Commander Sealed 2022

Get tickets for 2022 here

Welcome to Commander Sealed 2022 taking place on Sept 17. Rochester’s Third annual limited commander tournament benefiting The Trevor Project! Commander Sealed 2019 drew 36 players from across New York and neighboring states. Angelo Guerrera of EDHREC took home the win with his Damia Sage of Stone deck. Commander Sealed 2021, which pulled in 64 players from as far away as Seattle, raised just over $4,500 for TTP. Eric Nowicki of Buffalo took home the win with an astounding Karador, Ghost Chieftain deck.

This year’s event will be at the Village Gate Atrium, upstairs in the Village Gate. 

Get tickets for 2022 here

Before Commander Legends existed, this format was conceived as a way to engage in casual, tournament-level play, without mismatched expectations of power level. Previously, playgroups had to resort to EDH precons for all players to approximate even power levels. This spontaneous, limited environment discourages pub stomping and cEDH-level fast combo, while also appealing to players who enjoy the Sealed format deckbuilding experience. As this format is a mashup of Sealed, Chaos Draft, and Commander; some rules of each format will override others. 

Questions, comments, or concerns? Please email the event organizer Dean Gootee, or contact him on Twitter. You can also contact Just Games or call the store at 585-586-0586.

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What’s Included?


Each player receives a seventeen pack sealed pool consisting of:

2x packs each of Commander Legends and Commander Legends: Battle of Baldur’s Gate

1x pack each of Modern Horizons, Mystery Booster, Modern Horizons 2, and Innistrad: Double Feature

1x pack from among Time Spiral Remastered, or Double Masters 2022

8x other packs randomly chosen from among War of the Spark, Throne of Eldraine, Theros Beyond Death, Ikoria: Lair of Behemoths, Core Set 2021, Zendikar Rising, Kaldheim, Strixhaven, and Adventures in the Forgotten Realms, Kamigawa: Neon Dynasty, Streets of New Capenna, or Dominaria United.

When and Where?

Commander Sealed 2022 will be held at the Village Gate Atrium in Rochester, NY on September 17th, 2022 at 12 pm. The event will last for approximately 8 hours, including a one-hour break to allow people to eat.

Shut Up and Take My Money 


This is a charity event. Each seat costs $170. Payment covers 17 packs and prizes. All proceeds benefit The Trevor Project. 


Buy tickets now

Sponsorship & Support

If you cannot attend in person but wish to sponsor another player, please write in the name and contact information of the person who will be playing in that spot. If you’d like to support The Trevor Project by donating a box to the event, please contact Dean or Matt. Alternatively, you can help the event support The Trevor Project by donating directly towards our fundraising goal of $8,000.

You can donate to the Trevor Project directly here. If you do, please email Dean or Matt so we can include your donation in our fundraising goals!

If you’re a store owner in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, or somewhere within reasonable driving distance of Rochester, you can help by just printing and posting a flyer for the event. Check back here for final poster later!

Special Guests

Allen Douglas

Magic artist Allen Douglas will be on hand to sign prints and proofs, as well as display (and perhaps sell!) original art.Commander Sealed 2022


Don Miner

The creator and owner of EDHREC and cornerstone of the Commander community will be joining us! Say hello, get your deckbox signed, and maybe face Don at the Commander tables!

Alan Pollack

Magic Artist Alan Pollack will be on hand to sign prints and sell artist proofs, as well as display his current original art.

Commander Sealed 2022
Decree of Justice for Magic the Gathering by Alan Pollack

Alan Pollack was born in New Jersey in 1964. Influenced at an early age by artists such as Frank Frazetta and Boris Vallejo, Alan knew that fantasy/sci-fi illustration would be his career of choice. Alan has worked for many of the industries gaming companies, including Wizards of the Coast and Blizzard Entertainment , and has graced the covers of most of the leading book publishers in this country, including Harper/Collins, Daw Books, Del-Rey, Baen Books, Tor Books, ROC and the Science Fiction Book Club. In 2015, Alan was one of the top five nominees chosen for the Hugo award for Best Professional Artist.

Read all about Alan on his website, or link up with him on social media

  • Instagram- @pollackart64


First, Commander is fun and Chaos Drafts are fun. Why not mash them up?

Second, millions of LGBTQ+ youth in America and around the world are at increased risk of suicide, housing shortage, substance abuse, poverty, and discrimination. The Trevor Project provides resources and support to these vulnerable youth. Dean is highlighting The Trevor Project because, for him, it’s personal. Growing up queer in a conservative household he was often afraid, confused, and angry. He hopes that through the Trevor Project and organizations like it, other queer youth will flourish in ways he was unable to. 

How Many?

This year, we are pleased to offer a 256 player seating located at the Village Gate Atrium, surrounded by excellent restaurants and with room for artists and vendors to join us. 

How it works


Most Standard Commander Rules apply, modified by the MSTR. Find them here. Exceptions are listed below:

Deck Construction & Trading Time 

  • Players are given a pool of 17 packs. Some of those packs are semi-randomized. 
  • Players will have 1 hour to trade amongst their pools and construct a commander deck.

Deck size 

You will build a 100-card singleton deck consisting of 99 cards + your commander, or 98 cards + your commanders in the case of Partners/Background. A 101st card may be added in the event that your deck meets the requirement to include a companion.

Continuous construction

Continuous construction rules will be in effect for this event. Players may freely exchange cards between their deck and sideboard, provided that they continue to adhere to all other deckbuilding rules. Please note that players may still only trade between sealed pools during designated trading times. Players may not trade with other players to improve their deck or sealed pools in between play rounds. Doing so may result in a warning or a disqualification. Note that should you inadvertently become aware of your next round opponents’ deck(s), it is considered bad form to “pre-sideboard” for that particular matchup.

Companions, Lessons, Wishes 

In constructed EDH, cards that reference “cards you own from outside the game” (your sideboard) don’t function. In Commander Sealed, however, these cards function as they would in any limited event, with your unused sealed pool serving as your sideboard. Cards used from your sideboard must still adhere to the singleton rule (if there is a card with that name in your deck, you cannot get it from your sideboard), and must adhere to your commander’s color identity.

Companion is a mechanic that was introduced in Ikoria: Lair of Behemoths. Assuming that your deck meets all construction requirements of a given companion, this card can serve as a 101st card that begins play in your sideboard which you may pay 3 mana to put into your hand any time you could cast a sorcery.

Lessons debuted in Strixhaven. They are a card subtype that interacts with the Learn mechanic allowing you to put them into your hand from the sideboard. (e.g. Poet’s Quill and Introduction to Annihilation) See the Comprehensive Rules for more information.

Wishes are cards or abilities that search for cards “outside the game” and put them into your hand. (e.g. Karn, the Great Creator) Their function is similar to Lessons and Learn, in that they can acquire cards from your sideboard. All of these cards function in Commander Sealed. 

Banned cards 

Like any other Limited event, if you crack it, you can play it. That means that cards that are usually banned (specifically, Braids, Cabal Minion; Channel; Hullbreacher; Lutri, the Spellchaser; Primeval Titan; Tinker; and Upheaval) are all legal for play in Commander Sealed!

“Playtest” Cards

Mystery Booster “Playtest” cards will not be legal for this event. 

Color identity 

Each card has a color identity consisting of any mana symbols that appear anywhere on the card (except in reminder text.) For example; Alesha, Who Smiles at Death is a red creature with a Mardu (red, white, and black) color identity. All colors of a hybrid mana symbol count towards color identity. 

As in ordinary Commander, each card in your deck must adhere to your Commander’s color identity. In addition, any cards you intend to use in your “sideboard” must adhere to your Commander’s color identity (see Companions, Lessons, and Wishes above).


Unlike a typical sealed deck, your deck is limited to one copy of any given card regardless of how many copies of that card are in your pool. With the exception of basic lands, no two cards in the deck may have the same English name. Some cards (e.g. Dragon’s Approach) may have rules text that overrides this restriction.


Each player opening a War of the Spark pack is guaranteed at least one Planeswalker card. While legendary, Planeswalkers are not legendary creatures, and cannot be the commander of your deck. Planeswalker cards that state otherwise such as Grist, The Hunger Tide; Jeska, Thrice Reborn; and Tevesh Szat, Doom of Fools are exceptions to this rule. 

Partner and background

If you choose partners to be your commanders, or a legendary creature with “Choose a background” your deck will be the combined color identity of both of your commanders, or your commander and your background. Both will begin the game in the command zone. Your deck will be 98 cards + your Commander(s)/background, rather than 99 cards + your Commander. 

Going to Time 

There are 90 minutes allotted to each game. (note: this is a 30-minute increase to each round based on feedback we received at last year’s event.) When time is called any pods still playing gain a Havoc Festival emblem. This emblem is not attached to any player and remains in play until someone wins the game. 


The event will start with a total of 64 players comprising 16 pods of 4, and advance in a single-elimination structure. The winners of each pod will advance to 4 pods of 4. The winners of those pods will advance to the final pod of 4 players. 


Based on feedback from Commander Sealed 2021, we’ve revamped the prize structure of this event to provide better support. This year will be 3 rounds of Swiss, followed by a top cut dependant on the number of participants. 

  • 0-1 win: 1 random additional pack form among those sets in the sealed pool.
  • 2-3 wins: 3 random additional packs
  • Each player advancing to the final table will receive 1 Secret Lair Ultimate 2 the winner will receive nine random packs and all five Streets of New Capenna Commander decks. Eliminated players will get 6 packs each.

Additionally, three random packs will be given away every half hour!

Record Your Deck

Please, please, please! Record your deck somewhere and submit it to me! I keep track of them from event to event and post them online. Take pictures of your deck, write it down, type it up, and just send me a list somehow. Decks from 2019. Decks from 2021.

Technical rules document

For further detail, you may review the technical rules document which formalizes the rules for deck construction and the Havoc Festival emblem, and addresses and clarifies certain obscure scenarios unique to this format.

What to bring (or not)


If you forgot your extra sleeves at home, fear not! This year Just Games will have sleeves available for purchase, with a portion of the proceeds going to The Trevor Project. You’re going to be cracking some potentially high-value cards; make sure they’re protected! You might also consider bringing or buying a deck box to bring your new deck home in. 


Dice, counters, playmat, pencil & paper, tokens. You’re Magic players, you know the drill. 

Food & Drink

Getting hungry can cause crankiness and slow down thought processing. Don’t let analysis paralysis grind your game to a halt, bring some snacks! There are restaurants near Just Games should you need to step out for a food break.

Just Games generally does not permit outside drinks. Water bottles can be brought in empty and filled from their faucets, and they have vending on site.

A good attitude 

This is a friendly, casual event. Good sportsmanship is a must. Friendly trash talking and banter are fine, but leave your salt at home. For more details, refer to Just Games’ Code of Conduct.

Deckbuilding Basics, Reminders, and Tips


Land count 

You need lands. Many people start with 40 lands and subtract 1 for every 2 ramp effects in the deck. Your mana curve will also affect how many lands you’ll want to run. Most decks average around 36 lands. 


Creatures and artifacts that tap for mana, or spells and effects that get you more lands onto the battlefield, are a deck-building basic. Depending on your mana curve, you’ll probably want 5-15% of your deck to get you ahead on mana. 

Color fixing 

This is a function of ramp. In Limited your access to colors is much more restricted. Keep that in mind when building a deck with two or three colors. 

Card draw 

It’s important to include cards that generate card advantage; either increasing the number of cards you have access to or the quality. 10-15% is a good rule of thumb when building a deck. 


Games don’t end without them. We’re trying to keep games around 90 minutes, so make sure you include ways to close out the game. 

Poster to Download and Print

Want to print out our cool poster for your store window? Want to put it up on your college campus or work or church bulletin board? Grab a file for your local printer from this link of our Print Ready Poster PDF

Commander Sealed 2022

Table of Contents

Special Thanks

Commander Sealed 2022





Commander Sealed 2022
Stern Properties





Refund and Code of Conduct

Please note that tickets for this event are non-refundable. If you cannot attend for any reason, we will donate the value of your ticket to the Trevor Project.

Anyone who is ejected or barred from the event for Code of Conduct concerns will not be entitled to a refund or prizes. Just Games reserves the right to bar anyone from the event or the venue for any reason, without any prior written or verbal notice.