To skip the rant and go straight to what matters, go to the next text painted in red.
I have been worried with the state of multiplayer Commander for quite a while now. Call me a boomer or whatever, but the format is a far cry from what it used to be a few years ago. What brought me personally to multiplayer Commander was the fact that you could play your favorite cards from all time, build the craziest decks and go nuts. It was finally a format for the nonspike players to be able to unleash their creativity. People seem (or pretend) not to able to gauge their decks' power level, and there is always that one person in a casual table that ruins the experience for everyone else. With COVID and now, for most of us, the only option being to play online with different playgroups, at least in my experience, things got worse. At least in my playgroup, if someone comboed 5-10 minutes into the game, we declared that player the winner and moved on with the game without them. The game has become more about stopping the other players than playing your own stuff.
The Rules Committee has been terrible for quite a while now, I would much rather have the decisions about the format made by an expression of the community instead of a few people that (again, in my personal opinion) are clearly on WOTC's back pocket by now. Add to that WOTC's "FIRE" (more like dumpster fire) design philosophy, and the ridiculous price spikes in RL cards, effectively pricing them out of most players' resources. And the threat of sanctioning Commander will make T1 decks pour into multiplayer tables as well (because more and more people will be building them, plus the power level evaluation problem) make me want to run to a corner and hide.
All of this makes me want to do something, anything, to try and restore Commander to the healthier state it had before all this madness happened. I have been thinking about something I call "Safe Haven" and would like to collect feedback and suggestions from everyone who think Commander didn't evolve the way it was intended to. If you like things where they currently stand, it's fine too, you have all the official formats to enjoy!
So, here's how it works:
- No changes to general game rules - Commander keeps being played the way it has always been.
- There would be an initial banned list, composed by the actual official banlist + more cards (more about that later), and updates to it are somehow be made by the community (I would love to hear ideas about how that could be possible). Also should there be cards banned as commanders but allowed in the 99?
- Cards and mechanics created for a 20-life format are banned or considered as errata'd. Think Serra Ascendant or Infect, for example.
And that's that.
About the initial banlist. The goal for the banlist is reduce the amount of optimized combo-based decks, remove cards that have been priced out of most players' resources, remove oppressive cards/strategies that created un-fun game states for everyone but their owners, removing the blatant card design mistakes made in the last years. So, here's my suggestions:
1. RL insanity: the ridiculous price spikes would not happen as much or as often if not by the demand created by Commander. Which is why, my suggestion is to include the most egregious ones in the initial list and discuss the others individually with the community. This would include: all of the original dual lands, cards like Gaea's Cradle, Mox Diamond, Gilded Drake, Earthcraft, Intuition, Survival of the Fittest and so on (with these examples, I think it's possible to understand the price range I'm talking about).
ngl, I would really hate this proposed format. Lots of completely fair cards banned for no reason (which is a problem with the current RC), entire strategies hated out of the format, everyone pigeonholed into playing big dumb stompy decks? Too much interaction specifically cited as a problem with the game? Nah fam, no thanks, that's boring as hell.
My current problem with the format is that the banlist makes no sense in any dimension, and this idea would only exacerbate that.
Sadly there is no point making messages like this.
"competitive" player here will want to keep comboing and turn 2 and will hate your suggestion. Casual players will be labeled as hateful and not wanting to be inclusive.
You can see the answer from cranky here. Combo making sinergies unplayable is fine. Combo making every other playstyle irrelevant is fine. But trying to ban something to put stompy/battlecruiser decks back on is not.
Right now EDH is trying to do to many things and appease to many different kind of players. You won't ever be able to please anyone. The best solution is to make your own banlist and make your friends accept it.
Even so, it's not that easy. I'm a casual player myself and in your list i see some fine cards being banned, while some broken cards aren't.
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How i feel about competitive players and casual players in EDH: The competitive are german tourists, the casual are italian tourists, both in a italian beach. The italians asking themselves "why are the germans here?" make a legitimate question, the answer is because the beach is beautiful, no matter the country you came from. The italians wanting to ban the germans are dumb, because if the germans pay for their stay and follow the rules like everyone else, they have the right to be in the beach. Hovewer, if the germans started to ask themselves "why are the italians here?"... they would be dumb as hell.
It makes me a little sad that people can't just self-regulate to create a fun and balanced casual gaming environment, and that the proposed solution is to ban dozens and dozens of cards, preventing others from playing with their treasured game pieces, rather than just have a conversation about it. I own all of the cards you list as ban-worthy. Literally. And my playgroup is very healthy and casual, includes new players without deep collections, and has pretty balanced win rates overall. The key is building decks that are fun and interactive.
For example, my bf runs a few extra turn spells in his Noyan Dar, Roil Shaper list and they don't feel oppressive. They feel fun and cool because the deck itself isn't built to abuse them so much as use them like Azorious extra combat steps. I run Gaea's Cradle in my Virtus, the Veiled / Gorm, the Great list, along with Lure and Thicket Basilisk as a throwback to early Magic. In that deck, Cradle is very powerful, but the thing my deck is trying to do with all that mana is totally fair. Sure, it will get blown up by the next Acidic Slime, but it's not part of a strategy designed to make my friends suffer.