Nov

25

NOVEMBER 2019 RULES – BANNED/RESTRICTED UPDATE

By The Duel Commander rules committee

You know what? We’re happy, over here! Over the last quarter, we saw a real, tremendous raise in quality and attendance of Duel Commander events. The growth of new and existing tournament leagues in the Czech Republic, France, the Philippines, Germany, Denmark and other new places shows great interest from players for your formats. We received new sources for tournament results from all around the world, which is why we reinforced our team with four new members. Regarding experimental changes, it seems like the whole community understood and welcomed this more agile way of warning about changes that are subject to special surveyance and quick withdrawals. We plan to use this approach again in the future. Also, despite the appearance of a new commander that needs regulation, the experimental changes we made seemed to align with our thoughts on the future of the format, so we’re happy to announce the following:

Changes:

👉 Rules changes:
No changes.

👉 Individual card changes:
Emry, Lurker of the Loch is now banned as a commander only.
Edric, Spymaster of Trest is now banned as a commander only.
Erayo, Soratami Ascendant is now legal.
Scapeshift is now banned.

👉 Experimental changes:
Zur the Enchanter is now (still) legal.

👉 Other changes:
No changes.

👉 Don’t forget to check out our Current Lists for a recap of all the currently banned cards.

These changes apply on November 29, 2019.
The next announcement will be published on February 24, 2020 (applying on February 28, 2020).

Until then, we wish you all many good games! :)

-Emry, Lurker of the Loch

Needless to say, Emry, Lurker of the Loch strongly echoes the recently banned Urza, Lord High Artificer, the once banned Arcum Dagsson, and even older cards that display a recurring theme in the history of Magic: The old tale of broken blue and artifact cards.

“Affinity for artifacts” is infamous for being one of the most busted mechanics in magic and is single-handedly responsible for multiple other cards being banned in Standard and Modern, where Emry, Lurker of the Loch is already mentioned as one of the best recent additions to the format.

Her static ability works against the Commander Tax rule, as much as Tasigur, the Golden Fang does, which already proved problematic and reasoned a ban.

All in all, an almost infinite replayability at almost no cost, along with graveyard synergies and card advantage are way too many arguments to keep Emry, Lurker of the Loch legal any longer.

-Edric, Spymaster of Trest

Unfortunately, we had to revise our hopes about Edric, Spymaster of Trest as a legal commander as of today.

We expected it to be strong, but the magnitude of its power was the reason why it was not legal for the longest time and also, what brought it back on the list in the end.

In less than a quarter, Edric, Spymaster of Trest proved this decision to be the right one and made for an overpowering comeback to the field.

Decklists were very soon optimized and started consistently showing impressive results in events around the world. This deck broke many local leagues -too many, actually- to safely keep it legal as a commander, which is why Edric, Spymaster of Trest is once again banned as a commander only, after being experimentally unbanned for a few months of field testing.

The deck quickly evolved to being too oppressive, and the fact that it got many new additions since the last time it was legal, proved that it earned its place on the ban list.

-Erayo, Soratami Ascendant

After being unbanned as an experiment for three months one of the older cards that once was added to the B&R list, Erayo, Soratami Ascendant is now made clearly, unconditionally legal.

Erayo, Soratami Ascendant decks proved that they can still do amazing starts, and turn two flipping ability triggers, as rare as they are can still de devastating but many players also reported that they were able to win through Erayo’s Essence static ability, which was one of the few fears players once had about decklists revolving around this commander.

Judging by the results and global feedback we received, it seems that there is no more reason to think Erayo, Soratami Ascendant will be an oppressive part of the metagame, it proved to be beatable, interactive and still interesting for some players to build. So… Here we are, Erayo, Soratami Ascendant, welcome back!

-Scapeshift

Scapeshift always was a staple in Modern, and recently in Standard as well, even in some other formats where it would be less expected. Despite its long affinity with Valakut, the Molten Pinnacle, it never really was a serious problem in Duel Commander. Until recently, where many players began drawing some advantage from the singleton construction rule that Duel Commander follows. The recent print of many new mountain-typed lands, the addition of Field of the Dead to the serious dangers linked to Scapeshift made it a one-card kill (or close to it), as well as many new cards that have triggered abilities whenever lands enter battlefields.

In general, fetching/tutoring effects also strongly go against the 100-cards and the singleton rules, which is why many of them are considered too powerful and are currently banned, only keeping the more acceptable ones.
All those reasons quickly made Scapeshift a danger towards our favourite format health, and made it banned.

-Zur the Enchanter

Three Commanders were experimentally unbanned three months ago. We wrote about Edric, Spymaster of Trest and Erayo, Soratami Ascendant but what about Zur the Enchanter?

Zur the Enchanter proved to be a major force in the format, reaching many Top Xs. But the dominance of Emry, Lurker of the Loch and Edric, Spymaster of Trest prevented the safe and meaningful gathering of reliable data, so as to confirm or not its oppression. Because of that, we cannot take a definitive good decision about it.

Zur the Enchanter therefore remains experimentally unbanned until our next regular announcement (“experimentally unbanned” meaning that the card is legal but has a strong probability to be banned again). Invest as your own risk!

Feb

25

FEBRUARY 2019 RULES – BANNED/RESTRICTED UPDATE

By The Duel Commander rules committee

Over the last three months, the metagame kept stabilizing for the first weeks, and it globally kept being very diversified. But then, a few changes polarized the results towards a growing trend that confirmed that some unbalanced archetypes started to perform too frequently and too regularly. Which leads us to the changes below.

Changes:

👉 Individual card changes:

👉 Don’t forget to check out our page for a recap of all the currently banned cards.

These changes apply on March 1, 2019. The next announcements will be published on May 27, 2019 (applying on May 31, 2019). Until then, we wish you all many good games! 🙂

Further individual explanations:

It is true that banning cards from the format too early can be disappointing for many players, but so does the opposite. Which sometimes requires action.Prime Speaker Vannifar proved to be a very high level card. It is even now played in Modern, a faster format than Duel Commander, that doesn’t use the command zone, doesn’t have eternal cards, doesn’t use the singleton construction rule, has 60 cards instead of 99, etc. Despite all those factors, the card is still played in that format, and so was it in Duel Commander, allowing overly fast combo wins that could even sometimes show a high resilience against spot removals, a lack of interaction that goes against the general philosophy of a healthy metagame.

Baral, Chief of Compliance has been around for two years now, and actually never ceased to be played. It constantly made good results, but has seen a slight decrease in play, until a few months ago, where it became a recurring top-performing deck again. Though the builds are often quite different from its echoing alter ego Jace, Vryn’s Prodigy, that was banned in 2015 as a commander, too, it stayed for a while, but keeps pumping the “extra turns” archetypes, and High Tide-based decks.Regarding those archetypes, “extra turns” decks with Baral, Chief of Compliance as a commander seem more toxic to us than non-Baral, Chief of ComplianceHigh Tide-based decks.We also think banning a commander often solves problems more than banning a problematic card out of the other 99.