Duel Commander

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What’s in a banlist?

By The Duel Commander rules committee

Making a banlist involves a lot of decisions. Some of those are easily understood by players, some less so. While I don’t pretend that our choices are perfect or even the only possible ones, I’m going to describe in this article the principles underlying our banlist. In a further article I’ll give some more explanations about individual bannings, as we frequently get questions about certain cards.

Before I explain the principles, I’d like to remind you that the banlist is a living being and not everything is set in stone. You might see some banned cards for which the reason they’re banned is not immediately obvious. The banlist is 40 cards long; it has been elaborated over several years; the people working on it have not always been the same; and the principles underlying it have undergone some changes as well. We don’t like mass bannings or unbannings, as every time it affects lots of players who would have to change their decks a lot. We prefer to implement the changes we’re the most comfortable with, even if it means that some card has to wait for another opportunity or that we leave a card out for a few more months. As a result, the banlist is never “perfect” in our eyes and there’s always opportunity for evolution.

The goal of the banlist is to enable an enjoyable format. What this means varies widely if you ask different people. Some players prefer wide open formats where you’re not going to play against the same deck twice, some players prefer more closed formats where you can properly metagame and thoroughly test certain matchups. Some players like playing with combo or against it, some can’t stand it. Some players like to be able to play the same deck over years, only ever adjusting a few cards, some are fine with switching at every tournament. In the end, defining what is a good format is quite subjective and it’s quite hard to make choices that will leave everyone satisfied.

So what we’re trying to do is give every archetype a chance without letting one get overly dominant. We believe that the current format rewards play skill and deck building quite a lot, so it’s not because “there was no aggro deck in the last top 8″ that the format is failing. Rather, we’ve failed if this happens consistently. Building an aggro deck in Duel Commander might be harder than in other formats, but time has shown that with clever deck building it’s possible to perform well with it.

What’s particular about Duel Commander is the life total. 30 life is a lot to overcome for aggressive decks, and it’s hard, even with a perfect aggressive creature guaranteed to be in your starting hand, to win before turn 5 with pure aggression. What this means is that the typical racing matchup – aggro against combo – can’t be even if we allow combo to kill regularly before turn 5. This is the first and most important principle we use:

Combo should not be able to kill regularly before turn 5.

This immediately precludes a wide array of fast mana. Very fast starts can be extremely hard to recover from, especially when an interaction with your commander is involved. Turn 1 Ancient Tomb, mana artifact into turn 2 Grand Arbiter Augustin IV is a huge elbow drop which we don’t want to allow. Original Moxes fall into this bracket as well. Chrome Mox and Mox Diamond are acceptable: while they allow such a fast start, it comes at an enormous cost in term of cards, making this kind of line of play riskier. Specificities of the format also have to be taken into account here – turn 2 Rofellos, Llanowar Emissary is fine if it’s just a card in your deck, but if Rofellos is your commander and you get him out on turn 2 each and every game, it means the rest of the deck can be made of big threats and still be very stable. That’s why Rofellos is banned as a commander.

Cheap combos will also fall into this bucket. It is quite possible to regularly cast Flash + Protean Hulk before turn 5 thanks to the wide array of tutors available (in case you wonder, yes we did a mistake by unbanning Protean Hulk). Grindstone + Painter’s Servant, Time Vault + Voltaic Key are other cheap combos that are too powerful for the format. Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker + Deceiver Exarch (and all the variants of this combo, which can all be played in the same deck) is fine, because it doesn’t often win before turn 5. Some card types are more difficult to tutor for than others.

This no turn 4 kill principle would make the format slower than Modern (where Wizards’ main guideline for banning is limiting the number of turn 3 kills), but there are still some very powerful cards in the card pool, because it allows all expansions. Some of these cards have such a huge impact on the game that they can’t be allowed. Necropotence is a fine example of this. A resolved Necropotence makes it almost impossible for the opponent to come back – you will always have too many cards in your hand. The same goes for many other cards on the banlist.

A couple of cards are especially strong in Duel Commander because of the structure of the format. Karakas is repeatable removal for the commander. While it’s tempting to errata the card so that it can’t target commanders, we prefer having cards play as close as possible to their actual wording, for one simple reason: if a player finds a card, that should be all the information they need. No extra knowledge such as “doesn’t work on commanders” should be necessary. That’s why we chose to simply ban it. Humility is another such card. Because every Duel Commander deck plays at least a creature (their commander) and most decks rely on being able to cast it and use it, Humility puts a big stress on the format, even though it has not been played that much.

Duel Commander is a format that is growing fast, drawing players from many different backgrounds. A number of players have played only multiplayer Commander before coming into the Duel variant. While players trying out Modern and Legacy for the first time typically have played a number of tournament matches before and are used to stiff competition, this is not always true in Duel Commander. Some strategies are not necessarily the best choices in competitive tournaments but do put enormous pressure on the opponent from the start. It’s the case for Braids, Cabal Minion for example – if you pit it against current top decks, it may not have a winning score against all or even most of them. However, have a semi-casual player face Braids, you’re all but certain that the player is going to be disgusted and likely leave the format.

We’ve received an e-mail coming for a player who said that his group of friends started Duel Commander, but at some point one of them figured he’d try Edric, Spymaster of Trest as a Commander, and as a result not only crushed the others, but left them with the impression that there was nothing they could do about it. This group of players is not playing Duel Commander anymore. Edric was winning tournaments and the numbers could have been sufficient to justify a ban, but this kind of mishap, which can easily happen as Edric is very easy to build and play, is a big enough reason to leave it banned. We care about casual players as much as about competitive ones. Having strong decks is fine, but having strong decks which are still strong in the hands of noncompetitive players and very hard to fight against is not fine.

Erayo, Soratami Ascendant is another example of a commander that has a very linear game plan, consisting only of very cheap artifacts that guarantee you can flip it by turn 2, making it quite frustrating to play against. Even though it might not be as powerful as it once was, it’s not a style of deck that brings much to the game. It is not worth introducing one deck with marginal benefits at the risk of losing casual play groups. If you want to play a prison deck, other options are available, for example Kami of the Crescent Moon.

Finally, there are times where despite our best efforts, a deck emerges that puts up big numbers at tournaments and is winning again and again. In these cases, one possible solution is to ban a key card in such a deck. These are minor adjustments, as we’re fortunate enough that no single deck (except Edric in its time) has made up more than 15% of top 8 decks over any significant period of time.

To summarize, here are the main principles we’re using for the banlist:

  1. No regular turn 4 kills
  2. Power level
  3. Spirit of format
  4. Suitability for casual play groups
  5. Deck balancing

Some of these criteria are subjective, and of course the format evolves as more cards and more legendary creatures come out, so previous decisions have to be revisited from time to time and it can lead to cards coming in and out of the format. We banned Bitterblossom a year and a half ago, we unbanned it three months ago. The format has changed significantly in the meantime, reducing how threatening a turn 2 Bitterblossom is. We would still make the same decisions if faced with the same information – and these decisions don’t contradict each other; they simply represent the fact that the format is moving, that players are innovating and adapting their decks, that the balance has shifted.

Keep innovating!

Daniel Kitachewsky
Duel Commander Committee

48 Responses so far

Juste parfait. Je pense que n’importe quel joueur doté d un cerveau peut comprendre vos choix que je trouve vraiment judicieux.

Bonjour, je poste ici ne sachant pas si c’est le meilleur endroit veuillez m’indiquez poliment l’endroit prévu pour cela si ce n’est pas ici.

je fais ce post avec un peu d’aigreur et d’incompréhension vis a vis du comité qui s’occupe de la banlist.

alors oui, je me doute qu’il n’est pas chose aisée de maintenir une banlist efficace et qu’elle ne sera jamais parfaite, cependant il y a quand meme des choses qui me paraissent grosses et qui a mon sens ne necessitent pas des mois de tergiversation.

Je passerai sur le déban de hulk, déja beaucoup traité, et le problème étant désormais réglé je ne donnerai donc pas de commentaire la dessus.

Par contre, j’ai annoncé le ban d’edric le jour de sa sortie, et il a pourtant fallu que j’attende des mois avant de le voir cesser de pourrir le format.

je voudrais donc attirer l’attention du conseil ici sur le Maelstrom wanderer

Ok il coute 8 à jouer, certains diront que c’est beaucoup.
Mais il y a quand meme une chose a prendre en considération :

Le fait qu’il tue en 3 coups Et qu’il lance 2 sorts gratuitement annulle complètement la contrepartie de son cout élevé, je m’explique :

une fois qu’il est en jeu, l’adversaire a 3 choix, le bloquer, le tuer, ou le controler.

Pour ce qui est de le bloquer, on a affaire a un joli 7/5 donc il y a quand meme peu de créàtures pouvànt le bloquer 2 tours de suite, donc pour résumé on le chump block. donc il faut sacrifier une creat, a chaque tour pour ne pas se manger un tiers de notre défaite. au cas ou on est une créature assez grosse, en le bloquant on le tue, ce qui m’amène au deuxième point.

Pour ce qui est de le tuer, vous verrez souvent un gros sourire sur le visage de l’adversaire,ayant a celerité, vous l’autorisez juste a lancer deux sorts gratuitement en le relançant, puisqu’il vous attaquera directement le prochain tour.

la cascade rend également la stratégie des contresorts useless puisque vous allez vite etre innondé sous les sorts.

il nous reste donc la solution de le controler, le remonter dans la main est useless puisque c’est encore pire que de le tuer, il le relancera pour le meme cout de mana.
La nouvelle règle interdit de le placer dans a bibliothèque, il ne reste donc plus QUE : l’engager, ou en prendre le controle.
En prendre le controle est limité au bleu, déja, et a un nombre de cartes qui tiennent sur les doigts d’une main ( pour les jouables du moins )
Quant a l’engager, il nous reste maze of ith, et les icy maniuplators like, qui ne sont quand meme pas légions, et surtout très peu joué.

Enfin il y a la destruction de la base de mana, qui peut éventuellement etre une option, encore que je n’y crois pas trop moi meme je vous explique pourquoi :

le peu de solutions existant contre cette carte, comme je l’ai démontré, fait que les decks le jouant en général, n’ont qu’un seul gameplan, avoir 8 manas. autrement dit, ils n’ont quasiment aucune limite aux cartes de ramp qu’ils peuvent inclure dans le deck. Meme sortir deux accelerators en cascades n’est pas pénalisant, puisque ces memes manas vont servir a le relancer quand l’adversaire n’aura d’autre choix que de le tuer. essayer de casser leur mana base reviens donc juste retarder l’échéance, et ne les empechera que très rarement de le jouer.

Je ne pense donc pas cette statégie plus efficace que les autres, et meme si ça l’était, il ne me semble pas que la destruction de base de mana soit un type de jeu encouragée par le format. ( a tort ou a raison ce n’est pas le débat ici )

je passerai sur quelques cartes comme nevermore ( très bonne carte ) ou d’autres que je dois oublier qui peuvent éventuellement faire gagner du temps, parce qu’elles restent très rare.

pour conclure je vous poserai une simple question, est qu’un deck ayant pour seul gameplan d’avoir 8 manas est interressant dans le format ? doit on modifier tous nos decks pour inclure des solutions contre cette seule carte ?
cela me rappelle cruellement un certain Emrakul et je vous demande de ne pas mettre autant de temps pour y réflechir que vous en avez mis pour edric.


Hi New to this format…

May i know the banlist, is an additional list include the normal banlist? or is a standalone list?


I am bothered by the ban on Edric, Spymaster of Trest. While he is obviously a powerful commander, there are several things that lead me to question while he is banned in a 1v1 format. Firstly his ability to draw cards only when an opponent has received damage leads to two things: 1.) Other players dont want to attack you because they want to draw cards. 2.) Other players dont want to kill/remove your commander because it offers benefits to them.

Neither of these apply to a 1v1 format. If this commander is clearly more advantageous in a multiplayer form (3+) then why is it banned in 1v1?

Also it is printed by wizards specifically for the commander format, twice. In comparison the newest set of commanders do some pretty wild and crazy stuff. (just sayin)

Lastly it is a 2/2 creature. I dont consider that hard to deal with. Without any creatures he does nothing. No enters the battle field abilities, no scaling over time, no activation. Any board wipe will more often than not derail any strategy build on Edric + creatures. Honestly there are many enchantments/artifacts that have his trigger.

In your banlist explanation you mention that edric was winning more than other commanders To this I say that not all cards are created equal. There will always be something out there with an edge over any current meta. I dont find Edric to be outrageously overpowered and I question your councils decision.

-Respectfully yours, Ryan Grundish

Hello Ryan,

While we understand your points about it being a weaker creature, we disagree on the fact that it’s easy to deal with. Many hundreds of games were played with and against Edric, with lots of attempts on both sides to make better builds. The conclusion was that if you wanted to tune a deck to beat Edric, it was possible, but only with some decks (mostly decks that played red), and by sacrificing most other matchups. As such, the format was reduced to Edric, anti-Edric, and The Rest, with the cross-matchups being approximately 90/10. This is not a fun world to be building competitive decks in. But the biggest gripe was that if you give non-competitive players netdecked versions of Edric and something else, the Edric player would just steamroll the other. Not something we want to happen to more casual playgroups.

However we don’t understand your point about it being “better” in multiplayer. It’s good for multiplayer because of diplomacy factors, but as you say 1v1 games have a completely different dynamic. Comparing Edric across the formats by stating that it doesn’t have, in one format, the qualities it has in the other, is not very far from comparing apples and oranges. If you could perhaps rephrase what you mean?

Thank you for writing,

Daniel Kitachewsky
Duel Commander Committee

[…] Daniel Kitachewsky on What’s in a banlist? […]

I play mainly multiplayer Commander, so I may not understand, but just a question.
What possessed you to believe Fastbond was a good thing for the format? Any deck with green, especially if it has black or blue can abuse that card in ways that destroy entire metas, not to mention friendships. Especially in a format with a higher than normal starting life total

Why are you you guys thinking about banning Zur the Enchanter. He the reason why I got into EDH is because of him. I just love the card and people complane about how tough he is that’s because people cant build a better deck to beat Zur. I try a lot of commanders decks with different generals and all of them I don’t like to play them.
Because they don’t fell right and when I play Zur it makes me want to play magic all over again. To me people just need to play better decks or build better decks to beat Zur. Also the Zur deck I made don’t run counters at all in it and it still can beat half the decks out there.

Edric is nuts. We run organized EDH play with the regular banned list/40 life and he runs rampant all over the place, even in 1 v 1.

The problems with Edric:
He is Asymmetrical in 1 v 1.
The deck has literally dozens of dorks it can swing with, so impossible to counter all of them, and even if you counter one more pop up.
It’s in blue so has access to Time Warp, Temporal Mastery, which draws you into MORE cards.

Even if you JUST draw, say, four cards, you are still much much ahead of opponent in tempo and you’ll have a bunch of extra counters like the sprite and so on, that serve to slow opponent AND draw you more cards. He’s a 3-mana combo engine and I have him in Derevi build because he’s just nuts. :p

First let me start by saying I really appreciate the effort that your committee has put into Duel Commander. I’ve never been a player who enjoyed “chaos” Magic and judging by the tournament size of 107 players at the Bazaar of Moxen, the format definitely has the support necessary to succeed. I wish we had more players of Duel Commander here in The United States. Overall, I feel as though your banned list makes a million percent more sense than the WOTC list. I mean, what kind if format allows Sol Ring and Mishra’s Workshop while banning Worldfire and Biorythym? My question to you is why isn’t Fastbond banned? In our local games that card is positively absurd. Between the “Karoo” lands and cards like Gush, Fastbond seems like a real problem. Why isn’t it banned?

Why is Griselbrand not banned in 1v1? The reason he is banned on the regular EDH banlist applies also here. He is absurd with 30 starting life.

Timo. k

They didn’t need to, since many of the cards that made him next to unbeatable in regular EDH here have been banned. First of all so much mana acceleration has been removed it’s much harder to regulary cast within the first 5 turns (and combo off), secondly the 10 lower starting life also means 7 less cards that you will be able to draw from him easily. There’s also alot of cheap tutors that been removed in the colors. I’m sure I’m not fully correct but perhaps you get parts of why they don’t need to ban him as badly as they do in regular EDH.

I don’t really understand why Zur the Enchanter is categorized as a Combo deck on MTGtop8. (which is where I found the link to this page). He is just a really good tool box. Its definitely a Control deck. And I’m not to sure if he should be added to the Banlist yet. Blue / White is in the seat of power right now, and I think it’s because people haven’t built the right decks around the other commanders. Blue / White is just easy to build. My Ezuri deck wins consistently on turn 4. 5 at the latest. So I’m glad the Duel Commander hasn’t been hasty with Zur.

Hey Michael
Well the older builds of the deck seemed to be more of a Voltron deck the newer builds are bit more control. Zur is a deck that can cover almost all archetypes, some people like to use Zur as a beat stick (Pemmin’s aura) and some people like to use Zur as a removal toolbox for a control deck. He’s pretty versatile.
I agree with you in that the format is pretty small and not enough people are experimenting with deck archetypes, so blue/x aggro/control decks are just running rampant.

Theodor S.

Yea, I see your point. Thanks!

Why is humility banned it seems like a strong way to stop creature strategy.

Why you have decided to ban Derevi, Empyrial Tactician? I want to understand logic of this conclusion. Of course I just add that few days ago I have bought this deck especially to play this card)))

To Robert

This is my best guessTo answer a Question about why Zur is being banned or considered being Banned is exactly what you said…People MUST build a deck to counter and stop Zur…I have played Zur with a friend many times…being able to bring out Ghostly prison, propaganda, Diplomatic Immmunity, The ruling that says he can BYPASS HEXPROOF, and many other ways he is just to easy of a card to abuse. And if every deck HAS to be built around being able to counter Zur…then the format is no fun at all

C’est le seul endroit que j’ai trouvé pour commenter donc voilà : je ne suis pas du tout d’accord avec le ban de Derevii, tacticienne de l’empyrée en tant que commandant ! Elle est facilement stoppable et maintenant tout bon commander a des controles permettant de la laisser sur le champ de bataille mais inutile (une peine de prison, une transformation en arbre ou zombie ou même scarabée indestructible … ETC !) … donc ça m’énerve de la voir ban alors qu’Uril, le pisteur des brumes ou alors Sigarda de la milice des hérons (bref des commandants à défense talismanique), c’est beaucoup plus difficile de s’en débarasser à part des contrôle de masses (et encore pour Uril ça ne servira pas à grand chose vu qu’il sera enchanté de partout), ou un projecteur scrutateur (plus un pacifisme ou autre) …
Et autre chose, avoir 6 mana au tour 3, ce n’est pas bien étonnant, avec des commandants comme le Roi faucheur, ou Ghaveh, gourou des spores ou Uril ou même Animar (enfin des commandants avec du vert dedans), c’est monnaie courante d’avoir 6 voire 9 mana au tour 3 !
Donc juste parce qu’un commandant s’est vu optimiser, et que ça a bien marché, on le ban comme ça ! Dans ce cas là je me permet de vous parler d’un combo assez ignoble : Ghaveh avec une saison de dédoublement, un mycon d’utopie, une vies parallèles et une menace guidecorps avec aussi un capitaine aux sigilles et des hydres … bon dieu, c’est assez affreux tout ça !

This list is just bad and not thought out well imo.
Banning zur/Derevy because of 2 or 3 possible combos *cough* Niv Mizzet *cough* and because they can fetch strong cards? I mean Kaalia can instantly win the game with just one more card and this cant be countered properly (the fact, that she’s Dega colored, makes that even worse because of all the black tutors PLUS gamble) why did you just not ban the other combo pieces and instead kill 2 entire oftenly played and (especially in derevi’s case) fun decks, to play against? Especcially Zur is awesomely dumb because of the fact, that there is even more enchantment Hate in BotG and this is just one of the things, you could use against Zur.
Why do you think, is it healthy for the format, to let cards like Iona, Shield of Imeria, Armageddon and Nevermore in the format? Please, tell me, why!

To Knochenkotzer666

I’ve been playing commander for almost 2,5 years from now, i started with a Bant: Rafiq of the many commander and i had a friend playing Kaalia and after a while i bought my on Dega kalia too. After playing for a complete year with her i could notice a couple of facts. Just to exemplify some of them i will tell you that Kaalia, even with the tutors at hand, is not a very consistant deck, first of all we have just one tutor that cost less than her to make a complete play before all hell brakes lose. So even if you cast her on turn 3 and somehow attack with her using Lightning graves (fastest option considering you were the one starting the game) your should assume that in the great majority of the times all other colors have a removal tool to deal with her before she get equipped. Burns for red (2 toughness), removals from whit, (path to exile and his friends), bounces and counters from blue (pick the one that annoys you the most =)), spot removals with black (go for the throat, diabolic edict) and flying creatures removals with green (just saying because there are lots of cards of those colors that do the same effect). Arround 80% of my games she got removed in fist time (without any chance of attack) my enemy got a rely good advantage since the great majority of my deck creatures are CMC 6> and i’ll probably get overrun by mass removals and stuff and card draw that a 3 color deck just provide with a few black and artifact ones. So as you see it’s more likely Kaalia wont attack that she will.
If you check Zur deck you will probably see that not only he can control almost every game he’s in, that he also manage to be a way too consistent, control up to 4th land, than make zur tutor nevermore, gg for dega kaalia (since removals won’t probably hit him since the color identity provide lots of protections as enchants, creatures, counters and so on and you will have to spent two or three cards if you don’t have a proper enchantment removal tool by hand). He is also able to hit hexproof creatures with his trigger ability searching for an oblivion ring. Again the problem here is not nevermore or other cards, but the consistency of reaching those cards using a Zur deck, the same consistency that allowed you to combo win with rest in peace/helm with ease.
I think this was the same with Derevy, those combos were not very vast but still were very easy to land since the commander mechanics allowed them to, and as John told before me, if you have an entire format just created with Deck X and Anti Deck X you’re not having fun anymore…

Why “Earthcraft” and/or “Squirrel Nest” are not banned?

I’m a bit confused by the banning of Winter Orb. I feel like this format would be a great place to play a stax/prison deck, but the lack of a very unique and integral effect to the strategy is a bit annoying.

The only criteria that I see it meet is “suitability for casual play groups,” but is it really any worse than Static Orb or Tangle Wire in terms of impact?

Yes, it’s much much worse than those two. Tangle Wire is temporary; Static Orb is half as hard as Winter Orb.

Grand Arbiter could really abuse it and end more than 50% of its games by landing a Winter Orb (which is, in that deck, extremely easy to tutor).

While it is impossible to please so many players with an emotional attachment to their favorite cards I have to say that this ban list is very solid. Your explanations are well reasoned and I believe this is a great starting point for any other groups to get involved in 1v1 commander games. Thumbs up from me.

Thank you for your kind comment!

This ban list is really quite stupid. I came here to check it out because I had been hearing about a ‘French Ban list’ and since the commonly used multiplayer ban list leaves something to be desired, I was optimistic. I was disappointed to find not a well reasoned list designed to improve play but instead a list by a bunch of whiney babies who ban anything they don’t like. I see a lot of commenters who feel the same. My advice, keep this dumb list in obscurity where it belongs, ignore it like everyone else.

I can’t help but notice that many of the people who protest bans here seem to be missing a fundamental element in why it is ban. Its easy to use. Many of them even state they think it is easy to use. You’re right that there are stronger combos, stronger cards, stronger creatures, and stronger win conditions. That doesn’t mean jack squat though when you think about it in terms of probabilities in the matrix. Let’s take our enchanter friend for example. Zur has option 1-40 available 100% of the time by turn 4 in comparison to the opponent, who likely does not have an option out the 7 in hand that deals with Zur. There are counters for it, but in order to make these counters consistent enough for it to be available before Zur pulls from his 1-40 options the counter (hexproof) from your counters one needs to put in about ten solutions into the deck with the sole purpose of countering Zur upon his entry. This isn’t fun when you literally need to be sitting on 10 cheap solutions in your deck for a single deck in a format where hundreds of different decks exist. Its as they said, it leads to an Deck X and Antideck X format that honestly what can be used. Can people build around it? Of course, but at the cost of making almost any other strategy no longer viable simply because you have to save room in your deck for dealing with a single deck type. Part of what makes magic successful is the ability to personalize your own strategies into the game, and when there are only 2 viable options, run an easy to use type or build to counter it, it really ruins the fun. The worse part is when you only run a deck to counter the single deck that is broken, any other deck will now have an incredibly high chance of beating your deck because you didn’t have room to set aside counters for the other hundreds of commanders.
I will say I’m not sure if I agree with Humility being banned, but I’d like to point out for others why I feel they felt the need to ban it. While there are other cheaper solutions to make a commander useless, most either have to attach to them or instantly kills them allowing you to pull them back out. This one sits there and constantly keeps them from ever being useful even if they die and come back. Take a Karador deck for example. This deck type specializes in resurrection through his ability, and normally uses on entry or death abilities. Without Karador, these creatures fall off because of their lack of re-usability, which is what was making them strong for the deck in the first place. I feel most decks should carry enough removal cards for enchantments and artifacts for this not to be a problem as you’ll simply remove it, but I believe it is because they fear that a similar situation will occur as I described with Zur that they decided to ban it. Once again, I don’t agree since I consider it less consistent and players should have solutions to it, but I understand the concern since its cheap enough that you can use it easily.
As for their ruling about not being able to kill before turn 5, I’d like to say they’ve done a good job. I’ve recently just figured out my earliest reliable kill with my new competitive deck and the earliest I can get is turn 4. This requires me to have exactly what I need (2 lands+2 cards that combo with my general) in my starting 2 turns, so I consider this so hard to achieve that they have done a good job ensuring there isn’t an easy way to cheat the system. Kudos.

What I find a hard time understanding is why anyone would want to continue to play commander, when it seems that this ‘committee’ is put in place to watch for broken commanders (and remove them) that do exactly what the format intended in the first place. You have players, who you’ve invited to be competetive within your created ‘format’ and when they try to do so you crack down and ban their commanders they use to win your tournaments.

Here guys play in our tournaments and spend thousands of dollars on a top deck list so we can ban it’s commander 3-6 months after you’ve shelled out all that dough. Then when we ban it, please continue to attend our tournaments so we can ban the next commander you go broke building.

FOH with that. nuff said.

While I see a few of my favourite generals, and my friends’ favourite generals in this ban list (Oloro, Derevi, Edric), I saw that Griselbrand was not banned, and I was happy once again. Sadly, with being in a 1v1 circumstance and only having 30 life, I felt less enthusiastic as my abilities to abuse him diminished.

I find this ban list effective, as hermit druid and Edric are gone. Those two cards scare the living daylights out of me. That alone makes me pleased with this.

Sadly, though, I can’t play a turn 0 flash hulk. Well, maybe that’s a good thing.

I think people who whine/rage here about banlist being too restrictive or downright stupid should read the part of article explaining WHY this banlist exists at all (again).

I believe once purpose is understood, the reasoning behind it makes perfect sense.

Thanks for putting all this together.

Looks like a mostly fair list. Unfortunately some of the players don’t seem to understand the point of a ban list, or even the point of EDH in the first place, as a casually competitive play format that encourages interesting and enjoyable playing experiences. These don’t happen if the game is over in several turns, and if that is how you prefer to play magic, there are other formats for that.
Out of curiosity, why Oloro? The asymmetrical life gain is apparent but it doesn’t seem unfair, especially as by turn four it’s only 8 life, barely more than a Hero’s Reunion, and easily fixed by then and probably eliminated by [insert aggro Jund/Gruul build], as the necessary board state for an Oloro lockdown won’t make it too far with an aggro deck focusing only on it. Especially with Oloro costing 6 mana the first time and without green in the colors.
One of the aspects of 1v1 commander I’m very excited about is the increased effectiveness of aggro decks, and in my experience aggro crushes Esper control 1v1. In that light, a commander I have found problematic 1v1 is Roon of the Hidden Realms, with his tap ability keeping any given commander offline for an opponent’s turn by using it during your end step, made even worse with a sundial of the infinite. And this is with 2-3 colorless mana, leaving the rest for hard Bant control. I say this as someone who uses Roon in multiplayer, where it is obviously more difficult to tap him three times in one turn. And speaking of blinking, I do question your decision to not ban Sylvan Primordial. A repetitive two land differential on a 6/8 stick with reach frankly sounds more terrifying than my opponent gaining two life a turn. Purphoros, problem solved. Countered? We have recursion for that. Exiled? There’s a riftsweeper for that. Lands gone? That will shut down almost any deck.

What about Hatred? I’ve been using it Jeleva or any other flying black Commander and it has win for me around 70% of unwinable situations. Well but that’s in 40 lifes 1v1 commander.

Then Burgeoning should be on this list: saw several turn 5 kills with that one. F.I. most recently: Turn 1 Burgeoning. Turn 3 Sliver Queen, Turn 4 Mirari’s Wake, Turn 5 the end.

Hi guys, I like the banlist a lot, but one card that I really hate is Flash. T2 Flash into Terrastodon/Primus is really disgusting and unfair. Is there any chance of banning it?

Dear duel commander ban list creator it seems by limiting the amount of card to play you have also limited the fun of commander banning derevi and edric and oloro as commanders is simply absurd you don’t ban deadeye navigator which creates infinite combos with dozens of cards instead you worry about a 2/3 flyer that taps things sure it’s a little broken costing the same all the time and it can’t be countered but it’s easily dealt with, if you want to ban a blue green elf why ban edric and not momir vig? momir is so much more broken and powerful also banning mana rocks is ridiculous next thing you know you will be banning vanilla creatures unfortunately this format is not fun and personally I would rather play regular commander rules for 1v1 formats it’s more fun and less limiting if we ban so many cards then players won’t learn to become better at the game

@derevi, empyrial tactician You are clearly not participating in 1v1 tournaments. Erdic is so broken, that it’s almost impossible to beat it and Derevi having flash and being uncounterable while comboing with strong prison cards like hokonri, stasis or rising waters is also quite annoying to play against. I recommend you to play few games first before you write some rude and unreasonable comments…

I’m not complaining or arguing here, just curious: why are Vampiric and Imperial Tutors banned, when Demonic Tutor is not? I looked at all the historical banning announcements and I can’t find an explanation.
Thanks, Anthony

Demonic Tutor essentially costs two mana more to use than Vampiric Tutor (as you use Vampiric end of turn). Since our primary concern here is to prevent early combos, the mana offset is much more important than the extra card. Practice has confirmed as well that Demonic Tutor isn’t very stingy: using it on the same turn leaves you little mana to do something unfair; while using it on the turn before leaves the opponent sufficient time to prepare.

I agree with Micheal, this ban list is awful and feels like some cry baby just bans a card because he gets whooped by it.
This brings me to the biggest problem i have with Magic The Gathering in general when it comes to tournament formats… anything that beats the meta gets banned while some of the meta stuff which can be more broken gets allowed just because it is popular.

Looks like the local shop is now using this ban list and i guess i might be giving up the format, pathetic really.

If were to suggest some cards for banning, it would have to be nevermore and meddling mage. locking out a commander that early creates quite an unfair advantage. Red and black can’t deal with nevermore consistently and green has few options against meddling mage. I know these cards arn’t unstopable, but in 1v1 a player is forced to deal with them or never play their commander. They simple become lockdown cards instead of political tools like in typical commander. if early advantage cards like sol ring and mana crypt/vault are banned, then these are at least worth considering. They are much more prohibitive than tuck cards simply because the ignore abilities like protection or hexproof and are impossible to play around while active. If karakas is banned then these cards deserve the same as they provide a very similar effect and give white or white/blue the ability to hate out a large percentage of the commanders available.

tl;dr nevermore and meddling mage are hate cards that have to wide a range.

I just wanted to comment on what’s been said here before: why no Fastbond ban? It’s a lot more broken than half of the cards in the banlist, and yet the committee decides to look elsewhere when the topic is brought up. TBH I don’t take very serious this list because as long as Fastbond isn’t banned I rather just play with a Sol Ring legal list if Fastbond is banned in that one.

bonsoir dite mois normalement pour les carte, banni on utilise le site officielle du GATHERER sit officielle. Pour voir ci une carte et banni ,ou dans telle ou telle forma non?donc doux votre liste de banlist,est elle officielle?

I have a question:

Why is Prossh not banned? With all the ramp in green, he can come out easily on turn 4, and then any doubler like Xenagod, Cleaver Riot, or extra combats can lead into an easy, evasive 22 commander damage.

I’m not saying this because I want him banned (he is my favorite commander), but if you are making this format more fair without quick wins, then why is he allowed?

I believe you’ll not answer this. Your reason for this banlist is quite solid and understandable. However you’re screwing some people’s lives by letting cards like Primeval Titan, Upheaval and Fastbond be played. So if you’re banning a few cards to make people stay on the format, this is pretty much the same reason people will never come to the format, such as me

My local card shop is starting up a 1v1 commander French rules in place of the losing popularity of the modern format.

After reviewing the banlist, it makes good sense. In fact, it is extremly sensible given that many of the cards presented are not format breakers. The aforementioned commanders that have been brought up are not comparable to a skullclamp in standard.

I would call EDH a fragile format. I would deem the format much harder to predict the climate of meta change than other formats. To that point, it’s a wonder a banlist exists, but this particular format would warrant much more controversy when it comes to adopting a list.

Kickbutt list. Definitely appreciate that there are explanations.

What the heck does French have to do with it? Sounds lame and is. Making it slow, sounds like a bunch of crappy players who got tired of getting dominated, and need to wait forever to be allowed to drop bombs. There was a reason Sol Ring was included in the first Commander series.

I think most of the bans creature wise are arbritrary. Braids dies to a path etc. or can be countered. Same for Edric etc. The mana ramp works the same for aggro decks as it does for control, not much of a need for a ban there. I far as I can remember, when Edric was a thing, the format adapted to play more red and sweepers….that sounds like a healthy format to me. Also, John Fisher, this is for the duel commander format (1v1), not regular commander…the commander sets have very little to do with this. Reading is pro.

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