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.

While the Magic community was busy discussing the merits of the banning and the lack of banning of certain cards by Wizards, in came a shocking development from Sheldon Menery of the Commander Rules Committee:

A more detailed explanation was given over at forums. However due to the internet being the internet, the site was immediately down. The following is a screenshot of the explanation by the Rules Committee.

So here’s how our crew reacted to the announcement. Yell at us on Twitter if you want. We ALL love talking about EDH.

ALEX (@Alexckszeto)

“One step forward, one step back”

I am a proponent of removing cards from the Commander banned list, and happy with the unbanning of Protean Hulk. It’s a good first step by the RC to show that they can adapt to the ever-changing environment of Magic’s power level. Will players gravitate towards doing game breaking things with Protean Hulk? I certainly hope so, but hopefully in the manner that everyone at the table knows about and expects beforehand. The same sentiments can be leveled at Leovold, Emissary of Trest. If you and your fellow players discuss what type of games you are willing to get into, Leo could have been fine. By banning Leovold, the committee is eliminating any and all possibility of a deck even before the other ninety-nine cards are examined. The fabric that binds the community is the Social Contract and with the latest RC decision, the thread is knit tighter at one end but loosened at the other.

Erik (@Erik_Tiernan)

Leovold is cool as hell. It’s not my fault 95% of magic players can’t think beyond “I can lock out the game lololololol….” I’m not mad about Leovold. I wish it didn’t happen (like Prophet ban) but I’m fine with not dealing with it. James is the only player I know who made a nonwheel deck with it.

James (@JamesDavey)

Stupid fucking unimaginative kids playing stupid linear obvious builds ruin EVERYTHING EVERY TIME!!!

Dave (@mDaveCS)

Unpopular opinion: If cards you don’t like make you not have fun, that is 100% your fault. If not being able to play a card because it is banned inhibits your fun, that’s the RC’s fault. Ergo, we should unban everything, because it shouldn’t impact my fun that much if I get locked out by Iona or whatever, especially if I failed to discuss Iona with the player beforehand. That’s the nature of a game with tons of randomness AND I EMBRACE IT ALL JUST AS I HUG YOU ALL MY CHILDREN

Cass (@GDCCommander)

Leo – It seems odd to ban a new-ish general. It’s obnoxious in the hands of douchebags that just want to play turbo-wheel derp.dec, but otherwise, it’s just another card advantage creature. I’m against this addition.

Protean Hulk – Seems great. It’s like anything. If people are going to break it, they’ll break it. Otherwise, Hulk seems like a cool card with some really fun explorable design space.

Here’s the thing – When you start trying to leverage bannings at all to shape the format, you accept the worst-possible reality as truth – that the Social Contract does not exist, and the basic rules of EDH and Magic are the only thing that apply. You can’t have it both ways. Either shape your games through the Social Contract, or accept everything that happens.

The big conflict is how Commander games unfold when you venture outside of your normal playgroup. Usually, we’re talking big events like GPs and SCG Opens. To that, it’s pretty simple in my eyes. There’s a ban list in existence, like it or not. If you’re playing competitive games (read: for prizes in side events), that list is the be all, end all of rule constraints. Do whatever you want within that space, and don’t get mad when you show up with your casual theme deck and get destroyed by Hermit Druid combo on turn three. 

I said it on Twitter yesterday, and I mean it – You don’t play a friendly game of flag football by showing up and stepping onto an NFL field during a Sunday game.

Now, for *EVERYTHING* else, and this includes those of you who go to GPs and look for other players to play casual pick-up games, the Social Contract is your ban list. It’s like beating a dead horse, but I’ll say it again. If you don’t start every game by saying, “Hey everyone! What kind of a game are we all looking to play here? Fun and casual? Combos and prison?”…

If you choose not to do that, then whatever happens is on you. Be social and shape the games you want to have with your voice. You don’t need a ban list to tell you what is right and wrong in a casual format.


Mr. P (@ThingsMRPThinks)

Meat and eggs! We eat!

Sum it up:

Hey at least Sensei’s Divining Top will be cheaper and not banned in Commander.