We all missed that it was a state based action. This seems odd, being that the controller of a dying commander gets to make a choice of keeping their commander in the 'yard vs going to the command zone. State based actions are usually reserved for something an opponent can't control, like when choosing which legendary to keep when a duplicate shows up. Since the controller gets an opportunity to choose if the commander stays in the graveyard or not, this kinda seems like it should be a trigger on the stack that can be responded to. Especially since this entire change was all about death triggers.
It is also a bit of a flavor fail when a minor forgettable character in Elenda gets a rule change to make her card playable, while a massively important character who has appeared in physical literature gets skipped due to a technicality.
The kokusho fear thing is more along the lines of having a combo engine. Going to the yard and/or command zone just opens up options for multiple lines of play. There are many rituals and tutors and reanimator spells and phyrexian reclamation style spells to cheapen commander tax, but only one Kukosho. Having access to her in the command zone in a dedicated deck that will cause trouble, and having the choice of reanimating her on one turn vs just recasting her on another will make for a consistent experience. In casual tables mono black also won't have much trouble building the mana to keep recasting a thick commander either.
For those interested here are the relevant commanders that care about dying; Anax, Axelrod (bad aristocrat loop, outdated due to Judith), Chevill (bounty on commanders), Child of Alara, Elenda, Jugan, Keiga, Kelsein (can get experience off pinging commander), Kokusho, Kresh (counts killing commanders), Lim-Dul (can steal commanders with command zone trigger on stack), Mathas (bounty on commanders), Gruul Omnath (damages when dies now), Roalesk, Ryusei, Yosie & TukTuk.
My main group has been discussing this and we all have two major opinions;
#1 sure, it's nice to enable a bunch of random legendaries.
#2 why was this deemed necessary in this day and age? With the rate of legendaries being printed? Do they know something about new cards coming out?
We talked about how R&D has designed cards built for commander with the original rules in mind. Gerrard, Weatherlight Hero is still fairly new, but with this new rule he wouldn't exile himself any more, and would probably just say "other" before the word "creatures." Is this something that the commitee talked about with R&D?
My entire group is also fairly concerned with how Kokusho, the Evening Star may end up re-banned. We remeber when she was banned and then unbanned. She is currently very fair being used within the 99, but will undoubtedly show up as an annoying commander now. The committee seems to not want unfun experiences in the format but I'm not sure they understand just how easy Kokusho can be exploited with this.
If the rumor that this rule change came about from one person high up wanting their own personal deck to work, and this ends up causing Kokusho to be re-banned, I'd pretty much loose all remaining faith I have in their capacity to regulate rules.
I'm not seeing the need for this sort of rule change.
I like the idea of running previously unplayable guys, but wasn't Kokusho, the Evening Star banned not too long ago due to graveyard loop abuse? With newer cards it should be easier to make kokusho become one of those almost cedh commanders that trainrecks casuals.
This also changes how many removal spells work (burn away for example).