We have carefully followed your reactions on the Commander boards after our announcement on September, 16th. We could not miss many of you were worried and had questions about the potential announcement we could make right before the release of the new Commander packs, due in November. Therefore, so as to allow all players to anticipate the autumn/winter season with serenity and to better prepare the two big incoming events (Bazaar of Moxen and the Commander French Cup), we would like to make it clear that:
- We will not ban any cards that are not printed in these new packs.
- We will not ban any commander (Prossh).
- We simply want to be able to perform one/several bans if the new Commander packs were to contain one/several cards we deem too powerful because they are without a doubt very similar to some we have already banned. We especially have in mind the strong mana accelerators with too small drawbacks (such as Sol Ring or Ancient Tomb), or unbalanced cards (such as Ancestral Recall or Time Walk).
Please be certain we do not wish to ban anything, but we also can’t afford to see the two major events of the end of this year damaged by this release.
We really hope this message will allow you to focus on testing your decks rather than worrying whether your deck will be legal.
Theros banlist update
The format is now more varied than ever: the Saint-Nazaire tournament had no less than 40 different commanders played! While not much needs to change in the format, we still feel something needed to be addressed.
This change takes effect on September 27th, 2013.
Loyal Retainers is the center of a combo which enables reanimating crushing threats as early as turn 3. Survival of the Fittest enables tutoring for both the threat and the reanimator. This makes Loyal Retainers quite unique and a full two mana cheaper than other enablers such as Karmic Guide. Most aggro decks don’t stand a chance against Elesh Norn, Grand Cenobite; many control or ramp decks will fold to an early Griselbrand; and mono-colored decks are heavily hit by Iona, Shield of Emeria. We ban the more specialized half of this combo, leaving Survival of the Fittest in the format as it enables many interesting strategies.
More explanations can be found HERE.
In addition, this fall has something quite exciting for us Duel Commander players: a new Commander product! The last one brought many interesting new decks so this one should be an instant hit as well. The new cards in this product will be legal on November 1st, 2013. Because some new cards might have a significant impact on the format (who said Edric?), we will make an exceptional banlist announcement on October 28th, 2013. Mark your calendars!
As usual we welcome your feedback. While we read most of the forums out there, the best way to make yourself heard is by writing us HERE.
The Duel Commander rules committee.