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:


👉 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 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!




By The Duel Commander rules committee

Last announcement was already filled with findings of a very healthy and diverse format. Over the last three months, metagame goes even further in terms of diversity. All colors, new decks, new commanders from the last editions going to the top 8, players demonstrating a lot of creativity, ingenuity. Recent results from major and minor tournaments show different winners and top X decks almost all the time, which is exactly the root of a creative format, opening to new ideas and tests. Most impacting cards and decks still prove to be beatable, many different archetypes coexist: aggressive strategies, combos, control decks, land-based decks, midrange decks, commander-based decks, etc.
We hope for the best that this trend will go on over the year to come.
👉 No changes

The next announcements will be published on February 25, 2019 (applying on March 1, 2019).

Until then, we wish you all many good games! 🙂




By The Duel Commander rules committee

Chers joueurs et joueuses de Commander,

Je suis Pierre-Jean. Pour ceux qui ne me connaissent pas, j’organise, avec Mimicherie que vous connaissez sans doute mieux, le Démonic Tournament Commander, qui est actuellement le plus gros tournoi Commander mondial. Si j’organise ce tournoi depuis des années, c’est parce que j’aime le format et surtout j’aime la communauté de joueurs que représente le Commander. Dans ce cadre, j’ai plusieurs annonces à vous faire.
1/ mon point de vue sur le Commander
2/ Le Leviathan Commander
3/ Le prochain DTC dans tout ça.
1/ Comme vous le savez, le Dual Commander que nous connaissions est passé à 20PV récemment. Cela divise un peu la Communauté en ce moment. Certains joueurs suivent cette décision ou l’accueillent avec plaisir. D’autres préfèrent continuer à 30PV, malgré le changement, car ils préfèrent jouer de la même manière qu’ils le font depuis des années. Afin de clarifier la suite de mon propos et pour éviter tout malentendu, je tiens à préciser que je ne suis ni pour ni contre aucun de ces 2 formats. Je pense que les 2 formats ont chacun leurs raisons d’exister et je trouve stupide que chaque format veuille absolument la mort de l’autre. Ce que je prône est la co-existence des 2.
Je pense également que ce sont les joueurs qui font vivre un format. Les joueurs de Dual Commander jouent officiellement à 20PV. Doit-on dire que les joueurs qui continuent à jouer à 30PV le font « clandestinement », comme une Guilde secrète avec des pratiques occultes? Non, je ne pense pas. Ils ont fait un choix. Ils choisissent de jouer ce qu’ils aiment. Mais pour qu’ils puissent choisir, il faut qu’ils aient un choix possible.
2/ Afin de permettre aux joueurs de faire ce choix, de les sortir de l’ombre dans lesquels on les a mis et de jouer 30PV sans avoir honte, des Italiens ont créé un nouveau Comité qui gère un nouveau format : le Leviathan Commander. Pour faire simple, il s’agit exactement du Dual Commander à 30PV, avec une banlist assez similaire. Je me suis personnellement engagé avec eux pour les aider dans la mise en place du format et mon rôle est de m’assurer que les décisions de ce Comité ne dérapent pas pour nuire aux joueurs. Je répète une fois de plus pour ceux qui ne savent pas lire : cet engagement n’est pas une critique du Comité Français ni du format à 20PV. C’est juste une volonté d’agir pour ce que je pense être le bien de la Communauté, c’est à dire avoir le choix.
Si vous voulez continuer à jouer à 30PV, je suis fier de vous informer que vous jouez maintenant en Leviathan Commander, et je vous invite à visiter cette page pour avoir plus d’informations sur le format. Vous pouvez évidemment visiter également juste pour la curiosité, même si vous préférez le 20PV.
3/ Et au prochain DTC, il se passe quoi? Scoop pour tout le monde, le prochain sera le week-end du 29 – 30 avril et 1er mai. Les 2 formats y seront représentés. Le dimanche et le 1er mai sont des jours pendant lesquels la plupart des pays ne travaillent pas. Nous ferons donc un Main Event en Leviathan avec Side Event Dual Commander un des 2 jours, et l’inverse l’autre jour. Et le samedi, nous proposerons des Trials dans les 2 formats pour les tournois principaux du week-end et aussi pour les side events.
Nous proposons toujours aux boutiques et associations d’organiser des trials, et ils pourront le faire dans le format de leur choix. Pour nous, organiser un tournoi de cette taille en laissant autant de liberté de choix aux gens représente un énorme challenge, y compris un fort risque de se planter, mais nous sommes prêts à relever ces défis pour assurer la cohésion de la communauté.




By The Duel Commander rules committee

Before we delve into a minor rule change and individual card explanations we need to discuss the overall idea around this wave of unbans. Even with preliminary 20 life testing, blue and green continue to have powerful decks in the format, as we expected. Part of the initial change to 20 life was to promote players using white/black/red as base colors for decks instead of blue or green. With 20 life, red gained a visible advantage but black and white could benefit some help from unbans. Additionally, no blue or green cards were made legal in this update, so that we can see how the format grows from here. It is possible and likely that some blue/green cards might be unbanned at some point but we want to be especially careful not to shift back into a total blue/green dominance.

👉 First, regarding individual card changes:

Yawgmoth’s Bargain is now legal.
Serra Ascendant is now legal.
Grindstone is now legal.
Necropotence is now legal.
Balance is now legal.

👉 Second change, now, about the players’ starting life totals. As a reminder of our last announcement, Duel Commander is now to be played with 20 starting life totals for players. This is a change from previous rules. This change is now effective, and playing with 30 starting life totals are not supported anymore, as opposed to what was the case during the last two months of transition.
👉 The third change for this announcement is the removal of the 21 commander-damage rule removal. Starting this day, this rule does not exist in Duel Commander anymore. Official documents have been updated accordingly.
Playing with 20 starting life totals raised questions about the relevance and the maintenance of the 21 commander-damage rule. The new “partner” ability from Commander 2016 made this concern more important, recently. Indeed, this new ability comes with a few practical concerns, for it would now be necessary to individually note each and all of the separate commanders cumulated damages, as well as increasing or decreasing life totals, which could make up to six points totals to note.
We deeply regret the removal of this rule, which contributed to the spirit of the game and of the Commander format (and therefore, formerly, Duel Commander from its birth to this day). Please also note this update enhances life-gain strategies, which is a secondary, yet positive consequence, especially in a metagame where extremely aggressive decks could arise.
Balancing the format as well as making it more playable prevails on a certain nostalgy. Therefore, the 21 commander-damage rule is now removed from Duel Commander.

These changes apply on November 11, 2016. The next announcements will be published on January 16, 2017 (applying on January 20, 2017).

Until then, we wish you all many good games! 🙂

Further individual explanations:

Yawgmoth’s Bargain
If Yawgmoth’s Bargain remains without a doubt an awesome card advantage engine, it is true that in can also evolve into an amazing combo engine, when contextual format construction rules allow to do so. Such an abuse of Yawgmoth’s Bargain is unlikely in Duel Commander. The singleton construction rule, along with the high number of cards in the players’ libraries are close to being almost insurmountable constraints when it comes to building a system-based deck (like storm or eggs), for they drastically diminish the means of redundancy. On the other side, limiting mana acceleration resources and life totals at the start of games contributed in reasonably calibrating the power of this enchantment.
In fine, Duel Commander helps finding again the initial purpose of Yawgmoth’s Bargain: a card advantage engine, both resisting and prolific for decks that aim at controlling games. Such a use is absolutely acceptable in the current Duel Commander environment and Yawgmoth’s Bargain is therefore legal again.

Serra Ascendant
The adjustment on the number of life points at the start of the game made the restriction on Serra Ascendant perfectly obsolete. This card is now legal again in Duel Commander.

When Grindstone was banned, the combo (along with Painter’s Servant) could be set up very quickly (for cards like Ancient Tomb or Grim Monolith were still legal) and removal spells were little played (as aggro was weak with 30 life totals). Now, this combo is less toxic, slower and easily disrupted by any color (unlike the ones that use Necrotic Ooze). Those constraints therefore require creating a new archetype for Duel Commander, a classic combo deck, coming from eternal formats, open to all colors, offering a high number of building possibilities.
The new dynamics of Duel Commander induce that combo decks do not prevail anymore. We choose to include Grindstone back in the format.

Reducing the starting life totals widely “framed” the potential of Necropotence. It was obvious that 30 starting life points as a basic game mechanic fully justified its sidelining so far. Moreover, the specific construction rules of Duel Commander (singleton decks along with the number of cards in libraries) are very hostile to such a structuring card that Necropotence is. It is then a golden opportunity for Duel Commander to reconnect with an emblematic eternal-formats card, that is able to reinforce the interest of people in a misrepresented colour. The famous black enchantment is now back on the Duel Commander tables.

Balance is a degenerate card when played proactively (i.e. emptying one’s hand then playing Balance very early, with no creature on the battlefield and almost no cards in hand). Balance is also a reactive card, kind of a “panic button” when the situation is turning bad, but wiping out the battlefield with Balance is often at the cost of your hand. In Duel Commander, proactively setting up Balance can rarely be done (a few moxes, few low cost tutor effects, only one copy of Balance) and therefore, the card will mostly be played as a reactive – and reasonable – answer.
Following our will to make the format more spectacular, as opposed to the morose dynamics of formats like Modern or Standard, we chose to make Balance legal again in Duel Commander.