for your commander if it has abilities that require them.


Colorless cards with no mana symbols have a unique status in Commander. They are treated as their own separate color identity, allowing them to be played in any deck regardless of its commander’s colors. This provides added flexibility in deck building and enables colorless themes and strategies.

Understanding the distinction between generic, colorless, and colored costs is key. While generic mana contributes nothing, colorless and colored symbols determine a card’s identity. So don’t hesitate to unleash Karn and other colorless powerhouses no matter who your commander is!