There seems to be some controversy about the EDH banned list. Should they ban more cards? Should they take cards off the list? Should it even exist?
Don’t worry, y’all. I got this.
When I wrote my last article, I was aiming to tackle some of the problems in the Commander banned list approach the Rules Committee (RC) uses.
Then, Wizards made a giant change to Commander for MTGO.
One of the things that I enjoyed about EDH (or Commander if you are part of the new crowd), is that no matter where you go you can at least expect a baseline for which cards you won’t see at the tables. Whether you agree with the Ban List the Rules Committee (RC) cultivates or not, you know you can rely on this consistency everywhere: at a local store, with people I invite over, with people in a different city, or even online. Or that is the way it used to be. But on May 3rd Wizards announced MTGO would adopt a new ban list for all EDH games online, both 1V1 and multiplayer. The Internet instantly exploded, mostly with pretty intense rage, although there were some that applauded this change. I mean there is something wrong with those people, but that is beside the point. 😀
Life has come at me a little faster than usual this week, so I didn’t have time to tackle a full length article; instead, I’m doing a few quick hits to highlight a few things worth talking about:
Dig into these bite sized bits and let me know your thoughts.
Imagine a perfect utopia, a blessed, privileged world of EDH where you liked everyone in your playgroup as people, where everyone was in the roughly same ballpark as far as things that make for fun EDH games, and everyone was super chill and capable of having a great time gaming, even if someone did something that wasn’t on their “Fun” list. Now celebrate (for me) because Team GDC has created this perfect world.
Breaking News (That is now more than 12 hours old but hey this is how fast we can move!): the Rules Committee issues bans and team GDC wanted to share a few of our thoughts and arguments about it.
Editor’s Note: This piece was originally published on August 6, 2014. Because we actually have a lot of interesting content on the site that has been out there forever, occasionally we’re going to unearth something like this that is germane to current EDH conversations. If any of you read Sheldon’s article on SCG (go google it), it may have gotten you thinking about the banned list. So here’s Mr. P delivering some serious truth with his usual, snarky brilliance.
Here’s a list of cards that should be banned in EDH:
Hey, that was fun!
XO, ->Mr. P
Wow…it’s been a while since I last wrote here!
As with Cass and Dave, I had to let Real Life(™) take the front seat some time towards the end of last year, although mine was more because of positive developments. I bade bachelorhood a fond farewell last December, but the real tedium came in the months prior to that. The wedding preparations themselves had already taken a toll on my attention; throw in the responsibility of having to oversee the renovation work for our future nest, and all game time got thrown out of the window.
The last time I signed off (late June last year), Pro Tour Magic Origins (Spoiler: this has something to do with what I’m going to write about today!) hadn’t happened yet. Now, look what we have (and don’t)!
Alright…back when I read here about an upcoming change to the mulligan rules, I immediately thought about its possible application in the realm of EDH. Specifically, I thought about how feasible and format-breaking it would be to tack on a ‘scry 1’ to the then-existing Partial Paris mulligan variant, and Dave helped me put up an article to sound it out for you readers.
Since then, I’ve convinced my group to adopt this variant of a variant, and here’s a long overdue summary of the feedback I gathered from my friends:
It made no difference.
You see, my group is pretty casual, and (I think) we’re all responsible adults who know how to exert great control over the tremendous power that we wield. As Sheldon Menery would say, “It’s much harder to not break the format.” This one line acts as the principal guideline behind how we build our decks. As such, none of us are racing one another to see who can win on turn 0; I exaggerate, but even then the idea is still there: when there’s no need to consistently execute a game-winning combo, scrying one card deeper to reach an optimal state becomes a luxury.
That said, having a ‘scry 1’ was viewed as useful because it can dig you out of potential mana screws – this was unanimous among the group.
With the recent announcement, we talked about adopting the official ‘Vancouver’ mulligan going forward. It took us all of ten seconds to decide that we liked the Partial Paris well enough (how much of it being due to inertia I can’t tell…) to stick to it, and the ‘scry 1’ addition helped to cut down the number of games being un-fun due to mana screw.
Tl;dr – We’ll still be sticking with “My Variant”. Go me!
Two words sum up my sentiments about this change – good riddance.
Now, I’ll readily admit that I’m not anal-retentive when it comes to EDH deck flavor. I’m a solid Melvin when it comes to deck construction, with just that teeny-weeny touch of Vorthos – no Eldrazi Displacer in my General Tazri Allies tribal deck, for instance. As such, I welcome this rule change with all my heart, as it banishes the inelegance and counter-intuitiveness of having a card that’s capable of producing any color of mana churn out one crystal-clear drop of condensed magical energy instead.
As a side note, I regret not picking up a foil copy of Sen Triplets when it was affordable. Oh well, you can’t win ‘em all, I guess. (Apparently I bought in about ten minutes before prices exploded – ED)
I present to you this young lady’s portfolio in my organization (of decks):
• A stalwart Ally in my Tazri deck mentioned above
• An Elemental in disguise in my Horde of Notions deck
• A cheap beater in my Edric, Spymaster of Trest deck
• An indispensable cog in my Damia, Sage of Stone lands engine
• A flash enabler in my Rafiq of the Many morph deck (my kingdom for a foil Winding Canyons!) and my Riku of Two Reflections clone deck
I was a vocal advocate against banning the prophet, and there I was, powering her out left, right and center. In my pet Tazri deck, I’d consistently tutor for her with Green Sun’s Zenith or Chord of Calling, her importance secondary only to Harabaz Druid. Inwardly, I resented this, but I convinced myself that it was all for the good of forwarding my game plan. Truth be told, I was silently counting down to the day when I’d finally take her out for someone more…flavorful, and less omnipresent.
I’m sad to see her banned, but I’m also glad for the excuse to remove her from my decks. It was about time.
To close this post, I’d like to sketch out my writing direction coming into the new year:
While it’s true that I took a lengthy break due to real life commitments, a significant reason was also because I encountered a severe case of writer’s block. Maybe it was due to how I overly constrained my content, but I found myself unable to keep up with producing noteworthy content.
As such, I’m going to remove the limitation I placed on myself.
I’m still going to be the resident judge within the team, and I’ll still cover any interesting rules interactions and developments. That said, I’ll also find time to write about other things less rules-specific – perhaps I’ll devote one article solely to rave about my pet Tazri deck. (I should, seeing as how I name-dropped her every now and then…)
See you all soon!
“Before I was a judge, I was a player.”
Recently, Sheldon Menery posted an article on StarCityGames.com about what the Rules Committee (RC) is trying to do with the format as of late. We would like to thank Sheldon for taking the time to try and clarify goals of the committee, and the theory behind how decisions are made; without his willingness to be open, we couldn’t have a proper conversation on the topic of the role of the RC as it applies to the current state of Commander.
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