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).
2. Oppressive cards and design mistakes: these include very strong non-symmetrical effects, cards that are near-impossible to respond to before most of the damage is done, cards that can win the game or give a player an unfair advantage by themselves. Also, cards that weren't a problem when they were designed, but are now.
Cyclonic Rift; Rhystic Study; Smothering Tithe; Underworld Breach; Yawgmoth's Will; Oko, Thief of Crowns; Uro, Titan of Nature's Wrath; Razaketh th Foulblooded; Tatyova, Benthic Druid; Aesi, Tyrant of Gyre Strait; Expropriate; Teferi, Time Raveler; Narset, Parter of Veils; Hullbreacher; Dockside Extortionist; Hermit Druid; Fierce Guardianship; Deflecting Swat; Deadly Rollick; Teferi's Protection would be banned.
PS: The lack of proper hate for ramp make this strategy way stronger than it should be - therefore, commanders with landfall that generate too big of a card or tempo advantage are too strong at this moment. This is the only reason they are included here.
2.1. Extra turns: recurring extra-turns effect with little to no drawbacks, and extra-turn spells that don't exile themselves upon resolution and have no major drawbacks.
Nexus of Fate; Time Warp; Capture of Jingzhou; Temporal Manipulation; Beacon of Tomorrows; Notorious Throng; Sage of Hours; Time Sieve; Time Stretch; Walk the Aeons; Wanderwine Prophets; Savor the Moment would be banned.
3. Tutors: Cards that tutor for any one card with CMC less than 3, for any one card type or sub-type with CMC 1; or for 2+ cards with CMC less than 6 (for all of these, exception for ramp spells which could technically be considered tutors - but they're not the problem).
Demonic Tutor; Vampiric Tutor; Imperial Seal; Mystic Tutor; Merchant Scroll; Enlightened Tutor; Worldy Tutor; Sylvan Tutor; Defense of the Heart; Final Parting; Entomb; Diabolic Intent; Jarad's Orders; Gifts Ungiven; Personal Tutor; Crop Rotation; Expedition Map; Gamble; Steelshaper's Gift would be banned.
4. Combo Engines that are too consistent or will keep breaking cards: combos are allowed, but they should be harder to assemble. Which is why my suggestion would be to get rid of cards that make for easy 2-card combos (or 3-card combos with the commander), and cards that combo with several different other cards - and cards that have a problem with their design, that will most likely keep easily comboing with cards that are going to be released in the future.
Deadeye Navigator; Doomsday; Thassa's Oracle; Gravecrawler; Palinchron; Mind Over Matter; Pitiless Plunderer; Helm of Obedience; Knowledge Pool; Altar of Dementia; Aetherflux Reservoir; Exquisite Blood; Mikaeus the Unhallowed; Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker; Mycosynth Lattice; Umbral Mantle; Food Chain; Sword of the Paruns; Staff of Domination; Karmic Guide; Grindstone; Mystic Forge; Ashnod's Altar; Phyrexian Altar; Rings of Brighthearth; Doubling Season; Vorinclex, Monstrous Raider; Felidar Guardian; Enchanted Evening; Worldgorger Dragon; Devoted Druid; Protean Hulk; Heliod, Sun-Crowned; Freed from the Real; Pemmin's Aura; Intruder Alarm; Sword of the Meek; Krark-Clan Ironworks; Demonic Consultation; Tainted Pact would be banned.
5. Fast Mana: In addition to the very high price point, many of these create unfair advantages or can be easily abused:
Mana Crypt; Mana Vault; Mishra's Workshop; Ancient Tomb; Grim Monolith; Basalt Monolith; Lotus Petal would be banned.
6. Problematic Commanders: cards that are too strong as commanders or cause unhealthy play patterns when the deck is optimized around them. Should they only be banned as Commanders?
Edgar Markov; Narset, Enlightened Master; Golos, Tireless Pilgrim; Omnath, Locus of Creation; Derevi, Empyrial Tactician; Gaddock Teeg would be banned.
What do you think? Feedback? Criticisms? Suggestions? Are you worried about the current state of Commander? I would like to hear your opinion.
Have a nice day!
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Dec 6, 2020Awesome, thank you very much for the answers!Posted in: Magic Rulings
I have one other question about the “paying to end the effect part”. It is described as a special action. What exactly does that mean and how is it different from, for example, an activated ability? The timings where I can use the licid’s ability are different? Does it have any restrictions (or benefits) attached to it that are different from regular actions in the game?
Dec 6, 2020Hello! Here’s my question: I have a permanent in play, such as Cowardice or Dismiss into dream, which cause a permanent to leave the battlefield when they are targeted. What happens to a Licid (let’s say Tempting licid just to illustrate) when I target a creature in this scenario? Is the ability countered because it no longer has a valid target and the licid doesn’t become an enchantment? Does it die because it’s an aura enchanting nothing? Can I pay the cost to end the effect and save it?Posted in: Magic Rulings
Follow-up question: what happens when I have Tiana, Ship's Caretaker in play and a Licid dies as an aura?
Thank you very much!
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