Command Zone: The Com-Banned Zone

Today’s Commander article is going to be a response piece to the last Command Tower article written by Adam Styborski. Last week, Stybs went through one of the cards he thought should be banned in Commander and then highlighted some of the cards we readers want to banish. I’ll be going through each of the cards talked about and giving my two cents regarding their ban-worthy status. Nothing complicated. Just keep reading. Go. Do it. Now.

Come Sail Away

Deadeye Navigator

The card Stybs would like to see banned is Deadeye Navigator. He talks about harmonic synergy, the way in which Deadeye Navigator makes thing more powerful just by existing. Literally any card with an enter-the-battlefield ability gets better with it around, and it helps other creatures dodge targeted removal. Without mass removal, trying to take out a Deadeye Navigator is like trying to choke an eel.

I agree with Stybs that the card is unhealthy for Commander. It’s not a card that can be easily outmaneuvered with the social contract; if you use Deadeye Navigator, eventually you’ll break a game. Even if you just blink an Ondu Giant, you’ll pull out such a massive advantage over everyone else. There’s no way to actually use Deadeye Navigator that doesn’t set you on the game-breaking path. Stybs’s solution was to not play with it, which should be the solution for everyone.

X Marks the Spot

Sorin Markov

Two cards set a player’s life total to 10: Sorin Markov and Magister Sphinx. They’re expensive for regular constructed formats where you will probably have a player’s life below 10 by the time you hit six or seven mana. But in Commander, these cards come down fast, blow out 75% of your life, and pretty much make you dead on the next attack. That’s not fun.

Worse yet, it’s very easy to find and recur a Magister Sphinx. If one card in this pair should get banned, that’s the one. Sorin Markov is only fringe playable in a lifegain archetype anyway, its only real purpose being the middle ability.

Does their raw power earn these cards a place on the ban list? Probably. Sway of the Stars and Worldfire are there for a similar reason, and I think it’s a little hypocritical for some cards that set low life totals to be banned while others are not.

Every Turn is My Turn

Prophet of Kruphix

Two related cards are Prophet of Kruphix and Seedborn Muse. Each one lets you untap your lands and creatures on other players’ turns, cramming extra value down everyone else’s throat. Each card comes with its own caveat. Prophet lets you cast creature spells whenever (read as: never on your own turn), while the Muse untaps your artifacts too. Each card sends you down a dangerously degenerate path, with the Prophet the clearly more powerful option.

Are they ban-worthy? Certainly Prophet of Kruphix has to be talked about. It’s a purveyor of harmonic synergy itself; if you play creatures, it makes your deck supremely better. Seedborn Muse is less abusable, usually letting you to things with activated abilities only. “Only.”

I can see myself in a future where Prophet of Kruphix is banned. I’m not sure Seedborn Muse is worth excommunicating along with it. After all, you can social contract out a lot of the Muse’s power, especially when it comes to including abilities in a deck. I think forcing players to add a second card to the combo to reach Prophet of Kruphix’s is enough to keep Seedborn Muse legal.

Double Trouble

Mana Reflection

I agree with Stybs that the final card submitted to the article isn’t worthy of a ban. Mana Reflection is an excellent card, there’s no doubting that. It’s very powerful, and that’s part of why I don’t mind it. If a player has the gall to cast a Mana Reflection, they have to be prepared to have it blown up almost immediately.

And let’s look at Mana Reflection for a moment. It doubles your mana. That’s it. It doesn’t protect itself, it doesn’t protect anything else, it doesn’t generate card advantage, and the tempo advantage is a trap. It’s tempting to just dump your hand onto the battlefield after sticking a Mana Reflection, but Wrath of God is much cheaper than whatever it is you just did. Mana Reflection enables you to overextend your hand, which isn’t something you really want to do.

Without massive card draw, Mana Reflection doesn’t do a whole lot for its controller. If they’re still only casting one or two spells a turn, then where’s the broken part of this card? It needs card draw and haymakers in order to make anything near a broken play. Its combo potential is far too fragile, baring Basalt Monolith shenanigans.

The Green Mile

For the most part, the Commander community knows what’s bah-roken and what’s simply just powerful. Deadeye Navigator, Sorin Markov, Magister Sphinx, and Prophet of Kruphix are top contenders for the ban list. I think Seedborn Muse can squeak buy, and Mana Reflection is fine as it is. I’m surprised Derevi wasn’t mentioned in Stybs’s article, as her status on the French Commander ban list surely should bring her name up for the rest of the format.

Until next time, planeswalkers, may you get away with your heinous crimes before the rules committee comes and shuts you down.


July 2014 banlist


  • Goyo Guardian - Limited (was forbidden)
  • Eradicator Epidemic Virus - Limited (new)
  • Magician of Faith - Semi-Limited (was limited)
  • Formula Synchron - Semi-Limited (was limited)
  • Reinforcement of the Army - Semi-Limited (was limited)
  • Dimensional Prison - no restriction (was semi-limited)
  • Mirror Force - no restriction (was semi-limited)
The Commander Banlist and Creating your own House Banlist

Today we received notice from the EDH Rules Committee that there would not be any changes to the official banlist for Commander with the release of Shadows over Innistrad. This doesn’t really come as much of a surprise as there haven’t been any new degenerate toys added since the banning of Prophet of Kruphix, but there was always the hope among players that the old degenerate toys would be banned to help the format to be more fun. The EDH Rules Committee has their reasons for all of their decisions and that may be different than what you think the format needs. Since they act for the format as a whole sometimes you need to take things into your own hands to act for the best interest of your playgroup in specific.

Keep reading

My reaction to the new Yugioh Ban List

Also note! Before you go out and buy cards on the secondary market keep in mind that Glow-Up Bulb, Blackwing - Gale the Whirlwind, and Formular Synchron will all probably be in the 5Ds Legendary Collection coming out October 24th so it would be wise to hold off until after that is out and the prices drop.

sixth-house  asked:

can i put braids cabal minion in my edh mainboard?

Only if your playgroup specifically allows it. 

Braids is banned on the suggested ban list maintained by the Commander Rules Committee. This is the ban list that’s most widely observed, so it’s best to just leave her out of your deck if you’re going to be playing with people you don’t know well.