Fate Reforged banlist update

By The Duel Commander rules committee

Hello everybody,

No changes.

The metagame is still shifting and hasn’t stabilized. At the moment the format looks healthy so no changes appear necessary.

We’ve added a one-page rules summary to the Resources page for easy distribution on tournaments.

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 next announcement is expected to be on March 23rd, 2015.

The Duel Commander rules committee.



Magic 2014 banlist update

By The Duel Commander rules committee

Hello everybody.

Here are the long-awaited changes to the banned list:

These changes take effect on July 19th, 2013. The Magic 2014 rules have been in effect since July 13th, 2013.

Magic 2014 brings a change in rules which is quite significant to us – namely, the new legends rule prevents you from using clone effects such as Phantasmal Image as removal for commanders. This might change a bit the power level of blue decks, and while it may seem at first that Geist of Saint Traft is the big winner out of this, making its commander more difficult to deal with, this also removes two of its best removal spells. The net effect is quite hard to predict, given that players will likely adapt their decks.

Because of this, we decided to keep the banlist changes light and see how the metagame evolves with this rule change. However, blue decks still dominate and we are banning two cards to help with that.

Protean Hulk‘s unbanning unleashed a few combo builds that are as fast as they are resilient, especially in Karador. It won two tournaments just last month and we believe that it’s one of the most dangerous decks around. In addition, it crushes most non-blue decks, which is the opposite of what we were trying to achieve with the last update. We recognize that it was a mistake to unban Protean Hulk and send it back to the banned list.

Our second card is Winter Orb, a central piece in Grand Arbiter Augustin IV decks. This deck has been the best performing control deck in the metagame for a while. While playing against blue white control is usually fine for most players, prison elements can make the game very frustrating. Winter Orb is very good at that and is so strong in this deck that many builds revolve around tutoring and resolving it. We decided to ban the card in order to incentivize control players to try something different.

Explanations about the individual changes can be found HERE.

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 next announcement will be on September 16th.

Last but not least, we’d like to thank Benoît Verwaerde for his long-lasting contributions. As an ardent competitive player, he made top 8s in Lille area tournaments which such various decks as Zur the Enchanter, Doran, the Siege Tower, Horde of Notions, Wydwen, the Biting Gale, or even Godo, Bandit Warlord. In addition, he was a founding member of the Duel Commander rules committee. His broard vision of the format and excellent organizational skills helped make the committee what it is today. He was known as Vhailor and Emether on forums and was a very active contributor to those (we hope it stays so!). In order to give priority to his family, he decided to leave us a few weeks ago. Benoît, you will not be forgotten!

The Duel Commander rules committee.



Magic 2014 banlist update

By The Duel Commander rules committee

Hello everybody,

Due to a mistake on our part, we don’t have updates for Magic 2014 ready yet. We will post an update on rules and banlist on July 15th, effective July 19th.

Sorry for the delay and happy pre-releasing!

The Duel Commander rules committee.



Dragon’s Maze banlist update !

By The Duel Commander rules committee

Hello everybody.

After the last update which was, well, not an update, it’s time now for a few changes.

These changes take effect on May 3rd, 2013.

While we already acknowledged the large proportion of white and blue in January, it appears that the number of such decks is rising, and even more so in large tournaments. Saint-Nazaire’s tournament in March, with 77 players, had more than 30% of decks playing white-blue. It’s clear that while players enjoy playing diverse decks, many are coming back to the tried-and-true combination of disruption and game-breakers that these colors offer when it’s time to play a big tournament with significant prizes. The powerful commanders available in these colors add to their appeal.

Another large feedback has been the lack of aggressive options. While the relatively small number of such decks is explained by rules inherent to the format, 30 life being a big hurdle for very aggressive decks to overcome, we do believe that their small numbers are also explained by the fact that many experienced and successful players choose more controlling strategies.

Nonetheless, we are trying with these bannings and unbannings to push a little bit towards aggro and open up other possiblities as well. We are keeping an eye on the number of blue-white decks and if these continue dominating further measures will be taken.

Explanations about the individual changes can be found HERE.

We remain vigilant about the format and of course welcome any feedback, which you can send us HERE.

The Duel Commander rules committee.



Banlist update: January 2013

By The Duel Commander rules committee

Hello everybody, and happy new year.

Today the update is a bit special, on several points.

I – Banlist update

For the first time since more than a year, there is no change in the banlist this time. The rules committee is watching closely tournament results and the metagame evolution since the ban of Edric last September. The Duel Commander French Cup has been a good occasion to get complete and competitive decklists, and to gather precise statistics on the metagame. We are well aware that white and blue are currently over-represented in top 8s compared to the three other colors. Today, it is still too early to get a good overview of the long-term evolution: certain decks have started to adapt to the fact that the format’s new slower speed but there remains some room for adjustments. We will keep gathering data from all tournaments in the next three months.

The format is currently oriented towards white and blue (Grand Arbiter Augustin IV, Geist of Saint Traft and Zur the Enchanter being the most common decks in top 8), but decks with other colors are far from being wiped out and we had numerous good feedback from players who currently find the format more diverse and open than it had been before Edric’s ban.

We keep working on the metagame evolution, but for this time the banlist remains unchanged.

II – Resources for Duel Commander

After several months of work on two documents, we are proud to present you some resources on Duel Commander.

The first document is for players. It is a complete guide that includes all the rules for playing Duel Commander. If you have doubts or a question regarding Duel Commander rules, you will find the answer there. This “Bible” for Duel Commander has been written with the goal if being the ultimate reference for Duel Commander rules. Don’t hesitate to download and to share it, it is available for free. We also recommend tournament organizers to have it printed at their tournaments in addition to the Comprehensive Rules from the DCI.

The second document is specific to tournament organizers. It gathers recommendations about how to organize, hold and communicate on Duel Commander tournaments.

Duel Commander Rules

Tournament Good Practices

III – Rules clarification

The rules document mentioned above has been written and validated way before Gatecrash previews, and one rules question is often asked about Gatecrash, that hasn’t been answered in the previous rules document (it shall be updated later). That question is about the Orzhov new keyword ability : Extort. The card’s text box is written like this :

Extort (Whenever you cast a spell, you may pay {W/B}. If you do, each opponent loses 1 life and you gain that much life.)

The reminder text for Extort shows a black and white hybrid mana symbol on the card. Hybrid mana symbols are considered as being of both colors identities.

But this text in italics and between parenthesis is just a reminder text and, like Trinisphere that is playable with a commander whose color identity isn’t black, this reminder text doesn’t affect the card’s color identity.

Example: The card Blind Obedience has a white color identity, not black. This card is legal in a deck with Gaddock Teeg as commander.

The Duel Commander rules committee.



September 20th banlist update !

By The Duel Commander rules committee

Today is a day of important changes.

The reasons for those changes are explained HERE. They take effect on October 1st 2012.



June 20th banlist update !

By The Duel Commander rules committee


Here are the latest changes to the banlist for Duel Commander, as of June 20th 2012.

  • Intuition is unbanned.
  • Recurring Nightmare is unbanned.

The reasons of those changes are explained here.

The full banlist can be found here.

Those changes apply on July 1st, so this banlist will be in use for the Grand Prix Ghent side-event on Sunday July 22nd. If you plan to play a Duel Commander event, don’t miss that one. For more information about this, click here.



March 20th banlist update !

By The Duel Commander rules committee

Hi all Duel Commander players ! Today, March 20th, is the banlist update day ! Don’t forget to check on magicthegathering.com for the updates for DCI-sanctionned formats. Here we will give you the updates for the Commander format played in one versus one.

Let’s say it : today is a major day of unbanning. Being conscious that the Duel Commander format is clearly faster than the multiplayer one, we decided to unban most of the cards that were banned only because they belonged to the multiplayer banlist.

Be sure to check this new banlist update to see what new cards you can reintroduce in your decks. Some are fun, like Sway of the Stars or Coalition Victory, others are powerful tools like Metalworker, and some like Upheaval may have a great potential.

Enjoy !

– The duelcommander.com team