MTG Commander’s creator Sheldon Menery dies after 7 year battle with cancer
Sheldon Menery, the creator of Magic: The Gathering’s most popular format, has passed away after a lengthy cancer battle.
Menery started out as a judge and eventually worked his way to being a top judge for competitive MTG events until 2011. He transitioned to running the Commander Rules Committee, which independently manages the Commander format for Wizards of the Coast.
His love of the game showed, as all the way up to August 18, he was still participating in the spoiler season for the latest MTG set.
In a post on their website, Wizards of the Coast, makers of the Magic, expressed their sadness at the loss of Menery:
“Sheldon was a trailblazer in the Magic community.
“Known by many as the “Godfather of Commander,” he was instrumental in the format’s creation and development. As a founding member of the Commander Rules Committee, he oversaw the format’s evolution into one of Magic: The Gathering‘s most popular formats.
“Of his work with Commander, Sheldon said, “to see something that you created and shepherded and nurtured become wildly popular and beloved by so many people, it’s a pretty humbling moment.”
Magic’s head reacts to Menery’s death
On X/Twitter, head of Magic’s development, Mark Rosewater, posted his condolences and a touching quote about how people enjoy something he made:
Commander is now Magic’s most popular format and best-selling product, which was created by fans of the game in the 1990s. It eventually morphed from Elder Dragon Highlander to Commander and was adopted by Wizards of the Coast to be developed into an official product.
Menery’s creation is now a regular feature in every set, and the rule committee will continue to provide any rulings on the format.