Quote from Muspellsheimr »Okay, I thought perhaps I should go through the issues I have with this point by point. I will (try to remember to) post another reply later, when I have more time, discussing what I feel the philosophy should be, and why.
Snipped the rest of the post to save space.
I feel the real issue with the bulleted "guidelines" is that some of them are actually secondary consequences of others that act as compounding reasons, rather than factors on their own.
There needs to be a clear distinction between "cause" and "effect" and not just randomly compile both into a bullet-point list to confuse people. Based on the points we currently have, I would divide them like this:
Group A (Causes)
•Are very difficult for other players to interact with, especially if doing so requires dedicated, narrow responses when deck-building.
•Interact poorly with the multiplayer nature of the format or the specific rules of Commander.
Group B (Effect)
•Cause severe resource imbalances
•Allow players to win out of nowhere
•Prevent players from contributing to the game in a meaningful way.
•Cause other players to feel they must play certain cards, even though they are also problematic.
•Lead to repetitive game play.
Noticed something? Those in group B have terms (like "cause", "allow", "prevent", "lead to") that imply they are an "effect caused by another factor". The focus should really be on those "factors", in which the document only lists 2 probable ones. By mixing the two together, it creates a whole lot more confusion and assumption that the "causes" are "effects" as well and then they end up thinking more often than not that "causes" are merely the existence of a card breaking a rule, like in some of the cases you listed (Boundless Realms for resource imbalance, for example).
Let's use an example - Biorhythm. It isn't banned because it "Allow players to win out of nowhere" PLUS "Interacts poorly with the multiplayer nature of the format or the specific rules of Commander".... it is banned because it "Interacts poorly with the multiplayer nature of the format or the specific rules of Commander" "allowing players to win out of nowhere".
It's specifically because one factor leading to another that got the card banned, not the mere addition of two factors on the list.
The biggest mistake, in my opinion, is the document presents everything in a "buffet-style" of "reasons" without distinction of causes and effects, so guess what, people have to assume on their own - if a card "Allow players to win out of nowhere" because it can "Cause severe resource imbalances" (e.g. Gaea's Cradle), shouldn't it be considered for banning as well?