It is a sad day for Magic: the Gathering fans the world over. Earlier today, it was announced that Sheldon Menery, the godfather of the Commander format passed away on the 7th of September, 2023. This concludes his seven-year battle with cancer.
Following the announcement, made on Facebook by their wife Gretchyn Melde, MTG fans have been sharing their support and love for Menery. Sheldon Menery will undoubtedly be missed by Magic: the Gathering fans the world over.
A Founding Father
While Menery did not entirely create the Commander format, they were nonetheless a guiding figure throughout the format’s history. Introduced to the format, then known as Elder Dragon Highlander, in 2002, Menery quickly became fascinated. Thanks to their influence as a level five MTG judge, this helped to catapult the format’s reach and popularity.
Alongside showing off EDH to countless players, Menery also tweaked the rules of the format. The most iconic change was to allow any legendary creature to be a deck’s Commander. From this point, the Commander format as we know it today was truly born, all thanks to Menery.
Over time, Menery continued to focus and streamline the format’s ruleset, and the popularity of EDH grew more and more. As it is today, the format was praised for its freedom, fun, and use of old cards. Once popular enough, even Wizards of the Coast took notice, playing the format from 2005 onwards.
While shaping the rules of the format, Menery effectively became the head of the Commander Rules Committee. As the name suggests, this group determined the format’s rules, alongside which cards get banned.
Once a niche unknown format in Alaska, Menery has helped Commander to become the most popular format in MTG on paper. Alongside this, Menery also contributed to Magic’s pro scene with coverage and articles on StarCityGames.
Menery’s contributions to Commander and Magic: the Gathering as a whole cannot be overstated.
Sheldon Menery Will Be Missed
After hearing about Menery’s passing, MTG players have been sharing their support online. Commenting across Reddit, Twitter, and Facebook, it’s clear that Sheldon Menery was a beloved figure in the world of MTG. Thanks to all their contributions to the world of Magic, they will undoubtedly be missed now and into the future.